Víctor Valdés has posted a video in which he thanks the fans for all the messages of support he’s received over the last few days. The video was recorded in Augsburg, Germany, where Valdes was yesterday operated on for the ligament injury he suffered last week.
Barça and Atlético Madrid, the two teams on the summit of Spanish football, will face off this evening for a spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The first game of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou. The teams come into the match on form and under the leadership of two key players: Leo Messi and Diego Costa. This season they’ve scored 36 and 33 goals, respectively.
This Tuesday’s match will be the fourth game of the season between Barça and Atlético: "Of all the matches against Barça this season, this is the most complicated and difficult one. We’re going up against the best Barça. It’s the Champions League, and they will want to wrap up the tie here," said Cholo Simeone. "Barça are playing very well. The match against Madrid gave them a lot of strength. They are a team that’s prepared for this type of game because they are used to it."
Dani Alves spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League quarter final first leg at the Camp Nou and although the opponents are also in the Spanish league, the Brazilian insisted: "playing Atletico Madrid is just the same as playing any other big European team and we’ll have to take them very seriously. They are a very tough proposition, but these big games are what we are here for. We are two teams with different styles, but both are equally valid. We’ll have to make a step up if we are to break our record against them this year and to get a good result at the Camp Nou".
Atlético's top scorer, with 25 league goals and a further seven in five Champions League games, was withdrawn at the end of the 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night, holding his groin, and did not train on Sunday. He was only on the Camp Nou pitch for around five minutes on Monday night.
FC Barcelona members will vote on the future of the Camp Nou, the Palau Blaugrana, and FC Barcelona installations around the stadium this Saturday, 5 April. In addition to voting on the project known as the New Espai Barça, the first team will take on Real Betis at the Camp Nou after the polls close.
Have Barcelona found the next Lionel Messi in Alen Halilovic? | Aleksander Holiga | Football | theguardian.com
Alen Halilovic will turn 18 in June and yet, for many in his country, it seems as if he has been around for ages. Last week, when Barcelona finally confirmed that the young Dinamo Zagreb prodigy will join them in the summer, one of the sentiments back in Croatia was relief.
Pinto was set to feature in this month's Copa del Rey final, a competition he plays every season, but will now be Barca's last line of defence in La Liga and the Champions League as those tournaments reach their climax. "He was already going to play in the final of the Copa del Rey," Martino said ahead of the win against Espanyol at the weekend. "Now he has another 13 finals as well."