08 February 2012

Llorente: "It would be nice to repeat the end of 2009"

Fernando Llorente said, after qualifying with the Athletic Club for the final of the Copa del Rey eliminating Mirandés San Mamés, that "it would be nice to repeat" the 2009 final against FC Barcelona, ​​even recognizing that "experiences with the club not have been too good ".

"Although we have also shown we can win," he said recalling the league match in San Mamés who drew Leo Messi in the discount and convinced that the Athletic "need not be afraid of any team," said Athletic Club scorer.

Llorente, in talks with the club to see whether or not renewing the contract between both parties ended June 30, 2013, wanted to "congratulate the fans" Athletic "all day" did live in the club Bilbao environment and especially the players, that "they put the willies" for the encouragement received. "Seeing the environment of today and the madness that has been unleashed, of course it makes you want to stay here forever," said international striker, who also was "pleased" by the leading run scorer, 19 goals so far this season and 8 in the last four games. "Although what matters most to me to get a degree in Athletic, which is the biggest thing," he said. (via SPORT)

Guardiola calls six B team for training

FC Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, was available all over Pedro, Busquets and Iniesta for the last workout before facing Valencia in the semifinals round of the Copa del Rey football.

Guardiola sent a gentle training session this Wednesday morning, hours before trascendete Cup match against Valencia Unai Emery.

The Santpedor had available all of the first team, even 'touched' Pedro, Iniesta and Busquets. But he was forced to call six players from the reserves Blaugrana to complete the group. Dos Santos, Tello, Sergi Roberto Montoya, Bartra and Muniesa were elected. (via SPORT)

Barça Plan B works

Pep has increased the responsibility of the subsidiary and the players have responded with results.

In summer, Pep Guardiola decided to cover the short season with a staff of players, 21 in total to address the six official competitions. But injuries, up to 13 players have been or are still low-call some international and unexpected transfer have finished punishing the Barca more than expected, especially in recent months. Despite surmise the idea of going to the winter market, the technician finally decided to draw on team players and Plan B is working.

Meets the needs of the elderly, more than ever, and maintains the solvency of the results. In 39 games, Barca team only lost one. And there was at Getafe played the heavyweights.

Up to 13 B players have been called at some point in the season for Pep . Most, 10 of them have received minutes of the three who remained on the bench, Oier, fulfilled the role of second or third goalkeeper, mainly in the away matches of the Champions League. Five ( Cuenca, Deulofeu, Tello, Rafinha and Riverola ) were beginners.

Cuenca took advantage of his time and is already one more than Barca dressing room. The Reus winger, which equated to a minimum contract even your campus, spoke as a starter in 12 games. Follow Jonathan dos Santos, Sergi Roberto and Cristian Tello, which have gained prominence in the most critical moments, when the nurse hung the sign altogether. The neighborhood of Cifuentes de Sabadell, setting and display in the last league match at Camp Nou.

Pep subsidiary has basically pulled in five games. The more massive call was during the visit of BATE Borisov in the last round of the European league and already secured first place. Six of them formed in the starting line and the match ended with win (4-0). The next vote of confidence came with the second leg at l'Hospitalet dela Cup (9-0) with the tie facing. It is being in this last stretch of the season when the liability has increased with the wounding of Pedro and Iniesta and Xavi and hassle of Alexis. The day of the Real Sociedad, when Real Madrid maintained in Getafe the difference of seven points, Pep played it to him with Dos Santos, Tello and Cuenca and Barça it also won. The other face of the currency is the three clásicos played up to now, one of Liga and two of Copa. Cuenca had two minutes in Bernabéu, enough so that in the capital they saw another jewel of La Masia. (via MD)

Gullit: "Barça is the best, has the best"

One of the many legends of the sport, in this case football, strolling the red carpet at the Laureus was Ruud Gullit . The former Dutch Ballon d'Or in 1987 and European champions the Netherlands (1988) and Milan (1988 and 1989) believes that Barca "is the best team in the world . " "Difruto much watching him play. It is normal for the best in the world because it has the best. Addition to Messi are others like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique ..., "the 'tulip'. Precisely coincided with Pique last Christmas in an NBA game in Miami. "I fell very well," he said.

