19 April 2012

[Ex player] Schuster: "Now I would have liked to send me to my second or my third at the press conference"

The German Bernd Schuster expressed his opinion about el Clásico on Saturday and said seen Guardiola renewed.

The German Bernd Schuster microphones went through the stands of Ona FM and left, as is usual with him, juicy headlines about Barca and Madrid. El clásico Saturday at the Camp Nou, Schuster believes that Mourinho will go to draw, that if successful it will have everything at hand and that if he wins the league is over, "Barça and Madrid are tired, is normal. The draw will goes to Madrid, the victory would be final. I do not see Mourinho coming to win, not risk, never done well in games. Losing la Liga in Madrid and would be disastrous, and the 10 points were exaggerated, it is more real ".

The German had words for Mourinho, both critical praise: "Mourinho is the coach that does not depend on the results. And I love the Portuguese press conferences, because I would have liked to send me to my second my third ... as it is organized the Madrid and the power of the club, I do not go. "De Guardiola said see you at Barça next year: "I see no reason to not continue. Although, yes, Guardiola's replacement would have to be an alien who pays the piper, then comes a Spanish"

Finally, made ​​his mark in the form of opinion about what he represents for this boat: "It's amazing. It has everything. It is 100%. I had never seen a team play so well and so successful. Can not ask for more ". (via SPORT)

"Som i Serem" - “We are and we will be”, the clásico mosaic

The Camp Nou is preparing a spectacular mosaic consisting of 90,000 cards.

‘Som i serem’ (‘We are and we will be”) is the slogan that will appear in the mosaic being prepared for Saturday night’s crunch encounter between Barça and Madrid, a match that will be watched by an expected 400 million people around the world. The mosaic, consisting of 90,000 coloured cards, will stretch right around the stadium and will be unveiled just as the teams are emerging out of the tunnel. The words ‘Som i serem’ will fill both the touchline sections of the stadium, against a background of the Barça colours. Behind each of the goals, yellow and red cards will produce two enormous Catalan flags. (via FCBarcelona.com)

British media hail Chelsea win but warn of Camp Nou payback

The British media reacted cautiously to Chelsea’s win on Wednesday night, praising the effectiveness of Di Matteo’s conservative tactics, but warning that his team will need another big slice of luck next Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

In his tactical analysis in The Guardian, David Pleat noted: “Di Matteo planned a strategy that worked – compact, disciplined and compressing the defensive space, semi parking the bus in a fashion that was reminiscent of the Special One, the club's former manager”, concluding: “Chelsea had their share of luck but, led by the centre backs, Terry and Cahill, and with Cech top-class behind them, they deserved their survival. Pep Guardiola's side waited and waited and waited but finally ran out of time”.

Also in the Guardian, Richard Williams pointed to Didier Drogba as the main man for Chelsea, claiming: “the Ivorian striker can be as maddening as he is magical – and Barcelona experienced both those qualities”, whilst his colleague Dominic Fifield reckons: “ the "perfect game" Di Matteo had craved was essentially rather ugly but always prone to be effective”. In The Daily Telegraph Jason Burt admitted: “even the most diehard of Chelsea fan would have accepted it was a scoreline of outrageous fortune”.

In the same paper, Paul Hayward writes: “Pep Guardiola’s alchemists can flick away most obstacles but Chelsea have a knack of not budging. The world’s best team had 24 attempts on goal to Chelsea’s four but still go back to Catalonia trailing in this tie. Not often do we get to view them as mortals who can be tactically undone. The chances are we will not see a repeat of it when the clubs reconvene at the Nou Camp on Tuesday”. Phil McNulty on the BBC Website also looked to next week’s return game, claiming: “Chelsea will have to produce all they did at Stamford Bridge and more besides – but at least they travel to Catalonia with a precious lead to protect, presumably in the same manner they did on Wednesday. Chelsea now need to do it all again on Tuesday – but suddenly the weight of pressure has switched to Barcelona”.

