Piqué: “I’m not among the best defenders”

Piqué: “I’m not among the best defenders”

Gerard Piqué admitted during his press conference yesterday afternoon that he hasn’t been enjoying his best football lately, saying that “at the moment I am not among the the best central defenders in the world.” The defender was disappointed at his performances with FC Barcelona during the past season and Spain during the World Cup, but he is convinced that “with Luis Enrique’s help I will recover a high level.” Piqué also said that he sees it as a challenge and if he plans to continue playing with Barça, he must become one of the best once again. Continue reading for more.

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Ter Stegen: “My idol is Oliver Kahn”

Ter Stegen: “My idol is Oliver Kahn”

The first of Barca’s many signings this summer, Marc-André ter Stegen is the club’s goalkeeper of the future. But what else do we know about him? The young German sat down with Mundo Deportivo this week to discuss the expectations of Luis Enrique, competing for the starting spot and the joy of the German World Cup victory, to the chagrin of his teammates. Read more after the jump.

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Gamper kick off time changed


Gerard Deulofeu: New season, new dreams… by fcbarcelona

The Joan Gamper trophy’s kick off time has been brought forward and the game will now start at 8:30 PM CET. The match against Rafa Márquez’s Club León side will be Luis Enrique’s first at the Camp Nou and the fans will finally get to watch FC Barcelona entertain once again at home.

Gerard Deulofeu will be making his debut as a first team player and is currently promoting the presentation of Luis Enrique’s new project alongside the boss himself, Marc Bartra, and Marc-André ter Stegen. The squad will be officially presented an hour before kick off and tickets are now available at the Camp Nou ticket offices and on the club website.

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Pedro: “The club has confidence and faith in me”

Pedro: “The club has confidence and faith in me”

Pedro Rodríguez’s future at the club was questioned by many during the past few weeks as some predicted that the winger may be offloaded after five years with the first team. Nevertheless, Pedro revealed that he talked to Andoni Zubizarreta to understand his role at the club a few weeks back and felt valued. “The club has confidence and faith in me. I’ve worked under Luis Enrique before, he knows me and he knows what I can bring. That was important in keeping me at the club which has given me everything.” Continue reading for more.

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Balague: “Enrique wants discipline and hard work”

Balague: “Enrique wants discipline and hard work”

Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reported on how the squad is doing at the St. George’s Park facilities where coach Luis Enrique now operates from for the next few days. With most of the squad back, only World Cup finalists Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano along with the injured Neymar and the suspended Luis Suárez are missing from Lucho’s training sessions, which Guillem assures are as intense as they can get.

“Luis Enrique is a fanatic of physical training,” Guillem told Sky Sports News. “Barcelona have come from two years where the training has been more relaxed and less intense, which showed in the way they were playing. But Enrique wants discipline, hard work, and for guys to recover pressure high and be fit. The famous journalist also mentioned that the players “are saying privately that it’s hard to finish the sessions. So far what he has been doing back in Barcelona is difficult training sessions. Here [at St George’s Park] you’re going to get one in the morning and one in the afternoon and so on until Saturday.” More from Balague after the jump.

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Luis Enrique: “We’ll be in good shape for the season”

Luis Enrique: “We’ll be in good shape for the season”

FC Barcelona’s new coach, Luis Enrique, talked about how the pre-season is going so far before heading to England. The team will be staying at St. George’s Park for six days before embarking for their friendly matches. Lucho started his tenure as Barça coach with a win against Recreativo Huelva (0-1) and on the 2nd of August the team will play their second game in France against OGC Nice. After that, the team will face SSC Napoli and HJK Helsinki before playing the last game against in the Joan Gamper trophy against Club Léon de Guanajuato on August 18th. The thoughts of Luis Enrique below.

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Luis Enrique on pre-season

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Video of the Day: Coaching team

Who is who? Who does what? GPS tracking devices?! Eye in the sky. All here!

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Ex-Barça: Deco, Sylvinho & Belletti talk new Barça

Ex-Barça: Deco, Sylvinho & Belletti talk new Barça

It was a match for the ex-Barça players of 2006 to reunite for one last time in Deco’s testimonial match where FC Barcelona 20006 played against FC Porto 2004. Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Juliano Belletti, Deco and Sylvinho all took part in this match with Deco playing for a number of minutes with each side. Deco ended his career with an astonishing lob finish in the dying minutes of the match to equalize for Porto making the match end (4-4).

After the match, Belletti, Deco and Sylvinho took time to talk about the new Barça and they all had promising words to say…

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Picture of the day: Luis Enrique runs into fans

Picture of the day: Luis Enrique runs into fans

As we have posted before, Luis Enrique is a runner. He participated in a 10K charity run in Castelldefels on Saturday and was cheered on by fans throughout the race. He did not let that distract him while running but posed for pictures and autographs after crossing the finish line.

