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FC Barcelona News: 17 March 2015; Final Training Session Before City Game Complete, Bartomeu Takes Part in UEFA Meeting

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Barcelona are in fine form ahead of a season-defining week - ESPN FC
The time is now. Barcelona are at the start of the most decisive week of their season so far. The fine line between success and failure this year lies in the results the Catalans obtain in their upcoming clashes against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday and Real Madrid in La Liga four days later.

Final training session before Man City | FC Barcelona
The first team have trained for the last time before their Wednesday night Champions League fixture with Manchester City at the Camp Nou. The venue was the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, where they fine tuned preparations for the defence of their 2-1 lead from the first leg England.

Leo Messi: Numbers for the Golden Boot | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi’s great start to 2015 has coincided with the team’s excellent form as well. Barça are well placed in all three competitions, they have the upper hand in the Champìons League, they lead the league in Spain and they are in the final of the Spanish Cup. Messi’s goals have been key in all three. In the 17 games he has played since the start of the year, the Argentine has scored 20 goals in all competitions, 17 of which have come in just 11 games in the league.

Beating Barcelona: Man City’s plan for Champions League success | Sky Sports
Manchester City need an against-the-odds triumph in Barcelona on Wednesday night after losing the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium three weeks ago. The English champions will need to beat Barca and score at least two goals in the process if they are to progress to the quarter-finals – something no team has managed against the Spanish giants at the Camp Nou in over 12 months.

Six Degrees of Separation: FC Barcelona-Manchester City | FC Barcelona
You may have heard of the popular concept that everyone one in the world is connected by a maximum of six steps. Here at fcbarcelona.com we are intrigued by the idea and we thought it would be interesting to try and link members of the current Barça Champions League squad and the current Manchester City Champions League squad in six steps or less.

Leo Messi appears in new Beko commercial | FC Barcelona
Barça’s Leo Messi is the star of a commercial produced by Beko, one of the club’s Partner Premiums this season. The video, which was recorded four weeks ago, also features his colleagues Luis Suárez, Andrés Iniesta and Neymar Jr and shows the players in very different situations to those in which we are used to seeing them.

FC Barcelona’s Irish connections | FC Barcelona
Patrick O'Connell deserves a special mention in any Barça history. The former Ireland captain managed Barça in the 1935/36 season, guiding the team into the cup final. The outbreak of the Civil War meant there was no national league the following year, but O’Connell insisted on keeping the team active and took them on a fund-raising tour of North America. When the conflict ended, he returned for another season before leaving for Betis.

Josep Maria Bartomeu takes part in a meeting of UEFA’s Professional Football Strategic Committee | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has taken part on Monday in a new working meeting of UEFA’s Professional Football Strategic Committee, a body that represents different elements of European Football and of which Josep Maria Bartomeu has been a part since May of 2014 as a representative of European Club Association.

FC Barcelona support Barcelona in Business of Design Week in Hong Kong | FC Barcelona
The director for the Area of Media and Communication and responsibility for New Technologies, Dídac Lee, welcomed on Monday a delegation from the Business of Design Week (BODW), an important annual event dedicated to design and innovation that is organised in Hong Kong at the beginning of December every year since 2002.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo faces media scrutiny before Barcelona clash - ESPN FC
An alleged Cristiano Ronaldo rant -- as well as his reported rivalry with Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale -- has made waves in the Spanish media in the buildup to Sunday's Clasico at the Camp Nou. Ronaldo's behaviour is under the spotlight after a video was shown on Cuatro and La Sexta that, the programmes suggested, saw the forward react to whistling from the stands by telling the Bernabeu: "Go f--- yourselves."

'Ancelotti likely to leave Real' | News | Revista de la Liga | Sky Sports
Perez called a press conference last week to deny reports that Ancelotti could be sacked if Madrid are beaten by Barcelona in El Clasico this Sunday. But asked on Revista whether he expects Ancelotti to be in charge next season, Guillem Balague said: "No, I don’t think he will be there. Maybe he doesn’t want to be there with this kind of behaviour to his word, it will be one of those friendly departures."

'Duo target Ronaldo and Bale' | Sky Sports
Manchester United and Manchester City will look at the possibility of buying Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the summer, according to Graham Hunter. There has been much speculation over the future of the two Real Madrid players, especially given the difficult run of form the Spanish giants currently find themselves in, squandering their La Liga lead to Barcelona.

Diego Simeone should consider his Atletico Madrid future - ESPN FC
He hasn't phoned me yet, but when he does I'll tell him: "Diego -- it's the right time to start thinking about moving on from Atletico Madrid." In this hypothetical situation, I must point out, I'm acting as his agent and speaking in his best interests. Back in the real world I sincerely hope that Atlético's attempts to renew his contract, which still has another season to run, succeed.

Getafe v Sociedad | Sky Sports Football
David Moyes' Real Sociedad side ended their long wait for an away win in the Primera Division as they triumphed 1-0 at Getafe. Sociedad were the only La Liga side without a win on the road this season going into Monday's clash at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but they finally got that monkey off their backs courtesy of Inigo Martinez's second-half header.

Cordoba sack head coach Miroslav Djukic following eighth straight La Liga defeat | Sky Sports
La Liga strugglers Cordoba have sacked head coach ​Miroslav Djukic after an eighth defeat in a row against Malaga on Sunday. The 2-0 loss leaves the Andalusians seven points from safety in their first season in the top flight for 43 years.