01 November 2011

Sacchi: "Messi is a diamond and Cristiano may have been gentrified"

Sacchi believes that Messi is still a notch above the Portuguese player of Real Madrid.


Arrigo Sacchi is so clear. Although Messi and Cristiano are on top of world football, no discussion about who is number one and top seed to win the Ballon d'Or.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is not evolving as much as Leo Messi and it may have been gentrified or lost enthusiasm," he said told the newspaper 'A Bola'.

He adds: "Messi is a diamond in its purest form, Cristiano Ronaldo, again, is a tremendous player, but does not radiate the same feeling that Messi" he said.

Regarding a possible comparison of 'the flea' with Maradona, Sacchi was unwilling to go, arguing that "football, like life, is made of moments," and in his time "Maradona was the best of all, a player light years of others. "

Mourinho also had praise for which he defined as "a great coach, a great character, with a special personality and a compulsive researcher." (via SPORT)

Barça sent a scout to control Adam Maher

Adam Maher shines on the AZ Alkmaar at 18 years and Barça will watch closely.


As reported by the Dutch newspaper 'Telegraaf', the club would be closely following one of the promises of Dutch football clocking in at AZ Alkmaar.

Adam Maher, who only has 18 years, is dazzling in the Eredivisie and from the Netherlands ensures that FC Barcelona would have sent a scout to see live the evolutions of the young player against ADO Den Haag.

Maher is a midfielder noted for its technical quality and international youth level despite being Dutch of Moroccan origin. Maher is considered the best talent in the ranks at AZ Alkmaar and has a contract until 2015. (via SPORT)

Guardiola and Mourinho, among the ten candidates for Best Coach

The coaches of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will also face the best coach award, 2011.


FIFA also has revealed who the ten candidates who will fight for the trophy for 'Best Coach of 2011'.

Among the nominees are Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, who meet again but this time away from the pitch. Also noteworthy is the appointment of the Spanish coach, Vicente Del Bosque. (via SPORT)

OFFICIAL LIST OF CANDIDATES

Vicente Del Bosque (Spain / Spanish selection)
Alex Ferguson (Scotland / Manchester United)
Rudi Garcia (France / Lille OSC)
Pep Guardiola (Spain / Barcelona)
Jürgen Klopp (Germany / Borussia Dortmund)
Joachim Löw (Germany / German selection)
José Mourinho (Portugal / Real Madrid)
Oscar Tabárez (Uruguay / Uruguayan selection)
André Villas-Boas (Portugal / Porto, Chelsea)
Arsène Wenger (France / Arsenal).

Thiago, a favorite for the 'Golden Boy'

Barca midfielder is one of the strongest candidates to win the equivalent prize for the Golden Ball for players under 21 years.


While the Golden Ball sets her sights on Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Iniesta, the trophy 'Golden Boy' delivering 'Tuttosport' equivalent to the Golden Ball for players under 21 years also sets her sights on a Barca: Thiago Alcántara .

The midfielder is one of the favorites to establish itself as world's best player Under-21 years and in the popular vote is just behind Phil Jones (Manchester United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) and Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow). Consolidation in the first team and their dedication in the Under-21 joined his European debut for Thiago asboluta have made a reference to the reality of young talents in world football.

Other players in Spanish football as Muniain, Oriol, Álvaro Vázquez, Rodrigo, Canales and Dani Pacheco repeated the last two nomination-are also among the elect.

The prestigious prize has been raised by many figures in world football as Van der Vaart (2003), Rooney (2004), Messi (2005), Cesc Fábregas (2006), Agüero (2007), Anderson (2008), Pato (2009) and Balotelli (2010). (via SPORT)

FIFA said $ 300 million in 2018 and 2022 World Cup

FIFA announced that the marketing of World Cup tickets for 2018 and 2022 is taken with the same company, Match Hospitality, which has been working with for thirty years, ensuring a minimum of $ 300 million.

The agreement also includes the 2017 and 2021 editions of the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2019 and 2023 editions of the Women's World Cup. The agreement includes a financial guarantee of $ 300 million for FIFA and benefit sharing.

"FIFA has endorsed and expanded the agreement with a company and a partner that brings the team more versed in the field of ticket sales," said Thierry Weil, marketing director of FIFA.

The same company paid 240 million dollars for the rights to sell tickets for World Cup South Africa 2010 and 2014 in Brazil.

