03 November 2011

Ibrahimovic to Guardiola: You don't have balls"

In the recently published book "I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic 'gives his version of his confrontation with Guardiola.
According to Swedish, Messi position change was the origin of the conflict.

Swedish newspapers Expressen and Aftonbladet have revealed some of the passages of the book "Jag är Zlatan Ibrahimovic (I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic)", which goes on sale Nov. 15 at home. The Swedish forward version gives of his time in Barça is expected (not exactly benevolent), but has an interest because it includes details unknown so far.

Ibra said that everything started to go wrong for him when Messi wanted to leave the band to play in the middle of the attack. Zlatan says he had a positive meeting about it with Pep Guardiola and tried to adjust at first but eventually understood that he was being " sacrificed "and so began to rebel breaking the favorite slogan Guardiola , who according Ibra was: " We must keep our feet on the ground, not here enter the Porches and Ferraris . " Before Barca-Almeria Ibra arrived to Ciutat Esportiva with his best Ferrari. " I was tired of everyone were with the tracksuit and the Audi " he argues.

The friction gave way to a phase of distancing (Ibra says Pep began to shun salute to stop) and then a real war. The worst episode was experienced after the Barcelona-Villarreal La Liga. Bojan was a starter and Ibra played just 5 minutes. The Swede said, according to his version, that after that game, there was a tense face to face "a half-empty room" in the locker room. " I was really pissed off and Guardiola was looking into my eyes . There was my enemy, touching her head. 'You have no guts' I said. 'I shit with Mourinho . " The tension was very high, while Zlatan hit "a ten-foot metal locker to throw down." " Guardiola said nothing and picked up things from the floor, "he says. "If I were Guardiola would have been afraid, "he declares.

Zlatan also speaks of the meeting held in Sant Joan Despi the first day of training camp July 2010, once completed the signing of Villa . Ibra says he told his stepson still: " I'll show you I have a site on this computer ". And the response from Pep was: " I know, but how we do it? ". That day has Ibra , "I decided that I was the boat." Zlatan adds that, along with his agent Mino Raiola , invented an alleged interest from Real Madrid to hurt Barca because, "from the moment my intention was to go to Milan ".

"In Barça there is another culture in Italy"
Here the coach says 'jump' and everyone jumps Ibra acknowledges in his biography that his time at Barça started very well but explains, in its way, soon saw Barca culture did not fit his personality. "In Italy he was accustomed to other types of stars. The coach said 'jump' and asked 'why?'. In Barcelona they all jump, nobody behaves like a star. Everything is very homogeneous but time seems mims a cult. " (via MD)

[Youth] Òscar Garcia does not trust the City

The juvenil A of Òscar Garcia faces this Thursday the 20.15 hours to Manchester City in the fifth day of NextGen Series, in a left that it can certify the mathematical classification of the azulgranas for the following phase.

The guys from Oscar Garcia, who are the leaders of their group NextGen Series with three wins and one loss, received on Thursday at the Miniestadi Manchester City, rock-bottom with no points. But Junior A coach does not trust the English team. "Their results are misleading because they have a great set and it is not much less of an affordable". The City and made ​​things very difficult for the Catalans in the party that faced them on English soil in the first round. At that time the Catalans took the victory by 1-2 with two goals from azulgrana Ángel.

The azulgranas faces the game conditioned by the drops, since Òscar Garcia won't be able to neither have the scorer Dongou that was expelled in the last game in Marseilles, and Ernesto, Patri and Carlos Julio will be for lesion. Pol and Bagnak are doubt and it won't be until the same day of party that the trainer will know if it can count on them. To complete convoking Òscar Garcia will call to players of Juvenil B to give them "the opportunity to dispute such an international attractive" competition.

The party will begin at the 20.15 hours and for those that cannot attend Miniestadi they will be able to him to continue in direct for Barça TV. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Selection] Chile vibrates with the return of Alexis Sanchez

Barca forward's recovery optimism returns to face Claudio Borghi to qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.

