16 April 2012

TV coverage of El Clásico presented

Mediapro – the company producing TV coverage of this Saturday’s big game- presented their plans for the match at the Camp Nou today during an event attended by Andoni Zubizarreta and Emilio Butragueño.

The event was held at the Museu del FC Barcelona, where the Real Madrid Director of Institutional Relations, Emili Butragueño spoke via a TV link from the Santiago Bernabéu.

Mediapro will be using more than 300 professionals for their coverage, with an expected audience of about 400 million viewers.

Mediapro presented their coverage of this Saturday’s game against Real Madrid at the Club Museum this Monday . The event was attended by Barça’s Director of Professional Football Andoni Zubizarreta, accompanied by the Spanish commentators Axel Torres and Josep Maria Déu, as well as Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueño, who spoke by direct video link from Madrid.

Mediapro will be rolling out an impressive array of technological and human resources, with more than 300 people working in 10 mobile units – one of which is a 3D unit- and a total of 34 cameras, 12 of which will be at pitchside. There will also be a High Speed unit –to view action too fast for the human eye- a Steadycam, for dead ball situations- and a Beauty, for aerial views of the Stadium. The coverage will also use the Epsio application to allow lines to be drawn across the image of the pitch to adjudge offside decisions.

For the first time ever on a broadcast game, coverage will also use the stat analysis tool MediaCoach, an application widely used by managers in the Spanish League.

Andoni Zubizarreta stressed the importance of Saturday’s game: “this is the only chance we have to guarantee we take three points and Madrid drop three. I hope we can continue our run of good results against Real Madrid at our ground and with our fans behind us”. Zubizarreta also commented on the importance of this Wednesday’s Champions League game at Stamford Bridge, which he reckons will be “ a good preparation for Saturday - this is a week of high voltage games!”.

Emilio Butragueño was full of praise for Barça: “they have hardly any weak points and are a formidable team with a lot of different resources. Their players have a global view of the game and a lot of that is down to Guardiola’s fantastic work”. Butragueño also warned though: “whatever happens on Saturday, the league will still not be over”.

A Global Event

The importance of this Saturday’s game in the context of this year’s league title has really awoken interest in the game across the world and the game will be broadcast across all the five continents, with an estimated global audience of 400 million viewers. Mediapro will also be producing a special 3D signal for distribution. (via FCBarcelona.com)

The German Felix Brych will whistle Chelsea-Barcelona

The German referee Felix Brych the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League between Chelsea and FC Barcelona, on Wednesday 18, at Stamford Bridge in London, according to UEFA confirmed today.

Brych, 36, umpired in July 2011 the Audi Cup semi-final which was played at the Allianz Arena in Munich, the scene of the Champions League final this year, in which Barcelona and Porto Alegre International Brazil tied it at 2, but Barça did on penalties to qualify for the final.

Born August 3, 1975 in the German city of Munich, Brych, who has refereed at Chelsea in a competitive match, began his career arbitration 1993.Dirigió his first game in the first Germanic division in 2004 and three years later became international. In 2008 he debuted in the top club competition in the match of group stage played at Anfield Liverpool and PSV (3-1) on 1 October this year.The German arbitrated on 27 March the first leg of quarterfinals of the Champions League between Apoel and Real Madrid (0-3) and had previously led the team twice in white. Last season in the first leg quarter-final against Tottenham (4-0), and two seasons ago in the group stage of Champions League against Milan (1-1).

On 9 August last year directed the friendly between the teams of Italy and Spain in Bari (2-1). Brych, who holds a doctorate in law, is not among those selected for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine next summer and never participated in the final stages of World Championship or senior level. His first international match as Italy- Sweden was a sub'19 (1-2) played in Greece.

The German has also coincided with other Spanish clubs like Valencia, who whistled against the Rangers (3-0), the November 2, 2010, Sevilla against CSKA Moscow (1-1), on 24 February of that year, and Atletico Madrid in two games, against Panathinaikos (2-3), the August 19, 2009, and before the Bogbodina (1-2), August 30, 2007. (via MD)

No sign of Stamford 'Beach' means the grass will be perfect

The Chelsea Stadium turf will be in perfect condition to receive the FC Barcelona.

There was a time, with José Mourinho on the bench, where Stamford Bridge became Stamford 'Beach', a field traditionally good become a potato, a motley mixture of sand and grass specially created to disrupt the game Barça. It was 2005 and Barça was left out of the Champions League in the second round after losing 4-2 in a field improper competition. Mourinho had gotten away with it.

This time, however, the scenario is quite different: except in the areas near the goal line, where the grass usually has some 'bald', Stamford Bridge grass is perfect to get to Barcelona. There will be no debate on the lawn, which will be short, but Chelsea can assert their right to reduce the risk to the minimum laid down by UEFA.