Maybe the underlying message in the media though, was that Barça’s superior football could be withstood in a one off game, but over two legs it could be another story. Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson made the point on the BBC site that: “It was a great result for Chelsea on Wednesday night, but we have to be totally and brutally honest about it. In the first 20 minutes Chelsea had an awful lot of luck and then, late on, Barcelona hit the post . I still make Barcelona favourites to progress to the Champions League final. Next Tuesday in Spain I think Barcelona will create a whole host of chances. Even on a bad day they create chances! There will be more space for Lionel Messi on Barcelona's big pitch at the Nou Camp, which in terms of the tie could be absolutely crucial”. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Chelsea - Barça: the Stamford Bridge match in numbers

  • Barça had 74% possession of the ball and shot 24 times, five times on target. Chelsea’s remaining 26% of the possession led to a paltry four goal attempts, and the only one that hit the target was Drogba’s goal.
  • Barça made almost more than three times as many passes as Chelsea, a massive 803 compared to just 250 for the Londoners.
  • Xavi’s 128 passes were exactly four times more than the 32 made by Chelsea’s leader in that respect, Obi Mikel.
  • Wednesday night produced Barça’s first Champion League loss since February 16, 2011, which came in the same city but against Arsenal, 2-1.
  • Guardiola’s side have therefore failed in their attempt to equal the club record of 17 games without defeat achieved in the late fifties (1957-60).
  • Barça’s unbeaten streak in official matches stretched right back to February 11, 2012, when they lost to Osasuna – fifteen games ago.
  • Wednesday was the twelfth anniversary of the day when Barça managed to recover from a 3-1 first leg defeat to Chelsea in a Champions League quarter final. They did so in style, with an emphatic 5-1 win at the Camp Nou.
  • Puyol and Mascherano, the only FCB players who started the night one booking short of suspension, both avoided yellow cards and can therefore play in the return match at the Camp Nou. There was similar fortune for Chelsea, whose Ivanovic, David Luiz, Meireles and Cole also managed to avoid an enforced absence from the second leg.
  • Messi once against failed to find the net against Chelsea. The Argentinian has now played The Blues seven times, but has yet to score a single goal against them. (via FCBarcelona.com)

There will be soft session at Camp Nou after landing in El Prat

Puyol and Alexis Sánchez back 'touched' the match at Stamford Bridge.


The Barça squad and fly back to Barcelona after last night's game at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. The expedition has departed Heathrow Airport and English land at El Prat airport in about two hours. Upon arrival the team will move to Camp Nou, where Pep Guardiola has set a soft recovery session behind closed doors in a day in which no player will not speak to the press.

The training will serve to verify the fitness of Carles Puyol and Alexis Sánchez who finished 'hits' against Chelsea. The captain suffered a bruised wrist, but managed to play the entire game without any problem. Meanwhile, the Chilean was replaced in the second half after suffering a stroke on the right thigh in a clash with John Terry.

VIDEO: www.mundodeportivo.com

Scolari: "The only bad thing in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo is Messi"

Luiz Felipe Scolari believes that Cristiano Ronaldo could be the best player in the world ... if it were not for Leo Messi is the world number one.

The former Portuguese coach knows the '7' of Real Madrid, who said that "as a person is great and wonderful." "Ronaldo is spectacular. Works like no other, is a companion and friend. A professional at the highest level," he added, speaking pubicadas American media.

Scolari praised his former pupil and attacked his critics, accusing them of being "jealous" with him: "They are angry because Cristiano is very good player, attractiveness and success among women," she said.

The Brazilian coach, however, assumes that there is someone better than him. Specifically, Leo Messi: "The only thing wrong with the Cristiano life is Messi. If not for him, would be the best in the world for five consecutive years," he said. (via SPORT)

Di Matteo gives Chelsea 50% chance of making final

Chelsea interim boss Roberto Di Matteo gave his side only a 50% chance of progression after watching them beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The Blues, who were on the back foot for most of the match, triumphed 1-0 thanks to Didier Drogba's strike in first-half stoppage time - and, although they were lucky on occasion, could justify the win thanks to a resolute, organised defensive display.

Asked if it was the perfect performance, Di Matteo told ITV Sport: "Almost. Against Barcelona you have to do a lot of defending. They are going to have a lot of possession, and you have to break and be clinical when you get your chances."

Talking about his chances of landing the Chelsea job permanently, Di Matteo said:"I've proved absolutely nothing.

"This group of players have shown the determination they have, the courage to play against the top team in the world, they showed good quality. It is still 50-50." (via ESPN)

Mata: "It was the game we expected"

Juan Mata admitted that Chelsea played the game I wanted and shared the idea that Barça think the result was unfair.

Juan Mata raised no secret that the game against Barça to expect fortune to the counter and understands that the Barça players think the result is unfair.