Match Hospitality recognized losses of nearly $ 50 million in the South African World Cup, but plans to return to profit in Brazil. (via SPORT)

[youth] Two thrashings and a draw in the derbies of the cantera

Cadete A and Alevín B azulgrana solved in a comfortable way its bereavements against Espanyol. Infantil B got a valuable tie in Sant Adrià. In the rest of categories, good results of the teams azulgranas.


[LIGA JUVENIL NACIONAL]
FC BARCELONA B 2 – PREMIÀ A 0
Very even Party García Pimienta's boys against a very intense rival. During the first part both teams had occasions and the possession was balanced. The azulgranas left to the rest with a tie to zero. In second part leaves it annulled a goal of Munir on the outside later of game, but minutes the same one to Munir opened the marker with a good one finishes off after a corner. A penalty in the last minutes of the goalkeeper of Premià Santiago, Sandro has more than enough it allowed to increase the distance in the marker and to put an end to the definitive one 2-0.

[DIVISIÓN HONOR CADETE]
FCBARCELONA A 3 ESPANYOL 0
Cadete A solved with authority the derbi. Adama Traoré was key since the end of Hospitalet marked a goal and it manufactured the other two goals signed by Enguene and Juanan. Quique Àlvarez's boys generated enough occasions for aconseguir a result still more overwhelming.

[LIGA PREFERENTE CADETE]
FC SANTBOIÀ A 2 - FC BARCELONA B 6
The boys' of Fran Artiga great game that came out very strong and they put on for before in the marker very soon, in the minute 2, with a goal of lack of Fernando. The azulgranas offered the best party in the season and they left to the rest with a 0-4 thanks to goal of Alexis Meva and two reveilles of Sergi Canales. In the second part, Cadete B continued dominating the game and Alexis it was able to mark two goals more than they finished sentencing the encounter.

[LIGA 1ª DIVISIÓN INFANTIL]
FC BARCELONA A 3 - MARIANAO POBLET 0
Infantil A took the baton throughout the encounter and they had many goal occasions. In the minute 20 of the first part Javi Ruiz opened the marker with a head goal, and to the four minutes Edgar also made the 2-0 with a point of head. The second time continued with the control azulgrana and in the minute 9 Lee left sentenced the party with a collective great play with Olmo.

[LIGA 1ª DIVISIÓN]
ESPANYOL 2 - FC BARCELONA B 2
Intense game of Infantil B against Espanyol in a difficult field. The azulgranas had the possession and they put on for before in the marker in the minute 9 of the first part with a goal of lack of Oriol. In the second half the rival got the tie with a so much of Usmar from outside of the area but Denis Silva's boys put on again for before in the minute 65 with an finishes off of Collado that the goalkeeper Álex could not stop. However, only three minutes later Fode tied the encounter and the azulgranas again they could no longer make anything to move the result.

[LIGA 2ª DIVISIÓN ALEVÍN]
PRAT A 0 - FC BARCELONAC 5
Alex Gómez's boys' good game and Alexis Pintó that were imposed without problems on El Prat in the Campo Municipal Sagnier. The azulgranas was very superior and they executed a good combination soccer that left without arguments to their rival. The goals of Alevín C was of Take (2), Adrià Altimira (2) and Marc Guerrero.

[LIGA 2a DIVISIÓN ALEVÍN]
ESPARRAGUERA A 2 - FC BARCELONA D 5
Alevín D was imposed without many difficulties to an Esparraguera that you grieve creó goal occasions. The boys of Xavi Bravo and Óscar Hernández were very superior throughout the encounter, although in the second half they offered a game proposal well and they knew how to combine to materialize the opportunities. Roger Vegas made a great party and it got a hat-trick, and Kenneth wrote down the two remaining goals.

[LIGA 1ª DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN]
FC BARCELONA A15 - ESCOLA GAVÀ 0
Partidazo of Marc Serra and David Sánchez's team controlled the encounter from the minute 1 in the one that Kais put for before to the azulgranas. The goals arrived very quick and in the first eight minutes Benjamin A already won for 6-0. The azulgranas offered collective great game, so much at offensive level as defensive, and the scorers of the day were Kais (3), Ilaix (3), Álvaro (2), Haitam (2), José, Raúl, Aitor, Toni and Marcos. This victory supposes a great dose of face positivism to the party of next Tuesday before Cornellà.

