11 February 2012

Barca travel to Pamplona to be measured at Osasuna

Barca and is on track to Pamplona . The expedition has left Barca to El Prat airport about 10am. was the capital of Navarre, where they will face this afternoon (20h) at Osasuna.

With Tito Vilanova and recovered Iniesta and Pedro as major developments, the 19 summoned by Guardiola (the 16 first team players available and the canterano Sergi Roberto, Cristian Tello and Jonathan Dos Santos) have taken the plane that will take you to Pamplona to the 11:45 h.

Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary of the club, and managers Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pilar Guinovart also part of the expedition.

The main hurdle that Barca will find the weather, which is expected to be ugly head. (via MD)

Mourinho himself held a Cup with Barca at the Bernabeu

June 28 1997 vibrated with the victory against Betis in the last game of Robson as coaching staff.

The match was so vibrant that triggered a celebration just as spectacular. Barça had won the Copa del Rey in Santiago Bernabéu and one of the happiest men in the grass of Chamartín was José Mourinho, the second coach of Barça, assistant of Bobby Robson in a team that also won Supercopa of Spain and the Copa del Rey.

For Barca, who beat Betis 3-2, the match at the Bernabeu was a end of cycle: Bobby Robson had already agreed leaving the bench because Louis van Gaal was waiting in the room and the situation of Jose Mourinho was surrounded by uncertainty.

The Portuguese had no clear future after the game and admitted his shock sensations. "I'm happy but sad at the same time it left a big group. Talk to the managers because I have one year left on his contract, but there is another club that I expected, "said even at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Without knowing what role he reserved the club, the Luso said that if he left Barça, "will be with the head held high and proud of the achievements. Three titles are many and I doubt that someone else can get, but for these players, I'd love it lograsen ". Mourinho also dropped did not understand that the club would not have given continuity to its tandem with Bobby Robson. "But I've learned to respect the decisions of those in command," he said.

In the end, Mourinho at the club blaugrana continued as part of the coaching staff as Van Gaal responsible for conducting the technical reports on opponents of Barca, and a couple of years later he returned to work as assistant coach with the Dutch coach, after the Koeman output. (via SPORT)

[Barça B] Tello and Cuenca and have substitutes at Barca B

Blaugrana will try to add this afternoon his third straight win in the Mini Estadi after winning with authority to Xerez (2-0) and Huesca (4-2).

The first team needs have changed the face of the subsidiary. If Cuenca became Guardiola orders for several months now have been joined by Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos and Tello, ie, four building blocks in the plot offensive. With so many absences, Eusebio stressed the importance to take a step forward two of the three signings for this season: Kiko Femenía and Rodri. And both are responding dramatically.

Upon arrival, Rodri ran into the reality that Jonathan Soriano was injured for two months and had to assimilate Barça philosophy with little time. Soriano scored a goal against Depor, but now the turn of the Salzburg player moved to the left 'in plan Villa'. However, the exsevillista is performing at a high level but has since returned to the point and has scored three goals in the last three games, they added that until then.

Other than going through their best moment since joining Kiko Femenía. The alicantino also has had to adapt to football as Barca rcaracteriza particular, very different from that developed the Hercules. So much so that the Alicante began to disappear from the alignments and between week 6 and at 20 he started only twice until Tello progress to the first team has reopened the door of eleven. Kiko has started the last three days and scored against Huesca his second 'target' of the season.

The two points to share the attack today Gerard Deulofeu 18.00 in the Mini to Cartagena. In principle, Eusebio keep the same team that has added seven of the last nine points, with Muniesa as a pivot. Lobato flat will be played on the left lateral position, while Espinosa and Riverola will do with the final spot in midfield.

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Rios resort to trivote to try to stop the Blaugrana touch football. At last came the Guinean Ivan Bolado, but he did several days later and the technician has left off the list. It also seems to be sanctioned.

Eusebio: "Cartagena will come for all and we must be vigilant"

Eusebio Sacristan stressed the importance of the meeting and said Cartagena make things very difficult. "Continue with this game would give us more confidence. It's an important game. The opponent is down there, but wanting will surprise us and we must be vigilant, "said Valladolid coach. The coach played down Barcelona 0-4 in the first round Cartagonova Stadium. "It was another time. They have managed to leave the situation as bad where they were after the start, with many doubts. They have skilled players on offense and will go everywhere, "said Eusebio. (via SPORT)

[Barça B] Objective: To continue the good run

18 hours, Esport3: Barça B faces the Cartagena Carmona's old team, on Saturday at the Miniestadi The subsidiary has since 16 October in a game against Guadalajara, unbeaten at the Miniestadi. In total, 4 wins and 3 draws.

