17 April 2012

The Barça players enjoy a free morning in London

Pep Guardiola allowed the first team members enjoy free time in the morning on Tuesday.

The technical body of Barça decided this Tuesday to give rest to its players before the evening training, for what granted the morning free to the squad.

Some, like Cesc Fàbregas or younger filial decided to take a walk, while others bet cracks first team to relax within the team hotel.

The most advantage of the day were the youngest. The group of Cuenca, Tello, Bartra, Montoya and Oier was allowed the luxury of a walk in the English capital, taking advantage of their faces are not known to the English amateur. Cesc, meanwhile, wanted to be more discreet and left the hotel with more discretion.

Players have the morning off to training that will be held Tuesday afternoon at Stamford Bridge. (via SPORT)

Sturridge's goal against Barça in 2004

In the summer of 2004 the Chelsea striker was playing for Manchester City.

Sturradge featured against FC Barcelona in the group stages of the Nike Premier Cup, which gathers the world’s best U15 teams. The Englishman scored the winning goal.

Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea’s 22-year-old striker, knows what it’s like to score on FC Barcelona. In 2004, Sturridge, playing for Manchester City’s U15 side, was in Barcelona for the Nike Premier Cup. The player scored the winning goal against the Catalan side.. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Zubizarreta: "We will live football in pure state"

Bet on seeing "the best version" of a Chelsea "rapid and dynamic in midfield."

He believes that this European semifinal is well made the prize to the work from the month of July.

Of New London. Many memories come to mind. The old and the new Wembley, Koeman, Alexanko, Abidal and Iniesta. The director of the Sports Area Football, Andoni Zubizarreta, recognizes that a special city, "Back to London always reminds us great games. Has elements of epic and history, which is also nice, but most important is to be in semifinal Champions. might as well play in Lisbon. "

Zubizarreta is clear that breathe the air on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in the semifinal round of the Champions, "Whenever I've played in the English countryside and vibrant public has cried a lot to your computer. Will live football in its purest form."

The next seven days will decide much of the season azulgrana. Is this good or bad? "Go all in seven days is the best there is. What we do not like playing games inconsequential end of the season," said Zubizarreta. "It is a key week because we have done well since July 18. If we do it right now, the week will be key to the final of the Champions. This is built with small steps, since we lost in the preseason in Miami the United, "he remembered.

Being in the semifinals of the Champions is a reward for a job well done. Both by the Barça as part of Chelsea. "They have done the same merits to us to be here. Teams like Chelsea are prepared to compete and play under great pressure. I hope the best version of Chelsea." This team has emphasized, above all, his "dynamic midfield and quickly."

In this regard, he rejected the label of favorite outfit. "Having the favorite tag in a semifinal of Champions is useless. I hope to be motivated by a Chelsea in the final. Competitively has capacity to resolve difficult situations. It is a solid set, with rhythm, with one to one, and also with competitiveness throughout a whole. "

Memories of 2009

Obviously, Andoni Zubizarreta has been asked about his memories of Iniesta's goal in 2009. He is now director of the Area Soccer Sports journalist exercised then: "I saw the game in the press box at Stamford Bridge and I remember it was a very small cabin. After the goal cost me out of there." Believes that this semifinal came in different circumstances to the current "Then la Liga was intended, and Copa too. The season did not depend on the Champions League, which was the prize that year. One wants to believe that curses exist then neither against Barca we thought and that we too could win in the last minute. " (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Barça B] Chelsea probed the signings of Sergi Roberto, Montoya, Bartra and Rafinha

Chelsea admiresthe cantera of Barça, by the way you work and train young players. The dream of tycoon Roman Abramovich, the owner of the club is to have the technical structure that nurtures Azulgrana talent but for now, look at the Azulgrana youth football gems to brighten his club.

Oriol Romeu signed last summer for 4.5 million euros in recent months, especially during the winter, probed the environment of several young players to take back to Stamford Bridge. Intermediaries known in the environment Azulgrana were proposed by Sergi Roberto Montoya, Bartra and Rafinha.

