Once rivals, Spain players now teammates again

Once rivals, Spain players now teammates again

Published May. 31, 2011 1:04 p.m. ET

Rival players from Barcelona and Real Madrid have gathered with the Spain squad and vowed to put the bad blood from a series of testy matches behind them.

The World Cup winner faces the United States in an exhibition Saturday before traveling to Venezuela three days later for its first games since the four meetings in 18 days between bitter rivals Barcelona and Madrid in April and May.

The teams accused each other of poor sportsmanship after the bruising, draining series of games, as Madrid won the Copa del Rey and Barcelona won their Champions League semifinal.

The two Spanish clubs have a combined 11 players on the squad, even though Barcelona regulars Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez will both miss this trip.