totalBarça and Football Collective partner with Onefootball

totalBarça and Football Collective partner with Onefootball

totalBarça and the Football Collective are pleased to announce a new partnership with Onefootball, the world’s first mobile sports application. Having worked diligently to push the boundaries and gain recognition for years, we here at totalBarça feel this is a promising partnership that will ensure that culés the world over will have access to our fan-driven content in a fast, friendly and data-rich mobile experience.

Since launching way back in 2008, Onefootball has grown from the first-ever sports app on the App Store to the world’s biggest mobile football application. Available for iPhone and Android, you can find it at onefootball.com or in respective app stores. It’s also got a pretty good desktop version!

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Match Preview: Barcelona rumbling toward Copa final

Match Preview: Barcelona rumbling toward Copa final

Can you hear that sound? That’s the rumbling of the earth caused by the Barça faithful as they carry out their pilgrimage to the Camp Nou every match day. That’s the sound of cleats ticking against the tunnel floors of each stadium the blaugrana have marched down in the Copa del Rey, La Liga and Champions League these past two seasons. That is the comforting yet tense pam-pam-pam of relentless passing of foes into submission. It’s the sound of the occasional long boot of the ball as it whistles through mild Spanish air onto the gentle foot of a magician. That dull clang is the sound of footballs whistling by keepers’ finger tips, banging off of goal posts, swishing against back netting, and every pilgrim screaming his or her head off, releasing the tension of living through what seems like an eternity.

The journey has been long and arduous—loaded with slips, drama and disappointment. Not since the late Tito Vilanova lifted the 100-point La Liga trophy in May 2013 have FC Barcelona and its faithful tasted significant silver. The club ended the season 15 points clear of Real Madrid, which seems ridiculous today. But now, a new final is just 90 minutes away. The pilgrims have stood by their team as it has steadily shed its skin, transforming into something stronger and more lethal with each passing week. It’s been a delicious display of the attacking football we know and love, even if it is a little different from that addictive style Pep Guardiola got us jonesin’ for.

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Match Preview: Can Barcelona bounce back against confident City?

Match Preview: Can Barcelona bounce back against confident City?

Fellow Football Collective member and resident Manchester City experts Typical City contributed to this match report. Be sure to pop on over to their site for some expert insight into Manuel Pellegrini’s club, as well as some cross-network collaboration with totalBarça including an ‘Inside the Opposition’ Q&A!

To dismiss Manchester City FC as a weakened side given the absences of creative workhorses Yaya Touré and James Milner does nothing to lessen the fact that FC Barcelona faces one of its toughest tests of the season. Barcelona’s recent stumble in La Liga to Málaga and Man City’s struggles early on in the group stage will certainly make for a tense affair at the Etihad Stadium. Both clubs are hungry to prove they belong in the next round—something’s got to give.

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The Result: FC Barcelona 5-0 UD Levante

The Result: FC Barcelona 5-0 UD Levante

RESULT:

FC Barcelona: 5

UD Levante: 0

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Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Villarreal

Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Villarreal

Villarreal CF will face FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou Wednesday in the visitor’s first-ever semi-final in the Copa del Rey. Both teams have had terrific starts to the year despite Villarreal losing 3-2 to the hosts in La Liga earlier this month. The blaugrana are on a nine-game win streak, while the submarino amarillo have won five of the last six.

“We do not claim to be perfect,” FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said. “It is impossible to be perfect. Imperfection also makes nice football.”

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Copa del Rey Match Preview: Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona

Copa del Rey Match Preview: Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona

The highest-profile remaining match left to play in the Copa del Rey will send either FC Barcelona or defending La Liga champions Atlético Madrid into the semi finals to face a formidable Villareal or possibly Getafe. But regardless of what happens in the next phase, Atlético must now overcome a 1-goal deficit at home against the Liga and Copa runners up it successfully overcame in both competitions last season.

Forever with a point to prove, both clubs will throw everything they have at this match in order to avoid elimination in a tournament where few adversity is actually left.