Most of them ended this June contract and the operation was tempting. The renewal of all, with provisions for training in the first team, put paid to their aspirations.

Youth of the house and outside. Abramovich also looked at David Villa. As revealed MD, came to launch an offensive of 30 million euros. Neither the player nor the club, of course, attended his call. The Spaniard is too important a part in the template to think about a transfer. (via MD)

Guardiola would have asked the signing of Álvaro Vázquez, Espanyol

Pep Guardiola and forward-looking signings have asked the arrival of Álvaro Vázquez, Espanyol forward, or Adrián López, Atlético de Madrid, two men who like Guardiola to strengthen its workforce.

According to the newspaper eleconomista.es has advanced both agree with the profile of play that has imposed the azulgrana side in recent years: fast players with excellent treatment on the ball and outstanding projection.

The canteranoblanquiazul, 21, has a buyout clause of 10 million and a contract that expires in June 2013. Today is estancanda renewal and carries overtones of becoming one of the 'soap opera' parakeet summer. Contacts between the two parties (and Barca player) and would have occurred, says eleconomista.es.

According to this publication on line, both young players strengthen the lead with a versatile profile that appeals to Guardiola. The two can play thrown winger and exercise, while, in center forward. (via MD)

"Bale wants to sign for Barça"

Sandro Ranieri, Tottenham's Brazilian midfielder, revealed in COMRàdio that Gareth Bale "would play at Barça."

"Bale is quiet but certainly want to play at Barça." This forceful was Sandro Ranieri, Tottenham midfielder, told the journalist COMRàdio that forward Eric Jiménez.

The Brazilian defensive midfielder revealed a secret costume and confirmed and the Welsh player's interest in joining the ranks of Barcelona after months of intense and numerous rumors.

The possible classification of the Spurs for the next edition of the Champions League and the future of coach Harry Redknapp, who has been linked strongly to the bench for England, are some of the conditions that may facilitate or complicate a hypothetical negotiation Barça with the entire northeast of London.

Sandro was also agreed his compatriot Neymar. The midfielder 'spur' no hesitation in finding that "Neymar is growing but if you want to reach an elite level should come to Europe", thus recovering the rumors that placed the Brazilian great promise in the Spanish league. (via SPORT)

Chelsea play with fear and lack courage, claims Barcelona's Dani Alves

Full-back stirs memories of 2009 Champions League semi-final
Chelsea and Barcelona meet again in last four of competition
Sid Lowe interviews Dani Alves

The Barcelona defender Dani Alves has risked opening old wounds before tomorrow's Champions League semi-final first leg with Chelsea after claiming the Catalans' controversial victory over the Blues three years ago owed less to the performance of the referee, Tom Henning Ovrebo, and more to the Premier League team lacking courage, being gripped by fear and playing long-ball football.

Barça return to Stamford Bridge to confront a Chelsea team still heavily reliant on the key figures of that 1-1 semi-final draw in May 2009. Twelve of the 18 players in the London club's match day squad then overseen by Guus Hiddink, and beaten on away goals that night, remain at the club and will be eager to exact revenge on the reigning European champions.

Memories of Ovrebo's erratic performance still linger, the Norwegian official having turned down four plausible penalty appeals from Chelsea. Yet Alves, in an interview with the Guardian, said Barcelona's progress – secured courtesy of Andrés Iniesta's stoppage-time equaliser once the visitors had been reduced to 10 men – owed more to Chelsea's failings. "There is no doubt that was the hardest game we have played, with everything that was at stake, the moment and everything that happened," Alves said. "People say Chelsea could have won but for the referee but that is not our problem. We do not control the referees. We are there to play football, to compete and to try to reach the final. What can we do about the referee?

