Athletic Bilbao: 1
FC Barcelona: 1
Athletic Bilbao vs FC Barcelona, Copa del Rey
(Wednesday, January 5, 2011 @ 22:00 Barcelona time – Convert to local time)
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Tonight, FC Barcelona’s manager will take charge of his 150th game at San Mamés in the Copa del Rey. That means the Mister will equal the record of 1950s boss Fernando Daucik, and will become one of the six managers to have been on the bench the most times at the club. But the Guardiola era is much more than impressive in sheer number of games. It’s an era of success when we can enjoy one the most successful teams in the history of the club. Guardiola and his “Pep’s team” has won 109 games, drawn 27 and lost only 13 times, winning eight titles in just a year and a half.
Reports from English sources indicate that English Premier League team Blackburn Rovers would be interested in Barcelona B forward and Spanish youth international Ruben Rochina (19).
A week after ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ unveiled what could be next season’s FC Barcelona home jersey – approved by the former board under Laporta, the paper has come out today with a picture they claim could be the 2011-12 season away jersey. If validated, this will be Barca’s first black jersey.
Xavi was Guardiola's understudy in the late 90's
Original article can be found @ zonalmarking.net on 4 May 2010.
‘How the 2000s changed tactics #1: The fall and rise of the passing midfielder’
[Editor’s note: Credit to tB poster DUSTIN for highlighting this insightful article.]
In 2004, Gabriele Marcotti wrote an article for ‘The Times’ about Barcelona legend Pep Guardiola. It wasn’t a celebratory piece looking back at Guardiola’s fine career, nor remarking on his ability to defy the critics and keep playing at a high standard, like Paolo Maldini. It was about how, in 2004-spec football, Guardiola was useless.
Athletic – Barça (22h)
All or nothing in San Mamés, where Barça risks half of the Cup.
Pep will be on Barça’s bench for the 150th time, Puyol travels with the group and Afellay could make his debut.
Athletic – Barça
Barça’s second kit for next season will be black. Barça will wear for the first time in history that colour.
Former FC Barcelona favourite Ronaldinho may be set for a shock move to the English Premier League with Blackburn Rovers confirming they have made a serious bid to sign the Brazilian forward.
As reported by Barcelona’s official website, a number of injuries have hit the Barcelona B squad over the last few days. Both Oriol Romeu and Cristian Tello were injured during the B team’s game with Las Palmas. Romeu’s injury was particularly bad – a torn meniscus – which will keep him out of action for three to five months after he undergoes surgery on Wednesday. A third player, Víctor Vázquez, was injured yesterday while training with the first team and will be out for four weeks.
The International Federation of Football Statistics (IFFHS) has compiled its annual list of the world’s greatest goalkeepers with FC Barcelona’s shot-stopper Victor Valdes being rated number six in the list, the exact same position he found himself in in last year’s line-up.
2011 has gotten off to a good start for some of Barca’s current crop of players as many find themselves featured within UEFA’s 100 greatest players of 2010 list. Published in UEFA’s European Football Yearbook 2010-2011, the list finds Barca well represented with 8 different names in the rolecall.
“It will be very difficult as we go into the match with a draw. Obviously it would have been better if we are a goal or two ahead in the first leg, but even then, nothing is yet decided for in San Mames, no matter what advantage you take with you, Athletic will always be a rival to be reckoned with. If we don’t control the match, they will create scoring chances. It will be an all or nothing match,” Pep Guardiola again admitted the huge task that awaits his team in tomorrow’s Copa del Rey match against Athletic Bilbao in today’s press conference.
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.
Having three finalists vying for the world’s best player award is a privilege and an honour for Barca, for all cules.
Next Monday, there will be no more uncertainty. Messi, Xavi or Iniesta – one of the three will win the 2010 Balon d’Or. And all three are from the same team, which speaks well of the pure potential of the teamwork on which they feed off each other. Football is played with 11 players, a ball and the rest are their movements. They do it on a field 60 by 100 meters and everything is decided in half a meter. Not much more. How then do you decide who is the best in a team sport?
As reported by Barcelona’s official website, the squad list for Wednesday’s match has been set after Tuesday’s training session. The second leg of the Copa game at San Mamés looks to be an exciting prospect, especially as it may mark the debut of Afellay, and the returns of both Messi and captain Puyol for the first time in 2011. As a precaution, Maxwell will miss the game.
According to Catalan paper Sport, Argentine defender Gaby Milito is ready to leave FC Barcelona immediately. The ‘Marshall’ wants more minutes which seem unlikely under Guardiola’s orders.
The news was first presented on program ‘La Graderia’ on Ona FM radio. They claim that Gaby Milito wishes to leave FC Barcelona in the winter market in order to go to a club where he would have more opportunities to play and, thus, be in playing condition to feature in the Copa America with Argentina this coming summer.
January 4, 2011