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FC Barcelona News: 1 January 2016; Andres Iniesta Backs Lionel Messi for Ballon d'Or

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Last training session of the year at FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona first team got straight back to training on Thursday morning after the 4-0 defeat of Betis in the last game of the year. In what was primarily a recovery session for the players that started at the Camp Nou, the team saw out 2015 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper with Luis Enrique able to count on the services of all of his available squad.

Luis Suárez ends 2015 as leading Liga goalscorer | FC Barcelona
Barça have played at the Club World Cup, or the Intercontinental Cup as it was known before, five times, and until now they have never won in their first league match immediately following the event. All that changed after they emphatically saw off Betis 4-0 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.

Iniesta backs Messi to regain Ballon d'Or | FourFourTwo
Andres Iniesta has backed Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi to start 2016 in the best possible way by lifting the Ballon d'Or trophy. The Argentina star, who was awarded the UEFA Best Player award earlier this year, is the current favourite to secure his fifth global individual prize ahead of fellow nominees Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Andrés Iniesta hails Leo Messi's 'spectacular consistency' | FC Barcelona
First team captain Andrés Iniesta was the guest on the ‘El Marcador’ show on Barça TV following Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat of Betis. Naturally, he was full of praise for his colleague Leo Messi, who had just made his 500th appearance in a Barcelona shirt. "He is spectacularly consistent in every game and in every training session" said the midfielder about the Argentinian.

The infographic of Messi's 500 games | FC Barcelona
The Argentinian star has scored 425 goals and set all kinds of team and individual records at FC Barcelona.

424 goals, 26 trophies: Mind-blowing Messi reaches 500 Barcelona games -
Lionel Messi is set to make his 500th appearance for Barcelona in all competitions when Luis Enrique's side takes on Real Betis in La Liga on Wednesday. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a stunning Camp Nou career since making his debut for the club in 2004 and is hoping to win a fifth Ballon d'Or crown next month.

180 goals and 51 wins in a record breaking 2015 | FC Barcelona
No football team has ever scored as many goals in a calendar year: 180 is the record breaking figure recorded for 2015 by FC Barcelona, a year that will truly go down as one of the most successful in the Club’s 116 year history. The four goals in Wednesday’s win over Betis in their final game of an amazing 12 months saw the blaugranes overtake Real Madrid’s record of 178 set in 2014.

FC Barcelona's list of honours continues to swell after five-cup haul in 2015 | FC Barcelona
To give people an idea of just how difficult it is to achieve what FC Barcelona did this year — to win five titles out of a maximum six possible — consider this: to even have a chance at the latter three, teams have to unlock them by winning at least two of the first three, which is a monumental task in of itself. Barça, incredibly, swept the first three for an unprecedented second time in history.

RFEF admit Barcelona penalty was mistake -
Barcelona should not have been awarded the penalty which put the side on its way to a 4-0 defeat of Real Betis on Wednesday, the Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] has announced. With the game goalless after 28 minutes, Betis was more than holding its own against Luis Enrique's side, but the side's challenge became tougher when Barca was awarded a controversial spot-kick.

Barcelona not favourites for Paul Pogba says Mino Raiola - ESPN FC
Pogba has become one of world football's hottest properties since joining Juventus for free from Manchester United in the summer of 2012. The French international has won three consecutive Serie A titles with the Old Lady and reached the final of the Champions League last season.

Denis Suarez will not go to Barcelona in January - Villarreal president -
Villarreal president Fernando Roig said the club will not be selling Denis Suarez in the January transfer window. Suarez moved to Villarreal from Barcelona in the offseason, and the Spanish champion confirmed there is a possibility the Catalans could re-sign their former player.

Top-15 Vine videos of the year | FC Barcelona
Countdown of the Top-15 Vine videos of the year. Which is your favorite?

Real Madrid and Barcelona get calls and Neville winless - ESPN FC
La Real were the better, more coherent side for long spells, only for referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez to award two debatable penalties to the home team, after missing a much clearer foul by Pepe on Jonathas at the other end. Visiting president Jokin Aperribay was so enraged that he told Gonzalez Gonzalez at half-time he was going to make a police report for "robbery".

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