12 April 2011

Shakhtar Donetsk-Barça: Did you know...

Six days after their last meeting at the Nou Camp, Shaktar and Barça meet again in the second leg of their UCL quarter final tie. Below are some of the facts and figures surrounding the big game:

The 5-1 defeat at the Nou Camp leaves Shaktar with a mountain to climb. Only three times in the UEFA Cup, and never in the Champions League, have a team come back from such a big first leg deficit.

The record for a second leg fightback in the Champions League is held by Deportivo, who lost 4-1 to AC Milan in Italy and then won 4-0 in Coruña.

The biggest turnaround Barça have ever suffered in Europe was in the 1993/4 season when Manchester United beat them 3-0 at Old Trafford after Barça had won 2-0 at the Nou Camp.

Barça have gone through to the next round on 36 of the 38 occasions they have won the first leg of a European tie.

Since they moved to the Donbass Arena, Shakhtar Donetsk have not lost a single European game (9 wins and 3 draws).

In fact, they suffered their first ever defeat at the Stadium last weekend when Obolon Kiev beat them 0-1.

The last time Barça faced Shakhtar in Ukraine, the team were still at the Olympic Stadium and Barça won 1-2 with two late goals from Messi.

►In games against Spanish sides in Ukraine Shakhtar’s record is one win, three draws and two defeats.

In this year’s competition, Shakhtar have won four games at home and conceded just one goal: 1-0 against Partisan, 2-1 against Arsenal, 2-0 against Sporting Braga and 3-0 against Roma.

For their part, Barça have won one away game this season 0-3 against Panathinaikos, drawn twice -1-1 against Rubin Kazan and Copenhagen- and lost one match –the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.

Barça have scored in every away game in the competition so far and if they do that against the Ukrainians on Tuesday night, Shakhtar will need five goals to force extra time and six to win outright.

Rat (Shakhtar) and Iniesta (Barça) are both suspended for the game.

Piqué "disconnected from the world" for 20 days

FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is willing to live "off" the world over the coming days to the high degree of concentration required for him and his teammates all four decisive games that can compete with Real Madrid.

In an interview with Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport ', the Spanish international in mind the elimination of Barcelona in last year's Champions League semi-final against Inter and the brief passage of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Catalan club .

"Fans of live (the matches with Real Madrid) with a mixture of emotion, pause and hope. Will suffer, too, because if at times everything seems rosy, others read omens everywhere. No may know better than me. I am fond of Barcelona from birth, since my grandfather gave me when I was born partner, "says Piqué.

"For us, that we are in the field, twenty days will be special. The play us aware of the efforts of a year in so concentrated a period inevitably lead us to other frequencies. Modern Talking, our status with the rest of the world is 'disconnected' "he adds.

Piqué says the controversies that tend to lift the words from the coach of Real Madrid, the Portuguese Jose Mourinho, not have to affect the players, for him on the field, has to face the "sprinting" for Cristiano Ronaldo not what she said the technician.

Just got the Portuguese coach last season at Barcelona snatch the dream of winning a second successive Champions League semi-final which Piqué, world champion Spain in South Africa in 2010, it has very good memory.

"It was the worst disappointment of my career, this self. But I think about it and, if it is to avoid repeating mistakes. San Siro played bad, because Inter did well and because the bus ride (the problems with Icelandic volcano forced it) had thrown us a bit. In the Camp Nou, however, was the excess adrenaline that we took its toll, "says Piqué.

The Catalan defender Ibrahimovic does not believe he did wrong during the season who played for Barcelona, ​​so to speak of failure by the Swedish current Milan player is, he said, "foolish." His team was out to Pique, a matter of choice.

