27 February 2012

New Meeting Barcelona, Athletic and RFEF

The venue, date and time of the final of the Copa del Rey between Barça and Athletic Bilbao could be known on Friday March 2.

Representatives of the club azulgrana, the red and white and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have finalized a meeting for 11.30 am on which is expected to take a final decision, according to Catalunya Ràdio.

The first option Barça and Athletic has always been the Santiago Bernabéu, a position held until Real Madrid denied publicly. The Vicente Calderón on May 25, is the possibility that takes shape as an alternative. (via MD)

Pinto, Keita and Pedro train with B team

The three first team players that don’t have international duty have trained with the B team under orders of Eusebio.

The first international break of 2012 has left the first team almost inactive. There are only three players left (Pinto, Keita and Pedro), who this morning worked out with the reserves on pitch number 2 at the Ciutat Esportiva. Josep Guardiola and Eusebio Sacristán conducted the session together.

The trio have been told they can take time off until Thursday, when the internationals are all due back. The Thursday session will start at 18.00 as the team starts preparations for the visit of Sporting Gijón on Saturday (20.00h). (via FCBarcelona.com)

Van Persie decided to postpone its renovation with Arsenal

The captain 'gunner' negotiate a pact with the club at the end of season and fuels speculation about his future.

Robin van Persie has decided to postpone until the end of this season negotiations for the renewal of his contract with Arsenal, which expires in 2013. In statements to the club magazine, Captain 'gunner' has justified its decision by the need to focus exclusively on the competition in football. Stance, however, further fueling speculation about a change of scenery. Van Persie would win a few months of tranquility avoiding peer pressure and, incidentally, would give him time to see to what extent are real information linking him to several European clubs, including Barça.

The Dutchman, 28 and top scorer in the Premier League with 22 goals, told the club's official media that "there have been many stories, often contradictory, about my situation and I would like to clarify. There is nothing complicated or strange. The club and I have agreed to speak at the end of season to see how things are. "The coach Arsene Wenger and general director Ivan Gazidis agree with the strategy. "We are all so comfortable," he said. Van Persie added that just wants to "stay focused on playing games against the tight schedule" that awaits the Arsenal.

Neither the Dutch nor the club can be avoided, however, that the fans see a negative background in all this for the umpteenth bad season Arsenal. The humiliation received at San Siro against Milan (4-0) in the first leg of the knockout stages of the Champions League, and the inability to recover the 17 points behind the leading English are strong arguments for Van Persie look an exit after eight years in London.

The forward looks askance at Barça in a while. Go to his friend Cesc triumph with the team azulgrana, with whom he has already won the Supercopa of Spain, the Euro and World Club, and would be happy to meet him at the Camp Nou in the event that Barça move tab that you have not done. Not the first time they've talked about this course, as already reported MD, nor the last. (via MD)

Messi, a parable of genius

In an action set pieces, and scattered athletic defense, Argentine sealed the match with the seal of the best player in the world.

Messi did not perform his best game at the Vicente Calderón. Neither she needed. Leo was not the player destabilizing other occasions when the ball was running on the battered grass mattress. Among the very poor pitch conditions and extreme hardness exhibited red and white behind, the Argentinian star was very irregular until minute 81. But at that point, the genius rubbed the lamp and the football world went on with another of those great goals to be framed as works of art.

This time, the culé star had to break the game pieces. It was in an isolated, almost at the edge of the area of Atlético de Madrid, when Pérez Lasa ruled a foul ball away, and while trying to sort desgañitaba Courtois is a defensive barrier, Xavi came the ball, mumbled something about the Messi low and rushed to the ball. The rest, one of those shots worth repeating a thousand times. The launch stratospheric rose and fell so close to the final squad of Courtois that she could only show a face stunned by the brilliance and genius of Messi. Embraces a few timid protests and a defense that paid the big mistake of wasting time on a barrier that never asked for the Blaugrana attack intertwined while Calderón had his hands to his head.

