FC Barcelona News: 5 April 2012; Barça to Face Chelsea in Semi-Final, Two Youngsters Extend Contracts

Rematch with Chelsea you say? Sure, why not.

Pep Guardiola invokes the high five before semi-final with Chelsea | Sid Lowe | guardian.co.uk
Guardiola had presented Exhibit A. You do not become the second team ever to reach five European Cup semi-finals in a row – the first were Real Madrid between 1955 and 1960 – because of referees. It was a point that Guardiola felt he needed to make, one that will be revisited now that there is a rerun of the 2009 semi-final with Chelsea.

Guardiola’s Barça have won 27 of the 29 ties over two legs | FC Barcelona
Since they beat Wisla Crakòvia in the Champions League qualifier in the summer of 2008, Guardiola’s Barça have gone through to the next round in 27 of the 29 ties they’ve played (they only failed in 2009/10, against Sevilla in the Spanish Cup, and against Inter in the Champions League). AC Milan was their last victim.

Messi is better than Maradona, claims Brehme - Goal.com
Brehme feels that Messi is a phenomenon and is particularly impressed with his intelligence on the pitch. "I would not have been able to stop him. He's a phenomenon. He thoroughly impressed me in the Champions League final against Manchester United. He was too much for [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand," Brehme said to El Pais.

Cuenca: "I'm just enjoying the moment" | FC Barcelona
In a short time he’s gone from being on loan to Sabadell, playing in the Second Division B, to becoming a Barça first-team player, having first played in the reserve team. Perhaps Isaac Cuenca could hardly imagine on the day of his official debut with the first team, on October 2oth, 2011, against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, that Josep Guardiola would include him in the starting line-up in the return leg of the quarter-final against Milan.

Muniesa's contract extension to take effect | FC Barcelona
This Wednesday, Marc Muniesa signed his automatic contract extension which was included in the contract that he signed last season - February 15th, 2011. The Barça B player will move up to the first team next season. The 20-year-old Catalan defender is known for his ability to play in different parts of the pitch. This season with Barça B, he played as a centre back, left back and sweeper.

Ilie signs one-year contract extension | FC Barcelona
The Barça B player, 21-years-old, showed off his talent last season in the Club reserve side. Luis Enrique used Sánchez as a defensive midfielder, creative midfielder and as a right back . Eusebio, who now manages the side, has not been able to use Sánchez’s versatility this season due to the injury the player picked up this summer.

Report: Real Madrid v Apoel Nicosia - UEFA Champions League - ESPN Soccernet
Real Madrid coasted past APOEL Nicosia 5-2 on the night to set-up a Champions League semi-final clash with Bayern Munich. Already leading 3-0 from the first-leg the hosts started brightly but had to wait until the 25th minute to open the scoring as Cristiano Ronaldo tapped home Marcelo's cross at the back post..

José Mourinho writes off Chelsea’s Champions League final hopes | Football | The Sport Review
The former Chelsea manager believes holders Barcelona are the "super-favourites" to reach the final against either Bayern or Real. "It could be Bayern or Barcelona, I just don’t think it will be Real Madrid v Chelsea and we know why," said Mourinho. "Barcelona aren’t the favourites, they are super-favourites."

Real legend Zarraga passes away - Yahoo! Eurosport
Former Real Madrid captain Jose Maria Zarraga died on Tuesday at the age of 81.The midfielder helped Real win five successive European Cups during his 13 seasons at the club before leaving in 1962 having scored 96 goals in 306 appearances.

Emery under pressure ahead of Real test - Yahoo! Eurosport
Under-fire Valencia coach Unai Emery should have a clearer idea of his future prospects at the club after they have played La Liga leaders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Sunday.A worst case scenario could see them denied a place in the Europa League semi-finals by AZ Alkmaar, and shoved out of third place and La Liga's last Champions League automatic qualification slot..

United watching Granada ace | Sky Sports
Manchester United are understood to have joined the clutch of clubs keeping tabs on Granada full-back Guilherme Siqueira. The Brazilian-born Italian full-back joined Granada on a permanent basis last summer from Udinese after spending the previous campaign on loan with the Spanish club.

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