FC Barcelona News: 31 August 2013; Xavi and Alexis Rested Against Valencia, 12 Players Called Up by National Teams

Stanley Chou

Barca squad for Valencia | Football Espana
Tata Martino has named his 19-man Barcelona squad for the match against Valencia this weekend. The Blaugrana travel to Mestalla tomorrow evening, but they will do so without Xavi Hernandez and Alexis Sanchez. The pair have been rested for the trip, however, Lionel Messi and Adriano have both been passed fit.

Seven Barça players picked for Spain | FC Barcelona
Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has announced the names of the 23 players in his squad for games against Finland and Chile. These include seven Barça players: Víctor Valdés, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro Rodríguez and Cesc Fàbregas.

Jordi Alba: "Valencia v Barça is always a special game" | FC Barcelona
So [Alba] knows how Valencia always raise their game when they face FC Barcelona, saying that "I’m sure they’ll be well up for the game against us. I was there for three years and Barça’s visits are always a special day for the fans, the players and the coaches – they treat the game like a final".

Mestalla, a difficult stadium for FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Barça are on the road for the second week in a row. On Sunday’ they’re at Mestalla to face Valencia, and it’s not a fixture that has been kind to them in recent seasons. After a comfortable win against Levante on the opening weekend (7-0) and a closer battle for the three points in Malaga (0-1), they now face what has traditionally been one of the hardest away trips of the year.

Leo Messi at the Gala for the Champions League draw | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi was one of the stars of the Gala for the Champions League draw held in Monaco, where he also featured as one of the three finalists for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award. We were with the Argentine for the whole day and recorded the highlights in this video.

CL draw brings Johan Cruyff, Barca, Ajax history to the fore - ESPN FC
History is one thing; the present another. Yet for Barcelona there is something significant about the draw, and not just because they should progress without great difficulty. This will be the third year in a row that they face Milan, and last season they were of course defeated by Celtic, but it is the first time they have ever played a competitive match against the club that inspired them, the club that helped make them what they are.

Champions League Draw: Did you know... | FC Barcelona
Despite never playing an official match, there are many historic ties between Barça and Ajax. There have been no fewer than 20 transfers between the clubs, including such major stars as Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, and the De Boer brothers. The most recent case was Bojan Krkic.

Tello signs new contract with FC Barcelona: "It's a dream to stay here" | FC Barcelona
Cristian Tello has signed a new contract with Barça which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2017/18 season. His buyout clause will now be 25 million euros. He signed the new document on Friday morning in the club offices where he was joined by president Sandro Rosell, vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, director of football Andoni Zubizarreta and his agent Josep Maria Orobitg.

Johan Cruyff - Rosell's Barcelona owe me money - ESPN FC
"Rosell’s Barca owe me money," he said. "They have not paid what they owe due to the agreement with my foundation. It is €100,000 a year. [Former president Joan] Laporta fulfilled the contract, but the current board has not yet paid. I have spoken with Sandro. In England we worked with other teams and I must say that the behaviour of Barca has been pretty poor."

Barca install undersoil heating - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Work began at the Catalans’ ground on Thursday to install the system, which will ‘allow the pitch to stay between 6 and 13 degrees’ in temperature. To be in place and working by September 7 or 8, Barca report that the ‘new hydraulic system which consists of two boilers and more than 35 kilometres of pipes,’ will ensure ‘constant pitch growth and proper maintenance’.

Real Madrid frustrated as Spurs stall on Gareth Bale deal - ESPN FC
"There are problems, but I think it will all be straightened out," he said in quotes carried by Marca. "We thought he'd be here [for the Deportivo friendly], but he hasn't even flown to Madrid yet, although it could still happen. I think it will happen, but I couldn't swear to it completely. We have to wait, because Spurs are stalling."

From Ballon d'Or to Bernabeu bench - the sorry story of Kaka at Real Madrid - Goal.com
His signing signalled a new era. Florentino Perez returned to the Real Madrid presidency in the summer of 2009 and in came Kaka - the first flagship fichaje of a fresh and exciting project. But four years later, the Brazilian is ready to depart through the Bernabeu back door - an expensive error who failed to hit the heights.

Monaco sign Geoffrey Kondogbia from Sevilla - ESPN FC
The Ligue 1 side opted to pay Kondogbia’s €20 million release clause and the 20-year-old, who had also been linked with Arsenal, has penned a five-year contract. Monaco welcomed the France international with a message on the club’s official Twitter feed.

Catania sign Sevilla's Guarente | Football Espana
Catania have officially signed midfielder Tiberio Guarente from Sevilla, so he makes his return to Serie A. The move is on loan with option to buy at the end of the season, as confirmed by a statement released by Catania. Guarente is a 27-year-old midfielder from Pisa who started his career with the Atalanta youth academy.

Ivanschitz strikes late | Sky Sports Football
The Austrian finished off a counter-attack in the 94th minute of play at the Estadio de Vallecas to deal a crushing blow to the hosts, who had fought their way back into the game despite playing with 10 men for the final half an hour after Lass Bangoura was sent off. Ruben Garcia had given Levante the lead against the run of play in the first half, but Argentinian striker Joaquin Larrivey headed in the equaliser after 79 minutes to open his account for Rayo.

Late equaliser for Elche | Sky Sports Football
Almeria took an early lead through Fernando Soriano only for Edu Albacar to equalise from the spot following Sebastian Dubarbier's handball. The hosts regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when Jose Antonio Verza converted a spot-kick following Cristian Sapunaru's handball. Almeria appeared to be heading for victory, despite Dubarbier's second-half dismissal after receiving his second yellow card, before Boakye struck to leave both sides searching for their first win.

Man Utd fail with £25.5m bid for Spanish star - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Having failed to secure either Thiago or Cesc Fabregas this summer, United have identified a third Liga target in the deep-lying midfielder, who has represented Spain at youth level. However, an opening bid has been turned down, with Bilbao determined to resist any approaches for the player. "There's an offer for Ander Herrera," chairman Josu Urrutia told reporters.

Rayo pick up Seba, close to Viera - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Seba Fernandez was heavily expected to move to the Madrid minnows this week on from agreeing to cancel his contract with Malaga. The forward, who made 80 appearances for the Anchovies in three seasons, was presented to the media on Thursday evening. "I feel no pressure even as they expect a lot from me," began the 28-year-old to reporters.

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