Once also branded a La Masia prodigy, Gai Assulin continues his peripatetic career. Now at the age of 23, Assulin has signed for RCD Mallorca on a free transfer from Granada. Since leaving Barça he’s been at Manchester City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Racing Santander and most recently on loan to Hércules. A tale of realism if ever there was one.
Former FC Barcelona player Éric Abidal made a move this summer that had many people scratching their heads. After Barça let ‘Abi’ go in June 2013, he went to play at AS Monaco for the 2013/14 season. He signed an extension with Monaco in July and then two days later signed with Greek club Olympiacos FC. The rapid-fire switch made many people wonder if it had anything to do with Monaco’s treatment of former FCB goalkeeper, Víctor Valdés. Read on to find out what really happened.
Ex-Barcelona centre-back Rafa Marquez has returned to Europe. While the veteran defender had returned to his homeland of Mexico for Club León, he has opted to return to European football in order to sign with Hellas Verona of the Italian Serie A. The ‘Kaiser of Michoacán’ will sign a three-year contract with the team that finished eleventh in the Italian top flight last year. The 35-year-old’s transfer means that he will miss the chance to return to the Camp Nou as an opponent, given that Club León will be Barça’s opponent in this year’s edition of the Joan Gamper trophy. Read more…
Ex-blaugrana player Oriol Romeu has joined VFB Stuttgart on loan from Chelsea FC for the upcoming season.
The midfielder started the pre-season with José Mourinho but left to find more playing time at Stuttgart. This is not the first time Romeu has gone on loan; in the 2013/2014 season, he played for Valencia CF where he started in 11 games of the 13 games he played overall.
We wish Romeu the best of luck in his career.
The former FC Barcelona legend, Ronaldinho has left Clube Atlético Mineiro on Monday 28th of July. Ronaldinho left with mutual agreement terms between both sides and is now a free agent. However, he will be joining the Belo Horizonte-based club until December. Roberto de Assis, Ronaldinho’s brother, was asked if the player is considering retirement but replied, “He will play until he’s 42! He will reveal his future destination on Wednesday.”
It was a match for the ex-Barça players of 2006 to reunite for one last time in Deco’s testimonial match where FC Barcelona 20006 played against FC Porto 2004. Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Juliano Belletti, Deco and Sylvinho all took part in this match with Deco playing for a number of minutes with each side. Deco ended his career with an astonishing lob finish in the dying minutes of the match to equalize for Porto making the match end (4-4).
After the match, Belletti, Deco and Sylvinho took time to talk about the new Barça and they all had promising words to say…
Jordi Quintillà spent two seasons in the Barcelona youth ranks but spent most of the time on loan. The last season he played with L’Hospitalet, managing eight appearances. His contract has now lapsed with Barça and the 20 year old center midfielder has found a new home with freshly relegated French side Ajaccio on a three year deal.
Best of luck to Jordi on his new adventure in Corsica.
A lot has happened for former FC Barcelona star Deco in the last 12 months. He retired from the game just a month before being charged with doping, leading people to think the two events were related. But Deco took the doping issue to the Court of Sport Arbitration (CAS), had his sampled retested and in May this year was cleared of all charges with CAS finding no metabolic steroids or markers in the sample. The lab in Rio was further suspended by CAS for sloppy testing procedures.
Tonight Deco will be honored in a testimonial match held at FC Porto’s Estádio do Dragão that sees “Barça 2006″ take on “Porto 2004″, the two sides Deco lifted the Champions League with. To boot, both José Mourinho and Frank Rijkaard will manage the sides.
The one major absentee is Ronaldinho, who was refused permission to attend the match by his club Atlético Miniero. But there are still the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Carles Puyol and of course Juliano Belletti. The game kicks off at 20:30 CET. Full squads below.
On September 11th, those of you in Miami will have the chance to witness a blast from the past, a real Clásico of legends. Confirmations have already emerged that the friendly will be played at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida; with ex-footballers such as Deco, Ludovic Giuly, Luis García and Francesco Coco will be representing FC Barcelona. As for the opposition, the Los Blancos team will include Fabio Cannavaro, Fernando Redondo, Míchel Salgado, Steve McManaman, Fernando Morientes and Luís Figo. The Blaugrana outfit will be coached by Carles Rexach, while the latter will be coached by Hugo Sánchez.
