22 April 2012

Cüneyt Çakir will arbitrate Barça-Chelsea

The Turkish college 35 years has refereed Barça and Chelsea only once.

Cüneyt Çakir will be responsible for directing the Barça-Chelsea next Tuesday at the Camp Nou. UEFA has appointed the arbitrator Turkish justice in the vital meeting which will decide one of the finalists Champiosn League.

Cüneyt Çakir is 35 and will debut in a semifinal of Europe's top competition is one of the most highly valued by colleges UEFA has appointed tambiñén ahead of the next European Championship.

Indeed, the Turkish collegiate debut in the Champions beeping Barca in 2010 against Rubin Kazan in Russia. For its part, has led only once and it was Chelsea against Spartak Moscow last season in a match that ended 4-1 for the 'blue'. (via SPORT)

Xavi: “it’s in our own hands to finish with a good season”

The Barça midfielder reckons: ”the league might be lost, but we’ve got a Cup Final ahead, we’ve already won three titles and we can still reach the Champions League final”.

Reflecting on the Madrid defeat, Xavi believes: “we didn’t play a bad game, but we were not at the excellent level which we normally are”.

Xavi Hernández is clear that there is no time for regrets about Saturday’s result and the fact that it means retaining the title would be a “miracle”, with Tuesday’s game against Chelsea looming large: “we are playing for the chance to make the Champions League final, that says everything, The fans are intelligent enough to know that we will be playing for so much on Tuesday and we really want them behind us, as they always have been on the big occasions to help us fight back”.

Although he accepts that “the league title is practically impossible”, Xavi insists that the team can be proud of the season so far: “the league title might be lost, but we’ve got a Cup Final ahead, we’ve already won three titles and we can still reach the Champions League final. Of the six competitions we were in this season, we still have the chance to come away with five – we are just missing the Cup and the Champions League. We’ll keep fighting, because we know that it’s in our own hands to finish with a good season”.

Looking back at Saturday’s defeat, Xavi believes: “we didn’t play a bad game, but we were not at the excellent level which we normally are. We had the ball and dominated, but we didn’t have the chances we usually do and Madrid just took advantage of that”. Finally, Xavi insisted that Barça could still hold their heads high: “we always try and win, we are competitive but what characterises us is that we also know how to deal with defeat – we did after we lost the Cup Final and we congratulated them then - that’s just part of the game and that’s the way we are”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Carles Puyol: “we have to pick ourselves up – we have a very big game on Tuesday”

The Barça captain was disappointed with the defeat to Madrid, but appealed to the fans to get behind the team.

Puyol explained the players want to “get the Chelsea game started, so that we can put this defeat behind us and get on with things”.

Carles Puyol spoke on the Barça TV programme “El Marcador” following the defeat to Real Madrid and explained: “we are all a bit down, like all the Barça fans- it’s a big blow for us because we really thought we were in with a chance to take the league title. We’ll not let our heads drop though – we’ll keep fighting till the end and do our best for the fans, even though we know that it’s pretty much impossible now”.

Despite the result, Puyol insisted: “this has been a very good season and now we have two competitions left to win – the Cup and the Champions League”. Focus on Europe

Turning to Europe, Puyol believes: “we now have to focus on Tuesday – it’s a competition we are keen to win and we are close to another final.” Explaining the tactics the team need to employ against Chelsea, Puyol went on: “we have to be very aware of their counter attacks - I can see it being a similar game tactically to the Madrid match”. There’s still the chance that the two Spanish giants could meet in the Champions League final and for Puyol: “that would be a very attractive final, we’d have to see what would happen then, but for now we are centered on Tuesday”.

Finally, the Club captain sent the fans an upbeat message: “we have had some great seasons and we’ve all really enjoyed them. Sometimes you need to slip up in order to pick yourself up and I am sure that this team will be up there again. You have to judge all that we have achieved so far”. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Training focus on Chelsea

The Barça players trained at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper this lunchtime with the focus very much on the visit of Chelsea to the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

The players who figured against Real Madrid last night did some light training, whilst the rest of the squad – together with Bartra and Montoya from Barça B and Bañuz, from the Youth team- had a more intense session.

With just two days to prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League semi final second leg, Guardiola put those players who played on Saturday night through a gentle warm down session, with the rest of the players, plus B team players Bartra and Montoya and Miguel Bañuz from the Youth team, having a more intense session.

The squad trained behind closed doors at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, using the special Champions League ball and during the session the players and coaching staff congratulated the keepers coach Juan Carlos Unzué, whose birthday it is today. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Barça B] FC Barcelona B - Real Murcia: Getting a new triumph to continue the good dynamic

The set of Eusebio Sacristán, with a seven-game unbeaten streak, get to Murcia, the sixteenth in la Liga this Sunday (7:45 p.m.).

