FC Barcelona News: 7 May 2014; Juventus Continue Chase for Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alves Rejoins Group in Training

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The notion that Lionel Messi has had a bad season is rubbish by Graham Hunter - ESPN FC
If there's an urge to pose the question: "What's up with Leo Messi?" then it might be pertinent, first, to self-examine: "What on earth is up with us?" Even though he still stands to win his fifth Spanish title in six years, there's a widespread assumption that this has been Messi's least impressive season since the last months of Frank Rijkaard in 2008. But before any kind of false base assumptions are made it's important to give the context.

Alves rejoins the group and Xavi completed part of the session | FC Barcelona
The Barça first team trained this Wednesday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground to carry on their preparation for the game against Elche, next Sunday. Dani Alves returned to normal training with the group after a few days doing specific recuperation work. The Brazilian was the main focus at the start of the session, as his teammates congratulated him on his 31st birthday on Tuesday.

Four consecutive starts for Marc Bartra | FC Barcelona
Marc Bartra is becoming a very important player for the first team. This year he’s featured in 29 games, which betters his mark of last season's 16 appearances, two appearances from two seasons ago, and five appearances from three seasons ago. With the arrival of Gerardo Martino, and partly due to the injuries that Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué have sustained, Barça’s No.15 has consolidated his position in the team.

How Sergio Busquets prepares for a game | FC Barcelona
After doing it before with Neymar Jr, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández, here we have a first hand view of Sergio Busquets warming up last Saturday at the Camp Nou before the start of the FC Barcelona v Getafe match.

Alexis close to Juve - report | Football Espana
It has been claimed in Italy that Juventus are close to confirming the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo cites a report from today’s Gazzetta dello Sport that says negotiations between Barca and Juve are on-going but talks are heading for a conclusion that would see the Chile international return to Serie A.

Five best goals from the Academy teams this weekend | FC Barcelona
Once again, the Academy teams scored some goals worth remembering. Robert Navarro (Infant A), Pablo Moreno (Infant A), Dani Olmo (Cadet A) and Carles Aleña (Cadet A) are the authors of the five best goals from the youth set-up this past weekend of 3rd and 4th of May. Moreno, from Infant A, scored 2 goals in this selection.

Six former FC Barcelona players manage teams in Segunda A | FC Barcelona
Six former first team players are now managing teams in Segunda A. Eusebio Sacristán, Sergi Barjuan, Albert Ferrer, Lluís Carreras, Victor Muñoz, and Abelardo Férnandez sit on the benches of Barça B, Recreativo, Córdoba, Mallorca and Sporting.

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale ruled out of Real Valladolid clash - ESPN FC
Gareth Bale is set to miss Real Madrid's crucial La Liga game at Real Valladolid on Wednesday evening, a match Carlo Ancelotti says his side must win to have any chance of winning this season's title. After a weekend of surprises, Ancelotti's side sit third in the table, although they have a game in hand on leaders Atletico Madrid and second-placed Barcelona, who meet on the final day at the Camp Nou.

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