13 September 2011

They prove the scenario of the great bereavement

The team has been making contact with Nou Camp of Champions prior to the great match tonight against Milan.

In a closed session, the club has refined the last details before demanding the release of the Champions League. Tonight expect Milan (20.45 hours, La1 and R @ dio Barça) and Barça carried out prior training in the same party scene. At noon have exercised the 19 players that coach Pep Guardiola concentrated at the La Florida. The 19 available. The only casualties are injured Gerard Pique and Alexis Sanchez.

End of the session of short duration as it happens on match days at home, the champions of Europe has returned to the team hotel, where lunch and then rest to game time. The output of the Camp Nou Barça has generated high expectations around the bus. Recall that the sets 19.30 UEFA regulations as the deadline for the two teams are in the stadium. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Youth] Joël Valencia accepts the offer of Barça

The young pearl of Zaragoza has given its conformity to incorporate to La Masia.

As reported by the 'Herald' , FC Barcelona has already obtained compliance by the promise of Real Zaragoza, Valencia Joel to join the ranks at Barca. Valencia is a young midfielder from Ecuador who accumulates five seasons at the club Aragonese which has become a great promise.

Joel Valencia have accepted the terms offered by the Catalan club to which would be linked to the coming seasons ters FC Barcelona but has yet to reach an agreement with Real Zaragoza.

Barca's offer does not exceed 300,000 euros but Zaragoza appeal to a long-term contract that binds him to the player as well as their rights to train up their claim to a million euros. However, since Barça claim that this difference is reduced thanks to an agreement in which the Catalan club may have some favorable treatment with Real Zaragoza for forthcoming assignments of some of his players. (via SPORT)

Mancini: "Silva is the level of Xavi and Iniesta, I don't know why he is not in Barcelona or Madrid"

Mancini wink to one of his darling, midfielder David Silva, who is considered one of the world's best.

Roberto Mancini , coach of Manchester City has praised the Spanish player David Silva , settling at the level of FC Barcelona midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta , selection of his companions.

" Silva is a player 'top', I do not know why it did not go to Barcelona or Real Madrid , as is Spanish, although we are lucky to be here, "praised the Italian coach, optimistic and satisfied with the performance player canary in recent months.

Considers that Silva "is different from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because they are forwards and score more goals, but is on par with Xavi and Iniest . " "If he had gone to Barcelona two years ago, everyone would have said that is one of the best in the world and is one of the best in the world," added the Italian.

On the other hand, wanted to clarify that attempts to manage the best rotations, so he asks his players to understand that all are necessary to compete for the titles. "They may not be happy because all players want to play forever, but I have to take these decisions," he reiterated.

"We play every three days and need all available," he said on the eve of the match of the Champions League against Naples , which will face "a very exciting game" in his return to the atmosphere in European football. (via MD)

Wenger: "Barça and Madrid are above the rest"

Wenger pointed out at both 'big' of the Spanish League as favorite maxima to win Champions.

Arsene Wenger will also begin its European journey in front of Arsenal and did not hesitate to start hanging the poster of favorite Barca and Real Madrid to win the title in this edition of the Champions League. The French coach considers that the two Spanish groups leave a step for before the rest of candidates.

"I think this season, two teams that are above the rest - Real Madrid and Barcelona - and the rest have to catch up during the season," said Wenger. In addition, agergó: "So for us, is a new beginning because we are a new computer. What is at stake in the group stage is to show that we can go."

Furthermore, Wenger said financial power of Real Madrid and Barcelona and great weapon to keep two luxury templates especially due to the different television rights deal in between the League and the Premier.

"Outside the country, Barca and Real Madrid has much more financial power they had 14 years ago because they have their TV rights individually. We have already seen in Spain the first resistance from other clubs for this," he said. (via SPORT)

Test of maximum level for Thiago Silva

It is one of the centre-backs that more likes to the technical secretary of Barça.

Thiago Silva (26 years) arrived yesterday in Barcelona to Milan with his mind set on getting something that seems impossible to leave zero to a boat on goal. All one level test that also serve to enable the technical secretariat responsible for Barca, starting Andoni Zubizarreta, check live and live what he can to the Brazilian centre-back maximum rivals entity.

Thiago Silva is the leader behind Milan and Barca have scored on their list of defenses interesting because, besides being a good marker, has touch and accuracy to get the ball under control from behind. In the line of good Brazilian defenders, Silva does not rush the ball at the feet but attempts to lift his head and deliver it in good condition. Goes well over to defend but to attack (measured 1.83) and even has a good hitting ball to pieces.

