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FC Barcelona News: 16 January 2013; Looking Back at the Season's First Half, Real Madrid Beat Valencia

Victor Fraile

Stats from FC Barcelona's historic first half of the season | FC Barcelona
The first half the 2012/13 season will be difficult to forget. Barça finished their 19 La Liga matches with a record amount of points (55 from 57 possible) and now sit 11 points ahead of Atlético Madrid and 18 points clear of Real Madrid, second and third in the table, respectively. With that said, it’s time to focus on the most pertinent stats from the first half of the season.

Tito Vilanova: "Excitement is guaranteed against Málaga" | FC Barcelona
The other day in the league we played a great match but we know who were coming up against [on Wednesday]. It’s a match worthy of the Champions League. They’ve shown what they are capable of." He added that Málaga "have many virtues and I believe that it will be much more difficult in a two-leg tie. It’s more difficult when it’s a playoff because your rival plays with the result."

Javier Saviola returns to Camp Nou for first time in 8 years | FC Barcelona
In 2001/02, Javier Saviola arrived at Barça from River Plate of Buenos Aires. The Camp Nou was his home until 2004, when he went on loan to Monaco, and later Sevilla, before a brief spell back in the Catalan capital. Indeed, it was while playing for Sevilla that he last played in the Barça stadium, where his side lost 2-1.

Focused on Malaga | FC Barcelona
The players trained using the official Copa del Rey football at the Tuesday morning session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The team is getting ready for a difficult quarter final first leg against Malaga (Wednesday at 21.30) and Tito Vilanova was able to oversee a training session featuring all of his available players.

Manchester City looking to recruit Barcelona staff | Sky Sports
"Manchester City have indeed launched an offensive to lure a number of people away from Barcelona," Rosell told RAC1. "We're talking about people at all levels of the Barca structure, not just players. Their attempts have been unsuccessful, though, as our employees are happy here. "There have been contacts, but we have a fantastic group of people and nobody wants to go."

Malaga to appeal European ban -
Malaga have confirmed that they will appeal their ban from European competition after receiving Uefa's reasoning behind the decision. The Liga outfit will not be allowed to take part in Europe next season if they qualify due to what the European governing body called 'overdue payables'.

Lugano's Malaga move could fall through - ESPN FC
The experienced defender, L'Equipe reports, has recently spoken in private of moving closer to a move to Malaga, who want to take Lugano on a six-month loan. However, the player's monthly salary, estimated at some €320,000, is a stumbling block for the cash-strapped outfit, who have lowered the salaries of their technical and playing staff this season.

Chelsea's Piazon joins Malaga on loan - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Brazilian Piazon, 18, has played only three times since signing from Sao Paulo last January, making two appearances in the Capital One Cup and one in the Barclays Premier League. "We have an agreement with Malaga for Lucas Piazon to go on loan there until the end of the season," Benitez said.

Real Madrid beat Valencia in Copa del Rey quarter-final - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Karim Benzema scored just before the break and an own goal from Andres Guardado in the 74th minute gave Jose Mourinho's side the advantage in the quarter-final ahead of next week's return at the Mestalla. The winners go on to meet either holders Barcelona or Malaga, who meet at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

Amorebieta set contract deadline | Football Espana
Athletic Bilbao President Jose Urrutia has reportedly set defender Fernando Amorebieta a deadline to sign a new contract. The 27-year-old has been in negotiations with the Basque Country club over renewing his deal since last summer, but has so far stalled on signing a new deal, reportedly in light of the club and player disagreeing over salary.

LFP chief: Games have been fixed | Football Espana
La Liga Vice-President Javier Tebas believes that games last season were fixed, and has admitted that authorities are working to catch those involved. Racing Santander boss Alvaro Cervera and Granada President Quique Pina claimed last term that Real Zaragoza's escape from relegation had been suspicious.

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