Gullit did not hesitate when customized in Leo Messi as "the world number one." "It's amazing what he does and everything he has achieved and only 24! I enjoy watching him play. It's like watching a child dressed as a man in the field," Gullit defined crack squad.

Ruud acknowledged that his childhood was marked by Johan Cruyff, Ajax then leader of the first and after Barca and selection Oranje. "I scored a lot of Johan Cruyff . was the mirror that I looked long and I tried to learn. was a genius as a player and coach, "said the now coach, who after leading the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Grozny Chechen is waiting to receive an offer that appeals to retrain.

Indeed, in memory saves a goal of Cruyff as his first memory of football. "My first memory was the goal that Cruyff marked Brazil in the World Cup 74", it remembered who was star from great Milan of Sacchi.

Gullit admitted that go to Spain and Germany as "favorites" for the European Championship. In the Netherlands, Gullit is not all: "We have had a very difficult group with Portugal, Germany and Denmark."

Beckenbauer and Charlton, 'culés''
They could not be present at the Laureus gala, but both Beckenbauer as Charlton, two of the football legends, Barca want to congratulate the prize. "Barca is not limited to being the best team, is one of the world's most spectacular teams," said Franz. "It has magnificent players already that it owes their success Barça, success that will continue", Charlton omened.

How Arsenal can help Barca buy Bale

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is ­planning a major shake-up to help launch a full-scale attempt to sign Gareth Bale this summer.

Guardiola has put Tottenham flyer Bale at the top of his transfer wish-list, ahead of Valencia’s Jordi Alba and AC Milan defender Thiago Silva. They are also keen to land Brazilian ­superstar Neymar to strengthen their forward line.

Barca are ready to offload 20-year-old forwards Isaac Cuenca and Cristian Tello and midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos, 21, to help fund the move for Bale and are also willing to propose a players-plus-cash deal.

They are prepared to listen to offers from England similar to the buy-back deal which took Oriol Romeu to Chelsea in the summer.

Arsenal are watching developments on Cuenca and Tello, while Chelsea are keeping tabs on all three youngsters.

Tottenham insist that Bale is not for sale, but may be facing a major battle to fend off interest from the European champions. (via Daily Mirror)

[Selection Under-16] Call for the international match Spain-England

You can find a list of cited international for international meeting between the teams of Spain and England, to be held in the City of Las Rozas Football on Wednesday 15 February at 12:00 hours. (via RFEF)

A proposal for the National Team, the Royal Spanish Football Federation has called for the party of the reference to the following players:

UD ALMERIA SAD: Antonio Marín Molina y Joaquín Fernández Moreno
CLUB ATLÉTICO DE MADRID SAD: Santiago Canedo Vilariño, Federico Prieto Montejano y Roberto Núñez Mañas
FC BARCELONA: Guillermo Lara Ramos, Xabier Quintilla Guasch, Rodrigo Tarín Higon y Adama Traore Diarra
RC CELTA DE VIGO SAD: Yelko Pino Caride
RC DEPORTIVO DE LA CORUÑA SAD: Javier Fernández Abruñedo
REAL MADRID CF: Juan José Manresa Manresa
MÁLAGA CF SAD: Iván Rodríguez del Pozo y José Antonio Cornejo Rodríguez
SEVILLA FC SAD: Carlos Fernández Luna y Francisco J. Sánchez Rodríguez
VALENCIA CF SAD: Juan Carlos Lázaro Cervera
REAL ZARAGOZA SAD: Héctor Otin Lafuente

A year of the picture of Piqué, Shakira and pictures

This instantaneous media confirmed the relationship.

On Tuesday, February 7 , marked one year since the first photograph appeared to be seen together in Gerard Pique and Shakira . After several months when the tabloids were pursued to try to capture the first image of the couple, the center chose to give him the first blow knowing that he who strikes first, gives twice.

Thus, before waiting for them 'cazasen', Gerard decided to hang on your account Twitter a group photo in which he appeared, Shakira and several friends at the party in which the player and the artist celebrated their birthdays. And is that Pique and Shakira share the same anniversary date: Feb. 2.

Pictured are, apart from the even media partner, Tonino and Lucy, brothers of Shakira; Puyol and their couple of then, Malena Costa; Jaume de Laiguana and Beatriz Matallanas, the singer's friends; and Joan Mas and Pipo Torres, friends of Piqué.

