FC Barcelona News: 7 March 2012; Vicente Calderón To Host Copa del Rey Final, Pep Insists Tie Against Bayer Not Over

Barcelona will be without the services of the Captain against Bayer Leverkusen.

Atletico stadium to host Copa final - Yahoo! Eurosport
The Copa del Rey final will be held at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium after the Spanish FA rejected Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao’s request for it to be hosted by Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico’s Vicente Calderon holds 55,000 fans; Barca’s Camp Nou - which holds almost 100,000 - is not an option as it would not be neutral territory.

Fourth Cup final at the Vicente Calderón | FC Barcelona
25 years have passed since FC Barcelona played a final at the Vincente Calderón. It was on April 26th 1986, against Zaragoza, Barça lost the title game by 0-1 (goal from Rubén Sosa). That was the last of the three finals that Barça has played, until now, at Atlético Madrid’s stadium. Barça also lost the first time they played there (0-4 against Real Madrid), while they won in their second attempt (3-1 against Sporting Gijón).

Guardiola names 20 players to Barça's Champions League squad | FC Barcelona
Josep Guardiola decided to gather his team the day before the Champions League match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The manager named 20 players to the Barça team for the return leg of the last-16 round of the Champions League. Of the 20 Barça players, 14 are from the first team and 6 are Barça B players (Montoya, Bartra, Jonathan Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Muniesa and Tello).

Guardiola: "We're playing to win and to qualify for the quarter-finals" | FC Barcelona
Despite the 1-3 result in the away leg, Pep Guardiola doesn’t believe the tie against Bayer 04 Leverkusen is over. The FC Barcelona manager reminded the packed press room of how difficult it was against Real Madrid in the return leg of the King’s Cup, despite winning 1-2 at the Bernabéu. "This year’s trap is that we’ve earned a better result than last year," he said.

Busquets: "Bayer will attack" | FC Barcelona
Sergio Busquets, who returns to the team after being suspended for the match against Sporting Gijón, is aware of the importance of tomorrow’s match, "we’re playing for a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Our game plan will be the same. We’re going to try to win. We know that we have a good result and that Bayer will create goal scoring chances.

Is Gerard past his Pique? | Andy Mitten - Yahoo!
A year ago he could have laid claim to being the best defender in the world. Barça fans even called him Piquébauer. Not now. His performances have dipped and he's started less than half of Barça's 25 league games this season. It's hard to judge a man unless you've walked in his shoes, but he doesn't appear to be as motivated against lesser teams.

Busquets wants to play at Euro 2012 and the Olympics - Goal.com
The Barcelona midfielder is considered a shoo-in for Vicente Del Bosque's squad for Poland and Ukraine but it was not thought that he would be considered - or even want to be considered - for London 2012, given the Games get underway less than three weeks after the conclusion of Euro 2012. However, Busquets insists that he would dearly love to represent his country in both competitions.

Del Bosque: Villa, Torres still have Euro chance - Yahoo! Eurosport
Del Bosque said the latest news on Villa's injury, sustained at December's Club World Cup in Japan, was positive and he would give the Barcelona forward as much leeway as possible to get back to full fitness for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland starting in June. "The people around him think, and he himself thinks, that he will be there," Del Bosque said in an interview with Reuters at the Spanish football federation's headquarters outside Madrid.

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola plays down Chelsea link - ESPN Soccernet
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has laughed off speculation linking him with the manager's job at Chelsea. Asked if there had been any contact, he said sarcastically: "I speak every day with Chelsea. "Villas-Boas seems like a great coach. The time [managers get] depends on the results, not on our abilities. I'm not capable of judging the reasons for his dismissal."

Mourinho to blame for refereeing controversies, not Pique, says former Primera Division official Sergi Albert - Goal.com
"If you ask me, it was not a red card. Regardless of whether it was actually a foul, I don't think this situation merited a dismissal. Pique was wrong to say what he said, but not too long ago I heard a player say that the referee had stolen the game and he went unpunished."

Real Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain may consider Juventus move - ESPN Soccernet
Higuain, 24, has regularly been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, despite his current contract running until 2016, and Paris St Germain have now confirmed that they will seek to sign the striker in the summer. However, Juventus are also believed to be long-term suitors and Jorge Higuain, the striker's father and agent, has suggested a move to Turin is a possibility.

Raúl Rodríguez out for 3 weeks | LFP
Raúl Rodríguez will be out for about three weeks because of because of a hamstring injury in the semitendinosus muscle of his right leg, according to tests made on the blue and white team’s player. The central defender of Español picked up the injury last Sunday in the game against Real Madrid.

Juan Jose Gonzalez leaves Santander after four months - ESPN Soccernet
Gonzalez was named as caretaker manager at the end of November following the dismissal of Hector Cuper and, after a successful interim period, Racing announced in December that he would remain in charge until the end of the season. However, following a poor run of form, the Primera Division strugglers today announced that Gonzalez was no longer coach.

Zaragoza president to sell up - Yahoo! Eurosport
Outraged fans have mounted regular protests outside the Romareda stadium and have also made their displeasure felt during matches, at which Iglesias has not been seen for several months according to local media. "The president of Real Zaragoza, Don Agapito Iglesias Garcia, has decided to put his stake up for sale with immediate effect," the club said in a statement on their website.

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