"Chelsea did not reach the final because of fear. The team that has got a man more, is playing at home and winning should have attacked us more. But of course, if you don't have that [attacking] concept of football that Barcelona have, you stay back and you get knocked out. You have to go forward. Stay back: losers. Go forward: winners. I think Chelsea lacked the courage to take a step forward and attack us. They paid for it."

Alves admitted Barcelona's players were surprised Chelsea had not played with more attacking ambition after Eric Abidal's dismissal and that they drew encouragement from their hosts' approach. "At that moment we realised they had renounced the game," he said. "We realised that at 1-0 they were satisfied but they forgot that at 1-1 we were through and that is what happened. All they did is get the ball and get rid of it. Ball here, hit it long; ball there, hit it long! They never took that step forward. In other words they gifted us possession. And the worst thing you can do with Barcelona is give them possession."

Full: www.guardian.co.uk

Drogba: "It's not all bad memories with Barça"

Chelsea's Ivorian forward felt that "rather than what happened in 2009, I prefer to think of what happened the other times we've played against Barça."

Chelsea's Ivorian forward felt that "rather than what happened in 2009, For several seasons, Didier Drogba is Chelsea's great jacket, the best resort in times of crisis. The Ivory Coast striker, a clásico confrontation between Chelsea and Barcelona (since 2005 alone has lost one of the eight games between them, through suspension, at the turn of the second round of the season 2004-05), lives a strange season, with rumors about his possible departure to China but in the last game of his team against Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final, again demonstrated why it is one of the great references Chelsea tomorrow receives Barça at Stamford Bridge with the memory of 'Iniestazo'.

"More than what happened in 2009, I prefer to think of what happened the other times we've played against Barça," said the striker, "not all bad memories because we had very good games. In fact, I think we can say we're at 50 percent, although Barça is still the best team in the world and has the best player. But over two legs anything can happen. "Prefer to think of what happened the other times we've played against Barça."

Chelsea get Barça at Stamford Bridge relied on two factors: the physical strength of the players Di Matteo and the warmth of his stage, a small but intense. "Since I have lived in Chelsea for many games of this type," said the African, "so I think that, more or less know how to address them, how to play them. Those who have more seniority we have to convey that experience to the younger. "

For Chelsea, the challenge is threefold: to complete a good season finale, getting into the Champions League final and eliminate the defending champions. And by the way, doubts that the team continues to generate. "Nobody expected that we could be in the semis, so now we have to prove that we deserve to be here. The 2009 is past, now all I want is to play a good game tomorrow and get a result. " (via SPORT)

[Youth] The cantera azulgrana still adding successes and remains unbeaten

This week football training equipment Barça have not lost any of the matches they have played, and end the day with a record of 13 wins and 3 draws.

The Prebenjamin is on the verge of being proclaimed champion of the Third Division Benjamin. If the set of Rafa Rodríguez and Juan Antonio Gil conquers the Sants home next week will win the league title.

The Infantil B has won the friendly match against Egenfoerde, a German team.

Course of a 0-2 win Barça much higher. The Damm, a team that always makes things difficult for the azulgranas, could not in good Juvenil B game that sealed the game in the first half with goals from Enguene, who debuted with the Juvenil B, and Iu despite the effort and struggle of the home side. Early in the second half it seemed that the rival willing to give out around the marker and close the gap creating more chances, but the azulgranas kept control and did not let the Damm came on goal. Due to low to play for the Juvenil A, the team convened to 4 players Cadete A, Enguene, Juanan, Sergi Palencia and Sergio Buenacasa, who played for the first time with the team at García Pimienta and Marc Guitart. Barça took a new victory that consolidated as leading solo the Liga National Juvenil and are already preparing for the tournament in Moscow to begin next Tuesday, April 17.

