Víctor Valdés has resurfaced after a long silence and recovery period and it seems that the future is looking brighter for FC Barcelona’s former keeper. On November 9, Valdés put up this message on his social media accounts: “Great training session this morning. Almost ready! Thanks for your supportive messages throughout these months. They have helped me a lot! See you soon!” His former Spain teammate and current Manchester United star Juan Mata told Spanish radio station COPE, “I speak regularly with Víctor Valdés, he’s training with us (Manchester United). We’re waiting to see what his plans are.”
Former FC Barcelona star goalkeeper Víctor Valdés is being given a chance at recovering his career by another ex-Barça figure, Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal. Manchester United’s official website is reporting that Valdés has been offered a chance to complete his rehabilitation from knee injury with the Red Devils under supervision from the club’s doctors. Valdés, who announced the end of his time with Barça before his injury, would then train with the first team, and presumably, be given a chance at a contract with Man U. Let’s all send our good wishes to VV.
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!
Global football icon and former FC Barcelona player, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, has signed with Mexican side Querétaro, los Gallos Blancos (the White Roosters). “Now it’s official! The number 49 shirt! My lucky number! I hope to experience the same happiness here!! #GallosForever! I chose Mexico because of the warmth with which I’m always treated here! Really motivated to play for@Club_Querétaro!” More details on Ronaldinho’s new club after the jump.
Conference South side Basingstoke Town FC made an audacious bid to try and sign ex-FC Barcelona legend, Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho is now a free agent after leaving Atlético Mineiro and Basingstoke Town FC, who currently sit in third place in the sixth tier of English football, have contacted Roberto de Assis Moreira, Ronaldiho’s brother with this in mind.
“We’ve put an offer to his brother, who is his agent, and look forward hearing back from him,” Basingstoke’s marketing director, Simon Hood, told BBC South. More after the jump.
Just over 16 years ago, Javier Saviola made a big money (24 million euros) move from River Club to FC Barcelona. Barça became his second club in his second league, following the Argentinean. Since, Saviola has moved to six other clubs and four other leagues, taking his total clubs to nine and different leagues to six. The Argentine was sent to Monaco and Sevilla before being sold to Real Madrid. He spent two seasons in the capital, before heading to Benfica, then Málaga, Olympiakos and most recently a summer move to Hellas Verona, where he joins Rafa Márquez. That makes his nine clubs: River Plate, FC Barcelona, AS Monaco, Sevilla FC, Real Madrid, Benfica, Málaga FC, Olympiakos and Hellas Verona, and the six leagues he’s graced: Primera División (Argentina), La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France), Superliga (Portugal), Superleague (Greece) and Serie A (Italy). If he can land himself a gig in the Bundesliga, then Saviola will have played in all of Europe’s significant five leagues. At this rate, why not?
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.