30 January 2012

22 Barça players ready themselves for the Cup match against Valencia

Fourteen first team members and eight from Barça B trained this morning in the Ciutat Esportiva with the Copa del Rey game with Valencia on their minds. The injured Pedro, Iniesta, Afellay and Villa all did recovery work in the gym.

FC Barcelona returned to training on Monday morning after having Sunday off. The main focus was the first leg of their cup semi final against Valencia at Mestalla, which kicks off on Wednesday at 21.00.

All 14 available first team players were present, including Alexis, who was declared fully fit on Saturday. The Barça B players that travelled to Villareal were also involved, namely Isaac Cuenca, Jonathan dos Santos, Tello and Sergi Roberto, as well as Rosell, Espinosa, Balliu and Sergi Gómez.

Apart from Andreu Fontàs, all the other injured players, Pedro, Iniesta, Afellay and Villa were in the gym at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper doing recovery work. As well as these, Seydou Keita is also absent, as he's in the African Nations Cup with Mali. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Attentive to Guardiola

In the club there is who he interprets that it will sign shortly to reinforce the morals of the team in a delicate moment.

Overcome the preliminary round agaist Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, and before entering of full in the decisive phase of the season - Champions also returns February 14 -, Barça and Pep Guardiola could announce the renovation of the coach azulgrana more shortly for a season. So far, neither party has refused to confirm the information. Moreover, maintaining a total secrecy. Yet that is precisely what leads to belief that the continuity of coach Guardiola is closer every day. As revealed MD last week, Guardiola confessed to his team that "you give me strength to continue," a factor to take into account, as Pep is a very generous person with his relatives, who want responsible for ensuring the continued another year at the club.

Despite his confidence in the players is totally more than one occasion and said that "for me to doubt them to miss me a lot and repeatedly doing the wrong thing, something I have not seen" - Guardiola could take advantage of Saturday's setback at El Madrigal to give now the 'do want' and so give a bombshell on the costumes.

Each and every one of his players have been questioned by Guardiola continued openly expressed his desire that Pep follow "not just a year, but many more." So now that a certain sector of Barcelona has unnerved by seven points seen Real Madrid in the league, and in the capital and are celebrating the title while still remaining 54 points to go, Guardiola could exploit the tessitura for renewal and, thus, reassure both his players and the fans.

What is not expected to vary in the renewal of Guardiola is the duration of his contract. Although the Barça fans and most of his players would bet on him as a coach many years, there will be Pep true to his ideals and, therefore, will sign for one year. The president Sandro Rosell has stated on more than one occasion that Guardiola has the contract on his desk ready to renew when you want and how you want-for a year, one plus one, two, three or a maximum of four, which is what the current policy remains in office. Still, as he did when Laporta offered a blank check to sign, Pep is in favor of going year to year. In addition, he has always said that the Barca bench is not eternal and that five years are those who assume if renewed for another cycle, would be reasonable. (via MD)

Club and Pep, firm: no sign

In spite of the fact that the injuries continue to plague the FC Barcelona (the latter is declining late Pedro against Villarreal and having to dip into the 'touched' Alexis) and that some voices in the environment pose a debate Barcelona the need to strengthen or not the template during the winter market with a player from outside the club, both Pep Guardiola and his staff are thinking by now that they have enough staff on the first team, in addition to which you can start counting the subsidiary during the campaign.

In fact, despite the result of Villarreal , the coach is happy with the performance of young homegrown players has been incorporating this season. The latest example was Cristian Tello, who played quarter final time very good at El Madrigal and that was about to be that unbalanced the game. Only the crossbar, which repelled a shot from Cesc after a great play from the end, avoid being the main protagonist of the game.

