06 March 2012

England puts Guardiola at Chelsea

Roman Abramovich has decided who wants to sit on the bench at Stamford Bridge next season.

Several British media have echoed a rumor that, at this time, has ceased to be to become news. Both The Guardian days ago, when he spoke of an alleged interest of the English Football Federation to convince Guardiola to become the new coach of the 'pross', as The Mirror and The Times, ensuring that the Santpedor coach is chosen by Abramovich to take over the bench for Chelsea, agree on the bench Pep to Stamford Bridge next season ... in the case, of course, not to renew. A renewal that, as expected Barça has not come but still the normal and logical choice of words under Guardiola.

The newspaper The Mirror says a source close to Abramovich words that confirm Pep as his favorite: 'Guardiola is the first choice of Abramovich. The Russian believes he can achieve his vision of Barcelona with blue shirts of the team thanks to the architect's Finest planet. "However, the Russian tycoon has had eight coaches in nine years in a league, the English, more given to support their coaches and give them more confidence in results and time, for example, la BBVA.

The Times, meanwhile, says it is difficult for them to convince the technician, as it handles the best squad in the world, and speculation that should provide 12 million euros a year. (via SPORT)

Sánchez Arminio may decide to host the Cup final

The same complaint Piqué is a member of the RFEF that will decide the venue for the final.

Cool. Only one qualifier and may explain the circus that is mounted to the referees and the venue for the final of the Copa del Rey. A circus sponsored and tamed by Arminio Sánchez. And is that the Cantabrian Victorian Sánchez Arminio, president of the Referees Technical Committee, is the mastermind of one of the loudest pantomimes in recent times. After Velasco Carballo unfairly expelled Piqué, that Pique say that was premeditated centre-back had told to shut up, I was going to drive-and both get fixed after the meeting, all that Arminio came was to denounce the words of 3 of Barça. And so it was: his complaint has prospered in the Referee Committee and will have to wait to see what punishment can bring. But the most curious thing is that Sanchez Arminio, as a member of the board of the RFEF, will be one more vote in the choice of venue for the final of the Copa del Rey. Nonsense that can end, if no final agreement voting in the draw for the seat. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Riquelme: "Messi is a genius and Iniesta is the best"

Boca captain surrenders to Andrés: "It is unique, a great person and he plays like he means it. I can do well anywhere."
On Messi, adds: "It scorer, fast and has the most difficult, which is faster with the ball without the ball."
Roman, marveling with Barça of Guardiola: "Barcelona have the perfect team, with players only, will not to repeat."

Juan Román Riquelme, Boca Juniors captain and player of Barça in the 2002-03 season, took off his hat again with Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta to exalted, which debuted in the first team to coincide with him in the locker room of Camp Nou. "Andrés is the best play of all, it's unique. It is unique, "the myth xeneize the same day Boca and Barça in Buenos Aires had a collaboration agreement for the formation of players through the ranks at Argentine club.

Speaking to Radio Vorterix, Riquelme has not forgotten the early Iniesta: "When I was 15 or 16 years, Andrés already train with us. He marked a big difference with those of his age, but has two sidings that make things easier, like Xavi and Messi. "And he says as a key figure to pull the cart and refloat the most adverse situations:" This game is the best play of all, it's unique. Go ahead, back when he has to go on the sides. If the game is stuck and Guardiola says he can not win the match, it sends pointer and left a mess barbarous weapon at right back. It is unique, a great person and he plays like he means it. You can do well anywhere. "

As for Messi, who last week scored his first hat trick with Argentina, all compliments are also "Play another game. You thinking of the mother and suddenly you are receiving the ball and scores a goal from nothing . Because he's a genius, as did the other day with Argentina. Messi is out of any discussion. He is goalscorer, fast and has the most difficult, which is faster with the ball without the ball. "

Riquelme, who could not win in the Camp Nou in a campaign where Barça could only qualify for the UEFA Cup on the final day and fell in the quarterfinals of the Champions League against Juventus, is amazed with all Pep Guardiola: "Barcelona have the perfect team, with players only, will not to repeat, at the right time and in the same team." Asked about the kind of football of Barça, Roman places it as a reference for everyone, including Argentine clubs: "Does what you have to do is pass it to the same color. When we have to make ten passes, we played a wonder because no one does. They spend a partner and to the goalkeeper, who happens to be a player. Here you get nervous if we give the goalkeeper. "

Questioned by his past in Barça, which paid 11 million euros for his move to Boca, sent a message to Louis van Gaal, one of two coaches who had as an azulgrana with Radomir Antic. "Van Gaal played completely different, is very similar to Bielsa. And Rijkaard is more like Guardiola. I had to come at a time which was a few months to change as president, had much nerve in the club, Real Madrid had been winning all . Contrary to what happens today. "Nevertheless, Riquelme only words of thanks to the Catalan club: "That year I learned a lot, I was treated very well, and I was lucky to go to Villarreal where I enjoyed a lot." (via MD)

Thiago is 'squeezed' but still doubtful for tomorrow

Guardiola could reserve Puyol for first leg of quarters.

