Sergio Busquets will play his 600th Barcelona game after he was named in Ronald Koeman's side for the LaLiga clash with Granada.

Spain international Busquets, a World Cup and Euros winner, made his LaLiga debut under Pep Guardiola in 2008.

Busquets has gone on to help Barca to eight league titles, six Copa del Rey triumphs and three Champions League trophies.

The 32-year-old started against Huesca on Sunday – Lionel Messi making his 500th LaLiga appearance for Barca in that match – and will now hit a milestone of his own on Saturday.

It will be Busquets' 396th LaLiga appearance, with the holding midfielder having scored nine league goals and provided 25 assists.

A further 177 of Busquets' appearances have come in the Champions League, while he has played 64 times in the Copa del Rey.

Busquets also counts 15 Supercopa de Espana matches, five FIFA Club World Cup games and three UEFA Super Cup appearances among his tally.

He is the fourth player to reach the landmark for Barca, after Xavi (767), Messi (752) and Andres Iniesta (674). Like Busquets, those players all graduated from the club's famed La Masia academy.

Miralem Pjanic was brought in to Barca during the close season, but the former Juventus playmaker has been unable to dislodge Busquets, who is in line for his 17th LaLiga appearance of the season.

Koeman's side are aiming for a fourth successive away win in the league against Granada. Victory would be enough to take them to within two points of Real Madrid, who play Osasuna later.

Barcelona must find their way past the minnows who embarrassed Atletico Madrid after being drawn to face neighbours Cornella in their Copa del Rey opener.

Ronald Koeman's Barca enter the competition at the last-32 stage and the record 30-time winners are sure to take Cornella seriously after their fellow Catalonians earned a 1-0 win over Atletico on Wednesday.

Cornella's Camp Municipal stadium is situated less than 10 miles away from Barcelona's Camp Nou, making it a dream draw for the Segunda B side.

Cornella are one of six teams from the Spanish third tier remaining in the competition and Real Madrid will face another of those in the form of Alcoyano, who beat LaLiga strugglers Huesca this week.

Athletic Bilbao face a trip to tackle Ibiza, while Real Sociedad will play Cordoba.

The lower-ranked sides will host the last-32 matches, which are to be played on January 16, 17, 20 or 21.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic and Sociedad have Supercopa de Espana commitments to tackle before turning their focus to the Copa del Rey, with that four-team tournament running from January 13-17.

Diego Simeone hinted at the idea he could leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season after their awful Copa del Rey defeat to third-tier Cornella.

Simeone's LaLiga leaders exited the Copa on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to a goal from former Atletico B defender Adrian Jimenez.

Ricard Sanchez was sent off as Atleti slumped to a shock reverse swiftly described by the Spanish media as a "disaster" among the very worst of Simeone's 502 games in charge of the club.

The long-time coach named a strong side, including record signing Joao Felix, but saw his team remarkably unable to register a single shot on target.

Copa failings are a familiar story by now, though, with the Rojiblancos losing to Cultural Leonesa last season. Meanwhile, they have not beaten a fellow LaLiga outfit in the competition since seeing off Elche in January 2017.

Simeone recognised Atleti are struggling in one-off knockout matches - also losing in last season's Champions League to RB Leipzig - but added the surprising qualifier that it would be an issue to consider only if he was still at the helm next year.

"[Cornella] played better," he said. "In the whole game, what they wanted was always done better than what we wanted.

"They took advantage of the set-piece situations and immediately found the goal.

"The boys tried to compete in the best way. In the first half, we had more chances, and in the second, it was rockier. It got difficult after the red card.

"This competition has not given us satisfaction in recent years but solutions will have to be found if we are here next year."

Saul Niguez, captain on the night, identified the same problem as he added: "We apologise to the fans. We never throw away competitions, but in these single-game editions we are not doing well."

Given Atleti's struggles, the decision to replace Joao Felix with 18-year-old debutant Mario Soriano 15 minutes from time prompted some discussion.

But the Portugal international mustered only one shot, which was blocked, prior to his withdrawal and failed to create a single chance - unlike his replacement.

Joao Felix epitomised the visitors' display as he completed just 13 of his 21 attempted passes and lost possession 13 times, winning none of his three aerial duels.

The change still appeared a big call, yet Simeone explained his star forward was struggling with an ankle injury.

"He was hurt," Simeone said. "We looked for a fresher guy. He had a bruised ankle and we wanted to find a guy in good condition."

Atletico Madrid were the victims of a Copa del Rey giant-killing for a second successive season as Diego Simeone's side went down 1-0 to Cornella.