The club azulgrana's technical secretariat, headed by Andoni Zubizarreta , is also of the same opinion of the coach, so they prefer to continue with what's season. That does not mean that the possibility of bringing a player is closed no matter what. If there are more mishaps in the coming days or more important, should rethink that idea and would be valued if there is something in the market for both football and economic interest. But only do in an emergency. (via MD)

High risk muscle in Barça

FC Barcelona faces a quite demanding schedule in the month of February that is about to begin. The staff of Pep Guardiola is diminished by low long-term de Villa, Afellay and Fontàs and also lost to Maxwell (transferred to PSG) and Keita, who is contesting the African Nations Cup. In this context, any physical setback leaves Guardiola's team at a disadvantage with respect to its direct rival, the Real Madrid , not so affected by injuries this season. Lately, in addition, three players have fallen very important for Pep: Iniesta, Pedro and Alexis. The Chilean has already played against Villarreal despite his collarbone problem, but do not forget that infiltrated and played a new impact on the area could be fatal.

In this context, the worst part is that the fatigue caused by a demanding schedule as of January (two Cup playoff against Osasuna and Real Madrid) is taking its toll on the legs of the players. Not only is there the feeling of missing the point of ignition. The worst thing is that those responsible have been identified as physical, medical and technical, there are players who are tired and some 'mature' on the muscle . That is, if the machine much force in the coming games at high risk of ' break '.

The best proof that no danger is that this season, and are eleven injury of a muscle accursed for the Catalans: the biceps femoris. The burden of carrying the games Barça (37 officers have played so far), requiring them (Barça has won three titles this season) and also continued calls of different selections lead to the Barca player plays often with little discomfort . In the locker room for injury prevention (especially muscle and knee) is sacred, but the reality makes you take risks to compete tenganque butt.

Thus, the essential of Pep , who are in the minds of all, they are forced to play almost every game, and it loads much your legs. Moreover, commitments are always top-level and there is no reservation. And the risk of rising butt always be the danger of muscle injury . So now comes another tough tie Cup (Valencia), a demanding league schedule (Real and Valencia visits and trips to Pamplona and Calderon) and the Champions League, the risk grows. Pep, their trainers, doctors, physios and players (ignoring their feelings) must split hairs ... if you can. (via MD)

There are already 13 the players injured in Barça

The number of players who have been out through injury is a concern.

The 2011-2012 season, the fourth of Pep Guardiola on the bench will be remembered also for the injury epidemic that is ravaging the wardrobe, to the point of concern, determine the calls and the starting lineup. Up to 13 players have suffered any physical accident. Last season at this point, having played 37 official matches, the technician had to dispense with 10 men, but half of them in a very timely and for a meeting. Jeffren (12), Milito (11), Puyol (5), Alves (3) and Adriano (2) were the most time were in the infirmary. Nothing to do, then, with the current season, with three players KO of long duration (Afellay, Villa and Fontàs) and some other injuries chaining. In the three most serious cases, the recovery will take them to miss the season or go with the curtain pulling down. Two for breaks in the anterior cruciate ligament in one knee and one with a broken tibia.

The common dominator this year, anyway. is located in the biceps femoris . Up to 11 players casualties have occurred due to rupture or elongation. Iniesta on three occasions, Adriano in two, while Alexis, Cesc, Abidal, Pique, Pedro and Afellay complete the list. And not a single party. Alexis was the worse off. Real Sociedad for the shock-Barça suffered a break that forced him to extend his eight-week recovery. He missed 11 games long for a newcomer who must learn the automation of the workforce. Another of the most affected by the same diagnosis was Iniesta. On three occasions has had to stop, leaving you without participating in eight games in nine if one takes into account a day in which preferred not to forcing.

Pedro has also suffered his own, especially in the beginning of 2012. In mid-January fell by an elongation, of course, in the femoral biceps of the left leg and when was beginning to come into play, an adductor contracture of the same leg has turned away from a title.

For Pep , many alignments have been a puzzle. In defense had to give a lot of laps because Puyol and Piqué agreed low in four games (the final of the UEFA Super Cup, Villarreal, Sevilla and Granada). Luckily Abidal, Alves, Busquets and Mascherano holding up. On average, the Fuentealbilla has conditioned the team. The real drama has been in attack. No Villa nor Afellay, with Alexis brake for a while and Pedro coming and going, Pep has come to form, no less than 24 different offensive lines in 37 games. (via MD)

Tello, the best in Vila-real, is won to repeat in Valencia

The winger of the subsidiary can be the joker in the Cup.

