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FC Barcelona News: 31 January 2014; Barça To Face Real Sociedad in Copa del Rey Semi-Final, Neymar Back in Training

David Ramos

FC Barcelona to face Real Sociedad in Copa del Rey semis | FC Barcelona
Real Sociedad will be facing Barça in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after the Basques qualified at the expense of Racing Santander, who despite coming onto the pitch for the second leg, opted not to the play the match in protest. Barça and Real will play the first leg of the semi-finals on Wednesday, February 5 at the Camp Nou at 22.00. The return leg at Anoeta will be on February 12, also at 22.00.

Racing Santander players: Strike for all of Spain - Yahoo Eurosport UK
The Racing players, who have not been paid for several months, had said in a statement earlier this week that unless the club’s current board resigned, they would not play the second-leg of the Copa quarter-final against Real Sociedad. President Angel Lavin and his board remained in place and so despite turning up and preparing for the game, once the referee blew the whistle for La Real to kick-off, Racing’s reluctance to play became clear as they stood arm-in-arm around the centre circle.

Neymar back training on the pitch | FC Barcelona
Neymar Jr trained on Friday morning in the company of physio Juanjo Brau, the first time the Brazilian has been seen on a football field since getting injured 15 days ago against Getafe. If all goes to plan, the striker should be back playing again in one or two week’s time.

Recovery work in preparation for Valencia | FC Barcelona
The semi-finalists in the Copa del Rey, following the 5-1 thrashing of Levante on Wednesday night, went back to work around midday this Thursday, in a training session on pitch number 2 at the Ciutat Esportiva. Thus Barça have begun their preparation for the League game this Saturday against Valencia (16.00 at the Camp Nou).

Afellay turns down Villarreal | Football Espana
Ibrahim Afellay is expected to remain at Barcelona after rejecting the chance to join Villarreal on loan. The Netherlands international recently return to action after a lengthy spell out injured and believes he will get enough chances with Barca to return to the international set-up for the World Cup.

Chinese New Year on the FC Barcelona shirt | FC Barcelona
This single-edition shirt will also be worn on a day when the 16.00 kick-off is especially convenient for Asian viewers. In fact, Beijing TV will be showing the game live at 23.00 for the whole of China. Fox Asia will be broadcasting the game in India and Indonesia, as will RS Sports in Thailand and WOWOW in Japan.

Official FC Barcelona online store now at | FC Barcelona
Fans that visit the web ( will also be able to read stories about FC Barcelona players and events. Thanks to this new online experience, consumers can enjoy such services as free postal and packaging for purchases over 50 euros and free returns, as well as the personalisation of shirts and other products online.

Former Barcelona president Josep Lluis Nunez sentenced to prison - ESPN FC
Former Barcelona president Josep Lluis Nunez has been sentenced to two years and two months in prison for the embezzlement of 13 million euros in public funds, although the 82-year-old is unlikely to serve any time behind bars because of his age, according to El Pais.

European Match of the Weekend: Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid | Pitchside - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Real Madrid's 11-match unbeaten run has lifted confidence and closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid but their form faces a stern test at Athletic Bilbao's new San Mames stadium on Sunday.

Madrid rule out 'Coca-Cola Bernabeu' but could strike Microsoft deal -
Real Madrid are still in talks with software giant Microsoft over a possible partnership for naming rights, but have ruled out a deal with drinks company Coca-Cola. Madrid will unveil plans for the €400 million renovation of their Santiago Bernabeu home on Friday, with around half of that outlay to be made up in naming rights.

Alfred N'Diaye moves to Real Betis on loan - ESPN FC
Sunderland midfielder Alfred N'Diaye has joined Spanish club Real Betis on loan for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old spent the first half of the season at Eskisehirspor in Turkey, but is now heading for Seville. A club spokesman said: "Alfred N'Diaye has joined Real Betis on loan for the rest of the season.''

Villarreal sell Perez to Olympiakos | Football Espana
Villarreal have allowed Hernan Perez to join Olympiakos and are now looking for a replacement before the transfer window closes. Marca reports that Perez’s contract was due to expire in 2015 and the fee of €2m, reported by the Greek Press, was Villarreal’s last chance to get a fee for the midfielder.

Victor Casadesus seals Levante move Real Mallorca | Sky Sports
The 28-year-old striker has joined the Primera Division club on a three-and-a-half year deal, with the option for an extra season. Casadesus has spent his entire career at Mallorca, earning his first start in 2005 after making the move up from Mallorca B, with two short loan spells at Real Sociedad and Gimnastic de Tarragona.

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