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FC Barcelona News: 31 December 2013; Oier Olazabal Out for Four to Six Weeks, Catalonia Beat Cape Verde

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Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Messi hoping for injury-free 2014 | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi has spent a large part of 2013 sidelined by different injuries, including the latest to his left hamstring, which has seen him out of action since last November. But on December 20 it was announced that he has clinically recovered from the injury, and now it is only a matter of time before he will be able to return to active duty.

Catalonia – Cape Verde: Catalonia claim victory with eight FC Barcelona players (4-1) | FC Barcelona
Five of the eight FC Barcelona players named to Catalonia’s national team were in the starting line up against Cape Verde this Monday evening. Bartra, Piqué, Busquets, Cesc and Alba watched as Djaniny scored the surprising opener for the visiting team.

Oier Olazábal sidelined for four to six weeks | FC Barcelona
According to the team’s Medical Services, Oier Olazábal dislocated the index finger of his left hand during the training session this Monday. He will be out of action for four to six weeks. This evening’s session was the first after the Christmas break and Oier was one of the seven footballers that participated in the session.

Valdés trains with the group | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona returned to training this Monday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Manager Tata Martino led the session that was attended by seven players: Valdés, Pinto, Oier, Puyol, Xavi, Afellay and Pedro.

FC Barcelona 2013 by competitions | FC Barcelona
In 2013, Barça played 59 matches (not including friendlies) and won two trophies, La Liga and the Spanish Supercup. The following is a breakdown of the first team’s stats in the four different competitions they appeared in (Liga, Champions League, Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercup).

2013 Summary: This was December at FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Andrés Iniesta renews his contract, Neymar gets his first hat-trick for Barça, and the first team completed a full calendar year at the top of the league table.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers plays down Barcelona forward Cristian Tello reports - ESPN FC
A number of reports have suggested that a deal could be on again when the transfer window opens later this week, with Radio Marca reporting an agreement was close to completion. But asked about the Tello link, Rodgers told a news conference on Monday: "I’m sure that will be the start of it [speculation], and there will be plenty more. I’ve nothing to add in terms of players coming in. There’s nothing imminent."

Barça B return to training | FC Barcelona
Barca B returned to training on Monday evening at 18.00. After the week-long Christmas break the Blaugrana are gearing up for the match on Sunday against Alcorcón at Santo Domingo stadium (18.00, Teledeporte). Carles Planas missed the session due to his participation in the Champions for Life charity match. Grimaldo, Sandro and Agostinho Cá trained apart from the group, Masip and Edgar Ié did rehabilitation work, and Campins trained in the gym.

Simeone: Stupid not to think Atletico can win league - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Atletico are level at the top with champions Barca on 46 points with just under half the season played, with Real five further back in third. With La Liga's leading marksman Diego Costa in scintillating form, the capital's second club are in a strong position to match Valencia's feat from 2004 of denying Spain's wealthy big two the domestic title.