FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke to the Catalan press today about the state of the club and the financial side of its future, including the proposed new stadium, Messi’s contract, and transfer activity this coming summer. Read on below to see what President Bartomeu had to say.
Following a spectacular clásico, FC Barcelona quickly welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou in round 30 of La Liga in their quest to regain the top spot. They are now one point short of top spot leaders Atlético and Real Madrid, and need to win their nine remaining games for any chance to win the league.
The game against Real Madrid is a clear message that Barça are out to take down any team that stands in their way of winning the treble, even when the odds and the predictions say otherwise. However, the problem was never the games against the big teams, or the small teams for that matter. The shocking defeats and draws that brought Real Madrid back into the running came from sudden drops of form, and an unreliability that the team would maintain a high run. So will this bad form resurface against Celta.
totalBarça presents Coach Culé: The Ultimate Prediction Game. Brought to you by Footynews!
This is your chance to prove not only your knowledge about the game of football, but also your Blaugrana insight by cracking the code of Barça’s coaching. It’s time for you to…
Predict FC Barcelona’s Starting Lineup
For upcoming match: FC Barcelona vs Celta de Vigo
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FC Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino spoke in a press conference on Tuesday ahead of Celta Vigo’s game on Wednesday. ‘Tata’ dismissed the rumours about him not seeing out his contract with a clear and simple statement, “I always respect my contracts.” As Barça bounces back in the title race after Sunday’s El Clásico, the Argentine boss is confident that his players will play with the right intensity in the next nine games. Check what the boss had to say after the jump.
On Wednesday FC Barcelona play against Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou for a midweek La Liga encounter. The technical staff have called up the same players as they did for the game against Real Madrid, with the exception of Xavi Hernández. The Catalan midfielder is replaced by Cristian Tello.
Manager Gerardo Martino decided to leave out Oier, Ibrahim Afellay, Martín Montoya and Xavi while Carles Puyol, Jonathan Dos Santos and Isaac Cuenca are still injured.
The complete squad: Valdés, Pinto, Piqué, Fàbregas, Pedro, Iniesta, Alexis, Neymar Jr, Messi, Mascherano, Bartra, Sergio Busquets, Song, Jordi Alba, Tello, Adriano, Dani Alves, Sergi Roberto
There are lots of rumors about what Pepe actually whispered into Messi’s ear during the Clásico [and how Messi responded]. What’s your version of the exchange?
This season has been truly spectacular so far. La Liga has been more of a roller-coaster than what people used to call “a boring two horse race.” After Barça dominated the top spot for most of the season, a slip up in February gave Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid the advantage to fight for that position. But after Sunday’s El Clásico, Barça were back in the title race with only one point separating them from the top two.
But now we enter the final stage of the league, with only nine games left to decide who will be crowned champion come May. These 27 points won’t be for the faint hearted, and if the players were serious about their treble talk, then the next nine games can only end in victory. Check out below each of the three team’s final nine matches, right after the jump.
After Barça’s great triumph at the Bernabéu, calling a winner in La Liga has once again become overly complicated. The Blaugrana is in fact right back into the title mixer, alongside the two Madrid clubs. This weekend, the Primera División has got a new leader, with Atlético Madrid now leading thanks to a superior head-to-head comparison with Real Madrid after their 0-2 win at the Benito Villamarín against a struggling Betis, having won their away match and drawn the home match against the Blancos. The rojiblancos are level on 70 points with Real Madrid, and both clubs will surely feel Barça’s hot breath very strongly, with the Tata Martino’s team just a point behind on 69. What will determine the winner now are the final nine matches.
From this point, it is ‘a game of error’ as Tata called it; this is where all gets exciting. With nine matches left to play, any error will cost dearly. Needless to say, Barça has absolutely no margin for error at all. The Blaugranas are the only ones in the title race not holding their fate in their own hands. From now on each game will be a final; the only options being win or win.
In an interview to El Larguero, Xavi Hernandez dismissed claims that the referee influenced or affected yesterday’s El Clásico negatively as a result of some doubtful/incorrect decisions, after Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo chose to attack the referee and came up with their very own conspiracy theories. “I have not seen the replays, but I believe the referee was fair. They told me later that the penalty by Alves is outside, and we practically did not even protest. I would have whistled what Undiano whistled, that’s the truth. I saw clear penalties,” Xavi said. Barça’s midfielder believed that the Catalan club rightly outplayed the Madrid team, whose 31-game unbeaten run came to an end. “We need to focus on the analysis that Barcelona were superior to Madrid, played better and the result is there,” he said.
With yesterday’s win, FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves (30) has taken his win tally against Real Madrid up to 20 games (12 with Barça and 8 with Sevilla), becoming the player with most wins in history against our rivals. So, what do we love most about our Brazilian right back? His dancing skills? His attacking football? His provocative comments (that, in my opinion, show only love and dedication towards the club)? Or the fact that Real Madrid players probably suffer from nightmares before the game and pray the Brazilian isn’t in the starting lineup? I choose the nightmares part.
Source: @pedritonumeros – Twitter
Gerardo Martino joins a rather esteemed group of FC Barcelona managers with a win at the Santiago Bernabéu in his debut season. This has only happened previously under four managers: Pep Guardiola (2-6, 2008/9), Frank Rijkaard (1-2, 2003/4), Louis van Gaal (2-3, 1997/8) and Terry Venables (0-3, 1984/85). Tata is also only the fourth manager to take the Real Madrid scalp both home and away in his first season, which Guardiola also managed with a 2-0 win, Van Gaal won 3-0 and Venables oversaw a 3-2 win at Camp Nou.
Not to jinx anything, but in each of those seasons Barça finished ahead of Real Madrid, winning the title on each occasion except Rijkaard’s.
You’ve had your chance to rate the performance of the Blaugrana and the results are now tallied up. Take a look at how the totalBarça community ranked the squad and see how the ratings played out.
Image: Miguel Ruiz, fcbarcelona.com
“It’s hard to believe there are Barça fans who don’t believe in us. This team has won the right to the fans’ trust. Sure we’ve had off days, but nobody should think Madrid are going to find us an easy prospect.” This was Andrés Iniesta’s message to the fans before the clásico, the fans who gave up on the team’s title hopes, the fans that called for an entire change in the squad, the fans that outrageously suggested selling Messi. I hope these fans recall what they’ve said and stick with their statements rather than celebrating with the true culés.
Sunday’s El Clásico was a memorable day for culés, the players and most of all for Lionel Messi. Already breaking a triple record that night, Leo reached another milestone after he surpassed Hugo Sánchez’s position in the all-time goal scorers in La Liga chart, and became second with 236 goals with only one man left to beat: Telmo Zarra. It’s true that Messi has now become La Liga’s all-time foreign goalscorer, but that’s still not enough for the little beast as he now needs 16 more goals to surpass the Basque player whose record currently stands at 251. And it’s clear that Messi will reach it. Just last week, the Argentinean surpassed Raúl (228) and Di Stéfano (227). Only question now is, will he break it this season?
16 goals in 9 matches… Challenge accepted?
March 24, 2014