[LIGA 1a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN]
VILASSAR DE MAR A 0 - FC BARCELONA B 6
Sergi Milá's boys' domain absolute and great superiority in the Campo Municipal Xevi Ramon. Benjamin B offered a very beautiful and worked game proposal and it controlled the party from the beginning. However, the first room put an end to a tie to zero, but in the second room the goals of Jan Reixach and Oscar Romero allowed to the azulgranas to put on for before in the marker. In the second part Vilassar lowered the rhythm and Barça it took advantage of the occasion to increase the distances and to sentence the party definitively with the reveilles of Martí Riera, another of Jan Reixach and one of Joël López.

[LIGA 2a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN]
CASTELLDEFELS A 2 - FC BARCELONA C 1
Unjust defeat of Benjamin C in a game totally dominated by the azulgranas. The boys of Cristian Cátena possessed numerous occasions during the four times but they lacked to materialize them, since they sent up to four balls to the stick and they saw how they annulled them a goal. Arnau Martínez wrote down the so much azulgrana, but in spite of the intents and the superiority of Barça the 2-1 didn't move.

[LIGA 3a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN]
FC BARCELONA D 5 - PEÑA Espanyolista Manigua 2
Jordi Pérez's boys hard worked against a rival a bigger year that was shown very defensive and hindered the execution of the game collective azulgrana. Benjamin D controlled the party but had to create good team plays to get the goals, because Penya Espanyolista Manigua took advantage of its force to cut the actions azulgranas and to begin the game. Nadir demonstrated its success scorer with a hat-trick, and Sicus and Gabi they marked the other two goals. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Plzen-Barça: Viktoria de oro

A victory of Barca and the bat does not win the pass to seal the second round.
Yield point, however, greatly complicate the group lead.
Pep recovers 'touched', but remains in doubt about a player.


A Barça that continues to break records as you pursue your own excellence to improve it now has the opportunity to seal their qualification for the knockout stages of Champions in Prague, a city that has not gone unnoticed in the history of FC Barcelona, ​​Pep Guardiola yesterday but did not remember -admitted in the press conference, the two games played as Barca player in the Czech capital. A victory over Viktoria Pilsen combined with a draw or a defeat of BATE Borisov against Milan would make octavofinalistas automatically Barca, still pending ratification of the first or second group. How you can reach the Pep agree Thiago Silva's header in stoppage time on the first day!

First things first. And today, in which eight candidates for the Catalans will be officially Golden Ball, and that Pep Guardiola 200 lead his party, Messi can reach his second hundred goals and Victor Valdes to beat the unbeaten record in the club, should do well the duties.

To this end, the technician is expected to recover some of the injured who missed the Barcelona-Mallorca, as Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta, while maintaining the doubt about Xavi Hernandez, Guardiola despite their discomfort iron removed and midfielder participated in training at the stadium Eden.

Guardiola does not want to put in the running jokes and the best equipment possible. A priori, the club will with little risk, as it expects a much more aggressive Viktoria at the Camp Nou, away from his audience, which is expected to fill the stands of the field where they usually play Slavia and the Czech team. A 4-3-3 with the return of Gerard Piqué and Puyol as a pair with Mascherano would now most likely formula.

The Viktoria Pilsen, in turn, burn his ships in order not to quit. Dominik Duka, arzobispode Prague, has been invited to attend the private party and bless the players. Any help can be little against Barca, but Czech Republic is not a very religious country. In fact, today, All Saints, or even a holiday in the country.

Pep played twice in Prague, both against Sparta. The first game of the famous 'environment' of Cruyff, lost it, but in the second 1-2 Gabri signed with the club which closed the second group stage of Champions 1999-2000. (via MD)

Viktoria only lost one home game of European competition

Viktoria has only lost once at home in Europe, against Bayern in the UEFA Cup 1971/72.


Viktoria has based its recent successes in a highly solvent at home, especially in the 1.Liga and Europe. In fact, Europe has five games unbeaten at home in various scenarios by not fulfilling their stadium requirements required by UEFA.

In the last campaign, tied to a Viktoria against Besiktas in Zlin in Letna after the Europa League. This might play in the first two previous Champions Mesto in Pilsen, with wins against Armenian Pyunik (5-1) and Rosenborg (3-2). In the third beat Copenhagen 2-1 in the Synot Tip of Prague and at the same stage, tied at one in the group stage against BATE. His only KO dating from 1971, as Skoda Pilzen in the first round of the UEFA against Bayern (0-1).

