Barcelona center back Thomas Vermaelen returned to full training this week, according to reports in Sport. In participating in the training session the Belgian defender completes a two month recovery from the muscular injuries that kept him out of theBelgian world cup squad, and that have put the brakes on his Barcelona debut.
Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo faced off on Tuesday in an international friendly that pitted Argentina against Portugal. Portugal emerged with a narrow win, courtesy of a Raphael Guerreiro strike at the death. Both international superstars had relatively quiet games, with Messi substituted at the end of the first half.
Luis Enrique was widely criticized for getting his tactics wrong in the Real Madrid match. How do you think he will respond? More to the point, who would be in your starting eleven, what substitutions would you plan and what tactical instructions would you give to the team?
Former FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, fresh from his court victory yesterday, hinted that he may consider running for club president in the next round of elections which may be held in summer of 2016. “I can’t rule out a run for president; the current leadership is uninspiring.”
What are your memories of the Laporta era? More importantly, would you want him back?
I am Guilty!
Alergic to criticism
“There are people who can listen to and accept criticism. I am not one of them”
Mathieu on notice
“There should have been no surprises with his position.”
FIFA continue campaign against Messi and Suarez
The debate heats up!
Luis Enrique admits responsibility, rejects his critics and defends his approach to the match: “we were true to our style.”
Messi: “I don’t know if he played on painkillers.”
Laporta cleared of wrong-doing
No Messi or Neymar for the Supercopa
Barcelona’s young starlet Rafinha Alcántara was honored as the “Breakthrough” young player in La Liga in the 2013-14 season. Handsome devil too!
When I saw Suarez and Busquets in the starting eleven, I knew that Luis Enrique was taking some risks with his approach to the match to throw Madrid off their stride. In this case, his risky formation didn’t pan out. And while some will applaud him for his ambitious tactics, others have criticized him for misunderstanding his opponent and the potential weaknesses of the team he fielded.
So, since hindsight is 20-20, what would you have done to win this match? How would you have changed the original starting 11? What substitutions would you have planned? What tactical instructions would you have given to your squad?
El Clásico will be played earlier than most Liga matches this season. Use this handy chart to make sure you don’t miss even a minute!
Infographic: Marc Creus
Sergi Samper made his official first team debut against Apoel on Wednesday in the Champions League. He was the most impressive thing about the match! Don’t believe us? Check out this vid!
To the delight of absolutely no one, Eusebio Sacristán today signed a contract extension that will see him in charge of Barça B until June 2015. Despite some intense criticism of his management and coaching style, Sacristán has lead Barcelona’s second team to one of its strongest finishes ever in the Spanish second division. In fact, if Barça B dispatch with Hércules this weekend, they will finish third in Segunda A, eclipsing the record established in 2010-11 by Luis Enrique.
FC Barcelona attacker Neymar Jr reached a sporting milestone as he scored his 200th professional goal as Brazil defeated panama 4-0 in a World Cup warmup on Tuesday. The kind folks over at Mundo Deportivo plotted all of Neymar’s goals in the handy infographic featured above.
“Those who dispute the value of Xavi are idiots; they have no idea what they’re talking about. He is the best thinker on the team.”
– The ever-diplomatic Johan Cruyff
Painful fact: FC Barcelona scored two legitimate goals in the Camp Nou last weekend in the title decider against Atlético Madrid. The video above is in Spanish, but it clearly highlights the fact that the offside call against Messi was incorrect because the ball deflected off Atlético defender Juan Fran and not Cesc Fabregas as the lineman apparently concluded. Draw what conclusions you may from this, but isn’t the lack of discussion of this blown call somewhat striking?
Check out all 18 goals scored by Carles Puyol over his entire Barça career. He may not have scored often, but his offensive contribution was often decisive. What a great video!
If you had to chose one favorite goal which one would it be?
Persistent rumors in the Catalan press point to big changes in the Barcelona youth coaching and administrative staff. Sport has reported that Barça-B coach Eusebio Sacristán will be deposed and replaced by Jordi Vinyals, the current Juvenil A coach. This would end Eusebio’s three year stint as coach of Barcelona’s second team. Vinyals, for his part, would be rewarded for leading his talented Juvenil A squad to trophies in the Youth League and Youth Champions League.
FC Barcelona will unveil a huge Camp Nou mosaic to urge the team onto victory, and the Liga title, during Saturday’s match against Atlético. 100,000 leaflets will be used to spell out “Som El Barça” [We are Barça]. The phrase will be wrapped in the blue and red team colors and the red and gold of the Catalan Senyera. Are any of you lucky enough to be attending the match live?
Malaga keeper Willy Caballero has long tormented the Barcelona attack. But today, he saved our skin with an amazing reaction save in the dying moments of the Atlético – Malaga match. Check it out!
FC Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino argued that his team still has what it takes to defeat Real Madrid for the Copa del Rey title, while acknowledging the disappointment of recent results. Make the jump for more details.
FC Barcelona’s second team faced off against Liga Adelante leaders Eibar in an afternoon away match and more than held their own in an entertaining 0-0 draw. Barcelona B keeper Jordi Masip and his counterpart Xabi Iruretagoiena were both kept busy in what was a relentlessly attacking affair; both teams had opportunities to take all three points but in the end settled for a draw.
After 32 rounds of play, Barcelona sit in sixth place on 48 points. Eibar continue as leaders with 55.
Teammates, friends, and fans all over the world have rushed to support Víctor Valdés after his heart-breaking injury on Wednesday in the match against Celta in the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona teammates used twitter to send encouraging messages, many of which were compiled on the official FCB website. Follow this post after the jump for a few samples.
There are lots of rumors about what Pepe actually whispered into Messi’s ear during the Clásico [and how Messi responded]. What’s your version of the exchange?