Four decades later, a thank-you note to Mr. Cruyff

August 13, 1973.

Almost exactly 43 years ago, Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona agreed to terms and Johan Cruyff signed a record transfer fee to become a Barça player. Cruyff was insistent that he end up in the Catalan capital, going so far as to threaten a boycott of the 1974 World Cup to pressure the Dutch federation into cooperating with his exit from the Netherlands.

Barring some manner of omniscience, nobody involved in brokering that deal for Barça truly knew how important Cruyff was destined to become. If they had known, they may well have paid even more.

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Bravo makes way for better things

It would be quite hard to think whether Barça would’ve achieved what they’ve achieved had they not had someone as great as Claudio Bravo back between the posts these past two years. Since the frightening days of Victor Valdes and his epic back up Pinto; Barça had been starving over a reliable goalie for the past decade. These worries became almost normal for a Culé back in the day. Heck, it almost felt like a challenge to see how good our defence line is every time we fielded Pinto on the pitch.

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Managing Anticipation: Our Hopes and Dreams for the New Season

Being one game into our 2016/2017 campaign it is a fair time to look ahead and see what we have in store for us, the good Culés of the world that lose sleep over a spherical object not reaching an anticipated net. Also known as fans, we all share one thing in common in August – none of us are losers. At least not yet. We spend the summer first either rejoicing and basking in the glory, for a few, or analyzing what went wrong, for the rest.

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Is this the end for Halilović?

On Thursday the 21st of July, Barcelona and Hamburg reached an agreement for the sale of 20-year-old Alen Halilović for 5 million euros. Barcelona have the option to buy the Croatian back over the next two seasons for 10 million euros as well as the first option to purchase the player for as long as he is at the German club, but is this the end of Halilović’s Barça dream?

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Interview: The Maestro on Barça, coaching and more

Xavi Hernández was never a man of many words. Whenever the former Barcelona midfield puppet master spoke to the press, he did so to offer some words of wisdom and to offer opinions that always echoed the voice of logic. Xavi, now ready to begin his second season with Qatar’s Al-Sadd sat down with SPORT journalist Javier Miguel before joining his team’s preseason training in Austria for a comprehensive interview. TotalBarça is bringing you the whole interview in English.

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Is this Messi’s final chapter at Barça?

“When I stop enjoying football, I’ll retire” – Lionel Messi, 2012.

Over the years, you look at the players that’ve come and gone, those that gave you joy and pride. You look back and think how it was only like yesterday, they put on their retro-looking jersey for the very first time and stormed the field like wildfire. And for the majority of those players, the ending creeped up over us like a scavenger on a hunt without us even realising it. So let’s take a moment to study the current facts.

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Umtiti is the real deal

Barcelona have started July by announcing Samuel Umtiti and Denis Suárez as the club’s first summer signings ahead of the 2016-17 season. Although culés did have an idea of Denis’ game, with the Galician having starred with Barça B in 2014, Umtiti’s capture for €25 million did raise a few eyebrows, given that the Frenchman was an unknown quality to many.

That’s exactly why Thursday’s EURO 2016 semifinal meeting between Umtiti’s France and world champions Germany was mightily important to Umtiti’s future in the blaugrana shirt. In his second start for the national side, Umtiti literally had 90 minutes to win the hearts of the most demanding set of fans in the world. And boy how well he did.

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Leo, we will always be with you

Better late than never. We did not voice an opinion on Leo Messi apart from some on-point comments on social media, but the little genius deserves a piece from totalBarça following Argentina’s umpteenth big tournament failure. Leo has put an end to his time with the Albiceleste and the fallout stemming from his decision is still sending shockwaves across the footballing world, even with Wales and Iceland garnering heaps of attention for their indelible displays in Europe.

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Two years in, Luis Enrique needs to begin planning for the future

With the signing of Samuel Umtiti, the return of Denis Suárez, and the imminent renewal of Javier Mascherano, Barça fans seem relatively happy about the start of the transfer window so far. While the rest of the window may yield a different conclusion, these first few signings hint at an interesting question: is Luis Enrique finally ready to plan for Barça’s long-term future?

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Don’t let Messi down again

An open letter to the Argentine National Football Team:

Hey fellas, how’re you all doing? Tata, it’s been a while. Hope life outside of Barcelona is treating you well.

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