Video of the Day: 10-year-old Messi

Players’ reactions: RCD Espanyol 1-1 FC Barcelona

Players’ reactions: RCD Espanyol 1-1 FC Barcelona

Despite feeling dejected about dropping points last night, FC Barcelona players once again showed immense optimism in the face of discouraging results.

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Guardiola: “No way will I ever be disappointed with them”

Guardiola: “No way will I ever be disappointed with them”

Like he always has after each and every time his players have failed to secure all three points, FC Barcelona’s coach Pep Guardiola again said that he is not disappointed with them, despite their below-par performance last night.

“The game was as we had expected when you’re up against a great team. Espanyol is a very good team and they played well. We had problems at the end of the first half, but we controlled the second better, even though we’re a bit off target. After the equalizing goal, we reacted in the right way but it was too late. But even so, I have no complains of my players, how could I ever?”

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Pique’s interview with La Vanguardia

Pique’s interview with La Vanguardia

totalBarça brings you the translation of an interview Gerard Pique gave to La Vanguardia which was published today. The original can be found here.

FC Barcelona defender and Spain international Gerard Piqué, who turns 25 on February 2, spoke to La Vanguardia detailing aspects of his career and his private life.

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Guardiola: “It’s one of the toughest tests in the calendar”

Guardiola: “It’s one of the toughest tests in the calendar”

FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, in a press conference held ahead of tomorrow’s la Liga match against city rival Espanyol, said he believes it is going to be a very tight affair.

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Messi exclusive interview with Ecuador’s Don Balon

Messi exclusive interview with Ecuador’s Don Balon

totalBarça brings you the translation of an exclusive interview Lionel Messi gave to Ecuadorian sports magazine Don Balon which was published a few days ago. The original can be found here.

As predicted, it was a triumphant end to the year for FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. He not only succeeded in helping his team lift the club’s second Club World Cup trophy, but he also was awarded many individual accolades in December.

Of all the numerous recognitions given to Messi, none were more poignant to him than the last two that he received from his home country – Argentina’s ‘Clarin de Oro’ Footballer of the Year award, handed out by the nation’s Clarin multimedia group, and the Argentina’s Sports Journalist Association ‘Olimpia de Oro’ award for being named as the nation’s Sportsman of the Year. This was the first time his accomplishments were acknowledged by his countrymen.

Later that month, French newspaper L’Equipe picked him as their International Sportsman of the Year, and awarded the player the ‘Champion of Champions’ award, followed a few days later by Cuba Prensa Latina’s Latin America and the Caribbean ‘2011 Best Male Athlete’ award.

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Guardiola voted IFFHS’ World’s Best Club Coach

Guardiola voted IFFHS’ World’s Best Club Coach

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), the organisation that chronicles the history and records of association football, has today, for the second time in three years, chosen FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola as the 2011 World’s Best Club Coach, the first being 2009. He secured top spot with 201 points, from a poll voted on by selected editorial offices and experts from 81 countries, beating the likes of Real Madrid CF’s José Mourinho and Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Busquets: “That’s why Messi’s the best”

Busquets: “That’s why Messi’s the best”

After today’s open-door training session at the Miniestadi, Sergio Busquets, in a press conference held at the Camp Nou, said it is not Pep Guardiola’s and the team’s intention to try to bring about a change in how the game of football is to be played, with FC Barcelona as the example.

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Pictures of the Day: Carles Puyol

Pictures of the Day: Carles Puyol

‘Puyol doing the striptease’

The Barça captain tore his shorts in a collision with Osasuna’s goalkeeper, and without a second thought changed them on the sidelines, in full view of the Camp Nou spectators.

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Guardiola: “There was nothing sinister behind it all”

Guardiola: “There was nothing sinister behind it all”

Admitting the 4-0 win over Osasuna last night was a very positive result, FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola nevertheless said that the tie isn’t decided yet. “Overall, we’ve played an excellent game and took a very good step towards qualification,” he said. “But this is not over yet for we have still to visit Pamplona and play there. The 5-0 result we got over Betis was still fresh in our minds, and look how we have had to suffer there (last season). This tie will only be settled at the end of the 90 minutes. Till then, nothing has been determined yet.”