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Iniesta: “Suárez is one of the best signings”

Iniesta: “Suárez is one of the best signings”

In his first press conference of the 2014/15 season, Andrés Iniesta discussed the team’s hopes and challenges for the upcoming campaign saying that their goal is always the same no matter the circumstances. “The challenges are the same as they are every season – to win titles. And to do that it’s important to get things right from the start.” More after the jump from Iniesta regarding Luis Enrique, Luis Suárez, and Xavi Hernández.

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Lucho’s final selection

Lucho’s final selection

At the start of preseason on July 14th, new Barça manager Luis Enrique only had eight first team players available. For that reason, Lucho called up 16 Barcelona B players in order to make up for the numbers in the initial double sessions. Now that number has been trimmed down to eight B team hopefuls, who are hoping to convince the new Barça coach that they are worthy of a first team spot. Read on to find out those who are still standing…

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Luis Enrique: “One cannot draw conclusions too early”

Luis Enrique: “One cannot draw conclusions too early”

FC Barcelona’s new coach Luis Enrique Martínez (44), started his spell with a victory over Recreativo de Huelva in a friendly match that ended 1-0 for the Catalans thanks to a goal from Joan Àngel Román. The coach was happy with the team’s display and especially the youngsters. “All of Barça B and the first team have been fine, have taken the game seriously, with dedication and have had opportunities. However, one can not draw conclusions too early,” he said during the post press conference.  Read more from Enrique after the jump.

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Match Review: Recreativo 0-1 FC Barcelona

Match Review: Recreativo 0-1 FC Barcelona

Luis Enrique’s coaching spell at FC Barcelona kicked off with a narrow win over Recreativo de Huelva thanks to a goal from Joan Román. Enrique introduced all 23 players that were called up for the club’s first friendly game as the players start their journey towards regaining full match fitness. The game was far from entertaining, but the time will come when fans expect beautiful football and it is not now. The squad was mainly made up of Barça B players who will aim to impress Enrique for a shot at joining the first team.

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Masip: “Enrique always had faith in young players”

Masip: “Enrique always had faith in young players”

The newly promoted Jordi Masip had nothing but praise for Luis Enrique as we start the new season. The coach recently stated that if he is to select his first-choice goalkeeper now he’d would pick Masip because of their time together at FC Barcelona B, and the young goalkeeper was motivated by Enrique’s words. “Luis Enrique already knows me, but he doesn’t really know Ter Stegen or Bravo yet. I was heartened by his words, and they have motivated me to keep working as hard as I can.” More after the jump.

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Deulofeu: “Coming home was always my objective”

Deulofeu: “Coming home was always my objective”

The long awaited return of 20-year-old Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu has finally arrived. After a year-long loan spell in Everton, Deulofeu is now at last, a first team player. Speaking in his first ever press conference as a first team member, Gerard made it clear that he is keen and ambitious on earning a first team place. “Coming home was always my objective,” said the Catalan in Thursday’s press conference. “I learned a lot of things at Everton and now I’m going to have to work hard to achieve this season’s targets.” More after the jump.

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Luis Enrique on individual players

Luis Enrique on individual players

Barça’s new coach Luis Enrique has given us an insight on how he sees certain players in our squad. With president Josep Maria Bartomeu still faithful to his promise of making a team overhaul, the new changes have been a cause for both concern and excitement for cules around the world. The Asturian will have a lot to plan for ahead of next season, and with only his third day in charge, take a look at what he thinks of the trio in attack, the three goalkeepers, Dani Alves and more right after the jump.

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Enrique: “I am a born leader and I lead this team”

Enrique: “I am a born leader and I lead this team”

New Barcelona coach Luis Enrique held a press conference Wednesday, along with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta. He discussed the roadmap for the upcoming season, his preferred style of play, and discussed some of the challenges over the past year.  Find out what he said after the break.

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Luis Enrique’s team

Luis Enrique’s team

Luis Enrique’s Barça is a reality, and the ex-Blaugrana captain will now aim to guide the team back to winning ways with the help of six trusted colleagues, who make up his technical team. Unlike last season, when the remains of Tito Vilanova’s team had to mix with Tata Martino’s own staff, this year’s coaching staff has members with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Read more after the jump…

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Bartomeu: “Two or three defenders are coming”

Bartomeu: “Two or three defenders are coming”

A bunch of juicy stuff from Josep Maria Bartomeu that gives fans a sneak peek into their favorite game of fantasy. “At the very least we must replace Puyol. Two or three defenders are coming. The total number of signings to come isn’t certain but at least two for sure.” Barça’s president then talks Xavi Hernández, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suárez and more.

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Marc Muniesa: “Luis Enrique is a born fighter”

Marc Muniesa: “Luis Enrique is a born fighter”

Former Barcelona centre-back Muniesa, who started his second season with Premier League club Stoke City, gave an interview to Mundo Deportivo, and gave his view on a variety of issues. Read the full translation of the interview after the jump…

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Official: Dos Santos joins Villarreal

Official: Dos Santos joins Villarreal

FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF have reached an agreement on the transfer of Jonathan Dos Santos. The fee along with some variables could reach two million euros and Barça has the right to be involved in future sale of the player.