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One eye on La Liga, one on La Copa

One eye on La Liga, one on La Copa

FC Barcelona travel to Alicante Saturday for the season’s fourth encounter with Elche CF. The Catalans have dominated heavily in the previous three matches across La Liga and the Copa del Rey, but will undoubtedly have Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in the backs of their minds. Luis Enrique’s men need a victory to keep pace with Real, who sit in the top spot with a one-point advantage. But one eye must be kept on midweek, when a decisive clash at the Vicente Calderón will see either Atléti or Barça crashing out of the Copa del Rey.Click for more

Piqué and Barça keep Atlético on short leash

Piqué and Barça keep Atlético on short leash

Today was the day that could have landed FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique once again into the hot seat after a lackluster performance replete with confusing tactics and ineffectual individual performances. But as all good narratives and soldiers of perseverance go, a very positive result came from a scrappy and entertaining fight. Some tactics worked well, while others less so. Some players were absolutely, nostalgically brilliant, and yet one in particular continues to baffle and frustrate. But culés can take at least some solace in a one-goal advantage ahead of next week’s return leg at the Vicente Calderón in Madrid.

Atlético Madrid entered the match with a fierce desire to play their own style, and prevent Barcelona from occupying the middle of the park, where Koke and Arda Turan are at their most dangerous. Los Colchoneros had the near impossible task however, of coming out of this match with all four players on yellow cards able to participate in the home leg. They were mere minutes from succeeding until Diego Godín earned a yellow for protesting in the 85th minute. Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandžukić and Raúl García all escaped suspension from the second leg.Click for more

Debts paid, but can Elche overcome deficit?

Debts paid, but can Elche overcome deficit?

With recent wage disputes finally settled, Elche CF will now look forward to hosting FC Barcelona at the Estadio Martínez Valero in Alicante, Valencia in the hopes of overcoming another embarrassing deficit–a five-goal thrashing handed to its players in the first leg of the Copa del Rey Round of 16 at the Camp Nou.Click for more

Crossfire: AtléticoFans on the long road ahead

Crossfire: AtléticoFans on the long road ahead

FC Barcelona hosts Atlético Madrid on Sunday with second place in La Liga in the balance. The blaugrana and the rojiblancos have both been going through very remarkable seasons for completely different reasons, which could make for an interesting clash. In order to give a little insider perspective on the match, totalBarça and fellow Football Collective partner AtléticoFans engaged in a Crossfire-style interaction, answering questions from behind enemy lines. We posed questions to AtléticoFans’ assistant editor Billy Edwards to get his take on what’s been happening at the Vicente Calderón and what could happen when Simeone’s men come to town. And check out AtléticoFans for totalBarça’s response.Click for more

Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Elche CF

Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Elche CF

This would probably have been the ideal match to rest Lionel Messi in, versus say, a match against a team that Barcelona does not consistently beat. But alas, #MessiGate appears to have come to a head, and the shambolic state of the club is no longer a perspective left for the pessimistic and moderate. Anyone capable of rubbing two sticks together can now see that whether the rift between coach and talisman is real, exaggerated or entirely fictitious, Barcelona as a club is far beyond the point of corruption and singular malfeasance by its former and current presidents. Whether aimed at Barça manager Luis Enrique or the board itself, a power play has taken place, and as any sane bookie could have predicted, Messi appears to have come out on top.

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Ex-Barça: Victor Valdés agrees terms with Manchester United

Ex-Barça: Victor Valdés agrees terms with Manchester United

Callously and unceremoniously ushered out the back door following the professional declaration more than a season in advance that he would be leaving his beloved boyhood club, former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdés may soon have a new home: Manchester United.

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Copa del Rey Match Review: FC Barcelona vs SD Huesca

Copa del Rey Match Review: FC Barcelona vs SD Huesca

Not much opposition was expected from SD Huesca for the return leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32 encounter. Indeed, with a four-goal cushion and having recently dropped points in the league to Getafe, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique’s thinking was obviously more about resting up for the long La Liga/CdR/Champions League marathon ahead, rather than use Lionel Messi to clobber some pretty weak opposition.

Wisely, Lucho opted to leave most of his first team to watch from the stands. Of the sixteen players called up, he asked only eleven first-team players to suit up. Even Martín Montoya got a much-deserved start. Heavens!

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Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs SD Huesca

Copa del Rey Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs SD Huesca

FC Barcelona takes on SD Huesca for the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32 on Tuesday evening at the Camp Nou.

