Tuesday’s session at the Ciutat Esportiva included a group of 23 players. Marc-André ter Stegen, Neymar Jr and Thomas Vermaelen made an appearance on the training ground but worked out separately from the group. Brazillian full back Adriano Correia was able to spend part of the session with the rest of the squad. Barça B youngsters Munir El Haddadi, Sandro Ramírez and Sergi Samper joined the session.
Javier Mascherano, who joined FC Barcelona in 2010, has extended his contract on Tuesday after signing a four-year deal which will end in 2018. The contract has a buy-out clause of €100 million with an option to extend a further year. Barça’s official website also reported that the deal was negotiated and agreed to before the World Cup, where Javier Mascherano proved his worth with his memorable heroics for Argentina.
“I’m committed to this club until the final day of the contract.” said the 30-year-old.“I hope I can live up to expectations of the club. I’m really happy to be in this great club and be part of a squad with such great players. Let’s hope things go really well for us this season. We’re looking forward to this season after some difficult times last campaign.”
According to the official website, FC Barcelona and São Paulo FC have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of the Brazilian right back Douglas Pereira. The deal should cost €4 million with another €1.5 million performance variables. The 24-year-old will fly to Barcelona by the end of the week for a medical before signing a five year long contract with the Catalan club.
Over the weekend, Josep Maria Bartomeu for the first time since the FIFA ban surfaced acknowledged a proportion of guilt. “We were aware that FIFA would ratify its sanction. In the past, we have committed certain irregularities — but always respecting the spirit of the regulation. It was highly unlikely that the tribunal would not ratify a sanction that had already been imposed. It was only to be expected… but the penalty is far too big. We knew that we’d end up going to the CAS, and now that time has come.”
As many have suspected, the summer mega splurge, with possibly more to come, was in anticipated of the two window ban. “We knew that we might not be able to make signings in the next two transfer windows and that at the same time there was a pressing need to renew the squad.”
Yesterday the board, technical staff and coaching staff had a joined meeting to discuss the happenings at the club before the board then alone held a meeting and released the following official statement:
Last week, the second official FC Barcelona football school opened in Brazil. After Rio de Janeiro a year ago, Barça announced the launch of activities at their Sau Paulo school with around 400 new students of both the male and female genders.
Different trials for young footballers from Sao Paulo and surrounding areas took place and only 400 footballers from the initial 1,000 that tried out were selected to be educated the Barça football philosophy from the start. However, the club admitted a new admission procedure will be started soon.
Luis Enrique will be one of the coaches invited to the 16th edition of UEFA’s ‘Elite Club Coaches’ Forum’ which will take place at one of the UEFA headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland) on the 3rd and 4th of September. The last time FC Barcelona was represented in this forum was during 2012 by late manager Tito Vilanova, who was coach at that time. Also notably, this will be Luis Enrique’s first participation in the annual event which usually takes place before the start of the prestigious UEFA Champions League.
One of the people that most enjoyed Barcelona’s season opening win was team president Josep Maria Bartomeu. After a busy off-season of player signings, the Luis Suárez drama, and the recent transfer ban, a brilliant on field performance is a welcome source of attention. Read more of his comments after the jump.
LUIS ENRIQUE’S FORMULA
CRACK: Leo Messi renews his enthusiasm and makes his commitment clear
STYLE: Iniesta and Busquets, guardians of the philosophy of play
RENEWAL: The quick integration of Rakitić confirms the winds of change
CANTERA: Munir is the clear message that no one should be caught sleeping
CHARISMA: The fans have plenty of confidence in the Asturian coach
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Luis Enrique was delighted with his first game in charge of FC Barcelona, a strong 3-0 win at home to Elche CF. Goals aside, the match was full of promising signs for the “Lucho era” including high pressing, quick passing, and sparkling performances by debutants Munir El Haddadi and Ivan Rakitić. “The game had a little bit of everything,” Luis Enrique said. “Elche were very organised at first but we gradually started creating chances and showed what resources we’ve got.” Javier Mascherano’s red card “made the game harder for us” according to the Asturian manager, “but we knew we had to take less risks, then individual actions in attack helped us.” Read more quotes from the boss after the jump.
Munir El Haddadi is La Masia’s man of the moment. The 18-year-old not only started against Elche, he capped off his dream night with a Camp Nou goal. Munir was the guest on Barça TV’s El Marcador following the match and obviously he was on could nine. “I am so proud to have scored at the Camp Nou with Messi and so many other great players around me. I’m very happy. It was a dream come true to play with them … Luis Enrique has told me to keep doing what I do, and so I’ll keep working for more chances. He tells us to work hard and get better every day. He’s a great manager.”
Despite admitting a combination of nerves and excitement had him up all night, his performance was assured and mature, not only scoring but blasting the crossbar earlier on. But the goal is what he will remember forever. “It came because if you keep losing your marker, sometimes you get there. I saw the goalkeeper was off his line and just chipped the ball.”
With the first La Liga match of the season for FC Barcelona, the players are also back to giving their post-match comments in the Zona Mixta of the Camp Nou. Dani Alves underlined that “the team has taken on board what Luis Enrique wants and that’s important for our progress. If we put it all into practice, the wins will come. Things are in our grasp, so we’re all happy.” Speaking about a young teammate who not only had his first team debut but also scored a goal, Alves noted that “we have to look after Munir because he’s got a great future ahead of him. He’s humble, but hard work is getting him what he deserves. It’s a pleasure to have him in the team.” Read on for comments from Ivan Rakitić and Marc Bartra.
August 25, 2014
August 24, 2014