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FC Barcelona News: 19 November 2015; Referee Crew for El Clasico Announced, Ivan Rakitić Doubtful

David Ramos/Getty Images

Countdown to the Clásico: 3 Days to Go | FC Barcelona
With just 72 hours to go for the Liga showdown between the Barça and Real Madrid, we take a look at the news surrounding the fixture - Luis Suárez's appearance in the press room and the latest team news are just two of the topics touched on in our 2 minute video round up of the Wednesday before the Clásico.

Friday decisive for Messi | Football Espana
Luis Enrique will on Friday decide whether or not to start Lionel Messi against Real Madrid in Saturday’s Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu. AS reports the Barca coaching staff appear to prefer to stick to the usual protocol when a player is returning from injury, which is to slowly re-integrate him into the team.

When and where to watch Real Madrid - FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
The first Clásico of the season is upon us. FC Barcelona visit the Santiago Bernabéu for their clash with Real Madrid in Week 12 of La Liga. The blaugranes come into the game top of the table on 27 points, three more than their biggest rivals who are currently second. A victory would extend their lead in the league and below we detail just when and where you can follow Luis Enrique’s team in their efforts to take all three points from their trip to Madrid.

Rival Watch: Real Madrid, the season so far | FC Barcelona
After a 2014/15 season in which they won the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup but watched their rivals FC Barcelona sweep both major domestic honours and the Champions League as well, Real Madrid sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti and replaced him with Rafael Benitez for the 2015/16 campaign.

Clásico goalscorers in the current FC Barcelona squad | FC Barcelona
There are nine players in the current FC Barcelona squad that have scored at least once for the team against Real Madrid. Surprisingly, five of those are defenders, namely Piqué, Alves, Alba, Bartra and Mathieu, while the only midfielder to have found the target against the club’s most famous rival is Andrés Iniesta, who will be out to do it for the third time on Saturday in his 32nd appearance in a Clásico.

Clasico doubt over Rakitic | Football Espana
Barcelona have a doubt over Ivan Rakitic’s fitness ahead of the Clasico with Real Madrid as the Croatia midfielder’s training has been sporadic. AS reports Rakitic trained normally on Monday but didn’t take part in a session on Tuesday, having picked up a calf injury against BATE Borisov.

Lionel Messi could become the undisputed Clasico king -
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi could add another record to his collection with a goal in the crunch match with Real Madrid on Saturday, making the Argentine the top scorer in La Liga Clasicos. Messi currently holds the record in conjunction with Real legend Alfredo di Stefano, as the pair both have 14 goals in Clasicos in the Spanish top flight, but the Barcelona forward could move ahead and claim the title as his own with a goal Saturday.

Did you know: Real Madrid v FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
El Clásico is fast approaching. Ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, here are some of the most interesting facts, stats and trivia that you might want to know

10 names from the annals of El Clásico history | FC Barcelona
The Real Madrid–FC Barcelona rivalry, played for the first time on 9 May 1929 is over 85 years years old. On that occasion, at Chamartin, the star of the game was Joan Sastre and almost a century later the Bernabéu Clásicos continue giving us moments for history. Moments that have always been accompanied by a proper name. Below are 10 of these names, the protagonists of some of the best Barça memories in the history of El Clásico:

Luis Suarez plays down Ballon d'Or chances -
Barcelona star Luis Suarez is pleased to be among the candidates to win the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or following his fine performances this calendar year, but is adamant he is not thinking about becoming one of the three finalists.

Clasico heroics won't help Ronaldo and Neymar challenge Messi for the Ballon d'Or -
Time is up. Even Cristiano Ronaldo recently acknowledged that Lionel Messi will win the Ballon d'Or this year, and even if the Portuguese produces a match-winning performance in the Clasico clash Saturday, it will be too late for Ronaldo or Neymar to stake a final claim for the individual award.

Xavi Iniesta Ronaldinho Maradona and Messi in Barca XI - ESPN FC
It can hardly come as a surprise that there is no love lost between Barcelona and Real Madrid after 113 years of competing against each other for supremacy in Spanish football. Their fierce rivalry, definitely worsened by the huge political differences between the regions they represent, will be put to the test once again when the teams led by Luis Enrique and Rafael Benitez meet on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid - Sid Lowe picks best Clasicos - ESPN FC
Real Madrid won the European Cup five years in a row, definitively becoming recognised as the best team in the world. On their way to the 1960 final, they knocked out Barcelona, costing their coach Helenio Herrera his job, but revenge came just months later. When at last Madrid were knocked out of that competition for the very first time, it was Barcelona who did it.