The Nàstic de Tarragona stood up to the guys from Quique Álvarez and Ramon Ros in the 25th game of the Division de Honor Cadete. While the azulgranas faced a difficult game against a good team, and the match was very even during the two times. Sanabria put his team ahead after 13 minutes of the first period, but only two minutes after Pau Almarcha, the home team tied the game again. The second half began with a stronger Nastic who enjoyed a chance to score but Barça was taking control of shock as they moved the minutes and had chances to take the win, but could not materialize. Despite the tie, the Cadete A leader goes solo in the league with 63 points.

Cadete B exceeded the tie of the last day in the field of La Floresta with a display offensive against Cambrils Unió. The group led by Fran Artiga and Andrés Martin enjoyed several opportunities in the first half, until Alexis Meva opened the scoring with a direct free-kick went across the square in the final minutes of the first period. The second half followed the dynamic offensive Barça, but the visitors managed to equalize the match on 22 minutes. The draw, however, did not last long. Marc Rio returned to the azulgranas ahead on the scoreboard four minutes later, Alexis Meva signed a doublet seen leaving the game to judgment. New triumph, therefore, that strengthens the leader of Cadete B Preferred Cadete the Liga.

Landslide victory of the guys from Denis Silva and Carlos Lopez against the leader of the competition, which helps to overcome the defeat of the previous day against the Mataro, the runner. the azulgranas were imposed with authority to Badalona scoring thanks to its effectiveness. Bobby opened the can of Barcelona in the 5th minute with a shot of vaseline after an assist from Oscar, and Cruz scored the second in the final minute of the first half building a center for Valery. After the break, the Infantil B continued with the offensive line but the goals came quickly. Finally, Iker and Mboula rounded the day with two goals in the final minute of play.

Infantil B played a friendly match on Sunday against Egenfoerde, a German team. the azulgranas dominated smoothly the first time and went into the break with a convincing 5-0 win. The second half continued in the same vein, and round the azulgranas finished the day with a goal of Castellsof lack Òscar and a head at the exit of a corner. Participants included 4 players fry: Pere Mogente , Víctor Joaquín, Albert Portas and Alejandro Marcos.

Comfortable victory for the boys Marcel Sans and Isaac García in the field of Trade. the azulgranas took the lead on the scoreboard very quickly with a goal by Alejandro in the first minute of play, but then had even more difficulties to mark the party took control at all times. After the break, however, the Alevín A took the home team opened to increase the distances in the light with three more goals from Sergio Gómez, Victor Gómez and Imad. This win consolidates Barça in the second position in the standings with 65 points, behind Espanyol.

Hard game for azulgranas in the field ISSA Council. The team of Jordi Font and Jordi Puig confronted the first time with patience and long possessions to try to find the spaces between the tight defense of Sant Andreu, and succeeded with goals from Albert Portas and Bernat Renom, who left the meeting at 0 - 2 in the rest. After the break, the Alevín B remained well offensively but some inaccuracies defense allowed the local level the match again. In the fourth quarter, Lucas de Vega again put his team ahead, but the opponent did not give up and signed the tie in the final minute of play.

Alevín C undisputed win at the 23rd round of the second division Alevín. The set of Alex Gómez and Alexis Pinto was much higher than the visiting team and had mastery over the game. At half time the game was already ready for judgment with goals from Guillermo Amor, Marc Guerrero and Take doublet. The second half continued to be a monologue Barça. Two goals Adrià Altimira, in minute 50 and 57, finished the day round. With this new victory, the sixth row, the azulgranas are consolidated as leading the competition with 13 points ahead of second placed Badalona.

Draw the team led by Xavi Bravo and Oscar Hernandez at Sant Joan Despi against Blanca Subur. The first time the Alevín D took control of the game and went ahead without problems in the light targets with Marc Domínguez, Roger and Julián. The result went into halftime with a 3-1 azulgrana win, but the second time the party broke and had arrived on both sides. The visitors managed to shock even taking advantage of some inaccuracies of culés. A draw away to barcelonistas in the top of the Second Division Alevín and places it in third place three points behind leaders Igualada.