To Cristian Tello took just ten minutes in El Madrigal to convince Pep Guardiola that can be repeated at Mestalla in Copa . Daring and courageous, Sabadell striker became the great rescuer of Barca against Villarreal . Burst down the left and was fast, vertical and deep, dangerous enough gasoline to draw back centers that neither Cesc nor Messi matched twice with the goal. It was his debut in the league, but short enough to make him the most prominent Barca. A good card to be played against Valencia butler.

It was his second competitive match. The former also framed it: l'Hospitalet debut at the Camp Nou (9-0) with two goals and an assist, performing at a high level and forgetting one last season marked by injuries. The emergence dream for any squad, which in his case so he returned home triumphant. (via MD)

[Barça B] Dongou debut with Barça B at 16 years

The Juvenil A forward is "very excited and happy" for playing with the reserves squad. Jean Marie left in the minute 85 in the place of Rodri, in the game against Huesca of the League Adelante he is "Always necessary to be prepared. Where I have to play and do I have to play well, "said the Cameroonian.

Jean Marie Dongou, one of the best players of the Juvenil A, with Barca B debut at age 16. Cameroon played this Saturday for the first time with Barca at the 22nd branch of the League Two hours in the game against SD Huesca. Dongou the pitch came in minute 85, but did not have long demonstrated that it is a good bet in the face of upcoming matches.

Eto'o, who joined Barca from football training Eto'o Foundation is very excited about his debut with Barça B: "For me it was a dream. I am very happy to play with players older than me, which I have much appreciation. " Young striker has been felt welcomed by his fellow subsidiary, and explained that "all congratulated me, and everyone was happy for me."

"Work, not stopped working, and I hope to try to seize the opportunity," he said Dongou. Eusebio Sacristan, who said the Cameroonian and I was doing very well and "could reinforce the Barcelona B at a given moment" when the player is trained with them last weekend, encouraged him to "keep working hard."

Oscar Garcia is also pleased with the debut of Jean Marie: "I am delighted that young players to debut in the second A. We're proud all of us involved in grassroots football, and all we've trained. " He added that "all players who are in Barca's youth player have to pull higher level and become professionals." (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Abidal sealing the weekend

The French side will have a three-year extension conditional on the number of matches to play each course.

Barca this week expected to seal a final renewal of Eric Abidal for three more seasons but the agreement will articulate every year in the number of matches for the French international.

Abidal has announced his contract extension after the Champions League game against Milan at the end of last November. These statements are somewhat misplaced those responsible for the club who understood that Eric had rushed because there were still some important details to be defined. Now, finally, seems to have overcome all obstacles-primarily fiscal in nature and the representative of the player, David Venditelli, hopes to move to Barcelona this week to attend the signing ceremony of the new contract by the player and the president Sandro Rosell.

The formula has been found to have the three years Abidal wanted is the one plus one plus one. That is, we have established a minimum party meetings where each season has to participate for the agreement becomes effective. Blaugrana defender is convinced that you can easily comply and fulfill his desire to hang up his boots dress Blaugrana.

Moreover, in the chapter of the renovations could also produce this same week Isaac Cuenca. The young talent of the quarry, the contract ending June 30 this year, signed through 2015 as a member in good standing of the Barcelona first team.

As for Seydou Keita, who even now African Nations Cup dispute with Mali, is scheduled to meet with Pep Guardiola on his return to Barcelona and, depending on what the coach tells you, choose to listen to any offers or follow at the Camp Nou. (via SPORT)

[Barça B] The 'Transfer' of Eusebio

The square supreme blaugrana already 30 points and closed the day at 10 of the descent, in spite of the fact that the coach of La Seca one doesn't stop to lose players.

