08 November 2011

Guardiola: “I have a feeling the players will show us what they're made of”

The Barça manager is convinced that against Hospitalet his players will be treating the game with all the seriousness that it deserves. He added that they will approach the cup opener “with the same intensity as they have been training for the last two days".

Pep denies that the team is over-confident ahead of a theoretically simple cup tie against a team from Division 2B and referred to previous encounters against similar lower league outfits like Benidorm, Cultural Leonesa and Ceuta, saying that "we have also played on artificial grass before, so that's no excuse. We have played in all possible conditions and have always adapted, so tomorrow will be no exception ... the most important thing is for the people coming to the stadium to enjoy a good match and we will be trying to get the best result we can."

The manager is sure that once again "the players will give a lesson about who they are. It is very good for the club that they'll do that, because over time future generations will know that there were once players here who did just that. I am convinced that they will approach the match with the same intensity with which they have been training over the last two days."

Guardiola is also sure that Wednesday's match "will be a nice game, and good to watch," especially because he knows that his Hospitalet counterpart, Jordi Vinyals, "likes to play ... they are strategically strong." He also feels that the opposition will go out onto the pitch "to play the game they have to and it'll be intense."

With some internationals away, Guardiola has had to draft in some of the reserve team to make up the numbers, but still feels that "the team we will be taking will be Barça ... Barça will be taking 13 first team players and 5 fantastic reserve team players will be there to help. I feel quite confident playing with reserve and youth team players. They give their all because that is their desire."

FC Barcelona have moved further adrift of league leaders Real Madrid, and Guardiola said that "if they have three points on us it's because they've done things better than we have ... we can only promise that we'll fight until the end, we want to do what we have done in all competitions for the last four years ... If we don't win, we'll congratulate our opponent because it'll mean they have done better."

Guardiola also commented that David Villa "has a little issue with his tibia ... He's getting by because he's so strong. He'll be there tomorrow to give us a hand, he's very competitive, and he has won everything that he has."

League with 16 teams

When asked about President Rosell’s proposition to reduce the amount of teams in the Spanish League, Guardiola said, “I’m not an executive. This issue was already being discussed when I was a player. It’s not a bad idea, and it would let us breathe a little, because this [the season] doesn’t let up. In any case, this is an issue for the executives to decide.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Selection] Claudio Borghi: "Alexis Sánchez trains to be the best in the world"

Chilean coach, Claudio Borghi, gave a talk to students at the Universidad San Sebastián. More relaxed than before reporters, he spoke of many issues.

Away from the microphones, and although he knew there were journalists in the audience, Claudio Borghi told students at the Universidad San Sebastián, things that normally does not count. Asked about many issues and one of them was, of course, he thought of Alexis Sanchez. And the technician was very clear when speaking of FC Barcelona. "Sanchez trains to be the best in the world. We must not say anything. Like the other day said Pep Guardiola is a bad patient, because he always wants to be."

Alexis, the Chilean coach confirmed that Real Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo had asked him to stop being the team captain. And defended Gary Medel. "You can go to bed at five in the skill and if you have to run 15 miles at eight, the run". (via SPORT)

Rosell: "On Neymar? I don't know. Ask to Guardiola"

Sandro Rosell dropped the decision on the final offensive by Neymar has relied exclusively on the decision on joining Pep.

In a statement picked up by the Brazilian newspaper "Estado', Sandro Rosell hinted that the non-arrival of Neymar Barca sports depends on the decision taken by Pep Guardiola.

When asked about the more than likely transfer of Brazilian striker to Real Madrid at the expense of FC Barcelona, ​​FC Barcelona president distanced himself with a "do not know. I do not know. What I can say?" aiming to finish: "Ask Guardiola".

Thus, it is clear that trust Pep players currently in the template with other strongly rising from below as Deulofeu or Isaac Cuenca so would not need to make a large financial outlay to dress Neymar of Barca.

Rosell was also questioned about Club World Cup, also played for Santos and said that it is "a priority this year."

"We're going to Japan with the clear objective to go out again with the title. We want to play and beat all the teams and the historic match against the Santos have that character," said Rosell. (via SPORT)

Pelé: "They have Messi, we have Neymar"

The legendary Pele exfutbolista did not hesitate to compare with Messi or Maradona Neymar also send a 'message' to the two Argentine players.

