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FC Barcelona News: 18 August 2013; 18 Players in Squad for Levante Clash, Lionel Messi Named Sports Sensation in USA

Chris McGrath

18-man squad for league debut | FC Barcelona
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino announced his first 18-man squad of the season on Saturday morning. On Sunday, the Argentine manager will lead the final session, which will include the four players not named in the squad - Sergi Roberto, Montoya, Dos Santos and Oier. The team will then spend the rest of the day at the Hotel Princesa Sofía.

Martino: "It is essential to play well and win" | FC Barcelona
"The main concern is to play well and win. It’s essential in order to build confidence and send out a message. I want Barça to be good as soon as possible. We’ll try and do things well right from the first moment. That’s the starting point".

Leo Messi a ‘sports sensation’ in the USA | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi has been named ‘sports sensation’ of the year in the ‘Tu Mundo’ (Your World) awards which are given to the celebrities and programmes with the highest audience rating on the Spanish language media giant Telemundo.

Joaquín Caparrós’ record against Barça | FC Barcelona
Caparrós’ single victory came in the 2002/2003 season while in charge of Sevilla FC and with Louis Van Gaal on the Barça bench. Just three minutes into the match Casquero put Sevilla ahead from the penalty spot and Toedtli hit two more in the later stages of the game to seal a win for the visitors. The first – and last – win for Caparrós against Barça.

Five questions ahead of the new Liga season | Pitchside Europe - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
FC Barcelona set an amazing total of 100 points last season - only Real Madrid managed to do that once before - so it seems unlikely they can repeat that this season. Senior players will have to assume the main responsibility – the likes of Xavi, Puyol, Messi and Valdés - in order to help Martino to follow the successful path started by Pep Guardiola.

Valencia close in on €7m Pabon -
Los Che are in the market for a centre-forward following Roberto Soldado's €30m move to Tottenham this summer, despite having signed Portugal international Helder Postiga earlier this month. Miroslav Djukic's side have now moved swiftly to secure the services of Pavon for the relatively-nominal sum, in order to avoid the Colombia international's buyout clause rising to €21m next week.

Costa earns Valencia narrow win | Sky Sports Football
Valencia laboured to a narrow win at home to Malaga thanks to a second-half goal by Ricardo Costa. The Portuguese centre-back took advantage of an error from Malaga stopper Willy Caballero to nudge the ball home after 64 minutes, giving his side a win they just about deserved.

Bilbao make perfect start | Sky Sports Football
Markel Susaeta gave the visitors the lead on 28 minutes, but just moments later Patrick Ebert levelled. Iker Muniain restored Athletic's advantage five minutes after the re-start, and the Basque side held on for the remainder of their game to start the campaign on the right foot.

Sociedad start with a win |
Real Sociedad got the new Primera Division season off to an ideal start with a 2-0 victory over Getafe at Anoeta thanks to goals by Carlos Vela and Haris Seferovic. The Mexican's lobbed effort broke the deadlock just before the break, while Seferovic, making his debut for Sociedad following a summer move from Fiorentina, doubled the lead with 20 minutes remaining.

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