If Xavi Hernández doesn’t start, Andrés Iniesta will captain the side Saturday evening in Madrid, so it was fitting the magical midfielder was the player sent to meet the media pre-clásico. “It’s hard to predict what we’ll find on Saturday , you don’t know how they’ll be and often it all comes down to little details. There is a lot of quality in both teams and the game could go either way.” What will be his 13th cláscio encounter, Iniesta insisted “we will be going there with the intention of winning. It’d be a big mistake to think that we’ve got a four point lead and even if we lose we’ll still be top. We’re just thinking about playing well, winning and stretching our lead in the table, which would be important, but not decisive at this stage of the season.” More after the jump.
ALREADY PROVOCATION FROM MADRID
ANCELOTTI THROWS A DART AT LUIS ENRIQUE: “I’ve subbed out Cristiano Ronaldo without asking him”
CRISTIANO, CRYBABY: “I don’t understand why it’s not played on Sunday”
THEY WANTED TO VETO SUÁREZ: Madrid maneuvered to end the sanction one day later and FIFA confirmed that he could play
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Former FC Barcelona star goalkeeper Víctor Valdés is being given a chance at recovering his career by another ex-Barça figure, Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal. Manchester United’s official website is reporting that Valdés has been offered a chance to complete his rehabilitation from knee injury with the Red Devils under supervision from the club’s doctors. Valdés, who announced the end of his time with Barça before his injury, would then train with the first team, and presumably, be given a chance at a contract with Man U. Let’s all send our good wishes to VV.
As with so much, people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Yes, Lionel Messi may equalize, perhaps surpass Telmo Zarra’s’ long-standing La Liga scoring record. Is is an accomplishment worth noting and expressly celebrating? Of course. But that doesn’t mean one should stop a football match, no less the clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu, as some in the Barcelona media are suggesting as well as LFP president Javier Tebas. Everyone will know the record was hit or broken, and there’s nothing wrong with Barça themselves setting something up on future occasions.
FIFA have decided to have their say on the issue, though its not much of a stand to say the least. “The issue depends on the federation of the country. There is nothing specific in the rules about this“, said a FIFA spokesman.
And based on the a statement reeled by The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), there seems no stoppage will happen. “We have not received any request from Barcelona, we know of the existence of this proposal by the newspapers, but we are not considering doing anything,”
But the real reason all these calls for fireworks and glitter don’t matter is because it doesn’t matter to Messi. “We will go there to do the best possible and to win. Nothing will be decided, and there will still be a lot of Liga left, but we will go to try and win and to play well. Zarra’s record is the least important thing; what matters is to play well and win there.”
FC Barcelona B’s record-breaking season last year was really a collective effort, but undoubtedly some individuals stood out. Individual brilliance in Eusebio’s squad hasn’t gone unnoticed by the league, which has nominated three players for the LFP awards. After Jordi Masip and Sergi Samper, Jean-Marie Dongou became the third Barça B player receive a nomination today, for the Best African Player of the Segunda División. The Cameroonian forward will compete for the award against Deportivo’s Ibrahim Sissoko and Jaén’s Ritchie Kitoko.
FC Barcelona players continue to receive nominations from the LFP. Today was Neymar’s turn to receive a new nomination. The Brazilian ace, despite having a mixed first season at Barça, received a nomination for the “Best South American in La Liga”. The other two nominees are Sevilla’s Colombian forward Carlos Bacca and former Real Madrid star Ángel di María, now with Manchester United. Curiously, there’s still no place for Leo Messi in these years LFP nominations.
The award gala will take place next Tuesday October 27th in Madrid. Neymar will be attending the gala alongside his teammates Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitić, Rafinha and Jordi Masip, as well as Barça B’s Sergi Samper and Jean-Marie Dongou.
Can you believe that eleven players of the current FC Barcelona first team have scored 44 goals in total against Real Madrid? What’s more, 23 goals by 9 players were at the Santiago Bernabéu. The list of goalsocrers include Piqué, Rakitic, Xavi, Pedro, Iniesta, Messi, Neymar, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Mathieu and Alves. Rakitic, Mathieu and Adriano have all scored against Madrid for their former clubs. Leo Messi is the leader for the current FC Barcelona against Real, with 21 goals in 28 matches.
Yet another week of goals at La Masia, and yet another compilation of the best of the best. This week, the special compilation prepared by FC Barcelona features golazo specialist Sergio Gómez (Cadete B), Wilfrid Kaptoum (Barça B) with his first reserve team goal, Ansumane Fati and Miguelete Ramírez (both Infantil A) and Jean Marie Dongou (Barça B), who is having the season of his life with the reserves.
On the 1st of July Nate Silver’s ESPN statistics and analytics blog FiveThirtyEight published the “Lionel Messi is Impossible” piece. Over social media recently I stated that it’s not the numbers that prove Messi is the best player in the world. What does then? To shorten what is complicated and longwinded reasoning, it comes down to a simple statement: you can just see it. Then a follower reminded me of the aforementioned FiveThirtyEight piece, though he ironically implied that Messi isn’t about stats and figures when the entire premise of the article he cited is stats and figures. Which is precisely the beauty of “Lionel Messi is Impossible”. Even though his genius is exponentially more than the box score, measurables are handy because there are no “yeah, but”s. These are hard, inarguable analytical facts which as I will go through to fortify Messi’s unmatchable grandeur. Now quoting the author Benjamin Morris:
“By now I’ve studied nearly every aspect of Messi’s game, down to a touch-by-touch level: his shooting and scoring production; where he shoots from; how often he sets up his own shots; what kind of kicks he uses to make those shots; his ability to take on defenders; how accurate his passes are; the kind of passes he makes; how often he creates scoring chances; how often those chances lead to goals; even how his defensive play marking compares to other high-volume shooters.
And that’s just the stuff that made it into this article. I arrived at a conclusion that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for: Lionel Messi is impossible.”
What I particularly loved about this piece was its scope. Morris crunches a ton of numbers to gives us a perfectly fair representative sample that analyses the gauntlet of football. It’s also a handy source to squash any annoying Ronaldo versus Messi debate. So let’s get into it.
Barcelona’s Juvenil A side couldn’t double Blaugrana victories over Ajax on Tuesday. Jordi Vinyals’ squad had to come back from two goals down against Ajax at the Miniestadi, abut in the end it was one point won rather than two lost for the Barça U-19s, who continue to lead their group alongside the Amsterdam-based side. Read more…
The players had a mission on Tuesday, and it was to secure the three points after the loss against Paris Saint Germain in the previous Champions League encounter. That mission was sealed in the first half with two goals from Barça’s magical duo Messi and Neymar, and a Sandro golazo at the closing minutes which sealed the three points. Neymar Jr, Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitić, Pedro Rodríguez and Marc Bartra all spoke to the media at the mixed zone about the Ajax triumph and the Clasico which is looming ahead. Check out what all these players commented after the jump.
October 22, 2014
October 21, 2014