Busquets: “We can’t wait for the match to start”

Busquets: “We can’t wait for the match to start”

Sergio Busquets pointed out the importance of “staying calm and being ourselves. 90 minutes is a long time and we shouldn’t get nervous.” The player is certain that“if we play our football, we have a good chance of qualifying. We have to set out our stall from the kick-off, but we must stay calm and try to be patient. We have to win but we don’t need to rush as a 1-0 win will qualify us.”

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Final training before Arsenal

Final training before Arsenal

The team held their final training session at Camp Nou at noon before the important match later today against Arsenal. Once the session was completed, the players returned to the hotel La Florida, where they will remain until two hours before kick-off.

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Carles Puyol to collect charity cheque for ICRC

Carles Puyol to collect charity cheque for ICRC

A UEFA delegate will present a cheque for €100,000 to Carles Puyol, who amassed over 230,000 votes to be named the captain of the uefa.com users’ Team of the Year 2010. Puyol will donate the cheque to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). William Gaillard, Adviser to UEFA President Michel Platini, will hand over the cheque to FC Barcelona’s star player before the start of tonight’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC at the Camp Nou. For the fourth time, this money will be going from the hands of the Team of the Year’s captain to one of UEFA’s long-standing partners, the ICRC. The donation will support the ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims in Afghanistan.

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International Women’s Day Special Poll: Barça’s hottest player

International Women’s Day Special Poll: Barça’s hottest player

It is International Women’s Day and totalBarça’s female staff just wants to have some fun. While the men in Blaugrana celebrated the event with a win on Saturday in front of a presidential box filled with women, the way we look at it is that it doesn’t count because we weren’t invited. So we have our own way of celebrating this day – by seeing gorgeous photographs of our loverly players. It also is timely viewing as we are really nervous about the match that awaits us later in the day. And what better way to relax ourselves than by seeing pictures of such gifted (in so many ways) players, who we believe can get the victory in today’s crucial match. Vote for your favourite player in the current squad after the jump!

P.S.: Dearest Men, you won’t be ignored. Vote and have your say.

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Video of the Day: Women & FC Barcelona

The Front: Sport (08.03.2011)

WE WILL QUALIFY!

“I feel that the fans will lead us to the quarterfinals”

Guardiola, sure about the comeback and about the fans, who will be the 12th Barça player against Arsenal, which travelled with Cesc and Van Persie.


The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (08.03.2011)

GO BARÇA

Barça – Arsenal (20.45)

Messi is ready for a vital comeback

Guardiola, sure: “Camp Nou will lead us to the quarterfinals, I’m sure

Arsenal travelled with the “unable to play” Van Persie and Wenger says that “it’s not a trick“.

Busquets offers himself to play as a defender.

Guardiola: “This is a match of no return”

Guardiola: “This is a match of no return”

“We know the crowd are going to help us in the game. The fans will take us to the quarterfinals,” the just discharged from clinic Pep Guardiola said in this afternoon’s press, adding, “I’m better now but don’t make me out as a hero, I’m not a cripple. It’s just a back pain and that’s it.”

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The Third Man

The Third Man

When Barca step out onto the field tonight it will be with somewhat depleted ranks, what with the injuries and suspensions the squad currently has and the reshuffle such troubles invariably creates. And yet it may be one of our ‘replacements‘ who may well prove to have the biggest impact on whether we emerge victorious come the end of this very tense tie.

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Pre-match conference: Wenger and Fàbregas

Pre-match conference: Wenger and Fàbregas

Arsène Wenger has refuted suggestions that he was playing “mind games” by including Robin van Persie so late in his squad for the game at Barcelona. “He has made quick progress. It is no mind game – I am not good at those,” said Wenger at the UEFA press conference on Monday evening. “Whether he has been included in the squad has not yet been decided. He has made quick progression in the last three days. This morning he was unlikely to travel, but he wanted to go, so he had a test and it was quite positive,” added the manager.

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Offside: Cesc Chants

Offside: Cesc Chants

As many fans will sorely remember, after Arsenal managed to steal a few lucky goals against Barça in the first leg of the Champions League a few weeks ago, the Gunners fans piped up with choruses of their favourite chant, the ever so subtle “We’ve got Cesc Fabregas!” Although hard to take at the time, there came a great reply a few days later that all Barça fans should take inspiration from.

