Víctor Valdés sidelined for six weeks | FC Barcelona
According to the Club’s medical services, tests confirm that Víctor Valdés sustained a proximal myotendinous rupture in the calf muscle of his right leg. The keeper will be out of action for approximately six weeks. Valdés picked up the injury last night during the international friendly between Spain and South Africa in Johannesburg.
Dani Alves out for 7 to 10 days | FC Barcelona
Tests carried out on Thursday morning have confirmed that Dani Alves has a slight tear of the right leg soleus muscle. He’ll be out for between 7 and 10 days. In principle, Alves will miss the games against Granada and Ajax.
Tata Martino recovers most of his internationals | FC Barcelona
Tata Martino started to get some of his internationals back this Wednesday afternoon as Song, Sergio, Iniesta, Pedro, Bartra, Sergi Roberto and Mascherano joined the team for training. Gerard Piqué, who is recovering from injury, trained with the group while Jordi Alba trained apart from the team. Xavi and Tello focused on tailored training regiments.
Messi with the Golden Boot 2012/13: "My goal is to return and return fit" | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi now has his third Golden Boot, as the top scorer of the European leagues in 2012/13, for his trophy cabinet. Barcelona’s number 10 received the award "with great happiness": "It's a very nice group award, because I could not have won it on my own". His dedication was similar to ones for the other major individual trophies: "It’s for my family, the people who love me, and the squad".
Messi's Golden Shoe is a symbol of his greatness - but also proves his need for rest - Goal.com
This most recent prize, however, came shrouded in symbolism: not only does it represent his supreme scoring prowess (the award is for most league goals - 46 - in a single season across Europe in 2012-13), but it also serves as a reminder that, despite his brilliance, Messi is a mere mortal whose body was pushed to the limits in pursuit of such accolades and records.
Stoichkov defends Messi, slams Ballon d'Or - Yahoo Eurosport UK
The Bulgarian presented Messi with the European Golden Shoe for being 2012-13’s top scorer across the continent in a ceremony today, before taking questions from reporters. First on the agenda was his view on who should win the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, which Messi is seen as in contention for alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery.
Barca wary of 'FIFA virus' ahead of Granada visit - Yahoo Eurosport UK
In their two La Liga outings immediately following their players' return from country duty this season, Barca needed a last-gasp Alexis Sanchez goal to scrape past Sevilla 3-2 in September and were held to a 0-0 draw at Osasuna last month, the only points they have dropped in 13 matches. Their task against eighth-placed Granada has been complicated by a rash of injuries to key performers, including world player of the year Lionel Messi, playmaker Xavi and goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Barcelona chief Sandro Rosell anger at voting for Ballon d'Or | Sky Sports
Sandro Rosell has lambasted FIFA's decision to change the voting rules for the Ballon d'Or, as Lionel Messi was awarded with his third Golden Shoe award. The Barcelona president is unhappy that football's governing body not only extended the voting period, but also allowed votes to be changed for the first time ever.
The Q&A with Cesc on Facebook was a digital success | FC Barcelona
Cesc interacted with the Barça fans on Facebook for a little over half an hour, and in that time he answered 30 of 3,300 questions that were tagged with #AskCesc and #CampNouLive. One of the questions the midfielder answered was Gerard Piqué’s, who didn’t want to miss out on his team-mate’s chat.
'Camp Nou Live: Blaugrana heartbeats' | FC Barcelona
‘Camp Nou Live: Blaugrana heartbeats’ is the name of FC Barcelona’s new campaign to help fans and members experience games at the Camp Nou in person. Once again, the first team players are getting in on the action. Each week a player will call on the public to come to the Camp Nou, and this week it’s Neymar Jr who’s beckoning the fans to watch this Saturday’s home match between Barça and Granada.
Barcelona set to go on PR charm offensive - ESPN FC
Barcelona have replaced their director of communications in an apparent attempt to improve the public perception of president Sandro Rosell. The ousted Xavier Martin had been in the job since December 2011, but rumours about his future had circulated after TV cameras caught him and Rosell arguing loudly and publicly in the stands during Barca's Champions League game at Milan in October.
Barcelona's gifted Gerard Deulofeu can make the difference for Everton in Saturday's derby against Liverpool - Premier League - The Independent
Every time Everton leave Gerard Deulofeu on the bench, his contract decrees that the money they have to pay Barcelona for his season-long loan rises. Saturday's derby against Liverpool might be the day Roberto Martinez decides to save the club some cash and give the 19-year-old winger his first league start.
FIFA to reclassify SA-Spain | Football Espana
With the maximum of six changes already made according to Category A match rules, La Roja saw Victor Valdes go off with an injury. Whilst Alvaro Arbeloa appeared likely to take up the goalkeeping position, the match officials allowed Spain to make a seventh substitution, to bring on Pepe Reina in Valdes’ place.
Madrid have left-back headache | Football Espana
Once more after an international break, Los Blancos have welcomed back their Portuguese full-back from overseas duty with an injury and, combined with Marcelo’s continued recovery from his own respective injury, it leaves Carlo Ancelotti with minimal options this weekend. Coentrao has suffered a grade I strain of the right thigh and could face as long as two weeks recovering.
Real Madrid dismiss Castilla coach Alberto Toril - ESPN FC
Real Madrid Castilla coach Alberto Toril has been relieved of his duties, with the team bottom of Spain’s Segunda Division. Toril, 40, came to widespread prominence last season, when then Madrid boss Jose Mourinho publicly accused him of being more worried about getting results than developing players and reportedly barred him from attending first-team training sessions.