At 26 years, and has extensive professional experience. He debuted with 19 Juventude de Portugal, where it caught the attention of Porto, who signed him in 2005. However, in Portugal contracted tuberculosis and was unable to perform at high level. The club luso ceded Dynamo Moscow, where he could not offer their best image for a variety of injuries. In 2006 he returned to Brazil to join the Fulminense, with which he returned to the first line media and attracted the attention of two rivals, Inter and Milan. It was the club 'Rossoneri' that you 'caught' finally thanks to the skill of its former sporting director Brazilian Leonardo, in exchange for ten million euros. He arrived in Milan in December 2008 and six months later, taking advantage of the withdrawal of Maldini, won a starting job.

Brazil full international, the club is not far since his defense has two elements of weight, Puyol and Abidal, who have surpassed the barrier of 32 years. A couple of months, Thiago Silva surprised with a statement which claimed that "the club has spoken to me and now it's come to terms with Milan," as it has current contract with the club and also Lombard had renewed until 2016. Corrected the following day, but everything was very clear: the club, as it has done with other players this summer, had contacted the Brazilian case I had to go look. It has not been well but his name remains on top of the list of targets. Today, the Catalans will see him play live. (via MD)

BATE looks for today a mattress of points with which to receive Barça

The next eurorrival azulgrana visits Viktoria that debuts in Liguilla and made a 6 of 6 in the previous one, in Prague.

BATE Borisov, FC Barcelona will receive the next 28 in the second round of the Champions League playoffs, will visit today (20.45 hours / Gol T-recorded at 04.45 h.) to Viktoria Pilsen game to be played at Eden Stadium Prague due to its greater capacity.

The joint Belarusian leader despite their league has four games without a win, has the low Rodionov, Kuntsevich Pavlov and Likhtarovich, BATE, which relies on the kind of Mateja Kezman, signed until December to replace injured striker Vitali Rodionov, will go for a cushion of points to be measured to Barca.

The task will not come easily, as the Viktoria, which in turn is facing its first appearance in the Champions League group stage, made a full 6 / 6 in their previous games (4) and playoff (2), which eliminated Danish FC Copenhagen. (via MD)

Afellay prayed with a tunic in the turn of Donosti

As is known, Ibrahim Afellay professes the Muslim religion and practitioner is also declared. However, his image praying on the plane that brought him back to Barcelona from San Sebastian was commented out, because until now had not leaked out of the locker room. He explained yesterday Edu Polo in Ona FM. Afellay is because, before starting their prayers, put on a robe trimmed beige brown reaching to the knees. With it on, and sitting in his seat, began to pray while moving forward and backward. While his companions were each their own. They know that 'Ibi' is strict with the liturgy and hours of your prayers and accept it with all the respect and naturalness in the world. (via MD)

Baresi: "Puyol is an example and Pique, a great

According to the legendary ex centre-back "Barça is more consistent than the Dream Team, which made many more mistakes defensive".

Franco Baresi, punished Barça-Milan face the end of the 1994 European Cup (0-4) and current marketing director 'rossonero', he pointed out yesterday in Ona FM that current Barcelona is "the admired team in the moment."

Asked by Puyol and referring to it has been said that if not in the club would have liked to perform at the club 'Rossonero', the legendary former defender said: "If Carles Puyol had played in Milan, had been as great as now . is an example to all for your professionalism, not only in Barcelona but also in the world. "

Baresi also spoke of another plant, the Rossoneri Thiago Silva, in orbit for several years Barca. "I think his future at Milan is long and promising, has everything to make history in this club, so it will be difficult." When opting for the best center in the world, referred back to Thiago Silva, he called the "reference plant" with "fast and strong."

"Now then, Barça also has to a big one," said Franco Baresi, "Piqué is young but has already shown he has a great personality in the field."

Following in key Barca, Baresi said "would have been awesome to play with Iniesta, Xavi and Messi are great. Have fun, have a taste for the game. They are great and this is the real strength of this team."

Baresi said that its Milan, also of Gullit, Van Basten, Rijkaard and Maldini, "fulfilled a cycle and is now doing the club more consistent than the Dream Team, which made many more mistakes on defense". (via MD)

Oliveira: "We don't sell Neymar neither Barça nor Madrid"

Santos president admits contacts but closes the door to a possible transfer of Brazilian ace.

