18 April 2012

The Rayo-Barça will close the day 36 of the League

On Sunday April 29th will be played one game of the season that, depending on the outcome of the clásico, can be exciting and in which Barça will play after the Madrid.

The Merengues will receive at the Bernabeu to Sevilla at 12.00 h. in a game of noon, while Barça will play later in the field of Rayo Vallecano at 21.30 h. (C +1).

La Liga may be at stake and decided in Madrid on a journey absolutely infarction. Every minute is of national interest if Barça is able this Saturday (20.00 h.) reduce to just one point disadvantage in the most attractive and important clásico. (via MD)

Official timetable of the day 36 th of Liga BBVA:

Saturday, April 28

18:00 Getafe-Mallorca

18:00 Levante-Granada

18:00 Espanyol-Sporting

18:00 Real Sociedad-Racing

22:00 Villarreal-Osasuna

Sunday, April 29

12:00 Real Madrid-Sevilla

16:00 Zaragoza-Athletic

18:00 Málaga-Valencia

19:45 Betis-Atlético de Madrid

21:30 Rayo Vallecano-Barcelona

[Ex-player] Txiki: "We had to choose between Mourinho and Guardiola"

The former Barça sporting director acknowledges that probed Mourinho, but knowledge of culture of Barça and environment Pep was the azulgrana bench.

Txiki Begiristain made ​​a statement to Sky Sports in which he recalled that decisive moment when Barça after two years of drought, had to choose between Guardiola and Mourinho: "Pep was an excellent player. From the base, the cantera, so it was easy to understand the system and philosophy that we implemented, the optimal win games. he could come Mourinho, contacted him, but Guardiola knew exactly what and how Barcelona also had the advantage of knowing by heart the media , the famous surroundings. was ahead of Mourinho. "

In the end, the results have given reason to Begiristain, ex player and former sporting director, and his signing decisive ls club's history: "We decided that Pep could be a good coach for a great team and after a year found that the results were excellent, with the style and improved system Rijkaard. "

On el clásico, Basque believes that the only chance of winning Madrid at the Camp Nou is "playing against", and how much will depend on the decision of Mourinho: "Play with Diarra, Khedira and Alonso, or Özil and Kaka? That's the important decision of Mou ". (via SPORT)

Thus he lived Barça goal by Mario Gómez

Barça players and officials closely followed the match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and expressed his joy after scoring the second German.

Much of the dinner party coincided with the Barcelona players at the hotel, but still the azulgrana squad did not want to miss the meeting. After dinner, some players chose to see it in a common room, while others went to their rooms to see the final minutes with more ease. In any case, the goal from Mario Gomez gave Bayern the victory was received with joy.

Barça also directive was dining at game time. In this case, with the dome of Chelsea at Restaurant Marco, in the same complex of Stamford Bridge. At the end of the meal, about 75 minutes, managers Moix Freixa Vilarrubí and Faus, and the president Sandro Rosell, went to a 'Sports Bar' in front of the stadium of Chelsea to see the last minutes of play. There, in a very pro-Madridista, azulgranas managers could see through a giant screen how Mario Gómez checked in 89 minutes and gave the victory to the Bavarians. Sources say the goal face was much celebrated by the issue azulgrana. (via SPORT)

Barça will come out with the eleventh gala

Guardiola will not let anything on the bench and come out with all sacred cows in search of victory.

The moment of truth. Now there is no turning back. Any trip you left out an entire Champions League final. Faced with such a juncture, Guardiola will field its eleventh gala, with the only question in the tactical, whether bet on Cesc Fàbregas in midfield or finally do it for Seidou Keita. It all depends on whether Blaugrana coach wants to give more relevance to the muscle and African packaging to contain the physical play Chelsea or finally chooses the ordered chaos and styling of the squad in the game.

The rest of the team seems clearly determined. So is Víctor Valdés in goal, the defense will consist of Alves, Piqué, Mascherano and Puyol. Stand out in any case that two such important players at the back like Puyol and Mascherano are the penalty card. In any case, Guardiola himself said in London that does not think in any case possible sanctions but on what is best for the game tonight.

In midfield there are two men who have their place guaranteed: Sergio Busqutes and Xavi Hernández. The third will depend on whether finally committed Keita or Cesc. Iniesta also could delay the core, so then it would be Cesc who could play in the band or even as if finally midfielder to be played in diamond in midfield.

In the attack two other names indisputable: Messi and Alexis. The only option to let Pedro sacrifice would be if either were playing Cesc plus Keita, Iniesta leaving third place in midfield. Would in any case, a much riskier bet in search of offensive and open up the field in order to score a goal in any case a priority when you play away from home in the Champions League.

