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FC Barcelona News: 17 April 2012; Guardiola Names 22-Man Squad, Del Bosque Extends Spain Contract

Ibrahim Afellay is also traveling with the team.
Ibrahim Afellay is also traveling with the team.

Dani Alves: 'At Barcelona we are taking football back to its origins' | Football | The Guardian
"People automatically think that because you attack, you can't defend. Not true." Again, the question of concepts and of adaptability. Besides, he says, he can defend. "What we cannot do is play with 11 men behind the ball. Defend? Defend what? You can't 'defend', in the traditional sense, a team that does not attack you. And we defend by stopping them attacking us. Against Madrid I hardly attacked because they counter so well. We needed control; if not, they steamroller you.

22 players named to the squad ahead of the Stamford Bridge clash | FC Barcelona
The manager named all 18 first-team players plus Barça B’s Oier, Montoya, Bartra and Tello to the squad for the match against Chelsea this Wednesday. Seydou Keita, who was given medical clearance to play this Monday, and Ibrahim Afellay, the first time the Dutchman has been named to a squad since his injury this past September

Torres and Mascherano spent 3 years together at Liverpool | FC Barcelona
Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano will meet up again on Wednesday night when Barça face Chelsea. The last time when teams met in 2009, they were both at Liverpool, but this week they’ll be facing each other across the Stamford Bridge pitch.

Guardiola and Di Matteo face off 12 years later | FC Barcelona
This Wednesday, April 18th, Josep Guardiola and Roberto di Matteo will face each other as the managers of FC Barcelona and Chelsea, respectively, 12 years after the two played against each other as players while defending the Azulgrana and Blue strips. It was in the quarterfinal of the Champions League of the 1999-2000 season. On that occasion, Barça went on to the semifinals.

UK press hail Barça ahead of Stamford Bridge clash | FC Barcelona
The British press seem to have accepted Barça’s pre-eminence for quite a while now, and the overall feeling seems to make Guardiola’s team firm favourites to get through their semi final against Chelsea. Ahead of Barça’s tie with the Londoners, the UK press have been analysing the Catalans’ unique style and success, with the focus very much on what Chelsea can possibly do to stop them making it through to their second final on the run.

Spain braced for 'clasico' fever - Yahoo! Eurosport
Saturday's domestic spat between the world's two richest clubs is a potential decider in a La Liga title race in which leaders Real hold a four-point lead over Barca with five matches to play. There is the added possibility of Barca and Real taking their rivalry to an all-Spanish Champions League final, a kind of 'super clasico', in Munich on May 19.

Del Bosque: I have renewed my contract with Spain -
Vicente del Bosque has announced that he will stay on as Spain trainer beyond Euro 2012 as he has signed a contract renewal with the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 61-year-old's previous deal was set to expire after this summer's European tournament, but the coach will now remain in charge of La Furia Roja for several more years.

Mourinho caught me in the face, claims Sporting's Nacho Cases -
"He caught me in the face," the midfielder is quoted as saying by Sport. "[But] it doesn't matter; everyone has their own set of manners. "It was an incident in which we didn't do the right thing by kicking the ball away, but his response wasn't good. "But I'm not giving it much importance. Everyone knows how he should act."

Mourinho: My players help refs - Yahoo! Eurosport
A frequent critic of referees, Mourinho said he had no special concerns at the appointment for Englishman Howard Webb for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich. "Real Madrid have good relations with all referees," he said, giving typically laconic answers.

Canales wants Valencia deal | Sky Sports
The 21-year-old midfielder saw his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer turn sour with few first-team chances and he chose to move in order to play regularly. Instead, Canales suffered a knee ligament injury in October and has only just returned to action, and now wants to remain at Valencia to show what he can do.

Getafe rout Sevilla to dent European ambitions - Yahoo! Eurosport
Michel's Sevilla, who had won four of their last five matches to close to within a point of sixth place and the Europa League slots, took the lead at the Coliseum with a stunning strike from Alvaro Negredo in the 19th minute. Pedros Rios engineered the turnaround, however, having a hand in four of Getafe's five goals, scoring one himself and laying on two for Miku and one for Miguel Torres.

Racing Santander coach Alvaro Cervera to leave hospital - ESPN Soccernet
Racing Santander coach Alvaro Cervera is set to be given the all-clear to leave hospital on Tuesday following a heart scare. Cervera, 46, was admitted to hospital on Friday evening as a precaution after feeling unwell during a training session and he missed Sunday's 1-1 draw at Villarreal.

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