Azulgrana superiority in the match against Damm. The Benjamín B was ahead in the first minute of play with a goal from Oscar, and the rest and won with authority 5-0. The second half followed the same line, with an overwhelming dominance of Barcelonans in all aspects, both in offensive and defensive. Jan Reixach (3), Oscar Romero (2), Sagar Escoto, Albert Garrido, Ricard Cartañá and Marti Riera were the scorers of the day. With this new victory, the boys of Mila Sergi and Òscar Jorquera continue their spectacular growth over the past two months, and added another victory this season, which is undefeated with 22 wins and only 2 draws.

Goals from Arnau Farnós (3), Marc Pelaz (2), Alejandro Balde (2), Johnny (2), Fasika, Simons and Alejandro del Barco were won by Benjamín C in the municipal Vallirana. The set of Cristian Catena and Albert Puig stepped forward quickly on the scoreboard with a goal of Farnós 2 min, and the first quarter and won by 0-4. The second period continued in the same vein, and the azulgranas went into the break with the overwhelming result of 0-5. After the break, the club continued to take the command of the game and signed the win thanks to good team play. This new victory keeps leaders barcelonistas in Lone Second Division Benjamín with 60 points.

Benjamín D total domination against fifth-placed in the table. The guys from Jordi Perez and David Sanchez became rapidly with control of the game thanks to good ball movement and great attitude of all players, who sought the collective game throughout the match. the azulgranas had patience and matured plays to find the time to make goals. The targets of the conflict were widely dispersed, with Marc Pelaz (5), Eric (4), Mamadou (3), Nadir (3), Gabi, Jonathan and Sicu as scorers of the day, plus an own goal from visitors . The Benjamín D consolidates its leadership in this new solo success, and continues the season undefeated with 21 wins in 21 games.

Find it very tight against the Manigua, the fifth-ranked the Third Division Benjamín. The team Rafa Rodríguez and Juan Antonio Gil had to suffer to be imposed on a very difficult opponent who stood up during the four quarters. The game was back and forth from the first minute, and that whenever the azulgranas went ahead on the scoreboard, the visiting team rival equaled the result. Finally, a target in stoppage time of Sergi Oriol gave the victory to Prebenjamin that with these 3 points are located very close to becoming the champion of the regular competition, just one victory. The other goals of the day were given by Jurado (2), Ilias and Paul.




Guardiola and Di Matteo face off 12 years later

12 years after playing against each other in the Champions League quarterfinal tie between FC Barcelona and Chelsea, the two men will face each other once again on Wednesday, but this time as managers.

This Wednesday, April 18th, Josep Guardiola and Roberto di Matteo will face each other as the managers of FC Barcelona and Chelsea, respectively, 12 years after the two played against each other as players while defending the Azulgrana and Blue strips. It was in the quarterfinal of the Champions League of the 1999-2000 season. On that occasion, Barça went on to the semifinals.

The 3-1 at Stamford Bridge put Louis van Gaal’s team in a difficult situation in the return leg at the Camp Nou. It was on this night that FC Barcelona put in a magical performance as the team fired five past Chelsea in overtime to secure a spot in the semifinals. The Catalans were later eliminated by Valencia.

Rivaldo, with two goals (24’ and 99’), Figo (45’), Dani (83’) and Kluivert (104’) were Barça’s goal scorers, while Flo scored for the English side. Di Matteo, who featured in the starting line-up at the Camp Nou, could do little to stop a Barça directed by Josep Guardiola.

Guardiola is not the only FC Barcelona player that played against Chelsea in 2000 that’s still with the Club. Carles Puyol was also on the pitch that night. The Barça captain, who started and later came off for Abelardo after 86 minutes, battled with Flo for most the game.

In an interview with Revista Barça in 2005, Puyol recounts “an impressive atmosphere” at the Camp Nou that night. He also talked about the days leading up to the return leg against Chelsea: “I remember the duel with Flo. Initially I wasn’t going to play that game, but Van Gaal, after a training session where I had to mark Kluivert said, ‘you can mark players that are taller than you with your powerful aerial play.’ I told him that I didn’t know if I could, but I definitely wanted to try. Two days before the match he told me that I was going to play and that I had to mark Flo.”