"They talk of Maradona or Messi, but we have Neymar, will be a big one with the abilities that he has", said Pelé in an interview on the 'do Jô Program', which also joked about the relevance of Messi in the football history. "Real Madrid had Di Stefano, a great player, great nodding, a crack. They said that Di Stefano was better than Pelé. Then came Sivori and said it was better than Pelé. Then came Maradona and Messi now. First should be clarified and decide who is the best of Argentina, "the Brazilian said with a laugh.

Recommended the young Brazilian Pelé to be "more aggressive" in the field. "It's the best of his team and a very skilled player. That's why you will always be very strong and has to learn to defend themselves," he said, pointing out that one thing is to protect and one to be violent.

The former player also commended the Brazilian Santos and his quarry system, similar to Barca in production of large players. "Santos is a factory of cracks. Produces many players without spending anything," he said. (via SPORT)

Barça prepare Copa del Rey tie against Hospitalet

Barça have trained with the 13 available first team members plus 5 from the reserves as they prepare for the cup tie with Hospitalet on Wednesday. Happy birthday Pinto, 36 today.

A day before the Copa del Rey gets under way for Barça, the team worked out at Sant Joan Despí with thirteen first team players (Valdés, Pinto, Puyol, Piqué, Fontàs, Maxwell, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Keita, Busquets, Cesc and Villa) and five from the B team (Deulofeu, Rafinha, Dos Santos, Tello and Sergi Roberto).

Guardiola is having to make do without Alves, Adriano, Mascherano, Messi, Alexis, Thiago and Cuenca, who are on international duty, and the injured Pedro and Afellay.

The session was held behind closed doors on pitch number 2 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. It started with a round of applause for goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, who is 36 today. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Former player] Maxi Lopez could sign for Milan

Maxi Lopez could become the substitute for Cassano after heart surgery he underwent at Milan and that will force him to spend six months out.

The managing director of the club 'Rossoneri', Adriano Galliani, told the press transalpine exdelantero interest in the club. "It's an interesting player worthy of playing for Milan, as everyone who has ever played in Madrid or Barcelona," said the leader, who thinks of the Argentine "when you open the winter market."

AC Milan plans would go through a six-month assignment that included a future option in the summer of 2012. Maxi Lopez is still title this season with Catania and has only scored two goals so far this season. (via SPORT)

Cesc, the touch 'british' of Barça

Cesc variants increases the Barca attack and gives Premier-style passing game.

The performance of Cesc Fabregas in Prague and in Bilbao, where he managed two separate headed goals, confirmed that the player brings Arenys a considerable amount of game variables. Cesc has improved, for example, statistics headed goals of all Pep Guardiola, who lavishes little in the air. But above all, Fàbregas Barça brings to all his eight years learning hardened football tremendously intense vertical and English. Hence, the conditions of Athletic-Barcelona on Sunday will fit like a glove.

The air and headed goals as that meant the momentary tie to a goal in San Mamés is just a button shows the wide range of possibilities that Cesc brings Barca of Guardiola. Although it was initially supposed to come to Barcelona to play as centrocamposta, as implied by its dorsal, Fabregas has become the ideal partner for Leo Messi and installed in front of Barcelona, ​​where he has a nearly square sets.

The main contribution of Cesc Fabregas s being its ability to associate with the midfield players without losing Barcelona also arriving from the second vertical line, which is its most British. Cesc has seven goals and Barca (five in the league, one in the European Super Cup and one in the Champions League), a true scorer records that place him in positions of privilege on the table Guardiola team directors and predict a statistics class at the end of the season.

Of the many of Cesc , many fruit combinations with Messi through the axis of attack, the last two have gone head, an arrangement that has little role in a team that trusts virtually all the balls and play privates of combinations. In Prague he headed a cross from the right of Isaac Cuenca and in Bilbao, Abidal on the left. In both cases, the auction was academic.

Fabregas gives a British feel, from his experience in the Arsenal, a team that is characterized by a completely different style. Wenger In all, after a start in midfield, also ended up forming a very effective tandem with Van Persie before. Now we form with Messi.

57 goals in 8 seasons at Arsenal
Cesc Fabregas is dramatically improving records Arsenal scorers. Of the eight seasons when he played at the London club in five did not reach that already has 7 goals in the current season at the club, although it should be noted that in its early years her weight in the team was not as great as in recent years. Cesc scored a total of 57 in all competitions for Arsenal. (via MD)

Guardiola: "More than ever, I'm proud of you"

Rarely has a game left Pep Guardiola as pleased as the day before yesterday against Athletic. Neither the tables nor the three points down on the leader fell the least Barca coach satisfaction with the performance of his players, according to the words he gave them after the game in the intimate apparel San Mamés. "More than ever, I'm proud of you," he said. Pep congratulated his men for their delivery against an opponent who pulled over a lot and wore grass than usual, but also for the excellent season despite setbacks, are signing.

