Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

IN GRANADA IT CAN’T GO WRONG

LUIS ENRIQUE: “And if today we mess up again… …I suppose that everything will explode”

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Café con leche: February 27, 2015

Café con leche: February 27, 2015

Piqué excluded from Granada squad

Barça are leaving Friday evening to Granada for Saturday’s game, with an 18-man squad ready for the league battle. This squad excluded Gerard Piqué due to his suspension, along with Douglas, Masip and Sergi Roberto.

Squad list: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Montoya, Rakitić, Sergio, Xavi, Pedro, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar, Rafinha, Mascherano, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Alves and Mathieu.

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Café con leche: February 25, 2015

Café con leche: February 25, 2015

Calma Neymar, calma.

Neymar Jr. exchanged words with one of Manchester City’s fans after the fan kept showing Neymar signals of diving during the match. Neymar commented on the incident saying, “I was just playing with him. He began to curse me and I ended up giving him a wave. I can not say what he told me, no. My mother did not bring me up that way. What his mother did not give him, my mother gave me.” Neymar is a player that has been always accused of diving and fans use this to frustrate the Brazilian crack.

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Café con leche: February 24, 2015

Café con leche: February 24, 2015

Sergio Agüero sends a warning

Sergio Agüero has been in fine form recently and is one that should be watched closely and not given any space to play his game. The Argentine revealed that last year FC Barcelona made it difficult for Manchester City to play their game resulting in a comfortable (4-1) aggregate win for the Catalans. “Barça made it difficult for us last time because they kept the ball so well and that’s one of their main strengths and that made it difficult for us to dominate the game”, explained the Argentinian striker. “We wanted to attack them more but we weren’t able to reach the final third of the pitch as often as we wanted to.” Leo Messi and Agüero are close friends but the Man City attacker is not a believer in friendships on the pitch. “It’s clear that friendship has no place in the field. We are both focused in giving our team the best until the whistle blows and that’s the way it should be.”

Messi never asked to sign Agüero

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Café con leche: February 21, 2015

Café con leche: February 21, 2015

Luis Enrique with work to do

The coach was keen to highlight the brilliance of the opponent tonight, who managed to successfully keep Barcelona’s players from finding the spaces they needed to get their game going, but he also believes that his players weren’t near their best today. “It was tough to find space, and when that happens what you see is what you get. The result hurts but Málaga had the right approach.”

“When our opponents have played back we’ve been able to find a way to score, but today we were off a bit and they were spot on. It’s as if we almost deserved to lose.”

Lucho refused to blame Dani Alves for the loss after the Brazilian’s back pass was intercepted and led to the game’s only goal. “Mistakes are made as a team; that means the coach and the players. We don’t point fingers.” In other words, they win AND lose as a team.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

ON WHAT THEY DON’T AGREE ON

MESSI: “There has been a change in attitude”

LUIS ENRIQUE: “The attitude has not changed no way in hell”

ON WHAT THEY DO AGREE ON 

“We want the Copa, Liga, and Champions trophies”

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Café con leche: February 20, 2015

Café con leche: February 20, 2015

“There was a change in attitude” 

We’ve lately been watching a blossoming Barça on an eleven winning streak after that dreadful night at Aneota. Something changed. But what? Lionel Messi spoke  on the subject yesterday at the inauguration of the renewal of the Adidas store on Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona. “There was a change in the attitude of the team and the motivation. In the most recent games we have gone onto the pitch more motivated, to press and attack. The dressing room wanted to change the image of San Sebastian. That has been seen a lot.”

“We want to win everything we are playing for,” he said. “Sometimes you can, and sometimes not, but this year we are going for all the trophies. We want to enjoy ourselves and do great things. On a personal level, to keep going as up to now, and to help the group with everything possible to keep improving.”

But Luis Enrique disagreed when he spoke at today’s press conference. “I do not get into these controversies,” Luis Enrique said. “We are working on the same things. All this is a process, and develops over the season. I have no reason to change my opinion. If you believe me or not, that is your problem. If [Messi] believes that then that is fine. I am just giving my opinion.” 

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Stat of the day: In Lucho we trust?

Stat of the day: In Lucho we trust?

An 11 game winning streak, and Luis Enrique went from “The Spanish Moyes” to fan favourite. A poll was conducted a few days ago to totalBarça readers, asking the people now whether they think Lucho has what it takes to take Barça far this season. I expected a positive result, but it turned out with a completely ridiculous one with almost 96% of the readers believing in the Asturian now, and only a bit more than 4% still need some convincing.

