Live: Confederations Cup final

Live: Confederations Cup final

Please join us for a special Live Chat as Brazil and Spain face off in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup. The game, taking place at the legendary Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, will feature 11 Barça players on the pitch or on the bench for the two teams. Who will prevail? Make your predictions in the comments section or feel free to remark upon the action of the match as it happens.

The game begins at midnight CET/7pm local time in Brazil (convert to your local time). Links to chat and to watch the game are after the jump.

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How could Barcelona utilize a striker?

How could Barcelona utilize a striker?

As the Confederations Cup has evolved and Spain has marched ahead in the tournament, many have noticed the one major change in the lineup compared to the team that conquered Europe a year ago. Instead of using a false 9, Spain has used an actual striker – Roberto Soldado or Fernando Torres – and looked very lively in attack. The usage of a striker is something many have hoped to see in Barcelona as well, but as David Villa seems likely to leave the club during the summer, the change looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. But the question remains the same, is a striker something Barcelona should invest in?

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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“I have a feeling that I’m going to feel watched today .. especially from Barcelona.”

Cartoon by Caye

Stat of the Day: 11.5%

Stat of the Day: 11.5%

11.5% of the goals scored at the Confederations Cup have so far been notched by Barcelona players [9 of 78]. Let’s hope for a few more today.

Stats: Sport • Image: Alexandre Loureiro [Getty Images South America]

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (30.06.2013)

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PARTY IN THE MARACANA

La Roja  want to revalidate their world dominance today  in the mythical stadium

The selección most azulgrana will fight against tNeymar for the title that they lack 

Proactive in the goal

Barça thinks of signing a goalkeeper already to not be dependent on Valdés

The Front: Sport (30.06.2013)

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TOTAL DUEL

Confederations Cup Brazil-Spain

The only title they lack

La selección look to close the circle after winning the Euro Cup and the World Cup

Neymar-Iniesta for the MVP

One of the two blaugrana players will achieve the Golden Ball of the tournament

 

Alexis Sánchez pledges his future to Barcelona

Alexis Sánchez pledges his future to Barcelona

Barcelona’s Chilean striker Alexis Sánchez made it clear that his future was in Catalunya in a recent interview featured in Sport. When asked about the possibility of leaving the club, the player was adamant: “The manager and the club are counting on me for the next season. I will play for Barcelona next year.”

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Messi and friends charity matches

Messi and friends charity matches

Today, Lionel Messi announced on YouTube the organization of four charity matches by “Messi and Friends” to be played in four different cities in South and North America. The games, played for the benefit of Messi’s charity foundation, “in generating support for children’s charities”, will include star players from around the world.

In the video, Messi says “the friends” are not the professional players that will make up the teams, but that they are all the football lovers who will follow the matches, and hence support the charities. The second game will include Messi’s Barça teammate next season, Neymar, while it seems that Mascherano and Abidal will take part in all four games. Below are the details of the events.

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Quote of the Day: Iniesta about Thiago’s future

Quote of the Day: Iniesta about Thiago’s future

As a teammate and person who knows him as a player, I’d love it if he stayed, but everyone had their own vision and has to be happy with whatever they’ve decided to do. I hope that will be with us.

- Andrés Iniesta speaks about his teammate Thiago Alcântara in an interview with Cadena COPE.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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Joan Collet, furious over the signing of five players by Barça from the ‘Perico’ youth system

Rosell: “Well, our idea is to do the presentation of the boys along with the statue of Columbus.”

Statue: “Without a doubt it would be a great spectacle.”

Cartoon by Caye

Barcelona releases new game for iOS

Barcelona releases new game for iOS

FC Barcelona have released FCB Street Run, a free endless runner for iPhone and iPad, that places you onto the streets of the city in an attempt to race to the Camp Nou before being engulfed by other fans. The game is an official release from the team, and allows you to play as any current first team player.

Gameplay from the release is featured below; you can download the app directly from the App Store here.

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (29.06.2013)

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GAME OF THRONES

Iniesta and Neymar, kings of the tournament, will fight tomorrow for the title and the MVP award

Iniesta: “We want to defeat Brazil. It will be a big match”

Neymar: “It will be an honour to play against my future Barça team mates. I admire them”

Barça, to sign Thiago Silva. Sanllehí, key man in Neymar’s signing, is in Brazil trying to convince the defender to be blaugrana

The Front: Sport (29.06.2013)

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A BLAUGRANA FINAL

11 culés in Maracaná

Spanish National team has 9 blaugranes and Brazil 2

Neymar: “It’s a pleasure to play against my future team mates”

Thiago Silva is possible! Sanllehí is in Brazil trying to convince him and looking for solutions to pay his salary

Picture of the Day: Messi helps the fight against malaria

Picture of the Day: Messi helps the fight against malaria

Lionel Messi has been in Senegal doing his part to fight malaria, still among the world’s top three most deadly killers. The use of mosquito nets is among the most cost efficient and practical ways to protect oneself.

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Quote of the Day: Joan Collet

Quote of the Day: Joan Collet

“For a start, staff and coaches from other clubs will not be allowed to watch training sessions if they do not have permission or a prior appointment. And we will oblige players selected by the coaching staff to sign a training contract. We are not here to produce players for other clubs.”

– Strong words from Espanyol RCD president Joan Collet. His fury is in response to reports in Catalunia that FC Barcelona have persuaded five Espanyol cadets to join the blaugrana side of the city. The same happens to Barça but we are not blameless in doing it also.

