In the last league game of 2016, Barcelona blew past city rivals Espanyol with a Messi and Iniesta inspired 4-1 victory.
To celebrate reaching 80K on Twitter, totalBarça is giving away a free copy of Iniesta’s new book, The Artist: Being Iniesta! Read on for our review of the book, and for details about how you can win a copy!
Barça entered matchday 11 with something to prove.
Playing away at Sevilla is a consistently difficult match, and the general mood suggested it might not go well.
Ilusionista. Harry Potter. Maestro. Artist. Puto Crack.
Winning 5-0 on the road is cause for celebration enough, but doing it without Messi, Iniesta, or Rakitić after a hard-fought draw against Atlético midweek is a miracle of a manita.
If the Alavés game was a misstep, and the Celtic game a masterpiece, Luis Enrique and the rest of the squad will be hoping that tomorrow’s match at Leganés falls somewhere in between.
In Spanish, the phrase a la vez means “both, at the same time.” Fittingly, Barça’s 1-2 loss to newly promoted Alavés was, a la vez, frustrating and potentially avoidable, but not world ending or an indicator of crisis.
The international break is a weird phenomenon — essentially hitting pause on early season progress while players travel thousands of miles for another team. So club fans hold their breath and look at their watches until it’s over, hoping everyone comes out unscathed.
Barça’s return to action against Alavés tomorrow is a welcome relief after 16 members of the squad were called up for nine different countries for friendlies and World Cup qualifying.
Ahead of the weekend, let’s see how (and where) Barça fared internationally.
August 13, 1973.
Almost exactly 43 years ago, Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona agreed to terms and Johan Cruyff signed a record transfer fee to become a Barça player. Cruyff was insistent that he end up in the Catalan capital, going so far as to threaten a boycott of the 1974 World Cup to pressure the Dutch federation into cooperating with his exit from the Netherlands.
Barring some manner of omniscience, nobody involved in brokering that deal for Barça truly knew how important Cruyff was destined to become. If they had known, they may well have paid even more.