30 March 2012

Villa: "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel"

The Barça striker stressed that he’s "really enthusiastic" with regard to the status of his recovery process from his broken leg.

On December 19th David Villa successfully underwent surgery on the fracture of his left tibia, an injury sustained during the World Club Cup semifinal against Al-Sadd. The recovery period was said to be between four and five months. After just under three and a half months of intense work, the Barça striker affirmed that he’s "seeing the light at the end of the tunnel".

Villa referred to his injury and his mood, in the talk he gave at an event in which the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) presented an agreement under which all football grounds, from the First Division to the Third, will have a defibrillator on their premises.

"I'm really enthusiastic, burning up the later phases, thank God, with a lot of work every day since it happened. I'm really happy, lively, content, and eager. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and keen to enjoy football again from within", said Villa, just before commenting that, since the first day after his injury, he’s worked hard to recover as soon as possible. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Eric Abidal will undergo surgery on April 10

Barça's French defender enter into surgery on Tuesday April 10 to undergo liver transplantation needs to overcome her illness.

Dr. Garcia Valdecasas will be responsible for performing the procedure, which still do not know the time of recovery.

On March 17, 2011 Abidal and underwent surgery at the hospital Barna Clinic by Dr. Fuster Obregón and his team for three hours. As reported by the FC Barcelona in a statement sent to the edge of 21.30, "underwent complete excision of the lesion, without incident." It was felt within a week the discharge, but the discharge would depend on the analysis of tissue removed.

A year later Abidal will undergo this complicated operation Having been reproduced the disease. (via MD)

Barça’s penultimate training session before the visit of Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday

The first team trained at the Camp Nou immediately after returning from Milan. Adriano joined the session, and began to work with the group, as did Eric Abidal.

Immediately on arrival from Milan, where, on Tuesday, they played the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and where they stayed until this Friday as a preventative measure due to Thursday’s general strike, Pep Guardiola’s team went straight to the Camp Nou. There the team trained in the first of 2 sessions planned before facing Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night, in the League.

In addition to the 21 players who travelled for the game against AC Milan, Adriano trained, and began to work with the main group on Friday, together with Eric Abidal. Remember that, in Adriano’s case, the Brazilian suffered a muscle strain in his right thigh, in the game against Granada on the 20th of March.

On Saturday morning, as usual on match days at the Camp Nou, the players will end up polishing details for the match against Athletic Bilbao, which kicks off at 22.00, so they go into the game with maximum guarantees. They’ll do that at a workout scheduled to start at 12.30. Then the group will have lunch together at the Camp Nou, and will have some free time until they have to be back at the stadium, at 20.15. (via FCBarcelona.com)

The first team are back in Barcelona

The team managed by Pep Guardiola landed in Barcelona at 11.45 and went straight to the Camp Nou, where they’ll train in preparation for Saturday's game against Athletic Club Bilbao.

The FC Barcelona first team is back in Barcelona. The squad, who left their hotel at 9.10, flew from Milan at 10.30, and landed at El Prat airport at 11.45. Remember that, after Tuesday's game at the Giuseppe Meazza (0-0), corresponding to the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and due to the general strike on Thursday, the squad stayed in the Italian city yesterday, as a preventative measure.

For that reason the squad didn’t train at the Joan Gamper training ground as is normal the day after a match, but instead, they trained at the Giacinto Facchetti Sports Centre, on one of Inter Milans training pitches. Now, back in Barcelona, it’s time to focus back on the League, and that's why, immediately after landing, the Barça squad went straight to the Camp Nou, where training is scheduled to start at about 13.00. After training, Guardiola will appear at a press conference. (via FCBarcelona.com)

A very attacking Athletic Bilbao come to the Camp Nou

Athletic Club Bilbao maintain the roots they’ve always had, but Bielsa has added a courageous footballing style, including some points in common with the Barça philosophy.

An attacking style, good ball movement, and pressure high up the pitch to recover possession, are some of the similarities between Guardiola’s Barca and Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao.

Barça will play at home this Saturday, at 22.00, against the most attack minded Athletic of recent years. The Lions are now not only race and character. The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa as manager has brought a new style of play. It’s a brave footballing proposal, with a clear attacking style, with good ball movement, and no room for speculation. It’s a style of play that has some points in common with Barça, and has made this Bilbao side into one of the most admired teams in Europe.

Bielsa has been able to convince his players, and now they all row in the same direction. They use suffocating pressure to quickly recover possession of the ball, and once they have it, they pamper it and play it, and are offensive-minded. Footballers like Muniain, De Marcos, and Susaeta, look for the ball continually, Llorente is the reference in attack and Iraizoz’s first option is not to play the ball long.