The drops that asolan to the subsidiary for diverse reasons is being palliated by the polivalencia of the squad, for the arrival of some new player coming from the cantera and for the appearance of certain pieces that are finally adapting to the outline that exhibit all the teams of Barça with Muniesa, Rodri, Kiko Femenía and Jean Marie Dongou like main characters.

The most curious is the Muniesa, you just add the pivot position of the more usual centre-back and left-back who had also taken on many occasions. "I play where the coach tells me. The interior had when I was small baby, but when I put me in the club and sometimes central left side-back. And now the pivote. It was my second straight game and I found more comfortable. We have to adapt to other positions if the team needs him, "said Lloret de Mar in the mixed zone after the game on Saturday against Huesca.

The second winter 'signing' of B is Kiko Femenía. At last able-bodied and more adapted to the city and the team, and stressed the Alicante against Xerez and last Saturday made an outstanding first half against Huesca. "Do not dial from the first game of the season. My teammates, the coach and my family have helped me a lot and now I feel more comfortable. I can give much more slowly and end up seeing everyone wants to see Kiko, "the former player of Hercules.

Something similar is happening with Rodri. At Seville he struggled to adapt and be finished with a place, a fact that was aggravated by the recovery of Jonathan Soriano. However, Eusebio emulated Pep Guardiola with David Villa and placed it on the left of the attack. Rodri said with a note and is now occupied by departing from the point of attack, to the point of being the 'scorer' team with six 'targets'.

"It started the new Rodri. I'm sure it'll help the team a lot in the second round, "Soriano said the last week. And the technician does not hesitate to confirm this. "He returned to his position and has done a very high level, with great gusto and is bringing us many things," said the La Seca. In fact, Rodri has scored three goals in the last two days.

Poker is completed by Jean Maria Dongou. The Cameroonian youth player is the first year, but takes several days training with Barça B to the absence of Jonathan Soriano (signed for Salzburg), Cuenca and Tello (both with the first team). On Saturday Rodri replaced in the 85th minute and made his debut in the Second Division A with 16 years and 263 days. In addition, yesterday made a goal for the Juvenil A 4-0 to Mataró returned the lead to Oscar Garcia for the tie to two Espanyol in San Francisco. "He has conditions to help when needed," said Eusebio on Africa. (via SPORT)

[Selection] Chile will summon Alexis for the friendly of the Feb 29 against Ghana

The coach Borghi has maintained contacts with the Chilean to know the extent of his injury.

Chile's coach, Claudio Borghi, has confirmed that it intends to claim the presence of Alexis Sanchez to the dispute of the friendly against Ghana which will be held on February 29 in New York.

Over the past week has gone beyond the technician contacted the Chilean striker to inquire about the extent of the left shoulder injury that occurred against Real Madrid. Alexis would have confirmed that their illnesses were mild and that its recovery would be almost immediate. After playing the final minutes of the league match against Villarreal, all doubt has been dispelled.

Claudio Borghi want to go with extreme caution in all matters relating to Alexis Sanchez. In previous clashes, and the front yet have the discharge, the coach complained to the obvious discomfort of Pep Guardiola and Barca club's medical services.

From the Chilean Federation wants to regain the feeling with Barcelona. Alexis Sánchez is indispensable piece in the difficult one on the way to Chile toward the World cup Brazil and it is wanted to preserve to the maximum the interests of the club blaugrana. Do not force the machine more than necessary. So far it seems that Alexis is the claim in New York. (via SPORT)

The wingers are played

The overflow and the sidelines are fashionable in the 'Pep Team'. Old school wingers are back at Camp Nou.

There was a time when La Masia seemed to be the exclusive means of touch, but there was little news front for the first team. The rams, even winger, were a thing of the factory. Since the explosion of Messi, and especially with the arrival of Guardiola, the winger rise of the first team is a constant. Of the 22 'children' that have debuted with the coach, seven (Assulin, Nolito, Pedro, Cuenca, Tello, Deulofeu and Rafinha) can occupy a position for which Guardiola has clinical eye.

