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FC Barcelona News: 7 March 2019; Barcelona Lose Catalan Super Cup, Lionel Messi Set for Argentina Return

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France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Catalan Super Cup defeat | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona were unable to celebrate what would have been a fourth Catalan Super Cup out of five as Girona FC claimed the trophy on Wednesday night thanks to a solitary goal from the penalty spot. In front of 10,722 spectators in Sabadell, the game presented a valuable opportunity for Ernesto Valverde to give run-outs to some of the less regular members of his squad, including a debut appearance for new signing Jean-Clair Todibo.

Todibo makes Barça debut | FC Barcelona
Wednesday’s Catalan Super Cup match between Barça and Girona gave us our first chance to see Jean-Clair Todibo in action for FC Barcelona. And an impressive sight it was too, with the Frenchman displaying plenty of signs of his versatility and multiple resources on the Sabadell field. He started as a defensive midfielder, but dropped back into his more familiar centre back role for the second half.

Barcelona have complete confidence in Todibo | Marca
From now until pre-season, the coaching staff will analyse his performances to determine which position suits him best ahead of next year. The Frenchman is naturally a central defender, but can also play in holding midfield and at full-back.

Barcelona begin preparations for Rayo Vallecano and Lyon games | Sport
Those that didn’t train on Tuesday returned to work on Wednesday morning as the rest headed off to Sabadell, where they lost 1-0 against Girona.On Thursday, though, everyone was back in training together as preparations began for Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, a game which is followed by Lyon in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Espanyol derby on Saturday 30 March at 4:15pm CET | FC Barcelona
The date and kickoff time for FC Barcelona’s derby against RCD Espanyol has has been confirmed by LaLiga. The Matchday 29 fixture has been set for Saturday, 30 March at 4:15pm CET, and will be the first game back from the international break. It is part of a week that will see Ernesto Valverde’s side play ‘Los Pericos’, travel to Castellón to play Villarreal CF, and host title rivals Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.

The lowdown on Rayo Vallecano | FC Barcelona
From the working class neighbourhood of Vallecas, Rayo is one of five teams from the Community of Madrid currently playing in La Liga. The name ‘Rayo’ means ‘stripe’ and refers to the club’s distinctive red diagonal on their shirt, which allegedly honours the colours of Argentinian club River Plate.

Messi hot on Xavi’s tail | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi is just one game away from becoming the player with the second highest number of league appearances for FC Barcelona. El Clásico was his 44th game in the blaugrana jersey, and assuming he plays against Rayo on Saturday, he will move ahead of Andrés Iniesta in the all-time table.

Messi returns to Argentina’s national team | Marca
The two respective encounters will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid’s home, on 22 March, and in Tangier on 26 March. Messi will feature in the first of the two matches as the Argentine Football Association have already promoted the match in Madrid and have sold over than 10,000 tickets.

Barcelona can’t imagine life without Messi - Bartomeu | Goal
Barcelona “cannot imagine” life without star player Lionel Messi and are trying to commit him to a new contract to delay his departure, president Josep Maria Bartomeu says. The club’s all-time top goalscorer, Messi has helped fire Barca to nine La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns since his first-team breakthrough more than 15 years ago.

Barcelona’s Dembele better than PSG star Neymar - Bartomeu | ESPN
Neymar moved to PSG for his €222 million release clause, with Barca using that cash to fund a €105m deal for Dembele from Dortmund, but his first season was blighted by injuries. He has done well this year, scoring 13 goals and setting up eight more in 33 appearances but talk of Neymar returning to Camp Nou remains.

The two reasons Ajax’s De Ligt is edging closer to Barcelona switch | Sport
Dutch centre-back Matthijs De Ligt moves closer to Barcelona with each passing day as obtacles to his signing are jumped. Bartomeu made it clear on Cadena SER on Wednesday that the club want him, saying that his name is on the table for next season.