According to Portuguese paper Abola, FC Barcelona are keen on Benfica winger and Argentine international Angel Di Maria (22). It is highly expected the winger will leave Benfica this summer and it seems the player has suitors to spare, with the paper reporting that besides barcelona Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are all tracking the winger. It is thought that if a move was to take place the transfer fee would be around 40 million Euros.
FC Barcelona captain and Spanish international defender Carles Puyol (31) admits Barcelona could be in for a bad night if they underestimate the threat posed by in-form Stuttgart in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
Barca make the trip to Germany having bounced back from their first league defeat of the season against Atletico Madrid by thumping Racing Santander 4-0 on Saturday night.
That was the Catalan giants’ sixth victory in seven league games, but on Tuesday night they will come up against a Stuttgart who are in just as good form.
One might or might not know, but FC Barcelona midfielder and Spanish international Andrés Iniesta (25) has a website, a blog, and an official Facebook page. His website and blog have versions in Catalan, Spanish, and English (although, the English translations read a bit like a “Google” translations: i.e. not the best. Through all of these sources, he is kind enough to reach out to the Barcelona fans and share his thoughts and more. Below are some of his recent comments:
Brazilian striker Keirrison, 21, made a substitute appearance yesterday for his adopted side Fiorentina, where he is currently on loan from FC Barcelona. The striker has struggled to get much game time so far for the Violas, but today managed nearly twenty minutes for the club as he came off the bench in the 77th minute, replacing winger Marco Marchioni, in their match at home to Livorno.
It what was a hard-fought and scrappy game in which the visitors took initially the lead but the team from Florence eventually coming out as 2-1 winners.
Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers will be incharge of the whistle in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter between VfB Stuttgart and FC Barcelona. By day, Kuipers (36), makes his living as a supermarket owner. He received his FIFA badge in 2006, and made his way into the elite tier of international referees in 2009. His father was also a football referee.
Kuipers made his debut in the Champions League earlier this season when he presided over Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev at the Nou Camp. Kuipers’ performance in that match came under close scrutiny, most notably for his failure to award a penalty to Barcelona for a clear foul on Andres Iniesta who was hauled down in the box by a Kiev defender. Since that evening, Kuipers has overseen international matches between Atletico – Chelsea, Debrecen – Liverpool, and Wolfsburg – Manchester United.
THRASHING, HUMILIATION AND CHAMPIONS!
Barça 80 – 61 Madrid
Basketball Barça won Copa del Rey in a memorable match in which they hammered away at Madrid
Barça travels today to Stuttgart and tomorrow starts Bernabéu’s assault. In their way to the Champions League with Alves and Xavi.
[Non Barça Related]
Madrid 6 - 2 Villarreal. Higuaín and Kaká scored two goals each.
Málaga 2 – 1 Espanyol. Espanyol’s defence throws away the points.
“We cannot afford to make any expensive errors, but I see that the team want to win the Champions League again and to do that we must give everything.”
Carles Puyol, FC Barcelona captain and Central Back, at a press conference.
Barça, Copa del Rey Champion.
Barça 80 – 61 Madrid.
Xavi Pascual’s team smashed Madrid since the beginning to the end in a spectacular match.
The blaugranaswon their 21st title, Fran Vázque was chosen MVP and the treble is not a dream anymore.
Alves and Xavi, to Stuttgart. Barça travels today to Stuttgart and Pep wanted the two cracks to come along. Xavi could play some minutes tomorrow in the champion’s return.
Ibrahimovic and Puyol, recovered from their muscular upsets, would be ready to play against Hleb’s team.
[Non Barça Related]
Málaga 2 -1 Espanyol.Two mistakes made Espanyol to lose but they performed good.
Madrid 6 – 2 Villarreal. Muñíz smoothed the way for Madrid’s thrashing against a bad rival.
