FC Barcelona News: 19 October 2013; Martino Rests Three Starters, Messi, Puyol and Mascherano Return to Lineup

Denis Doyle

Alves, Piqué and Alexis all rested | FC Barcelona
Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué and Alexis Sánchez, who have all had particularly hectic international weeks, are all being rested by Gerardo Martino for Saturday’s game in Pamplona. With two defenders and the Chilean striker left behind, the squad of 18 does have room for all of Javier Mascherano, Carles Puyol and Leo Messi.

Messi, Mascherano and Cuenca also declared fit | FC Barcelona
It’s good news all round today for the FC Barcelona first team, with no fewer than four players returning from injury. Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano, Carles Puyol and Isaac Cuenca are all available for selection by Tata Martino after recovering from their respective injuries.

Gerardo Martino confident in strength of Puyol's spirit | FC Barcelona
Gerardo Martino has spoken on Friday ahead of the trip to El Sadar to take on Osasuna this Saturday at 20.00. He was all smiles as he announced that Busquets will start, and that Carles Puyol is "ready to play and if he has to go on for a few minutes, he will".

Looking for a Larsson - Klose, Lewandowski & the strikers who could move to Barcelona in January - Goal.com
For the first season in memory, Barcelona do not have a recognised centre-forward in their first-team squad. Even though Lionel Messi has largely been used in the 'false nine' role in recent seasons, the Catalans could count on David Villa as an alternative, as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o in previous seasons.

Balotelli to miss Barca clash? | Football Espana
The striker returned from international duty with a thigh problem that means he’s not in the squad for this weekend’s Serie A clash with Udinese. La Gazzetta dello Sport now claims the setback is even more serious than at first thought. Further tests are required, but the newspaper believes Balotelli will be ruled out of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona and next weekend’s Serie A game against Parma.

Bale set for Real Madrid return at weekend - Yahoo Eurosport UK
"I want to give him minutes tomorrow," Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday. "He needs to play, to be a part of the team." Bale, who became the world's most expensive player when he joined from Tottenham Hotspur for 100 million euros in the close season, returned to full training this week after being sidelined by a thigh strain last month.

League defends Madrid debt - Yahoo Eurosport UK
A reports in AS earlier this month insisted that Los Blancos owe almost half a billion euros – a figure backed up by Carlos Mendoza, President of the Association for Madrid’s Values, economist Jose Maria Gay de Liebana and Placido Rodriguez, the director of the Sports Economics Observatory. But League authorities have claimed that the Santiago Bernabeu side are in rude financial health.

Valencia's Adil Rami already training with AC Milan - ESPN FC
Adil Rami has started training with AC Milan, even if he remains a Valencia player until January. The two clubs have already struck an agreement for the transfer of the France defender, who rather than returning to Spain after passing his medical in Milan has instead been allowed to stay there and train with his future teammates.

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