The soap opera continues Neymar on the ball and the president of Santos has worked to organize an auction to try to get the maximum cut for its young star brasieña. Speaking to the program 'Futboleros' Brand TV, the president of Santos, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira admitted contacts with Barca and Real Madrid.

"Some days ago I spoke with Sandro Rosell and with Florentino Perez, and if any of them talk to me, you have my phone. Real Madrid and Barcelona are two historical clubs in European and world football, and we have the best of relations with both, "he said.

However, the Brazilian president closed the door to a possible way out of Neymar in the near future. "I understand that there is interest, but do not sell Neymar or the Madrid or Barca. Neymar do not want to sell, and the player wants to stay here," he said.

In addition, Santos President said that the refusal is not about a profit motive but to the will of the player himself.

"It's not a question of price. The buyout clause does not worry us. There is an anxiety everyone know about a transaction that does not exist," he said. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Ronaldinho: "I have liked to play more time with Messi"

Ronaldinho affirmed that he had loved to share more time with Messi and it recommended Neymar to sign for Barça.

While arouses passions Ronaldinho Flamengo reborn in the 'Gaucho' has had time to remember his stint in Barcelona which he said was a thorn in relation to Messi.

"I have a great friendship with Messi, but unfortunately played very little time together. I would have played more seasons in him," Ronaldinho said in an interview concecida the 'ESPN Brazil'.

The friendship between Ronaldinho and Messi was well known to the Brazilian left towards Milan, leaving the helm of the ship to the Argentinian star Barca.

Just another young crack as Neymar is torn between two stools: Barça and Madrid. Although if you must choose, Ronaldinho is clear what should be his fate to succeed. "I hope to go to Barcelona because there will not be treated like a king," he said. (via SPORT)

Piqué left trip with Shakira to La Mola

The centre-back passed part of Saturday in that mountain.

Gerard Piqué was last Saturday at La Mola, the mountain of 1095 meters close to Terrassa and place that used to choose many recover physically to carry the players who are injured to be gaining strength in the legs. On this occasion, although the central Barca is in recovering from the injury that occurred before the dispute over the European Super Cup against Porto, the reason for your trip to La Mola was not going to work force but hiking and teach the place to Shakira. Both spent most of Saturday there. Pique is in the final phase of his recovery from injury and is expected to be available soon Guardiola. (via MD)

Barca to the fifth Champions

It returns the most spectacular and sought-after competition to clubs level and Barça it will begin the defense of their champion condition.

Barça will start tonight's Champions League 2011-12 in the best way possible, as champions of the tournament and the challenge of adding a fifth European Cup. The icing is to open hostilities against another giant of Europe such as Milan. Between the two added eleven titles in the world's most important competition at clubs.

The 'Pep Team' Does it come stung by the stumbling of Anoeta in the League against Real Sociedad and not a comfort that the Italians also recorded a 2-2 draw against Lazio in Serie A. To Barça plays to dispel any doubt flash on possible 'slopes of tension' or autocomplacencias in a wardrobe that has demonstrated sobradamente their ambition throughout the last three years.

Although some believe that Milan Massimo Allegri is not as powerful as they once were, their status as champions of Italy is a credential weight. Still, it is clear that the absences through injury and penalize penalty capacity: will not be the 'legionary' Gattuso, and the juggler Robinho and above all, will not return to Camp Nou Ibrahimovic, low last minute by a adductor injury in last training, before boarding the plane. Therefore, the 'vendetta' vanished ¿of the Swedish and the possible adjustment of accounts of the stadium stands. Yes I have come to the meeting Gianluca Zambrotta and Marc Van Bommel the rough, which the press conference after he asked for an explanation over and over again for his foul on Andrés Iniesta Spain-Netherlands 2010 World Cup. Nor is it certain that the Rossoneri attack him make two very special players like Alexandre Pato, Antonio Cassano Allegri bet it seems that only the Brazilian in the starting lineup.

Nonetheless, the attractions are not lacking from the perspective Barcelona. For example, to Leo Messi. The star Rosario debut against Milan in competition after missing the shock campaign 2004-05 (in the group stage was a substitute) and 2005-06 (in the semifinals because of an injury).

