26 February 2012

Barça is already in Madrid

The group led by Josep Guardiola is already in Madrid where tonight, starting at 21:30 h, will face Simeone's team at the Vicente Calderón.

The day began very early to the first team of Barça, who has come from the esplanade of the Camp Nou at 9:45 pm to go to the airport of El Prat. The plane has to move to FC Barcelona took off at 10:42 h, and landed at 11.30 h. Madrid has received the issuing azulgrana with a temperature of ten degrees.

Once at your destination, Pep Guardiola has led directly to the team hotel, where it remains until it's time to move to the Vicente Calderón, where they will face Atlético Madrid at 21:30.

After the match, Barca team will undertake the journey back to Barcelona at one in the morning and is scheduled to arrive at its destination an hour later. In this round, 12 players who will not undertake the return trip because the focus Monday with their respective teams. This is the case of the 8 players of the SpanishValdés, Piqué, Puyol, Busquets, Thiago, Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc, Tello and Cuenca that will be with the under 21, and Dani and Adriano, who play a friendly on Tuesday with the national team in Switzerland against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In addition to the 19 man squad and technical staff, have moved to Madrid vice president Jordi Cardoner and managers Antoni Freixa, Pilar Guinovart and Javier Bordas. He has also traveled the sports director of professional football Andoni Zubizarreta. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

What do Shakira, Piqué a Saturday night?

FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué shared with his fans on Facebook a picture in which you could see his partner, the Colombian singer Shakira, playing the popular Scrabble.

"I'm making someone at Scrabble! ... Look at that face," wrote the social network Piqué, enclosing the image of Shakira thinking what word to put on the board. How could it be otherwise, soon had received about 3,000 more than 21,000 comments and 'I like'.

Piqué played an important game of League Sunday, against Atlético Madrid, so Saturday night activity should be limited to little more than play Scrabble to pay in full the Calderón. (via SPORT)

Barça tested with the alignment of gala

In a very demanding game and against an opponent on a roll, Guardiola tried the more incumbent team today.

This league does not support Barça and more failures in a week without more than today's matches at the Vicente Calderón, it sounds very normal to rehearse yesterday afternoon Pep Guardiola in the final preparatory session before playing with the team gala to address tonight enrachado Atlético Madrid. Talking gala alignment also depends on the time of the season and, today, a blackboard on which are the names of Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi and Cesc probably subscribe to many fans the culés.

It is already great news for the Barça that the technician can have all its staff to travel by plane early in morning to Madrid, with the exception of the three long-term injured, Villa, Afellay and Fontàs. Guardiola is also available to Keita, after participating in the selection of Mali in the African Nations Cup, in a list that complete Pinto, Thiago, Mascherano, Peter, Adriano Isaac Cuenca and Cristian Tello, who despite being officially the subsidiary has linked and many first team appearances for the help of his excellent run of form.

One of the most encouraging findings is that Xavi has left behind his troubles in the soleus, confirming the prediction made ​​by the brain itself azulgrana earlier this week. On the other hand, Alves and Mascherano return a call after serving federal sanction against Valencia.

In short, after many weeks to lose weight in the team, Pep Guardiola will now have a 'once' Gala and the only major absence of David Villa, who could return in April.

Messi and Busquets, a card suspension
Although it seems difficult to understand its playing characteristics, Leo Messi is just one booking away from suspension. For now, the crack of Barça and now has four warnings, so if you see one more card will be sanctioned with a match and need to rest by force. At the same disciplinary situation is Sergio Busquets, who will also be suspended if you see a yellow.

Dani Alves new hobby
Dani Alves was surprised yesterday with a picture on his twitter that he is seen playing guitar and where indicated, "This is what I do in my spare time." Perhaps after the time off has happened in Granada, where he attended the concert of singer India Martinez, he has awakened his musical vein, and perhaps most flamenco.

