Top clubs call for help with injured internationals' pay

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The Independent Football

Barcelona and Internazionale led the list of disgruntled clubs following the international break as they counted the lame.

Barca may be without Lionel Messi at Osasuna tomorrow. He suffered a thigh injury during Argentina's 1-0 defeat of Australia in Melbourne. Inter, already missing defenders Walter Samuel and Marco Materazzi, will also be without Christian Chivu at home to Catania tomorrow. The Romanian dislocated his shoulder against Germany.

Barca president Joan Laporta reiterated his demand that national teams should compensate clubs for the use of their players. "The clubs pay the players' salaries and they should receive compensation, from either Fifa or from the national federation who call up the player," he said. "The clubs should receive a proportion of the players' wages... and part of the income generated from the games which they dispute, especially in friendlies."

Laporta, who is backed by the G14 group of clubs, added that with Uefa and Fifa delaying on the issue "clubs have to start to act."

Inter are yet to decide whether to give Patrick Vieira his first Serie A start this season. Vieira played twice for France despite Inter claiming he was unfit.

Juventus, the only other Serie A team with two wins, host Udinese tomorrow without Jean Alain Boumsong, who is injured, and Jonathan Zebina. The French defender received a four-match ban for being sent off and trying to slap a steward during the win at Cagliari two weeks ago. Milan are again without Ronaldo, whose thigh injury is proving slow to recover, and Paolo Maldini.

Back in Spain Barcelona centre-back Gabriel Milito should make his debut while Arjen Robben could be on the bench for Real Madrid at home to Almeria today.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich hope Luca Toni can return from a hamstring strain at home to main title rivals Schalke 04 today. The visitors could be without Christian Pander as well as fellow defender Mladen Krstajic. The match will be broadcast live in 142 countries.

Gerard Houllier, the 60-year-old former Liverpool manager, is to be France's next technical director.

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