From the Opposite Corner: El clásico

From the Opposite Corner: El clásico

James Rodríguez and Carlo Ancelotti were chosen as Real Madrid’s representatives for the press in advance of the clásico on Saturday. Despite stiff competition and suggestions his transfer was overpriced and unnecessary, the World Cup Golden Boot winner has fought to earn a place in Madrid’s side and will be almost certainly making his clásico debut tomorrow. Like his manager, James was relaxed and easy-going in anticipation of the match. Read on below to see what the pair had to say.

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Luis Enrique: Suárez will have minutes

Luis Enrique:  Suárez will have minutes

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique participated in a press conference before the La Liga game against Real Madrid. One of the most discussed topics was, of course, Luis Suárez. “Today I cannot play this game. But he will have some minutes for sure, how many I cannot say,” said Luis Enrique and added that for the player it is a big thing to join up finally with the team and get some minutes in such an important game. Referring to his past as Real Madrid player and the usual unpleasant welcome at the Bernabéu due to his transfer to Barcelona, the coach said,“Going as a coach and player is very different. Last year my visit there was very calm.”  Speaking about his team, he mentioned that Sergio Busquets feels good. “He has trained with everyone, and in principle, is available without any problem.”  Read on for more from Lucho.

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Messi and Neymar peaking before El Clasico

Messi and Neymar peaking before El Clasico

Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr are enjoying a wonderful understanding between with each other and are at their peak going into El Clasico. The deadly duo have both scored at least one goal in the last five matches and will be hoping to continue their streak at the Bernabéu on Saturday. Each player has scored in La Liga against SD Eibar, Rayo Vallecano and Granada CF while also scoring in the UEFA Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain and AFC Ajax.

They not only scored with their clubs but also with their national sides with Neymar brilliantly scoring four goals against Japan and Messi netting two against Hong Kong. Overall, Neymar leads with ten goals, while Messi has nine with seven assists.

The last time FC Barcelona played at the Bernabéu was last year when the Catalans won 4-3 thanks to a hat-trick from the Argentinean.

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Luis Enrique’s debut as Barça manager at the Bernabeu

Luis Enrique’s debut as Barça manager at the Bernabeu

El Clasico is always a special occasion to football fans, players and coaches. To play in the match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is a privilege, and to sit on a bench as a team manager is both a big responsibility and a reason to be proud. Tomorrow Luis Enrique, the FC Barcelona coach will debut at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium in this role.

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (24.10.2014)

the front MD octr 24 2014

LUCHO’S CLASICO

Luis Enrique faces his first challenge in the Bernabéu at the top of his motivation

“Here is where one feels most proud to be a culé,” said the coach

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The Front: Sport (24.10.2014)

the front sport oct 24 2014

ALREADY PROVOCATION FROM MADRID

FOUL PLAY

ANCELOTTI THROWS A DART AT LUIS ENRIQUE: “I’ve subbed out Cristiano Ronaldo without asking him”

CRISTIANO, CRYBABY: “I don’t understand why it’s not played on Sunday”

THEY WANTED TO VETO SUÁREZ: Madrid maneuvered to end the sanction one day later and FIFA confirmed that he could play

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Picture of the day: Valdés in red?

Picture of the day: Valdés in red?

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.

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To tribute or not to tribute?

To tribute or not to tribute?

As with so much, people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Yes, Lionel Messi may equalize, perhaps surpass Telmo Zarra’s’ long-standing La Liga scoring record. Is is an accomplishment worth noting and expressly celebrating? Of course. But that doesn’t mean one should stop a football match, no less the clásico at the Santiago Bernabéu, as some in the Barcelona media are suggesting as well as LFP president Javier Tebas. Everyone will know the record was hit or broken, and there’s nothing wrong with Barça themselves setting something up on future occasions.

FIFA have decided to have their say on the issue, though its not much of a stand to say the least. “The issue depends on the federation of the country. There is nothing specific in the rules about this“, said a FIFA spokesman.