Twelve culés stay overnight in Madrid
After today's match, twelve players will stay in Madrid to join their teams tomorrow. Are those of 'La Roja' (Valdés, Puyol, Piqué, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, and Cesc Thiago), those of the Olympic (Cuenca and Tello) and Argentines (Mascherano and Messi). They also have games Alves and Adriano (Brazil), Abidal (France), Alexis (Chile), Dos Santos (Mexico) and Montoya (Olympic team). (via MD)

Eleven thousand euros for the Messi shirt

Leo Messi's T-laying fought Miroslav Kadlec and Manuel Friedrich after the match between Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen is already taken.

The elastic Argentina was finally auctioned for 11,000 euros and the money will be used for purposes of solidarity.

The dispute between Kadlec and Friedrich the Golden Ball shirt provoked the anger of the leaders of Leverkusen, who regretted the attitude of the two players. The sports director of the entity, Rudy Völler, lamented that his players were more aware of the jersey the star to the game. Moreover after a defeat in a match as important for the club against Barcelona. Speaking to the newspaper 'Bild' leader stressed that "what they did was too much." In this sense was sharp and I urge his people to give the elastic to charity. "I can assure you that those two players shirts auctioned for a good cause," he said then. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: "My renewal is a tiresome theme"

Pep Guardiola relaunched balls out on renewal by ensuring that FC Barcelona "is a tiresome issue" and that "when there are updates, and you will know."

The coach azulgrana dismissed in this way the questions asked at its press conference on Saturday, after the duel this weekend against Atlético Madrid.

Guardiola admitted that the target of Real Madrid in the lead is difficult, if not throw the towel in the fight for the championship: "When a team is ten points is very complicated. The future will tell what will happen. We must try win and not think of anything else. Go and live game at the last three months left with a clear conscience for what we have done this year and knowing that we are able to play at the level we have shown in recent months, "said . And is that the coach believes that his team "has done things so bad as to have those distances, but the difference is what is."

The coach azulgrana does not think the win in Leverkusen was a turning point of the Barça as the football team has played in recent months has not anything unworthy in their best moments. However, it has recognized that, at times, citing the party in the Reyno de Navarra against Osasuna, "perhaps a tad lacking in ambition."

Guardiola urged his players not to "throw up their hands" and to continue competing at the highest in all tournaments.

With respect to this Sunday's duel against Atletico, the coach barcelonista assumes that since the arrival of 'Cholo' Simeone to the bench, the mattress have significantly improved their results and their performance: "Almost everything is hand Atlético Simeone. has soul, all the players work, struggle ... why they are unbeaten. dynamics are not easily changed mid-season and he has succeeded. you will note the stamp on the team. "

In his view, the key to winning the rojiblanco eleven passes for "play better than them, prevent and control Falcao cons" whom he defined as "the best player in the area of the world."

FC Barcelona has been recovered in recent days effective to the extent that Guardiola finally able to complete a call with first team players, in addition to the squad Tello: "It better be all that they are not. But Thiago, Isaac Cuenca or Tello but have always responded well to the requirement that has to play for Barcelona. in recent games, youth have been the best. "

the coach barcelonista came out in defense of young subsidiary has strengthened the staff in recent times. He recalled that "one month January has been very hard, but overall we have been at a good level. We had a good tone lately. Do not think there was a year of ups and downs in the game. I have the perception that we have been so bad or so away from our level. "

Regarding the call for Xavi to play with the Spanish team next week after missing recent matches through injury, said: "I ​​have spoken with Del Bosque and Xavi is almost good. And if Vicente calls it, knows it will care. If you understand that is to play 90 minutes, will play. And if not, set aside. We understand that the Federation takes good care of the players. We have no complaint nor they of us. "

Guardiola avoided giving advice to his counterpart Jose Mourinho when asked if the Luso should stay at Real Madrid next season, "Mourinho is very intelligent. He knows what is best." (via SPORT)

[Ex-player&coach] Cruyff's presentation ended with boos the President of Chivas

Johan Cruyff was presented on Saturday as Chivas adviser. The event ended with boos Mexican club president.

