FC Barcelona News: 3 December 2013; Jordi Alba Returns to Training, LFP and Marca Hand Out Annual Awards

Stanley Chou

LFP awards for Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta | FC Barcelona
The Liga de Futbol Professional (LFP) handed out their awards for the best players of the 2012-13 season this evening and once again, FC Barcelona were at the heart of things, carrying off three prizes. Leo Messi, who was unable to attend as he is in Argentina recovering from his injury, won both the Player of the Year and Best Forward awards and sent a video message of thanks.

Messi and Tito Vilanova win ‘Marca’ awards | FC Barcelona
On Monday in Madrid, ‘Marca’ newspaper handed out its annual awards, including the Pichichi trophy for the league’s top goalscorer, which for the second season in a row and third in total was won by FC Barcelona’s Leo Messi. Last season, the Argentinian found the target 45 times, but as he is currently in his home country undergoing treatment for his injury.

FC Barcelona win National Sport Prizes award. | FC Barcelona
Club President Sandro Rosell, accompanied by vice-president Carles Vilarrubí and board members Eduard Coll and Manel Arroyo, picked up the award –relating to work done in 2012- at a ceremony held in the Palacio del Prado in Madrid and presided over by the Spanish Royal Family.

Víctor Valdés amongst the 5 finalists for FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2013 | FC Barcelona
FIFA and the world players union FIFPro have announced the five keepers who are in the race for a spot in the FIFA FIFPro World XI. FC Barcelona keeper Víctor Valdés is nominated again after missing out last season, alongside Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Petr Cech (Chelsea) and Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich).

Jordi Alba rejoins the main group in training | FC Barcelona
The main talking point of the session was the return to group training of Jordi Alba. The left back has been recovering from a left leg injury suffered during training on 10th October. This was the first training session following the defeat away to Athletic Club and also the first to prepare for Friday’s Cup clash with Cartagena.

Lionel Messi's improbable progression from struggling youngster to world super star - Telegraph
Leo Messi will watch the World Cup draw unfold this week from his home in Argentina, recovering from a muscle injury that has appeared when it seemed nothing could stop his date with destiny. A damaged biceps femoris, the muscle that is called into action when a player requires that sudden burst of explosive pace, remains stubbornly uncooperative. Damage it, and part of the magic is gone.

Catalan curse: Barcelona still haven't won in 'Senyera' strip - Goal.com
It is supposed to symbolise nationalism and pride, but Barcelona's controversial 'Senyera' strip is proving to be something of an unlucky charm for the Catalan club. In four competitive games in the red and yellow away kit, Gerardo Martino's men are yet to win and have only scored two goals.

Tata Martino may not be right man for Barcelona, says Guillem Balague | Sky Sports
Barcelona are another exceptional team but they are not as special as they used to be and are basing their football on individual talent, not team effort. There is no team structure, too many players doing their own thing and others not on form and the decision from Tata Martino has been to stretch the team with direct football more often than not.

Neymar Jr: Brazilian pride | FC Barcelona
Neymar Jr plays the staring role in a new Nike ad. The Barça striker shares the limelight with Brazilian team-mates Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Paulinho and Bernard, as well as national team coach Felipe Scolari. Former Barça star Ronaldo also makes an appearance.

Neymar dares us to be Brazilian | FC Barcelona
Sportswear company Nike has produced some wonderful commercials featuring the Brazilian national team in recent years, but the latest one is arguably the most spectacular yet. And naturally, the country’s most popular player, FC Barcelona striker Neymar, plays a starring role.

Recent Cup Debuts | FC Barcelona
The opening rounds of the Cup have been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Barça. A year ago, the players coached by Tito Vilanova swept aside Alavés 0-3 in Mendizorrotza and 3-1 in the Camp Nou. Strangely enough, the match against Alavés also came a few days before a match against Glasgow Celtic.

Barcelona youngster set to quit Camp Nou - Soccer News
Barcelona have come to terms with losing talented youngster Antonio Sanabria, reports Catalan daily Sport. The Catalans did their best to try and persuade one of their hottest prospects to sign a new contract at Camp Nou, but it appears they have failed in their quest.

Ter Stegen to decide on future in next few days - Goal.com
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has revealed that he intends to make a decision in the next few days over whether he will join Barcelona or stay at Borussia Monchengladbach. The goalkeeper, 21, has been strongly linked with a move to Camp Nou as Gerardo Martino's No.1 Victor Valdes prepares to part ways with the Spanish giants when his contract expires in the summer.

UEFA president Michel Platini laughs about FIFA decision to 'please Cristiano Ronaldo' by changing Ballon d'Or date - ESPN FC
"It is a FIFA decision which coincided with the Portugal playoff for the World Cup in Brazil, with Cristiano’s three goals in the game against Sweden," he said with a smile. Laughing, he added: "It could be that FIFA did it to please Cristiano…"

Fit-again Cristiano Ronaldo says he is ready to return | Sky Sports
Ronaldo sat out Real Madrid's last two matches against Galatasaray and Real Valladolid after sustaining a hamstring injury during the fixture with Almeria. That meant Ronaldo's stunning goalscoring form this season was put on hold, but the Portugal international is now ready to return.

Khedira begins recovery | Football Espana
The 26-year-old went under the knife during mid-November’s international break, having suffered the injury to his knee whilst in action for Germany against Italy. Reports now are that this week has Khedira starting the first phase of his recovery, which is expected to last as long as six months and has his involvement at next summer’s World Cup in doubt.

Real Betis appoint Juan Carlos Garrido as their new boss | Sky Sports
Former Villarreal and Club Brugge coach Garrido takes over at the Benito Villamarin until the end of the season after Mel, whose three-and-a-half-year tenure saw him guide the Seville club from the second division to the Europa League, was sacked with Betis propping up the La Liga table. A haul of only 10 points for the current domestic campaign - Los Verdiblancos' current streak has seen them lose six times in eight games - convinced the club's board to stand the 50-year-old down.

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