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FC Barcelona News: 23 August 2011; Barca Demolish Napoli, Cesc Fabregas Off the Mark, Alexis Sanchez in Training

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Cesc seems to be enjoying himself sitting behind another trophy.
Cesc seems to be enjoying himself sitting behind another trophy.

Collective excellence (5-0) |
The players’ strike that led to the cancellation of the first day of Liga action turned the Gamper into an excellent opportunity for Barça to continue the preseason. And they seized the moment. Guardiola gave chances to almost everybody, including six from the reserves, who produced a tremendous all-round display.

"I’ve still got a lot to learn" |
The Joan Gamper Trophy match with Napoli was Cesc’s second game, and the first in the starting eleven. And he celebrated with his first goal for Barça since signing for the club last week. But he said he will remember it forever "just like I remember the last goal I scored for the Barça junior team".

Jim White: Jose Mourinho losing control as Barcelona show up his flawed approach with Real Madrid - Telegraph
Not even Mourinho’s mother would describe her boy’s response on Wednesday night as gracious. In attempting to explain his side’s continuing inability to master the Catalans, the humour, the wit, the intelligence he usually displays was entirely absent. This was him at his least appealing: malicious, childish, sneaky.

Barcelona rule out official complaint against Real - ESPN Soccernet
"There are several reasons, the main one is that we need to stop this atmosphere of extreme tension,'' Rosell was quoted as saying by the Spanish press. "There was a consensus among the technical staff and (sporting director Andoni) Zubizarreta not to report the actions of Mourinho.

Alan Black: The Spanish Soccer Civil War
When a self-righteous man becomes obsessed with a powerful enemy, flames are almost a certainty. Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, self-described as "the special one," is setting fire to Spanish soccer with dangerous fireworks that some fear may spark a bigger conflagration on the parched tinder of that fractured entity called Spain.

Alexis works with the group |
On Monday morning, the FC Barcelona first team trained for the last time before the Joan Gamper Trophy. Alexis Sánchez joined the group for some of the session. The Chilean spent the rest of the time working in isolation, after pulling a muscle in his left leg during the warm-up before the game with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Ibrahim Afellay is staying at Barcelona - Andoni Zubizarreta -
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has made it clear that the club have no intention to sell Ibrahim Afellay and are determined to keep the Netherlands international at Camp Nou."Afellay is staying with Barcelona. I don't know anything about interest from any club," Zubizarreta was quoted as saying by EFE.

Young players thrilled |
"It is amazing to play at the Camp Nou", said Sergi Roberto after the match. "It is incredible to play next to these players", added Kiko Femenía. Both played in Monday night’s Joan Gamper. The first was delighted to have been given his chance by Guardiola. "I got back from the World Cup on Tuesday and now I’m playing, I can’t complain" he said.

La Liga - No resolution to strike threat - Yahoo! Eurosport
The Spanish football league (LFP) and the players' union (AFE) are to continue talks after failing to agree an end to strike action on Monday that has halted the start of the season. "The problem isn't resolved," AFE spokesman Luis Gil told reporters after the fourth meeting between the sides over the last week.

Real Madrid's Marcelo didn't realise that he could have broken Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas' leg - Donato -
"I don't think Marcelo realised that he could easily have broken Fabregas' leg with that tackle and end his career," Donato was quoted as saying by La Informacion. "The players should think before they act. They ought to realise that they are an example for children all over the world."

Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin resumes squad training -
Real Madrid have revealed on their official website that midfielder Nuri Sahin is nearing a return to match action as the former Borussia Dortmund ace has resumed regular squad training after an injury lay-off. The 22-year-old left the Bundesliga champions for the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this summer, but a knee injury has prevented him from making his Real Madrid debut so far.champions

La Liga - Valencia confirm Mata joining Chelsea - Yahoo! Eurosport
Valencia have confirmed they have agreed to sell Spain international midfielder Juan Mata to Chelsea. Mata is reported to have spoken with Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas on Friday and he is expected to join the Premier League club for a fee of 27 million euros (£23.5m).


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