01 February 2012

Iniesta, Pedro and Afellay recover in La Mola with the physiotherapist Emili Ricart

Andrés Iniesta, Pedro Rodríguez and Ibrahim Afellay, three of the players that have not been able to travel to Valencia to dispute the semifinals of the Copa del Rey for lesion, have carried out their session of today recovery together.

Accompanied by the physiotherapist of confidence of the majority of first team players, Emili Ricart , Iniesta and Pedro, with individual muscle injuries, and Afellay, who had surgery on the knee today have climbed the mountain of La Mola (Natural Parc Sant Llorenç Munt), among Matadapera Terrassa and to regain muscle tone and oxygenate the lungs, despite the low temperatures were recorded early in the morning.

Emili Ricart has photographed the three players, well sheltered, and Pedro has posted the image on your twitter account (@ _pedro17_) with the following message: "With my friends and Andrew Ibi, training in the mountains. Good luck to my fellow for the match tonight. Mood !!!". (via MD)

[Former player] Víctor Sánchez: "I didn't have any problem to understand each other with Espanyol"

Victor Sanchez acknowledged that knowing the interest of the club Espanyol in acquiring his services had "no problem" to reach an agreement.

The Catalan midfielder, 24, who has been officially unveiled today as the new Spanish player was without a team after the economic collapse of Neuchatel in Switzerland.

"It was very tough six months, thinking more-sporting issues in football and now you want to enjoy the most beautiful because it" has recognized the player.

The versatility of Víctor Sánchez is one of its main features. "I feel more comfortable in midfield but I'll play wherever the coach, either there or lateral. I talked to him and told me much confidence in me," he pointed the player, who stressed "the great atmosphere of the locker room. "

On the other hand, Catalan explained that two weeks ago suffered an injury and his participation in the next league match is discarded.

"Then we'll see, but we have to be careful. Anyway I'm in the final phase of recovery and I have thrilled to play," he commented.

Víctor Sánchez has emphasized the home as one of the key reasons for their decision-white sign for the whole "It's a club that does not form so you can not sign and has no money problems, and that in Spain it is important. Also, I very much appreciate being home with my family and friends. " (via SPORT)

[Ex-player] Schuster: "Guardiola has Barça on his knees"

The Real Madrid excoach is surprised by the power that Guardiola exercises in FC Barcelona.

Schuster continues to analyze the current situation between Barcelona and Madrid from a distance, and after their events contrary to the approach of Mourinho, now it is the turn of Pep Guardiola.

"Pep has Barça on his knees. What has Guardiola in Barça has had it few or none. I have never done a coach in Barça with so much hand in the club", commented on the Punto Radio.

Also referred to the second leg of Copa del Rey at Camp Nou referring to the superiority of Real Madrid at different times of the meeting. "Barca do not have that philosophy to overcome Real Madrid."

To finish, wanted to give new life to his words about Mourinho and would align closer than far from the Portuguese coach. "I am much more pro than anti Mou, but when a thing is not it good to say." (via SPORT)

Valencia-Barça: Did you know?

Tonight's match will be a clash of styles, two interpretations of how should be played football. Guardiola’s men have scored the most goals (20) in the competition while Los Che have conceded the least (3). (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Here’s a list of interesting facts about the two teams in the Copa del Rey:

  • FC Barcelona and Valencia have played against each other in the Cup 18 times. Barça has won 11 of the ties.
  • When considering the five semifinal ties between the two teams, the record is practically even: three victories for Barça, two for Valencia
  • In the five times the teams have faced off in the semifinals, the winner has always gone on to win the title.
  • In the semifinals of the 1989/90 season, an incredible goal from Ronald Koeman 10 minutes from full time saw the Catalans through to the final. With the 1-0 at the Luis Casanova stadium, Barça was virtually eliminated from the competition, seeing that the away leg ended with 2-1. Barça won the trophy in the championship match over Madrid (2-0).
  • The last time Valencia beat Barça in a Cup semifinal was in the 2007/08 season. Los Che, trained by Ronald Koeman, won the title in the end but they fought to stave off relegation in the League.
  • The teams had to play a tiebreak match in the semifinals of the 1962/63 season, which the Azulgranas won by 1-0. The away leg ended with a one-all draw and the return leg with a two-all draw (no home-goal advantage was given during that time)
  • The biggest goal margin in a Cup match between the two sides came in the 1952/53 season when Barça won by 5-0. The 7-3 win in the first ever Cup (Copa Alfonso XIII at that time) tie is also worth mentioning.
  • Besides the semifinal duels, Valencia and Barça have played each other in the final three times. Barça won two (1951/52 and 1970/71) and Valencia won one (1953/54)

Barça is in Valencia

The team of FC Barcelona has already landed in Valencia where he has traveled this morning to play the first leg of the semifinals of Copa del Rey to the set of Unai Emery .