Peter led the way, against all expectations sensation Cuenca and Tello is the latest step in asking. "A dream? Debut at the Camp Nou, "said the RFEF summer. Said and done. Cristian stepped the enclosure azulgrana and scored two goals in Cup AL Hospitalet Guardiola After the meeting could not help but smile when asked. "It has many conditions. It can break in one on one and involved much of the game. " After a lull in the team, Tello remained in the branch confirming expectations and improving its Achilles heel. "I need a break point. He is wrong faster than Pedro and Cuenca. It has one point less than Isaac in this section, but then has more goal. Peter is an established player, "said Under-21 coach Luis Milla.

For the three ends coach have a similar profile, much to the style of the school club, in line with the movements of the first team. "We know of the lower. They are players that give amplitude and cause mismatches. Fit into the mechanics of the first team. "

The subsidiary, Tello has become an undisputed player with electrifying football, bold in one on one. In total has scored five goals and passed ahead of players like Femenía and Deulofeu. "It's one of the fastest category and is a very sweet moment," recalls Muniesa. "It is a higher level than most players and many of First Second. Its speed, change of pace and class imbalance are, "he stresses, categorical, Eusebio.

Luis Enrique Tello was recognized as a major influence on the maturation of his game and ensures that looks at players like Fernando Torres and Jesus Navas for further growth. Villarreal appeared before the changed the dynamic of the meeting. His explosiveness and bold yellow and distempered the whole his was the move that ended with a shot from Cesc in the bar. "I did what the coach told me, facing the full-back of my band," he said after the meeting.

The draw left a bittersweet taste footballer but he felt comfortable in the first requirement. Faced with a very tough opponent. "I'm very happy with my debut, but dissatisfaction with the outcome. The call was already a prize and play has been impressive. "

With Afellay, Iniesta and Villa injured the tip of Sabadell could take minutes to return to the first team soon. In Gerard Deulofeu subsidiary, for many the great promise of the lower, is another way. The club wants him away from the spotlight and continues to mature in Second awaiting that achieves the maturity to compete with the first team. The doomsayers are predicting the end of the ends for years. With Guardiola are far from becoming an endangered species. They are more fashionable than ever. (via SPORT)

Valdés: "We have no more margin for error"

The goal assumed that one can no longer give more rope to Madrid and that it is necessary to press the teeth in the League.

Victor Valdes left the record straight yesterday after left behind at home and 13 points in this league. "We have no more margin for error. Villarreal have lost two important points. We have to win all the points that remain. It's what you get. If you want to fight for the league and we can not fail anymore because there is a rival in front is very strong, "said the Barca goal.

The doorman insisted that "we will fight until the end," recalling that "does not go down the arms and less to win a league."

Valdes assumed that the team is "making some specific errors to be analyzed," but in any case found that "the confidence of this group is full."

Regarding the match itself, explained that "we have tried in every way possible," as the main culprit of the draw by Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez, who has made "a sensational game."

He insisted at the time of assessment that "the opponent plays," putting the team eg Castellon, who has "done a great match."

He would not hide behind the heavy casualties that introduced the team to argue the tie: "The casualties can never be excuses. That would be small team. We are what we are and what you get. There is enough equipment to deal with all parties and but that's what the people of the subsidiary, which has a lot of talent and quality. "

Barca goalkeeper would not hide behind the tired to explain the feelings that are offering the team in recent games: "I have the feeling that we are tired. Think you face an opponent who is also playing and no one has said here that this would be easy. Like you have to run them and then play football and win them. "

Valdes admitted that seven-point "is becoming a major disadvantage," but warned that "until the league does not end up not going to stop in our attempt to take the title."

Not even when I insisted on if the team could get carried away in the league at the prospect of winning the Champions Cup and the goal gave budge: "Never."

In fact, explained that "in no case we lost the league," but assumed that "no one to depend on always brings more problems than relying solely on yourself."

