Barça’s Juvenil A team will be contesting its first UEFA Youth League final ever on Monday, after a narrow win over Schalke. Jordi Vinyals’ boys beat the Germans 1-0 at Nyon’s Colovray Stadium thanks to a 72-minute strike by the usual suspect, Munir El Haddadi, setting up a final meeting with Benfica, who earned an impressive 4-0 win over Real Madrid in the first semi. Read more after the jump.
Barcelona B earned a very hard-fought victory against Numancia on Sunday, despite the fact that the 3-0 scoreline tells a very different story. Eusebio’s men were made to labor by their guests, with the final scoreline coming courtesy of a rare day of absolute effectiveness exhibited by the reserves’ front three. Jean Marie Dongou, Sandro and substitute Adama Traoré got the goals for Eusebio’s team, who managed to completely change the face of the match with his second-half changes.
Eusebio Sacristán was this week’s guest on Barça TV’s show ‘ADN Barça.’ The Barcelona B coach said that the his team’s season is “very positive, the Segunda División is very well balanced, and we are doing things well… Barça B’s objective is to finish first, that is the team mentality, that we have to persevere until the very final minute in order to get the best possible result,” added the coach. Read the full translation of the interview after the jump.
“LA MASIA NO ES TOCA” read the unmissable flag prior to the Real Betis match kick-off. This bold and brazen move by the club was unmistakably both a message to the fans as well as to a certain footballing institution. Thursday’s blockbuster press conference saw president Josep Maria Bartomeu follow two main narratives: The dark forces and the club’s immense displeasure with FIFA for attacking the practices of La Masia. “La Masia is not to be touched. It is a model that made us world leaders in football for the last ten years.”
Barcelona B have essentially secured their Liga Adelante spot for next year. However Eusebio’s team is still long from securing their continuation in the Spanish second level mathematically, but in theory that issue should be dead and buried, as it would a spectacular, film-like turn of events in the league for Barça B to find themselves in danger. Anyway, the reserves have proven that their place lies nowhere but in the Liga Adelante, as their results against the biggest teams in La Segunda have shown just that. Last week, they held league leaders Eibar at bay away from home, and should had they been a little more careful they could have walked away from Ipurua with the full three points in the bag.
That win didn’t come though, and Barça B still need some more points to put any doubts regarding their status for next year to bed. Next up for them is one of the toughest, if not the toughest teams in the League. Numancia is La Segunda’s third best defensive line, meaning that Barça B’s forwards would need to be at their very best (which hasn’t been the case for most of this season) if they are to get past the Numantinos.
Thanks to goals from Munir El Haddadi (2) and Elohor Godswill, FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A defeated Damm with three goals to one and became the División de Honor champions. The team is managed by Jordi Vinyals and has been performing magnificently this season, with El Haddadi proving to be a great prospect. The focus now turns to the UEFA Youth League in Nyon where the team will face Schalke 04 in the competition’s semifinal.
Good luck to our young champions!
Weekend 29-30 March
Video Credit: FC Barcelona
Do you know many center-backs with the ability to swing in accurate free-kicks, in Andrea Pirlo style, time and time again? I don’t know many, but FC Barcelona may have one of those extraordinary center-backs with such uncanny ability. 18-year-old Carlos Blanco has been the author of many spectacular goals during his eight years as a blaugrana. The odds are that in each compilation of the best goals of the season in the academy, you’ll see at least one of his pearlers. Recently, he has added another two to the collection with an audacious lob from the halfway line away to Damm and a spectacular long-range free-kick against Gavà. Surely, there is no one at La Masia possessing such accuracy and power in the shot as the 18-year-old centerback, captain and undisputed leader of the Juvenil B, Carlos Blanco.
Barcelona B have managed to return to winning ways after last week’s draw against 2nd placed Deportivo, with a hard fought 2-1 win against second-bottom Alavés. The Blaugrana had a host of chances to open the scoring, but they were the ones to concede first, after a comical situation in defence. Nonetheless, they still managed to fight back, with Sandro and Denis Suárez providing the goals the turn the game on its head. With 44 points, Barça B are currently holding a playoff spot (6th), and the odds are that they will win there unless 9th placed Numancia win away to Hércules on Sunday. This should be the best mental boost for the team ahead of next week’s trip to leaders Eibar.
