FC Barcelona News: 22 April 2013; Barça Travel to Munich, Atlético Madrid Keep Pressure on City Rivals

Harold Cunningham

Trips to Munich and Bilbao mark FC Barcelona's week | FC Barcelona
Two extremely important matches await Tito Vilanova’s FC Barcelona this week. The first, which will be played in Munich, is the away leg of the Champions League semi-final against Bayern. The match is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday at 20.45, at the Allianz Arena.

Abidal plays the full 90 minutes | FC Barcelona
It was Abidal’s first appearance in a league starting eleven since 26th February 2012 and he completed the full 90 minutes against Levante. He put in an excellent performance both technically and physically to the extent that he robbed more balls (17) than any other player. He didn’t commit a single foul and completed 74 out of 76 passes.

Sergio Busquets: "Javi Martínez is the piece that Bayern needed" | FC Barcelona
They play in the same position. They were both born in 1988 and have shared success with the Spanish national team. The last Sergio Busquets and Javier Martinez – who get on great together – played against each other was in last season’s Spanish Cup Final and this Tuesday they will again be on opposing sides when Barça play Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final.

Cesc: "It’ll be an exciting tie" | FC Barcelona
The first thing Cesc did at the end of the match was to go and congratulate Abidal: "I went and told him, ‘You’re the greatest’". Cesc believes that Abidal’s achievement "has been spectacular. He played as if he had never stopped playing. He’s an example for the whole world and we hope he carries on like this because he’ll help us a lot for the rest of the season".

Van Bommel: "Bayern v Barça should have been the final" | FC Barcelona
Mark Van Bommel spent just a single season with Barça (2005/06), but the experience left a deep impression. But he’s also closely linked with Bayern Munich, where he spent four seasons from 2006 to 2011. From his current club, PSV, he’ll be following his two former clubs in their Champions League semi-final.

Germany and Spain put best on display for Champions League semi-finals | The Observer
It is tempting to read a great deal into the swaggeringly four-square German-Spanish dominance of this season's Champions League semi-finals. Football loves a sweeping narrative and in Bayern v Barça and Dortmund v Real there is a sense of certain shared sporting values that go beyond mere geography, a butterfly print of matching elites from which the committed Rorschach theorist might draw all manner of overheated conclusions.

Schweinsteiger fit to face Barcelona - Goal.com
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has received some encouraging news from the treatment table in the build-up to the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on Tuesday as Bastian Schweinsteiger has been given the green light by the club's medical staff.

Kuipers to referee Borussia Dortmund-Real Madrid - Goal.com
The 40-year-old is seen as one of the top arbiters around in the game and has already refereed four matches in European club football's elite competition earlier this season, earning plaudits for his good performance in the second leg of the quarter-final tie between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain (1-1).

Madrid will renew Ronaldo's contract, says Perez - Goal.com
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is adamant that the club will be able to renew Cristiano Ronaldo's contract at the club. The Portuguese forward's current deal expires in 2015 but the champions' hopes for an extension were dealt a blow when he admitted that he was unhappy at the club in September.

Falcao fires Atletico to win at Sevilla - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao struck his 25th league goal of the season to snatch a narrow 1-0 victory against Sevilla. The Colombian scored late in the game to round-off a match that was marred by some cynical fouls and playacting.

Valencia 5-1 Malaga: Jonas and Canales’ narrowness allows Banega freedom to dominate | Zonal Marking
Valencia thrashed Malaga thanks to four goals in an amazing eight-minute first half period. Ernesto Valverde brought in Adil Rami and David Albelda for the two Costas, Ricardo and Tino. Manuel Pellegrini was still without Jeremy Toulalan, so named an unchanged side from the 1-0 win over Osasuna.

Sociedad ambitions hampered | Sky Sports Football
Osasuna could not get the win they needed to arrest a poor run of form that has them hovering just above the relegation zone, but did enough to frustrate Real Sociedad's European ambitions in a poor match Pamplona. There were desperately few chances of note at either end, although Sociedad's Imanol Agirretxe was denied by a post midway through the first half with a header from a corner.

Llorente earns Bilbao a point | Sky Sports Football
Bruno Gama had Depor dreaming of a fifth successive victory with his 38th-minute strike but Llorente headed Athletic level just before the break to earn a point for the Basque outfit, who were forced to hold on with a man less for the final nine minutes following the dismissal of Ander Iturraspe.

Two off in Getafe setback | ESPNFC.com
Nine-man Getafe's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League suffered a blow after they lost 2-0 at home to Espanyol. A goal by Joan Verdu gave the visitors the lead towards the end of a first half which saw few chances and little incident or excitement.

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