Ex-Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson (42) will coach Falkenberg FF next year when they will play in Allsvenskan, the highest division in Swedish football, for the first time in their club’s history. It will be the first time “Henke” coaches a club in Allsvenskan after he previously managed Landskrona BoIS in the second division.
The FC Barcelona Foundation and the Neymar Jr. Project Institute, a social project in Brazil promoted by Neymar, have signed a contract to promote sports as a tool for social integration among young people. The agreement will benefit all children who are part of the Institute as well as the kids present in all South American countries where the Barcelona Foundation is active.
FC Barcelona youngsters Marc Bartra (22) and Sergi Roberto (21) attended the Catalan Football Federation’s presentation of its annual exhibition of the Catalan National Team. The traditional winter friendly will be played against Cape Verde on Monday, December 30 at 7 pm local time. The game will be broadcast live on Catalan station TV3.
FC Barcelona have finished their final training session ahead of tomorrow’s La Liga game against Athletic Bilbao.
Captain Carles Puyol (35) did not train because of a knock on his knee. Defender Dani Alves (30) who rejoined the group earlier this week had to leave practice early after he felt discomfort in his right leg. Alves will not play against Athletic as a precaution. Winger Cristian Tello (22) is still recovering from his injury after he sprained the ligaments of his ankle during the international break.
Click the jump for some good news.
FC Barcelona had a training session this morning and Brazilian defenders Dani Alves (30) and Adriano (29) have rejoined their team mates. They both have recovered from respective injuries and while not given the medical green light officially, it is expected both will be available for the match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Jordi Alba (24) is still working individually, while young winger Adama (17) is again training with the first team.
FC Barcelona returned to training on Sunday after the 4-0 victory over Granada. The most positive news was that midfielder Xavi Hernández (33) has received the medical green light for the game against Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday. Defender Adriano (29) does not make the squad after he sprained the ligaments in his left ankle. The length of his recovery is not yet known.
José Manuel Pinto (38) has played more than 60 games for FC Barcelona since he joined the club in 2008 to replace Jorquera as the second goalkeeper. Since that time, Pinto has always been the back-up for the currently injured Víctor Valdés (31) and when he was needed he has always done well: 53 goals conceded in 63 games.
Brazilian defender Adriano Correia (29) is experiencing his best season at the club. For the first time since arriving at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2010 he has managed to play 10 consecutive games, something that was unthinkable in previous campaigns when the defender struggled a lot with muscle injuries. In an interview with Catalan daily El Mundo Deportivo, Adriano confessed some of his secrets. Read everything after the jump.
This week FC Barcelona will put the FCBEscola Camp Avea into operation. The Turkey based football school is sponsored by the club’s official partner, Avea, a Turkish telecommunications company.
The school is located in Antalya and is home for around 100 children coming from all over Turkey. Most of the children come from orphanages or shelters as the school is part of Avea’s and FC Barcelona’s social programme.
FC Barcelona have released an official statement concerning Lionel Messi’s (26) injury.
Messi has a tear in his left femoral biceps and will be unable to play for six to eight weeks which means he will miss, at least, eight games: Four La Liga matches (Granada, Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, Getafe), the final two Champions League games (Ajax, Celtic) and the Copa del Rey games against Cartagena (which he likely may have missed anyway).
Ahead of the fourth round in the UEFA Champions League group stage, FC Barcelona is the only team of its group that has performed consistently in the last couple of games in their domestic leagues. With an overwhelming balance of eleven wins, one tie and zero defeats (34 points out of a possible 36), manager Gerardo Martino is doing a great job in his first four months at the helm of FC Barcelona. The same can not be said about Barcelona’s rivals in group H of the Champions League, as Barça was the only team winning their game over the weekend.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets (25) talked to the press ahead of tonight’s game against CA Osasuna. Although a lot of people are already looking forward to the next week’s match against Real Madrid, Busquets says that: “The match on Saturday is very important and we, the players, know that we first have to play Osasuna, they are a tough team to beat at home. We’ve always had a hard time in their stadium, but we’ll try to come back with the three points.” He added that winning today’s game will “help us approach the clásico.”
For winger Cristian Tello (22), this is his third season in the first team after spending two more with Barcelona B. One of Tello’s great abilities is that even if he doesn’t play for three weeks, when he returns to the pitch he hasn’t lost his game fitness. An asset for every coach but the striker from Sabadell wants more. Read his interview with Catalan newspaper Sport after the jump.
Today seven players did physical tests at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. All the first team players who are still in Barcelona, and thus not playing with their national team, being Martín Montoya, Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra, Adriano, Jonathan Dos Santos and Cristian Tello have taken the tests this morning. Goalkeepers José Manual Pinto and Oier Olazábal trained in the gym.
The players now have two days off and will return to training on Monday.
FC Barcelona forward Alexis Sánchez (24) had a sincere interview with Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo. He said that until now he hasn’t always enjoyed his time at Barcelona, that the fans haven’t seen the real Alexis yet but after learning Barça’s style he is “ready to explode”. Read the full translation of the interview after the jump.
Winning against Barcelona is not something that comes easily and last November’s victory over Barça won’t soon be forgotten by fans of Celtic FC. It was one of the main topics FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (26) was asked about during his press-conference ahead of tonight’s Champions League fixture against the same Scottish side. Barcelona’s number ’4′ was quick to respond and call for focus among his team.
Midfielder Andrés Iniesta (29) is the centre of attention in the English press this Sunday. According to The Daily Star and various other British tabloids, both teams from Manchester are willing to make a big effort to sign the Spanish midfielder since he didn’t renew his contract with FC Barcelona yet.
This Sunday at 12:00 in the afternoon FC Barcelona B will take on Real Madrid Castilla in the Miniestadi. The club has already sold more than 10.000 tickets and hope the fans will cheer the blaugrana team forward in a very tough mini-clásico.
A number of initiatives were taken by the club to support Eusebio’s men so that the young players can feel in a similar manner to the emotions the first team players feel ahead of a clásico. Before the game Pep Callau will warm up the audience, as he usually does before the first team matches at Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona will travel to Valencia tomorrow to play the third league game of the season. Manager Gerardo Martino has called up 19 players to make the difficult trip to Mestalla.
Both midfielder Xavi (33) and forward Alexis Sánchez (24) have not made the squad. Martino explained that the two players have already played a lot of games in recent weeks and that he wants to give them some rest ahead of the international fixtures. The third player that didn’t make the squad is goalkeeper Oier (23). However, both Lionel Messi and Adriano have been declared fit to play.