LaLiga leaders Atleti lost 2-1 to Cultural Leonesa in the round of 32 last season, and slumped out to Segunda B opposition on Wednesday.

The 10-time Copa winners fell behind to Adrian Jimenez's sensational flick seven minutes into the second-round tie in Catalonia.

Saul Niguez hit the woodwork and Lucas Torreira went close with a free-kick, but Ricard Sanchez's second booking compounded Atleti's issues as minnows Cornella claimed a famous triumph.

Sanchez was fortunate not to concede a penalty for handball in the opening minutes, before Jose Gimenez, making his 200th Atleti appearance, scythed down Raul Prieto.

With Gimenez, who was booked for his troubles, off the pitch receiving treatment, Cornella added insult to injury, with Agus Medina's cross flicked home expertly by Jimenez.

Atleti seemed set to restore parity shortly after the 20-minute mark, yet Angel Correa saw two efforts blocked either side of Saul hitting the crossbar.

Though Atleti were seeing over 60 per cent possession, they would have been 2-0 down heading into the break if not for Miguel San Roman's save from Pablo Fernandez.

Vitolo got in behind Cornella's backline early in the second half, only for an errant offside flag to deny him a chance to equalise.

Torreira's curling free-kick was inches away from levelling proceedings, though Atleti were then fortunate that Eloy Gila flicked over from close range at the other end.

Sanchez's frustrating night was made worse when he was deemed to have kicked out at Cornella goalkeeper Ramon Juan – the full-back seeing red just 11 minutes after receiving his first booking as Atleti's comeback efforts proved futile. 

It may reach a point where Lionel Messi is going to need an encyclopedia to record his ever-growing list of achievements.

The Barcelona great's latest benchmark came as a result of his goal in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

That strike was Messi's 644th in all competitions for Barcelona, the most scored by any player for a single team.

He surpassed the previous record held by Brazil legend Pele, who netted 643 for Santos and enjoyed his most prolific year in 1958 when he scored an astonishing 66 goals.

To commemorate such an impressive achievement, we took a look at some of Messi's most impressive numbers with the help of Opta data.


In a little over 16 years in Barca's first team, Messi has raced streets ahead of the competition to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer with a whopping 644 in total. Second on that list is Cesar Rodriguez with 232 goals.

Of Messi's haul, 451 goals have come in LaLiga, which means he also has the most in the history of Spain's top flight. Messi has 118 in the Champions League, 53 in the Copa del Rey, 14 in the Supercopa, three in the UEFA Super Cup and five in the Club World Cup.

His first Barcelona goal came against Albacete on May 1, 2005, with fellow superstar Ronaldinho setting him up.

The Argentina great enjoyed his most prolific campaign in the 2011-12 campaign, when he scored 73 goals across all competitions for Barcelona. There were an eye-watering 79 across the calendar year in 2012.


It should come as little surprise that some of Messi's best returns in a Barca jersey came when playing in the golden era of Pep Guardiola.

In total, Messi had 211 goals and 79 assists in 219 games played under the now-Manchester City manager – an average of 0.96 goals per game.

He also excelled under Luis Enrique, winning the second of his career trebles. There were 153 goals, 66 assists and a goals-per-game ratio of 0.97 in that period.

But it was actually Tito Vilanova for whom Messi returned the best goals per game, a mind-boggling 1.2, having scored 60 in 50 appearances.

Many teams have conceded to Messi but none have picked the ball out of the net on more occasions against the Argentina great than Sevilla, who have done so 37 times.

Atletico Madrid are not far behind on 32, while Valencia have conceded 29 times to Messi and fierce rivals Real Madrid have done so on 26 occasions – making him the highest scorer in Clasico history.


Not many goalkeepers can say they have got the better of Messi, and Diego Alves in particular has not enjoyed encounters against the mercurial forward.

Messi scored past the former Valencia stopper on 21 occasions, with Gorka Iraizoz next on the list - having shipped 18 to the Argentina captain. Iker Casillas and Andres Fernandez have been beaten 17 times.

At Barca, Messi has played alongside some of the best players of his, or indeed any, generation.

But no player has assisted Messi more than Luis Suarez, who has now left Barca for Atleti, with the Uruguay star setting up his former team-mate to score on 47 occasions.

Dani Alves ranks second on 42 assists for Messi, with Andres Iniesta and Xavi laying on 37 and 31 goals respectively.

Camp Nou is of course the venue where Messi has scored the majority of his goals, but the Santiago Bernabeu is next highest, with the 33-year-old having celebrated 15 strikes there.

The Riazor is where Messi has his best goals-per-game ratio at 1.625, scoring 13 times in eight games played at the home of Deportivo La Coruna.

