FC Barcelona News: 21 February 2014; Copa del Rey Final Set for 16 April, 18 to Travel to San Sebastian

David Ramos

European Match of the Weekend: Real Sociedad v Barcelona | Pitchside - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid wobbled in recent weeks but will be brimming with confidence when they return to La Liga action this weekend after rousing performances in the Champions League. Barca, who won 2-0 at Premier League side Manchester City and Atletico, who beat Italian club AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro, are tied on 60 points with Real Madrid at the top of Spain's domestic league with 14 matches remaining.

18 picked to face Real Sociedad | FC Barcelona
Jordi Alba is one of the main absentees from the 18-man squad picked to face Real Sociedad on Saturday night at Anoeta (8.00 PM CET). The player is still having trouble with his right hamstring and has therefore been rested as a precautionary measure. Martino has also decided not to select any of Afellay, Puyol, Sergi Roberto, Cuenca or Oier.

Training focussed on Real Sociedad game | FC Barcelona
Martino was able to call on all his available players for the session, plus Bagnack from Barça B, who joined in the second part of training, whilst Jordi Alba, who finished the game against City with a hamstring strain, Isaac Cuenca and Jonathan dos Santos all worked on recovery activities from their respective injuries.

Four historic Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona games | FC Barcelona
Real Sociedad host Barça on Saturday in a game that oozes tradition. There were several classic encounters at the old Atotxa stadium before the Basque club moved to its new home in 1993. Here we pick out four particularly notable matches from the last quarter of a century.

Spanish Cup Final set for April 16 | FC Barcelona
The RFEF and the two clubs agreed in a meeting today that the final of the Copa del Rey between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid has been fixed for Wednesday, April 16 at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, at 9.30pm CET. Barca have been allocated 40% of the seats in the stadium, which represents about 19,350 tickets.

Busquets warns of price of slip up in Anoeta | FC Barcelona
Sergio Busquets is well aware that anything other than a win at Anoeta on Saturday could complicate the team’s league position and when speaking at Thursday’s press conference about the match against Real Sociedad and the current state of the team, he insisted: "we will pay a high price for any draw or defeat in the league ," said Sergio , " Real have a great team and it’s always a tough place to play."

Puyol 'unlikely to make Spain World Cup squad' - Yahoo Eurosport UK
"We haven't completely ruled him out yet, but naturally, he needs to play a lot more often and be involved in the thick of the action," Grande said. "We haven't ruled him out yet because there are still three more months until the World Cup, but it's very difficult for him."

Is Barcelona becoming 'Less of a Club'? - CNN.com
'More than a Club.' That's the long-standing motto and image that Barcelona football club has wished upon the world for many years. It is an image the club has carefully cultivated over decades, but could the deal that brought Brazilian star Neymar to the club in June 2013 result in the Spanish giants being known for more than just their football - and not in a good way? For the mood drifting out of Camp Nou, a stadium that has long been revered as a temple of the global game, is one of disarray.

Villarreal face €4,000 fine for tear-gas incident - Goal.com
"The Commission has agreed to propose a fine of €4,000 to Villarreal CF SAD and expresses its strongest condemnation against the events at El Madrigal on Saturday 15 February when, during the match Villarreal CF SAD v Real Club Celta de Vigo SAD, an individual - not yet identified - launched a tear smoke canister on to the field of play that produced a thick cloud of white smoke in the stadium," a statement from the CSD reads.

Dare Vrsic scores wondergoal as Maribor hold Sevilla | Sky Sports Football
Dare Vrsic scored a wonder goal to earn Maribor a 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Portugal. Second-half goals from Federico Fazio and Kevin Gameiro had put the Spanish side ahead after cancelling out Marcos Tavares' opener, but Vrsic struck from 25 yards to give Maribor a fighting chance in Seville next week.

Valencia claim 2-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in Cyprus | Sky Sports Football
Valencia proved too strong for Dynamo Kiev as they ran out 2-0 winners in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Cyprus. The tie, which was switched to the neutral venue in Nicosia due to ongoing serious unrest in the Ukrainian capital, remained goalless until 10 minutes from time when substitute Eduardo Vargas headed past goalkeeper Olexandr Rybka.

10-man Rubin Kazan hit back to draw 1-1 with Real Betis | Sky Sports Football
Ten-man Rubin Kazan hit back to draw 1-1 with Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash in Spain. Rubin looked dead and buried when they were 1-0 down and had Alexander Prudnikov sent off with over an hour to go for two bookable offences in as many minutes. But the Russian outfit clawed back to earn a draw at the Estadio Benito Villamarin through a Roman Eremenko penalty.

Almeria sign Thailand's Teerasil Dangda for next season | Sky Sports
Thailand international striker Teerasil Dangda will sign for La Liga's Almeria in the summer on a one-year loan deal. The Muangthong United striker will officially link up with his new team on July 1 and Almeria have the option of making the move permanent should he impress during his 12-month stint.

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