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Barcelona

 By Sid Lowe

Are Barcelona suffering from an identity crisis under Luis Enrique?

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Sid Lowe discuss the Champions League draw, where Barcelona drew a tough Manchester City side in the round of 16.

The moment Barcelona's players left the Camp Nou last Saturday, they were on holiday. Some of them departed the stadium after the 5-0 win against Córdoba and headed straight for El Prat airport. Their 4 p.m. kickoff, the earliest of the weekend's games, suited them; the previous weekend's result, a 0-0 draw at Getafe, did not.

Barcelona's Europe-based players will return on Dec. 30, the Latin Americans on Dec. 31, and Leo Messi and Neymar on Jan. 2, just two days before facing Real Sociedad --...

 By Uli Hesse

The fantastical tale of a Barcelona footballer who played with character

In 1974, a lightning-fast right-winger caught the eye of a Barcelona scout and was immediately offered a contract. His impact in Europe would be telling, but it's likely you've never heard of him.

Kai Falke, a legend in comic book form. (Published by Koralle Verlag.)

Regular readers may be aware that over the past 12 years I've often tried to devote the last column before Christmas to a special subject. This year it's a player who meant a lot to me when I was a kid.

I'm fairly sure that the vast majority of you have never heard of Kai Falke, even though no less an...

Winners and losers at Barcelona under Enrique's leadership

See who Stevie put on his World XI team of 2014.

Luis Enrique was given the incredibly difficult task of ensuring Barcelona returned to the very top of European football after a couple of disappointing years due to ineffective management, a lack of hunger and the inevitable passing of time.

Since his arrival at the Camp Nou during the summer, the Asturian coach has managed to make several changes that have improved the overall quality of the squad. While it is obvious that the team is not performing at the level Cules have come to expect in...

 By Lee Roden

Local pride at stake as Catalonia take on the Basque Country in friendly

Catalan Basque
The national flags of Catalonia and the Basque Country will be on display.

Organising the Catalan national team's annual New Year friendly is no simple task. La Liga's winter break provides a brief window for Spain-based players to work within, but other leagues have a less forgiving schedule. Those time constraints, combined with the delicate nature of playing against a national team FIFA does not recognise, means that Catalonia's big ambitions for the fixture are rarely met.

- Mitten: If Catalonia were independent

While the original idea this year was for the Catalans...

 By Alex Shaw

European Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew discuss Borussia Dortmund's domestic struggles after a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen, finishing 2014 joint-bottom with Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

With football across Europe winding down for the winter break, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions on their side. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Each team's grade for the season so far is below -- and click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Click here for the verdict on all 20 Premier League teams.

LA LIGA:

Atletico Madrid: A-

Barcelona: C+

Real Madrid: A

BUNDESLIGA:

Bayern Munich: A

Barcelona Report Card: A summary of Barca's La Liga season so far

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Sid Lowe discuss the Champions League draw, where Barcelona drew a tough Manchester City side in the round of 16.

With La Liga winding down for the winter break, who has starred for Barcelona and what does the second half of the campaign have in store? Here's a look at how Luis Enrique's men have fared so far.

Grade: C+

Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

Despite the record-breaking 157 million-euro investment made over the summer, manager Enrique continues to experiment to find his preferred formation and starting XI.

Highlight

As has been tradition since his Blaugrana debut over a decade ago, Lionel Messi's...