The Czech Republic has 28 wins, 16 draws and four defeats in 48 games. Since March 2009, the Viktoria only lost in the league on August 16, 2009 against Slovan Liberec (1-2) and August 29 against Sparta (0-2). In contrast, in the Copa Sparta have fallen to the 2008/09 season and before the Mlada Boleslav in the past.

"Our balance sheet at home is very positive and we want to keep in front of Barça," said Pavel Vrba coach yesterday. Meanwhile, try to emulate the Blaugrana tonight at Bayern Munich. (via SPORT)

Today could be a night of records with Messi as the best of ends in Europe

Pep, Valdes and Leo himself can make history. The Argentine has also shot 23 times in three games.


The match against Viktoria mean the 200 of Pep Guardiola on the bench with a balance Barcelona an impressive 71.85 winning percentage. The Santpedor meet this mark, and two of the pillars of the team, Victor Valdes and Leo Messi, they can make history at the statistical level.

Victor is only 38 minutes to become more minutes the goalkeeper who has remained unbeaten in the Barca goal. Valdés chains 787 minutes without conceding goals in an official meeting with 38 minutes left behind will be the mark of Miguel Reina, who was 824 with a clean immaculate.

As for Messi, is just a single goal to reach 200 with the elastic Barcelona. At the moment, Leo has scored twice in the Champions League this season, both against BATE, and is the most capped player has topped the competition. Of his 23 shots, eight have gone to door and fifteen out. (via SPORT)

Barca to win to ensure progress to the Champions League knockout

The reigning Champions are 'looks' today against a team that already made him sweat in the Camp Nou.


Temporarily parked la Liga, Champions arrives. And for FC Barcelona, ​​a key game to get into the knockout stages mathematically. To do this, besides the victory in Prague against Viktoria should win (or tie) Milan to Minsk against BATE Borisov. These results leave no options to Czech and Belarusian box, but leave the first place in the group at the expense of what occurred in the penultimate match between AC Milan and FC Barcelona at San Siro.
In any case, the first objective of the FC Barcelona ensure qualification for the knockout stages. Once this step will be time for speculating about the team's options to be the first group, but until then, all efforts are focused on today's match against Viktoria.

The boat was much strengthened this appointment after 5-0 against Mallorca. Against the team he left behind Barca Balearic doubts about its effectiveness and 'recovered' to Leo Messi, who in the last three games was no door. On the other hand, confirmed the good time of Victor Valdes, a wall since last September 21 when the last goal conceded. His executioner was Pablo Hernandez of Valencia, on 23 minutes. A total of eight matches without conceding more goals the rest of the Valencia-Barca. Today, should take 38 minutes, the goal Barca get the unbeaten record under the Barca held by Miguel Reina season since 1972-73, when it remained 824 minutes without picking up any network ball. Valdés accumulates 787 minutes now.

On paper, the match today in Prague must be one in a series that is covering without defeat. And is that the club since the season started, has not bitten the dust the official competition: 16 games, 11 wins and 5 draws, 48 ​​goals scored and only 10 against. Some numbers to be optimistic in this duel key to the European future of FC Barcelona, ​​reigning Champions.

There are many reasons why the club does not want to miss the three points at stake. One, to achieve its objective, which is none other than finishing first group to benefit from the advantages that entails: playing the second game of the second round at home. Another, to continue with his current good run of play and results (six months without losing).

Obviously, the victory also could use FC Barcelona as an entity given that the 800,000 euros embolsaría UEFA awarded for the victory. A negligible amount. Access to the knockout ensure Barca 3 million euros.

And obviously, one of the team's goals is to reach the final round of the playoffs, against BATE Borisov in the Nou Camp on Tuesday, December 6, with all the fish sold. That is, having won today and ensuring the November 23 first place at San Siro. This would allow the coach of FC Barcelona face the match against Belarusians almost like a friendly question. Could then give minutes to players foguear unusual and promising young to come stomping subsidiary, read Isaac Cuenca (headline in the last two games, Granada and Mallorca) and Gerard Deloufeu.

In short, a new challenge for FC Barcelona, ​​who won today 'forget' the Champions League (not the first place in the group) until February 2012. A situation that would be ideal.

[Former player] Luis Garcia brand pairs in Mexico

The exblaugrana Luis Garcia continues to talk in Mexican football. His two goals, one from a free gave him the victory at Puebla by 2-3 against America at the Azteca stadium.