Jérémy Mathieu has finally arrived from Valencia in a €20 million transfer, and the club has finally secured their beast in defense. At the age of 30, the Frenchman has joined the long list of French players to have worn the Blaugrana shirt. This list includes legends such as Thierry Henry, Ludovic Giuly, and Éric Abidal. Most of these players have joined the Catalan club in the past 18 years, starting with Laurent Blanc in 1996 who spent one season at the club. Check out the full list right after the jump.
The mass exodus of Barcelona youngsters to the Premier League is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for years, and it one of the key issues for every Barcelona board. However, as long as regulations don’t change, Barça are essentially bound to lose. Chelsea has lured yet another pearl emerging out of La Masia by offering attractive financial terms FC Barcelona are lawfully unable to. Read more after jump…
The transfer of Liverpool FC’s Uruguayan striker, Luis Suárez, to FC Barcelona seems closer than ever, and many fear the player’s tendency to lose control during games. In an interview with Sport, ex-Barça attacker Hristo Stoichkov warned Suárez that he will have to deal with incredible pressure from both the media and opposition as they will hope to provoke the player into doing something he’ll regret deeply in the future. “He seems a really good player to me, one of the best forwards, with the character required to play for the biggest clubs – but the bites are going to be a problem!” More from the Bulgarian after the jump.
Former FC Barcelona center back and beloved figure for all culés, Éric Abidal, did a dramatic turn around this past week. On Thursday, July 3, he announced his renewal with AS Monaco, where he had spent the 2013/14 season as the club’s captain. Two days later, on Saturday, July 5, it was announced that Abidal had signed a contract with Greek league champions Olympiacos FC. Read on to see what could have happened in those few days to change Abidal’s mind.
Juliano Belletti, a former FC Barcelona defender and famously known for his winning goal against Arsenal FC in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris, was interviewed by the club and asked about the World Cup experience, his time at Barça, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. as well as the undergoing changes at the club. Belletti’s goal marked the start of the club’s European success, winning Barça’s second Champions League trophy at the time, and very few can forget that rainy Parisian night. Continue reading for the full interview.
Ex-Barça man Rafael Marquez committed a horrendous foul on Arjen Robben (please read that with sarcasm), which lead to a penalty kick that put the Netherlands through to the next round of the World Cup. Marquez’s Mexican national team gave some of the tournament’s best performances and goalkeeper Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa took home the game’s Man of the Match award.
Those who have been following Barcelona for some time, since the years of the Dream Team will know all about Albert ‘Chapi’ Ferrer. The right-back was near indispensable during his eight years as a Blaugrana after graduating from La Masia, offering energy and pace down his flank. However, the years have passed and ‘Chapi’ has grown. The 44-year-old is now a coach, and this past Sunday he celebrated his biggest managerial achievement to date: Winning promotion to the Primera División with Córdoba, where next year he will face his beloved Barcelona.
Former FC Barcelona player Seydou Keita has officially joined Serie A’s AS Roma from Valencia, after just recently joining the Spaniards back in January when he left the Chinese Dalian Aerbin – the club he left Barça for just two summers ago. The 34 year old Malian reportedly had offers from both the Premier League and the Bundesliga, but he rejected them once he decided to join Rudi Garcia’s men who will be back in the Champions League next season after a long absence.
We wish Seydou all the best with his new club.
Melbourne City FC were sky high with the signing of David Villa on loan for the season of 2014-15 in the A-league. The ex-FC Barcelona forward who signed for New York City FC, Melbourne’s sister club, will join the Australian club to keep his match fitness ready for when the MLS league starts. Both Melbourne and NYC clubs are owned by Manchester City. “It’s very good for me in every sense,” Villa said. “From a football point of view it’s the opportunity to play in a new league in a different country, and of course it will be ideal for me to get some competitive football in the period before the MLS season gets under way. I’m sure that playing for Melbourne City FC will be a marvelous experience,” El Guaje stated. Read on for more.
