11 March 2012

Barça has no choice but to win

No choice to Barça to go out the lawn of the New Sardinero boots with good roads, all senses alert and full of ambition.

After the victory of Madrid did new controversy, the club will start the game to 13 points for whites and therefore need to win to stay until the last minute rushing their league title chances.

Barça should demonstrate against Racing the same competitive capacity deployed last Wednesday against Bayer Leverkusen and find what would be the fourth consecutive victory in the Nuevo Sardinero, where Guardiola's team won last season by a clear 0-3 .

To get the win, the azulgranas would add a fourth consecutive victory in what league you will, a fact that also helps explain why the Madrid leads with so much advantage in the standings. The blancos have won 20 of their last 21 games played in the league.

Its irregularity as a visitor, seasoned with arbitration as the Valencia-Barça, to mention just one case, have penalized.

After missing the last league match through suspension and Sergio Busquets, Messi returned to the league after giving a new exhibition in Europe. It does, moreover, in a field for the Argentine, as the 'Pulga' is particularly good for Racing: has scored ten goals in twelve league games, five in their field.

Also return to the starting captain Carles Puyol, who despite medical travel without the high points to the owner after improving their discomfort. The absence of Piqué through suspension and Abidal by injury cause the return of captain pleases necessary to form a rearguard of guarantees with Mascherano, Alves and Adriano.

The azulgrana midfielder only Thiago is low, so the trio of Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta appear in the game, but Keita could also involve some options as well as Cesc, but the midfielder of Arenys could accompany Messi and Pedro presumably holders in forward. (via SPORT)

Thiago: "Xavi and I have nothing to do"

Thiago is not seen as heir to the '6' and hopes to play a lot more time with him.

Thiago Alcántara, in an interview published this weekend the El Mundo Magazine, reveals some curiosities. The azulgrana midfielder says his parents were the main references in his career up to the first team. "They incularon me to be respectful and honest. Also work, work, work as an essential foundation," he explains.

Despite being the son of a champion of the world as Mazinho, Thiago admits that neither he nor his brother felt pressure. "We have never been depressed, just that we were honest with what we decide and we had respect for the sport," he says. Thiago gets firm when asked if he is seen as the heir to Xavi.

"We have nothing to do with each other. How symbol? When both homegrown and play in the same position, people tend to look for heirs, but it is not. I look forward to playing a lot of time with him. I best that can happen to a kid from the quarry is to play alongside his idols. Xavi is one, Andrés Iniesta other ... I see myself more as a complement than as a successor. "

On the other hand, Thiago supports the importance of having family nearby. "The achievements are achieved with a woman next door, and parents and siblings very close." (via MD)

Racing - FC Barcelona: Santander test for winning streak

6 pm, R@dio Barça, GolT and Canal+ Liga: Barça go for their sixth consecutive away win against Racing. The presence of Puyol is the main news in the Barça squad.

The New Sardinero will be a good test of Barça's current form. The team have put together a run of three league wins plus an imposing ride into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Five wins in the last five encounters. The battle to maintain this winning streak– Barça are 13 points adrift of Real Madrid after the victory in Seville – will be played out in the New Sardinero, a ground Barça have found very favourable over the past three seasons.

Since Pep Guardiola took charge, Barça have won all of their matches away to Racing: 1-2 (2008/09), 1-4 (2009/10) and 0-3 (2010/11). It's been particularly fertile ground for Leo Messi, who scored five in the three games including Barça's 5000th league goal. The match also comes on the back of Messi's five-goal exhibition against Bayer Leverkusen (7-1), a feat that delighted fans across Europe.

The presence of Carles Puyol in the squad is the main news though the Barça captain has yet to get full clearance from Club doctors. However, Piqué (suspended) plus Thiago, Abidal, Alexis, Villa, Afellay and Fontàs (injury) are all discounted. With so many players missing or doubtful, Guardiola has a limited number of options, especially in defence, and has drafted in Tello, Muniesa, Sergi Roberto, Bartra and Montoya from the reserves.

It's been a difficult week for Racing Santander. The club, which currently sits second from bottom and three points adrift of safety, sacked manager Juanjo Gonzalez and brought in Álvaro Cervera, until then manager of Recreativo. The new man has had very little time to prepare his players and will also have to cope with the absence of goalkeeper Toño (suspended) and forward Acosta (injured). (via FCBarcelona.com)

Barça faced persecution at the hands clearly impossible

Another scandal arbitration facilitated the victory of Real Madrid and Barça, played on defense but on a roll, you must meet the processing of Santander.

