26 May 2012

Piqué: "It could not have ended better for Pep"

The Azulgrana defender considers that the team “deserved to win the Cup” because of the work that had gone into winning it and he urged Barcelonistas to celebrate the title because it “should always be valued”.

Xavi: “it’s an honour to be able to lift trophies for the best team in the world”.

“We’re very pleased” and “we deserved this Cup.” These were the two sentences that most of the Barça players said after winning the Club’s 26th Copa del Rey title. Gerard Piqué said that the team had placed “a lot of emphasis on this match and that the players were eager” to win the title. He added that “we should always place value on the Cup.” The Azulgrana defender praised Guardiola’s strategy for tonight’s game, especially, in in the first half: “We knew that they would try to pressure us and we were clear that, whoever started off stronger in the beginning would win the Cup.” The Barça captain for tonight’s match, Xavi, agreed with his team-mate: “we took the lead and we played a great first half. In the second, fatigue forced us to take our foot off the pedal.”

Farewell and tribute to Guardiola

The team dedicated the title to the architect of Barça’s game plan, Pep Guardiola. “I believe that it could not have ended better for Pep,” said the Barça defender. Xavi thanked the Azulgrana manager for “everything that he’s taught me.” Guardiola was not the only person that the title was dedicated to, Abidal, who could not attend the match, was also remembered by the Barça players. In fact, after the players collected the trophy, they draped Abidal’s shirt over it as a tribute to their recovering team-mate.

After the celebration the players congratulated Athletic Club for the match and they thanked the Barça fans for their support. “The fans were exemplary,” said Piqué.

Positive season

Xavi explained what it felt like to lift the trophy: “it’s unique seeing that at that moment in time I represent the whole institution, the managers and the fans. It’s an honour to be able to lift trophies for the best team in the world.” Barça’s second captain also talked about Barça’s season by saying that the team “are used to competing” and used to “fighting for titles.” The midfielder said that his team-mates “never get tired of winning” and that, despite winning 14 out of 19 titles, “we want more trophies” next season.

Here are the statements made by the players after the match:


“The first minutes went in our favour. They were stronger in the second half.

“There are a lot of good moments, but I’m sticking with the good times with Guardiola, with the team-mates and with the titles we’ve won.

“We’re very pleased. The team recuperated well, we trained just enough and we played a great game.

“This victory is dedicated to the whole team. It was a tough season for everyone and we deserved this title. We’re very pleased that we’ve won it.”


“We scored the goals, we were effective and we were at liberty to be calm in the second half.”

Dos Santos:

“Another title! I’m happy to be able to live these experiences #viscaelbarça.”


“I’m happy that this title culminates our good season. Next year we will give it our all once again.”


“Champions!!!! Here’s a photo of the captain!”


“It’s an honour to be able to dedicate this Cup to you, to the manager and to my team-mates Abidal and Dani, who were not able to be with us tonight.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Shakira kiss Piqué to celebrate the Copa

The singer Shakira, partner of Gerard Piqué has witnessed the final of Copa del Rey from the stage. There is expected to center when he went to seek the Copa and gave him another trophy. The Colombian was not cut and kissed her boyfriend in the eyes of the government delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, who was able to capture the moment with a mobile phone.

Shakira had been at the Mestalla Cup final against Real Madrid but this time hug to comfort her partner after losing Barcelona against the set of José Mourinho. This time the outcome was much better for the couple of fashion. (via MD)

Bielsa: "I assume that the present approach was not successful"

Athletic Club coach, Marcelo Bielsa, has assumed today that "the approach" that has set his team in the final of the Copa del Rey today against FC Barcelona, which has fallen by 0-3, "was not the right. "

"I assume that the present approach was not successful, I realize that. The decision maker's me," said Argentine coach, disappointed by the outcome of the final and have not "fallen short of public the illusion of "rojiblanco.

"I imagined or prepared a party to achieve prominence, intensity and dynamism and fail to achieve that. From there I assume that the attempt was unsuccessful. The proposal was not successful and the differences were what we saw," summed up his view of game.

Bielsa, who has revealed he has observed "a lot of pain" in his team players for the defeat, said he sees the future of this "young" Atletico "from two readings." One of them, depending on "conditions, possibilities and age," believes "growth margin", but offers more questions in relation "to that hard constantly to be taken every three days all or nothing" .

In that regard, he recalled that Athletic has missed an opportunity to fight for fifth place in the last "date" league and has dropped by two semi-finals by 0-3 and fairly.

Rosario coach said that after "losing a game," like today he is "talking reckless" the issue of renewal, on which you were referred to an early "meeting" with leaders of the Basque club, but said that "Athletic is an experience that any man who loves football pleased to have lived."

Bielsa has revealed that at the end of the meeting Pep Guardiola congratulated for having achieved today, "another link in a magnificent and memorable work, which is his team." When asked if he considers able to Leo Messi to surpass Pelé and Maradona has said he does not like "comparisons" because he believes that "dwarfs" to players. I enjoyed Pele and Maradona and Messi enjoy. All three are wonderful, "he said. (via MD)

Of brotherhood Senyera-Ikurriña to the top of Abidal

At the end of the match the Barça players held the title as if it were the first in a stage and not the last.

It was a few minutes to the 12 at night. The referee blew the final whistle of the match. For the past few minutes, reserve players, technicians and auxiliary Barca were already hugging the edge of the pitch. With the whistle, all entered the pitch to congratulate their peers.

They improvised the first "Sardana" of the night, even smaller. Meanwhile, in the stands, the Barça fans chanted "Athletic, Athletic," while the Basques responded with applause. In the moment of victory, the Barça players did not forget his fellow Athletic. Thiago tried to console his team-mate Muniain, while Puyol and Iniesta also approached other Basque players.

While the Athletic players rose to collect his medal, Carles Puyol made ​​him the captain's armband to Xavi Hernández, for it was he who picked up the trophy. When opposing players and returned to the lawn, were the Barca who went to collect their trophies. Everyone, even the injured, with the shirt of Barca, unless Sergio Busquets, who wore a blue shirt with a slogan giving encouragement to Eric Abidal.

All to collect their trophies, unless Pep Guardiola, who was embraced in the grass with Manel Estiarte, and Tito Vilanova. The three left the only protagonist the players. After a brief "discussion" with Puyol, Xavi who was accepted to collect the cup and lift it.

Again all the grass. In the midfield players, assistants and technicians got on a platform and, as usual, bath confetti helped them to continue celebrating the win. For public address, as a few years ago at the Bernabéu, sounded the hymn of FC Barcelona.

Then the players started to turn around the field of honor, while Pep Guardiola and went to the locker room. During the lap of honor, Puyol picked up first one and then a ikurriña senyera. Them together with a bow to finish turning.

Subsequently, Guardiola returned to the field, to make the traditional "Sardana", all united in one round, this time in the midfield, but was close to where the Barcelona fans.

And how could it be otherwise, a great keepsake for Eric Abidal. Carles Puyol was the same who covered the Champions Cup with the French player's shirt to finish going around the pitch, while a very active Piqué encouraged fans to do the wave. (via SPORT)

The best and worst of Athletic-Barça

BEST: Another title and a great legacy. Pep Guardiola left the club through the front door after his 14 th title harvested in four seasons. The Barcelona coach is fired at the peak of their success and leaving to his successor, Tito Vilanova, a team second to none. The project is exciting now beginning. The Bellcaire, Pep second this time, has been instrumental in this golden age. Like Messi, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta and co. Or Pedro, happily recovered from the injuries that led him to head all season. And whose goals were so important to win this final. How he had missed.

WORST: The lawn of Calderón. Even the poor condition of the pitch deprived Barça to win this final so placid. The site chosen because of the dubious arguments of the Real Madrid not to give the Bernabéu some works-apparently in the toilet-essential, proved to be the best option. Coldplay concert last Sunday left the grass shattered Athletic Stadium, and the sod replaced that were not optimal. But that was not an obstacle to the azulgranas performs its best game and win the 26th Copa in its history. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: "I'm convinced we're leaving good memories behind"

In his last press conference as the manager of FC Barcelona, Guardiola said that he’s happy and that he has the feeling that “with time people will say that these players played great football and that it was enjoyable”.

The Azulgrana manager noted that “this team isn’t ending,” keeping in mind that “the foundation is already made”.

Guardiola says that he’s “an absolute fan” of Athletic Club Bilbao and that they “never give up”.

Josep Guardiola has concluded his time on the FC Barcelona bench in the best way possible, with a victory in the last match of the season, in the Copa del Rey Final. It’s the fourth title of the year, and 14th during his time as Barça’s boss. The manager, who was very clam, explained during his last press conference that he’s leaving “happy,” especially because he “was able to to be part of this process that started so long ago, but it didn’t start nor does it end with me. I’m leaving something behind for those that take my place.” He added: “we didn’t invent anything. Everyone simply implemented their ideas.”