But employees of the London club strive to care for the table to discuss footballing Chelsea and Barça equal. This morning, two of those in charge of the gardening club they reviewed the state of the lawn, fixing some holes and slightly lowering the height of the grass with a machine.

Still bear the memory of 2005, when there was more sand than grass, even among the guides that illustrate the 'tour' tourist facilities Stamford Bridge. "There was a time when there was much sand in the playground," recalled one of the guides, Danielle, "but now the Chelsea makes a special effort in his field is in perfect condition." (via SPORT)

[Selection] Del Bosque: "A European final Madrid-Barça does not harm the selection"

Vicente del Bosque said that a hypothetical Champions League final between Real Madrid and Barça "not detrimental to the team," as the national team players are ready "to win some and lose others."

"Beyond the selection is Spanish football. We enjoy repeat a difficult time because there are currently five teams in the semifinals of European competitions and the selection does not play anything there. Whatever happens will not affect anything in the selection "said Del Bosque.

"We want to be a European Cup final between Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​because it will not hurt the team knowing that some will win and others lose. Players are ready for that," admitted the coach during the talk 'Gdansk with La Roja, which was presented the city where the team played their first three games of the group stage.

Del Bosque did not want to forward names squad for the championship which will give the May 15 and said that David Villa, currently recovering from a serious injury with his club, FC Barcelona, ​​could enter "always in a position to compete. "

"The question of Villa la we all have time to get well, is a special, exceptional and will always be in perfect condition and can compete. Last year we had an example with three players like Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fábregas and Fernando Torres, endured until the end with some assurance that they were good and right ", he confessed.

"The process is the need to be and the doctors will tell us who are in the best conditions. What is clear is that as of May 30 we are all together we will prepare the best possible way to adapt and take the best participation in the Euro, "he said.

"The names we have them stuck in your head, master, we know by heart that potentially can come and take the decision on May 15," said Del Bosque, who subsequently relaxed in tone, it recognized that "does not" know any word in Polish.

"I know no word in Polish for years with Real Madrid played a European Cup match against Stal Mielek and I remember famous players that in that decade were brilliant," he said.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Xavi: "Leo Messi will be the best player in the history of football"

The Catalan midfielder, during an interview with UEFA.com, gives a bit of insight into what motivates him to keep on going after having won everything there is to win.

Xavi Hernández, FC Barcelona’s vice captain recently sat down with UEFA.com to answer questions posed by users that follow the European football organization on Twitter. In fact, the response to UEFA’s interview was so successful that the hashtag #AskXavi was catapulted to the number 1 spot on the worldwide trending topic list.

When asked to give his opinion on who the greatest player of all time is, Xavi was clear: “That's very difficult because you're comparing one era with another, but if he continues like this then I think Leo Messi will be the best player in the history of football without a doubt. Everything advances and develops so fast now, and yet Messi is doing the same thing as [Diego] Maradona did 20 years ago and as Pelé, [Johan] Cruyff and [Alfredo] Di Stéfano did many years ago. I think Messi will be the best.

“A sportsman, and a footballer in this case, never gets tired of winning,” said the Catalan midfielder when asked to give insight on how he stays motivated in a sport that’s brought him almost unparalleled success. Xavi finished by saying, “all sportsmen want to continue winning and to be great. This is what sport is all about and that competitive edge makes you want to keep on winning.”

You can read the full interview here. (via FCBarcelona.com)

10 key days for League and European hopes

Over the next 10 days Barça will play three games that are key to success this season: the two Champions League semi finals and Saturday’s La Liga clash with Real Madrid.

The two matches against Chelsea stand between Barça and another Champions League Final, whilst the Madrid game will define their chances in La Liga.

Josep Guardiola has always repeated the same message to players and fans alike: “our objective is to get to April with our chances still intact in all the competitions”. Once again this season that objective has been met, with the Spanish Cup, Champions League and La Liga all in sight. The next ten days will be key to their success on both the domestic and European fronts.

First up this week is the trip to London for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg. The team will fly to England on Monday and not be back at the Camp Nou until Thursday, as they attempt to revive the memories of their success at Stamford Bridge in the 2009 semi-final.

There’ll be little time to reflect on Wednesday’s game, as preparations will start for Saturday’s visit of Real Madrid as soon as the team get back to Catalonia. A win for Guardiola’s men would leave them just a point behind Madrid – piling the pressure onto Mourinho’s team, whilst a draw or a Madrid win would really make it tough for Barça to retain their title. This will be a truly decisive classico.

