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FC Barcelona News: 23 September 2011; Ibrahim Afellay Tears ACL, Barça Hire Famous Chef

Afellay will be on the sidelines for approximately six months.
Afellay will be on the sidelines for approximately six months.

Barca dealt Afellay blow | Sky Sports
Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury. Afellay sustained the knee injury in training on Thursday after only recently returning to action after suffering a hamstring problem in pre-season.

Xavi: "Cesc’s presence is improving my football" |
Cynics had suggested that there was no room for two in the same side, but they have been proven wrong in dramatic style. "I and we are very happy on the pitch. I think we complement each other quite well. I he goes up I stay back and cover for him or vice versa. We have shown that many times this year. I think Cesc makes my football better" said Xavi today.

Football premier-league: Arsenal set to sign Laporta junior | Radio talkSPORT
Arsenal have reportedly signed Guim Laporta - the son of former Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Arsene Wenger is said to have sealed a deal to sign the 14-year-old and, according to sources in Spain, Laporta Jnr is set to move to north London to train with the club's academy.

Barcelona FC recruit world's best chef and El Bulli mastermind Ferran Adria |
The Spanish club recruited famed avant-garde chef Ferran Adria yesterday to revamp its youth academy menu. The European champions say the former El Bulli chef will redesign the club's La Masia meals to "foster healthy eating and exercise" by providing the Catalan club's future stars with the best possible diet.

Big guns seek quick fix after bad week - Yahoo! Eurosport
La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid will want vast improvement when they host Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano respectively on Saturday. Jose Mourinho's Real in particular need to buck up their ideas if they are to end Barca's three-year stranglehold on the title after dropping more points in an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Racing Santander in midweek following a shock 1-0 defeat at Levante on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid's Diego doubtful for Camp Nou clash -
After not appearing for Atletico Madrid in the 4-0 victory over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, fitness concerns continue to linger for Diego ahead of Saturday's clash against Barcelona.The former Juventus playmaker trained lightly on Thursday but still does not look fit enough to be on the bench for the capital club at Camp Nou, according to Marca.

Real Madrid's Ricardo Carvalho misses training ahead of Rayo Vallecano clash -
Carvalho was unable to take part in Thursday's regular training session due to he head injury, instead visiting a hospital for further examination. The 33-year-old was allowed to return home immediately after undergoing a number of tests, but it is unlikely that he will feature in Saturday's home game against newly promoted Rayo.

La Liga a better place after Valencia's rise to the top of the table | Sid Lowe | The Guardian
It was well past one in the morning and the votes were still pouring in. TV station La Sexta had asked the question and they were answering in their thousands. Can Valencia win the league? Not Real Madrid, not FC Barcelona: Valencia. Never mind the 25-point gap that separated them from the top last year or the 28 points by which they missed out on the title the year before.

Valencia's David Albelda out for Saturday's clash against Sevilla -
Valencia midfielder David Albelda will miss the upcoming encounter against Sevilla after suffering a spinal contusion on Wednesday, according to captain started in the 2-2 draw against Barcelona but was sacrificed for Tino Costa in the second half after landing on his back as a result of being undercut after a challenge in the air.

Valero ban reduced | Sky Sports
Villarreal midfielder Borja Valero has had his three-match Champions League ban reduced to two on appeal. The 26-year-old playmaker sat out Villarreal's Group A opener against Bayern Munich and he will also miss their trip to Napoli. However, following the club's successful appeal Valero will now be free to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next month.

Athletic Bilbao’s Igor Martinez out for six weeks -
The midfielder fractured a shin bone during Athletic’s 1-0 away defeat to Malaga in the Primera Division on Wednesday. Martinez suffered the injury after 71 minutes and was immediately carried off the pitch. The 22-year-old is now expected to miss all footballing action for up to six weeks and will join fellow midfielder Ander Herrera on the sidelines for the Basque giants.

Relegation loophole closed - Yahoo! Eurosport
Financially-troubled Spanish clubs will no longer be able to escape relegation by going into administration after the government agreed a change in the law. "This reform...will prevent the undesirable use and abuse of certain instruments of the bankruptcy law and ensure stability and equality in sports competitions," the government said.

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