The first-round matchup in the New Condomina ended with the triumph azulgrana.

The subsidiary azulgrana reaches the 35th day of the season in good form. The team led by Eusebio Sacristán has seven consecutive days undefeated with three wins and four draws. This Sunday, then try to score his eighth game against Murcia intractable. Also, if Barça B gets imposed on Murcia, signed four straight wins in the Miniestadi, a field that is becoming an outpost for the azulgranas, following victories over Madrid, Alcoyano and Córdoba.

Eusebio Sacristán will face encounter with some major casualties. Bartra, Tello and Montoya are cited with the first team, and Ilie and Miño continue their long-term low. In addition, Carles Planas will miss through suspension. However, the coach azulgrana has received two major news, as it has been recovered and Gerard Deulofeu Kiko Femenía, who have already exercised with the group after overcoming injuries, and three players from Juvenil A, Grimaldo, Dongou and Edu Campabadal have also been trained with Barça B.

The staff and the 'staff' technical subsidiary have worked hard this week to take the 3 points. "We are focused on our daily work, focusing on the match this Sunday," said Sacristán, and added that "we must be prepared and continue our line of play, safety, confidence and score points." Despite the good overall dynamic barcelonista, his coach does not trust and expects to receive a team wrestler, especially after its defeat in the New Condomina the previous day before the Hercules 2-6: "We hope it will come with a rival all want to forget what happened last weekend. "

The confrontation at the stadium of the first round Murcia gave the victory to azulgrana set 0-2. The subsidiary won the team with two goals scarlet Deulofeu and Tello. Precisely, this was the last triumph of the barcelonistas home. Barça B, therefore, have the data in their favor and try to continue their good dynamic to face calmly the final stretch of the Second Division. "This team has a daily motivation, continuous, and that young people have the possibility that they open the doors of the first team and to have a very exciting future ahead," said Eusebio. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

What about Piqué?

The center-back lived off the bench in the defeat of el clásico and Barça in the final heated by the band, but returned to run out to participate.

Gerard Piqué did not appear in the second half as it did on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League. Materialize after a sensational last season, the Catalan defender seems to have lost his capacity as holder at the expense of Mascherano and Puyol. Moreover, according to medical reports was about the squad to have played both the Wednesday and last night ... but has not played a single minute. His absence in these two games so important to the club have already made a 'run, run' in barcelonista environment.

Piqué was giving a good level in this 2012 and has participated in 20 of the 23 games he has played the team azulgrana between January and March. However, and was struck by its absence in the knockout round of the Champions League in Leverkusen (Pep left him in the stands). The injury that affected him since the beginning of season affected him more than necessary. That did not count on him. Its performance was neither expected nor desired.

On April 3 he started around the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Milan at the Nou Camp, but suffered a hamstring overload of the left leg and had to give way to Adriano.

Convalescent, missed the Zaragoza game, but against Levante and was discharged and did not play. Neither did at Stamford Bridge and then there was speculation that Guardiola would have reserved for the classic and the return ... what happens is that only yesterday he was seen to heat in the final stretch of the crash.

Are there 'Piqué case'? On Tuesday we may have the answer. (via SPORT)

Casillas: "Cristiano was very important, but I would highlight the work of all the players"

Xabi Alonso: "It was a great game with a fantastic result."
Casillas: "We have behaved like a real team."
Granero: "We are just winners, in a pure football match where the referee is not influenced."
Sergio Ramos: "The nice thing is revenge and there is always the thorn stuck."

Satisfaction in the words of Xabi Alonso and Casillas before retiring to the locker room. On the lawn at Camp Nou, Xabi Alonso admitted that "it is a major blow to la Liga. Has clearly been a step forward, but we must respect what is left." In the same line of containment, the former Liverpool player said that "we do not suffer, but we learned to control all the periods of play. It was a great game with a fantastic result."

Xabi Alonso said: "The Christian goal has reached phenomenal and now we have the meeting on Wednesday," but Casillas looked more at the attitude of the block. The goal of Real Madrid stated that "we have taken a giant step and we have behaved like a real team," adding that "Cristiano has been very important, yes, but I would highlight the work of all the players."

For his part, Esteban Granero took a walk as white spirit "in recent years we deserved to win, but could not be. Now we are just winners in a football game clean, pure football where the referee is not influenced. "According to 'El Pirata', Mou was "as happy as everyone when we win, and we really wanted to do here."

For Sergio Ramos, "these three points to glory know. Lying if I said that this victory is the same as another. We played the life and went well. I've never made ​​any comment for any referee, and tonight was a great referee and neutral, no one asks for nothing more. Revenge? No, but how beautiful are the revenges and there is always the thorn stuck. " (via MD)

[Former B player] Nolito mark to pairs with Benfica

Benfica won 4-1 at home to Marítimo with two goals from former Barcelonista Nolito, one of the Spanish also Rodrigo Moreno and another Brazilian Bruno César, and persists in a tight battle for the top two positions of the League Lusa.

