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FC Barcelona News: 9 January 2012; Barca Drop Two Important Points in Catalan Derby, Ballon d'Or Awarded Today

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Espanyol dent Barcelona hopes - Yahoo! Eurosport
Alvaro Vazquez's late goal in the Catalan derby earned Espanyol a 1-1 draw and dented Barcelona's La Liga title hopes at the Estadio Cornella-El Prat. The substitute headed in a flick from Thievy Bifouma in the 86th minute to cancel out Cesc Fabregas's early effort. Real Madrid now have a five-point lead over Barcelona who allowed complacency to set in a keenly contested second-half.

Guardiola: "I cannot be dissatisfied with this team, I could never be" | FC Barcelona
"The truth is that we are too well accustomed to how games go, but our rivals are also there to play. Espanyol did a fantastic job. In general, within the context of tonight’s difficult match, we controlled the match a bit better in the second half, even though we were a bit off target. After the equalizing goal, we reacted correctly, but it was too late. I cannot be dissatisfied with this team, I could never be."

Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino slams Dani Alves abuse - ESPN Soccernet
Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino has condemned the racist abuse aimed at Barcelona defender Dani Alves during Sunday night's Catalan derby and said it needs to be "eradicated'' from football. Sections of fans targeted Alves with monkey noises during the 1-1 Primera Division draw at Espanyol's Cornella-El Prat stadium.

Cesc scores Barça's 100th goal of the season | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona has reached the goal century mark in all six competitions this season. The man that scored the 100th Barça goal was midfielder Cesc Fàbregas, who played in his first Catalan derby tonight. It has only taken Barça 31 games to reach the 100-goal mile stone, averaging 3.23 goals per game.

Ballon d’Or candidates: In numbers | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo!
Lionel Messi is the odds-on favourite to collect a record-equalling third consecutive Ballon d'Or tonight. Messi's Barcelona team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo are also shortlisted for football's highest individual award.

Hail the Messiah | The Age
WHEN Lionel Messi sheepishly raises the Ballon d'Or trophy and poses for the cameras of the world in the Zurich Kongresshaus in Switzerland on Monday night, perhaps the fact that he will become only the second man, after Michel Platini, to win the prize for three consecutive years should be sufficient indication of his majesty.

Sonny Anderson: Lionel Messi deserves Fifa Ballon d'Or, but Xavi is Barcelona's brain -
"For me, the artist Messi deserves the Ballon d'Or. He is the one who makes the difference, regardless of the opposition and the occasion," Anderson was quoted as saying by France Football. "He is superior to Cristiano Ronaldo and every other player in the world. Players like Messi are very rare in football.

Johan Cruyff: Barcelona's Lionel Messi will win many more Ballons d'Or -
Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has said he expects Lionel Messi to add many more Fifa Ballon d'Or awards to his individual cabinet. Messi won the inaugural award in 2010, after FIFA's World Player of the Year and France Football's Ballon d'Or award merged, and also the French magazine's accolade in 2009, and Cruyff says the 24-year-old will not stop here.

Wenger weighs up Abidal move | Sky Sports
Sky Sports sources understand Arsenal are weighing up a move for Barcelona's Eric Abidal, with the full-back's contract running down. Arsenal could offer him a route to England, with the Gunners currently short on defensive options. Arsene Wenger has no fit full-backs at present, so he could be tempted to make a move during the winter transfer window.

Benfica close in on Barcelona's Jonathan Soriano - report -
Benfica have begun negotiations with the hope of signing Barcelona B striker Jonathan Soriano, O JOGO reports. The Portuguese club have long been after the 26-year-old, who has struggled to break into Barca's first team. Benfica tried to sign Soriano during the summer transfer window, but a serious knee injury cooled the club's interest in the Spanish frontman.

Juventus to complete signing of Sevilla's Martin Caceres this week - report -
The Turin side have long been in talks with Sevilla about a winter transfer as they are keen to add some more depth to their squad, but the Spaniards' sporting director Ramon Rodriguez stressed last week that Juventus will have to increase their offer in order to sign Caceres. Juve are now reportedly ready to meet the Andalusians' demands and will send a delegation to Spain in the upcoming days to complete transfer talks.

Falcao dislocates finger | LFP
Atlético striker Radamel Falcao underwent tests on sunday after complaining of severe pain in the little finger of his right hand after the clash with Málaga. The Colombian player was diagnosed with a dislocated finger, precisely the little finger of his right hand, an injury which he sustained while fighting for a high ball during the first half of Saturday's match.

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