FC Barcelona News: 19 December 2012; Tito Vilanova Suffers Tumor Relapse

David Ramos

Vilanova 'to undergo cancer treatment' - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Barcelona have not made an official announcement regarding Vilanova's health, but the club cancelled all media duties scheduled for Wednesday - including the traditional Christmas media lunch - without giving reasons. The club added that further communication would be made later in the day.

As the article above says FC Barcelona have been hit by another serious blow. After a successful surgery to remove a tumor last November, Tito Vilanova is believed to have suffered a relapse. The club have already cancelled all meetings between club personnel and the media and an official statement to give more information about the coach's condition is currently being worked on. Who will (potentially) take over as the coach hasn't reported.

All that being said, the news hasn't yet been made official, so let's first wait for the statement from Barcelona before we make any conclusions.

#ÀnimsTito

Abidal given the green light to play football again - Goal.com
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been given the all-clear to play for the club's first team in the coming weeks after recovering from his liver transplant, Goal.com understands. Following good recuperation since his operation, doctors have decided that the Barca left-back is ready to begin the journey back to competitive football.

Toni Freixa: "Xavi, Messi and Puyol are essential members of the best Barça ever" | FC Barcelona
Through its spokesman Toni Freixa, the Board’s reasons for renewing the contracts of Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol to 2016, and that of Leo Messi to 2018, have been explained. In a press conference to reveal the details of the meeting held on Monday, Freixa said the club was looking for the "continuation of a successful sporting project".

Xavi, Puyol and Messi: Three lives at FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Xavi Hernández, Carles Puyol and Leo Messi form part of world footballing heritage, and also to that of FC Barcelona. Other than their national teams, none of the trio have ever represented a different club since arriving at FC Barcelona at a very young age. And it was revealed today that they will all be staying in the Catalan capital for some time longer, for Xavi and Puyol have extended their contracts to 2016 and Messi until 2018.

Del Bosque delayed Xavi retirement | Football Espana
"Xavi hinted at wanting to leave the Seleccion. He could have been tempted to have retired from the team, but I believe he was encouraged by the success at the Euros and that he felt comfortable, he feels as if he is 28, which is strong," Del Bosque revealed to Onda Cero this week.

Spain finish Fifa Ranking at the summit for fifth year in succession - Goal.com
Reigning European and world champions Spain have finished 2012 at the summit of the Fifa Ranking for the fifth time in succession. Joachim Low's Germany remain the second-placed team in the standings, with South American giants Argentina completing the podium.

Real Sociedad-FCB: Saturday 19, at 18.00 | FC Barcelona
According to the LFP, the Week 20 Real Sociedad - FC Barcelona match will be played on Saturday, January 19, at 18.00. The Basques and Catalans drew two-all last season.

Barça B gather for traditional Christmas meal | FC Barcelona
Barça B players celebrated their traditional Christmas meal this evening at the Royal Tennis Club in Barcelona. The players, coaching staff, directors Jordi Mestre and Silvio Elías, football director Andoni Zubizarreta, and the directors of Barça B’s Athletic Commission gathered together to celebrate the end of the year before next week's break in competitive play.

Jose Mourinho's set piece problem - ESPN FC
One small note, which I'd have said has been easy for Mourinho's coaching staff to copy and paste, is the fact that Barcelona have at times been similarly vulnerable. They address the problem with the algorithm that 'if we are not excellent at defending the set play, perhaps we should concede fewer of them.'

Oguchi Onyewu scores late equaliser for Malaga against Eibar in Copa del Rey | Sky Sports Football
Oguchi Onyewu scored an injury-time equaliser for Malaga as they drew 1-1 against third-tier Eibar in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie. The minnows looked on course to claim a famous victory in their fifth-round tie, only to concede in the closing stages.

Deportivo La Coruna fear entering administration by the end of 2012 | Sky Sports
A side which lifted the Primera Liga title in 2000 is reported to owe the taxman around €34million (£27.7m), and have total debts of €100million (£81.4m). The Spanish government are looking to crack down on outstanding tax bills and have hit Depor with an embargo on their income.

The worst La Liga team of the season so far - Goal.com
On Tuesday, we examined the best XI of the season so far in Spain. But here, we take a look at those seeking improvement in the second half of the 2012-13 campaign. So here it is, the team no player in Spain will want to be in, picked from our special ratings system.

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