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FC Barcelona News: 2 December 2011; Pique Will Play in El Clasico, Barça Dominate FIFA FIFPro Shortlist

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RFEF gave Gerard Pique a thumbs up.
RFEF gave Gerard Pique a thumbs up.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique cleared to play in El Clasico after avoiding further punishment for booking -
There was a suggestion, though, that the player might have got himself booked deliberately in order to avoid running the risk of being suspended for El Clasico. However, after investigating the circumstances surrounding Pique's cautioning, taking into account the notes of match referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa, the Competition Committee could find no evidence of anything untoward on the player's behalf.

How Barcelona have changed football and dispelled tactical myths |
Tiny cracks may be starting to appear in the previously impregnable armour of Barcelona, with Real Madrid rampant and Pep Guardiola's side rudely obliged to play catch-up, but this team's place in history is already secure. The trophies and the unique, hypnotic passing style have made sure of that, but less remarked upon is the tactical legacy that they have bequeathed to the game.

FIFA FIFPro World XI 2011: Eleven Barça players amongst the candidates for the best team of the year | FC Barcelona
FIFPro, the association of professional footballers, announced on Thursday the final list of 55 players who are candidates for the best eleven of 2011. Among the candidates are eleven players from Barça, ​​the team most represented amongst all the nominees. They are Valdés, Abidal, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Busquets, Cesc, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, and Villa.

The path to greatness - how it all started with Spain's triumph at Euro 2008 for Barcelona trio Xavi, Iniesta & Puyol -
Had you sat Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta down in mid-May 2008 and told them that not only were they about to produce Spain’s most glorious tournament performance, but they were also about to enter the greatest era in the history of FC Barcelona, I’ll tell you precisely what would have happened.

Levante, La Liga's surprise team this season | FC Barcelona
Based on the figures after thirteen matches played, no one would think that Levante have one of the lowest budgets in the First Division. They’ve totalled 8 wins, 2 draws, and 3 defeats, with 23 goals for and 12 against, and are fourth in the league. These are the stats of a much bigger team. On Saturday at 20.00 they’ll come up against Barça at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas dismisses claims he lost focus at Arsenal -
"Not for one moment, because I never knew what the future held," Fabregas said. "I was an Arsenal player and under contract until 2014, so I wasn't thinking of leaving. "Some people claimed that, just because I didn’t play very much and had a lot of injuries, that it was a bad season for me. I disagree. I still scored nine goals and made 20 assists.

Barcelona rule out ever signing Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo because they already have 'the best in the world' in Lionel Messi -
The Portuguese winger is widely regarded as the only credible rival to Lionel Messi’s status as the world's current best player, with some salivating over the prospect of the duo being paired together up front. However, Bartomeu does not believe that Barca boss Pep Guardiola would be able to accommodate Ronaldo in his already stellar line-up.

Estrella Damm and Barça set to rollout new advert | FC Barcelona
Estrella Damm began, on Wednesday, the filming of a new TV commercial related to FC Barcelona. The popular brand of beer has prepared, each year since 2004, an advert that has become a tradition and "one of the most eagerly anticipated adverts by Barça fans" according to the Catalan company. The premiere of the advert is expected to be shown around the end of the year.

Cristiano Ronaldo set for Real Madrid against Sporting Gijon - ESPN Soccernet
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to be fit to face Sporting Gijon this weekend after he returned to training on Thursday. Ronaldo suffered a sprained ankle in Real's feisty derby encounter with Atletico Madrid, the result of a tackle from Luis Perea, and when he failed to take part in training early in the week there were fears he would miss the game with Gijon.

Match Report: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 S. Bratislava -
Athletic Bilbao guaranteed top spot in Europa League Group F following a 2-1 win at San Mames against Slovan Bratislava. The home side seemingly kick-started a comfortable evening in the 15th minute when Oscar de Marcos put Athletic ahead with a well-taken goal.

Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez taken ill - ESPN Soccernet
Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez is currently under observation in hospital suffering "acute gastroenteritis".The Spanish side have confirmed the forward, who led the line in Wednesday night's Europa League win away to Celtic, is being kept in at the Fremap Majadahonda hospital.

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