• Barcelona face Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande 
  • Robinho and Paulinho two of four Brazil stars in the Chinese side
  • Lionel Messi is out of the semi-final clash with an abdominal injury 
  • Barcelona: Bravo, Pique, Rakitic, Sergio, Alves, Iniesta, Suarez, Mascherano, Munir, Jordi Alba, Roberto

Dan Ripley for MailOnline

Follow Sportsmail’s live coverage of the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final clash between Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande at the International Stadium Yokohama. 

Lionel Messi will be absent from the 10.30am (GMT) kick-off as the Barca star is suffering from an abdominal injury known as renal colic which is caused by kidney stones.  

  • Dan Ripley

    Host commentator

‘There was bad luck for Messi in 2006 too, suffering a foot injury in November and missing Barcelona’s Club World Cup trip to Japan. He was out for three months that time.’

The FIFA Club World Cup is almost done, with River Plate through to the final in Japan and awaiting a possible meeting with Barcelona. But, as is so often the case, the competition passed largely under the radar in this country.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at a complicated competition that struggles each year for attention in some parts and is seen as the pinnacle in others.

Click here for more

…and that’s before anyone tells our friend on the right that neither Gerrard or Liverpool will be in action today. Then again neither are the other two…

Fans wearing masks of Steven Gerrard, Neymar and Lionel Messi of Barcelona pose outside the stadium before the game

Which is a blow for just about everyone aside from the Guangzhou Evergrande, whose slim chances of success before the game have now slightly improved.

Click here for more on Messi’s injury – but surely Barca will have enough in their tank to progress to the final, right?

Despite being ruled out injured, Lionel Messi’s kit was still laid out in the changing room before the game

Messi’s boots are placed on show inside the Barcelona dressing room but will not be used for the semi-final

‘There’s a nice atmosphere building up outside the stadium, lots of food and merchandise stalls, some selling Japanese food and sweets, others opting for the less traditional (at least in these parts) kebab.

‘Lots of fans from Yokohama here to support Barcelona, even if the Spanish club don’t have many travelling fans.

‘Unfortunately, thanks to abdominal pain, there’s no Lionel Messi, and judging by the names on the back of the replica shirts, there were plenty of people here to see him.’

It’s arguable that Barcelona are already the best team in the world but over the next few days is their opportunity to make it official.

Good morning, all. Welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Barcelona vs Guangzhou Evergrande in the FIFA World Club Cup semi-final.

Shirts of Guangzhou Evergrande sit in the dressing room before the game



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