The Barça manager said that the team he’s managed “has left a good memory.” He added that “I’m infinitely content. I’m leaving happy, with great satisfaction, and leaving a future for the Club so that things can continue to work. We’ve had a great cycle. 14 titles in four years is a difficult feat to achieve. I’m convinced that we’re leaving a good memory behind, with time people will say that these players played great football and that it was enjoyable.”

On the match at the Vicente Calderón, the manager believes that his team played “very well in the first 35 minutes.” However, in the second half the players “were not as good” and that the Athletic Club players “created quite a few problems for us.” On Marcelo Bielsa’s team, Guardiola said that “they are one of the most magnificent teams I’ve seen all year. I’m an absolute fan of Athletic, of their ideas. They never ever give up. I congratulate them for the fantastic season they’ve had. They’ve taught us a lot of things.”

Finally, Guardiola said that, in terms of football, that this “was the best season yet.” He added, “we’ve grown tactically. In the first years it was all fireworks, pure energy. This season was more analytical. I’m convinced that with time the team will be even better,” he concluded. At the end of the press conference, the members of the press at the Vicente Calderón press room gave Guardiola a standing ovation.

“Messi has taught me to be more competitive”

Josep Guardiola singled out Leo Messi in his postmatch press conference: “he has taught me to be more competitive, I’m more competitive now than when I first arrived. It’s clear that we would have not won 14 titles in 4 years if we didn’t have him. I’ve learned a lot of things about football thanks to him. On our part, we’ve tried to teach him that if he participates in a collective dynamic of game play that he, personally, gains a lot more. It has been a privilege to train the best player I have ever seen. With his age and competitive spirit, he’ll continue to give a lot of things to this magnificent Club.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Copa del Rey; Final] Athletic Club 0 - 3 FC Barcelona

Guardiola has taken his curtain call after a stellar performance, the 14th in four unforgettable years: a swansong oozing success and seduction.

FC Barcelona have ended the 2011/12 season with 4 titles and only 4 defeats, an almost immaculate achievement.

The upset in the Champions League against Chelsea behind them, Barça were back to their best tonight and further entrenched their legend.

Surely there was only one possible ending to the Guardiola era. His first honour as Barça manager was a Cup Final win against Athletic Bilbao, and it ends in the same way, against the club and winning the same title. In his time on the FCB bench, Guardiola has left a legacy of 14 titles out of a possible 19, but even more importantly, has done so in a way that has earned respect and admiration all around the world. Guardiola said he felt drained, but at the same time he has filled not just Barça fans, but anybody with a true love for this game, with satisfaction and pride.

After the misfortune of elimination from the Champions League against Chelsea, football has put Barça back where they belong. The Vicente Calderón witnessed just why Barça is the best team in the world, just like at Wembley a year ago. The team looked relaxed and confident, playing first touch football and passing into space as only they know. And tonight got off to the most explosive of starts, with direct and effective play. Who knows whether that was because of an especially emotional pre-match speech from the manager, but whatever was said in the dressing room before the players went onto the field, it certainly worked.

The best thing about Barça under Guardiola has been that, as they did again tonight, they always dictate the play. Incredibly, in 247 games under Guardiola, Barça have never once failed to win in terms of possession. Not even one of the finest Athletic Bilbao sides for many years, which brings back so many memories of that great team of the eighties, was able to keep Barça away from the ball. Another amazing stat is that in these four years, Barça have only lost 19 official matches.

Guardiola has not lost a single one of the 15 games he has played against Bilbao in these four years. And he has always stuck to his principles. He has never lost faith in the players that he took from the Third Division to the Champions League, Pedro and Sergio Busquets, who both started the game and performed outstandingly; he has always used Pinto in cup matches (including three finals); with Xavi and Iniesta as prime examples of players that have Barça DNA in their blood; and with Messi, winner of three Ballons d’Or, all under the Guardiola reign, the shining light in this incredible team, and who has just completed the season with an astonishing 73 goals.

In 30 minutes of fantasy football, Barça once again wowed the world with their total football. As they did in Monaco, or in Yokohama, this same season. Even without three top class defenders (Abidal, Puyol and Alves), they were able to make Athletic feel overawed by the occasion, the weight of history on their young shoulders simply looking too much of a burden. Such stark contrast to Xavi, with 20 major honours behind him.

And so there it is. The 26th Spanish Cup title for Barça. The last of the incredible Guardiola era. The last of a season in which the club has added a further four trophies to its honours list. Yet even so, it is hard to argue that this team was worthy of even more silverware, especially considering the fact that they only lost four games. But as it says on the shirts that the players were wearing all day, we play for a principle that knows no end. Pep is leaving, but Tito has also accompanied him on the journey. This is not so much a transition as a continuation. One era has ended, but the cycle continues for the greatest team in the world. Thank you, Pep! (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Match Stats]
Athletic: Iraizoz; Iraola, Ekiza, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe; Javi Martinez, De Marcos (Ander Herrera, m. 46), Muniain; Susaeta (Íñigo Pérez, m. 46), Llorente (Toquero, m. 72) and Ibai Gómez.

Barça: Pinto; Montoya, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi (Cesc, m. 80), Iniesta; Pedro (Thiago, m. 86), Alexis (Keita, m. 71) and Messi.

Goals: 0-1, m. 3: Pedro takes a rebound in the area after a corner kick from Xavi and Piqué's header diverted. 0-2, m. 20: Messi beats overlook magnificent Iraizoz after a pass into space for Iniesta. 0-3, m. 25: Pedro, with a low shot from outside the box set.

Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (C. Andalusian). Admonished Susaeta (m. 39) and Iraola (c. 42), by the Athletic, and Xavi (m. 66) and Iniesta (c. 70), Barcelona.

Subs: Copa del Rey Final, played at the Vicente Calderón before some 54,000 spectators. Full.

25 May 2012

Rosell said "all we want this to end well"

Sandro Rosell has said in Madrid on Friday, hours before the running of the Cup final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón, who "all want this to end well," meaning that the party will be the last with Pep Guardiola the azulgrana bench.

Rosell added that "players, fans, club directors are confident to win the title Pep offer it to the culmination of an extraordinary step. FC Barcelona president also stressed that" we have come with the hope of winning. And then vacation. "

Sandro Rosell has predicted a possible outcome for the meeting tonight, but stressed that "I always think we will win, but sometimes can not be. I think we will win this final." (via MD)

The first team is already in Madrid

The group led by Josep Guardiola is already in Madrid land, where tonight will face the challenge that is the final of the season: the finals of the Copa del Rey.

The expedition left Barcelona at Camp Nou the esplanade at 10.15 hours to the airport of El Prat, where shortly after 11 am taken off the plane that was to move it to its destination. In addition to the coaching staff and players will be in Madrid president Sandro Rosell, vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Jordi Cardoner, Javier Faus and Carles Vilarrubí, and members of the Board Sue Monk, Antonio Freixa, Jordi Moix, Eduard Coll, Jordi Mestre, Javier Bordas, Pilar Guinovart, Ramon Pont, Joan Bladé, Dídac Lee, Silvio Elias, Manel Arroyo, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Ramón Cierco.

Although originally scheduled to travel all staff except Abidal, has finally seen fit to Dani Alves, who has felt pain in his right collarbone, remember that the player was involved in a fracture in this area on 16 May-to stay in Barcelona to rest.

The plane has been moved to the Barça squad to Madrid has landed at the 12:25 hours. Once at their destination, the group has led directly to the team hotel, where it will be up when moving to the Vicente Calderón stadium, where from the 22 hours will face Athletic Club Bilbao. After the match, the team will spend the night in Madrid and will undertake the journey back to Barcelona tomorrow, Saturday, at 12 hours. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Selection] Dorsal of the Spanish Selection

You can see the numbers that will carry twenty-man squad for the National Team Absolute, which could challenge the international friendly against Serbia on Saturday in Saint Gallen and against South Korea in Bern. (via RFEF)

1-. Casillas
2-. Albiol
3-. Monreal
4-. Javi García
6-. Juanfran
7-. Soldado
8-. Bruno
9-. Torres
10-. Beñat
11-. Negredo
12-. De Gea
13-. Mata
14-. Alonso
15-. Ramos
16-. Adrián
17-. Arbeloa
18-. Domínguez
19-. Isco
20-. Cazorla
21-. Silva
22-. Navas
23-. Pepe Reina
24-. Jordi Alba

Fernández Borbalán: A 'whistle' authentic

Fernández Borbalán noted for his iron control.
It was adjudged him the finger in the eye of Mou to Tito, whom the Luso called "Pito".

