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FC Barcelona News: 3 January 2012; Messi Returns, Pinto To Extend Contract, Tough Month Awaits Barça

Feared reserve keeper, Pinto, will remain in Barcelona for one more season.
Feared reserve keeper, Pinto, will remain in Barcelona for one more season.

Light training session for Messi after arriving in Barcelona | FC Barcelona
It was a few minutes past 5:00 pm when Leo Messi’s plane touched down at El Prat Airport. Once out of the terminal, Messi went directly to the Ciutat Esportiva Sant Joan Despí by taxi, where the team completed their first training session of 2012.

Demanding January schedule for FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
After Wednesday's opener at the Camp Nou, Guardiola's men face two away games –first at city neighbours Espanyol on Sunday night and then in Pamplona next week for the second and maybe decisive second leg of their Spanish Cup last-16 clash, as they aim to win a quarter final berth. The team are then back at the Camp Nou for a league game against Betis (week 19). The next two League games are both on the road, with trips to Malaga – in the game corresponding to the cancelled opening league fixture – and Villarreal.

Pinto agrees Barca extension | Sky Sports
Pinto's opportunities have been limited behind obvious first choice Victor Valdes, but the veteran has still been happy to sign a new deal. A statement on Barcelona's official website read: "Barca announce they have reached an agreement with Jose Manuel Pinto to renew his contract with the club for one more season, until June 30, 2013."

Cuenca rejects exit rumours | Sky Sports
saac Cuenca has rubbished reports suggesting he is edging towards the exits at Barcelona, claiming it is his intention to earn a contract extension. The 20-year-old winger has burst onto the scene at Camp Nou this season, having been handed his senior bow in October 2011.

How Barcelona bankroll their expensive club |
La Masia is arguably the best at what it does – consistently produce young players year upon year for the first team – and in 2010 its strength was highlighted as three graduates of the youth academy made the final three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi, Xaxi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

Adriano: "The squad is very excited and ambitious to win the Cup again" | FC Barcelona
The squad have started the New Year just as they finished the old –full of ambition. That was the message from Adriano this afternoon, who insisted the players are totally centred on the first game of 2012 – the Cup tie against Osasuna on Wednesday at the Camp Nou: "I really want to win the Cup with Barça. We missed out last season and now we have another opportunity."

Real Madrid to face Malaga without injured Angel Di Maria -
The Argentina international sustained a thigh problem in training in the last week of 2011 and Madrid have now confirmed on their official website that Di Maria hasn't recovered in time to make the match squad for the game at the Santiago Bernabeu.Meanwhile, defenders Sergio Ramos and Ricardo Carvalho both also miss out on the encounter with Malaga due to injury problems.

Mourinho wants all Real's players to stay - Yahoo! Eurosport
"I have not asked for any signings and I have been clear I wouldn't like it if anyone left," the Portuguese said. "The players know it, the board of directors too," said Mourinho ahead of Tuesday's Copa del Rey last-16 first leg at home to Malaga. "I would like to start and finish the season with the same players."

Villarreal's Nilmar rules out Roma switch: I do not want to leave -
Villarreal striker Nilmar has knocked back the possibility of linking up with Roma in the January transfer window. The 27-year-old had been suggested as Roma's priority for the winter transfer window as coach Luis Enrique is believed to be keen to bolster his team's attacking options.

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