Brian Phillips: All Hail Barcelona

Brian Phillips: All Hail Barcelona

All Hail Barcelona
The beauty and majesty of the world’s greatest soccer team.
by Brian Phillips

There’s a special feeling of euphoria, a kind of Olympian giddiness, that soccer fans experience while watching FC Barcelona. Soccer takes great athletes and makes them artificially clumsy—forces them to show what they can do, in effect, with both arms tied behind their backs. It’s a game of tricks, one that turns the simplest action, just keeping possession of the ball, into a perilous high-wire act. But Barcelona pass the ball, and pass the ball, and pass the ball—938 times in their recent 5-0 win over Real Sociedad—and invert defenses as casually as if they were rotating a kaleidoscope. It’s not just that they make it look easy. It’s that three years into their reign as the world’s best soccer team, they still haven’t realized they’re playing 50 feet above the ground.

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Valencia chasing Bojan

Valencia chasing Bojan

According to Catalan based newspaper Sport, Valencia CF is chasing Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic (20) in order to reinforce its attacking line.

In that sense, during a press-conference of the Valencia club yesterday, they revealed their interest in signing the Catalan attacker. However, the possibility will be complicated as Bojan has already signed a contract with the Blaugrana until the year 2015.

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The Front: Sport (25.12.2010)

“I WANT [TO WIN] THE CUP, LIGA AND CHAMPIONS”

Exclusive interview with Xavi.

We’re a improved version of the Dream Team, there was no need to be this physically strong back then.

We, the players, can tell that Guardiola is very excited and we would like him to renew.

Afellay wore the blaugrana kit for the first time. Zubizarreta: “He will give us more shots, physic and a great one versus one“.

[Non Barça Related]

Meeting between Florentino and Mourinho without Valdano.

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (25.12.2010)

Afellay, CHRISTMAS GIFT

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Zubizarreta: “The squad is complete”

Zubizarreta: “The squad is complete”

With the addition of Ibrahim Afellay to FC Barcelona’s first team squad, Sporting Director of Professional Football Andoni Zubizarreta has announced that the Dutchman will be the only transfer this winter and that the squad is now “closed” for the remainder of the season.

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Video of the Day: Merry Christmas!

Video: Welcome Afellay

The Pictures: Afellay’s presentation

The Pictures: Afellay’s presentation

New signing Ibrahim Afellay (24) was presented to the media and the public as FC Barcelona’s ’20’ at the Camp Nou earlier today. Pictures of the event can be found after the jump!

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Afellay official presentation

Afellay official presentation

Afellay has formally signed for FC Barcelona and was presented to the Camp Nou crowd this afternoon wearing the number 20 jersey. According to ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ his contract will run through to June 2015 and his buy-out clause is set at €100 million.

Below are some of the answers he gave to questions in his first official press conference. Compliments have to be given to twitter.com/barcastuff.

“I’m very happy to join this club and to be part of the best club in the world. Visca el Barça!”

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

8 – 0

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FC Barcelona has two new sponsors

FC Barcelona has two new sponsors

Apart from talking about other matters that were discussed and agreed upon during the final Board meeting for the year 2010, which includes the recovery of real estate assets as reported on the club’s official website, FC Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa also announced the securing of an agreement with two new global brand-name sponsors.

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Ibra threatens Guardiola and not signing with Milan

Ibra threatens Guardiola and not signing with Milan

According to a ONA fm‘s la Graderia program last night, loaned-out Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has threatened not only to refuse to sign his full transfer agreement with AC Milan – which was agreed upon last summer with FC Barcelona – but also sent out a warning to FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

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The Front: Sport (24.12.2010)

A SIGNING WITH A GOOD FUTURE

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The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (24.12.2010)

Culé Afellay: “I ENJOYED THE 5-0

The Dutch arrives proud to be able to play in the team that “plays the best football of the world”.

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Afellay’s first day in Barcelona

Afellay’s first day in Barcelona

Afellay and his representative touched down at El Prat airport (Barcelona) at 11:50 today. They were taken by coach straight to the FC Barcelona offices at the Camp Nou. There were a number of Barça fans waiting at the stadium for pictures and autographs. Director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta and director of football Raül Sanllehí welcomed Afellay to Barcelona.

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OFFSIDE: Pique’s Tweets

OFFSIDE: Pique’s Tweets

Last week, FC Barcelona and Spanish international defender Gerard Pique  (23) was once again busy on his  new Twitter account.  The week before, the running theme had been dropping in on Puyol for dinner.  What was it last week?  Read on to find out.  Read the translation of some of his tweets from December 12th through December 21st.  Included are also some of Puyol’s responses.

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Summer tour plans announced

Summer tour plans announced

FC Barcelona has today announced their plans for this summer’s preseason tour. The team will return to the United States for three games against Manchester United, AC Milan, and Club America of Mexico. The team will also play at two locations in Europe, with friendlies in Munich (Germany) and Split (Croatia).

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Video: Afellay arrives in Barcelona

FC Barcelona set to extend its UNICEF pledge

FC Barcelona set to extend its UNICEF pledge

The director of UNICEF partnerships in Spain, Andres Conde yesterday told ‘Ona FM’ Radio that FC Barcelona is planning on extending its commitment to the foundation for another 5 years.

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Picture of the Day: Afellay has arrived

Picture of the Day: Afellay has arrived

Ibrahim Afellay has arrived in Barcelona on Thursday to finalise the details of his signing for Barça. He posed for the typical photo in front of the club crest outside the offices and then attended a meeting to close negotiations. Welcome to Barcelona!


December 23, 2010

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Video of the Day: Old school greetings

The Front: Sport (23.12.2010)

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (23.12.2010)

totalBarca exclusive: The Story Behind Alleke’s Dream

Opinion Pieces: Barça is a woman


December 22, 2010

Video of the Day: Xavi & Iniesta

Rosell discusses the first six months of his presidency

Pep: “I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year”

Video: Caparrós and Guardiola inside joke

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