But Messi was not an accident. And who better than Atlético Madrid to verify in their own skin that nobody, absolutely nobody can sleep while Leo standing on a field. But it seems that the mattress did not learn in your day. We need to go to another Barça-Atlético Madrid, this time at the Camp Nou, to recall an oversight of the goalkeeper Coupet which gave an entire post for the Argentina star will overflow while unceremoniously requested a sterile barrier. Leo is one of a kind, among other things, details like that yesterday magnify further his career. (via SPORT)

Messi and Busquets will miss the match against Sporting Gijon due to suspension

The two players received yellow cards and will miss Barça’s upcoming Liga match due to suspension.

Leo Messi and Sergi Busquets will miss Barça’s next Liga match next Sunday at the Camp Nou against Sporting Gijon (20:00). The two Barça players picked up yellow cards in tonight’s match at the Calderón meaning Guardiola will not be able to name them to the team next week.

Messi was booked in the sixth minute when the referee ruled that the Argentine had controlled the ball with his hand. This is the third time this season that Barça’s playmaker has been booked for handling the ball (Espanyol and Betis). The other two cards were awarded when the referee ruled that Messi simulated a foul in Real Sociedad’s area and for protesting a call in the Clásico at the Bernabéu.

Next week will be Barça’s first Liga match of the 2011/12 season without Messi. The Argentine has played all 24 league matches. In fact, this season, Messi has only missed three matches in all competitions: two in the Cup against Hospitalet and the Champions League match against BATE Borisov at the Camp Nou. The player wasn’t named to the team on all three occasions.

The absence of Sergi Busquets will also be felt by Barça’s first team. Of the last 12 matches Barça has played, the midfielder started in 9 of them. It’s worth mentioning that he missed two games because of the injury he picked up against Real Sociedad. (via FCBarcelona.com)

The squad still believes in the League

The Barça players highlighted the difficulty of winning at the Vicente Calderón. The squad agrees: “We’ll fight until the end. That’s this team’s spirit”.

Important victory in a difficult stadium (1-2) to keep in the hunt for La Liga. Barça’s first team, through captain Carles Puyol, sent a clear message of optimism to Barça supporters: “we will fight for La Liga until it is mathematically over. It’s difficult [to win it] but we must try and win the three points each week.”

Along these lines, the Barça defender talked about the squad’s ambitions: “we have always competed. We will not give up, we’ll keep on trying until the end.”

Great team attitude

After claiming three vital points in Madrid, Puyol talked about the match against Atletico Madrid: “we had a test by fire tonight and the team showed our character.”

The captain, like other Barça players, was disappointed with the poor pitch condition, “the pitch wasn’t good for our type of play, but the team worked hard today.”

Here are the statements made by some of the players after the match:

Javier Mascherano:

“Coming here and playing is always difficult.

“We fought for this match, they played with a lot of intensity.

“Draws don’t suit us. If we want to have a chance, we have to win all of our matches.”

On Messi’s goal: “I was really far away, but it seemed to me that Messi didn’t ask for a wall.

“La Liga will be difficult to win. They have a 10 point advantage over us, but we are professionals and we have to keep on fighting. We’ll try to do our absolute best.

“We can’t allow ourselves to lose focus. We’ll try to win all of our matches until the end of the season.

“Atletico got a bit lucky. They also had the fans behind them and they hadn’t lost any games with their new manager. However, we managed to sort out the situation with our game

“What Guardiola told us stays in the dressing room. He congratulated us on how we competed.”

Dani Alves:

“The supporters need to keep on believing in us. We’ll fight until the end as long as there is a chance of winning. That’s the spirit of this team. We’ll keep on competing.

“I’m very pleased with the goal and for the team’s victory.

“We know that it was a difficult ground. The pitch was almost unplayable.

“Winning in stadiums like this one makes us stronger.

“I saw the space and Cesc’s excellent pass allowed me to score an easy goal.

“I dedicated the goal to my children, they are on holiday and I miss them.”

Víctor Valdés:

“Hard-fought victory in an imposing Calderón. We’re continuing our work and we’re earning points to fight for the Liga.”

Andres Iniesta:

“It was a very intense match and it was a great victory in a difficult stadium. Now it’s time for the national side.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Valdés: "It is difficult, keep trying"

Víctor Valdés, Barcelona goalkeeper, admitted today that the league title is "complicated", but stressed the importance of the victory against Atlético Madrid (1-2).

