FC Barcelona News: 28 June 2012; Spain Defeat Portugal In Semi-Final, Eric Abidal Wins Aldo Rovira Award

Celebrations!

Cesc winning penalty sends Spain into final (0-0, 4-2) | FC Barcelona
Spain finished their semi final against Portugal with Piqué, Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta and Pedro on the pitch, after Xavi had come off late in the second half. Iniesta was the second penalty taker for Spain, putting them one up after Xabi Alonso’s effort had been saved, and Piqué, Ramos and finally Fabregas then stepped forward to give Del Bosque’s team the 4-2 win and a ticket to Sunday’s final against Germany or Italy.

Spain 0-0 Portugal: Portugal upset Spain’s rhythm but fail to record a shot on target | Zonal Marking
A difficult game to summarise – Portugal pressed well in midfield, broke up Spain’s passing and restricted the number of opportunities del Bosque’s side had. However, they lacked a goal threat of their own, and then Spain were the better side in extra time.

Love them or hate them, Spain have the nerve of champions - Goal.com
In this competition, Del Bosque's side have remained unbreached since their opening Group C game against Italy, when Antonio Di Natale struck to give the Azzurri a 59th-minute lead. Spain have been picked apart, criticised, mauled and mocked ever since. But they are now on the verge of something truly sensational: a third title in a row.

Fabregas: I told the ball not to fail me - Goal.com
"The truth is that this [method] has worked a lot, and I had a feeling that [Wednesday] evening's game would go to penalties," he told a press conference. "I was given the second penalty, but I asked to be fifth. I wanted life to give me this opportunity. I told the ball not to let me down.

Abidal wins Aldo Rovira Award 2011/12 | FC Barcelona
Éric Abidal has won the third edition of the Aldo Rovira Award for the best Barça player of the season. The award goes to the Frenchman as a gesture in recognition of his tremendous efforts and dedication to the club’s values after he underwent a liver transplant on April 10.

Catalonia Super Cup to be played on July 31 | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona will face off against Espanyol in the Catalonia Super Cup on Tuesday, July 31 at 21:45 at Montjüic. Additionally, at 19:15 in the same venue, Nàstic Tarragona and Manlleu will play in the final of the Catalonia Cup.

Courtois to return to Atletico - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"Thibaut Courtois will next season play at Atletico Madrid after Atletico on Wednesday reached an agreement with Chelsea on transfer for a year," a statement on the Spanish club's official website read. "The Belgian international goalkeeper played all of last season on loan playing in in 37 games in La Liga and 15 in the UEFA Europa League - a competition won in Bucharest on May 9."

Gameiro to join Valencia - report - Goal.com
The 25-year-old, who has eight caps for France, has reportedly agreed personal terms with the La Liga outfit after growing frustrated at the lack of playing time in the French capital. However, PSG are understood to be unwilling to sell Gameiro until they find a suitable replacement for the forward.

Sevilla take Gunners youngster | Sky Sports
Sevilla have confirmed the signing of Arsenal midfielder Alban Bunjaku. The Romford-born 18-year-old has come through the famed Gunners academy, but has now chosen to make the move to Spain. He has penned a three-year deal with the Andalusia club.

Spanish police smash 'fake sheikh' fraud gang - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Six Spaniards and a man from the Dominican Republic have been taken into custody as part of "Operation Flame" and the group are accused of crimes including fraud and embezzlement, police in the Catalan capital Barcelona said in a statement.

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