Acing it or failing? – Mid-season Report Card – Midfielders & Forwards

Acing it or failing? – Mid-season Report Card – Midfielders & Forwards

While not technically the mid-point of the 2014/15 campaign, the Christmas break and coming of a new year presents the perfect time to mull over FC Barcelona’s season thus far. There’s a new man in charge, familiar stalwarts and a host of fresh faces hopeful to make their mark in Catalonia. So who’s been making an impression and who has left us concerned or wanting more? totalBarça offers up opinions from writers  and  on whether players are acing it or failing.

Click for more

Acing it or failing? – Mid-season Report Card – Goalies & Defenders

Acing it or failing? – Mid-season Report Card – Goalies & Defenders

While not technically the mid-point of the 2014/15 campaign, the Christmas break and coming of a new year presents the perfect time to mull over FC Barcelona’s season thus far. There’s a new man in charge, familiar stalwarts and a host of fresh faces hopeful to make their mark in Catalonia. So who’s been making an impression and who has left us concerned or wanting more? totalBarça offers up opinions from writers ,  and  on whether players are acing it or failing.

Click for more

The little big Dane: An interview with Allan Simonsen

The little big Dane: An interview with Allan Simonsen

If you have been a long time culé, or simply a Dane, the name Allan Simonsen would ring a bell. The former Danish international spent three years of his career in FC Barcelona. Born in 1952 in Vejle, Denmark, Allan quickly showed his potential as a footballer and by the age of 20 he signed a professional contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach, which resulted in three championships in a row. In 1977, Allan joined the company of players such as Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the Ballon D’or, the first and only Danish footballer to achieve this prize.

In the summer of ’79 Allan joined FC Barcelona and he quickly proved to be a fan favourite. With the same characteristics of some of today’s Barcelona players, Allan was named “El pequeño gran danés,” meaning the little big Dane. He was a small but quick footballer who wasn’t afraid of taking on defenders. In 1981, Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey and the year after, Allan scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory over Standard Liége to help Barça win the European Cup Winners Cup final. Barcelona brought in Diego Maradona that summer and because of the regulations on foreigners, Allan decided to leave the club. Allan Simonsen is said to have played some of his best football in the Blaugrana jersey and totalBarça had the opportunity to have a talk with the Danish hall of famer, or “the gentle man of football” as he is called back home. Read more after the jump!

Click for more

Congratulations Atlético Madrid

Congratulations Atlético Madrid

It cannot be overstated how incredible of an accomplishment Atlético Madrid and Diego Simeone have pulled off. They are the true definition of bravery, what it means to be a team and you won’t see any one fight harder than them.

Congratulations Atlético Madrid, a most deserved champion….now go and win it in Lisbon.

Click for more

totalBarça are all monkeys

totalBarça are all monkeys

Change literally happens one person at a time. The #weareallmonkeys social media campaign ignited by Dani Alves and started by Neymar has exploded with over 100,000 tweets including the now infamous hashtag. It would have been remiss of totalBarça to not acknowledge our support for the initiative and its message that racism is a hatred that must be eradicated and that we are all same. We are all people, all humans, each of us vulnerable to the same fears and all of us capable of the same dreams. This campaign won’t be the end of racism in sport or society, but it’s one more step forward and when facing great challenges, they can only be tackled a step at a time.

In the coming days we will be inviting our totalBarça readers to submit their “we are all monkeys” image, of which some will be collated into a similar collage and one lucky entrant will receive a prize! Be sure not to miss out. Additional details to follow.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Who said that?

Fan Fridays: Who said that?

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Well done to Godfrey Asimwe for the best caption from last editions’s post.

This week, we have “Who said that?” Write who you think said the following quote in the comments section and we’ll reveal the answer in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

 “Barcelona’s main rivals are Barcelona.”

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

This week we have Caption This, which many of you seem to enjoy! Please leave your captions in the comments section after the jump. To make it more interesting try adding a caption for all the people involved. Have fun and be creative but remember to keep the vulgarity out. The best caption will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

Last week we presented a quiz on our roadrunner Pedro and here are the answers to the questions. Congratulations to everyone who commented, you all got most of the questions correct! Follow this post after the jump for all the correct answers.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Get to know Pedro

Fan Fridays: Get to know Pedro

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Last week’s post was “Who said that?” and there seemed to be a lot of different guesses but well done to those who guessed Pedro Rodríguez, you are correct!

This week we bring you trivia about Canarian Pedro Rodríguez. Leave your answers in the comments section. The person with the most correct answers will be deemed the winner and will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post. Try your luck after the jump!

1. At what age did Pedro join the FC Barcelona’s youth?

2. What is interesting about which foot he plays the ball with?

3. He became the first person in history to achieve something. What was it?

4. How many goals has he scored for Barcelona?

5. What individual award has he won?

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Who said that?

Fan Fridays: Who said that?

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

This week, we have “Who said that?” Write who you think said the following quote in the comments section and we’ll reveal the answer in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

 “To me, Messi is better than Maradona. I play with him, I see him every day, and to me he is the best. Maradona has been the best player in history and for me, Messi is even greater than he is. He is young, but has already won a lot of things; to me, he is better.

