Barcelona’s French centre-back Jéremy Mathieu has been added to the list of internationals set to miss this week’s training sessions as the 30-year-old received a last-minute call-up by Didier Deschamps for the French national team. Mathieu had originally been left out of the squad named to face Spain (September 4) and Serbia (September 7) in international friendlies, given that France have been given a bye to the finals of EURO 2016 being the hosts, but Laurent Koscielny’s injury in Arsenal’s away draw against Leicester City yesterday has meant that Mathieu was called-up as a replacement. The former Valencia man will join his France teammates on Monday.
Teenage sensation Munir El Haddadi is surely living a dream. In the space of a week, he has managed to debut for Barcelona, score his first goal, appear for a second time in the starting XI, and win his first Spain U-21 call-up. To cap all that off, today the striker will be celebrating his 19th birthday. Straight out of a dream isn’t it? Too bad he received a little knock in the Villarreal match yesterday.
The totalBarca team would like to wish Munir a happy birthday and a Barça career full of goals and trophies!
Last season ended in frustration. Despite reaching the final of the Copa del Rey and being just a goal short from winning the league, Barça fans considered the season as one to forget. The papers called it the end of an era, and the pressure got higher on the board of directors. However, a promise was made back in May by the club president; Josep Maria Bartomeu stated that there will be some profound changes to the squad and promised the fans that they will enjoy Barça this season. The new project was put in motion and former coach Gerardo Martino packed his bags as the board brought in their first summer signing: Luis Enrique. Since then, Barça’s squad has been changed entirely, a bit like a “football manager” simulation. There have been players retiring and others going out on loan. Some sales rocked the fans, and some purchases got them back on their toes. There’s a long list of ins and outs this summer, and as the transfer window closes, we want to know what you think of the board’s changes. Are they enough? Did the right players join us? Are there too many newbies in our squad? Answer our polls and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Once again, a Barça B striker has helped FC Barcelona win all three points early in La Liga’s title race, and this time it was Sandro Ramírez with the winning goal. In his post-match presser, Luis Enrique was overjoyed with the influence these young stars are having on the first team as they show the world the quality of players La Masia continues to produce. “I’m pleased to see that the youngsters are helping us so much. We are happy for him [Sandro] and with all of the hard work that the young players are doing.” Continue reading for more from the boss.
It took 81 minutes, but Barcelona finally managed to break down a stubborn Villarreal side at El Madrigal last night. On the one hand, it was a familiar sight: the home team defending deep and compact, launching counterattacks into open space behind Barça’s high line. But the Barcelona side that met Villarreal on the pitch today was distinctly unlike anything seen in the last two seasons. They created numerous chances against an excellent defensive side, looking relatively composed and solid at the back, before a youth player and out-and-out striker managed to net the game-winner. All new, all exciting.
Lionel Messi and Munir El Haddadi have both suffered from injuries during the team’s win against Villarreal CF. The Argentinian pulled an adductor muscle in his right hip, while Munir bruised his right thigh. The injury puts Messi’s involvement with Argentina during the upcoming international break in doubt as precautionary methods will be taken to avoid aggravating the injury. Munir will also undergo tests on Tuesday to determine the full extent of his injury.
Last season proved to be the best ever in terms of successes for La Masia, but that success has also brought serious changes. The governing duo of Guillermo Amor and Albert Puig has been replaced by Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira. Former midfielder Amor, who was a member of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team in the 1990s, has elected to pursue a career in Australian football, where he has taken over as sporting director at top flight side Adelaide United. Read more after the jump…
An international break is coming up, and that is something that almost always means lots of absences for Barcelona. This time round, 13 first team players have been called up by their national sides. Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Pedro Rodríguez and Marc Bartra are all off to play for Spain, while Neymar Jr. (Brazil), Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi (Argentina), Claudio Bravo (Chile), Ivan Rakitić (Croatia), Rafinha Alcantara (Brazil U-21), Sergi Roberto and Munir El Haddadi (Spain U-21) have also been called up for international duty. Make the jump for a list of all the games involving Barça’s players in the upcoming international break…
totalBarça welcomes you all to the first Liga game of the season between Villarreal CF and FC Barcelona. Are you ready?!
Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 19:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
After a making significant improvement on last week’s average performance in Pamplona, Barcelona B was able to take its first win of the season with a 3-1 win against the fellow Catalans of Sabadell. It was a very eventful night at Barcelona’s Miniestadi, as Sabadell went ahead, were then reduced to ten players, Barça B managed to win two penalties but converted just one, and finally Dongou turned the game on its head for the hosts. Definitely an enjoyable showing from Eusebio’s men, that leaves a lot of promise for the long season ahead.
A company called Traffic sits front and center in suspicions around the transfer of Douglas. It was the same company which facilitated FC Barcelona’s acquisitions of Keirrison and Henrique, players who effectively ended up never playing for the club. Vice-president Jordi Mestre however rebukes any ideas of shady dealings regarding Douglas. “You cannot compare this operation to those ones [Keirrison and Henrique]. Our coaches asked us for this player and the economical amounts are very different.” He further explained that Traffic was simply acting as Douglas’ agents and “were absolutely no hindrance“, and that the economic of the deal were exclusively between Barcelona and São Paolo.
The Madrigal has been a happy hunting ground for FC Barcelona in recent years. In the last five visits to the home of the Yellow Submarines, Barça have secured four wins and a draw, meaning Villarreal haven’t defeated the blaugrana on their own turf since the 2007/08 season. Marcelino García Toral will be looking to change that on Sunday and to put the first stain on Luis Enrique’s perfectly clean record.
“I WANT TO WIN IT ALL”
BARTOMEU ASSURES SPORT THAT HE’S NOT CONTENT WITH ONE TITLE
“We signed Luis Enrique to be competitive and to achieve excellence”
“The team had the greatest renovation since the Hesperia mutiny”
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“As soon as I saw this shirt I realised how much I am going to have to do here,” said Barça’s newest signing, Douglas Pereira, who will wear the number 16, which used to belong to Barça’s current fourth captain, Sergio Busquets. The Brazilian full back gave his first press conference on Friday as he was being presented to the media. “I am very happy to be here in Barcelona to represent Barça,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to training with my new team-mates … Since I’ve been here it’s all been on a different level: The city, the club, the stadium…” More from Barça’s seventh signing this summer, right after the jump.
August 31, 2014
August 30, 2014
August 29, 2014