The latter, Pipo, became famous for the pose shown in the photo and his plaid shirt. In fact, Twitter was the concept Trending Topic # eldeloscuadros . It's been a year. (via MD)

'Piojo' Mathieu

As the tip of Argentina against Van Gaal, the French full-back is the bane of the current Barca.

Neither Soldado, Aduriz, Jonás, Paul Hernandez nor Jordi Alba. The great danger of Valenci to tonight at the Camp Nou is a left-back Jeremy Mathieu . At 28, French is becoming one of those players who seem to grown when they face Barca, as in his time did the recordadísimo 'Piojo' Lopez , the bete noire of Louis van Gaal. The best proof of this is that Mathieu has given four goal assists against the team he coaches Pep Guardiola and all shares after virtually identical: break from behind the left wing run to the line and pass into the box looking for the auction of the first of a colleague who comes from behind in the race.

Thus was hatched the goal of Jonás in the first leg last week in Valencia . The French came up, waited a pass from Jordi Alba into space and, after running unmarked because Cuenca had not followed him, got the ball back to culminate Jonás.

In the league, last September, Mathieu was also a headache for Guardiola and his men. The Valencia-Barcelona ended 2-2 and the two 'targets' local paths raids came after Gallo winger. In the 1-0 defense and attacking one of three formed by Puyol, Abidal and Mascherano, Mathieu banda again run a large service gap of Paul. This time the French did not give the killer pass but put a cross parallel to the goal line. Abidal, who got overwhelmed and touched the ball just enough to deflect it towards his goal.

In the play of 2-1, also in the first part, Mathieu again showed his class by banda. Stuck on the sidelines, and squeezed by Mascherano, returned to manage to, in the race, put a cross that caught off guard and allowed to Abidal Paul, just like the one shot Victor.

His first appearance was against Barca in La Liga 2010-2011, and at the Camp Nou. The clash ended 2-1 for the Catalans but started with a goal from Paul again to pass the death of Mathieu after a brilliant raid banda.

Asked by MD on how to stop the French, Lobo and Carrasco gave some clues Charly Rexach. For the first, "Mathieu is a physical marvel that you can destroy the race at 1 minute and 90, so we have to watch him with great concentration. It is best to attack a lot for your band to be worried about defending. And if you can, the best is required to leave at dribbling inside you wait for the central support. " For Rexach "the best is to put an end which requires him to defend and anchor behind. And there is another option for deactivating, if the space is so good, wait back so you do not have space." Pure logic 'made in Charly'

Out of contract this summer and has offers
Jérémy Mathieu signed for three years with Valencia in 2009, bringing the next June 30 is free. The club 'che' want to renew, but so far no agreement. At 28 years, the French have a choice of signing a big contract and offers, especially from Italy (Inter Milan and Roma). Dubbed Robocop for his impressive physical presence (1.93 m.), His great performances in Valencia have allowed her to get the international. (via MD)

[Barça B] Espinosa, the 'another Iniesta' left La Masia

Not only is manchego, interior, has white skin and culé as Iniesta. It is also dedicated to 'wines'.

like wine. Rather, like the wine culture. In fact, proves little. And not just because he is a footballer and play for Barça B. But that has not prevented him to create a company dedicated to those 'wines' next to his brother Koke.

Javier Espinosa has said it has many parallels with Andres Iniesta both play at Barça, they do inside, have a privileged technique and a dynamic vision of the game and both are Mancha (Javier, Talavera de la Reina, Andres, Fuentealbilla). As if that were not enough, and share a fair complexion, the two are passionate about wine culture. While the hero of Stamford Bridge has created his own label, Espinosa has joined with his brother Koke and have done with the exclusivity of lugardelvino.com website for the province of Toledo. The older brother, who is 29, explains that "we are dedicated to small wineries, of great quality, with limited editions."

So far, only dedicated to the distribution and marketing products of high quality, rare in the market. No rule to step up later, since the family is an interesting project in the short, medium and long term. Although Barca B midfielder can not monitor the developments of the company, is a day of everything. His brother is the one who introduced gradually, in the culture of wine. Although he prefers to delegate Koke, since it is focused on continuing to grow as a player in the subsidiary Blaugrana. Last year was young and this season is having an irregular participation in Barca B, but, like good wine matures slowly. (via SPORT)

Villa: "Every day I am more optimistic"

David Villa says on his blog that is working " very hard "to recover as soon as possible and to help Barça and selection in decisive moments.

