As the Confederations Cup has evolved and Spain has marched ahead in the tournament, many have noticed the one major change in the lineup compared to the team that conquered Europe a year ago. Instead of using a false 9, Spain has used an actual striker – Roberto Soldado or Fernando Torres – and looked very lively in attack. The usage of a striker is something many have hoped to see in Barcelona as well, but as David Villa seems likely to leave the club during the summer, the change looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. But the question remains the same, is a striker something Barcelona should invest in?
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. We welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.
El Pivote is taking a look at the transfers that may or may not occur this summer, the value of stats and science versus an eye for talent and overall what history can and should tell Zubizarreta about players joining Barcelona.
In the aftermath of another heated Clásico, Dani Alves, FC Barcelona’s right back, dejectedly pointed out that “the fight against racism in Spanish football is a lost cause”. He was referring to the monkey noises that some Real Madrid supporters chanted at him whenever he touched the ball. These insults most likely came from the infamous “Parroquia Blanca” section of the Bernabéu, which also joined in calling Messi a “subnormal”, the Spanish term for a mentally challenged person. Sadly, this kind of behavior is only the most recent manifestation of a long tradition of racism in football. Ultimately, these chants represent a much larger problem, one that is deeply ingrained in the fringes of society. In a time when racism is supposedly a thing of the past, some fans take advantage of the anonymity that a football stadium provides in order to release bottled up emotions that they wouldn’t be free to express elsewhere. As a result, angry and offensive taunts are common, to the point that insulting the other team has become an accepted sign of the more committed fan.
FC Barcelona has faced SL Benfica in 3 separate seasons in the UEFA Champions League (twice under the European Cup label), all 3 times FC Barcelona has been in the final that year. In fact, the winner of this matchup has always gone to lift the trophy. The first one occurred in 1960/61, where the two sides met in the final hosted at Berne, where Barça was defeated 3-2 despite taking the early lead. As an interesting side note, this was the first European Cup final FC Barcelona had ever reached.
On the same day FC Barcelona progressed to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals at the expense of a prolific AC Milan side, a former Barcelona and Inter Milan player announced his protracted legal battle with the Spanish giants would come to rest.
Former Barcelona forward and Cameroonian international Samuel Eto’o (31) announced Tuesday he would no longer seek legal recompense from his former club over his 2009 transfer to Inter Milan, according to an FC Barcelona statement.
“We are striving to be like Barcelona, they are the inspiration. Barcelona are the reference point in football today….”
In an interview to The Guardian, former FC Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o on how the Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala hope to emulate the style and success of the Catalan club.
Former FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o has left Italian club Inter Milan to join Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala. By doing so he has become the world’s best-paid footballer. The British publication Guardian reports that the 30-year-old three-time UEFA Champions League winner “is set to earn €20.5m (£17.9m) after tax per season“. The three-year deal will see the Russian outfit pay Inter €25m (£21.8m) for the Cameroonian forward who will live and train in Moscow but will have to travel to the capital of Dagestan to play the home matches.
According to reports in Italy, former FC Barcelona favourite Samuel Eto’o has suffered once again at the hands of racist football fans. The incident, which occurred two nights ago outside a trendy Milanese night spot, saw the Cameroonian heckled by a group of AC Milan ultras, causing the striker’s security to become irate and confront the group, although a physical altercation was eventually avoided.
Former FC Barcelona attacker Samuel Eto’o had words of encouragement for his old teammates ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United in the final of the Champions League. Eto’o's thoughts were disclosed in an interview that appeared on the official UEFA website on Tuesday. Although Eto’o will watch the match from the stands, he made it clear who he supported in the contest. “I’ll be at the final in spirit because I have good friends who will be playing so my heart will be with them. I definitely hope Barcelona win. But you never know what will happen. Both Manchester United and Barcelona have improved [since the 2009 final]. I hope it will be a beautiful final.”
Former Barca favourite Samuel Eto’o has revealed how his heart is still behind the Catalan club whenever he watches his former team take to the field. Speaking to Radio Monte Carlo, the Cameroon forward said, “Although I like Arsène, I always go with the club. I spent five years there and maintain many wonderful friendships.”
