14 February 2011

First session focused on Arsenal

Josep Guardiola’s team trained this morning in preparation for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 knock-out round. The 2 injured players, Carles Puyol and Jeffren, trained separately from the main group.

In Monday’s session, the team began to prepare for the important game on Wednesday (20.45) at Arsenal, the first leg of the second phase of the Champions League. Guardiola worked with all 18 players available from the first team squad, plus 8 from the B team (Armando, Benja, Saul, Tello, Abraham, Muniesa, Ilie and Victor Vazquez).

Carles Puyol and Jeffren Suarez, both injured, worked for the first time on the pitch, but they trained separately from the main group, with the recovery coach Juanjo Brau. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Barca best team of the decade by the IFFHS

Barcelona is the best team in the first decade of XXI century for the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

After 2010, the Catalan side has taken the top spot to Manchester United, now second ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal, also British.

The Real Madrid best European team of the twentieth century, took the eighth place in this decade. (via AS)

1. FC Barcelona (ESP) 2550.0
2. Manchester United (ENG) 2523.0
3. Liverpool (ENG) 2414.0
4. Arsenal (ENG) 2410.0
5. Inter Milan (ITA) 2358.0
6. Bayern Munich (GER) 2315.0
7. AC Milan (ITA) 2296.0
8. Real Madrid (ESP) 2257.0
9. Chelsea (ENG) 2235.0
10. Rome (ITA) 2028.0
11. O. Lyon (FRA) 1958.0
12. Valencia (ESP) 1919.0
13. Juventus (ITA) 1894.0
14. Porto (POR) 1873.0
15. Glasgow Celtic (ESC) 1764.0
18. Sevilla (ESP) 1667.0
23. Villarreal (ESP) 1562.0
31. Deportivo La Coruna (ESP) 1495.0
51. Atletico Madrid (ESP) 1214.0
70. Espanyol (ESP) 1030.0
76. Mallorca (ESP) 991.0
78. Athletic (ENG) 988.0
82. Osasuna (ESP) 958.0
97. Zaragoza (ESP) 898.0

[Ex-player & coach]Cruyff: "The excuse of the FIFA virus is too simple"

Johan Cruyff, in his weekly column in the newspaper 'El Periódico', asked not to be taken as an excuse for the Barcelona trip in Gijón the matches played their midweek international. Although statistics show that the numbers get worse after Barça team matches, former Barca coach says that "as you know because I have experience, take it as an excuse is too simple."

Cruyff turns to the statistics (already published AS on Friday) to say that Barca's Guardiola has won five, drawn seven and lost one after team matches. "On a computer that records and victories chains, (...) is a percentage that is diametrically opposed to what this group is performing," says 'Flaco'. But the Dutchman asks, "Is there really a cause and effect? Barça played poorly in Gijon?."

The answer is "no. Another thing is that, indeed, was not perfect and that it set the pace in which moved the ball," he says. "Had I become any more of the many occasions to talk about the great reaction of this equipo.De there that lack of desire or aggression blown up. What went wrong is not that, but the speed and accuracy offensive execution phase, ruling on the matter.

Cruyff also speaks the next opponent of the Barcelona team, Arsenal. "We played Arsenal-Wolverhampton. Two to zero with two goals from Van Persie real good and finding, once again, that their front face to the strip." Cruyff points in English football there is a constant "exchange of blows, because they all run to open grave, because some-lose not many, but a lot of balls", which should benefit the club, which "is neither English nor freckle latter. "

Although Cruyff also recognizes the virtues of Wenger's team, "is different in England, because it is able to give more than three passes in a row." Calls special attention to Van Persie, who "well and in good scoring form, is cooler than anyone else to blame for his ankle injury. "

Johan Cruyff finally asked to be "left alone to Cesc Fabregas. Go short week have given the kid. Is your future? Your future is Arsenal is trying to go round in the Champions League and try to win the Premier." Year next? God will say. No, sorry, Cesc tell. " (via AS)

Villa: “it was a thrilling game”

David Villa:

After the game , David Villa gave his take on the match: “Sporting managed to do what a lot of teams have been trying for some time – they closed down the players who create for us”. The Spain striker also made it clear that the midweek international games hadn’t affected the team: “there was no FIFA virus, it was very hard work for us because of Sporting, they played well and the draw was down to that rather than any failing on our part”.

