FC Barcelona News: 18 September 2013; Champions League Set to Begin for Barça, Juvenil A Start Youth League With Win

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20 named for Champions League opener | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona begin their Champions League 2013/14 campaign on Wednesday against Ajax at the Camp Nou. Manager Tata Martino has decided to name all 20 of his available players in the squad, with Pedro the main inclusion after being rested on Saturday against Sevilla, while Jordi Alba is now injured along with Puyol, Cuenca and Afellay. Goalkeeper Oier Olazábal is also left out of the list.

Previous meetings with Ajax, only friendlies | FC Barcelona
On Wednesday at 20.45, the Camp Nou will be the venue for the first ever official meeting between FC Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam. But the two historic clubs have often played each other in friendlies, such as the farewell game organised for Johan Cruyff and a preseason meeting in 2002. Here we look back at some of the highlights.

Gerard Piqué keen to start Champions League on right foot | FC Barcelona
Gerard Piqué, who has already won the title three times, once with Man United and twice at FCB, said today that "the team are looking forward to starting this competition because it’s the most prestigious. There are some great teams in Europe but we’ll be hoping to do well. Barça will be fighting to win it and it’s essential that we get off on the right foot."

Tata Martino excited about the Champions League | FC Barcelona
Tata Martino is about to be inducted into the world of the Champions League, and is thoroughly looking forward to the experience. "For any manager, being in the Champions League means a lot for their careers" he said in his press conference on the eve of the game with Ajax Amsterdam. "We have high hopes for the competition" he added.

Players gather at the team hotel | FC Barcelona
The 20 players named to the team by Tata Martino are currently at the team hotel, Hotel Princesa Sofía. The players, who left the stadium at around 20.30, will spend the night at the hotel and on Wednesday morning they will train at the Camp Nou ahead of the match against Ajax.

Barça v Ajax: Did you know...? | FC Barcelona
Barça have started their Champions League campaign at home in seven out of the last ten seasons (including today’s match). Barça haven’t lost their opening game in the Champions League since losing 3-2 against Newcastle at Saint James’ Park in the 1996/97 season.

Frank de Boer: "We'll do our best so that Messi and Neymar don't play comfortably" | FC Barcelona
Ajax manager Frank de Boer and the former Barça player Bojan Krkic talked to the press this Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash at the Camp Nou. The Dutch manager said, "Barcelona’s level is very high. We need to play a good game and get a good result here."

2013/14 budget to be 509 million euros | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s budget for the 2013/14 season will be 509 million euros, according to the secretary and spokesman for the board, Toni Freixa. That’s the first time in club history that the budget has been over 500 million, while operating income for last season was 491 million euros, 21 more than originally budgeted.

Juvenil A – Ajax: Fight back and victory in the UEFA Youth League (4-1) | FC Barcelona
First match and first victory for Barça in the UEFA Youth League. Barça’s Juvenil A team defeated Ajax in their first match of the new competition. The Blaugrana, who found themselves a goal down after only 19 minutes, drew level just before the break thanks to Quintillà and they fired for three more goals in the second half.

Ajax youngsters, from Miniestadi to Camp Nou | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona and Ajax have never met in an official competition, but their respective youth sides did meet in 2011 in the NextGen Series quarter finals, played over a single leg. Òscar Garcia was manager of the Barça team that day, but a man called Fischer scuppered his plans.

Cristiano Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Real Madrid hammer Galatasaray | Sky Sports Football
Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick as Real Madrid ran riot in the second half against Galatasaray to make a major statement about their ambitions in the Champions League with a 6-1 victory in Istanbul. Although Galatasaray started strongly, they crumbled after Isco made the breakthrough late in the first half as Ronaldo and Karim Benzema feasted on some poor defending.

Iker Casillas injured after collision with Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos - ESPN FC
Initial reports suggest no bone was broken in the clash, but there is a cartilage problem, and a rib may also have been cracked. Further tests are expected to be carried out back in Madrid on Wednesday.

Shakhtar Donetsk claim 2-0 win over Real Sociedad | Sky Sports Football
The Primera Liga side's debut in the competition became a story of missed opportunities as they faded after a dominant opening, allowing the Ukrainian veterans of the competition to snatch the points after the break. Sociedad started the game brimming with confidence after eliminating Lyon to reach the group stages, despite suffering three consecutive Primera Liga matches without a win.

Esteban Granero injury blow for Real Sociedad - ESPN FC
"Esteban Granero has twisted his right knee," the statement said. "The physical examination showed an instability compatible with an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament. Tomorrow we will carry out tests to establish the definitive diagnosis."

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