At the start of preseason on July 14th, new Barça manager Luis Enrique only had eight first team players available. For that reason, Lucho called up 16 Barcelona B players in order to make up for the numbers in the initial double sessions. Now that number has been trimmed down to eight B team hopefuls, who are hoping to convince the new Barça coach that they are worthy of a first team spot. Read on to find out those who are still standing…
Today’s morning session was no different from any other day’s, with the exception that today the team welcomed its newest member, Jéremy Mathieu. The towering French defender was given a warm welcome by his new teammates and then trained under Luis Enrique’s orders for the first time, just a day after he was officially presented as an FC Barcelona player. More after the jump.
FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta (30) underlined in a recent interview that captaining games is a thing to enjoy and that the moments “make you feel happy and proud.” As a former La Masia wonderkid and long time first team member, Iniesta values the privilege of wearing the captain armband. “For people who have been at home here for a long time and have been part of the grassroots here, being captain of the first team has always been in your dreams.”
Sports director, Andoni Zubizarreta and vice-president Jordi Mestre presented FC Barcelona’s new center back Jérémy Mathieu on Thursday. Zubi had only good words for Mathieu describing him as, “a player that used to play on the left and has adapted his play to be a center back.” He added that, “he’s good at playing out from the back, he’s powerful and he has quality. We didn’t just sign a great center back, we signed a great footballer.”
A lot has happened for former FC Barcelona star Deco in the last 12 months. He retired from the game just a month before being charged with doping, leading people to think the two events were related. But Deco took the doping issue to the Court of Sport Arbitration (CAS), had his sampled retested and in May this year was cleared of all charges with CAS finding no metabolic steroids or markers in the sample. The lab in Rio was further suspended by CAS for sloppy testing procedures.
Tonight Deco will be honored in a testimonial match held at FC Porto’s Estádio do Dragão that sees “Barça 2006″ take on “Porto 2004″, the two sides Deco lifted the Champions League with. To boot, both José Mourinho and Frank Rijkaard will manage the sides.
The one major absentee is Ronaldinho, who was refused permission to attend the match by his club Atlético Miniero. But there are still the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Carles Puyol and of course Juliano Belletti. The game kicks off at 20:30 CET. Full squads below.
Jérémy Mathieu (30) was finally presented to the media as a Barça player after lengthy negotiations with his former club, Valencia. The Frenchman explained that although it has come late in his career, he is very grateful and excited to join the Catalan club. “I think I’m currently playing the best football of my career. I am very proud, I have worked very hard to come here.” He later added, “I’m a versatile player, but I feel more comfortable as a centre back, I’ve come here to play as a centre back.” More from Barça’s newest signing after the jump.
Former Barcelona and Real Madrid players will be taking part in a Clásico Legends Match on September 11th at Marlins Park in Miami.
In an interview with the Miami Herald magazine, Luis Figo spoke about the intentions behind the game. “We are a group of friends who at one time were rivals and we want to give the local fans some joy. We know the love that exists for these two clubs in Miami and hope everyone leaves happy.”
Disgraced former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell gave his testimony in the Neymar proceedings on July 22 and it must be said he did nothing to redeem himself. For the most part it appears his declarations added next to nothing to the case. Rosell continued to maintain that the transfer fee for Neymar was 57 million euros and explained the difference to the total 86 million of the entire “operation” in exactly the same manner the club did in January (10 million – pre-contract, 2.5 million – agent commissions, 4 million – publicity payments, 2.5 million – charitable amounts, 7.9 million – options on three Santos players and 2 million – legal costs for Neymar’s father’s company). The baffling part comes after the jump.
FC Barcelona players who were knocked out of the World Cup’s group stages have today arrived at the club for their first day of training. The players completed the same medical and fitness tests their teammates went through on the 14th of July and will soon join them and Luis Enrique on the pitch.
The eight internationals are Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro Rodríguez, Alex Song and Ivan Rakitić.
July 24, 2014
July 23, 2014