Thomas Vermaelen ordered to return Champions League medal

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Thomas Vermaelen looks set to return his Champions League winners medal, despite picking it up barley a week ago in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Italian side Juventus, reports The Mail.

The 29-year-old has been the subject of ridicule after his side completed a famous treble this season.

Despite his club's success, the fact that Vermaelen played zero minutes of Champions League football this season means he was not eligible for a medal.

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As a result UEFA will not allow Vermaelen to keep his winner's medal. The Belgium international’s exclusion from the Barcelona team has also prevented his former club, Arsenal, from receiving a significant pay-out.

The north London side were in line to receive an extra £2.9m bonus thanks to his cup final success, but due to the centre-back not playing a single minute of Barca’s European campaign, that clause in his contract was voided.

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Vermaelen moved from Arsenal to Barcelona in 2014 and has struggled to make an impression after suffering with a series of hamstring injuries.

The former Ajax man also has the issue of attempting to displace either Gerard Pique or Javier Mascherano for a place in the starting XI.

Vermaelen will be hoping that an injury-free pre-season could lead to more game time in 2015/16.

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Thomas Vermaelen
UEFA Champions League

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