FC Barcelona News: 23 May 2011; Abidal Speaks, Another Barça Youngster Leaves for England

MALAGA, VALENCIA - MAY 21: Eric Abidal of Barcelona trudges off the pitch during the La Liga match between Malaga and Barcelona at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Malaga, Spain. Barcelona won 3-1. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Guardiola vs. Ferguson: success meets success | FCBarcelona
On Saturday, Pep Guardiola will be out to equal Sir Alex Ferguson by taking his second Champions League title as a manager, but he’s still got a way to go to equal the Scots’ 36 titles won over 25 years with Manchester United. Pep is just finishing his third season in charge at the Camp Nou, whilst Sir Alex will mark a quarter of a century as United boss in November.

Sanguine Abidal champions Barcelona's team ethos | UEFA
Back in March, Éric Abidal was enjoying one of the most successful seasons of his career. With the French international full-back firmly on course for a third straight Spanish Liga championship and through to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, life was looking decidedly rosy. But then came the sobering news he had a tumour in his liver.

Why I hope Champions League final will reclaim the beautiful game from the ugly money men
This final will be shaped by tribal elders, leaders who build for the future with one eye on the past. Sir Alex Ferguson has learned the lessons of defeat in Rome two years ago. Europe is a definitive challenge, and some suspect he will only ­retire happily after equalling, or exceeding, the three ­European Cups won by Bob Paisley. Pep Guardiola is a different character, but no less ­intelligent, or driven.

Spurs land former Barca starlet | ESPN
Ceballos, 16, was hailed as Barcelona's new superstar four years ago when he became an internet sensation, featuring in a video juggling a ball with Ronaldinho. However, after a falling out, Barca agreed to release Ceballos, an attacking midfielder, on a free transfer.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique: Manchester United made a man of me | Goal
"It was another way of playing, more direct and physical. I learned how to use my body to defend with because players often came through you from behind. I then worked out like never before and put on nine kilos in muscle."

Wembley Memories (V): Stoichkov | FCBarcelona
The Wembley final was the first for Stoichkov with Barça, as he’d been injured for the Rotterdam final against Manchester United the season before and that made it especially important: "I didn’t play in the first one –I was so angry at myself for breaking down against Zaragoza and missing that United final.

Reds to monitor Fletcher fitness | Eurosport
Manchester United's backroom staff will monitor Darren Fletcher for a couple of days before deciding whether he will be fit to face Barcelona in the Champions League final. Sir Alex Ferguson had promised to give Fletcher every chance to recover from the virus that kept him out since the beginning of March.

Bring on Barca! United captain Vidic turns attention to Wembley showdown | Daily Mail
Nemanja Vidic insists Manchester United must forget about their title triumph and focus on the Champions League final against Barcelona. United were presented with the Barclays Premier League trophy on Sunday but their attention has immediately switched to Saturday's clash at Wembley. And captain Vidic is determined to lead Sir Alex Ferguson's side to the double.

Ronaldo unhappy over lack of trophies | ESPN
Cristiano Ronaldo may have written his name into the Primera Division record books and won his first trophy as a Real Madrid player this season, but he admits he cannot be 100% happy with how the campaign turned out.

Pichichi dedicated to team-mates | ESPN
"The reason I've scored so many goals is thanks to me team-mates and I'm very grateful to them,'' said Ronaldo, who dedicated his first Pichichi award as La Liga's top scorer to his club-mates and the fans. "I'm generous with my team-mates because they are the same with me. Without their help I wouldn't have been able to score 40 goals in the league.

Sevilla approach Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job - report | Goal
Primera Division side Sevilla consider former Chile tactician Marcelo Bielsa to be the perfect replacement for current head coach Gregorio Manzano this summer, Marca reports. The Andalucians are not completely satisfied with the way the team has performed under Manzano and are therefore looking to appoint a new coach.

Dragutinovic to leave Sevilla | LFP
Sevilla defender Ivica Dragutinovic confirmed to a Serbian newspaper that he intends to leave the club when his contract expires on June 30th. Talking to 'Novosti', the central defender, who has spent six years at Sevilla, recognised that the club had offered him one more season and the chance to coach the youth teams after that.

Valeron insists Depor will bounce back | ESPN
Depor, who are the only side other than Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia to have been crowned Spanish champions in the last 15 seasons following their title-winning triumph in 2000, saw their 20-year stint in the top flight come to an end after they lost 2-0 at home to Valencia.

Pandiani to leave Osasuna | LFP
Osasuna striker Walter Pandiani will not continue at the club after a stay of four years there. He confirmed this after the game against Villarreal, because his contract is to expire and he has not played enough games to get an automatic extension. "I’m a little sad, for me personally, to be leaving, but I’m happy we achieved our objective."

Aguirre hails team effort | ESPN
Aguirre, who took over from the sacked Jose Aurelio Gay in November after Zaragoza had won just one of their opening 11 league matches, said: "I'm very happy with the players and very grateful to the fans. I got on a boat that was on rough seas and the players are the main stars.

Rayo Vallecano promoted | Eurosport
Their promotion was achieved against a background of financial uncertainty with the owners being forced to apply to go into administration back in February, while players and staff continued working without getting paid.

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