FC Barcelona has witnessed a lot of stealing done from the club’s backyard. La Masia’s pearls have been lured to other countries, with the club simply unable to do anything about it. In the past summer they witnessed three of these cases, with Josimar (Chelsea), Pleguezuelo (Arsenal) and Canós (Liverpool), all opting for the big money of the Premier League. However, this time around, the club has succeeded in tying down one of the biggest assets of the youth system, Seung Woo Lee. This must be considered as a victory for the club, as Lee had the freedom to choose whichever team he wanted for his first professional contract, just like all other canteranos who are not 18 yet, due to Spanish laws.
Barcelona B are well on course to secure yet another season in the Liga Adelante. The reserves earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw away at title contenders Deportivo, and earned yet another point in the battle against relegation. This week, Eusebio’s men are back at home, where they will face a struggling Alavés team. The Babazorros are second-bottom in the league, while also having one of La Segunda’s worst defensive records, having let in 42 goals from 30 games. Nonetheless, Barça B will still need to be at their best to beat the Basques, who are in desperate need of the three points. They do know how to do it, having won 3-2 at the Mendizorroza earlier in the season. The outcome undoubtedly depends on the Blaugranas.
15-16 March 2014
Featuring goals by Aleix Garrido and Adrià Capdevila (Benjamín A), Maxi Rolón and Alain Ebwelle (Juvenil A),and Pau Servat (Alevín D)
This year’s Juvenil A team is probably one of the best ever. Jordi Vinyals’ team managed to beat Arsenal 4-2 at the Miniestadi on Tuesday night, sealing their passage to the Final Four of the UEFA Youth League, which is to be staged between 11-14 April in the Swiss city of Nyon. El Haddadi and Co. will face German team Schalke, who snatched a brave 3-1 win away to Chelsea.
It was never going to be easy to beat Arsenal of course, with the ‘Gunners’ boasting one of the best academy systems in the world. The English team started with three ex-Blaugranas in their starting XI (Jon Toral, Héctor Bellerín, Julio Pleguezuelo), as well as Serge Gnabry, who played in the first team’s match against Bayern Munich last week.
The FC Barcelona youth system maintains high standards throughout, yet there are some teams that really stand out with their quality. The Alevín A team, coached by Marc Serra, have added yet another trophy to their collection. The Blaugrana boys cruised through the Torneo Internacional Fallas Burriana, picking up the cup and each one of the individual awards, also scoring 26 goals and conceding just one in six matches over the course of the tournament, which was held in the Valencian Community this weekend. Read on for details.
Barcelona B couldn’t carry on winning this weekend, but still managed to snatch away a point from second place Deportivo at the Riazor. Eusebio’s men got to the pitch with absolutely no fear of the opposition, actually managing to be better than the opponent for large periods of time. The Blaugranas had more clear-cut chances than El Dépor, yet their eternal Achilles heel, wastefulness in front of goal, prevented them from leaving Galicia with all three points. Still, a point away from home against a titel challenger in the Liga Adelante is quite a feat for Barça B, who continue to rise to the league standards. They are now seventh with 41 points, though they should expect to drop just outside the top-ten, with most teams around them playing today.
Read the following description: He was born in Barcelona and began playing football at the FCB Escola. His family moved to Pamplona though, and he signed for Osasuna. There he exploded, with some of Spain’s big team’s battling for his services. He rejected Real Madrid´s and Athletic´s offers to return to the only team that lies in his heart, Barça. The perfect culé?
The one you read about above is Robert Navarro, a promising midfielder playing for Barça’s Alevín A side, who, quite curiously, will miss the chance of watching the only teams of his short career line-up against each other at the Camp Nou. Marc Serra’s Alevín A team has be out of town for the Burriana International Tournament, which is be played this weekend in Burriana, a town in the Valencian province. Serra’s boys will have to win the trophy, something that Take, Anssu, Eric and Co. failed to do last year.
Barcelona B earned yet another win last week, and now seem to be cruising away from relegation definitely. However, with 13 more games to play, things have to be secured with exact mathematical accuracy, and therefore, the more points the reserves collect, the more comfortable they’ll be. This weekend, Eusebio’s men face a special challenge. The Blaugranas now face the mission of conquering the Riazor, after conquering the Romareda and Son Moix earlier in the season. Only one thing stands in their way: the once almighty Deportivo de La Coruña, who is pushing hard for the league title this season. Read more after the jump.
