Golden Opportunities

A win is a win, no matter how you slice it. A draw isn’t winning, but at least it’s not losing. So far this season, FC Barcelona have won every game they’ve played but two, against Atlético de Madrid and Olympiakos, which they drew. Say what you will about the team’s form, its depth, or the tactics of Ernesto Valverde, they’ve had, at least record-wise, a tremendous start to the 2017-18 season. They’ve put themselves in a great position early on, especially in La Liga. Players like Lionel Messi, Samuel Umtiti, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are at a world-class level of form. And while Valverde’s tactics may rub some of us the wrong way, at least he’s willing to take risks. That being said, we can’t waste the golden opportunities we have now.

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D10S

Note: This is a post by our writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.


Last game of the qualifiers for the World Cup. A win needed to make it to Russia. All eyes on Messi himself.

What happens next?

A masterclass.

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One Last Chance

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.


Growing up a Barcelona fan and witnessing Leo Messi’s arrival into the first-team and his eventual dominance of the world, I could never have predicted that there’d be a time where he would struggle to make it to the World Cup with his national side. A trophy that was inches away from his hands three years back is now one that looks like a fleeting fantasy.

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Barça’s New Face

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.


Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

Estadio Montolivi.

Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Despite 500 kilometers lying between these stadiums (and a Portuguese border in the case of Estadio Jose Alvalade), the three of them have more in common than you would think.

Barcelona visited all three one after the other. First Getafe, then local rivals Girona, followed by a trip to the neighbors for Sporting Clube de Portugal. Barcelona won against all three as you’d expect. 9 points from a possible 9. But these weren’t typical Barcelona wins. In fact, there was something to these three wins, something about the three sides that set them apart, that made them unique.

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Agent Zero

One of the most difficult – and overlooked – positions in all of sports is the goalkeeper. In many ways, they are the most important player in the defense. In a team like FC Barcelona, they are important tactically as well. As they can see the whole pitch, the keeper is often called upon to play the ball just like a midfield player. Being a keeper is an important job. Which is why I’m proud to say ours is Marc-André ter Stegen.

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Back in the Hole

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.

All the passmap graphics come courtesy of  @11tegen11 who kindly gave us permission to repost them here.


The role “centre-forward” is used interchangeably with “striker” nowadays and the term “False 9” is thrown around frequently in discussions without many knowing what it is really is.

To understand it better, false 9 needs to be seen as a role rather than a position. Only a handful of players in the world are able to execute it as required and that too within a stable structure around them. Wayne Rooney was tried as a false 9 by Sir Alex, Totti played this role as well at Roma and even Cesc Fabregas was deployed in the hole for Spain at the EUROs. But it is Messi who performs the role to perfection.

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Player Ratings: FC Barcelona vs. RCD Espanyol

In the end Barcelona ended up dominating Espanyol in the Catalan Derby, but not after a a few early visits from lady luck. All four of the squad’s new summer signings took part in the match and all four showed glimmering glimpses of what Culés can expect in the coming months. Critics may argue the club is missing a player the caliber of Philippe Coutinho but currently the squad sits first in La Liga four points in front of Real Madrid.

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Crisis? Disaster? Just how bad was this summer for Barcelona?

This is a guest post from Gerry Johnston. Johnston is a 32 year old writer from Ireland. He currently writes about La Liga for www.laliganews.co.uk. Gerry has been a Barcelona fan since 1996; you can follow him on Twitter @gjsportsblog. 


Much has been made of Barcelona’s summer with words like crisis and disaster being the most used adjectives to describe what went on at Camp Nou. However, are things really as bad as is being made out in the media and by the grief loving element within Barcelona’s online fan base?

There can be no doubt things didn’t go as the club planned this summer or in fact over the last twelve months or so but for the purposes of this article let’s take a look at some of the main factors so we can consider if things are just as bad as they are being portrayed.

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The Rise of Samuel Umtiti

Note: This is a post by our new writer Yazdan Basir. You can congratulate [or argue with] him on Twitter at 

He blogs as ThoughtBox. Check out his previous work here.


If I ask you to name Luis Enrique’s best signing for Barcelona you’ll most likely to answer Luis Suarez.

A rare breed might say Marc-Andre Ter Stegen instead. And while you’re not wrong and it’s your opinion, the point here is that none of you will say Samuel Umtiti, a player whose rise to Barcelona’s and France’s starting eleven has been absolutely phenomenal. A signing made with the future in mind.

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Benedito Offers Barça a Glimmer of Hope

While hashtag trends are gaining popularity on social media and messages are reaching the club, there’s something else going on behind the scenes – something that’s part of the bigger picture.

Back in June this year, Agusti Benedito (the man in the photo above) told the media that he was starting a vote of no-confidence against Barcelona’s board due to Sandro Rosell’s and Josep Bartomeu’s institutional mismanagement of the club. The Rosell-Bartomeu era has been full of corruption, shady deals, and a murder of the values of the club. This can be clearly seen from the fact that Sandro Rosell (president from 2010-2014) was thrown into jail for money-laundering in May after stepping down from the club due to the everything that happened during the Neymar transfer. (Rosell hid the cost of Neymar using false contracts – something that can put you in jail in Spain for up to 6-years). When Rosell resigned, his vice-president Bartomeu stepped up and nothing changed for the club.

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