The Barca coach Josep Guardiola said that "just" made "a choice: last year he had tried the game Ibra as more functional than the team (the Cameroonian Samuel) Eto'o. Last summer thought that of (Spanish David) Villa was even better. Unfortunately a choice between two players, who only art, inevitably ends up affecting people. "

Ibrahimovic not exactly speak well of Guardiola is concerned, as Piqué, that "in this historical period all players would want to play for Barcelona, ​​and this is what you burn" into Swedish. (via SPORT)

Shakhtar-Barcelona: First seal the semi-finals

Barca must now pass to seal the semifinals of the Champions. Despite the comfortable 5-1 of Camp Nou, a once powerful align Guardiola. Iniesta is low due to suspension and 'Busi' returns, initially in central. Expected winter weather and a rival to doubt Srna and Luiz Adriano.

If the League can only be missing the boat, as claimed last week Pep Guardiola and David Villa, with qualifying for the semifinals of the Champions is exactly the same. Barça landed yesterday in Ukraine with a 5-1 lampshade got six days at the Camp Nou and today we are certifying the penultimate round go to Europe, where it appears to be measured in a historic match to Real Madrid Morning visit to Tottenham also four goals of income.

Despite the scandalous way marker could be invited to have an eleven circumstances, Barca coach will field his best men, with the exception of Andres Iniesta forced, for the second time in his career will miss a game due to accumulation of warnings (the other was in the League 2007-2008). Busquets will return to the starting lineup after serving sentence in league against Almería and Pinto, who missed training yesterday, is doubtful. Oier subsidiary goalkeeper traveled yesterday with the team if it finally should be the backup to Victor Valdes, and accompanied him on the expedition, two other members of the branch, regardless of Fontàs: Thiago, who turned 20 yesterday and the injury Bojan have many numbers to stay in the first team until the end of the season, and Jonathan dos Santos, who made headlines after inadvertently challenged the Granada last Friday's game against Barca B for possible improper alignment of the Mexican.

In principle, Guardiola recover the heart of the defense of the way, with Busquets and Pique, and Mascherano can not play at the Bernabeu on Saturday, will vest. Keita also regain its place at the expense of Thiago. Above, will have to see how Pep decides to Messi, who always wants to play. Villa, Pedro, almost recovered from his groin injury, and other tips Afellay are available.

"We know how to play these games," said Guardiola, who also recalled that his team "only plays to attack." By mistake, the coach left the press conference a phrase that generated many comments in the Donbass Arena and in chat rooms and forums across Spain. "Because if we beat Shakhtar we are in the final," said Pep when he recalled that in the last two editions, the club in 2009 and Inter in 2010, the champion has taken to Shakhtar. Guardiola quickly corrected him.

Barça trained afternoon at the spectacular Donbass Arena today with sleet and freezing weather is expected, cold and possibly rain. However, the pitch, mixed with natural grass and artificial as the plant studies that Barca next season at the Nou Camp will be in good condition.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach, said that "almost impossible" to eliminate Barca, giving his team a few other options that gave him a week ago the former Barcelona Chygrynskiy, now down again to cause injury. Srna, one of the favorite side Guardiola, and Luiz Adriano, who both pardoned in the Nou Camp, are certainly. (via MD)

Lucescu: "It's almost impossible to eliminate them"

Mircea Lucescu told a news conference when the club was still flying to Donetsk. Shakhtar's Romanian coach insisted on going to the victim, after the first leg 5-1, and yesterday said that "we need experience to play at the highest level, as we saw against Arsenal in London and at the Camp Nou. Made a lot of errors. The 1-0 Iniesta was a gift from us. " Moreover, its goal Pyatov blamed "the second and third" of the club. Lucescu hopes "that this time these mistakes are not repeated, although the Barcelona knows how to provoke. Because of the low, we resort to a defense of circumstances. We have very few options to move, but try to give a decent image. It is almost impossible to eliminate to Barcelona, ​​we must be realistic, but play to win. I hope my men to give their best. " (via MD)

Session with cold and sleet

Barça conoció el espectacular Donbass Arena, donde el Shakhtar ha ganado siempre en la Champions League.