Happy guessing!

Click for more

A case for each: Messi, Ronaldo and Ribéry

A case for each: Messi, Ronaldo and Ribéry

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Franck Ribéry? Seems simple enough, three footballers, one winner. Of course the choice isn’t straightforward and seconds after a former victor names the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner (BDO), debate will be unleashed. The Mig Toc’s opening piece, Ballon d’Or Debacle, asked what this award is actually for. “Is it an award for simply the best footballer, end of story, in a given year? Is it an award for solely the most impressive individual year irrespective of team success, or is it for the player whose stellar performances have contributed to his team (club or country) lifting silverware?” No irrefutable answer exists, whilst history suggests something not far from “one of the plain best footballers who via individual excellence propelled his team to triumph of major trophies.” So who deserves to win in 2013?

Click for more

Does Cristiano Ronaldo have beef?

Does Cristiano Ronaldo have beef?

Let us get a critical premise out the way: Lionel Messi, the man of every superlative, is the best footballer alive. Such is my opinion, but more credibly, numerous esteemed managers, players and former players think so as well. Over the years he has been pitted against pseudo-archenemy Cristiano Ronaldo, himself a phenomenal, historic footballer worthy of all praise. But the debate can be quieted rather simply. Messi is discussed, by several already anointed, as perhaps the best in the history of the sport; Ronaldo is not.

The topic here is not deciphering whether Messi is better than Ronaldo. He is. Rather, what follows is a continuation of the uncertain criteria and period of consideration that plagues the FIFA Ballon d’Or (BDO). Just because Messi is and, quite likely, will continue to be this planet’s superior footballer until his playing days reach their twilight, it does not entitle him annual BDOs. As concluded in The Mig Toc’s opening post, The Ballon d’Or Debacle, the BDO should fundamentally reward individual performance excellence which is integral to team success. Messi is the only winner of the recently (2010) merged FIFA BDO, much to the chagrin of chiefly you-know-who. So let’s ask: Does Cristiano Ronaldo have beef?

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

This week we have Caption This, which many of you seem to enjoy! Please leave your captions in the comments section after the jump. To make it more interesting try adding a caption for all the people involved. Have fun and be creative but remember to keep the vulgarity out. The best caption will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

Last week we presented a quiz on the maestro Xavi Hernández and here are the answers to the questions. Congratulations to all of the people who tried. Follow this post after the jump for all the correct answers.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Get to know Xavi

Fan Fridays: Get to know Xavi

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Last week’s post was “Who said that?” and there seemed to be a lot of different guesses but well done to those who guessed Gerard Piqué, you are correct!

This week we bring you trivia about the maestro Xavi Hernández. Leave your answers in the comments section. The person with the most correct answers will be deemed the winner and will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post. Try your luck after the jump!

1. Why does Xavi wear a different number for Barcelona and then for Spain?

Click for more

Fan Fridays: “Who said that?”

Fan Fridays: “Who said that?”

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Well done to Jurij Fedorov  for the best caption from last edition’s post.

This week, we have “Who said that?” Write who you think said the following quote in the comments section and we’ll reveal the answer in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

“I am very happy, as I was when I was not winning trophies. Football gives you life, or at least a sense of life. You can be depressed but when you enter onto a field and see the ball, you forget everything else.”

Happy guessing!

Click for more

Player Reactions: Getafe CF 2-5 FC Barcelona

Player Reactions: Getafe CF 2-5 FC Barcelona

Jordi Alba spoke to the press after the impressive victory against Getafe, the last game of the year. He mentioned that the start of the match was not Barcelona’s best but that the team did a good job to come back: “We conceded two goals because we were relaxed, but the team reacted and we ended up playing a good game. In general we played a good game. We’re happy that we ended the year as league leaders, we got an important victory.”

Click for more

Martino: “We can turn games around”

Martino: “We can turn games around”

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino spoke to the press after the great victory against Getafe. He mentioned how he was happy that Barcelona managed to turn the game around: “We are growing and that’s what we have to focus on. We maintained our form despite being down two goals and we ended up playing a really good game. We played well for 70 minutes. It’s not easy to come back from a 2-0.” Follow this post after the jump for more!

Click for more

Martino: “My worry is the team”

Martino: “My worry is the team”

On 21 December, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino spoke to the press about holding first place in the league, the issues in the media at the moment and of course about missing magician Lionel Messi.

Click for more

Squad touches down in Madrid

Squad touches down in Madrid

Due to the match being played at 17:00 local Spanish time, coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has decided to fly the players into Madrid already on Saturday night, the eve of the final match of the year against Getafe in La Liga. Traveling with the squad and technical staff is vice president of social area, Jordi Cardoner and director Pilar Guinovart. Director of football Andoni Zubizarreta and first team doctor Ricard Pruna will meet up with the rest of the team in Madrid.

Martino has brought along an 18 man squad with Dani Alves being included as he has recovered successfully from his injury. Unfortunately Xavi Hernández will miss the match due to injury and Carles Puyol due to technical reasons.