It was a rough game, as defined Ander Herrera yesterday in an interview with MD. Difficult motivation for a team that has won twelve of the fifteen titles at stake over the past three years. Through rain and the state of the field by local aggressiveness and by various physical complaints that pulls half staff. Despite these constraints, the club showed his face. Especially in the most adverse situations, with the two local targets. After Herrera, responded in a big way, creating up to four consecutive occasions: the missing shot Alves tested, Cesc's goal, a shot from outside the area placed Messi and Iniesta and Leo combination that broke Gorka. And after the 2-1, four of Iraola an own goal, Iniesta, Villa and Messi last of which ended with a tie and the sum of a point that the expedition Barca in the return flight, incredible value because Madrid keeps the shot.

This installment, this ambition, this desire, this sacrifice, this general attitude is that Pep was to congratulate his men in the locker room and he remains optimistic in the face of the team keeps collecting titles. (via MD)

La 'banda del parchís' add another faithful

Guardiola admits Cesc's arrival has increased the level of play and companionship.

Cesc is adjusted to the perfection to the game style and philosophy that Pep Guardiola has implanted in the wardrobe. He makes alone some days, the coach valued the arrival of Fàbregas in key football, but it impacted in that the insole wins a crack and another friend more always in the complicated day by day. Element to have more and more in bill. Among the period of formation in the quarry azulgrana and the bonds narrowed through the Spanish selection, Cesc landed in Camp Nou enjoying multitude of friendships in its environment.

Their integration is total and it is already more one in the select one 'group of the parchís.' Fàbregas forms competitive couple with his friend Gerard Piqué. Both have consolidated a duet that, next to another illustrious tandem in the wardrobe 'Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol', they attempt the dominant couple's assault in the wardrobe azulgrana. To the view, Leo Messi and David Villa is shown unsociable with the dice in the hands and moving the records with supreme ability. In spite of the rumors without foundation that they circulate in certain media and gatherings, the couple of forward is in gust and the last displacements have been charged all type of victims. The bad rolls are not come by any place and Messi and Villa they continue imposing their law on the game board. To day of today nobody their reign discusses in the parchís.

With Cesc another puff of fresh air has arrived. Affable as if he had never abandoned, that of Arenys has enlarged the payroll of players able to conjugate the friendship and solidarity inside of and outside of the game lands. Guardiola wants this way it and the Catalan understands this way it. (via SPORT)

Announce Real Madrid-Barcelona for Saturday December 10

Barca want to play el clásico at the Bernabeu on Friday or Saturday at the latest to better prepare for the Club World Cup.

Since yesterday, the web portal of Canal Plus Liga announces el Bernabeu clásico between Real Madrid and Barca in the first round of league on Saturday December 10. Thus, the announcement of the TV platform not only increases speculation about when the next classic is giving so much talk in recent days. If you have to rely on this, it seems that the game would be played on Saturday, at 20.00 hours, although the match schedule has not yet been officially confirmed by the LFP.

The controversy arises from the intention of Barca to play the game on Friday and, at most, on Saturday to leave as soon as possible to Yokohama where the team has to play the Club World Cup for Clubs, unlike Madrid, for their hand, wants to play Sunday for one more day of rest after the Champions League match for the final day of the group stage (white play Wednesday at the Amsterdam Arena, while Barça will play on Tuesday against Bate Camp Nou).

In recent weeks there has been much talk about the possibility of playing on Sunday at 12 noon, but Carlos del Campo, general secretary of the LFP, strongly denied this possibility, stating that he had never made any management or had been "no conversation about this possibility. "

Anyway, after the blockbuster at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday morning hours from the capital has grown to feed the rumor about the suitability of play in this new schedule.

This would mean that the club could not travel to Japan until Sunday afternoon, taking one day less to prepare Club World Cup semifinal to be held at the International Stadium Yokohama on Thursday 15. (via SPORT)

[Barça B] Gerard Deulofeu, the obsession of the technical secretariat

Gerard Deulofeu is a rough diamond to be polished. And it is. If nothing happens, the Camp Nou awaits with eager and open arms.