Chile breathes much quieter after finding that Alexis Sanchez is now recovered from his physical problems. The Chilean fans hoped a comeback against Athletic and maintained some doubts about the fitness with which the crack would appear to meet the commitments with the selection. However, with discharge in hand and minutes played in Prague, the complex environment surrounding the coach Claudio Borghi faces more optimistic about the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.

The press exulted with the return to the pitch of his big star and was dispatched yesterday with some of the most significant holders. The newspaper 'The latest news Do was the most explicit. `We're saved, Alexis is back ¿. Another major newspapers, 'The Fourth Do you gamble for impacting their readers. The scant twenty minutes played against Viktoria Alexis left their mark. Alexis' steak comes la Roja. Finally, a more moderate line, expresses 'La Tercera'. 'Sanchez played valuable minutes excite la Roja'. Inside, they do say that "the striker showed an excellent level."

Chile expected to give more minutes Guardiola Alexis Sanchez in San Mamés difficult exam. A real treat to shoot the striker arrives in good condition for matches against Uruguay and Paraguay. Chilean boot on its way to Brazil has been more than hesitant and coach Claudio Borghi was the subject of much criticism after being beaten in Argentina. Alexis is seen as salvation. (via SPORT)

[Selection Under-21] Luis Milla thinks of Cuenca for the Under-21

The winger might follow in the footsteps of Pedro and Busquets, who came to the team after shining with Guardiola.

Isaac Cuenca is by permission of Leo Messi, the man of fashion at the club. And if the man of fashion at the club, it usually also in the Spanish team. Luis Milla, the Under-21 coach, will now the squad will play against Estonia and Switzerland on 10 and November 14 respectively. And she could see the name of Isaac Cuenca.

The Reus follow the footsteps of two of his fellow Barca's first team, Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez. Both debuted in the Under-21 once passed through the hands of Pep Guardiola in the first team. Coach Guardiola has become a mine, not only for the club that pays, but also for the technicians responsible for the Spanish Federation, who draw on your keen eye for incorporating homegrown. Isaac Cuenca has not been touched by the lower echelons of the state selection, although it is not necessary to prove to be important in the Under-21.

If Luis Milla includes the name of Isaac Cuenca in the squad, the end faces, along with his companions, Estonia on 10 November in Melilla and Switzerland on the 14th in Córdoba. These meetings also attend fellow subsidiary and Montoya, Planas and Marc Bartra.

All they will get lost the going of the preliminary round of sixteenth of the Copa del Rey in L'Hospitalet. This meeting, however, they will go the players of the first team to be going to the squad, as the Spanish Federation has given permission to be available to Pep Guardiola for the first commitment butler. (via SPORT)

Pep makes to Messi more scorer

It's a total player. He does everything well. It's a great passer, dominates the dribble, touch and play with Guardiola is the best striker in the world.

The invaluable decision of placing Joan Laporta and coach Pep Guardiola first team has been key to uncovering of Leo Messi will definitely be the best player on the planet and lead the way to banish the pinnacle of soccer to Pele and untouchable Diego Armando Maradona.

Before the relay on the bench, Argentina had already offered many examples of what you would be able to achieve. However, there burst from finished at that time was still too young and also because the presence of a striker in the old way as Samuel Eto'o closed the spaces and curtailed his ability to invent in any position midfield forward.

In this sense, Pep Guardiola has ended with the understanding that the best performances come when Leo Messi ram ranks only in theory, since its enormous mobility and ability to master all aspects of the game make it more deadly the more location is unpredictable.

In view of their numbers filmmakers, called the attention he has always been improving their records since his debut season, although Rijkaard's last season on the bench suffered a slight decline driven by the problems of a team marching in a worrying downhill.

With Rijkaard, Barca managed to crack 42 goals in 110 games. In his debut season in the first team with only 17 years, 2004/05, scored a goal in nine games (0.11 per game), the second scored eight in 25 appearances (0.32) and the third was up to 17 'targets' in 36 games (0.47), but in 2007/08 the percentage filmmaker unstoppable progression that was held back with 16 goals in 40 games (0.40).

