Barcelona have started their pre-season tour in the United States of America, but manager Xavi Hernandez hasn’t.
The squad took part in a final training session in Barcelona before their departure this morning, during which Gerard Pique returned to group work and Raphinha joined his team-mates for the first time.
After that, the team was supposed to fly to Miami at 3:15 p.m. CEST, but Xavi had to miss the flight.
Boarding time pic.twitter.com/6DtQqzHfBq
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As part of US visa requirements, special permission is required to visit the country when entering Iran. As an Al-Sadd player, Xavi played there and was not allowed to get the usual ESTA visa.
This was detailed by Mundo Deportivowho say the issue shouldn’t be serious and after being sorted out in the next few days should see Xavi join the team at the first available opportunity.
This leaves the door open for a few inconvenient days. Barcelona left Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig, Neto, Oscar Mingueza and Martin Braithwaite out of the squad in an attempt to push transfers away from the club. It could arguably be a bit uncomfortable for Xavi to work with the small group of outcasts, if he returns to the training facilities in the meantime.