Medical: Vermaelen returns to training

Medical: Vermaelen returns to training

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.

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Clash of the titans

Clash of the titans

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.

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You’re the Manager: beat Celta!

You’re the Manager: beat Celta!

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?

Beat Celta!

Laporta won’t rule out presidential bid

Laporta won’t rule out presidential bid

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?

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The Front: Sport (29.10.2014)

The Front: Sport (29.10.2014)

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.”

Laporta’s Victory

FIFA continue campaign against Messi and Suarez

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (29.10.2014)

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (29.10.2014)

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

Picture of the day: Breakthrough!

Picture of the day: Breakthrough!

Barcelona’s young starlet Rafinha Alcántara was honored as the “Breakthrough” young player in La Liga in the 2013-14 season. Handsome devil too!

Image: Sport

Rewind: Win the Clásico

Rewind: Win the Clásico

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?

Go!

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El Clásico: Find your timezone

El Clásico: Find your timezone

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

El Clásico: Pick the lineup!

El Clásico: Pick the lineup!

Catalan daily Sport today published the Clásico lineup preferred by over 2000 readers. What do you think of their choices? Who would you add or subtract?

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Video of the Day: An elegant debut!


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!

Stat of the Day: 15 of 16!

Stat of the Day: 15 of 16!

FC Barcelona youth teams this season crushed the opposition in 15 of the 16 leagues in which they were competing. In the last league, Barca-B took third place to equal their best-ever finish. The future is bright!

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Quote of the Day: Farewell Pinto!

Quote of the Day: Farewell Pinto!

“Move complete! Hasta la vista Barcelona! Thanks for everything!”

– José Manuel Pinto says goodbye to Barcelona

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Eusebio puts pen to paper

Eusebio puts pen to paper

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.

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Stat of the Day: 200 and counting!

Stat of the Day: 200 and counting!

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.

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Quote of the Day: Cruyff on Xavi

Quote of the Day: Cruyff on Xavi

“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

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Video of the Day: FC Barcelona 2-1 Atlético Madrid

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?

Video of the Day: And he scores too!

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?

Rumor: Eusebio & Amor latest victims in La Masia shakeup

Rumor: Eusebio & Amor latest victims in La Masia shakeup

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.

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Huge mosaic planned for Saturday final

Huge mosaic planned for Saturday final

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?

Graphic: Sport

Video of the Day: Thank you Willy!

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!

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?