Víctor Valdés, Barcelona goalkeeper, admitted today that the league title is "complicated", but stressed the importance of the victory against Atlético Madrid (1-2) and stressed that "winning games like this," will continue trying to reach Real Madrid, leading by ten points ahead of the azulgranas.

"In the second half, Atlético has tightened a lot, but the team did a good job," praised the goalkeeper, who stopped two final actions Juanfran Torres and Gabi Fernández crucial to keep the 1-2 in favor of Barça in the marker of the Vicente Calderon stadium. (via AS)

Puyol: "While not a mathematician, fight"

The captain did not give up and said, despite maintaining the difference of 10 points less per day with a dispute that "La Liga is very difficult but we will fight until the end."

After the victory of his team at the Calderón, with whom he maintains Barça 10 points difference with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, declined to give the League for lost and said his team would fight to the finish for the title. "La Liga is very difficult but we will fight to the end. Not go down the arms. While not a mathematician, fight for the three points every day," said Puyol. (via AS)

Simeone: "The referee? There were things like the hand of Busquets ..."

Diego Pablo Simeone, Atlético Madrid coach, lamented his team's defeat against Barcelona (1-2) by a "genius" of Messi in Barca's second goal. "We will not discuss whether it is a problem of the barrier, whether to have it or not, if there Busquets penalty or whether it was necessary to expel Alves in the second half," he joked Simeone. "The referee was perfect although there were little things," he added with a smile on his face.

"The results are always fair. We try to do our game, playing in a certain way, trying to close the spaces. In the first half cost us a little more and in the second half saw a more open game and we could get ahead, but a genius left us with nothing, "he said. Atlético coach said his team had chances to win in the second half. "We had one of Juanfran, Falcao another" and that during that period could achieve victory. "The team played as I wanted, but did not leave a genius," he said. (via AS)

Villar: "The Bernabéu is out for the final of the Copa del Rey"

President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has recognized that Real Madrid will not give their stadium.

President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Ángel María Villar, who just a week ago was reelected for a seventh term as head of the agency, acknowledged that the final of the Copa del Rey "not played" in the Bernabeu and has not yet home. "The Bernabéu is discarded, Real Madrid has shown us, reported that there may be. We have not decided yet headquarters. They will meet again at both clubs finalists (Athletic and Barcelona), and we had a first meeting but there was no agreement, "Villar said today in Radio Nacional de España (RNE).

Villar also had no hesitation in ruling that while he is president of the RFEF final of the Copa del Rey in Spain "never" be played outside the Spanish borders. "It's the prettiest game of the year and, while I am president of the RFEF, I will put all my strength for the final of a tournament which is the largest, oldest and most traditional, such as the Copa del Rey, not is played out in Spain, "he said.

The refusal of the club madridista, from various points, such as Paris, have offered to host the finals stage copera. "It's our party, the fans. Money is important, but it is more experience the festival of Spanish football and should be held in Spain, with the followers of the competing teams, "the president of the RFEF, which again affect the dates scheduled for the dispute are 25 or 20 May.

Villar also noted that "can not" decide already at the beginning of a season the venue for the final cup-bearer. In recent days, several media noted an alleged meeting Villar with the president barcelonista, Sandro Rosell, the capital of Spain. Something the RFEF president has not wished neither confirm nor deny. "I will not say or I'll deny (the meeting). I've seen news out of place. RFEF President meets with the presidents of the clubs (First , Second or category that is) several times a year and in many places, the news that have come I seem to have come from what is normal in, "he notes.

"The topics discussed at a meeting there remain among us, and we must not say them publicly. Normal people do not think ill of others. I think an awful lot going beyond the information you do not know the content of what spoken "añadió.Villar also was in favor of" not to go to the courts "to resolve the conflicts that live or may live Spanish football:" I think football has its own agencies to not go to court. dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, and give each side something. " (via MD)

The best and worst of Atlético-Barça

BEST: The entire credibility of the world. The ten points that Real Madrid has over the Barça did not fairly reflect the difference between azulgranas and whites in this league. The bad luck at times, lack of sight, and over a refereeing decision has deprived Guardiola classification of a fair and consistent with reality. But still, there is hope. Because the way to win one of the most formidable rival in the championship, and on stage where they did, gives all the credit. You can still dream.

