FC Barcelona and Argentine international Javier Mascherano spoke to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport recently ahead of tonight’s clash against FC Barcelona’s erstwhile Italian rivals, AC Milan. Though his comments were brief, Mascherano was perceptive and sharp, as usual–read on below to see what El Jefecito had to say.
totalBarça welcomes you all to the UEFA Champions League game of the 2013-14 campaign between FC Barcelona and AC Milan!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 20:45 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
ADRIANO GALLIANI: “BARCELONA IN CRISIS?”
“WE ARE DONE FOR IN THE ITALIAN LEAGUE, THEY PLAY US OUT OF PITY”
“OUR BIGGEST STAR IS WANDERING AROUND LIKE A SHEEP, AND OUR BIGGEST STRENGTH IS KAKÁ.”
Cartoon by Caye
November 6, 2013 marks a mini-milestone for FC Barcelona. Today is the date 100 days since Neymar’s debut for the club. The Brazilian starlet made his debut on July 30, in a friendly match against Lechia Gdánsk in Poland, when he replaced Alexis in the 78th minute. He has since played 15 official matches for the club, scoring three official goals and assisting another seven for his teammates, while demonstrating a wonderful understanding with the world’s number one player, Leo Messi.
Neymar and Alexis Sánchez are both poised to start alongside Leo Messi in the Champions League match against Milan, given their fine form and large contribution to Barça’s derby win against Espanyol. The two still miss a significant landmark in terms of their stats: scoring in the UEFA Champions League (UCL).
FC Barcelona player and Brazilian International Daniel Alves was the player selected to face the media at last night’s press conference before the UEFA Champions League match against AC Milan. “Every year we face each other at some stage, historically, Milan are a very big team and when a team has the history that they do, you have to respect them regardless of them not having the best time of it right now. They never seem to be having a great time of it when we meet, but they have always presented us with extremely tough challenges“ the full-back said about the Italian side.
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino named 20 players to the match squad for tonight’s UEFA Champions League match against AC Milan. The best bit of news for the blaugrana side is that left back and Brazilian international Adriano Correia was named to the squad. He missed last Friday’s derby against Espanyol due to muscle fatigue in his left hamstring.
First things first. Gerardo Martino made a point before the press conference kicked off to send his words of support to Jonathan Dos Santos, so here they are: “I want to send him my regards and all of our support. I hope he has a speedy recover.”
But things quickly moved onto the match at hand. “It’s of vital importance to us seeing that we’re on the verge of qualifying.” Martino is refusing to take into consideration AC Milan’s domestic woes. “I have a lot of respect for the club and players of Milan. If you don’t play well, they can hurt you. We need to have a very good game to win the three points.”
The fans’ support will be very important for Leo to break his goals drought
Barça will try to achieve a victory which would mean their qualification and Neymar, his first goal in Champions
Barça – Milan (20.45h)
The secret clause of Alves’ contract
Guardiola keeps breaking records
The coach uses his irony to defend himself from the criticism
“Milan in crisis? We are in crisis as well”
“I don’t know what will happen if we lose, I’m watching war movies”
Allegri: “Barça’s monotony is that they always win”
Milan – Barça (20.45). Victory and to the round of 16. Messi, against one of his favourite victims
Under pressure boss Massimo Allegri is likely fighting for more than points tonight at the Camp Nou. While the AC Milan boss has been on the verge of losing his job for two straight seasons, the threat seems as real as ever lately. I may not know enough of the details, but I’ve always felt Allegri is getting overly criticized. AC Milan are in dire financial situations, their contentious owner Silvio Berlusconi is neither pumping as much money as before with his business dealings suffering nor does he have as much time to devote to the club with his numerous legal battles and as a result the squad was forced to sell several of their true class players. While the Milan starting eleven is still competitive, the squad is not deep. Not to mention Allegri has had a lot of injury issues this season. But this is the world of football and in some respects Allegri has been given fair time.
The Milan boss sat down at the Camp Nou press room yesterday evening and made no bones about how his team is going to set up. “We will have our chance if we play well defensively, like in the first game against Barça.”
FC Barcelona faces AC Milan Wednesday in what is perhaps the most opportune time to do so in their previous eight encounters over the past three UEFA Champions League seasons. Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is on the ropes with his job on the line, having struggled to keep his team above mid-table so far this season. The Rossoneri, undergoing their worst league start in over three decades, are pointless in their last three matches in Serie A, and have not won in Champions League Group H since hosting Celtic on Matchday 1. The situation for the Italians is so dire that they must keep tabs on what happens in Amsterdam between AFC Ajax and Celtic FC (who trail Milan by two points) if the Round of 16 is even to be considered.
With both Barça and Milan not looking anywhere near their best the last time they faced at the San Siro in Matchday 3, the spoils will go to whomever can show they took away something useful from the match. Both teams had their fair share of bad luck in front of net and if either side’s regular goal scorers can prove even the slightest bit more focused, a spectacular clash awaits the Camp Nou faithful.
Now that his new English club can actually spell, and presumably pronounce, his name correctly, Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu has been busy making an even bigger name for himself on the football pitch. The Barcelona youngster played for nearly 30 minutes in Everton’s weekend match against Tottenham, and after the game his Spanish manager Robert Martínez was full of praise: “Gerard Deulofeu will explode in January. He’s won the confidence and admiration of all of us, and even though he wants to play more, we have a vision for his role in the team. We have big expectations of what he will bring to the squad in the next six or seven months.”
Stay glued to totalBarca for updates about Deulofeu and other Barça loanees as the season unfolds.
Jonathan Dos Santos underwent surgery on his right knee today, following the injury he suffered in training on October 23. The operation was carried about by doctors Joan Carles Monilau and Richard Pruna without any complications. Dos Santos is expected to be out for between six and seven months.
We at totalBarça wish Jonathan a successful and speedy recovery.
After 12 rounds of La Liga, FC Barcelona forward Neymar Jr. leads the standing of the league’s top assist providers, with seven. Two other blaugrana players are among the top six, Lionel Messi (5th) and Cesc Fàbregas(6th) each with four assists.
In total these three FC Barcelona players gave 15 assists, they also have scored 15 goals. Barça is obviously the overall La Liga leader, but it is also the only club in Spain to have three players in the top 10 assist chart. Real Madrid have two players with Garteth Bale (four assists) and Cristiano Ronaldo (three).
November 5, 2013