Zubi: “My greatest defeat was Guardiola’s departure”

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Andoni Zubizarreta was never a man of many words. The Basque-born former club goalkeeper may have spent the best years of his career playing for Barcelona’s Dream Team, lining up amongst superstars and playing for legendary coach Johan Cruyff, but it has never been easy to get him to talk at length about things. Even when he was sacked by Barcelona in January 2015 in a not-so-nice way, Zubi didn’t speak a word. That’s why his most recent interview to Madrid-based sports daily Marca is a very interesting piece, and one we deemed worthy of translating.

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Café con leche: No panic after derbi draw

Photo by Miguel Ruiz-FCB

Lucho says result is fair

One would expect Luis Enrique to lament yesterday’s draw at the Cornellà-El Prat, but the coach surprisingly showed no disappointment towards the result during his post-match presser. “Espanyol did very well today. They pressured us and made it tough,” said Lucho, who noted that ahead of the Copa double header between the two Catalan rivals the draw “changes things.”

When asked about Espanyol’s borderline thuggish play, which caused intense protestations on behalf of the blaugrana, the coach declined to take a definite stance. “Espanyol has this entirely normal thing of being intense and aggressive during derbies; although it is much more difficult to create than destroy, they did what they wanted to do very well,” said Lucho.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome of Barça’s 2015: #3-The Awesome

Photo by QUIQUE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Culés, it’s time to say goodbye. It’s almost time to bid farewell to 2015, the year which was, if not the best in our club’s history (let’s not forget 2009), certainly the most exciting. 2015 is the year during which culés literally saw everything, experienced everything, and went through every possible feeling in the world. From all aspects it’s a year that will go down in history, for all its good, its bad, and its awesome moments.

We at totalBarça want to keep 2015 fresh in our memories and therefore we have put together the ultimate 2015 Barça review. In this final part of ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome of Barça’s 2015’, we’ve only included the picks of the lot, those things a culé is never going to forget. Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for 2015’s Awesome Barça moments!

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Ballon d’Or politics and goldfish-like aficionados

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

While the golden ball award has been part of the game for as long as we can remember, modern football – or football 2.0 – has seen a significant change in the pattern of who this award goes to. For the past seven years, the world has been treated to only two Ballon d’Or winners – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Each season built a specific case for both players, and Cristiano and Leo were awarded the most prestigious individual prize in the game. Deserved or undeserved? It doesn’t matter, just as long as the media fuels it.

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Rest up, Leo, they’ve got your back

LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

A year or two ago, none of us could say that we could afford resting Lionel Messi in a game against Real Madrid. Even Pep Guardiola’s greatest side would have struggled massively had Leo not been involved in proceedings. While I am in no way implying that the team is better off without the best player to have graced the game, I can comfortably say that for the first time in a while, it does not at all concern me that he may miss the biggest game in club football.

A major reason for this is of course Brazil’s golden boy. Neymar Jr. has stepped up his game to heights many a fan did not believe he would be able to achieve. Goals, assists, volleys, and nutmegs – he’s been pulling all the tricks out of his bag to make sure that Barça have keep pace in both Europe and Spain. Aided ably by a troublesome Uruguayan, his efforts have bore fruit as Barça sit in first place in their Champions League group and go into el clásico 3 points ahead of los blancos. Total crisis, am I right?

Still, saying Leo should be rested for such a critical game may be pulling at straws, so I’m going to show you precisely why it is not. Prepare to feel a lot better about the club and el clásico as a whole. Not only should we manage to hold our own against Real Madrid; we also have a realistic chance of coming home with 3 points.

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