El Guaje says that " all is well." "I'm meeting all the work I make both doctors and physiotherapists and the truth is that I feel pretty good, taking small steps each day in the right direction," he acknowledges. After removing the screws from the leg on Friday, Villa confident that "from now on, the recovery may continue even faster."

The top scorer in the history of 'La Roja' recalls, "When I hurt, I said my goal was to help FC Barcelona at the end of the season and be available to go to the Euro if the coach deems it appropriate. And every day that passes I am more optimistic because I'm able to get it working very hard on this recovery. " To achieve this would undoubtedly great news for the champions of the World clubs and nations. (via MD)

[Ex-player] Lilian Thuram: "Mourinho is an adult, does not need advice"

The ex azulgrana has taught at the Barcelona conference on respect in the world sport.

The explayer azulgrana Lilian Thuram , who has conducted a conference in Barcelona today about respect in the world of sports, has opined today that Real Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho , is "an adult and does not need advice" regarding their controversial attitudes toward rivals. "No, he doesn't need advice because it is mature. I believe that each one has their personality. He is a mature" person, has said the French explayer who however has urged Barcelona to already not entering in a harmful rivalry with the club blanco to "stay faithful to their philosophy ".

"The Barca has a philosophy of play and behavior that is not common. I hope people take it as an example, because Barça is a good thing for world football, "he asserted in statements to the media. Thus, Thuram has said he does not believe that "a team wins because it has a behavior (better) on the field, but Barca wins because it is better and has better players."

"The difference between Barça and Madrid is that Barça has to stay true to their philosophy of play. The Barça players play together for a long time too. This is the difference," said Thuram, World Champion and Europe with the French national team and explayer teams like Juventus , Parma , Monaco or Barcelona.

Also referred to the action in which the player madridista Pepe stepped into the hand of Barca Lionel Messi during the first leg quarterfinal Cup, and the Portuguese defender received no penalty. "It depends on the reading of this situation. If you are reading that Pepe does not intentionally, then nothing. It is most important, if unintentional or not. When the player says that is not voluntary, what else can you do? "he said.

However, has been surprised to learn that Barça took no action against Pepe to be punished, if he considered it an assault. "But Barça did not ask? Then you're done!" He concluded, laughing.

Some time before and during an hour in the Sala Roma of Camp Nou, Thuram has addressed a group of 200 young people linked to social cohesion programs promoted by the Department of Social Welfare of the Generalitat of Catalonia. There has highlighted the "lucky it was to play at Barça and remember that it is more than a club".

"I played two years and was very important for me because my foundation orchestrated here. The Barca players helped me make a statement about respect for the human race," he explained. "I played two years in Spain and I know that many people talk about race, the black race. Why talk like that, why people are looking through the skin color?" Lamented Thuram.

Accompanied by Minister for Social Welfare of the Generalitat, Josep Lluís Cleries, and the first vice president of the Foundation FC Barcelona, ​​Ramon Pont, Thuram explained to young methods to overcome racist attitudes that exist in our society. Within the campaign "We are what we do, we are what we respect" the Catalan club, Thuram has also visited La Masia and its residents, and participating in a conference this morning at the Catalan Institute for Women, among other activities. (via MD)

Benitez prefiere the Guardiola before Mourinho

The Spanish coach, recently linked with Real Madrid, praised and wagered on the Barca coach at the expense of Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The coach Rafa Benitez, currently without a club after brief tour with Inter Milan in the 2010-11 season, Pep Guardiola praised, coach of FC Barcelona in a statement in which he placed at Santpedor over Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

In an extensive interview with 'El Gráfico', Benítez didn't hide when showing its preferences in the face of the possibility of decanting for one of the mentioned coaches - Guardiola, Mourinho and Ferguson -.

"It's hard, but not to evade the question, I say that I've always liked more the peculiar way of interpreting football, environment and life itself, which is Pep Guardiola," admitted extécnico Inter, Liverpool and Valencia among others.

