Match Preview: Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona

Match Preview: Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona

On the back of winning the Spanish Supercopa, FC Barcelona takes on Valencia CF at the Mestalla in the 3rd round of La Liga. Barça has shown encouraging signs of regaining their constant pressing game in the first couple of matches, but still looks like a team that is testing its abilities. Here are a few points that might influence the game.

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Zubizarreta: “I am glad they are all historical clubs”

Zubizarreta: “I am glad they are all historical clubs”

FC Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was at the Champions League draw, where FC Barcelona’s opponents for the upcoming campaign were revealed: AC Milan, AFC Ajax and Celtic FC. “I am glad that they are historic clubs. I like going to San Siro, to Celtic Park and the Ajax stadium. They’re teams and stadiums with a great football atmosphere,” he said.

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Training and squad list for Valencia

Training and squad list for Valencia

FC Barcelona will travel to Valencia tomorrow to play the third league game of the season. Manager Gerardo Martino has called up 19 players to make the difficult trip to Mestalla.

Both midfielder Xavi (33) and forward Alexis Sánchez (24) have not made the squad. Martino explained that the two players have already played a lot of games in recent weeks and that he wants to give them some rest ahead of the international fixtures. The third player that didn’t make the squad is goalkeeper Oier (23). However, both Lionel Messi and Adriano have been declared fit to play.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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The x-ray of Undiano Mallenco … the x-ray of Mateu Lahoz … the x-ray of Fernández Borbalán

Proof that when they referee Barça they swallow the whistle with each foul

Cartoon by Caye

Johan Cruyff Foundation wins 2013 UEFA Monaco Charity Award

Johan Cruyff Foundation wins 2013 UEFA Monaco Charity Award

The Johan Cruyff foundation were winners of the 2013 UEFA Monaco Charity Award at Thursday evening’s ceremony. The foundation’s creator, one Johan Cruyff, collected a cheque for one million euros from UEFA president Michel Platini. Details follow.

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Official: Sergio Buenacasa signs for Juventus

Official: Sergio Buenacasa signs for Juventus

Sergio Buenacasa is the latest FC Barcelona youngster to follow his dreams elsewhere. The Juvenil B striker, 17 years old, yesterday signed for Italian mega-club Juventus. Buenacasa had been at Barça for two seasons after his move from Zaragoza.

Upon his signing Buenacasa said this on his Twitter page: “Very happy and inspired to be part of this huge club“.

Best of luck Sergio.

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Jordi Alba: “We’ll stick to playing our game”

Jordi Alba: “We’ll stick to playing our game”

On Friday, FC Barcelona left back Jordi Alba, 24, spoke to the press about the upcoming Liga game in Valencia and the UEFA group stages.

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Fan Fridays: Get to know Victor Valdés

Fan Fridays: Get to know Victor Valdés

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Last week’s post was “Who said that?” and as many of you guessed the quote was from Dani Alves.

This week we bring you trivia about Victor Valdés. Leave your answers in the comments section. The person with the most correct answers will be deemed the winner and will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

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International call ups

International call ups

That’s right, already another international break. At least they are actual qualifiers this time. Thankfully this time the bulk of the squad, i.e. the Spanish national team, will not be carted half way across the world like show ponies. Details after the jump.

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Official: Cristian Tello renews until 2018

Official: Cristian Tello renews until 2018

This afternoon zippy FC Barcelona winger Cristiano Tello officially signed his contract extension. The new deal runs until June 2018 and contains a release clause that remained at 25 million euros. That is a clear indication that while Tello is happy now, he and his agent José Maria Orobitg are ensuring that if his first team chances dry up there is a surefire avenue to exit.

Tello was obviously delighted that the club values his future. “I am very happy about renewing. It’s my dream to continue as many years as possible in Barça. I hope everything remains the same and I can enjoy playing minutes.” He also stressed that he wants to “maximize the use of minutes I’m given by the manager” by playing well.

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Coach Culé: The Ultimate Prediction Game

Coach Culé: The Ultimate Prediction Game

totalBarça presents Coach Culé: The Ultimate Prediction Game.  Brought to you by Footynews!

This is your chance to prove not only your knowledge about the game of football, but also your Blaugrana insight by cracking the code of Barça’s coaching.  It’s time for you to…

Predict FC Barcelona’s Starting Lineup

For upcoming match: Valencia vs FC Barcelona

More game and prize details after the jump. 

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Quote of the Day: Eusebio

Quote of the Day: Eusebio

Kiko’s [Femenía] comments surprised us, everyone treated him very well during his time here.”

Barça B manager Eusebio Sacristán responding to statements by Kiko Femenía about being treated poorly at Barça during his time. He recently made the switch to Real Madrid.

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The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (30.08.2013)

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GROUP OF CHAMPIONS

Easy rivals for Madrid: Atlético and Real Sociedad

Barça leads H group of “historics”: Adding up all their Champions trophies, they have got 16 Champions

Ribéry wins, Messi applauds and Cristiano does not even attend

Hitting Barça is (almost) free

Cristiano renews his contract with Madrid until 2018

The Front: Sport (30.08.2013)

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THE GROUP OF THE 16 CHAMPIONS

Barça got three historic though reachable rivals

Bojan’s Ajax, the first team to play against Barça; the first leg will be played in Camp Nou

Messi did attend to the ceremony. Ribéry got the European Best player in a ceremony to which Cristiano did not go

Rosell – Abidal, meeting again. Eric visited the president and Leo Messi in their hotel

Barça are not signing any more players

Fed up of kicks! Piqué criticises the lack of action of the Spanish referees

Picture of the Day: A new Camp Nou

Picture of the Day: A new Camp Nou

The Camp Nou got a facelift today as the grass was peeled back to make room for a new heating system that will improve winter conditions in the stadium. The new heating unit was part of a 530,000 euro renovation designed to improve the grounds before the new home season gets underway for real in mid-September.

