On Tuesday, La Liga announced their 2012-13 season schedule. FC Barcelona will look to make it four Liga titles in five years, now with Tito Vilanova at the helm. Real Madrid will look to defend their title as Jose Mourinho and his Blancos try to make it 33 titles in the club's history.
Let's not forget about Málaga, who will certainly be a challenge for any opponent. Valencia will look to get out of the third-place spot and challenge Real and Barça. Athletic Bilbao is a tough opponent and is going to make a strong push for the title and a Champions League spot.
For Barcelona, the season begins on Aug. 18, as they open up at the Camp Nou against Real Sociedad.
Here is the rest of La Liga schedule along with Copa Del Rey, UEFA Champions League, and El Clásico dates as well.
Messi looking to recapture La Liga.
2012-13 FC Barcelona Liga Season
8/19: vs. Real Sociedad
8/26: at Osasuna
9/2: vs. Valencia
9/16: at Getafe
9/23: vs. Granada
9/30: at Sevilla
9/7: vs. Real Madrid
9/21: at Deportivo La Coruña
9/28: at Rayo Vallecano
10/4: vs. Celta Vigo
10/11: at Mallorca
10/18: vs. Real Zaragoza
10/25: at Levante
12/2: vs. Athletic Bilbao
12/9: at Real Betis
12/16: vs. Atletico Madrid
12/22: at Real Valladolid
1/8: vs. Espanyol
1/13: at Málaga
1/20: at Real Sociedad
1/27: vs. Osasuna
2/3: at Valencia
2/10: vs. Getafe
2/17: at Granada
2/24: vs. Sevilla
3/3: at Real Madrid
3/10: vs. Deportivo La Coruña
3/17: vs. Rayo Vallecano
3/31: at Celta Vigo
4/7: vs. Mallorca
4/14: at Real Zaragoza
4/21: vs. Levante
4/28: at Athletic Bilbao
5/5: vs. Real Betis
5/12: at Atletico Madrid
5/19: vs. Real Valladolid
5/29: at Espanyol
6/1: vs. Málaga
Note: All game dates are subject to change.
Xavi looking to make it back-to-back Copa champs!
Barcelona will try to go back-to-back as Copa Del Rey champions in 2012-13.
While the Copa Del Rey schedule will not be cleared up for Barcelona until sometime in October, we do know that the quarterfinals of the Copa are currently scheduled for Jan. 9 (1st leg) and 16 (2nd leg). The Copa semifinals are scheduled for Jan. 23 (1st leg) and 30 (2nd leg).
The Copa Del Rey final is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th (stadium to be determined).
Tito looking to win his first Champions League title as manager.
Tito Vilanova and his FC Barcelona squad will look to make it three UEFA Champions League titles in five years in 2012-13.
The group stage of the UEFA Champions League will begin on Sept. 18-19 (Matchday 1) with the official draw to announce the groups on Aug. 30.
The UEFA Champions League Final will be held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 25 in celebration of the English Football Association's 150th anniversary.
Messi vs. Ronaldo
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Tito vs. Mou (no eye-poking or insulting women, Mou)
Messi vs. Ronaldo
Culés vs. Madridistas
Two words: El Clásico
We won't have to wait too long to see a Clásico as Real Madrid – defending Liga champions– will take on FC Barcelona – defending Copa Del Rey champions – in the Spanish Super Cup next month. The first leg will be on Thursday, Aug. 23 at the Camp Nou with the return leg at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday, August 29.
The first Liga-season Clásico will not be in November or December as in years past.
The first league match between Barça and Madrid will be the weekend of Matchday 7: Oct. 7 at the Camp Nou.
The second Liga Clásico will be on Matchday 26: March 3rd at the Bernabéu.
¡Viva El Clásico!
With the dates now essentially set, it's now up to the Barça players to step up and win. With the addition of Jordi Alba, Barcelona will now have another dynamic threat on their squad. Of course we'll have to see how the players execute under a new manager, albeit Tito Vilanova will run the same tiki-taka offense previously run by Pep Guardiola.
La Liga will be tougher than even and the Copa Del Rey is never easy. Without question the greatest challenge is the UEFA Champions League.
One of the things I'm looking forward to is the battle within the battle between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid both in El Clásico and in La Liga: Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo.
Can Messi defend the Pichichi Trophy in 2012-13?
Will Ronaldo lead his team to glory in La Liga again?
Who will dominate and win the FIFA Ballon d'Or?
Will Messi or CR7 lead his team to a UEFA Champions League title?
Who knows, maybe FC Barcelona will see Real Madrid at Wembley for the Champions League Final.
All these questions will be answered soon. I can't wait!
Messi, Tito and all of FC Barcelona: it's time to get our crown back, both in La Liga and in the Champions League.
Visca el Barça!
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