“I just said that some decisions should be taken, but I was talking along general lines. On a personal level for each individual so we could take a step forward and try and be better and work more so that next season we can try to reach Bayern’s level…I have a phenomenal relationship with Tito. He was my coach when I was 15 years old. I appreciate him a lot, and have the highest respect for him as a coach.”
“‘Impossible’ is only a word that weak men use to live in the world in which they were given, not daring to explore the power they have to change it. ‘Impossible’ is not a fact, it’s an opinion. ‘Impossible’ is not a statement, it’s a challenge. ‘Impossible’ is potential. ‘Impossible’ is temporary. ‘Impossible’ is nothing.”
- Awesome inspirational stuff from Daniel Alves’s Twitter account. Everyone is going to need this attitude tomorrow.
“I don’t think we need to talk about the referee. They were better and we have to congratulate them.”
-Gerard Piqué speaks after the difficult defeat to Bayern Munich last night.
“I admire Pep Guardiola, but I don’t need any advice from other coaches. I know my team better than anybody and I also know a lot about Spanish football and Barcelona. There has been no kind of contact at all.”
- Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes squashing any sort of speculation he will call on legendary Barça boss Pep Guardiola for inside information. Though I very much doubt Pep, the gentlemen and culé he is, would have said anything anyway.
“Sergio Busquets is a key player for Barça. There are others who get more headlines, but this Barça team have won so many titles thanks in large part to him. Sergio Busquets is the key player for Barça. He always keeps his position and sets up players like Xavi and Iniesta who can go forward knowing that their backs are covered.”
- National side teammate and Tuesday opponent Javi Martínez had these words of praise for Barça midfield genius Sergio Busquets. The two defensive midfielders, though quite different in style, will play important roles over the semi-final series with Bayern Munich. An additional quote is after the jump.
“Barcelona has always been the team most important to me. It’s an example for all with hardworking and dedicated players like Xavi and Puyol, and also for the supporters. Barça is the best team in the world. I never planned on going to Madrid because I’ve been culé for many years.”
- A small extract of an interview, in which he spoke Catalan, with former FC Barcelona star Yaya Touré.
“I have a great hope that Madrid will win the Champions League. The team is in great form and the moment is ripe for taking the title. The semi-final tie with Dortmund will be very open, but I think Madrid will make it to the final.”
– Ex-Barcelona winger Luis Figo
“Bayern is currently the best team in Europe. Barça had its time, but now has no chance against Bayern. Bayern isn’t scared of Barcelona.”
– Fighting words from Ex-Bayern coach Felix Magath.
“I would bet my ass that [Matthias] Sammer will call Guardiola.”
– Outspoken Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp responds to claims from Bayern management that they will not seek help from incoming manager Pep Guardiola ahead of the Champions League semi-final clash later in April.
“If we do draw Barcelona, we’ll be ready. I know them like the back of my own hand, maybe even better than my own team … I know their philosophy, their system, their tactics and all their players.”
– Jupp Heynckes, Bayern Munich manager, ahead of Friday’s Champions League semi-final draw [Image: AFP]
“This is a miracle. In the operation the intention was to save his life, nobody even considered a recovery to athletic conditions. Returning to normal health after a transplant happens 90% of the time, but this is something extraordinary.”
- Words from Doctor Juan Carlos García-Valdecasas, Chief of the Transplant division at Barcelona Clinical Hospital and one of the surgeons that personally worked with Èric Abidal. Not only is he astounded with the recovery thus far, he predicts that Abidal has another two seasons of football in him.
“The Ballon d’Or should be renamed for Lionel Messi because he’s going to win even more of them…he is without a doubt the best player in the world.”
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaking to the press on Monday. [Image: AFP]
“Sometimes we may seem untouchable, oblivious to everything but it’s not true … one day I would like to invite someone to visit the locker room and he would be surprised. [...] Well, there is a guy who hunts for mushrooms, another visits Warner Park with friends on his day off, another goes to a restaurant to have dinner for 20 euros so he can go with all his crew … we are 26 years old guys, [we] are not so unusual. We try to do normal things, because we do not want fame to make us idiots, we go to the movies, for a walk with our partners and kids, go to the cinema … normal things, because that’s what we like.”
“My relationship with Messi is so bad that he’s literally given me half my goals,” said Villa with a healthy dose of sarcasm in an interview recently published by El País. “Messi is incredible. People talk about his goals, and I understand that, but the football he generates for his teammates is incredible. He has an extra gear that other players don’t have.”
But a very different Mourinho; check this out:
“After being on the Barça coaching staff, nothing else measures up.”
– Jose Mourinho circa 1996 [look at that fresh face!]
“We need 90,000 people who believe that we can get through this. Anyone who thinks that we can’t do it, please give your ticket to your children or friends.”
– FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique
Image: MARC CASANOVAS
“We have a plan to return to winning ways…People invent many possible reasons for our defeats, but the dressing room is united. If you saw how we were training you would not doubt us.”
Words: La Vanguardia • Image: MIGUEL RUIZ [FCB]
“I thought it was strange that they didn’t sign players on the strength of their reputation or how famous they are. They do the opposite. When they sign someone they think about where he’d fit in the side and the job he can do. And when you’ve got foundations like that, you’re only going to grow as a team. It’s not something you can do in a couple of days. It takes years and years and years. Every one of us in this Barcelona side today should feel privileged. Playing for this club is good for your health, good for everything, and you really find out what human, footballing and competitive values are all about. It’s the best club and the best team in the world, without question.”
FC Barcelona right-back Dani Alves spoke about what surprised him most when arrived at Barça.
“What Messi does is not normal. I hope everybody is enjoying what he is doing, because it doesn’t happen often.”
Former teammate and current NY Red Bulls star Thierry Henry reminding everyone to appreciate that history is unfolding before their very eyes.
“The many messages of support I got helped me, but I want to be talked about because of my job, not my disease…The best treatment for me is to be out on the pitch, with a ball at my feet.”
– FC Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova • Image: Jorge Zapata [EFE]
Malaga defender Martin Demichelis spoke candidly about his experience facing FC Barcelona: “Honestly, in the second half Barcelona made me want to applaud them.”
Image: Jorge Guerrero [AFP]