Chinese stroll for Barca
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Barcelona continued their preparations for the new season with a 9-0 win over Chinese Super League champions Shenzhan Jianiibao.
The reigning Spanish champions were in majestic form as goals from Andres Iniesta, Henrik Larsson, Ludovic Giuly, Samuel Eto'o (2), Deco, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Lionel Messi (2) completed an emphatic rout.
However, boss Frank Rijkaard insisted it had been a tougher work-out than the scoreline suggested.
"The scoreline made it look easier than it was. The heat was asphyxiating and we weren't able to prepare for the match as we wanted to," stated the Dutchman.
"But the important thing was the attitude of all the players I used, the fact that they played very well and scored some great goals.
"I'm really happy with the image that the club has given in its tour of Asia. We are delighted to have made the fans happy with the way we played."
The two goals for Argentine starlet Messi capped off a memorable day as he also received his first senior international call-up.
Much is expected of the 18-year-old this term and with two well-taken goals he showed another glimpse of his outstanding potential.
Of his call-up, he declared: "I wasn't expecting it.
"It's the dream that I've had ever since I was a young boy and I'm very proud because it is an important step forward in my career."