The ex player and ex coach of Barça called for "realism" to his new team, making clear that its support does not guarantee the end of the run of Chivas: "To think that I'm here because I am going to win is absurd, we know what failure, "he said.

"You might not have known how to play and then have forgotten about it. You can not always win, but you have to take a base, one just has not won a game," he said.

Chivas owner Jorge Vergara, was booed during the presentation of Cruyff, which took place before about 200 fans at Estadio Omnilife. The manager was outraged by this, "" Shut up, more respect, are invited to a home and respected, "he snapped Vergara those present.

Fans were able to ask the Dutch, who stressed that his project is long term. (via SPORT)

Luis Enrique just think of Roma

It is spoken of as one of the forward-looking to the bench of Barça if Guardiola does not continue, but Luis Enrique just think 'Giallorosso'.

Luis Enrique is focused on his work in Roma, who heads the club since last summer. The Asturian does not know anything about the rumors that he would place on the bench for FC Barcelona: "Talking about future in football is a utopia, there is no future. The only sure thing is that society (Roma) has given me great confidence in the early tempoorada when things were not going as expected. If the company wants, I'll be very happy to stay until the end of my contract, "he told" Corriere della Sera '.

For now, the option of returning to lead the to Barça first team contemplates: "I have not changed. I'm the same person a few months ago. I'd rather not talk bad about me, but I do not pay much attention to what is said. " (via SPORT)

Messi 'threat' to the Athletic

FC Barcelona visit Atletico on Sunday (21:30 h) with the firm objective to get the three points to continue their pursuit of Real Madrid.

Pep Guardiola's team come to the appointment of Vicente Calderón reinforced after his landslide win over Valencia (5-1) in the last game of the season, and with Leo Messi, who scored four goals in the meeting-in top form.

Passed an overwhelming schedule with games on weekends and weekdays, Barcelona seems to have regained his best pitch. And much of its strength, as the Barça coach finally able to complete a call with 18 with the first team, besides the young Cristian Tello.

With Messi in the form, Iniesta and recovered from his injury and waiting for what appears Xavi Hernández complaining of muscle aches, Barcelona has its most fearsome weapons, in addition to Chile's Alexis Sánchez and also recovered Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodríguez.

Atlético have improved since the arrival of Diego Simeone as coach. Today is just one point of fourth place and has nine games undefeated. The rojiblancos only lost one match this year in their stadium, which has added six wins and four draws.

Argentina coach keeps the question of Turkish Arda Turan, with an overload, and has low muscle injury the Brazilian Diego Ribas, a key player in his scheme, and Antonio López. (via SPORT)

Thiago Silva, the 'future possibility' of Barca who feared death from tuberculosis

Thiago Silva has sided with its good performance in Milan, those who consider him one of the best defenders in the world. The Brazilian center is one of the most coveted pieces of the 'market' football, and his name has been linked at times with FC Barcelona. However, his path to the summit has not been easy.

Thiago Silva's career combines stellar moments very bitter drinks. One of the finest he lived in 2005 when, as a player of Dynamo Moscow, a tuberculosis endangered his life.

"I spent six months in a hospital. I would not be able to play anymore. Luckily that phase is over," Thiago Silva has recognized on several occasions.

The player is the protagonist of a story Saturday in the prestigious French daily L'Equipe, which contained statements made ​​in which explains the harsh treatment he made ​​seven years ago by this disease, happily overcome: "I almost die. so every time I play I remember those times in Russia. "

The Brazilian had arrived just prior to Europe from his native Brazil, and his time at Porto, his first club on the continent, was not easy: injuries and respiratory problems have prevented him from continuing.

In Moscow experienced its worst moments in 2005, but his return to Brazil gave a new impetus to his career. After shining in Fluminense between 2006 and 2008 - where he won a Cup in Brazil in 2007 and was runner up in the Copa Libertadores in 2008 - he joined Milan. The Lombard club has already begun to capitalize on the 10 million he paid for his move. (via SPORT)

Mourinho: "I do not care or do not follow Guardiola"

José Mourinho, coach of Real Madrid, asked about the renewal of Pep Guardiola with FC Barcelona, ​​said he hopes the Catalan coach choose the option that makes you "happier."

