26 August 2011

Tito Vilanova: "Porto are a very daring team"

The second coach azulgrana explains to Barça TV and the place web of the Club that the team is "very built up hopes" with the dispute of the final one of European Super Cup.

"We always have a good feeling before the finals, because luckily we've played several," says a Tito Vilanova commenting have "good feelings". It explains that the team is "very excited" about the final.

Barça's opponent this Friday (20.45 hours) is very complicated. He explains Tito Vilanova, who admits that the Portuguese "is a very difficult rival, perhaps not well known, but it is a tough opponent," he says.

But what are the dangers of Porto? "It's a very complete team, very strong. It has very fast players and technically daring. In addition, they play with 4-3-3, like us," he argues. As for the players, Tito, "Hulk is a great time and individual highlights."

With regard to pitch and how hot it is in the principality, can not be an excuse. "The heat will affect both teams equally, while the pitch is better than two seasons ago," he admitted. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Molina: "I do not care if the league is hard to start"

According to Molina, the numerous changes that have taken the staff of the subsidiary have not diminished their potential.

Villarreal B coach, José Francisco Molina, was very excited about the start of the season in which his team will visit the Mini Stadium tomorrow to face Barcelona B and said he was not concerned whether the start of league is "hard" .

"We had wanted to start. It's an important game against a team that plays very good football but we worked well in preseason and the feeling was good. We now hope that those feelings are reflected in the league start. Besides, I have injured and that's always positive, "Molina said in a press conference.

The technician is not concerned that the first league match is against a great team like Barcelona B. "I do not care if the beginning is hard. Within seconds there is no easy game and if you want to win Barça B have to do things very well. We leave all the fields to play our game without looking at the opponent," said .

According to Molina, the numerous changes that have taken the staff of the subsidiary have not diminished their potential and considers it "normal that a subsidiary has many changes."

"New players have come to look forward and hope to get important things in football. From there we will build a strong team, so make a great campaign. Major players are gone and others will begin to assume the role of leaders. They have to prove they want to play in Villarreal, "he said.

Molina believes that Barça B is in a situation similar to that of Villarreal B because "they have changed a lot" the computer. "We're going to fight with our weapons to try to beat them, but always respected," he concluded. (via Marca)

Platini won't be the violent of Europe

As an example of show futbolístico to Barça and doesn't want neither to think in that the incidents of Supercopa are given in Champions.

The president of UEFA , Michel Platini , was concerned about the incidents in the last minute of the Supercopa of Spain: "An unfortunate incident minutes can not erase the great show that gave both teams, especially in the first part . Barça and Real Madrid are two models of the best clubs world , the whole world is watching them and should be an example of 'fair-play. "

Platini said that " UEFA has awarded Messi the best player in Europe , he has been with Xavi and Ronaldo Crisiano and all three have been honored to play good football. They are the example that should give the big teams. Notice I did not reward players who do not comply with 'fair play' (ndr. - Pepe and Marcelo ). "

The president of the UEFA laid hold of "sensational performance that gave Barca and Manchester United in the final pass of the Champions . That ezel football I want, an incredible match between two great teams that won the best box Pep Guardiola that is a mirror in which others should mirarsse with his quarry and his investment philosophy of the game. It's no secret that I love how he plays the Barcelona and, most importantly, I feel debiidad by Iniesta and Xavi . I know. Of course, Messi is special a player track to surpass Maradona against which I had the honor of playing in Italy . "

Platini made ​​it clear that " UEFA will be inflexible with players, coaches and even managers who violate the rules and fair play. I do not want in European competicones a repeat of the incidents of the Camp Nou . There can be horrible than a minute clear the other game that was sensational, a spectacle for those who like football, great players on both sides. "

This afternoon, Michel Platini will meet with UEFA's Strategic Committee (which is part Florentino Perez , although it appears he will not attend) and there seek a real formula to please the clubs of the ECA (European Clubs has been levntado arms. The international calendar (with the elimination or postponement of the date of friendly selections on 10 August), compensation for the loan of players and certain players will be the topics Platini himself accepted .

Finally, Platini made ​​it clear that UEFA will be "harsh" with clubs that do not meet the "financial fair play is put into operation this season." (via MD)

Casillas-Mourinho, total divorce

For weeks now barely speak and puts luso 'suspect'.