The team, which has released new travel gear and new company-AlbaStar-has been received by hundreds of fans in the city of Valencia. Next to the insole they have traveled the president Sandro Rosell and directive Jordi Moix, Pilar Guinovart and Manel Arroyo.

Valencia has received a whole Guardiola no trace of the Siberian cold wave with temperatures better than in Barcelona. The Catalan team will now concentrate on the hotel until before the game. (via MD)

Jordi Alba, futuristic culé, ​​will be scrutinized

Barça aspires to incorporate him next summer.

Barça will be measured tonight to Jordi Alba's Valencia, a player that is underlined in red in the calendar from the team face azulgrana to next summer. While the footballers and own Pep Guardiola concentrates on trying to win Valencia, the ojeadores of the club will take good note from the tier of the evolutions of the Catalan defender that has not still signed its renovation like 'che.'

After the departure of Maxwell in the current winter market, despite the renewal of Éric Abidal, Barca aims to strengthen the next season with a left-back. Jordi Alba has many numbers to come. Of course, he must decide. (via MD)

Pinto, love and hate at the Mestalla

They won the Cup in 2009 and lost the 2011.

José Manuel Pinto back today to defend the goal Barca at Mestalla nine months after losing there (0-1) the final of the Copa del Rey against Real Madrid. The goalkeeper of Puerto de Santa Maria does not have very good memories of that loss to the whites, champions thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo goal in overtime, but the other end copera won two years earlier (4-1) in the same scenario against Athletic Club de Bilbao.

In 2009, Barça overcame the so much initial of the vitoriano Gaizka Toquero and Pinto, 33, held in Valencia which was her first professional title without successful Intertoto Cup in the summer of 2000 with Celta de Vigo. Now take 13 as a bodyguard and Victor Valdes.

That of tonight will be the first encounter of the tournament of KO that the Cadiz goalkeeper dispute at the Mestalla against Valencia, which is already measured in the 2010-11 League contributed to the triumph (0-1) Barca goal holder. Valdes did not make the call because of an injury. Celta's shirt appeared four times in the league on the fief 'che' but never won (one draw and three defeats) and left his unbeaten framework. (via MD)

[Barça B] Dongou: "I am excited and happy"

The African centre-forward, of only 16 years, enjoyed the Saturday of his first minutes in the silver division.

On Sunday, Jean Marie Dongou opened the scoring in the victory of the Juvenil A team that returned to Oscar Garcia to lead. Nothing remarkable: the African tip drill is fed up of goal in the División de Honor de juveniles and it's one of the names marked in red on the grassroots Blaugrana. The exceptional thing spent on Saturday, when Eusebio offered Dongou his first minutes in Second Division. He left in the 85 already substituting Rodri with the game resolved and was determined not only time to show their quality, but at only 16 years and has successfully completed one of his dreams, his debut with Barça B. "I am excited and happy to play with players bigger than me, was one of my dreams," said the African, the first player from Eto'o Foundation to reach the branch.

In the Juvenil, Dongou is now the top scorer did the category with 17 points and the subsidiary have opened the doors. The march of Swiss football Soriano and heavy casualties in the first team to allow you to have a chance. The player has promised to "work" and his coach, Oscar Garcia, and has given his blessing. "We are proud that young players debut in the second," declared the coach of Sabadell. (via SPORT)

With the best equipment possible to Valencia

Pep victimhood has fled to focus on drawing the eleven for the match at the Mestalla. Yesterday he tested tactics.

