17 March 2012

[Barça B] Lobato, down to Barça B match against Alcorcon

"We must regain the positive feelings," said coach Eusebio Sacristán in advance of the 29th game of the season.

Illie and minorities continue to be injured. In addition, the technical worth · Valladolid also be without Marc Muniesa and Tello squad for the game's first team in Seville.

Before facing the duel of the 29th league game against Alcorcón, the Barcelona reserve team players trained Saturday at the Ciudad Deportiva de Sant Joan Despi. With the known rate of Illie and Miño, Eusebio Sacristán not be without Lobato, who has an overload on the back of the right thigh. Meanwhile, the forward Dongou trained under the guidance of technical and culé could play the whole game against Madrilenian at the Miniestadi.

Marc Muniesa and Cristian Tello, in turn, have traveled with the expedition Barcelona to Andalusia to play the game against Sevilla. Recall that Pep Guardiola said at a news conference Friday that Muniesa will be the first team until next season to the low Abidal.

Despite losing an important piece of the team, coach Eusebio Sacristán was happy with the Blaugrana side: "It is very good news, is a prize for their work, as it is doing very well. We can not have him, but we have a large staff to deal with guarantees that the rest of the season. "

Besides, the worth-Valladolid praised the game against Alcorcon and highlighted the enormous talent of the rival league. "It will be very difficult to play against a great team, one of the best in the category. Dynamics is a very positive and will be a very dangerous opponent," he said in his appearance before the media.

Finally, the manager talked little about the success goalscoring of his players in recent games and said it's time to reconnect with the victory. "This team has arguments to generate chances and score goals. We have to win. We must fight to win and regain the positive feelings," he concludes. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Mourinho sympathized with Abidal

The Luso announces a support act tomorrow part of his team.
Mou: "You have to wish him a long and happy life."


How could it be otherwise, José Mourinho, coach of Real Madrid, expressed solidarity with the FC Barcelona player Eric Abidal, who will undergo a liver transplant in the next few days.The Portuguese spread his speech in support French footballer in the pre-game that his team will play tomorrow against Málaga.

"We all know we are all together. Our players will show this morning, without words, without public demonstrations. There are no white or azulgrana, no colors but a young man and, most important for everyone, is to have a fantastic life, "he said. For Mou, Abidal is "a fantastic guy. Sportingly has nothing else to do and has done a great career. If you can play again, wonderful and you have to applaud him, and if you can not because it is very serious, just have to wish him a long and happy life. " (via MD)

Barça is already in Seville

Guardiola's team has come this afternoon to the Andalusian capital. The sky obscured by the fog has welcomed the azulgranas.

Guardiola has traveled with 19 players, with Alexis and Thiago as new once recovered from his injuries.

FC Barcelona and Sevilla is to play tonight at the Sánchez Pizjuán the match of the 28 th day of the season (20 hours). The Catalans, who were greeted by about 300 fans at the airport, have landed in the Andalusian capital before 12 noon. The expedition found a city of the sky obscured by fog.

Guardiola's team has come at 10 am in Barcelona with news in the squad of Alexis Sánchez and Thiago Alcántara, who were discharged from hospital on Friday. The call also Marc Muniesa and Cristian Tello, Barca B players.

The vice president has led institutional Carles Vilarrubí representation azulgrana in Seville. Managers have also been Antoni Freixa, Pilar Ramon and Josep Guinovart Vidal-Abarca, and the director of the Sports Area Football, Andoni Zubizarreta, and Amador Bernabéu, representative of the relations of FC Barcelona with UEFA.

Sevilla - FC Barcelona: This one’s for you, Abi

20.00, GOLT, Canal+Liga and R@dio Barça: Barça travel to Seville in the hope of getting three points that they’ll be able to dedicate to Abidal and also keep up the pressure on the league leaders.

This evening, Barça face the always tricky challenge of playing away to Sevilla. There is no denying the importance of the game in terms of the team's league challenge, but little did that seem to matter on Thursday when it was revealed that Éric Abidal is going to need a liver transplant. Exactly a year after the Frenchman's illness was made public, the Barça squad has received another dreadful shock. But just like twelve months ago, everybody knows that their team mate is going to be able to get through this.