Lionel Messi reminisced on breaking Pele's record as the Barcelona superstar insisted his latest achievement exceeded his wildest dreams.

Messi set a new one-club goals record after netting for the 644th time – the Barca captain surpassing Pele's haul in Tuesday's 3-0 LaLiga victory at Real Valladolid.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, who matched Pele against Valencia on Saturday, scored his 451st LaLiga goal as Barca eased past Valladolid.

Messi used social media to react to the historic feat after Pele had tallied 643 goals in an 18-year career at Brazilian club Santos.

"When I started playing football, I never thought I would break any records," Messi wrote on Instagram. "And even less the one that I achieved today that @pele had...

"I can only thank everyone who helped me over the years, my team-mates, my family, my friends and everyone who supports me every day. Hug!!"

Messi's 644 goals have come across 17 seasons and 749 games for Barca, where the 33-year-old debuted in 2004.

His effort against Valencia made Messi the first player to reach the 450 milestone for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Lionel Messi has set a new one-club goals record after netting for the 644th time as a Barcelona player, surpassing Pele's haul.

Messi matched the total of 643 goals that Brazil legend Pele – one of the greatest players to grace the game – racked up in an 18-year career at Santos.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner headed in his record-equalling goal against Valencia on Saturday and surpassed Pele's tally on Tuesday.

Having created the opener with a cross for Clement Lenglet and played a crucial role in Barca's second against Real Valladolid, Messi swept home after latching onto Pedri's clever flick in the 65th minute to make it 3-0.

As well as taking him past Pele, it was also Messi's 451st goal in LaLiga.

His effort against Valencia made the 33-year-old the first player to reach the 450 milestone for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Pele congratulated Lionel Messi on equalling his one-club goals haul and said he admired the Barcelona star.

Messi scored his 643rd goal for Barca during Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in LaLiga.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner matched Pele's haul of 643 goals in just 656 matches for Santos between 1956 and 1974.

Pele, regarded by many as the best to ever play the game, posted a tribute to Messi on Instagram.

"When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path," the Brazil great wrote.

"Like you, I know what it's like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home.

"Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately will be increasingly rare in football.

"I admire you very much, @leomessi."

Having initially seen a penalty saved by Jaume Domenech, Messi got his milestone goal when he met a cross from the left and nodded home from point-blank range.

Messi's headed goal was his first for Barcelona in all competitions since March 2017, while he missed a spot-kick for the club for the first time since February last year.

Remarkably, his latest goal was also his 450th in LaLiga, making him the first player to reach that figure for a single club in any of Europe's top five leagues.

Atletico Madrid will face third-tier side Cornella in the second round of the Copa del Rey.

Diego Simeone's side will head to Catalonia for the match on January 6, just three days after they face Deportivo Alaves in LaLiga.

Atleti beat Cardassar 3-0 in the previous round to reach this stage, at which teams from the top flight cannot yet be drawn against each other.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad were all given byes to the next round as they will be competing in the Supercopa de Espana early next month.

The draw was designed so that LaLiga clubs would face one-off matches against teams from below the second tier, with all those games taking place at the home grounds of those lower-ranked sides.

Valencia will face Yeclano, Sevilla take on Linares and Real Betis will play Mutilvera.

Eibar head to Las Rozas, Villarreal will meet Zamora or Logrones and Real Valladolid must take on Marbella.

Oviedo, meanwhile, must make a journey of more than 983 kilometres to face Malaga.

The matches will take place on January 5, 6 and 7, with the draw for the next round on January 8.

Copa del Rey draw:

Las Rozas v Eibar
Mutilvera v Real Betis
Alcoyano v Huesca
Zamora or Logrones v Villarreal
Marbella v Real Valladolid
Ibiza v Celta Vigo
Yeclano v Valencia
Cultural Leonesa v Granada
Poblense or Olot v Osasuna
Linares v Sevilla
Portugalete v Levante
Cordoba v Getafe
Deportivo La Coruna v Deportivo Alaves
Cornella v Atletico Madrid
Pontevedra v Cadiz
La Nucia v Elche
Socuellamos v Leganes
Amorebieta v Sporting Gijon
Pena v Sabadell
Haro or Linense v Rayo Vallecano
Burgos v Espanyol
Navalcarnero v Las Palmas
Numancia v Almeria
Alcorcon v Real Zaragoza
Castellon v Tenerife
Fuenlabrada v Mallorca
Malaga v Real Oviedo
Girona v Lugo

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic has tested positive for coronavirus two days after making his debut in the Copa del Rey win over Cardassar.

Grbic, signed from Lokomotiva ahead of the 2020-21 season, played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday.

