29 March 2012

Barça causes madness in Milan

About 1,000 fans have tried to attend the training session the azulgrana from outside the facility.
Some of these were fans of Inter and have chanted Mourinho's name.

The squad of FC Barcelona has created a huge buzz 'Interello', as known to the sports facilities where they trained on Thursday. About 600 people have been waiting the arrival of the coach and this figure has increased to over a thousand once the training was underway. Fans have had to settle for seeing it from outside.

Among those present were some fans of Inter, who have chanted at certain times the name of José Mourinho. (via MD)

Xavi normally trains in Milan

The midfielder limped over by a sore Achilles' tendon Thursday but has worked normally.

Xavi Hernández has been trained as normal on Thursday at the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti (Interello), owned by Inter Milan. The midfielder finished Wednesday's game limping ostensibly. He himself said he had a sore Achilles tendon.

The headlines in the match against Milan have made a recovery session from 12 noon and have the afternoon free. Barcelona is expected to return to Barcelona this Friday morning.

The training has had a great atmosphere, which has been growing throughout the morning. On arrival the team expected some 600 amateur, while later there were about 1,000. (via MD)

[Former player] Edmilson: "80% of what is now Barça owes it to Ronaldinho"

Edmilson, former player of FC Barcelona, ​​is full of praise for Leo Messi and Ronaldinho.

During the meeting with Band, Edmilson begins by explaining his memories of Leo Messi. "I played with him when he was climbing the first team. In training people and saw that it was a different player, for its quality, boot speed, ball control ... That was in 2004. Over time , was over and began to summon. he played his first game and soon scored his first goal since. But one of the things I always admired about him is he still the same person. the other big difference is that he is surrounded by controversy, is always very discreet. And that is very significant in the professional world. "The Brazilian added that "people know that Leo would be a great player, even at that time, when Ronaldinho was in a breathtaking moment. Ronaldinho and Leo was started to have the leadership that had Ronnie. Since 2007 Messi has continued a line of play, goals, titles that are unusual.

The former Barcelona player was asked if Barça best of his era or the current. "These are different times. That Barca in my time and was the basis of the present, with Xavi, Iniesta, Valdés, Puyol .. There was even a time when Eto'o playing. The technical difference is that our team was more direct. Ronaldinho grabbed the ball and start. Today Barça has that torn with Messi, but also has possession of the ball, everyone believes that is the distinguishing feature of this Barça. "

On the pressure he felt the team while playing in the Champions League or, Edmilson explains that "in my time there was much pressure because Barça had won only one Champions in 92. And won again in 2006. From 1999 to 2004 Barça won no league. When I had that pressure for the title because it was eight years since winning la Liga and many more that did not win the Champions League. We had to win or the League or the Champions League. Today I believe that the objective is equal or move to Madrid in the Champions League. has four titles Barca and Real Madrid, nine. the difference is great, but now Barça can prioritize the Champions ".

As there, the former Barça player, refers to much praise Ronaldinho. "It was an outstanding player at Barça. Not know what happened. Came at a critical moment, he won it all, changed the history of Barça. All that is today he owes Barcelona by 80% to it. In decided to leave time for other experiences in other club in Milan. And unfortunately unable to sustain the level that had been in Barcelona. " (via SPORT)

Piqué wins the first assault on Ibrahimovic

Great match from the central to his friend Zlatan, but the Swedish striker had a chance Valdés stopped him and he could change the analysis.

"What have I done to deserve this?" Had to wonder to himself Piqué and Ibrahimovic when their eyes met seconds before the match starts. Although they get along very well, he just smiled, even with some 'false', trying to bully each other. It was inevitable that the two share the same thought: "What a little night I will give it".

And he did. You could say that Piqué Ibra won the pulse. The defense kept a clean sheet and the striker scored. But football is not so simple. Especially with a monster like the Swedish. Gerard completed a performance level of his best days at Barça. And yet Zlatan had a chance to go there if forced to analyze everything differently.

The first fumble Ibra shot it head to yield it to Robinho, who missed. It was a rebound after a shot uncontrollable Boateng. Nothing to blame for Gerard, but the Swede has a magnet.

In the next quarter hour, the center gave a lesson in positioning and anticipation, by land and air. But Piqué knew I could not relax. And although he did, from 17 'to 20' Ibrahimovic desmelenó.

First uncheck indicating to Seedorf, who left him alone with Valdés. Fired space, but loose and plugged the hole doorman. Piqué was relieved, but not for long.

