Leo Messi arrived back in Barcelona this morning, along with his Argentine teammates Milito and Mascherano after sitting out Argentina’s game against Costa Rica and went straight to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and then to the Hospital de Barcelona for a series of tests. Once these had been carried out, the Club doctors announced that there was no evidence of muscle damage to his right thigh.
It’s expected that the FC Barcelona players who played early this morning with Argentina, Messi, Mascherano and Milito, will train with the first team on Thursday morning. These three are the only internationals still to return to the club after Villa, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes and Pique, plus Afellay and Alves were already back this afternoon at the session that took place at the training ground.
After the break in the league due to international matches and now confirmed that this weekend the 30th league matchday will take place, the club faces a very tight schedule that includes playing for the 3 major titles at stake. In the next 18 days Barça will play six games, including the vital double fixture against Real Madrid, in La Liga and the Spanish Cup Final.
Barcelona's highly-rated teenager Gerard Deulofeu insists he is determined to make the grade at Camp Nou and is not thinking of a lucrative move abroad amid reported interest from Arsenal and Chelsea. Arsenal recently signed 16-year-old Jon Toral from the Barcelona youth academy, but Deulofeu said he would not be jumping ship.
Dani Alves isn’t worried about the intense April ahead that the team is facing, starting on Saturday with the away game against Villarreal. On the contrary, he’s more motivated than ever. "It's amazing what awaits us. We are exactly where we wanted to be: alive in all competitions.
"You can always improve with the team. There are tactical things, then your finishing in front of goal, speed as well. We are very ambitious as a team, we want to win trophies and we want to continue our development," Pedro said on the official UEFA website.
Having conquered La Liga and Europe with Barcelona, and the world with Spain he now has the fashion contract – he's the face of Mango – and the celebrity girlfriend to create as many headlines off the pitch as medals won on it.
Pinto is a team player and his assessment of the end of the season demonstrates it: "We’ll carry on doing what we have been doing up to now. We’ll give everything, whether it goes right or wrong, so we must be calm and encourage each other in difficult times. Being together and united as a team is the only way to achieve everything”.
"The mini-break came at a good time for me as I was carrying a few twinges. I have had two weeks to recover and get back to 100 per cent for the weekend match. I am fit and ready to play. Today, I was able to train for the first time with the group and I felt really good."
Reports in the Spanish dailies Marca and AS claim that no songs from the Colombian musician will be played at the ground prior to matches. No explanation has been given by Madrid but there are suspicions in the Spanish media that this situation has arisen because of Shakira’s relationship with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.
Real Madrid are sweating on the fitness of Karim Benzema after he suffered a thigh injury on international duty. The 23-year-old forward was substituted 15 minutes from time as France played out a goalless home draw in their friendly with Croatia on Tuesday night.
De Gea, 20, has established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at Atletico ahead of Sergio Asenjo since breaking into the first team in 2009 and has been watched by United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele on numerous occasions. Sir Alex Ferguson also saw De Gea in action when Atletico played Valencia in September last year.
''Why did I leave Valencia? Because the club needed me to,'' he said. ''I was happy there and wouldn't have left, but the situation the club was in demanded it. "It was a big injection of money and it was good for them. My life has always gone step by step. It was time to take the next one."
This evening on 29th March, a written resignation letter was received from the Spanish Professional Football League Vice President, Don José Maria Cruz Andres, which manifested his decision to leave the post with immediate effect.
On average gates of 15,000 and with debt repayments totalling €12 million a year on a €61m debt, the Frogs have to cut their cloth accordingly, yet they have overachieved this season. After a surprise promotion last season - a fine way to end their centenary year - Levante's only aim was to avoid relegation and even that looked ambitious.