The relationship between Jose Mourinho and Iker Casillas into a point that can only be defined as total divorce. The substitution of the international goal on Wednesday in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu, was the latest chapter in a history that started late last season and threatens to live new episodes over the weeks.

Captain and head of the first team have been weeks without speaking to each other. When last season came to an end, Mou began to impute Iker various defects in their view, can not have who wears the captain's armband. Among them, lack of involvement in the affairs of the group and little presence in the team's protests to the referees.

Hence the move to strip him of the captaincy mediated few weeks. The attempt of Mou occurred in summer and won the immediate rejection of the entire Real Madrid. Therefore, the Portuguese did not hesitate to qualify the information of 'lie' in his first appearance before reporters after the holidays.

But still had to go as 'worse'. The Portuguese, and he alone, marks the line to be followed by all employees of the club, starting of course by the players. And Casillas was skipped this line to try on their own initiative, to mend fences with Xavi and Puyol after the last debate between Barca and Real Madrid.

That he sat Mourinho burnt horn. In his last conversation with Iker reproached him what might be called a contempt of its authority. He said if I wanted to patch things up with its rivals Barca should have done in the setting of the concentration of the selection and never, ever, allow their movements came to light.

It was the last spark has arisen between the two. And the ultimate reason that Wednesday Iker was on the bench. Sunday will be under the merengue in the league debut against Zaragoza. Perosabe is under suspicion. Mourinho is not willing to pass not one, and if need be, do not hesitate to relieve the starting job. Although Mou also know the enormous weight of between Real Madrid Iker and that this would be a pulse terribly dangerous for him, always used to get out of such situations. (via MD)

Barça will be measured Milan, BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen.

Barça has been drawn in Group H in the group stage of the Champions League with three other champions league. The draw has been quite beneficial to the interests of the Catalan club and that of Pep Guardiola and AC Milan are a priori the favorites to qualify for the knockout stages. And BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen , despite the enormous merit of their classification, they are unlikely to be able to get rid of the sign 'Cinderellas' of the group. From Barcelona to the city in Belarus, the Catalan club will go a total of 3228 kilometers from Milan and the Czech city of Plzen.

At the junction with the AC Milan highlights will be a return to Camp Nou of former azulgrana Zlatan Ibrahimovic 's shirt 'Rossoneri'. The Swede, who finished with fatal Pep Guardiola is the great figure of the champion of the Serie A is still as great 'handicap' the old age despite recent staff additions this summer.

Barca and Lombards have crossed nine times in a competitive match with a record of four wins Catalans, two draws and three wins in Milan. The last precedent was in the semifinals of the Champions 2005-06 in which the goal from Ludovic Giuly at San Siro then qualified for the team coached by Frank Rijkaard and eventually win in Paris the second Champions in history.

If something is known BATE Borisov , it being the club which he left the Barca still Alksander Hleb . The champions of Belarus has five titles at home and just qualify after apear the Austrian Sturm Graz in the previous round.

It is the second time the BATE able to get into the group stage of the Champions League . In the former, in the 2008-09 season, the Belarusians were framed in the group of Real Madrid , Juventus and Zenit St Petersburg , finishing in last place.

Borisov is located 80 kilometers from the capital Minsk is one of the largest industrial centers of the country. Just BATE is the name of the sponsoring company whose business is elementros electric cars.

The Barça has never played in the Belarusian land, even when part of the former USSR.

The Viktoria Plzen , champions the Czech league, is perhaps even more unknown than the BATE Borisov . He comes to the Champions in their centenary year after surprising all and sundry and eliminate the Copenhagen and Rosenborg in previous rounds.

Plzen , located in the southwest of the Czech Republic is the fourth grade the country's largest city and is famous for brewing industry Pilsener . The Viktoria deployed a very offensive game and does not know defeat on home soil since 2009.

It is unprecedented between Barca and Viktoria although the Catalans themselves have played ten times against Czech teams. His balance is six wins, three defeats and one draw. Interestingly, all the setbacks came on Czech soil to Spartak Hradec , Dukla Prague and Sparta . (via MD)

Barça-Porto: Supercopazo to make more history

Barca ready to win at Porto and boost the offensive second titles before the League.

