FC Barcelona News: 18 February 2013; Barça Begin Preparations for AC Milan, Atletico and Real Madrid Both Win

Claudio Villa

FC Barcelona had their first training session before the UEFA Champions League match against AC Milan. David Villa and Xavi both trained with the group while Adriano Correia did some physio therapy. However, Villa and Adriano won't be traveling with the team to Milan, but the good news is that Xavi will be making the trip.

Carles Puyol a constant presence against Milan | FC Barcelona
You have to go right back to September 2000 to find a match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan without Carles Puyol. Since then, the two sides have met nine times and in each of those matches there’s been one common factor – the presence of Carles Puyol.

Nine years of smiles against AC Milan | FC Barcelona
It is nine years since FC Barcelona last lost to AC Milan, their next opponent in the Champions League. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Andrei Shevchenko scored the winner for the ‘rossoneri’ on October 20, 2004 in the group stages of the competition. In seven games played since then, Barça have beaten AC Milan four times and the other three meetings were tied.

Ramos scores and sees red in Real win - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Sergio Ramos scored and was sent off as Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 in an eventful Madrid derby at the Bernabeu. The stand-in captain, who if reports are to be believed has a tetchy relationship at best with Jose Mourinho, made it 2-0 to Real with a header in the 12th minute but was off only six minutes later after receiving two yellow cards in just 42 seconds.

Falcao helps Atletico past Valladolid - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
After back-to-back defeats to Rayo Vallecano in the league and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, forwards Falcao and Diego Costa were both on target to help move Atleti seven points clear of Real Madrid in second place, ahead of their city rivals' match with Rayo later on Sunday evening.

10-man Valencia beat Mallorca and go fifth - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The pace of Mallorca's Giovani dos Santos was a constant threat but Portugal defender Costa rose at the back post to power a header under the bar from a corner in the 60th minute. Home keeper Diego Alves kept Mallorca at bay and the hard-working hosts were rewarded when Spain striker Soldado broke free and squeezed a shot under Dudu Aouate nine minutes from time.

Celta replace Herrera with Resino | Football Espana
Celta Vigo have reportedly already sacked Coach Paco Herrera and are set to announce Abel Resino as his replacement. Herrera was rumoured over the weekend to have two games left to save his job, but defeat in the first of those away to Getafe has seemingly been enough for the Galicians to take action.

Espanyol revival continues | Sky Sports Football
Espanyol's remarkable revival under coach Javier Aguirre continued as a solitary Sergio Garcia goal earned the Catalan club a third consecutive win in the Primera Division. Real Betis, though, are on the slide having failed to win in five attempts and Pepe Mel watched his charges struggle to convert a handful of half-chances at the El Prat.

WADA president wants Spanish authorities to tackle doping cases - ESPN FC
World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) president John Fahey has called for the Spanish authorities to do more to investigate the possibility of doping in football. The ongoing 'Operacion Puerto' trial of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes has uncovered evidence of widespread performance-enhancing drug use in cycling, and also suggested that the practice took place in others sports including football, tennis and athletics.

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