The players are obviously keen to be able to dedicate a win to Abi, which will also serve to put pressure on Real Madrid, who are currently ten points clear at the top of the table. And it will also be a moment for not just Barcelona but the whole football world to honour the loss of the legendary Estanislau Basora, who departed this world on Friday at the age of 85.

But it was not all despair at Barça this week. There was brighter news when it was revealed that both Alexis Sánchez and Thiago Alcántara have been declared fully fit and have been included in the 19-man squad. They are joined by Tello and Muniesa from the reserves. Missing, in addition to Abidal, are Villa, Afellay and Fontàs.

Sevilla, have a different manager now to the one who led them to the Camp Nou earlier this season, and became the only league side to get a point there this term. Marcelino has gone, and Míchel has arrived. The Andalusians had looked to be improving under their new boss, but the last two games have seen the gap between them and Europe widen to five points. They need to make amends for those setbacks, but will be seeking to do so without the services of the suspended Koke and Fazio. There are also serious doubts regarding the fitness of Navas, Negredo and Spahic, but all three have nevertheless been included in the squad. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Barça Eleven of Internet of Mundo Deportivo at Sevilla


With almost 17,000 votes in record time Internet users Mundo Deportivo have set the starting field Barça virtual Sevilla for the party for Week 28 of La Liga.

An eleven with warranties, with full guarantees and has been used in more than one occasion by Mr. Blaugrana, in a lineup in which we find up to eight first team players trained in the ranks of club.

When making the choice, our netizens have made ​​analyzes as: "You have to go with everything, we had a week off and midweek home game against Granada, in theory, to rotate. Another thing we should be doing , started with Puyol on the left side. Eleven: Valdes Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Puyol, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Cesc and Tello. we can not risk even with Alexis, and Peter is not ahead of Tello "or" You have to go everywhere with Valdés, Alves, Adriano, Mascherano, Puyol, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Fàbregas and Alexis. Piqué played with over-reliance, so make fatal mistakes, if you play simple as we did before the sinking that both want. "

Some also speak of "party trick. Sevilla is no small feat and is in need of points or suffer. Out to play a Champions League final, this and all our remaining games. Is what it is if you win the league. the worst rival Barça is Barca. Wanting is power and Barça can. "

With these comments and after accounting for vostos, virtual eleven would consist of eight homegrown players, sienso Messi (1396), Alves (1391), Valdés (1388), Iniesta (1379) and Xavi (1358) the five players who have more votes obtained at time of writing. (via MD)

Thus, eleven of our Internet users to the shock in the Pizjuán, the form:

Goalkeer: Valdés
Defense: Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Puyol
Midfielders: Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Fàbregas
Forwards: Alexis, Messi

Official twitter account of Eric Abidal


The official statement of the Society of Lawyers NPS Consulting states: "As a lawyer, declare that the twitter account @ EricAbidal22 not the official Web site of Mr. Eric Abidal. Therefore, the information sent from this account is incorrect. are currently undertaking the necessary legal steps to take legal action for identity theft. the official website of Mr. Eric Abidal is @ EAbidalOfficial ". (via MD)

[Barça B] Barça does not yield to Rafinha to Brazil

This is the most used footballer Eusebio Sacristan this season at Barça B and his absence would be a huge setback.

Rafa Alcántara received the news of his call to the Brazil youth team with great joy. The Barça B player was about to fulfill his dream, which is none other than wear the shirt combined with his father, Mazinho, won a World Cup.

The CBF was made ​​official its presence through its website, but yesterday backed down and announced that the Blaugrana will not be in the team Ney Franco. The reason is that it is not dated FIFA and Barça are not required to give your player. And the Blaugrana entity has exercised its right to prevent Rafinha miss a month of competition with the subsidiary that manages Eusebio Sacristan. The smaller of the Alcántara should join Brazil under 20 on Monday 19 March to Thursday 19 April. The plan included a preparation in Brazil, contest the MIC (Mediterranean International Cup) on the Costa Brava from 3 to 8 April and play two more friendlies Tasting. Rafinha is the player most used by Eusebio in the Barça B and the club does not contemplate the prospect of losing so much time on his player.

