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FC Barcelona News: 14 March 2013; Xavi Ruled Out of Rayo Vallecano Clash, Malaga Complete Comeback Against Porto

Victor Fraile

Xavi sidelined for Rayo game with hamstring problem - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"The player felt some discomfort in his hamstring and tests performed on Wednesday confirmed muscle fatigue which will keep him out of the league game at the Nou Camp," Barca said in a statement on their website on Wednesday.

FC Barcelona's seven possible rivals in the Champions League quarter-finals | FC Barcelona
The round of 16 came to a close this Wednesday, which means FC Barcelona now know which teams they might face in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Here’s an overview of the seven teams the Blaugrana might be paired up against:

International press hail FC Barcelona's "divine performance" against Milan | FC Barcelona
"Lionel Messi leads Barça past Milan" - Sports Illustrated (USA): "Hailed as perhaps soccer’s greatest team ever, Barcelona faced a challenge no club had overcome: advancing in the Champions League after a 2-0 first-leg loss on the road."

Busquets feels FCB got what they needed | FC Barcelona
Sergio Busquets was one of the big stars of the spectacular result against Milan last night. He was the balancing factor in a team that went all out from the start in search of the goals they needed. Andoni Zubizarreta described the midfielder’s performance as something that all the youngsters at la Masia need to study hard and use as a yardstick.

Messi top scorer in Champions League round of 16 | FC Barcelona
The Champions league anthem played at the Camp Nou last night, but Leo Messi managed to blank out the bad memories of the previous two games in the competition – in which he went off injured against Benfica and saw his side crash to 2-0 defeat at the San Siro.

Messi was simply brilliant, says Cruyff -
"Messi was simply brilliant. What he did had nothing to do with the team's performance. It was all his individual quality that came to the fore," Cruyff told NOS. "Because the rest of the team had a good game as well, he got the extra yard of space to do what he did, and he's very well capable of pulling it off in a situation like that. "It really was a wonderful game."

Mascherano pleased with return to origins | FC Barcelona
Javier Mascherano likes to say things as they are, and speaking to the ‘El Marcador’ show on Barça TV he was as straight-talking as ever in his analysis of the Milan match. "More than the result, and the happiness for qualifying, we’ve gone back to our origins, and that’s what we should feel the most pleased about.

David Villa, from Wembley to Wembley? | FC Barcelona
Quick control and a perfectly placed finish. We saw him do it at Wembley against Manchester United (3-1), and last night he did it again to Milan (4-0). Versus United he did with his right foot, and he used his left against the ‘rossoneri', but the celebration was the same: a long run, knees to the ground, arms open and a look of joy on his face. That’s David Villa.

Barca must come back to earth to play Rayo - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The thumping 4-0 victory over the Italians, which sent Barca through to the quarter-finals 4-2 on aggregate, made a mockery of suggestions the club were in crisis and they will look to protect their 13-point lead at the top of the domestic standings when Rayo visit the Nou Camp on Sunday.

Spain 3 England 0: La Liga still strongest in Europe -
Rule Espana. As well as Andalucia and the pride of the city itself, Malaga's win over Porto on Wednesday night also represented a victory for Spain and a triumph for La Liga. With more teams into the last eight of the Champions League than any other country's top flight, the Primera Division can rightfully claim to be Europe's strongest domestic competition.

Zubizarreta: Barca confident over Tito return - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"Vilanova will coach the club next year. Our best victory would be for him to return," said Zubizarreta. "I have not spoken to Tito since the Milan game ended. There are days that are to be enjoyed from within. Tito deserves this and has more important things than the comeback to consider.

Marc Bartra declared fit | FC Barcelona
Catalan defender Marc Bartra was cleared for a return to first team duty by Club doctors on Thursday after recovering from a strained ligament in his left knee which he picked up last week.

Champions League dates in detail | FC Barcelona
The draw for the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League will be held this Friday but unlike previous seasons the fans will have to wait for another draw after the quarterfinal stage to find out the pairings for the semi-finals. The first leg of the quarterfinals will be played on 2nd and 3rd April with the return leg on 9th and 10th April.

FC Barcelona Legends: Luis Enrique | FC Barcelona
Luis Enrique Martínez played for FC Barcelona from 1996 to 2004. In that time he won two Ligas, two Copas del Rey, one Cup Winners Cup, one European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. The Asturian is probably one of the most charismatic players to feature for the Blaugrana in recent history.

Malaga progress to quarter-finals after 2-0 win over Porto | Sky Sports Football
Malaga sealed a famous 2-0 win over Porto to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history, with the narrow win sealing a 2-1 aggregate success.

Malaga fan Banderas slams UEFA over ban - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
UEFA said in its ruling published in December that Malaga had been sanctioned "due to the presence of significant overdue payables balances" and ordered the club to prove by the end of this month "that it has no overdue payables towards football clubs or towards employees and/or social/tax authorities".

Iker Casillas set to return by end of March - ESPN FC
The recovery from the operation, in which two screws were inserted into his hand, has gone quicker than expected. AS reported on Thursday that he could be ready to face Real Zaragoza away in La Liga on March 30.

Confusion over Valencia finances and future - ESPN FC
The judge found that Bankia, a bankrupt Spanish bank which has itself needed a government bail-out, now controlled a majority of shares due to a guarantee given for a loan which is overdue. The Valencian regional government [Generalitat] made a €4.8 million interest payment on that loan in January, thinking it would thereby gain control of the club, but that move has now been ruled unfair to other creditors.

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