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FC Barcelona News: 23 December 2012; Barça Dedicate Win to Tito Vilanova, Jose Pinto to Sign New Contract

Victor Fraile

Real Valladolid – FC Barcelona: Courage and football (1-3) | FC Barcelona
The players wore t-shirts with messages of support for their manager Tito Vilanova and played with a courage and commitment he would have been proud of to overcome Valladolid and finish off another excellent year, with Xavi, the tireless Messi and Tello on target for the leaders.

Xavi: "We want to dedicate this victory to Tito" | FC Barcelona
Tito Vilanova, who was released from hospital hours before the match against Valladolid, was on everyone’s mind at the José Zorilla. Before the match, the players trotted out with t-shirts that read "Ánimo Tito," and once the game was over the team dedicated the victory to their manager. "We want to dedicate the win to Tito.

Roura: "Overall the year could not have been better" | FC Barcelona
Jordi Roura talked to the press after this evening’s match against Valladolid. "This season has been very satisfactory. We closed out the year at an extraordinary athletic level and, if we include the good news on Tito Vilanova, then we certainly have cause to be happy," said Roura.

Winter champions! | FC Barcelona
Even though there are two more match-days left in the first half of the 2012/13 season - Espanyol and Málaga -, FC Barcelona are winter champions thanks to this evening’s victory over Valladolid (1-3). The victory allows Barça to stay nine points clear at the top of the table over second place Atlético Madrid with six points still left in play before the first half of La Liga comes to a close.

Everyone with Tito | FC Barcelona
Tito Vilanova didn’t attend the match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona this evening, but he was at the forefront on of everyone’s minds before the match at the José Zorrilla. The two teams came out onto the pitch donning t-shirts in support of Tito Vilanova. The Blaugrana’s t-shirts had "Ánimo" on the front and "Seny, pit and collons" on the back. Valladolid’s t-shirts read: "Ánimo Tito."

Vilanova leaves hospital | Football Espana
Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has left hospital following an operation to remove a tumour on Thursday. The Blaugrana Coach underwent surgery to take out a tumour in his parotid gland during the week, and has left the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in the city.

Pinto set to commit to Barcelona -
Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto is set to commit his future to the side in the coming weeks, the club has announced. The 37-year-old stopper, who joined Barca in 2008, has agreed to sign a fresh deal that will keep him at Camp Nou until the summer of 2014.

Sheffield Wednesday: Jones reveals Rodri struggle -
The Owls turned a few heads with their acquisition of the Barcelona 'B' forward on a season-long loan back in August and the 22-year-old announced himself to the Hillsborough faithful with a stunning goal on his debut against Birmingham. Since then, though, Rodri has failed to score and has barely featured in Jones' plans.

Mourinho drops Casillas as Malaga beat Real Madrid - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Malaga piled the pressure on Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho by claiming a 3-2 win at the Rosaleda after Iker Casillas was controversially dropped. All five goals came in a frantic second half, with highly rated playmaker Isco opening the scoring with a fine finish just after the break at 49 minutes.

Mourinho does not fear sack, Casillas decision 'technical' - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"We are facing an insurmountable gap," Mourinho added. "Football is football, why should I fear for my job? "We coaches know perfectly well that football has no memory. The titles you have won don't count, the work you have done doesn't count. "Losing always hurts but it hurts me more when you don't give what you are able to give.

Dropping Casillas is the latest in a long line of controversies for Mourinho at Real Madrid this year -
Tensions had been bubbling under the surface. Even as Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid romped to a record-breaking 100 points in La Liga last season to claim the title and end Barcelona's domestic dominance, criticism of the coach remained. Now it can be seen and heard on a daily basis.

'Mourinho was showing his power' - Valdano -
Former Real Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano has claimed that Jose Mourinho dropped Iker Casillas for the 3-2 loss to Malaga as a means of stamping his authority. "Mourinho has a peculiar relationship with his squad but this is really upping the stakes," he told Cadena SER. "This was a show of power; he was wielding his authority on a club legend."

Mallorca back to winning ways | Sky Sports Football
Benat's free-kick had given the hosts an early lead, but Victor brought the Islanders level with a fine header on the half-hour mark. And the comeback was completed just two minutes into the second half when Mario's challenge on Victor was deemed to have taken place inside the area and Javi Marquez comfortably slotted home the resultant penalty.

Real Zaragoza dispatch Athletic Bilbao - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Los Leones have now recorded a record of six wins, eight losses and three draws this season, which puts them in 13th place, only six points above the relegation zone. Real Zaragoza are in 12 place, and in striking distance of Levante in sixth with a record of seven wins, nine losses and one draws leaving them five behind after 17 games.

Granada get deserved win | Sky Sports Football
Nino had fired the hosts into an early lead with a looping header from Raoul Loe's flick-on, but Granada dominated thereafter and should have been level well before Diego Mainz did find the back of the net from Dani Benitez's free-kick four minutes before half-time. And Benitez himself then put his side ahead two minutes into the second period with a wonderful left-footed strike from outside the area that left Andres Fernandez helpless.

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