David Fernández Borbalán, international collegiate Andalusian 38 years and businessman by profession, will be responsible for dispensing justice tonight. His appointment somewhat calmed the troubled waters in which the subject moved arbitration this season. Borbalán is one of the highest rated category and known for its tight control of the game, a style that is very different from what will be his fourth official today, Mateu Lahoz, famous campaign by the praise he received from José Mourinho.

Among his most notable precedents are both classical it has taken this campaign, the finger in the eye of Mourinho to Tito Vilanova (3-2 for Barça) - "Pito" to Mou-andLeague at the Bernabéu (1 -3 for the culés). It was also the referee whistled the first league match of Pep Guardiola, in which Barça fell 1-0 to Numancia. Will thus that welcomed and dismissed Guardiola. As blur more important is the match between Ray Vallecano and Real Madrid, where he saw Sergio Ramos elbowed by Diego Costa, who was a penalty and expulsion.

Numerically, has led to Barça in La Liga 17 times, with a record of 14 wins and 3 losses. Athletic has whistled 18 times, with 7 wins, 8 draws and 3 losses. He has refereed two games between the teams, both in San Mamés, with a win for everyone (3-1 and 1-3).

His way of arbitrating goes through a basic concept, that of game control. To get there, the college has a way to prepare. Considered basic plot as a tolerance level for the two rivals both coach and disciplinary.

As explained in a report, he likes to study before the game how come the two teams and see if they have a history of problems between them. It also identifies those players that can hurt or because simulate actions or because they cause many faults on the edge of the warning or expulsion.

These things put together with his assistants and tells them to line judges what are the players that they can cause more problems in offsides.

Once the shock has begun, the Andalusian introduces the concept of open and close the tap. It's about letting the game flow or not. To do this, you must have a proper test of the advantage rule and disciplinary sanctions. When the shares are very on edge, it is not advisable very smoothly and does a proper card use. It is clear ideas. (via MD)

The other hat trick from Messi

Argentina's is good at the Calderón, is good at the Athletic Club and moves like a fish in water in the end. At last comes the final.

Barça tonight dispute last game Josep Guardiola on the bench and is a duel to remember: the final of the Copa del Rey against Athletic Club. With another title on the line, Leo Messi lead the best possible equipment that may present at this time the Blaugrana in a stadium, the Vicente Calderón, who is good at.

The Argentine is a life insurance look at it: he has scored nine goals at the Vicente Calderon eight with Barça, one with Argentina, fifteen goals in the final twelve he has played as Blaugrana first team is not able to play other what has made three other nine in direct confrontation against the Basque side: six in the League, two in the Super Cup in Spain and one in the final of the Copa del Rey 2009.

Barça defend their nest in the competition the winners of 25 titles by 23 of the rojiblancos have the best team that can occur in those that are not too far from the eleven that many would consider ideal.

Jose Manuel Pinto is the keeper of the Copa del Rey since Guardiola became the first team and will be the last. With it, the blaugrana have played two finals and won one. Is the line of defense that raises some doubt due to heavy losses to be covered. Absent Alves, Puyol and Abidal, Piqué and Mascherano are called to be basic.

If Pep commitment to line four, Catalan and Argentina comprise the central axis, with Montoya and Adriano on the full-backs, if the end has a line of three, most likely it is that Brazil remains in the eleven.

The midfield holder during the cycle of have integrated Guardiola Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta. The three were able to regain strength in recent weeks and hence, under normal conditions, Pep present this midfield that combines touch and defensive balance. Another option is that, in defense of three, set a diamond in which Cesc would be located at the top of it, alternating with Leo Messi in the nine false position to take advantage of the arrival area and the ability to shot from Fàbregas.

As for the front, Alexis Sánchez and Pedro and Andres Iniesta in the case to bring forward its position to the left wing seem chosen to accompany Leo in the attack. As in the case of his companions, Chilean and Tenerife have been able to hone their fitness and arrive in top condition. Just like a Messi with 72 goals this season has blown all records scorers. This night can increase these records but have already secured, of course, the second Pichichi, the second Golden Boot trophy as the fourth top scorer in the Champions League.

It seems a match for the Praetorian Guard for Guardiola, who make up the core of Pep Team, always at the expense of Santpedor coach Marcelo Bielsa try to surprise a student of rivals, with some tactical variant introducing any grown players. The last charge to try to add the title fourteenth of nineteen possible. Figures of legend. (via SPORT)

Cesc wants to Van Persie at Arsenal ... or at Barça

Arsenal's Dutch forward Robin van Persie has called the attention of several major European after the great season that has caught on in the club gunner.

The Dutchman has highlighted the campaign in London and is the subject of desire for clubs like Barça, Madrid, Manchester City and Juventus. The English team manager, Arsène Wenger, is aware of the importance of the Dutch player in the template, as this year scored 30 goals in the Premier League, which helped much do what that Arsenal had just the league in third position . But Van Persie progress would also have a very negative impact for the Gunners fans, who last summer and looked like it was his captain, Cesc Fàbregas, eventually signed for the club. In fact, if the player Arenys de Mar, his transfer had been negotiating the previous summer, but finally the Catalan was one more season to Wenger orders.

Indeed, the current Barça player was expressed about the continuity of Van Persie at Arsenal. Cesc Dutch forward recommended not to leave the London club, only to admit that he should make landfall in the ranks Blaugrana. But that in no case leave the club to finish in any of the other teams were interested in him. "As an Arsenal supporter I am, I would like Van Persie to stay at the club to help Arsenal to win trophies," said Fàbregas. Van Persie, 28, is going through the prime of his football career and, although it still has a year contract with Arsenal, the player must consider what path will take.

Moreover, Arsène Wenger will do everything she can get her hands to retain the figure of his team, which has already offered to Robin Van Persie a new contract that would collect 130,000 pounds a week, and a plus 5 million pounds if the player renewing his contract with the London club. (via SPORT)

Schalke and the City come for Alves

The first deals by Dani Alves are starting to get FC Barcelona that came from Germany and England.

The player of FC Barcelona, Dani Alves, is one of the objects of desire of the market for 2012 and offers the player has begun to reach even without FC Barcelona season officially concluded.

Manchester City has been quick to contact the FC Barcelona to put on the table a bid for Alves, with economic data of 15 million euros and the inclusion in operating the Serbian full-back Kolarov.

Also from Germany, as reported by 'Esports Cope', has come an offer from Schalke 04 to try to gain the services of the player but environment Dani Alves, is not aware of the interest aroused by the player. (via SPORT)

Joan Laporta: "Esperanza Aguirre sometimes what comes out"

The former FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said that the president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, has "tics authoritarian."

As indicated in a press conference today in the Catalan parliament member and former president Joan Laporta's Barça, "would have to explain to Esperanza Aguirre who, though she does not like to have citizens who whistle the national anthem of Spain and the monarchy, "there is a basic right recognized internationally and in the Spanish Constitution is freedom of expression."

According to Laporta, trying to prevent display a gesture of protest, Esperanza Aguirre notes that "has some authoritarian tics are inappropriate for a Democrat." "This perhaps someone can be shocking, but now people like her who profess a very stale Spanishness Democrats are dressed, but then show that in reality are as they are," added Joan Laporta, is that "however much put on liberal Democrat, he has said, sometimes you get what it is. "

According to the president of Barça, "Esperanza Aguirre's belief that if you whistle are bad and if you do you are good is typical of totalitarian thinking as hobbies have every right to express the world as they wish, and sport is also political unity as political sentiments. ""Let not exclaim both sport and politics mix, because it occurs throughout the world and nothing happens," he noted.

In your opinion, what should not do Esperanza Aguirre to divert attention from "management mistakes" in the government of the Community of Madrid is "fueling the conflict" in Catalunya and Euskadi in Spain, in what is considered "a new slip "due" hopefully the last. " (via SPORT)

Esperanza Aguirre is removed from the cup final

She threw the stone and hide the hand now. After heating the mood before the final of the Copa del Rey, Esperanza Aguirre now will not go to the match.

The president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, will not attend the final of the Copa de Rey, as reported by the regional vice president, Ignacio González.

The "number two" of the Madrid government, which also plans to attend the final, made ​​the announcement at a press conference following the Governing Council, which she described as "regrettable" the controversy they have generated the recent statements of President regional. Some statements that suspend Aguirre raised the Cup final between Barcelona and Athletic if the Basque and Catalan hobbies "whistle" Prince Philip, the Spanish flag or anthem which led to a barrage of criticism and opinions, even in the ranks of his own party.