Garcia has already reached seven goals in the Apertura 2011 and a journey to the end of the regular season his team is close to achieving a spot in the league title, reports our correspondent B. Maldonado. (via SPORT)

Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Piqué, Villa, Cesc, Alves and Abidal in the final list Ballon d'Or

Eight Barça players enter the final list of 23 nominees for the trophy from FIFA and France Football.
Only Puyol and Alexis fall of the top ten candidates and Barca sweeps as the club most often cited for the award.
The Real Madrid are: Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Mesut Özil and Karim Benzema.


FC Barcelona , with eight players, the club has placed more players on the final list of 23 contenders for the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Leo Messi , current winner of last season, along with Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, David Villa, Cesc Fàbregas, Dani Alves and Eric Abidal up the group of eight nominated by the Catalan club.

Only the captain Carles Puyol (which was long injured last season) and Alexis Sanchez (who played for Udinese and played with Chile) have not made ​​the cut from the original list of 50 that has been reduced by members of the Commission Cup of FIFA to 23 applicants.

On December 5 will know the names of the three finalists, you should check out the winner will be proclaimed in the usual FIFA Gala in Zurich January 9. The Real Madrid with five nominations is the second club with more players on the list: Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Mesut Özil and Karim Benzema.

The list of 23 players who aspire to the FIFA Ballon d'Or will be published in the Tuesday morning edition of France Football, which co-organizes the prize, along with the names of the ten technicians who make up the Top Ten candidates for the final prize Last year it was Jose Mourinho and this, again, compete with him Pep Guardiola (FC Barcelona) and Vicente del Bosque (Spain) with a constellation of great European and South American coaches.

Mundo Deportivo , in its issue of paper, on Tuesday offered a full list of the 23 contenders for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, along with the ten nominees for Best Coach trophy. (via MD)

Di Stéfano: "Each day delights with the goals of Messi"

Di Stéfano discovers to be in love with the game and the so many of their countryman "when it doesn't insert them to Real Madrid."
The president honorary target assures that "Leo has an incommensurable talent and he has helped to that his team is a machine of winning holding".


Alfredo di Stéfano continues praising Leo Messi, his countryman that plays in FC Barcelona. In spite of being the president honrífico from Real Madrid, 'la Saeta Rubia' doesn't have problems to highlight at the 10 of Barça and of Argentina in an interview to the magazine of la Asociación de Fútbol Argentino (AFA). "Thanks to that is intelligent and to that knows to decipher the parties it is that it is placed in the suitable place and with opportune movements. The truth is that it is extraordinary to see it play. I delight each day in Spain with their goals, clear, when it doesn't insert them to Real Madrid."

Di Stéfano assures that Leo should be the captain of the albiceleste: It is "a distinction that Messi deserved, simply because it contains all the necessary characteristics. Then, good, he has an incommensurable talent. He has helped to that their team is a machine of winning holding. I am also sure that the decision will help to foment the union of the group, this it is the most important mission that is responsible for.

Also, the president honorary target sent a message to the followers albicelestes: It would "be fair that the Argentinean liking recognizes it and it rewards him with its support. It is the great figure of the Selection, for some time it has demonstrated it. I always observe it in the parties with Argentina to fight and to make their biggest effort." (via MD)

Vrba: "We will be more offensive and depredadores in Barcelona"

Viktoria Pilzen coach opted to show a lot more attention than that paid Messi at the Camp Nou.


The Czech coach, Pavel Vrba, warned that his team tomorrow in Prague, will be more aggressive and "predator" of what was in the Camp Nou two weeks ago when he had several chances to not take advantage.

"In Barcelona we had chances in the first part. But we were not aggressive enough and predators. Now, keep offensive tactics throughout the game," he said at the press conference after the meeting of the fourth round of the Champions League.

"We want to win at home and offer in the offensive phase than in Barcelona" and, above all, "show some elements of the last games."

The Plzen has scored nine goals in the last two days in the Czech league and has placed six points behind league leaders, Sparta Prague.

Vrba admitted that there was some luck in the game Oct. 19.

"Messi will pay more attention to the Nou Camp. There were very lucky, because he had several times in front of the goalkeeper," he said.

"We play, and we do it at home. We will give everything and I think there are chances to score points," said the captain meanwhile Pavel Horvath.

"There is danger, hunger points. We are not prepared tactics to flip out and start playing give and take. This is not to play as in dreams, and inculcating three goals. But we want to be dangerous," added the veteran midfielder , 36, who played for Benfica. (via SPORT)

Piqué: "Now we have to aspire to topping the group"

Gerard Piqué has described winning in Prague as "super important" because the aim is to finish top of the group and avoid playing other group winners. He is also keen to get back into his playing rhythm after what has been a stop-start season.



