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FC Barcelona News: 18 November 2011; Rafinha Renews, Sepp Blatter Apologizes

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Rafa Alcàntara to renew contract until 2014 | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona has reached an agreement with Rafael Alcántara do Nascimento, ‘Rafinha,’ to renew his contract until the 2013/14 season. His buyout clause is 12 million euros until the 2012/13 season and will jump to 30 million euros in 2013/14.

Abidal exit fears increase | Sky Sports
The 32-year-old's current deal expires at the end of the season and the European champions have offered Abidal a one-year extension with the option of a further 12 months on a pay-as-you-play basis. However, Abidal's representative David Venditelli believes the player deserves a better deal at Camp Nou and is hoping to hold further talks next month.

Messi and Mascherano work out at the Ciutat Esportiva | FC Barcelona
The first team squad have been given a day off today, although a few of them did come into the Ciutat Esportiva to work out. Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano both did some recovery work after their exertions for Argentina over the last few days, which culminated in the 1-2 win over Colombia.

Deco: My Barcelona had more decisive players than current team -
The former Portugal international won two La Liga titles and one Champions League trophy during his spell at Camp Nou and feels the squad he was part of had more individual quality, although he has admitted that the current team is more complete.

Josep Guardiola backs FCB Escola | FC Barcelona
After training on Wednesday evening, Josep Guardiola posed with FCB Director Xevi Marcé and ex-player Julio Alberto for a photo which symbolised his support for all the Club projects which have recently been undertaken around the world. And there are plenty of them too!

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore rejects Rosell reform ideas - ESPN Soccernet
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has rejected a proposal by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell to reduce the major European leagues to 16 teams and play Champions League fixtures at weekends.

Full: Harsh realities of life after Messi and Barcelona - The National
It is a Sunday afternoon, and a group of youngsters recognise the driver in an Audi people carrier with blacked out windows on Rambla Catalunya in central Barcelona. Lionel Messi lowers the window and signs autographs until the traffic lights change colour and he zooms off. Messi does not spot the pedestrian walking past holding a kitbag and wearing the red and black tracksuit of CD Manacor, a Spanish third division team.

Sepp Blatter's dereliction of duty over racism is scandalous |
Spider-man tells us that with great power comes great responsibilities. Sepp Blatter tells us that it comes with great arrogance and great ignorance. The Swiss has been proving that for many years now, so his comments suggesting that footballers shouldn't get so het up about being racially abused when all it takes to ensure such abuse won't happen again is a simple handshake, although infuriating from a man in his position, came as no surprise.

BBC Sport - Sepp Blatter says sorry for comments on racism
Sepp Blatter has told the BBC he is sorry for causing offence with his controversial statements on racism. The Fifa president appeared to suggest on Wednesday that racial discrimination could be settled with a handshake. "It hurts and I am still hurting because I couldn't envisage such a reaction," said the 75-year-old Swiss.

Does Spain need a Plan B option against ultra-defensive teams? - Sid Lowe -
By the end of last Saturday's international friendly at Wembley, Spain had completed 844 passes to England's 293. It had been caught offside five times to England's one. And it had taken 19 shots, while England had taken just three.

Alvaro Dominguez signs new Atletico Madrid deal until 2015 - report -
Atletico Madrid have successfully concluded contract negotiations with Alvaro Dominguez as the defender has signed a new deal until the summer of 2015, AS reports. The centre-back had a contract until the end of the 2011-12 campaign and clubs such as Inter and Manchester United were reportedly closely monitoring Dominguez's situation.

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