"I understand but that's football. Was the game we hoped for, with them much possession and we waited. We are very pleased with the outcome," he said.

In addition, Mata said the Chelsea game "was not very bright" but "very effective" and for that reason have an advantage in a tie will be decided at the Camp Nou.

"We will try to score in the Camp Nou because that would force them to do three ... although we know they are capable of doing," he warned. (via SPORT)

Alexis Sánchez made ​​history for Chile

Alexis Sánchez was clear he wanted to play at Barça or yes. And one of the many reasons I had was that I knew I could make history for Chile.

All who know him say the same thing. Play for FC Barcelona is the dream of Alexis Sánchez since becoming a professional footballer. Its aim, ambitious, is to one day become the best player in the world and I knew that the club would have all the necessary conditions and peers to achieve the objective.

But he also knew that Alexis was forged while the goal of being the best player in the world, would picking up other awards. And one of them got it on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. And is that as a starter against Chelsea, Alexis Sánchez became the first Chilean player playing a Champions League semi-final, as explained in his Twitter account @ 2010misterchip

Alexis was ready, in addition, to celebrate the best way possible, when in the 8th minute of the first half, building a great assist from Iniesta, he was alone with Cech but sent the ball over the bar. Or when on 11 minutes into the second half, when shot from inside the area and the ball went just wide.

The Chilean was unmarked, but hardly forget an April 18, 2012 was the first of his country to play a Champions League semifinal match. (via SPORT)

The sacred cows rely on Chelsea reach the Champions League final

"We are confident that we target 1-0 in the final of Munich."


Didier Drogba and John Terry, Chelsea's old guard, have not hidden their joy at the end of the meeting for their valuable win against Barça. The Ivorian, author of 1-0, stressed that "we have improved from our last match against Barcelona three years ago. We have a very good result and hope it is enough to qualify."

Terry, meanwhile, stressed the enormous work in defender of Chelsea. "Defensively we have been exceptional, from the first until the last player. What Mourinho said that the club would be in the final? Well see what he says now," replied the former pupil of the Madrid coach today.

Iniesta: “We'll try to be more effective at the Camp Nou”

The midfielder believes that the result against Chelsea is “unjust” but he’s confident that the team “can overturn the scoreline” in the return leg at the Camp Nou.

Pedro: “We had a lot of goal scoring chances, we’re pleased with how we played but not with the result”.


Barça came away with a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Despite the numerous amount of goal scoring chances the team created, Barça were not able to score. “The result is unjust but we knew that Chelsea are a team that take advantage of their opportunities. We were off target in front of goal but we still have the return leg at home,” said Andrés Iniesta.

The hopes of many Barça fans for a last-minute goal, like in the match three years ago, faded away when the referee blew the final whistle. However, the players are upbeat despite not getting the all-valuable away goal. Iniesta said, “we have the feeling that we created a lot of clear chances, the only thing we were lacking was the final touch. Sometimes this happens. We’ll try to be more effective in the return leg, we have confidence in our ability to overturn today’s scoreline. We have an adverse result and we have to work harder seeing that we're capable of doing it. It’s not an issue of luck.”

Barça fans, key in the retun leg

Chelsea’s defensive strategy will probably be employed in next week’s match at the Camp Nou. Iniesta believes the match “will be similar to this one” because they “will be waiting at the back but I believe that we’ll be more aggressive with our fans behind us.

“We hope that in Barcelona things will be different and the support from our fans will be an added plus. Our fans will be there like they always have been. Even more so now. It’ll be 90 intense minutes and we need their help to get to the final.”

Focus on El Clásico

Despite the defeat, Barça need to look forward and focus on their next match, El Clásico, which will be played this Saturday. According to Iniesta, this Wednesday’s result in the Champions League “will not influence” the all-important La Liga showdown with Real Madrid. The midfielder believes that the team “is prepared” despite the fact that there are “two very important matches in very little time” and that Barça’s objective will be “to prologue the team’s title chances in the Liga.”

Here are some of the statements made by FC Barcelona players after today’s match:


Pedro

“The team isn’t happy but we have confidence that we can fight back.

“A goal would have helped us in this important match. We can only focus on Madrid now. It’s always difficult to score when the opposing team defend so well. We had a lot of chances, we’re pleased with the game we had but not with the result.

“Next Tuesday’s match will probably be similar to this one but we’ll do everything we can to win it.