While at the Bernabeu to move pachangas exploit the masses and deliver to your destination even Jose Mourinho, the club will be today (20.45 am / The 1, autonomous) the reference of world football connoisseurs. Amen to present a priori all the ingredients to be a great match, the European Super Cup against Porto can assume the title of the season seconds before starting the assault on the record of four consecutive League Dream Team. Better impossible.

I moved yesterday Pep Guardiola: "We will play two teams with similar styles." His counterpart in the 'dragon', Vitor Pereira, confirmed later. For starters, 4-3-3 on both sides if the Luso not lie, like the ball and attack-minded determination. Little to do with that wall of Shakhtar led the final extension in 2009 and almost to penalties if not for Peter's goal at minute 115. The 5-1 at Villarreal in the first leg of 'semis' in the last Champions League is the clearest example of the avalanche of game that can generate a Porto, on the other hand, shares with the club to start defending from the attack. Champion of the four events contested in 2011, finished the league unbeaten and only conceded 11 goals, a fact that speaks of the balance of the Portuguese side.

What is good for the club that landed in Monaco on notice. Pep and his charges have learned the lesson of the Spanish Supercup first leg at the Bernabeu. Without Piqué Puyol or absent again today, faltered out of the ball with Mascherano and Abidal in the rear axle. Today they form the same line of four with Alves and Adriano on the sides. Yes is Busquets, Keita instead, which will force him down from behind again to create counter pressure and Lusa. Neutralize the force of nature called Hulk will be another test for the Barca defense.

The top five will be at Wembley and the final 3-2 in Madrid: Xavi and Iniesta pulling the strings, Pedro yVilla in the wings and the insatiable Messi, life insurance for the Catalans. Just in case, Cesc and Alexis recovered and guarantee a plan B and even C to bring another trophy to the museum. Would be 15 degrees in eurotorneos and absolute record. Until the grapes it would only subtract the World cup of Clubs to crown with a '5 of 6' another brutal year making honor, with soccer and only soccer, to the values of this wonderful sport. (via MD)

Milan, with the 'friend' of Pep

Ibra changed the face of Milan after leaving the club hurt by Guardiola, who he called "philosopher".

"Guardiola is the philosopher who has broken my dream of being in Barcelona." Sunday will be a year of this phrase that summed Ibrahimovic after his departure to Milan Barca wear just one season of the five who signed. During the past twelve months has regularly criticized the coach of Barca, even claiming that "anyone can coach a team with those 22 players." Even one former coach praised him, Mourinho is aware of their rivalry with Pep: "Manage a staff of 22 players with personality is not easy. Guardiola do not know. Mourinho yes."

In this context, few times the word 'morbid' so accurately reflects what arouses Ibrahimovic's return to Camp Nou on Tuesday September 13 in front of the Milan club, who conveyed his winning character to conquer the last scudetto seven years later. While Barça defended the shield was a front for the fans appreciated that helped win the League 2009-10, but the criticism Guardiola who have come after it has caused an unknown his reception.

The 'friend' Guardiola, in any case, is the leader of a Milan that the hand of Massimiliano Allegri has regained some of the lost identity. The former Cagliari coach, another enemy of Mourinho, whom he described as "pathetic" after the 'whys', has found a balance between the wisdom of veterans Nesta, Gattuso and Seedorf and momentum of the young Thiago Silva, Pato , Boateng or Robinho, former Real Madrid player who was on the agenda of Pep.

Success contributed to the arrival of the Dutch Van Bommel, who sewed former Barca kicked Iniesta in the World Cup final. Aggressiveness on the sidelines, is another winner that transmits character wherever he goes. The template is another former FC Barcelona, ​​Gianluca Zambrotta, but with a few minutes.

Silence out of respect for Guardiola
Except Messi, Xavi and Puyol, who were at the Grimaldi Forum, the staff and the coaching staff continued to draw on a TV monitor in the Louis II before the session. When it was learned that a rival Milan Ibrahimovic was a tense silence gripped the room. No applause. Not one complaint. Only a very unusual silence in the presence of a template when drawing, then, regardless of the opponent you play, there's always 'joke' motivated by the winners or the losers of the classic 'clubs'. After a few seconds, came a few comments, but no fuss. In the presence of Guardiola, everyone knows that Ibrahimovic is a touchy subject. (via MD)

Barça's scouts follows the track of Guilherme

The young Brazilian is one of the sensations at Sporting Braga.

