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FC Barcelona News: 11 November 2011; UEFA honours Xavi and Zubi, Barça Scout Gareth Bale

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Let the Bale rumours begin, again.
Let the Bale rumours begin, again.

Barcelona set sights on Tottenham star Gareth Bale | ESPN.co.uk
But it would appear the finest side in football are keeping tabs on a player who appears to have the world at his feet. Barca manager Pep Guardiola sent key scout Albert Valentine to watch Bale in action against Fulham. Spurs were lucky to claim victory, but Bale will certainly have impressed by scoring one goal and creating another.

Liverpool target David Villa will not be leaving Barcelona insists Guillem Balague | Give Me Football
"It's important we put David Villa's circumstances at Barcelona into context," said Balague. "First of all, yes, I do believe that there is most definitely something to the notion that the footballing relationship between Messi and Villa is not quite as good as it could be.

UEFA honours Zubizarreta and Xavi | FC Barcelona
UEFA has honoured Barça’s midfield maestro and their Director of Football for having won 100 Spanish international caps. The other two players who have also been honoured for reaching their century of caps are Raúl González and Iker Casillas.

Brothers turning out for the first team | FC Barcelona
Rafinha and Thiago are not the first brothers to play together at Barça and the tradition of siblings goes back to the very start of the Club. There are 22 cases of players who have played together with their brothers -16 cases of two brothers and 6 of three brothers.

Barcelona have asked me to look after Neymar until 2014, says Santos president - Goal.com
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has revealed that Barcelona chief Sandro Rosell asked the club to take care of Neymar until the Spanish side are able to sign him. "I have a very good relationship with both Spanish clubs. I asked Rosell to respect our decision on Neymar, and he asked me to take of the player until 2014," Ribeiro told Cadena Cope.

Reduced squad trains lightly, Pedro makes brief return | FC Barcelona
Pedro, injured two weeks ago against Granada, made an appearance during today’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva. Pinto, Fontàs and Maxwell are the only Barça players not named to a national squad, they took part in a light training session in the Sant Joan Despí gym

Keita flattered by Reds talk | Sky Sports
Barcelona star Seydou Keita has told skysports.com that he is flattered by reported interest from Liverpool in him. The 31-year-old has over three years left on his current deal at Camp Nou, having been handed a contract extension earlier this year.

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is worth both Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi, claims Massimiliano Allegri - Goal.com
Massimiliano Allegri claims AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is as good as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi combined.The Italian coach also feels his side can match Europe's elite clubs and described their forthcoming Champions League clash against the Camp Nou-based giants as a "final".

Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Barcelona he wanted to join Real Madrid - ESPN Soccernet
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed he told Barcelona he wanted to join Real Madrid when leaving the club in 2010. Ibrahimovic, 30, joined Barca from Inter Milan in a part-exchange deal with Samuel Eto'o in 2009 but, although his time at the Camp Nou began well, he lost form and fell out with Pep Guardiola before being moved on to AC Milan.

Barca goalkeeper Pinto involved in ‘whistling’ controversy | A Different League
However, following the game - which Barcelona won 1-0 - L’Hospitalet striker David Haro insinuated that when he was clean through on goal just before half-time Pinto imitated the referee’s whistle, forcing him to pull up as he assumed the official had blown for offside. Haro later told assembled media that he did not want to point the finger at Pinto but could imagine where it had come from: "I heard a whistle," he said. "Who from? You already know who it was..."

AC Milan to replace Taye Taiwo with Barcelona's Maxwell - report - Goal.com
The 26-year-old has failed to cement his place in the first-team since his move from Marseille in the summer, while Maxwell has found opportunites at Camp Nou few and far between since leaving Milan's great rivals Inter for the European champions two years ago.

Real Madrid & Barcelona players unite to launch new Spain kit ahead of England friendly - Goal.com
Flanked by the European and World Cup trophies, team-mate Villa admitted he hoped Spain could be the first side to claim a Euro, a World Cup and another Euro title consecutively. "We are aware that it's never been done, and we want to go down in history as the only side to have done it," he explained.

Santi Cazorla: England could try to imitate Spain's tranquillity | The Guardian
Looking at that team from the summer, playmakers Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera are yet to make their senior debuts. Barcelona's astonishingly talented Thiago Alcântara, back on Under-21 duty this week, has. "The nice thing," says the Málaga midfielder Santi Cazorla, who will play on Saturday, "is that there's reasons to be optimistic: look at the kids coming through."

Ronaldo wins Golden Boot, but Messi comparisons raised again - SI.com
On Friday, asked yet again about the Balón d'Or, i.e. about Messi, Ronaldo replied: "this [the Golden Boot] is objective, about statistics; that [the Golden Ball], is about votes, opinions." He was right of course, even if he had slightly missed the point. They reward different things: one measures the previous season's top goal scorer, the other its best player.

Hamit Altintop admits he could leave Real Madrid in January - Goal.com
Real Madrid midfielder Hamit Altintop has threatened to leave the club if his situation in the Spanish capital does not improve. The 28-year-old has played just 20 minutes of football this season, prompting him to speak out to the press and voice the opinion that he has been undervalued by coach Jose Mourinho.

Falcao injured on Colombia duty | LFP
Radamel Falcao has had to withdraw from the Colombian national squad after suffering a pulled muscle while training on Thursday. The Atlético forward is ruled out for the games against Venezuela and Argentina.

Injured Martinez returns to Bilbao - Yahoo! Eurosport
Spain midfielder Javi Martinez has been forced to leave the squad ahead of friendlies against England and Costa Rica due to an adductor muscle problem. Martinez, who plays a similar role to defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets and is not a regular starter for Spain, was sent back to his club Athletic Bilbao following tests.

Espanyol sign Indonesian youngster Arthur Irawan - Goal.com
Spanish La Liga club Espanyol officially completed the signing of Indonesian striker Arthur Irawan on Thursday after revealing that they were impressed by the youngster's potential. The 18-year-old isn't widely known in his country, but his signing indicates that his talent could be good enough for Indonesia's national team.

Rayo stars attract interest | Sky Sports
Rayo Vallecano have confirmed that a number of Premier League clubs have been attending their recent games. Reports suggest that Manchester United, Liverpool and Cheslea have been checking on Rayo's midfield ace Michu, while Sunderland, Fulham and Everton were also said to be present.

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