Oh what a month of football could do to you people, huh? Let’s see the next time Barça loses if the totalBarça readers will still remain as loyal to Lucho. (Fingers crossed we stay in that sexy form all season).

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Café con leche: February 16, 2015

Café con leche: February 16, 2015

“The players are by no means over-euphoric at the moment. They know how hard it is to win titles,” said Luis Enrique at the post-match press conference after an outstanding performance at the Camp Nou. The coach also added that “I love seeing that the fans are so euphoric. That’s a key factor and makes us feel more optimistic.” Referring to eleven consecutive wins, Enrique underlined, “The number of wins in a row is not important. What matters is that they’ll help us to win titles.” We are really looking for upcoming games as the manager assured that “the win [against Levante] was a huge boost for our morale as a team and for the players.”

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Café con leche: February 15, 2015

Café con leche: February 15, 2015

Camp Nou: Leo Messi’s den

It is true that Lionel Messi is comfortable scoring at every ground, yet as we all know very well, there is no place like home. The ‘Flea,’ as much as he likes terrorizing opponents without keeping the venue in mind, is particularly potent at home, much like a beast in its natural habitat. The Argentine has found the net in seven of the team’s last nine home matches, weighing in with 14 goals. The streak was started with a hat-trick against Sevilla, and stretches up to Wednesday’s cup game against Villarreal. These matches include clutch encounters against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League and the league match against Atlético, with the ‘Flea’ not failing to live up to the occasion. Levante’s obstacle is perhaps too low to stop Messi’s streak.

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Café con leche: February 14, 2015

Café con leche: February 14, 2015

Never underestimate the power of relegation

Levante UD’s visits to the Camp Nou are often ones to forget for the Valencian side. The last nine Liga meetings between Levante and the mighty Catalans ended with FC Barcelona walking away with the win, and last year’s (7-0) was particularly fun to watch.

Nevertheless, Luis Enrique does not plan on taking things for granted ahead of tomorrow night’s match. “We’re playing against one of the teams that is battling against relegation, and I never trust any team that is in such a delicate situation.” Lucho also described his attacking trident as “the best attack in the world,” but insisted that the team must stay humble and avoid overconfidence if they are to maintain the current winning streak. “We need to remain 100% focused because football is a strange game, a team that could not attack at all can end up winning. We need to concentrate as much as we can.”

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I must say, Luis Enrique, well done

I must say, Luis Enrique, well done

“If we lose or draw, then it’s party time for the media.”

– Luis Enrique Martínez García 

A funny thing happens when Barça suffers a loss or draw. The players demonstrate mortality, making them easy to talk about and criticize. A 10-game winning streak rears its head however, and suddenly, silence falls upon the internet. Let’s give credit where it’s due, shall we? Ever since that horrible week which followed the loss against David Moyes’ Real Sociedad at Anoeta, Luis Enrique has whipped his team into shape, figured out his strongest starting eleven (finally), and has been on form ever since. He has one foot in the Copa del Rey final. He’s one point away from a disastrous Real Madrid in the league. And he’s soundly beaten a team we struggled against on six occasions last season—thrice in a row. From a man who was supposedly one match away from getting sacked, I must say, Luis Enrique, well done.

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Café con leche: February 13, 2015

Café con leche: February 13, 2015

Next for captaincy?

Gerard Piqué recently spoke to “El Partido de las 12″ radio program where he pledged allegiance to his boyhood club.

“Every day I love my job more, and I would like to be here for more years,” he said. “Today I can say that I am going to retire here at Barça, whether it is at the end of this season or within six. I am not going to play for another team.” Beautiful, right?

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Café con leche: February 12, 2015

Café con leche: February 12, 2015

We deserved more

After yesterday’s 3-1 win in the Copa del Rey semifinal against Villarreal, FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique expressed his satisfaction with his players’ performance despite being capable of more, but made sure to tell everyone the tie is yet to be settled. In the post-match press conference he declared, “It’s a good result but, perhaps, we could have done better. We deserved more.”

The Asturian also stressed, “Being up 3-1 heading into the second leg does not change our mentality; we’ll go into that match looking to win. I expect a very difficult match. The goal is not to score, but to win.” Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu agreed with his coach’s statements saying, “The most important thing is how the team looked. They played at a high level for all 90 minutes. The match at Villarreal will be tough.”

