Speaking to the press ahead of the second leg of the semi-finals of the Champions League, FC Barcelona’s midfielder Xavi Hernandez tried to direct the conversation back to where he thinks it truly belongs: on football. Discussing Tuesday’s game, the likely approaches of both teams, and the possibility of another final at Wembley, a number of his statements can be below.
FC Barcelona play host to Real Madrid this Tuesday evening in the final installment of what has been an epic, and at times surprising four game El Clasico extravaganza. Overshadowed by drama, on the field and off, this Champions League semi-final pairing of Europe’s biggest rivals has produced cards, profanity-laced press conferences, furious finger pointing, and a few moments of truly brilliant football. Racked with ever-increasing injuries, the Catalans will look to turn on the style at home in what is sure to be a thrilling encounter against José Mourinho’s hubris-swollen Real Madrid as both teams fight to book a ticket to Wembley in a few weeks time.
Writing for the Irish Independent, Eamonn Sweeney wrote a wonderful article on separating what was truly the best part of last Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final, Messi’s two beautiful goals – particularly the second, from the focus on Mourinho’s historically consistent post-match refereeing rant. Excerpts from the piece are below, and the original article can be found here.
The following is a translation of Johan Cruyff’s weekly article in ‘El Periodico’. The original can be found here.
Johan Cruyff’s key points.
Mourinho is doing his job the only way he understands it. The person responsible for allowing the Portuguese to ruin Madrid’s legacy is Florentino. And only him.
I don’t know what are all the fuss about… and all the surprise. The hands on the foreheads after Mourinho’s Champions League post match press conference. I’ve heard he’s a loco. That he is a manipulator. I have read a thousand adjectives trying to define what he said, and how he said them, and for the most part, it was not good. It was ugly, disgraceful, and he lost all credibility. And while it is aimed and fired at the Portuguese, I think if there is anyone who should be blamed for everything that has happened, it is none other than at the Casa Blanca itself.
Real Madrid have filed a formal complaint against FC Barcelona with the UEFA committee for Control and Discipline. The motion asks for suspensions for at least six FC Barcelona players related to incidents at last week’s heated Champions League semi-final in Madrid.Click for more
Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere has been chosen to oversee the final el clasico of the season and the return leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final pitting Barcelona against Real Madrid. De Bleeckere’s selection will add further controversy to a fixture that will be overflowing with tension given the events before, during and after the first leg.
ANDRÉS INIESTA, TALISMAN!
Guardiola and the doctors think he is able to play tomorrow against Real Madrid
The player from La Mancha, with his goal in Stamford Bridge, made Barça go through to the final in Rome.
The referee will be the same whose decisions were against Barça’s interests when they played against Inter.
Outrageous! UEFA will decide today whether if they accept the lawsuit against Barça or not.
PASSION AND GOOD SENSE
Camp Nou must teach Mourinho and Madrid a [behaviour] lesson
1 – Because Pep’s Barça plays for the qualification for the Champions final
2 – Because the good football played by the blaugranas must prevail over the manipulation
3 – Because the best revenge is to destroy Madrid
4 – Because indifference is the best answer to Mourinho’s words.
Madrid declares war [on Barça]: They want 6 Barça players to be punished!
‘At one point in the match the entire Barca team just stood still in their own half, because 11 Madrid players were just defending in their own half. They did not want to play football. It was obvious this was Mourinho’s choice to play the game like this. Tough. Barcelona did not fall for the trap.’
- Guus Hiddink, Turkey’s National Coach
expressed his views on the first leg of the CL Semifinals.
To the Team, thank you! That is the video prepared by FC Barcelona as a way of motivating the fans and to show its appreciation to the players ahead of Tuesday’s crucial UCL semi-finals return leg.
It portrays clips taken from the first three Clasicos – the ups and downs felt by the players in the 0-2 win of the UCL first leg and the Copa del Rey defeat, the hard tackles coming from the Real Madrid players, and how they kept on fighting – with the last part of the short video talking about “the final 90 minutes when they will give their all so the fans can continue to dream.”
totalBarca brings you the winner of the Man of the Match Poll against Real Sociedad - Thiago Alcantara
Enjoy the video after the jump!
Test done on Gabriel Milito this morning have confirmed the defender has a hamstring tear in his left leg and will be sidelined for the next four weeks, hence the rest of the season.
“What happened is a very good lesson. It shows that we [like any other teams], can win or lose,” said Pep Guardiola after last night’s match defeat.
As mentioned in totalBarça’s recent contest announcement, we are offering a special giveaway contest in anticipation of the four El Clasico matches featuring FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. With special thanks to MEElectronics, we will be offering one pair of SP51 in-ear headphones for randomly drawn contest entrants who predict the correct scoreline for each of the four matches. In other words, one winner will be selected to win a set of headphones for each of the four games.
If you are interested in entering the contest, please provide your score prediction for the FOURTH of four Clasico matches being played at Barcelona time 20:45, Tuesday, May 3, 2011 (Champions League-Leg 2). Details on how to enter the contest after the jump!
Barca Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Glory
Barcelona and Real Madrid had to return to their day jobs again this weekend after the midweek battle at the Bernabeu. Madrid’s shock home defeat to Zaragoza gave even more breathing room to Pep Guardiola who had the luxury of starting only four of his first team tonight, thereby gifting starting berths to cameo starlets such as Fontas, Montoya, Thiago and Jeffren. Pinto minded the goal in place of Valdes and Milito was given a rare opportunity to shine.
May 1, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 29, 2011