The subsidiary has been trained on Friday at 11 am for the last time before the game Saturday against Cartagena (18.00 hours Esport3) . The staff thinks only continue the good run of recent days and could get the 3 points of confrontation, to be played on home soil.

Eusebio Sacristan's team remain unbeaten in the last three games of the second division. In total, a goalless draw and two wins, both by 2 goals difference. In this good time, there are the good statistics maintained by the subsidiary with respect to home games, from the defeat at Guadalajara in October, Barça B has not lost a battle on home soil. And, of games played in the Miniestadi from that date (October 16) until then, the subsidiary has won four times and drawn three.

As coach said, Eusebio Sacristan, " the idea is to continue this good time for the facing the team . We have a big game ahead and hope to continue this. "

The most surprising the opponent on Saturday is that have not won since Oct. 23 , specifically, in a game against Girona. We should add that in the last two days of the season, Cartagena has lost both games by one goal difference. However, Eusebio Sacristan analyzes the opponent and does not appeals to confide : "Now, these last two results have not been good for them but they are here to exit below. So it will be a rival who will come for all the Mini. Account with very skilled players and destabilizing, and this will be taken carefully into account . "

In the first round , the showdown between Cartagena and Barca B , played at Municipal Stadium Cartagonova, ended with the result from 0 to 4 , favorable to all Eusebio Sacristan. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Maradona defends Messi raking to Pelé

Diego Maradona, currently coach of Al Wasl of UAE, defended his compatriot Lionel Messi, criticized the Brazilian Pelé and said he believes that at some point will be the technical derector of Boca.

"Pelé has to speak ill of someone to give him a note. To return to the museum or just take the pill. Can not take the white in the morning, the red in the afternoon, a day and make mistakes boludeces (crap ), "Maradona said in an interview with Radio La Red

The Brazilian idol launched some ironies in recent months, somehow minimizing the outstanding level of the Argentina star that shines at Barcelona. "When Messi has scored 1,283 goals and won three World Cups, we talked," boasted Pelé, one of the comments that led to Maradona's statements in support of "Pulga".

"If you're a doll cake, you only for the prizes, do not work 20 years ago and want to be political when you stick a bowling (kick) in the ortho (ass) you fall into the FIFA ..." said coach Argentina on Pelé.

Maradona also said he believes he will be coach 'Boca Juniors' when "all this is over," meaning that his country would "shut the door in an incredible way."

"It's nothing new. It was known long ago that the non traded (pacta) with leaders or presidents, is not in the clubs. They know everyone and make the jerks (fools). Why I say that I am an exile sports. I will earn my money where I want, "he said.

However, not lost hope of replacing the current coach of Boca, Julio Falcioni, who won the title in the last tournament of Argentine football. "I think when all this is over I will lead Boca. When you pass it to Dubai, where love ends when you pass Falcioni and leaders who do not understand anything of what a soccer ball," said the former coach of the selection statements from Dubai. (via SPORT)

After being classified for a final of Copa plays victory in Liga

The two previous guarantee Barca of Guardiola. After qualifying for the finals hostesses, 2009 and 2011, Barca did not spare in the next league game.

Barca will be this Saturday at the Reyno de Navarra a good opportunity to keep their winning streak particular seal his move after the end of Cup

The two precedents of 2009 and 2011 attest to Pep Guardiola. On March 4, 2009 sealed a spot in the Cup final after a draw in Mallorca on a night that Pinto exalted as a great insurance in penalty shootouts. Three days after that night Barça beat Athletic Bilbao, precisely his rival in the cup final weeks later, at the Camp Nou for 2 to 0, with goals from Busquets and Messi.

The story was repeated in 2011. On February 2 Barça consummated their qualification for the final after beating Almeria 0-3 in the semifinal round, with the tie and on track after the 5-0 first-leg. Three days later, Barça was at Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou and sentenced the 'mattress' with a recital of Messi, who signed a spectacular hat-trick.

After to eliminate Valencia and to be classified for the third final of Cupa of the era Guardiola Barça want to maintain this particular gust and to defeat Osasuna in Reyno de Navarra on this Saturday. (via SPORT)

Bielsa: "Play the Cup final against Barca is a dream"

Athletic Club coach, Marcelo Bielsa, has recognized that although "logistical issues requiring additional time," personally "would not matter" know "five days before" the place and date of the final of the Copa del Rey.

"That missing three months and not know (date and place) seems normal. I know the time of the organization, but I guess three months offer plenty of flexibility to find the time to satisfy everyone," said coach Argentina in the press room Lezama.