Valdes also declined to go further in seeking explanations of what is happening: "I did not say exactly what is happening. The important thing is that the team is working well, but we must continue giving their all and more if necessary." (via SPORT)

[Youth] FCB Juvenil A 4 - 0 FPE Mataró

Òscar Garcia's team was far superior to its rival and has been a new landslide victory with goals from Dongou, Sandro, Edu and Ayala This victory, coupled with a draw against Espanyol San Francisco, replaced in the top of the table to the azulgranas.

Juvenil A has won again, this time in Mataró, and joins his fifth consecutive victory. The victory in the Miniestadi has allowed for Òscar Garcia to reoccupy the top of the classification to a point in Espanyol this Sunday have drawn in the field of San Francisco.

Before starting the party has held a minute of silence in honor of the journalist Dani Montesinos. The first half started with Barça domain. Barça has had the clear first occasion of the game in the minute 9 in a play of Grimaldo for the right wing that Pol Calvet has transformed, but the goal has been annulled by hands of Calvet. However, the first goal of the meeting has not been slow in coming. Grimaldo has taken a corner, Ayala has combed the ball and has topped Dongou, signing it 1-0 after 16 minutes the first time.

The Junior A has continued to enjoy many times, until Sandro set the second on 38 minutes match. The rally began at the feet of Pol Calvet, who has spent Sandro, it has merged with Edu, who has returned, and Barca striker took the opportunity to cross the ball to the far post. Just a few minutes later, Edu has signed the third goal of the day in a play with Miguel Angel on the left wing that has distracted the goalkeeper and defense visitors.

With the game almost sentenced, the second part has continued the same trend. Òscar Garcia The guys have had several clear opportunities to widen the gap as one of Dongou 61 minutes, which has been left alone with the goalkeeper, but Chueca has stopped firing of Cameroon.

Ayala round has finished the match in 64 minutes. Miguel Angel has taken a corner kick and Ayala has become Barca's fourth goal with a header that has entered the post.

The Junior A fight to keep the lead next week against CD Cide, a bottom-placed teams in the classification. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Match Data]
FC Barcelona A: Bañuz, Edu, Grimaldo, Bagnack, Ayala (Bakoyoc, min 69), Samper, Sandro, Patri, Dongou (Quintillà, min 76), Miguel Ángel (Tienda, min 69) and Pol Calvet (Babunski, min 55).

FPE Mataró: Chueca, Guille, Nil, Lluc, Mahillo (Kevin, min 57), Gallart (Mamadou, min 46), Aranyó, Arnau (Xavi Torrent, min 57), Jandro and Yustos (Parri, min 52).

Goals: 1-0, Dongou, min 16; 2-0, Sandro, min 38; 3-0, Edu, min 43; 4-0, Ayala, min 64.

Referee: Carlos Gallardo Martínez.

Kanouté: "I never said Cesc was racist"

Frederic Kanouté to the BBC denies that Cesc would have uttered some kind of insult or racist term.

Sevilla's Malian player, Frederic Kanouté, was interviewed by the BBC, he recorded an interesting video about racism in sport and in particular in football.

During the sequence of images emitted by the BBC, Kanouté is a statement that says Cesc Fabregas did not dedicate any racial slur in the past Sevilla-Barça.

During the meeting, which ended in a draw and was plagued with tension, both players had a hooked.

After the match there was speculation that Fabregas could have uttered a racist insult towards Mali.

Cesc denied it knew about the rumor, stressing that his girlfriend is of Lebanese origin in the Arenys tattoo on his left arm looks, bearing Arabic characters.

This time it's Kanouté has denied that in very strong for the BBC: "I will not explain what he said, is personal. It is sometimes used bad language in the field of play and some players react.'s What happened to me to me, but I never said that he was racist or that I had made any racist comment. I have to be honest in this respect. " (via SPORT)

League and Cup commitments

Barça have two games coming up this week. The first is in the Mestalla stadium against Valencia in the Kings Cup and the second in the Camp Nou against Real Sociedad in the league.