Benitez also acknowledged the merit of Guardiola at the controls of FC Barcelona. "He has a lot of merit. I believe that their biggest virtue has been to know how to give continuity to the project. To arrive is not as complicated as to stay, he commented, eulogizing the trajectory of the coach of Santpedor in Can Barça.

"You can win one day, but almost always win and win it all ... That has to be by force, merit of the father of the child, the ideologue of the project," he added.

In the case of an interview in 'El Gráfico', could not get around the questions related to the selection albiceleste and its natural leader, Leo Messi Barca, which Benitez praised his role in the national team. "The environment of Barcelona is very favorable to him, is very comfortable. In Argentina it is expected therefore, so many expectations and pressure, the worst that pays below its average level in the culture broth "he said.

"In Barcelona knows it is absolutely crucial and everyone trusts him. Feel loved and played with less pressure. He is a great footballer. His humility can also be key to staying at the highest level for many years. He is a exceptional player and most exciting is the future that lies ahead, "said Benitez on the crack of Barça. (via SPORT)

Emery dismisses Pablo Hernández against Barca

Unai Emery, Valencia coach has called up 19 players for the second leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, the absence of Pablo Hernandez, ruled by the coach.

Regarding the first leg, developments are Bruno Saltor, Portuguese Ricardo Costa and Dani Parejo, who have been included in the call after being discarded by Emery for the first leg. In addition to Pablo, have fallen off the list by Angel Dealbert technical decision and Antonio Barragan, while injury have not entered Sergio Canales, Dutch Hedwiges Maduro and Turkish Mehmet Topal.

The list of players called the integrated Alves, Guaita, Bruno, Miguel, Rami, Ricardo Costa, Ruiz, Alba, Mathieu, Albelda, Ever, Parejo, Tino Costa, Feghouli, Bernat, Piatti, Jonas, Aduriz and Soldado. (via SPORT)

Iniesta and Pedro could have their minutes against Valencia

The presence of Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez was the highlight in the training of Barcelona on Tuesday. The two could have a few minutes against Valencia.

FC Barcelona has trained Tuesday afternoon in the penultimate session before the game on Wednesday against Valencia. The last session will be, as long as there match at Camp Nou, the morning of Wednesday.

Training news Labuena see Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez have already been able to train their peers. It is especially surprising in the case of Manchego midfielder, because, in theory, still would be missing a week to be recovered. However, it seems that everything went better than expected and there are possibilities that may already have a few minutes against Valencia

On the contrary, who was unable to train normally has been Sergio Busquets. Even after the game against Real Sociedad could be said against Valencia, the reality is that the Badia is practically ruled out, although the player would be with their partners in this important match.

However, Pep Guardiola confirmed at the press conference before the game that they all come into the call and one hour before the game the players decide discarded.

The training has benefited from the presence of six players from Barça B, Bartra, Muniesa, Tello, Dos Santos, Sergi Robert and Montoya.

Most likely would be Iniesta, Busquets are Pedro, and even on the bench in case they are needed, while Xavi and Alexis Sanchez have all the numbers to be in the starting lineup. However, the training on Wednesday morning will be the end to dispel doubts. (via SPORT)

[Ex-player] Ronald de Boer: "When you love football you will see Barça"

Ronald de Boer attended Esports COPE microphones and analyzed the Barca youth system and the situation of Ajax Amsterdam.

Asked whether Barca's youth system is the best in the world, De Boer said: "In recent years Barça is very forward in his quarry. Has many talented players. We at Ajax too, but the talent is not enough to arrive. The ranks of Barça and Ajax have the same style of play by the impact of Cruyff. We have very similar styles and philosophy. Although Barça now, I would say, is a step forward. "

On the other hand, the Dutchman praised be his teammate Pep Guardiola: "He's doing an amazing job. When I played with him was very good kid and a fantastic player. And now as a coach also has quality. Mix with it and players is spectacular. When you love football you will see Barça. Players are maxed out. I have much respect for Pep. "

Finally, the exblaugrana responded to the question of whether this is good news that the Court of Amsterdam has revoked the appointment of Van Gaal as head coach of Ajax. "Johan is a triumph. Hopefully we can leave these problems behind, because it is bad for the club. And for the first team where Frank is coaching. May we go forward, although I think it is finished. But all hope that Ajax is in the direction we want. The club has to be footballers and people with experience, "he said. (via SPORT)

[Former B player] Marc Crosas: "I want to continue learning in Mexican football"

t was one of the jewels of the Barca youth system. He played in France, Scotland and Russia. And today, with 24, is the star signing of Santos Laguna Mexico.