FC Barcelona B left it late to score the winner in their match against SD Ponferradina, but all that counts for them are the three points. The reserves scored the only goal of the game in stoppage time, through a Sandro Ramírez penalty, yet that was just what they deserved. Eusebio Sacristán’s team was focused throughout the match, dominating proceedings, and the fact that the scoring was not opened sooner was down to the visitors’ keeper and their own wastefulness. All is well in the end though, as the B team has now climbed to 40 points and into the top ten, six points clear of the relegation zone. Read on for more.
FC Barcelona B midfielder Javi Espinosa is set to miss three weeks of action after injuring his knee in the B team’s victory against SD Ponferradina. The midfielder was stretchered off 43 minutes into the match following an awkward twist of the knee, and replaced by Adama Traoré, after he attempted to return to action following first aid. Medical tests carried out by the club have revealed that the 21-year-old has sustained a Grade 1-2 sprain to his left knee’s medial collateral ligament. Espinosa will undergo conservative treatment in the coming weeks, missing Barça B’s matches against Deportivo de la Coruña, Deportivo Alavés and SD Éibar.
Javi Espinosa has played 26 of the club’s 28 league matches this season, scoring 5 goals and setting up his team-mates for another 4.
Sergi Samper (19) was the special guest on the Barça TV show ‘Promeses,’ where he celebrated his 10-year anniversary as an FC Barcelona youth player. The Barça B midfielder looked back on his ten years as a Blaugrana, during which he has assimilated the Barça philosophy fully, which has brought him at stage at which he’s working towards his first team debut.
Samper arrived at Barça aged 6, to take part in the FCBEscola courses. Two years later, he entered the youth ranks, playing for Benjamín B. Fast forward ten years and he’s one of the most promising players at La Masia. Read Samper’s quotes from his appearance on the show after the jump.
Barcelona B play host to Ponferradina this weekend and as always, their goal will be to earn the full three points. The team now finds itself at a crucial point in the season, in a period that will determine whether going forward there is still danger of relegation. Barça B are doing quite well at the moment, being on the verge of breaking the 40-point mark. They still need some more points to guarantee safety though, as the experiences of recent years have taught us that the ‘magic’ points total that secures safety in the Liga Adelante is on average 47 points. Yet this season, with things so tight in the bottom half of the league, a team would perhaps need 50 points at minimum to feel entirely safe. Barcelona B are close, and the sooner they get those points the better.
Ponferradina will be by no means an easy obstacle to overcome though. La Ponfe beat Eusebio Sacristán’s men early in the season, and surely if Barça B take the match lightly, they will be punished. Traditionally, Barça B-Ponferradina matches are evenly matched. Last year’s matches saw both teams win at home against each other, with the blaugranas winning 1-0 in Barcelona and the team from Castile and León taking a 3-2 win at El Toralín.
FC Barcelona’s first team will have a lot of players absent on international duty and the youth teams will also have to deal with absences, with quite a large number of players picked for their respective countries for the international friendlies scheduled this week.
Barça B’s Sergi Gómez and Denis Suárez have been picked by Spain U-21 coach Julen Lopotegui for the friendly against Germany in Palencia. First team player Sergi Roberto and Gerard Deulofeu are also on the squad list. Barça B will also be unable to count on Sandro, Munir El Haddadi, Alejandro Grimaldo and Adama Traore, who have been picked by Spain’s U-19s for a friendly in Holland.
Alen Halilovic is not going to be the only Dinamo Zagreb prodigy to sport the Blaugrana jersey next year. His 16-year-old brother Dino, equally talented and followed by giants of European football, will also enter the Blaugrana ranks next year, and will most likely play with Jordi Vinyals’ Juvenil A team. Read more about the Halilovic brothers after the jump!
Barcelona B gave new man Lluís Carreras a nightmare debut as coach of Mallorca, with the blaugranas getting away with all three points in a bizarre match, which saw two of the hosts’ platers getting sent off inside the first half. Sandro Ramírez and Javi Espinosa put the visitors two up inside the first twenty minutes, giving Mallorca a massive uphill task to recovery, with the islanders barely managing to get a late consolation. The win could prove crucial for Barça B, who have taken a decisive step away from the relegation zone, now finding themselves in the top half of the league table for the first time since October. They have now gone to 37 points which puts them five clear of danger, so if they can get together some more wins in the next few matches they should survive quite comfortably.
FC Barcelona B are at dangerous crossroads at the moment. Eusebio Sacristán’s team is not in the relegation zone, but they are not safe either meaning that the next few games will prove to be crucial. The reserves face a difficult trip to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca to face the local team. The Blaugranas need the three points but will not have an easy task ahead of them against a team that was only relegated a year ago.