After winning the first leg against Levante 4-1 away in the Copa del Rey, Barça now faces the same team for the third time in ten days, this time at Camp Nou. Gerardo’ Tata’ Martino spoke in a press conference where he gave his thoughts regarding the events that have transpired this past week and its effect on the team. He also spoke about Neymar’s presence in the teams, Lionel Messi’s recent lack of goals, and Ibrahim Afellay’s return, all after the jump.
Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes another fleeting return during the January transfer window. It’s the least active of the windows and not particularly well known for good deals, but nevertheless, the mill never stops turning. So totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past weeks and chart a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)
As happens every year, German car giant and premium FC Barcelona partner Audi delivered new cars for the entire first team squad and Gerardo Martino.
They also played the “Audi Mind Race,” a technological challenge which features miniature cars the players move through their own mind with energy generated by the players’ brains. Isaac Cuenca ended up the winner.
Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures makes a fleeting return during the final international break of 2013. As football shifts from club to country, papers shift from mostly reporting to mostly speculating. So, totalBarça returns to roundup all the stories over the past week and chart a path through the nonsense. Once again, agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Remember all numbers in euros.)
Barcelona had a training match today against Catalan club Sant Andreu while the majority of the team is away on international duty. Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano, both recovering from injury, were able to play a few minutes of the match.
This is great news, in addition to the reports on Tuesday that youngster Isaac Cuenca was able to train with the group for his first time since having knee surgery in June. Lionel Messi continues to train separately.
FC Barcelona players who are missing out on the international break resumed training this week at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba all worked separately in the gym to recover from their various injuries, while nine other first team members, including the long-absent Isaac Cuenca, worked with manager Gerardo Martino.
On Wednesday, FC Barcelona will play its first Champions League match of the 2013-14 season against Ajax at the Camp Nou. For this debut, coach Gerardo Martino has decided to call up all of the available members of the first team, 20 players in total. Pedro is back in the squad after sitting out Saturday’s match against Sevilla, while injured players Jordi Alba, Puyol, Cuenca, and Afellay will miss Wednesday’s match. Goalkeeper Oier Olazábal’s name is also absent from Martino’s latest squad list, by decision of the coaches.
Transfer rumours have a polarizing effect: either the start of hope (or dread), or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet, while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So, here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it through a sieve.
Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumours of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona – though it’s not of the run-of-the-mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for.
The series will come as a consolidated post every Thursday for the remainder of the transfer window which shuts on August 31.
El Pivote (The Pivot) is a totalBarça column by Anoop Jethwa, a fully licensed coach in UK, about the trials and tribulations of FC Barcelona. From the positives to the negatives, this piece will dive deep into the living fabric that is blaugrana.
The dust has settled on last season. Now that we have the last few games of the season out of our minds, a quick reflection on the players’ performances over the course of the entire 2012/13 season is a good starting point for focusing on what we need from the players for the new season.
Barcelona is reportedly planning on loaning out some of the young stars this summer, such as Gerard Deulofeu, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto. No decisions have been made and no official talks have taken place but rumours are strongly suggesting that at least two of these three will not play in a Barça jersey next season. A loan could be an important boost for these young men’s career and would allow them to develop in a great environment, however, Barcelona must learn from the past and be careful to make sure that these players won’t be let go of for good.
Transfer rumors have a polarizing effect, either the start of hope (or dread) or simply a nuisance. As papers worldwide scramble daily to fill the pages, they conclude that in fact 2+2 does equal 5. And yet while some stories are so clearly garbage, people imagine truth anyway. So here’s a summary from totalBarça taking gossip and passing it though a sieve.
Navigating the Transfer Market Madness: Arrivals and Departures is a new weekly series that rounds up the transfer gossip and rumors of all potential (sometimes hopeful) outs (Tuesdays) and ins (Thursdays) at FC Barcelona. Though it’s not of the run of the mill variety. Agree or disagree, that’s what the comment section is for. (Note: all amounts are euros)
FC Barcelona player Isaac Cuenca underwent knee surgery today. His recovery will last from three to four months. The Catalan winger has had problems with his knee injury before, missing the entire start of the 2012/2013 season at FC Barcelona. After recovering from the injury he was sent on loan to Ajax Amsterdam in January, where he only played five matches due to more struggles with his knee injury.
With speculation abounding over who will stay and go this summer, another question often slips through the cracks, a problem specific to FC Barcelona: who will get promoted from Barça B? Every year, a couple of the club’s youngsters are given first team contracts and a chance to prove their worth. Last year, Cuenca, Fontàs, and Thiago joined the team. This year it was Dos Santos, Tello, Bartra, and Montoya. Next year, likely candidates for promotion are center-back Marc Muniesa, whose season was disrupted by a severe muscle tear this fall, midfielders Sergi Roberto and Rafinha Alcântara, and winger Gerard Deulofeu, crown prince of La Masia. Read on after the break to find out what challenges these youngsters might face in their development.
El Pivote (The Pivot) is a totalBarça column by Anoop Jethwa, a fully licensed coach in UK, about the trials and tribulations of FC Barcelona. From the positives to the negatives, this piece will dive deep into the living fabric that is blaugrana. We welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.
El Pivote is taking a look at the transfers that may or may not occur this summer, the value of stats and science versus an eye for talent and overall what history can and should tell Zubizarreta about players joining Barcelona.
I’ve been following youth football at Barça for a while now. And there have been many talents produced, many “safe” stars for the future. However, most of those “safe” future stars, those everyone thought would make it, didn’t. In other words, they didn’t live up to their potential. Instead, a few of those no one really paid much attention to, did make it.
But how can we really know that a youth player will make it? That he will go all the way to the first team or even become one of the best if not the best in the world one day? This task might prove impossible. Because the ball is round and everything can happen in football, and everything can happen in life. Even the most talented lad can drop his focus for one reason or another or get injured or take the wrong decision at the wrong time. We simply cannot predict who will make it big.
FC Barcelona forward Isaac Cuenca (21) completed a loan move to Ajax on Thursday that will see the La Masia youth at the Dutch club until June 30. The left winger had only recently received his medical clearance after an injury that saw him sidelined for eight months.
Jordi Roura helped to inform Tito Vilanova, who remains in New York City, throughout the operation on the final day of the January transfer window, which was primarily carried out through FC Barcelona Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta, Director of Football Raúl Sanllehí, and Ajax Sporting Director Marc Overmars, who wore the blaugrana colors from 2000-2004.
After a day and a half of rest, Barça returned to training this Monday afternoon with a session focused on preparing for the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey at La Rosaleda (Thursday, 22:00). For the first time this season, 25 players from the first team were present at training. Villa, who has spent the last few days doing specific work in the gym, was able to train with the group at the session led by Jordi Roura. The other good news from this afternoon was the medical clearance for Isaac Cuenca.
FC Barcelona’s first team continued its preparations for Sunday’s match against Espanyol (19:00) with a training session this Saturday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The session was directed by Tito Vilanova, who was absent from yesterday’s open training session at the Miniestadi as he preferred to work at his Camp Nou office so the spotlight could be fully on his players.
This Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva, FC Barcelona held its first training session of 2013 with all available first team players, after separate session were held on Wednesday for the Catalan squad players and the rest of the group. Today’s session was led by Tito Vilanova. After training, Cesc , Adriano and Song received their medical clearances.