Thiago claimed last night at the social networks that need only one more day to be 100% with the team. The Barça player continues his recovery and he trained yesterday outside the team. Guardiola remains doubtful for the match tomorrow, Wednesday, against Bayer Leverkusen.

The canterano is gradually improving their discomfort in the right tibia, discomfort forced him to stay out of the league game that Barcelona played against Sporting Gijón last weekend league.

Guardiola could to rest Puyol, Catalan accumulates two yellow and one third morning he would maintain the margin of the first leg of quarters.

Tomorrow is low by injury Ibrahim Afellay, David Villa, Andreu Fontàs, Éric Abidal, with back discomfort and possibly Thiago Alcantara. (via MD)

Monchi: "I see Keita at Barca next season"

"Keita is shy and introverted, so I was surprised when Barça came to sign him," he told Ona FM Sevilla sporting director. "It is constant in the effort and work and that always has its reward," says former goalkeeper Andalusia.

Monchi, Sevilla sporting director and head of the signing of Seydou Keita by the Andalusian club in the 2007-08 season, he was convinced that Barça midfielder will continue next season in the Nou Camp despite the multitude of offers from clubs important as Milan, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, among others. Speaking to the program 'Fora de Joc' ONA FM, ex goalkeeper sevillista has been very clear: "I do see Keita at Barca next season. Can continue to make interesting things to this team. Pep is happy."

Like Guardiola, current football coach of Mali, Monchi has sent compliments for his professionalism and personality. "It is constant in the effort and work and that always has its reward. So he had no doubt he would succeed in Barça," said the brain of the signings of Seville entity, who made a business more to Keita Lens sign him for four million and transferred the following year to Barca, who paid the 14 'kilos' of the clause. Monchi recalled how he reacted the African to receive the offer Barca: "Keita is shy and introverted, so I was surprised when Barça came to sign him but I was not surprised that the club out by Keita. It took a player with the most force to have a plan B in some games. " (via MD)

Velasco Carballo to Piqué: "Shut up I'm going to evict"

The umpire threatened of Barça center at halftime of Saturday, according to Ona FM.
So the culé spoke of "malice" in his expulsion and the referees calling for his head.

You shut up that I'm going to evict you. "That warning, addressed to Gerard Piqué, the referee gave Carlos Velasco Carballo during halftime of Saturday's match between Barça and Sporting, unveiled yesterday by Ona FM. As is well known, the referee showed the red Madrid direct central Barça in the first minute of the second half. The threat of Velasco Carballo to Piqué, according to the same source was witnessed in the tunnel at the Camp Nou for several components of the Barca team, supports the interpretation given by the player after the match, when he spoke to the press of "a little forethought. "This expression is what has led to a media report unprecedented collective and arbitration against Pique, asking for the Competition Committee punish you tomorrow. This also explains the heated talk of Piqué with Carles Naval. "You see?You had told me ", complained the officer central to Barca. Same said Piqué Saturday night what happened: "At half I told the referee that a penalty had been Keita and he saved it. He has taken 'the personal'. The referees have the right to be wrong but I have the feeling that there was some premeditation. "

The thinking aloud of Piqué opened hostilities against him in the arbitration group. The hunt is underway institutionalized for 48 hours. The referees, erected in judge and jury, using the precedent-central Barcelona target media. Victoriano Sánchez Arminio, who in his third decade in front of the Referees Technical Committee aims to break the record in the armchair of his mentor José Plaza, quickly and publicly airing 24 hours they would expose the defender axulgrana to the Committee after a penalty for the player. Sánchez Arminio speaker used his pioneering media complaint against a public entity RNE footballer, who called him Sunday to ask for words to speak it Piqué of "premeditation" in his expulsion against Sporting. Sánchez Arminio yelled and publicly, and without there being an official request by the previous group, they would denounce Piqué because "you blood boil" to doubt the honesty of referees. Yesterday called for a penalty, publicly. Particularly striking is the speed and persistence of Sanchez Arminio media in the 'Piqué case' when, for example, or saw him or heard him on a matter as scandalous as the visit of José Mourinho referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes car in the parking of Camp Nou. Nor when, a week ago, Madrid coach himself told the fourth official's game against the Lightning as "the most arrogant I've seen in my career." (via MD)

Velasco Carballo: "Whoever goes around comes around"

Velasco Carballo says that referee was a "kamikaze" and that the bundled "fat".

Carlos Velasco Carballo (Madrid, March 16, 1971), representing the Spanish referees at Euro has a brand almost insurmountable Barça swiping five penalties (two against Valencia and three at Sporting) in five months. Raised in the Madrid district of Aluche, Velasco has a degree in Industrial Engineering (currently on leave) and for two years is a professor at the Universidad Camilo José Cela. He teaches Rules football game in the lessons for the Técnico Deportivo Superior in Football (national coach, level III) within the Science degree in Physical Activity and Sport.