After a scoreless draw against Getafe at the weekend and a tactically strange experiment against PSG last week, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will be looking to continue his delicate balancing act at the helm of the first team. He must somehow look to achieve a convincing result, blood his talented youngsters from the B team, and spare his first team regulars from unnecessary minutes ahead of league action against Córdoba this weekend.

In all likelihood, progression to the next round against either Real Valladolid or Elche will go Barça’s way given there’s a nearly insurmountable four-goal aggregate standing in Huesca’s path.

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Champions League Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC

Champions League Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC

Barring the discovery of some sort of corrupt, murderous plot orchestrated by FC Barcelona and/or Paris Saint-Germain against Sepp Blatter and his cohorts, both sides are guaranteed Champions League football in February after the winter break. What’s at stake however, is a potentially season-ending match up against one of the other lethal group winners: Bayern Munich, Chelsea, or to a lesser extent, Porto, Borussia Dortmund or Monaco, (and in PSG’s case, either of the Madrid clubs).

Whichever club snatches top of group today could find life in the next round much easier by drawing FC Basel, Bayer Leverkusen, CSKA Moskva, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Schalke 04, or Shakhtar Donetsk. Interestingly, some difficult opponents will be lurking in this pot as well, namely Juventus, Arsenal, Roma and Manchester City.

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Right-back where we started

Right-back where we started

Seems just like yesterday we were pleading, praying, and shouting for a serious solution – any solution – to FC Barcelona’s defensive malnourishment. With an ailing and literally stapled Carles Puyol just months from retirement, and a shunned and discarded Éric Abidal no longer at the club, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta finally pulled himself up by the gator straps after a veritable prodding from the media, and somehow completed a set of signings that appeared to have addressed all of the questions surrounding depth and positional frailty–not just defensively, but all over the pitch. Each addition seemed quite effective and logical, except for that last odd signing of Douglas Pereira dos Santos from São Paulo FC.Click for more

Copa del Rey Match Preview: SD Huesca vs FC Barcelona

Copa del Rey Match Preview: SD Huesca vs FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique Martínez García threw culés a wily screw ball at the weekend in Valencia by fielding a surprising line up consisting of midfielders Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano. Although the plan failed convincingly despite the win, the morsel that optimistic fans should take away is that the club is under the stewardship of a daring leader who is willing to tinker and shock in order to achieve results and stave off complacency.

Round 32 of the 112th edition of the Copa del Rey has begun. Enter the Primera División. Enter los canteranos. Enter another opportunity for Lucho to really dig into the depths of his squad and understand fully the arsenal at his disposal.Click for more

Champions League Match Preview: APOEL Nicosia vs FC Barcelona

Champions League Match Preview: APOEL Nicosia vs FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona will face APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus on matchday five of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening. There is still plenty to play for from both clubs’ perspectives. Barcelona is one point behind group leader Paris Saint Germain, while APOEL can still muster a Europa League drop-in should it overtake AFC Ajax.

In other news, having just become La Liga’s top scorer, Lionel Messi can break another record Tuesday by scoring one more goal, putting him one past Raúl González’s 71 Champions League goals. The record is Messi’s to lose however. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is hot on his heels and could potentially claim the record should Messi not score and the Portuguese net two or more against FC Basel on Wednesday.

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Champions League Match Preview: AFC Ajax vs FC Barcelona

Champions League Match Preview: AFC Ajax vs FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona is playing AFC Ajax Amsterdam in Holland, and despite last year’s loss, Barça will be coming out the gates with fire in their eyes, especially considering a loss would drastically change the face of this group. Also, a certain Uruguayan will be making his Champions League debut against his second European club with a point to prove, having missed out on the Ballon d’Or shortlist.

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Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs AFC Ajax

Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs AFC Ajax

FC Barcelona hosts the pioneers of totaalvoetbal AFC Ajax Tuesday evening for round three of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Now approaching the halfway point of group play with a mere 3 points under their belt, the Catalans have a chance to get their campaign back on track in what few expect to be an easy group. With a humbling defeat at Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and a narrow win over APOEL Nicosia, Barcelona has shown its own mortality. And with so many among the Ajax ranks familiar with the Barcelona’s mechanisms, it would be difficult to argue that this should prove a walk in the park for the hosts.