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Valdes: “I’m very happy with the way the season has started”

Valdes: “I’m very happy with the way the season has started”

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was arguably the main reason the Super Cup was won. Asked about his saves in the game on El Marcador on Barça TV, he said: “The first was more about reflexes, and being ready to block Turan from shooting until the last second. For the second, because I know Villa so well, I moved forwards a bit, knowing which way he was likely to go.” Read more excerpts from Valdes’ statements after the jump!

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Crackòvia: Big problem

Crackòvia: Big problem

Time for another Crackòvia Thursday on totalBarça! Today, we prepared an episode about difficult situation in office of Spanish newspaper AS.  Click “continue reading” to enjoy the video.

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Number of the Day: 25

Number of the Day: 25

With the 2013 Supercopa under his belt, Xavi has now won 25 major trophies for club and country, making him the most successful Spanish player in history. Felicitats, crack!

Ex-Barça: Kiko Femenía makes the forbidden switch

Ex-Barça: Kiko Femenía makes the forbidden switch

Mere hours after his contract with Barca B was rescinded on Wednesday, 22-year-old right winger Kiko Femenía joined Real Madrid Castilla, becoming the first player since Javier Saviola to make the switch directly between the rival clubs.

Kiko’s contract stipulated that he receive a mandatory promotion to the first team, but the player simply did not impress enough to warrant his inclusion. Moreover, at 22 years old, it is unlikely Kiko was going to improve significantly, and thus was released from his contract. The youngster spared no love for Barça after his departure, claiming that “they have ruined me emotionally” regarding his lack of playing time. While it is unclear why Real Madrid Castilla would want to pick up Femenía, it is safe to say that his departure should not cause much uproar in Catalonia. Certainly no pigs’ heads will be thrown at the next mini-Clasico – but maybe a hot dog?

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Ex-Barça: Samuel Eto’o signs for Chelsea FC

Ex-Barça: Samuel Eto’o signs for Chelsea FC

Samuel Eto’o (32) has become the second Anzhi Makhachkala player to join manager José Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, following Willian’s move for €37 million. The Cameroonian striker joins Chelsea on a one-year deal for approximately €5 million. Continue reading »

Franck Ribéry wins UEFA 2012/3 Best Player in Europe Award

Franck Ribéry wins UEFA 2012/3 Best Player in Europe Award

And he deserved it too. Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribéry beat out Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to secure UEFA’s Best Player in Europe for the 2012/3 season. This is actually only the third year the award has been in existence so consequently the first time it’s left the possession of a FC Barcelona player (2012: Andrés Iniesta, 2011: Lionel Messi).

A panel of 52 journalists, each from a different UEFA country voted live in Monaco and Ribéry won with 36 votes. Messi got 13 and Ronaldo 3.

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AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic for FC Barcelona

AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic for FC Barcelona

Seconds ago in Monaco Paulo Sousa pulled Celtic from the group 4 pot to complete Group H of the 2013/4 UEFA Champions League. Here is the complete group:

Group H

FC Barcelona
AC Milan
AFC Ajax
Celtic FC

A group of all former champions.

Stick with us at totalBarça for upcoming profiles on this year’s European opponents.

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Martino: “Today we are champions but the cup is Tito’s”

Martino: “Today we are champions but the cup is Tito’s”

With his first title in the bag, FC Barcelona manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino said he wished to “stay out of the lime light” given the amount of work his players had done under former manager Tito Vilanova to allow them to progress to the Super Cup final where they pulled off a tense scoreless draw in the return leg at the Camp Nou against Atlético Madrid, winning 1-1 on aggregate. His comments after the jump. Continue reading »

Player Reactions: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atlético Madrid

Player Reactions: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atlético Madrid

Several players talked to the press after the victory against Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa. Read their reactions after the jump.

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Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (13)

Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures (13)

Transfer rumours 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 rumours 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.

The series will come as a consolidated post every Thursday for the remainder of the transfer window which shuts on August 31.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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Those that have another Super Cup 0-0 Those that have immunity with fouls

“What I’ve liked best is the duo ‘Leo-Ney’ … that’s because they knew how to get out alive from so many kicks.”

Cartoon by Caye

The Ratings: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atlético Madrid

The Ratings: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atlético Madrid

You’ve had your chance to rate the performance of the Blaugrana and the results are now tallied up. Take a look at how the totalBarça community ranked the squad and see how the ratings played out after the jump.

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The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (29.08.2013)

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THE FIRST TITLE

Barça, superchampions

Barça 0 – 0 Atlético de Madrid

Barça got their eleventh Supercopa trophy and Martino and Neymar got their first title with Barça

Valdés saved the team with two impressive stops and Messi failed a penalty kick

Bomb: Eto’o to Chelsea! Mou wants him to play tomorrow against Guardiola

The Front: Sport (29.08.2013)

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SUPER CHAMPIONS

Tata Martino’s Barça conquered their first title after a tough battle against Atlético

Barça 0 – 0 Atlético

Today, Champions draw

Mourinho signs Eto’o for Chelsea

The Highlights: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid

The Highlights: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Watch the highlights from last night’s Spanish Super Cup final as Barcelona won their first trophy under new coach Martino after the jump!

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