The player's father, Mazinho, is in Brazil and is making a link between Barça and the CBF, they keep talking about the possibility of having the player. The intention of the Brazilian federation is that Rafa does is with the other youth of the 'canarinhá 3 to 8 Apr. at MIC, drawing which takes place a few kilometers from Barcelona, ​​in the Girona. The illusion of the player is wearing the shirt of Brazil, although the RFEF pampers you all you can to choose 'La Roja as did his brother Thiago. (via SPORT)

reunion Cesc-Kanoute with Sevilla-Barça

The forward recovered from his injury, return to the list and will face the Arenys the tension leaving his last game.

Barça-Sevilla in the first round was one of the most tense games he has played the Blaugrana this season. Table hispalense resisted the push barcelonista, Javi Varas stopped a penalty Messi and Cesc was attacked by Kanoute shortly before the release in a move that brought a lot of tail. This afternoon, both teams meet again and match the two players on the field, but in a tone very different from how we ended the match at Camp Nou.

Cesc was accused of racist insults dedicated Kanoute through the speaker of social networks. The issue is clouded to the point where the players took personal responsibility for resolving the misunderstanding.

The midfielder had rebuked the mall after he touched the ball to Messi just before the release of penalty. Kanoute reacted in the face knocking Fàbregas and was sent off. The version that Cesc had devoted racist insults at Sevilla was denied by both. The Blaugrana did not hesitate to reach out to Africa in a phone call reprimanded for having bad manners of behavior, while Kanoute apologized for reacting with aggression. Anyway, Cesc was very clear that in no case had been disrespectful to his opponent by beliefs.

The Arenys won the admiration of the Arab people throughout the controversy over the words of praise he had for his people, remembering that your partner is Lebanese, and that his head the idea would never disrespect.

Cesc, apperceived sanction

Cesc Fàbregas is just a yellow card to reach the five and having to meet a match suspension. The midfielder should be very careful in the match tonight and that a new card would prevent him from playing Tuesday in the next game of the season in a match that will measure intersemanal Barça Granada with at the Camp Nou. (via SPORT)

Messi, without 'sticks' on the way

The Barcelona forward has experienced all sorts of feelings against Sevilla. He has scored ten goals but has also suffered two rebuke.

Barça will try to overcome one of the hardest journeys that detract remainder of the season being played again the trick of Leo Messi. Sevilla is a touchstone to which the Argentine used to perform at high level, but luck will accompany stopped two quotes that left a wound: the tie copera lost the Cup in 2010 and the party of the League first round of this season at the Camp Nou where Javi Varas he stopped a penalty in injury time.

This time, Messi will get rid of the doorman who soured the night in the Barcelona stadium since Michel decided to bench his arrival at Sevilla relieve Varas and return to the starting Andrés Palop. The Valencian is another goal of full guarantees, although it has been more often the poison of Argentina. Leo's streak against the Andalusians is really good overall. In the eleven clash in la Liga, Argentina has managed ten goals. The most important of them at the Sánchez Pizjuán was in the 2009-10 season when he scored one of the three goals that allowed Barca to face the last game of the season against Valladolid depending on himself to reach the championship in the heartbeat with the Real Madrid Manuel Pellegrini.

Messi is a sweet moment and showed that Santander has also tuned to zero in the away games in the league. His' double in Cantabrian land allowed to add three new points and prevent the Real Madrid put more land in between the fight for the title.

Furthermore, these two goals, added to the historic five scored against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, approached the front to the legendary mark of Caesar. The 235 Leon begin to be shot Rosario, who accumulated 230 points, and the fixtures aims to make history with the Blaugrana shirt.

Messi accumulates at this point in season 50 goals, 30 of them in the league championship. Your first goal is to help the team achieve victory without losing sight that is open struggle for the top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese has 32 ​​goals and Sunday will face Malaga in the duel that measured at Real Madrid and Malaga at the Santiago Bernabéu. It will be another day in which the two best players in the world will continue to measure their strength. The Luso has a slight advantage, but Leo has picked up momentum in the crucial moment of the season that Barça will fight to finish curdling the other end of the season remembered for many years.

