Éric Abidal celebrates his goal at the Santiago Bernabéu / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

The year started with good and bad news. The negative note came in Pamplona, where Andreu Fontàs joined David Villa in the treatment room, the latter having been injured in the semi final of the Clubs World Cup in Yokohama. The good news was the third Ballon d’Or in a row for Leo Messi, with Cristiano Ronaldo second and Xavi Hernández third.

The team progressed to the semi finals of the Copa del Rey by beating Osasuna and then Real Madrid in the quarter finals.