The first time Ibra removal from the center of the rear in a long ball to the left, the Swede beat him with relative ease, but his pass into the penalty spot was unsuccessful.

And from those two actions until the break, Piqué reimposed a hierarchy admirable. He gave his ex-partner option, but it sure went to the locker room thinking about those three minutes that Ibra could do harm. So precautions still end in the second half.

While all his movements measured around Ibra, a player that uses the body as a weapon to move to your bookmarks. The Catalan control him with intelligence knew without going into the physical fight.

But Ibrahimovic also knows improvise. And when the total concentration of Piqué in the area of ​​'9 ', began to fall into the playmaker, opening bands play in the race to reach the top. And even put a good cross from the winger.

By 75 minutes, the two took a break to benefit from the slow retreat of Nesta after his injury. They exchanged some pleasantries, preamble to the final chapter of the film. Milan's long balls to the prolongations of Ibra looking head, but with a friendly and definitely Piqué winner of the first assault. (via MD)

Nike and Barça style

Keita, the messenger who carried the shirt of 'Ibra' to Abidal

Ibrahimovic also remembered Abidal when he finished the game against his former colleagues.

The Swedish striker, in a grand gesture, gave him a shirt signed his Keita for it to be delivered to Abidal when they met in Barcelona.

Keita admitted that the relationship between Ibra and Abidal was very good and so the Swede wanted to show their support for the French in this difficult time. (via SPORT)

"Stop Messi" goal accomplished for the Italian press

"Milan held off Messi" and remains so "hope," agrees the Italian press summing up the first leg against FC Barcelona.

Despite the 0-0 final, which is not a good result for the home to AC Milan in the Italian press has served its purpose, which was to "cage" at Barça and Argentina forward power and rein in his team .

"The rojinegros caged Messi. Barça had possession but did not end and Robinho and Ibra ate two goals," and sums up the party newspaper "Gazzetta dello Sport" which dominates headlines following the shock can be said that "Milan is alive. "

"Messi on a diet" and goes on to comment the newspaper sports pages roses tactics adopted by AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, but also stresses that "Ibra fasted" and that at the Camp Nou will live a match like a final so you have to change mentality if we want to move the tie.

For the Roman newspaper "Corriere dello Sport", the meeting in San Siro can at least keep dreaming and gamble in Barcelona and also the shock "discovered weaknesses in the Barça" to athleticism and form.

Even Rome sports daily said yesterday that "the Navy Milan Barça scared" because although the Catalans kept the ball could not find spaces.

"Milan and Messi refuses to play around in Barcelona" also the daily "Corriere della Sera" agrees today that the Milan team strictly fulfilled its mission to overrule the Ballon d'Argentine

And is that the San Siro game has shown that "you can get," in your internal pages titled "Corriere della Sera" to indicate that you have lost the fear of Barça and now anything can happen.

The same operator chooses the newspaper "La Republica": "You can get", noting that although slowed Milan Rome generalist newspaper notes as if "they saw little of Messi, Ibrahimovic was least."

All players, trained and press, seem satisfied how it ended the first act of this tie.

All but one: the president and patron of the club, Silvio Berlusconi, who after the meeting said: "I have some remarks to make about the game." (via SPORT)

Berlusconi congratulated Guardiola at the San Siro

The team leader of Milan found that Pep Guardiola congratulated the game displayed by the azulgrana side.

Silvio Berlusconi was among the spectators in the luxury box at San Siro to watch Milan-Barça and once the meeting under the insides of the stadium where he met Pep Guardiola.

Azulgrana coach talked to Berlusconi admitted on "political" in the 'Gazzetta dello Sport also ensure that the pattern' Rossoneri 'Guardiola congratulated himself for his work as head of the azulgrana set.

"Guardiola told him that I appreciate the game of Barcelona and we are proud to be able to take home an outcome in which his team has not been victorious," he said.

However, Berlusconi did not end as it seems so pleased with the result and to Galliani told he had "some comments" about the game. Now is the Time to hear Allegri 'Il Cavaliere'. (via SPORT)

Seedorf: "They are the best, but the cycles are finished to everyone"

Milan's players took it for good the goalless draw at San Siro and are more committed than ever to get eliminate the European champions, FC Barcelona.

Everyone knows the difficulty of the encounter that awaits them at the Camp Nou but not afraid to break Barça expect its hegemony.

"With the 1-1 we have enough to pass. In Barcelona we will have more players and we have our options. The end, the ball is round and with all due respect to Barça which is the strongest team in the world, the cycles is just for everyone even if they are very good, and now try to open another, "said Clarence Seedorf.

