FC Barcelona News: 16 February 2012; Lionel Messi Set to Break Another Record, Team Returns from Germany

It sure looks like this guy is breaking records every three days.

Lionel Messi to become youngest-ever Barcelona player to make 200 league appearances - Goal.com
Playmaker Xavi is the current record-holder as he made his 200th league appearance for the Camp Nou outfit at the age of 25 years and 236 days, whereas the South American attacker will do so at just 24 years and 240 days if he plays on Sunday. The Argentina international made his official La Liga debut in the 1-0 win over Espanyol on October 16, 2004 and has since developed into the Catalans' undisputed star player.

Alexis marks his first team debuts with goals | FC Barcelona
Alexis Sanchez was one of the players in the starting line-up picked by Pep Guardiola for the first leg of the last 16 round of the Champions League, against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. His participation from the start of the game at the Bay Arena marked his debut as a starter in a Champions League game. The Chilean striker responded with two very important goals that allowed him to open his scoring in the top European competition.

Guardiola plays down significance of 'Inter' scarf - Goal.com
So, when Guardiola donned a blue-and-black scarf for his side's last 16 first-leg clash with Leverkusen, Premium Calcio came to the conclusion that the former Spain international was trying to tell them that he is bound for San Siro. "No, it's fine, it's a gift from a friend," Guardiola told 'Champions League Live' before reiterating his commitment to Barca. "I currently train the most fascinating team there is."

The team arrives in Barcelona, training session scheduled for Thursday | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s first team arrived in Barcelona. After a two-hour flight from Cologne, the Barça entourage touched down at El Prat airport at 13:00. The Barça team spent the night in Germany after beating Bayer 04 Leverkusen by 1-3.

Bayer Leverkusen - FC Barcelona, in statistics | FC Barcelona
Barça made it six victories on the trot away from the Camp Nou in the Champions League with the win over Leverkusen. Barça is the third team to reach this mark after Ajax (7) and Manchester United.

Bayer Leverkusen players 'too eager' to swap shirts with Lionel Messi | Football | guardian.co.uk
Two Bayer Leverkusen players will have to auction off Barcelona shirts they got from Lionel Messi in Tuesday's 3-1 Champions League defeat on Tuesday after the club's sports director, Rudi Völler, said they were too enthusiastic in their quest for a souvenir."I can guarantee you that these two players will auction off the tops for a good cause," Völler told Bild on Thursday.

Valerón: "I have always admired Eusebio" | FC Barcelona
Juan Carlos Valerón is the undisputed leader of Deportivo, Barça B’s rivals on Saturday. In the words of his President, Augusto Cesar Lendoiro, "he sets the standard at a sporting, technical, and philosophical level". Just like the Galician club, in the last decade, he’s been to heaven and hell (mainly due to injuries).

Liga - Real out to break records and Barca monopoly - Yahoo! Eurosport
On current form - they have won 17 of 18 games since the end of September - they will easily outstrip the 99 points Barca accumulated in 2010 and are comfortably on course to beat the top mark of 107 goals set by John Toshack's Real team in 1990. Real's consistency owes much to the form of La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 27 goals in 22 matches ahead of Saturday's game at home to struggling Racing Santander.

Nilmar to see out contract | Sky Sports
The 27-year-old forward held talks with the club about returning to his native country, but was unable to agree personal terms and the move fell apart. Now, with two years remaining on his deal with Villarreal, Nilmar has explained that he is keen to put things back on track at El Madrigal as he is playing once again.

Bruno: Villarreal not out of it on all fronts - Yahoo! Eurosport
The Yellow Submarine, who had a dreadful start to the season that saw them lose all their Champions League group matches while languishing in the relegation zone, have improved their fortunes since Jose Francisco Molina replaced Juan Carlos Garrido as head coach following their shock Copa del Rey exit to part-times Mirandes before Christmas.

La Liga -- Jose Mendilibar is bedrock of Spanish football -- Graham Hunter - ESPN
Yes, this is the man who saved Osasuna from relegation on the last day of the 2011 season. Yes, this is the guy who has the team from one of Hemingway's favorite cities, Pamplona, sitting one solitary point off Spain's fourth Champions League qualification position. But Mendilibar is one of those production-line coaches whom Spain is so good at producing.

Juanlu pens new deal | LFP
Levante midfielder Juanlu has extended his contract with the Granotas by an extra year with the option of a second year. The player was joined by his family as he put pen to paper to seal the new arrangement. "I hope I remain here for much longer than these extra two years. My sole priority was to continue here with this club. It's where I want to be and where my family wants to be", an ecstatic Juanlu said on Wednesday.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hopes for Premier League loan - ESPN Soccernet
With 29-year-old Petr Cech still first-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea, though, it appears it may be some time before the Belgian makes a competitive appearance for his parent club. "I think that before going to Chelsea," he told RTBF. "I have to play one or two years in another English team to discover the football played there. After that, we'll see if I am ready to move to Chelsea. It's hard to say now."

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