Neymar could quit Barcelona over tax issues, says father | Sky Sports
Neymar could be forced to leave Barcelona due to his ongoing tax issues in Spain, according to his father. The Brazil striker, who attracted interest from Manchester United in the summer, is in negotiations over extending his contract, which runs out in 2018.

Clasico to go ahead amid heightened security - ESPN FC
Spain's secretary of state for sport Miguel Cardenal has said security for Saturday's Clasico at the Bernabeu will be heightened after last week's terror attacks in Paris but stressed that it is set to go on as scheduled. Cardenal said there was currently no reason to postpone the game between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

El Clasico police presence to be doubled - Martinez -
Spanish secretary of state for security Francisco Martinez has confirmed the police presence at Real Madrid's meeting with Barcelona on Saturday will be doubled. Following the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, international friendlies between Belgium and Spain, as well as Germany and Netherlands, were canceled for security reasons.

Sergio Ramos v Neymar: The key battle as Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico | Sky Sports
On Saturday, Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from their first League defeat of the season against Sevilla, but opponents don't get much tougher than table-toppers Barcelona. It's the kind of occasion when a captain must step up and deliver. Ramos is a veteran of 30 El Clasicos and the Real Madrid stalwart will be hoping his experience will give him the edge when he comes face-to-face with in-form Barca ace Neymar.

Real Madrid Barcelona Clasico a high risk security event - ESPN FC
Spanish officials are promising unprecedented security measures for Saturday's football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona following the attacks in Paris. At a special security meeting prompted by last week's events in France, officials declared the league match between the rivals a high-risk event.

Lionel Messi being fit for Clasico would be bad news Zidane - ESPN FC
Real Madrid Castilla coach Zinedine Zidane hopes Barcelona star Lionel Messi will not be fit in time for the Clasico on Saturday. On Monday, Messi returned to full training for the first time since tearing a ligament in his left knee on Sept. 26.

Change to Clasico assistant | Football Espana
There has been a change to the team of officials who will take charge of Barcelona’s visit to Real Madrid after an assistant referee’s injury was confirmed. David Fernandez Borbalan will referee the first Clasico of the season but will do so without having Jorge Canelo Prieto Fernandez running the line.

Patrick Kluivert hopes to manage Barcelona in the future - ESPN FC
Former Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert says he would like to be the Catalan club's coach one day. Kluivert played at the Camp Nou for six seasons, scoring 120 goals in 255 appearances in all competitions, and winning the 1998-99 La Liga title. He also played for Ajax, Milan, Newcastle, Valencia, PSV Eindhoven and Lille during a long and successful playing career.

Report: Barca scouting Stones | Football Espana
Barcelona reportedly had scouts in attendance at England’s friendly defeat to Spain, to watch Everton defender John Stones. The Telegraph claims the Catalans were represented in Alicante, but didn’t get to see the centre-back as he was left out and instead played at Wembley on Tuesday in the win over France.

Tebas: Madrid right to ban Estelada | Football Espana
La Liga President Javier Tebas believes Real Madrid are right to ban Barcelona fans bringing Estelada flags to Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. The Estelada flag, a symbol of support for Catalan independence, has been a hot issue after Barca were fined for their display during Champions League games, and Madrid won’t allow them to be flown in the Clasico either.

FC Barcelona organise the first symposium on technology and sport | FC Barcelona
The Club will welcome this Thursday 19 November, between 9.30am and 6.00pm CET, the first symposium of applied technology in which renowned world experts will take part. It is an even directed solely at professionals from the area, be it from the world of sport or industry. Given the profile of those attending, the symposium would like to have an important impact internationally, especially in the USA and Asia.

FIFA issues clearance to the final youth player | FC Barcelona
Having reviewed all of the information supplied by the Club in response to the new requirements made by FIFA in recent months, the single judge from the sub-committee on the status of players has authorised the registration of the player.

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