Gerard Deulofeu is pure talent of these players that the metaphor of the diamond in the rough going like a glove. The Riudarenes is a jewel from long ago. So much so, since he arrived, being youngest, has become a player marked in red. Most of the youth football players are taught and indoctrinated to become better players, always with the first team in the distance, but not as a priority. It is essential to be a footballer. Whoever comes will come. But it is the case of Gerard Deulofeu. The striker, who is now 17, has gone through difficult times in the grassroots who are already more than forgotten, but any other player would have cost him the site. But his class is one that does not go unnoticed, of surprising at first sight, even for the layman. Each and every one of the technicians who have been in the grassroots have recognized exception to have witnessed the evolution of a different player. Neither Oscar Garcia, who last year had made him grow a lot as a player, and Eusebius, who is beginning to enjoy, and Pep Guardiola, who took him to San Sebastian last year but did not debut until the day of Mallorca (5-0), have ignored his talent. Each in its way has sought to improve their conditions.

But Gerard Deulofeu has reached a turning point in his career, the last step before the big jump, for which one must be well prepared if you do not want to give false. The technical secretariat has been set between the eyes diamond polishing it into a gemstone. Andoni Zubizarreta, in inner circles of sports management recognizes that there is much work to do, but the reward is worth all the effort: "We must teach them to make the best decision. Dribbling to three players at once can only do the '10' (Leo Messi). He must learn when to seek one on one and when to give the ball. You also need to improve the defensive, which is working. " Zubi is aware that there are aspects that don't need to polish of the player, as the definition, but as much him as Pep and Eusebio insist him in defensive concepts. "You must learn to run when needed," says the athletic director when talking with their families. In fact, everyone is convinced that despite his youth, he is a player whose future is the first team and, as soon as you can polish the decision-making, end up being very important. In addition, the physical level has improved a lot. It has a highly developed lower body musculature characteristic of a player older than his age says. Gerard Deulofeu is a rough diamond to be polished. And it is. If nothing happens, the Camp Nou awaits with eager and open arms. (via SPORT)

[Youth] The equipment of the cantera and complete a great day full of victories rub

Fourteen victories, two ties and a defeat only configures a positive balance in the formative football of the Club.

Juvenil B won for the minimum one in a party dominated completely by the azulgranas and where they had the principle possession to end. García Pimienta's boys had numerous goal occasions throughout the encounter but they had difficulties to materialize them. Joël Vegetable gardens opened the marker in the minute 67 of the second part with Pablo Otero's good pass that Joël controlled and it finished off, a great reveille that sentenced the party and it allowed to the azulgranas to be taken the three points.

Unquestionable domain of the Cadete A before a very defensive rival that closed very behind. Quique Álvarez's boys opened the very quick marker, in the minute 1 of the first part with Toni Sanabria's goal that facilitated the game azulgrana. Barça left to the rest 0-2 after Onán saved a penalti in the last minutes of the first time. In the second part the azulgranas had more occasions and it was clear their superiority. The scorers of the day were Toni Sanabria, had left double, and Albert Torras.

The Cadete B faced Sant Cugat in a very disputed bereavement where the azulgranas fought until the end. The rival left very strong in attack and in the minute 9 already won for 0-2, but the boys of Fran Artiga they didn't surrender and 1-2 left to the rest thanks to the goal of Julen in the minute 41. The second part was a monologue azulgrana, with many occasions and possession of the ball, and two more goals, both of Sergio Cañas arrived. Sant Cugat, however, marked in the time of discount and left to the azulgranas without the victory.

Triumph comfortable of the boys of Fran Sánchez in Polideportivo Olimpya de Sabadell. Infantil A put on for before in the marker very soon, in the minute 2 of the first part with Lee's goal after a very beautiful attendance of Olmo. Sabadell made a very defensive game and it was very closed in its defensive area, what hindered to the azulgranas to generate danger. In the second time the azulgranas had more occasions and two more goals arrived, the first of Jordi Mola in the exit of a córner, and a reveille of Javi Ruiz that gave the 0-3 definitive.

It makes bitter defeat of Infantil B against a very strong Vilassar that didn't put it anything easy. The first part was dominated by the offensive game of Vilassar that marked the only goal of the party in the minute 24 thanks to a reveille of Caballería. Denis Silva's boys offered an associative good proposal but they had enough difficulties to open up step toward the contrary goal. In the second time Barça possessed the domain of the ball but it could not overcome the result.