Among these criticisms is the Basque President Patxi López, who yesterday sent a letter to Aguirre-and she has already received, in which, according to own lehendakari said, told him "everything he had to say" about of his controversial words. González, who has reported that Aguirre intended to respond to the letter "today," asked the Basque president "to appeal to the tastes and especially his own, to really respect" which is "a sporting event and state symbols. "

The vice president said he found it "surprising" that there are positions like President of the Basque Government to "ask someone from demonstrations, in that report that are being used for political purposes sporting events." He also said that what "seems regrettable" criticism is that attitudes like Aguirre and yet there is no "widespread condemnation" whom "is spurring on purpose or by calling" to become a sporting event "in a way to achieve ends "that have nothing to do with" a Copa del Rey final. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: “I told Tito that he was going to be the manager”

The Barça manager made it very clear how the decision to name Tito Vilanova as FC Barcelona’s new boss was made.

Guardiola confirmed that he told Vilanova that the Club was going to offer him the job.

Josep Guardiola explained the decision process behind naming Tito Vilanova as FC Barcelona's new manager during the Cup Final prematch press conference. Just before diving into the topic he explained that “I’ve given 546 press conferences, which is about 272 hours in front of you guys, in these the 4 years that we’ve been together. That’s 11 straight days of talking. During this whole time I’ve tried to achieve one objective: credibility. I may have made mistakes along the way and I may have been spot on, but my goal was to always be honest.”

He added: “with that said, I’ve heard that Pep needs to come out and talk about his relationship with Tito.” And that’s exactly what he did: “in November I had lunch with Zubizarreta and he asked me what I thought about naming Tito to the head manager job. I told him that it was a great idea. When we played Chelsea, when they eliminated us, I asked Tito to come into my office and I asked him what he thought about being manager of FC Barcelona. He didn’t know [we had been talking about it], and it was I that notified him.”

Guardiola also disclosed that he told the newly appointed manager “to do what he thought best.” Guardiola went on to say the two major reasons Tito got the job: “I couldn’t tell him anything else, he’s the person that has helped me be the manager I am today. The most important thing, seeing that life has challenged him, that people haven’t seen how much he’s gone through. He thought about it, he felt strong enough, and he decided to move forward. We’ve known each other for 13 years, and the person that feels the need to step aside is me.” When asked to verify the rumor that he didn’t like the fact that Tito was announced as the new manager during the press conference where he announced his departure, Guardiola said: “I’m not the person to tell the Club what it needs to do. The Club gives the orders, and if they decide to name Tito, who am I to say otherwise?”

The Barça manager also talked about the article written by Salvador Sostres in El Mundo: “I spoke with Salvador after the article was published. He knows that it isn’t true. I told the President that I was leaving and that I’d step aside, nothing more. Within the Azulgrana world I’m stepping aside. I would never denigrate a President [of the Club]. The education and manners that his house and my parents taught me does not allow for me to do seomthing like that. I’ve had a magnificient relationship with Laporta and also with President Rosell. I’m eternally greateful to both of them for allowing me to work. I’ve told both of them that I’m leaving, that I’m no longer around, and that I’m stepping aside. They shouldn’t use my name for this.”

He insisted that “I’m eternally grateful to the Presidents Laporta and Rosell equally, because they allowed me to do my job in the Club of my dreams. When it comes to everything else, I want them to know that I’m leaving, to leave me out of it.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Bielsa: “FC Barcelona are the best team in the world"

The Athletic Club manager doesn’t believe there is a favourite for tomorrow’s match and he assured the journalists in the press room that his team’s excitement ahead of the Cup final is “optimal” because it’s an “excellent opportunity” to win a title.

Bielsa: “This match stimulates the footballing world. To be invited to a party like this is beautiful”.

Marcelo Bielsa held a prematch press conference this Thursday ahead of the Copa del Rey Final. The Athletic Club manager praised FC Barcelona by saying that the Catalans are “the best team in the world” even though he doesn’t consider Guardiola’s side to be favourites for tomorrow’s match. The manager believes that the matches played between the two sides this year “established the setting and the differences between the two teams.”

“We’re very excited,” said Bielsa. This will be the second final that Athletic Club play this season, and the fans are looked ahead to the clash with a lot of “optimism.” After losing in the Europa League Final to Atlético Madrid, the Argentine considers that “being able to play another final, so close to the one we lost, is an excellent opportunity.”

Bielsa has trained his team, not seeking to boost their morale, to focus “on the dynamic and intensity of play.” The manager considers himself fortunate because he’s “invited to be part of a match that stimulates the footballing world.”

For the Cup Final, the Athletic Club manager analysed the matches his team have played against Barça. He studied “why we lost” and “why we didn’t win.” Bielsa believes that, in order to win the Cup, “it’s vital every player is close to his full potential.” He’ll try a collective strategy that will “make the difference” in favour of Athletic Club.

Bielsa said that he still hasn’t decided on a starting line-up. However, the whole Athletic Club team made the trip to Madrid: “I asked Iraola and Gurpegui and they told me that they wanted all their team-mates to come. I only followed the orders of this command. For me, it’s a difficult situation because you can hurt a player that has made the trip but doesn’t end up playing.”

Athletic Club's desire

Iraola said that his team have the “desire to win the title” and this Friday they will have “the perfect opportunity.” On Barça, he said the Catalan team “haven’t changed” in four years but that, with Athletic’s new players this year, “the distance between the two teams isn’t as great.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Alexis and Pinto are given medical clearance to play ahead of tomorrow's Copa del Rey Final

The striker and the keeper were named to the squad ahead of tomorrow's Cup clash with Athletic.

Guardiola will take the whole team to Madrid with the exception of Abidal: 16 first-team players, 4 injured players and 4 Barça B players.

On day before the Copa del Rey Final between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona, the Azulgrana managers unveiled the list of players named to the squad. Just as expected, Alexis Sánchez and José Manuel Pinto, both of whom have been working with the first team this week, were given medical clearance to play and were named to the team. There are also four Barça B players in the squad: Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos and Tello. Alves, Puyol, Abidal, Fontàs and Villa will not feature in tomorrow’s match.

Pep Guardiola will take the whole team to Madrid, with the exception of Éric Abidal.

Barça completed their final training session ahead of tomorrow’s Cup Final this Thursday afternoon. The technical staff decided to hold the closed-door session at the Camp Nou instead of at the Ciutat Esportiva. Planas and Oriol Rosell, both Barça B players, trained apart from the group. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[The squad]
Valdés, Piqué, Cesc, Xavi, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi, Thiago, Pinto, Mascherano, Keita, Busquets, Pedro, Afellay, Adriano, Cuenca, Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos and Tello.

Alves, Puyol, Villa and Fontàs, all of whom are injured, will also travel with the team to Madrid.

Barça-Athletic Club, history that spans more than 100 years

Athletic Club and Barça are classic and legendary teams in Spanish football. Both the sides are strongly represent the athletic traditions in both Euskadi and Catalonia. Athletic and Barça have always been in Primera División since the Liga was established in 1929.

In 1898 a group of young Basques opened up the Zamacois Athletic Club gym and a year later a group of young foreigners led by Joan Gamper started Solé gym, where FC Barcelona started. Here are a series of curious anecdotes from two of the oldest clubs in Spanish football:

- The first time fans from both teams met was on May 15th in 1902. Both teams were participating in a tournament in Madrid in honor of the coronation of Alfonso XIII. The show match was between Barça and Vizcaya, a team made up of both Athletic Club and Bilbao FC players. The Basques won by 2 to 1 and the behavior of both sets of fans was commendable. When the team returned to the Basque Country, Bilbao asked the fans to greet the players that “beat the best team in the world, Football Club Barcelona.” A Catalan, who wasn’t really a fan of football, living in Bilbao added a negative tone to the celebrations when he said: “I don’t understand how the people of Catalonia and the Basque Country, who are very serious and have a good work ethic, can dispute anything by kicking each other.”

MORE: www.fcbarcelona.com

Martínez: "It’s a beautiful opportunity to play against the best team in the world"

Javi Martínez and Fernando Llorente, two key players for Athletic Club, talk about the Cup Final. "We'll have to play at 120%," says the striker.

Llorente and Martínez are eager and excited to play in the Cup Final. Llorente doesn’t hold back when he’s asked about Messi: “he’s the best player in the world and in the history of the sport.” Martinez talked about his manager: “Bielsa is a person worth knowing.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

24 May 2012

Amor: "Pep deserves ending a title more"

"We can see a totally Barça eleven of the house. This season has been almost full."

Guillermo Amor, head football coach of Barça training, said in the first edition of the 'La Graderia', ONA FM, that "Pep (Guardiola) ending deserves a title more", referring to the Cup final Friday that his team played against Athletic in the Calderón.

The ex player of the legendary 'Dream Team' of Cruyff believes that azulgrana should not be entrusted to the second team with more League Cups. "Barça is playing well, but the Athletic lost the final of the Europa League and will want to win."