“Chelsea’s goal, with the few chances they had, is something that happens in football and it leaves you a little deflated. However, we’re optimistic that we can fight back.

“We know that we have to play two of the most crucial matches of the season this week.”


Víctor Valdés

“We still have 90 minutes to prove that we deserve to be in the final! Take heart, we still have a lot of time to finish off this crucial week! Força Barça.

“In the return leg, we’ll create goal scoring chances and we’ll work just as hard as we did today. We created a lot of chances against a team that closed themselves off very well at the back and that needs to be valued. We have to try and win the return leg at all cost.

“We have to focus on this Satruday’s match.”


Thiago Alcántara

“We’re going to prove that we deserve to be in the final! We still have 90 minutes left to play and [we’ll have] 90 thousand Azulgranas at the Camp Nou.”


Carles Puyol

“We’ll have to fight back at the Camp Nou after today’s defeat. I think we deserved to win this game. We need your help [fans] to get to the final in Munich.


Mascherano

“Unfortunately, this happens a lot in football. You deserve a lot more than what you leave with. But the result is what it is and we know that we have 90 minutes and it’s in our hands.

“We completely dominated the match. They didn’t create a lot of goal scoring chances save one or two from a throw in or a corner but we lost despite the chances we had.

“We have to win knowing that we cannot concede a goal.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pep Guardiola: "We have a nice challenge ahead and accept it"

Guardiola: "This is a great challenge, one worthy of a Champions League semi-final”.

Josep Guardiola is convinced that if his team are to make it to the Champions League final in Munich, Barça will have to play a perfect game at the Camp Nou next Tuesday. The manager views the upcoming match as “a great challenge, one worthy of a Champions League semi-final.” Guardiola said that he’s proud of the performance his players put in at Stamford Bridge and that his team went into the match “to play the best way possible, where they never lost the desire to score.” Whatever happens from now on out, the manager said that his team “have already won this year” after playing at such a high level for so long. “Getting to this point is a success within itself,” he said.

Guardiola went on to say that he's convinced that Barça fans won’t forsake their team next week. He also warned that his players are up to the task of fighting back in the tie: “it doesn’t matter how the players feel right now. I know that they will give it their all to get to the final and that the people will come and support us on Saturday and Tuesday. We’ll try to succeed.”

When asked what type of game he expects from the English side in the return leg, Guardiola said, “I don’t think Chelsea will come out to attack or pressure us high up the pitch, I do anticipate 10 players in the area waiting to counterattack. They’ll probably bide their time and wait for their moment. We cannot forget that Chelsea, with very little, create a lot of danger, and they do it very well. We’ll have to find the way to score goals.”

Ahead of the match at the Camp Nou, Guardiola highlighted the importance of scoring, something that didn’t happen this Wednesday despite Barça’s 24 attempts. “We’ll try to find alternatives to complete a comeback. It won’t be easy, especially with 10 players in the area. We’ll need inspiration and patience to find the way to turn this around,” he said. He added: “the challenge is to shoot 24 times next Tuesday and score a goal. We need to be patient and ambitious. I don’t know if there are many other teams that have shot 24 times away from home.”

Josep Guardiola said that today, because of Drogba’s goal, that Chelsea are favourites to go through to the Champions League final: “Chelsea are favourites at the moment, but we have 90 minutes at home to try to do the best job possible, and hopefully, make it to the final.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

The best and the worst of Chelsea-Barça

BEST: THE PICTURE OF THE FIRST PART

Despite the lunar goal in added time, the club gave a clear sense of superiority to a Chelsea did not reach the ball at any time. Barça played and played, having the best chances. If you must rely on the comeback in the Camp Nou next Tuesday, we must appeal to the image given by Guardiola especially in the first 45 minutes.

WORST: THE LACK OF SUCCESS

The first 'round' of this semi-final decided by the punch. Chelsea was in his very few opportunities. Barca had a few more but was unable to beat Cech. Clearly it was important to score at Stamford Bridge, but failed for lack of success. A beam of Alexis, a shot that got loose cesc Cole, Cech's hand on the top of Puyol in the last moments ... Guardiola have to kill you if you want to be in Munich. (via SPORT)

[Youth] Another derby in the Champions Cup Juvenil

The Barça of Òscar García will face Espanyol in the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup to be held in Lepe from 30 April.

The azulgranas, reigning champions of the competition, face the team that has prevented them from winning La Liga on the last day.