Ibrahimovic also believes the goalless draw is a "good result" and has "confidence" in getting the mash at the Camp Nou as he told Sky Italia. He reminded that without him and were able to tie it at two in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Bonera also expressed satisfaction with the outcome and believes the key is to keep going back to give that extra "sacrifice" against an opponent who proved to be "the strongest". (via SPORT)

Xavi: “We were superior, we dominated but we didn't finish the match off"

Three of the four Barça captains believe the game was “difficult” despite the many chances the Catalan team enjoyed.

The tie will be decided at the Camp Nou, where Puyol believes that the fans “will be with the team from the first minute”.

The goalless draw at the San Siro means that the Champions League quarter-final tie will be decided at the Camp Nou this Tuesday. “We had many chances to score. We tried with long possessions but we weren’t able to capitalise on the chances we created. It’s a shame,” said Víctor Valdés. Carles Puyol added that Milan is a team with “dangerous players” and that the game “was very difficult.” According to Xavi, his team was “superior, we dominated the game but we didn't finish off the match.”

“We shouldn’t look for excuses”

The referee decisions throughout the match were controversial for the players on the pitch. Puyol added that during a corner kick he was held back by his mark: “I broke free but I noticed that someone was grabbing my shirt. I pointed it out to the referee and he told me that it wasn’t a penalty. However, we cannot look for excuses. We have to play well, refereeing is very difficult.” Along the same lines, Víctor Váldes considers that “the referee is the man the makes the decisions” and that everything will become “more clear in the replays.”

Puyol also said the San Siro pitch is another factor to consider: “The pitch appeared to be in good condition but it was slippery during training and during the game. These things happen.”

“It will be one of the best matches”

“It’s always important to score away from home but now it’s time to work hard and, especially, defend well. Like the boss says, if we have to play with nine defenders we will, but we have to win,” said Valdés. Puyol called upon the Camp Nou faithful to attend next Tuesday’s match: “It will be one of the best games. They are aware of what is at stake and I’m sure they’ll be with us from the first minute.”

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

Mascherano: “The pitch was a problem in the stadium and it affects other teams.

“It’s the result that we finished with, I believe that we deserved more. If we play next week’s match like today, I’m sure we’ll go through.”

Messi: “It was a difficult match be we have to win.

“We played our game but it was difficult because of the pitch and because they are very strong.

“It’s a dangerous situation. Either team could go through, we hope we can score so it will be us. We deserved to win.”(via FCBarcelona.com)

Puyol equals Migueli's record of 549 official matches for FC Barcelona

The defender has played the second most games for FC Barcelona, only Xavi has played more (617)

The captain Carles Puyol played his 549th game in the Barça strip tonight and he draws level with the legendary Barça players Miguel Barnardo Bianquetti as the player with the second most games for FC Barcelona. The Azulgrana defender made his debut on October 2nd 1999 when Van Gaal included him in the squad against Valladolid. 12 years and 5 months later, he’s equalled the defender ‘Trazan’ Migueli that played for Barça from 1973 through 1989.

Puyol, who is one match away from beating Migueli, is second only to Xavi Hernández, who came to the first team a year before the captain and had played in 617 official Barça matches.

The competition that Puyol has played in the most for Barça is the Liga with 367, followed by the Champions League, 112. In the Cup, the defender has played in 47 matches, 9 in the UEFA Cup, 6 in the Spanish Super Cup, 2 in the European Super Cup and 6 in the Club World Cup.

Puyol lifted his first title in the 2004-05 season, it was the Liga won in Levante. Since then the captain has claimed 17 titles (4 Ligas, 3 Champions Leagues, 1 King’s Cup, 2 European Super Cups, 5 Spanish Super Cups and 2 Club World Cups). Surely Barça fans remembers each one fondly, but the on that most likely captivated the hearts of culé’s worldwide was when he told Éric Abidal, who underwent liver surgery, to lift the Champions League in Wembley.

12 goals for Barça

Carles Puyol’s natural habitat on the pitch is playing defence, leading his teammates from the back. However, throughout his career at FC Barcelona he has scored 12 goals (8 in the Liga, 2 in the King’s Cup and 2 in the Champions League). One of his most memorable goals was scored at the Bernabéu during the historic 6-2 rout. He celebrated by kissing his captain armband. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Ibrahimovic's fellow overlooks a clear penalty on Alexis

Jonas Eriksson, a Swedish peer Milan-Barça is 'swallowed' a sensational penalty committed by Abbiati on Alexis Sánchez.

