Coming back to La Liga after a disappointing, although inconsequential, Champions League result, FC Barcelona will take on Athletic Club at the new Sans Mamés in what’s looking to be a formidable game. A lot of pundits and supporters might be going on the cataclysmic rant of how the Ajax game is a definitive proof of an over-reliance on Messi, the decline of Barça, the lack of depth, and so on and yada yada. Honestly, and speaking as a club supporter since the mid-90’s, I was actually relieved by the result. Read more after the break.
Back from the international break that had unleashed yet another curse by injuring Victor Valdes, FC Barcelona hosted Granada at the Camp Nou for the 14th round in La Liga. The watching football fans were treated to Lionel Messi presenting his Golden Boot award prior to the start of the match, and then a team photo around it. Other than that, the Argentinian player settled into the stands to watch his team drub Granada 4-0 in an entertaining encounter that featured Iniesta magic, Bartra dependability, and the promising debut of Adama Traoré.
For the upcoming release of FIFA 2014, EA Sports has released a promotional website of a life-size Leo Messi made up of many high resolution pictures of the player. The player makes slight reactions to the mouse movements and clicks, and is designed to show off the game’s groundbreaking new graphics and features up-close to all EA Sports FIFA and football fans. More info below:
Following the Champions League game against AC Milan, Lionel Messi spoke to UEFA about the match and his fitness. Concerning the team’s performance, he believes FC Barcelona were the superior team throughout as they usually are, but that unluckily conceding a goal right at half time managed to complicate things a bit.
Coming back to the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona managed a narrow 1-0 win in the derbi barceloní against Espanyol. The 12th round match of La Liga was full of possessive play, but not enough chances and clinical final balls. It took one great run by Neymar in the second half and a lapse in the Espanyol defense to leave Alexis wide open for the Chilean to score.
With the win, the blaugrana move four points clear of Atletico Madrid with 34 points, at least until Sunday when the capital side take on Athletic Bilbao.
In a positive update in Lionel Messi’s case with the prosecutor’s office, the same tax office officials who had drawn up the case against Messi’s alleged tax evasion schemes, have testified today in the court in Gava that Lionel Messi “did not take part in the management of his image rights, according to legal sources.”
FC Barcelona legend Henrik Larsson made a surprise appearance for his boyhood club, Högaborgs BK, to which he is also assistant coach.
As the team prepared to fight for survival in Division 2 (in the 4th tier of the Swedish league), they suffered problems with injuries and readiness, so the 42-year-old Larsson kitted-up and took to the field as a starter.
Dani Alves made his mark on yesterday’s Clásico with a nutmeg that was, for many people, the finest non-scoring moment of the match. The Barça number 22 got on one of his trademark slaloms up the right hand side and worked his way into the box by beautifully slotting the ball through Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs, something that surely left Real Madrid’s no. 7 quite angry. Unfortunately, Alves seemed to have gotten so excited about that nutmeg that he shot the ball straight at Diego Lopez’s legs.
El Clásico debutant and goal scorer Neymar described Alexis’ goal, the second of the night, as a golazo, “I don’t have words [to describe it], it surprised us all”. He also commented about the constant fouling on him, but said that he’s just happy that they won.
Regarding his Clásico debut goal, Neymar said: “Scoring a goal in a Clásico is very special, it’s a match that everyone wants to play. It was beautiful, it was like a dream.” Read reactions to the game from more players after the jump!
FC Barcelona returned to La Liga action, taking on lowly CA Osasuna in Pamplona, and only managed to come out with a draw. Overall, it was an underwhelming performance, the highlight of which was the return of club captain, super sportsman Carles Puyol. Other than that, the team’s sluggish efforts in attack left a heavy weight in a fan’s stomach. The play was mostly slow, allowing Osasuna to harass the Blaugrana players. So what’s to say after a disappointing performance tonight? Mostly, thank you Espanyol for keeping Atlético off our backs. Or better yet, thank you Courtois for deflecting a shot into your own goal.
No, this is not very slow reporting. No, we didn’t just get this in. However, you don’t get a statue built for you on the Camp Nou grounds for nothing. This is Ladislao Kubala; the man who brought FC Barcelona back to what it was at the beginning of Spanish Football history. We might remember Ronaldinho these days as the player who brought back the fun and spark to our modern game, but Barça passed through that a few other times before, and one of the major points in the clubs evolution was the debut of Kubala. Follow this post after the break for a quick history lesson!
