Very mixed news on the injury front today for FC Barcelona as both Thiago Alcantara (knee) and Adriano Correia (thigh) have been given medical clearance and are available for tomorrow's game against Levante in Valencia. However, it has been also revealed that David Villa and Victor Valdes are having injury problems and their status for the game is uncertain. Villa has been experiencing some ankle discomfort while Valdes is having a knee problem. No further details on their condition is currently available. As a precaution Barcelona B goalkeeper Oier Olazabal will travel with the team.
Messi: “The Champions League is a challenge every year” | FC Barcelona
Messi’s competitive spirit is no secret and he explained today: “I love to train, play and win - I even like to win in training games. I’ve been that way since I was a kid and I don’t think I’ll change – that’s the way I am”. It’s hardly surprising then that the world number one reckons that the Champions League is “a challenge for us, because of what it means. It’s the hardest to win, the best to play in and it’s where the best teams are. We will work hard to win it “.
Levante-Barcelona Statistical Preview | Who Scored
Levante's unbeaten record at home this season was burst by Real Madrid in their last outing at the Ciutat de Valencia, but the champions had to rely on a late winner to get all three points and Barca can expect to struggle as well against a well-organised side that is never easy to beat.
Real Madrid midfielder Michael Essien laid low by allergic reaction | Sky Sports
The Ghanaian midfielder is on loan at the Spanish champions from Chelsea and put in some impressive performances in the opening weeks of the campaign. However, Essien has not played since November 11 and Real had previously kept quiet about the reasons for his absence until assistant coach Aitor Karanka explained the situation."He has had an allergic reaction to some medicine," Jose Mourinho's right-hand man told reporters.
Paris Saint-Germain consider world-record £100m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo - Goal.com
The French club's Qatari owners believe that they can convince the Portuguese forward to move to the Parc des Princes next summer and are also keen on his team-mate, French defender Raphael Varane. While Madrid will resist any move for Ronaldo and hope that the 27-year-old will commit to a new contract, PSG are willing to shatter the current £80m world-record deal paid to Manchester United to sign the same player in 2009.
Del Bosque defends Real Madrid youth system - Goal.com
“I think Madrid have worked very well with their cantera,” he told Zoom News. “And I’m not speaking in the past tense, all Spanish clubs have, and the clearest evidence is that Spain are world champions and the guys in our team have come out of a cantera, not from foreign clubs.”
Sociedad and Osasuna play out draw - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Osasuna moved ahead Deportivo Coruna into 18th place but passed up on the chance to move out of the bottom three. Sociedad headed into the game in good form, having won their last two, but could not find a way past Osauna keeper Andres Fernandez in a largely disappointing affair. Sociedad stay in ninth, despite having had the chance to move into sixth with victory.