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FC Barcelona News: 23 August 2012; First El Clasico of the Season Upon Us, Cesc Fabregas on Verge of Milestone

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The defensive pairing for today?
The defensive pairing for today?

FC Barcelona-R.Madrid: The first prize | FC Barcelona
At the weekend it was the turn of La Liga to get underway but this Thursday night the focus switches to the Spanish Super Cup, which brings together last season’s Cup winners (Barça) and league champions (Real Madrid). The first trophy of the 2012/13 campaign will be decided on the results of tonight’s duel in the Camp Nou and Wednesday’s return leg in the Santiago Bernabeu.

FCB v R. Madrid (Super Cup): Did you know… | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi’s two goals in last season’s return leg of the Super Cup made him the highest scorer of the competition with 8. Messi is also currently Barça’s highest scorer against Real Madrid with 13 goals in 17 matches. He’s now just one goal away from equalling César as Barça’s highest ever scorer against Real Madrid.

Vilanova: "Neither side has an advantage coming into the match" | FC Barcelona
"I want to enjoy this profession. The match is important but it’s not healthy to allow myself to think that if we don’t win the world will come to an end. There are things that are more important than tomorrow’s game."

Cesc Fàbregas on the verge of 50 appearances for FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Cesc Fàbregas will feature in his 50th match for FC Barcelona if he plays in tomorrow’s Spanish Super Cup against Madrid. The midfielder made his debut for the first team on August 17, 2011, in the same competition and against the same rival. Cesc, who was involved in the decisive play that lead to Messi’s tournament-winning goal, lifted his first trophy at the Camp Nou.

Cruyff: Mourinho was nothing as a footballer -
"He had nothing to show for himself as a footballer but now he can do something," Cruyff was quoted as saying by AS. "Yes, he is the only one, the only mad enough to say a thing like that. He's so mad he's in a straitjacket."

Barça B and Madrid Castilla set to meet after 14 years | FC Barcelona
The last time the two teams played against each other was in the 1997/98 season when both teams were battling for a promotion spot to Spain’s Second Division A. Josep Maria Gonzalvo’s side thumbed Real Madrid 5-0 at the Miniestadi and clinched qualification to Second Division A a week later at the Santiago Bernabéu when the Catalans won 0-2.

Sergi Juste out of action for three weeks | FC Barcelona
Medical tests revealed that Sergi Juste has a hamstring injury in the rectus femoris of his right leg. The player will be out of action for three weeks. Barça B’s right back was injured in the team’s training session on Tuesday.

Agreement with Alavés for Ayala | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alavés have agreed to terms for Sergio Ayala. The Barça B defender, who was part of the Juvenil A (U18) team last season, will go out on loan to Nacho González’ team for one year. Alavés play in Group II of the Spanish Second Division B league.

Spanish fans’ backlash against late kick-offs | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
At Rayo Vallecano, a club with a strong left-wing working-class following, the players walked out to the backdrop of a giant banner with a message criticising the lawyer who negotiated the television contract for 30 of the clubs across Spain's top two divisions.

Athletic Bilbao's Bielsa denies clash with Llorente and Martinez - ESPNFC
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has denied that personality differences are behind the possible exits of star players Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez and claimed he would be willing to step aside if it helped the pair stay at the club.

Atletico Madrid - It's A Mad World | The Swiss Ramble
There is a price to pay for being one of the worst run clubs in Europe, as evidenced by Atlético’s massive debts, which stood at a barely credible €514 million in June 2011, around €62 million higher than the previous year. Notable items included €215 million owed to tax authorities, €77 million to financial institutions, €55 million for transfer fees and €52 million to staff. Importantly, much of this debt (€278 million) is short-term in nature, placing even more pressure on Atlético’s finances.

Krohn-Dehli joins Celta Vigo | Sky Sports
Brondby have confirmed the sale of Denmark midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli to Spanish side Celta Vigo. Krohn-Dehli successfully completed a medical with the Primera Liga outfit on Tuesday, ending his four-year stay with the Danish club. The fee for Krohn-Dehli, who scored twice for his country at Euro 2012, is believed to be in the region of €1million (£800k).