FC Barcelona will have their preseason at St. George’s Park in England between July 28th and August 2nd, 2014. The preseason takes place in the same country as with Pep Guardiola and we hope that this season will be just like Pep’s days. St. George’s Park is the main headquarters of the football association and is located just outside Birmingham. Read on for more details on FCB’s preseason.
Lionel Messi makes appearance 91 in the albiceleste strip tonight, equaling the total of the great El Diego Maradona. At only 27 years old, Messi has a good shot of catching Argentinian cap record holder Javier Zanetti’s incredible total of 145. Despite well documented trials and tribulations with his home nation, Messi has already netted for his country 46 times (almost exactly a goal every other game!), which is eight more than Maradona (though it’s not a fair direct comparison based on several factors).
But there’s only one statistic that truly matters when Leo is put up against Diego, which for now reads 1-0.
It was a bittersweet victory for Brazil after their celebrations were ruined by Neymar Jr’s injury. The hosts clinched a 2-1 win against Colombia, with Thiago Silva, David Luiz, and James Rodríguez claiming the goals. And now, Brazil will face Germany in the 2014 World Cup’s semifinal, but without their star man. Neymar was stretched off in the closing minutes with a fractured vertebrae and is out for at least four weeks, and they’ll have to survive without him.
Juliano Belletti, a former FC Barcelona defender and famously known for his winning goal against Arsenal FC in the 2006 Champions League final in Paris, was interviewed by the club and asked about the World Cup experience, his time at Barça, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. as well as the undergoing changes at the club. Belletti’s goal marked the start of the club’s European success, winning Barça’s second Champions League trophy at the time, and very few can forget that rainy Parisian night. Continue reading for the full interview.
Neymar Jr.’s World Cup run is over after incurring a broken vertebrae in his spine during Friday’s quarterfinal match against Columbia. The Brazilian striker was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after a getting knee in the back from Columbia’s Juan Zuniga during a high flying challenge. This means that Neymar will not be able to participate in the remainder of Brazil’s World Cup matches nor FC Barcelona’s pre-season which runs through August 18.
Not long before Germany finished Germanying France, reports from both sides of the divide (England and Spain) are claiming a deal has been made with Liverpool FC for the transfer of one Luis Suárez. Spanish football insiders Guillem Balague and Graham Hunter are amongst those reporting, with the latter stating that the amount is 79.2 million euros (which agrees quite closely to other sources) and he would sign a five year deal. Indications are that the only area of disagreement remaining is the structure of paying the fee. There is a general consensus that the deal should be made official before the weekend is up.
Well Josep Maria Bartomeu said there would be “profound” changes. He wasn’t lying.
In an interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, Ivan Rakitić, who recently joined the Catalan club from Sevilla FC, stated how excited and motivated he is to be part of a great club like FC Barcelona. The player signed a five-year contract and will wear the number 4 shirt following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola, Patrick Andersson, Rafa Márquez and Cesc Fàbregas. Rakitić expressed his admiration of the current Barça players, hoping that he will be able to both learn and influence them: “I’m really motivated. There are a lot of good players around me, and as well as learning from them, I also hope to help make them even better. I hope to do the best I can to help them with their objectives. In such a great team you have to go for it from the start.” Continue reading for more from the Croatian.
Lionel Messi reflected on the intense second round match-up with Switzerland. He admitted to a case of nerves near the end of the game. “Like everybody I was very nervous because we couldn’t score. We knew if we made a single mistake we would have been going home. We didn’t want it to go to penalties because we were tired… we suffered and suffered, all of us. We started to think it wasn’t going to happen. But at the end we had luck on our side and now we have to take advantage and move on.” Read on for more from Messi.
More sad news for Víctor Valdés, whose departure from FC Barcelona is certainly not going according to plan. AS Monaco’s vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, has confirmed in a press conference that the former FC Barcelona star will not sign with the French club. “We negotiated with Valdés, but he is injured and he cannot join us,” said Vasilyev. More details after the jump.
FC Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke in a press conference on Wednesday concerning the summer changes the first team will face. After a roller-coaster of a season, the club president vowed that he will bring this club back to its glory days starting with a reaffirmation of Lionel Messi’s position at the club stating, “(Messi) will lead the important renovation.” He also added, “A few days ago we adapted his contract and he is very happy here. Messi is not transferable.” Check out what Bartomeu had to say in regards to the players coming in and the players leaving the club, right after the jump.
The deal has been happening for some weeks and now it is official that former FC Barcelona B defender Sergi Gómez is a Celta Vigo player, signing on until June 2017.
In a twitter message he said thank you and goodbye to Barça. “Today I begin a new era of my life in Vigo. I take with me memories and all that has formed me as a person and professional. For that I want to thank FC Barcelona and everyone who makes it “more than a club”.”
Jordi Masip has signed his first professional contract that keeps him with the first team until 2017 and contains a 35 million euro release clause.
“It’s a very special day for me, my friends and my family. I’m very happy, excited and keen to start the pre-season. I hope to improve as a keeper and person, and to help my team in which every way I can. If I hadn’t done things well in the past, I wouldn’t be here.” More from Masip below.
July 3, 2014
July 2, 2014