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Café con leche: February 9, 2015

Café con leche: February 9, 2015

Morning training without Montoya and Douglas 

The team returned from Bilbao this morning and right after the flight all players went together to Ciutat Esportiva for a training session. The players that started the game at San Mamés did post-match recovery. Martín Montoya was missing with gastroenteritis and Douglas is still injured, all of the other available players were present. Players did not have a day off, as is often the case after away games, because on Wednesday Barça plays the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi-final against VillarrealThen on Sunday Levante visit Camp Nou for a Liga game. Except for the game days, the players will train each day this week.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

AFTER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE DERBY… WE HAVE TO WIN AT ALL COSTS!

ENRIQUE: “And don’t worry about any horrible experiments… …it’s the Trident now and forever”

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Café con leche: February 7, 2015

Café con leche: February 7, 2015

Lucho confident ahead of San Mamés visit.

Along with La Anoeta, Athletic Club’s San Mamés is one of those grounds that always make life difficult for FC Barcelona. The club has failed to register a win in its last three visits to the  opponents’ stadium, whether the old or the new San Mamés, but Luis Enrique is confident that his team has what it takes to leave the Basque country with a victory.

“It’s always very special because of the atmosphere there. It’s like an English stadium. We want to be worthy of such a place,” said Lucho in today’s presser. Athletic Club’s start to the season was disappointing to the fans especially since the team successfully earned a spot in this year’s Champions League, and the Asturian believes it was more of a con than a pro. “Their season didn’t get off to a great start, but I think that’s because they were struggling to play in both La Liga and the Champions League.”

How well Athletic are playing right now is not a concern though, because Barça are going out there tomorrow for the three points no matter how strong the opponent is, especially given Atlético Madrid’s demolishing of Real Madrid. “[The players] have been playing at an extraordinary level, so I’m pretty optimistic about our chances tomorrow.”

More news after the jump…

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Café con leche: February 2, 2015

Café con leche: February 2, 2015

The Neymar-gate continues

According to the accounts made by the prosecutor José Perals, the final cost of the signing of Neymar Jr. for Barca is 94.8 million euros. In a document presented to Pablo Ruz, the judge of the Audiencia Nacional, the amount paid directly in the transaction (82.7 million euros) and the taxes that theFC Barcelona has not  paid (12.1 million euros) are reported. As we reported in the past months the former president Sandro Rosell announced at the time that the signing of Neymar had cost 57.1 million euros. After an investigation and the resignation of Rosell, the new president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that the final price of Neymar, considering all concepts of operation was 86.2 million euros. Now the figure is 94.8 million euros according to the prosecutor. Bartomeu and Rosell could end up being held entirely responsible for the infringements regarding the Neymar contract.

More after the jump…

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Barça win but Villarreal issue Copa warning

Barça win but Villarreal issue Copa warning

Take pride in tonight’s victory. Before the game Villarreal were a side that hadn’t tasted defeat in 18 matches, 10 of them in La Liga, and an in-form Barcelona put an end to that. The scoreline does not look that pretty on paper, but there a lot of positives to take from this game. It also serves as an excellent test before what seems like a hellish February with games against Athletic Club and Manchester City coming up, but the future looks good.

When I first saw the lineup I was surprised at Rafinha Alcantara’s inclusion. The Brazilian spent a lot of the time on the sidelines due to injury and it seemed like he was in need of regaining Luis Enrique’s trust in him after their time together at Celta de Vigo. For the past few weeks, Rafinha has been mainly featuring as a late sub and so it seemed that a game like today’s could prove too much for him. I was so wrong.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

LUIS ENRIQUE: “A nutmeg is more offensive than to whack you with four or five kicks”

NEYMAR: “But what offends me the most… …is that the referees permit these kicks”

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Café con leche: January 31, 2015

Café con leche: January 31, 2015

Silence, now el capitán is speaking.

Jérémy Mathieu’s recent comments regarding the Lucho-Messi fight seemed to have reignited controversy once again to the journalists’ pleasure, and Xavi Hernández stepped up to put an end to it. “We all want to win and do as well as possible and that can generate tension, but it’s nothing more than that.” The captain explained that such incidents happen more often than fans and journalists think, and is part of the competitive nature of the team, and will continue to happen because this is part of the game.

Xavi also defended his teammate and friend Neymar Jr, who has been under attack from the media for apparently being ‘too skillful.’ Xavi said that he believes those currently criticizing Neymar for his style of play are exaggerating, adding that the Brazilian is a player for the future and has become accustomed to such physical assaults on the field. As to what happened on Wednesday night against Atlético Madrid, “(It) is for the Committee and the referees to sort out. It is not homework for footballers.”

