Messi cleared of charges
The public prosecutor of Barcelona has decided to archive and not to accuse FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi of the fiscal fraud offence attributed to him in the management of his image rights. This is very good news for the player who has been under the spotlight, along with his father Jorge Messi, with regards to this case of supposed fraud for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Juninho urges Neymar to not obsess over filling Messi’s role
With Leo Messi injured, all the pressure went directly to Neymar to try and fill in Messi’s role. However, Juninho urged Neymar to focus on playing his game rather than being Messi 2.0 “His worry must not be ‘I’m going to to fill in for Messi, I’m going to shoot and score all the goals and make all the plays’” before adding, “That can’t be the case, he can’t obsess [about being Barcelona’s Messi].”
The former Olympique Lyonnais player also stated that “it’s more difficult to be the protagonist at Barcelona than it is in the Brazilian national team.” Juninho agreed that in Messi’s absence, the pressure is now higher on Neymar but he assured that the Brazilian crack will cope. “With Messi’s absence, maybe the pressure is higher [for Neymar], but he’s already accustomed to that. He had it at Santos and he also has it with Brazil.”
Juninho then concluded by saying that Neymar’s situation is not easy “We need to have patience with him. It’s not easy to play with Brazil or with Barça, the best team in the world. And when the best player in the world isn’t there, it’s even more difficult. He should, maybe, take the initiative more. He should concentrate more than usual knowing that Messi is there and, maybe, he should take the initiative and be closer to the other players.”
Adriano and Roberto get the green-light
Time for some good news, culés – well, alright news, perhaps, depending on your stance on Adriano Correia.
The Brazilian full-back, along with Barcelona’s latest makeshift-but-ultimately-long-term defender-who-isn’t-Javier-Mascherano, Sergi Roberto, have been deemed fit for today’s clash against 2013-2014 La Liga champions, Atlético Madrid.
As such, Luis Enrique’s full-squad to take on the Colchoneros is as follows: Marc-André ter Stegen, Jordi Masip, Ivan Rakitić, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Rafinha Alcántara, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra, Munir El Haddadi, Jordi Alba, Sandro Ramírez, Thomas Vermaelen, Jérémy Mathieu, and the aforementioned Roberto and Adriano.
September 11 holds a very different meaning in the province of Catalonia than what the day is infamous for. Today, Bon Diada, is the national day of Catalonia, the day that commemorates the 1714 defeat of Catalonia to the Spanish Empire and the end of Catalan independence. With the increasing growth of provincial nationalism and a second referendum for independence in the works, the day has grown in significance and global attention.
Josep Maria Bartomeu and several members of the club board walked with club captain Andrés Iniesta and local boy Sergi Roberto in the traditional offering to Rafael Casanova, the general who led the Catalan army against Philip V’s Spanish forces. The president also tweeted out this morning – “Our promise to our country once again finds us at Rafael Casanova. Visca Barça i Visca Catalunya!”
Piqué won’t apologize
Gerard Piqué gave a press conference to speak about his sensitive situation but made it clear that he will not apologize. “I don’t regret anything. I’d do it again a thousand times over. Don’t expect that to change.” Piqué then said that what he said was due to the rivalry between the Catalan club and Real Madrid. “I’ll never change with regards to Barça’s rivalry with Real Madrid. That’s just me and always will be. Barcelona and Real Madrid have a heated rivalry, especially when one of them is doing well and the other isn’t. Let’s hope things go as badly as possible for Real Madrid.”