Con cinco grados centígrados en el termómetro como máxima a lo largo del día, un fino aguanieve caía sobre el espectacular Donbass Arena cuando los barcelonistas saltaron a un césped en el que estuvieron curioseando. El terreno de juego de esta maravilla arquitectónica inaugurada en 2009 con un coste de 300 millones de euros exhibe una mezcla de hierba natural (77%) y artificial (23%) autorizada por la UEFA en la que el Barça está interesado para solucionar los problemas estacionales del manto del Camp Nou.

El desapacible tiempo propició que los propios futbolistas del Barça regresaran a por prendas impermeables para trabajar en una sesión donde acabaron formados en dos rondos muy especiales. Uno de ellos se diría que estaba integrado por extranjeros con todos los americanos más Keita y la excepción de Jeffren. Allí estaban Milito, Messi, Mascherano, Adriano, Maxwell, Alves, Thiago y los mencionados anteriormente. En el otro estaban los 'nacionales' reforzados por el holandés Afellay, que ya está integradísimo en el día a día del vestuario barcelonista, y la excepción del mexicano Jonathan dos Santos. En cualquier caso, buen humor, toque rápido, buenas sensaciones y mucho frío, al menos en contraste con el tiempo en Barcelona y España en general donde ya se ha instalado la primavera y algo más.

Con poco más de 100 seguidores culés en las gradas, el Donbass Arena vivirá una noche soñada con 52.518 espectadores a la espera del milagro. De momento, el Shakhtar ha ganado allí sus cuatro partidos de Champions: 1-0 al Partizan, 2-1 al Arsenal, 2-0 al Braga y 3-0 a la Roma. (via MD)

An hour late and damage to the bus

The ship returned to ride in a Portuguese plane only four days of face to face with Madrid over Portuguese history, with Mourinho on the bench and CR7 in the field. As in the league moving to Copenhagen (1-1), when the team encountered Pep a plane emblazoned with the colors of Sporting Braga and a crew from the same country, in the debut of Falcon Travel on something similar happened Champions , this time in an apparatus of the Atlantic company, with decorative touches Barca, but lusos cabin crew, though.

The one-hour delay in departure was due to air traffic problems in the target zone, Ukraine, from where permission to take off was delayed apparently for technical reasons. At least nobody saw Lucescu, the Shakhtar coach feared in the control tower of the ancient Donetsk airport.

The Barça president Sandro Rosell went as usual in matches during the week, accompanied by Vice President Carlos Vilarrubí and managers Eduard Coll, Pilar Guinovart and Javier Bordas. He also accompanied the expedition as usual Amador Bernabéu, responsible for relations with UEFA.

At the airport of El Prat, despite the quiet of T2, where you take off this type of charter flights, Rosell was a lot of photos, more crowded with the boys from a school in Tarragona. One of the students asked him "please tell Pep to give more minutes to Bojan," Rosell to what looked surprised. "It will be difficult to do so, because he is injured!" He said.

For 'disgrace' of Rosell and of Eduard Coll, both could get to the airport directly from home. They would have preferred to have made the long trip back night they planned to drive from Vigo. Both had reservations to fly on Sunday morning if the handball team had qualified for the Cup final, but a goal from Valladolid in the last minute of the semifinal prevented.

As Monday morning should be in Barcelona, ​​had raised rent an airport taxi, but Sandro himself dismissed it on the ground that the club's economic situation is still not quite ready for these expenses. The operation was planned very comfortable vehicle and a driver to travel the nearly thousand miles between Vigo and Barcelona.

It was not the only change in plans Barca suffered by the directive. Their bus from the airport to the hotel is just a meter was damaged after being set up, which necessitated the location of an emergency vehicle to rescue them.

Andoni Zubizarreta, who was traveling on the same bus also got stuck for a while. (via MD)

[Ex President] Gaspart: "I would not have apologized and Rosell"

Joan Gaspart, ex president of Barcelona, ​​Sandro Rosell supported and excused him from criticism following the controversy sparked by betting on a 5-0 in the Cup final "Rosell was wrong. I should have said 14-0. The critical he made were out of tune. It seemed that Cibeles had offended, "said Gaspart, adding:" If I were president now, would not have apologized. If we are called 'polacos', they must accept that a president say 5 -0 in a charity club. " (via MD)

Florentino is no longer seen as a friend at the club

After the 'affair' COPE, the 'Saturday the attitude of Barcelona will not be effusive as 29 Nov.