Dos Santos joined the Catalan club in June 2002 with his brother, Giovani Dos Santos, who now plays for Villarreal as well. Jonathan Dos Santos played through Barça’s ranks until reaching the first team. The Mexican played under Barça’s new coach, Luis Enrique, in Barça Atlètic before being promoted to the first team in 2012.

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Picture of the day: Marathon Man

Picture of the day: Marathon Man

FC Barcelona’s new coach, Luis Enrique, is a runner. Not just a few miles a day type runner, not just a marathon runner, but an ultra-marathon runner. Ultra-marathons require runners to complete multiple marathons over a course of days, often in very inhospitable territory. This picture is from 2008 when Lucho ran in the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, in which participants run 251 km over a course of 5-6 days. Insanity! There is a great video documenting this. It is in Spanish but it is well worth watching whether you understand the language or not, just to see what our coach is made of.

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Bartra: “I want to help the team as a starter”

Bartra: “I want to help the team as a starter”

FC Barcelona defender Marc Bartra (23) will start his third season with the first team. Despite knowing that the club is looking for a new center back the Catalan youngster is eager to become a regular in Luis Enrique’s team. Read his the full interview with Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo after the jump.

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Rakitić: “A new era at Barça is just beginning”

Rakitić: “A new era at Barça is just beginning”

In an interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, Ivan Rakitić, who recently joined the Catalan club from Sevilla FC, stated how excited and motivated he is to be part of a great club like FC Barcelona. The player signed a five-year contract and will wear the number 4 shirt following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola, Patrick Andersson, Rafa Márquez and Cesc Fàbregas. Rakitić expressed his admiration of the current Barça players, hoping that he will be able to both learn and influence them: “I’m really motivated. There are a lot of good players around me, and as well as learning from them, I also hope to help make them even better. I hope to do the best I can to help them with their objectives. In such a great team you have to go for it from the start.” Continue reading for more from the Croatian.

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Official: Jordi Masip 2017

Official: Jordi Masip 2017

Jordi Masip has signed his first professional contract that keeps him with the first team until 2017 and contains a 35 million euro release clause.

It’s a very special day for me, my friends and my family. I’m very happy, excited and keen to start the pre-season. I hope to improve as a keeper and person, and to help my team in which every way I can. If I hadn’t done things well in the past, I wouldn’t be here.” More from Masip below.

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Adriano: “I’m only thinking about Barça”

Adriano: “I’m only thinking about Barça”

Adriano Correia spoke with Es diari about his wishes to remain at the club and that he wants to sit down with Luis Enrique to talk it all over sooner than later. “I want to speak with the boss, to put all our cards on the table because soon all the rumors start and I want to start the pre-season focused regardless of whether there are rumors of me going or not. I don’t know what he [Luis Enrique] will do but the best would be for me to stay and demonstrate that I am capable of playing better than he may think.

The Brazilian was clear that his preference is to stay put in Barcelona. “At the moment I am staying. I know there is interest from other clubs but I have a contract till 2017 and until the president tells me otherwise I’m continuing. I’m only thinking about Barça and I’m excited to keep going.

More after the jump from Adriano where he discussed Tata Martino and Luis Felipe Scolari.

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Sergi Roberto: “I never doubted my future”

Sergi Roberto: “I never doubted my future”

Sergi Roberto is quoted by Sport talking about his future as well as his thoughts concerning Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernández. On his future, Roberto feels comfortable, “I never doubted my future or continuing at Barça for a moment because Luis Enrique knows me well from the youth setup and I know he believes in me. I am so excited for next season. We all are.

If it was up to the young midfielder, Xavi’s future would even be a question. “I don’t know what he will eventually decide but me, from my stance, I want him to stay. I want him to stay because of everything he is, what he represents and selfishly because I learn every day being by his side.

He also speaks sense concerning Messi. “Nobody can say anything bad about him. What he’s given for the club has never been done by anyone in its history. A bad season? Yea okay, he only scored 40 goals. But obviously he cannot be 100% all the time. It’s a privilege to be able to count on the best player in the world and I hope he will be here forever.

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Breaking: Barça coach Lucho rushed to hospital

Breaking: Barça coach Lucho rushed to hospital

FC Barcelona’s newly appointed coach and former captain Luis Enrique was rushed to hospital in Terrassa near Barcelona on Monday morning where he had an emergency operation for acute appendicitis. The good news is that the surgery went well and he’ll be discharged in the coming days.

Lucho began his new job as Barça coach on May 21st, and he has spent the last few days laying the groundwork for the 2014-15 campaign which will start on July 14th.

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Picture of the Day: Luis Enrique at Ciutat Esportiva

Picture of the Day: Luis Enrique at Ciutat Esportiva

FC Barcelona first team coach Luis Enrique visits the Ciutat Esportiva consistently to work with his staff on preparing for next season. Yesterday Claudio Chaves photographed Luis Enrique jumping over the fence at the Ciutat Esportiva, and today a similar photograph was taken by Pep Morata at the Barça facilities. Hopefully the coach will transfer some of his energy to the team in the upcoming season.

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