Married with two children, Velasco arbitrates over 16 years. Has a reputation for authoritarian. This was acknowledged in the newspaper ABC (1/10/12). "I am a referee with great rigor. Whoever goes around comes around. He who is before me knows," said the Spaniard, who accused him of Piqué sent off against Sporting with "premeditation" to reclaim a penalty on Keita.

Velasco also had a sink with Walter Pandiani in September 2009, when Espanyol striker today visited the Heliodoro Rodríguez de Tenerife, Madrid, Osasuna and accused of having "disrespected. I tried to help at times and I have spoken evil. Was ido a bit, "denounced the 'Rifle'.

Madrid is adjudged confessed on ABC that went "black" in its infancy in the arbitration. "I was once assaulted and tried to hit me many times, though I was a kamikaze, very brave, and I bundled fat. I have been pursued on and off the field. I have run pursued by the people. I have had serious problems, but the police took care of me. "Velasco Carballo is going to go. In "The Match of the 12 ', the COPE (27/12/11), the Aluche revealed that" I like the field where most press people. That is no option to whistle at El Sadar in Pamplona, then give it to me ".

Piqué lamented that Velasco "took the license plate" to protest to. The Spaniard and the COPE presumed to know the detail to the players arbitrates. "Everybody called her by name. I know who's in a yellow suspension, who throws the corners, penalties, fouls ...".

In 'The Rail', the BE (11.01.12), said the attack in the beginning was a "knee in the ass" and that his "mistake" most notorious was "a goal with his hand in a Jaén-Xerez, in Segunda B, which was up in Antequera. I did not see, but everyone makes mistakes, "said the referee that fails over to Barça account and do not hesitate to describe the 'Villarato' of" big lie. " (via MD)

Falcon Travel is still with Barça until 2013

On 4 March last year was made official the agreement between FC Barcelona and Globalia group company.

Falcon Travel will continue to be the official agency of FC Barcelona, ​​at least until June 30, 2013. Now is met exactly one year since the club azulgrana's board of directors, at a press conference, officially announced the change of agency, relieving RACC Viatges, owner of the exclusive for over ten seasons.

Neither the company of the conglomerate Globalia, owned by Juan José Hidalgo, not even the FC Barcelona have given official status and will probably not press the matter, because it is continuing a relationship that neither party has alleged. In fact, according to a club, the first contract between Halcon Viajes and FC Barcelona has been signed recently.

The relationship between Falcon and Barca have gone from less to more and ended up consolidating, gaining fluency and communication. During this season, this business area will have reached a turnover to be around 5.5 million euros. FC Barcelona, ​​with previous years, has saved more than 800,000 euros, for Falcon Travel does not charge commission of 7.5% that reverberated the previous agency.

Another great advantage for members is that Barça travel with the first team in Spanish territory at a cost of 130 euros over the entrance. Another song, and where both parties have to continue improving the business area are the displacements in the Champions League.

Also to solve the creation of the famous travel agency that is not physically within the Camp Nou. It was one of the electoral promises of the current board in the social program. In point number seven said: "A proposal that comes from the applications received by many members. We have own a travel agency to improve the management and travel arrangements. "The explanation, say the club is no space in the Stadium for its location. (via SPORT)

Guardiola to Alexis after his injury: "The shell of my mother for my Alex ... Use your head!"

Pep Guardiola was unhappy with the injury of Alexis had just arrived from Chile and ended up injured against Sporting Gijon.

Guardiola complained in the press conference after the game against Sporting Gijón by the loss of Alexis Sánchez injury. "It's very young, only 22 years young and eager to please and you can ... learn from this, I'm sure you will learn from this injury," he said.

And Pep himself made ​​it clear at once retired Chilean way to the locker room must learn to control their physical sensations in the matches to avoid situations like this. Alexis started on the bench but with the side marker, Pep ventured to try to turn around the marker. However, the anxiety of Chilean delivered the most attached to wear for a week long trips finally let KO before Guardiola's own anger.

Alexis se retiraba hacia el vestuario cabizbajo a grito de "¡la concha de su madre!" cuando Pep le escuchó y no pudo evitar entrar 'al trapo' con el chileno lamentándose por su lesión, tal y como muestran las imágenes de 'El Día Después' de Canal Plus: "¡La concha de mi madre para mi Alex!¡90 minutos! Usa la cabeza".

Y es que el delantero chileno cuenta con la total confianza de Pep y en las últimas semanas estaba ofreciendo su mejor rendimiento desde que aterrizara en el Camp Nou. Sin embargo, las lesiones están lastrando la primera temporada del 'Niño Maravilla' que volvió a ver cortada su progresión y estará entre 10 y 15 días en el dique seco a causa de su lesión en el adductor de su pierna derecha. (via SPORT)

The salaries of the officials, uncovered

Except Velasco Carballo and Mateu Lahoz, who live solely on football, other colleges have another source of income in their professions.

