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Barcelona players to wear names in Chinese in Copa Clasico

Barcelona have confirmed their players will wear shirts featuring Chinese characters when they take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

The LaLiga leaders have announced the move to mark Chinese New Year, with this the first time Barcelona's shirts have featured new characters on the back.

A Barcelona statement confirmed the move is part of the club's attempts to establish a growing presence in the Asian market.

"This action is added to the video of congratulation for the Chinese New Year that was made by the club and released this Monday, with the participation of first team players Leo Messi, Gerard Pique, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Samuel Umtiti," said the statement.

"This year is also an important one for the strategy of establishment of Barca in China, which will experience its most important moment next summer when the first team will visit China and Japan on their pre-season tour."

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Barca are seeking to win the Copa del Rey for the fifth year in a row, but they will have to triumph against rivals Madrid if they are to reach the final again.

Lionel Messi has been included in Ernesto Valverde's 19-man squad for the game despite the Barca captain suffering a thigh injury at the weekend.