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FC Barcelona News: 10 January 2015; Jeremy Mathieu Returns to Training as Preparations Continue for Next Match

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Preparations continue for Atlético Madrid game | FC Barcelona
The first team trained on Saturday morning on the Tito Vilanova pitch at the Ciutat Esportiva, with their minds on Sunday evening’s league fixture against defending champions Atlético Madrid. Luis Enrique was able to count on the presence of Jeremy Mathieu, who did all of the exercises despite not yet being confirmed as fully fit. The squad was joined by Barça B’s Munir.

Neymar already surpasses his goal total for all of last season | FC Barcelona
A year and a half after his arrival, Neymar is emerging as one of the team’s key players based on his goal scoring success. With two goals in Barça’s 5-0 Spanish Cup win over Elche, the Barça forward exceeds his total of 15 goals from last season. The Brazilian now has 16 goals in just 20 games.

How they stack up: FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid | FC Barcelona
A mighty duel is set for this Sunday at 9.00pm (CET) between FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. For Barça, it's a shot to exact revenge on the title-holder, the team that shattered Barça's dream of a league crown on the final day of last year's La Liga while waltzing back to Madrid with the hardware all for themselves.

Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi still outshines them all – even in a ‘bad’ year | Eurosport
Certainly the image of the endearingly humble boy-wizard has faded. In the last 18 months Messi has been involved in a Messi tax case, been accused of bullying his ex-team-mate Alexis Sanchez and seen his astonishing goalscoring feats eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo. Then there was a World Cup which ended in impotent failure, where his election as Golden Ball for the tournament's best player greeted with astonishment and derision.

Eurosport Roundtable: Is it time for Barcelona to cut their losses on Lionel Messi? | Eurosport
No - Are you crazy? Are you actually crazy? There’s a good chance that Lionel Messi is the best footballer of all time. And you’d sell him because he’s fallen out with a coach who won’t be there in six months’ time? Messi might not be as humble as everyone used to think, but that will hardly come as news to Barcelona where he has worked every day for the last 15 years.

Transfer news: Lionel Messi too expensive for any club to risk, says financial expert David Bick | Football News | Sky Sports
Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague admitted Messi has "never been closer" to leaving the Nou Camp, but expects the attacker to stay at the club due to new presidential elections taking place in the summer that should stabilise the troubled club. Balague worked out Messi would cost a club close to £550m in total - a sum Bick believes not even Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or Chelsea could risk.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu: 'No problems' with Messi - ESPN FC
"[The TV3 report] is completely false," Bartomeu is reported as saying in El Pais. "After each game I go down into the dressing-room to talk with the players. The day of the Elche game I did that, and I spoke with Messi, but also with Adriano, [Gerard] Pique and others. In no moment did I have a meeting with Messi, and for sure not about these issues."

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman could see himself as Barcelona manager | Football News |
"At teams like Barcelona, if they lose games, there's always a lot of critics, rumours, speculation,'' Koeman said. "I know because my whole life I'm linked to Barcelona, but it's not a time to talk about that, because I think it's not respectful to Southampton as a club, it is not respectful to the people of Barcelona.''

Barca target Man City trio? | Football Espana
Barcelona are believed to be readying an assault on Manchester City’s management team of Manuel Pellegrini, Txiri Begiristain and Ferran Soriano. The Catalan giants are looking to restructure their boardroom following the exits of Andoni Zubizarreta and Carles Puyol last week, coupled with mounting speculation over the future of Coach Luis Enrique and the announcement of the club’s presidential elections being brought forward.

Luis Enrique's six goals versus Atlético Madrid | FC Barcelona
This Sunday, Barça manager Luis Enrique is set to face Atlético Madrid for the first time since he has been at the helm. As a Barça player—from 1996 to 2004—he faced Atlético seven times in La Liga, scoring six goals. The first goal was in his opening season at Camp Nou with Bobby Robson leading the team. The other goals came during a pair of Louis Van Gaal's coaching stints at the Catalan club.

Fernando Argila is remembered fondly throughout Spanish football circles - ESPN FC
Pictures hung on the walls, and there were books everywhere. Reading had become his passion. He stood before a black-and-white photo in a frame, slowly naming the men in it, one by one. The Barcelona team from sometime in 1942, or perhaps early 1943. "They're all dead now," he said. Only he was left. "I was the little one, the kid." Seventy years had passed; from the little kid to the most senior of Spanish football's veterans.

FC Barcelona Foundation, Unicef and Reach Out to Asia launch 1 in 11 campaign | FC Barcelona
On Friday in New York, the FC Barcelona Foundation, Unicef and Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) presented the 1 in 11 campaign to offer educational opportunities to at-risk children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.

Leo Messi and Serena Williams, images of 1 in 11 campaign | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi, FC Barcelona player, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and president of his own Foundation is joining forces with fellow UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Serena Williams to offer their images to the 1 in 11 campaign presented in New York on Friday. They have appeared together in the promotional video, where they present the Keep Ups challenge in which their fans have to keep the ball in the air for at least eleven touches.

Kroos named German POTY | Football Espana
Toni Kroos has been named Germany’s player of the year for 2014 following a fans’ poll conducted by the country's Football Federation (DFB). The midfielder ends Mesut Ozil’s three-year grip on the throne, having received 40.6 percent of the votes cast by supporters of Die Mannschaft, 1.9% ahead of runner-up Miroslav Klose.

Raul Rodriguez joins Houston Dynamo from Espanyol -
The 27-year-old played most recently for La Liga's Espanyol but had his contract terminated this month after falling out of the first-team squad under manager Sergio. Rodriguez made only two appearances in the Copa del Rey and came on for one minute of a league match after playing in 77 games for the club since 2010.

No way through as Levante and Deportivo La Coruna play out 0-0 draw | Sky Sports Football
Levante and Deportivo La Coruna put slightly more daylight between themselves and the Primera Division relegation zone after playing out a goalless draw at Ciutat de Valencia. Diego Marino, for the home side, was the busier of the two goalkeepers and his save from Jose Toche seconds after half-time proved a crucial moment.

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