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Player Reactions: FC Barcelona 4-0 CA Osasuna

Player Reactions: FC Barcelona 4-0 CA Osasuna

Satisfied with their night’s work, a number of the FC Barcelona players interviewed after the match noted that they are nevertheless aware of the difficult task awaiting them at El Sadar in a week’s time.

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Xavi exclusive interview with Le Buteur – Part II

Xavi exclusive interview with Le Buteur – Part II

totalBarça brings you the translation of an exclusive interview Xavi Hernandez gave to Algerian paper Le Buteur which was published a few days ago. This long interview will be divided into a two-part article. The translation of Part I is here, while the original can be found here.

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Messi and Valdes out with flu

Messi and Valdes out with flu

There is a last minute setback to the team’s preparation for tonight’s Copa del Rey match against Osasuna as both Lionel Messi and Víctor Valdes have come down with the flu, FC Barcelona’s official website stated today. The club’s medical services confirmed the two players will need to be rested, and will not take any part in the match.

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Xavi’s exclusive interview with Le Buteur – Part I

Xavi’s exclusive interview with Le Buteur – Part I

totalBarca brings you the translation of an exclusive interview Xavi Hernandez gave to Algerian paper Le Buteur which was published a couple of days ago. This long interview will be divided into a two-part article. The original can be found here.

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Pep: “Osasuna will be a different kind of opposition this time”

Pep: “Osasuna will be a different kind of opposition this time”

In his first press conference of the new year, FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola made it very clear that Osasuna in the Copa del Rey will not be the same team that lost 8-0 earlier in the season.

“That match was over two months ago. It would be another thing if it was 15 days ago. When you get a result against a rival, they’ll be more motivated the next time. To confront this we need to imagine what they are feeling, we need to get into their head.”

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Xavi chosen IFFHS best playmaker again

Xavi chosen IFFHS best playmaker again
Is there an end to these accolades for them? Best of the best yet again.

Spain and FC Barcelona’s 31-years-old midfielder Xavi Hernandez has been chosen for the fourth consecutive time as the best playmaker in the world by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

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Ex-Barca: Stoichkov lands coaching job, Milito’s pondering about one

Ex-Barca: Stoichkov lands coaching job, Milito’s pondering about one

Former FC Barcelona’s ‘Dream Team’ player Hristo Stoichkov has been linked with a coaching job with Bulgarian champions Litex Lovech, reported the state’s news agency (BTA) on Sunday. He will be replacing interim coach Atanas Dzhambazki, who himself had only taken over from the departing Luboslav Penev, now manager of the national team.

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Sandro Rosell’s plan in motion

Sandro Rosell’s plan in motion

It is pretty evident that FC Barcelona has a lot of catching up to do on securing a slice of the Asian market to the likes of EPL powerhouses, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. And to some extend even Real Madrid does better here because of its past successes. But with more than half a decade of consistent hegemony over the footballing world, it could all change if the club plays its cards right. As declared by its president, Sandro Rosell, at a football conference in Dubai recently, FC Barcelona is going to have to look at new and emerging markets to generate new income, and one of the relatively virgin markets, in footballing terms, is India.

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Adriano: “Pep is like a father to me”

Adriano: “Pep is like a father to me”

In his first press conference after the Christmas break, Adriano Correia was asked if he thinks his coach will extend his tenure with the club. The Brazilian not only believes he will but alluded to the significance of Pep Guardiola’s presence in the team by placing him at a pedestal much higher than merely a coach.

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New tax bill could hinder Abidal’s renewal

New tax bill could hinder Abidal’s renewal
The press conference after the ministerial council meeting on the economy

One of the many key economic decisions taken by Spain’s newly elected ministerial council last Friday could directly influence the economic and sports-related planning of FC Barcelona, reported Mundo Deportivo today.

After the meeting, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, Spain’s deputy Prime Minister, announced a revision to the laws governing personal income tax in a bid to combat the country’s dire economic situation. She revealed the government will put into effect, from February of this year, a nation-wide temporary tax increase, for a minimum of two years.