And based on the a statement reeled by The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), there seems no stoppage will happen. “We have not received any request from Barcelona, we know of the existence of this proposal by the newspapers, but we are not considering doing anything,

But the real reason all these calls for fireworks and glitter don’t matter is because it doesn’t matter to Messi. “We will go there to do the best possible and to win. Nothing will be decided, and there will still be a lot of Liga left, but we will go to try and win and to play well. Zarra’s record is the least important thing; what matters is to play well and win there.

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Dongou nominated as Best African in Liga Adelante

Dongou nominated as Best African in Liga Adelante

FC Barcelona B’s record-breaking season last year was really a collective effort, but undoubtedly some individuals stood out. Individual brilliance in Eusebio’s squad hasn’t gone unnoticed by the league, which has nominated three players for the LFP awards. After Jordi Masip and Sergi Samper, Jean-Marie Dongou became the third Barça B player receive a nomination today, for the Best African Player of the Segunda División. The Cameroonian forward will compete for the award against Deportivo’s Ibrahim Sissoko and Jaén’s Ritchie Kitoko.

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Ney nominated as Best South American in La Liga

Ney nominated as Best South American in La Liga

FC Barcelona players continue to receive nominations from the LFP. Today was Neymar’s turn to receive a new nomination. The Brazilian ace, despite having a mixed first season at Barça, received a nomination for the “Best South American in La Liga”. The other two nominees are Sevilla’s Colombian forward Carlos Bacca and former Real Madrid star Ángel di María, now with Manchester United. Curiously, there’s still no place for Leo Messi in these years LFP nominations.

The award gala will take place next Tuesday October 27th in Madrid. Neymar will be attending the gala alongside his teammates Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitić, Rafinha and Jordi Masip, as well as Barça B’s Sergi Samper and Jean-Marie Dongou.

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Golazos made in La Masia (18-19 October)

Yet another week of goals at La Masia, and yet another compilation of the best of the best. This week, the special compilation prepared by FC Barcelona features golazo specialist Sergio Gómez (Cadete B), Wilfrid Kaptoum (Barça B) with his first reserve team goal, Ansumane Fati and  Miguelete Ramírez (both Infantil A) and Jean Marie Dongou (Barça B), who is having the season of his life with the reserves.

Enjoy!

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Juvenil A – Ajax: Comeback draw (2-2)

Juvenil A – Ajax: Comeback draw (2-2)

Barcelona’s Juvenil A side couldn’t double Blaugrana victories over Ajax on Tuesday. Jordi Vinyals’ squad had to come back from two goals down against Ajax at the Miniestadi, abut in the end it was one point won rather than two lost for the Barça U-19s, who continue to lead their group alongside the Amsterdam-based side. Read more…

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (23.10.2014)

the front MD oct 23 2014

AT THE CLASICO WITH 30,000

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The Front: Sport (23.10.2014)

the front sport oct 23 2014

HE WILL PLAY!

LUIS SUÁREZ, SURPRISE FACTOR IN THE BERNABÉU

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (22.10.2014)

the front MDoct 22 2014

NOW THE CLASICO

Barça put on an exhibit for an hour, made two goals and later thought about Madrid

Lucho took a chance on benching Neymar, Iniesta and Messi!

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The Front: Sport (22.10.2014)

the front sport oct 22 2014

MESSI AND NEYMAR FINE TUNE THEIR AIM FOR THE CLASICO

WITH THE GUNPOWDER FIRING ON POINT

LETHAL PAIR: Leo gave Ney the first goal and scored the second, and Luis Enrique subs them thinking of the Bernabéu

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The Ratings: FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax

The Ratings: FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax

The Ratings… Everyone’s 2nd favorite part to a post-match analysis, after the Post-Match Review of course. It is now your turn to show us what you think of the players’ performances. Let’s see how you all do!

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The Result: FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax

The Result: FC Barcelona 3-1 AFC Ajax

RESULT:

FC Barcelona: 3

AFC Ajax: 1

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Luis Enrique: “We are used to playing every three or four days”

Luis Enrique: “We are used to playing every three or four days”

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique underlined during the usual prematch press conference that game 3 of the Champions League won’t be an easy match. “We will have to produce a complete performance to beat Ajax, a team of many strengths. Ajax are a well-structured side, one that knows how to attack, how to press. Last season they created many problems for Barcelona.” said the coach. He had more words of praise for tonight’s opponent and underlined that “Ajax’s positional play is very good. They can play short and long passes and they find solutions in all areas. They press in defence − they don’t hesitate − and counterattack really well.”

