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FC Barcelona News: 2 October 2012; Barça Aware of Difficult Benfica Task, Camp Nou Staff Announces Strike

Barça football returns today with the UEFA Champions League game against Benfica, and the players and the coach agree that the game is going to be very difficult. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the Camp Nou Staff announced a strike.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno - Getty Images

Tito Vilanova: "Winning here is a challenge, and my players like challenges" | FC Barcelona
Tito Vilanova will lead his men for the first time in a Champions League match away from the Camp Nou, and he’ll do it in a stadium where Barça hasn’t won or scored in its last two visits. The last two Benfica-FC Barcelona’s ended in goalless draws. The first was in 1991, in the European Cup, and the second was in 2006 edition of the Champions League.

Barça train at Da Luz Stadium | FC Barcelona
Barça returned to Da Luz Stadium, a ground where the team has never been able to claim victory in an official match, for this evening’s training session ahead of tomorrow’s match against Benfica. Iniesta, Puyol and Adriano -all of whom were given the medical all-clear this Sunday- trained with the group.

Mascherano: "I know how difficult it is to play in this stadium" | FC Barcelona
Javier Mascherano knows what it’s like to play at Da Luz Stadium. The Argentinean faced Benfica in the 2009/10 season when he played for Liverpool. "I know how difficult it is to come to this stadium and secure a good result. I have a lot of respect for Benfica because I’ve had a first hand experience of what it’s like to suffer here," said Mascherano. The Argentinean also warned of the heated atmosphere.

Benfica-FC Barcelona. Did you know... | FC Barcelona
Every time Barça and Benfica face off against each other, one has always gone on to win the European title: Benfica in 1961 and the Azulgrana in 1992 and 2006. In fact, Benfica and Barça were the finalists of the European Cup in 1961. The final isn’t remembers with much fondness in Barcelona, the Catalans hit the woodwork four times in the Berne final.

Zubizarreta: "Winning streaks are built game by game" | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta, spoke to the media just before boarding the flight to Lisbon, saying that "winning steaks are built game by game. The results have been very good up until now but on Tuesday we are starting from scratch once again. Previous results are a good reference, but we are always starting from zero.

Barcelona staff strike to hit Real, Celtic clashes - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The Catalan club play their bitter rivals Real in La Liga on Sunday, with SPL champions Celtic visiting for their Champions League Group G clash later in the month. Celtic fans traveling to the city for the game on October 23 are also set to be hampered by a planned strike among the city's metro workers, who are unhappy with their working conditions.

Benfica hoping to maintain unbeaten run | FC Barcelona
Benfica go into their second Champions League match with an unbeaten record behind them this season. In the league, the side managed by Jorge Jesús has won three and drawn two, meaning they are currently top of the table with the same eleven points as Porto. In Europe, things started with a 0-0 draw away to Celtic.

Messi casts first vote for FIFA/FIFPro 2012 World XI | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi officially set the voting off for the FIFA/FIFPro 2012 World XI. The currently World Player winner filled in his slip and encouraged all other professional footballers around the world to do the same. "I have picked my FIFA/FIFPro World XI. Now it’s your turn", said Messi, his words directed at all professional players around the world.

Ibra: Messi not right choice for Ballon d'Or - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"It depends whether you reward an individual or a collective work. "Xavi is still playing at a high level, Iniesta also had a great season, they won the Euro while Messi has not won anything, just the King's Cup. Messi has won the Ballon d'Or three times, it's now someone else's turn to win it."

Sergio Ramos shows support to Ozil after early substitution -
"I would like to clarify a few things before more lies are invented. Mesut is a great friend and I promised him long ago that my first goal of the season would be for him," the defender stated on Twitter. "I wore his shirt last match, because I had a feeling I would score. That's all there's to it. "My relationship with Mourinho is good. I fully respect his decisions. He's the best coach."

Ten-man Mallorca slip to first defeat against Getafe - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The islanders had made a strong start forcing home keeper Miguel Angel Moya into two sharp saves before Navarro flew into a challenge on Diego Castro. The referee showed a straight red card, but Getafe, who started the game in the relegation zone, had to wait until the 49th minute to take the lead when Castro hammered a shot high into the net after a pull back in the area.

Fernando Llorente walks out of training after Bielsa row - ESPNFC
In an incident filmed by Basque TV station EITB, Bielsa halted a practice game to criticise what he had seen. After an exchange of views, Llorente walked off the pitch alone, and the session finished without him. The Spanish international later left the training ground without speaking to reporters.

Llorente back in training | Football Espana
Fernando Llorente is included in Athletic Bilbao’s morning training session as usual, after yesterday’s early finish. It was alleged that the Argentine took exception to Llorente’s lack of dedication to the session and then expelled him from the remainder of it as punishment.

Reyes assessed for Sevilla | Football Espana
Jose Antonio Reyes could be in line for an immediate return to first team action next weekend, as he continues his recovery from injury. The injury has taken longer than the initial three weeks for the player to recover from and whilst he has been back in full training for a few days, Michel has been reluctant to use him for his lack of physical fitness.

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