Betis last night put the scare in the body of Real Madrid at the Benito Villamarin, but not grabbed any point. Could, no doubt, but the substitute arbitrator, who replaced the injured Iturralde González, pointed to another scandalous no penalty at the hands of Sergio Ramos at the last minute. He whistled yes, but dissemble. In this quest to deliver the title to the whites, the arbitral proceedings are becoming more embarrassing. The comeback from Barça is a mission impossible.

The team Azulgrana does not have to, then, that the Racing win today as process his relentless pursuit and wait for another opportunity to cut numbers, if the referees do not adulterate the league more than he is. The conference, however, are depleted beyond repair.

Barça reaches the critical stage in a state of enviable shape. What is Pep, who yesterday in the same newsroom where Mourinho feels "love fucking" her foot forcefully stopped, and so is the team that will play today in Santander emotionally strengthened by the latest results and determined not to surrender . Another final this time caught the Azulgrana defense for low injury and suspension but very tuned after stringing five official victories in a row, the last of prestige against Bayer in the Champions League with a stellar Messi.

It will be a test to evaluate again the high level of commitment to the locker room. You have to pitch in because the defense goes cracked. Piqué was at Barcelona sanctioned and Abidal injured. A Puyol has plagued him the damn left adductor and will doubt until the last minute. With only two natural defenses, Alves and Adriano, Pep must resort once again to Mascherano and who knows if Busquets, as against Villarreal in the second round. That, or the plan B that embody the canteranos.

Ahead, are all but Alexis and Thiago, even in nursing. And many of them showing its best. In this final and decisive stage, Iniesta is at its perfect cooking. Like Xavi or Cesc.

In the Sardinero shiver with the return of Messi after his one-match ban against Sporting. It's worth paying a ticket to see a genius capable of scoring five goals in one go. On the pitch Cantabrian already made ​​history as the author of goal 5,000 in League.

Although it is fertile ground for his three victories, Pep has a major problem. The hiring of Álvaro Cervera in the last hours has prevented study it carefully in his office at Camp Nou underground. Some have told of their systems, but not enough. It will be up improvise.

Three wins, a lot of goals and Leo
Pep has faced seven times Racing, getting six wins and one draw. The only equaled, curiously, was the first time the team was measured Cantabria, in the Camp Nou as a turning point in the 2008-2009 season debut bathed in criticism. His three visits to El Sardinero resulted in wins and goals. A 1-2 with goals from Messi the first time. A 1-4 in the second time with another brace from Leo, one of Ibra and a Pique. Last season was a 0-3 win thanks to Messi, Iniesta and Villa. (via MD)

Keita dialogued with Pep while Premier presses

The midfielder has claimed a little more time and will not be until April when they decide whether to continue or prefer a new adventure.

Seydou Keita is a man of his word. Before leaving for Africa Cup dispute was pending warned that a face to face with Pep Guardiola to have all the necessary facts before deciding his future. And the Malian fulfilled. African midfielder Barça coach had a meeting a couple of weeks.

From the environment of Keita ensures that the player still does not make a decision. Moreover, following the example set by the coach, Seydou has requested a little more time. For now, just want to focus on sports issues. The League is still alive despite the distance with Real Madrid as the team remains intact hopes Copa and Champions.

The vice president and head of the sports plot, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is also aware of all movements. The manager met with the advisors of Malian and both were located until mid-April to resume contacts. But not everyone is limited to see over time. The high performance and extreme professionalism Keita have not gone unnoticed at various clubs with enough economic potential to entice the midfielder. The attempts of Milan are public and notorious for months, but the list grows steadily prentendientes.

Premier League has come into play. Emissaries on behalf of the City, Man United and Liverpool have knocked on the doors of the representatives of the player, but so far have received the same answer: not the time to negotiate. Keita has given the slogan of waiting a few weeks. He wants to talk to Barça and his family. Then if you decide to leave, will be the turn of others. And meanwhile, the automatic renewal feature of the games is becoming closer to consummation. (via SPORT)

Adrián, possible target of Barça

Adrián López has conquered the hearts of of Atlético fans in his first year at the Calderón. And, apparently, also the technical services of FC Barcelona.

