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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
Busy Derry take on Barca
Ronaldinho signed for Barca last month
Ronaldinho was a big draw for fans during Barcelona's training
Ronaldinho will be the star attraction when Barcelona face League of Ireland side Derry City at the Brandywell on Tuesday (1730BST).

The Brazilian wizard is just one of a host of Catalan masters that tackle a Derry side who face a hectic schedule this week.

After facing Barcelona, the Candystripes take on Apoel Nicosia in the Uefa Cup on Thursday and then travel to Galway for a third round Carlsberg FAI Cup tie on Sunday.

Before they fly out to Cyprus late on Tuesday evening, however, Derry should have little problem in finding the energy to entertain the Spanish kingpins.

Chairman of Derry City Jim Roddy said that the busy schedule was worth it.

''You tell me what club in Ireland or the UK that would not take a game with Barcelona and fill their ground,'' said Roddy.

''Some people look on it as a sport, but we look on it as a business, and we have to maximise what ever income comes our way.

''You cannot look a gift horse in the mouth. If a team like Barcelona ring up and ask for a game on 12 August, you can't tell them no because we have another game two days later.

''Obviously our manager will be careful in the way he handles his players and I am sure there will be quite a few changes throughout the game.''

A full house is expected, particularly with a Barcelona line-up of Luis Enrique, Patrick Kluivert, Javier Saviola, Marc Overmars, Sergio and Carles Puyol who is being chased by Manchester United.

This will be the third game of the Catalans' European tour after a 1-0 victory over Leicester, and a 2-1 reverse against Manchester City on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Derry boss Dermot Keely will hand former Bradford City goalkeeper Neil Bennett his debut against Apoel.

Keely was granted special Uefa dispensation to sign a new goalkeeper following the injury to Wayne Russell who will be out of action for a year with a knee injury and Alan Gough is serving a one-match ban.

Derry City chairman Jim Roddy
''We must maximize whatever income we have''

Coyle rescues Derry
08 Aug 03  |  Irish
McCallion joins Glentoran
07 Aug 03  |  Irish

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