Players like Adriano, Cuenca or Tello would be on the bench as possible revolting or jump to the field as the team's needs at any given time.

What is clear is that Guardiola has almost the first time in 2012 with virtually the entire workforce, with the exceptions of David Villa, Eric Abidal and Andreu Fontàs. Has recovered to Dutch Ibrahim Afellay and also to Alves and Piqué who dragged paths hamstring discomfort in his left leg.

No doubt this is the best way to tackle the final stretch of the season, Barcelona are still very much alive in three competitions to be contested. (via SPORT)

Terry and Puyol, club captains and icons

John Terry and Carles Puyol cross paths once again on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge after following almost parallel lives.

Chelsea and Barça have plenty of experience in their defences. And at the heart of one and the other are John Terry and Carles Puyol. Both are captains, both have a wealth of experience and both have experienced similar careers. The Englishman is 31 years old and the Catalan is 34, and both grew up through the youth systems at their respective clubs and are considered living legends by their supporters, who have been enjoying the two stars since 1998 and 1999 respectively.

Terry and Puyol have captained Chelsea and Barça since 2004/05. Both have played more than 500 official games for the clubs where they have spent their entire professional careers. The Londoner, although a midfielder in his formative years, has always been a centre back since turning pro. But Puyol started out as a striker, joined the first team as a right back and has now consolidated his role as centre back. Both have strong personalities, are strong in the air and generally respect fair play (Terry has been sent off just four times and Puyol only twice).

Both players are also regulars with their international teams and have had to overcome serious injuries. John Terry had a back operation in 2007 and Puyol underwent knee surgery last summer.

During his illustrious career, Terry has been named Best Defender in the Champions League three times (2005, 2008 and 2009) and Puyol once (2006). The former’s eleven titles are an all-time Chelsea record, while Puyol has 18 winners medals, including three for the Champions League. Both have played central roles in the four home and away encounters between the Blues and Barça in the last seven years, and will be relishing the opportunity to meet again on Wednesday evening. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Five-year anniversary of Messi's Maradona-like goal

Chelsea - FC Barcelona: Did you know...?

  • The last time Barça and Chelsea played against each other was on May 6th 2009, in the return leg of the Champions League semifinals at Stamford Bridge. Andrés Iniesta’s stoppage-time goal qualified Guardiola’s men for the final in Rome. FC Barcelona would go on to claim the title after beating Manchester United.
  • The two teams have played against each other in UEFA competitions 10 times. Each team have won three times and there have been four draws.
  • This is the fifth consecutive season FC Barcelona have made it to the Champions League semifinals. While Chelsea have qualified for this round six times in the last nine seasons.
  • Chelsea have won five consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League this season. They’ve scored 16 goals and only conceded 2. Barça, before drawing at the San Siro against Milan, had a four-match winning streak in the Champions League away from the Camp Nou.
  • The last time Barça played in England was last season in the Champions League final in Wembley against Manchester United. Guardiola’s men lifted the European trophy for the fourth time in Club history.
  • Barça’s record against English teams is 24 games won, 18 drawn and 16 lost. Away from home, Barça have won 6, drawn 8 and lost 13. In terms of winning ties against English sides, Barça have won 10 and lost 9.
  • In Barça’s 10 Champions League matches this season, they’ve scored 33 goals, making them the team with the most goals in the this edition of the competition. Chelsea, of the four semifinalists, have scored the least amount of goals (21) and are the team that have conceded the most (9).
  • Messi, top goal scorer of the Champions League with 14 goals, is the player that has scored the most goals in a single Champions League edition.
  • Furthermore, Barça’s Argentine, who has 63 goals to his name in all competitions, is only four goals away from drawing level with Gerd Müller’s record as the player with the most goals in a single season.
  • Masherano and Puyol are one yellow card away from suspension. Chelsea’s Ivanovic, David Luiz, Meireles and Ashley Cole are in the same situation.
  • Fernando Torres, now playing for Chelsea, has scored 7 goals from 10 games against Barça while playing for Atlético Madrid. During his time at the Spanish club, he beat Barça four times, drew four times and only lost twice.
  • Chelsea have a player in the team that learned to play in Barça’s La Masia. Oriol Romeu, who played 41 games for Barça B from 2009 to 2011 and made his debut for the first team, left Barcelona for London at the start of this season.
  • (via FCbarcelona.com)

Mou: "Guardiola knows how many games won"

"He's a smart guy and knows how to win as many games in the championship. Know exactly how it's done," he told Sky Sports after the match in Munich.

José Mourinho spoke not only of the match against Bayern after the match. Sky Sport after the same interviewed him and asked an opinion about Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach: "He's a smart guy and knows how to win as many games in the championship. Knows exactly how he did it."

