Xavi Hernández was never a man of many words. Whenever the former Barcelona midfield puppet master spoke to the press, he did so to offer some words of wisdom and to offer opinions that always echoed the voice of logic. Xavi, now ready to begin his second season with Qatar’s Al-Sadd sat down with SPORT journalist Javier Miguel before joining his team’s preseason training in Austria for a comprehensive interview. TotalBarça is bringing you the whole interview in English.
Barcelona have started July by announcing Samuel Umtiti and Denis Suárez as the club’s first summer signings ahead of the 2016-17 season. Although culés did have an idea of Denis’ game, with the Galician having starred with Barça B in 2014, Umtiti’s capture for €25 million did raise a few eyebrows, given that the Frenchman was an unknown quality to many.
That’s exactly why Thursday’s EURO 2016 semifinal meeting between Umtiti’s France and world champions Germany was mightily important to Umtiti’s future in the blaugrana shirt. In his second start for the national side, Umtiti literally had 90 minutes to win the hearts of the most demanding set of fans in the world. And boy how well he did.
Better late than never. We did not voice an opinion on Leo Messi apart from some on-point comments on social media, but the little genius deserves a piece from totalBarça following Argentina’s umpteenth big tournament failure. Leo has put an end to his time with the Albiceleste and the fallout stemming from his decision is still sending shockwaves across the footballing world, even with Wales and Iceland garnering heaps of attention for their indelible displays in Europe.
Copa del Rey final. Barcelona’s European internationals have left to join up with their national sides ahead of EURO 2016, the South Americans have left for the States in order to battle it all out in the Copa America Centenario, and those with no commitments have already started their holidays. For one man though, the end of Barça’s season signified the start of a crucial period. We are of course talking about the club’s technical secretary, Robert Fernández, who faces his first summer in charge of the blaugrana transfer dossier.
Yet another La Masia season is over. Barcelona’s academy sides are now preparing for the customary summer tournaments, and for us here at totalBarça, the time has come to run the ruler over the young Blaugranas who stole the eye this season. Read on to find out about all the stars, the surprise packages, and the disappointments of the 2015-16 season in the world’s best football academy.
We all know that time passes without us noticing. That is, after all, the only way in which we can justify the fact that Andrés Iniesta, the eternal baby-faced Ilusionista has turned 32.
It feels like it was yesterday when a fresh-faced midfielder from Fuentealbilla came onto the Stade de France pitch to change Barcelona’s fate in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final and guide the Blaugranas to victory with a brilliant display from midfield. If one fast forwards to the present and looks up Andrés Iniesta he will most likely stumble upon a stunningly packed trophy collection that belongs to the otherwise shy Castilla-La Mancha native. In fact, it is a trophy cabinet that most footballers can only dream of, given that it includes 4 Champions League winner’s medals, 7 La Liga winner’s medals, 2 European Championships and 1 World Cup, on top of a host of individual prizes like the UEFA Best Player of the Year.
With any dreams of a top league finish over for weeks, Barcelona B played their penultimate league match for the season against Eldense at the Miniestadi. The only motivation for such a match against another mid-table side with lofty aspirations, was to deliver some spectacle to the Miniestadi faithful for the last home match of the season. Yesterday, for a change, Barça B delivered. Free of pressure to get into the playoffs, or to avoid relegation, Gerard López’s men offered a free-flowing footballing spectacle that rather strangely ended with the score at 1-0.