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It’s back… This is your chance to prove not only your knowledge about the game of football but also your psychological insight by cracking the code of Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola’s master brain:
PREDICT BARCELONA’S STARTING LINEUP
You can give your starting line-up until 3 hours before the start of the game against Stuttgart
VFB Stuttgart striker Cacau, 28, has spoken of his expectations for his side’s upcoming Champions League tie against FC Barcelona. Speaking at a press conference after Stuttgart’s demolition of FC Koln, who were beaten 5-1 at Kolns’ RheinEnergie Stadion, the Brazilian-born goalscorer confirmed his excitement for the game against the European Champions.
It seems like after the recent injury wave that stuck Barca and left a couple of key players sidelined the recovery periods have cut significantly. While Brzilian full back Dani Alves (26) and Spanish internaitonal midfielder Xavi Hernandez (30) are on the list for the octavos, they are still awaiting the green light from the Barca medical’s. Meanwhile, Swedish international forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (28) is a certainty for Germany, despite having unpleasantries with his right ankle.
Dani Alves suffered an injury during warm-up before the Getafe clash and Xavi was injured in the Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid.
It is obvious that Leo Messi is saving himself free tackles that would force him to watch the games from the grandstand with the likes of Alves, Abidal, Keita and Xavi. He definitely had Guardiola’s words in mind not to get injured; no need for things to become worse. A couple of shooting decisions that Messi took during the game were either saved by Racing’s goalie or missed the net. However, a combination of skills to move past the defenders, and an ingenious view of the field to play the assist for Thiago Alcantara (18), who himself signed his name for the first time in the club scorers’ list, were enough to indicate why Messi is the world best player.
“He [Thiago] has something special,” said Guardiola in a press conference after the game.
After seeing his lads play against FC Barcelona, Racing de Santander coach Miguel Angel Portugal took a little time and reacted in a very respectful manner towards his recent opponent. During the post match press conference the Santander boss confessed that Barca dominated the whole game and “has been much higher and has given us no choice.”.
The coach also highlighted the basic error’s his team was unsuccessful to avoid, seeing Barca get on the scoresheet twice “on specific plays, especially from free-kicks.”
DON ANDRÉS “ANDPARTY”*
Barça 4 – 0 Racing
Iniesta lead Barça to the victory and scored again nine months after that “goalazo” in Stamford Bridge.
Henry and Márquez remembered what to score a goal was like, Thiago scored his first and the leader sleeps 5 points ahead Madrid.
[Non Barça Related]
Stuttgart won 1 – 5 and will face Barça in very good spirits.
*They made a pun with Iniesta’s name. They wrote: “Don Andrés Ifiesta” (Don Andrés “andparty”) instead of “(Don) Andrés Iniesta”.
Champion’s reaction thrashing Racing…
Barça 4 – 0 Racing
Márquez and Henry scored from a freekick and Iniesta and the “canterano” Thiago opened and closed, respectively, the scoreline.
And today, to win Basketball’s Copa del Rey against Madrid. Pascual’s team has won already three times the white ones this season.
[Non Barça Related]
Madrid – Villarreal (21h, Canal +). Referendum in Bernabéu.
Málaga – Espanyol (17h, PPV). It’s time to win some points in a away match.
Chelsea midfielder and England international Frank Lampard (31) is in possession of an extremely valuable item of sports memorabilia, though he is unlikely to be able to realise its value among Chelsea fans.
The midfielder is the owner of Andres Iniesta’s Barca shirt, the one the Spaniard wore in the Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge last season in which Iniesta equalised in injury-time to knock out Chelsea.
That moment is still considered the most dramatic of Barca’s season, despite the fact they went on to win the Champions League, the Spanish league and cup.
Santos forward and Brazilian international Robinho (26) has claimed he rejected the chance to move to European Champions Barcelona in order to return to Santos. The Brazilian has been in impressive form since rejoining O Peixe on a six-month loan deal from Manchester City in January.
Robinho, who spent the first three seasons of his career at Santos, scored a brace on his home debut in midweek to take his tally to three goals in as many games.
However, the former Real Madrid forward has revealed he could have moved back to Spain instead.
February 21, 2010
February 20, 2010