WORST: defensive forgetfulness. Barça managed a convincing win at the Calderón, although their precise defensive forgetfulness almost cost were very expensive. A failure at the exit of a corner led to the equalizer of Falcao. And, not for Valdés-saving two in the final minutes paradones-la Liga and would be lost. And that, after making another great game, it would have been another undeserved punishment. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: “We have come through a tough test”

The Barça manager said that his team remained true to their style of play, and that they beat a “very strong” Atletico Madrid side in a “very tough” match.

Guardiola said that Messi is the type of leader that “steps forward when things get complicated”.

Josep Guardiola considers that his team remained true to their style of play this Sunday at the Vicente Calderon. Barça’s victory allows the team to take the three points in a “very complicated” match against a “very strong” opponent. The Barça manager believes that his team passed “a very good test” against an Atletico Madrid side that was “really good at the start of the second half,” when the home side scored the equaliser, and that Barça did well to “react.”

The manager had special words of praise for Lionel Messi, who broke the deadlock with a clever free kick: “there are different types of leadership. When things get complicated, Messi takes a step forward. Throughout these past four years, this player has always done that.” When asked about the Argentine’s absence in next week’s match against Sporting, Guardiola jokingly said, “everyone asks me to give him a break and now he will rest, just like Pepe will.”

The win over Simeone’s team keeps Barça 10 points adrift of Real Madrid. In reference to the existing point gap, Guardiola said, “I don’t think we will win the league, but we’ll compete to [be the team] that we have been in the past.” He added, “it was a complicated match against a very intense rival, and the pitch condition was very poor, but we survived. Also, Victor once again showed that he’s a quality keeper.”

Guardiola said that Barça’s intention is to continue competing in each match: “I have the impression that we will not win La Liga, the point difference is very big, these games give us the opportunity to be the team we are, to play like we have. We will continue competing in every match.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Cardoner: "It was a goal of genius"

The Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner was proud of the work of the azulgranas and praised jugadorez both Messi's incredible.

"It was a difficult game, but the team worked and have been enjoying the end. I stay with a goal that has been invented Messi. A goal of genius," said the microphones Cardoner Canal Plus after the match.

The corporate vice president of Barça cree that after the victory at the Calderón, the options of winning the league are still there, even though Madrid did not fail. "A lot of league and we will keep fighting. Must continue to rely on this team," added Cardoner, recognizing that ended at the meeting between Villar and Rosell of last week there was talk of the Cup final, which still unknown location. (via SPORT)

[Liga BBVA; Week25] Atlético de Madrid 1 - 2 FC Barcelona

A clever goal from Leo Messi on 81 minutes gave Barça the three points against a tough tackling and competitive Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon tonight.

The footballing Gods were certainly fair to Barça tonight and a cheeky strike from Messi towards the end of the game gave them a thoroughly deserved win that keeps them in the chase for the title. After a dominant first half against an ultra defensive Atletico Madrid topped off by a Dani Alves strike, Barça were stunned after the break by Simeone's team, who got an early goal, but Guardiola's men kept their heads, withstood the pressure and hit back with Messi's winner.

Barça made perhaps their brightest start to a game all season and after Xavi shot just wide early on and Messi had a great goal disallowed for an earlier handball, they dominated their hosts and kept them penned back in their own half with some careful patient football.

Xavi then brought a great save from Courtois from a 20th minute free kick and the team were boasting an astonishing 83% of possession, with Atletico trying to claw their way back into the match with a more physical approach . It was the creative team who got the rewards though, as on 36 minutes Messi played a clever ball out left to Cesc and the Catalan's pinpoint pass set up Alves to score.

Although the goal spurred Atletico to come out of their shell and Valdes made a good save to cut out a dangerous looking attack, Barça immediately took control again and finished the half in the lead and clearly the better team. Then, just after the break, as Simeone pushed his lines forward for a more attacking approach, Atletico got the equaliser through Falcao after Busquets had failed to clear a corner. Now it was the home team who imposed their trademark more intense and vertical style of play on the game.

