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Barcelona coach devises special individual training for injury-prone defender

Barcelona have a lot of players out for international duty as they head into the business end of the 2023/24 season. These are also the last national team games of the season before the 2024 European Championship and Copa America.

Spain have called up Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi to the senior team, while Hector Fort, Marc Guiu, and Fermin Lopez will participate for the reserve side.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ilkay Gundogan, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, Joao Felix, and Joao Cancelo are also on tour with their nations.

And with a few players sidelined with injury, including Gavi, Pedri, Alejandro Balde, Frenkie de Jong, and Andreas Christensen, Barcelona are left with handful of senior players for their training.

Special plan for Inigo Martinez

Of them, though, is Inigo Martinez. Having returned from injury only recently, the Spaniard was not called up for Spain, but was a part of the side during the last international break in November, while he was still in top-form.

Inigo has suffered from a few injuries this season, two of which were muscle injuries. To combat this, Xavi and the coaching staff devised specific routines for the veteran defender to strengthen the muscle injuries, according to Mundo Deportivo.

While Pau Cubarsi seems to have taken his place in central defence for now, Inigo is one of the only senior players in the team and his presence will be vital for this young squad as the season goes on.

He will also get more chances in La Liga now that the title seems out of reach, with Real Madrid eight points clear with nine games left.

Five youth players called up

While Ronald Araujo has also returned from international duty after being released by Uruguay, he did not restart working with the tea just yet.

Instead, Xavi called up the five youth players to train with the rest of the first-team.

These were, namely, Edu Sanchez (18, left-back), Pocho Roman (20, forward), Andres Cuenca (16, midfielder), Hector Rangel (17, midfielder), and Brian Farinas (18, midfielder).

Inaki Pena, Marcos Alonso, Sergi Roberto, Ferran Torres, Oriol Romeu, and Vitor Roque were the rest of the senior players available for Xavi during training.

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