For Bielsa, fight for the Cup title against Barça "is a dream" because it is "nice to compete" against a team like Barca "for what it means, what it represents and the type of football that proposes". It has avoided comment on their preferences about the stadium that will host the party, an issue that is attracting these days most of the attention of fans in Bilbao. "The Federation (Spanish Football) is the designated and does not make sense any expression of mine because we adjust to what they decide. I have no predilections," has settled. (via SPORT)

Spotlight on CA Osasuna

Osasuna - the name means health in Basque- are the local team in Pamplona and although the city may be more famous for its bull running in San Fermines, the club –which like Barça is owned by its members - inspires fierce loyalty from its local fans.

The club was founded in 1920 and although they have only won second division titles and a Spanish Cup runners-up title (in 2004) in their 80-year-history, they have been a top flight team since 2000 and as well as their Cup success they also qualified for the Champions League in 2006 and a year later reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup. Although they ended up in the bottom half for the next few seasons, Osasuna finished 9th last year after flirting with relegation – with new boss Jose Luis Mendilibar taking over from Jose Antonio Camacho in

The late 80s saw two ex-Liverpool legends, Sammy Lee and Michael Robinson join forces at the Sadar – as the stadium was then, and indeed to many still is, known - under Pedro Mari Zabalza and the pair enjoyed two successful seasons at the club, including a fifth place La Liga finish and a Cup semi-final.

Osasuna were in fifth spot at Christmas this season, despite losing 8-0 to Barça and 7-1 to Real Madrid, and only lost their first game at home in the Cup against Barça in January. Their success has been mainly down to their great form at the Reyno de Navarra – with the passionate local fans making Pamplona a tough place for any team to visit -and the team, who lost just three times at home last season, have gone down just twice this time round. Mendilibar has stayed true to the club’s competitive style and his current squad boasts six
home-grown players.

Saturday’s will be the fourth meeting between Barça and Osasuna this season: after the thrashing at the Camp Nou in the league, Mendilibar’s men fared somewhat better in the first leg of the last-16 tie of the Spanish Cup, going down 4-0, before again getting beaten in the second leg in Pamplona by two goals to one.

The Iranian midfielder Javad Nekounam has already scored four goals for Osasuna this season and his ability as both a holding midfielder and a scorer of goals from long distance has made him a firm favourite with the Pamplona fans. The Iranian is likely to play alongside local lad Raul Garcia, on loan from Atletico Madrid and in front of a defence with ex-Barça man Damia Abella and fellow Catalan Marc Beltran –who was born in the same town as Carles Puyol. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pep's key to success: “fight, effort and belief”

The FC Barcelona manager talked about what his men need to overcome the “extreme situation” in La Liga that the team finds itself in. According to Guardiola, the game at the Reyno de Navarra “is one of the hardest tests we have left this season”.

“We’re in an extreme situation, the only good result is victory. We have to move forward with a fighting spirit, effort, and belief,” said Pep Guardiola ahead of the Osasuna match tomorrow. The manager said that he wouldn’t allow his players to “give up” until the end of the season.

The trip to Navarra comes on the heels of Barça’s Copa del Rey final berth. Guardiola said that securing a place in the final is a reflection of the effort put in by the team since the beginning of the season: “when you get to a final it always reinforces you. We started with six titles; we won three, in the other [competition] we’re in the final and we have two more competitions to close out the season. We have to keep doing our work to maintain people’s faith in us.”

Guardiola is clear: “it’s one of the hardest tests we have left this season ... we went there a month ago to play in the Cup, and it wasn’t easy. In fact, it’s always been difficult for us in that stadium.” The manager said that he won’t be thinking about the Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen when he names his starting XI in Pamplona. He also said that his team is ready to compete after a grueling January schedule: “January was a tough month, we played against great teams without much rest. Once we reached our goal [Cup final], the team trained well, what I say made me optimistic.”

On the other hand, Guardiola talked about Sergio Busquets’ absence in the squad ahead of tomorrow’s match: “he’s not ready. The wound on his knee and stitches need to heal correctly, if not, we run the risk of losing him for two or three weeks. He is getting better, we’ll see how his injury evolves and if we can bring him with us to Germany.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pedro, declared fit, will travel to Pamplona

The Spanish winger was given the medical all-clear and will travel with the team to Pamplona to face Osasuna. Busquets, injured, was not included in the team.