The Bilbao match this Thursday in Gelsenkirchen is the latest example of their style of play. Athletic fought back from 2-1 down and ended up winning 4-2 away at Schalke in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Europa League. Two goals from Llorente, one from De Marcos, and another from Muniain, opened the door to the semifinals for Bielsa’s team. On Saturday they’re at the Camp Nou and they are not there just for the ride. (via FCBarcelona.com)

The Italian press gives reason Barça in their complaints on the lawn of Meazza

Milan can rely on the referees, who gave how good the pitch, but the popular outcry against the state of the lawn is not a single complaint Guardiola and his players but the reporting of own Italian media they consider "shameful "the grass of the Meazza.

The prestigious daily general 'La Repubblica' states that "the field presents some difficult conditions, so that even Messi looked like a beginner. The sliding field, the ball hangs, gets up and plant grass on the fly and players get injured in San Siro. Gattuso's knee, Samuel, Jankovic, Inzaghi, Marilungo, Ambrosini, Pato ... Galliani confirms that the solution is to artificial turf. "

'La Gazzetta dello Sport' dedicates a wide array of the type of synthetic turf placed in June, after Springsteen and Madonna concerts, and reveals that so far this season have made ​​five changes from the grass. When the club has played in November, were newly placed sod of turf from an Italian nursery and grass instead of Wednesday came from France. Are spent each year 500,000 to 900,000 euros. "

While 'Corriere della Sera' speech on its front page "of an old problem that comes from the 90's. The lawn is in pretty bad shape. Xavi talks about 'potato field' would not have translation in Italian, a potato field might say, the fact is that Guardiola's complaint is clear. Now Milan and Inter have agreed to make joint grass. "

'Corriere dello Sport headline: "Chaos in San Siro" and notes that "Arsene Wegner and complained in his heat but Guardiola complaints have reached the owner Berlusconi pointed out that injuries always Pato arrived at San Siro" . (via MD)

Barça should focus on the Athletic before challenge against Milan

Barça should not focus only on his challenge against Milan, the visit of the 'Lions' is also key to la Liga.

Josep Guardiola warned in advance of the visit to San Siro that the club faces a decisive week in the Champions League and, with two crucial matchups at the Camp Nou. "If we fail to Milan and Athletic have lost the choice of two titles."

For that reason, Barça coach is warning his players not to focus only on the momentous return next Tuesday against the Italians since the visit of Athletic on Saturday, may also be key to this league.

Morning (20.00 h.), Madrid faces Osasuna in the Reyno, scene of the final defeat of Barcelona and in which the meringues will defend its 6 point lead.

The Navarre found in European positions and long stay in the elite, while whites have enjoyed a day of rest that culés. In addition, the return to the Apoel quarter will be a mere formality for Mourinho, after sentencing in Cyprus (0-3), avoiding any psychological strain.

Two hours later, the club, with an eye on the landmark visit next week at the Stadium AC Milan after a 0-0 draw in San Siro, host Athletic, the final outpost of the Copa del Rey teams that will compete in both the May 25 at the Calderón.

The azulgrana have, in theory, be measured with the advantage of a break hardly Athletic after last night's clash against Schalke 04 in the Europa League. And this match is that between Germany and the start of the visit to Camp Nou, they will only take 47 hours.

With this little room, Atletico coach, Marcelo Bielsa, has preferred that his players will not return to Bilbao. Last night they took a charter flight in Cologne for Barcelona. The Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I will be his headquarters. Bielsa has designed a workout this afternoon (19.00 pm), closed at the Mini-Estadi.

The Basques end and to prepare his game against a Barça did that already suffer a great time in the first round. A Leo Messi goal in minute 91, avoided defeat azulgrana in San Mamés (2-2). Athletic deserves as much respect as Milan. The Champions League and inevitably go to the Camp Nou. (via MD)

Ander Herrera, the image of Iniesta

It was a hot night of the June 30, 2001. Real Zaragoza had just proclaimed champion of the Copa del Rey against Celta (3-1) in the stadium of La Cartuja in Seville. During the celebration of the title by club members and friends in the club 'El Coto' of the Lebreros Melia, only one man was not freed from nervous tension and continued. "I go to sleep early that morning traveled to Madrid." It was the team's technical secretary rolled, Pedro Herrera.

That Sunday his son Ander, who was 11 years, contesting the final of the Football Championship Alevín 7 with Zaragoza at the Oviedo. The set Aragon prevailed and Anderson was voted player of the tournament.
This recognition was always linked to their career and their equipment. Years later, Herrera cadet champion of Spain, also with Zaragoza.

He debuted with the first team in Second Division, to the Levant, and had the misfortune to coincide with the worst time in the history of Aragon set. That will create some problems, because his father, who was also the technical secretary of the glorious era in the club (of which the conquest of the Recopa in 1995 is the best example) began to be punctuated by criticism.