It was a special night in Gijon, for the Sporting fans as well as for the returning local hero himself and Villa explained: “it was a thrilling game and you have to give the home fans a 10 for the support they gave their team which made it much harder for us. I’ve got a lot of affection for the people here, but I’m a professional and I have to do the best for my team”. On an individual level, Villa admitted: “I’m pleased with my goal and that it gave us a point, but on the whole, we didn’t get what we came for and so that creates some mixed feelings”.

Dani Alves:

“The game was difficult after they went ahead. They drew back and made it hard for us to play and to get through”.

“We improved in the second half. We got the goal and with a bit more luck we could have nicked it. On the whole we did a good job though and that’s what we have to continue to do”.

“Every game is hard and winning is always difficult, even though we are used to it with this run of wins we’ve had. We took another point and we have to be happy with that”.

“The team worked hard and made a great effort”.

“We are trying to reach a deal (with the club for his contract renewal) and I hope it’s sorted out as soon as possible”.

Víctor Valdés:

“It’s a pity we dropped two points here – they were very important for us. Now we have to turn our attention to Europe”.

“We had our chances, but we didn’t take them”.

“Sporting did what they had to do very well and that’s what this league is about. We just have to take it one game at a time”.

Javier Mascherano:

“It’s one point, it’s not what we wanted. We were better in the second half , but it didn’t feel good tonight”.

“The positives are that the team reacted and we made chances”.

“If you can’t win, it’s important not to lose and we’ll see at the end of the season how important that point was”.

“Now we have to focus on the Champions League”.

Xavi Hernández:

“We go to bed eight points ahead of Real Madrid –let’s see what happens tomorrow!” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Barça week, with the return of the Champions

After two months without playing the Champions League, Barca back to the top European competition with the first leg of the knockout final against Arsenal. Will be Monday, because when Guardiola start preparing the party in London.

Parked the Copa del Rey final until April 20 at the Mestalla in the coming months the club expected the league to switch over the weekend with the Champions League. And is that European competition again this week after two months off. Will be Wednesday, therefore, when the club played the first leg of the knockout final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium (20.45 hours).

After enjoying a day off, the players of FC Barcelona return to work Monday morning. Will be at 11 pm with a session at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper will be open to the media in the first quarter of an hour. Later will come to the media Pedro.

Unlike other occasions, the club will not be exercised at the stage where they will play the match of the Champions League. Thus, the train Tuesday morning in Sant Joan Despi, after 12 hours, and after eating, at 16 hours, the flight will move it to London. Once there, coach Pep Guardiola and a player will attend to the media at the Emirates Stadium after 19.45 hours (local time).

So, at first, not until game time on Wednesday at 20.45, when the club step on Arsenal turf grass. After completing the first 90 minutes of qualifying, the whole issue back to Barcelona. The Catalans enjoy on Thursday, a day of rest before you start to think about the League and the Athletic Club.

Barca will not play your game of the 24 th day until Sunday at 21 pm in the Camp Nou. Guardiola's men have three training sessions to prepare the match against Athletic Club de Bilbao. On Friday and Saturday will be exercised after 11 am at the Sports City. And Sunday's activity will move to Camp Nou with a session at 12 noon.

New yellow paint to try to fool whistling

José Manuel Pinto was again shown the card to try to emulate the sound of a whistle referee's whistle. In yesterday's match against Sporting Gijon, Cadiz keeper whistled again in order to distract and confuse the opponent.

It was in 61 minutes, and, as stated in the minutes of the match, was reprimanded for "whistle with your mouth, simulating the sound of the whistle, which can create confusion when attacking the opposing team." The goalkeeper of FC Barcelona and was punished in the Champions League with two games to confuse Santin, Copenhagen striker in a match in the Camp Nou. (via AS)