Martino: “Finals are there to be won”

Martino: “Finals are there to be won”

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.

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Iniesta: behind the scenes

FC Barcelona last month released a behind the scenes video documenting the hours before a match from the first-person perspective of Neymar. Now it’s Andrés Iniesta’s turn to have the cameras on him. Click play for a unique look at the Camp Nou and the inner workings of the squad.

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A look at the Liga Table

A look at the Liga Table

Close title race? Close title race!

Liga Matchday 33: Granada v FC Barcelona; Getafe v Atlético Madrid & Real Madrid v Almeria. Who has the toughest match?

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The Other Side: Atlético defenders point to Barça as favorites

The Other Side: Atlético defenders point to Barça as favorites

Atlético defenders Diego Godín and João Miranda underlined that FC Barcelona go into the Champions League quarter final tie as favorites, ahead of Tuesday’s clash at the Camp Nou. Make the jump for more details from the other side.

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Barça B hold their own against leaders Eibar

Barça B hold their own against leaders Eibar

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.

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Support pours in for Víctor Valdés

Support pours in for Víctor Valdés

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.

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Picture of the Day: Let the battle begin

Picture of the Day: Let the battle begin

Madrid and Barcelona squads find a moment of calm before the Clásico, as they pay their respects to recently deceased Prime Minister Suarez, the first democratically elected leader of Spain in the post-Franco era.

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Referee focus: Was this a penalty?

Referee focus: Was this a penalty?

During the live broadcast of the most recent Clásico, Spanish broadcasters were dubious about whether or not Sergio Ramos actually made contact with Neymar in the buildup to a crucial moment in the match. What is your take on this decision?

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Caption This: And Pepe said…

Caption This: And Pepe said…

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?

Picture of the Day: Worth 1000 words

Picture of the Day: Worth 1000 words

How perfectly does this sum up Sunday’s Clásico? Damn perfectly!

Image: Javier Lizón

Clásico half-time reaction of the day

Clásico half-time reaction of the day

Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian did the best job we’ve seen of summing up the frenetic first half between Real Madrid and Barcelona today. Check out the rest of his entertaining minute-by-minute here.

Fear and Loathing now out in North America

Fear and Loathing now out in North America

The Kindle version of Sid Lowe’s stellar exploration of the rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is finally available, in electronic form, for North Americans. If you start reading right now, you have a chance of finishing it before Sunday’s kickoff! Tragically, physical book lovers will have to wait until April 8 for their copies.

For those of you who have already read the book: what did you think? You can check out our review of the book here.

Benzema likely to feature in Clásico

Benzema likely to feature in Clásico

Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema looks to have made a recovery ahead of his teams clash with FC Barcelona on Sunday, and will likely feature in the match. The striker, who has been in excellent form since the restart, returned to normal training on Thursday after suffering a thigh injury last week that kept him out of the Schalke game.

Image: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty

Stat of the Day: 2.45%

Stat of the Day: 2.45%

In the history of European club competitions, 326 squads have tried to reverse a 0-2 first leg result. 8 of them have succeeded [2.45%]. All of these historic comebacks were in the UEFA Cup [now the Europa League].

Stats: @2010MisterChip • Image: Laurence Griffiths [Mirror]

Manchester City vs FC Barcelona: Lineups announced!

Manchester City vs FC Barcelona: Lineups announced!

With an hour to go before kickoff, the official lineups for tonight’s Champions League match have been announced.

FC Barcelona: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Cesc; Alexis, Messi and Iniesta.

  • Bench: Pinto, Bartra, Adriano, Song, Sergi Roberto, Pedro and Neymar.
  • Out of the squad:  Oier, Puyol, Montoya, Afellay and Tello.

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Yaya Touré; Silva, Jesús Navas, Kolarov and Negredo.

What do you all think? Does that look like a City-beating eleven?

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Martino: “Possession will be key”

Martino: “Possession will be key”

FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino underlined the importance of ball retention ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash with Manchester City. “I think the team with less time on the ball is the team that is going to suffer the most.” Make the jump for more of Martino’s pre-match thoughts.

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Barça-B confident ahead of Miniclásico

Barça-B confident ahead of Miniclásico

As you all should know, Barça-B take on Real Madrid Castilla Saturday in a “derby” that has come to be known as the Miniclásico. The Barcelona boys emerged with all three points from the home leg of this fixture and are brimming with confidence for this encounter. However, given the tight race to avoid relegation, this will be a crucial clash.

