At 31, Xavi Hernandez says he is happier than ever at Barça: “I love the role I have within the team. I feel very important and I am more motivated than ever to continue winning titles.” In a report on the official site, Xavi also spoke about Thiago’s renewal, adding new players to the team, and his thoughts on the possible departure of Bojan Krkic.
UEFA president, Michel Platini, has recently told Madrid’s daily sports paper, Marca, that he cannot understand why Real Madrid have not been more successful in recent years, although the Frenchman did recognise that a certain team from Catalunya have not given Los Merengues much opportunity to collect as many trophies as they would have liked.
Speaking exclusively to Marca, Platini touched on such subjects as UEFA’s reluctance to use video technology, the organization’s commitment to social and cultural causes, and the recent controversies that have engulfed UEFA’s sister organization, FIFA, where accusations of bribery and corruption have been rife of late.
Although the former Juventus star’s words are always intriguing and insightful, we at totalBarça thought we would keep our translation of Platini’s answers to those that directly impact or involve FC Barcelona. As such we must warn readers that there is some discussion of Real Madrid and their rather controversial manager, Jose Mourinho, but we hope our readers understand we print the UEFA president’s words here in good faith and that we are not actually becoming a Real Madrid site. It is just interesting to hear what the UEFA president thinks about the many recent controversies courted by the men from Madrid.
Below is a translation of Platini’s more noteworthy answers. Enjoy.
Óscar García, currently in charge of the FC Barcelona Juvenil A team, has just finished his first year at the club as a coach after having been a player for the club for 14 years. His debut on the benches of the Barcelona Juvenil A side, similar to what happened to Pep Guardiola in his first year in charge of the first team, couldn’t have been better: he managed to win it all.
The coach’s Juvenil A squad were this season crowned as champion of the ‘triplete’ for only the second time in the club’s history. Despite this achievement, García doesn’t know if he’ll continue next year at the club. Logically he will. The club wants to renew him and he has no intention of leaving. FC Barcelona wants to directly start the talks for renewal, only two days after a memorable year.
Here is an interview published today by Catalan sports daily Sport:
Madrid based paper AS are reporting that Barcelona’s Juvenil A forward Gael Etock has joined a number of youth players leaving La Masia recently, to sign a four year deal with Chelsea FC. While the deal has not yet been confirmed by either Chelsea, Barça, or Sporting, where Etock will reportedly go out on loan, below is a translation of AS‘s report.
“I am a little afraid that if Neymar ends up in Madrid then the same thing will happen like what’s happened to Kaka. Neymar is different, here he is the best player. There, there are many great players together, and I do not know if he would be free enough on the pitch. Neymar is a crack, a player who improvises. You never know what he will do, he is unpredictable. He decides in seconds. And Mourinho is a very tactical coach, who does not want to let the opponent play, to occupy the spaces … I have doubts how that relationship would work between Neymar and Real Madrid. If there is a team that has his image and style then he would have to choose Barcelona. Imagine Neymar and Messi together.“
Santos manager, Muricy Ramalho, does not mince his words about which club he thinks would best suit his player’s precarious talents.
FC Barcelona midfield genius Xavi committed just 6 fouls in all Liga matches last season. And for every foul, he received a yellow card: 6 fouls, 6 cards. I guess they don’t call him Mister Consistent for nothing.
Barça renewed Thiago’s contract yesterday until 2015 and increased the buy-out clause to 90 million
Alcántara: “The club has given me everything and now it’s my turn to demonstrate my worth.”
Cesc on his campus [training school]
He believes that things will be fixed this week
“I feel tremendously optimistic.”
Alexis, open road
City has pulled out and the player pressures
Pozzo: “He wants to go and we want this to end.”
Victor Valdes became a goalkeeper because his brother needed someone to practice his shots on. He started in a team because his dad thought he was good and he joined La Masia when he was 10 because they saw a talent in him. He left because he hated being a goalkeeper but came back because he wanted to be on TV.