Just three days after the Madrid game, it’s Chelsea who are the visitors to the Camp Nou for the second leg of the semi-final and a game that will decide who goes through to the final in Munich in May. Barça have a great challenge ahead of them – to become the first team to retain the Champions League. Just as with the Madrid game, home advantage against Chelsea could prove key.

Over the next few days, Barça’s challenge for the League and Champions League could stumble, or the team could once again stride on towards the May final in Munich and a thrilling close to the domestic league.

Only one day off from training

The squad will be playing three games in 10 days and also have a full schedule of training, with only this Wednesday without a session, match day at Stamford Bridge, where they will train on Tuesday evening. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Barça haven't won their last five matches against Chelsea

Despite the great memory of Iniesta’s goal agains the London side in 2009, FC Barcelona have not been able to beat Chelsea in their last five match-ups. The last Catalan victory over Chelsea was in 2006 .

Memory can be selective. Barça’s record against Chelsea isn’t as successful as it would seem seeing that most recent memory in the Culé subconscious features Andrés Iniesta’s stoppage-time goal that gave FC Barcelona a ticket to the final of the Champions League in 2009. However, FC Barcelona haven’t beat the London side in their last five times attempts. The last Catalan victory over Chelsea was in the 2005/06 season, when FC Barcelona won their second ever Champions League title in Paris.

Here's a snapshot of Barça’s last six matches against Chelsea:

VICTORY. Chelsea-FC Barcelona (1-2, February 21st, 2006). Terry, who scored an own goal, and Eto’o overturned Motta’s own goal. Chelsea finished with 10 players, Del Horno was sent off, and Barça came away with a vital victory.

DRAW. FC Barcelona-Chelsea (1-1, March 8th, 2006). Ronaldinho, close to the end of the match, secured passage for FC Barcelona to the next round of the tournament. Frank Lampard equalised in stoppage time through a penalty. The team would go on to claim the title against Arsenal in Paris.

DEFEAT. Chelsea-FC Barcelona (1-0, October 18th, 2006). Both teams met in the group stages of the Champions League. In London, Drogba won the three points for Chelsea.

DRAW. FC Barcelona-Chelsea (2-2, October 31st, 2006). It was a back-and-forth match at the Camp Nou. Lampard scored the equaliser in stoppage time. Both teams divvied up the points; Chelsea finished first in the group, FC Barcelona finished second.

DRAW. FC Barcelona-Chelsea (0-0, April 28th, 2009). In the away leg of the semifinals of the Champions League at the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona and Chelsea finished the match with a goalless draw. The Catalans deserved a bit more from the game.

DRAW. Chelsea-FC Barcelona (1-1, May 6th, 2009). Essien opened up the scoring in the first half with a sublime goal. The London side had Barça outnumbered on pitch for most of the game after Éric Abidal was sent off. Andrés Iniesta, with a fantastic goal in stoppage time, earned his team a spot in the Champions League final in Rome. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Ex-player] Petit: "Messi is a crazy player"

Emmanuel Petit believes that the Argentine is the decisive factor of Barça against Chelsea.

Petit played for Barça and Chelsea but his heart is 'gunner'. However, the French, who are not satisfied for undertaking adventures at Camp Nou and Stamford Bridge, believes that FC Barcelona side to advantage in the tie thanks to the presence of Messi in their ranks.

"No one can stop Messi. It's impossible. It's a crazy guy," he said.

And do not miss the opportunity to make an examination of conscience Barça with its past: "In Barcelona tried to change my mentality. The coach did not behave well with me." (via SPORT)

Terry: "My kids are in love with Messi"

Chelsea defender does not hide his admiration for the Argentine but has warned it will try to "stop him" even if it takes the anger of his children.

John Terry is ready to face the momentous semi-final against Barça and despite the inconvenience that has drawn so far, warns in an interview with the newspaper 'AS': "I will not lose a single game" .

The center-back of Chelsea is one of the emblems of the London club and also one of the survivors of the template that has been featured in the fighting against Barça in recent seasons and this is why claiming that they love to face "the has been for four or five years, one of the best teams in history. "

However, what Terry is truly excited about is the possibility of returning to the opportunity to cross with Leo Messi. "It's one of those opportunities to enjoy and then tell your kids you played against him. My kids are in love Messi and I told you to be prepared, that they break your heart because I will defend you soon. It is a pleasure the modern game can enjoy a talent like yours. the day I retire I will look at my resume, videos, and one night against Messi, against one of the best ever, but the best, count as one of the great achievements of my career. in fact, for me is the best ever, and a swell guy, a great person. All honor to the sport to have someone like him, "he said.

And is that the captain 'blue', Messi is "pure magic" and hopes to stop Barca as already demonstrated in the past that "can do" being "of the few teams that we have treated as equals at home. "Yet Terry is blunt: "There are unstoppable, but they can destroy you." (via SPORT)

Cesc: "I invite you to know my story"

SPORT readers can purchase starting Saturday for seven euros a comprehensive book that includes a photo album of unreleased Arenys.