"Me da igual", respondió el portugués a la pregunta de si le gustaría que Guardiola renovase el contrato que expira el próximo 30 de junio. "Que decida lo que piensa que es mejor para él", añadió.

"La decisión es suya y seguramente será la que le haga más feliz. Eso es lo más importante, que esté feliz", insistió.

El técnico del Real Madrid no dio importancia a la posibilidad que tiene su equipo de lograr en Vallecas un récord de triunfos consecutivos seguidos a domicilio, y afirmó que no buscan "récords, sino ganar la Liga".

Eight straight wins in the league outside the Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid are about to achieve a new record at the Stadium of Vallecas. Mourinho looks beyond the numbers. "We did not win the championship record but it is our goal. Look no record of goals, or away games, or scorer. Nothing is an obsession or goal. We want to win the championship and that each party will fight to the end" said.

On the other hand, clarified the status of Raúl Albiol, admitting he told the club hope that none of their players abandon the club during the winter, and not wanting to take a share of the blame on the absence of the call center Vicente Del Bosque for the Spanish team.

"The selection problem is not mine, you have to ask the coach why summons one and not another. My problem is Real Madrid. I wish all my players were very happy here and in their selection. Raúl I do not asked to leave or asked for minutes. We have not had any conversation about it. My general manager asked if I would be interested in any player to leave and I said no, "he said. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: "Atlético have the Simeone stamp"

The Catalan manager believes that the Altético Madrid boss has transmitted his “strong and intense take on the game when he was a player” to the Colchonero side. Guardiola believes that Barça will have to be “alert, brilliant and skilled” if the Catalans want to come away with a victory in the Spanish capital.

Pep Guardiola warned that Atlético Madrid has completely changed under the tutelage of El Cholo Simeone on the Colchonero bench. “Simeone has changed the dynamic [of the team],” said the Barça manager, “it’s obvious that the team has the manager’s mark.” Guardiola said that the Atlético Madrid side “has a soul, they are intense, aggressive ... all of the players work and put in a strong effort.” The manager believes that the Atlético players’ attitude is a reflection of Simeone’s attitude when he was a footballer. “You watch the team, it’s an expression of their manager. His strong and intense take on the game when he was a footballer has been transmitted to his team.”

Guardiola believes that he’s prepared his team well ahead of the visit to the Vicente Calderón. In order to win, Guardiola believes that the team “must avoid [Atlético] counterattacks and not allow them to attack us on the wings, [we must] try and play in a way that favours this team. We’ll have little time to think, we’ll have to be alert, brilliant, and skilled.”

“When a team is 10 points behind the leaders the mindset isn’t to mount a comeback.” Guardiola knows that it won’t be easy to fight back and cut into Real Madrid’s lead, therefore the objective from now on is to “win each game” as they come. He added that “our plan is to be calm and try to win the match. We can't focus on anything else.” He added: “in this house there is always pressure but they [they players] know that they can’t give up. The Liga is complicated, we have to take it a game at a time.” The manager said that the team’s outlook until the end of the season should be one of “joy because of what we’ve done so far this year, and believe that we can play at the level we’ve played at this whole time.”

Guardiola believes that his team’s level of play this season isn’t different compared to past seasons. “The tendency has been to play at a high level, without too many up and downs,” said the manager. (via FCBarcelona.com)

18 first-teamers and Tello given the nod ahead of Atlético Madrid clash

Josep Guardiola named his team ahead of tomorrow’s match against Atlético Madrid. All of the first-team players plus Barça B’s Cristian Tello will travel to the Spanish capital. The team completed their final training session ahead of the League match at the Vicente Calderón.

