Neymar deserves patience

MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have smashed through the malaise. After two and a half weeks of depressing performances, they’ve won their past two games – played a mere four days apart – by a combined score of 14-0. As is usually the case with lopsided scorelines, there were some fluky elements to both matches, but for the most part, the team’s performances last week put a halt to all the talk of crises and slumps. The team that barreled its way through Europe last year is back.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez have played key roles in the course correction – Messi with his playmaking, and Suárez with his gobsmacking eight goals over 180 minutes. The team in general has looked better, but it really does come down to those two. When they are ticking, this team is nearly impossible to stop. Sporting Gijón and Deportivo de La Coruña found that out the hard way. 

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The Incredible Confession of Luis Suarez

Onze Helden program for Dutch channel KPN

Original interview was given by Luis Suarez for the program “Onze Helden” (Our Heroes) for the Dutch channel KPN, in which he went over his adaptation to Barcelona and his relationship with his colleagues (he repeats that there is no jealousy nor envy between him, Messi and ‘Ney’); he talks about Johan Cruyff and Luis Enrique and gives a shocking confession: “I thought that I didn’t have enough quality to play for Barca”. This write-up is a translation of the article in “Mundo Deportivo” covering said interview. MD’s piece can be found here: http://www.mundodeportivo.com/futbol/fc-barcelona/20160328/40713577201/la-increible-confesion-de-luis-suarez.html

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Mes que un attacking trident

MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

I am going to tell you something. When I was at United, I didn’t speak [off the pitch] to [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes and [Rio] Ferdinand apart from the normal ‘good morning’ but we won the Champions League.”

That comment, among a few others, was made by an annoyed and, it would be fair to say, insecure looking Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Madrid’s CL clash with Roma. Needless to say, the man has also won the Champions League with his other band of brothers, BBC. They have also managed to lead the team to a goal-scoring record in a calendar year, which, although impressive, got cracked rather early by another “broadcasting network” trio, possibly familiar to you, the MSN.

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A premature comparison of Luis Enrique’s two Barças

treble

Nearly two-thirds of the way through the 2015/16 season, it seems appropriate to ask how well this team holds up to the treble-winning side from last year. Hypotheticals are usually pretty useless, and are especially dumb in sports, but sports are supposed to be fun, and the “who is better?” question is among the most fun arguments to have. So, knowing that it doesn’t matter, but wanting to think it through anyways, I’m going to be standing the 2014/15 Barcelona side next to the current side and trying to solve the argument of who is better?

I’ll be looking at three categories: 1) team stats; 2) greatest team strength (hint: it’s the same for both teams, and involves the same three players); and 3) the teams’ respective catalogues of signature wins.

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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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