FC Barcelona come back home to take on Real Valladolid for their final La Liga game before the international break on Saturday. Having broken the record for best start of a campaign with seven consecutive wins, they will be aiming to raise it to eight. From the 18 players available to start, it’ll be down to Tata’s rotation policy to see who will line-up against the 15th positioned team. In the most likely scenario, this will not be the match that will set the Castillians’ season on track, and these might be the reasons why.
It seemed only fitting that after three incredible showings by Marc Bartra, it would be his turn to face the media at the post-training press conference on Thursday. Wearing a big smile, he talked about the coach’s influence, his ambition, and his eagerness for competition.
After coming on for the injured Javier Mascherano against Real Sociedad, he started the following two matches, and put in impressive displays, including his domination of Georgios Samaras in the Champions League game against Celtic FC midweek. He reflected about the game saying, “everything in Glasgow was incredible. The build-up, the atmosphere and the pressure it created. But my head took it all in with enthusiasm and I always felt I could do my job well. I felt very comfortable with Piqué, Busquets and Alves by my side.”
Continuing from mid-week’s 4-1 La Liga victory against Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona has managed to win by 2 goals to nil away at UD Almería’s Juegos Mediterraneos. A Lionel Messi jewel of a goal in the first half was supported by an Adriano team-effort finish. However, this came at a cost as Messi withdrew with injury seven minutes after opening the scoring, going off midway through the first half. Although this will be the main talking point for the next few days leading up to Tuesday’s Champions League match in Glasgow, there are other events that need to be highlighted.
Coming back to La Liga after the 4-0 win over Ajax on Wednesday, FC Barcelona head to Madrid to face a lackluster Rayo Vallecano.
Although the capital team started off the league with a 3-0 win over Elche, the following three rounds were resounding defeats including a couple of 5-0 losses away from home against Atlético Madrid and Málaga. So how will they manage against the Catalans?
FC Barcelona returned to action after the international break with what started as an emphatic display of flicks & tricks, and almost ended in a nightmare similar the final games of Rijkaard’s era. Sevilla managed to claw back to a 2-2 draw with the very few chances on goal that they had, and silly defensive mistakes almost proved to be Barça’s undoing. An Alexis Sánchez goal at the very end of the game managed to salvage the three points in a 3-2 victory that had exquisite moments, as well as irritating mistakes. Follow this post after the jump for the full review.
Jordi Alba has raised his tally of goals to five for the Spanish national side. In Spain’s 2-0 win over Finland in a World Cup Qualifier, Alba scored the first on the 19th minute, following a great pass from Barça teammate Cesc Fàbregas, after he skipped past a defender, then cut in front of goal to shoot between the goalkeeper’s legs. Check out the video below.
After the hailstorm of criticism thrown at the Catalan club in response to an interview with Éric Abidal that appeared this past week in French paper L’Equipe, FC Barcelona issued a statement to clarify any confusion generated by Abidal’s statements.
Below is the official statement from FC Barcelona:
On the back of winning the Spanish Supercopa, FC Barcelona takes on Valencia CF at the Mestalla in the 3rd round of La Liga. Barça has shown encouraging signs of regaining their constant pressing game in the first couple of matches, but still looks like a team that is testing its abilities. Here are a few points that might influence the game.
FC Barcelona took on Málaga CF in the second round of this year’s La Liga season away from home at La Rosaleda in a game that started a bit shambolic. The game took its time in picking up, but there was always a sense that it would not be easy for Barça to score, and that when it happened, it was going to be something unexpected.
For those of us who grow frustrated when a game doesn’t clearly turn our way, the sight of Adriano on the flank of the field always gives us hope of something different, and he did not disappoint.
Speaking after Friday’s training session, FC Barcelona right back Dani Alves spoke about the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa, teammates Messi and Neymar, and his tribute to Abidal. He began by revealing his thoughts on Wednesday’s 1-1 draw in Madrid, saying that the team deserved more in the second half, but that the pitch hampered their style. However, he expects the Camp Nou pitch to help them claim the Supercopa in the second leg.
Regarding Messi’s injury, he downplayed any fitness worries, stating that “I don’t think there’s any need for alarm… Ferraris also have to go in to the workshop sometimes.” He also said that the team will try to make the Argentine’s likely absence from the Málaga game as unnoticeable as possible, by giving it all they’ve got.
Starting with this Saturday’s home game against Lugo at 21:00 CET at the Mini Estadi, FC Barcelona will promote its B-team’s Segunda A campaign by releasing special promotions at the Mini Estadi.
The fans are invited to follow Barça B’s 2013-2014 league season, and enjoy their “attacking and combative style of play” at the home games in the Mini Estadi, by paying a minimal fee for attendance.