Yesterday FC Barcelona presented both of next year’s jerseys to the president of Catalonia, Artur Mas. The meeting took place in the courtyard of the Palau de la Generalitat. FC Barcelona was represented by president Rosell, vice president Vilarrubí, and sporting director Zubizarreta, among others. The Catalan government was represented by president Mas and members of the Catalan government Homs (finances and economics), Vilajoana (culture), and Tibau (sports).
Barcelona B attacker Gerard Deulofeu (19) has said that he would like to be in the first team next season but according to the youngster it looks “complicated”, while his teammate midfielder Sergi Roberto (21) has stated that he only sees himself in Barcelona’s first team. Details following the jump.
According to Mundo Deportivo the new shirts for the upcoming season 2013-2014 are going on sale Thursday May 23. With still two fixtures before the end of the season, FC Barcelona fans will be able to buy the new kit.
The home shirt will have the traditional blaugrana stripes on it, and a yellow collar. The new sponsor will be Qatar Airways instead of Qatar Foundation. The airline has a contract with FC Barcelona to sponsor the kits until June 2016. The general contract with Qatar Sports Investments is estimated to be worth 170 million Euros for six seasons.
As has been rumored for some time, the away shirt will be the Catalan senyera, consisting of five yellow and four red stripes. The third kit will be all black with some grey.
This morning FC Barcelona had a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Tito Vilanova, who arrived back in Barcelona this morning from New York, had all the available players from the first team at his disposal as well as Juvenil A defender Lucas Gafarot (18).
Both Pedro and Valdés, who missed last week’s clash with Real Betis because of illness and injury respectively, were able to train with the rest of the squad. Forward Pedro Rodríguez (25) has been given the medical green light while goalkeeper Víctor Valdés (31) has yet to receive it.
After the victory against Real Betis (4-2) FC Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova said in his press conference that he is leaving for New York again on Monday.
Vilanova, who is still undergoing treatment, is expected to be back on Thursday so he will able to manage the team against Atlético Madrid on Sunday. Unfortunately for Tito, this is not the end because he reportedly has to go back to the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital in June.
Bad news coming from FC Barcelona’s official website. Goalkeeper Víctor Valdés (31) is injured for tomorrow’s game against Real Betis.
Valdés reportedly has a foot injury, the same one which kept him from playing the Catalunya-Nigeria friendly in January. He has been officially ruled out of the game against Betis at Camp Nou so we will probably see José Manuel Pinto (37) between the sticks tomorrow.
According to Mundo Deportivo, spokespersons from both FC Barcelona and UEFA denied that referee Wolfgang Stark was punished for bad refereeing at the Parc des Princes for the PSG-Barça game last Tuesday. UEFA has responded to Mundo Deportivo with the following statement: “There has been no punishment for Stark”. The UEFA Referees Committee, chaired by Pierluigi Collina, stated that normally the referees who take part in the quarter-finals don’t get chosen for the semi-finals or the final. They added that a group of referees has already been selected to lead the coming fixtures of the UEFA Champions League.
Good news coming from the official website. Both Xavi (33) and Jordi Alba (24) have been given the medical green light to play against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
The two players both came back injured after Spain’s qualifying games for the world cup in Brazil 2014 against Finland and France.
Mundo Deportivo has published an article on its website in which some of the problems of FC Barcelona are highlighted with possible solutions.
1. Problem: Messi is caged and Ronaldo has too many one on one chances. When Messi was far away from the penalty area, both AC Milan and Real Madrid placed many players around the attacking midfielder position. That is why Messi always had to deal with three or four defenders. Ronaldo, on the other hand, was allowed to play his preferred game. He had 50 meters of space to run into and only one defender to beat.
Solution: More movement in attack and help in defence. If Messi is being covered by three defenders, then there are two players who are unmarked. If Barça’s players are moving well, then this should be an advantage. Regarding Ronaldo, reviewing old videos will do some good. In the past, if he escaped from Alves or Puyol, then Piqué was there to help.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, visiting Israel at the moment, spoke to the press today. Rosell confirmed that Tito Vilanova will not be returning to his manager role before the end of March, which means he won’t be coaching the first team in the highly anticipated return leg against AC Milan.
Before the Champions League game on Wednesday, ex-Barcelona striker and current AC Milan player Bojan Krkić (22) talked to AC Milan TV.
It will be a special game for the Catalan, who is on loan from Roma, as it will be the first time in his life that he will play against the Club which taught him everything.
The Madrid press released several reports Wednesday following the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on the conduct of one player in particular. This time they are targeting none other than the best player in the world, FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (25).
According to La Sexta, Messi yelled at Real Madrid Assistant Manager Aitor Karanka immediately following the match at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday. According to the TV network Messi said: “What are you looking at, fool? You’re just a puppet of Mourinho.” The incident remained unconfirmed by actual, named sources until Friday when José Callejón confirmed the comments directed at Karanka during a press conference.
Speaking to the press this afternoon Tito Vilanova’s assistant manager , Jordi Roura, was certain the team was ready for the return leg of the Copa del Rey against Málaga on Thursday.
Roura declared that the game was “the first decisive match, the first ‘match-ball’ of the season. It’s not necessary to tell the players anything, they are aware how important the match is.” He also added : “No doubt that we’ll give it our all, but this is football. I’m sure that the team will react well.”
FC Barcelona captain and defender Carles Puyol (34) has signed a contract extension which will keep him in Barcelona until June 30 of 2016, according to an official statement on the club’s website.
Speaking with Barça TV the captain said he was very happy to have signed the contract because his idea was to continue with the club. Although he wants to take it one season at a time, Puyol indicated that this probably wasn’t his last contract renewal since he plans to keep playing until he’s 40. As a true professional he added: “Staying in shape is very important and I’m very aware that I have to take care of myself on and off the pitch. That’s what I try to do.”