The clubs of la Liga are paying a high price for the service they receive from the members, a real privileged in society, especially considering the economic constraints are suffering all workers in recent years. Each Spanish referee will be the 18,000 euros gross per month for an annual total to about 200,000 euros, accounting for fixed salary, payment for party led, diets and other extras.

Broken down, each referee receives 10,000 euros per month gross fixed. 3,438 euros per party led and arbitrates an average of two per month. 53 euros per day diet and is required to stay overnight in the city where he will lead the meeting. And a mileage of 0.19 euros if you travel with your own vehicle. To all this must be added that the group receives 12,000 euros arbitration a year in advertising. Salaries for assistants are of 1,440 euros, while the fourth official takes 1,435. In the Second Division, the charges are of 1,512 euros per game for the collegiate and 682 euros for attendees. That, bearing in mind that colleges are treated as VIP's. Almost always travel first class plane and forced.

These figures exceeded in Europe only in the Premier League colleges, the only ones who are professionals. In England, the monthly salary amounts to 24,000 euros a month. The rest of the league pay less than the Spanish. And except the Italian one, where the referees can reach 150,000 per year, the rest is far from ours. In Italy, a fixed pay of 8,000 euros per month and 4,000 per game. From there, the numbers drop significantly.

In Germany only pay for party led, while in Portugal it takes a thousand euros per game. Yes, the arbitrators directed lusos four games a month. In France, there are also fixed, which is 2,750 euros per month, while the figure of 2,430 per game euros. Overall, about 73,000 per year.

All these figures do not include international arbitration, which increase the incomes of those who are appointed by the RFEF to direct parties to organize tournaments UEFA and FIFA.

To all this must be added that unless Velasco Carballo and Mateu Lahoz, the other 18 Primera Division referees are not dedicated exclusively to arbitration, so they have a second career, multiplying their monthly emoluments.

Oblivious to the crisis affecting the world and especially to Spain for the past five years, the RFEF and the Technical Committee of Referees have been raised in the negotiation of the new wage increase of 25 percent. In addition, the football governing body is pressing for referees definitely become professionals, as demanded by FIFA in a while. The demand would be also welcomed by the LFP, which is entering the Federation referees' salaries once collected from its members, clubs.

In this case, the colleges would be considerably increased their salaries, but instead would be concentrated five days a week at the Ciudad Deportiva of Las Rozas, where the margins of meetings aimed to analyze the previous day and prepare the following courses receive constant focus to improve their technique arbitration. Moreover, they could devote sufficient time to improve your fitness, which in some cases has historically been disappointing. Its privileged status may be increased soon. (via SPORT)

Barça and Boca seal the deal in Buenos Aires

Jordi Mestre, FC Barcelona youth football director, said that this “project requires time and patience”.

The two clubs are both pleased with the agreement, the deal shows that these “two powerful clubs are betting on football in a decisive way”.

Jordi Mestre, FC Barcelona youth football director; Daniel Angelici, Boca Juniors President and Jordi Raffo, Boca Juniors youth football general coordinator, presented the agreement between the two clubs in Buenos Aires.

Jordi Mestre highlighted the historic dedication of FC Barcelona to football youth systems: “it’s a big day for FC Barcelona because the club has relied on our youth system for a long time and the truth is that it has paid dividends. We have club players that are world champions and that’s due to many years of work.”

The Barça director said that he’s pleased with the Boca-Barça agreement, “two powerful clubs are betting on football in a decisive way. I hope that it [the agreement] is successful, it’s a project that requires time and patience. Evidently, the results will come if the work we put in is good. For us it’s a satisfaction to be able to share this project with a club like Boca. It’s very exciting that the model that we’ve been working on all these years can be shared and used.”

Angelici, Boca Juniors President, talked about the details of the deal that was agreed upon last August, when he spoke to President Sandro Rosell. “We started to have a couple of concrete ideas that we could sign off on, an agreement of collaboration for our youngsters,” said Angelici.

Raffo, technical director of the project, says that a club like Barça is an example of “achieving that old dream of having the same style of football in all of Argentina’s football divisions.” Raffo praised the Catalan club’s model: “there is a process for forming players, a methodological process, part of it is in the infrastructure and in organization, FC Barcelona have shared it with us and we’re transplanting it to a number of footballers that Boca have been working with for a while.”

The agreement between FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors is a strategic alliance that binds both clubs to the task of teaching young footballers, through which Barça will transfer the ‘La Candela’ project to CA Boca Juniors. In return, FC Barcelona will have priority on future transfers of those players that will now don the Boca strip. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Piqué could not believe the report of the Technical Committee of Referees

The centre-back was very surprised to hear the complaint of the referees and told his classmates he did not understand anything.