Pedro Rodríguez has recovered from the muscle strain in his left leg and he’ll travel with the team to Pamplona with 18 other FC Barcelona players included in Pep Guardiola’s squad to face Osasuna tomorrow. On the other hand, Sergio Busquets has not recovered in time from the knee injury he picked up last weekend. The other first-team players that will not travel with the team are Villa, Afellay, Fontàs, and Keita, who is currently with the Mali national team.

The squad is made up of 16 first-team players and 3 Barça B players (Tello, Dos Santos and Sergi Roberto).

Barça trained this Friday afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The first team, plus Pedro, finalised preparations for tomorrow’s La Liga match. Sergio Busquets trained apart from his teammates. The group was completed by Tello, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto and three players from the Barça B U19 side: Robert Costa, Pablo Otero and Xavi Quintillà.

Costa is a 17-year-old defender (second year U19 player) and Otero, also 17, plays in the holding midfielder and defensive midfielder positions. Quintillà, a cadete aged player (16), is a left-footed central defender, he can also play in the defensive midfielder position. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The Azulgrana Roundup, week 3

After another grueling week on the pitch, FC Barcelona, with a King's Cup final berth secured, heads off to Pamplona to face CA Osasuna in the League. Before tomorrow's match against the Rojillos, check out what people outside the Club had to say about Barça.

Here are some of the best articles, videos, and opinions on FC Barcelona made this past week by journalists and fans alike. If you have suggestions for this column, please tweet them to Barça’s twitter account, make sure you tag your tweet with #FCBroundup

Fútbol. Mi Visión. José Carlos Carrasquet. Juego de niños
[Child’s play] [Spanish]

“Y creo que ayer Guardiola, regresando a su niñez, y pensando en sus partidos, seguro que pensaba lo mismo. Juego de hombres, partido de niños, en el que sus bajitos jugadores intentarán demostrar que un nuevo título es posible. La duodécima final de una historia que parece no tener fin.”

YouTube. Graham Hunter - #4 Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World [Video]

Graham Hunter, author of the newly released book Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, produced a series of short videos that provide insight into Guardiola’s FC Barcelona team. In this video, Hunter talks about what it’s like to cover Barça as a journalist at the Camp Nou and his curious run-in with Thiago and Rafa Alcántara.

Total Barça. Ivich. Interview: designer Dan Leydon on sketching Barça

Dan Leydon, the art designer for Graham Hunter’s book, sat down with Total Barça earlier this month to talk about his artwork. Leydon told Total Barça that he started following the Catalan team “when Rivaldo and co. played at Anfield. You just got a sense they were the real deal in terms of what a club is. There’s only a few clubs like that around.”

YouTube. FC Barcelona. The NextGen Series: FC Barcelona - Ajax [Full match]

FC Barcelona's U-19 squad faced off against their Dutch counterparts midweek to battle it out for a spot in the semfinals of the competition.

What is the NextGen Series:

“The NextGen Series is an international football tournament, where sixteen of the world’s best football clubs showcase their stars of the future in an exciting international knockout competition.” - NextGen Series

ElCentrocampista. Iain McMullen. Who is Cristian Tello? Introducing Barcelona’s latest wonderkid

“Tello is the archetypal Barcelona player. Two footed and comfortable on the ball, he also posses the air of confidence we have come to expect from graduates of their famous academy. Add to these attributes a devastating burst of pace and clinical finish, and you have a very exciting prospect indeed.”

Twitter. Sergi Cebrián [@sergicda]. The Camp Nou pitch getting covered with a thermal blanket [Image]

The Independent. Musa Okwonga. Barcelona, Messi, and why Gil Scott Heron lied

Musa Okwonga wrote a poem commemorating Barça’s Champions League victory in Wembley. It’s not everyday that you get to read about football in verse form.

Twitter. Barça Stuff [@barcastuff]. Young Messi [Image] (via FCBarcelona.com)

Barca already know date of their league games of the days 25, 26 and 27

The schedules of the next games of Barça they are already known in Liga. Concretely knows when it will play against Athletic, Sporting and Racing.

FC Barcelona visit the Vicente Calderon to play against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, 26 February, 21:30. With the Sporting played at Camp Nou on Saturday March 3 at 20:00 and in front Racing, Sunday, March 11, at 18:00 in the Sardinero.

Recall that between Asturias and Cantabria game before, they will play the crucial knockout round of the Champions League at the Camp Nou, against Bayer Leverkusen.

Below we indicate the times of the three matches Barça B: Barça B-Hercules (Friday, February 24, 21:00), Recreativo-Barça B (Sunday, March 4, at 19:45) and Sabadell-Barcelona B (Saturday, March 10, at 18:00). (via SPORT)