We take a look at some of the key stories doing the rounds regarding La Liga Champions FC Barcelona.

David Villa Names Pep Guardiola As The Best Manager He’s Played For

Spanish soccer player David Villa inaugurates a soccer academy in Puerto Rico

Over the course of a highly decorated career with Barcelona, Atletico and the Spanish national team, Villa has played under the likes of Luis Aragones, Diego Simeone and Vicente Del Bosque, but he reserved special praise for current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, calling him the best he’s ever had in his career.

According to MARCA, he said: “Guardiola is very good, one of the best coaches in the world. When you surround yourself with the best it’s simply amazing, they do things you cannot even see.” He moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2010 in a deal worth €40 million and over the course of the next 3 seasons, he would win every single trophy available and the 35-year-old insisted he was extremely proud of what he did. “It was nice to have the opportunity to work at his side, I’m very proud of what we did at Barcelona. Pep is the best coach that I’ve had during my career.”

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Barcelona Director Reveals Plans For Women’s Football

In a recent interview with Sports Business Daily, the Director of Barcelona’s New York setup Arno Trabesinger revealed their plans of setting up a women’s team in the country. “It’s not a secret that we are talking with U.S. Soccer, with [President] Sunil Gulati and his team in order to establish a women’s soccer franchise in the U.S. We are in talks, with no final decision for the moment, but our board is very interested in establishing a women’s franchise in the U.S. Maybe in the beginning of 2017, we will have a final idea on this project.”

He went on to say that women’s soccer was held in high regard in the United States and it was far more popular here than in other major European footballing nations like Spain and Germany: “If you compare it with other countries, like Spain and Germany, much more girls are playing soccer here than in Europe, and this makes us confident to participate and take part in the development of women’s soccer in this country. This is one of our important goals for the next year.” On being asked about the where this team would be based, he said that it was yet to be decided. “We are evaluating different marketplaces, but it would not necessarily be based in New York. This is still an open question.”

READ MORE: NEYMAR BEGGED BY OPPONENT NOT TO HUMILIATE HIM, DOES SO ANYWAY [VIDEO]

Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola Hail Lionel Messi

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium on December 18, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium on December 18, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with BarcaTV, the 46-year-old manager hailed the Argentine star and said it was ‘ridiculous’ to compare him to others. Messi lost out on a sixth Ballon d’Or to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo last week but Enrique insisted that there was no scope for comparison. “It’s ridiculous to compare him [with others] through awards, the ‘Melon d’Or’, etc,” he said.

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He went on to say that there would never be another player like Messi, who has scored 23 goals in 20 appearances this season. “There’s no room for comparisons. He can play where he wants, If I put him at centre back, he’d be the best defender in the team.”

Enrique’s statements were backed up by former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola. According to MARCA, he said, “I agree with Luis Enrique, Leo is the best because he plays, makes goals and knows how to make others play. With the respect that I have for other great players, Cristiano is at the top – but Messi is on another level.”

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