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FC Barcelona News: 6 December 2012; Scoreless Draw to End the Group Stage, Lionel Messi Escapes Serious Injury

David Ramos

FC Barcelona - Benfica: Frightful end to the group stage (0-0) | FC Barcelona
This should have been a night of celebration for Leo Messi as he closed in on Gerd Muller’s scoring record, but it ended badly with the injury to the World Number One. Messi had started on the bench and Tito Villanova didn’t bring him on until after the break. Shortly afterwards, the Argentinean had to come off with a knee injury.

Tests confirm that Messi sustained a bone contusion on the outside of his left knee | FC Barcelona
Tests confirm that the player Leo Messi sustained a bone contusion on the outside of his left knee. His recovery will mark his availability for Barça upcoming match, this Sunday against Betis, according to the team’s Medical Services. The player needed to be carted off the Camp Nou’s pitch this evening.

Vilanova: "If I had a do-over I'd make the same decision" | FC Barcelona
Tito Vilanova explained Leo Messi’s mood after he was carted off the pitch this Wednesday night. "He was at ease but a little nervous because he wasn’t sure how bad the injury was." The manager, who expects to know the extent of the injury shortly, said, "it looks like it’s just a knock but they are currently doing more tests to rule out other possibilities."

Porto, Arsenal, Milan, Shakhtar and Galatasaray, possible rivals in the next round of the Champions League | FC Barcelona
Barça know that their rival in the Champions League round of 16 could be Shakhtar, Galatasaray, Porto, Arsenal, or Milan. Real Madrid, Valencia and Celtic also finished second in their respective groups, but they cannot face the Blaugrana because the first two are Spanish teams and the third featured in the same group as Barça.

Carles Puyol: "Now we have to focus on the Cup and the Liga" | FC Barcelona
The Blaugrana captain was adamant that he doesn’t want to talk about Barça’s hypothetical rival in the next round of the competition: "I don’t care who our next rival is. You know that I like to play against Milan because I admire that team. In any event, there’s a lot left to go and now we have to focus on the Cup and the Liga."

First no score draw of Vilanova era | FC Barcelona
Until the 0-0 draw on Tuesday, Barça had scored at least once in all 14 Liga matches, and also in 5 UCL games, 2 in the Copa and also both legs of the Spanish Supercup. The Alcántara brothers, Thiago and Rafinha, played together almost one year after they did so for the first time, on December 6, 2012 in another Champions League against Bate Borisov (4-0).

Song shortlisted for 2012 African Player of the Year award | FC Barcelona
The African Football Confederation announced that Alex Song is one of three finalists for the 2012 African Player of the Year award. The other two candidates are Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua) and Touré Yaya (Manchester City). Drogba was decisive for Chelsea in thier successful Champions League bid last season, while the ex-Blaugrana was key in Manchester City’s Premier League title conquest.

Last 16’s possibilities for Spain’s four | Football Espana
With the conclusion of the group stages on Wednesday night, the Spanish quartet, who were all assured of their passage before the sixth round of fixtures, now know which teams they might be paired with in next Thursday’s Last 16 draw.

Casillas hints at Spain retirement after 2014 World Cup -
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has hinted that he will retire from international football following the 2014 World Cup. La Roja are the reigning world and European champions and will head to Brazil as favourites for the tournament.

Jonas earns Valencia 1-0 Champions League Group F win at Lille | Sky Sports Football
Jonas' penalty proved enough for Valencia to round off their Champions League Group F campaign with a 1-0 victory at Lille. With qualification for the knockout stages already assured, the Spaniards were banking on BATE Borisov pulling off a shock at Bayern Munich in order to top the group, but in the end had to settle for second place.

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