At that time, the squad had to find a place behind Eto'o, on occasion, Thierry Henry, allowing rivals to fix more clearly the marks on defense. From day one, Guardiola gave his confidence, although in the first season followed Eto'o relying on the second this role was played by the fractious Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Nevertheless, in the first season of Pep, the 2008/09, the effectiveness and the magic of Argentine multiplied exponentially. In this course, a more mature Messi and increasingly aware of their unique potential, scored 38 goals in 51 games and raised its rate to 0.75 goals per game.

In the following, with Ibra in the team, 'Leo made 47 appearances 53 goals How and went up to 0.89 goals per game. It seemed impossible to beat a record, but last season and acting as a false front and center, Leo Messi led Barcelona to the dust that made the brand new Real Madrid with 53 goals Mourinho in 55 games (0.96 per game) .

With two consecutive Ballon d'Ors and lofty as the best player on the planet even though he was only 23 years, their numbers became increasingly delusional. Leo was one step to score more than one goal per game average and seemed determined to achieve such a feat.

And, given how this season has started, is poised to be very close. Specifically, the average Argentine filmmaker of the 17 official matches in which he has participated in the current campaign is 1.29 (22 points).

Messi is increasingly comfortable in the team and the arrival of more 'gamers do the template as Thiago and Cesc is further fueling their ability to invent plays and lethal combinations that make opposing defenses crazy.

Translating these percentages to minutes, Leo Messi scored a goal every 176 minutes under the command of Frank Rijkaard, Guardiola while this average has been reduced to a goal every 87. In the current campaign misses every 66 minutes ... And the average continues to fall. (via SPORT)

L'Hospitalet not want to play against Barca at 22 hours

The president, Miguel Garcia, says that "no one has said anything and if they insist, will not let go of the camera".

TV3, La Sexta and Telemadrid are three channels that can be seen live on L'Hospitalet-Barça is the knockout round of the Copa del Rey on November 9. In principle, at 22 hours.

Miguel Garcia, president coastal, explains that "the day we feel good because the club has commitments and do not care, but no time." L'Hospitalet is want to play 21 hours, says the leader. And so he has made known through a fax to the Spanish Federation and the club. However, "Nobody has contacted us to say which will be played at 22 hours." If they did, "would seem to me in any way the amateur and fight for that not to happen. Barca is totally innocent in this story, but between the Federation, the LFP and Mediapro are passing the ball. When you finish the game there is no meter and if everyone is in this car crash. If they insist, will not let go of the camera, "he argues.

"The feeling I have is that it matters little, no one talks to us. In addition, over which we do not want to give a hard, want to hurt the box office. Abuse and fan club. It's a historic game for four men who think about their business, they mistreat us, "Miguel Garcia ends. (via SPORT)

Valdés, number 1

Guardiola's Barca and Messi seems limitless, but it has established a barrier to their rivals, Victor Valdes..

Those who know say that a football team is built from back to front. In the case of Barca must be so because the eleven most formidable of its history, the team Pep `¿, not be understood without Victor Valdes, start and end of the 'round', the certificate of origin set of Josep Guardiola. With Victor closed the discussion of the goal opened in 1994 following the departure of Andoni Zubizarreta. After her debut in a Barcelona-Atletico (2-2) on September 1, 2002, Frank Rijkaard gave a definitive title in 2003-04. Since then, established the 'pax valdesiana' at Camp Nou.

Reached an age that is considered ideal for a goalkeeper for the balance of experience, talent and physical ability (l was born in Hospitalet de Llobregat on January 14, 1982), Valdés is harvested the fruits of many years of work, from who came to the farmhouse with just ten years. Forging a child in a football philosophy has also drenched Leo Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, compared with Viktoria Plzen beat the unbeaten record with the club he owned Miguel Reina from the 1972-73 season when he was set at 824 minutes .

Victor raised him up to the 877-in nine games Sunday against Athletic Club, you can increase-and to do so was not easy: at 16 minutes of play Cissovsky raised him one-on-one with his usual Valdes solved solvency. It was 1-0 and things could have been very different in the Synot Tip Arena.

