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Barca rest eight players ahead of Champions League final

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, May 12 (Reuters) Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has rested eight regulars for the Primera Liga clash with Sevilla tomorrow to keep them fresh for Wednesday's Champions League final against Arsenal.

Brazilian forward Ronaldinho, leading scorer Samuel Eto'o and French winger Ludovic Giuly were left out of the squad.

They were joined by Deco, Carles Puyol, Edmilson, Rafael Marquez and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Spain midfielder Xavi was included to help him regain full match fitness and a place in Luis Aragones's squad for the World Cup, which will be announced on Monday.

''When I injured myself I never thought I would be fit if we got to the Champions League final but now the coach (Rijkaard) knows I am ready for anything,'' Xavi was quoted as saying on the Barcelona website.

''The Sevilla game will be another good chance for me to gain more match practice.'' Champions Barcelona have nothing left to play for in the league.

UEFA Cup winners Sevilla still have a chance of qualifying for next year's Champions League.

Tomorrow's game in the Sanchez Pizjuan is the rescheduled match from April 23 that had to be abandoned due to a water-logged pitch.

Reuters DH RN1914

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