Di Matteo's trajectory

Roberto di Matteo took over the Chelsea bench from outgoing manager Villas-Boas in March of this year. As a footballer, Di Matteo played for three different Swiss teams at the start of his career -Schaffhausen, Zurich and Aarau- before playing for Lazio from 1993 through 1996. He arrive to Chelsea in 1996 and stays through 2002. In fact, it was with the London side that Di Matteo won most of his titles. He retired, at the age of 31 due to injury, as a Blue legend. “He’s doing a fantastic job and winning a lot of points,” said Guardiola on the current Chelsea manager. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Torres and Mascherano spent 3 years together at Liverpool

Torres and Mascherano were teammates at Liverpool from 2007 to 2010.

Neither player picked up a trophy during their time under Rafa Benítez.

Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano will meet up again on Wednesday night when Barça face Chelsea. The last time when teams met in 2009, they were both at Liverpool, but this week they’ll be facing each other across the Stamford Bridge pitch.

The Argentinean was signed by Liverpool from West Ham during the 2006/07 winter transfer window and Torres joined six months later from Atlètico de Madrid. During the three years they were together under Rafa Benítez, Liverpool failed to win a single trophy and soon after Mascherano joined Barça in 2010, Torres was also on the move, joining Chelsea in the winter of 2010-11.

At Liverpool, Torres scored 69 goals in 143 Premier League games, whilst Mascherano managed one in 94 games.

Should Di Matteo and Guardiola play them, the two are likely to have plenty of opportunity to renew their acquaintance, with Mascherano now a key member of the Barça back line, after playing primarily as a midfielder during his time at Anfield. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pass & Move like Iniesta, Xavi & Messi

Lampard: "We can defeat Barcelona"

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was now convinced that they can "beat the Barcelona" in the semifinal of the Champions League to be held on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

"Any team can win. We have great respect for Barcelona, has been the best in the world for the last two or three years and are the favorites," English said in a statement that reflects the official Chelsea. Lampard, 33, stressed that the win that signed this weekend the "blues" against Tottenham in the semifinal of the FA Cup (1-5) is a measure of confidence for a team that accumulates several months of results gray in the Premiership, where it remains in sixth place in the standings.

"It gives us confidence, we must continue in the same way. On Wednesday we have a great game and we play as we did against the Spurs, both against Barcelona and the rest of league," he said.

While Lampard stressed that the English team has the ability and motivation to overcome the Pep Guardiola in a playoff over two legs, Lampard also stated that the Catalan side box labeled "favorite" in the semifinals of the Champions .

"They are the favorites for the players they have on their computer. But if we play like we did against Tottenham will have our chance," argued the futbolista.El encounter between Chelsea and Barcelona on Wednesday republished the controversial semi-final of 2009 in which a last-gasp goal from Andres Iniesta gave the Spanish go to the Catalans in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. (via MD)

[Youth] See playing Take, the first Japanese in the history of Barça

Takefusa Kubo is a Japanese guy who plays 11 years now in the Alevín C of FC Barcelona. Better known as Take, Japan was known as the "Japanese Messi."

He Is a left-handed boy, with very good ball, great vision and precise stuck on goal from distance.

Take the story of the FC Barcelona started in Fukuoka, School of FC Barcelona that lies south of Japan and arrived on campus after highlighting the Blaugrana in the city of Yokohama. After a great performance in the campus, its director Óscar Hernández, recommended that the boy's club incorporating the Catalan club's inferior categories, warning also of interest from other major European teams recruit, including Real Madrid.

Last season he was invited to Barcelona for a test in which surprised all coaches of La Masia and after that William Love decided to take to a tournament in Belgium with one of the teams below the cantera. There he was chosen MVP, accelerating the procedures for the youth to Kubo travel to Barcelona and his family this season.

