totalBarça welcomes you all to UEFA Champions League match between Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 20:45 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
Twice with Celta Vigo, thrice with FC Barcelona, José Manuel Pinto has always won at the Vicente Calderón. Pinto kept a clean sheet in a 0-3 win with Celta in 2005/6 and the very next year was victorious again (2-3) despite conceding a pair of goals. With Barça, Pinto has tasted a 1-3 win in the Copa del Rey quarter final in 2008/9 and also kept goal for a 1-2 league victory in 2012/13. The fifth victory was technically at the Calderón, but was against Atletic Bilbao in the 2011/12 Copa el Rey final (a 3-0 victory). Here’s to hoping Pinto can extend this record to 6 for 6.
No club has fallen victim to more Leo Messi goals than Atlético Madrid, with 20 goals in 19 games. However, that was pre-Diego Simeone Atletí; it’s quite a different story now. Simeone lost his first three matches to Barça after taking over as manager on December 23rd 2011: 1-2 at Vicente Calderón (2011/12), 4-1 at Camp Nou (2012/13) and 1-2 at the Calderón (2012/13). Messi scored one goal in the first victory and two in the second. And since then, El Cholo has devised both some anti-Messi and anti-Barça voodoo. Barcelona have now failed to defeat los rojiblancos in the last four matches, and Messi hasn’t scored since December 16th, 2012, covering 452 minutes.
FC Barcelona’s Gerardo Martino spoke on the eve of Champions League quarter-final clash with Atlético Madrid that will be played in Madrid tonight. Speaking about the team’s chance to qualify for the semi-finals, Martino underlined, “I don’t like to predict what the result might be. What we need to do is to play better than Atlético and to win the game. These teams know each other very well, and they play with completely different styles. All I know is that Barcelona haven’t gone ahead in any of the meetings this season.” Asked about possible tactical approaches, the manager said, ”we need to see if we can do that and to try to control the match. Atlético are not the type of team who will allow us to control the game for the entire 90 minutes, but we’ll try to do that as it is how we like to play.” He also strongly stated that Barça’s objective is very clear, “is to qualify for the semi-finals in 90 minutes. The prize is progressing to the semi-finals of the Champions League.”
Xavi Hernández spoke to the media in a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s quarter final Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid, and explained how the team is only focused on going to win. “We would like to have got a more favourable result,” Xavi said. “A 1-1 draw is not so good, but we will go there full of motivation and spirit to go and win the game. We are a team made to attack and score goals, and are up against a team which is just the opposite. We must try and get ahead on the scoreboard. We have not done that in any of the four games. We would see then how they react. That could be key to the game.” More from Barça’s most capped player ever after the jump.
Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone addressed the press ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash with FC Barcelona in Madrid. Make the jump for all the details.
Atlético Madrid have just released their official match squad for the UEFA Champions League second leg against FC Barcelona tomorrow, and midfielder Arda Turan has been left out due to injury. Diego Costa is in the squad, though he is doubtful for the match. Read on after the jump to find out the squad.
FC Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta spoke to the media today before traveling to Madrid with the team for the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Zubizarreta has been the subject of a lot of discussion this past week as a result of the FIFA transfer ban, and President Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed that the former goalkeeper offered his resignation. Zubizarreta offered a few short comments on his situation and the match against Atlético Madrid, read on below.
About Barcelona’s chances against Atleti, Zubizarreta was enthusiastic: “Do we have a good chance? Without doubt! We’ll leave the bookmakers to decide who are the favourites.” He explained that the team’s spirits were high and that they are determined, saying, “We are going there knowing what we have to do. Our idea is to be at our best and on Wednesday night get back on the plane knowing that we are in the semi-final draw.” Read on for more from Zubi.
Four games, four draws. Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona will now meet for the fifth time this season, and neither team has emerged victorious yet. Many non-La Liga fans underestimated Atlético’s strength when they were drawn against Barça, but their style has proven to be one of the most difficult to face. Now, the Catalans go into the game knowing that they must score a goal for a chance of qualification, but it won’t be the easiest of tasks especially with the exceptional Thibaut Courtois standing between the goalposts.
Atlético needed two wonder strikes from David Villa and Diego Ribas to score, while Neymar Jr. managed to exploit Juanfran’s defensive weaknesses twice to save Barça on two separate occasions, which only makes things the more difficult to predict. Will it end with a goalless draw? Will Messi settle this once and for all? Will Diego Simeone follow in Jose Mourinho’s footsteps and defend till his last breath?
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has selected his 21 men that will travel to Madrid ahead of Wednesday’s quarter final Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid. This list includes Captain Carles Puyol who has not yet received medical clearance.
FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta in an interview with Sport published today shared his opinion about tomorrow’s game against Atlético Madrid, as well as thoughts on La Masia and his 500th game in the blaugrana jersey. “The road to semifinals leads through a perfect match. We know that we will play against a very tough opponent, we experienced it in every game we played against them. We have to score a goal and be very concentrated,” said Iniesta. He also underlined that team “comes with the confidence to play a great game , to win the tie and with the hope of qualifying to the semifinals. We know it will be difficult, but the team is able to do so.”
April 8, 2014
April 7, 2014