There were those who even hinted that Anderson was the first team was only by his father and not on merit. But besides football quality, this proved to be promising young head on his shoulders. From the outset, wanted to separate the familiar from the professional. His father, intelligent few, let his son fly alone.

Ander suffered a lot during his last stint as zaragocista. Two seasons ago, was a spectacular offer Athletic. The Basques were three times what the player charged with Real Zaragoza, but he refused for his "heart zaragocista." I did not want to leave the club thrown at a time so distressing.

It was also followed by the club, but no firm proposal. Finally, the economic precariousness of Zaragoza led him to accept an offer of 8.5 million euros for the player variables. That was in January 2011 and his move to the Basque side did not occur until July. Before and despite the fact that I was going to wear the shirt 'blanquilla', Anderson did his best to save Zaragoza from relegation. I got into the final day victory in the Levant area (1-2).

The time has come to smile this season. Their presence in the Athletic coincided with a period of major change in the conception of Basque football team with high aspirations. The 'Lions' are qualified for the finals of the Copa del Rey and the Champions League quarter, which aspire to two titles.

With Bielsa as coach, Athletic trust their game to the players. Attractive football is perfect for the characteristics of Ander, an attacking midfielder exquisite technique, great vision, good passer and not without a goal. To take two examples, scored the first goal in the European Under-21 final with Spain against Switzerland (0-2). The second Thiago did.

And also scored the winning goal in the league match this season in San Mamés ended an unbeaten run of 896 minutes by Victor Valdes, a record in the history of Barca over previous Miguel Reina (825).

He has always said that his idol is "Andres Iniesta" and many people compare their football. "I do not reach even half of what it's worth," he says modestly. In fact, his admiration is such that even for a time had the picture of your account profile of 'twitter' a picture in which there are two.

Two seasons ago, after a game at Zaragoza fell to 6-1 in the Camp Nou, Herrera was able to get something I had always dreamed to have the shirt of his idol. "The most grateful is that he wanted to keep mine," he says.
With the Copa del Rey final is still far away, on Saturday Barça and Athletic in La Liga face off at Camp Nou.

Ander draws a strong long pubic discomfort. Doctors have advised that it operates, but it now took him to miss the season finale. The midfielder did not want to leave her team and playing with pain, rather than their publicly thanked. If you hold on, it's likely to happen under the knife at the end of the season. Meanwhile, his bravery and his exquisite football is still there to be enjoyed. (via MD)

Barça of stores for Milan

Some players like Puyol and Alves took the afternoon off for shopping.

Pep Guardiola's men had time for everything in Milan. Were trained in the morning and afternoon many took time off to go shopping in the stores Milanese.

In a shoe found to Puyol. We follow the route and see Alves a fashion lover ropa.Como proving a real model walked the streets of Milan the chief of all, a yes Guardiola made ​​them work in the morning.

There was a real craze in the facilities of Inter Milan to Barcelona to train. There were some who wanted to remind Mourinho picarles.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Adriano will be for Milan

The defender will return next week, while the return of Afellay is presumed imminent.

Adriano continues the recovery process elongation in the hamstrings. Medical services will not take risks and the Brazilian is ruled out of the commitment to the Athletic. Given this scenario, Guardiola must resolve the usual dilemma from no Abidal: keep Puyol at left or go for the defense of three, as it did in Mallorca. Adriano is progressing well and it looks like it will be able to receive the medical on Monday. Good news considering that Tuesday will host the return of the Champions League against Milan.

Meanwhile, Afellay could be discharged after the match against Milan. So Guardiola would be able to recover a more effective face-to-shore bands play for the team.

David Villa also stars good news. The tibia fractured well and has welded the forward has started to walk with ease. Is expected to begin within days to practice running. The Asturian's dream is to reach the European Championship. (via SPORT)

Alexis wants to be remembered as "one of the best players in the world"

"I will stay calm when I finish my career and see if I did I did good or bad."
"The Chilean players are very good, but we lack the mentality," he noted.

Barcelona forward Chilean Alexis Sánchez has said he wants to be remembered in football as "one of the best players in the world."

"I would like to end my career as one of the best players in the world and have made ​​it as the name of Chile in the world," said the striker in an interview with the magazine Football +, of the National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) of Chile.

Alexis, 23, has said that their present lives quietly in the club azulgrana and still has a long way to go. "Life is a challenge and most importantly is that I am aware that I have not done anything and I have to follow. I'll stay quiet when I finish my career and see if I did right and what I did wrong," he noted.

The striker has stated that he worked hard and made many sacrifices to get to a club like Barcelona, ​​a rarity among the players of his country.