Click for more

Víctor Valdés: “I’m fine”

Víctor Valdés: “I’m fine”

Víctor Valdés spoke to the press today about how his recovery from injury has been going so far. He’s reassured the public that everything seems to be going well: “I’m fine. It’s been a few strange weeks for me because I’ve never been injured, but now we’ve got through two intense goalkeeping training sessions and everything went faster than expected. The latest tests show that I’m totally recovered.”

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

This week we have Caption This, which many of you seem to enjoy! Please leave your captions in the comments section after the jump. To make it more interesting try adding a caption for all the people involved. Have fun and be creative but remember to keep the vulgarity out. The best caption will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

Last week we presented a quiz on Carles Puyol and here are the answers to the questions. Congratulations to all of the people who managed to get a few questions right! This seemed to be the most challenging quiz so far. Follow this post after the jump for all the correct answers.

Click for more

Tata Martino: “Form will be influential”

Tata Martino: “Form will be influential”

Gerardo “Tata” Martino spoke to the press after the UEFA Champions League draw took place on the 16th of December. He gave his thoughts on FC Barcelona facing Manchester City in the knockout rounds: “They are a team who find it easy to score, we’ll look to have a good tie and more importantly, win it. Maybe they would have preferred not to play against FC Barcelona. We have to ensure we go into February in good form.”

He mentioned that the key factor that could decide the match is form: “They are an important rival with very good players, but form will be influential. I have always followed Pellegrini’s progress as a coach, both in South America and in Europe and so I’m very happy to play against one of his teams.”

Click for more

16 players for the FC Cartagena match

16 players for the FC Cartagena match

Gerardo “Tata” Martino has decided to rest key players such as Xavi Hernández, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets for the game against FC Cartagena on Tuesday night.

The squad has been training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Piqué returned to training after skipping Sunday due to a stomach upset. Dani Alves trained with all of the players for a part of the session as well.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Get to know Carles Puyol

Fan Fridays: Get to know Carles Puyol

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Last week’s post was “Who said that?” and it seemed most of you got it correct. That quote was by Andrés Iniesta.

This week we bring you trivia about El Capità Carles Puyol. Leave your answers in the comments section. The person with the most correct answers will be deemed the winner and will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post. Try your luck after the jump!Click for more

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino: “Every game is tough”

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino: “Every game is tough”

On the 10 December, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino spoke to the press about the upcoming match against Celtic, the last match for FC Barcelona’s UEFA group stages.

He spoke about the importance of each game. “We know the consequences for Barça of every match – this is an important game in all aspects – we have [to] finish top, we have to win and put in a good performance. For us, every game is tough and each one has consequences.”

Click for more

UEFA best team of the year: Vote for Messi and Piqué

UEFA best team of the year: Vote for Messi and Piqué

Voting can be done up until the 9 January 2014 through the UEFA website for the UEFA Best Team of 2013. The list of players for the best eleven was published this week and among them were FC Barcelona players Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué. The players that receive the most votes from the public will be officially named on Wednesday 15 January 2014. Check out the full list of nominees after the jump.

Click for more

Xavi Hernández: “Everybody wants to play like Barça”

Xavi Hernández: “Everybody wants to play like Barça”

On the 5 December, Xavi Hernández had an interview with Catalunya Radio. He commented on Barça’s recent performances, prior to Friday’s victory over Cartagena, and how he feels about Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s management of the team.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: “Who said that?”

Fan Fridays: “Who said that?”

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

Well done to Tanzilur Rahman for the best caption from last editions’s post.

This week, we have “Who said that?” Write who you think said the following quote in the comments section and we’ll reveal the answer in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

“Ideal player? Head Falcao, personality Puyol, right leg Xavi, left leg and skills Messi, tactics Busquets, goal instinct Ronaldo.”

Happy guessing!

Click for more

Neymar: “If you have a ball, you are already happy”

Neymar: “If you have a ball, you are already happy”

Neymar left Santos FC, his Brazilian club, for FC Barcelona in hopes that he would live up to the expectation that was created for him. Many wondered how he would fit into the club. His playing style was seen to be different to the tiki taka style of Barca and with Lionel Messi being the star at Barcelona, people speculated just how well he would do.

Click for more

Fàbregas: “What happens next depends entirely on us”

Fàbregas: “What happens next depends entirely on us”

On November 29th, Cesc Fàbregas spoke to press about the loss against Ajax as well as how the team plan to bounce back this weekend at Athletic Bilbao.

Click for more

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Fan Fridays: Caption This

Every Friday, totalBarça will provide entertaining posts for you to kick-start your weekend!

This week we have Caption This, which many of you seem to enjoy! Please leave your captions in the comments section after the jump. Have fun and be creative but remember to keep the vulgarity out. The best caption will be announced in next week’s Fan Fridays post.

Last week we presented a quiz on Cesc Fàbregas and here are the answers to the questions. Congratulations to all of the people who commented who got most if not all the questions right! Follow this post after the jump for all the correct answers.

Click for more