With a team depleted by injuries physically, but with the moral more burdened than ever, Barça will be presented tonight in Mestalla with the best eleven possible. Victimhood is not a good travel companion, so that instead of wasting time complaining about the low long-term how do those of David Villa, Andreu Fontàs or Ibrahim Afellay, sudden injuries Andres Iniesta or Pedro and the absence Keita, Pep Guardiola spent a busy day of work yesterday to outline the team in securing the first leg of the semifinals.

The rotations for which the coach has always been committed are becoming more complicated. However, the Catalan coach may choose to leave on the bench tonight Gerard Piqué. The centre-back, which has started nine of the last ten games Barca could rest entry tonight. The Barcelona had to be replaced in the last league game with discomfort in his right knee, so it might take place tonight Javier Mascherano.

With a mediocampo azulgrana in the one that Busquets would take charge of the contention and Xavi and Thiago of the creation, Guardiola will have to return to Alexis, who had already Villarreal minutes after recovering in record time in the right shoulder injury . Leo Messi and Cesc Fabregas will complete the attack, with the collaboration of tireless Dani Alves, who is the joker in the band right thanks to both its speed and versatility.

The team changed his training routine yesterday and spent a double session to prepare for the meeting. Guardiola worked with the fifteen available of the first team player and seven players of the branch.

faces Barca's game tonight after two draws followed by Madrid and Villarreal. Anyway, draw two straight games has never been a problem for Pep. The present is the sixth time that the Catalan box chains making tables and two games behind them, always came the reaction. And some of them as spectacular as apotheosis, as in the 2008-09 season, when after a draw at Mestalla (2-2) and against Chelsea at the Camp Nou (0-0), the third game resulted in this historic as unforgettable 2-6 at the Bernabeu. Unable to find a better omen. (via SPORT)

18 players summoned for Mestalla

Josep Guardiola has summoned the 15 with the first team and three players from Barça B for the match on Wednesday in Valencia for the first leg of the semifinals of Copa Afellay, Villa, Fontàs, Pedro and Iniesta injured, in addition to Keita , are the six team absences.

Guardiola repeats squad. The same 18 players who traveled to Villarreal (0-0) on Saturday for the league match on Wednesday will do well to Mestalla, where the team will play the first leg of the semifinals of Copa The list thus consists of the 15 available from the first team and three players from Barça B (Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos and Tello). Just missing the injured Afellay, Villa, Fontàs, Pedro and Iniesta, plus Keita, who is competing in the African Nations Cup.

Prior to that the squad, Josep Guardiola has worked with the available 15 first team and seven players from the B (Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos, Tello, Bartra, Montoya, and Rodri Muniesa). It was the first training Isaac Cuenca as first team player. Remember that Tuesday afternoon signed a new contract. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Barça and the environment of Thiago deny the offer of Málaga

Barça has denied to Mundo Deportivo a supposed offer of 30 millions of euros of Málaga for Thiago.
The player's environment has also denied to that Mazinho was yesterday in Málaga.

Reliable sources of FC Barcelona have denied to Mundo Deportivo the existence of an offer of 30 million euros from Malaga to sign Thiago Alcántara . The Catalan club also intends to negotiate the transfer of Spanish international was renovated last year in June 2015.

The environment of the player also has denied to Mundo Deportivo that Mazinho was yesterday in Málaga since it takes two weeks in Rio de Janeiro and has been " very upset "that such rumors appear .

Various media reports claimed that the Andalusians wanted to gain the services of Thiago for this winter market, ending at twelve o'clock this night. The reason is the rejection by up to three occasions to hire Malaga offers the Croatian Luka Modric , offensive midfielder Tottenham . (via MD)

Guardiola: "Let me believe that we can win again"

The manager believes that this is a “fascinating challenge” that gives meaning to his profession. Guardiola said that he has blind faith in his players and that they “astound” him each time they don’t win a match.

With the quality football that’s been produced under his tutelage, with the titles the team has won under his management and with a firm belief in the squad he has at his disposal, Josep Guardiola called upon Barça fans and members to believe in this team ahead of the Cup semifinal away leg against Valencia. The manager has faith that his team will get back on track, despite the long list of injuries and being seven points down to Madrid in the League: “I believes that we can do it once again. We’re almost at the point of no return, but we have 18 games left not 5. A lot of people believe the League is already lost, but they will not convince me.”

