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FC Barcelona News: 9 March 2012; Global Press Hails Lionel Messi, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia Win in Europa League

Words of praise came flying in from all sides.
Words of praise came flying in from all sides.

Just when you think it can't get any better - it does - The Irish Times
Messi did not beat anyone else; he beat himself, he broke the limits. Again. He found something he hadn’t yet done and did it: there have been two fours and 14 hat-tricks but this was the first time he had scored five in a match. It was the first time that anyone had in the Champions League and it left Messi on 12 goals in this year’s competition – seven ahead of his nearest rival.

Cantona reveals Messi admiration - Soccerway
"When you watch him as if he has this child inside him and he is making some childhood dream come true," Cantona said. "He doesn't see himself as a star." "This is a great player not only for today but for tomorrow." "He is a player who always keeps his childish spontaneity and naivety."

Argentina coach Sabella: We need a new adjective for Messi -
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella believes that a new adjective is required to adequately the describe the genius of Lionel Messi. "As well as playing a great team, Messi has so much ability that he doesn't even need a chance," he told Fox Sports. "For him, we must invent a new adjective."

The global press pays homage to Leo Messi | FC Barcelona
Praise for Leo Messi after his historic five-goal performance against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League last-16 return leg extended beyond his teammates and manager. Pep Guardiola and Pedro’s words of praise are only the tip of the iceberg, news outlets from around the world ran out of adjectives to describe [Wednesday's] performance.

Rosell: "For me there is no comparison. Messi is the best ever" | FC Barcelona
"I still feel that discussions on whether Messi is the best player in the history of the sport or not, if he can be compared to other players... for me there are no comparisons. He is the best player ever. I don’t think we’ll ever see another player like him. Like Guardiola said, let’s enjoy him because he’s incredible, he stratospheric," said President Sandro Rosell.

Xavi: "We feel strong" | FC Barcelona
Xavi reflected on [Wednesday's] amazing 7-1 win and claimed : "we are showing that we really are at a high level. We are feeling good, happy with the way we are playing and enjoying our performances" Asked whether the team feel invincible, Xavi replied: "we never feel that we are unbeatable. We feel strong and dominant, because we are creating chances and enjoying long periods of possession.

Facts and Figures from the Bayer game | FC Barcelona
In other European competitions, Barça's best ever results are the 8-0 win over Apollon Limassol in the first leg of the last 16 of the 82/83 Cup Winners Cup and the win by the same result over the Slovak team Matador Púchov in the second leg of the first round of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup.

Players do recovery work | FC Barcelona
Following Wednesday night's extraordinary display against Bayer Leverkusen, the squad were back in training this morning on pitch number 2 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. As usual on the day after a game, the players who figured in the starting line-up worked on recovery activities. The rest, along with Tello, Muniesa, Sergi Roberto, Bartra, Montoya and Dos Santos had a more complete session.

Manchester United 2-3 Athletic Bilbao: United unable to deal with pressing and high tempo | Zonal Marking
There were so many chances in the game that the goals barely stood out amongst all the opportunities, but it was notable that United’s two goals came following a free-kick and a penalty – Athletic continue to lack discipline at the back. The away side’s major chances came when the wing-backs overloaded play, stretched the United defence and created gaps for onrushing midfielders to burst though. There could and should have been more goals, but Athletic fully merited the victory.

Valencia defeat PSV in first leg - Yahoo! Eurosport
Valencia conceded two late goals in a 4-2 Europa League last-16 first leg win over PSV Eindhoven at the Mestalla, giving the Dutch club hope ahead of the return fixture. The Liga outfit powered into a three-goal half-time lead courtesy of a rare strike from Victor Ruiz and the first of two from Roberto Soldado within the space of two minutes in the opening stages, before the striker netted again just before the interval from the penalty spot.

Real legend Marquitos dies - Yahoo! Eurosport
Marquitos - real name Marcos Alonso Imaz - played more than 150 games for Real during the late 1950s and early '60s, the most glorious period in the club's career. During his eight years at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu after joining from Racing Santander in 1954, Marquitos won five Spanish league titles and five European Cups.

Villarreal's Rossi attacks agent for fuelling transfer talk -
His representative, Federico Pastorello, recently hinted that a summer transfer might be in the offing, but Rossi insists that he is going nowhere. "[My agent Federico Pastorello] speaks a great deal and I’m angry with him for those statements, which do not reflect the truth," the striker told El Periodico Mediterraneo.

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