Following a pattern that has marked the month of January, the players will commence training this week focussed on not one but two vital matches, one each in the league and the Cup. On Wednesday Barça will travel down to Valencia (Cup semi-final first leg) while on Saturday they welcome Real Sociedad to the Camp Nou (La Liga).

The first training session of the week will be held behind closed doors at 11 am on Monday followed by a press conference with José Manuel Pinto. Next it will be the turn of Josep Guardiola, who will speak to the media ahead of Wednesday's Cup clash.

The squad will leave for Valencia on Wednesday morning for a 9 pm kick-off. On Thursday, the players will be back at the Club's training grounds for a session beginning at 12 noon.

Another session has been scheduled for 6 pm on Friday and will be followed by the manager's pre-match press conference. On Saturday, as is the norm on home matchdays, the players will have a final training session at 12.30. The match against Real Sociedad will then kick off at 10 pm. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

FIFA World Player 2011 Homare Sawa in Barcelona

Japanese female football team INAK Kobe Leonessa, featuring the FIFA World Player 2011, will be in Barcelona next week for a training camp.

On Thursday, the Japanese champions will take on the FC Barcelona female football team in a friendly that will be broadcast live on Barça TV and can also be watched in streaming video on the Club's YouTube channel (www.youtube.com / fcbarcelona).

The INAK Kobe Leonessa squad, which includes FIFA World Player 2011 Homare Sawa, will be training in Barcelona from Monday until February 7th and will play a friendly against current Superliga leaders FC Barcelona.

The match will be held in the Miniestadi on Thursday 2nd, kick-off 19.30. It is being sponsored by Seiko and is dedicated to the memory of last March's tsunami victims. Match shirts, signed by the players, will be auctioned in Tokyo at a later date.

Apart from Homare Sawa, INAK Kobe Leonessa boast a total of seven players who won the World Cup for Japan in Germany. Last year, INAK Kobe Leonessa won the All-Japan Women Championship and the Nadeshiko League. The presence of the team and of Homare Sawa has attracted a large number of Japanese journalists to Barcelona to follow the training sessions and report on the match. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Villarreal – Barça Match Stats

Tello’s league debut, Piqué’s 100th league appearance or the 15th time Barça players have hit the woodwork this season – just some of the stats to come out of Saturday’s game in the Madrigal stadium.

The match between Villarreal and FC Barcelona, corresponding to the 21st round of La Liga, produced the following stats:

  • Gerard Piqué, who made his debut on 13th September 2008 against Racing Santander, made his 100th league appearance. His record is impeccable – 77 wins, 19 draws and just 4 defeats.
  • Reserve squad winger Cristian Tello made his league debut following on from his first game with the seniors against Hospitalet in the Cup.
  • It was the sixth draw of the season, five of which have come away from home. As Guardiola said in his press conference: "We've conceded too many draws when we deserved to win".
  • Barça have hit the woodwork 15 times in 21 league matches. Of these, eight came away from home and cost the team 7 points. The last example was Cesc's effort in the 79th minute in the Madrigal.
  • Against Villarreal, Barça enjoyed 66% of the possession and 10 shots on goal. The Barça players received 22 fouls. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Cardoner: "We should not be negative"

Jordi Cardoner, Barcelona vice-president, would not give up on the League.

Jordi Cardoner, Barca vice president, like Victor Valdes, also declined to give up on the league even though the club has placed seven points behind Real Madrid. "Away we struggled a little more in the league, but not in other competitions," he began.

For the vice president who led the expedition yesterday official, "we are losing momentum in the competition, but hopefully soon we can catch up. We have to be negative," said Cardoner. "It's a complex situation, but I would like to bring positive aspects such as Taylor's debut in the league," he said on the front of the branch, which will undoubtedly spark and speed contributed to the attack.

Before talking about the game and the state of the team in the league, Cardoner was a nice gesture toward the journalist Dani Montesinos, who died last Thursday in a traffic accident. "He wants to spend a few words in memory of Dani Montesinos, highly professional and excellent person who has left us suddenly". (via MD)