Guardiola believes this is a unique opportunity to build upon what his players have already accomplished: “what we must try to do is extend what these players have already done. It’s a challenge that I impose on myself. It’s a fascinating challenge. It’s gives meaning to my profession.” Even though the team has not won in its last two matches, the manger believes that no title is beyond reach. “Let me believe that we can win again, and if we cannot, we’ll congratulate our opponents,” said the manager. He graded his team’s performance in the League so far with an "8.5 or 9" out of 10 “but the other team is performing at a 9.5 or 10.”

The team has received some criticism in the last couple of days because of the goalless draw with Villarreal. However, the support and faith shown in the team by the public to mount a title-winning fight back has been almost overwhelming: “it’s normal for people to have faith in us now. We’ve done well for a long, long, long time, and you don’t know how hard that is ... the players must put in the effort to continue. They will regret it if they don’t. It happened to me. We cannot give up yet,” said the manager.

Guardiola’s press conference was captivating. The coach said that his team’s morale hasn’t hit “rock bottom,” quite the contrary: “in Villarreal they ran more than ever. We didn’t go to sunbathe. It’s astounding to me that they get so sad when they don’t win. I have absolutely no doubts about their mentality ... if the ball just barely doesn’t go in, we just need to put in a little more work.” The manager reiterated his point by using the Australian Open championship match between Djokovic and Nadal as an example - the Spanish tennis player’s shot, which would have given him a very clear advantage, missed its mark by mere centimeters. Just a little more is needed and the victories will return.

The manager heaped praise on Barça’s Cup rival: “Valencia has always been a strong side these last four years. They are a great team, strong in every position. It has always been a good test to compete against them. They are aggressive and fast, they impress me.” The Valencia-Barça League match at Mestalla ended in a draw (2-2).

Guardiola also said there was little to no chance of picking up a new player during the winter transfer window: “we’ve thought about it, but I highly value the reserve players and I want to use them. I have no doubts about the footballers from the B team. If we have injuries, we’ll give the youngsters a chance. Cuenca, Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos, Bartra, Montoya ... whenever they play they do a good job.”

On the referee debate started by some Spanish newspapers, he said: “I continue believing that Barça does not complain about the referees. It’s entirely different to opine if a certain play was or wasn’t a penalty, but we know that they [referees] have the right to make mistakes. Ever since I started managing, I try to think that the refs do not exist. President Rosell has been exemplary since he started, just like President Laporta. We have never turned the referees into an excuse [for adverse results]. My conscience is clear, because I respect the referee system, because it doesn’t help me if I do complain, and because not only do I represent myself, but an institution as well.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Former player] Motta leaves to PSG

Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta Italian-up now Inter Milan player, has signed for Paris Saint-Germain.

Motta, 29, former player of Italian international and Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, ​​played for Inter since 2009, when it came to the club "Nerazzurri" Italian from Genoa, and in the nearly three years has won 6 titles, including a Italian League, the Champions League, Club World Cup and two Italian Cups. In the statement, the Inter wishes all the luck in the world to the player during the rest of his career in France with PSG, who coaches the Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

PSG, who has also made official the signing of midfielder, presented Wednesday at a press conference (14.30 GMT) to the player, in the presence of PSG's sporting director, the Brazilian Leonardo. Although not detailed or the cost or duration of the contract, both the French and the Italian press set at 10 million euros the transfer of the player, who signed for the remainder of the season and two more. Transalpine means also state that the player will have a salary of 2 million euros.

The signing of contracts Motta winter ends Parisian club owned by an investment fund Catari, which also confirmed the arrival of two Brazilian defenders, Maxwell, from Barcelona, ​​and Alex, Chelsea, besides the coach. (via SPORT)

Agreement to annul Hleb's contract

FC Barcelona and the Belarusian player have come to an agreement to part ways. The player’s contract, which was up on June 30th of this year, has been annulled.

This Tuesday afternoon FC Barcelona and Alexander Hleb announced that both sides have agreed to annul the contract that would otherwise keep the player at the Club until June 30th, 2012.