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Monday training

Monday training

Pep Guardiola was discharged this morning (after spending five nights in the hospital for treatment on his herniated disc) and he was back on the pitch with his players as they put the finishing touches to preparations for the big game against Arsenal.

Read more and enjoy pictures after the jump.

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Cruyff’s Corner: Arsenal and the ghost it must face

Cruyff’s Corner: Arsenal and the ghost it must face

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.

The Champions League is back, and Barca has already had filled its quota of mistakes. The worse that can happen is that it can’t go any further. Arsenal will come here depleted, but I’m not falling for it.

A league will always be divided into two halves. Always have, and always will be. One half is for the big clubs, and the other, for the small ones. The title is for the big ones to compete, while league survival is the domain of the small ones. And as such, the objective is either to come out as the champion, or avoiding the drop to a lower division. The two have nothing in common. It is between the chance to play in Europe or be more or less safe in a zone in the middle of the table for one-third of the teams in the league – an oasis away from the chaos that usually happens towards the business end of the season.

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Champions League Preview: FC Barcelona vs Arsenal

Champions League Preview: FC Barcelona vs Arsenal

Looking to banish the demons of their first Champions League defeat of the season, Barcelona play host to Arsenal this Tuesday in the second leg of their European tie with the North London side. The imminent arrival of Arsenal to the Camp Nou heralds the most important game of the Catalan’s season, one that looks set to be played with a makeshift defense. The suspension of Gerard Piqué and the continuing fitness problems surrounding Captain Carles Puyol have left a gaping hole in the back-line that will affect the look of the entire team as players are slotted around to fill in for the missing defenders.

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Congratulations Papa Adriano!

Congratulations Papa Adriano!

Barça utility player Adriano Correia became a father for the second time at the weekend, his wife giving birth to a healthy little boy named Azhaf. Speaking on his twitter feed, the Brazillian said, “We just had my second child [who] was born and I’m happy everything went well thanks to God. Mom and Azhaf are fine.

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The not-so-terrible history of Champions League teams that lost the first leg 2-1 away from home

The not-so-terrible history of Champions League teams that lost the first leg 2-1 away from home

Barça is in what appears to be a tough spot. Without even considering the loss of both Puyol and Pique, no squad wants to find itself facing a deficit going into the second leg of a Champions League knockout tie, even if it’s only a one goal deficit, you have an away goal and the match will be played at home. It’s especially unpleasant when the opposition will be arriving with a plane-full of world class talent that finds itself sitting extremely close to the top in one of the world’s elite leagues.

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Video: Around Pep Guardiola (Part 1)

Video: Around Pep Guardiola (Part 1)

Last month we shared with you the short documentary “Pep’s Journey” about Josep Guardiola’s life from his final performance in midfield for FC Barcelona in 2001 to his appointment as first team manager in 2008. Today we want to follow Pep’s life from the very beginning, in fact from his birth. The story of Pep Guardiola is fascinating, even more so when told by his family, friends and people from FC Barcelona. Enjoy the first part of this documentary “Around Pep Guardiola”.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Doctor: Clearly, Pep’s injury is due to have lifted too much heavy things during the last years…

Pep: Well, in April and May I hope to lift yet more heavy things.

Cartoon of the Day: El Mundo Deportivo

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (07.03.2011)

VALDÉS YES, PUYOL NO

Decisive against Zaragoza, the goal keeper hopes it will be a magical night to qualify.

The captain suffered a relapse so Abidal and Busi may be the starter defenders

Pedro: “We’ve learned of what happened against Inter. 90 minutes is enough time“.

Wenger plans a defensive match with Eboué instead of Arshavin.


March 7, 2011

The Front: Sport (07.03.2011)

2011/12 Jersey Update


March 6, 2011

Keita: “It’ll be difficult, but we are at home”

Barca Youth Feature: SEEN Sport Magazine

Man of the Match Poll Result Video: Mascherano vs Real Zaragoza

Vilanova: “Difficult to play against a parked bus”

Puyol to miss Arsenal clash

Preparing for Arsenal, Puyol back with group

Sid Lowe: Pep the purist and pragmatist oiling Barca’s machine

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

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