Stat of the day: Deadly duo

Stat of the day: Deadly duo

Ronaldo & Bale? Ibrahimovic & Cavani? Robben & Ribery? Nobody can deny that these are in fact some of the greatest duos in the modern game; and while it’s always a pleasure to see your team striker scoring in five games in a row, it truly is astonishing to have your team’s duo achieve that feat. That’s right, Messi and Neymar have been gelling together better than ever, scoring in the past five consecutive games.

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Number of the Day: 50

Number of the Day: 50

Neymar Jr has already played 50 matches for FC Barcelona. Just over a year after his signing for the club, the Brazilian ace was handed his 50th appearance in blaugrana against Eibar, and didn’t fail to live up to the occasion delivering an electric performance with 1 goal and 1 assist. ‘Ney’ has played in 33 Liga matches, 12 Champions League matches 3 in the Copa del Rey and 2 in the Supercopa. Read more…

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Number of the Day: 100

Number of the Day: 100

Leo Messi is widely known for his ability to score goals. In fact, he has quite a few records to show for this ability, and another one, the all-time top goalscorer in La Liga, currently held by the legendary Telmo Zarra, is about to fall at the Argentine’s might in one or two games. However, Messi is not often credited for his immense playmaking ability. ‘The Flea’ not only able to score beautiful goals, but he’s also able to create lots and lots of goals. Thereby, we give you Leo Messi, the assist centurion. More after the jump.

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Historically clean

Historically clean

According to Twitter site @Footy, FC Barcelona became the first team in La Liga to record seven clean sheets in the opening seven games. Additionally, that means Claudio Bravo clean sheet record in the league jumps to 630, giving him the club record of minutes without conceding since the start of a new league campaign.

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Number of the Day: 540

Number of the Day: 540

Claudio Bravo unbeaten league run stands at 540 minutes. If he manages to keep the ball out of his net past the first 20 minute against Rayo, Bravo will set a club record for minutes without conceding since the start of the league, beating the previous record of 560 held by Pedro María Artola in 1977/78.

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Stat of the day: Passing machine

Stat of the day: Passing machine

FC Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić currently leads La Liga players in pass attempts and passes completed after six matches, and is closely followed by the ex-Barça man, Roberto Trashorras, who currently plays for Rayo Vallecano and will face his former club tomorrow night. Rakitić has so far played 508 minutes and attempted 522 passes, completing 475 of them (91%). The Croatian is also accompanied by four of his teammates in La Liga’s top 10 list of players with most passes completed: Sergio Busquets (406), Jordi Alba (343), Jérémy Mathieu (315), and Dani Alves (309).

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Number of the day: 143

Number of the day: 143

143 Champions League games. Yes, that’s how many games Xavi Hernández has played. After coming in for Rakitić in the loss against Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalan midfielder broke Raul Gonzalez’s record (142) for most appearances in Champions League history.

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All You Need to Know: Paris Saint-Germain

All You Need to Know: Paris Saint-Germain

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Number of the Day: 25,000

Number of the Day: 25,000

Sergi Samper is the name on Barça fans’ lips these days. The 19-year-old managed to make his official debut for the club, after spending the whole of his footballing career at the club. Samper started out at the FCBEscola, where the youngest aspiring Barça stars take their first steps in football. FCBEscola is a place that becomes the breeding ground for 25,000 dreams each year. Read more…

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Number of the Day: 9

Number of the Day: 9

Nobody has plauged Levante’s 10 seasons in La Liga like Lionel Messi. The Barça goal machine has scored 9 times against the Valencia side, more than any other La Liga player active (Cristiano Ronaldo, 7) or not (Diego Forlán, 8). The Argentine has additionally hit the back of the net against Levante three seasons in a row. Looking hungry as ever, it would be a foolish punt to go against Messi making it 10 goals and four seasons running.