Barça’s first team completed a closed-door training session at the Ciutat Esportiva, their last before tomorrow’s Matchday 25 League game, at 21:30, against Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón. All of the available first-team players trained plus Tello, Balliu, Sergi Gómez and Lobato.

Upon completion of the training session, Josep Guardiola named his squad ahead of the trip to the Spanish capital. The 18 first-team players plus the young Cristian Tello were included in the manager’s list.

On Sunday, the group will meet at the Camp Nou at 9:45, from there they will go to El Prat Airport. The plane is scheduled to takeoff at 10:30 and touchdown in Madrid at 11:30. Upon arrival, the team will go directly to the hotel, where they will stay until they go to the Vicente Calderón. Kickoff is scheduled for 21:30.

Once the game is over, the Barça team will return to Barcelona at one in the morning. The plane is scheduled to land in Barcelona at 2:00. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Spotlight on Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid are one of the most successful teams in Spain, having won both the La Liga and Cup titles 9 times, including the double in 1996. After an all too familiar frustrating start to this season, the team have really upped their game since the arrival of Simeone at Christmas.

The Athletic Madrid club was founded in 1903 by two Basque emigrants and for nearly 20 years they served as a feeder club for Athletic Bilbao. They became independent in 1921 and were one of the founders of the first Spanish League Championship. After the Civil War, they changed their name to Athletic Aviacio de Madrid after merging with an air force team, before becoming Atletico Madrid in 1947. The immediate post-war years saw them take four league titles and they also won two in the 60s and two more the following decade. Their most successful period in recent history came under Radomir Antic, when they won the double in 1996 whilst European success came with an Intertoto Cup in 2007 and the Europa League and European Super Cup in 2010, to add to 1961’s Cup Winners Cup. The low point came in 1999- 00 when despite reaching the Cup final they were relegated and did not get back into the top flight until 2002 . The 2010 European success under Quique Sanchez Flores couldn’t be built on though, and after finishing seventh last season, the manager was replaced by Gregorio Manzano, who was then himself sacked after a poor run in December 2011 and replaced by Diego Simeone.

The Club’s history over the last thirty years or so has been overshadowed by the figure of Jesus Gil, a businessman and politician who ran the club between 1987 and 2003. Gil i Gil’s direct style meant he rarely suffered managers who didn’t bring instant success and figures of the calibre of Menotti, Clemente, Ron Atkinson, Alfio Basile, Maturana and even club legend Luis Aragones were hired and fired in quick succession by the club chairman. Maybe Gil’s biggest misstep though, was to scrap the club’s youth academy in 1992, forcing a promising young striker named Raul to cross the city and join rivals Real Madrid – the rest is

Atletico’s games with Barça have become a guarantee of goals and excitement over the last few seasons, with an average of over 4 goals a game over the last 20 years and to more than 5 under Guardiola, when Barça have lost twice in Madrid: 4-3 and 2-1, as well as winning 1-2 last season, whilst winning 6-1, 5-2, 3-0 and 5-0 at the Camp Nou.

Since Diego Simeone took over at the helm at Christmas, Atletico have been transformed, with four league draws and three wins and conceding only one goal- last week at Sporting, as well as beating Lazio 4-1 on aggregate to make the last 16 of the Europa League. Leo Messi’s record of 17 goals in 13 games against Atletico makes it tempting to focus on Madrid’s Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois, who may well be kept busy by the Argentinean,
but undoubtedly the man of the moment for Simeone’s team is Radamel Falcao, signed in the summer from Porto for a club record €40 million. The Colombian, who was a sensational success for the 2011 Europa League winners, scoring 17 times in 14 games, has already chalked up two hat tricks for Atletico this season and bagged 14 goals in his 20 league appearances so far. His pace and two footed ability, combined with a real aerial threat make him a very complete forward and somebody the Barça defence will need to keep a very tight rein on. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Ex-players] Past showdowns with Atlético Madrid retold by ex-Barça players

The ex-FC Barcelona players recall their heart-stopping matches against the Colchoneros.