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FC Barcelona News: 2 April 2015; Lionel Messi Returns to Training, Barcelona Announce New Sponsorhip Deal

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/*Note: In an effort to increase our La Liga coverage we have decided to divide our "FC Barcelona News" section into two separate articles: the first, under the same title it had before, will focus purely on FC Barcelona News, the second will focus on everything La Liga. The "FC Barcelona News" article will continue to be ever present in the second slot on the front page while the "La Liga News" article will slip down the order as other articles get published.*/

More international players back for training | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona returned to training on Thursday focused on Sunday's game in Balaídos versus Celta. Kick off is set for 9.00pm*. Luis Enrique got back several more international players, including Marc-André ter Stegen, Rafinha, Ivan Rakitic and Marc Bartra. Bartra returned to training despite having permission to take off until Friday along with the rest of the Spain squad. Bartra did not play a single minute in Spain’s two games during the league break.

Barcelona expect Lionel Messi to return for trip to Celta Vigo | Sky Sports
The 27-year-old did not feature in either of Argentina’s friendlies over the past week after sustaining a knock to his right foot in Barcelona's Clasico win over Real Madrid. However, the Barca skipper took part in some light running and stretching alongside Javier Mascherano at Barca’s training ground on Thursday, despite not being due back until Friday.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba come down with cases of 'FIFA virus' - ESPN FC
Barcelona are back in training after yet another never-ending international break that saw most of Luis Enrique's men travelling countless miles around the globe to fulfill their duties with their respective national teams. Unfortunately, the FIFA virus has struck again, weakening the Catalans' squad significantly in the process.

Internationals total 1,267 minutes | FC Barcelona
Gerard Piqué (Spain) 158 minutes: The centre back started both matches, playing 90 minutes of the 1-0 win against Ukraine in the Euro 2016 qualifier, and then 68 of the friendly with Holland in Amsterdam, with the Dutch won 2-0.

Joaquin Valdes playing important role in Luis Enrique and Barcelona resurgence writes Graham Hunter - ESPN FC
Joaquin Valdes, a successful judoka in his sporting past, has been with Luis Enrique since the days of Barca B when "Lucho" Enrique made the club's second team into a fighting force that had a historically high finish in the second division. They worked together, too, at Celta last year. No doubt he'll have strong, clear words of counsel for the first-team coach as to how he should speak about his old club, where he stayed for just a season but produced an excellent second half of the campaign.

Piqué claims hard work means nothing without titles | FC Barcelona
Gerard Piqué attended Wednesday’s presentation of 50,000 euros raised by the Relats Solidaris campaign, a book being sold for charity and to which he has lent his image. He used the occasion to chat to the press about the busy April ahead, his and his colleagues’ form and fitness, and his belief in the team’s unique style.

Barcelona secure Nichiban Partnership - Sports Sponsorship news - Soccer Asia - SportsPro Media
FC Barcelona have announced Nichiban, Japan’s leading tape manufacturer, as their newest sponsor in the Asian region. Nichiban will be a regional partner of the current La Liga leaders for the next two years.

Barca target Lazio ace | Football Espana
Blaugrana international sporting director Ariedo Braida has identified a number of targets in Serie A and the 21-year-old Brazilian is the latest to come under the spotlight, according to Mundo Deportivo. The player recently renewed his contract with the Biancoceleste until 2020 and it is understood that he has given no indication he wants to leave the Italian capital.

'The new Dani Alves' - Barcelona the loser as Madrid bags Danilo - Goal.com
Barcelona was in pole position to sign Danilo. The Porto right back had been identified by the Catalan club as its top target to replace Dani Alves this summer and negotiations were already underway. A few months on, however, and the 23-year-old will not be joining Barcelona. Worse still for the Blaugrana, he has agreed a move to Real Madrid instead.