It was 13 minutes the first time when Barça's footballers threw their hands in their head. They did not understand the game as the referee overlooked an obvious penalty committed by Abbiati over teammate Alexis Sánchez.

Chilean forward was hit by the Italian goal after avoiding a collision with an opponent. He managed to dribble the goalkeeper and he literally swept him.

Despite arriving with the balance to meet local goal, the penalty should have been noted. (via SPORT)

Xavi: "The penalty to Alexis is very clear"

FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández was very close to one of the controversial plays of the game but is aware of the need to move on.

The Terrassa did not hesitate when asked in the mixed zone for the actions he did not see Eriksson: "The penalty on Alexis is very clear," Xavi said categorically. It was one of the black notes of the crash, as well as the state of San Siro turf. "The field was not well and is key for us is a handicap. Now, we play it all at the Camp Nou" he said.

Despite all this, Xavi also made self-criticism: "We dominated a lot, especially in the first half, but we have forgiven. In turn I think will be a game like this, with Milan closed and looking for the counterattack."

And the message to the fans is as clear as the penalties did not see the Swede Eriksson. "To say that culés as ever and encourage them to come to the field. We want a full Camp Nou. With your help and we can move our game." (via SPORT)

Allegri: "We now have more opportunities to eliminate Barça"

Massimiliano Allegri said he would not mind that his team repeated in the return of the quarter-final match against Barça did in December, which gave a 2-2.

After the goalless draw against Barça goals at San Siro, Allegri is convinced his players now have "more opportunities" to remove Josep Guardiola's team, but warned: "We must be aware that we face against the team strongest in the world. "

Allegri he was "satisfied" with the work of his team "because he has done the right thing every time. This has been a good result to play around in Barcelona." "The result has been fair. We have had two good chances to score. It is true that they have had about 25 minutes, but in the second half we defended well. I am satisfied," said. (via SPORT)

Mascherano: "We deserved much more"

Javier Mascherano said the good match of Barça and regretted not being marked.

Javier Mascherano began discussing the problem of poor San Siro turf. "It's very difficult to control that. Is a problem that seems to have this stadium and you can not force them to play elsewhere. They also suffer from both Milan and Inter."

On the final stressed that "there is, which was achieved. I think we deserved much more but it's all in our hands." And to qualify for the Argentine is clear that on Tuesday at the Camp Nou, "essentially will be us, as we have been today."

Mascherano also highlighted the good level shown by in defense. "Yes, I think we have done well, we have security, we controlled the game but sometimes the ball does not enter."

On his duel with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, explained that "his physical strength is almost double than mine, but you try to neutralize the possible weapons we have."

Finally, the defense would not comment on the performance of the referee. "It makes no sense to talk about it and do that on Tuesday we can bring victory." (via SPORT)

Carles Puyol: "The penalty was clear that I did"

Carles Puyol acknowledged that he had made a very clear penalty, but would not load the ink against the referee.

To begin, Puyol said the play of the second half in which he made ​​a clear penalty. "I uncheck the near post, I noticed that caught me by the shirt, shot but I could not do so well. I complained to the referee said no penalty was and just what went on the scoreboard and it was clear." However, the azulgrana captain insisted the wardrobe speech that "we have to look excusaas, you must play and go. Arbitrate is complicated. We played well and now we have around."

Puyol told that despite the result can not be thrown from the rooftops. "Milan is one of the mejoeres teams in Europe. We go to 0-0 and will see in the Camp Nou goes on Tuesday."

barcelonista defender also lamented the state of the lawn. "It's hard to control this issue. I trained yesterday we slipped a lot. The field was dry and dribbling was not good."

Finally, Puyol was asked what message he wanted to send the fans facing the match next Tuesday. "They do not have to say anything. Are aware of what is at stake and will surely be on our side." (via SPORT)

Guardiola: “Our fans cannot let us down on Tuesday”

The Barça manager urged Barça fans and members to attend the match at the Camp Nou on Tuesday and help the team qualify for the semifinals.

Guardiola is clear that to be Champions League winners against that the team must “overcome thousands of things, and do an even better job [than last year]”.

The fact that Milan is satisfied with a goalless draw is the “highest form of praise” for Guardiola.

Josep Guardiola urged FC Barcelona fans and members to attend next week’s Champions League showdown with AC Milan: “Our fans cannot let us down on Tuesday. They need to come to the stadium and carry us to the semi-finals. These players have done too much to be abandoned. This Tuesday we have a final in our stadium with our people. We need the Camp Nou to be full. We have a chance to go through and between us all I believe it’s possible.”