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Messi, Rosario’s ‘ambassador to the world’

Messi, Rosario’s ‘ambassador to the world’
Lionel Messi with his mother Celia and with Monica Fein, Mayor of Rosario

Favoured to win his third straight Ballon d’Or on the 9th, the first sports award to be given out this year, Lionel Messi, even if he fails to win it, can certainly still be happy, for towards the end of last year he was finally recognised by his country, Argentina, as its Best Sportsman of the Year. A week later, he was named as the continent’s best European based footballer by Uruguay’s biggest selling newspaper, El Pais. And at the close of the year, he was honoured by his own community, the town of Rosario, in recognition of his contributions in promoting the town’s name through his footballing feats.

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Thiago: “To leave the season as it is would be a waste”

Thiago: “To leave the season as it is would be a waste”

Speaking to the media for the last time last year, FC Barcelona’s midfielder Thiago Alcantara yesterday said that while a repeat of the 2009’s impressive title haul will be a monumental task, he is convinced 2012 can yet bring in more successes for the club. And he believes it is down to the team’s determination, and with Pep Guardiola in charge, it is feasible.

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Cruyff: “The best teams are based on home-grown players”

Cruyff: “The best teams are based on home-grown players”

On the eve of his team’s match against Tunisia at the Lluis Companys Stadium, in Montjuïc, Johan Cruyff, Catalunya’s coach, appeared on Catalunya Radio to say that with over 30,000 tickets sold “the aim is to give a show so the people that come can have a good time,” and he thanked the gesture of the players who are willing to “come without pay as a treat, and all because they love their country.”

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Cruyff: “To succeed Pep, that person needs total support”

Cruyff: “To succeed Pep, that person needs total support”

totalbarca brings to you a translation of an exclusive interview Johan Cruyff gave to Sport.es, which was published today. The original version can be found here.

Johan Cruyff never hides his feelings, be it good or bad. His thoughts are usually laced with a tinge of genius and his opinions are  seen as commandments by many inside the club. A very close friend of Guardiola, a die-hard supporter of Laporta and the ‘alma mater’ of the Dream Team, Cruyff keeps on contributing his magisterial doses of football to those who still want to listen and learn from him a little of the twists and turns of the game we call football.

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Rosell seeking new pastures to counter billionaire owners

Rosell seeking new pastures to counter billionaire owners

Speaking at the 6th Dubai International Sports conference yesterday, FC Barcelona’s president Sandro Rosell said UEFA’s proposed financial fair play regulations are needed to keep billionaire-funded clubs in check, and provide a level playing field for other clubs that are run as an association with an elected head.

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Agent: “Romeu is not going back this summer”

Agent: “Romeu is not going back this summer”

Marca has today claimed that Oriol Romeu’s agent has made a statement quashing rumours of the player’s return to the Camp Nou this summer. While no official statement has come forth from FC Barcelona stating its desire to bring the former cantera player back, speculations about the club’s supposed intention were rife, with most reports citing Seydou Keita’s pending move, in his search for more playing time, as the reason.

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Rosell calls for rationality on transfers

Rosell calls for rationality on transfers

FC Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, has today called on UEFA to change the rules by which clubs must pay commissions to players’ agents, saying the current system, in which a buying club has to assume the costs of a player’s agent, is just wrong.

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Barca is AIPS’ 2011 Best Team

Barca is AIPS’ 2011 Best Team

FC Barcelona has today been named as Best Team of 2011 by the International Association of Sports Press (AIPS) after garnering 43% of the total votes submitted by 363 journalists from 80 countries, beating the likes of New Zealand’s rugby team, All Blacks, and the Brazilian national volleyball team.

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Dani confirms separation

Dani confirms separation
Dani Alves accompanied by Dinora at an event recognising his achievements
at his hometown last year

FC Barcelona defender and Brazil international Dani Alves today confirmed that the stories surrounding his separation from his wife of three years, Dinora @ Dina Santana are true. The couple ended their marriage through mutual consent just over three months ago.

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Camp Nou pitch to stay as it is, for now

Camp Nou pitch to stay as it is, for now

FC Barcelona’s official website yesterday confirmed that work on a new pitch for Camp Nou has been put on hold at least until after the Copa del Rey match against CA Osasuna on January 4. The club has withdrawn its request made to the RFEF and Osasuna for a change in the order of the knockout round games of the competition.

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