The Catalan midfielder has not yet completed its first month of American adventure, but at Santos Laguna and feel at home. And its balance sheet could not be more positive.

"The philosophy we have here, to always win, play well, offensive and striking, is the same as Barça has, relatively speaking, because we have great players, but Barça is Barça," says former Blaugrana in an interview to 'Récord'.

Despite starting as one of the figures of the team, Marc Crosas shown humble, willing to "learn more" as he did earlier in Lyon, Celtic Glasgow and the Volga Nizhny "To say that this will see the best of me would be a bit hypocritical, because I have two weeks and have not proved anything. I hope you can see the best Marc "he explains.

The former Barcelona denies that his intention is to gain momentum in the future to return to the Spanish league, "All I've had experiences I have lived a day, and if I'm thinking I want to do well here to return to Spain would be a mistake and a lack of respect for the institution trusts me and gives me the chance to play as the Saints. I owe it all to the club and the fans, "he says. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Giuly: "Barca win the Champions"

The exblaugrana Ludovic Giuly is complicated that the club can win the league this season but predicts that "going to win the Champions".

Giuly attended Esports COPE and analyzed the system used by FC Barcelona. "" The system of Barca is having extreme rapids. In this system there is none like Barcelona, ​​"said French.

Giuly said that "everyone wants to play at the club, no other club like this." And predicted: "The league will be difficult, but will win the Champions".

About Pep Guardiola, the Frenchman said that Blaugrana coach "does an awesome job and has a level that is difficult to overcome."

Finally, Giuly wanted to make clear that "as a Barca player was the maximum of my happiness." (via SPORT)

Lionel Messi - Goals for different tastes.

El Valencia ya está en Barcelona

Guardiola: “It's a very demanding match”

The manager believes that the match against Valencia this Wednesday will be “very demanding,” and that the “players need match ready” in order to get to the Cup final. On the players that are dealing with minor fitness issues, he said, “Xavi is OK, Alexis is getting there and Busquets’ fitness is the most doubtful”.

Josep Guardiola acknowledged that in the Cup everything is going according to plan: the team will play in the Camp Nou for a spot in the final, after managing a 1-1 draw in Mestalla, in front of a home crowd. “It’s a perfect situation, we’re close,” said the manager, he also dismissed injures as a possible excuse for a hypothetical exit from the competition. “We’ll play 11 vs 11, 7 men will be on the bench and we’re on form. This is a game of men, it’s vey demanding, we need people that are ready to play,” he said. On the match-ready players, he said: “the most doubtful player is Busquets, Xavi is OK and Alexis is getting there, even though he still has a little discomfort.”

After the one-all draw at Mestalla, Guardiola said that the result was good ahead of the return leg. Why? Because didn’t allow for a euphoric atmosphere that can sometimes come after a big away-leg victory -like what happened after the Bernabéu- and because it obligates the players to go for the win at the Camp Nou. Ahead of Wednesday’s match, Guardiola dismissed a possible 0-0 draw as a likely outcome: “only by winning are we going to get to the final.” He added: “I imagine that we’ll have to play a good game and we’ll have to score.”

When asked about Banega and his importance within the Valencia squad, Guardiola was clear: “Banega is a fantastic player. We’ll have to be plugged into the game to render Banega ineffective. If they are behind us, Bandega won’t be as big of an issue, if we’re behind them, Banage will be key.”

The manager, however, preferred to make a broader analysis of Valencia: “they are a team that have always given us a lot of problems ... similarly to Real Sociedad.”

During the press conference, Guardiola reiterated his message: “I know that we’ve won a lot of titles, but these players want to reach another final. The Cup final is one of the most beautiful ones.” For this reason, the match this Wednesday is key. It’s not everyday that you qualify for a final. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pedro and Iniesta train with the group

The forward and the midfielder, both of whom took part in part of the tram training on Monday, completed today’s training session alongside their teammates. Busquets worked apart from the group.

ood news for FC Barcelona and Josep Guardiola, this Tuesday afternoon both Pedro and Iniesta trained in the team’s penultimate training session before the match against Valencia. Both the players trained with complete normality with the rest of their teammates. It’s worth noting that on Monday both Pedro and Iniesta completed part of the first-team training session.

