"In Spain, the population of Catalonia don't consider themselves Spanish," said Adi-Oula Sebastian. "When the General Franco dictatorship forbade the use of regional dialects, the Camp Nou (Barcelona's home stadium) became one of the few places Catalans were allowed to speak their language, without having to fear repercussions."
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has recovered from a muscle strain and will play in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at Real Madrid. Fellow defender Gabriel Milito is also fit but Brazilian full-back Maxwell misses out with a groin strain. Real have defensive issues of their own with centre-back Ricardo Carvalho suspended for the first match.
Rossi, though, is somewhat angered by the persistence of the media and has once again stressed his desire to honour his contract, which expires in 2016. "It is a lack of respect to be talking about it every day," said Rossi. "I will reiterate once again that I don't know anything about it (a potential Barcelona bid).
The midfielder has picked up a knock ahead of the crunch semi-final meeting with Jose Mourinho’s men and is expected to start from the bench at the Santiago Bernabeu
But Mourinho, who led Inter Milan to victory in last year's edition of Europe's elite club competition before moving to Spain, pointed out that he was the same coach who suffered a 5-0 La Liga drubbing at Barca's hands at the Nou Camp in November. "They are a top team with a top coach and everything is possible," he said. "I am exactly the same coach who lost 5-0 to Barcelona and I don't have any magic potion."
Several Spanish clubs have been fined after their ball boys were caught deliberately throwing extra balls onto the field in recent La Liga clashes. A video replay of Sevilla's 3-2 win over Villarreal on the weekend shows a ball boy throwing an extra ball onto the pitch as Villarreal pushed up field searching for a late equaliser. Another ball was launched onto the field from the seats above Villarreal's goal.
Congratulations are in order for Real Madrid star Kaka, whose wife gave birth to a girl on Saturday evening in Brazil. Caroline Celico gave birth to baby Isabella at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, the couple's first child following the birth of their son Luca in June 2008.
An own goal by keeper Diego Alves gave Real Zaragoza a 1-0 win over Almeria on Monday which moved them out of the relegation zone but left their opponents firmly rooted to the foot of La Liga. Both teams went into the game on the back of poor runs but the situation was more worrying for bottom side Almeria who had lost their last four games.
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