“I am aware of the responsibility and the difficulty of the job, but I can’t wait to hear the Barça anthem and enjoy the feeling,” said Luis Enrique Martínez who was officially presented today as the new FC Barcelona first team coach. “This is a very special day. We are beginning the building of a new, exciting Barça,” he underlined, continuing to explain his plan: “my team will attack, we’ll play attractive and effective football – the kind of football that millions across the world have come to love – which means we need to defend well too. I’ll be laying out my plans to the players and talking to them so that they take them on board as their own. I don’t think I’ll need to impose very much and bark out orders, we’re in this together, though I’ll be demanding hard work.” So in general terms “the idea will stay the same, but we have to evolve, improve, so we can surprise the opponent.” Luis Enrique also added that, “If you want to defend, there’s nothing better than having the ball. And if you have it on the opponent’s half, even better.”
A new era begins at the Catalan club, and it looks like it’ll start in style too. Nike and FC Barcelona unveiled the 2014/15 home kits, and took a different approach than previous seasons as they’re trying to make it look “classic yet innovative“. The kits will be available for purchase on May 21st on Nike.com, May 22nd from the Barça shops, and June 17th worldwide.
What do you think of the new kits?
Did you know that the current managers of FC Barcelona (Luis Enrique), FC Bayern Munich (Pep Guardiola), Chelsea FC (Jose Mourinho) and Manchester United FC (Louis Van Gaal) all worked together at Barça from 1997 to 2000? A most intriguing fact indeed. During those years, the club won five trophies: one European Super Cup, two La Liga titles, one Spanish Cup and one Catalan Cup.
FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Gerard Piqué to extend the defender’s contract until 2019. Piqué’s former deal with the club was set to expire on the 30th of June 2015, and now has been renewed for another four years.The Spaniard returned to his home club in 2008 following spells at England’s Manchester United and Real Zaragoza, and has made since then 266 appearances for the club, scoring 20 goals and winning 16 trophies in the process.
You can find everything Piqué here.
There is a reason being an FC Barcelona goalkeeper is a famed occupation. Sport ran a piece today with the cover “18 keepers in 20 years,” and though that claim is exaggerated, the overall theme is not. Here is the odyssey between the sticks from Andoni Zubizarreta to Marc-André ter Stegen.
After a day full of news including contract renewals, contract exterminations, loan returns and coaching changes, Barça announced their first recruit of the summer, the young German goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen.
Born in Mönchengladbach on April 30, 1992, Marc-André Ter Stegen is considered to be one of the hottest young prospects in European football. The German made his first team debut with Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2011, at the age of 18. Since then, Marc has cemented his place in the first team and was crucial to the German club’s past three seasons, winning Bundesliga’s best goalkeeper award in the 2011/2012 season. More after the jump.
FC Barcelona have announced the arrival of the team’s former player, Luis Enrique as the first team’s coach. Many have been expecting this announcement for a while, and now that it is official, what do we know about our new coach?
Enrique coached the club’s youth team, Barça B, from 2008 to 2011 and has done an exceptional job developing future Culés. Some of the players that got the chance to learn from the new Barça coach are Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Jonathan Soriano (now at FC Red Bull Salzburg), and Thiago Alcântara (now at FC Bayern Munich). The team finished fifth in their group of the third division during Enrique’s first year in charge, but the team was able to clinch promotion to the Segunda División the following year.
Barça youngsters Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha Alcantára have both returned from their successful loan spells. The Catalan winger, who is now 20-years-old, played a total of 29 games for Everton this season, starting eleven matches for the Toffees, who ended up in fifth place in the Premier League. Deulofeu played an increasingly key role in Roberto Martinez’s side, despite suffering an untimely thigh injury just before Christmas. Rafinha, the Brazilian born midfielder, who is still 19, played 32 games in La Liga for Celta Vigo under the orders of Barça’s newly appointed boss Luis Enrique. He started in 27 of these games, and scored four goals in his 2,435 minutes played. Celta finished the season eighth on the league table.
Adrià Vilanova’s teammates have taken care of him all season and provided support during his father, Tito’s, untimely passing. They showed him their love again after their Juvenil B team won their Championship this past week. “Champions of the National Youth League, struggling forward to the end of every opportunity we had, overcoming great odds, the union and the strength of each one of us has gotten the prize. Thanks for letting me touch the sky. For you, Papa,” said Adria on his social media accounts.
FC Barcelona have taken firm and immediate action after Catalan radio station informed that the woman who gesticulated racially towards Racing Santander forward Koné is an employee of the club. The woman, whose name has not been published, was a cashier at the pay desk of the FC Barcelona Museum, but now she has been fired with immediate effect. Read more after the jump.
Xavi Hernández may have played only 15 minutes of Saturday’s title decider against Atlético Madrid, but the 34-year-old still ended the match with pain in the lower back area. Tests carried out this morning have confirmed an intervertebral sprain, meaning that the player will be out for a week.
FC Barcelona have also communicated the results of the tests to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in order to coordinate his recovery, as the player is due to join the national team preparation for the World Cup.
More news coming from the Catalan capital after Luis Enrique’s arrival. This time it’s about the club’s first recruit of the summer; Marc-André Ter Stegen has finally arrived! Director of football Andoni Zubizarreta and the Board of Directors made this announcement this afternoon after the extraordinary board meeting.
In addition to the news regarding the 22-year-old German keeper, the board announced that José Manuel Pinto will no longer defend Barça’s goal now that his contract has expired. “The Board of Directors want to publicly thank the professionalism and dedication of José Manuel Pinto throughout his time at the club.” The club thanked the keeper for his six and a half years of service as a Blaugrana. Pinto arrived in January 2008 as Albert Jorquera’s replacement. He played a total of 73 games and won 16 titles (4 Ligas, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 Copas del Rey, 2 European Super Cups, 4 Spanish Super Cups and 2 Club World Cups).
Before flying home to Argentina, Lionel Messi put pen to paper on his “revised” contract. There have been few details on specifics, but based on various reports, this is probably a fair summary. The contract length hasn’t been extended, it is still until June 2018. His 250 million euro release clause also remains unchanged. This is according to ESPN.
The only significant change is salary, however there is still confusion. Barcelona journalist Guillem Balague tweeted that his salary has been upped to 20 million gross, which works out to a bit more than 17 million annually net. However, ESPN are reporting the figure is 20 million net and 27 million gross. Either way, it’s not the absurd amount I’ve seen suggested of him earning 700,000 euros a week. That’s completely false. Based on the figures above, his weekly salary would be either around 384,000 or 330,000 a week, depending on whether ESPN or Balague is correct. The overall objective is however accomplished; Messi now earns more than Cristiano Ronaldo, once again returning to the world’s best paid footballer. Balague also reported that Messi retains 100% of his image rights.
May 19, 2014
May 18, 2014