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Number of the Day: 9

Number of the Day: 9

Gerard Piqué’s goal in the Champions League against APOEL was the Catalan centre-back’s ninth in the elite European club competition, and his seventh with Barça (he also has two with Manchester United). Although that figure hardly seems to be anything close to record-breaking, it is in fact the third highest number of goals scored by a defender in UEFA Champions League history. The centre-back only trails Roberto Carlos and Christian Panucci, who were both attacking full-backs, and is therefore the highest scoring centre-back in the history of the competition. Way to go, Geri.

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Number of the Day: 142

Number of the Day: 142

El Maestro, now el capitán, Xavi Hernández hit a landmark against APOEL. For more than a decade, Real Madrid’s Raúl González Blanco had topped the UEFA Champions League all time appearance list with 142. Xavi equalled that figure on Wednesday night and will undoubtedly surpass the figure this season. Being the most capped player in the Champions League, the game’s elite competition, is something that requires consistency of excellence at the highest level over a long period of time. That sounds about right for Xavi.

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Record-breaking clean sheet streak

Record-breaking clean sheet streak

FC Barcelona beat APOEL 1-0 without putting on a spectacular show on Wednesday, but Luis Enrique’s new-look side managed to break a significant record. This season’s team is the first team in Barcelona’s history to win all four opening matches without conceding a goal. This may not look particularly exciting for culés, who expected goals last night, but let’s not forget the old saying: attackers win matches, defenders win titles.

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Stat of the Day: 92%

Stat of the Day: 92%

Last night was a special one for Sergi Samper. At the club since 6 years old, reportedly the only FC Barcelona player ever to play in every single age category before the first team, Samper impressed at the highest level. His passing was both secure and plenty, with 107 attempted (the most of anyone on the pitch) and 98 completed (92%).

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Barça, kings of Champions League openers

Barça, kings of Champions League openers

If history is anything to go by in football, then Barcelona should have almost nothing to fear in Wednesday’s Champions League opener. In fact, the Blaugranas have only lost once in the last 20 editions of Europe’s elite club competition, with that loss coming in the distant 1997. Read more…

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APOEL Infographic

APOEL Infographic

Who’s the goal threat? Have have APOEL faired in Europe until today? All that and more after the jump, and don’t forget about the totalBarça exclusive profile.

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Stat of the Day: 6 in a row

Stat of the Day: 6 in a row

That man of every superlative and countless statistics, Lionel Messi, has scored against Athletic Club at the Camp Nou for six seasons in a row. Though not yet medically cleared for the weekend, it’s almost a certainty he will be on the pitch Sunday. One would be foolish to bet against Messi’s run extending to seven seasons on the trot when the Lions come to town.

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Dongou leading Liga Adelante scoring charts

Dongou leading Liga Adelante scoring charts

Barcelona B’s aim is to produce first team players. That is at least the official aim, because if we had to name an aim for the team, it would certainly have to make people expect the unexpected. At the beginning of this season, who would have expected Jean Marie Dongou (19), the Cameroonian forward who has been on the first team fringes for too long without breaking through, to be the Segunda División’s top scorer three matches into the season? Nobody. Yet it has happened. Read more after the jump.

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Number of the Day: 9

Number of the Day: 9

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?

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Comparing Douglas, Alves and Montoya

Comparing Douglas, Alves and Montoya

São Paulo FC fans all over Brazil are lauding the efforts of club directors after off-loading right back Douglas Pereira, whom many fans considered a liability and not worthy of a starting place on their beloved team. To be fair, Dani Alves is also seen by many Brazilians in a similar light domestically, but how one performs from team to team can sometimes provide quite the study in contrast. While assurances of his defensive abilities are plentiful online, numbers from Opta Sports compiled by ESPN Brasil do a little bit more to dispel the worries of non-Portuguese-speaking culés frantically combing the internet for more on who exactly this Douglas character is and what he could possibly offer on a right flank that has been so dominantly deputized by Dani Alves and to a far lesser extent, Martín Montoya. Continue reading »

Number of the Day: 5

Number of the Day: 5

The last time FC Barcelona lost on the opening day of La Liga was the 2008/9 season, when Pep Guardiola’s eventual all-conquering triplete side lost to Numancia 1-0. After that, Guardiola managed a win on the opener of his other three campaigns as did Tito Vilanova and Gerardo Martino in their debut seasons. Will Luis Enrique make it six on the trot?

