FC Barcelona News: 24 June 2013; Happy Birthday Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba Scores Brace Against Nigeria

Clive Rose

Happy birthday, Messi! | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi, who joined FC Barcelona’s youth system in the in 2000 at the age of 13, has received international acclaim ever since he made his debut for the senior side in the 2003/04 season. Since he made the leap to the first team, he’s secured three Champions Leagues, six Ligas, two Copas del Rey, 2 European Super Cups, five Spanish Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Alba double fires Spain to victory (0-3) | FC Barcelona
Nine out of nine for Spain. Just like the Brazil of Neymar and Alves, a Spain squad featuring no fewer than nine Barça players – all of whom played against Nigeria – has finished off the first phase of the Confederations Cup with three wins out of three and top of their group. This Sunday they beat the African champions 3-0 thanks to two goals from Jordi Alba plus a third from Fernando Torres.

Rafinha Alcantara set for Celta move - ESPN FC
Barcelona B player Rafinha Alcantara is set to join Celta Vigo on loan, according to reports,as his brother Thiago considers a possible move to Manchester United. With Thiago still to make up his mind about a potential €18 million move to United, reports had suggested the brothers' father, Mazinho, was looking for Rafinha, 20, to gain experience in England, with Everton a possible destination.

Lionel Messi makes payment in back taxes to Spain, reports say - ESPN FC
Messi in recent days made the €10 million payment to the Spanish tax authorities for "image rights income," La Vanguardia reported on Monday, adding that a source told the newspaper Messi seeks a deal that would allow him to clarify what occurred over the three years in question.

Real Madrid 'to appoint Ancelotti on Tuesday' - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Ancelotti has already announced his departure from Paris Saint-Germain having won the Ligue 1 title last season and is believed to be meeting lawyers on Monday to formally release him from his contract at Parc des Princes. The former Chelsea and Milan boss will then be free to take over as Jose Mourinho’s replacement at the Bernabeu.

Ballon d’Eurosport No.20: Mesut Ozil | Yahoo! Eurosport UK
With Ronaldo hogging the limelight, Ozil rarely takes the headlines at Real, but he was one of Jose Mourinho's most trusted players and it would be little surprise to see the Portuguese's successor place similar faith in him. Without resorting to excessive flashiness, Ozil is one of the best creative players in world football, and will be a key man for Germany at next summer's World Cup.

Liverpool seal signing of striker Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo | Sky Sports
Liverpool have confirmed the signing of striker Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee. The 25-year-old, who scored 12 goals for the Spanish club last season, passed his medical at Melwood on Sunday. Liverpool, who revealed last week they had reached an agreement in principle to sign Aspas, are reported to have paid around £7.7m for the forward.

Real Betis sign midfielder Joan Verdu from Espanyol | Sky Sports
Real Betis have completed the signing of midfielder Joan Verdu from Primera Division rivals Espanyol. The 30-year-old has signed a four-year deal and joins Real Madrid winger Juanfran and Chilean midfielder Lorenzo Reyes in moving to the Benito Villamarin this summer.

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