Guardiola was also asked in London for the influence of Mourinho at Chelsea today. A Portuguese journalist referred to comoo "friend" and he joked Guardiola: "Please say my friend." Mourinho refused to Sky Sport that proximity of el Clásico had an influence on the match in Munich. (via AS)

Van Persie visited Barça in their hotel!

The issue of FC Barcelona was the Monday night visit from one of the great cracks in the Premier: The forward of Arsenal Robin Van Persie.

The Dutch striker went to the JW Marriot hotel in London is hosting the Barça squad shortly after completion in game the Gunners played-and lost-to Wigan by 1-2.

The meeting went beyond the British press, which have been published including photographs of the visit and Van Persie out of the hotel.

Apparently, the Arsenal striker went there to greet his old friends: 'Ibi' Afellay, Dutch team-mate and Cesc Fabregas, who shared equipment in the Gunners.

The event, in any case, has set off alarm bells among fans of London side, fearful that his star to sign for Barça in the future.

Van Persie out of contract in June 2013, when they could no cost to sign for any club, and to renew negotiations have not borne fruit yet. Real Madrid and Manchester City would be among the teams that would like their breakthrough this summer. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Eto'o could return to Inter Milan

The future of Samuel Eto'o may be back in Milan, if confirmed the news coming from Italy.

As announced by the 'Corriere dello Sport' in its edition of Tuesday, Cameroon's not comfortable in the Anzhi and start thinking about a return to British or Spanish football ahead of next season. The whole 'Nerazzurri' who want to reinstate their star fuena two seasons ago, despite the 20 million euros a season that gives the forward whole Russian.

Eto'o is not comfortable in Russian football and wants to play at their highest level. Inter president Massimo Moratti, attend to the situation of the former '9' FC Barcelona and wants to contribute their bit to Cameroon return to Giuseppe Meazza. In any case, it is Samuel who has the final word, according to information provided "Corriere dello Sport.

Since the departure of Mourinho, Inter lives submerged in a delicate situation, athletically speaking. Eto'o's return may be the turning Moratti expects to return to the Lombards to the elite of European football. (via SPORT)

Guardiola: “It will be a tie with very few goals”

The manager highlights Chelsea’s winning attitude and he notes that “small details will decide which team makes it to the final”.

Guardiola considers it “the best gift” to once again be in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The manager is clear that his team “must have the capacity to interpret the game well or we’ll have a terrible time”.

Josep Guardiola assured the packed press room that his team is very aware of the difficulties of tomorrow’s Champions League semi-final match at Stamford Bridge. The Azulgrana manager said that tomorrow’s match “is against one of the best teams in recent years,” and that “it will be a tie with very few goals where small details will decide which team makes it to the final.”

Guardiola recognised that it’s been difficult for him to figure out “how to create goal-scoring chances” against the English side and he warned that “in a stadium like this we must interpret the game well, if we don’t we’ll have a terrible time.” Guardiola noted that “it will be more difficult to get to the final this year,” specifically for two reasons, “first, because we are reigning champions and everyone wants to beat us, and second because we’re playing against a very good team. Lampard, Terry, Drogba... they are very important players.”

Guardiola said that Chelsea “are experts in a lot of things, but perhaps they haven’t had the capacity to maintain their consistency throughout a long competition, but in a shorter one they are one of the most dangerous sides.” The manager is convinced that his team “must have the capacity to interpret the game well or we’ll have a terrible time.” He added, “the only thing I’m sure of is that this will be more complicated than the tie in 2009.”

When asked about the changes this Chelsea side presents to the one in 2009, Guardiola said “they have the same spirit. We admire these unique footballers that have maintained themselves over the years. They’re competitive in the Premier League and in Europe. We can only admire these players. They’ve had different managers, but the core and the spirit is the same.”

Finally, in response Ibrahimovic’s claim that Barça’s players dive, Guardiola said “he played with these players, he’s very aware of the quality they have. They get the ball and they pass it; they don’t dive.”

The 2009 semi-final tie

Josep Guardiola recalls the 2009 semi-final tie: “it was very tough, I imagine this one will be similar. In the away leg they were very defensive. In the return leg, Essien’s goal allowed them to use their greatest asset, the counterattack. After Abidal was sent off, we had difficulties, and Chelsea created a lot of counterattacks. Víctor saved us. That final exciting push at the end is what put us through.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Cesc: “I signed for Barça to face challenges like the one against Chelsea

The player explained that the matches that Barça will play this week against Chelsea and Madrid “are the ones I was expecting to play and enjoy” when he signed for FC Barcelona.

