Persistent rumors in the Catalan press point to big changes in the Barcelona youth coaching and administrative staff. Sport has reported that Barça-B coach Eusebio Sacristán will be deposed and replaced by Jordi Vinyals, the current Juvenil A coach. This would end Eusebio’s three year stint as coach of Barcelona’s second team. Vinyals, for his part, would be rewarded for leading his talented Juvenil A squad to trophies in the Youth League and Youth Champions League.
FC Barcelona will unveil a huge Camp Nou mosaic to urge the team onto victory, and the Liga title, during Saturday’s match against Atlético. 100,000 leaflets will be used to spell out “Som El Barça” [We are Barça]. The phrase will be wrapped in the blue and red team colors and the red and gold of the Catalan Senyera. Are any of you lucky enough to be attending the match live?
Things have come to such a point that a whole season depends on a single match. On Saturday, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid will contest one final showdown that will determine the La Liga champion. Both teams have fantastic players, but games of such magnitude cannot be won if the coach does not beat his counterpart for smartness in management. Tata Martino and Diego Simeone have a lot to think about going into the match. With our new mini-series ‘The Tactics Board,’ totalbarca will try to get into the shoes of the two tacticians, starting with the visiting coach, Diego Pablo ‘El Cholo’ Simeone. Read more after the jump…
After fifteen years of passion filled with both glory and defeat, Carles Puyol has decided to hang up his boots at the age of 36. During Thursday’s farewell event for the Catalan Captain, a few key figures in the club gave a few words dedicated to this football warrior, including club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, and teammate and friend Xavi Hernandez. Read what they all had to say about the eternal captain.
Xavi Hernández was nominated as the voice of the team at Carles Puyol’s farewell. Frankly, who else could it have been. Xavi has been with Puyol since the very beginning and everything Puyi went through at Barça, Xavi was always there. Below is a translation of Xavi’s speech exclusively at totalBarça.
All good things, even the best of them, must come to an end. Today Carles Puyol at the age of 36 bid an official farewell to FC Barcelona. At today’s special organized event at the Auditori 1899 in the Camp Nou, a great deal of people were in attendance to honour one of the club’s most iconic figures. His mother, brother, best friends and partner were present, as well as many former teammates, managers and club directors. Puyol gave a heartfelt good bye speech which is here after the jump.
Xavi Hernández highlighted the importance of winning this season’s La Liga not only to end the year in good fashion, but also to thank and crown this generation that has made us proud for so long. “It’s a great final, a fantastic match. It would be the icing on the cake for this generation, playing such an important match as this,” said Xavi. The game on Saturday will be Carles Puyol’s last in a Barça shirt, with Víctor Valdés already on his way to Germany, and the team is eager to reward both for their efforts over the years. More from Xavi after the jump.
It’s unfortunate that Víctor Valdés has had his farewell go under the radar during the ups and downs that the team has suffered at the end of this season. Perhaps that’s the way he wanted it, he has always been a quiet man off the pitch. It’s too bad that he had to leave the way he did, injured before he could properly enjoy his final matches with the team he’s been a part of since he was a boy and before receiving his accolades in the Camp Nou.
totalBarça wishes Víctor Valdés all the best in the next phase of his professional journey and we thank him for all the goals he has saved for FC Barcelona.
WHAT WE NEEDED A FEW DAYS AGO
“ANTI-DEPRESSANTS: For a league that is an actual piece of sh…”
WHAT WE NEED NOW
“VIAGRA: We have to lift it up anyway possible”
Cartoon by Caye
FC Barcelona’s shotstopper, Víctor Valdés, will travel to Augsburg, Germany to start the second phase of his recovery. The goalkeeper has successfully completed the first phase and will continue working under the supervision of Doctor Ulrich Boenisch’s medical team. Valdés sustained a knee injury against Celta de Vigo back in March, and has missed 11 games since then.
Valdés recently said goodbye to his teammates as he prepares to depart the club at the end of the season. However, this news has caused quite a stir in Barcelona. Valdés is leaving before the final match of the season, which if things go well, would mean another medal and last hooray with the Camp Nou fans and his teammates. At the same time, while there are tributes being organized by the club for Carles Puyol, one can also ask, where is something for Valdés?
On Sunday, yet another Barcelona youth team secured the league title in its age group. The Benjamín B team secured the league title after beating Mollet 3-0 at home, in a match postponed from week 26. The match came one day after Jordi Pérez’s boys beat Premià de Dalt 16-0. With those six points, the little Blaugranas have built up a four-point margin from nearest challengers Espanyol with one match remaining in the season, meaning that they have secured the title.
If one looks at the team’s stats, it comes as no surprise that they have won the title. Jordi Pérez’s have amassed an impressive record of 26 wins, a draw and just two defeats over the course of the season. Their superiority is underlined by the fact that they have both the best offensive record in the league with 178 goals scored, as well as the best defensive record with just 23 conceded.
FC Barcelona defeated Girona 3-2 in yesterday evening Copa Catalunya semi-final. Under the managership of Eusebio, seeing as the team was mostly composed of the B side, Barça lined up with: Ortolá, Godswill, Bagnack, Ilie, Lucas, Samper, Babunski, Denís Suárez, Cuenca, Dani Nieto and Dongou. Babunski scored the opener after 17 minutes, which was canceled out by Giron’a Chando. Then Isaac Cuenca, playing his first football in many months, scored a penalty to make it 2-1 after 65 minutes before Chando once again equalized for Girona two minutes later. Finally, Ilie scored the winner in the 78th minute. Barça will now face Espanyol in the final after they defeated Sabadell 2-1.
The time has come for us to bid farewell to our Catalan wall, Víctor Valdés. The goalkeeper said goodbye to his teammates a few days ago, and announced that he is preparing for his trip to Germany to continue his recovery. Some questioned his quality as a goalkeeper, some believe he’s the best goalkeeper to ever play for FC Barcelona, but one thing is for sure: Valdés ended his Barça career on a high note. The Spaniard was surely one of the team’s best players this season, save after save to keep the Catalans in the title race and the team is still competing until this very minute as a result of his incredible displays, but we have reached the finish line. Here is Víctor Valdés’ open letter to the fans:
Mateu Lahoz has been handed the responsibility of refereeing Saturday’s title decider between Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. The referee from Valencia now practically has a whole league in his hands.
Barça’s most recent memories of Lahoz aren’t the most pleasant ones. The referee, who is an international since 2011, was in charge of Barça cup final against Real Madrid, which saw Gareth Bale score an 86-minute winner for the merengues. Though generally, Barça’s record with Lahoz in charge is generally positive, with the Blaugranas winning eight times and drawing three times in the games the Valencian referee has been in charge. On the other hand, Atlético’s record with Lahoz in charge is slightly less positive, with Rojiblancos winning 9, drawing four and losing two.
Let’s just hope he goes unnoticed…
May 14, 2014
May 13, 2014