The Barça manager considers that Milan’s satisfaction with a goalless draw at the Giuseppe Meazza is “the biggest of compliments,” although he warned that the return match at the Camp Nou “will be terrible” and that “there’s no room to speculate.” Guardiola continued: “A tie is never finished off in the away leg. However, keeping the condition of the pitch in mind, shooting 17 times is meritorious. Milan have seven European Cups, and we went toe to toe with them.”

Referring to the last match between the two sides in the Group Stage, which ended in a two-all draw, Guardiola is clear that “in the world of football, whatever happened before doesn’t matter.” He added: “We know that it will be a terrible match. Milan have very talented players and they they defend well. This is why our fans need to cheer us on more than ever. We only have one option, and that’s to win - between all of us we won’t fail.”

On the condition of the pitch at the Giuseppe Meazza, Guardiola said that his players deserve a lot of credit “playing football or, at the very least, trying.” The manager said “something needs to be done. In the end we adapt to everything, we come and we play. But it’s clearly a problem for the show. It’s also true that to be champions you have to overcome every challenge. We’ve done it in the past and we’ll keep on doing it.”

Guardiola, who refused to talk about the referee, said that “everything is difficult. We’ve won a lot of things, we’ve drawn and we’ve lost. In the latter two we’ve never talked about the referees. To be Champions of Europe again we must do an even better job.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

[UCL; 1/4; Leg1] AC Milan 0 - 0 FC Barcelona

Barça took a 0-0 draw from Milan at the San Siro tonight - leaving the return game at the Camp Nou to decide who gets through to the Champions League semi-final.

Milan were hemmed into their own half, especially before the break and at the end of the game.

It’s all square after the first leg in Milan, with Barça undoubtedly the winners on points – having dominated, particularly in the first half and making the chances – with three good penalty shouts ignored. However, in football it’s goals that count and Barça weren’t quite able to get on the scoresheet tonight, leaving the Camp Nou to decide who gets through to the last four.

Although it was Barça who dominated throughout the first half, Milan had the first chance, when Robinho failed to put away a good chance after just 2 minutes after Milan had pressed the Barça defence to get possession. Messi’s genius soon began to come through though and after about ten minutes the team began to settle and threaten Abbiati - who committed what looked to be a clear penalty on Alexis on 15 minutes.

Barça now began to take control – despite the poor state of the pitch – whilst Milan were forced back and tried to hit the visitors on the break, with Valdes making a good stop from one such counter when Ibrahimovic got through. It was becoming an all action game though, played at a hectic pace which really didn’t suit Barça’s game plan.

But Barça were not to be held back and they soon imposed themselves, with Xavi coming close to repeating his goal in the 2-3 result in the Group stage, only for Abbiati to push his effort wide. The Milan fans were whistling at the extended periods of possession Barça were enjoying, as Guardiola’s men began to lay siege to the Milan area, forcing the Italians to sit ever deeper.

Milan brought on El Shaarawy for Robinho soon after the break and that seemed to give them an extra boost, as they opened up a little, only to come up against an impeccable back four. The game entered a rather less exciting phase now and Guardiola brought on Tello on 64 minutes to inject a little more penetration.

With the youngster out on the left, the team certainly recovered some of their sharpness and only some good covering denied Messi on 77 minutes, with Puyol getting on the end of the resulting corner and also looking to be fouled. Milan’s defence was never going to be easy to break down though and they appeared to accept the draw as a good result as they withdrew even further back. A double chance for Messi and Alves and what looked like another penalty committed on the Argentinean nearly ruined the Italians’ game plan, but in the end it’s all to play for next week at the Camp Nou. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Match Stats]
AC Milan Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta (Mesbah, min. 74), Mexès, Antonioni; Ambrosini, Nocerino, Seedorf, Boateng (Emanuelson, min. 66); Robinho (El Shaarawy, min. 52) and Ibrahimovic.

FC Barcelona Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Puyol; Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Keita; Messi, Alexis (Pedro, min. 76) and Iniesta (Tello, min. 64).

Goal: -

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden). Showed yellow cards to milanistas Seedorf, Nesta and Ambrosini and barcelonista Keita.

Subs: 76,169 spectators at San Siro. Pitch in poor condition. Milan decided to play the game entirely white instead of their clothes 'Rossoneri'.

'I'm going to Istanbul, you're going to Munich'

On Tuesday Barça Regal qualified for the Euroleague’s Final Four in Istanbul, today it’s FC Barcelona’s turn to play in the Champions League to get a little closer to the Munich final.