After last night’s game against Athletic Club, FC Barcelona’s Brazilian brace-scorer Neymar (22) spoke with the press about his combination play with teammate Lionel Messi, the team’s performance and a great effort by their Basque opponents. Neymay lauded the provider of his goals by saying that, “Messi is the best in the world, a ‘crack. I am getting better with him. We are recovering as a team and improving. I came back from the travelling a little tired, it was a long journey.”
Read more from Neymar after the jump.
Up until the 79th minute, this was probably one of the most frustrating, mentally exhausting FC Barcelona matches. Not because the performance was disappointing or ‘boring’ but because everything was being executed perfectly, everything but the final decisive touch. Lionel Messi managed to find Luis Enrique’s super sub, Neymar Jr., twice to secure another late win against the stubborn Lions. Three games, three wins, and three clean sheets. I’m happy.
The Ratings… Everyone’s 2nd favourite part to a post-match analysis, after the Post-Match Review of course. It is now your turn to show us what you think of the players’ performances. Let’s see how you all do!
totalBarça welcomes you all to the Liga game between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club! Are you ready?
Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 16:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
Luis Enrique spoke very fondly of FC Barcelona’s La Liga opponent, Athletic Club Bilbao, following the end of the international break. “Everything about Athletic worries me. They’ve been playing well for several seasons. They’re the best team at creating attacking pressure. It’s always very motivational to be able to play Athletic,” he said. Luis Enrique will not be expecting Athletic to sit at the back, but to attack aggressively and provide a real test for the defenders. Continue reading for more.
Barcelona play host to Athletic Club this weekend, and Luis Enrique will be looking to maintain his 100% Liga record in the third match of the league season, and the second at the Camp Nou. Athletic Club have not managed a win in Barcelona since the 2001-02 season, but certainly Ernesto Valverde’s team has enough quality to hurt Barça if the Blaugranas lose focus at any point.
Spain’s incredible trio seems to be in line for another nail biting three-horse race. Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Real Madrid have stayed busy during the summer transfer window as they prepare themselves for another challenge, but did they strengthen or weaken their squads? Are their current players capable of enduring another trinity war? This article will focus on last year’s Champions League winners and the side that finally succeeded and ended the search for ‘La Decima.’ Barça’s fiercest rivals may face a tougher campaign than expected.
Once again, a Barça B striker has helped FC Barcelona win all three points early in La Liga’s title race, and this time it was Sandro Ramírez with the winning goal. In his post-match presser, Luis Enrique was overjoyed with the influence these young stars are having on the first team as they show the world the quality of players La Masia continues to produce. “I’m pleased to see that the youngsters are helping us so much. We are happy for him [Sandro] and with all of the hard work that the young players are doing.” Continue reading for more from the boss.
totalBarça welcomes you all to the first Liga game of the season between Villarreal CF and FC Barcelona. Are you ready?!
Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 19:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
The Madrigal has been a happy hunting ground for FC Barcelona in recent years. In the last five visits to the home of the Yellow Submarines, Barça have secured four wins and a draw, meaning Villarreal haven’t defeated the blaugrana on their own turf since the 2007/08 season. Marcelino García Toral will be looking to change that on Sunday and to put the first stain on Luis Enrique’s perfectly clean record.
The early star of the show was an old Camp Nou friend (or an omen for those suspiciously inclined folks). But when the black cat was shown the exit (the security man earning a bite for his trouble), Luis Enrique’s new look FC Barcelona comfortably beat Elche 3-0. The visitors’ defensive strategy was voided when Lionel Messi opened up his 2014/15 account and despite a late first half setback, a debut goal 49 seconds into the second half from Munir El Haddadi ended this game as a competitive affair. There is certainly praise to go around, but seeing an energetic Messi with his much missed smile is unquestionably tonight’s key takeaway.
totalBarça welcomes you all to the first Liga game of the season between FC Barcelona and Elche CF! Are you ready?
Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 21:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
The wait is finally over. FC Barcelona will today face Elche CF in their opening league game and Luis Enrique will make his first official managerial debut with the Catalan club. Much has changed since last season, with several new arrivals and goodbyes. The fans and players are as hungry as ever and are aiming to put the disappointments behind them, for the night is darkest just before the dawn.
Starting today, La Liga kicks off it’s new season, and Luis Enrique has given his final press conference ahead of Barça’s first league encounter against Elche. “It has been a great week in terms of the team dynamic and we are going into the game in the same buoyant mood as we did before the Gamper,” said the Barça boss before adding, “We know Elche will pose us problems because tactically and defensively they’re such a well-structured unit.” More from the Asturian after the jump.
The LFP has made kick-off times for the two first matchdays of La Liga and the Liga Adelante final. Barcelona will start their bid to get the league title back to the Camp Nou against Elche at home, with the match scheduled for Sunday, August 24, at 21:00 CET.
A week later, the first team will play its first away match for the season, at El Madrigal against Villarreal. That match has been scheduled for Sunday, August 31 at 19:00 CET.
Barça B times after the jump.
After a long and painful season, here’s a look back at the individual stats in the league campaign from the first team players. With the statistics broken down to 14 categories, we could see who former coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino favoured all throughout the season and the reasons that may be behind it. Take a look at the stats provided by Opta Sports after the break.
Painful fact: FC Barcelona scored two legitimate goals in the Camp Nou last weekend in the title decider against Atlético Madrid. The video above is in Spanish, but it clearly highlights the fact that the offside call against Messi was incorrect because the ball deflected off Atlético defender Juan Fran and not Cesc Fabregas as the lineman apparently concluded. Draw what conclusions you may from this, but isn’t the lack of discussion of this blown call somewhat striking?
FC Barcelona have announced the arrival of the team’s former player, Luis Enrique as the first team’s coach. Many have been expecting this announcement for a while, and now that it is official, what do we know about our new coach?
Enrique coached the club’s youth team, Barça B, from 2008 to 2011 and has done an exceptional job developing future Culés. Some of the players that got the chance to learn from the new Barça coach are Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Jonathan Soriano (now at FC Red Bull Salzburg), and Thiago Alcântara (now at FC Bayern Munich). The team finished fifth in their group of the third division during Enrique’s first year in charge, but the team was able to clinch promotion to the Segunda División the following year.
SELF-CRAP BY SELF-CRAP 1 – 1 GAME BY GAME
Simeone: “Luckily, preventing the Merengues from winning La Decima doesn’t depend on Barça…”
“…it depends on ‘Team Cholo.’ “
Cartoon by Caye