FC Barcelona's scouts are constantly seeking new pearl in world football and from Portugal suggest a name that has left them very impressed: Guilherme.

The young Brazilian, currently in the ranks of Sporting Braga, excelled on loan Vizela the modest Portuguese club to return home to his becoming one of the top players.

As noted by newspaper 'A Bola' , FC Barcelona would be closely following its developments to study a possible incorporation in future as the economic investment in the player-about 5 million euros would not be very high compared with the potential it hides. (via SPORT)

[Former B player] Iago Falqué played on loan at Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur has announced the addition to its staff as Iago Falqué transferred from Spanish, Italian arriving from Juventus, and Emmanuel Adebayor, from Manchester City.

The English club announced the agreement with the Under-21 in an official note: "We are delighted to announce the release of Iago Falqué for a season."

The Juventus player arrived from Barcelona in August 2008. That season he also played on loan at Villarreal B, he scored eleven goals in 36 games. Previously, he covered another season on loan at Bari Italian.

"Iago wants big challenges with the Spurs and it is very important. It will be hard, but fight for a spot-on the computer," said his agent, who is also his father and called the same, Iago Falqué.

The Vigo, who also sought to Rayo Vallecano, arrives at White Hart Lane club following the additions of exbarcelonista also Ivorian Cristian Ceballos and Coulibale Solueyman of sixteen, from the Siena. (via SPORT)

Allegri: "Barça is the strongest rival"

"In our group there are two teams that are within our reach. We can go," said Milan coach.

Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan coach, knows the strength of Barca and asserts that "we have had the strongest team." He knows it has always been a fan of Barca and with which he faced in the summer.

However, the Rossoneri confident that the other two teams in Group H, Viktoria Pilsen and BATE Borisov, are infinitely more accessible to his men, that is why Allegri says that his team should not be too difficult to move to next phase. "In our group there are two teams that are within our reach. I think beyond the group stage is something that is largely within our reach, "he said. (via SPORT)

Barça, to another Super Cup

Barca back to stake his international reputation for his fourth title in the European Super Cup.

Reaching a stage like tonight, the Stade Louis II of Monaco, a prize worth the extra effort to go a step further and raise a title in recent seasons has gained in importance. Barca play the Super Cup against UEFA Cup champion, FC Porto, a senior football game, with two attack-minded teams and irrevocable promises to be an interesting pulse focus the attention of Europe. Barca back to Louis II of Monaco, where he lost a final (against Sevilla in 2006) and won another (Shakhtar in 2009) in search of what would be their fourth Super Cup.

More importantly, the team became the Blaugrana absolute king of European competitions, with 15 titles in total (four European Cups, four Cup Winners' Cups, three UEFA Fairs Cup and four Super-if he wins today), one more than the Milan.

The doubts that the defense team presents the alignment condition of Pep Guardiola. Injured Pique and Puyol, Abidal and Mascherano who will be recycled back to Porto to stop coming to Monaco in a transition (Vitor Pereira, Villas-Boas assistant last year, has assumed the bench), but just released, winning the Super country and have won their first two league games despite having lost one of their best arguments offensive, Falcao.

But the club has shown its ability to overcome the low and bring out their football. Messi will play, which has just accused his lack of shooting, a guarantee that the club foot in the penalty area, and the big question is whether Cesc Fabregas, the latest addition to the team, will hold or not. Alexis Sanchez, another recruit, fresh from an injury, has fewer options.

Eleven of the boat will be very similar to that won the European Cup at Wembley, with the exception of the low Peak and the entrance of Hadrian in the left-back. Part of the theory Guardiola to continue, with minor nuances, a winning team, allowing players who shone in London just three months ago today to defend the European Super Cup.

I do not have easy Barca. The Port handles with ease all records in the game and tonight will become a more conservative point: the coach upholds the idea that all the teams that have won Barca have done from a 4-4-2, with a very high pressure in the midfield to try to stifle Barca. It is a formula that will try to implement Vitor Pereira, who give up a front (presumably Kleber) to usher in a midfielder, Argentina Belluschi.

