World Cup winner Andrés Iniesta spoke in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against eternal rivals Real Madrid. A horror week in the Catalan club caused an earlier than usual UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Atlético Madrid, followed by a disappointing away loss against Granada CF which lost Barça’s grip on the league title chase.
But now the team is solely focused on bouncing back by beating Real Madrid for the third time this season in the very same stadium where they lost in 2011. Iniesta reassured the fans that “The team is able to play well and win.” He also added, “It would be a huge joy for our supporters. We only have thoughts of winning the trophy.” More from Don Andrés after the jump.
THE SAD REALITY OF THE CULÉS
Only six says ago we dreamt of a treble, but considering how things have gone, we’ll gladly sign off on this…
Cartoon by Caye
FC Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino argued that his team still has what it takes to defeat Real Madrid for the Copa del Rey title, while acknowledging the disappointment of recent results. Make the jump for more details.
Today Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti officially ruled Cristiano Ronaldo out of tomorrow evening Copa del Rey final. Winning will still need a fully focused and committed performance from FC Barcelona, particularly considering the last several days. But with Ronaldo out, Gerardo Martino’s team’s task has markedly improved. Less excuses now, lads.
FC Barcelona’s Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta spoke to Catalan station TV3 about matters concerning the team. A loss at Vicente Calderón in Madrid and another at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes last week created some “crisis” talk around the club. Suggestions behind Lionel Messi’s lack of play along with rumours surrounding Gerardo Martino’s exit by the end of the season were all denied by the former goalkeeper, who clearly stated that both Argentines deserve merit on their hard work. He also admitted that as a Sporting Director, last match highlighted his “worst moment” at the job. More from Zubizarreta after the jump.
Just some time ago, FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A side defeated Benfica 3-0 in the first UEFA Youth League, the competition that mirrors the Champions League for players of 19 years and under. The star of the show, and the tournament, was Munir El Haddadi. The young man got a brace this afternoon, and over the entire competition 11 goals and six assists. The other goal today was scored by Rodrigo Tarin. Adama Traoré also shined in the win, as he has done all season. It’s truly a great accomplishment for the club and La Masia, which despite all the negative press stemming from the FIFA ban, is still the benchmark for football player development. I recommend anyone more interested to check out @Youngcules Twitter page for everything including the goals.
Congratulations Juvenil A! The future is bright indeed.
WE PRAY THAT ON WEDNESDAY WE WON’T HAVE TO STOP BY THE RED WASTE BIN.
GLASS / PAPER AND CARDBOARD / TITLES
Cartoon by Caye
He may be injured, he can’t even play but Capità still knows how to make culés proud. This afternoon Carles Puyol went in front of the media to basically try and straighten out the narrative, to try and regain some perspective in this myopic world of sport. Below is only a brief summary of what was said in his statement as well as the barrage of question, but basically Puyol said it’s no time to point fingers, that the team is always trying its best and have been for quite a few years now. He also defended Lionel Messi unscrupulously and had to explain that it’s impossible to always win. It was additionally a rallying of the troops, to try and get everyone on board with the final push.
Dani Alves, choosing to inspire and not criticize after a very difficult week, posted these inspirational words along with this picture on his Instagram account on Sunday.
“TOGETHER UNTIL THE END” We are always the ones responsible for the glory of this team and of this club, we are the ones required to overcome difficult situations, now more than ever WE ARE UNITED, we are the best, they can say whatever they will say. The results will be good, bad, but the presentation of everything makes me proud to be part of this team. BARÇA TO THE DEATH AND AFTER.”
The metric that Lionel Messi ran 6.8 kilometers the other evening has produced a lot of chatter. A favorite narrative theorizes the Argentinian captain is protecting himself for the 2014 FIFA World Cup beginning in 60 days. Well, so what if he is?
Yesterday, Granada CF beat FC Barcelona for the first time since 1972, dealing a massive blow to Barça’s hopes of winning La Liga. As it stands, the blaugrana sit in third place, and with the toughest schedule of the top three in the last five games of the season, they are odds-on to stay there. If Barça were to finish bronze, it would be the first time since the 2007-08 season, well known as Frank Rijkaard’s last year and the year before Pep Guardiola came in and cleaned house. The Barça players have not given up yet, and the fans certainly shouldn’t – but maybe, just maybe, Gerardo Martino has.
In an interview with Time magazine, Edson Arantes do Nascimento “Pelé” was asked which club would he choose to play for today. The Brazilian legend who played for Santos for 18 years and then signed for the New York Cosmos at the end of his footballing career, said that he would undoubtedly return to his beloved Santos FC once again. Nevertheless, if he had to choose from today’s modern teams, he’d pick the Catalans. “If you were to ask me about teams from now, from modern football, I could name two or three teams, but at this moment, I would say FC Barcelona. It’s same style that Santos used to play.” More after the jump.
April 13, 2014
April 12, 2014