The Alicante has emphasized the idea of both football teams. "Barça and Athletic love for his philosophy. Will be a very nice end of the kings of Cups. Has to believe in this philosophy, but mostly work from small to reach the goal of the first team to be fulfilled."

Amor notes that "in the current squad are eleven players in the home. A dream to see a Barça in the final with a 'once' entirely from the cantera? Do not know if this is the dream, but we could see a team only with players of the house at any party. "In order to give this circumstance, Guardiola should change during the game to Pinto, presumed owner despite his sprained ankle, by Víctor Valdés.

The coach of the 'pedrera' remembers that "in fact, at some meeting of the season, we have almost seen a Barça virtually full ofcanteranos in the team are players who are in the elite, are the best players in the world and we may presume that the best player in the world (Messi) is the cantera. " (via MD)

[Ex player & coach] Cruyff: "With Tito have to wait and then say"

The ex Barça coach Johan Cruyff calls for calm when assessing the work of Tito Vilanova in an interview in 'El Periódico', while Guardiola believes that closes a cycle.

"Comparisons between Guardiola and Tito? Have to wait to start, to do things and then say if it goes well or less well," Cruyff said one who sees that from the beginning and "are sowing doubts" about Tito from the environment "as with Pep, although it had the blessing of people who could support you. "

Cruyff insists that "environment" weird being created around the technical difficulties of assessing the team's chances next season. "The team has quality. It has everything. But I suspect that is a circus that should be avoided," said the Dutchman, who does not understand, for example, that prompted the current players if they think Tito can do well.

The farewell of Pep Guardiola as Barça coach supposed to Johan Cruyff, a cyclical change in the club, though not strictly football. "Not just a cycle in the field, but what is around the environment. Ends a cycle that began outside the locker room with Laporta and his people, with Txiki, with Rijkaard, with me and continued with Guardiola. Not talking only football, but about people and behavior, "he said. "With Guardiola cycle ends and another begins, and I say in the negative. Has been found who was in command he was. Who is sending now? We'll see how it goes."

Finally, also spoke of the Cup final between Barça and Athletic. A final Guardiola may allow close her cycle in the best way possible with a title against the same opponents against which succeeded the first. "Football has these things. It's fate. Will be nice to close the loop gain," he said Cruyff. (via SPORT)

Guardiola and Vilanova seek Copa del Rey final perfect

At his last big game together, Guardiola and Vilanova design their tactics trying to stop a grand finale to remember.

1. Much more ball possession than the opponent, who also wants
Barça always wants the ball, but Athletic Bilbao also intends to own it. So tomorrow's game staged a relentless struggle for the ball.

Barça makes the possession of the ball a security attack and wear the opponent, but also insurance against risks. Because while you have the ball does not have the opponent and can attack and hurt him.

The logic is that tomorrow, on the lawn of Calderón, Barça have the ball over Athletic, but it would be very important to minimize the Basque possession for its 'players' De Marcos, Susaeta, Herrera and Muniain not have too many options to create danger.

But in addition to having the ball must finish the plays. Barça has sinned in some games of not completing their attacks and now a slogan is trying to end every possession inside-half with a pass or shot.

2. Remove the ball played from the back to lengthen the Athletic
In the final between Barça and Athletic de 2009, Guardiola asked to bring forth Piqué and Puyol played the ball from the baseline, glued to Pinto. It was a tactic that caused more than a tachycardia between the culés, but which served to create open spaces and gaps in the defense system raised that day by Joaquín Caparrós. And is that the Athletic forwards pressured the central hollow culés and left behind for 'toilets' azulgrana.

Now, before a press Athletic much above tactics will also result in part because they bite and leave spaces behind them. Bielsa Athletic aggression is similar to that of Caparros, faithful to the historical label of 'lions', even begin to defend far more away from their own goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz. Breaking the first line of pressure-cleaned Barça-Athletic, a clásico.

3. Drives ball to overcome the man marking
The arrival of Bielsa Athletic has led many of his players to man mark the rivals. The matches of the Basques against Barça have left images revealing that each of the Athletic players and the front half 'encimaba' a ​​couple of Barca and always jump to push him receiving a ball.

The best antidote is dribbling to your score, break the dam and create superiority in other areas to advance the ball. For that, Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi will be key at Barça.

4. Leverage strategy
A final Guardiola has never frightened or Villanova to pull the board. In the final of the Champions League at Wembley in 2010, a lack of laboratory was about to end up in Pedro's goal against Manchester. Depending on the difficulty of the game, any action set pieces can decide the final.

So we will be with the five senses to exploit the faults near the area, the direct and indirect, always dangerous with the addition of Piqué and Busquets. The same is true of the corners, which this season have taken much less shorter than other years.

5. Corners and misdemeanors cercadel area, not
Marcelo Bielsa has enhanced the Athletic touch football, but has not neglected at all of the historical virtues of this team, which has always enjoyed the game live and pieces. The experience of the end of 2009 is shown. Toquero scored the 1-0 in that final to take a leap ahead in the corner with a header that beat rogue Pinto.

The stature and good arrival of Llorente and Javi Martinez Amorebieta technicians invite culés to ask his players to avoid as much as possible to give corners and near misses to the area. This year in the league, also Llorente scored with a header. (via MD)

Pep Guardiola, in its Title 14

Cup final can close the chapter of the trophies on the stage of Guardiola against the same opponents who inaugurated.

The 'Pep Team' may give Pep Guardiola his fourteenth title in the farewell of the stage Barcelona coach on the bench azulgrana. To date, eighteen titles held thirteen Guardiola played. One more rounded and full of mystical figure: fourteen was worn by Johan Cruyff back, one of the leading and inspiring large Pep, and fourteen titles may be held out of a total of nineteen possible.

Whether Barça beats Athletic and Cup champion is proclaimed as if it is in thirteen crowns, stage Guardiola will have been extraordinary and full of unforgettable moments: from the end of the curse of the Intercontinental, the victory in two World Clubs, up to two humiliations at Madrid 2-6 in such an important date as May 2, and 5-0 days no less significant, November 29, the anniversary of the founding of the Barça. Not forgetting paths displays against Manchester United which accounted for two Champions.

Guardiola's Barça dominated in Spain and Europe, winning the triple-six trophies in the same year, 2009. Domestically, the three have joined League Cup and three Super Cups, the last one against Madrid of Mourinho, the day the Luso portrayed himself as a coward attacking Tito Vilanova and putting a finger on the eye. Mou that day disappointed many people as a person and made much larger Guardiola and Barça.

Pep In Spain no longer win three titles: Cup 2010 to be eliminated by Sevilla, future champion, the 2011, losing in overtime in the final against Madrid and the last league, also against the Madrid of Mourinho , who has won twice against Barça five wins azulgrana and four draws.

At Europe the Madrid of Mou also a victim, particularly in the semifinal of 2011, which opened the doors of Wembley, where the consolidated group stage Barcelona domain started in 2006, six Champions League semifinals in the last seven years, five of them consecutively.

In addition to the Champions, 2009 and 2011, the 'Pep Team' international left two European Super Cups very worked and, above all, two Club World Cup: the first, dramatic, against Estudiantes de la Plata, the goal from Messi with the shield, and the second, before the Santos Neymar, which marked the consecration of the Barça football to the world. Fourteen titles may be, but if they stay in thirteen the legacy of 'Pep Team' is huge. (via MD)

Calderón's grass already shines

On Tuesday and yesterday was placed had a good appearance helped by the sun.

It would have been joking that Coldplay, the English group that sounded both at the Camp Nou in his first season, spoiled the final game of Pep Guardiola, FC Barcelona.

The concert on Sunday at the Vicente Calderón before 55,000 faithful, with a stage and giant waterspout included, left the logical consequences in the grass, but Atlético Madrid has worked quickly and effectively to deliver to la Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) a pitch in very good condition.

If there are unforeseen and not expected storms or anything, Guardiola may still have good memories of Coldplay when I leave the bench azulgrana, especially if his team wins the trophy tomorrow against Athletic.

The transfer of power between club rojiblanco and the Federation was held yesterday afternoon, and 4,000 square meters with new grass placed on the most affected area (just under half field goal in the Northern Fund).

It is sod 220 4 centimeters thick in rolls 15 meters long and 1.20 meters wide. They arrived on Tuesday from Cáceres with the mediation of the Tapiz Verde supplier and EMAL, the company responsible for the work. Late on Tuesday and was covered the entire surface and throughout the day yesterday was irrigated and treated to lift as little as possible during the game.

The conditions of the Vicente Calderón, with moisture in the Manzanares river cooling the pitch and fully open to the entrance of the sun, which yesterday hit relentlessly makes the grass more quickly take power in other arenas, such as the Camp Nou , where the problem areas are bleak. (via MD)

Guardiola bet on the best team

The coach has very little doubt about the side that must win the title was number fourteen of Pep.