The history of Barcelona in the competition includes more defeats than victories, three attempts cost the team Barca win the title from its first loss in 1979 (against Nottingham Forest Brian Clough), the 1982 against Aston Villa and the 1989 against Milan of Arrigo Sacchi. Barca took his spine in 1992, beating Werder Bremen, and returned to win in 1997 against Borussia Dortmund won the European Cup. In the final single match, the club lost in 2006 and won the 2009. (via SPORT)

Vitor Pereira: "We don't come to see Barça play"

Porto coach was ambitious and reiterated that his team can beat Barca.

Vitor Pereira second major challenge facing its landing just on the bench for Porto to supply Villas-Boas, which was his assistant until he signed for Chelsea this summer. After clinch Super Portugal a 2-1 win at Vitoria Guimaraes, comes ready to defeat this evening to Pep Guardiola.

"We've earned the right to play this game after an extraordinary season. Barca is a great team and have an excellent coach, but we're not here to see them play but to win this final, "said coach Luso.

In this sense, denied that his system will change as the press in his country believes that end up doing. "We will play as usual. We believe in our ideas and our style. We have a year playing a 4-3-3, we are naturally accustomed to and we will continue to do so. We have no reason to change, because we are confident this system, "said the new coach of Porto.

"Barca is always held at least 50% of the time and is certainly the best team I've seen in my life. It has a great coach and great players, but we. We believe in our style of play, we have our own identity and have the means to make trouble, "continued Pereira.

The Portuguese believed that the low Pique and Puyol not give advantage to Oporto, praised the quality of Leo Messi and thanked the praises of Pep Guardiola. "I recognize that is an admirable character and his words touched me deeply," he said. (via SPORT)

Carles Puyol 'will lend' the trophy of Champions to Múnich

Carles Puyol as captain of Barça , "borrowed" the trophy of the Champions League the team Barcelona won brilliantly at Wembley , the city of Munich , whose team banner, the Bayern , will host the next final of this competition, 19 May 2012.

Paul Breitner , the final ambassador, who have chosen the Germans, who will receive the trophy. The ' Abyssinian ', as he was known, who played for Real Madrid and Bayern , curiously, is a big fan of the team's playing Pep Guardiola and very critical of José Mourinho , in his regular comments on television and German media.

Breitner participate in the removal of the balls. The idea of Barcelona is to regain the trophy of Champions League and be the first team ever to win this competition two consecutive years. (via MD)

[BarçaB] Martin Montoya celebrated his call 'in air '

The side of the FC Barcelona has posted a picture on your twitter account.
He said he was thrilled by the call of the forest and had been an unforgettable day.

The right-back of FC Barcelona , Martin Montoya , has published a photo on your twitter account in which he was "celebrating my call in the air, unforgettable day, so happy! Thank you." (via MD)

Ibrahimovic returns to Camp Nou to lead to Milan

Framed in a group that should not yield too many obstacles for the classification to the second round, the draw for the Champions League to Barcelona force to confront the controversial Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the personal demons of Pep Guardiola.

Ibrahimovic and meet one of its most coveted desires since a year ago, left the Catalan club because of disagreements with Guardiola, who was losing confidence in the most expensive signing in the history Barca, to the point that both admitted that hardly maintained contact.

Ibrahimovic Milan now leads one who lifted the Scudetto last season and has started this snatching the Italian Super Cup to their biggest rivals, Internazionale of Milan.

A declaration of intent by the group led by a coach in European football fashion, Massimiliano Allegri, ready to return to the Rossoneri to the top of Olympus continental, as almost achieved last season when they lost to Tottenham in round.

Driven by the generational change that so much has taken surprisingly, the Italian is box up front most hammer, with Ibrahimovic flanked by the up Pato, Inzaghi and the evergreen two prodigies who have regained its best, Cassano and Robinho .

With the bye rudder Pirlo in midfield, Kevin Prince-Boateng has taken the future of the team gallon, boosted by the veteran of the Dutch Mark Van Bommel and Clarence Seedorf, while the rear seems to have cooled with the arrivals Philippe Mexes and Taye Taiwo. (via SPORT)

Zubizarreta: "Milan is very powerful and also has Ibrahimovic"

Andoni Zubizarreta assessed with extreme caution rivals that have fallen to my lot to Barca in the group H of the Champions League: Milan, Viktoria Pilsen and Bate Borisov.