Barça has been paired with Espanyol in the draw for the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup Juvenil (held on Wednesday in Madrid), to be held in the Estadio Ciudad de Lepe (Huelva), between 30 April and May 5. This will be the next challenge for the Juvenil A disappointment after losing the league on the last day, just for the benefit of Espanyol who had won 2-0 in the penultimate game.

The group coached by Òscar García begin the defense of the throne on Monday 30 at 20.30. The winner of the tie between culés and parakeets will face in the semifinals, two days later, the winner of the Las Palmas-Atlético Madrid. All other crossings of the rooms of the XVIII Champions Cup is Valencia-Sevilla-Real Sociedad and Sporting. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Leo Messi, named one of the world’s most influential people by TIME Magazine

TIME, the prestigious North American magazine, named Leo Messi to their annual 100 Most Influential People in the World list. He’s the only footballer to feature on the list.

Mia Hamm defines Messi as “an incredible team player”.

Each year TIME selects the 100 most influential people in the world, the personalities that make up his year’s TIME 100 are people that “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.” La Masia graduate and FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi made the list along with other athletes, like NBA star Jeremy Lin and the tennis player Novak Djokovic. There are no other footballers that feature in this year’s TIME 100.

The ex-player and now Barça ambassador Mia Hamm explained the reasons behind Messi’s selection. “He’s incredibly talented and humble,” writes Hamm. The two-time FIFA World Player described the day she met the Argentine star: “He was a bit shy — some of that can be attributed to the language barrier — but I was able to watch their training, and it was clear he was an incredible teammate.”

Hamm believes that Messi “certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time.” This isn’t the first time Messi has graced the pages of the magazine. In January, TIME’s cover featured the portrait of the FC Barcelona star with the title King Leo. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[UCL; Semifinals; Leg1] Chelsea FC 1 - 0 FC Barcelona

A goal from Drogba on the stroke of half time sentenced Barça to defeat in a game where they were the the better team and leaves them needing to pull back from 1-0 in next week’s second leg at the Camp Nou.


Nobody ever said it would be easy to get to the Munich final. Barça went down to a single goal at Stamford Bridge, despite hitting the post twice and restricting the hosts to a single shot on target – Drogba’s goal on the stroke of half time. Guardiola’s team dictated the pace and the rhythm of the game, dominating possession and creating plenty of chances, but the packed Chelsea defence, the posts and an inspired Cech somehow kept them out.

The result means Barça will have to come from behind at the Camp Nou next Tuesday night if they want to reach the Munich final and it should be a perfect night to put right the injustice of a result that this evening in London failed to reflect their superiority.

Barça took control from the kick off and soon had Chelsea pinned back in their own half, with the Londoners defending with four at the back, a line of five across the middle and only Drogba up front. On 10 minutes, Alexis set the tone of the night, when after a great pass from Iniesta, his clever chip came back off the bar with Cech well beaten.

It was one way traffic for most of the first half, as Barça patiently probed the Chelsea ramparts, keeping hold of possession and looking to pounce on any opportunity. The chances were coming, with Cesc missing a couple of great opportunities with his left peg. Chelsea were always looking to attack on the break though and in injury time they got their reward as Ramires broke down the left and crossed for Drogba who bundled the ball past Valdes. It was a cruel blow for Barça who had been by far the better team throughout the first 45 minutes.

Little changed after the break, as Barça laid siege to the hosts’ area, whilst Chelsea were prepared to sit back and defend en masse. Alexis came close and Puyol forced a brilliant save from Cech, before in injury time Pedro hit the post and Busquets smashed the rebound high over the Chelsea bar and into the celebrating home fans in the stand. Tuesday will be another game and Barça must hope that their luck will surely turn. (via FCBarcelona.com)


[Match Stats]
Chelsea FC Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Meireles, Lampard, Ramires (Bosingwa, min. 88), Mata (Kalou, min. 74) and Drogba.

FC Barcelona Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano; Sergio Busquets, Xavi (Cuenca, min. 86), Cesc (Thiago, min. 78); Messi, Alexis (Pedro, min. 66) and Iniesta.

Goal: 1-0, min. 45 +. Ramires's Center and Drogba connects unstoppable shot to Valdés.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany). He showed yellow card to Ramires and Drogba, by local, and Pedro and Sergio Busquets, to Barça.

Subs: 40,000 spectators at Stamford Bridge.