Leo Messi arrived back in Barcelona this morning, along with his Argentine teammates Gabriel Milito and Javier Mascherano after sitting out of Argentina’s game against Costa Rica, and went straight to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and then to the Hospital de Barcelona for a series of tests. The club’s medical services examined the 23-year-old striker and doctors announced that there was no evidence of muscle damage in his right thigh. For precaution’s sake, the player will undergo physiotherapy until Saturday, which is also when a decision will be made on his availability for the La Liga game against Villarreal.
Spain vs England, playoffs, UEFA U-17 European Championship.
(Thursday March 31 2011 @ 19:00 Barcelona time – Convert to local time)
Two FC Barcelona youngsters namely Gerard Deulofeu (17) and Pol Calvet (17) are included in the squad for Spain.
Catch the match live after the jump!
Are you ready for another episode of Crackòvia? Today we will participate in a press conference with Pep Guardiola. Being coach of FC Barcelona is not easy, especially when you have to deal with journalists from all parts of the world, but our Mister has special language skills. Enjoy the video after the jump.
With a fair number of US readers of totalBarça having gone to the USA vs Argentina friendly – including our very own Faisal Rakun with a recap of his special experience here – we are pleased to share with everyone more readers’ experiences. We hope you enjoy more imagery of the game after the jump!
Villarreal CF’s Brazilian striker Nilmar Honorato da Silva has assured that it would be “a dream” to be able to play in a club “as big” as FC Barcelona, although he indicated that he is very happy in the ranks of the Yellow-Submarine, with whom he currently has a contract.
“As a player, it would a dream to play in a team as big as Barça,” said Nilmar during a ceremony held in Barcelona in which he presented his new boots, along with his compatriot Adriano, FC Barcelona’s wing-back.
On Wednesday afternoon, FC Barcelona’s first team held their second training session of the week. A number of internationals were back, including the six members of the Spain squad, Holland’s Afellay, and Dani Alves returning from the Brazil national team. The only internationals who have not yet returned are the three Argentines, who are expected back tomorrow.
Normally, Shakira’s song Waka-waka is played every day of a match at Real Madrid’s stadium, the Santigo Bernabeu, but lately something has changed.
Coincidence or not, Shakira’s song was one of the fixtures on the PA system of the stadium for matches of Real Madrid, but since the Colombian and Barcelona’s Gerard Pique announced their relationship, the repertoire of the Bernabéu has changed suspiciously.
This weekend’s matches will go ahead as originally planned, with FC Barcelona set to face Villarreal at El Madrigal on Saturday evening at 22:00. Real Madrid, currently five points behind the league leaders, will play Sporting at 18:00. In an interesting twist of fate, Barcelona B will be facing Villarreal B away, also on Saturday at 18:00.
Before their match with Alcorcón this past weekend, Luis Enrique showed his team a motivational video, comprised of old images of Barça B games, mixed with moves and goals from the current team, edited by the coaching staff. Apparently the video must have worked, as the team won 2-0, with goals from Jonathan Soriano and Nolito.
The words “International Break” are enough to strike fear into the hearts of Barcelona fans, especially when one comes at such a crucial juncture in the season. And while most of our starting 11 will return home with many kilometers of travel under their belts, some players have been even more unlucky. Read on for a quick summary of the injury situations at Barcelona and Real Madrid following the week’s international fixtures.
Four blaugrana took part in Euro 2012 qualifying matches on Tuesday evening. Ibrahim Afellay played the entire 90 minutes of Holland’s 5-3 over Hungary, adding an assist for Kuyt for the Dutch side’s 4th goal of the night. In the other match, Xavi scored the opening goal in Spain’s 1-3 win against Lithuania. The midfielder played the full 90 minutes, while starters David Villa and Gerard Pique were both subbed at 53 and 88 minutes, respectively. More details and highlights after the jump.
EPL club Manchester United and reigning La Liga champions FC Barcelona will meet for the first time since their encounter in the finals of UEFA Champions League in Rome in May 2009 when they play on July 30 as part of the 2011 World Football Challenge. The match will take place at FedEx Field, the stadium of American gridiron football’s Washington Redskins, in Landover, Maryland. Certainly one of the highlights of Manchster United’s pre-season summer tour of the United States, the match will be the finale of the English club’s five-match tour. In a statement made on the club’s official site, Alex Ferguson said, “To finish off with a match against Barcelona will be a special moment for all our fans in the States.”
Some worrying reports today state that Leo Messi could be injured. According to Diario Sport, despite Batista saying yesterday that Messi would be in the starting lineup against Costa Rica, that may no longer be the case. Sport also states that Messi could have a muscular injury, but the Argentinian press have not confirmed the reason for his not starting tonight’s match.
Both Diario Clarín and Olé comment that Messi could be out of the team only for precautionary reasons, and whether or not he will play a few minutes in today’s friendly international is yet to be confirmed.
The qualifying matches for the Euro Cup 2012 continue this evening with two more games involving up to seven blaugrana players. The Netherlands take on Hungary, this time at home, after winning 4-0 against them on Saturday, including a goal from Barcelona’s own Afellay. Spain travels to Lithuania for their match in freezing conditions on a rather sandy pitch. Here’s hoping for two injury free matches! Links and your chance to chat or comment are below.
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Andreu Fontàs, promoted to the first team for the rest of the season, recently spoke to Barça TV. The defender is taking his ascent to the first team with ease, ”wishing to add [something to the team] and provide whatever is needed.” The player from Banyoles believes that this challenge has come “at the ideal time, I am ready.”
During the past week, most national teams have been playing either friendly matches or qualifying games for different tournaments. Teams such as Argentina and Brazil, after going through difficult times over the last World Cup, are playing international friendlies with a view towards the Copa America, the most important national team tournament in South America, to be played in Argentina in July. On the other hand, European national teams are playing qualifying games for the next Eurocup, in 2012.
After three days off work, the available first team members returned to training on Tuesday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva. With the internationals still away with their national teams, Pep Guardiola led a session with only Jose Manuel Pinto and Adriano from the first team. Given the numerous absences, 10 players from the B team joined the session: Oier, Víctor Vázquez, Ilie, Saúl, Tello, Carles Planas, Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Carmona and Abraham.
According to FC Barcelona’s official website, tests conducted this morning by the Club’s Medical Services have confirmed that Bojan Krkic has a sprained right ankle. His progress in recovery will determine his availability for the next game.
Bojan was injured in Monday’s friendly between the Under 21 sides of Spain and Belarus.