August is generally a month of important dates for FC Barcelona. Following the 25-year anniversary of Ronald Koeman’s debut on the first of August, August 3rd brings yet another landmark date: The debut of another Flying Dutchman, Johan Neeskens. Neeskens was one of Johan Cruyff’s most trusted teammates at Barça and made his debut some 40 years ago, on the day of the official inauguration of the José Rico Pérez stadium in Alicante. The former midfielder played the second half as his team won 4-0 against their hosts Hércules. Read more…
Martín Montoya had to be substituted Saturday during Barcelona’s friendly against OGC Nice, causing a lot of anxiety for the coaching staff. The right-back suffered a tough blow to his ankle following a challenge from Nice’s Jordan Amavi, which left him in a lot of pain and eventually forced him off, leaving his place to Patric.
However, the club have announced that the Masia graduate is lucky to have gotten away with just a bruised ankle. The player’s availability for upcoming matches will depend on the evolution of the injury. Should Montoya be unable to make Wednesday’s friendly against Napoli in Berne, it is almost certain that Barça B’s Patric will replace the 23-year-old, given that Dani Alves is still on holiday.
New FC Barcelona goal keeper Marc-André ter Stegen (22) is enjoying his first few days as a blaugrana. “It’s all perfect, much better than I expected,” Ter Stegen told the official site in Birmingham. When asked about his current team-mates and training facilities, Marc said, “What Barça do for us is incredible. It’s all perfectly organised, much more professional than at Mönchengladbach, and I just hope we have a good season. My team-mates have been very welcoming, they’re supporting me. And we all get on well off the pitch, and that’s also important… The facilities are perfect and being here has been a great chance for us to talk and laugh together.”
Read more statements from the Barcelona stopper after the jump.
Barcelona’s second preseason friendly ended in a draw with a penalty kick on each side, with most of the senior players and the newly signed ones playing their first game. But besides the club’s new stars, there was a lot of focus on the younger players, some of whom who showed great promise such as Gerard Deulofeu, Marc Bartra and Sergi Samper. Check out what the young men had to say about the new players, the new coach and the rest of the team after the jump.
Barça’s 1-1 draw against Nice yesterday evening may have left Luis Enrique with as many questions as answers. Lucho noted that the result “matters least” and that the purpose of the games “are for seeing where each player is and telling each of them what they’ll need to improve.” Concerning the new signings, he stressed “we’re going the logical, correct, way about things. We can’t expect too much before the season has even started.” He also said that he hoped “all the players with me now are still here at the end of the season” but did not deny questions from the media on the possibility of new faces arriving before the end of August.
These were his comments on the game itself. Not pleased with the first half, Luis Enrique highlighted “players not knowing how to make use of space.” But he was more enamored with the second half, “we created more chances by playing well.” What was blatantly obvious to many an observer, including the new manager, was the enormous influence Xavi Hernández had when coming on. “Right now he’s back to his best both in terms of fitness and motivation.”
FC Barcelona had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the French Riviera following a match in which the blaugrana had two very different halves. Luis Enrique had the chance to experiment around with players and tactics, and it is certain that the coach wasn’t left disappointed, as the match gave him plenty of food for thought. Read more after the jump…
FC Barcelona’s first team aren’t the only club team having a preseason training camp right now, as Barça B are having their own camp at the luxurious resort of Torremirona, just 40km from the Spanish-French border. Eusebio’s players arrived at the resort yesterday, and had their first session in the presence of eight Juvenil A players who have joined the team for preseason. Read more after the jump.
The LFP has made kick-off times for the two first matchdays of La Liga and the Liga Adelante final. Barcelona will start their bid to get the league title back to the Camp Nou against Elche at home, with the match scheduled for Sunday, August 24, at 21:00 CET.
A week later, the first team will play its first away match for the season, at El Madrigal against Villarreal. That match has been scheduled for Sunday, August 31 at 19:00 CET.
Barça B times after the jump.
August 2, 2014
August 1, 2014