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Vinyals looking for a response in the UEFA Youth League

Vinyals looking for a response in the UEFA Youth League

The Barcelona first team is not the only club team in European action this week, as the club’s Juvenil A team (U-19s) face their Ajax counterparts in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday afternoon at the Miniestadi. Speaking to the press, coach Jordi Vinyals issued a warning about Ajax’s quality and asked for a response by his players following a run of mixed results. Read Vinyals’ key comments after the jump…

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The Front: Sport (21.10.2014)

the front sport oct 21 2014

LUCHO ‘PASSES’ ON MADRID

“MY ONLY OBSESSION IS AJAX, I’M NOT INTERESTED IN THE REST”

BARCA NEEDS TO WIN AND THE COACH DOESN’T WANT DISTRACTIONS

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (21.10.2014)

the front MD oct 21 2014

KEY MATCH

“We’re obsessed with the duel with Ajax. The others don’t exist,” says Luis Enrique

The coach, inclined towards Busi in the rotations for the Clasico

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Neymar: “I want to score against Ajax and in the clásico”

Neymar: “I want to score against Ajax and in the clásico”

Neymar was asked whether he would prefer to score against Ajax in the Champions League or against Real Madrid in Saturday’s clásico. But why choose? He wants to score in both games. And with the Brazilian firing in goals from all angles this season, there is no reason to believe that that won’t be the case. Read what he said in a press conference after the jump.

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Rafinha nominated as Breakthrough Player

Rafinha nominated as Breakthrough Player

Barcelona’s last season wasn’t the best, but that hasn’t prevented the team from getting many players onto the LFP awards shortlists (La Liga awards). After Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Ivan Rakitić, Jordi Masip and Sergi Samper received nominations, Rafinha Alcántara has also received a nomination for the Breakthrough Player award for his performance last season with Celta Vigo. Read more…

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Match Review: FC Barcelona B 4-1 AD Alcorcón

Match Review: FC Barcelona B 4-1 AD Alcorcón

Barcelona B had been seeking a victory for over a month before their match against Alcorcón. Against the team from Madrid, Barça B not only returned to winning ways, but did so in style. The reserves, led by an inspired Adama Traoré, put on their best performance of the season and put 4 past helpless Alcorcón, whose defenders were blown apart by the high quality football exhibited by the Blaugranas. Read more…

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Luis Enrique: “We will go to the Bernabeu to win”

Luis Enrique: “We will go to the Bernabeu to win”

Luis Enrique, was delighted with Barcelona’s performance against SD Eibar; “the team can never be in a situation where we can’t improve – we always want more. Tonight all the players put in a good performance  – you don’t get a second half like that without the intensity we showed before the break”.

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The Front: Sport (20.10.2014)

the front sport oct 20 2014

THE SECRET TO THE CHANGE IN NEYMAR

+ STRENGTH + SCORING

He’s spent months with a special plan in the gym with which he’s gained 4 kilos of muscle

The key has been to gain weight and volume without losing speed

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (20.10.2014)

the front MD oct 20 2014

INSATIABLE MESSI

Leo scored his last ‘Hat tricks’ in the Champions and the league against Ajax and Madrid

The ‘10’ didn’t want to leave the pitch against Eibar because he was enjoying himself

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The Front: Sport (19.10.2014)

the front sport oct 19 2014

READY FOR THE CLASICO

BARCA ARRIVE AS LEADER TO THEIR APPOINTMENT IN THE BERNABÉU

Great game from Messi, who scored against Eibar and has Zarra’s record in his grasp in Madrid

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (19.10.2014)

the front MD oct 19 2014

ON POINT

Barça, prepared for the big week: Ajax and Madrid

Messi, going for the historic goal of ‘Pichichi’ en the Bernabéu

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