Barca director of football said: "It is a very diverse group. The more we know rival is Milan. It is powerful, co nmucho individual and collective talent. And you have a player like Ibrahimovic. Of the other two teams, one is Czech and one Belarussian, are new to us. will enable us to see things and meet many other styles of football. "

"It's true that Milan and we are two European champions, and the two teams with more history of the group, but that needs to be demonstrated in the field. In this soccer there are fewer favorites, because every time everything is more equal "he added.

Zubizarreta was convinced that, despite being the BATE Borisov and the Viktoria less experienced rivals in the elite, "sure to be a very tough and demanding," especially in the field.

Neither wanted to analyze the long trips to Prague, especially in Minsk. "We come to a place like this, a lot of Champions League, and here you play rivals in terms of kilometers away there. We're going to play wherever we go, worrying that the computer side trip comfortable" .

Finally, Zubizarreta described the award he received after the draw Leo Messi, who has distinguished UEFA as the best European player in the league last season.

"It's a prize for Messi, but also for all staff, as he himself recognized. Because Leo understands football as a collective performance and knows that is an achievement of all." (via SPORT)

Hulk: "We could not be more motivated"

The Brazilian international Givanildo Vieira de Souza, "Hulk," said the Port could not "be more motivated" tomorrow for the final of the European Super Cup against Barcelona and warned that they will do "everything" to win the trophy.

"I do not hide that this clash with Barcelona will be important because we will discuss a trophy, because we confront the current champions of Europe. The goal is always the same: to win," he said in an interview to the website of the UEFA and widely disseminated by the media lusos.

For Hulk, the game against Barcelona, ​​which he considers "one of the best teams in the world," will test "important", ideal for showing the value of the team that Vitor Pereira, a former assistant charismatic André Villas-Boas, left Porto for Chelsea last June.

"The new coach and worked with us last season and played an important role in the team, gave very important advice to all players," reflected the star of Oporto.

The team, playing with a 4-3-3 vertical, "did not change his style of football," he added, stressing the praise Pereira.

"Listen and talk to players to help (...) It is very demanding and the players know they have to give my best to please him. This way of working creates good problems," he analyzed.

Hulk The Brazil international, 24, is the offensive reference Porto for his outstanding ability based overflow in a tremendous speed and power. (via SPORT)

First contact with the Louis II

The first team of FC Barcelona has exercised this Thursday afternoon on the lawn of the stage the game against Porto, the Stade Louis II in Monaco.

The last time Monaco welcomed the ship was the August 28, 2009, the day that Peter, author of the winning goal against Shakhtar Donetsk (1-0) was crowned prince. Now, almost two years later, Barça has become the stadium that saw Guardiola won the fifth trophy of that Barca Six Cups of 2009.

And what have you found? Less heat than two years ago and a lawn, even though they are not in perfect condition, they had a better appearance then. In short, good news just one day before playing a new European Super Cup, this time against Porto Vitor Pereira. The two European champions last season on Friday will decide which one is better.

The last training before the match was attended by all available Barca a total of 18 first team players and four more of B (Oier, Bartra, Dos Santos and Cuenca). The injured Puyol and Afellay made ​​up work outside the group, while Piqué has not been exercised. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Leo Messi, player of the year in Europe

The Argentinian, who topped the goalscoring charts in the last edition of the Champions League has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi to win the award.

53 reporters from different media and countries have decided that Leo Messi was the best player in UEFA club competitions last year, and he thus becomes the first ever winner of the award. The announcement was made shortly after the Champions League draw, with the winner pipping team mate Xavi Hernández and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid to the honour. Iniesta and Piqué came fourth and ninth respectively.

Speaking after collecting the award, Messi said “I want to share this with my colleagues as it is thanks to them that I win these trophies … I am very lucky to have such good players at my side and it is them who give me the opportunity to score so many goals. The merit is everyone’s.” He added that the hunger to win among the Barça squad is one of the reasons for their ongoing success.

Before the winner was announced, Xavi showed his usual generosity when saying that “Messi is the best footballer in the world at the moment”, something he has been saying for years. He also felt that FC Barcelona is experiencing “one of the best moments in its history”.