Multiple sources in the press including ESPN, Mundo Deportivo, Sport, and Gazzetta dello Sport, are reporting that Atlético Madrid striker David Villa has reached an agreement to play for new North American football club, New York City FC.
The yet-unannounced three-year deal with NYCFC would see Villa move to Manchester, England where he would train with parent-club Manchester City FC, until its Major League Soccer counterpart begins its season in February of 2015.
Former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff talked to Catalan newspaper Sport and the Dutchman was once again very critical of the current board. While at the International Film Festival of Sports the father of Barça’s “Dream Team” said that the current team is having troubles because “the decisions are being made by the board and since they don’t know how football works it’s very difficult to do well.”
Ex-player Hristo Stoichkov wasn’t particularly impressed with the team either. The Bulgarian said: “How can you say the league has been lost when there’s still two games to be played?” A clear reference towards the negativity expressed by the players and coach Gerardo Martino after the draw against Getafe. He also made a prediction concerning the end of the season, “The Champions League for Atlético, the league for Barça and the cup for Madrid. Everybody’s happy that way.”
Beloved former Barça player Éric Abidal came to Barcelona on Monday to attend Tito Vilanova’s memorial mass at the Barcelona Cathedral. “I had to be here, this is an important day. We loved him a lot, him and his family.” Of course, he also came to visit his friends and former teammates at their training. “FC Barcelona is a big family. We have shared many things over many years and if we lose one of our own then it’s normal that it affects a lot of people. I really had to be here.”
It is being reported that former blaugrana coach Tito Vilanova, who has been fighting cancer for the past two years, has had his health take a turn for the worse. He was admitted to hospital with gastric complications last Friday and had to have emergency surgery today. That is all that is known at this time. Fans and players such as Víctor Valdés are sending out support via social media.
totalBarça, of course, sends our support and will keep the site updated with any further news. Força Tito!
Pep Guardiola may be the recipient of an avalanche of plaudits, having just recently won the Bundesliga in record time (seven games to spare), and over this campaign broken a host of Bayern Munich and Bundesliga records. Of course, you can’t please everyone, Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer included, but nevertheless former Barça star Samuel Eto’o seemed to go over the line recently with some comments in a BeIN SPORTS interview. There have been many thousands of words printed on the relationship between the pair and a host of theories as to why Guardiola let such a fantastic and productive player go, yet it seems that for Eto’o, it is not water under the bridge. I did some fact checking into this (and it appears legitimate) simply because I’ve always believed and maintain that Eto’o got an unfair rap regarding his personality in Barcelona, and therefore was rather shocked and disappointed with these very unnecessary comments.
Beloved former FC Barcelona player Éric Abidal, currently playing for AS Monaco, took to Twitter to squash some disturbing rumors that had been circulating about his health. Says Abi, “Good morning, rumors in Twitter are not true. Training in La Turbie thinking about next match. Daghe Munegu (Go Monaco).”
Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is backpeddling on statements he made regarding the supposed lack of motivation at Barça. “The players at Barça motivate themselves… I did not teach Xavi or Iniesta how to play. Coaches are there to lend a hand but after 20 years, they play very well,” Pep clarified after Bayern Munich’s latest win, which won the Bundesliga in record time. “Maybe I didn’t explain it well. (The reason for my leaving) was a purely personal matter, it felt like the moment had come. (The players) are responsible for all the successes they have had… They play well enough without me.”
Here we go again; in the wake of Neymargate, we now have Villagate. Andrés Sanchis, a lawyer and Valencia CF shareholder, has made a complaint against Valencia’s former club president Manuel Llorente, and former club vice-president and current director general of La Liga Javier Gomez questioning possible problems with the 40 million euro transfer of David Villa from Valencia to Barcelona in 2010. This complaint is focused mainly on Valencia’s end of the deal that brought Villa to Barça after the 2010 World Cup. More details after the jump.