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FC Barcelona News: 16 August 2013; Barça Internationals Return to Training, Season Opener Draws Nearer

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David Ramos

Positive record in opening fixtures | FC Barcelona
Tata Martino’s first official fixture at the helm of FC Barcelona will be at the Camp Nou against Levante. The last time the Valencia based side visited the stadium, in game 32 of last season, Cesc Fàbregas’s goal in the 82nd minute split the sides to win three valuable points on course to Barça’s 22nd Ligae title.

Training session with the internationals | FC Barcelona
The first team trained this Thursday afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva. The nine players who were on international duty this week joined their team-mates for the session. In addition to the internationals, Pedro Rodríguez and Cesc Fàbregas also trained with the group, while Leo Messi participated in part of the session after he trained apart from the group on Wednesday.

Carles Puyol recovery could end Barcelona's signing search - ESPN FC
"The captain was joined by physio Juanjo Brau for a workout focused on strength and resistance. Puyol underwent surgery on June 19 to have a Baker’s cyst removed from his right knee. He has been working to get back to full fitness ever since, and missed the trip to Asia in order to concentrate on his recovery program in Barcelona."

Jonathan Dos Santos: "Tata Martino says he has confidence in me" | FC Barcelona
During this afternoon's press conference, Jonathan Dos Santos declared that his goal for this season is to have more playing time. The midfielder admitted that he came close to signing with Real Sociedad this summer but he chose to stay at FC Barcelona because of the confidence that Gerardo Tata Martino has shown him.

Gerardo Martino Manager Profile - Team Barcelona Soccer / Football - World Cup - ESPN FC
Gerardo 'Tata' Martino was a little-known name across Europe prior to his recent appointment as Barcelona manager but has the chance to establish himself on a new continent after plenty of success in South America.

Miniestadi hosts Colòmbia v Serbia (1-0) | FC Barcelona
The Miniestadi was the venue on Wednesday evening for a friendly between Colombia and Serbia. It was watched by FCB director of football Andoni Zubizarreta and Jorge Pautasso, a member of Gerardo Martino’s coaching staff, and ended 1-0 to the Colombians, with Freddy Guarín scoring the winner in the 89thh minute.

Varane suffers injury setback - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
AS have claimed that the French defender, who underwent knee surgery back in May, has had to stop his rehabilitation. The youngster pulled out of training earlier this week after suffering slight meniscus damage. It is unclear when Varane will return to action for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Real Madrid pursuit of Tottenham star Gareth Bale questioned in Spain - ESPN FC
"As the days pass, it seems Bale's signing for Madrid comes closer and closer in an inexorable way, and each day I hear more doubts," Relano wrote. "Doubts about the price, above all, and for the little need to make the signing."

Liverpool agree deal to sign Aly Cissokho on season-long loan | Sky Sports
The France international, who was linked with a move to join Sunderland, has agreed to join Liverpool on an initial loan with a view to a permanent move. Manager Brendan Rodgers has been looking for reinforcements at left-back as Jose Enrique is his only senior player in that position and has identified the Frenchman as a viable option.

Liga - Valencia debt reaches €275m - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
President Amadeo Salvo explained that since 2008 the debt has been reduced by €66m (£56.3m) before adding that the economic management in recent years as "positive" despite cash-flow problems. Aurelio Martinez, president of the Valencia CF Foundation, was also upbeat at the way in which progress is being made on the financial front.

Granero joins Real Sociedad on loan from QPR - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
A QPR statement read: "Esteban Granero has returned to Spain to join Real Sociedad on loan. "The 26-year-old midfielder has penned a season-long loan deal with the La Liga outfit. "Granero, of course, joined QPR from Real Madrid last summer and has since made 28 appearances in all competitions for the Rs, scoring one goal.