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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.