Ex-Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson (42) will coach Falkenberg FF next year when they will play in Allsvenskan, the highest division in Swedish football, for the first time in their club’s history. It will be the first time “Henke” coaches a club in Allsvenskan after he previously managed Landskrona BoIS in the second division.
FC Barcelona legend Henrik Larsson made a surprise appearance for his boyhood club, Högaborgs BK, to which he is also assistant coach.
As the team prepared to fight for survival in Division 2 (in the 4th tier of the Swedish league), they suffered problems with injuries and readiness, so the 42-year-old Larsson kitted-up and took to the field as a starter.
On this day, October 28 but 40 years past (1973), Johan Cruyff made his official debut for FC Barcelona. His debut was delayed over two months as Real Madrid tried to hijack the deal. Thankfully by this time the capital club did not have the power they once did within the Spanish football federation and could not pull off an Alfredo Di Stefano style treachery.
In his debut match, at the Camp Nou, Barça beat Granada 4-0 with two goals from the Dutchman. From this match onward, FC Barcelona went on a 26 game unbeaten run and secured the league title with five matches to spare. The league was eventually won by an eight point margin over Atlético Madrid with an incredible 75 goals scored and only 24 conceded over the 34 match campaign. The next closest scoring rival was Real Zaragoza with 51, 24 goals back. It was the first league crowning for the Catalan club since 1960. During this season was the infamous manita at the Santiago Bernabéu, Cruyff got one.
October 28,1973: A day to remember and savor.
FC Barcelona and AC Milan have a lot in common. They were both founded by foreign businessmen, and have been at the very top of their respective national championships numerous times. The connection most people are likely to know about, however, is the fact that many great players have played in both the blaugrana and the rossonero shirts. Mundo Deportivo selected the most prominent of these players, and we present them to you below.
FC Barcelona has gone unbeaten against their next Liga opponents, Real Valladolid, for almost sixteen years. Valladolid’s last win to date at the Camp Nou came on November 9, 1997 in the 1997/98 season. Barça were then under the guidance of Louis Van Gaal, who experienced his first home defeat as Barça coach on such day, despite his team fielding a line-up that included stars such as Luis Enrique, Rivaldo and Luis Figo. The Barça stars were unable to push their team to victory and Valladolid won the game by 2 goals to 1. In fact, the game’s opening goal was scored by current Barcelona B manager and former Barça midfielder Eusebio Sacristán, who was a Valladolid player at the time.
Recently retired former FC Barcelona midfielder Deco has been suspended one year by the Superior Court of Sport for illegal doping. The positive sample was taken when Deco’s Fluminense faced Boavista in March.
Deco retired from the game in August and now one suspects this impending sentence may have factored greatly into the timing. Therefore as Deco is no longer a professional athlete this one year sentence has no effect unless he decides to mount a comeback.
Mere hours after his contract with Barca B was rescinded on Wednesday, 22-year-old right winger Kiko Femenía joined Real Madrid Castilla, becoming the first player since Javier Saviola to make the switch directly between the rival clubs.
Kiko’s contract stipulated that he receive a mandatory promotion to the first team, but the player simply did not impress enough to warrant his inclusion. Moreover, at 22 years old, it is unlikely Kiko was going to improve significantly, and thus was released from his contract. The youngster spared no love for Barça after his departure, claiming that “they have ruined me emotionally” regarding his lack of playing time. While it is unclear why Real Madrid Castilla would want to pick up Femenía, it is safe to say that his departure should not cause much uproar in Catalonia. Certainly no pigs’ heads will be thrown at the next mini-Clasico – but maybe a hot dog?
Ex-Barcelona starlet Thiago Alcántara is set to miss up to two months of the Bundesliga season after damaging the ligaments in his right ankle during Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win against Nürnberg. The injury will require surgery and an extensive rehabilitation, according to official reports from the club. It will also deprive former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola of his only summer signing.
All of us at totalBarça wish Thiago a speedy recovery.
Former FC Barcelona defender, Rafa Márquez, offered Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo an interview in which he had some interesting things to say about the club’s centre back issues. The 34-year-old is still playing for Club León in Mexico after a spell with the New York Red Bulls. The player was signed by Barça in 2003 and was a valuable asset to coach Frank Rijkaard in his defensive partnership with Carles Puyol. He left the club in 2010. Follow us after the break for a translation of the full interview.
In an interview with the program Téléfoot on French television, Èric Abidal appeared to be proud of his time at Barcelona and pointed out that he still thanks Carles Puyol for his gesture at Wembley. He remembered his “recently-ended” time at FC Barcelona and declared that he “has played for the best club in the world, I played with great players, I won it all with great managers.” And when asked if that was the greatest team of all time, ‘King Abi’ responded: “That will be seen 30 years from now“. Story continues after the jump.
Former Barcelona defender Éric Abidal [that still hurts a bit] has made a successful start to the season with new French club Monaco. After two matches, the player was in a great mood: “I’m so happy to be back on the pitch; I hope these feelings last. I’ll keep working and the rest will fall into place…People will always talk…but I feel good. After everything that has happened I’m not here to deceive anyone. If I don’t feel good, I’ll be the first to declare it.”
totalBarça will continue to follow Abidal’s progress as the French Ligue 1 season gets underway.
On this day, August 13, exactly 40 years ago (1973) Johan Cruyff signed his contract for FC Barcelona for a fee of 60 million pesetas, six million guilders or two million dollars. Barça knew at the time they had signed one of the best players available but they could never have imagined the deep footballing, cultural and structural impact Cruyff would eventually have on the club and continues to have to this day. Cruyff was signed by compatriot, mentor and revolutionary manager Rinus Michel under the watch of former president Augustí Montal.
FC Bayern Munich lost the German Super Cup 4-2 Monday night against Borussia Dortmund. Consequently, Pep Guardiola suffered defeat in his first final as the Bayern manager. Clearly, I cannot stress enough, it is still too early to draw any conclusions. However, since I have been thinking about Thiago Alcántara I wonder if Guardiola has taken too much of a gamble signing Thiago and if now they are anchored with each other, destined to either swim or sink together.
Former FC Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcântara (22) lashed out at his former club in a post-match interview in Munich on Wednesday. Speaking after a friendly that pitted his old team against his new one, Thiago clarified some of the details about why he left the club. According to the midfielder, FC Barcelona “didn’t do their part to make me stay. It’s not right to say that I have no patience, I waited all the way up to the European Championship. I was waiting for some kind of word from the club. They knew my intentions and yet no one from the club communicated with me. Everyone is looking out for their own interests. I wanted to be valued.”