Barça is used to playing finals, but not play tomorrow which is still important. There are many reasons that prevent relaxation in the computer, in turn, imposed to the last drop of blood to win the title was number fourteen of Pep Guardiola. Santpedor coach leaves, but before the last has yet to make eleven, attending his last two press conferences and, if need be, to be blanketed by its staff. All that is left to the coach.

His players will stay. Not all, but most do. For those who do not will be a last service to the shield, but it can be a coach. There are two ways to leave and, although none of them will change nothing lived, winning the Cup would leave a taste sweeter than do the opposite. Pep is aware of this and will not deviate one iota from the path taken so far. It is not disputed or how to play or the like. Barça will go on the attack, the more goals to do better and imposed from the first minute to its rival. All this will make the team than Santpedor considered harder to measure the set of Marcelo Bielsa.

Considering that during training has proven the back four, it seems unlikely to be present at the Vicente Calderón with three back. Moreover, the impossibility of alienating Dani Alves, injured, gives you less options for it. Its position in the field will be occupied by Martin Montoya. Al has not Viladecans pulse trembled whenever he has supplied and fulfilled by the weight. The canterano is a physical marvel and similarities, keeping the distances gives the age and experience, many with the Brazilian. Touch as little as possible the starting rate is to change piece by piece and in this case, the guarantees are full. Pinto has exclusive place in goal. This has been explained that I have always wondered why Guardiola and they also understood Víctor Valdés believes that the Port de Santamaria is the right man for this match. The Andalusian goalkeeper has played everything in this competition and know what is earned. It was Pinto who did it, to be key in 2009, also against Athletic.

The defense, in addition to the presence of Montoya, would be formed by Piqué, Mascherano and Adriano. The low of Puyol, Fontàs and Abidal not lead to doubt or speculation. In addition to the reliability of Mascherano and Adriano, Piqué has the possibility of ending the season with good feelings. This week, at a press conference, said she makes the team better note to himself and to the Athletic can raise. If Gerard gives his best football, the title is a little closer to Barça. (via SPORT)

Suspended travel to Qatar

Due to scheduling problems of the Qatari royal family, is suspended institutional trip planned for next week.

FC Barcelona has suspended travel to Qatar that azulgrana had to make an expedition on 28, 29 and 30 May this country. At the same contained, among others, the president Sandro Rosell, Vice President Javier Faus, the director Andoni Zubizarreta and technicians Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova.

MD has been told, the journey of an institutional nature and related to the conventional with Qatar Foundation, has been suspended due to a scheduling of the royal family of Qatar. FC Barcelona will soon offer more details. (via MD)

[Former player] Marc Crosas: "Santos would like Barça in Mexico"

Marc Crosas arrived, played and won the title with Santos Lagoon, to take the post like heir of the Spanish glories that seven decades ago Isidro lit Lángara with the club Spain in the then nascent Mexican league of football.

Born 24 years ago in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Girona province, Crosas celebrated with a Senyera (flag of Catalunya) the title in a feat that took the trail of the Spanish players who have crossed the ocean to play and retire in Mexico.

Crosas signed with Santos in early 2012 and had little involvement in the regular season, highlighted in the final round of the Clausura, which his team beat Monterrey 3-2 on aggregate.

Player made ​​in La Masia of Barcelona, Crosas played in 15 of 21 matches Santos and went to watch from the bench the first part of the tournament to be played over and at the end of a holder of the highest order.

The midfielder had already held before the League 1 title and League Cup in France with Olympique Lyon (2008) and the League Cup in Scotland with Celtic Glasgow (2009).

"I came to win titles, to continue to grow, to try to be better every day, and try to learn from the great companions. In my career I have been privileged to be with great players, now does not change, I have the opportunity to learn by example of (Juan Pablo) Chato Rodríguez is a very experienced player who still has much to give, but hey I have much to learn in my 24 years, considering that he is in my same position, "said Crosas to 'Récord '.

Asked if the Santos could be compared to any team in the league of Spain, the former Blaugrana said: "I believe not only in football performance, but for social work, the environment, I think they work very similar to Barcelona, is a very great many people, but no longer a family club with a great motivation to help people and listen to all options. would like Barça in Mexico, keeping proportions in that sense, I have met a club inside and the other, and in structure are very similar. " (via SPORT)

Rosell and Vilarrubí gave condolences to Florentino Pérez

The Barça president Sandro Rosell and Vice President institutional Carles Vilarrubí joined in sentiment Florentino Pérez after the death of his wife.

The death of Mari Ángeles Sandoval 'Pitina', wife of Florentino Pérez, the 65-year-old has joined in sentiment leaders Real Madrid with his counterpart azulgranas, who suffered on Tuesday the loss of his wife after a long illness.

Rosell and Vilarrubí traveled to Madrid on Wednesday and expressed his condolences in person Florentino Pérez who also kept a good friendship.

They were the only persons who gave their condolences to the leader Real Madrid. From the first hour, the chapel of 'Pitina' in the morgue of the M-30, became representatives of the history of Real Madrid, whether its football section of the basketball.

Among those attending were the president of honor of the club, Alfredo Di Stefano and the tenor Placido Domingo, the entity closely linked to Madrid. Both current players of the football staff as Esteban Granero and Antonio Adam and the basketball with Felipe Reyes, Sergio Llull and Jaycee Carroll, and their respective technical, Portuguese José Mourinho and Pablo Laso, wanted to be present in these sad moments .

With them, many ex players of the club as Jose Martínez 'Pirri', Ignacio Zoco, Paco Gento, Fernando Hierro, Portugal's Luis Figo, the Montenegrin Pedja Mijatovic, Rafa Rullan, Emilio Butragueño present CEO of the club, and France's Zinedine Zidane, the first team manager, among others.

Also present were other soccer officials as the president of Atlético de Madrid, Enrique Cerezo, and Getafe, Ángel Torres, as well as Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz.

The world of politics wanted to show his condolences to President of Real Madrid and there were several ministers who attended the funeral, as the president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, or several former ministers with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as their vice President José Blanco.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Xavi: "A whole wardrobe that Guardiola would have liked to continue"

FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández acknowledged that the staff wanted Guardiola had followed a year.

Speaking exclusively to ESPN, Xavi admitted his surprise at the final decision taken by Pep Guardiola but in turn the support that has given him and other colleagues: "I was convinced he could follow a year but has their explanations and reasons for leaving. know that the costumes are with him to death and we would like everyone to continue another year, "he said.

However, Xavi admitted that he was contacted by telephone with Pep at the time to ask him to stay "because it is a very private person and very introverted." Nevertheless, the Terrassa supports the decision taken by Santpedor: "It's in his role as coach and we want the best for him."

The midfielder knows that Tito Vilanova company "will be difficult" because Guardiola sets the bar very high. "This has not gotten any team in history," said Xavi, before adding: "We can not guarantee titles, but we're going to fight and put all our efforts and our desire to continue to reap titles for Barça".

For Xavi Hernández, the Copa del Rey would be a good conclusion to a season that could be better. "It started fantastically well with the two Super Cups, Spain's and Europe's then went to the Club World Club Cup, we compete very well against Santos. Then yes, there were two disappointments: the League, that got away at home with the Madrid , and bad luck we had in the Champions League with Chelsea, which everyone saw, because we were above the two games. We have not had that amount of luck we've had for the past three years, "said Xavi to ESPN.

And he avoided ruling on the expansions of José Mourinho's contract with Real Madrid until 2016: "The truth is that we set bit, because obviously it is our eternal rival, but we try not to look anywhere else. We have done very well by looking door in and we must continue in this line. " (via SPORT)

[Barça B; Liga Aderante; Week30] Guadalajara 2 - 0 FC Barcelona B

Iván Moreno and Jonan quickly scored to give the home team a 2-0 advantage.

With 2-0 on the scoreboard, Sergi Roberto had two of the best chances of the match to pull one back.

Rubén Miño, who stated against Guadalajara, was back on the pitch for the first time in 227 days.

Barça B were once again made to pay for their slow start. Just like on Sunday away to Numancia, the team led by Eusebio Sacristán quickly trailed by 2-0 to Guadalajara. The early goals from Iván Moreno and Jonan condemned Barça B who, despite dominating from the 20th minute onward, never gave the sensation of being able to overturn the adverse result. However, there was some good news: Rubén Miño was back in goal after 227 days of not playing (his last match was on October 8th 2011 against Alcorcón).

With today’s defeat, Barça B have now lost three consecutive matches. The team, in the 11th position of the table, have mathematically secured their spot in the Liga Adelante with 53 points, however.