Shirts jump to support Abidal

The Barça players jump on the field today with T-shirts to support Eric Abidal, who must undergo a liver transplant. They did in the league match against Getafe last season when the French disease was detected again today and show the love they feel towards the French. The gesture of the first team will be repeated in the other professional sections. The hockey team was the first to support Abidal before the match played yesterday at the Palau Viareggio correspondientre against the fifth round of the European League. Wore the motto "Courage Abi". Alusport Barça football pitch, meanwhile, played this morning (13.00 h.) In front of the Pozo Murcia in Week 22 of the National League and basketball Regal Barca will face Blusens Monbus this afternoon (20.00 h.) in Palau. The last team to enter the lists will be the club handball Intersport, which plays tomorrow at Montpellier in the Champions League. (via SPORT)

Adriano Galliani: "Messi is unreachable"

For the Milan vice president, "no matter if we play the first leg at home. We are proud to be in the Champions League", while acknowledging that the club has in its ranks with the best player in the world: Messi. Argentine crack, Galliani has said it is "unreachable", and acknowledged that "we like the culture and tradition. The clash against Barca will be a festival of football." (via MD)

Allegri: "If we win Barça will be in the final"

"We have met the strongest team in the world, but we can do well."


A few nerves and confidence within the Milan's visit to Barça next March 28 in the first leg of quarterfinals of the Champions League, as has brought a whimsical drawing. Upon hearing of the match, the Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, declared that one should look on the bright side face Barça: "If we move, we have many options to reach the final."

At a news conference before heading to Parma, where on Saturday at 18.00 tjenen their Serie A match, Allegri said he was aware of how difficult it is to overcome Milan Guardiola's team, even more so when the leg is played at the Camp Nou as the precedents are in favor of the Blaugrana. Some comments reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We have met the strongest team in the world, but we can do well, because since the last time we played Barcelona we've improved a lot, but lost at home." Aware of their options, Allegri added that "the Milan always gets the best of himself. Our self esteem has grown and we can move the tie." A word in the Italian press that acquire a special emphasis when they pick the Pep Guardiola: "To be a champion you have to beat the best, and Milan has some fantastic players. They are the leaders of the Italian league."

Milan coach is the necessary support to their declaciones optimistic recovery of his players. Gradually the whole infirmary empties Rossoneri. Kevin Prince Boateng, who was the author of 2 to 3 in the final stage of Champions between Milan and San Siro Bara, you are under the orders of his coach in the next Serie A match against Roma by Luis Enrique. In turn, Gattuso and Seedorf are on the right path, but remains to be seen how the state of the arriving and Van Bommel Zambrotta, Pato without forgetting that "still working", although the recovery is expected Brazilian Deol later. (via MD)

Borghi: "I do not want to discuss with Guardiola"

Claudio Borghi, Chilean coach, avoided confronting the Barca coach for the last occurrence of Alexis Sánchez.

"I do not care to enter into discussions with Guardiola. I am interested in the player (Alexis Smith) is good and that we can take him and us," he told Radio Cooperativa.

Borghi also refused to blame Barça for the injuries suffered by the player in recent months. "I did not mean to (Guardiola) infiltrating (Sánchez). I said that in selecting anyone ever infiltrate and never put an injured player," he said.

The coach of Chile, who plays World Cup qualifiers in June, welcomed the invitation of Guardiola to know how to work from Barcelona. "The invitation thank you very much. Selection is also available if he wants to see how it works. We know how they work, because after a game we play in Europe's coaching staff stayed in Barcelona three days and also Alexis came with a kinesiologist, so we know how to treat and how is Alexis, "he said. (via SPORT)

[Ex-player] Coco: "Los duelos entre Barça y Milan serán fascinantes"

The Italian ex-fulkback acknowledged the potential of Barça and Guardiola felt that "are much more likely" to beat the heat.

The ex-defender Italiano Francesco Coco, who played for FC Barcelona in 2001/02 season, looked on Friday quarter-final draw of the Champions League and Barca acknowledged favoritism in the tie.

Speaking to 'Esports COPE', Coco stated that "nobody wanted to face to Barça. It is the strongest team, along with Madrid, and has many more possibilities."

In 'clave Milan', set in which he played up to three different stages, Coco said that "it will be a tough game, but have a good squad and strong players."

On the current state of the Rossoneri, the Italian ex-fulkback said its good performance in Europe this season but might not be enough to knock to Barça: "Milan played well in the Champions League. There will be two fascinating and very good games, but Barça has more and more likely to move to the semifinal. "

Coco also surrendered to the unmistakable style of Barça, "Always play the same way both in and outside the Camp Nou, unlike other teams." And, last but not least, also considered a plus for the fact Barca play the return of the tie at the Camp Nou: "Playing around is a plus for."