Victor recently said that Josep Guardiola taught him to enjoy playing football, to enjoy being a goalkeeper. Before that, Victor Valdés had always hated his job. As a child he used to dream about another life where he didn’t have to be a goalkeeper. Every week he felt bad knowing that at the weekend he would have a game where he would stand in the goal. The only reason why Victor kept on was because he was born to be a goalkeeper.
The Spanish national U-20 squad has called up six Barcelona youth players for the upcoming World Cup in Colombia. El Mundo Deportivo published the full team list earlier on Wednesday; the six Barcelona players are: Martín Montoya i Torralbo, Marc Bartra Aregall, Marc Muniesa Martínez, Oriol Romeu Vidal, Sergi Roberto Carnicer, and Cristian Tello Herrera.
The U20 World Cup will run from July 29 to August 20.
FC Barcelona castoff Victor Sanchez signed a two year deal on Wednesday with Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax, according to the club’s official website. Sanchez broke into the Barcelona first team during the 2008-09 season, but failed to make a lasting impact. He has played the last two seasons on loan, first with Xerez, then at Getafe, but has now definitively moved away from Spain to try his luck in the Swiss first division [Axpo Super League].
We here at totalBarca wish Victor good luck and a bright future!
An emotional Thiago hugs Andoni Zubizarreta after completing his renewal with FC Barcelona till 2015.
via @rogersaperas on twitter
FC Barcelona’s official website has just announced that the club has reached an agreement with midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who recently underwent an operation for his nose, to renew his contract with the blaugrana for two more seasons, until the 30th of June 2015. The buyout clause of the new contract will be 90 million Euros.
The signing of the contract took place today, Wednesday, at 17:00. There was a photo session, open to the media, at the doors of the FC Barcelona offices. Some of Thiago’s comments following the renewal are after the jump.
The midfield of FC Barcelona is arguably the best midfield in today’s football world. We have the dynamic duo of Xavi and Iniesta (sometimes referred to as XavIniesta) who are the most adept controllers of play and keep the ball like their life depends on it. We have Sergio Busquets, who shows composure and the ability to read the game way beyond his years. We have the Argentina national team’s Captain, Javier Mascherano, marshaling the defensive midfield. Apart from them, we have Seydou Keita and Afellay who would both be automatic starters in most of the top teams in Europe.
The promotion of Thiago Alacantara into the first team will instill exuberance and a spark into this already powerful midfield. A deal with Arsenal FC over Cesc Fabregas is suggested to be imminent by many, but Do you think FC Barcelona needs to strengthen the midfield further?
Cast your vote after the jump.
“I don’t know anything about my future. My agent is in contact with Barcelona and other clubs, so he will certainly do what is best for me.”
Palermo play-maker, Javier Pastore, talks up the chances of him making his dream move to join his friend Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
Image: AP Photo
The Argentina v Brazil fixture has seen more red cards, 11, than any other match-up in Copa America history.
Barça will begin their pre-season with the prospect of more than 20,000 kilometres of travel ahead of them, including visits to Split, Munich, Washington, Miami and Dallas.
The president of Hercules CF, Valentin Botella, has revealed that he expects winger, Kiko Femenia, to join FC Barcelona by the end of this week, with the the club’s president admitting that he is expecting great things from the youngster when he moves to the Camp Nou.
Speaking to ‘Esports COPE‘, the president of the Alicante club said, “I think later this week he will be a Barça player,” adding that he thinks Femenia will be a “triumph” with the Catalan champions whenever the deal is finally concluded.
Former England defender, Gareth Southgate, has revealed that he hopes to bring some fresh ideas to his new role as head of football development at the English FA, with the former centre-back hoping to capitalise on a similar tactical approach to the game that has recently seen FC Barcelona recognised as one of the greatest and most constructive club’s when it comes to youth football.