This is just the latest of many awards to have been won by Leo Messi. He has already won a FIFA World Player (2009) and two Ballons d’Or (2009 and 2010), the last of which was after the two awards were unified. He also been top goalscorer both in Spain and Europe in 2009/10. “I have all my trophies at home, both the individual and team ones” he said. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[UCL GL] Milan, Bate and Pilsen in Barça’s group in Champions’ League

Barça will play AC Milan (Italy), Bate Borisov (Byelorussia) and Viktoria Pilsen (Czech Republic) in Group H of the Champions League. They start against the Italian champions at the Camp Nou.

The Italian, Belarusian and Czech champions, namely AC Milan, Bate Borisov and Viktoria Pilsen will share a group with Barça in the Champions League following Thursday’s draw in Monaco. As defending champions, Barcelona were the number one seed.

There was a distinctly Barça related edge to the affair, with captain Carles Puyol presenting UEFA with the Champions League trophy won at Wembley and Leo Messi being named the best player of the last edition, with Xavi also present on the podium.

Barcelona start at home to Milan on Tuesday September 13. They then travel to play Bate Borisov before entertaining Viktoria. They will start the return games in the Czech Republic, then go to the San Siro and close the group at home to Bate.

Barça and Milan have met many times before. The two clubs have won eleven European Cups between them (four for Barça and seven for the rossoneri). They have met six times before in official competitions, including the grand final in Athens in 1994, which Milan won 4-0. In contrast, Barça have never played Bate Borisov or Viktoria Pilsen. The Belarusians qualified by beating Austria’s Sturm Graz and the Czechs eliminated FC Copenhagen. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Group stage Draw]
Group A:
Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Man City, Napoli.

Group B:
Inter Milan, CSKA Moskva, Lille, Trabzonspor.

Group C:
Manchester United, Benfica, Basel, Otelul Galati.

Group D:
Real Madrid, Olympique Lyonnais, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb.

Group E:
Chelsea, Valencia, Bayern Leverkusen, Genk.

Group F:
Arsenal, Olympique de Marseille, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund.

Group G:
FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, APOEL.

Group H
Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen.

Players strike cancelles

The Asociación de Futbolistas Profesionals (AFE) has called off the strike scheduled for the second day of league action after reaching an agreement with the Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP). So there will be football this weekend after all.

Now that the AFE strike is over, the league season can begin with matches in the First and Second Divisions. Barça play Villarreal at the Camp Nou on Monday (21.00), and Barça B welcome Villarreal B on Saturday (16.00).

The AFE and LFP have proposed to the RFEF that the cancelled first day of action can be played instead on January 22, when the second half of the season was due to start (which will be moved to May 2 and will be the second to last day of matches). The suspended matches in the second division can be played on October 26. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Selection Under-21] Call for games against Georgia

Now available the list of players summoned by national team coaches for the two meetings that the U-21 played against Georgia, concerning the XIX European Championships : 1st September at 20:30 in Kutaisi and September 5 at 20:45 hours at stadium Ángel Carro de Lugo. (via RFEF)

A proposal for national teams, the Royal Spanish Football Federation has called for parties of reference, the following players:

ATHLETIC CLUB: Iker Muniain Goñi.
CLUB ATLÉTICO DE MADRID SAD: Jorge Resurrección Merodio “Koke", Joel Robles Blázquez.
FC BARCELONA: Marc Bartra Aregal, Carles Planas Antolinez, Sergi Roberto Carnicer and Cristian Tello Herrera.
BENFICA FC: Rodrigo Moreno Machado.
RC CELTA DE VIGO SAD: Hugo Mallo Novegil.
CHELSEA FC: Oriol Romeu Vidal.
RCD ESPANYOL DE BARCELONA SAD: Jordi Amat Maas and Álvaro Vázquez García.
MÁLAGA CF SAD: Jose Luis García del Pozo “Recio" and Francisco Román Alarcón “Isco”.
MANCHESTER UNITED: David De Gea Quintana.
REAL MADRID CF: Jose I. Fernández Iglesias “Nacho”.
REAL SOCIEDAD DE F. SAD: Asier Illarramendi Andonegui and Iñigo Martinez Berridi.
VALENCIA CF SAD: Sergio Canales Madrazo.
VILLARREAL CF SAD: Diego Mariño Villar.
REAL ZARAGOZA CF SAD: Juan Carlos Pérez López.