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Xavi and Alba back for Barca's PSG trip after injury

MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona's Xavi and Jordi Alba have both recovered from hamstring strains and were included in their squad on Sunday for the trip to play Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals. The duo returned injured from international duty with Spain - Alba after the World Cup qualifying draw with Finland a week ago, and Xavi after helping the world champions to get a 1-0 win away to France. They were left out of the leaders' squad for their 2-2 draw away to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Football: Barca's Roura 'in constant contact' with Vilanova

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has revealed that he is in contact with absent coach Tito Vilanova during the Catalan club's matches. Vilanova hasn't been able to attend Barca's last four games as he undergoes treatment for cancer of the salivary gland in New York. However, Roura insisted Vilanova still plays a big part in the team's preparations for every game as well as consulting with Roura on in-game decisions.

WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Messi sweeps to fourth successive award

By Brian Homewood ZURICH, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Lionel Messi, still only 25, was named the world's best player for the fourth time in a row on Monday after a year in which finally produced his best form for Argentina as well as Barcelona. Messi was handed the FIFA Ballon D'Or award after a typically cheesy ceremony which featured a performance from a giant dancing armadillo named Fuleco, the mascot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Messi wins Player of the Year for fourth time

By Brian Homewood ZURICH, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Argentina's Lionel Messi, still only 25, was named the world's best player for an unprecedented fourth year running on Monday. The award, officially known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or, came after the Barcelona player scored a remarkable 91 goals in 2012, a record for a calendar year.
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