Gerard Piqué came yesterday morning training at Ciutat Esportiva to work normally. The centre-back complaint knew the Referees Technical Committee announced Sunday that its president, Sanchez Arminio, and it was that one of the topics of conversation with peers. The reaction of the Blaugrana, beyond the anger that had shown itself in the mixed zone, shortly after being expelled by Velasco Carballo against Sporting, was a surprise. Piqué was totally incredulous at the news and the fact that the referees would have complained to the Competition Committee of the RFEF.

The player did not understand anything and they transmitted to their peers. The lack of criteria for assessing similar actions that have occurred this season have left dislocated. More than anger, which he felt was the main surprise and disappointment at what he considers a little understandable that increases punishment, if anything, the feeling of helplessness at having seen the red card on the field.

Backed by the rest of the players that form the template, Piqué now expected events, although I would not understand that the complaint had just become a punishment. (via SPORT)

The venue for the final will be decided this Tuesday, with La Cartuja and favorite Mestalla

La Cartuja and Mestalla are stadiums more options they have.
Mestalla like the board of the RFEF.
If Mestalla acts Coldplay, La Cartuja is doing the same Bruce Springsteen.
Barça was in favor of Vicente Calderón.

The venue for the final of the Copa del Rey 2011-12, after two fruitless meetings will be decided on Tuesday at the meeting of the board of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), with the stages of La Cartuja and Mestalla which are presented as more options for hosting it.

The meeting, which starts at 12.00 (11.00 GMT) at the headquarters of the RFEF in Ciudad del Fútbol Las Rozas will be the first board after the election of Angel Maria Villar for a seventh term as head of the body and the debut of Joshua Urrutia, president of the Athletic Club, in the same. Urrutia, and Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, a member of board in a while, try to push hard the rest (about sixty members) to "get the upper hand" based on their respective favorite.

The agreement to a decision does not seem easy. At the last meeting between the finalists Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao, with federation members, after Serles confirmed the "no" to give Real Madrid the Bernabeu on grounds of remodeling, the clubs were very distant: the Barcelona Madrid was in favor of Vicente Calderón, 25 May, the Bilbao chose La Cartuja, on May 20.

The real possibility that the final of the Copa del Rey be played on May 20 and 25 (option contained in the assembly of the RFEF in the event that Barcelona does not go to the final of European Champions League , May 19), seems to rule out the Calderón. The Vicente Calderón (51,000 localities, after discounting the nearly 5,000 for security, organization, media, etc., leads to a Cup final) could not host the final on May 20, since that day is occupied by a concert by British band Coldplay. It is highly unlikely that a venue to be decided on 25 May and for the possibility of May 20. And also within federal feeling is fighting on Tuesday to enforce the latter date, if Barcelona is the European finalist, in order to give greater international break to attend the Euro 'Poland / Ukraine 2012 '.

The choice of La Cartuja (preferably managed by the Board of Andalusia, Seville City Council and County Council), desired by the Athletic grounds of capacity (about 64,000 locations), has claimed in recent days a major role. The stadium in Seville for weeks did not seem to have the maximum options for that host the final of its greater distance (860 km by road from Bilbao, 1,015 km from Barcelona) and a lawn maintenance considered more proper football stadium. Now it looks like great option.

The reasons for this are simple: more capacity than its direct competitors, well connected by air, rail, neutral ground, and also binds your lawn will be renewed after the concert at La Cartuja offer the American artist Bruce Springsteen, 13 May. The change of grass is determined because La Cartuja will host the June 3 Spain-China friendly (the mourning of friends Vicente del Bosque,José Antonio Camacho, coaches of both combined), the last of the Spanish team preparation before traveling to Euro 2012. From the organizational point of view would therefore be 'ideal' that La Cartuja was the headquarters of the Copa del Rey.

Mestalla Stadium (53,000 seats), the favorite week ago to host the final, something seems to have fallen out of favor for either team. And this rather curious for a reason, or at least striking. At the last meeting to decide the venue, both clubs pretty much ruled out arguing what came to be known as "negative proximity": Barcelona lost their last final at the Mestalla in Copa del Rey (2011, against Real Madrid), the Athletic fell there also 2009, before the Catalans own. But Mestalla is not entirely ruled out and even enjoys the favor of a number of members of the federation board and has great shooting in this type of games (two of the last three finals), good infrastructure and access roads to the city. And Valencia offered it known immediately after the "no" at the Bernabéu.

In any case, this Tuesday will clear the mystery about what eventually will host the match between the two clubs with the most titles in the competition. It will end the "soap opera" and now, finally, will discuss the final stage. What date is another matter. (via MD)

Benitez joins Guardiola and Mourinho as a trainee at Chelsea bench

The British media mention Josep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benítez as three of the candidates with which to replace Chelsea dreams Portuguese-Andre Villas Boas in the head coach.

José Mourinho, Rafael Benítez and Pep Guardiola are the names most sound in the English media to replace the Portuguese André Villas-Boas, dismissed in the troubled Chelsea bench.

