This week English media outlet Sky Sports have claimed that La Masia graduate Adama Traoré is on the radar of Antonio Conte’s Premier League leading Chelsea side. This is just another possible twist in the career of the winger who seemed to be on the fringes of the Barcelona first team when Tata Martino was coach back in the 13/14 season.
How I learned to stop worrying and love the club. Things seemed dire before the match, third place in La Liga, one foot out of the Copa del Rey, but let’s conveniently forget to talk about Champions League play and the Lionel Messi free kick in San Mamés. It took three perfect works of art to change everything back to normal for the club. A three to one victory in Camp Nou not only sees FC Barcelona progress to the next round and silence numerous doubters, but also remind the world of the three exquisite match winning forwards the club possesses.
Champions are made of metal. Barcelona B have looked every bit like champions during this season, overcoming any kind of difficulty that has crossed their path to assert their superiority in Group 3 of the Segunda División B. So well-focused have Gerard’s players been, that they now seem to have mastered the complicated task of playing with a man down. This weekend in Sagunto, the Blaugranas played for half an hour with ten men, and still managed to pull off a seemingly unlikely comeback in the end.
Villareal, with the best defense in La Liga, hosted Barcelona, with the best offense in La Liga, on Sunday. The match was complicated from the beginning, but it proved to be even more so as the game went on.
The wonderful thing about the beginning of a New Year is that it offers one a very real chance to reflect on past events and work towards improving oneself, both in character and behaviour. In fact, the start of a new year has proved to be so synonymous with self-reflection and betterment that the first question on everyone’s lips post the customary midnight firework display is always one and the same: “What are your resolutions for this year?”. In other words, through what means are you aiming to advance yourself in terms of both characteristics and personality.
And so 2017 has begun. What was meant to be a promising start to the season has now become a rather interesting start to the season. Let us make one thing very clear: this match is not, and was not, doomsday. The truth is, there is still a second leg to be played at Camp Nou, where an MSN explosion is likely. However, this match exposed weaknesses and chinks in Luis Enrique’s armour that have existed since last season’s UEFA Champions League Quarter Final.
Athletic Club was ravenous in the first half and thrashed an uninspired FC Barcelona two to one in the first leg of their round of 16 Copa Del Rey matchup. Barcelona will cry foul after the match which saw more than one unique decision from referee Fernandez Borbalan. Lionel Messi netted a valuable away free kick goal but was mostly ineffective in a match which Neymar was the sole bright spot.
La Masia is world renowned for being the best football academy on Earth, but at times the FC Barcelona academy’s status comes under threat as more and more teams and organisations around the world copy the winning formula and apply it meticulously. Of course, the best way to dispel any doubts is by doing so on the pitch. Barcelona’s U12 side (Infantil B) have been doing just that over the past three days in Tenerife, where they have been dazzling the crowds at the annual La Liga Promises tournament. As a bonus for their play, Sergi Milà’s side returned home with a wholly deserved winner’s medals.
Barcelona B could not stay away from the taste of victory for too long. After two consecutive draws against Prat and Espanyol B, Barcelona B finished the first round of league action and 2016 with a dramatic win away at CD Ebro. The team from Zaragoza pushed the Blaugranas all the way, but a stellar performance from Jesús Alfaro ensured that the team led by Gerard López held on to top spot to finish the year as winter champions.
In the last league game of 2016, Barcelona blew past city rivals Espanyol with a Messi and Iniesta inspired 4-1 victory.