Sant Jordi is coming and Barca fans will like every year the opportunity to give the book that celebrates this iconic traditionally SPORT day. On this occasion, we present 'Descubriendo a Cesc', a book published in Catalan and Castilian, which for the first time in Spain, relates how he forged the football career of crack Blaugrana. Since its inception in Arenys de Mar until his return to Barcelona from Arsenal this summer.

A comprehensive review made ​​through interviews with 35 players who have been instrumental in his career or part of their direct environment. SPORT had the opportunity to talk with coaches who went to the legendary generation of 87, as Roldolf Borrell, Albert Benaiges or Álex Garcia, their excompañeros room at La Masia, Juanjo clausi and José Hinojosa, players with whom he shared experiences at Arsenal as José Antonio Reyes (with which even learned to play the palms), Philippe Senderos or Fran Mérida or exseleccionador that gave him the opportunity to debut with the absolute, Luis Aragones. Its beginnings are detailed with their former teachers, colleagues, childhood, the technician who discovered for Arsenal (Francis Cagigao) until the end with all the secrets yet never counted on how conducted this summer his move to Barça . The Blaugrana vice president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, reveals many of the unknowns of a very complex operation.

A complete history and enlivened in the prologue with a funny dialogue of his two great friends in the locker room of Barça, Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol. Both have a sense of humor some hanky has had to suffer Arenys arrival at Barca and curious intricacies of their friendship.

Cesc was the first to get their hands on the book and within hours had already eaten. The player was happy to remember thanks to SPORT basic chapters of his life. His most intimate report that Fabregas was born footballer, but his fate could have been another First Division team that was not the club, despite being very culé. Oriol Tort had to react quickly to keep a child escape him that was emerging in the Mataro.

His departure to Arsenal was a must. His excompañeros at Barça explain why Cesc had to leave and he suffered for having to leave the club of his life. In England grew very fast, Wenger overcame an internal crisis, surprisingly giving the bracelet and became an institution in the club 'gunner'.

Readers can access all these details and many more after this weekend getting the book on the newsstands for only seven euros. (via SPORT)

Piermario Morosini, a fan Barça and Messi

Verona goalkeeper Gigi Frattali, Livorno player friend who died on Saturday, has posted on twitter a picture of them at Camp Nou.

Piermario Morosini, the Livorno player died Saturday at age 25 after suffering cardiac arrest during the Serie B match against Pescara, was a big fan Barça and Messi in particular. This was revealed one of his best friends, Verona goalkeeper Pierluigi Frattali, who has posted on his twitter account (@ gigifrattali) a picture of them at Camp Nou before a game of 'Pep Team'.

Also, among the objects Livorno fans have left with the shirt with the number 25 of Morosini, the Italian club has decided to withdraw, a scarf out of FC Barcelona.

Morosini collapsed on the stadium Adriatico de Pescara, the doctors could not revive him on the field and entered as dead in the hospital. All day 'calcio' was suspended. (via MD)

David Luiz would be low against Barça

Chelsea center-back suffered a hamstring injury in the heart of the semifinal match against Tottenham FA Cup and could miss the Champions League match next Wednesday.

Chelsea suffered a nasty story Sunday in the middle game against Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final played at Wembley.

With 0-2 on the scoreboard, the skillful and fast Gareth Bale escaped through the center of the rear 'blue' straight on goal. The center-back David Luiz tried to leave in their wake but quickly was cut short its intention to feel a sharp pain in the back of the leg.

The Brazilian center-back he crashed between clear signs of pain and ended up being sutituido by Cahill and removed on a stretcher after a disastrous move that, moreover, ended in a goal.

Except surprise, and waiting for relevant medical evidence, it seems that David Luiz, one of the strongest defenders of Chelsea this season, could miss the crucial first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barça be held next Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. (via SPORT)

Beckenbauer: "Madrid doesn't have the dimension of the Barça"

The honorary president of Bayern Munich, Franz Beckenbauer, considers his rival in the Champions League on Tuesday as "standard equipment" and away from the dimension that has Barça.

"I watched the Real Madrid in the Champions League. It is standard equipment, a great team, but normal. Everything is working and there is the incredible lightness of Barcelona," Beckenbauer said in a digital platform program 'Sky'.

Looking to the Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid, Beckenbauer said that although it is a disadvantage that the round is played in Munich, his team has a good chance of winning if you play your best football.

Beckenbauer cited the second half against Borussia Dortmund, although the match ended in defeat: "The measure should be the second time against Dortmund. If Bayern played well, can be imposed," he said. (via SPORT)