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Piqué: “If Messi doesn’t kill you Neymar will”

Piqué: “If Messi doesn’t kill you Neymar will”

Paul Hayward interviewed our very own Gerard Piqué on Friday for British newspaper The Telegraph. The central defender had some words of warning for Manchester City ahead of this week’s Champions League clash. Follow along after the jump for more!

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Blatter: Neither Messi nor Cristiano

Blatter: Neither Messi nor Cristiano

FIFA President Joseph Blatter usually puts his foot into his own mouth when he makes pronouncements involving Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. In a recent interview, he sidestepped both players and proclaimed that his favorite player of all time is Alfredo Di Stéfano. “Journalists and coaches and national team captains chose Cristiano Ronaldo this year. My favorite player is still Alfredo Di Stéfano.”

Di Stéfano was certainly a legend, but better than Messi and Cristiano? What do you all think?

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Stat of the Day: 100 million!

Stat of the Day: 100 million!

FC Barcelona is the first sports club in the world to reach 100 million followers. The club gains about 100,000 new followers a day on more than 30 different networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and the Chinese network Weibo.

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Happy Birthday Rafinha!

Happy Birthday Rafinha!

FC Barcelona’s on-loan midfielder Rafinha turns 21 today! Given his performances for Celta recently, something tells us that we’ll be seeing more of him in the year to come.

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Liga lead within striking distance!

Liga lead within striking distance!

Results on Saturday mean that Barça will retake the Liga lead with a victory away to Sevilla on Sunday. Real Madrid swept aside the yellow submarine of Villarreal 4-2 in a surprisingly one-sided contest in the Bernabeau. However, the other team from the capitol suffered their second consecutive defeat, going down 2-0 away to a feisty Almeria side. Almeria confirmed the victory in the dying moments of the match after Atlético reserve keeper Daniel Aranzubía was ejected and Verza scored from the spot.

All fingers crossed!

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La Liga to stream all Barça-B matches

La Liga to stream all Barça-B matches

The Spanish Liga de Fútbol Professional has announced an exciting new program in which all Spanish Liga Adelante matches will be streamed on the LFP site for free. This means that you’ll all be able to peer into the future and get acquainted with Barça youth, as well as other exciting prospects from Spain. The program starts this weekend and will continue until the end of the season. Barça-B take on Tenerife this Sunday at 17:00 Barça time.

Tune in here

Youth goals galore!

A vision of the future! Which one is your favorite?

Deulofeu returns to training at Everton

Deulofeu returns to training at Everton

After a six week absence with a muscular injury, FC Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu (19) returned to normal training in England at Everton. His coach Roberto Martinez confirmed that the player was “completely recovered.” Rumors have swirled in the last few weeks about what the future holds for Deulofeu, with some reports locating him in England for another season, and others suggesting that he will return to Barcelona with a promise of first team action.

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Piqué: “Messi is hungry for trophies”

Piqué: “Messi is hungry for trophies”

FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué was interviewed this week by Catalan radio Onda Cero. During the session he gave an update on his contract negotiations and offered his thoughts about the club’s new president and the Ronaldo red card in Bilbao. Make the jump for more!

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Welcome to a brutal February

Welcome to a brutal February

Believe it or not, February is upon us. For some, this month can mean the beginning of Spring. For Gerardo Martino, this month means one thing: business. “It´s now February, and from here on every mistake will be very costly.” Make the jump for all the gory details.

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Xavi’s transition reflected in rest

Xavi’s transition reflected in rest

Much has been made of Gerardo Martino’s rotation system, designed to deliver a squad with [relatively] fresh legs when the crucial late-season matches start to build up. One player whose role has been reshaped by this system is FC Barcelona’s midfield conductor Xavi Hernández. Follow us after the break for all the details.

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Barça to face Real Sociedad in Copa semis

Barça to face Real Sociedad in Copa semis

On a normal day, this would be a one-paragraph post announcing FC Barcelona’s semi-final opponents in the Copa del Rey. However, today, lurking behind this innocent headline is an account of epic mismanagement and of the pernicious way that the global economic crisis is seeping ever deeper into the game we all love. Social commentary, history lesson, Copa semi-finals: This post has it all! Follow me after the break for more.

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Quote of the Day: Hudson on the Málaga defense

Quote of the Day: Hudson on the Málaga defense

“They haven’t just parked the bus, they’ve slashed the tires and put it on cinder blocks.”

– Outspoken BeInSport football commentator Ray Hudson during the Málaga match [@liverayhudson]

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