Guardiola reacted on the hour mark by switching to a 3-4-3 formation - a high risk strategy that nearly backfired when Falcao forced a great save from Valdes. Alexis then had a couple of good opportunities – one of which he put away, but was ruled out for handball - before Messi took the home team by surprise with a quick free kick before the wall was set to give Barça the lead with about ten minutes left to play.

The team defended bravely in the closing minutes with Valdes again standing strong. It was a great win for the team, who celebrated the win together in the centre circle. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Match Stats]
Atlético de Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Koke (Salvio, m. 77), Gabi, Tiago, Arda Turan (Silvio, m. 86); Falcao and Adrián.

FC Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves (Cuenca, m. 71), Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Cesc (Pedro, m. 77), Alexis (Piqué, m. 84) and Messi.

Goals: 0-1, m. 36: Dani Alves culminates at the far post Cesc center. 1-1, m. 48: Falcao volley shot from a corner. 1-2, m. 81: Messi, when Courtois-kick put the barrier.

Reeree: Pérez Lasa (C. Basque). Admonished the local Godín (c. 24), Juanfran (c. 25), Arda Turan (c. 30), Tiago (c. 61), Koke (c. 74), Miranda (d. 81) and Falcao (m . 85) and visitors Messi (m. 8), Cesc (c. 45), Alves (c. 71), Alexis (c. 77) and Xavi (m. 90).

Subs: game for the twenty-fifth day of the season, played at the Vicente Calderón stadium before about 53,000 spectators.

[youth] Girona FC 4 - 1 FCB Juvenil A

Barça has not got the win in the fief of the third in a closely fought match in which it has enjoyed many opportunities to climb the result.

The azulgranas are at 5 points behind but with a game because Espanyolhas been imposed to Huesca for the minimum.

Òscar Garcia's team could not string together their seventh straight win and lost against Girona in the 24th round of the División de Honor Juvenil. The azulgranas have struggled to win over a tough game, but could not impose a strong rival that has moved very fast on the scoreboard.

The match has not started well for the whole Òscar Garcia, as in the first play of the game has advanced the Girona with a goal from the left wing Dembo. Despite the goal against, the azulgranas have tried to turn the marker and have enjoyed a few times to get it as a center of Dongou in minute 10 to which no partner has not arrived.

The encounter has continued with chances for both teams, but was again the home team which has set yet. Gerard Muñoz has topped head a corner kick, signing and 2-0. And in the last minute of first half, Girona, again, has increased the distances in the light, with a shot of Litus who has taken a pass from the left Isma.

The Juvenil A, however, has not given up despite the outcome and Patri has signed a psychological goal that has helped the azulgranas to stay in the match in stoppage time of the first part.

The second half continued in the same vein and occasions for the two sets, but has finished Girona kill off the game with a goal at minute 50 of Gerard Muñoz, has taken that Bañuz was advanced to score the fourth target of the time. Òscar Garcia's team, meanwhile, has enjoyed some cases to trace the party-the most obvious has been one of Dongou and have on the crossbar on 64 minutes - but, finally, has not been able to materialize.

This defeat away the azulgranas in the first position of the División de Honor Juvenil as they now are at 5 points behind leaders Espanyol, although with a game. Next week we will try to close the gap in the standings in the clash against Lleida. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Match Stats]
Girona FC: Andrés, Valentín, Bonmartí, Roura, Mas, Vivancos, Isma (Marc Sánchez, min 69), Pere Pons, Litus (Peti, min 75 (Jesus, min 83)), Gerard Muñoz, Dembo (Robert, min 60).

FC Barcelona A: Bañuz, Bakoyoc, Brian (Miguel Ángel, min 46), Bagnack, Ayala, Samper, Pol Calvet, Patri, Dongou, Babunski (Cristian, min 46), Grimaldo.

Goals: 1-0, Dembo, min 1, 2-0, Gerard Muñoz, min 30, 3-0, Litus, min 44, 3-1, Patri, min 45 +, 4-1, Gerard Muñoz 50 min.

Referee: Daniel Navarro Jiménez.