Café con leche: December 23, 2014

Café con leche: December 23, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Café con leche: December 21, 2014

Café con leche: December 21, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Café con leche: December 20, 2014

Café con leche: December 20, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Café con leche: December 17, 2014

Café con leche: December 17, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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The curious case of Pedro Rodríguez

The curious case of Pedro Rodríguez

Emerged in a golden generation of la Masia graduates and Spanish pearls, Pedro Rodríguez was hailed as the ideal squad player. Doesn’t take much credit, the Canarian was always the most easy going player in a coach’s squad. He possesses speed and good technical abilities, and played a big part during Guardiola’s dominant era when he emerged in 2009/10 and was the first to score in all six competitions Barça played in. A forward that lived to serve, but wasn’t afraid to strike at goal as well. He never had the potential to become a phenomenon, but he was good competition for any player in his calibre.

Fast-forward to today, and it isn’t the same case anymore. Pedro used to be a missing piece in a forever star-studded Barça attack-line that featured the likes of Eto’o, Henry, Ibrahimović, Villa, Alexis, Neymar and of course, Messi. He would operate on either wing, and bring the best out of his partners up front with his fantastic final passes that only require a tap-in finish. He worked in the shadows in a similar ethic as of Busquets’, and let the bigger players get the merits through his humility. If anything, Pedro always seemed like he felt lucky to play at such a big club alongside such phenomenal players. However, a lot has changed since his glorious rise, and it’s more of a headache to fit the 27-year-old in Luis Enrique’s current XI. So what happened?

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Café con leche: December 14, 2014

Café con leche: December 14, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

GETAFE 0

FAILING IN THE RAIN 0

LUIS ENRIQUE: “If beating PSG brought criticism raining on me… … now I fear a downpour”

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Picture of the day: Here we go again

Picture of the day: Here we go again

Yesterday, everyone loved Lucho. Today, everyone is criticizing him once again. Sport, as life, is made of up of ups and down, wins and losses. Take it easy, culés. Visca Barça!

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

THE STRATEGY THAT WORKS FOR LUIS ENRIQUE…

FIELD A CHAOTIC LINEUP AND HOPE THAT THEY PASS TO NEY, SUÁREZ OR MESSI

THE STRATEGY THAT WORKS FOR ANCELOTTI…

FIELD A TEAM THAT PASSES TO CRISTIANO AND THE REF CALLS A PENALTY

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Café con leche: December 11, 2014

Café con leche: December 11, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Café con leche: December 10, 2014

Café con leche: December 10, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

All is set for the PSG game.

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Café con leche: December 7, 2014

Café con leche: December 7, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

Lucho’s ‘special’ match

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Café con leche: December 6, 2014

Café con leche: December 6, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Good things come in threes: How Luis Enrique can strike balance at Barcelona

Good things come in threes: How Luis Enrique can strike balance at Barcelona

They say good things come in threes. “They” being superstitious people, but also culés and Cruyffistas. After all, threes are the basis of the Barcelona style: the midfield trio, the front three, and the all-important triangles formed all over the pitch. With that in mind, I want to look at Barcelona’s first three games after the international break, what could potentially turn out to be the season’s turning point. Under pressure after dreadful performances against Real Madrid, Celta Vigo, and Almería, Luis Enrique managed three important wins against Sevilla, APOEL, and Valencia. As always, there were caveats with each match. Sevilla were surprisingly poor, APOEL were minnows, and the most recent match against Valencia was muddled, confusing and ugly. However, three points from Mestalla is no mean feat – it is, after all, something Pep Guardiola accomplished only once in five trips there – and the victories over Sevilla and APOEL were as stylish as they were crucial to their respective campaigns. Most importantly, Luis Enrique played three different systems in the three games – although the success of these systems was mixed, the contrast with the rigidity and confusion of October is clear. Luis Enrique’s team is still coming together, but there is a logic to his choices now, a hint that he is developing tools for the long haul.

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Café con leche: December 4, 2014

Café con leche: December 4, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Café con leche: December 3, 2014

Café con leche: December 3, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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The Myth of the Double Pivot

The Myth of the Double Pivot

Football is just like science. You conceive a hypothesis in an attempt to define something new and innovate using it. You then design a set of conditions and experiment to test if your hypothesis holds or not. If it does, great news; if it doesn’t, you modify it and repeat until it works. This essentially has been the trend this season for Luis Enrique, who has used 13 different XIs in the last 13 matches. The latest of this set of experiments has been to play two naturally ‘defensive midfielders’ in the same eleven last weekend against Valencia. There are several possible reasons as to why Luis Enrique opted to test this system and perhaps it was obvious that at around the seventieth minute of game-play the results were clear in front of him and he opted for a change. Click for more discussion on this experimentation:

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The Midfield Battle

The Midfield Battle

FC Barcelona’s midfield has seen many changes during the past year and each midfielder is now fighting for his place. There is one position that has often been lacking competition as the undisputed Sergio Busquets has dominated it, but recently another man has been eyeing the defensive midfield spot. Since Luis Enrique took over, Javier Mascherano once again started playing in midfield with Barcelona for the first time in several years after multiple campaigns in the heart of defense, and the Argentine is giving Busquets a run for his money. Both are excellent in their own game and if I am to give each of them a title, Busquets will be the ‘genius’ and Mascherano will be the ‘warrior’. Read on for more.