Although the London club owner, Russian Roman Abramovich, said to be the second of Villas-Boas, former player "blue" Roberto Di Matteo, the manager of Chelsea lead the remainder of the season, the stakes are constantly and other names appear in them as the Dutchman Guus Hiddink or Italian Fabio Capello.

Villas-Boas, 34, earned a balance of twenty wins, ten draws and ten defeats in the eight months he was in front of Chelsea and left the London club in fifth place in the Premier League.

The former Porto coach, with whom she won three last year, joined Chelsea in June 2011 by thirteen million pounds (15 million euros).

Many are the fans, "blues" who want the return of José Mourinho to SW16. "The Special One" is the most successful coach who managed the club headed Roman Abramovich in the three years he commanded the Chelsea bench.

The current coach of Real Madrid has never hidden his desire to return to coaching in the Premier League and still maintains contact with some of the stars of the squad as captains John Terry and Frank Lampard or the Ivorian Didier Drogba.

Another leading candidate to succeed Villas-Boas is the Spanish Rafael Benítez, with extensive technical experience in the Premiership and the Champions League and, as Mourinho has not hidden his preference for training in England.

The good performance that could bring the most expensive signing in the history of the "blues" (60 million), Spanish Fernando Torres, is an asset in favor of coach from Madrid, currently without a team.

Benítez admitted in Dublin that would like to redirect a "big team that might struggle to win titles" and is open to listen to offers, but said he still has not received any of Chelsea.

The third name on the list of Roman Abramovich is the Spanish Josep Guardiola, coach of FC Barcelona who likes to Abramovich.

The bookmakers speculate that still has not signed the contract extension with the club "Blaugrana" but believe it will be difficult to change the good atmosphere Guardiola the Barcelona dressing room by a turbulent and complicated as the Chelsea.

It is only towards the Spanish league to where the eyes turn to when looking for possible replacements of the young Portuguese coach.

The former England manager Fabio Capello also appears in the list of possible replacements for, despite not achieving the objectives as national coach, yes he got results at both club level with Real Madrid, as with Milan, Roma and Juventus.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink, coach of Anzhi Makhachkala Russian, two well-known club where they play Spanish league such as Samuel Eto'o and Brazilian Roberto Carlos, is another of those appearing on the list of possible successors.

Hiddink has already occupied the bench at Stamford Bridge when Abramovich ceased to Luiz Felipe Scolari in February 2009 and the Dutch made ​​a good impression with both the coaching staff at Chelsea and with the Russian billionaire, with whom he still maintains a good relationship.

However, until the Russian tycoon tab does not move, Coach "blue" will be the second of Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, who himself confirmed the signing of his former assistant at West Bromwich Eddie Newton, formerly of Chelsea between 1990 and 1999. (via SPORT)

Freixa: “We want the rules of the game"

The spokesman outlined the Club’s position on the statements made by Sánchez Arminio when he said that the Technical Referee Committee intends to report Gerard Piqué.

Toni Freixa, Board of Directors spokesman, outlined FC Barcelona’s position on the declarations made by the President of the Technical Referee Committee, Victoriano Sánchez Arminio, where he said that the Committee would report Gerard Piqué for his statements after Barça’s League match this weekend. Freixa, who gave a press conference after meeting with President Sandro Rosell, said that “our players and coaching staff have always behaved impeccably. Our players, with FC Barcelona and the national team, have been impeccable.” The spokesman petitioned that the Club’s players “deserve impeccable treatment.”

One of FC Barcelona’s commitments is to “not argue about the job referees have,” said Freixa. However, the spokesman said that “this year we aren’t having much luck [with them],” and now it appears, to Mr. Rosell, that things “are looking worse.” Freixa said that “we aren’t losing faith and we hope that we end up with no arguments in regards to the way we currently feel.”

On the statements made by Sánchez Arminio, Freixa considers that the statements are “a display to the media, an opportunistic action that raises improper comparisons in a top class competition like the Spanish League.” The spokesman also said that Piqué told the referee how he felt after the match; that exchange didn’t make it into the referee’s post-match report. Therefore, Mr. Arminio’s words “position the player in the middle of an underserved controversy.”

FC Barcelona has decided to undertake a series of actions to address the current situation. Firstly, Freixa said that “we have sent a letter to the Real Federación Español de Fútbol (RFEF) where we formally request that they inform us on the conditions and criteria that the Referee Committee follows when they report [a case] to the Competition Committee.” In the letter, Freixa said that FC Barcelona “wants to know what conditions and criteria are applied by the Competition Committee [when the Committee] acts in a disciplinary manner.” In short, “we want to know what the rules of the game are,” said Freixa.

FC Barcelona has also requested that “the composition of the Competition Committee be reviewed, it must be more representative instead of the [current] unilateral composition.”

The Club will not attend tomorrow's RFEF meeting

FC Barcelona will not attend tomorrow’s Cup Final venue meeting chaired by the RFEF, “to show our disappointment.” Freixa said that in previous meetings to choose a venue for the final that “our objective arguments were not given value. We’ll leave it in the RFEF’s hand to pick a final venue.”