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Italy suffer the penalty as Spain advance

Italy suffer the penalty as Spain advance

In the words of one of my favorite journalists, “goals are overrated.” The fans in Fortaleza, Brazil and TV audiences worldwide were treated to among the best 0-0 matches in recent memory full of wonderful football, tactical nuance, sweaty endevour, sweltering conditions and a penalty shoot-out clinic. I have never seen Spain so rattled in a knockout match since everything changed on June 22, 2008. And rattled fairly, with strategic vision and good old fashioned determination, miles away from the butcher job the Dutch attempted in 2010.

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Official: “Rubi” joins Tito’s coaching staff

Official: “Rubi” joins Tito’s coaching staff

As speculated by the Spanish press for the last couple of days, Joan Francesc Ferrer, Rubi, has joined Tito Vilanova’s FC Barcelona staff. He is the man responsible for Girona’s best ever season this year, when he lead them to the playoff final for a chance of promotion into the Primera Liga.

FC Barcelona has released a statement confirming the coaching team of the 2013/2014 season as: head coach, Tito Vilanova; second coach, Jordi Roura; and “their” assistant, Rubi. He has signed for one season with an option for another, and will start on July 15, the same day the first team reports back, to begin preparation for the new season.

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FC Barcelona to face Santos FC in the Gamper Trophy

FC Barcelona to face Santos FC in the Gamper Trophy

The 2013 edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy will see the Catalans face Santos FC, 16th team in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A on five points from five matches and current holders of the Recopa Sudamericana. Game will be on August 2 at 21.30. The match will be very special for Neymar, as he will play against his ex-team and at the same time he could play for the blaugrana for the first time.

FC Barcelona noted “Santos’ participation in the Joan Gamper Trophy was agreed upon when Barça signed the Brazilian forward. In addition to the friendly this summer, Barça and Santos will play another friendly in Brazil, the date and time of the match has yet to be determined.”

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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“As second coach, I had to choose between one of the best French players of all times, champion of the world and of Europe, and winner of the Balón d’Or [Zidane] … and this. The choice was not difficult.”

Cartoon by Caye

Picture of the day: Messi’s young fans

Picture of the day: Messi’s young fans

Leo Messi was in Milan last week for an event sponsored by high-fashion outfit Dolce & Gabbana. It proved to be a good opportunity to collect a few new Italian fans.

Image: @dolcegabbana

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (28.06.2013)

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A DREAM FINAL

La Roja will play for the only title they have not won yet against Neymar’s Brazil on Sunday

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The Front: Sport (28.06.2013)

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FOR THEIR PRIDE

TO MARACANÁ!

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Messi’s lawyer claim settlement not reached

Messi’s lawyer claim settlement not reached

Lionel Messi’s tax evasion episode seems to be getting more complicated after Messi’s lawyers denied reports from Catalunya that of an out-of-court settlement had been reached.

Catalan paper El Periodico reported Thursday that Messi and his father Jorge would fork out €15 million to satiate the taxman, a claim that appears to be false.

Messi and his father Jorge were accused of rerouting funds through offshore havens in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying €4.1 million in image rights taxes to the Spanish government from 2007-2009.

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Girona FC coach Rubi reported to join Tito Vilanova’s staff

Girona FC coach Rubi reported to join Tito Vilanova’s staff

Spanish media are reporting that Joan Francesc Ferrer “Rubi”, manager of Segunda side Girona FC, is about to accept an offer to join the FC Barcelona coaching staff next season. Rubi brought the smaller Catalan club to fourth place this past season and narrowly missed out on promotion, making it to the playoff final only to be defeated by Almería for the third Liga spot. Girona’s sporting director Javier Salamero yesterday confirmed that Barcelona has made an offer, and according to Spanish football journalist Lee Roden, Girona’s president Joaquim Boadas today confirmed that Rubi has accepted the offer.

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Official: Rafa Alcântara renews until 2016

Official: Rafa Alcântara renews until 2016

FC Barcelona has announced on its official website that midfielder Rafa ‘RafinhaAlcântara (20) has today decided to renew his contract with FC Barcelona until the summer of 2016. The Brazilian youngster’s current contract would end in 2014.

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Crackòvia: Alexis visits the doctor

Crackòvia: Alexis visits the doctor

It’s time for another Crackòvia episode! Today we have a video about Alexis Sánchez, without doubt he has become one of our favourite Crackòvia characters in the last season. This time he visits the doctor to find a solution for his problems. Click “continue reading” to enjoy the video.

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Brazil stifled but go through to finals

Brazil stifled but go through to finals

Brazil went through to the finals of Confederations Cup, to play against either Spain or Italy who play on Thursday. The match itself was a very tight affair, as Uruguay found the best way to stifle the Brazilians of any meaningful exchange between their defense and attack. In the end, Brazil needed some individuality up front to score the winning goal which leaves Uruguay feeling they are just short of an inspired performance.

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Video of the Day: Best assists by Xavi Hernandez

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals (4)

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals (4)

Transfer rumors have a polarizing effect, either the start of hope (or dread) or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it through a sieve.

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumors of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona. Though it’s not of the run of the mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Note: all amounts are euros)

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Quote of the Day: Guillermo Amor

Quote of the Day: Guillermo Amor

“The difference between players who make it into Barça’s senior side and those who don’t boils down to their mentality, they need to have a clear idea of what they’re doing, they need to have goals and work towards them. Saying that this child or that child will break into the first team is very complicated and we shouldn’t do it. We have a lot of talented players but they have to grow, they have a long road ahead. When they’re cadetes or juveniles the picture becomes a bit more clear.”

- Guillermo Amor, technical director of the FC Barcelona youth system.

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