Barcelona signs left back Junior Firpo from Betis
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says it signed left back Junior Firpo from rival Spanish club Real Betis for a fee that could reach 30 million euros (33 million dollars).
MADRID (AP) — Step by step, Barcelona is moving closer to the treble.
Days after beating Manchester United to reach the Champions League semifinals, Barcelona turned its focus to the Spanish...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in unstoppable form, Barcelona didn't need much help to stay on course for another Spanish league title.
Barcelona’s attacking stars disappoint in 0-0 draw at Lyon
LYON, France (AP) — On a scoreless night in the Champions League, not even Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez could find a way to get a goal.
Barcelona's attacking stars were held in check by Lyon...
‘Leo never misses’: Messi scores again as Barca beats Girona
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The game that the Spanish league had wanted to play in the United States still featured a traditional attraction of the competition — Lionel Messi scoring a goal.
Messi coolly put the result beyond doubt in a 2-0 victory for Barcelona at 10-man Girona on Sunday, helping the defending champions to keep their five-point league lead with an eighth straight win.
Without Messi, Barcelona loses to Levante in Copa del Rey
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona could not overcome the absence of Lionel Messi and other regular starters on Thursday, losing 2-1 at Levante in the first leg of the Copa del Rey's round of 16.
Barcelona's second-stringers struggled from the start in Valencia, escaping an even greater defeat only because Levante's forwards squandered some clear scoring chances.
Left alone: Alba proving perfect sidekick for Lionel Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi wowing fans game after game, it's easy to overlook Jordi Alba, the player who often puts him in position to score so many impressive goals.
Alba has become the indispensable sidekick for Barcelona's all-time leading scorer.
"Leo and Jordi understand one another perfectly," coach Ernesto Valverde said after Saturday's 2-0 win over Celta Vigo when Alba helped set up both of Barcelona's goals.
Messi, Dembele protect Barca’s 3-pt lead before winter break
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi ensured Barcelona reached the Spanish league's winter break atop the standings, playing a part in both goals of a 2-0 win at home over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal to take his league-leading tally to 15 in 17 rounds, including six goals in his last three matches, as Barcelona stayed three points ahead of Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona left back Jordi Alba back in Spain squad
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona left back Jordi Alba was recalled by Spain on Thursday for the UEFA Nations League match against Croatia.
Coach Luis Enrique has been heavily criticized for not including Alba in his first two squads since he took charge of Spain following a disappointing World Cup in July. Former Spain defender and Alba's clubmate, Gerard Pique, recently called on the coach to pick Alba.
Suarez scores 2 as Barca rallies late to beat Rayo 3-2
MADRID (AP) — Luis Suarez netted his second goal of a 3-2 comeback win at Rayo Vallecano in the 90th minute on Saturday, extending his scoring run with Lionel Messi injured.
Rayo was winning the Spanish league match 2-1 until the 87th when substitute Ousmane Dembele drilled in a headed back pass by defender Gerard Pique, who joined the attack.
Suarez then scored his second goal to complete the fightback when he was left unmarked to stab in Sergi Roberto's cross at the far post.
Barca outclasses Inter in 2-0 win without injured Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — His arm in a sling and a wide grin across his face, Lionel Messi was able to enjoy Barcelona's beautiful play from the stands for once.
Messi cheered and lifted his good left arm in victory after his teammates showed more than enough class to convincingly beat Inter Milan 2-0 even without its best player.
Alba, Aspas respond to Spain slight with goals in Liga wins
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Within 48 hours of being dropped by new Spain coach Luis Enrique, Jordi Alba and Iago Aspas responded on the field by scoring in standout wins for their teams in the Spanish league.
Alba scored once, provoked an own-goal and set up two more goals to fuel Barcelona's 8-2 demolition of Huesca on Sunday, a day after Aspas ensured Celta Vigo surprised Atletico Madrid by sealing a 2-0 victory.
Huesca takes early lead against Barcelona before losing 8-2
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Newly promoted Huesca enjoyed short-lived celebrations on Sunday after stunning Barcelona with a goal just three minutes into their Spanish league game.
But Lionel Messi provided a harsh reality check with two goals as the defending champions went on to demolish Huesca 8-2 at Camp Nou.
Messi canceled out Juan "Cucho" Hernandez's opener — after a long buildup by Huesca — with an exquisite solo effort.
Luis Enrique leaves out Koke, Alba and Aspas in 1st call-up
MADRID (AP) — Luis Enrique had some surprises in naming his first squad as Spain's coach on Friday, leaving out regulars such as Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion, Jordi Alba and Iago Aspas.
Enrique called up 24 players for the team's matches against England and Croatia in the Nations League.
"I'm not trying to revolutionize, only to improve," Enrique said. "We shouldn't make comparisons to the previous squad. We are not inferior to any other national team, but we still have things to improve."
Argentina coach says Messi fit to play Spain in Madrid
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi has recovered from his adductor muscle problems and will play against Spain in a friendly on Tuesday.
Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli said on Monday that "yesterday and today (Messi) trained and he was fine ... I don't think he will have any problem playing."
A minor muscular problem in an unspecified leg kept Messi on the bench last Friday during Argentina's 2-0 win over Italy in a friendly in Manchester, England.
Messi leads Barcelona to 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi added to his scoring streak with a first-half goal in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Messi scored his eighth goal in six matches with a firm, low shot from outside the area in the 30th minute at Camp Nou Stadium, helping Barcelona to take an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid, which plays at Villarreal later.