Take not living in La Masia, but eat and rest there daily. It has adapted to a high speed life both in Spain and the language. In the following video, posted by FCBMasia.com and issued by the program BarçaTV "Promeses" we can see his performance in "Vila de Peralada Tournament" this past Easter, where FC Barcelona won the final against Villarreal 3-0, with a goal and assisted Japanese player often. (via SPORT)

[Ex player] Ronaldo: "This Barça is a great team"

The ex player of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Ronaldo Nazario de Lima gives up the game of Guardiola.

Madridsta dedicated to the cause, the ex Barça player to the 96-97 season orders for Bobby Robson told the FIFA website and spared no praise for the club with very unsympathetic. "I am I like merengue and how is playing Madrid, but you can leave out the Barcelona is a great team," said the Brazilian.

Ronaldo recognized the virtues of Barça, he said, "may not do spectacular things but makes it look so simple. All players know what they do, at all times, in each sector, their ability to have the ball at the feet the patience with which they play to reach the opposite goal. it note the great work done by Guardiola. "

"This team is one of the best I've seen in my 35 years. It pains me to admit, with Real Madrid, but I think we can equal them out some titles this year," pointed out some optimism that Barça and Madrid forward.

And he justified his passion for the club blanco, "I remember fondly my time at Real Madrid, I think it was the best part of my career. I also liked the Inter fond with the team and the city of Milan. Everywhere I went, I made many friends and I had a great time. "

In an interview with FIFA.com, Ronaldo spoke of Neymar as the "most talented" of representatives of the latest generation of Brazilian players, although he believes that his successor is the player's Internacional de Porto Alegre Leandro Damiao. "He's tall, strong, very good scorer, with his head and working with both feet." (via SPORT)

De Gea, "If Barça is at their level can go the tie"

David De Gea, goalkeeper of Manchester United, Barcelona warned that Chelsea "is very physical and strong at home."

"Barcelona will have a tough game, but if you play at their level the tie could happen," said De Gea in Madrid, invited by the technical committee "Football Draft 2012" which made its last cut to select the best players of the quarries.

De Gea, former goalkeeper of Atlético Madrid and was honored by Football Draft in 2011, spoke of the similarity of the final league who are living Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain and Manchester United and Manchester City in England. "We are close to winning the Premiership, but they are very complicated 4 games, one against the City in its own field. Currently anyone can win, but if it is true that we have a step we must take advantage," commented . As for the Spanish case, the exrojiblanco noted that "Real Madrid also has close because it takes a lead of four points. The Spanish league is very nice and in el clásico Saturday will see who is stronger."

De Gea won Atlético Madrid the first edition of the Europa League in 2010 and now, about the possibilities of exequipo in the semifinal against Valencia, said: "you know how to win this title and have options. The Valencia is a very good, so I think the odds are 50 percent, but I hope Atletico win. "Madrid goalkeeper also used to praise the work of Cholo Simeone at Atlético Madrid. "You're doing a great campaign. With him, the team has taken moral and aggressiveness that was lacking." (via SPORT)

FC Barcelona arrive in London

The team arrived in London where they will face Chelsea on Wednesday in the away leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Guardiola has named 22 players to the team for the European clash, including Keita and Afellay.

FC Barcelona have arrived in London where they will face Chelsea in the away leg of the Champions League semifinal on Wednesday. The Barça expedition left Barcelona this afternoon for England and they won’t return until Thursday. The team landed in London at 9 PM (local time) - one hour behind Catalan time - and went directly to the team hotel.

Sandro Rosell, accompanied by members of the board of directors and FC Barcelona Football Director Andoni Zubizarreta, also travelled with the team.

Tomorrow, Guardiola, who named 22 footballers to the team, will lead the only training session the team will have at Stamford Bridge before the match on Wednesday. The players, who will be back on the pitch where Andrés Iniesta scored the last-minute goal three years ago, will start the training session at 18:15 (local time). At 17:35, Pep Guardiola and Cesc Fàbregas will hold a pre-training press conference.