The start of the match could not have started off worse for Barça B’s interests. The home team scored, through Iván Moreno, in their first play close to Barça B’s goal. The Guadalajara player took advantage of a lose ball near the Barça defence and unleashed a powerful shot that was simply unstoppable for Miño. Guadalajara went on to score five minutes later. Moreno, once again, was the man that orchestrated the play that led to the home team’s goal as he fed the ball into Barça B’s area from the right wing for Víctor, who beat Miño on the far post.

The home side had two more good chances to score before the 20th minute. However, from that point on Barça B started to take control of the match. The best chance for the Azulgranas before the half was from a free kick taken by Sergi Roberto that went just wide of Guadalajara’s goal.

At the start of the second half Barça B continued to control the match. However, with ball possession securely in Barça’s favour, the Catalans were struggling to create goal-scoring chances. The best chance was, once again, Sergi Roberto’s. The player took a free kick inside the Guadalajara area due to a deliberate pass back to the keeper who picked the ball up. Saizar later did well to deny Rosell’s header, and, in the last minute of the game, the referee called back a Barça B goal. The ball simply didn’t want to go in. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Match Stats]
Guadalajara: Saizar, Moreno, Barral, Gaffoor, Rodri, Javi Soria, Jony, Víctor (Gerard, min 51), Jonan, Iván Moreno (Cristian, min 62) and Aníbal.

Barça B: Miño, Kiko, Balliu, Sergi Gómez, Muniesa, Gustavo Ledes (Rosell, min 71), Lobato, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, Carmona (Planas, min 83) and Rodri (Espinosa, min 58).

Goals: 1-0, Iván Moreno (min 9); 2-0, Jonan (min 15).

Referee: Piñeiro Crespo.

Zubizarreta: "We’re really excited about the Cup"

Barça’s Director of Football has complete confidence in the style of football developed under Pep Guardiola and insists that it will be maintained in the future, starting with this Friday’s Cup Final.

He’s looking forward to the match against Athletic Club and believes that the policy of developing home-grown talent is “a marvellous legacy left by Pep”.

Director of Football Andoni Zubizarreta spoke to Barça TV about the upcoming clash with Athletic Club. In an interview with Sandra Sarmiento, the Basque Country born former goalkeeper spoke about the last Cup Final between the two clubs, Athletic Club manager Bielsa, the relations between the two clubs, Abidal’s progress and Guardiola’s farewell.

He won three Spanish Cup Finals as a player, two with Barça and one with Athletic Club. In his role as Director of Football he has already won six trophies but he has yet to win a Spanish Cup.

Andoni Zubizarreta, were you at the Mestalla stadium in 2009?
"Yes, I was. I went with my children and I got the tickets from a certain Mr Guardiola, the manager of FC Barcelona."

What do you remember about it?
"I remember that when Toquero scored, my daughter and I jumped up to celebrate and when Touré Yaya scored it was me and my son. In the break, which came just three minutes after the equaliser, I felt as if my brain had split into two. On the one hand I felt the joy of celebrating a goal but I also felt I was celebrating a goal being scored against my team! It was a big contradiction. The second half sorted things out and the score was more obvious and from that point on we just enjoyed the football”.

The 2009 final was the beginning of the Guardiola era and on Friday it will end. Do you feel that it was the beginning of a marvellous story?
"Yes. I remember the chant of ‘Cup, League and Champions League', which was the 'leitmotiv' of the final. I remember the fantastic atmosphere: excitement, emotion...the fans really identified with the team and had the feeling that something fantastic could happen. Everything that happened after that is down to Pep and all the players”.

I remember Pep in the tie against Chelsea a few weeks ago. He spoke about that beginning of 2009 as a Barça love affair. Do you have the feeling that this love affair is still alive?
"Yes. I think that there’s a belief in the idea, in the way of playing, in the way we go into matches, in the idea that ‘if we’re not sure then we attack’, in wanting to dominate games...and also the fact that our fans are convinced this is the way to play. The response of the fans when we played Chelsea and Real Madrid shows us that they are happy with what the team is doing. Obviously we want the team to win and we want to collect the Cup this Friday in the Calderon.

I don’t know whether the 2009 Athletic Club and the team today have much in common or not. There were players who watched the match from the stands and on Friday might be in the starting line-up. But the big change is Bielsa. Bielsa has transformed this team.
"Because of its philosophy, Athletic Club usually has a very stable squad. It’s true that a generation of interesting young players has come through, plus a few signings this season such as Ander Herrera. But it’s also true that the manager has given them a new profile, a way of playing, a personality that is very well adapted to the philosophy of the club. A team that attacks, that wants to be in charge in every game it plays and that fits in really well with the fans and the club. Also, he’s given the players a plan, a style of play that they feel comfortable with”.

Would Bielsa be a manager that could adapt to Barça?
"He’s a man with a big personality and in that sense he would adapt well to our Club. But then the way he sees the game – the individual making the team effort greater – I don’t know if it would fit in exactly in a Club like Barça. I have the feeling that Bielsa is in exactly the right Club for what he asks from a team”.

Athletic Club last won a trophy 28 years ago with Zubizarreta in goal. How do you remember that day?
"It was a final against Barça and we won 1-0. It was a really tense match but it was such a joy to win the League and Cup, as doing the double was a fantastic achievement. I remember the passion of our fans because it was a really dark time in the Basque Country. Winning the title was a ray of light in a very dark space”.

You say that you wish the final minutes of that match had never existed. Now, however, the relations between the two clubs are fantastic. In 2009, for example, the fans got on really well. What’s changed?’
"They were tricky times for us then. We had just come from Shuster’s injury in San Mamés and then, the following year, Maradona, and all that ended up poisoning relations. As a team, we were competing with the top clubs and we were direct rivals, which generates even more tension. I remember that they insisted we came to the tribute match for Artola and Olmo, and that helped to bring the situation back to normal”.

And also that Julio Salinas and Zubizarreta signed for Barça. Perhaps that made the link a bit closer.
"Yes, to the famous Dream Team which I called Eusko Barça. We had a lot of people like Valverde, Julio, Bakero... From that point of view people like having players they can identify with directly. That helps to bring people together. But I’ve always thought that the relations between the two teams, except at that particular time that we mentioned earlier, have been good though demanding”.

What does it feel like, from the inside, the fact that it seems like the season has finished but in fact there’s still a title at stake?
"It’s not simple. It’s caused us a deflated feeling that, sometimes, you don’t know how to manage, how to maintain the impetus. You cope by concentrating on training and knowing how to focus when it’s time for the important stuff”.

Does this Cup motivate?
"We’re really motivated. And the Barça fans too, despite the fact that many things have happened since the last league match. But in the end we’re all united by football. And we all want to experience the atmosphere of the final”.

Here you get the feeling that people aren’t talking about the Cup Final much. In contrast, there’s a great atmosphere surrounding it in the Basque Country.
"The passion of the Athletic Club fans is extraordinary because the team doesn’t get to finals very often and the fans really get excited when they do. But I’m sure our fans are just as excited. If anybody thinks Athletic will be less motivated, they’re wrong. That isn’t in their character because they treat every match as unique. We have to be aware that it will be a special moment and we’ll experience it that way”.

Given that there are so many defenders missing will the priority be to maintain possession so as to not suffer?
"Yes it’s true that we have players missing but that’s football. We have a competitive team and we’ll set out our stall and plan the match in a way that we think we can attack and hurt Athletic. We’ll take them on and try and win; that’s our idea”.

One of the benefits of bringing through players from the academy is that everyone has faith in the youngsters that have to replace the missing players and people feel confident.
"That’s one of Pep’s big pluses. Guardiola gives us the tranquillity of knowing that he has faith in them and that if he picks them to play it’s because he believes that’s the solution. That’s something the players notice and take on board as equal members of the group. It’s a wonderful legacy that Pep is leaving behind”.

Abidal and Guardiola

Abidal is progressing and is back home. Is everything going well?
"First of all we have to express our thanks for the great respect shown towards him. I think we have all felt the respect and affection of the fans. He’s progressing at the correct rate. The next step is a medical check-up. It’s a slow and complicated process but the objective is for him to manage to live a normal life and to be able to start running. What we’re concerned about is that he’s OK”.

What message has the Club passed on to him?
"That we’re there for whatever he needs. There’s neither hurry nor need for anything. He knows we’re behind him and that we’ll take it one step at a time. It’s about the recovery of Abidal the person before the footballer”.

Let’s talk about Friday as it’s Pep’s farewell match. How does he seem to you these days? Excited, nostalgic...?
"Intense. In Monday’s training session, he was at maximum intensity knowing the challenge he has ahead of him. And focussed, highly focussed, and enjoying football”.