"I'm very happy for the record, I dedicate to my parents," she confessed at the end of mourning. "I always say that these things are worth the entire team, not just a player, because good defensive work of all means that we get very few times." True, as is usually the goal Barca `resolve these solvency How seldom that rivals reach his goal. It is the only way you can explain that this season may have left his clean sheet in twelve of the 17 official matches he has played the club by the time the 2011-12 season.

His memorable performances in the final in Paris against Arsenal in the semifinal or Stamford Bridge against Chelsea rightly figure among the great exploits of the club. Also their numbers begin to be more than respectable history. "What we are historical titles are not records," said Barca keeper.

Also in this aspect is ahead Valdés, with a lot of football ahead has already passed in many classifications legendary goalkeeper for Barcelona. When is ten seasons in the first team, the goalkeeper is Victor and more competitive games played for the Blaugrana shirt, 423, beating his admired Andoni Zubizarreta (410, eight seasons) and the legendary Antonio Ramallets (384 in thirteen campaigns) .
With 17 titles and four trophies collectively Zamora goalkeeping record in their windows, just as it resists Ramallets had 18 titles and five Zamora, currently the record for the competition. A circumstantial situation taking into account that Valdes, who has added two Super Cups in this course, will dispute the League, Copa del Rey, Champions League and World Club Championship.

On the issue of Zamora, the current 'number 1' Barca lead the standings this year with four goals in ten days and an average of 0.40 goals against average at best improves the story goals set at 0.47 Paco Liaño with Deportivo in the 1993-94 season.
However, all these titles and club level successes have brought with it international recognition. Vicente del Bosque was included late in the list of Spain for the 2010 World Cup that would conquer the 'Red'. And his official debut was not until the recent Spain-Scotland. Moreover, Valdés not on the list of 23 selected to qualify for the Ballon d'Or "Never look at the list of Golden Ball," joked Catalan goalkeeper when asked about it, "and less from that Messi is playing. I know it's going to take it and save you a trip. "

Victor blaugrana rondo first player, the last bastion of Barca, refers to its credentials as always: the work and results. "We've managed to qualify for the Champions League knockout now, the other objective is to finish first." (via SPORT)

Rosell will go to congress 'Aspire 4 Sport' of Qatar

The maximum directing blaugrana will head a delegation of the club in an event that will gather to numerous personalities of the world sport.

The president Sandro Rosell will lead a delegation of FC Barcelona who will participate in the second edition of the International Sports and Exhibition which will take place leading the Aspire Dome in Doha sports city (Tasting) between 12 and 15 November.

Rosell will go by the financial vice-president of the club, Javier Faus, as well as sporting director of professional football Andoni Zubizarreta. The president offered a talk on 15 setting out the projects and objectives of the club, while the vice president will participate in a roundtable on investment in the world of sports, brand or sponsorship. As Zubizarreta, will speak at a series of Clinics more narrowly focused on the sports field and technical football.

The congress organization, is headed by Hassan Al Thawadi, also general secretary of the organizing committee of the World Tasting 2022, has assembled a broad range of personalities from all fields and especially in the sports world. Thus, the participants can see the Spanish exseleccionador Luis Aragones, Sir Frank Williams, team boss of the eponymous Formula 1, or the ex-captain of the Italian Fabio Cannavaro. They participate in various conferences and debates around the world of sports.

On day 7, a conference in Zurich ... and ACE

On Monday November 7, Sandro Rosell participate in a symposium held in Zurich by the IFA (International Football Arena) with director Milan, Umberto Gandini and Secretary General of the Premier League, Nic Coward. The conference title is "Football from craze to madness". Then join the meeting of the ECA (European Club Association), also in Zurich, until Tuesday the 8th. (via SPORT)

[Selection] Xavi will not travel to Costa Rica

Vicente del Bosque is aware that players are very saturated parties to rest and think more of a 'fixed' for the two friendly.

