FC Barcelona News: 20 September 2013; Lionel Messi on Verge of Milestone, Neymar Makes 300th Pro Appearance

Stanley Chou

Messi to make 250th Liga appearance against Rayo Vallecano | FC Barcelona
The seasons go by and Leo Messi continues to add to add milestones to his career. This Saturday’s match against Rayo Vallecano (20.00, Canal + Liga / GolT) will be very special for the Argentinian, for it will be his 250th for the first team. After making his debut on October 16 of 2004 in Montjuïc, against Espanyol (0-1), Messi will celebrate this new feat at Vallecas that only few footballers can aspire to.

Recovery session after beating Ajax | FC Barcelona
Jorge Pautasso took the first team training session today in the absence of Tata Martino, who has travelled to Argentina to attend his father’s funeral. The focus of the session was on recovery from the previous night’s exertions against Ajax. Gerard Piqué, who was in the starting elven, has a groin strain and did physio work instead.

Víctor Valdés, the wall of FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi is the man on the covers of the sports papers because of his hat trick. The match against Ajax (4-0), however, also had another important protagonist: Víctor Valdés. Here’s an overview of what we believe to be the most important stats and facts from the first match of the Champions League group stage.

Neymar: 300 matches as a professional footballer | FC Barcelona
This Wednesday Neymar Jr made his debut in one of the most important competitions in the footballing world. The match against Ajax was his first in the Champions League, it’s a debut that coincides with another landmark moment in the player’s career: yesterday’s match was Neymar Jr’s 300th match as a professional footballer.

New trends emerging at Barcelona - UEFA Champions League - News - UEFA.com
Nobody is promising a playing revolution, but the evolution may bring lower possession stats, the quicker release of runners like Pedro Rodríguez, Neymar, Messi and Alexis Sánchez, and a Barça side that looks less meticulous, less patient than over the previous few years. Secondly, there was Xavi Hernández. This imperious footballer, who remains the cerebral leader on the Camp Nou pitch, was not only rested, he was brought on to brilliant effect.

Lionel Messi better than Cristiano Ronaldo, says Brazil's Ronaldo - ESPN FC
"I would stick with Messi," he said. "It is difficult. It is like when you are looking to buy a house and they offer you many nice ones, but you need to pick one. "Messi seems more complete to me, or at least more decisive. In the important moments, he appears and scores goals."

Barça B looking to continue good form against Recre | FC Barcelona
Barça B and Recreativo meet on Friday night (21.00, Esport3) at the Nuevo Colombino. Both sides have started the season well and are currently tied on ten points each, one behind Sporting Gijón, so tonight’s winner will be the provisional leader of the Liga Adelante ahead of the weekend.

Valencia 0-3 Swansea: Michu and Bony star in Swans romp - Goal.com
Valencia's night started poorly when Adil Rami was sent off for bringing down Bony in the early stages, and the Ivorian opened the scoring with a powerful effort shortly after.Michu deservedly grabbed a second with a driven strike inside the box, before De Guzman's stunning free-kick from distance ensured the victory.

Sevilla edge out Estoril | Sky Sports Football
The Spanish side toiled for an hour in Portugal before Vitolo made the breakthrough, but Estoril hit back immediately through Bruno Miguel. Gameiro, a summer signing from Paris St Germain, then fired what proved to be the winner but there was still time for Miguel to force a last-gasp save from Javi Varas.

Opening stalemate between Real Betis and Lyon | Sky Sports Football
Real Betis and Lyon battled to a 0-0 stalemate as their Europa League Group I campaigns got off to a disappointing start at the Estadio Benito Villamarin. Lyon will be happier with the point away from home, but Betis coach Pepe Mel will have been disappointed with his side's display after they came into the game on the back of a 3-1 win over Valencia in the Primera Division on Sunday.

Turan extends Atletico deal to 2017 - Goal.com
Atletico Madrid have confirmed that attacker Arda Turan has signed a three-year contract extension with the club, keeping him at the Vicente Calderon until 2017. The Turkey international joined Atleti in 2011 from Galatasaray for around €13 million and has since established himself as a key member of Diego Simeone's squad, clocking up 93 appearances and scoring 12 times for the Rojiblancos.

Spanish cities up for Euro 2020 | Football Espana
Four cities have been offered up for consideration from the RFEF, with Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia all now in contention to be one of the final 13 cities chosen to host games during Euro 2020. UEFA are hosting that year’s edition of the tournament across multiple countries to mark the competition’s 60th anniversary.

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