It’s this time of the year again, and after their humiliating exit from the previous World Cup in Brazil, Vicente del Bosque wants to get his team back on track to its winning days. Spain will face France in a friendly game and Macedonia in the first qualifying game for the 2016 European Championship. The boss called up Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Pedro Rodríguez and debutant Marc Bartra from the Catalan club. According to Vicente Del Bosque, Gerard Piqué was not called up because he still has some “discomfort” and is not yet “fully fit.”
Brazilian full back Douglas Pereira has arrived at Barcelona’s El Prat airport this morning, and he’s already spoken to Barça TV of his excitement in joining the Catalan club. “This is the pinnacle for me – this is everything I could wish for. I am so happy to be able to represent this club. I want to thank everyone involved in me coming here and I just hope I can return their confidence in me on the pitch.” More from the newest signing after the jump.
CASILLAS, HIERRO, SANCHÍS, AND GENTO WERE THE ‘INNOCENT’ HANDS FOR THE VERY PRO-MADRID DRAW
FLORENTINO’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
THE MERENGUE GROUP MADE UP OF:
- R. MADRID
- EASIEST TEAM FROM POT 2
- EASIEST TEAM FROM POT 3
- EASIEST TEAM FROM POT 4
PEREZ: “In the next draw, there won’t even be balls… I will just point out what I want on the blackboard”
Newly signed Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić spoke in Thursday’s press conference ahead of Sunday’s away game against Villareal CF opining that, “It’ll be difficult because Marcelino makes his teams work very hard, but we just have to focus on ourselves. We’re very positive about the trip”. Rakitić also felt that “it is very important for people to realise that we’re making progress. There have been a lot of changes to the team in every area, but you can tell that we’re constantly improving.” More from the new signing after the jump.
Barcelona B trio Fabrice Ondoa (18), Macky Frank Bagnack (19) and Jean Marie Dongou (19) have been included in the 25-man squad announced by Cameroon’s national coach Volker Finke for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, against the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Ivory Coast, next month. Alex Song has been left out, as he remains suspended following his sending off in Cameroon’s second group match against Croatia at the FIFA World Cup in June.
Moments ago, FC Barcelona’s 2014/15 group stage challengers were made official. From the scary pot 2, Barça were joined by Paris Saint-Germaine (PSG), a significantly strong opponent with a certain familiar face. For the second year running, Ajax came out of Pot 3, while Cypriot club APOEL Nicosia from pot 4 completed Group F.
São Paulo FC fans all over Brazil are lauding the efforts of club directors after off-loading right back Douglas Pereira, whom many fans considered a liability and not worthy of a starting place on their beloved team. To be fair, Dani Alves is also seen by many Brazilians in a similar light domestically, but how one performs from team to team can sometimes provide quite the study in contrast. While assurances of his defensive abilities are plentiful online, numbers from Opta Sports compiled by ESPN Brasil do a little bit more to dispel the worries of non-Portuguese-speaking culés frantically combing the internet for more on who exactly this Douglas character is and what he could possibly offer on a right flank that has been so dominantly deputized by Dani Alves and to a far lesser extent, Martín Montoya.
São Paulo’s Douglas Pereira (24) is set to sign for Barça this weekend, making him the sixth Brazilian full back signed by the Catalan club this century. The full back position has been filled by a Brazilian ever since Juliano Belletti and Sylvinho wore the blaugrana shirts back in 2004. Remarkably, Belletti and Sylvinho were also products of the Brazilian club São Paulo. Culés around the world will never forget Belletti’s winner against Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris. Sylvinho also featured both in the 2006 and the 2009 Champions League winning squad.
August 27, 2014