Thursday morning FC Barcelona held its annual Premi Barça Jugadors awards ceremony, and the winner this year was club legend Xavi Hernández. The award is given to the player who exemplified the idea of “fair play” most during the season. It is organized by the “Association of Players” of the club (ABJ) and voting is done by fans via Facebook for 6 nominees, this year being Èric Abidal, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Pedro Rodríguez, Carles Puyol and the winner himself. A jury then decides the winner and this year it was Xavi who succeeded Bojan and previously Iniesta. The president of the ABJ, Ramon Alfonseda, said on the honor, “it’s a special stat really – it doesn’t take into account assists or goals or the games you’ve played, but rather the human qualities of a player and his fair play”.
Yesterday, May 16, FC Barcelona were honored by FIFA with the “Medical Center of Excellence” status. This recognition is given to institutions that portray a mission “of which is to use medical knowledge and experience to improve the care and medical treatment of footballers of all categories“. This is in actuality quite a prestigious award for the club. Before yesterday’s official announcement, only 33 other such centers of excellence existed globally, and the majority were university medical centers or private medical practices. FC Barcelona are in fact the first ever football club to be donned with such an illustrious title and are also now the only medical center in Spain with this accreditation. More after the jump.
2.6 billion – Forbes recently published its 2013 football (soccer) team valuations, a tradition it has done since 2004. Now the major news was that Real Madrid usurped Manchester United for the first time ever since 2004. FC Barcelona was valued the 3rd most valuable football team at 2.6 billion USD, behind Real Madrid and Manchester United’s valuations of USD 3.3 billion and 3.165 billion respectively. These three football clubs have well and truly pulled away from the pack, with the next highest valued club, Arsenal, only coming in at USD 1.326 billion.
FC Barcelona can however feel immensely proud of their valuation which doubled since the last measurement period thanks chiefly to a 19% growth in revenue over Sandro Rosell’s three years at the helm.
The final training session before Barça faces Deportivo on Saturday evening (20:00) took place this Saturday morning with some important onlookers: president Sandro Rosell, vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and Andoni Zubizarreta, sporting director of football. All three greeted the players and coaches of the first team as they walked out onto the pitch, before the start of the 11:30 session at the Camp Nou.
This Wednesday morning, club president Sandro Rosell, vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and football sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta are traveling to New York to talk about the future of the first team with Tito Vilanova. Vilanova is still in the United States, undergoing special treatment in the fight against cancer that keeps him away from the Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, visiting Israel at the moment, spoke to the press today. Rosell confirmed that Tito Vilanova will not be returning to his manager role before the end of March, which means he won’t be coaching the first team in the highly anticipated return leg against AC Milan.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, during his visit in Tel Aviv, made a joint statement with Israeli president Shimon Peres announcing that Barça is willing to take its first team to Israel for a football match “in the hope that this game can serve to build bridges of dialogue between the two communities that can help lead to reconciliation between the two”.
Rosell has confirmed that the leaders of the State of Israel and of the Palestinian Authority have accepted the FC Barcelona initiative with much enthusiasm. “The three parties have taken the first step for this match to become a reality and from now on we will be working together to achieve that,” he said. The details of the match are still under discussion, but the idea is for it to be played on July 31 and for Barça to play against a team made up of both Israeli and Palestinian players. The venue has not been decided yet, but the most probable choice will be Tel Aviv, which has the biggest capacity stadiums. This charity match will be played to promote peace and dialogue and also to raise funds for projects to help young Israelis and Palestinians. In this regard, FC Barcelona vice president Javier Faus has confirmed that “we have no economic interests, we don’t mind whether we make or lose money. We are here to defend certain values”.
FC Barcelona’s coach Tito Vilanova will return to his post in two to three weeks according to declarations made on Friday by club president Sandro Rosell. Rosell, speaking in Dubai at the Globe Soccer conference, confirmed Vilanova’s positive trajectory, adding that the coach will initially “combine his work with the first team squad and his cancer treatment…the most important thing is his health. At this stage football must come second.” If Rosell’s time frame is correct, it would mean that Tito would miss the Liga derby with Espanyol on January 6 and the Copa match with Cordoba on January 10, but would likely return in time for the Liga matches against Malaga and Real Sociedad later that month. Keep your fingers crossed!
FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell and Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta held a press conference in the Sala Paris at the Ciutat Esportiva early Wednesday evening to discuss the situation with Manager Tito Vilanova’s cancer relapse and the announcement to assign Assistant Coach Jordi Roura as interim head coach in Vilanova’s absence. The following are quotes translated by totalBarça’s Maria Inés and Roberto Curtis as reported by @OpinionCule.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has advanced some radical ideas for restructuring some of Europe’s most prestigious competitions. His ideas, articulated on Thursday via Madrid-based radio station Cadena Ser, involve first reducing the number of teams in the Spanish first division from 20 to 16. But he didn’t stop there. Out of these 16 teams, 8 would advance to his newly imagined Champions League which would expand from 32 to 64 different squads. In this way Liga teams would play fewer domestic matches but would expand their international presence.
On 15 June, 2003 a group of thirty-something professionals, led by a young lawyer, Joan Laporta, took over one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Their starting point could not have been worse. The club was technically bankrupt with €150 million worth of debts. The team had been humiliated on the pitch. For four seasons they had won nothing.
With unprecedented, exclusive access to the inner workings of a major European club, this documentary observes the story of Laporta and his team’s first year in power. Watch the documentary after the jump.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell held his customary end-of-season press conference this morning at the Camp Nou, to do an overview of the previous season. Rosell discussed various matters related to the club like Pep, Tito, Abidal, the economic situation, Camp Nou remodeling, the Mourinho-Tito punishment and the season ticket pricing. After discussing the balance of the season, the president was then subjected to questions from journalists on some portentous topics related to the club.
“Thank you Pep for the joy you have brought us and for everything you have contributed to your Barça.
Thank you Pep for having perfected a model of football that can never again be questioned.
Thank you Pep for having represented this institution in a such a model fashion, being a flag for the values that define our club.
Thank you Pep for your support, affection, and love.”
Sandro Rosell, President of FC Barcelona, on April 27, 2012 at the famous press conference announcing the departure of Pep Guardiola.
FC Barcelona, under the leadership of new president Sandro Rosell, have sold players to the tune of 83 million Euros over the last 18 months.
Speaking at the 6th Dubai International Sports conference yesterday, FC Barcelona’s president Sandro Rosell said UEFA’s proposed financial fair play regulations are needed to keep billionaire-funded clubs in check, and provide a level playing field for other clubs that are run as an association with an elected head.
Many FC Barcelona players are quite active on the social networking site Twitter, and after the 3-1 El Clásico win over arch-rivals Real Madrid CF, the boys could hardly contain themselves from taking over their followers’ timelines. Read after the jump for what the players were tweeting and how they are spending their long plane ride to Japan for the Club World Cup. Warning: thumbs-up signs abound.
The General Consul of the United States, Gregory Crouch, on behalf of the US Consul for Spain, today presented FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell with a letter from US President Barack Obama at the club’s headquarters. The letter was written to thank the team for all the gifts given during the US preseason tour visit to the White House, including two first team jerseys.
Speaking at the award ceremony for Madrid based sports paper Marca, FC Barcelona president insisted that the League is a long journey. The ceremony also included the presentation of the Zamora and Di Stéfano trophies to Víctor Valdés and Lionel Messi respectively, who did not attend the ceremony by the decision of the Club.
A few things have emerged after this weekend. As you might have noticed, there is a lot of talk about Pep’s words towards the former Barça directive board. Some members of the board led by Joan Laporta have been forced, by a legal dispute, to present a financial back up for the losses his board inherited from Joan Gaspart’s presidency in 2003. Laporta and seven of his old board members- which, for some reason, does not include Sandro Rosell himself, vice president in 2003- need to present financial back up of about 2.9 million euros each. Back in 2006, a Barça member filed a lawsuit to make Laporta and his board responsible for the previous losses. Laporta and the rest lost the legal dispute and have to present the back up this Friday.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu and technical director of football Andoni Zubizarreta visited player Ibrahim Afellay on Sunday to extend their support, encourage as well as cheer up the Dutch midfielder who was reported as “devasted” by his agent Rob Jansen upon hearing the news of his injury. The club’s official site said that the the trio wished to give their personal wishes to Afellay, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during training and will be out of action for at least six months.
In the midst of all the drama of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid CF, the grueling preparations of pre-season, and the Joan Gamper Trophy match against SSC Napoli, FC Barcelona still found the time to party. Starting Saturday, August 20 and wrapping up yesterday on the 22nd, Barcelona hosted a “Barça Party” for its official club members and accredited Supporters Clubs members on the plaza of Camp Nou that also coincided with the XXXIIth (32nd) Supporters Clubs Congress as well as the XXXIV (34th) World Barça Supporters Clubs Meeting.
Newly presented midfielder Cesc Fàbregas (24) spoke at a press conference today about his long awaited transfer to boyhood club FC Barcelona finally coming to fruition. The number 4 will “take on whatever role I’m given” for the club that “has made my dream possible.”