Barcelona duo Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic have been withdrawn from the Spain and Croatia national teams respectively, due to injury concerns. The midfielders add to Luis Enrique's worries in the middle of the park ahead of El Clasico, with Andres Iniesta already missing international friendlies that kept him out of last weekend's draw with Villarreal.
Busquets and Rakitic both played the full 90 minutes of the 2-2 stalemate at Villarreal, with Arda Turan replacing club captain Iniesta, who was missing with a muscle problem.
The latest news from the international front is a big blow for the Barcelona manager, coming ahead of El Clasico with Real Madrid on 2 April and the Champions League quarter-final game against Atletico Madrid three days later. Reports in Spain suggest that Rakitic is a doubt for both games, while Busquets is more likely to feature.
The Spanish national team doctor revealed that Busquets arrived for national duty with a fractured finger on his right hand, which has been hampering him for weeks. Vicente del Bosque opted to rest the player as the forthcoming games are just friendlies, but it is unlikely Busquets will miss Barcelona's key clashes with both Madrid sides.
However, Rakitic is more doubtful after the Croatian Football Federation announced the playmaker had sustained a calf issue.
"Rakitić's injury was confirmed after a MRI scan on Tuesday," the Croatian football federation confirmed, ruling him out for the friendlies against Israel and Hungary with a calf problem.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have failed to give any update on Iniesta after he missed their game against Villarreal. Luis Enrique suggested at the time that the Spaniard's injury was nothing severe, giving hope he could be available for the second El Clasico of the season on 2 April.
However, photos submitted by the club on their official website seem to suggest the captain is still sidelined, as he fails to appear in any of the snaps of Tuesday's training session.
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