FC Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino delivered another charismatic press conference on Thursday, answering questions about the team’s recent dip in form, the importance of the Copa, and offering some speculation about potential winter transfers. Follow this post after the jump for all the details!
Both As and Sport are reporting that FC Barcelona central defender Carles Puyol is having ongoing injury problems that threaten his most recent recovery. Puyol has made a stuttering restart to his 2013-14 campaign, after sitting out the early season due to injury. After a somewhat indifferent performance in the 2-1 defeat away to Ajax, the player did not feature in Sunday’s match against Bilbao and is said instead to have visited the hospital to have his right knee drained of fluid that had built up.
According to reports in Sport, FC Barcelona’s injured icon Leo Messi has entered a new phase of his recovery and is already doing ball work as he tries to get his body back to full fitness in Argentina. After the player’s latest injury, it was decided that the middle phase of his recovery would happen in Rosario and Buenos Aires, under the supervision of Luis García, in order to shield him from the pressure of the club’s sporting campaigns and prevent a premature return to the pitch. Concrete return dates are all conjecture at this point, but the player is said to be targeting the Elche match on January 5.
”May God bless and protect us” was the caption on this image released in Neymar Jr’s official Twitter and Instagram feeds after Saturday’s match against Granada. Neymar hardly needs divine intervention, but after the beating he took in that match we hope someone powerful is listening.
Image: official Neymar JR Twitter
Reports from the club’s official site are confirming the bad news from yesterday: Víctor Valdés will miss the next six weeks of football. A thorough medical evaluation on Wednesday diagnosed Valdés’ injury as a “proximal myotendinous rupture in the calf muscle of his right leg.” The injury means that the keeper will likely miss eight Barcelona matches: Liga contests with Granada, Athletic Bilbao,Villarreal and Getafe, Champions league matches with Ajax and Celtic, and the home-away Copa tie with Cartagena.
At a recent press conference, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés was asked to appraise the sporting performance of his teammate Lionel Messi. The ever-diplomatic Valdés was somewhat reserved in his assessment of the Argentine star: “Messi is God. He is the best and will always be the best, for everything he has brought to this team and to me as a friend. I think Barcelona will always depend on him because he is the best player in the world.”
As you can see, Víctor Valdés does not beat around the bush.
Ex-FC Barcelona heart-throb [and striker] Javier Saviola weighed in on the debate about who should win the next Ballon d’Or: “I would love it if Messi were to win it for the fifth time. I would vote for Messi, but I bet Ribery will actually win the award.”
Javier “El Conejo” Saviola: brings back memories…
Despite his injury in Sevilla on Sunday, FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, in an obviously troubled state, still had time to interact with fans after the match.
I guess one way to tell that your “interest” is turning into an “obsession” is when it starts to invade your dreams. Barça crept into mine last night and it looked like this: I was roaming the night streets of an unnamed city and saw a flyer on a street pole advertising a live music show. Lionel Messi was on the flyer; turns out he was the drummer in a Metallica cover band. Yes: a Metallica cover band.
Six year old Shane Patrick Kluivert hams it up for the camera in his favorite football jersey. Yes, that Patrick Kluivert.
Image: Patrick Kluivert official Twitter feed
Now that his new English club can actually spell, and presumably pronounce, his name correctly, Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu has been busy making an even bigger name for himself on the football pitch. The Barcelona youngster played for nearly 30 minutes in Everton’s weekend match against Tottenham, and after the game his Spanish manager Robert Martínez was full of praise: “Gerard Deulofeu will explode in January. He’s won the confidence and admiration of all of us, and even though he wants to play more, we have a vision for his role in the team. We have big expectations of what he will bring to the squad in the next six or seven months.”
Stay glued to totalBarca for updates about Deulofeu and other Barça loanees as the season unfolds.
FC Barcelona are part of an elite group of four teams from Europe’s five big leagues who has yet to suffer a league defeat this season. They are joined by Roma, Bayern and PSG. Which one of these four do you think will go down first?
Image: Miguel Ruiz/fcbarcelona.cat
Late last week, the finalists for FIFA’s 2013 awards gala were announced and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, players from FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern München dominated the shortlist of players eligible for the prestigious Ballon d’Or. The real surprise for me came when I scanned the list of potential World Coaches of the Year. Have a look and see what you think:
Neymar’s goal in Saturday’s Clásico may not have been a technical marvel, but it was certainly one of the turning points in the contest, and an exciting moment for Barca fans following the match. This video features commentary on the goal from around the world: Argentina, Russia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Asia and even the Middle East. We love the passion of these announcers [although the Russian broadcaster is laughably casual, in contrast to the histrionics from Cadena Ser]. After you watch the vid, sound off in the comments on who your favorite was.
705 reporters from 146 different outfits and 30 unique countries will be on hand Saturday at the Camp Nou to broadcast the Clásico to hundreds of millions of fans around the world. This is a sporting contest that has commanded huge audiences in recent years, and a good percentage of the world’s population will be riveted to TV sets, radios and internet outlets from the opening kickoff.
Except for one man: Jose Mourinho.
Warning: this has little to do with football but everything to do with Barcelona. We know many of you have visited the city, and if you’re anything like us, you have fallen in love with the amazing architecture, the teeming public plazas, and the delicious food. Photographer Alexandr Kravtsov pieced together 24,000 still images to create this stunning timelapse “movie” that captures many iconic Barcelona locations. The piece was shot from August to October of 2013 and in the end comprises 480GB of digital data.
If you’ve never visited the city, maybe this will inspire you!
A quick glance at the Liga table will reveal a tight contest for the Spanish title, but a look at some of the crucial stats generated so far this season will point to a single dominant team. And that team is not from Madrid! In fact, at this point in the campaign, FC Barcelona leads the league in possession, goals scored, shots on target, completed passes and clean play. Follow this post after the break for a look at the details.
Feast on this free kick!
FC Barcelona will be without the services of their speedy left back Jordi Alba for another six weeks, as reported by totalBarca last week, as the player has apparently suffered another injury, this time to the other leg! Mundo Deportivo has published an agonizing account of the new injury Alba sustained last week. The player was apparently very close to recovering from his previous setback, but managed to reinjure his leg on his final kick of the ball during a training session. The final kick!
All of us at totalBarca wish Alba a speedy recovery.
This iteration of FC Barcelona, with new coach Gerardo Martino at the helm, has led his team to its best ever Liga start in history: seven matches, seven victories, 21 points. When asked about the record in a press conference following the match on Saturday in Almeria, the Argentine responded: “All I’m doing is supporting my boys. They’ve spent years beating records; mine is just circumstantial.” This guy was built for press conferences.
FC Barcelona posted a behind the scenes video that peers into the Camp Nou dressing room before the match on Tuesday against Real Sociedad. Short, but worth a watch!
Leo Messi yesterday drew level with former Real Madrid icon Raúl as his club’s all-time leading scorer with 323 goals in all competitions. And while it took Raúl 741 matches to reach this milestone, Messi has done it in 387 games. I’ll leave the math to you.
Stats & Collage: MundoDeportivo