Some may argue that that there are six FC Barcelona players in Sid Lowe’s La Liga Team of the Decade, which is part of his series for Sports Illustrated. But we will be frank and say that the real number is four – Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o, even though Lowe takes into account Eto’s performances for Mallorca. Lowe, often, we think, unjustly proclaimed as anti-Barca, may have partially redeemed himself in the eyes of Cules as he even includes Dani Alves and David Villa, who now ply their trade at the Catalan Club. So even if Lowe, taking a dig at the fans of Madrid and Barcelona, says that yes, there is a “bias” and that his team is “anti-Barca” and “anti-Madrid“, the truth is otherwise. If Lowe’s chosen legion was to play now, the reality is that much like Spain’s national team, it would be a Barca affair.
Ex-Barca striker Samuel Eto’o hugs Bojan during training session in Barcelona on Wednesday, September 13, 2010. The Cameroon international striker surprised the Blaugrana stars as he appeared to watch them be put through their paces just over a year after he left the Catalan club to join Inter Milan.
Original article @ Bleacher Report
by Adi-Oula Sebastian (edited for totalBarça by OmarX)
AC Milan finally got their man… Adriano Galliani hustled FC Barcelona yet again. This time they managed to con FC Barcelona for their most expensive signing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a mere €24.000.000 payable next year.
Yesterday was the second time that Samuel Eto’o had returned to the Camp Nou since his departure last summer. The Barca fans took the time to applaud him, even after the game was over. Due to his total dedication to the blaugrana, he’ll always be thought of fondly by most supporters. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Eto’o talked about his feelings during the game.
Former FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o insisted that there is only one possible name that could be on a theoretical list of the best players on this planet; that name is Lionel Messi. But despite that fact, the Cameroonian international warned that Inter is determined not to let their own Champions League hope go down the drain without a fight.“If there is a god of football right now, his name has to be Messi, just as it’s impossible not to say that the best team in the world at this moment is Barcelona,” football-italia.net quoted him as saying.
After scoring a fantastic goal that saw Inter Milan overturn Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League, Samuel Eto’o may well find himself back at the Camp Nou once more this season, this time for a potentially intriguing Champions League semi-final. So now seems a good time to revisit an in-depth interview given by the former FC Barcelona favourite. The interview, given to Four-Four-Twomagazine in February, finds the Cameroon international discussing his time at Barca, his relationship with Pep Guardiola, as well as his big-money move to Inter and everything that entails.
Below are some excerpts from the interview.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday revealed the top three nominees for the Glo-CAF Awards 2009 at a press briefing in Accra, Ghana.
Ex-Black Stars defender Anthony Baffoe revealed the identity of the nominees for the various categories at the ceremony attended by Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and other sporting dignitaries
The flagship award, African Footballer of the Year 2009, has former Barca star and Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto’o (29), Ivorian striker Didier Drogba (32), and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien (26) as the contenders.
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Samuel Eto’o was interviewed in October 2009 by Michael Robinson in his Spanish program “Informe Robinson” from Canal+.
After Lionel Messi’s hand of god, it is time for another edition of Caption This. As you can see from the picture above, this is indeed the very special kung-fu edition, proudly sponsored by Abidal. Leave your say, in the comments below.
According to Spanish news agency EFE, FC Barcelona is going the parade all six of the cups that they won in 2009 at the Camp Nou on Saturday before the match against Villarreal. And the club is planning on celebrating the event with everyone – including all of its former players who played a part and were responsible for the haul.
Thus, Eto’o, Gudjohnsen, Sylvinho, Hleb, Caceres and Jorquera are invited to attend the event – where all the players will enter the pitch carrying the cups, a final destination after their rolling display through 110 Catalunya municipalities. It is the Catalan club’s way of commemorating the 110th anniversary of its formation.
Some, if not most of these players may fail to be there however, as some are having to play a match of their own that day and that includes Sylvinho who currently plays for Manchester City (FA Cup against Middlesborough), and Albert Jorquera of Spanish Segunda Division side Girona (league match against Recreativo Huelva).
Catalan sports paper Sport reports that Barcelona’s African duo, midfielders Seydou Keita (29) and Yaya Toure (26) are among five finalists for the 2009 African Footballer of the Year award, which is organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The three others nominees for the award are Chelsea forward and Ivorian international Didier Drogba (31), Chelsea midfielder and Ghanaian international Michael Essien (27) and former Barcelona player and Inter Milan forward Samuel Eto’o (28), who plays for Cameroon.
The great season of Barcelona echoes from the choices, since three of the nominees played for Barcelona in the last season. The winner will be announced 25th of February at the awards gala, and will be decided by the votes of the national federation selectors.