As reported daily AS on Saturday, Barca striker is closely Asturian, 24. And not alone, because the same happens with other heavyweights on the continent, like Manchester City.

The clause of Adrián is very affordable: 18 million euros. And to avoid surprises, Atlético have already put to work for aumentársela.

Adrián came to Atlético last summer from Deportivo La Coruña. Atletico did not have to pay a euro by transfer, since the contract was over. Their adaptation to the team has been very rapid. So much so that despite having already had two different coaches, Gregorio Manzano and Diego Simeone-sum and 14 goals: 7 in Europe, 6 in the league and one in the Copa del Rey.

Not the first time the name of Adrián is related to the club. In mid-February already speculated with an alleged offer by his representative, Eugenio Botas, the entity azulgrana. (via SPORT)

FC Barcelona arrives in Santander

The team led by Josep Guardiola arrived in Santander where they will play against Racing tomorrow at 18:00. The team was received by 300 Barça supporters in Cantabria.

FC Barcelona commenced their trip to Cantabria this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's match Racing Santander (18:00). The Barça team left the Camp Nou at 18:15 for El Prat airport. The plane took off at 19:15 and was scheduled to land in Santander at 20:10. The team was received by 300 Barça supporters who didn’t want to miss their chance to see the first team.

The coaching staff and the 18 players named to the squad, plus Carles Puyol, who doesn’t have the medical all-clear, including vice-president Javier Faus, director Pilar Guinovart and football director Andoni Zubizarreta form the Barça expedition.

Upon arrival, the team went straight to their hotel, Hotel Real. On Sunday, after the match against Racing, the first team will return to Barcelona at 21:30. Their plane is scheduled to land in the Catalan capital at 22:40. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Guardiola: "Let everyone know: We’ve won so much because we’ve been better than the rest"

The Barça manager has emphasised that winning 13 out of 16 titles is the merit of the players. “This is all down to the athletes, who have performed so well over the whole period”.

"Nobody’s gifted us anything. What we’ve won we’ve won with a lot of hard work”.

Turning to Sunday’s match, Guardiola told reporters that new Racing manager Álvaro Cervera added an unknown factor to the preparations.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Racing Santander, Josep Guardiola insisted that all the successes of FC Barcelona over the past four years are exclusively the responsibility of the quality and hard work of the players. However, he emphasised that the fact that Real Madrid lead the way in the league by a margin of ten points is also a reflection of their merit.

"Winning 13 out of 16 titles is all down to the athletes. In the end this game always belongs to the players. We've won because we've got some fantastic players. This is all down to the athletes, who have performed so well over the whole period". No doubt speaking with Jose Mourinho in mind, Guardiola made it quite clear that it is the players who win the titles.

Along the same lines, and bearing in mind recent comments by former Club vice-president Alfons Godall, Guardiola said: "Godall knows, as do Rosell and Florentino, that we have won because we've competed with hard work. It's very bad for football if the merit doesn't go to Messi and Cristiano. We've won so much because we've been better than the rest. If Madrid are ten points ahead it's because they've been better and we have slipped up. We accept responsibility. And if I say we won't win the league it's because making up that gap with Real Madrid is very difficult, as it is to referee."

However, Guardiola is used to this kind of pressure: "We've been like this for four years, always being under suspicion in everything we do for different reasons. This year's no exception. It's always for reasons that are not down to our team."

Guardiola was also very clear in his reply to comments made by José Mourinho: "Yes, he may have been referring to me. I hope he says the name next time. Everybody understood that he was going for me. We're alike in that we both want to win, there's no doubt about that. If I've behaved like him in other respects then obviously I'll have to change my ways. I don't feel that he's like me. There are words and images for anything. There are thousands of press conferences. Our paths are very different. We have always been honest. If in the end it really is like that I'll have to think harder and try to see where we've failed. My aim is not to put my Club and players in a bad light. I try not to make people ashamed of me as well as to generate a good atmosphere in my team."

Asked about recent insinuations that relations with the Spanish Federation could have an influence on the referees' decisions, Guardiola replied: "If that's the way it is, then the system of refereeing has a big problem. Barça and the rest of the teams have an obligation to maintain a good relationship with the Federation. Referees have been put under a lot of pressure and the president of the Spanish Football Federation should step forward and make a stand. He should come out and say that you win because of Messi, Cristiano and Mourinho, because if not it seems that you win because you're a friend of Angel Maria Villar (president of the Spanish Football Federation) and then we would have to talk about his buy-out clause".