He was largely untroubled, only having one shot to save as Atletico won the away tie 3-0 to reach the second round.

However, PCR tests on the Atletico squad ahead of hosting Elche in LaLiga on Saturday have flagged up a positive result for the 24-year-old.

Atletico confirmed on Friday that Grbic is asymptomatic, isolating at home and "following the protocols of the health authorities".

Miguel San Roman is Atletico's third goalkeeper and he has been an unused substitute on seven occasions in all competitions this season.

Real Madrid will begin the defence of their Supercopa de Espana title against Athletic Bilbao, while Barcelona will face Real Sociedad.

Madrid beat Valencia before seeing off city rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in last season's re-formatted tournament in Saudi Arabia.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020-21 tournament will be held in Andalusia, with Malaga, Cordoba and Seville confirmed as the host cities.

Madrid, who won LaLiga last season, will kick-off their campaign in Malaga against 2019-20 Copa del Rey finalists Athletic, the side Los Blancos beat 3-1 on Tuesday.

Barca, qualifying as LaLiga runners-up, were the first name out of the hat in Thursday's draw and will take on Athletic's Basque rivals and Copa del Rey final opponents Real Sociedad in Cordoba.

That tie will be played on January 13, with the second semi-final taking place the following day.

La Real were also Barca's most recent LaLiga opponents on Wednesday, when the Blaugrana claimed a 2-1 win at Camp Nou – labelled their best performance of 2020 by Jordi Alba – to knock the visitors off top spot.

Athletic and La Real are yet to go ahead with last season's Copa final, which was postponed due to COVID-19.

Both teams refused to play the match – the first Copa final featuring the Basque Country's two biggest clubs since the split 1910 tournament – behind closed doors.

Instead, that game will take place on April 4, two weeks before the 2020-21 final.

Madrid have won the Supercopa on 11 occasions, two fewer than Barca's record haul of 13.

The last of Athletic's two triumphs came in 2015, when they thrashed Barca 5-1 on aggregate over two legs, while La Real's sole title was in 1982.

The 2021 Supercopa final will take place at Seville's Estadio La Cartuja on January 17.

Saul Niguez is fully aware that he needs to improve his performances, according to Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.

Having reacted angrily after he was taken off in a Champions League clash with Salzburg last week, Saul had to settle for a place on the bench in the Madrid derby.

The 26-year-old came on with an hour played, though could not help Atleti avoid a 2-0 defeat to their city rivals.

Saul returned to Atleti's starting XI as captain on Wednesday, playing on the right as Simeone's team cruised to a 3-0 Copa del Rey win over minnows Cardassar.

It was a quiet display from the versatile midfielder, with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Lucas Torreira dominating the centre of the pitch for the visitors.

Saul attempted 56 passes, fewer than all but two Atleti outfielders from the starting line-up, completing 42 of them (75 per cent).

He lost possession 20 times – a team-high and second only to Cardassar goalkeeper Angel Pedro Sanchez Marin, and did not make any key passes.

Defensively, Saul also lacked his usual efficiency, regaining possession on only three occasions, seven fewer than Kondogbia and six less than Torreira, while he also failed to make a tackle, conceding one foul for which he was booked.

From eight LaLiga appearances so far this season, Saul is yet to score or provide an assist. Last season, he netted six times in the league, while creating 15 chances in total.

Asked about Saul's display, Simeone told reporters: "I was pretty clear yesterday. He is very important to us, he has always given us a lot from day one and the players go through different moments. 

"Saul knows that he has to improve, he works for it and we are waiting for him to give us a lot of things as he has always given us."

While Saul struggled out on the flank, Kondogbia and Torreira impressed their coach.

"I really liked both of them," he added. "They occupied the width of the pitch, they worked very well in circulation, Kondogbia tried the shot, Lucas had very good passes and it is a very good performance for both of us, which helps us and we need everyone."

Atletico Madrid eased into the second round of the Copa del Rey with a comfortable 3-0 victory over fourth-tier Cardassar.

Diego Simeone's side – who won the last of their 10 Copa del Rey titles in 2012-13 – crashed out in the round of 32 last season, losing 2-1 to minnows Cultural Leonesa.

They suffered no such embarrassment on this occasion, with the excellent Thomas Lemar putting them ahead following some impressive goalkeeping from Cardassar's Angel Pedro Sanchez Marin.

Ricard Sanchez got the second, Atleti's debutant right-back picking out the corner to put the visitors into a commanding lead, with Sime Vrsaljko on hand to wrap things up late on.

Atleti's early dominance would have told if not for Marin, who pulled off a superb double save to deny Lemar and Angel Correa.

