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FC Barcelona News: 4 December 2011; Barça Demolish Levante, Carles Puyol OK

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Group hug...
Group hug...

La Liga: Comfortable wins for Real and Barca - ESPN Soccernet
With Madrid having taken control of the title race over recent weeks, Barca kicked off this clash six points behind their bitter rivals having played the same number of games. But, with El Clasico on the horizon next weekend, they put on a show that suggested they are ready to fight to retain their title.

Guardiola: "This is very long and we must persevere" | FC Barcelona
Josep Guardiola places high value on his team’s 5-0 win over Levante at the Camp Nou this Saturday. "We’ve scored five goals against the fourth placed team in the League, but it’s true that after everything we’ve accomplished nothing we do seems like much," the Barça manager said.

Valdés: "No one expected this kind of streak at the beginning of the season." | FC Barcelona
The youngster, Isaac Cuenca, scored the third just before the break and in the second half Messi and Alexis both bagged goals. With these 5 goals, the team has scored 39 goals and conceded none at the Camp Nou. Víctor Valdés, pleased with the good form at home said, "no one expected this kind of streak at the beginning of the season."

Guardiola to rest 13 first team players against BATE | FC Barcelona
Pep Guardiola will rest 13 first team players for the upcoming Champions League match this Tuesday against BATE Borisov (20:45). The Barça manager will rest Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano, Keita, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Messi, Alexis and Villa.

Barcelona's Carles Puyol should be fit to face Real Madrid despite suffering minor concussion - Goal.com
The Spain central defender was left dazed after colliding with Arouna Kone during the first half of the 5-0 rout at Camp Nou and had to be replaced nine minutes before the break by Dani Alves. However, according to EFE, Barca have revealed that Puyol’s substitution was purely a precautionary measure. Consequently, the veteran centre-half will be free to lead his side into battle at the Santiago Bernabeu next weekend.

David Villa dismisses speculation over Barcelona future - ESPN Soccernet
David Villa insists he pays no attention to speculation over his future and still feels like an important part of the Barcelona squad. It was reported in Spain that Villa had fallen out with Lionel Messi and Cadena SER claimed last month that Liverpool had expressed an interest in his services.

Brazil legend Pele: Neymar is more complete than Barcelona's Lionel Messi, and can be better than me - Goal.com
Despite the personal and team accolades that the Argentina international has achieved so far in his career, Pele feels that his countryman is more complete as a player, but that the Camp Nou attacker has more experience. "For me the two are technically very good, but Neymar is more complete because he shoots with both feet, and dribbles from both sides," the iconic former Santos forward explained.

Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho hails impact of Angel Di Maria after win over Sporting Gijon - Goal.com
The 48-year-old feels the winger, who netted the opening goal on Saturday in El Molinon, has proven his critics wrong after question marks were initally raised about his €36 million move to the Santiago Bernabeu last year, while believing his own faith in the Argentine's ability has since been vindicated.

Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria urges team-mates to focus on Ajax in the Champions League before Barcelona clash - Goal.com
Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria says his side must focus on the Champions League before thinking about El Clasico, following their 3-0 win over Sporting Gijon on Saturday. The Argentina international scored the opening goal for the visitors before providing an assist for Cristiano Ronaldo, and says he has hit a rich vein of form.

Llorente out for Mallorca clash | LFP
Athletic forward Fernando Llorente is the main absentee on the list of players called up for the game away at Mallorca. The Spanish international is to miss the game owing to a niggling injury he has been carrying for some weeks in his right knee. Ander Herrera, on the other hand, will be available as he has now recovered from the stomach bug that had made him doubtful for the clash.

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