FC Barcelona coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has selected his 21 men that will travel to Madrid ahead of Wednesday’s quarter final Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid. This list includes Captain Carles Puyol who has not yet received medical clearance.
FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta in an interview with Sport published today shared his opinion about tomorrow’s game against Atlético Madrid, as well as thoughts on La Masia and his 500th game in the blaugrana jersey. “The road to semifinals leads through a perfect match. We know that we will play against a very tough opponent, we experienced it in every game we played against them. We have to score a goal and be very concentrated,” said Iniesta. He also underlined that team “comes with the confidence to play a great game , to win the tie and with the hope of qualifying to the semifinals. We know it will be difficult, but the team is able to do so.”
The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) have announced that the Copa Del Rey final between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid shall be played at the Mestalla on April 16th, and will be overseen by Mateu Lahoz of the Valencian Committee.
The decision to appoint Lahoz was taken by the Federation’s board today, though it has been rumoured that the man from Valencia should have been put in charge by Thursday, with sources claiming that the announcement was postponed given FIFA’s controversial ban for FC Barcelona. Read on for Lahoz’s refereeing style.
English referee Howard Webb has been appointed referee of the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg meeting between FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, UEFA has announced.
The 44-year-old, who is a father of three, has been an international referee (FIFA badge) since 2005.
His best year to date has been 2010, when he refereed both the Champions League Final in Madrid, which saw Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich 2-0, as well as the World Cup final in South Africa. That final saw Spain lift their first World Cup after an extra time goal by Andrés Iniesta gave them the win over the Netherlands. Jump for more on Webb’s FCB stats
FC Barcelona’s two visits to the Vicente Calderón this season have both ended in draws. Tata Martino’s men played both those draws in their away Seneyra kit, but for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League quarter final return, it appears that the Blaugranas will be men in black when they take to the pitch, as they are planning to use their black kit.
Barça have only used that kit – kit number three – once this season. It was worn previously by the Blaugranas in the Champions League group match against Celtic at Celtic Park, which saw Barça earn a narrow 0-1 win through Cesc Fàbregas’ second-half goal.
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Barcelona B earned a very hard-fought victory against Numancia on Sunday, despite the fact that the 3-0 scoreline tells a very different story. Eusebio’s men were made to labor by their guests, with the final scoreline coming courtesy of a rare day of absolute effectiveness exhibited by the reserves’ front three. Jean Marie Dongou, Sandro and substitute Adama Traoré got the goals for Eusebio’s team, who managed to completely change the face of the match with his second-half changes.
Nobody can say Josep Maria Bartomeu is hiding. He’s done more press in his short tenure as president than I recall Sandro Rosell doing over his several years at the helm. Yesterday, he was on Catalan Radio’s El club del la Mitjanit where he discussed the hot topics, though his comments concerning Andoni Zubizarreta are causing some confusion in Catalonia.
After Saturday’s league game against Real Betis, José Manuel Pinto was the guest on Barça TV’s ‘El Mercador’ where he spoke about the team’s performances and the matches they have coming up. “The feeling is that in the first half we were better than in the second. Maybe we suffered after the physical effort in the Champions League, or maybe Betis were just better in the second half”.
“We’re in the final stretch,” said the goalkeeper, “and every game is vital. Really important. There is little room for error and we have to fight right to the last game.” More from the 38-year old after the jump.
On this day, April 7th 1974, the La Liga crown returned to FC Barcelona after a 14 year absence. Inspired by the signing of Johan Cruyff from Ajax in the summer of 1973, including the original Real Madrid manita, and under the guidance of legendary manager Rinus Michels, a 3-1 victory at Sporting Gijon saw culés rejoice. It had been a difficult time for the fans of Barcelona and all Catalonians under the dictatorship of General Franco, and during this 14 year draught, Real Madrid had won nine league crowns as well as established themselves as Europe’s top dogs. Incredibly, this would be Cruyff’s one and only league title as a player for Barça. But of course, it was only the beginning of his Catalan story.
Andoni Zubizarreta, sporting director of FC Barcelona, denied that he tried to resign after the FIFA ban was announced last week. Speaking to a reporter from Canal + after Saturday’s match against Real Betis, ‘Zubi’ said, “I did not present my resignation, nor am I going to. I feel that I am well supported by the board and I am not one to leave when there are problems.” Read more after the jump.
During last Saturday’s match against Real Betis, Lionel Messi scored his 351st official goal. Messi continues his march against all the goal scoring records ever, this time closing in on the record for all time goal scorer in Spanish domestic competitions. Leo’s latest goals bring his domestic total to 240, only eleven away from record holder Telmo Zarra’s 251.
Have a look at the list of Spanish football records. By the time Messi retires, the record book will be thrown out and the name LIONEL MESSI will be carved in stone above the words ALL RECORDS EVER.
April 7, 2014
April 6, 2014