Catalan Keita or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sergi Roberto

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We live in a world where romanticism is on the wane. The ‘beautiful game’ is no different. The scholars, the free thinkers, the poets of the sport – the César Luis Menotti’s, the Jorge Valdano’s – are a dying breed, their voices silenced, anachronistic even, in light of a singular, objective truth: Numbers. And when it comes to statistics, trophies reign supreme. They validate the endeavors of the game’s luminaries, quantifying their greatness or, by contrast, serve as a source of amusement when it comes to ‘lesser’ players – who can forget that Bebé has lifted the the Premier League trophy more times than Steven Gerrard? Or that Djimi Traoré has a Champions League medal to his name? Even closer to home, Douglas Pereira is a treble winner.

Sergi Roberto fits neither of these descriptors. Not even his most ardent fan would claim that he is amongst the best in the world for his position – or even has the potential to be – while one would be similarly reticent to relegate him to the bracket of footballing caricatures. Five years after his first-team debut with Barça, he remains an unknown quantity. And yet, the man who arrived as a 14-year-old boy from Tarragona has ten major trophies to his name, including three La Liga trophies and two Champions League’s medals.

Has there ever been a player so highly decorated and inconspicuous in equal measure?

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (18.7.2015)

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (18.7.2015)

Barcelona votes

109,367 socios are called to the ballot-boxes

Bartomeu, Laporta, Benedito and Freixa aspire to preside over the club for the next 6 years

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The Front: Sport (18.7.2015)

The Front: Sport (18.7.2015)

MAY BARCELONA WIN!

109,367 socios will decide the President of Barça for the next 6 years today

Luis Enrique will decide on the goalkeeper after the tour

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Evolution in the Real Madrid goalkeeping situation

Name of Madrid’s Keeper 2014/15: Casillas

Name of Madrid’s Keeper 2015/16: Casilla

Name of Madrid’s Keeper 2016/17: Casill

Name of Madrid’s Keeper 2017/18: Casil

Name of Madrid’s Keeper 2018/19: Casi (Almost)

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Picture of the day: Week one down

Picture of the day: Week one down

The first week’s training is done and dusted. Sunday, the lads are off to California.

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Billion Dollar Barcelona

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The election of Barcelona’s new president is close, closer than some would’ve thought. At the beginning of the year, when Barcelona were going through a mini crisis of sorts, many a pundit pegged former President Joan Laporta to win the election by default. But after Luis Enrique guided the blaugrana to an unlikely treble, erstwhile interim President Josep Maria Bartomeu is poised to win the upcoming elections, albeit by a narrow margin.

During his campaign Bartomeu made claims that under his supervision, Barcelona could generate one billion Euro in annual revenues by the time his mandate expires in 2021. Yup, that’s one and nine zeros attached to it. To that end Bartomeu is looking to increase and improve the facilities of the Camp Nou and redevelop the surrounding area – the Espai Barcelona. The glamorous project Bartomeu and his administration is hell-bent on realizing.

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Arda Turan, Rafinha, perhaps even Paul Pogba: a totalBarça-The Secret Footballer team up

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totalBarça recently teamed up with The Secret Footballer, The Guardian’s man inside the game seeking to lift the lid on football one story at a time. Our very own Sameer Riyaz had a chance to sit down with an editor for The Secret Footballer and answer a few questions in an effort to make sense of the whirlwind events rapidly transpiring in Catalunya. The interview is reproduced in it’s entirety below.

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Café con leche: There can only be one

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Joan Laporta on….many things

In a little over a day Barcelona’s socios will elect a new president. Therefore, it is only logical that the candidates are making a final push to sway voters. One of the favorites to win the election, Joan Laporta, has been known to be a fierce critic of the previous administration. Naturally, the charismatic lawyer goes out of his way to articulate his dissatisfaction with his main rival, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who also happens to be the most recent Barcelona president, although technically not elected.

“Being on trial accused of corruption, tax evasion and fraud, he’s isn’t exactly in a strong position to be elected club president.”

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The Front: Sport (17.7.2015)

The Front: Sport (17.7.2015)

THE PLANS OF LUIS ENRIQUE

He will start with strong physical training in order to be in top shape for the Club World Cup

There will be rotations in order to avoid a reduction in intensity, as in the case of Madrid

Special training for Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, with friendlies so that they can play

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (17.7.2015)

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (17.7.2015)

End of the campaign

Rakuten, the other sponsor of Bartomeu

Laporta, a desperate attack

Benedito insists on a “no” to Qatar

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