The Club will appeal Piqué's card

The Club also decided to appeal the red card shown to Gerard Piqué in the match against Sporting Gijón. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Cirque du Soleil visit Barça training

The members of the theatre company who are currently putting on the show ‘Corteo’ in Barcelona, visited this morning’s first team’s training session.

There was some special visitors at Barça's Monday morning training session, when members of the cast of the Cirque du Soleil, who are currently performing in the show 'Corteo' in the city, took the opportunity to see the best team in the world training and to have their photos taken with some of the players.

The visit was a return for the one made by Messi, Pedro, Alves, Mascherano and Sergio Busquets, who went to see the spectacular circus show. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Back to work preparing for Europe

The squad were back in training this morning as they begin preparations for Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Bayer Leverkusen.

Leo Messi was back with the rest of the group –made up of the 15 available first team players plus Tello and Muniesa from Barça B.

After Sunday's day off, the squad returned to work on pitch number 1 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper this morning with the focus on Wednesday's second leg game against Bayer Leverkusen at the Camp Nou.

Leo Messi was given a short break by Guardiola over the weekend, as he was suspended, but the Argentinean was back in training this morning alongside the rest of the available first team squad members and Tello and Muniesa from Barça B. As usual before a Champions League game, the players trained with the official UCL balls.

Alexis Sánchez, who was injured in the dying moments of Saturday's game against Sporting, did recovery work on the training pitch, whilst the other injured players -Abidal, Thiago, Afellay and Villa continued working on their own recovery programmes. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Joaquim Muntañola dies

The humorist, artist, author and famous Culé, Joaquim Muntañola Puig passed away this Monday. He was 97-years-old. After Valentí Castanys, Muntañola is considered to be the most important football cartoonist in Catalonia.

Joaquim Muntañola, born in Barcelona on April 9th, 1914, was one of the most popular artists in Catalonia. The artist, who contributed to the weekly ‘Barça’ magazine since the 50s, started his career in 1929. He contributed to the El Be Negre, Xut!, En Parufet, TBO and Papitu. After the war he worked with La Vanguardia, El Correo Catalán, Vida Deportiva, Barcelona Deportiva, Dicen..., El Mundo Deportivo, Lean, Barça and Revista Barcelonaista. He was a successful novelist, playwright, joke-book author - he was also an avid sculptor.

Muntañola, a huge Barça fan, counted Boisca, Seguer, the Gonzalvo and Kubala amongst his friends, he drew them like no other. He always considered it a privilege to be able to enjoy drawing and writing about his Club, he was very proud of the entity’s independent spirit. As a good Clué, he was very clear: “I always want Barça to win and I don’t care who plays or who the president is.”

On March 4th, 2000, the Retired FC Barcelona Players Group paid tribute to the artist, men of note, like Enric Gensana, Estanislau Basora and Antoni Ramallets figured amongst the attendees. Muntañola, who won the Creu de Sant Jordi that year, was distinguished with the gold insignia of the FCB Group. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Youth] FC Barcelona employees discover the New Masía

FC Barcelona employees tour La Masía Centre de Formació Oriol Tort.

La Masía Centre de Formació Oriol Tort, boarding school and athletic academy, was inaugurated on October 21st, 2011. The opening ceremony was watched in over 150 countries through FC Barcelona’s official communication channels, including an online telecast.

Barça has opened the doors to the New Masía to the Club’s employees. In groups of 7 to 10, Club workers have been able to discover the modern installations that currently house 72 young athletes. Carles Folguera, La Masía director, has taken on the role of acting tour guide during employee visits. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Youth] The cantera azulgrana slash the full of wins in a great day

The formative football teams of Barça continue the good dynamics and this week have won 16 games of the 17 they have played.

The azulgranas still occupy the top of the various competitions and most teams lead their classifications.

Goleada of Of Garcia Pimienta and Marc Guitart. With the win, the azulgranas are leaders and are at a six-point advantage over second-placed Gavà. The game started with a stronger Europe, which pressured the Barça. But as the minutes progressed after the first goal of Costa, the Juvenil B domain and won more ball possession and Europe only rarely had to dial. The azulgranas, but did not have many opportunities, they knew well their arrivals to the end goal. In the second half, fatigue began to show in the boys Angoy and Barça could play more comfortably. Ebwelle, Adama, Munir and Joel Huertas scored the three goals of the day remaining.

Exhibition scoring of the boys of Quique Álvarez and Ramon Ros at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper. Despite the result, Europe went very intense on the field and put pressure on the azulgranas, who were gradually coming into the game. Sanabria opened the scoring early in the 5th minute of the first half and two goals by Entrena, at 25 and 38, leaving the result in 3-0 at the break. After the break, Cadete A was completely with the mastery of the game and rounded the scoring with two goals over Sanabria, two trains and two of Albert Torras.