Hleb played a total of 35 games with the first team in Guardiola’s treble-winning 2008/09 season (18 in the league, 9 in the Champions League and 8 in the Cup). Afterward, the player was on loan with Stuttgart, Birmingham City and Wolfsburg. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Emery: "It's hard to talk about bad times of Barca with Guardiola"

Valencia coach, Unai Emery, said that "it is difficult to talk about bad times" with the Catalan team coach Josep Guardiola on the bench.

"Even if we see the tie against Real Madrid, is difficult. The positives of this team win outweigh the negative. We can take the negative, as the party did against Villarreal, but do not want my players to think that Barcelona will be at a low level, "he added.

For Emery, the team must "make things even better" than in other games against rival tomorrow, although he acknowledged that "not easy" despite the Valencia "can."

"There have been many previous games with good feelings at the last moment have not earned. Tomorrow we have a high demand and demonstrate in the field," said Valencia coach.

For Emery, "after this door in reference to the round against Barcelona is a final. The illusion will find out a vibrant and beautiful," but is "led to a victory."

The coach admitted that the intention of the team is to "win at the Mestalla," although there is a second priority, "of having a clean sheet and leave with more than one goal difference" in the first leg, as well as to end the meeting "with eleven players."

"We prevented. Barcelona is always dangerous, casualties may be important for them, but they have other important players," he detailed the Basque coach.

Emery pointed out that the team must "improve the performance on Sunday and the match against Real Sociedad, and have as such parties as the previously played for Barcelona or Real Madrid," all of the league.

"The surprise factor is diluted every time we play against them, repeating pattern of play. Repeat the game plan with Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba will not have much impact as a surprise for them, they can sense how we play, and we as they will do, "he detailed.

Asked about the cases of Barcelona players that according to medical reports are injured for some weeks or inconvenience to the party, and then the eleventh part of the Catalan team, Emery has responded with irony.

"For us we have been fallen Albelda, we have Soldier's serious lesion in the knee, we are diminished," said amid laughter from reporters.

Complaints about Barcelona president Sandro Rosell with respect to arbitrations, Emery said that "down the road, all are harmed or benefited" and "great are the least have to protest." (via SPORT)

Marcelo Bielsa's Man-marking system (Athletic Bilbao 2 Barcelona 2)

Cuenca signs extension to contract

On Tuesday afternoon, Isaac Cuenca signed a contract to extend and improve his association to FC Barcelona until June 30, 2015. The striker has become a full member of the first team.

The extension and improvement of Cuenca's contract was signed at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, minutes before the second training session of the day. Isaac Cuenca was joined by his family and his agent, Josep Maria Orobitg. FC Barcelona was represented by the president of the Club, Sandro Rosell, the vice president for the sports area, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the director of the sports area for football, Andoni Zubizarreta.

The player and club announced last Friday that they had reached an agreement until June 30, 2015 and this was set down in writing this afternoon. Cuenca is now a professional first team footballer, wearing number '23'. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The FC Barcelona Foundation and Intervida have signed an agreement for the management of international XICS centres

This agreement means that the international cooperation charity will start managing the XICS in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ecuador. “Intervida will help us to improve our XICS”, stated President Rosell.

Sandro Rosell has expressed his satisfaction with this agreement because “Intervida will help us improve the development of our XICS … and their help means we can dedicate resources to other future projects".

The FC Barcelona Foundation’s agreement with Intervida means the club will be able to collaborate with an international specialist in children’s education, which will now manage the XICS (International Network of Solidarity Centres) in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ecuador, countries where Intervida is already operating. The presentation was attended by the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, the first vice president of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Ramon Pont, the director general of Intervida, Marcel Abbad, and the director general for Law and Legal Entities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Santiago Ballester.

Sandro Rosell expressed the importance of Intervida to the club, because “it is an entity that will help us to develop our XICS … we are very grateful for their help because it means we can dedicate resources to other future projects”. Ramon Pont was also pleased with the agreement with Intervida, which he describes as “an organisation that works on charity actions around the world … this is the start of a long collaboration that will help us to grow”. Meanwhile, Santiago Ballester said that Tuesday’s announcement “is an agreement that has resulted from an understanding between two emblematic institutions”, and explained how the Generalitat is keen to promote actions like this. Marcel Abbad, director general of Intervida, underlined the importance of the fact that “the Barça Foundation and Intervida share the same values”.

FULL: www.fcbarcelona.com