Barcelona beats Malaga while Messi attends birth of son
MALAGA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona had no trouble handing 10-man Malaga another loss despite not counting on Lionel Messi, who missed the match to attend the birth of his third son on Saturday.
Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho scored in the 2-0 win for Barcelona before the hosts lost Samuel Garcia to a direct red card for a rash studs-first tackle into the foot of Jordi Alba on the half-hour mark.
Messi nets 2 as Barca beats Celta 5-0 to reach Copa quarters
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored twice in the space of three minutes to help Barcelona to a 5-0 win over Celta Vigo on Thursday as the holders advanced to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.
Messi, who also created Barcelona's third goal for Jordi Alba, set his team on its way to a 6-1 aggregate victory with his 21st and 22nd goals in all competitions this season.
Messi misses penalty as Barca wins big to increase lead
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Watch out Real Madrid.
Barcelona can still outscore opponents even on a rare day when Lionel Messi is far from his brilliant self.
Barcelona warmed up for next round's "clasico" match at Madrid by routing Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 Sunday to increase its lead of the Spanish league.
Barcelona salvages late draw to keep its lead over Valencia
MADRID (AP) — After being denied a legitimate goal, Lionel Messi made sure nobody would keep Barcelona from mounting a comeback against Valencia.
Messi was deprived of a goal after a mistake by officials in the first half of the high-profile game between the Spanish league leaders on Sunday. But the Barcelona star made a perfect pass for Jordi Alba's 82nd-minute equalizer to keep the Catalan club four points ahead of Valencia at the top of the Spanish league.
Iniesta out of Barcelona match at Athletic Bilbao
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says Andres Iniesta will not play Saturday's Spanish league match against Athletic Bilbao because of a muscle problem.
Thomas Vermaelen also won't be available, as he is nursing a hip injury.
Ousmane Dembele, Rafinha, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal had already been ruled out because of long-term injuries.
Own goals help Barcelona win 3-0 at Girona to increase lead
GIRONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona was helped by two own goals from Girona as it eased to a 3-0 win and kept its perfect record in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Barcelona increased its lead of the league to four points after Atletico Madrid beat Sevilla 2-0 to leapfrog the Andalucian club into second place.
Barcelona went ahead at Montilivi Stadium when Girona defender Aday Benitez deflected Jordi Alba's off-target shot back into his net.
Barcelona gets 6th win in 6 rounds, Atletico beats Sevilla
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Girona succeeded in stopping Barcelona star Lionel Messi from scoring.
If only it could have avoided its own net as well.
Barcelona made it six wins in as many games in the Spanish league on Saturday when it won 3-0 at Girona thanks to a pair of own goals by the hosts.
Barcelona went head in the Catalan regional derby when Girona defender Aday Benitez deflected Jordi Alba's off-target shot back into his net in the 17th minute.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — It's been more than a month since four Arab nations cut land, sea and air routes to Qatar, but in the gas-rich Gulf nation's glimmering malls and luxury hotels there is little sign of hardship.
High-end clothing stores hawk the latest summer trends. Grocery stores are brimming with meats and cheeses from Europe and Turkey, and just last month the country's main port received 4,300 cars and sheep from Australia.
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal for Barcelona to give the Catalan club a dramatic 3-2 win in injury time against 10-man Real Madrid in the "clasico" on Sunday, leaving the Spanish league title race wide open.
Messi netted his milestone goal — his second of the night — with a low left-foot shot from inside the area after a cross by Jordi Alba two minutes into stoppage time.
Messi aims to add to successful scoring run against Atletico
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi scores goals, lots of them. And no team has allowed more of them than Atletico Madrid.
The Barcelona forward will get a chance to add to his impressive tally of 26 career goals against Atletico on Sunday, when a victory at the Vicente Calderon Stadium could move the defending champions ahead of Real Madrid for the first time in months.
Barcelona is only one point behind Madrid, but the Spanish league leaders still have a game in hand and face Villarreal later Sunday.
Messi mesmerizes in Barcelona’s 4-1 win against Espanyol
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi put on a show in Barcelona's final Spanish league game of the year, scoring once and mesmerizing with his dribbling skills to set up two other goals in a 4-1 win against Espanyol in the city derby on Sunday.
Luis Suarez struck the first two goals and Jordi Alba added another in a victory that left Barcelona three points behind leader Real Madrid ahead of the winter break. Madrid, which won FIFA's Club World Cup in Japan this weekend, has a game in hand.
Spain defends Group G lead with depleted squad
MADRID (AP) — Sergio Ramos' only contribution to Spain in a World Cup qualifier this weekend will be a pep talk to his teammates.
Ramos visited the team's training camp this week ahead of Saturday's match against Macedonia, but the captain won't be on the field in the southern city of Granada because of an injury — one of the many players missing as Spain tries to defend its Group G lead in European qualifying.
Pique and Alba sidelined with injuries after Man City game
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba will be sidelined for a few weeks because of injuries sustained in the Champions League match against Manchester City.
The Catalan club said Thursday that Pique will be out for about three weeks because of sprained ligaments in his right ankle. The Spain defender had to be replaced in the 39th minute of Barcelona's 4-0 win at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Jordi Alba dropped from Spain’s squad because of injury
MADRID (AP) — Spain defender Jordi Alba has been dropped from the team's squad because of a muscle injury sustained in the World Cup qualifier against Italy.
The Spanish soccer federation says he will be replaced by Arsenal defender Ignacio "Nacho" Monreal.
Alba's left leg injury was confirmed Friday and he will not travel with the rest of the team for Sunday's game at Albania.
The Barcelona player was substituted in the 22nd minute of Spain's 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin on Thursday.