Of course, it is time to think about the end of May 19, 2012 at the Allianz Arena in Munich. It would be an arrogant attitude, especially after the Royal Society immediately penalized the least relaxation in the second half Barca clash of Anoeta. But once assumed to be champion of Europe is to go step by step through thirteen games against the best teams in the continent, it is inevitable for the Blaugrana gent `Does it mark the date in red on the calendar. The challenge is too attractive: Champions fifth adding to the windows of the club, leaving behind the two historical track record as Ajax and Bayern, Milan and close to himself as a direct, drop a course without further madridismo 'tenth'.

And the reasons for the optimism is justified. Technicians and opposing players putting pressure discharged as a favorite to Barca. Also, the bookmakers, where the price does not reach 3 blaugrana to 1 while the second highest-rated Real Madrid Jose Mourinho, around 5 to 1 and the Manchester United and is paid 8 to 1. A bias that owes to no grace Josep Guardiola. (via SPORT)

Barça will present an eleven of elegance in the return from Champions to Estadi

Pep Guardiola bets on the call again 'Team A' to start the playoffs with a win against Milan.

The last game he played Barca in the Camp Nou was used to get the ticket to Wembley. It was against Real Madrid, who was crying on street corners for their elimination. Today becomes the best club competition and does so with a great Europe, Milan. Two arguments for dating it.

Pep Guardiola left on the bench in Anoeta Messi, Iniesta, Puyol, Villa, Mascherano and Abidal five theorists headlines tonight, have all the numbers to go home. In fact, only the absence through injury of Gerard Pique Barca makes it impossible to repeat the alignment presented in Wembley. The central Barcelona has, however, substitute: Carles Puyol. The captain and traveled with the discharge to San Sebastian, but did not participate, either came with last season's pace to the Bernabeu in the league match and went home. Furthermore, the probability that the pair of central-Fontàs Busquets repeat is low. If you enter Puyol, Mascherano could join him in the heart of the defense, while the Badia del Valles hasten his position to the midfield, where its solvency is more contrasted.

In regard to the sides, Dani Alves has no spare equipment and Abidal rested in the league, so it is fully able to play again. Instead, he could rest after having been the protagonist in the beginning of the season is Cesc Fabregas, who played 90 minutes in Anoeta, something not done since the April 24, with the shirt of Arsenal in the field of Bolton, a meeting for the day number 34 of the Premier League. Without Cesc and Alexis, who has for eight weeks and has stopped short progression that had been led since his arrival, the road is paved to bring the center of the field formed by Sergio, Xavi and Iniesta, who also did not start against Real Company and looks forward to the return of the Champions League. Andrew has become a key player in the touch football from Barcelona, ​​who missed Anoeta and hopes to bring him back to Milan.

The attack is distributed Blaugrana goals against Manchester United in the final of last year could re-match in a Champions League match, this time at the Camp Nou. That is not going to lose any of the ways is the top scorer of the competition the last three years, Leo Messi. The Argentine does not usually spend too much time on the bench with coach Pep Guardiola and it is virtually impossible without mishap through the '10' Barca back to rest. That is why the presence of Leo Messi is more than guaranteed. If only the debut in the competition and remain a world ahead, the goal is a good start to a historical and Milan. And for this the club needs at the best of all, which makes the difference. At his side could appear Pedro, which is lacking some spark at the beginning of this season. To win, the canary needs minutes and Pep Guardiola, as it has done for every season he has had his orders, always has given them. On the other hand, David Villa has been a substitute in the first two days of the season, but after Alexis's injury, the Spaniard is the most logical choice to be in the band. The 'Guaje is not born to be a substitute and his performance last season with 23 goals in all competitions was it the second highest scorer of the team What deserves credibility. (via SPORT)

Borghi: "The lesion of Alexis is quite complicated"

The Chilean coach admitted that Alexis will miss Sánchez in his next international commitments.

The injury suffered by Alexis Sanchez has also been a hard blow to the Chilean national team that will be without Barca for their upcoming World Cup qualifying commitments that will face Argentina and Peru.

Claudio Borghi, Chilean coach, said in a statement to the Chilean radio 'Agriculutura' that the injury is "fairly complicated" and "take time to recover."

"Everybody talks about eight weeks, but after a person is torn to wait a couple of days to reduce swelling and take new pictures," he said.

Borghi was concerned about the absence of their stars but hopes to find players to step forward to cover the floor of the squad.

"We have players but not with the same quality of Sanchez," Borghi said. (via SPORT)

Allegri: "sign the draw"

The second public appearance of Massimiliano Allegri this Monday he had a negative component for him: the absence of Ibrahimovic in the expedition of Milan. And the technician put the sheep's clothing 'signing' the tie before starting.