The Barça B players, Tello, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Montoya, Bartra and Muniesa also trained with the first team.

Another injured first-team player, Sergio Busquets, trained apart from the group. The midfielder sustained an injury to the inside of his right knee in the match against Real Sociedad.

the ex-player Gianfranco Zola didn’t want to miss FC Barcelona’s pre-match training session. The Italian, who was also watched the Juvenil A team practice, is in training to become a manager. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Zola: “The majority admire Barça”

The ex-player and now manager Gianfranco Zola considers that Barça plays “exceptional football.” Despite the difficulty of winning two Champions League titles in a row that “if anyone can do it, they can”.

The Juvenil A training session had a very special visitor today, the ex-footballer Gianfranco Zola. The Italian, who is in training to become a manager, praised Barça’s play: “I believe the same thing that everyone else does, they play spectacular football, very pretty to see.” According to Zola, “the majority of supporters admire Barcelona because of their fantastic football and for the type of players they have.”

Zola talked about Barça’s chances winning the Champions League two seasons in a row, a feat that no team has been able to accomplish since the new Champions League format was implemented: “it’s a big challenge because it’s not easy to win the Champions League, even more so for a team like Barça, having won so much. However, if anyone can do it, they can.”

Zola highlighted Barça’s 13 out of 16 titles under Guardiola and said, “for a professional athlete it’s not normal to enjoy so much consistency. This is exceptional.” He added: “I’m confident that Guardiola is one of the best managers of the world.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

‘More than a team’ at the Laureus Gala

The video was shown during the Laureus Gala where FC Barcelona was crowned 2011 World Team of the Year.

Here’s a summary of the best moments of Josep Guardiola’s Barça, Laureus World Team of the Year, during 2011. The video made its debut during yesterday’s Laureus Gala.

The recap video is accompanied by phrases that go hand in hand with Barça’s values: ‘More than a Club. More than the Camp Nou. More than beautiful football. More than a team. The team of the year.' (via FCBarcelona.com)

Laureus Award tops off a year of recognition

The award for the best sports team of 2011 is the latest in a long list of awards won by FC Barcelona and its players in yet another fantastic year. It is only the second time that a soccer club has won the Laureus Award for the team of the year.

FC Barcelona was one of the big winners at the Laureus Awards ceremony last night in London. President Sandro Rosell collected the award for the best sports team of 2011. This was yet another honour bestowed on Barça in recognition for their amazing football and collection of major trophies, including the third consecutive Liga title and the Champions League at Wembley, not to mention both the Spanish and European Supercups and the Clubs World Cup in Japan. FC Barcelona therefore become only the second soccer team to collect the award after Manchester United back in 2000. The award is more traditionally given to national, Olympic or Formula One teams.

FC Barcelona have won all kinds of honours in recent times. The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IHFFS) named Guardiola's side the best of 2011 with 367 points. Leo Messi was also named top goalscorer, Xavi best playmaker and Guardiola the best coach.

The global press has also been honouring Barça. Following the victory at the World Clubs Cup in Japan, the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) named FC Barcelona the top team of 2011, and also gave the club the fair play trophy.

But more local associations have also been honouring Barça. At the 'Festa de l'Esport Català' (Catalan Sports Fiesta), organized by the Unión de Federaciones Deportivas Catalanas (UFEC) and the newspaper 'Sport', the world champions were named best men's sports team of 2011, where Víctor Valdés also collected a prize for the best Catalan sportsperson. And at the 'Mundo Deportivo' gala, Carles Puyol collected the Fair Play award and David Villa took the Extraordinary Award.

Plenty of individual titles

Barça have a great team, but also some truly outstanding individuals, and in recent years it has become a common sight to see them collecting trophies. Messi recently won his third Ballon d'Or in Zurich, where five FCB players, Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves. were in the All Star XI, while Guardiola was named best manager. UEFA also made the Argentinian the best player in Europe at their ceremony in Monaco last August. In the domestic league, the LFP presented awards to all of Valdés, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Guardiola, while Valdés also won the Zamora Award for the best goalkeeper for the fourth time. (via FCBarcelona.cat)