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FC Barcelona News: 5 May 2018; Preparations Continue for El Clasico, Andres Iniesta to Receive Highest Honor in Spain

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Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Training continues for El Clásico | FC Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde had all 22 available members of the squad under his orders on Tito Vilanova field, including Andrés Iniesta, who on Thursday had done specific exercises in isolation. Summer just doesn’t want to kick in properly in Barcelona, and it was still unusually chilly for this time of year with the odd spot of rain over the Ciutat Esportiva as well.

An El Clásico comparison | FC Barcelona
Review the stats of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid before the duel between both teams next Sunday at the Camp Nou (8.45 pm CEST).

The magic of Iniesta in the Clásico | FC Barcelona
The Barça midfielder will surely take a moment to remember his most valuable contributions to the most famous clash in world football such as the 6-2 win in the Bernabéu in 2009, the 5-0 victory at Camp Nou the following year and the 4-0 win in Madrid in November 2015. In the latter, Iniesta scored what is up till now his latest goal against Barça’s biggest rivals.

This is how Coutinho prepares for El Clásico | FC Barcelona
El Clásico next Sunday (8.45pm CEST) will see FC Barcelona face Real Madrid in the match corresponding to the 36th day of the championship. The League was won last Sunday in Riazor, but now the players will try to finish the season without losing a game. It would be a practically perfect campaign for Valverde’s men if they could do so, and it would increase the record for the unbeaten streak.

Real Madrid’s European quest keeps this decaffeinated Clasico full of intrigue | ESPN
La Liga took a massive risk by fitting El Clasico in so late in the season. It was always going to be a massive risk or reward by installing it so deep into the fixture list. In the end, with Barcelona already crowned champions mathematically and with Real Madrid fighting Atletico Madrid for second place in a featherweight scrap beneath Barca, the decaffeinated Clasico might even be a little strong a term.

When and where to watch FC Barcelona v Real Madrid | FC Barcelona
The Camp Nou will receive Real Madrid on Sunday (8.45pm CEST), for another El Clásico duel. Barça eased to victory at the Bernabéu in the first round of matches (0-3), and now, with the League already decided, the last El Clásico of this season will be played. The match corresponds to week 36, and will be a huge test of whether Barça can continue their unbeaten streak.

Insiders talk Clasico: Camp Nou hoodoo, Messi, Ronaldo, pasillo, more | ESPN
Tradition says that a team that has just won a title gets a pasillo (a guard of honour) from their opponents as they run onto the pitch for their next game. Barcelona won the league last week; this week, their opponents are Real Madrid. And they refused. Valverde understood why. The problem, he said, is that rather than become a homage, it has become a humiliation. The last time it happened, it certainly was.

Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta to be awarded highest honour in Spanish sport | ESPN
Andres Iniesta will be awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the highest honour in Spanish sport. The award recognises “distinguished service in sports” and has previously been given to former Spain internationals Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez.

Barcelona to rebrand soccer schools in U.S. as ‘Barca Academy’ | ESPN
Known until now as the FCBEscola, the Catalan club have academies in six locations in the U.S. -- Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Leesburg, Virginia; Lauderhill, Florida; Chicago and San Diego. They also have another six in Canada in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary.