Before the match against Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona striker Alexis Sánchez (25) spoke in an exclusive interview with fcbarcelona.com. He talked about a whole range of topics ranging from his role in the team to competition with Pedro Rodríguez. Asked about his promises to “explode” this season, the Chilean underlined, “I never said I was on the point of ‘exploding’ or that I would ‘explode’, I said I’d do the best I can. Every game I play I’m disappointed because sometimes I feel I can give more than I do on the field and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.” He also shared his wonderful memories saying that one goal against Real Madrid was more exciting than that hat-trick against Elche. “It’s a clásico. Every boy aged five dreams of playing in that match and scoring the winner with the whole stadium cheering you. It was very special.” Read on for the video and full interview transcript.
Bojan Krkić (23), currently playing for AFC Ajax on loan from FC Barcelona, spoke recently about the Catalan team’s current situation. “Five days ago, Barça were elated over their win against Manchester City. The ups and downs are always there.” he said. Asked about his professional plans, Bojan said that it’s not the right time to think about it, when there are still a great deal of games remaining in the season. “We will see about my future. There are two months left of the season and then I will make my decisions.”
FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué spoke ahead of tonight’s globally anticipated UEFA Champions League (UCL) game against Manchester City. He recalled fond memories of that English city saying, “Manchester is special for me. I was just a kid that came here to earn a living. I came here when I was 17 and I came to live football. I would have liked to play more and been an important part of the team. I learned a lot here and I always say that after Barcelona, my second team is Manchester United because they treated me so well.”
Asked about the level of opposition at this part of the UCL season, the Catalan player agreed that, “Historically the knock out round has been difficult for us. Last year we lost 2-0 to Milan, I don’t think you can explain why we struggle in the first rounds every year.” He speculated, “It could be because there is a lot of time between the stages and it takes awhile to get back into it.” But even hardships can be useful for the team. “We must learn from our personal experience and do well here because they will be unforgiving” underlined Piqué. Much more after the jump.
Speaking at the press conference following the 1-1 draw in San Sebastian, FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino praised his team that “completed its objective.” He said that “there are three objectives this season and we fulfilled one of them today. We completed our objective. These players always play in finals.” Answering questions about the result against Real Sociedad, the blaugrana coach underlined that in general terms the team played “a good match.”
Later he added that he is aware of some mistakes saying that “we can still play better, we still have time to improve – we can do it for more than 50 or 70 minutes.” Asked what exactly was missing during the match he simply stated that “we could have scored more goals.” Speaking about final of the Copa del Rey against Real Madrid Martino stated that knowing what rival awaits Barcelona in the final “we had the obligation to qualify, we couldn’t miss it.”
Lastly on Andrés Iniesta, the Argentinian manager stated that “Iniesta has quality, he had the liberty to move around the pitch.”
Immediately following the final whistle in Sevilla, FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta stressed, “It was important to go top again. The circumstances perhaps weren’t the best but in the end we won the match.” Despite heavy rain and wind at the Sánchez Pizjuán, Barcelona managed to score four goals and recapture the top of La Liga (albeit level with others) after losing it for the first time in over 50 weeks last weekend. Iniesta underlined, “When you have a chance you have to take advantage of it.” He stressed the importance of positive result for upcoming challenges saying, “This victory will give us strength ahead of the match on Wednesday and for the games to come after that.”
He agreed that sometimes in the past weeks Barcelona were not in top form, “It’s natural that there are phases of the season,” he said and added, “We always try to keep our idea, it’s what makes us play well and win.” Asked about Messi, Iniesta said, “Leo was not missed because he was always here. He is one of those few players who in just a few minutes can change a game. He’s a fundamental player.” He also assured, “(The team) will fight until the end. The important thing is to not lose a lot of points and to improve as a team.” Responding to questions about his role in the team and sometimes not being featured in starting eleven, our midfield magician simply said, “It is not about being a backup or not. I always look at myself with confidence. It’s a coach who is the boss here and who knows how to manage the team.“
Continue reading for reactions of Cesc Fàbregas and Xavi Hernández.
After the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals against Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona midfielder and scorer of the first goal of the night, Sergio Busquets said that the 2-0 “is a good result.” He also underlined that, “We didn’t concede any goals.” With a good result at home, Busquets stated that road to Copa final is nearly over, “Now we just have to play the second leg.” But the midfielder at the same time warned, “The Anoeta is a difficult stadium, hopefully we can do the same thing in the second leg and get to the finals.” Asked about the other semi-final between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid Busquets simply said ,“The 3-0 is a good result for Real Madrid.”
Continue reading for reactions of Xavi Hernández and Jordi Alba.
“Tito is a great football strategist. Hard worker, quiet and brave, having a good relationship with the players. His example is not only directed to the sports world, but the world at large, with dominion. A team needs a strong fighter. In this sense, Tito Vilanova has shown us many lessons. We wish you a luck you deserve. You are a champion of sport and life. In me you have a friend forever.”
- Jupp Heynckes, ex-coach of Bayern Munich speaking about Tito Vilanova at Mundo Deportivo Gala, February 3, 2014
Two first team players and a former FC Barcelona manager received awards at the Mundo Deportivo gala yesterday evening. Xavi Hernández was awarded the Extraordinary Trophy (XX Trofeo Extraordinario REPSOL) and Neymar Jr was given the Most International Player Award (XXXIV Trofeo al Deportista mas Internacional EL CORTE INGLÉS). Tito Vilanova picked up the Best Manager Trophy (XVI Trofeo al Mejor Entrenador-DiR).
Xavi underlined that his achievement of playing more than 700 games for FC Barcelona is great milestone, “It’s very difficult to play for Barça because of how demanding it is, but I’ll try to reach 800 games. I feel good physically.” Talking about about Luis Aragonés, who passed away on Saturday, the midfielder said, “He was my footballing father. I have a lot of appreciation for him and Spanish football owes him a lot.”
Real Valladolid have signed Sporting Lisbon and ex-Barcelona player Jeffren Suárez. The winger has returned to Spain after three seasons in Lisbon and signed a contract until June 30, 2016. Jeffren underlined during his official presentation that he joins Valladolid to “help the team in fulfilling it’s objectives.“ “In football terms, I think here I will improve again,” said the player, who since last summer was training with the second team of Sporting Lisbon and has not played in an official match since April 1, 2013. Asked about his time in Portugal, has stated that it was “pretty bad” and he expressed his joy in returning to Spain, ”for me it is wonderful to be here.”
Fans who gathered to watch the game against Málaga at Camp Nou not only enjoyed entertaining football but also witnessed a new very special welcome. The well known Manel Vich’s “Bona nit i benvinguts a l’estadi,” a traditional welcome in Catalan which is announced before every game since 1956, was followed by a brand new message in English.
“Visitors from all over the world, welcome to Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s legendary and magical home. We are delighted to have you here and we hope you enjoy the game. Thank you very much for coming and we hope to see you back again very soon.”
That message will from now on be heard before every game at the Camp Nou. It seems that now foreign fans can also feel at home at the FC Barcelona stadium.
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino spoke following the 3-0 league game victory against Málaga. He praised his players who “passed the ball well” and he added that “we created a lot of chances but we only scored three goals, we could have scored more.” Martino also underlined that “over the recent years the players have faced very important moments, very serious ones, not institutional, but these related to health of technicians or team mates. They understand that their answer is not in speaking but on the field, and they did a good job after a difficult week. They showed that they are professionals.”
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino, speaking at the post-match press conference last night, explained that in the first half of the game against Levante UD, his team lacked depth and could have scored sooner. “We needed a bit more ball circulation and mobility,” he underlined. “It seemed as if it was really difficult to score a goal.”
FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta has been voted the World’s Best Playmaker of 2013 by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics). Andrés has won this award for the second year running.
Xavi Hernández, who won this category four years in a row (2008 to 2011), finished this year in 5th place. Votes were collected from selected editorial offices and experts from 70 countries and from all the football continents.
Yesterday, the FC Barcelona board revealed the first details about the new Camp Nou project. According to the presented proposal, a new stadium will be built over the current structure so the Camp Nou would remain in Les Corts area, but would look very different. “The proposal includes improved functionality, accessibility, mobility, sustainability, modernity and quality, designed to be at the service of the people, the neighbourhood and the city. This new Camp Nou would include three main areas: the Camp Nou itself, a new Palau Blaugrana for 10,000 spectators and the Espai Barça (Barça Space), which would involve buildings for different purposes integrated into the district.” These new structures around the current stadium would mean moving the new Miniestadi to the Ciutat Esportiva training ground, which would seat between 6,000 and 7,000 people (current structure has capacity of 15, 276).
After the bitter 1-1 draw against Levante last night, FC Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino said that his team’s goal was “to win the match and play good football.” That wasn’t so simple, and he underlined, “The result isn’t what we came here for nor was it what we deserved.”
Asked his opinion on the reasons for the poor result, Martino stated, “We were not fortunate in front of goal,” and added that in the rest of the league season we can expect “many more surprises. I think the remaining 18 rounds of the season will show that.”
Tata however praised Barça’s opponent saying, “Levante have improved a lot from the beginning of the season.” Speaking about his own players he simply said, “There’s not much to say. We tried and we did a good job. We tried to win the match from the outside and the inside. Their keeper played a great match.” Martino concluded saying, “We’re leaving here sad because we were unable to win. We know that we’re going to win nine out of ten of these types of matches.”
FC Barcelona player Sergi Roberto attended a press conference at the Ciudad Esportiva Joan Gamper yesterday. “Tata Martino is very important for me. During this time I haven’t given up and I work hard every day. Now I hope to make good on his confidence by playing well and helping the team. I have to continue working hard and earning my playing time both in games and in training sessions,” said Roberto, who has already featured in the last 12 matches, both as a starter and as a reserve. Speaking about the Blaugrana legend Xavi, Sergi underlined, “He is one of the best players in the world and I’m just starting my career with the first team. There are very few like Xavi. I’d be happy to be just a small part of the player Xavi is.”
FC Barcelona’s first team returned to training routines after a day off on Sunday. The squad followed a training session designed by the technical staff as they begin to prepare for Thursday’s Spanish Cup game against Getafe CF. Defender Gerard Piqué did specific recovery exercises while Andrés Iniesta trained apart after he was taken off as a precaution at half time against Atlético Madrid due to the slight knock he picked up.
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino had words of praise for his team after last night’s 4-0 victory over Getafe in the Copa del Rey. He underlined that “Cesc was the best player of the match” and added that whole team “played excellent football.”
Martino also stressed that it’s really important “for all the players be fit and feel needed by the team.” The main topic of the evening was without doubt the return of Lionel Messi after nearly 60 days. Tata agreed that Messi’s “career is like a movie script. In three minutes he scored two goals.”
Ever wonder how many goals Lionel Messi has scored so far? With the insane numbers La Pulga continues to rack up, we’ve always found it difficult to keep track. What to do? Well, one of our totalBarça family members decided to put up a website dedicated to that very purpose.
With big sport achievements and the best players in the world, it’s not a surprise that Barça’s Facebook page is one of the 30 most popular fan pages in the world.
Recently Barcelona’s football team also passed another milestone of 50 million fans on Facebook and left behind such powerful clubs as Real Madrid (47 million), Manchester United (38.5) and Chelsea (21).
What may be a bit surprising is Barça’s stats are not only the best in the club category but also higher than major sports organisations like the NBA (19 million), UEFA(17) and the Premier League (12.5).
FC Barcelona also has a “Friends of Barça B” page to promote the excellent youngsters and that in its own right commands over 5.3 million fans. Even other FCB associate sports claim figures not to be scoffed at (million): basketball (1.2), indoor football (1.6), handball (1.3) and ice hocket (1.03).
As a club Barça has over 30 official channels on social media networks worldwide. Eleven million strong follow the club on Twitter while FC Barcelona is the most popular sports club and in the top 20 most popular pages on Google+.
We all like a bargain, but usually tickets for football games are far from cheap. This time, however, prices are really inviting!
The club is promoting the cheapest ticket for FC Barcelona- Getafe in the Copa del Rey game tomorrow at Camp Nou will go for as little as 9 euros!
So if you’re lucky enough to be in the city, don’t miss out.
Medical services of FC Barcelona informed, “The physical examination and echography performed on Wednesday morning by doctor Ricard Pruna at the AFA facility in Buenos Aires have shown that Leo Messi is making good progress with his recovery from injury.”
The next phase in his recovery schedule will begin after further tests on Friday. Doctor Pruna and director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta are currently in Argentina to examine the progress being made by Messi and to supervise going forward.
The 66th issue of the ‘Revista Barça’ magazine features the family of Gerard Piqué. The cover picture shows the four generations of Barça members. Amador Bernabéu, Gerard’s grandfather, was a Club director for 23 years and now represents FC Barcelona with UEFA. Armador’s wife Montserrat shares the passion of her husband. Their daughters Montse and Gemma, grandchildren Gerard, Aina, Marc and Monat and great grandson Milan, all were enrolled as Club members from their birth. Gerard, who is both a big supporter of the club and a player in the first team, revealed that every night he sings the Barça anthem to his little son Milan “because it’s the only song I know all the way through”.