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Sergio Ramos, Neymar, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, La Masia | Barca Top 5

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Neymar growing in skill and stature under the tutelage of Lionel Messi | FRANCESC TOMAS | ESPN

Now nearly 28 years old, the diminutive No. 10 is in a position to share the knowledge he has acquired by competing at the highest level over the past decade. No longer a silent teenager but an influential leader, La Pulga has reached a point of maturity, which puts him in a position to play a decisive role in the nurturing of others, a shoulder for aspiring youngsters to lean on while on the search for greatness. Need proof? Look no further than Neymar.


Sergio Ramos is wanted by one of the candidates to be Barcelona president | Sport

Sergio Ramos swapping Madrid for Barcelona is practically impossible, but the defender's representatives appear ready to be used by this pre-candidate during the elections (his name, for now, has to remain secret), so that they can put pressure on Perez to renew Ramos' deal. Ramos has two years to run on his contract, but has been negotiating new terms for a while.

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Dunga, the Brazil coach, was probably right when he implied there had been a deliberate plan to wind Neymar up. Juan Cuadrado bundled him off the ball with a brusque shoulder charge early on, and Juan Camilo Zúñiga, whose challenge ended Neymar’s World Cup, seemed to take particular delight in sashaying past him after dispossessing him in the first half. By the end of the first half. Neymar seemed ready to snap: he had been booked for a handball, then grabbed the referee, Enrique Osses, by the shoulder, and then clouted Cuadrado before fisting the ball away in frustration. The whistle perhaps saved him then, but at the end of the second half he snapped.

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Freixa: "I'd like to bring Cruyff back to the club" | Marca

Toni Freixa: "I would like to get Cruyff involved in the club's affairs again. I'd like to bring him back to the club. I believe in setting up an expert committee to monitor the Barcelona model. We can't allow ourselves to spend €180 million on players every year."

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Off-the-pitch developments made a repeat of last year’s legendary season – during which La Masia sides won 13 out of the 14 league titles they contested – a gargantuan task. By no means has there been a trophy drought though at La Masia, with 8 out of the 15 sides from the Juvenil A down to Prebenjamín crowned league champions in their respective age groups. That of course has to be balanced against how far La Masia actually went this season towards fulfilling its goal: providing youngsters with a footballing education that really goes beyond the basics of the sport.

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  1. Wayne18.6.15

    Veratti is the ideal midfielder

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