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Number of the Day: 10

Number of the Day: 10

The current 2014/15 FC Barcelona squad is the second most cosmopolitan in history with 10 unique nationalities represented. This falls one behind the 2008/9 squad that featured 11. The usual suspects are all present: Spanish, Brazilian, Argentinian to which is added German (Marc-André ter Stegen), Chilean (Claudio Bravo), Belgium (Thomas Vermaelen), French (Jérémy Mathieu), Uruguayan (Luis Suárez), Croatian (Ivan Rakitić) and Cameroonian (Alex Song). Therefore, of the current 10 nationalities represented, half come from new signings.

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Infographic Animation: Luis Suárez

Haven’t watched Luis Suarez much? Only recognise him from his controversial incidents? Heard that he was good or just ‘OK’? Here are some interesting facts about FC Barcelona’s record club signing.

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Barça sign their fifth Golden Boot winner

Barça sign their fifth Golden Boot winner

Luis Suárez became today the fifth Golden Boot winner to sign for FC Barcelona after sharing the award with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2013/2014 season, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi, Diego Costa, and Zlatan Ibrahimović. Suárez scored 31 league goals in 33 appearances for Liverpool FC last season as the English club finished in second place in the Premier League and secured qualification for the Champions League. Hans Krankl, Hristo Stoichkov, Henrik Larsson, and Thierry Henry also joined the Catalan club after winning the prestigious award, and they did not disappoint.

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Leading by example

Leading by example

FC Barcelona’s ace attackers Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr have taken the 2014 World Cup by storm. Both men have inarguably been their national sides’ top performers. Messi has 24 goals in his last 24 Argentina caps, or 32 goals in 36 games in 2014, with 10 assists. In canary yellow, Neymar has outrageously good career statistics, 22 years old, 52 appearances, 35 goals and 20 assists. After the jump are their group stage performances in numbers, including an impressive 92% shot accuracy from Neymar.

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Number of the Day: 100

Number of the Day: 100

FC Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano is on the cusp of making his 100th appearance for Argentina. El Jefecito should accomplish the feat this evening (or afternoon) as the albiceleste take on Iran. Mascherano will become only the fourth Argentine to ever reach a centenary of caps, joining now Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone (106), legendary center-back Roberto Ayala (115) and of course mister indestructible Javier Zanetti (145). Though one day they will all be passed by Lionel Messi, who already at 26 has 87 caps.

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Number of the Day: 1,561

Number of the Day: 1,561

On June 4th, Javier Mascherano scored his first goal since February 25th of 2010, 1,561 days later. It was hardly a pretty goal, but would you really care after such a long time? It was obvious how much his teammates enjoyed the spectacle. Hopefully one day he can finally notch one for Barça.

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Infographic: 100 goals in La Liga

Infographic: 100 goals in La Liga

Despite a rough season, it’s now time to look at the brighter side. FC Barcelona managed to score 100 goals in La Liga. Take a look at the stats of these goals in the infographic right after the jump!

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2013/14 individual league stats

2013/14 individual league stats

After a long and painful season, here’s a look back at the individual stats in the league campaign from the first team players. With the statistics broken down to 14 categories, we could see who former coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino favoured all throughout the season and the reasons that may be behind it. Take a look at the stats provided by Opta Sports after the break.

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Infographic: Luis Enrique’s managerial career

Infographic: Luis Enrique’s managerial career

Check out FC Barcelona boss Luis Enrique’s managerial review with his former teams: Barça B, AS Roma and Celta Vigo. Read more after the jump.

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