The board will display a calculated Barca cooling of relations with Real Madrid in the league return visit to the Bernabeu, which have nothing to do with staging starring presidents Sandro Rosell and Florentino Perez last November from RCT Barcelona. Although only four months have passed, times have changed as a result of the 'affair' of the COPE and insinuations about doping whose source remains in the absence of clarification, Madrid home.

Barca's stance is to adjust the visibility of what today is a strong internal unrest against Florentino Perez, as a possible direct cause of the leak or to omit a strong denial at the time.

For now you can not blame the president or the Real Madrid institutionally, but only the station that broadcast the information. Going to war now would be excessive if, where appropriate, it is established that no club has thrown the stone white.

In fact, in the club being considered also other hypotheses that could have interfered media to orchestrate this campaign so dirty, from a journalist at heart 'merengue'.

But they are only hypotheses, which in any case support the evil intentions of the news and do not discharge the Madrid and their president to act with a warmth also inappropriate.

So the club, that if he had evidence or knowledge that Real Madrid was a hand that pressed the button the fan would have planted Florentino and refused to participate in official food-prefer an uncompressed format or joint public appearances beyond necessary.

There will be no hugs or handshakes effusive as the first leg. More likely is that the restaurant every president from its side or that the photo is reduced to a ceremonial greeting. For Barca policy, no longer seen as a president Florentino up to a great institution like Madrid, this part of the trip will be quite uncomfortable, as well as the comfortable pre-Cup final, where the force Both presidents will jointly officiate the ceremony of coexistence.

Barcelona does not want, on the eve of a high-risk as Valencia, twitching the environment. Security in a great match in which they have thousands of fans mixing requires responsible behavior, civic and, where possible, any belligerent attitude attenuator. Barca will face more diplomatic these imperatives. (via MD)

[Barça B] Barça B, sure not to lose the three points

Barça B has no fear of losing the three points from offices on Friday at the Granada (4-0) and allowed to rise to third place. The Andalusian club decided to challenge the party for alleged improper alignment of Jonathan dos Santos and expects the Competition Committee take a decision today, according to the Catalans club, offers no room for interpretation. Barça B was faithful to the letter of the fifth paragraph of Article 56 of the Disciplinary Code of the Federation, so points should not be in danger.

Granada's claim stems from the previous day when Dos Santos was punished with a game in the second division A for accumulation of cautions. Therefore, the midfielder could not play against Villarreal B. However, the regulation does allow you to act in another competition as it is not an expulsion. The regulation is very clear and states that the penalty "must be met in any case, in the same competition in question." The later addition is essential to point out that "competition means that it corresponds to the same category and division." Therefore, if the penalty applicable to the Second Division A only has to be fulfilled in the Silver category. Luis Enrique could not use the player Pep Guardiola, Xavi had sanctioned, he decided to summon him and give input in the closing stages of the match.

El Granada, meanwhile, understands that to participate with the first team, was not released from its penalty in the second division A and, therefore, crawled to the next day. So Jonathan did not have to have faced the Andalusian box. An argument that conflicts with the letter of the regulation and should not change the sign of the party.

In any case, in Grenada there is a great outrage at the actions of Iglesias Prieto college in Friday's game. The Navarre sent off two players from Granada, Siqueira and Nyom, in addition to technical Fabriciano González 'Fabri', and the kit-man, Jesus Perez. As the coach, the referee reported in the minutes that "once sent off and as he walked around the technical area and headed to the locker room, he turned to me screaming in the following terms:" You're a fucking bastard "and" Slack, you're a slacker. "

Granada discomfort for the actions of Iglesias Prieto was added to the existing designation Ontanaya by López-Yards for the next match against Numancia. The Atletico lost to the college of the season against Valladolid and Cartagena, so there are suspicious of the appearance of a "black hand". El Granada does not want his career aspirations are hindered by arbitration and challenging issues is a way to express discontent.