The Catalan believes that “Chelsea come into the match on the best form they’ve had all season,” but he warned that “we have been very consistent this season and we’ve overcome all types of obstacles”.

Cesc Fàbregas has a dream and it’s to “win the Champions League, it’s what excites me the most.” The midfielder is very close to turning this dream into a reality, but in order to do it his team must eliminate Chelsea, an opponent that he knows very well from his time at Arsenal. The player, who arrived to FC Barcelona this summer, recognised that “I came here to improve and to have challenges like the ones that are waiting for us, Chelsea and Madrid. These are the types of games that I was expecting to play and enjoy.” Along these lines, the Catalan added that lifting the Champions League trophy is “a great dream and I hope to realise it as an Azulgrana.”

Cesc, who admitted that he fervently follows the Premier League, believes that Chelsea “come into the match on the best form they’ve had all season.” He noted the changes introduced by Roberto Di Matteo after Villas-Boas’ departure. “He’s made Chelsea return to the style that won them titles and made them great. They play on the counterattack and they all defend in the area,” he said. Cesc recalled his time in England when he faced Chelsea in the Premier League: “we dominated but with just one counterattack, Drogba scores. It’s almost always the same story. They are very strong on defence and they aren’t forgiving when they have the ball. They are ‘killers’ up top, we need to be very aware.”

When asked if Chelsea will be out for revenge after Iniesta’s goal in the Champions League tie in 2009, the midfielder said that “it’s a very recent thing for the players and the fans, they don’t forget easily. This will be extra motivation for them.”

Cesc knows that his team will face a very strong Chelsea tomorrow night, but “we’ve been very consistent this season and we’ve overcome all types of obstacles. It’s not about being on form, it’s about winning and taking Barça to the final in Munich. We’re capable of doing it.”

Where were you when Iniesta scored?

Cesc Fàbregas talked about Andrés Iniesta’s last-minute goal at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal, the team he played for at the time, had been eliminated the day before the Chelsea-Barça match by Manchester United. Cesc, who was with his family, recalls: “I was at home with my younger cousin. We thought Barça were eliminated and we were about to turn on the Playstation, but the goal changed everything. We were very happy. It was a disaster for me when we were eliminated, but my family was happy when they returned [to Barcelona].” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Barça return to the scene where it all started

The 22 footballers named to FC Barcelona team against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final trained this Tuesday evening at Stamford Bridge.

Stamford Bridge will always be embedded in the memories of Barça fans after Iniesta’s goal on May 6th 2009 which saw Barça through to the final in Rome. This Tuesday evening, the Spanish midfielder and his teammates returned to the scene where it all started in preparation for tomorrow’s Champions League semi-final match against Chelsea.

Under the cold English rain, the 22 footballers (18 first-team footballers and 4 reserve players) named to FC Barcelona’s team completed a training session ahead of tomorrow’s match. The match against Chelsea will kick off tomorrow at 20:45 (TV3). (via FCBarcelona.com)

Di Matteo: “Without a doubt, we’ll go out to win”

Chelsea’s manager is confident that his team is capable of eliminating Barça.

He confirmed that David Luiz will not play due to injury.

Lampard believes is his team’s chances of reaching the Champions League final.

Chelsea’s manager, Roberto Di Matteo, held a pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Barça this evening. Coming off the heels of the thrashing inflicted upon Tottenham this weekend in the FA Cup, the manager is optimistic about his team’s chances of progressing to the Champions League final. “We will try to take advantage of our good form, we are confident and motivated. Without a doubt, we’ll go out to win.” He added: “we want a good result, we mustn’t give them any space.” At the same time, the Italian is clear that “we need two perfect games to eliminate Barça.”

Di Matteo confirmed that defender David Luiz will be out of action for at least two weeks and he denied that Chelsea’s style of play has changed under his tutelage. “We play football, we have a great team with experienced players. We believe in our chances,” he indicated. He also expects that Barça are not too comfortable facing his team: “I think they don’t like to play against us, our style isn’t good for them. We have options.”

Frank Lampard also talked to the press. “We have to pressure them and maintain a high degree of concentration in order to stop players like Iniesta and Messi, if you give them space they are very dangerous,” he said. The midfielder agreed with his manager that Chelsea are capable of reaching the final: “I don’t care that we’re not favourites. We will be organised. Barça have a great team but we are confident in our chances.”

Lampard belongs to a stellar generation of Chelsea footballers that have yet to win the Champions League. On the team's failure to secure the European crown, the midfielder said: “it’s a disappointment to reach so may semi-finals and not win a Champions League title. We believe that our moment will come, for the Club and for the players. We believe in ourselves.”(via FCBarcelona.com)