"It depends on the mentality, and sometimes the mentality of the Chilean player is weak and is carried away by many things. Sometimes he thinks he did everything, but has not done anything and so I am content with what I'm doing," said . "The Chilean players are very good, but we still have the mentality," he said Alexis. (via MD)

Leo Messi and Mascherano will appoint two underground stations in London

On the occasion of the Olympic Games, London honors outstanding athletes.
Rafa Nadal, Miguel Indurain, Manel Estiarte and Theresa Zabell, are the Spanish representatives.

The 'Olympic Legends Underground Map' (Map of Olympic legends) is a project that has taken place on the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics team which aims to honor outstanding athletes in history by renaming the 361 stations underground with their names.

In this map each line collector's edition is dedicated to a sport or Olympic sports such as basketball or athletics. They will also have a proper name athletes are recognized worldwide but have not ever gotten a medal.

In the brown line, corresponding to the football stand out among all the names of the players of FC Barcelona, ​​Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano both winners of the gold medal in Beijing 2008 with Argentina.

Stations share the same line the former Barcelona Samuel Eto'o, the Real Madrid player Ángel Di Maria or Manchetser City forward Carlos Tevez.

In this map there is also a small Spanish representation consists of 4 athletes: tennis player Rafa Nadal (gold in Beijing 2008), the cyclist Miguel Indurain (gold in Atlanta 1996), the water polo Estiarte Manel (gold in Atlanta 1996) and Theresa Zabell sailor (in 470 sailing gold in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996).

Other sports figures such as Roger Federer, Michael Phelps, or legends like Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali will also have their name in the subway stations in the British capital during the Games.

The map designers, Alex Trickett and David Brooks say they are "happy with the result" and that "dozens of countries are represented, all Olympic sports including the 2012 and Ali and Phelps, two of the greatest Olympians in history, are on the website of the Games in Stratford " (via MD)

Great expectation for Leo Messi in Milan

The players enjoyed the afternoon off after the training session in the sports city of Inter and Messi caused excitement in Milan.

Leo Messi ate in the hotel restaurant shahtoosh in the QOR and leaving several fans waited for him to take photos with the player. Messi arouses passions wherever he goes and in the Italian city has not been different. (via SPORT)

Training session in Centro Sportivo Giacinto Fachetti

The first team, who won’t return to Barcelona until Friday, have trained today at the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti, in a session in which the players that started the game at the San Siro have worked at a gentler pace.

The FC Barcelona first team are used to training at the Ciutat Esportiva on days after matches, but this Thursday there’s been a break from routine and they have instead trained at the Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti, one of Inter Milan’s training grounds. The club decided to take this measure because of the general strike affecting the whole of Spain on March 29, and will instead be returning to Barcelona on Friday.

Under a warm Lombardy sun, most of the players went through the usual post-match recovery routine, while the players that didn’t start the game that ended 0-0 at the San Siro trained more normally.

The facility is located in the city of Milan itself, and is usually used by the Inter youth teams, where some 20 youngsters live in residence. In fact, the session was visited by Inter technical director Marco Branca and sports director Piero Ausilio, who spent some time chatting to Josep Guardiola and Andoni Zubizarreta.

The players will have lunch together at their hotel and will then have the afternoon off. They’ll have supper together in the hotel at 21.00. (via FCBarcelona.com)

History on Barcelona’s side

Whenever Barça have drawn the first leg of a Champions League tie under Pep Guardiola, they have eventually qualified for the next round.

In four years on the first team bench, the FCB manager has qualified 25 out of 27 attempts in knockout matches.

On Tuesday at the Camp Nou we will see whether Barça or Milan go on to play Chelsea or Benfica in the semi finals of the Champions League after the first leg ended 0-0 at the San Siro. That’s a result that gives Guardiola plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about his side’s chances, for history is very much on his side. Since he became coach in 2008/09, he has successfully guided the team through 25 out of 27 two-legged encounters. The only ones he has ever lost were in the same season, 2009/10, first in the round of sixteen of the Copa del Rey against Sevilla, and later in the Champions League semi final against Inter Milan.

Guardiola’s Barça has drawn four Champions League first legs, and the players have always responded by eventually sealing qualification. The first case was in 2008/09 when a 1-1 draw away to Olympique Lyon was followed by a convincing 5-2 victory at the Camp Nou. Later in the same competition came one of the most memorable moments of the Guardiola era. Barça and Chelsea met at Stamford Bridge to battle for a ticket to Rome after the game at the Camp Nou had ended scoreless. An Andrés Iniesta strike in the very last instant was enough to secure a 1-1 draw and qualification for the final by virtue of the away goals rule.

The next season, Barça also drew two first legs but went on to qualify. In the first knockout round they crossed paths with Stuttgart and drew 1-1 away before cruising into the quarter finals with a 4-0 win at the Camp Nou. In the following round they met Arsenal and drew 2-2 at the Emirates before a magnificent Leo Messi scored all four goals in a 4-1 win at the Camp Nou that ensured passage into the semis. (via FCBarcelona.com)