The central defender says he is ready to "play the 90 minutes" if Guardiola so decides against Viktoria Plzen in a key game for FCB. "The three points are super important because we have to aspire to topping the group, which is important for possible match-ups in the next round” he said.

Piqué has already suffered two injuries this season, and says "it has been a tough start because I haven’t been able to help the team, I have been working at a different pace and that’s not good mentally.” But in his absence, the team has been doing brilliantly in defence thanks to Mascherano and Abidal. "They are playing spectacularly at the moment. The statistics say that and as the boss says, he’s the best centre back at the moment” said Piqué in reference to his Argentine colleague.

The team is 38 minutes from beating its own record for not conceding goal and Lionel Messi is one shy of his 200th goal for the club. Piqué spoke about both these circumstances. "Messi only just made it to 100 goals and has got to 200 really quickly, which shows how he has taken on more responsibilities and is on another level … As for the record for not conceding goals, that’s everybody’s achievement, although mainly Valdés’. He’s having an amazing time as a keeper and deserves much more recognition”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Guardiola: “We can’t waste this chance”

The manager doesn’t want his players to miss out on the chance to secure a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League against Viktoria, and says that the next objective will be to top the group.



The Barça manager knows that a win in the Czech Republic “would mean we would have definitely qualified with two games in hand in a competition that will start again in February”. He feels that the chance they have at the Eden Stadium “should not be wasted”. He then added that “after that, against Milan and Bate, we’ll try to finish top of the group”.

In a similar vein, Barça will hope to do at Viktoria Plzen something they have never done under Guardiola – win the fourth game in the group stage and also do the double over the team that they meet in back-to-back matches in the middle of the schedule. “We have always found things harder in Europe than anywhere else and we have to take this chance. Qualifying is the main objective, and the sooner you have these things sorted, the better” he insisted.

Barça’s manager then said that Viktoria Plzen is one of the teams “that has most had us on the run”, but admitted that already having played them once made it a lot easier to prepare for this match. Guardiola said that “it helped to interpret the possibilities that we have ahead of us … The teams are stronger in Europe, they’re more physical, more powerful and I suspect tomorrow will be no exception. We have always struggled against teams from the north. This game will be one more test of what we need to do to move onward, to play better, more consistently, and to become a better and better team”.

Tuesday’s game will be Guardiola’s 200th as Barça manager: “I am proud to have been here so long. I am proud to have trained these players, from the first to the last. They have made me better as a manager. When you win 12 titles out of 15, it’s because you haven’t lost many games.”

But he says it’s too early for evaluations: “While you’re still here, it’s not a good idea to look back at such a long process. There are times things went wrong and they were difficult. Of course I’m proud to have been here so long, to have had some good games and to have made the people happy. When I’m not here any more there will be more time to think about what has happened.”

As for Xavi missing the recent game with Granada, Guardiola pointed out that “two years ago, in Villarreal, he was worse than he was the other day and he played … He’s not injured, but his soleus is suffering from fatigue and is causing him some trouble. He’s got better. We’ll look at him in training and decide tomorrow”.

Finally, he was asked why Alexis Sánchez was in the team when he had not yet been declared fit. The boss aid it was “so that he can be with the rest of his team mates … Alex is a bad patient. He is very good at what he does but he really doesn’t need to be out of action for so long. The way he plays is the way he lives. It was a very serious injury, and he’s been out for two months …. We don’t want him to get hurt again but his recovery is very positive”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Eden Stadium hosts final session with 21 players

The 21 players that have travelled to the Czech capital have trained normally in the stadium to be used for tomorrow evening’s encounter, the Eden Stadium.



This was the last time the team will train before taking on Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night. Josep Guardiola had all 21 players in perfect condition and was able to familiarise himself with a new venue for the club, Prague’s Eden Stadium.

Guardiola will have to strike three of those names off his list before tomorrow’s Champions League match. He has taken 19 first team players plus Barça B’s Cuenca and Oier. Of these, Alexis Sánchez is the only one who has not yet been given medical clearance to play.

Before training, Josep Guardiola met a former team mate of his from his days at Brescia: Pavel Srnicek. He was the reserve goalkeeper for the Italian outfit in the 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2002/03 seasons, the same time that the current FCB manager was in Lombardy. The former player travelled to Eden Stadium to say hello to his old friend Guardiola. (via FCBarcelona.cat)