Dani Alves, choosing to inspire and not criticize after a very difficult week, posted these inspirational words along with this picture on his Instagram account on Sunday.
“TOGETHER UNTIL THE END” We are always the ones responsible for the glory of this team and of this club, we are the ones required to overcome difficult situations, now more than ever WE ARE UNITED, we are the best, they can say whatever they will say. The results will be good, bad, but the presentation of everything makes me proud to be part of this team. BARÇA TO THE DEATH AND AFTER.”
The metric that Lionel Messi ran 6.8 kilometers the other evening has produced a lot of chatter. A favorite narrative theorizes the Argentinian captain is protecting himself for the 2014 FIFA World Cup beginning in 60 days. Well, so what if he is?
Yesterday, Granada CF beat FC Barcelona for the first time since 1972, dealing a massive blow to Barça’s hopes of winning La Liga. As it stands, the blaugrana sit in third place, and with the toughest schedule of the top three in the last five games of the season, they are odds-on to stay there. If Barça were to finish bronze, it would be the first time since the 2007-08 season, well known as Frank Rijkaard’s last year and the year before Pep Guardiola came in and cleaned house. The Barça players have not given up yet, and the fans certainly shouldn’t – but maybe, just maybe, Gerardo Martino has.
In an interview with Time magazine, Edson Arantes do Nascimento “Pelé” was asked which club would he choose to play for today. The Brazilian legend who played for Santos for 18 years and then signed for the New York Cosmos at the end of his footballing career, said that he would undoubtedly return to his beloved Santos FC once again. Nevertheless, if he had to choose from today’s modern teams, he’d pick the Catalans. “If you were to ask me about teams from now, from modern football, I could name two or three teams, but at this moment, I would say FC Barcelona. It’s same style that Santos used to play.” More after the jump.
When it comes to statistics, yesterday’s game against Granada CF was probably FC Barcelona’s best in terms of domination yet the team failed to score. Barça attempted 33 crosses, their record in a league game this season, but there was no one to convert or make use of them which brings up a common question. Why not sign a classic #9 striker if crosses have become such an essential part of our game?
You’ve had your chance to rate the performance of the Blaugrana and the results are now tallied up. Take a look at how the totalBarça community ranked the squad and see how the ratings played out.
Image: Miguel Ángel Molina, EFE via mundodeportivo.com
Another day and another loss. Gerardo Martino’s players have disappointed the fans once more in this roller coaster season after a loss at Granada that gave up Barça’s grip on the league chase. But who’s to blame? The board? The players? Martino? Well, Javier Mascherano chose to steal Cristiano Ronaldo’s creative excuse instead, “The ball didn’t want to go in, but we can’t make excuses. I think we created chances to score, but football can be like this.” More from the Argentine along with post-match comments from Andrés Iniesta and Martin Montoya after the jump!
Today Capità turns 36, and it’s very possibly the last birthday Carles Puyol will celebrate in the blaugrana strip. Time is the inescapable constant, and even a warrior of Puyol’s calibre will suffer it. The man broke his body for the sport and club he holds so dear, he will be universally missed.
Happy Birthday Puyi from totalBarça. Don’t be a stranger you hear.
No goals midweek at Vicente Calderón, no goals yesterday evening at Granada. This is the first time since Pep Guardiola’s second and third official games in charge (2008/9) that FC Barcelona have failed to score in consecutive matches, spanning 2,050 days. Guardiola lost 1-0 to Wisla Krakow in the Champions League qualifier return leg (after essentially securing victory in Spain) and then lost his first La Liga match 1-0 at Numania. History knows how that season ended, how will this?
Additionally, defeat yesterday brings Gerardo Martino’s total league losses to five. That’s the same figure Barça have experienced in the last two league seasons combined. Pep Guardiola lost three (1-0 Getafe, 3-2 Osasuna, 1-2 Real Madrid) in his final campaign (2011/12), whereas Tito Vilanova lost just two (Real Sociedad 3-2, Real Madrid 2-1) in 2012/13.
totalBarça welcomes you all to Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona!
Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 20:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
Hurting but not defeated was the message from Gerardo Martino going into today’s match against Granada. “It is impossible for a team to be fully over an elimination like that in so little time. You cannot be in top spirits just by magic. Nobody is in the best of moods, but there is no time for lamentations. There is no time for crying about things, although some defeats are very painful. We have to get straight back to thinking about the league. A win against Granada would allow us to move on a bit from the result in the Champions League.” More after the jump.
Back to La Liga action after being unceremoniously thrown out of the Champions League, FC Barcelona take on Granada with only a handful of matches remaining in the season. With the unconvincing performance given out by Gerardo Martino’s men in Europe, questions have been raised to whether the team can keep up with the final dash to the finish line.
What had started out as a promising campaign with theories of how the team will gel over time under Martino’s guidance, and adopt alternative forms of play to take on opposing teams’ defensive tactics, has turned into unpredictable showings that don’t guarantee when they will play at the level they are capable of, and when they will fail.
April 12, 2014
April 11, 2014