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FC Barcelona News: 16 April 2016: Bartomeu Defends Alves, Samper Breaks Ankle

David Ramos/Getty Images

The FC Barcelona first team trained on a hot Saturday morning (with temperatures around 22º C) ahead of Sunday’s league fixture at home to Valencia (8.30pm CET), where they’ll be looking to bounce back from Champions League elimination by defending their three-point lead on Atlético Madrid.

FC Barcelona may have been knocked out of the Champions League, but the league and cup double is still on! They’re through to the Copa del Rey Final against Sevilla and three points ahead of Atlético Madrid in La Liga with just six games to go, the first of which is against Valencia at the Camp Nou on Sunday at 8.30pm CET.

From 17 May 2006 — that was when FC Barcelona beat Arsenal in the final of the Champions League at the  Stade de France in Paris — until Wednesday's defeat at the Vicente Calderón, nine years, ten months and 24 days went by. Paris, Rome, London and Berlin are four cities that have marked the club's history in the last ten years, for the four titles won there are the highlights of a decade of blaugrana prestige on the European stage.

Barça B player Sergi Samper has suffered a malleolus fracture in his right ankle and will be out for the next eight weeks, in other words, the remainder of the season. It’s bad news for the reserve team captain, and also for Gerard López, as he has lost one of his most important players. Samper has played 28 games this season, only missing one game through suspension and three because he was on duty for the first team.

Gameiro a step closer to Barca? | Football Espana

Kevin Gameiro is reportedly a step closer to joining Barcelona as Mundo Deportivo understands the Sevilla striker is prepared to be fourth-choice at Camp Nou. Gameiro has emerged as Barca’s top attacking target thanks to his playing style and 24 goals with Sevilla this season, and the newspaper claims the club have held an interest in the player since the end of 2015.

Barca president Bartomeu defends Alves video | FourFourTwo

"Although it's true that there are club members who have been offended, the video shows that the players have moved on [from the result] and are being positive and making jokes", he said. Bartomeu also called for calm after the loss to Atletico, with Barca still in the hunt to win back-to-back La Liga and Copa del Rey crowns.

Barcelona's season may be incomplete even if they win La Liga, Copa del Rey

Winning the double again would be a major achievement and if Barcelona do so, they will rightly celebrate. And yet, it will feel like something is missing, especially if it is their rivals Real Madrid who lift the European Cup, the trophy that tends to eclipse all else and the trophy that Barcelona aspired to defend, therefore becoming the first club to do so in the Champions League era. A double is great but they sought a double treble. The only Spanish team to ever win one was looking for its third.

Neymar should play in Olympics only for Brazil - Barcelona - ESPN FC

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has reiterated that the club will not permit star forward Neymar to play at both the Copa America and Olympics for Brazil this summer. As Brazil's national captain and undisputed best player, Neymar could well feature at both the Copa America Centenario in the United States from June 3-26 and then also in the Olympics in his home country which is being played between Aug. 3-20.

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