FC Barcelona News: 18 January 2012; Copa del Rey El Clasico Upon Us, Messi Approaches Milestone

Will the new boots make Messi even better?

Copa del Rey preview -- Real Madrid vs. Barcelona -- Graham Hunter - ESPN
Although I have never been afraid to admit that some of the ill will between the sides is important to make the dish nice and spicy, there are limits -- limits which I believe Jose Mourinho, Pepe and Marcelo ignored last season. So it's healthy to report that the buildup to these games has been significantly less provocative, angry and accusatory.

Messi, could make it to 300 games on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu | FC Barcelona
On 16 October 2004 a youngster from the reserve team called Leo Messi played his first game for Barça. That 17 year old has now played 299 official matches and scored 213 goals. He has won three consecutive Ballon d’Ors, and is arguably not just the greatest player in the world right now, but the greatest that ever lived.

Guardiola names 19-man squad for Cup tie | FC Barcelona
Josep Guardiola has named the 15 first-team players and Barça B’s Cuenca, Montoya, Dos Santos and Sergi Roberto to the Barça squad for tomorrow’s Cup tie against Madrid. The 19 players trained this afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva in Barça’s final training session before tomorrow’s match.

Hristo Stoichkov: Barcelona can be beaten in one leg but not over two - Goal.com
Hristo Stoichkov feels that while Real Madrid are capable of upsetting Barcelona in a one-off encounter, the Bulgarian does not believe that they have it in them to outwit Pep Guardiola's side over two legs. Consequently, the former favourite of the Camp Nou suspects that los Blancos will struggle to get past the Catalans in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Pep Guardiola demands Real Madrid scalp - ESPN Soccernet
"Going to the Bernabeu we must be wise to get through," Guardiola said. "The only way to get a result and have the tie alive is to go to win the game. Madrid are the strongest opponents that we can find. Against Madrid you cannot feel a favourite.

Lionel Messi to wear new adidas boots for Barcelona in Wednesday's Clasico with Real Madrid - Goal.com
Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi is set to wear a new pair of adidas F50 adizero boots for Wednesday's Clasico fixture against Real Madrid. The diminutive forward wore a golden pair of the same footwear after being awarded the Fifa Ballon d'Or award earlier this month, but will sport a new blue and red version in the Copa del Rey quarter final first leg.

Barça-Madrid: looking back at 1957 | FC Barcelona
The last time FC Barcelon and Real Madrid met each other in a Spanish Cup quarter-final was in 1957, Barça won the tie by an aggregate of 8-3. Stars that will be forever remembered as footballing greats played in the squads of both teams at the time. This was the Real Madrid led by the great Di Stefano and Gento, while the legendary Antoni Remallets and Lázlo Kubala donned the Barça strip.

A brief history of the Spanish Cup clásico | FC Barcelona
Over the 107-year history of the competition, Barça and Madrid have faced off against each other 17 times, 6 of which were championship matches. Remarkably, both teams maintain a nearly even record against each other: 9 wins and 59 goals scored for Barça, and 8 wins and 56 goals scored for Real Madrid.

Barcelona target Jordi Alba: I want to stay at Valencia - Goal.com
Jordi Alba has stated that despite speculation linking him with a transfer to Barcelona, he is happy at Valencia. The versatile player has impressed at Mestalla over the last 12 months, and after breaking into the Spanish national side has emerged as a potential target for Pep Guardiola's men.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola & the world's Top 10 best paid football managers in pictures - Goal.com
From Maradona to Mourinho, we've compiled a list of the bosses earning the greatest pay-packets in the game, with the United chief set to accept a bumper new deal at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo needs to be spoiled and pampered, says Hugo Sanchez - Goal.com
"Cristiano Ronaldo has to be cuddled and pampered. You have to be careful with him and spoil him," said Sanchez in an interview with RNE. "We all know his character, so we can't act surprised now all of a sudden. He's always needed support, and gets that affection from his coach.

Jose Mourinho: Ronaldo works like an animal - ESPN Soccernet
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has lauded under-fire star Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the Copa del Rey showdown against Barcelona, describing the forward's second-half performance against Real Mallorca as the one he has liked best since taking charge.

Sevilla confirm talks with Maritimo over Baba Diawara - Goal.com
Sevilla have revealed that they are in advanced talks with Maritimo over the signing of Baba Diawara. According to the Spanish club's official website, the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement for the forward, who has been in fine goalscoring form in Portugal this season.

Injury rules Perotti out of derby | LFP
Sevilla player Diego Perotti is to be sidelined for the next two weeks after tests indicated he has a slight muscular tear in his left thigh, although he is waiting on an MRI scan to confirm it. The Argentinian suffered a relapse during the match against Espanyol and will now miss the much-awaited derby, corresponding top the rescheduled matchday one, which will bring Sevilla face to face with city rivals Betis.

Match Report | Espanyol v Mirandes | Sky Sports
Espanyol made hard work of their Copa del Rey clash with Mirandes, but struck three times late on to snatch the upper hand in the tie. Mirandes, against all the odds, eased into a two-goal lead, but collapsed in the final minutes to end up on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat.

Valdo sidelined for a month | LFP
Levante announced that Valdo, after undergoing tests, has been diagnosed as having a sinew tear in the biceps femoris in his left leg. According to the medical report, the midfielder will be out for between three and four weeks.

Dujmovic is the Real deal | Sky Sports
Spanish strugglers Real Zaragoza have dipped into the loan market to sign Croatia international Tomislav Dujmovic from Dynamo Moscow until the summer. The rock bottom club are sitting eight points off of safety, but having picked up just two points from their last 11 matches they are staring relegation in the face.

Pudil agrees Granada switch | Sky Sports
Czech winger Daniel Pudil will link up with Spanish outfit Granada in the summer after agreeing a switch from Genk. Pudil's agent confirmed on Tuesday that an agreement had been put in place. The 26-year-old has penned a five-and-a-half-year contract with Granada.

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