Refereeing in the clásico is always destined to be a matter of debate. Over the past few years many referees have come under fire for their decisions in the fiercest football game in Europe. This year’s first clásico will see a change in guard. 30-year-old Gil Manzano, of the Extremaduran committee has been selected by the RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation) as the man to oversee the first clásico of the season at the Santiago Bernabéu on October 25th.
For the first time in seven seasons the European Golden Boot winner goes to a player from the Premier League. Well, kind of. Firstly, while the goals were scored (31 goals) for Liverpool, Luis Suárez is now an FC Barcelona player. Secondly, for the first time since 2004/5 the award is shared, this year with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Suárez received the award this evening in Barcelona from Liverpool legend and Kenny Dalglish, who described the Uruguayan as a “fantastic player, its a pleasure to watch him play”. The striker himself was very thankful to Liverpool and all they did for him. “This is a very special moment. I want to thank first the most important people, my wife and daughters, and then to everyone at Liverpool, teammates and staff, for the three and a half years I was there. Now I start a new era, I am fulfilling a dream being here at Barça.”
If you have been a long time culé, or simply a Dane, the name Allan Simonsen would ring a bell. The former Danish international spent three years of his career in FC Barcelona. Born in 1952 in Vejle, Denmark, Allan quickly showed his potential as a footballer and by the age of 20 he signed a professional contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach, which resulted in three championships in a row. In 1977, Allan joined the company of players such as Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the Ballon D’or, the first and only Danish footballer to achieve this prize.
In the summer of ’79 Allan joined FC Barcelona and he quickly proved to be a fan favourite. With the same characteristics of some of today’s Barcelona players, Allan was named “El pequeño gran danés,” meaning the little big Dane. He was a small but quick footballer who wasn’t afraid of taking on defenders. In 1981, Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey and the year after, Allan scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory over Standard Liége to help Barça win the European Cup Winners Cup final. Barcelona brought in Diego Maradona that summer and because of the regulations on foreigners, Allan decided to leave the club. Allan Simonsen is said to have played some of his best football in the Blaugrana jersey and totalBarça had the opportunity to have a talk with the Danish hall of famer, or “the gentle man of football” as he is called back home. Read more after the jump!
Spain U-17 coach Santi Denia has announced the 18-man squad that will be on the plane to Slovakia for the Elite Round of the UEFA U-17 championship. Barcelona is the best represented team on the list, as usual, with four players. Carles Aleñà, Carles Pérez, Marc Cucurella, and Dani Morer are those who have made the squad.
Less than two weeks is left before Luis Suárez – Barça’s most expensive player ever – is finally eligible to play, and what better scenario for a comeback than playing in the biggest match in club football – El Clásico . The Uruguayan striker spoke to Barça magazine in depth about his four months away from football, expressing his excitement at being able to play once again with “spectacular players” such as Messi, Neymar, Xavi and Iniesta. Suárez also commented on La Masia and it’s facilities after visiting them, “I am amazed and surprised by the facilities” he said. “And the spaces where the children are looked after in every way, with their studies, their diet, their timetables. It’s all been a surprise for me, especially how well behaved the children are. I wish I had the chance to be raised like this.”
The magazine shows some exclusive old pictures of Luis Suarez visiting the Camp Nou museum with his wife Sofia back in the Ronaldinho era. Looking back at them, the 27-year-old now says, “I could never have imagined back then that one day I would be playing in such a magnificent stadium.” Words of a lifelong cule. Don’t miss out on Luis Suárez’ full interview, right after the jump!
Andrés Iniesta is certainly no longer ‘Andresito.’ ‘El Ilusionista’ is now 30, but fortunately those who are supposedly in the last of their prime years are still recognised. Iniesta was one of the ten nominees for the Golden Foot award, the award for the best player of the year aged over 29. The Barça midfielder traveled to Monaco on Monday where he was awarded the Golden Foot. Read more…
Barça B’s third place finish last season meant that the team equaled the highest league finish in the team’s history. Many players rose to prominence en route to the record, but one in particular stood out: Jordi Masip. The 25-year-old is now a first team goalkeeper, but to win his place he had to pull off some amazing saves for the B team. His contribution has not gone unnoticed by the LFP, who has nominated him for the award of the best goalkeeper in the Liga Adelante last season, alongside Eibar’s Xavi Irureta, whose team won the league, and Deportivo La Coruña’s Germán Lux, whose team finished second.
Masip may or may not get the award, but he deserves it fully.
Gerard Piqué caused some confusion when he played with FC Barcelona against Villarreal last month two days after being released from international duty because of injury. He told Spanish daily AS that he is dealing with a hip injury and has had injections of painkillers in order to play for the club. “What happened was that Luis Enrique, who also knew about my situation, felt I was needed by the team to play against Villarreal… But I was being treated by the doctors, who prescribed me [the pain-killer] Voltaren, and during the international break I had to receive injections.” More after the jump.
October 13, 2014
October 12, 2014
October 11, 2014