"It's the most important player for Milan. Will have great motivation, and that he will be a very important game." So the Barça alerted Coco potential role of 'Ibra' in the tie against Barça in his return to Camp Nou. "It's awesome. Can do important things," he added.

In that sense, Coco was opposed to Arrigo Sacchi, who said the Swedish forward "is a big player in small teams and small in large teams." The Italian ex-fulkback defended Ibrahimovic "is a major player, a great player."

Coco wanted to clarify, yes, that 'Ibra' "in big games against big teams, sometimes you need a little head." "If the game is important, he suffers psychologically," he acknowledged, but Zlatan summarized his review by stating that "an undisputed player that can win games by himself." (via SPORT)

Barça follows Betis full-back Álex Martínez

In Seville ensure that the club has all season following the evolutions of the left back of Betis and could formalize an offer soon.

Barça closely follows Álex Martínez, left back of Betis, and possible incorporation into the market next summer.

As revealed on Friday the 'Diario de Sevilla', several scouts from all season Barça are looking to Álex Martínez and the club raises formalize an offer to take over its services.

Joining Barça, Betis would side landing on the branch, with Pep Guardiola very attentive to their movements. In fact, Martínez leads all season alternating the Betis first team of the subsidiary, which is indisputable. With the first team has just played a few games but he has accomplished his debut in first and has the confidence of Pepe Mel for the future.

At 20, Martínez has conquered Valdivieso, the scout Barca in the area of Western Andalusia, who has analyzed the evolution of the Seville full-back in almost every game he has played this season.

A Valdivieso reports would have joined Albert Puig, Barça technical secretary training, which would have alerted the club and have already contacted the company that represents the player.

Martínez, contract ending in 2015, has a buyout clause of € 1.2 million rise on 1 July to 20 million automatically. Thus, movement of the Barça, to occur, should be well in advance, to avoid the cost of operation is triggered.

Fontàs's injury, Abidal problems with their disease and the transfer of Maxwell in the January forcing the club to strengthen the left flank of the defense. The youth of Álex Martínez and his versatility, can also act as end-could open the doors of Barça. (via SPORT)

[Ex-player] Reiziger: "Milan is vulnerable and Barça is strong in the Champions"

The Dutch ex-fulkback Barça considered as the "favorite" to overcome the tie against Milan, said some possible clues to the crossing and gave his opinion on the future of Guardiola.

The FC Barcelona ex-fulkback Michael Reiziger considered exequipo Friday as his "favorite" to defeat AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the Champions League after the draw made on Friday.

Reiziger, who also played for Milan before landing a season at Barça, told the program 'More Esports' of COMRàdio that "Barça are favorites, is much better than Milan. I have no doubt."

The ex-fulkback Dutch, who defended the club's colors over seven seasons (1997-2004), said: "Milan is vulnerable," while emphasizing that Barça "is well in the Champions" and recognized "enjoy a lot with Barça's game. "

Reiziger also considered that the Italians may have a key to the absence leg. "Milan will miss Van Bommel in the first leg," also commented on the exazulgrana, suspended for this meeting.

Given the possibility of a Madrid-Barça end, the Dutch ex-fulkback warned that "the Bayern Munich to Madrid can remove if you are facing in the semis."

Reiziger also wanted to join the massive support of FC Barcelona and the world of sport to Eric Abidal. "I want to wish good luck to Abidal," he said.

On the other hand, also addressed the recurring theme of the renewal of Pep Guardiola, his former teammate in his stage play. "He has a secret we all want to know. I hope it continues," he said, while recalling that "it is amazing how Guardiola has changed to Barça."

In this regard, Reiziger asked an effort to Barça for retaining Pep. "The club has to give everything and pull hard for Guardiola to stay," he said, in addition to warning that "if you will, it is very difficult to choose coach and will also be difficult to come". "Replace Guardiola is almost impossible," he said. (via SPORT)

Zidane: "Abidal will be further strengthened its liver transplant"

The exinternacional French, director of the Real Madrid first team sent a message of encouragement to his compatriot, who must undergo a liver transplant.

"I know him very well, I played a lot with him. It is a difficult fight but I know it will emerge stronger," said Abidal exmadridista on RMC radio. "I tell you to have courage, it is most important for him and his family," he said.