At 19:45, representatives from both clubs will take part in the official directors supper. Sandro Rosell will lead the Barça delegation.

Meeting at Trafalgar Square

It’s almost becoming a tradition for FC Barcelona Supporters Clubs when FC Barcelona play in London. On Wednesday Barça Supporters Clubs will gather at Trafalgar Square 45 minutes before Barça take on Chelsea. (via FCBarcelona.com)

22 players named to the squad ahead of the Stamford Bridge clash

Guardiola named 18 first-team players plus Barça B's Oier, Montoya, Bartra and Tello to Barça's Champions League team.

Seydou Keita, who missed the match against Levante, received medical clearance to play this Monday.

Afellay, who was cleared to play last week, was named to the team for the first time since he picked up his injury in September.

Josep Guardiola has named 22 players to the Barça team for the Champions League semifinals. The manager named all 18 first-team players plus Barça B’s Oier, Montoya, Bartra and Tello to the squad for the match against Chelsea this Wednesday. Seydou Keita, who was given medical clearance to play this Monday, and Ibrahim Afellay, the first time the Dutchman has been named to a squad since his injury this past September, both got the nod from the manager.

Before departing for London, the 22 players named to the FC Barcelona team and Marc Muniesa trained at the Camp Nou. As usual in Barça’s away games in the Champions League, Guardiola is taking a third keeper, Oier. On another note, it’s worth mentioning that Puyol and Mascherano are just one yellow card away from suspension.

The team travelled to London this Monday afternoon and will not return to Barcelona until Thursday, two days before the Clásico with Real Madrid. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Andrés Iniesta: “The team is looking good, I'm optimistic”

Barça’s midfielder insisted this afternoon that : “the team are travelling to London looking for a win and not a draw”.

Iniesta got the winning goal the last time these two met at Stamford Bridge: “I’m very proud of that goal and happy to have been able to have that experience. It’s a feeling that is hard to describe”.

Iniesta also warned: “what happened in 2009 has got nothing to do with Wednesday’s game”.

Iniesta’s goal on 6 May 2009 was enough to send Barça through to the Rome Final against Manchester United and speaking to reporters at the Camp Nou this afternoon before the team trained and flew off for London, he revealed: “I guess it’s inevitable that that goal is being talked about again. It’s good to remember it because it was a special and very intense moment – not just for me, but for all of us. Life goes on though, and Wednesday is a different situation and a different game. I’m very proud of that goal and happy to have been able to have that experience. It’s a feeling that is hard to describe”.

Iniesta also admitted that this week: “is fundamental, important, irreplaceable – whatever adjective you want to put : against Chelsea we are playing for a place in the Champions League final and on Saturday we are playing to keep our fight for the league title on course. This is a key moment of the season and the team are looking good, which makes us optimistic. At the start of the season, all of us would have taken the situation we are in now. We’ve been fighting hard for months and now we are here still in with a chance of winning everything”.

There’s also no risk, according to Iniesta, that the team will lack focus against Chelsea, distracted by the Madrid game: “we are just 180 minutes away from a Champions League final. Our focus has to be on the Chelsea match – if we are distracted and think about anything else, we will be making a mistake”.

Iniesta compared that 2009 game with Wednesday’s and reckons that Chelsea are now a more mature outfit: “they have more experience. They were strong in 2009 and they will be stronger now – strong, dangerous and intense. That will all be multiplied by the atmosphere at their own ground” . Iniesta also stressed the strengthening of the Chelsea team with the signings of his fellow Spanish internationals Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.

Finally, Iniesta insisted the players were clear that they had to go out and get a result in London: “we are going there to get a win, to put in a good performance and commit as few errors as possible. We know it’s a two legged tie, but we are going there to win”. (via FCBarcelona.com)