In any case, the Barça B is unrelated to any controversy and only thinks about the game this Friday against Recreativo in the Nuevo Colombino (21.00 pm). Luis Enrique efctivos have more once the Juvenile Division of Honour with the brilliant title of Oscar Garcia Junyent team. The Junior A play does not return to official competition 1 through May 8 with the Champions League, so young people can enhance the subsidiary. (via SPORT)

The club pays tribute to their 'rescuers'

The continuity of Barcelona in the Civil War was due to some champions that, today, and have a face.

The 'Barça Magazine' in April makes a face to the employees of FC Barcelona who did not allow the entity was confiscated by the CNT-FAI in August 1936. A fitting tribute to a people who knew how to react quickly to the field or Les Corts or offices (IBTS then Consell de Cent) fall into the hands of the anarcho-syndicalist union.

The heroes in those turbulent times were Rossend Calvet (secretary general), Josep Olivé (conductor), Manuel Bassols (accounting), Josep Farré (meritorious), Josep Cubells (local concierge social), Josep Pujol (dependent), Carbonell and Eusebi Jaume Roig (offices) and Mario Pellegero (equipment manager). All of them attended the first meeting of the workers. In the second Ballarín joined Pere, Angel Mur, Angel Sánchez, Manuel Torres, José Brasó and Joan Sebastian.

Together, decided to mobilize and create a committee to take charge of the entity and, thus, replace the board. To take this step, previously had to join the General Union of Workers (UGT), management that got by the decisive intervention of the Centre Autonomist Dependents of Commerce and Industry (CADCI). Were, then, the employees who seized the club and took over the reins of this in the summer of 1936.

The discovery of this material was made possible thanks to the tenacity of a Barcelona resident of Salamanca, Policarpio Sanchez, who with time and patience has been found in the Salamanca archive photographs of the employees who gave continuity to FC Barcelona during the Civil War .

The key figure, however, was Àngel Mur (father), who first gave the first warning when he saw posters in the area of ​​Les Corts as the land would be confiscated. "I called the office and talked with Secretary Rossend Calvet, who immediately arranged a meeting with the other directors of the board," recalled Mur in the book 'El Barça en guerra', Josep M. Jordi Solé i Sabaté and Finestres.

The report, titled "Faces of Legend 'has been developed by the historian and director of Studies and Documentation Centre of FC Barcelona, ​​Carles Santacana. (via SPORT)

Barca always makes the road

If you want Josep Guardiola is that his team faces the match tonight with the utmost seriousness, the best way to achieve this is to display true to his personality.

Barca have scored in every game he has played outside the Nou Camp this season, at least one goal. And nobody can overlook that to get a much clinched the tie would leave given that the outcome of the round and is a conclusive 5-1.

So far, David Villa has scored against Rubin Kazan and in London against Arsenal. As for Leo Messi, scored the equalizer against both Copenhagen and one of the targets on the field of Panathinaikos.Pedro Rodriguez got the other two in fee of all Greek.

The statistics are equally dramatic in the league and the Cup of the 19 games he has played as a visitor in those competitions, has won 15, drawn three and lost one round of the Cup against Betis, but dialing: (3-1). (via SPORT)

They will play to zero grades!

Guardiola will have to fight a climate much colder than expected in Ukrainian lands.

Barca will encounter adverse circumstances in the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The team found the training conducted in the scene where they played the game that the weather will play against him, with the risk that entails not feel comfortable and finally pass a bad drink. The arrival in Ukraine corroborate the importance of having achieved an emphatic 5-1 on the way that virtually ensures the semi-finals.

The expedition sailed from Barcelona airport to about 20 degrees of temperature, as the thermometer Donetsk found was a minimum. Forecasts indicate that the meeting will be held at zero degrees in the middle of a very bleak. The team had to train yesterday in a rain that increased the feeling of cold and Catalan contrast to the weather was brutal.

