FC Barcelona News: 31 May 2012; Barça To Play Friendly Game in Morocco, Afellay Impresses Against Slovakia

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 30: Ibrahim Afellay (#20) of Netherlands celebrates after he scores the first goal of the game during the International Friendly between the Netherlands and Slovakia at De Kuip Stadion on May 30, 2012 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Barça return to Morocco after 38 year break | FC Barcelona
Tangier will welcome Tito Vilanova’s Barça 38 years after the Club last set foot in Morocco when the team play at the 45,000 capacity Grand Stade on July 28th – four days after their opening pre-season game against Hamburg.

Jordi Cardoner: "It will be a party for Morocco and Barça" | FC Barcelona
"Football is not only an athletic spectacle, it’s a nexus that unifies territories. This match has conjured up a lot of enthusiasm. The expectations on both sides are important. It will be a party for Morocco and for Barça," said Jordi Cardoner during the announcement of Barça’s second preseason match.

Doctor says Abidal could return - Yahoo! Eurosport
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal could return to play football again after his liver transplant, the surgeon who carried out the operation has said. "It's up to him. I wouldn't stop him. Time will tell," doctor Juan Carlos Garcia-Valdecasas was quoted as telling Spanish television station TV3 on Thursday. "If Eric responds well, there is no reason why he shouldn't.

Messi, Pedro and Xavi head list of scorers under Guardiola | FC Barcelona
In his four years in charge, Pep Guardiola has seen his team score a massive 638 goals in 247 games and the three leading scorers in that time were Leo Messi (211), Pedro Rodríguez (58) and Xavi Hernández (36). All three played a key part in the success enjoyed since 2008 and bettered their own personal scoring records.

Lionel Messi 'shocked and saddened' at Guardiola Barcelona exit - ESPN Soccernet
Lionel Messi has told reporters that he was "surprised and saddened" by the departure of Pep Guardiola from Barcelona after four years in charge at the Camp Nou. Messi, 24, gave his first public comments on the managerial changes at the club, expressing his sadness at Guardiola's exit. However, the Argentine was quick to offer his backing to successor Tito Vilanova, who has already played a role in the club's success of recent years.

Broken at Barcelona, but ready to rule Euro 2012 - Afellay's impact restores Dutch desire after friendly failures - Goal.com
Afellay was Oranje's main attacking threat right from the start, and the former PSV playmaker capped a man-of-the-match performance with the assist for the opener. However, much more important for the Dutch was the positive impact Afellay had on the team. He not only added width and creativity to the team from his position as left-winger, but his enthusiasm also helped boost morale after two disappointing results.

Valencia expect Jordi Alba to leave - Goal.com
"I suppose Barcelona want him because he's Catalan and plays on the left wing. We are obviously talking about an excellent player, and it's only normal that Barcelona are keen to sign him," Braulio Vazquez stated to Radio Galega.

Del Bosque urges Pique and Ramos to resolve conflict ahead of Euro 2012 - Goal.com
"If they don't get on well then they will just have to get on, because on the pitch is where they have to get on well," Del Bosque stated to ONA FM. "They are young and have their differences but in the end they are just two excellent lads and I am sure there will be no problem.

Casillas breaks international wins record with Spain's victory over South Korea - Goal.com
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has set a new record in international football following Spain's 4-1 victory over South Korea in a friendly match. In what was his 130th appearance for Spain, Casillas won his 95th match for the national team, breaking the record for the highest number of international victories that had been set by France's Lilian Thuram and matched by Egypt's Ahmed Hassan.

Altintop heading to Gala | Sky Sports
The German-born midfielder joined the Spanish giants last year, but was limited to a fringe role, only playing a handful of games for Jose Mourinho's side. Now the 29-year-old Turkish international has revealed that he is moving to Galatasaray, just a year after he moved from Bayern Munich.

Ibai Gómez, still roaring | LFP
Ibai Gómez, the Athletic Bilbao player, has extended its contract with the Biscayan team for two more seasons. The new contract, ending on June 30th, 2014, includes a buyout clause of 30 million euros.

Perotti, injured again | LFP
Diego Perotti, the Seville player, will undergo surgery following a consultation that the Argentine footballer has in the offices of Dr. Fessler in Chicago. Perotti has still not recovered from a previous injury and this difficult decision has been made to try to ensure his presence next season in the best condition possible.

Betis holds onto its top scorer | LFP
Ruben Castro, the top scorer for Real Betis’s first team over the last two seasons, has underlined his commitment Betis FC by reaching an agreement that will see the attacker from the Canary Islands don the colours of Betis for the next 3 seasons.

Valerón, tied to Depor | LFP
Juan Carlos Valerón, the Deportivo de La Coruña player from the Canary Islands, will stay on another season defending the colours of the Galician side: "I want to do things as well as I can. If on the pitch you always decide to do your best, in life I try to the right thing. I think it’s the right decision as I can’t look too far ahead."

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