The French coach Laurent Blanc, also sent a message to the player who wanted to convey calm ahead of the announcement for the tournament. "I'm not coaching, I think the player today and in humans," said Blanc in a message through the website of the French Football Federation.

The coach called it "a sad day" for the player and the coaching staff "that goes beyond football, talk about important things"

"I hope to show that his great mental strength can overcome this crisis," said Blanc, who on behalf of the entire coaching staff sent "a message of strength for him and his family," he added.

Through social networks, other players also sent messages of support. "My friend Eric Abidal, courage, brother, I hope all goes well," wrote Samir Nasri. Bafétimbi Gomis is considered "a great gentleman of football with many values​​" and Djibrill Cisse sent him "strength." (via SPORT)

Italian press has no doubts: "At Milan he has had the worst possible rival"

The match Milan with Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the Champions League has managed to unite the Italian newspapers, azulgrana equipment scoring at the "worst possible rival."

'Gazzetta dello Sport': The main Italian sports daily qualify to Barça as "the worst rival the draw." "Milan has been very unlucky in the draw to be judged on Barça in the quarterfinals of the Champions League", summarizes the paper through its website. It also reflects the words of Milan organizing director Umberto Gandini, recalling the previous two this season (2-2 at Camp Nou, 2-3 in Milan), which could encourage optimism. "Milan is much better now than then," he says.

'Corriere dello Sport': The vision of this Italian newspaper does not differ at all with the view of the 'Gazzetta': "It was a very tough draw for Milan. From Nyon urn has left the worst opponent possible: Barcelona of Leo Messi. "

'Tuttosport': The Turin Sports coincide in stating that "draw in Nyon has not been kind to the squad 'Rossoneri', which will face the world champions."

'La Repubblica': The prestigious Italian newspaper opens its sports section with the headline "a bitter draw for Milan." "The urn smiled Nyon not the 'Rossoneri', which measured the title favorite. Could have been much better," explains the website, which reviews the 14 history between the two teams that are divided into five victories side and four draws.

'Corriere della Sera: This medium is the only one who, despite

recognize
how difficult it is to eliminate Barça shows some optimism before the tie. "It is absurd to put to explain why it has not been lucky draw for Milan, but should also explain that there is reason for hope against Barça," says the 'Corriere della Sera', which believes that Milan has improved from the last meeting between the teams and the club, however, is not at its best because of several aspects such as injuries of key players or the ten points leads Madrid in la Liga. (via SPORT)

Spotlight on Sevilla CF

Barça’s opponents on Saturday are Sevilla, who are one of Spain’s oldest clubs. After great success in recent years, this season has proved to be complicated and the team are struggling to get into the European places.

HISTORY

Founded in 1905, Sevilla won their only league title in 1945 and also ended as runners up four times in the 40s and 50s, but in many ways their golden age came in the first decade of this century, when they won two Spanish Cups, two UEFA Cups and a Spanish and European Super Cup. In the midst of that success though, the Club were stunned by the death of their defender Antonio Puerta during the first match of the 2007-8 season. Three days later they lost to Milan in the European Super Cup final and in October, coach Juande Ramos left to join Spurs. They reached the Champions League in 2009, despite losing Alves and Keita and the following year they were back in the trophies, taking the Spanish Cup by beating Atlético Madrid 2-0 in the final at the Camp Nou. After losing the Spanish Super Cup to Barça, the 2010-11 season was disappointing, with the team failing to get through the Champions League qualifying stages and finishing fifth in the league, four points behind Villarreal.

Sevilla are currently down in 11th place, on 33 points, five adrift of the European places. Despite being the only team to take a point from the Camp Nou this year, so far they have won just twice on the road and only Villarreal have scored less than their eight goals away from home, whilst at the Sánchez Pijuán, their six wins and three draws have just about kept their heads above water. Their poor form brought about the sacking of Marcelino in early February and although they initially recorded good wins against Osasuna and Valencia, as well as a draw against Atlático Madrid, last week’s 1-0 defeat to Sporting was a real setback.

Michel joined Sevilla in February after a successful period at Getafe, who he took to their best ever league finish in 2010 with an attacking attractive style of play, but it is as a Real Madrid and Spanish player that he is most well known, having won five league titles in the 80s and 90s, as well as 66 international caps.

