FC Barcelona News: 19 March 2012; Ibrahim Afellay Joins Team in Training, Real Madrid Drop Two Points Against Malaga

Afellay's return to the pitch, after a long spell on the sidelines, could provide a boost for the team.

Afellay joins team-mates in training | FC Barcelona
Ibrahim Afellay joined the other players in training today for the first time since he picked up his injury at the end of September. Next Thursday it will be six months since he suffered the cruciate ligament injury in his left knee in training. Good news for Afellay as he begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

La Masia graduates have scored more goals this season than in any other season in the Club's history | FC Barcelona
The Azulgrana youth system philosophy has its rewards. Specifically, goals scored for the first team by La Masia graduates. With yesterday’s two goals from Xavi and and Messi at the Sánchez Pizjuán, the players from the Barça youth system have scored 111 of Barça’s 145 goals this season. That means that canteranos have scored more than two thirds of the team’s goals so far.

Barça to play two La Liga showdowns this week | FC Barcelona
The coaching staff have scheduled an afternoon training session for Tuesday at the Camp Nou to finalise preparations for the clash with Granada. The game will be played later that evening at 21:00. With no time to rest, the Azulgrana team will return to work the next day, Wednesday morning at 11:00, at the Ciutat Esportiva Sant Joan Despí.

Barça B - Alcorcón: Goals, good play and victory (3-2) | FC Barcelona
Barça B beats Alcorcón, the surprise team in second division, as they climb to the 11th spot in the table with 29 points. A goal from Kiko Femenía, two from Sergi Roberto and spectacular performance from Oier allowed Eusebio’s team to break their streak of four matches without winning and three without scoring

Real stars in Muamba and Abidal tribute - Yahoo! Eurosport
Real Madrid players paid tribute to Bolton's Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday, and Barcelona's Eric Abidal, who will have a liver transplant, ahead of their Liga match against Malaga on Sunday.Before the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Liga leaders' squad wore t-shirts saying "Get Well Soon Muamba" and "Animo Abidal".

Malaga hold wasteful Real - Yahoo! Eurosport
Malaga stole a late 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu after a wasteful Real Madrid performance in which the home side failed to take their chances and restore their 10-point Liga lead over bitter rivals Barcelona. Former Real manager Manuel Pelligrini appeared to get his tactics right for most of the game as his expensively-assembled side frustrated Real in possession.

Soldado slays hungover Athletic Bilbao - Yahoo! Eurosport
Soldado, who is in the running for a place in the Spain squad at Euro 2012, pounced on a poor backpass to net the opener after 41 minutes and struck a superb first-time shot after the break for the second. He racked up his 15th of the campaign from the penalty spot after a handball from home defender Mikel San Jose, who also underhit the backpass in the first half.

Contracted until 2015 | LFP
Kiko Casilla has renewed his contract at Espanyol for another three seasons. Joan Collet the, club chairman and the target of Tarrgona, formalised the agreement a few weeks ago. It "was very easy to do, because the club wanted me to continue and I wanted to stay", stated the goalkeeper.

Liga - Villarreal sack Molina - Yahoo! Eurosport
Villarreal sacked coach Jose Molina after their 1-0 defeat at Levante in La Liga, having taken only one point from their last five matches. A replacement, who will be their third of the campaign, has yet to be named, the struggling east-coast club said in a statement. Former goalkeeper Molina had only been in the post since December when he was promoted from the B team to replace Juan Carlos Garrido.

Villarreal appoint Miguel Angel Lotina until end of season - ESPN Soccernet
Villarreal have confirmed the appointment of Miguel Angel Lotina until the end of the season. Lotina, who has previously taken charge of sides including Osasuna, Celta Vigo, Espanyol and Real Sociedad, has been out of work since leaving Depotivo La Coruna in May last year.

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