FC Barcelona’s description of La Masia states, “The objective of this residence (La Masia) has been to educate, both sportingly and intellectually, young people who have left their families and communities to pursue a career with Barça.” In keeping with their intellectual education, the Barça B team visited the Dalí Museum in Figueres on Wednesday. Salvador Dalí, one of the most important artists to come from Catalonia, delighted and entertained the world with his surrealist art.
In his post-match presser, Luis Enrique refused to fixate on Claudio Bravo’s error that resulted in the loss against SSC Napoli. “He played a good game. It’s a pity he made a small error at the end, but these things happen in football.” The coach was pleased with the overall performance of the team despite the result. “Overall, as a team, I felt like I saw an improvement and I think a draw would have been a fair result.” Continue reading for comments from Enrique on Gerard Deulofeu, Dani Alves and more.
Being that it’s still preseason, I’ll be mild-mannered with my words. Given all the talk of revolution, changes, tactical shifts and experimentation, viewers were given nothing of that tonight in FC Barcelona’s 1-0 loss to SSC Napoli. That could have been any old game at any old time in the past three to four seasons. Is this really the new Barça given the mega-star attacking trident is absent, the first team mostly vacated on 60 minutes and players are obviously rusty and physically unfit? The answer is in the question. Nevertheless, despite dominating the ball, it was a match of minimal insight and anyone claiming to notice change at this point is willing it rather than seeing it.
Bad luck has once again struck Barcelona B right-back Sergio Juste. The 21-year-old, who made his return to action following knee surgery and a lengthy 10-month layoff in late May, a mere two months ago, has been ruled out of action for six to eight weeks due to a quadriceps injury. The player had to be taken off during the team’s friendly against L’Escala on Sunday, and medical tests carried out this morning have confirmed that the player has suffered a muscular injury to the anterior rectus fibre of his left quadriceps. He will require a recovery time ranging from six to eight weeks, meaning that he will miss the rest of the training camp in Navata as well as the start of the league season in just more than two weeks’ time.
On August 6, 1936, FC Barcelona president Josep Sunyol was tragically murdered by a squadron of General Francisco Franco’s rebel fascist army during the Spanish Civil War. Today marks the 78th anniversary of his tragic passing and in memory Barça’s captain will wear a black armband in tonight’s match against Napoli.
The legend of his event has grown and is often cited in the eternal Barça-Real Madrid debate, the ultimate encapsulation of good vs bad. Stories have gone so far as it being a planned assassination. Tonight’s news is actually rather interesting as many over the decades have been unimpressed with the club’s effort to keep alive his memory. Those interested in all this and a lot more should invest in Sid Lowe’s terrific Fear and Loathing in La Liga. The chapters dedicated to the Civil War and Sunyol’s fateful last day are impeccably researched and written.
FC Barcelona’s new goal keeper Claudio Bravo gave a press conference along with Barça’s left-back Jordi Alba before the game against S.S.C. Napoli.
Claudio Bravo was first to talk during the press conference starting with “they are all important” he insisted, adding that “I don’t think this game will necessarily be an indicator of who’ll be playing when we start competition.” More after the jump.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu gave a length interview to CNN yesterday to discuss all things FC Barcelona. The piece centers around the mes que un club slogan, a widely misinterpreted phrase, as is the case again with CNN. During the interview, Bartomeu discusses the year gone by and this new transition phase for the club. All that after the jump.
While the rest of the team rested ahead of their trip to Geneva, Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, and Dani Alves trained alone in their second training session of the day. The trio rejoined the group on Tuesday and will not be traveling with the squad to face SSC Napoli. Neymar Jr., Adriano Corriea, Jérémy Mathieu, and Xavi Hernández also joined the second session but worked on recovery programs and special fitness routines. Feeling a bit lonely, boys?
According to Esport3, Xavi Hernández was yesterday chosen by his teammates to carry the captain’s armband following Carles Puyol’s decision to retire. The players voted on it with each one writing his preferred three candidates on a piece of paper. Andrés Iniesta will now become the team’s vice-captain while Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets follow him respectively.
When I woke up this morning and checked in with social media, all I saw from the football sites was, “Leo’s new look!” Really? It looks like a normal haircut to me. At least he doesn’t pick his hair styles like he does his suits. That would really be news.
The name Laureano Ruiz doesn’t get the instant recognition it should. Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, even Rinus Michels register, but it can be argued the Ruiz got the primordial FC Barcelona/La Masia/tiki-taka ball rolling. Readers can get familiar with Ruiz in this previously published totalBarça piece. After the jump is an exclusive translation of a recent interview, the last carried out by Olé’s Jorge ‘Topo’ López (who passed away in an automobile accident during this summer’s World Cup) with the legendary Ruiz himself.
Xavi Hernández gave a press conference today, in which he announced that he is staying at FC Barcelona and will see out his contract despite initial hesitations about continuing following a rough end to the 2013/14 season. The press conference was revealing and honest and the Barcelona legend seems to be assured and comfortable under the management of former teammate, Luis Enrique. However, el Maestro has announced that he will be retiring from the Spanish national team. Read on below to hear what Xavi had to say about his two big decisions.
In an interview with The Times, FC Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted that the club’s image suffered a lot this past year. The club faced legal problems over the signing of Neymar Jr. as well as issues with FIFA that led to a decision to ban the club from the transfer market for two windows, although the ban is suspended for the time being. “We have learned a lot this past year. Maybe our image has suffered, but you have to learn when things are not as good as they can be, and we have.”
While some view the arrival of Luis Suárez as another blow to the club’s image due to the Uruguayan’s recent biting incident, Bartomeu believes that Suárez has done enough for people to forgive him and move on. “Everyone, including him, knows that what he did was wrong, and that is why he apologized. For us, that is enough,” said Bartomeu.
Upon his arrival today, Neymar Jr. underwent a check up on his back injury that he sustained during the World Cup. Neymar suffered a fractured vertebrae with Brazil but has been recovering well ever since. He will now follow a specific training program selected by the club doctors, who were pleased with his healing progress, to ensure a safe return to the pitch.
Luis Enrique has confirmed a 21 man squad that will travel to face SSC Napoli tomorrow evening in Geneva, Switzerland. Those that miss out are Xavi Hernández, Jérémy Mathieu, Patric Gabarron, Alex Song and all four (Lionel Messi, Neymar, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano) of the senior players that just began training this morning. The first three all miss out for minor medical reasons whereas Song, because of his family emergency, is not deemed physically prepared for action. However, Ibrahim Afellay also doesn’t make the list and he is not injured. The Dutchman wasn’t involved against Nice either. These are usually signs a deal is in the works.
The full list of those eligible to face Napoli after the jump.
August 5, 2014
August 4, 2014