Felipe fell foul of an unpredictable bounce from Cardassar's resulting counter, but Miguel Alvarez failed to take it under control, and Atleti made the hosts pay.

Having engineered space 25 yards out, Lemar sent a dipping right-foot strike beyond Marin and in off the left-hand upright.

Correa wasted a good chance to add to Atleti's lead, yet the visitors had their second when Sanchez curled a sublime effort into the top-right corner three minutes before half-time.

Lemar looked set to grab his second of the night when Correa slipped a low ball across the area, though Gabriel Roig Sureda defended admirably. 

Sergio Camello sliced wide of a gaping goal moments after coming off Atleti's bench, although it was a miss which mattered little.

With Sanchez having made way, his replacement Vrsaljko side-footed in from Lucas Torreira's cross to add further gloss for Atleti.


What does it mean? Atleti in the hat

There was no giantkilling for Cardassar, though the small group of fans allowed into Camp D'es moleter will nevertheless have revelled in a historic night for their club.

Atleti, meanwhile, will find out their opponents for the second round – which will take place in January – on Friday.

Lemar leaving his mark

Former Monaco star Lemar has never seemed to settle at Atleti, but has put in some impressive displays this term.

He has now scored in each of his last two starts in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 46 matches as a starter.

Alvarez wastes his chance

Cardassar's forward did well to judge a bounce which Felipe did not, and looked all set to race through on goal only for his touch to let him down and subsequently squandered the hosts' best opportunity. 

In total, just two of Alvarez's 20 touches came in Atleti's area, before he was taken off in the 54th minute.

What's next?

The games come thick and fast for Atleti before Christmas, with Elche next up on Saturday in LaLiga before they face high-flying Real Sociedad.

Diego Simeone is confident any issues with Joao Felix and Luis Suarez will be addressed after the pair reacted badly to being substituted in Saturday's Madrid derby.

Neither Atletico Madrid forward played the full 90 minutes of the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid, a result that ended a club-record 26-game unbeaten LaLiga run going back to last season.

Joao Felix was replaced on the hour mark, just before Jan Oblak's own goal took the game away from Atleti.

The Portugal forward failed to muster a shot or create a chance, making no touches of the ball in the Madrid penalty area.

Suarez was little better, seeing his only effort blocked and completing a meagre 10 passes before following his strike partner off the pitch with 17 minutes remaining.

The pair were each replaced by midfielders – Saul Niguez and Geoffrey Kondogbia – and made their frustration clear as they returned to the bench.

But speaking ahead of Wednesday's Copa del Rey trip to Cardassar, coach Simeone was not concerned by their dissatisfaction.

"We have been here for nine years and what we have to talk about will happen internally," he said. "The best way to resolve situations is by talking and obviously we talk."

Saul had Atleti's best attempt after replacing Joao Felix, seeing a close-range header well saved by Thibaut Courtois, but the Spain international is struggling this season.

He has yet to register a goal or assist, while his duel success rate is at a career-low 41.9 per cent and he is also averaging fewer recoveries per 90 minutes (5.1) than in any prior LaLiga season.

"He is not having his best moment," Simeone said. "I have no doubt that for us he is a very important player.

"He has competed since he joined the team as a young man. He has always been important and this year it will not be different.

"He is working to improve. He is strong; we will see the Saul we all know again."

The Copa game against Cardassar may provide opportunities for players such as Saul to rediscover some form.

"There are players who are waiting to have those minutes and each one will make the best use of it," Simeone said. "When Atletico Madrid play, they must be represented in the best possible way."

Atletico Madrid have been paired with fourth-tier side Cardassar in the first round of the Copa del Rey, though Real Madrid and Barcelona are two of four LaLiga clubs missing.

The draw took place in La Cartuja, the Olympic stadium in Seville that will host the final next April, and is organised so that all LaLiga clubs avoid each other and are instead drawn with teams from the lower reaches of the Spanish football pyramid.

Atletico are the only one of the traditional 'big three' involved and face a trip to Tercera Division side Cardassar, who are from a small town on the island of Mallorca.

Sevilla, Spain's fourth Champions League representative this term, will stay in Andalusia when they go to Ciudad de Lucena and Valencia have been drawn against Catalonian team Terrassa.

Ties will take place on December 16 between the 112 clubs involved at this stage.

Madrid, Barca and 2019-20 Copa finalists Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao have byes to the third round due to their participation in the expanded Supercopa.

Athletic and La Real were unable to play their historic all-Basque final earlier this year as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the match postponed indefinitely at the time.

Recent media reports suggest the match is due to be rearranged for April 4, 2021, two weeks prior to the 2020-21 final.

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