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?
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?