The Milan coach announced which it will be serla card of presentation of his team for this Tuesday: We will "look for to have a lot of anger, intensity and to make it the best thing possible, because with our characteristics and the quality of our players we can create problems to Barça." And although some people will not believe him, he ruled that Milan is to be closed. "Defending against Barca would be suicide. You have to throw courage," he said. However, when asked if he would sign a draw against Barca, was emphatic: "Yes, sign the draw."

The unexpected drop in Ibra changed Lombard technical plans, who spoke at the press room at the Nou Camp on the setback to face Barca Guardiola. "Ibrahimovic is a great player and it is normal to lose effectiveness, but we have quality players to replace him. That does not mean that you do not have to take the field ready to win the world's strongest team" tried to justify Allegri.

The coach added that Ibra was determined to return to Barcelona and only bad luck prevented him: "After training we learned of the injury Ibrahimovic and after testing we decided to stay. He was calm, I wanted to play, but was not afraid come to Barcelona. All players want to play these games and only an unfortunate injury has prevented him. "

As expected, Massimilliano Allegri would not 'wet' on the reaction that Zlatan was pierced when Barcelona to AC Milan, arriving to be called "philosopher" Pep Guardiola. "I can not get into what happened between Ibrahimovic and Guardiola," he replied diplomatically.

And as his possible replacement, let the unknown but did not rule anything: "Duck and Boateng will play for sure. Cassano? Also could play, not be ruled out."

The coach stepped on the lawn of the Camp Nou before appearing in the media. He had the opportunity to meet Manel Estiarte, but his players did not work in this scenario, although they were entitled to. Allegri justified it: "I wanted to coach at the Camp Nou because I prefer to work in Milanello. The field already know. And most of my players, too." (via SPORT)

[Former player] Ibrahimovic not travel to Barcelona

Ibra's return to Camp Nou will wait to see his reunion with Guardiola.

The expected return to Camp Nou Zlatan Ibrahimovic will wait. The Swedish striker does not travel to Barcelona after finishing touched on the last workout before flying to Barcelona, ​​as reported by 'La Gazzetta dello Sport'.

However, 'Ibra' was included in the squad of Milan published before training has fallen at the last minute due to problems in the abductor muscle. Falling Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins the known absence for the match next Tuesday from Robinho.

The Swedish striker's low will cause a pair align Allegri unexpected offense and Cassano made by Duck.

Adriano Galiani, CEO of Milan, said of the unexpected absence of reference in the Rossoneri attack, which "would not shed tears" for this low.

"Tranquilicémonos we are champions of Italy and this is not a party to direct elimination. There will be others later," said Galliani bit before heading to Barcelona with the team.

Galliani added that "Although Barcelona is the strongest team in the world, Milan is the one that has more titles," which takes place at the "derby of the century, a feast for football."

For Ibrahimovic, the party was especially important, as it faced the team he played in the 2009-2010 season, and who managed 29 goals, and he left abruptly for his disagreements with the coach, "FC Barcelona" Josep Guardiola. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Van Bommel: "I have nothing against Iniesta"

Milan's Dutch midfielder Mark Van Bommel has ruled out having a score to settle with his former teammate Andres Iniesta after the scuffle between the end of the last World Cup, and assured that if both sets of owners, will "shake hands" without any problem.

"We played the World Cup final. We shake hands, you know, and try to win the game. I have nothing against him, I know in Barcelona," he asserted the Dutch in the press conference before the game against his former team , Barcelona.

However, questions about the confrontation with manchego have been repeated throughout the press conference at the Nou Camp, to the despair of the player, who has repeated time and again that "all is forgotten, it is normal, is football. "

"It's a bit strange, has opined on the insistence of local journalists, because of that a year ago and now I'm playing for Milan against Barcelona. Can not be comparing every game. I think we're arguing too much, because I think that Holland does not play to destroy. We have played many games well and we could have won that final. "

In reference to his rival, Van Bommel has described as "favorite" Barca, because "in the last five years have won the Champions League three times and lost a semi-final against Inter. Try to play as best as possible, but we also we are a strong team too. "

And among those who were his players, the Dutchman has highlighted Argentina's Lionel Messi, who in his time at Barca dressing room "was already a great player and still be better". (via SPORT)

Guardiola: “Milan are coming –that says it all”

Pep Guardiola reckons we are in for “a very attractive match” on Tuesday, because Milan: “have always been known for wanting to play the game”. The boss also dismissed any fears that the Anoeta result would have a negative effect on his players.