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Match Review: Valencia CF 0-1 FC Barcelona

Match Review: Valencia CF 0-1 FC Barcelona

Not a pretty win, but definitely a memorable one. Last night, FC Barcelona became the first team in La Liga to leave the Mestalla with all three points thanks to a 93rd minute volley from Sergio Busquets that clinched the win for the Catalans. Valencia CF had previously won five of their six home games and drew once against Athletic Club, but yesterday’s game saw their streak end at the hands of Luis Enrique and his men.

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Café con leche: November 30, 2014

Café con leche: November 30, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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What, me worry?

What, me worry?

It’s always darkest before the dawn. The international break left Barça fans with a lot of worries about the performance of the club and coach. Two games later, and everything’s peachy! Read on for some perspective on the team’s fantastic form.

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Café con leche: November 25, 2014

Café con leche: November 25, 2014

Everyday Spain’s near 20 million football fans visit their local news stand, pick up their preferred periodical poison and either delight or disgust in the latest happenings of their favorite club. And whether 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 Barça nation.

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Quote of the day: King Messi

Quote of the day: King Messi

“I have never seen a player like Messi. I feel lucky to be his manager. Nobody can be compared to him. He’s one-of-a-kind and we’ll never see anyone like him ever again and we are privileged to have him and be able to watch him.”

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Bakero: “Messi is still the best, but he’s only human”

Bakero: “Messi is still the best, but he’s only human”

Former FC Barcelona player, José Mari Bakero, talked about the current Barça side of Luis Enrique during an interview with Venezuelan newspaper ‘El Universal’. Read more…

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“Things change in football” – Messi hints at Barça exit!

“Things change in football” – Messi hints at Barça exit!

The alarm bells are surely ringing now, and what every culé took for granted for the past eleven years has now come back to slap us in the face. Lionel Messi, who just celebrated his eleventh year at Barça, has hinted that he might leave the club in the future. Let me repeat that once again; Lionel Messi, a La Masia made phenomenon who grew up to raid all records in football and rewrite FC Barcelona’s history, is uncertain of his future at the club he gave everything to.

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Adriano: “The League is not a two-horse race”

Adriano: “The League is not a two-horse race”

Adriano Correia spoke to Barça TV and the club’s official website about the team this season and the pressure surrounding them. However, he believes that the doubts will fade very soon. Read more…

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Quote of the Day: Patience

Quote of the Day: Patience

“We have just had 11 games. In the first seven or eight, Barça were up in heaven, and now they have fallen. There is a new coach, new players, and they need to settle in. You cannot judge Luis Enrique in 10 weeks.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

XAVI: “PIQUÉ IS ESSENTIAL, VITAL, AND BASIC FOR BARÇA”

PIQUÉ: “Something tells me that Luis Enrique does not have the same opinion”

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Xavi: “B+ is not good enough for Barça”

Xavi: “B+ is not good enough for Barça”

While the players are busy with the international week, Xavi Hernandez attended his new football camp in Cairo, Egypt. The midfielder, who was honored to transfer his project to the north african country, used the conference to comment on the team’s latest performance. After the team bounced back with a win against Almería after suffering two consecutive league defeats, Barça suffered a lot of criticism on their performance and the new coach has been treated as bait for it all. “Luis Enrique’s trademark is to play well and win, that’s the philosophy at Barça,” said Xavi on Monday morning in Cairo. “It’s the same style with a few changes, but the philosophy hasn’t changed at all.”

“We would like to be at our best in every game and for that to happen as soon as possible… But we started the season with a new manager and new players. All the same, we are going about things the right way.” More from the Barça captain after the jump.

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On patience, fatigue, and the long haul

On patience, fatigue, and the long haul

Only once the final whistle blew did the red haze start to fade from cule eyes. Looking at the scoreline, it was hard to fathom the bile and spite that had been spewed for the previous two hours. But as the rage started to subside, some questions started to come forward. Would Luis Suárez have been as effective if he had started the game against a fresh, hardworking and disciplined Almería side? Did two away games three days apart, including an unexpected overnight delay in Amsterdam, play a factor in Luis Enrique’s choice of lineups? The international break was put forward as a boon – no Barcelona games for Enrique to worry about – but these fixtures have always been more ache than break for Barça’s players, most of whom have tremendous responsibilities in their national teams.

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