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FC Barcelona News: 24 December 2018; Adrien Rabiot Rumors Continue, Roberto de Zerbi Emerges as Coaching Candidate

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FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Four shutouts to end the year | FC Barcelona
Barça’s defensive record at the end of 2018 has been simply outstanding. The wins against Villarreal (2-0), Espanyol (5-0), Levante (5-0) and Celta (2-0) have produced twelve points out of twelve, and a record of 14 goals for and not a single one against.

Dembélé on fire | FC Barcelona
Ousmane Dembélé has ended the year as he started the season: scoring goals and being decisive. It was his wonder-goal against Sevilla that went such a huge way towards clinching the Spanish Super Cup and he also played a crucial role in the 2-0 defeat of Celta to ensure a Christmas on top of the table.

Eight ridiculous Lionel Messi statistics to sum up his sublime 2018 | PlanetFootball
We’re not going to get into the Ballon d’Or debate because, quite frankly, we can’t be arsed. But sometimes it’s worth reminding yourself of the ridiculous standards the Barcelona man has set – and which he continues to reach year after year. With Messi’s calendar year now over, and with just the 77 direct goal contributions to his name in 54 appearances, we’ve rounded up some of the best stats about the GOAT’s year.

Left wing Barcelona | Marca
The Catalan club didn’t have to rack their brains to create danger against a dizzy Celta Vigo, who suffered from the classic Lionel Messi-Jordi Alba connection. Adding in the quality of Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic’s play, the left wing was once again at the heart of Barcelona’s offensive play.

Brazil’s value falls at Barcelona | Marca
In midfield, Valverde has been impressed by the enthusiasm of Arturo Vidal and has selected him instead, leaving Coutinho with a prolonged break over the winter when he should have been Andres Iniesta’s replacement. Those two preferences have also affected another player who appeared untouchable in the form of Arthur Melo.

Thomas Meunier hints at a Rabiot and Barca agreement | Sport
“Adrien is a great player who, because of his talent, could fit in at the best teams in the world. The fact that an offer arrive for him from such a big club is something that you can’t rule out at his age, in that position, and in the face of such a proposition it’s hard to say no.”

Barcelona are watching De Zerbi as Valverde replacement | Sport
Ernesto Valverde’s contract expires on June 30 and so far Barcelona have not discussed renewing the deal with him. That has led to rumours springing up over his replacement. One has come from Italy. More specifically, Corriere dello Sport. The Italian paper says Barca are observing the evolution of Roberto de Zerbi, a young Italian coach known for having the Barca style.