Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson believes that he is close to regaining top form having missed most of last season with a serious knee injury.
The 33-year-old returned at the end of last season but feels that his performance in Barcelona's opening day Liga draw with Alaves was a significant improvement on his last appearance.
"Every time I play and every time I train, it gets better," Larsson told Sportbladet.
Substitute Larsson revealed his frustration at not starting the game for Barca but thought the side were unfortunate not to claim all three points.
"I would like to have come in and bag one but I didn't get any chances and its not easy when you don't get much time.
"We played well today but we didn't have that extra bit - we were rather unlucky."
Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has signed a new contract with Barcelona.
Ronaldinho has had a massive impact at Camp Nou since joining the Catalan giants from Paris Saint Germain in 2003.
He rejected a move to Manchester United and his decision has proved a wise one, after he inspired Barcelona to the Primera Liga title last season.
The mercurial playmaker is also the current World Player of the Year and his commitment to Barca now runs until 2010.
Barca had initially suggested extending his contract until 2014 but all parties have concurred on a two-year prolongation to his previous deal.
The Spanish champions have also increased Ronaldinho's buy-out clause to a mind-boggling sum of €125 million (£85.5 million).
The new deal is certain to be a boost to Barcelona, who started the defence of their title with a lacklustre 0-0 draw at promoted Alaves last weekend.
Barcelona star Gabri will be out of action for over a month due to an ankle injury.
The defender-cum-midfielder strained ligaments in his left ankle during a training session last Tuesday.
The injury came about after a strong challenge with forward Santiago Ezquerro.
The news will come as a big blow to the Spain international, 25, who missed virtually all of last season after tearing knee ligaments.
"Gabri has suffered a second grade strain to the internal ligaments of his left ankle," explained Barca doctor Gil Rodas.
"It is a serious injury and, after treating the affected ligament, we will have to be cautious with his recovery.
"After what happened last year it is a very tough moment for him."
The player missed Barca's goalless draw at Alaves in the first round of Spanish league matches last weekend.
Portsmouth have announced the signing of French midfield starlet Frank Songo'o.
The 19-year-old has come from the much famed youth system at Barcelona and was rated as one of the most promising youngsters in Europe.
He is a French youth international having decided against following in the footsteps of his legendary father and uncle - Jacques Songo'o and Thomas N'Kono, who both starred for Cameroon.
Songo'o is believed to have turned down a number of clubs to make the move to England, and to Fratton Park, after Barca allowed him to leave.
Pompey were delighted to announce the signing which is somewhat of a coup for the South Coast outfit.
"This is a player with a lot of potential. He has both pace and skill so he is an investment," said chairman Milan Mandaric.
Middlesbrough have signed midfielder Fabio Rochemback and defender Abel Xavier before Wednesday's transfer deadline.
The Premiership club have signed Brazilian Rochemback to a five-year deal at The Riverside, while Xavier has concurred on a one-year contract with the North East club.
Rochemback comes to Boro after the Teessiders paid Sporting Lisbon £1 million to help them end the last year of a three-year loan deal for the South American with parent club Barcelona.
Barca confirmed a deal was agreed with Boro on Wednesday to move Rochemback to Steve McClaren's side, as he looks to fill a central midfield position in his squad for the current campaign.
Rochemback is joined at The Riverside by the much-travelled Xavier, who joins Boro on a 12-month deal after finishing last season with Italian giants Roma.
The Portugal international had been training with the Premiership side and the club have secured the services of the right back for the coming campaign.
Xavier enjoyed previous spells in The Pre
miership with Merseyside giants Everton and Liverpool before heading to Turkey and Istanbul giants Galatasaray.
Ronnie eyes Blues revenge
Barcelona star Ronaldinho has targeted UEFA Champions League revenge against Chelsea this season.
The Brazilian superstar is still bothered by the way Jose Mourinho's side dumped the Spanish champions out of the competition last season.
Frank Rijkaard's side enjoyed their Primera Liga success last season but now want to go on and conquer Europe this term.
Ronaldinho believes Barca will dispose of Werder Bremen, Udinese and Panathinaikos in their Champions League group, and would love to then face Chelsea in the knockout stages.
"Hopefully this will be our year to win the Champions League," Ronaldinho told the Daily Mail.
"Last season was so disappointing when we lost to Chelsea that we can't wait to begin the competition again.
"We were in control and believed it was our match, only to lose it near the end at Stamford Bridge.
"I don't hold any personal grudge against any particular Chelsea player, but there is no doubt about it - we have unfinished business.
"If we are drawn to face them this season, we will get revenge."
Eto'o given all-clear
Samuel Eto'o has been given the all-clear to play in Barcelona's game with Mallorca on Sunday.
The Cameroon hit-man spent Friday night in hospital after a serious clash of heads with team-mate Damia Abella in a training session on Friday.
Eto'o sustained a gash to his head and, while he did not lose consciousness, was kept in overnight as a precaution.
However, he was discharged by doctors on Saturday morning after showing no further ill-effects and took part in a training session with the rest of his team-mates later in the day.
Barca boss Frank Rijkaard has decided he will be fit to line up against Mallorca on Sunday, and the player himself has no doubts he will be ready for the encounter at Camp Nou.
"I am fine and want to play," Eto'o stated.
Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o says he would love to play in The Premiership in the future.
The Cameroon international courted the interest of Arsenal and Chelsea during the summer, despite a successful season with the Spanish champions.
The 24-year-old was instrumental in Barca's march to the Primera Liga title last season, with the Catalan club extending his contract at Camp Nou through to 2010.
The former Real Madrid and Mallorca hit-man admits the atmosphere created by supporters in England is a fantastic experience.
"Chelsea were looking at me and one day I would love to play in The Premiership - for the fans, not the money," Eto'o told The Sun.
"They can be losing 4-0 and still be cheering. That more than anything would attract me to The Premiership.
"I played for Real Mallorca at Newcastle and Bolton.
"The atmosphere in St James' Park was unbelievable and at Chelsea (last season), it was incredible.
"There is no comparison to English fans."
More awards for Barca duo
Ronaldinho and Eto'o will tonight be honoured at the inaugural FIFPro gala as members of the 2004-5 World XI, as voted for by the organisation's more than 38,000 professional footballers worldwide.
The two Barca stars flew out to London after training on Monday morning accompanied by club director Alejandro Echevarría. Fellow Barca stars Puyol, Deco, Xavi and Van Bommel were also on the shortlist for selection.
Samuel Eto'o told fcbarcelona.com: "this is an important award for me it's hard enough to earn a place in any team, so just imagine how being selected to play in the World's top XI makes me feel. It's especially significant because it's the result of votes cast by other professionals, who really know what this game is all about".
"The whole team should be here"
A happy Eto'o went on to praise his teammate Ronaldinho: "he's a unique player, whenever there are awards to be given out, he's going to be there". The Cameroon striker also claimed: "the whole Barca team should be there, any one of them is good enough to make that XI".
For his part, Ronaldinho reckons: "this is a reward for all the hard work the whole group here has put in, as well as for my own efforts", whilst echoing Eto'o: "the people who voted for us are professionals who know the game and it's the highest honour to be recognized by them". Ronaldinho also feels his Barca teammates should be in the team: any of our players could be in the team, they are all top quality players".