Xavi Hernandez is on Thursday in Madrid to receive a fitting tribute, with Iker Casillas, Raul Gonzalez and Andoni Zubizarreta, to have exceeded one hundred games for the Red, namely sum and 105.

However, what is not so clear is traveling with his team mates to London to play on Saturday November 12 friendly against England at Wembley. Everything will depend on to keep the conversation this weekend with coach Vicente del Bosque, and not to forget that this time will not be until Monday, November 4 the Salamanca of the call for the two friendlies will play Spain in the next few days: the aforementioned against England and then to Costa Rica on Tuesday 15 November at the Central American country.

The coach is very sensitive to time to avoid overburdening the men 'punished' by a calendar so intense, the Blaugrana are the most competitive matches have been played so far, with a total of 17 -, so try to make a final balance to avoid suspicions at the time of convening the Blaugrana and Real Madrid, especially considering that it is friendly matches where the only thing at stake is the prestige of the current world champion.

Del Bosque, in this first selection, is very clear that Xavi will not travel to Costa Rica, but has yet to decide whether to include neither the England game or eventually travel to London to compete in this friendly and then return to Barcelona.

The final decision will be agreed between the coach and the player himself. In fact, not be ruled out that Del Bosque also spoke by telephone with Pep Guardiola for the status of their Spanish international when making the call.

Pep himself said that Villa was "very party whip", which "The Guaje 'and Pedro could rest. Do not forget that Xavi has missed the last two games, against Mallorca in La Liga and Champions Viktoria Pilsen, because of some minor discomfort in the soleus. In any case, the player reassured Guardiola said last Monday that was far recovered, but the coach decided to give it more rest. (via SPORT)

Roberto Carlos reveals that Anzhi dreams of signing Messi

In an interview in which he explained the reasons for his departure for Russia, Roberto Carlos exmadridista revealed that the owner plans Anzhi is Messi.

"Suleyman Kerimov three names put on the table: Neymar (Santos), Messi (Barcelona) Eto'o also mentioned," said Roberto Carlos, told CNN. "The three contracts were in force, but Eto'o thought and rethought. As time passed, Samuel called me. I explained the structure of the club, what he would and would feel more important than Anzhi it was at Inter. Of the three options, he was the first to sign. Expect more signings, "said the coach-player of the Dagestani box.

He also announced that "in addition to signing Samuel, the idea of ​​the owner is to hire more stars and make a team that plays five or six seasons together. If players are coming others." "I think in January or February could be new hires. A safe high-level player, maybe two. To compete in European tournaments need more experience," said Roberto Carlos, who also hopes to "be among the first three-win" Russian league next season.

The exmadridista acknowledged in the interview that he left his homeland and joined Anzhi Makhachkala Russian "because of the violence." "In Brazil, it needed a lot of security around me to move. The fans threatened me, so I wanted to leave it all behind. Then came the offer of Anzhi by Suleyman Kerimov and decided to leave it all behind," said the full-back.

Roberto Carlos did not hesitate: "It's a future project. He opened the door and told me we were going to build a better club. Little by little we have. We have signed Eto'o, or you are building. I left Brazil because of the violence." (via SPORT)

Barca, after one of the "pearls" of Betis

Barça scouts do not rest. They know the market there are many future stars of football and not want to be escaping.

FC Barcelona's scouts were watching this weekend's match at Racing Santander and Betis. They were not alone. Also had Villarreal, Levante and Osasuna. The objective? A forward of 20 years of Betis.

Refer to Alejandro Pozuelo. Betis team players, has played this season against Levante few minutes and complete game against Racing. The subsidiary, has now scored eight goals this season and hence the interest of Barça, revealed by "Sports Arena" and echoing the Web "Airfutbol.com."

His buyout clause does not even six million euros and this makes it a desirable player for many clubs, backed by good numbers scorers. (via SPORT)

Casillas, Messi's favorite victim

Nothing more, nothing less than 202 goals with Leo Messi leads Barça. Of all victims, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas is the one who has the dubious honor of being the most thrashed by '10' Argentine.