Barca hardly feel comfortable, but has no other choice but to overcome adversity. The players had to leave in a hurry the session in his home because of an intense storm. The Blaugrana went to the locker room expected to improve over time and, in turn, change their clothes. Training T-shirts were too thin gray and fuchsia sweatshirts changed by much thicker.
Pep Guardiola has not tired of warning from the draw of the dangers of Shakhtar both its quality and the conditions surrounding the meeting. The pre-game confirmed his bad feelings, but the way helped the players still minding more about the importance of jumping onto the field with the five senses.

The slogan for the players will be guided primarily by the head. Shakhtar feat seek to impose a high tempo match and with a pressure far ahead in all the lines on the game at Camp Nou. This can cause the contact is greater and therefore increase the risk of injury. Guardiola wants his players to mislead not just concentrated in and out than its rival. If they come to clash with the same intensity as the opponent will be more difficult than one might get hurt. Also, if the team is capable of controlling the tempo `keep what Shakhtar send on the field, the chances of being airy and no players with physical complaints are higher.

Santpedor coach wants a committed team and not think about the semifinals or the upcoming dual commitment to Real Madrid in La Liga and Copa del Rey. Pep has not tired of insisting that a 5-1 first-leg is not an absolute guarantee of success in qualifying and the whole Lucescu can snag the competition back to when I have a burst of inspiration. Chances generated in the Nou Camp, especially in the first 20 minutes, provided the notice and the players are very present.

Guardiola calls for intensity and announced that it intends to set aside effective. The coach left the door open Blaugrana to make some changes depending on how you see the players in the hours before the meeting, but bet on the spine that has led the team to the gates of another season so successful.

The players know that will probably wait a month of a demand impressive, but none wants to miss a meeting of such importance. The team greatly appreciates the difficulty of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League and want to be participants in the semi-finals. It is the great European competition and a worldwide showcase to show off their talent. The heavyweight team will not allow anyone to drop her guard and the fans can rest easy because Barca will keep the identity of the winning team. (via SPORT)

[Youth] Gerard Deulofeu started twitter

FC Barcelona Juvenil A and under-17 Spanish international, Gerard Deulofeu (@gerardeulofeu) started his twitter account.

Other Barça B and youth player's twitter account:
Andreu Fontàs (@afontas26), Benja Martinez (@benjamartinez21), Jonathan dos Santos (@jona2santos), Marc Muniesa (@muniesa24), Sergi Roberto (@sroberto_18), Thiago Alcantara (@Thi_Alcantara91), Rafa Alcantara (@rafinha_alc93), David Babunski (@davidbabunski).

[Ex-player] Figo: "Guardiola is like my brother"

Figo recognized that Guardiola and Mourinho are important people in his life.

Luis Figo, former Barcelona and Real Madrid, said today that both Pep Guardiola as Jose Mourinho are two very important people in your life and added that Pep "is like a brother, is godfather to one of my daughters."

"Barcelona have a higher technical level, and that makes a difference in terms of play. The Madrid is a team under construction, with a new coach, but can offset the superiority of his rival with his desire to win," said Figo. About Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, said it is "subjective" to say who is the best, "because it depends on the time of the game." "Pep and Jose (Mourinho) have been two very important people in my life. Pep is like a brother. It helped me when I came to Barcelona.'s Godfather of one of my daughters. Friendship has no color.

Joseph, however, was responsible for to play another year in Italy. What it shows in the media is too little to really know how it personally, "he said. "In Barcelona, ​​he went on, I spent five wonderful years. Stole everything but the European Cup, I met my wife, I had my daughter, who is Catalan, I grew as a player ... I have no negative memories. Madrid was a new stage . I changed to earn more in every way: prestige, titles and money.

I got it. The only thing wrong was my way out of Madrid, something I never would have thought, but in football you can not always get everything you want ". On the blast he received in his return to the Nou Camp, said: "The atmosphere was created by a media circus. I was one of the few athletes who has had 100,000 people against. It helped me to mature, to grow to endure many more things, "he added Figo. (via SPORT)

Barça train at the five star Donbass Arena

Barça trained at Shakhtar’s spectacular new Donbass Arena on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s game. The squad all trained together, except Pinto who worked apart from the rest, with their focus firmly on one thing –reaching the Champions League semis.