The set of Fran Artiga and Andrés Martin was ahead on the scoreboard very quickly, because at 2 min Iu opened the can. During the first 15 minutes the azulgranas played very well, with great intensity, and the game came to rest with Barça winning by the minimum. In the second half both teams enjoyed before, but none of them could materialize until the 74th minute goal from Alexis signed the peace that ended round the result.

Victoria of Infantil A in the twentieth day of the season against Gavà. Lee was the opener of a color match azulgrana, because the minute 8 premiered the score for Barça. The meeting went into halftime with all Fran Sánchez and Xavi Franquesa winning by a low, but the azulgranas resumption increased distances in the light with a goal by Javier Ruiz on 52 minutes, and only ten minutes after signing Braima it 3-0. Jang kill the game finished with a goal in the final minutes of play.

The azulgranas could not get the win in the field of Mercantil, a very strong opponent who started the game and advanced rapidly on the scoreboard with a goal on a counterattack move in the opening minutes of the meeting. The set of Denis Silva and Carles López had a good chance to tie the game, but could not materialize and local differences increased with two more goals on the counterattack. A target Oriol made ​​the result 3-1 at halftime. In the second half Barça continued to struggle and Oriol signed the double, but the azulgranas failed to take all three points.

Pau Martínez signed the double that gave the victory to the team of Marcel Sans and Isaac Garcia. The azulgranas went ahead on the scoreboard in the first quarter and were able to maintain this result to rest against an opponent who made ​​life difficult. After the break, Barça continued to have dominion and possession and Damm was able to control and take advantage on the scoreboard. Pau finished rounding the result in the third quarter, with a goal that gave the peace in the Alevín A.

The match played in the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper. The guys from Jordi Font and Jordi Puig had the domain in the first minutes of play but without creating danger, until Pere scored the first goal of the day. However, the visitors rallied with two goals the result that left the light with a 3-2, although the Alevín B did not give up and returned to take the lead with two goals over Djemba and Luke de Vega. When you had five minutes left of the game drove to Pedro, but Barça could keep the lead and eventually took the victory by the minimum.

The Martinenc came out strong in the field and made it difficult for the azulgranas with their defensive approach and very closed. The hosts went ahead on the scoreboard with a 2-0, but the team of Alex Gómez and Alexis Pinto was able to trace the result and went into halftime with a tie at 2. In the third and the fourth quarter, the domain was Alevín C, which was advanced in the bright and sentenced to five more goals. Take, who signed a hat-trick, Marc Guerrero (2), Nil Fabregó and Adrià marked the targets that gave victory to Barça.

The boys of Xavi Bravo and Oscar Hernández faced off with the leader of the competition and took the victory azulgrana. So now the two teams occupy the top of the table level on points. The match against Igualada was very crowded and not too many occasions for any of the two teams. The Alevín D battled throughout the game for the win, and finally a double by Julian gave the three valuable points to Barça.

The Benjamín A beat an opponent who did not create much danger throughout the game. The azulgranas dominated the game from the start, although not the first time enjoyed many times and had some difficulties. In the second period, the set of Marc Serra and David Sánchez was found more comfortable in the field of play and sealed the match. The win came in the Ilias (2), Kais (2), José and Marcos.

The team of Sergi Mila and Òscar Jorquera was very valuable victory against an opponent very close behind. The Benjamín B executed a good game and with much patience and a few plays of merit could find the spaces between the home defense. Iker González signed the hat-trick which gave the victory to the culés, with two goals in the second quarter and a third goal that rounded out the day in the third period.

The Benjamín C got the win in a tough game against the second in the league. In the first round, the Begues beat the azulgranas. So the whole Christian Catena and Albert Puig prepared the game very seriously. And as a result, the Barça beat the defensive strategy of the premises quietly and good circulation until the patient gave his reward and the locals were able to find holes between the opposing defense. The scorers of the day were Arnau Farnós (2), Alexander Balde and Xavi Simons, plus a late own goal from the local team.

Important victory of Benjamín D. The visitors took the lead in the bright and demanded a high level the azulgranas, especially in the first half. Despite the goal against, but all Jordi Pérez and David Sánchez was going into the meeting and took advantage of the turning points for scoring the goals. At the last minute of the first quarter Barça signed a tie, a result that remained until the break. After the break, the Benjamín D went very well and kill the game ended, but the rival was close on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Nadir (2) and Mamadou (2) scored the goals for the day. With the victory, the azulgranas are placed leaders with 8 points ahead of the Montanyesa, second placed.

The team of Rafa Rodríguez and Juan Antonio Gil stepped forward to be solid in a small field. The Prebenjamin raised a very serious game, and knew how to do it touched at all times. The azulgranas were far superior and offered a nice full set of combinations to a larger rival. The goals of the day ran by Marc Jurado (3), Ilias (2), Abdoul (2), Pablo and Sergi Oriol. (via FCBarcelona.cat)