Andrés Iniesta was confident ahead of FC Barcelona’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain, despite the numerous injuries affecting the squad. The midfielder assured the press that the team would go out to play as if it were a final, with the hope of being able to reach the final at Wembley this year.
With the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers quickly approaching, the members of the Spanish national team naturally are grilled in front of the press over a multitude of issues. On Wednesday, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos (26) was asked, “If you were to sign one player from FC Barcelona, who would it be?” His answer, quite surprisingly, wasn’t the cliche Iniesta or Messi. No… he chose Sergio Busquets.
Former FC Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito (32) took some time to speak to the media following Barcelona’s incredible comeback against AC Milan. The defender was quoted as saying, “it wouldn’t have been fair for Barcelona to have been left eliminated after one bad game in Milan.” The Argentine drew parallels to the situation as well as praising his compatriots, Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.
Following his goal against Deportivo de la Coruña, Lionel Messi has broken yet another world record by scoring in 17 consecutive league matches. The previous record was held by Ruch Chorzów forward, Teodor Peterek, where the Polish striker scored 22 goals in 16 matches between 1937 and 1938. In the last 17 matches, Messi has totaled 27 goals with a ratio of 1.59(!) goals per game.
FC Barcelona forward Pedro Rodríguez (25) sat down with the press ahead of Wednesday’s encounter with AC Milan in the Champions League. He was questioned about the form of several of his Barcelona teammates as well as his own and answered some questions about the current state of their Italian rivals. The player was quick to dispel any claims of Milan being a weaker side, showing nothing but respect for the Italians and caution.
FC Barcelona Cadete B player, Seung Woo Lee (14) has been blocked from playing after allegedly violating the terms under Article 19 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The article states that all international transfers can only occur if the player involved is at least 18 years of age. The young player, dubbed the “Korean Messi”, has missed the last two games with the Cadete B team, one a friendly in Qatar and the other against CD Mariano Poblet, which they won 7-0.
Following the news of Víctor Valdés’s decision to not renew, there has been speculation over who should fill the void once his contract expires. Madrid-based paper Marca has reported that Barcelona has reached a pre-agreement with German international and Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper, Marc-André ter Stegen (20).
FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves (29) spoke to the press on Thursday following the game against Real Madrid. As expected, the issue of racism in football arenas took center stage and Alves shared his opinion, terming the fight against this issue a ‘lost cause’. He also answered questions on the result and conduct of players as witnessed during the Copa del Rey quarterfinal clash.
FC Barcelona fullback Jordi Alba(23), on Thursday, unveiled his new Adidas boots and in the accompanying press conference shared his opinion on Wednesday’s Clàsico, the conduct of the players and referees during and after the game and the upcoming match against his former club, Valencia CF. The left back also reiterated his belief that the league is not decided yet, giving a special mention to Atlético Madrid’s form. Excerpts from the interview are after the break.
The Bernabéu was full of controversy Wednesday night, but not for the sporting reasons that we have come to expect when these two sides clash. Audible racist chants, lasers aimed at players and referees alike, as well as other derogatory chants were seen and heard during yesterday’s semi-final match in the Copa del Rey. There was even an instance of a cigarette lighter being thrown at FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué after a last ditch challenge on Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. After the increasing reports of racial abuse toward players throughout the world, one wonders how this can and should be dealt with.
Following the match against CA Osasuna, FC Barcelona forward Pedro Rodríguez (25) took time out to appear on Barça TV programme “El Marcador”. He spoke about his current form and the upcoming Copa del Rey Clásico that could be his 200th game for the club, revealing that he is feeling confident ahead of Wednesday’s clash. The player also had words of praise for his teammate Messi and the fans’ reaction to Valdés deciding not to renew his contract.
FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández(33) spoke to the press on Friday, where he offered his opinions over the upcoming Copa del Rey Clàsico, Sunday’s league match against CA Osasuna and the contract situation of Víctor Valdés, as well as other issues. Below is the full translation of the birthday man’s 18-minute press conference.
The new coach of Brazil’s national team gave everyone a shock on Tuesday, when he elected to recall some senior members to the 20-man national squad ahead of the February 6 friendly against England. One of the more notable names was none other than ex-Barcelona forward Ronaldinho (32). The former Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Cup winner had not been a part of the national squad since February of last year and Felipe Scolari will be looking to add his experience to the line-up.
FC Barcelona defender and captain Carles Puyol will sign his contract extension this Tuesday afternoon, which will tie him to the club until June 30th of 2016. His old contract was set to expire in the summer.
It is important to note that negotiations have been going on, and more players are set to sign their extensions in the coming weeks.
Andrés Iniesta spoke to the press on Monday, ahead of FC Barcelona’s Copa del Rey fixture against Málaga CF. The conversation revolved around the decision of Victor Valdés not to renew his contract, as well as mentions of Guardiola, the second leg of the Copa del Rey tie, and Iniesta’s own future at the club. The Barcelona midfielder echoed the sentiments of Tito Vilanova and had nothing but praise for the 31-year-old goalkeeper.
“It will be difficult (to replace him), but that is the job of the club and the staff. Right now, I’m not thinking of alternatives or other goalkeepers. My goalkeeper is Victor and he’ll continue to be until the final day he is here. He continues to be our goalkeeper.”