The team arrived in Donetsk just after noon and five hours later the 20 man squad had their first training session on the turf of the spectacular Donbass Arena, a UEFA five star stadium opened in 2009 and set to be one of the host grounds for the 2012 European Championships.

The stadium’s modern facilities mean that José Manuel Pinto was able to receive some specific treatment in the changing rooms, which boast a training area of artificial turf, whilst the rest of the players worked out on the pitch. The keeper is still suffering with the ankle injury he picked up last week.

The rest of the squad trained out in the stadium where there was some light rain –a far cry from the inclement weather they have faced here in the past. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

"Mascherano will not move from Barça"

The player, who has not been a permanent fixture during the season despite starting out by declines in defense of the last few weeks, he is happy in Barcelona and does not plan a change of scenery • Your agent wished to recall that Argentina plays "in the strongest team in the world".

The future of Javier Mascherano looks set to stay tied to Barcelona. The Argentine player, who came to be starter in recent matches because of the casualties in defense of Puyol and Abidal and Busquets forced to play center, is very comfortable in the city and do not plan a change. In the words of his agent, Horacio Zandonadi, the player "will not move from Barça next season.

His remarks come their way, the rumors that put the player in any Italian team for next season. Juventus, Milan and Inter Milan would be interested in taking their services, but Zandonadi wanted to dispel the doubts. "There is nothing to talk about an arrival of Mascherano to Italy," stated the representative in the program 'Buongiorno Calcio' on Radio Mana Mana.

According to the player's agent, the situation in Argentina is "perfect and excellent", despite not being a permanent fixture throughout the season. "Mascherano plays for Barcelona, ​​which is the strongest team in the world, what more could you ask? Not even to us would think if they had an offer from Juventus or Milan."

In recent days, also pointed to a possible interest from Roma, which categorically denies Zandonadi. "Why Rome would pay more than Barcelona? Mascherano will not move from Barcelona." (via Marca.com)

Guardiola warns “anything can happen in football”

Guardiola continues to preach caution: “in football and in sport as a whole, anything can happen”, whilst stressing the importance of Tuesday’s game :”we are on the verge of reaching the semis for the fourth year on the run”.

Guardiola was very cautious ahead of the first leg and he repeated his respect for Shaktar on Monday, reminding reporters: “there’s still 90 minutes to go and we will be playing in an immense stadium with a big atmosphere”.

With the Madrid games coming up, the boss again insisted on the need for his players: “to focus on the game in hand. Since we’ve been together we have always taken every game seriously and not looked ahead to the next one. Our idea against Shakhtar is to go out and win the game, scoring one or two goals. That’s the idea we always have and we will stick with it”.

Guardiola will wait until match day to assess the state of his players’ fitness, explaining: “we’ll have to see how we find them, bearing in mind we’ve just come off a tough game against Almeria and made the long trip over here” However, he made it clear he wouldn’t be resting any players with an eye to the upcoming games: “reserving players now? We are playing for a spot in the Champions League semi finals and we have to come out strong here. Tomorrow we’ll see how the players are in terms of fitness, that’s all”. Asked as to whether Messi would start, Guardiola repeated: “we will see how he is tomorrow and make a decision then”.

The boss was also asked if the fans could start to turn their thoughts to another treble winning end to the season and he was adamant: “I don’t think the fans are thinking about winning the treble. There’s still a lot to play for. The most important thing and what really makes me proud is that after three years together we are coming to the end of the season with all of our options intact”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Keita: “We have to come out strong”

Seydou Keita faced the media before Guardiola and he explained: “we don’t need any special motivation for this game, we are playing for a semi final place in the Champions League. All we have to do is to remember how Shakhtar played in the first quarter of an hour in Barcelona. If we don’t come out strong and focussed the n we could find ourselves in a similar situation as we did in Seville against Betis”.