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Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs APOEL FC

Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs APOEL FC

While many in Catalunya certainly cheered or breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement of Cyprus club APOEL FC drawing FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Barça boss Luis Enrique likely raised a concerned eyebrow. For it was but three seasons ago when APOEL, battling a group consisting of FC Porto, Zenit St. Petersburg, and Shakhtar Donetsk, finished top and advanced two more rounds before being ruthlessly dispatched by Real Madrid in the quarterfinal. Minnows of that group and the 2011/12 tournament, the Cypriots advanced at the expense of more experienced clubs through conservative tactics, a good mix of experienced and explosive players, and biding time until home advantage presented itself. Could a surprise be lurking in the grass for the blaugrana, who squeaked by Villarreal, or could this be an opportune time for Lucho to do some tinkering as more big games loom?

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Comparing Douglas, Alves and Montoya

Comparing Douglas, Alves and Montoya

São Paulo FC fans all over Brazil are lauding the efforts of club directors after off-loading right back Douglas Pereira, whom many fans considered a liability and not worthy of a starting place on their beloved team. To be fair, Dani Alves is also seen by many Brazilians in a similar light domestically, but how one performs from team to team can sometimes provide quite the study in contrast. While assurances of his defensive abilities are plentiful online, numbers from Opta Sports compiled by ESPN Brasil do a little bit more to dispel the worries of non-Portuguese-speaking culés frantically combing the internet for more on who exactly this Douglas character is and what he could possibly offer on a right flank that has been so dominantly deputized by Dani Alves and to a far lesser extent, Martín Montoya. Click for more

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

ANCELOTTI HAS SEEN THE LIGHT …

Ancelotti: “As I’ve said before, Madrid isn’t a football team, but a religion …”

“… with millions of referee followers since its founding.”

Cartoon by Caye

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

WHEN THEY SIGNED NEYMAR …

Ney cost the board 57 million euros.

… AND NOW.

Ney cost the board a boatload of millions of euros, their credibility and their shame.

Cartoon by Caye

Mazinho: “Celta was the ideal place for Rafinha’s evolution.”

Mazinho: “Celta was the ideal place for Rafinha’s evolution.”

Fifa World Cup 94′ winner Mazinho has an exciting summer to look forward to. His home country of Brazil will be teeming with footballing activity the likes of which it hasn’t seen since 1950, but he need not squint his eyes looking across the ocean for football to bring him joy. In Europe, his sons Thiago and Rafinha Alcântara have been plying their trade at Bayern Munich and Celta de Vigo, respectively. While the older and more talented Thiago looks set to remain in Germany, Rafinha appears to making much anticipated strides in his maturity.

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Ex-Barça: David Villa to NYCFC?

Ex-Barça: David Villa to NYCFC?

Multiple sources in the press including ESPN, Mundo Deportivo, Sport, and Gazzetta dello Sport, are reporting that Atlético Madrid striker David Villa has reached an agreement to play for new North American football club, New York City FC.

The yet-unannounced three-year deal with NYCFC would see Villa move to Manchester, England where he would train with parent-club Manchester City FC, until its Major League Soccer counterpart begins its season in February of 2015.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

VILLA ABOUT TO GO TO NEW YORK AND BARÇA WOULD LOSE 3MILLION

VILLA: “In the end, Barça won’t even get enough to buy sunflower seeds.”

“Ni para pipas/Nipapipas” = Not even (enough) for seeds

Cartoon by Caye

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

BARTOMEU: “Alexis is not for sale!”

“… but if someone wants to buy him, please call my office immediately.”

Cartoon by Caye

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

THE DECIMA COST FLORENTINO MORE THAN A BILLION

Florentino: “More than a billion in players…”

“…in other aspects, much more.”

Cartoon by Caye

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

SELF-CRAP BY  SELF-CRAP 1 – 1 GAME BY GAME

CONGRATULATIONS

Simeone: “Luckily, preventing the Merengues from winning La Decima doesn’t depend on Barça…”

“…it depends on ‘Team Cholo.’ “

Cartoon by Caye