“Milan are coming –that says it all, seven European Cups speak for themselves”, according to the boss, who spoke at the Camp Nou this evening: “we are lucky to be playing in the Champions League and even more so against an opponent like Milan”. As respectful as ever towards his team’s opponents, Guardiola said he is expecting: “an attractive game, because if there is anything that characterises Milan it is that they always want to play the game”.

Guardiola is clear about the objectives for his team in the first game of the competition: “our aim is to play well, know the weak points of the opposition and win the game. Points at home are fundamental in the group stage. The league is a more important competition, but the Champions League is the nicest one. It’s an honour to defend the title. In 20 years, nobody has ever regained the title and that just shows how difficult it is ”.

Guardiola doesn’t think that the recent draw against Real Sociedad will affect his players too much: “the team is good, we’ll see how they react tomorrow. We never go into a game thinking we are bound to win it, we know that if we go into a match without preparing it properly, we could lose. San Sebastian is over and done with and I have no complaints to make. When you win, that’s got nothing to do with the next game and when you don’t win, it doesn’t make any difference either. The players know that Milan are coming tomorrow….”.

Milan will be without the ex-Barça man Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the game and Guardiola expressed his disappointment: “football belongs to the players and the fans want to see the best players. Ibrahimovic is one of the world’s great players and one of Milan’s most important figures. It’s always best to play against the best because that strengthens you. It is a pity that he cannot play”.

With his usual conciliatory tone, Guardiola concluded: “before he came here, he struck me as a fantastic player and afterwards even more so. I am grateful for all he gave us. He was very important to us in the 99 point league winning season. I’ve heard he’s doing well at Milan and I am happy about that”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Champions League back at the Camp Nou

Josep Guardiola will take his 19 man squad to stay overnight at a local hotel tonight ahead of Tuesday’s game against Milan. The squad trained at the Nou Camp this evening in their next to last session before the game.

Four months after beating Real Madrid in the semi finals of the competition at the Camp Nou, Barça will again be on the Champions League trail on Tuesday night and this evening the stadium was full of the Champions League atmosphere, as both teams held press conferences and Guardiola’s men trained on the Camp Nou pitch.

Guardiola will be without Alexis Sánchez and Gerard Piqué for the start of the Champions League campaign and the two worked apart on their recovery from injury as the rest of the players trained on the Camp Nou pitch. B team defender Marc Muniesa also trained on the Camp Nou pitch – working out with first team trainers as he aimed to recovery from his own injury.

As usually happens for European games, Pep Guardiola has decided to take the squad to the Hotel La Florida for the night. The 19 man squad includes keeper José Manuel Pinto, who completed his European suspension with the final of the European Super Cup.

The squad will train at the Camp Nou on Tuesday at noon behind closed doors. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Squad list]
Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Fàbregas, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Thiago, Mascherano, Keita, Sergio, Pedro, Maxwell, Afellay, Adriano, Abidal and Fontàs.

Iniesta: “we want to get back on the winning track again”

Ahead of the Milan game, Iniesta stressed the team’s desire to get back to winning ways after the draw on Saturday: “when you don’t win, what you most want is to play again, feel as if you are doing things in the right way and taste victory again".

To be back in the Champions League and in the high quality game against AC Milan is a great place to come back from the disappointment at Anoeta and Iniesta insisted: “the team is feeling really good and here we are starting the Champions League campaign at home against a powerful opponent. It’s important to start on the right foot and taste victory again. We will be doing so with the maximum motivation and excitement”.

Iniesta is clearly a big fan of Milan: “they are a club with seven European Cups. It doesn’t matter who is playing, they will always be one of the big teams. However they play, it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to play against a team like them”.

Iniesta regretted the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovich for Tuesday’s game: “it’s a pity that he can’t play –he’s a great player and you always want to play against good players. He really wanted to come and play and it’s a shame he can’t make it. However, I don’t think that takes anything away from the game which should be fantastic”.

There were a number of questions about Iniesta’s attitude towards Milan’s Mark van Bommel, following the incidents at the World Cup final last summer, but he stressed that there was no problem: “fortunately I have never had any problems with anybody I’ve shared a changing room with. It’s true that during the final there was some rough play, but I prefer to think there was no malicious intent. He’s an opponent, but above all we are professional companions and I respect him in all respects”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)