May 1, 2005, Leo Messi scored his first goal for the Barça shirt. At the time the victim was Valbuena, Albacete goalkeeper formed through the ranks at Real Madrid. Six and a half years later, a November 2, 2011, the Czech Republic both Pavlik was the 200th (and the two sigiuentes) Barca striker. Between the two dates, a constant stream of goals and 80 porters turned into 'victims' of Argentina.

The most thrashed by Messi is, to date, Iker Casillas. In their 15 clashes, Argentina has been able to score 13 times. Some of them very special for Barca fan, as the two goals scored in the historic 2-6 or achieved both goals at the Bernabeu in the semifinals of the Champions League last.

Behind appear the Sevilla Andrés Palop, with 11 goals, and Toño racinguista, third with nine goals conceded. Aouate is fourth with eight goals conceded between Racing, Deportivo and Mallorca, while Brazilian Alves Diego, fifth of the seven goals conceded while in Almeria.

Team, Atletico Madrid is the most thrashed by Messi, who has scored up to 17 times before the red and whites. Real Madrid and Sevilla (13 goals each) and Racing and Almeria (with 10) are as follows.

The downside of statistics, will search for a catch-the-Messi scoring excellence, are the three teams that have not checked yet: Cadiz, Xerez and Murcia, although in all three cases have to wait a season or two to able to 'recover'. (via SPORT)

Messi and Barca fall better than Madrid on social networks

The two Spanish football teams are without question the most talked about online. The study by Communicate and let us win the odd curious ...

In full digital revolution there who is still measuring its popularity in social networks only by the number of followers (fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, Youtube subscribers, friends on Myspace ...)

And is that fans have, but only a small part of all elements of the branding 'social'.

Communication is the co-Win Wednesday in Madrid presented the results of the Reputation Ranking Sports, a study that measures the reputation and popularity of the players in the Spanish League football on the Internet and Social Networks.

The main conclusions we highlight the following:

Cristiano Ronaldo is the player more often but Leo Messi is the most talked about who

While the Luso 40,439,859 umbrella 'fans' between Facebook and Twitter, Argentina's 'only' sum 26,279,590 on Facebook, where he was discharged this summer.

However, despite the difference of followers, spoken four times that of Christian Messi.

Real Madrid is the most often, but Barca's best speech

The reflection of the general feeling in life is also reflected in offline social networks. On the one hand, the self-confidence and humility to Guardiola playing football generates millions of compliments while bad forms of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho to Madrid take their toll in the form of criticism or negative comment.

Fabregas and Casillas, the best corporate image work

Although not more followers players (Casillas and Cesc eighth with 3,287,591, with 1,865,407 eleventh), both the Madrid goalkeeper Catalan midfielder as they best manage your personal brand on Twitter and Facebook. They are most active and also, unlike many, they interact with their followers. Cesc, for example, has a habit of addressing his fans in three languages: Castilian, Catalan and English.

The 'good vibes' of Barca in the field extends to networks

The good feeling which shows the FC Barcelona in the pitch can also be seen on the internet. Are well known by almost everyone, the constant jokes 'Moc-moc trio', forming Piqué, Puyol and Cesc.

Barcelona and Madrid, many followers but little interaction

Among the top ten players in the league more often, 5 are culés and 4 blancos, but when interacting with the public the thing is very small. If you want more in depth information, you can check the entire Sports Reputation Ranking . (via SPORT)

Messi, top scorer in the Champions League

Leo Messi is the top scorer in the Champions League this season, with 5 goals in 4 games.

Another match-ball to add to his collection. He now has 13, or 14 if you count the 4 goals he scored against Arsenal. Messi is inexhaustible, always wants more, and destroys every record. In Prague he reached 202 goals for Barça, and of these, he’s scored 160 with Guardiola as manager. It’s a demonstration that the arrival of Guardiola changed the life of the best player on the planet. The insatiable productivity of the Barça striker places him, once again, as top scorer in the Champions League.

