Disgraced former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell gave his testimony in the Neymar proceedings on July 22 and it must be said he did nothing to redeem himself. For the most part it appears his declarations added next to nothing to the case. Rosell continued to maintain that the transfer fee for Neymar was 57 million euros and explained the difference to the total 86 million of the entire “operation” in exactly the same manner the club did in January (10 million – pre-contract, 2.5 million – agent commissions, 4 million – publicity payments, 2.5 million – charitable amounts, 7.9 million – options on three Santos players and 2 million – legal costs for Neymar’s father’s company). The baffling part comes after the jump.
As scheduled, FC Barcelona medical personnel flew to Brazil to collaborate with the Brazilian federation’s doctors regarding Neymar Jr. The club medics are in total agreement with the injury diagnosis as well as the recovery plan. Neymar will return to Barcelona on August 5th, three weeks after pre-season training has officially started and continue his recovery in Spain.
“My dream isn’t over. It was interrupted by a play but it continues. I’m certain that my team-mates will do everything possible so that my dream, which is to be a champion, comes true. My dream was also to play in a World Cup final but this time it didn’t work out. I am sure they will win this cup and be champions, and I will be with them, and all Brazilians will soon be celebrating all of that.
“It’s a very difficult moment, I have no words to translate what is going through my head and my heart, I’d just like to say I will be back as quickly as possible, when you least expect it, I’ll be back.”
FC Barcelona’s ace attackers Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr have taken the 2014 World Cup by storm. Both men have inarguably been their national sides’ top performers. Messi has 24 goals in his last 24 Argentina caps, or 32 goals in 36 games in 2014, with 10 assists. In canary yellow, Neymar has outrageously good career statistics, 22 years old, 52 appearances, 35 goals and 20 assists. After the jump are their group stage performances in numbers, including an impressive 92% shot accuracy from Neymar.
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 the 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 2013/14 season is a good starting point for focusing on what we need from the players for the new season.
We had the Christmas report cards (part one and part two) for the players in January, and I will be using the same grading scheme again. In brackets will be what the player received in the winter break. (A quick reminder — here’s the simple grading scheme: A = exceptional, B = good, ticking along nicely, C = progress required next term to get back on track, D = struggling.)
FC Barcelona’s three best dribblers, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Andrés Iniesta, will feature on the widely read New York Times Magazine that is to hit the stands tomorrow. The renowned magazine will feature exclusive photo- and video-shoots before the action kicks off in Brazil.
What’s more is that Leo, Ney and Cristiano Ronaldo will feature on the cover of The New York Times (newspaper) this week. Starting this Sunday, the NYT website will publish the videos of the players from the photo-shoot.
Here we are, many thousands of words later, the third and final part of “If I were Zubi.” Having covered Luis Enrique and goodbyes in Part 1 then the goalkeeping and defensive situation in Part 2, naturally it’s time for the midfield and the attack. Having spent an estimated sum of between 50 and 70 million euros of the soft 100 spending cap on the defense, Part 1 left the remaining lines as follows:
FC Barcelona attacker Neymar Jr reached a sporting milestone as he scored his 200th professional goal as Brazil defeated panama 4-0 in a World Cup warmup on Tuesday. The kind folks over at Mundo Deportivo plotted all of Neymar’s goals in the handy infographic featured above.
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.
Gerard Piqué, Neymar and Jordi Alba have were given medical clearance following today’s morning training session. The three important starters are therefore included in the match squad, but saying that Gerardo Martino has named 24 players and will need to whittle that to the mandated 18. Nevertheless, all three should make that cut and I’d venture Gerard Piqué will be the most likely of the trio to start tomorrow.
The Spanish first division authority LFP (Liga Nacional de Futbol Professional) have studied the Neymar transfer and concluded there are no irregularities or illegalities. It is however important to understand this is a victory, but certainly not the end of the war. The LFP have cleared Barça on it’s specific set of rules and regulations, so the club will not be penalized by the LFP in whatever way they could. The case is still alive in the Spanish High Courts and when that ruling is eventually given, then the case can be put to bed, one way or the other. Nevertheless, it’s certainly good news to receive a positive verdict. After the jump is the official statement put out by the club earlier this week.
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke to Spanish TV station Cuatro. He said, “It is shocking that [Lionel] Messi’s case still isn’t resolved. If it were up to me, Messi would be at FC Barcelona for life.”
Laporta also spoke about Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. According to the Catalan politician, people shouldn’t be too hard on Neymar because, “Neymar is the victim of bad management by the current board.”
Talking about the possibility of running for president again, Laporta said the following: “At the end of the season I will make my intentions concerning Barça clear.” Some media are speculating that Laporta will organise a vote of no confidence against the current FC Barcelona board.
Following Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash against league leaders Atlético Madrid, Jordi Alba spoke to the FC Barcelona’s TV programme ‘El Marcador’ and made it clear that he’s relishing the return trip to the Calderon, “We’ll have to go with all guns blazing in Madrid if we want to reach the semis – we’ll need to put a really good performance. Atlético Madrid are a tough team to play and we’ve drawn every game with them so far.” More from the left-back after the jump.
“This is the game against Atlético that rendered the most goalscoring chances.” That set up Gerardo Martino post-game press conference, during which the Barça boss felt quite satisfied with the team performance. “I am full of pride in the way in which we played. If we continue like this, there are chances for success. Our intention in every game is to go out and win, so we will have to go [to Madrid] and do what we always try to do. After [Atlético's] goal you saw the best of Barcelona. In the second half we moved the ball about well and played with depth. There were also good moves in the final third and several shots [on goal].” More from Tata after the jump, including his thoughts on a few players performances and responding to some tactic questions.
Dani Alves gave an extraordinary press conference today ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid. The Brazilian full-back was in high spirits, joking with reporters and speaking with complete freedom – a breath of fresh air from the often stilted press conferences professional footballers give most days. Alves held forth on fickle media and dwindling support at Camp Nou, praised his teammates and opponents, and poked a bit of fun at Luis Figo. Read on to see exactly what the Brazilian had to say.
FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu gave an interview with Catalan radio station COPE yesterday at midnight. It was an unusual hour and an unusual type of interview for a club president. Unlike Sandro Rosell at any point in his tenure, Bartomeu answered a host of different questions and was forthcoming about many issues that have been swirling in the media lately. The Barça president spoke freely on subjects ranging from Víctor Valdés to player contracts and summer transfers – check out some of Bartomeu’s most interesting comments after the break.