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FC Barcelona News: 2 December 2014; Lionel Messi on FIFA Ballon d'Or Shortlist, Three Forwards Nominated for FIFA FIFPro 2014

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Leo Messi named on three-man shortlist for FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014 | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi has been named amongst the short list of three candidates for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014. The other two contenders are Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. The organisers of the award made public this Monday the final three names selected from an original list of 23 candidates which also included Messi’s team mates Javier Mascherano, Andrés Iniesta and Neymar.

No Ronaldo extension, no glory? Lionel Messi records won't count in Ballon d'Or race - Goal.com
Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his second Ballon d'Or in January, but only after the voting deadline was changed to include his decisive display in the World Cup playoff against Sweden last November. For Lionel Messi, there will be no such luxury in 2014.

I just want Messi to win the Ballon d'Or - Bielsa - Goal.com
Real Madrid's Ronaldo is the favorite to win the prize for a second straight year and take his overall tally to three, but the former Argentina coach hopes it is the Barca talisman who takes home the trophy. "The only thing I want is for Messi to win the Ballon d'Or," Bielsa said at a news conference when asked for his opinion on the award.

Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez on FIFA FIFPro 2014 striker shortlist | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona players Leo Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez have all been named as candidates to be included in the FIFA FIFPro 2014 World XI. The three strikers have been selected amongst a shortlist of 15 attacking talents that includes other well known names from around the globe.

The Club will appeal against Messi's yellow card against Valencia | FC Barcelona
This Tuesday the Club will present an appeal before the Competition Committee with regards to the yellow card received by Leo Messi during the game against Valencia. It is important to remember that the player was cautioned following the celebrations for Sergio Busquets' goal during which the Barça number 10 was struck on the head by an object thrown from the crowd.

The Mascherano-Busquets midfield partnership can't be the way forward - ESPN FC
The manager's choice definitely responded to a need to reinforce Barca's defensive capabilities whenever the Catalans lost control of the ball, a decision aimed to avoid a painful repetition of the combined six goals received when visiting the Santiago Bernabeu and PSG's Parc des Princes earlier in the season.

#NadalFCB - a special way to enjoy Christmas | FC Barcelona
The festive spirit has got to all of the FC Barcelona’s different sports teams this year and they’ve come up with a very special way to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. The football, basketball, handball, futsal and roller hockey players all appear in a special advent calendar that’s full of surprises.

‘FutbolNet’ will reach Saudi Arabia in 2015 | FC Barcelona
Following the success of the 'FutbolNet' project in the Middle East over the last two seasons, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Shell have decided to extend the programme's geographical reach by taking it to Saudi Arabia for 2015. The country will see more than 300 youngsters between the ages of 7 and 16 years given help by the initiative.

Rival Watch: First win in more than a month for Espanyol | FC Barcelona
Barça’s next rivals in the league, fellow Barcelona based club Espanyol, picked up all three points for the first time in the league since early October to move themselves away from the relegation zone and ease the pressure on coach Sergio González.

Spain considers ban on 'ultras' after death of Deportivo la Coruna fan | Sky Sports
Spanish football is considering a stadium ban on all radical supporter groups, known as ultras, after violent clashes led to the death of a Deportivo La Coruna fan on Sunday. Francisco Javier Romero Taboada died after being pulled out of the Manzanares river following trouble between rival fans in the streets surrounding the Vicente Calderon stadium ahead of Atletico Madrid's midday kick-off against Depor.

Gimenez released from hospital | Football Espana
Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez has been discharged from hospital after fears of a potential head injury were allayed. The Uruguayan collided with an opponent during his side's 2-0 victory over Deportivo on Sunday and was subsequently admitted to the FREMAP Clinic in Majadahonda as a precaution.

Late Gael Kakuta goal lifts Rayo Vallecano past Almeria | Sky Sports Football
Gael Kakuta's late strike saw Rayo Vallecano take another big stride away from the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over struggling Almeria. Rayo came into the match on the back of a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo last week which arrested a worrying slide, and Kakuta's 86th minute strike saw them follow it up with a victory which gives them a seven-point cushion over the bottom three.