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Café con leche: January 30, 2015

Café con leche: January 30, 2015

Mathieu confirms the rumors

Many stories were told about what actually happened between Leo Messi and Luis Enrique following  a turbulent week at Camp Nou but finally Jérémy Mathieu explained exactly what happened saying, “It happened when we returned from holidays. Suddenly, because of a foul that didn’t get called, Leo had a tantrum. There was some friction, some things were said. After, the coach spoke to him in the changing room and that was that. It happens at every club, but because it’s Barcelona it’s big news. And that’s the problem.”  It may be a good sign that the defender spoke freely about it now as it could indicate the friction is no longer there. We hope the season continue this way as the team is looking much stronger and happier.

Piqué and Shakira have child number 2

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Café con leche: January 27, 2015 continued

Café con leche: January 27, 2015 continued

Luis Enrique wants full dedication

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique demanded his players to focus on the match and get the win which would see them as favorites to win the Copa del Rey. “I don’t know if it’s the most important game so far. I treat it rather like a Copa del Rey quarter-finals match,” Lucho said before stressing that there are no favorites in tomorrow’s match. “To think you are favorites is the first step of the way towards losing. We know how difficult the game will be and we’re not going to speculate about the result. It would be a grave mistake to talk about favorites” he said. Finally, he commented on Barça midfielder Ivan Rakitić who was dropped against Elche CF, saying, “It’s totally untrue that Rakitić has some problem or other with his knee. He’s fine.” 

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Café con leche: January 23, 2015

Café con leche: January 23, 2015

Intensity makes everything easier

Luis Enrique spoke to the press ahead of the clash against Elche and stressed that the team should not underestimate the danger Elche poses and made it clear that the league is still wide open The league is full of surprises, there is no such thing as an easy game. We’ve prepared with that in mind. Without intensity, anyone can make your life difficult. It will be difficult for sure. There will be little space and they’ll try to counter. That happens in every game.” The boss was full of praise for Luis Suárez, who is yet to reach his peak with the Catalan club, saying, “It seems that he’s a bit far away from the goal, but that happens to all forwards. He still provides a lot on offense.” He added, “There are few players who move into the area better than Suárez. I’m not worried. Scoring is natural, he’ll get there.

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Café con leche: January 22, 2015

Café con leche: January 22, 2015

Tie yet to be settled

In his post-match declarations, FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique made it clear he believes the Copa del Rey tie between his side and Atlético Madrid is far from being settled. “This was a very positive result, but I never settle for future results. Atlético still have a lot to say. It looks like it’ll be an attractive game because we’re up against a team that will also be out for a win.

Regarding the 1-0 win at Camp Nou, the Asturian commented that “it means we can feel optimistic about the second leg. But we have to go out to win at the Vicente Calderón. Defensively, they’re one of the best teams in the world,” he highlighted. “We expected them to make things difficult for our attacker. We knew that to hurt Atlético we would need to be compact in both phases of the match.

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Picture of the day: Caption this

Picture of the day: Caption this

What are ‘Lucho’ and ‘Cholo’ whispering in each other’s ear?

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Can Luis Enrique keep the momentum going?

Can Luis Enrique keep the momentum going?

The first was an act of defiance, a dramatic response from a team that does not take kindly to being attacked and criticized from all sides. To beat Atlético Madrid twice, however, would be an assertion of dominance, proof that Luis Enrique’s men are here to win. For a team criticized for its inconsistency all season, a chance to repeat their extraordinary demolition of Atlético just 10 days ago would be the best possible statement of intent to their detractors. Moreover, with the Liga race likely to be a tooth-and-nail drag, the Copa del Rey could be Barcelona’s best shot at winning silverware this season – get past Atlético, and they will already have one hand on the trophy.

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Café con leche: January 20, 2015

Café con leche: January 20, 2015

Everyday, Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and react with delight or disgust at the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether it’s Marca in Madrid or Mundo Deportivo in Catalonia, a café con leche is always part of the morning football ritual. So pour one yourself and find out what’s happening today in Can Barça.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

LUIS ENRIQUE HAS FOUND A TRIO THAT NEVER FAILS

AND IF THAT TRIO DOES FAIL, WE HAVE THIS OTHER ONE

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Café con leche: January 19, 2015

Café con leche: January 19, 2015

Everyday, Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and react with delight or disgust at the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether it’s Marca in Madrid or Mundo Deportivo in Catalonia, a café con leche is always part of the morning football ritual. So pour one yourself and find out what’s happening today in Can Barça.

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