Pre-season fixtures

Barcelona and Real Madrid played their first pre-season matches this week as clubs start the long warm up before the real business begins at the end of August. Barça got off to a good start in Scotland, beating Hibs 0-6 and Dundee United 1-5. Messi scored four of the goals, and it remains to be seen whether FIFA allow him to stay for the Champions League qualifiers or insist on him going to China to play for Argentina in the Olympic Games. Real Madrid began their pre-season training in Austria with a 2-3 win at LASK Linz, transfer listed Baptista and Saviola getting two of the goals. They now go on to London to take part in Arsenal's Emirates Cup. (28.07.08)