The fact that the players say that they want to send him off with a trophy is a motivation or pressure?
"I believe it’s a motivation. This team is built on emotion and I believe that’s a good thing as football shouldn’t always be cold. It can be experienced in the most emotional manner”. (via FCBarcelona.com)

23 May 2012

Sadurní believes that the Calderón "should play Valdés"

According to the ex Barça goalkeeper Salvador Sadurní, Barça should meet Friday's game at the Calderón with Víctor Valdés in goal, "If I were the coach, Valdés would play in the final of Copa. give advantage to By playing Pinto Athletic" Sadurní stressed in statements made in the program "Mas Esports' COM Radio.

Again according Sadurní, Valdés is much better than Iker Casillas, from here to Lima. Víctor should be a starter in the Spanish national team. "Sadurní aismismo has said that" Valdés is one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the club. For me the best was Antoni Ramallets ".

In another order and asked about the controversial statements of Esperanza Aguirre, Salvador Sadurní stressed that "it is thought we're still in the Franco era." (via MD)

Iniesta: “Athletic Club will push us hard”

Barça’s Spanish international midfielder has no doubt that this Friday’s Cup Final will be “ very close” and that Barça will need to “have their wits about us” to beat a “very insistent” Bilbao.

Andrés Iniesta made it clear that the squad is determined to “make one final effort” in this Friday’s Cup Final in order to finish the season and “round it off with a smile”. Iniesta warned though, that Athletic Club are a quality team all over the pitch.

After stressing “the intensity with which Bilbao play and the moves their coach has given them”, Iniesta reminded reporters of the games the two had played so far this season, claiming: “they were very intense” and insisted that Friday’s final will be “very close – Athletic Club will push us hard and we will have to be sharp and have our wits about us and be capable of making quick decisions on the pitch”.

Iniesta is resigned to Barça playing the final without a number of important players, but insisted: “that’s the way it is – we’ll play with the players we have and try and make sure we don’t miss the players who are out”. Iniesta was also asked who he would dedicate the Cup to, if the team end up winning it and he was quick to reply: “to all of us who haven’t been able to share in what is a special day”. The midfielder also reminded the media that winning was
especially important to him, as he missed the 2009 Final with an injury: “ that motivates me more and makes it especially exciting”.

There has been considerable controversy surrounding the game already, with the President of the Autonomous Community of Madrid claiming the game should be played behind closed doors if the two sets of fans fail to respect the Spanish national anthem at the start of the game, but Iniesta insisted: “that’s nothing to do with football. Respect is the most important thing – the fans are free to behave in the way they see best, but nobody should forget that
we are going to play a game of football. There are many things we could all do differently and better, but I don’t think talking about this a day or two ahead of the game will resolve anything. We just want to see a great and entertaining game of football”.

Josep Guardiola will be in charge for his last game on Friday - a Cup Final against Bilbao and a repeat of the 2009 final, though Iniesta reckons: “they are two completely opposite situations – that was our first title under him and this is his last game. We really want to win this title in a season when we have just missed out on the league and in Europe, but to do that, we’ll have to play a great game”.

Looking to the future, Iniesta gave the appointment of Tito Villanova the thumbs up: “it’s important that the players are more convinced than ever that we can go on winning things in the same way we have been. Tito Vilanova knows very well how things are here and we will continue in the same direction, convinced that it will all work out well. We’ll just have to see how it all turns out”.

“The most important thing is that Villa is 100%”

Following David Villa’s announcement that he will not be fit for the European Championships with Spain this summer and his teammate Andres Iniesta was disappointed that he’d not recovered from the broken leg he suffered last December in time to join the national
squad: “he’s put in a lot of work to get fit again, but the most important thing is that he gets back to 100% fitness and starts getting goals again, because he’s still got a lot to give”. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Last session at the Ciudad Deportiva before the final of the Copa del Rey

The staff has done on Wednesday the penultimate training session before facing planned on Friday, the final of the Copa del Rey. Were added to the group Youth players Sergio Ayala and Brian Olivan.

This is the final training session at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper before the final against Athletic Club, and on Thursday the team will train in the afternoon, at the Camp Nou.

The group led by Josep Guardiola faces the stretch in terms of training on their way to the final of the Copa del Rey on Friday against Athletic Club de Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón. Thus, the first football team has made this Wednesday at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper, which is the penultimate preparatory session before the last great challenge of the season. This is the final training session before the match at the Vicente Calderón on Friday in this scenario, because on Thursday the team will train at Camp Nou.

As is customary in recent days, have exercised the players available for the first team, in addition to the four players in the subsidiary Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos and Tello. They were also the group with Alexis and Pinto, not yet discharged. This time, Josep Guardiola has decided to also have this training with two players from the Juvenil A. They are defenders Sergio Ayala and Brian Olivan.

Already ahead of this Thursday at the Camp Nou, after 19 hours behind closed doors, the first team of Barça will make the final preparatory session before leaving on Friday morning to Madrid. Josep Guardiola will address the media at the press conference prior to the final of the Cup. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Drogba to decide future after playing with the 'elephant'

Didier Drogba has announced it will decide his future and announce which team will play next season after the two parties premundialistas to be faced now with Ivory Coast.

After being detached from the Chelsea team which had the contract, this week, the hero 'blue' in the Champions League final last Saturday in Munich, was measured with the 'elephant' to Tanzania on 1 June and Morocco on 8 - J, in separate meetings of group B qualifier for caesarean Brazil-2014 African Zone.

"We do not know what will, surely not only ficharé by any team in the Premier League," said Drogba. Was quoted by BBC Sports also notes that "I would try something new," which some have interpreted as a desire to call at the Shanghai Chinese Shenzua, although Didier has agregadoque "I have to think about the good of my family," he maybe I could bring you closer to Barca, who, as the day progressed MD, has offered through its representatives. (vai MD)

Alexis says, "Bielsa taught me not to give up"

"Bielsa taught me not to give up, to give everything," says Alexis Sánchez told 'El Mundo del Siglo XXI', which also notes that "face to Marcelo's important to me, I learned a lot from him and what I am is thanks him. "

Azulgrana forward worked under the now coach of Athletic when he served as coach of Chile between 2007 and 2011 and they always maintained a very cordial relationship. "What I dialed Bielsa was the mindset that instills the player," says Alexis, for whom the Argentine coach is one of the greatest masters football, which is now measured at the time of the Cup final on Friday between the Barça and the 'Lions'.

The tocopillano also has words of praise for Pep Guardiola. "I feel comfortable (at Barcelona), I learn every workout. Guardiola teaches me every session and videos."

Alexis Sánchez On another Messi praises. "Raise your hand if think something is missing," he says. (via MD)

The vice president Carles Vilarrubí also replicates Esperanza Aguirre

Carles Vilarrubí also has come out against the controversial statements of Esperanza Aguirre, who on Tuesday threatened to "suspend the Cup final when pita anthem 'of Spain.

As underlined by the vice president of institutional FC Barcelona this Wednesday on "El món a RAC 1," First I had a moment of surprise, but then you realize that they are statements with a political content. (The president of the Community of Madrid) is beyond the common sense of responsibility of government. has had a policy response, including leaders of his party (the PP) and Minister of Interior. "

Again according Vilarrubí,

must ask the fans quiet because Barça plays the games in stadiums. Not in offices or in the newsroom or in the car parks or on television or in the communication emdios. Play on the pitch. We place things in their point. The attacks are a smokescreen for a specific political situation. " (via MD)

[Barça B] Guadalajara - Barça B: With the homework done

Barça B visits the country of Guadalajara in the 40th game of the season in a match marked by tranquility in both sets.

Eusebio Sacristán has cited the 17 available, while Marti Riverola is low due to suspension.

Barça B facing the penultimate movement of the season with team satisfaction knowing he has met expectations. Although the last two defeats against Valladolid (1-2) and Numancia (3-0), the set of Eusebio Sacristán arrives in the last days of Second Division A and tenth ranked with 10 points ahead of his rival on Wednesday the Guadalajara. The team also manchego quiet breathing for a few days, when mathematically sealed their stay in the category.

For the match, Eusebio will only have 17 players available, as Bartra, Montoya, Dos Santos and Tello are working with the first team and was the fifth Martí Riverola yellow on Sunday in the field of Numancia. Also, remember that Deulofeu is concentrated with the Under-19 and that was the goalkeeper Oier discarded. They have traveled Masip and Miño.

Eusebio try to show your team does not return to the bad first half of Soria. "We fell into the trap. When we entered the opponent's game, we have many complications. We have the ball as long as possible, "said in the pre-game. "Our idea is to round off a season that has been very positive," he explained.

A visit to Pedro Escartín is, a priori, one of the most affordable for Barça B. Guadalajara is the fourth worst team in the Second Division local regarding points scored, and the most accumulated losses at home, along with Nàstic. In the Miniestadi, however, Barça B fell 1-2 with a goal in injury time Javi Soria. (via FCBarcelona.cat)