Great game of Alevín A that it was imposed without problems to Vilanova i Geltrú in the Sport Complejo Parque Deportivo Garraf. The boys of Marcel Sans went out with a lot of attitude in the game land and they demonstrated its superiority from the beginning to the end of the encounter. Pablo put for before in the marker to the azulgranas in the minute 6, and in the stocking Barça leaves it already won for 0-4 with two goals more than Sergio and one of Mamadou. In the renewal, Pablo's goal in the minute 57, and a reveille of Mamadou at the 59 had just sentenced the encounter.

Jordi Font's boys' very good party against a very combatant rival. Alevín B offered the best party of what we take of season in a complicated field and it demonstrated its superiority throughout the encounter. The azulgranas played with patience and controlling the game throughout the first and second room, and in spite of the occasions they could only leave to the rest with a 0-1 thanks to Bernardo's goal. In third fourth Albert it demonstrated their effectiveness goleadora with a hat-trick and Rubén's reveille in the fourth time it finished sentencing the encounter.

Sant Andreu could not make anything to counteract the superiority azulgrana that dominated throughout the party. The boys of Álex Gómez left very strong in the game field but they had difficulties to mark, and they left to the rest with a 1-1. In the second part, Alevín C continued controlling the party and they had more success in the occasions. The goals of Take (2), Marco Guerrero, Adrián Altamira and Guillermo Amor gave the victory to the azulgranas.

Alevín D was imposed against a combatant Marianao that didn't surrender in any moment. The boys of Xavi Bravo had enough occasions throughout the party but the first goal didn't arrive until the minute 7 of the second room, when Roger took advantage an it rejects of José to mark. In the second time the azulgranas went out with more intensity and José and Julián, this had left double, more a goal in own door of Marianao signed the definitive one 5-0.

Very even game of Benjamin A in the Estadio Les Comes de Igualada. The azulgranas put on for before in the marker but they could not leave resolved the encounter and the Even one was able to go back until arriving to the tie. Marc Serra's boys made a good game but the rival left very intense and it fought throughout the party. Raúl, José and Aitor marked the goals azulgranas.

Benjamin B has offered a good game throughout the encounter but had difficulties to mark very well before a rival placed. Sergi Milá and Óscar Jorquera's boys took the rhythm of the party and they had many occasions during the four rooms but they lacked success to materialize them. Jan Reixach, Albert Garrido and Óscar Romero was the scorers of the team azulgrana.

Great exhibition goleadora of the team of Cristian Cátena that was very superior from the first minutes of the game, although had to dispute the encounter with rain and cold. Santa Eulalia could not make anything to overcome the level difference between both teams and hardly had occasions thanks to the defensive great paper that made Benjamin C. The scorers of the day were Xavi Pleguezuelo (2), Arnau Martínez, Johnny, Xavi Simons, Álvaro, Arnau Farnós and Fasika. The negative note of the day was Alejandro's lesion, although will surely be able to play next week again.

Jordi Perez's boys' unanswerable goleada in the Complejo Deportivo La Báscula. Benjamin D offered a great group game and they knew how to combine to find the holes of the contrary goal. The goals of the day belonged to Marc Pelaz (5), Nadir (4), Mamadou (2), Eric (2), Gabi, Jonathan, David and Albert that demonstrated superiority of the team azulgrana with their goals.

Good game of Pre-Benjamin before a rival that didn't enjoy occasions to make in front of the azulgranas. The boys of Rafa Rodríguez offered a proposed good combinativa and very correct plays, although the time didn't accompany a lot. The encounter was totally controlled by the azulgranas and the superiority of Barça was patent from the beginning. The goals of the day were of Ilias (2), of Abdoul, of Jurado and of Sergi. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Xavi, satisfied with Barça's play

Following the draw in Bilbao, Xavi reckoned today that “if anybody deserved to win it - we did,” whilst admitting, “Bilbao put in a great performance". Xavi also insisted that the squad weren’t worried about the dropped points, believing that if they play like they did on Sunday, the wins will come.

Xavi reckons that the draw was less than Barça probably deserved in Bilbao, whilst accepting the Basques put in a great performance. "On a footballing level, it was the best game of the season. Both teams went for the win and the pace didn't drop. I really enjoyed the time I was on the pitch, it's just a pity we didn't win," he explained in a press conference this lunchtime.

Xavi defined the game as "a duel between brave teams. Athletic put in a great performance, but if anybody deserved to win it – we did. If we continue to play like that, plenty of wins will come." Xavi also praised the Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa, "teams are always prepared to play us like that – it just takes a capable and brave coach."