In the league he tends to score at home, but in Europe, in away matches. That’s Messi, who has now scored 5 goals in 4 games in the Champions League. The first two he scored in Minsk, to tie Kubala’s goal-scoring record, and the 3 against Viktoria bring him increasingly closer to Cesar’s all-time record (235 goals). With his hat-trick against the Czechs, Messi overtakes Seydou Doumbia, the CSKA Moscow player, who has 4 goals in the competition. It’s worth remembering that Messi has been top scorer in the Champions League in the last three seasons.

6 goals in 4 days. It seems easy but it isn’t. To score two hat-tricks in a row is only possible for the selected few, so much so that Messi has done it for the first time. In fact, if we don’t take into account the 4 goals he scored against Arsenal in the 2009/10 Champions League quarter final, this is Messi’s first hat-trick in European competition. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Alexis makes his debut in the Champions League

The Chilean, who returned to action in Prague after nearly two months injured, played his first game in the Champions League, not only for Barça, but also in his career in the world of football.

Alexis Sanchez is again a happy man. It’s been 52 days since the day that he was injured playing for FC Barcelona against Real Sociedad, in the third game of the season. On Tuesday, in Prague, Alexis got the all-clear before the game, started on the bench, and finally was able to play some minutes. They were special minutes, as this November 1st 2011, Alexis Sanchez played his first game ever in the Champions League. It was in the 73rd minute when he replaced Abidal, and he showed during the just over 20 minutes on the pitch that he’s 100% recovered.

Until Tuesday Alexis had never played a game in Europe’s top competition, not even with his previous club Udinese, the other European team where he has played. The injury sustained on September 10th against Real Sociedad prevented him from making his debut in the Champions League before Tuesday. The only European experience that the Chilean previously had was in the UEFA Europa League. In his first year at Udinese, the 2008/09 season, the Italian team reached the quarterfinals of the competition, and Alexis played a total of 9 games. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The generation of 87 reunited in Prague

Pique, Cesc, and Messi, teammates in the Barça B youth teams, found themselves in a Barça starting line-up, at the Eden Stadium in the Czech Republic, many seasons later. So far, they had only played 27 minutes together this season.

It was many years ago that Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas, and Leo Messi, last appeared together on the pitch. It was almost ten seasons ago, in the Cadet B team first, and later Cadete A, in which all three played together. Since then, many things have happened. Messi has evolved into the best player in the world, while Pique and Cesc both left the Club, and then came back to have success with the first team. In Prague, for the first time this season, the three of them were in the starting 11. Injuries to the defender and midfielder, and the odd game on the bench, had prevented this from happening before.

So far, all three had shared only 27 minutes of play , spread between the return of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid (3-2) and the 5-0 win over Athletico Madrid. Against Viktoria Pilsen they played together for 90 minutes, with an understanding better than ever, clearly demonstrated in the last move of the game, when Pique back-heeled the ball to Messi, who made it 4-0. Before that, Messi had scored two more goals and Cesc also scored. In short, a perfect reunion for all three.

With all three on the field, in these 117 minutes together, Guardiola’s team has a favorable balance of 5-0. To the four goals scored in the Eden Stadium in Prague one can add the Messi goal against Madrid at the Camp Nou, which helped to win the first trophy of the season. With Pique, Cesc, and Messi, together on the pitch, the team hasn’t conceded a single goal. (via SPORT)

Hazard: "Messi doesn't have the elegance of Zidane or Platini"

The Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, a star in Ligue 1, believes that Messi is the best today, but that is not the level of other great players.

"One thing is clear: Messi is the best today," Hazard said the magazine 'Extra-Time'. "But, in my view, elegance is not Zidane or Platini had," added the Belgian player.

The statements coincide with the publication of the 23 candidates for the Ballon d'Or, among which is Leo Messi, who won last year and the favorite for many, in 2011. For Hazard, however, the philosophy of the award should be different. "Many players like Henry and Giggs have deserved for his long and successful career. In addition, last year Sneijder deserved it. And had it not been for him, I could have given Iniesta, Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo," he said. (via SPORT)