FC Barcelona News: 22 November 2013; Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas Included in Granada Squad, Xavi Left Out

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

18 man squad for the La Liga game against Granada: Jose Manuel Pinto, Oier Olazabal, Martin Montoya, Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Adriano Correia, Sergio Busquets, Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Sergi Roberto, Adama Traore, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, Jean Marie Dongou, Neymar

Neymar Jr and Alexis Sánchez return to training | FC Barcelona
On Wednesday, it was the turn of Song, Sergio, Iniesta, Pedro, Bartra, Sergi Roberto and Mascherano to rejoin the squad in training. This Thursday morning saw the return of South American stars Neymar Jr and Alexis Sánchez. Meanwhile, Brazilian international Alves has picked up a muscle injury in his right leg. Alves will be out for between 7 and 10 days.

José Manuel Pinto, a guarantee in goal | FC Barcelona
José Manuel Pinto has made over 60 competitive appearances in goal for FC Barcelona since 2008. The 38 year-old keeper signed for the Club to replace the injured Albert Jorquera in January 2008. Since then, he’s lived in the shadow of Víctor Valdés but has always been ready to play when needed. 63 matches and 53 goals conceded.

Ten comments from Mascherano’s press conference | FC Barcelona
Javier Mascherano gave a press conference on Thursday and spoke about the rash of injuries that has hit the Club and about the upcoming award of the Golden Ball. We sum up his comments in ten phrases.

Kubala, Cruyff and Messi: three illustrious names against Granada | FC Barcelona
Amongst the Barcelona v Granada matches at the Camp Nou there are three stellar moments: the largest winning margin ever, a dream debut, and an outstanding record. Three Superstars in FC Barcelona’s history were the protagonists. Below are the details from those matches.

Reina to steady the ship, Ter Stegen for the future - Barcelona's plans for replacing Valdes - Goal.com
Barcelona still hope to sign both Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Pepe Reina in the summer, as first-choice goalkeeper Victor Valdes prepares to leave Camp Nou after 12 successful seasons. Valdes, who is currently sidelined for six weeks after suffering an injury on international duty with Spain this week, announced earlier this year that he would be departing when his contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

Mou blocks Barca’s Courtois move | Football Espana
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will reportedly attempt to block any Barcelona attempt to take Thibaut Courtois to the Camp Nou. The Belgian international goalkeeper is on loan at Atletico Madrid from the Premier League club and has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona to replace Victor Valdes before the start of next season.

Barcelona to forgo pre-season tour | Football Espana
Barcelona are set to follow Tito Vilanova’s example of two years ago and miss out on a pre-season tour next summer. Given 2014 is a World Cup year, La Blaugrana are understood to be leaning towards more friendlies in Europe to reduce travel time and avoid injuries to key players, with the current build-up of absentees thought to be behind their thinking.

Tearful Messi tackles hooliganism issue in new ad | Watch the video - Yahoo Yahoo Eurosport UK
A subtle ad from the Lionel Messi Foundation makes the point about the futility of football violence.

Seiko present players with official Barça watch | FC Barcelona
The watches were handed to players and coaches by Club sponsor Seiko before Thursday’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The Sportura watches feature the Barça badge. The watches were awarded by Seiko representatives Domingo Romero and Tomomi Sato.

FC Barcelona, President Sandro Rosell pay tribute to Paco Gallego | FC Barcelona
Delegates from FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC gathered on Wednesday evening to pay tribute to one of the most storied players to feature for both clubs. Sevilla acknowledged Paco Gallego with a Legend Jersey, an award reserved for the most distinguished players of the team.

Messy voting changes will tarnish venerable Ballon d'Or by Graham Hunter - ESPN FC
I'm not so naive as to argue that the recent combined Ballon d'Or or World Player voting processes have been flawless -- far from it. Nevertheless, I had high hopes that this relatively new award -- the Ballon d'Or dates back to 1956 but the FIFA Ballon d'Or has only existed since 2010) could genuinely become something, once refined and calibrated, representative and revered, democratic and transparent to be considered the pinnacle of all individual awards.

Marcelo returns to training - Yahoo Eurosport UK
The 25-year-old has been out of action for the past week with a knee injury sustained and was seen as a doubt to make the weekend trip to Almeria. However, the player was back to a normal training routine in Thursday morning’s session at Valdebebas, which also saw the return of Madrid’s international players.

Queiroz hits back at Ronaldo - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Queiroz, who has had a strained relationship with the Real Madrid man ever since the 1-0 defeat in Cape Town, is currently in charge of Iran and was asked about Ronaldo’s chances of landing the Ballon d’Or following his hat-trick in the midweek World Cup play-off victory over Sweden. "Congratulations Cristiano. If he’d played like that, assuming his responsibility, then we would have beaten Spain," AS quotes him as saying.

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