Although the draw meant two points dropped and leaves Barça three behind Madrid, Xavi revealed that the Barça players "aren't worried about that. We are doing things well. It's three points and there is still a long way to go in the league. We just have to continue playing at the same high technical and physical level." He also referred to the four draws the team have suffered so far this season, "it's just a coincidence. Every game is different. It gets harder every year. Although people say that this is a league of two teams, it's not easy to win, particularly away from home."

Although he was subbed in the second half, Xavi made it clear that his fitness "is perfect." The midfielder welcomes Guardiola's rotations, "they are logical and necessary. We have a lot of games and to play in all of them would wear us out. We have a lot of top quality players and we don't notice it when we are without one or another."

Xavi also declared he was "very surprised and disappointed" about Zlatan Ibrahimovic's recent comments about his time at the Club, adding "we have all learnt a lot with Guardiola. He explains why we are doing things and the philosophy behind our game." (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Messi is released to the Japanese to promote the Club World Cup

The azulgrana Leo Messi is one of those responsible for promoting the Club World Cup in Japan next month of December.

"I'm going to Japan to play the Club World Cup." This is the message from Leo Messi Barca in Spanish and Japanese in the promotional video of the tournament that the club will play 14 to December 18 in the country of the rising sun.

Beside him in the video Neymar Brazil (Santos), as well as FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who also have trouble repeating the same phrase in Japanese.

This is an initiative to promote the Club World Cup on his return to Japan after two years in which Abu Dhabi was the venue. Along with Barca and Santos, the other three teams qualified so far are Auckland City (New Zealand), Al Sadd (Qatar) and Monterrey (Mexico). (via SPORT)

Strategic agreement between FC Barcelona and Google+

FC Barcelona, the only team from the Professional Football League present in the worldwide launch of 'Google+ Pages'.

FC Barcelona strengthen their leadership on the field of new technology with a strategic agreement with Google, the Club will have an official presence on the social network when Google unveils 'Google+ Pages' worldwide.

Google+, recently released social network, will be added to the social networks FC Barcelona currently uses to disseminate content about the Club worldwide. With this agreement FC Barcelona will join other prestigious organizations on Google+ such as UNICEF and become the only club in the Professional Football League (LFP) with an official presence on the social network.

Google+ users will be able to stay up to date with Club news by adding FC Barcelona’s Google+ page directly to their circles. In addition, business pages will be indexed in Google+ searches with the functionality of connecting directly to the page from the search results.

According to FC Barcelona’s New Technologies Director, Dídac Lee, “it’s good news that FC Barcelona is present at the worldwide launch of Google+ Pages.” Lee added, “this strategic agreement with Google+ is further proof our commitment to Barça’s global audience.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Rosell, reduce number of teams, adopt European television rights revenue distribution models

The President explained his proposition at the International Football Arena conference and he spoke about the current state of football in Spain. He also spoke about audiovisual rights negotiations and the current economic problems surrounding Spanish football.

This Monday in Zurich, Switzerland, Sandro Rosell participated in the “Football from craze to madness” round table discussion in the International Football Arena conference. The conference focuses on the current state of the different European football leagues, and Rosell spoke about the ongoing state of football in Spain.

The Barça President believes that a reduction in overall participant teams in Spain’s top flight would be a suitable solution to increase competition throughout the league. “The short-term solution is to reduce the number of clubs in the Spanish league and go, first from 20 teams to 18 and eventually from 18 to 16. When you reduce the amount of teams you increase competition, there are better players for fewer teams,” proposed Rosell.

The President also talked about audiovisual rights and how they are negotiated in reference to the economic difficulties surrounding football in Spain. “The Spanish championship is unique in that audiovisual rights are negotiated individually. In three, four, or five years all teams will have to negotiate together to achieve a similar commercial impact like that we see in England or Italy,” Rosell added.

Rosell also articulated his preference for afternoon or evening kickoff times. “I would never play at noon unless we were forced to. While I’m Barça’s President, if the decision is mine, we won’t play at noon because it’s our tradition to eat with the family and then go watch football. But we’re democratic and if the LFP [Liga de Fútbol Profesional] says we must play at noon, then we will.”

AC Milan’s Director, Umberto Gandini, and Secretary General of the Premier League, Nic Coward also participated in the round table, amongst others. The International Football Arena in Zurich, attended by figures from the footballing world, has been an annual fixture since 1998. (via FCBarcelona.cat)