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FC Barcelona News: 30 August 2013; Barça Drawn With Milan, Ajax and Celtic Into Group H, Xavi Sets Record

Harold Cunningham

Milan, Ajax and Celtic, FC Barcelona's rivals in the Group Stage | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona will face off against AC Milan, Ajax and FC Celtic in the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League. Tata Martino and his men watched as Barça’s name was pulled out of Pot 1 at 18.09. Minutes later, AC Milan (Pot 2), Ajax (Pot 3), and Celtic (Pot 4) joined the Blaugrana in Group H.

The group of champions | FC Barcelona
The Champions League Group Stage draw took place this Thursday afternoon in Monaco. The draw dropped Barça in the middle of a group full of European champions. Group H is made up of FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic Glasgow, teams that have won a total of 16 continental crowns between them.

Leo Messi: "It's a difficult group" | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi was one of FC Barcelona’s representatives at this afternoon’s UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw in Monaco. The Argentine was also a finalist for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, which was won by Bayern München’s Franck Ribéry. The French player received 36 votes from the jury (sports journalists), ahead of Messi’s 13 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 3.

Zubizarreta fond of historic teams | FC Barcelona
Andoni Zubizarreta was present at the Champions League draw, where FC Barcelona were matched with three of Europe’s most historic sides: Milan, Ajax and Glasgow Celtic. "I am glad that they are historic clubs" he said. "I like going to San Siro, to Celtic Park and the Ajax stadium. They’re teams and stadiums with a great football atmosphere".

Leo Messi working on fitness | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi did physiotherapy and recover work in the first training session after drawing 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Adriano Correia, who missed the Spanish Supercup second leg, was able to join his team-mates for some of the session on pitch 1 at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Xavi Hernández wins 25th title of career | FC Barcelona
Xavi Hernández has won his 25th major title, and his 22nd with FCB, to make him the most successful player in Spanish football history. He also broke the record for minutes played in the Spanish Supercup, 1,162, and has tied with Guardiola and Amor for the most games in the competition, 14.

Valdés: "It was very important to start the season with this title" | FC Barcelona
Víctor Valdés was one of the stars of Wednesday night’s conquest of the Spanish Supercup at the Camp Nou, with two tremendous saves. "The first was more about reflexes, and being ready to block Turan from shooting until the last second" said the goalkeeper on the ‘Marcador’ show on Barça TV. "For the second, because I know Villa so well, I moved forwards a bit, knowing which way he was likely to go."

How the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry led to Guardiola-Mourinho rift -
Jose Mourinho ran onto the pitch, sought out Pep Guardiola and the two men stood together for several seconds, entwined in an emotional embrace. Barcelona had just beaten Paris Saint-Germain by a single goal to win the 1997 European Cup Winners' Cup. Guardiola was the midfield general, Mourinho the assistant to Bobby Robson. Times were different back then.

‘Bale's Real move could drag on longer’ - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The proposed world record move for the 24-year-old has been delayed this week amid reports of relations between the clubs souring. Madrid say that they hope the deal will still be completed by the close of the transfer window on Monday and now Spurs’ coach has indicated that it may take at least a couple of days longer too.

Champions League draw: Real Madrid face Juventus, Barcelona meet AC Milan once again -
Nine-time European champions Real Madrid have been paired with Juventus in the pick of Thursday afternoon's Champions League draw in Monaco. Carlo Ancelotti's men and the current Serie A champions, who met in the final in 1998, have been joined by Galatasaray and Copenhagen in Group B.

Kaka double sees Madrid lift Teresa Herrera trophy -
Two goals from wantaway midfielder Kaka saw Real Madrid beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 at Estadio Riazor and lift the Teresa Herrera trophy. The Brazilian, who announced his desire to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday, slotted home the opener early on before Spain Under-21 star Alvaro Morata and summer signing Casemiro made it 3-0 inside the first 16 minutes.

Kaka tells Real Madrid to sell him before Monday - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
"I want to leave. I think it’s the best thing for me and for the club. I'm trying to solve it before Monday" said Kaka. The 31-year-old joined Real Madrid from AC Milan in 2009 for a then world record fee of £56m. However, injuries have hampered his time in Spain and he has struggled to claim a regular starting place over the last few seasons.

Real confirm Kiko switch from Barca - SportsDirect News
Kiko, 22, will feature for Real's reserve team Castillla next season, after joining as a free agent. The player was contracted to Barcelona B until June 2014, but came to an agreement with the Catalan side to terminate that deal early. Kiko, one of very few players to make the move from Barca to Madrid, has since launched a scathing attack on his former employers.

Malaga loan Morocco striker Mounir El Hamdaoui from Fiorentina | Football News | Sky Sports
Announcing the deal on Thursday, Malaga said on their website the deal included an option to make the transfer permanent next summer. A club statement said: "Malaga Football Club have reached an agreement with Fiorentina to incorporate into the squad the striker of Moroccan origin Mounir El Hamdaoui."

Rayo sign Ze Castro - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The 30-year-old was released from his Depor contract earlier this summer, four years before its original expiry, and had been in talks with the Madrid outfit this week. On from joining the team for training on Wednesday evening, Rayo have today confirmed that they have reached an agreement with the defender for a provisional one-year contract.

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