Barcelona have started their preseason tour of the United States of America, but manager Xavi Hernandez has not.
The squad took part in a final training in Barcelona before their departure this morning, in which Gerard Pique returned to group work and Raphinha joined his teammates for the first time.
Following that, the squad were due to fly to Miami at 15:15 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 in the case of entry into Iran. As a player for Al-Sadd, Xavi played there and wasn’t cleared for the usual ESTA visa.
That was detailed by Mundo Deportivo, who say that the issue is not expected to be serious and upon being sorted out in the coming days, should see Xavi join the squad at the first available opportunity.
It does leave the door open for an awkward few days. Barcelona left Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig, Neto, Oscar Mingueza and Martin Braithwaite out of the squad in order to try and push through transfers away from the club. No doubt it could be a little uncomfortable for Xavi to be working with the small group of outcasts, if he does return to the training facilities in the meantime.