The Mali international insisted that Shakhtar were a big threat: “I know they lost on Saturday, but this is a strong team who will fight to continue in the competition till the last minute. It won’t be an easy game for either team, but what happens here could be useful to us in the next few games”.

As with Guardiola, Keita refused to be drawn on the prospect of a semi final against Madrid, commenting:”we’ll have time to think about the next round. It’s no problem for me to put Madrid out of my mind - our only objective right now is to reach the semi finals”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The referee of the is already known Barça-Osasuna

Thin collegiate Carlos Ferreiro, of the Basque School, will be the one in charge of directing the encounter between the azulgrana and the rojillos.

The collegiate Basque, Carlos Delgado Ferreiro, will be responsible for leading the FC Barcelona-Osasuna, for Week 33, First Division, announced on Monday the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

For its part, the school in Madrid, Antonio Rubio Perez will be responsible for administering justice in the match between Sporting Gijon and Espanyol. (via SPORT)

The collegial relationship to this day designated in the First and Second is:

- First division (33 th day):

Mallorca-Getafe Ayza Gamez (C. Valenciano)
Sevilla-Villarreal Undiano Mallenco (C. Navarro)
Zaragoza, Almeria Velasco Carballo (C. Madrid)
Valencia-Real Madrid Perez Lasa (C. Basque)
Barcelona-Osasuna Delgado Ferreiro (C. Basque)
Athletic Club Borbalán Fernández-Real Sociedad (C. Andaluz)
Sporting de Gijon-Espanyol Rubinos Perez (C. Madrid)
Atletico Madrid-Levante Estrada Fernández (C. Catalan)
Hercules Sports Ramírez Domínguez (C. Andaluz)
Racing-Malaga Mateu Lahoz (C. Valenciano)

- Second Division (35 th day):

Sanchez-Mariscal Gimnastic Alcorcón (C. Andaluz)
Barcelona "B"-Betis Pino Zamorano (C.Castellano-Manchego)
UD Salamanca-Munuera Martínez Girona (C. Valenciano)

Afellay could have more minutes from now

The only signing in the January of the 2010-2011 season, "'Ibi Afellay, it has become a permanent fixture of Pep Guardiola, but it has enjoyed of minutes in all three competitions in which the FC Barcelona is alive .

Now that Bojan has been injured, the chances that the more game Afellay increase.

The Dutchman was a starter in the league against Sporting and Villarreal, the latter a maximum advantage of complication and was the first time he played all the minutes. His good performance in the second half convinced Guardiola and Barcelona, ​​who expects the final explosion of a young player and very versatile.

Precisely this versatility is the most noteworthy Pep and what more needs to find balance.
Bojan used to act both right wing and the left, just like Afellay, Barca coach who used more as far as lefty within creation.

Barca plays or may not be in all competitions and Afellay is always a good solution. (via SPORT)

Four hours of travel to Donetsk

The first team of FC Barcelona has landed at 14.35 hours at the airport in Donetsk, a city that will play on Tuesday around the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The trip lasted about four hours.

With almost an hour late, due to the loss of 'slot', Time of flight, at the start in Barcelona, ​​has landed the charter MMZ 7311 in Donetsk, where 7 º C in temperature and sunshine have been the team. The expedition was led by the president Sandro Rosell , the vice president and senior Vilarrubí Carlos Eduardo Coll, Pilar Guinovart and Javier Bordas, apart from professional football athletic director Andoni Zubizarreta and CEO of relations with the UEFA Amador Bernabeu. They have also traveled the 20 summoned by Guardiola , including a Thiago Alcántara that on Monday met 20 years .

The team, which will stay at the Hotel Donbass Palace, the last train before the match on Tuesday, at 19.00 hours (GMT). 45 minutes before the start of the session will appear at a press conference Josep Guardiola and Seydou Keita .

The big news of this trip, compared with the other team, is that the issue will be night after the game and not return until Wednesday at Barcelona. Before returning, FC Barcelona will on Wednesday training in Ukraine. (via FCBarcelona.cat)