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FC Barcelona News: 25 February 2013; Barça Begin El Clasico Preparitions, Lionel Messi Stars in Herbalife Commercials

David Ramos

Training session focused on the Clásico | FC Barcelona
A day after the match against Sevilla and two days before the decisive Cup Clásico, Barça took to the training pitch of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The starters focused on recovery work after last night’s match, while Alexis, who was subbed out as a precautionary measure, trained with the team. Adriano, however, trained apart from the group.

The plan for El Clásico week | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona has an important week ahead with two matches against Real Madrid, the first on Tuesday in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and then on Saturday in the league. The players will train at the orders of Jordi Roura at 11 am on Monday in preparation for the Cup clash on Tuesday.

Messi: "We have to be at our best against Real Madrid" | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi featured in the Barça TV programme ‘El Marcador’ after the game against Sevilla, where he spoke about the defeat away to AC Milan and Tuesday’s Copa del Rey return leg against Real Madrid in the Camp Nou. He insisted that the best way to prepare for the busy schedule of key matches coming up is not to hold himself back.

History on FC Barcelona's side in doubleheaders against Real Madrid | FC Barcelona
The games will be the fifth and sixth meetings between the two sides this year, the first will decide which team makes it to the Cup final and the second showdown will pit the two teams against each other in the league. Despite the long-standing rivalry, it’s very rare for the two teams to meet in consecutive matches. In fact, it’s only happened 13 times in the 100-year rivalry.

Cesc Fàbregas: "We have to be as effective as possible" | FC Barcelona
Cesc Fàbregas talked to Barça TV and ahead of the decisive Cup showdown against Real Madrid: "we had our chances to make it 0-2 in Madrid [on the away leg]. In the return leg we have to be as effective as possible, because they are very effective. We have to be on target in front of goal if we want to get to the final."

Stats and facts from the match against Sevilla | FC Barcelona
Just like the first game of the season against Sevilla, Barça were made to mount a comeback in order to take the three points. The other teams that lost after taking a lead over Barça are Madrid (Super Cup), Osasuna, Celtic (Champions League), Atlético Madrid and Granada. Here are the most interesting stats and facts from [Saturday's] 2-1 victory:

Rosell: This Barcelona are the best team ever -
"This Barcelona are the best team ever. They say that everything moves in three-year cycles. We've already had four great years, though. We'll see how the fifth one turns out, but it's looking good," Rosell told Sic Noticias. "This team has already broken the three-year rule. There will eventually be a dip, but the club's objective will be to ensure that it’s short-lived and isn't too major."

Extra Time: Messi masters cricket in nutritional ad campaign -
With four Ballons d'Or to his name and hailed by many as the greatest player of all-time, it often seems as though there is nothing Lionel Messi cannot do on a football pitch. Well, the Argentina sensation has now taken his talents to a whole new level after appearing in a series of advertisements where he tries his hand - and feet - at cricket, basketball and table tennis.

Xabi Alonso & Benzema back training | Football Espana
The pair have been missing for the past few games after picking up groin and knee injuries respectively. But the duo were back training this morning and could be available for the match against the Blaugrana this coming Tuesday.

Ten-man Atletico down Espanyol to maintain home run - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
A depleted Atletico Madrid stretched their lead over Capital City rivals Real to four points after seeing off Espanyol 1-0 in an ill-tempered affair at the Estadio Vicente Calderon that saw no fewer than eleven bookings and one red card. A 21st goal in 22 league games from the penalty spot from the prolific Falcao paved the way for the victory after Hector Moreno chopped down Diego Costa in the box.

Betis blitz Malaga | Sky Sports Football
Real Betis got their European bid back on track in emphatic fashion after hitting high-flying Andalusian rivals Malaga with a first-half blitz at the Benito Villamarin stadium. Jorge Molina opened the scoring inside the first 30 seconds and further goals from Mario and Dorlan Pabon increased Betis' lead before the interval.

Rayo suffer home defeat | Sky Sports Football
Rayo Vallecano's ambitions for Europa League qualification suffered a blow on Sunday as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Real Valladolid. The visitors took a second-half lead thanks to an own goal by Jordi Amat, who then scored an outstanding goal at the other end to equalise.

Perfect start for Resino | Sky Sports Football
New Celta Vigo coach Abel Resino enjoyed a perfect start to his spell in charge of the club with a hard-fought win over former club Granada. Iago Aspas gave the home side the lead on 24 minutes and although that goal was soon cancelled out by Odion Ighalo, Mario Bermejo grabbed the winner nine minutes from the end.

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