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FC Barcelona News: 13 October 2011; Internationals Return, Eric Abidal's Hamstring Still Not at 100%

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Xavi and company will finally return to Barca's training facilities.
Xavi and company will finally return to Barca's training facilities.

FC Barcelona and Pep Guardiola are finally getting their players back on the training pitch. Nine of them already returned to Barcelona while four players originating from South America will make their way to the Camp Nou later today. Also in today's news is a video showing how FIFA plan to experiment with goal-line technology. If everything goes as planed the technology will be used in the 2014 FIFA World Cup which will take place in Brazil. A must read for today is a brilliant comment by Real Betis' manager Pepe Mel about Cristiano Ronaldo's looks.

VIDEO: Fifa experiments with goal-line technology which could be implemented in 2014 World Cup - Goal.com
Nine European companies have registered to take part in the tests, which will be held behind closed doors in stadiums chosen by the technology providers. The first test phase, due to be carried in the next few months, will be conducted by the Swiss technology research institute EMPA.

Guardiola gets 9 international players back | FCBarcelona.cat
Little by little the first team welcomed back the international players, who over the last few days have been concentrated with their national teams. This afternoon, Barça’s Spanish internationals, Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Thiago, Xavi, Busquets, Pedro, and Villa, and Abidal, who was away with France, all joined in the training session led by Guardiola.

Barcelona's Eric Abidal: Pep Guardiola will not be happy to hear I played through the pain barrier for France - Goal.com
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has revealed that his hamstring injury was still causing him problems during France's 1-1 Euro 2012 Group D qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday - but added that the game's importance made him decide to play through the pain barrier.

Racing Santander's Hector Cuper says Barcelona the best he's seen - ESPN Soccernet
Veteran Racing Santander boss Hector Cuper believes that Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side are the best team he's ever seen in his 35-year career in football. "I have a very clear opinion about Barcelona," Cuper said. "Since I've been in the world of football, I've never seen anything like them. They are the tops. They're the best team in the world, far ahead of the rest."

15th anniversary since Ronaldo’s goal | FCBarcelona.cat
FCB were top of the league and unbeaten when they went to take on the side then coached by Fernando Vázquez. They would win by a fantastic 5-1, but the game is best remembered for one amazing goal that had the crowd on its feet and Bobby Robson’s hands on his face in awe. A manager of his status presumably thought he’d seen it all … until that night.

It´s a privilege to play for Barca, says Maxwell - Soccerway
Brazilian fullback Maxwell says playing for Barcelona is a 'privilege' as he hailed the squad's unique identity. The 30-year-old has featured three times as a substitute in La Liga this season as his side raced to the top of the table after six games.

Barcelona have great players, but they're not gods, says Santos' Leo - Goal.com
Santos full-back Leo has taken the time to praise Barcelona ahead of the Club World Cup in Japan in December - but also insisted that the Catalans are not unbeatable as they are men, not gods."Barcelona are the best team in the world and are the clear favourites," Leo was quoted as saying by Sport.

Spain bemused by Scotland away following - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
So much for being a fan-owned democracy which represent a panacea for football's ills - the bewildering politics of Barca have spilled into the courtroom, with former president Joan Laporta accused of acting more than a little dishonestly in Barca's dealing with that country famous for footballing glory, Uzbekistan.

Betis' Pepe Mel: I prefer Scarlett Johansson to Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo - Goal.com
The Portugal international stunned everyone when he said last month the whistles he received from fans were driven by jealousy because of his good looks, football talent and big pay-cheque. Speaking ahead of Betis' clash at Real Madrid, Pepe Mel played down Ronaldo's remarks, saying the 26-year-old does not top his list of beautiful people.

Real weigh up Polo purchase | Sky Sports
Real Madrid are the latest side reported to be weighing up an approach for Peruvian starlet Andy Polo. The highly-rated forward burst onto the scene in April when he made his senior debut for Universitario de Deportes at the age of 16.

Villarreal aim to keep Soriano | Sky Sports
Reports have suggested that United are keeping a close eye on the 27-year-old Spain international with a view to possibly bringing him in when the transfer window reopens in January. However, Soriano, who can also play at left-back as well as in the centre of the field, is under contract at El Madrigal until June 2016 and is valued at around €25million euros (£22m).

Sevilla keeper signs on | Sky Sports
Sevilla goalkeeper Javi Varas has agreed a new four-year contract with the Andalusian club. The 29-year-old emerged as Sevilla's first-choice keeper last year and he has now been rewarded for his good form. Varas is now tied to the club until June 2015 and his new deal has a buy-out clause of £17.5million.