Neymar absent as Barcelona prepares for Club World Cup

AP , Monday 14 Dec 2015

Spain's FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (2nd L), Luis Suarez (2nd R) and Gerard Piquet (R) run during a football practice session in Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo, on December 14, 2015 (AFP)

Neymar was missing from training on Monday, as European champion Barcelona started its preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

The influential Brazilian forward suffered a groin injury in Germany last week during a training session for the Champions League match with Bayer Leverkusen, which ended 1-1.

He is rated very doubtful for Barcelona's semifinal showdown with China's Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday.

Barcelona was greeted by 226 children from its soccer school in Tokyo when stepping on to the pitch at the Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama. The children then sang the club's anthem, ''El Cant del Barca,'' as the players looked on.

The Spanish club has not won in three matches, while Guangzhou is on a 28-match unbeaten run stretching back to May.

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