Three of Barça’s current squad, Dani Alves, Seydou Keita and Adriano, were signed from Sevilla. Alves joined Sevilla in 2002 and played for six seasons before coming to Barça for 35.5 million Euros in 2008. Seydou Keita played with Alves in the 2007-08 season, before he became the first signing of the Guardiola era. Adriano took the same route after playing for Sevilla from 2004 to 2010, before joining Barça at the start of last season. Barcelona born Fernando Navarro was seen as a natural replacement for Sergi at the start of the 2002-03 season, but a bad injury, sustained ironically against Sevilla, cut his progress and he moved to Mallorca in
2005, before in the summer of 2008 he signed for Sevilla, where he has established himself as a regular.

Sevilla’s leading scorer Alvaro Negredo is a bustling handful for any defence and “The Shark of Vallecas” is a proven goalscorer – bagging 27 last season. Negredo was signed from Real Madrid in 2009 after he’d rejoined the club from a successful two year spell at Almeria and became Sevilla’s most expensive ever signing. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Estanislau Basora, member of Barça's legendary Five Cup squad, passes away

We are sad to announce the death on Friday morning of Estanislau Basora. He was 85 and will be remembered as one of the most emblematic players in FC Barcelona history.

He was one of the finest wingers of his time and in the 1950s was part of the Barça team that won five cups.

MORE: www.fcbarcelona.com

Guardiola: “It’s the moment of truth”

The Barça manager reckons the real tests are only about to begin, in all of the Champions League, Liga and Copa del Rey. From now on, he warns, “there is no turning the page after any setbacks.”

He also feels that it will be of benefit to everybody that the return leg of the Champions League quarter final against AC Milan will be at the Camp Nou.

Guardiola described Abidal as an “irreplaceable and unrepeatable” player and says that right now nothing is more important than “finding a solution to the illness he’s suffering so that he can carry on with his life”.



The draw has been made for the quarter finals of the Champions League, the Copa del Rey final is not far off, and there are fewer weekends than ever left in the domestic championship. For FC Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola, "this is the moment of truth ... From now on there is no turning the page after any setbacks." The team has to be on even better form than ever "and we have to demonstrate that again tomorrow" he said, in direct reference to Saturday's visit to the Sánchez Pizjuán.

He was speaking shortly after learning who their next European opponents will be. "We've got Milan, one of the greatest teams in European history, and who have some fantastic players. It will be a very difficult tie, but really nice at the same time. Every time we have been champions, we have beaten them. We're the champions of Europe, and to be champions again, we've got to beat the best."

Call for support

Guardiola, who previously made it clear that he'd rather not play a team they have already faced this season, is calling on the Camp Nou's support. "We need everyone's help, especially for the return leg. They'll be terribly tough matches, because Milan is a strong team in every sense. People need to charge their batteries for the quarters, because we really need them to come and support us."

The manager commented that everyone at FC Barcelona is obviously concerned about Abidal, who the club announced on Thursday is going to require a liver transplant. "We knew there was a chance that it might repeat. He knows he has us, and everybody else, because he is much-loved person. What really matters right now is to find a solution to this illness so he can continue with his life. That's life, and he has to fight against this. Now he's ill, and he has to be cured."

Guardiola went on to say that "he has behaved impeccably. He has taught us so many things, but I imagine it's not easy for him on the inside. If he's loved so much it's because he has won that love. The Camp Nou's ovation in the semi finals of the Champions League was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. He's a very good person, and very much loved by the squad. If people love him so much it's because he has earned it, and I'm sure that that will give him a lot of strength to get through this." Guardiola also said that he has always left it up to the player to decide whether he was up to playing or not. "I am still surprised how he was able to show such willingness, so much respect for the club and his colleagues" he commented. "If it was up to him, he'd play tomorrow."

He added that the decision to renew Abidal's contract a few weeks ago "shows why this club is so different and so great. The board should be congratulated for such a gesture, for showing how well we can do things here."

“Piqué will go when he wants”

Josep Guardiola feels that at Barça there are certain players "that will leave when they want", which is the case in particular with Gerard Piqué. "There is no manager than can decide for him in that sense. He is one of those players that loves this club too much, and these players are too special. Nobody can decide for them." (via FCBarcelona.com)