As for Sunday's match against Racing Santander, Guardiola revealed that Barça has very little information due to the fact that manager Álvaro Cervera has only recently taken over: "We'll go there without much information. The only thing in our hands is to win our match in Santander. That's the only thing we can control. Santander is always a tricky ground and even more in the situation they're in".

Slow to retract false accusations

Finally, Guardiola gave his opinion on the legal proceedings following on from the false accusations of doping levelled at the Club's players by the COPE radio station. "They should have admitted they'd lied a few days after it happened instead of going to court. It's taken quite a bit. They could have admitted it a couple of days afterwards." He rounded off his remarks by pointing out that the programme is still on air. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Barça B; Liga Adelante; Week28] CE Sabadell 0 - 0 FC Barcelona B

Eusebio's team could not score in a match that has dominated the first half, but has been more competitive and better chances for the second part arlequinados

The stage of the Nova Creu Alta is vibrated with the derby and has achieved a good entry: 6,800 spectators.

The Catalan derby of the Second Division ended with a tie. After a first half quite open, but with the control and the best times for the whole of Eusebio Sacristán, and a second part with more arrivals equaled Sabadell, the meeting between the two Catalan teams tied on points of Liga Adelante is complete with a goalless draw. The subsidiary azulgrana thus shackled his third straight game without scoring, but it takes a point on the stage of Nova Creu Alta.

Round game in the first half. The two teams have gone very intense and fighters, wanting to take all three points, and then have reached the time. Balliu had the first of the azulgranas to their feet in the 8th minute, in one embodiment from the right that has not reached the area harlequin. Only four minutes later, Sergi Gomez has done a good pass Riverola, Barcelona midfielder lifted the ball over the defense, but De Navas has trapped.

Although Barça B has taken most of the initiative, dominate most plays, the Sabadell has not dropped his arms and tried. Both teams wanted to play the ball on the ground and surprise the opponent through the circulation, but none of them had any luck in front of goal. Deulofeu has had a good chance to open the light when it marked the 30th minute of play. The Riudarenes has tried to place the ball and enter it by the back post, but the move has not gone.

By rival, Antonio Hidalgo has failed Sabadell clear opportunity on 36 minutes. The midfielder was left alone with the goalkeeper, has tried to overcome but has finished Oier stopping the play. Just one minute later, however, Espinosa sent a ball into the hands of De Navas. The meeting has regained the intensity of the first minutes after a few moments more relaxed and returned to the tactical level. At the last minute of the half, Rafinha has reached the danger zone harlequin, his shot was deflected Toni has Lao and the ball is over the crossbar.

The second half started even, and during the first minutes of play neither team has enjoyed good chances to open the scoring. Deulofeu has done a good center, but the goalkeeper guessed right Sabadell has captured the play and the ball. Rafinha has had a chance in the 32nd minute on a fielder's fault, but deflected the ball has gone over the goal of De Navas. The meeting continued disputed, but have pressured arlequinados Eusebio Sacristan and have enjoyed better times in the last minutes. The most obvious has arrived in stoppage time. Lanzarote has passed the azulgrana defense a great individual play, but the definition has failed. Finally, then, the Catalan derby of the Second Division has been tied after 90 minutes full of intensity and times.

Next week Barça B will attempt to reconnect with victory in the Miniestadi before the Alcorcón. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Match Stats]
CE Sabadell: De Navas, Hidalgo, Juanjo, Ramírez, Puigdollers, Baha (Florian, min 64), Pablo Ruiz, Toni Lao, Redondo (Lanzarote, min 25), Ezequiel y Olmo (Agustín, min 27).

FC Barcelona B: Oier, Balliu, S. Gómez, Armando, Planas, Dos Santos, Riverola, Espinosa (Carmona, min 24), Rafinha, Deulofeu (Rodri, min 74) y Kiko Femenía (Lobato, min 90+).

Referee: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias (colegio navarro). Card to Espinosa (min 24), to Redondo (min 35), to Olmo (min 26), to Baha (min 33) and Sergi Gómez (min 43).