10 FC Barcelona players played in tonight’s game –six featured in the starting XI, and four came off the bench– only Fontas played the full 90 minutes. It’s worth mentioning that Carles Puyol, who had been named to the Catalan side, didn’t play due to an injury to the adductor in his left leg.
Following on from a near monopoly of the teams of the year announced by the prestigious sports papers L'Équipe and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Barça is hoping to extend the Club's dominance to the UEFA.com Team of the Year. Eight Barça players are among the contenders: Victor Valdés (goalkeeper), Alves (right-back), Piqué and Mascherano (central defenders), Abidal (left-back), Xavi (central midfield), Iniesta (attacking midfield) and Messi (forward). Pep Guardiola has also been nominated for coach of the year.
"Real Madrid play very well. If anyone says that we don't and that we are only interested in results, they are lying," he pointed out in an interview with the club's official website on Friday. "We play well, we entertain and the people want to see us. We have the Santiago Bernabeu, whatever the game and against whoever, always completely full and it takes a few people to fill the Bernabeu."
Real Madrid have been hit with the news that Angel Di Maria has suffered a muscle tear, which could rule him out of action for a sustained period. Although the La Liga giants have not indicated how long Di Maria would be sidelined for, he could well miss their next league game at home to Granada next Saturday, depending on the seriousness of his injury.
"Will Romeu return? His dream before leaving was to be a Barcelona player and that still stands, but we cannot ignore the opportunity Chelsea have provided," his agent Javier Magico Diaz said. "We'll have to see if it's appropriate for the club and the player (to return to Barca).
Alexis Sanchez returned to training on Saturday ahead of Barcelona's Copa del Rey match against Osasuna. The Chile international was sidelined by a leg injury he picked up during the European champions' Club World Cup triumph this month. Sanchez has been hampered by injury during his first season with the Catalan club, having missed nearly two months at the start of the campaign.
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