Adriano returns to work with the group | FC Barcelona
Barça continued preparations for Saturday evening’s game against Athletic Bilbao with a full training session at the Ciutat Esportiva this morning. Tito Vilanova worked with all of his available first team squad players – including Adriano who missed the session on Thursday with a stomach upset - alongside Tello and Oier from Barça B.
Tito Vilanova: "Athletic Bilbao will play the same way they did last season" | FC Barcelona
Despite their poor start to this season, that sees them out of Europe and sitting down in 14th place, Tito Vilanova believes that Bilbao" play in the same way they did last season", in spite of losing Xavi Martinez and relegating Fernando Llorente to the bench. "they still play a very intense game and they will make it a difficult game for us".
FCB-Athletic Club: Did you know? | FC Barcelona
The biggest win between the two sides happened a little over a decade ago. On February 3 of 2001, Barça defeated Athletic Club by 7-0, thanks to goals from Luis Enrique (3), Cocu (2), Abelardo and Overmars. Nine months later, Athletic Club won at the Camp Nou. The scoreline was 1-2, thanks to the match-winning strike from Ezquerro. The player joined the Blaugrana later on in his career.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger thinks Lionel Messi should win Ballon d'Or on 'class' | Sky Sports
The Arsenal boss said: "It's very difficult. For the class, Messi. He's scored 76 goals in one year. It looks just outrageous to me. Therefore it would be one thing to reward something exceptional. "Ronaldo, has always been there and he deserves it as well. He won the Spanish championship. "Iniesta won the European Championship with the national team and therefore, you could reward him.
Rafinha to play the U20 South American Championship with Brazil | FC Barcelona
Brazil have selected Barça B’s Rafa Alcántara ahead of the U20 South American Championship which is scheduled to start on January 9 and will end on February 3. Rafinha will join the national team on January 1. He’ll miss up to five Barça B matches.
European match of the weekend: Madrid derby could be Simeone’s crowning moment | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The Europa League champions are three points behind leaders Barcelona after 13 matches and, unbelievably for many of their long-suffering supporters, eight ahead of stuttering Real, who slipped to a third defeat of the campaign at Real Betis last weekend that left their title defence in serious peril.
Liga - Mourinho to face disgruntled Real fans alone - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"They applaud me, they whistle me, that's life in football," Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday when asked about the reaction of the fans. "I'll go out onto the pitch tomorrow at 9.20 p.m. on my own," he added. "Those who want to whistle me they can do it. People who come later should support their team, support their Real Madrid so that Real Madrid can achieve its objective which is to win the match.
Real Madrid stars miss the team bus - Goal.com
The players were told to be at the Santiago Bernabeu for 20:45 before heading to their pre-match hotel, but Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Fabio Coentrao, Pepe and Alvaro Arbeloa were all absent as they were stuck in traffic. The Portuguese opted to leave without them and the five stars joined up with their team-mates later on after hitching a ride in Alvaro Arbeloa's car.
Michael Essien back at Chelsea for treatment after Real Madrid loan was put on hold | Sky Sports
Michael Essien has returned to Chelsea from Real Madrid to have treatment on a mystery injury. The midfielder is on a season-long loan at the Santiago Bernabeu, but this has been temporarily put on hold while Blues medical staff assess his condition.
Osasuna beat Rayo to escape drop zone - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Sola found Alvaro Cejudo's pass down the right flank in the fifth minute and netted past goalkeeper David Cobeno with a chip shot from a tight angle. Four minutes later Rayo nearly equalised but Osasuna keeper Andres Fernandez impressively blocked a shot from Francisco Medina. Osasuna remained unbeaten in its last four games, while Rayo stayed in the middle of the standings.