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?
How perfectly does this sum up Sunday’s Clásico? Damn perfectly!
Image: Javier Lizón
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.
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.
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
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]
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?
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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
A vision of the future! Which one is your favorite?
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.
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!
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.
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.