In the twenty-seventh round, the victory keeps Benfica in second place, three points of Braga yesterday against Pacos Ferreira drew, and one of Porto, which plays Saturday against Beira Mar.

The figure was the undisputed exbarcelonista match to excel in the first half with two goals and assist Benfica Rodrigo and Bruno César in the other two goals.

Fifteen minutes into the game, a Nolito well positioned in the field goal finished off a pass from Pablo Aimar in a move initiated by Maxi Pereira.

Five minutes later, returned to the charge, assisted in a swift counter-attack by the Argentine Saviola, and scored a brilliant goal with a highway when passing the opposing defense.

The two goals placed at Cadiz as the second top scorer in the Benfica and sixth in la Liga, with ten goals scored in the championship.

The Marítimo, who fights with Sporting for fourth place, tried to stop Benfica in the second half with a goal from Brazilian Philipe Fidelis in a face to face with the goalkeeper.

However, the lead "red" is reassembled with the entry of Spanish-Brazilian Rodrigo, who in the first bunt (min. 65) and Nolito pass, scored the third goal.

The exbarcelonista gave a pass on the right foot to left Bruno César, who was in charge of closing the scoring with his fourth goal of the game.

In Benfica alignment also highlighted the start of the Spanish Joan Capdevila, who started as a starter, and Javi García, who played the last 25 minutes of the game in place of Aimar. (via SPORT)

Tello: "Tracing would be a miracle but you have to fight"

The canterano tried his luck in his match against Arbeloa and failed to score twice against Casillas.

Cristian Tello was not fortunate in his first classic but despite the defeat was pleased with the picture given by the team in defeat against Real Madrid.

"We always try to play football but today it did not always fall into that," said Tello to GolT.

The canterano has recognized that trace the difference of seven points "would be a miracle," but that does not mean that Barcelona should give up.

"Not lost, we have to keep fighting. Climb would be a miracle, but while there League must keep fighting," said the young player after the game.

According to Tello, now it be with the "head high and continue" after the bump at a Madrid who came to Camp Nou to make his game.

"We expected a well Madrid. They have come to do their party and they went well putting a corner kick and another goal on the counterattack," he said.

Finally, the squad chose to move on to think only in the crucial match against Chelsea. "Now we have to think on Tuesday. It's another final," he said.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Karanka: "Some people did not give anything for this team"

Aitor Karanka has stated that his team's victory in the Camp Nou is not even that los blancos have buttoned up the league title.

"There are still games and this is the result of work being done. There are still very important points at stake and at the Bernabéu are two games that can make us champions. We have to continue working as before," said the coach Madrid news conference after the meeting.

In any case, has admitted that "there are three important points being so little points that give us confidence to continue working" to a team on which "some people do not give anything."

An impulse to serve the Madrid ahead of the semifinal round of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, with unfavorable outcome for los blancos.

And is that despite the victory, and although his team has not made ​​a great game tonight, Karanka recalled that "every game is important and different." "It will be different, you have to go back, we know that the Bernabeu is as the major events and we must continue forward," he said.

"The message sent to the Real Madrid players have today, a day all year and this season so they are doing. The Madridismo is delighted with the job and costumes happy. Was an important game, but we're thinking the Champions League match, "he assured the coach.

Analyzing the win against Barça in more detail, Karanka explained that his team knew that "in the past the goals we had not been served", so at halftime, coach Jose Mourinho has insisted kill the game as soon as possible even if received from a goal down, has been reported.

Finally, has praised Cristiano Ronaldo, scorer of the second and final goal. "We are accustomed to great moments. In the Cup final was the goal that made ​​us champions and now I will not discover anything.'s The best player in the world", has ruled. (via SPORT)

Andrés Iniesta: "This hurts our soul. We must focus on our upcoming match"

The players urge the fans to support the team this Tuesday against Chelsea.

Sergio Busquets believes that his team deserved to win against Real Madrid.

After losing to Real Madrid (1-2), the Barça players didn’t hide from the press as they admitted that the defeat in El Clásico was painful. The team, however, insist that there is no time to lament seeing that the Champions League match against Chelsea is just three days away. The players called on the Camp Nou faithful to help them conquer two more titles, the King’s Cup and the Champions League.

“We have to be prepared and eager for this Tuesday. We have to focus on the next competition. A lot is at stake and we can’t falter,” said Andrés Iniesta.

The Spanish midfielder said that the team must move forward if they want to defend their European crown: “it’s a completely different game against Chelsea. What we’re concerned about is getting to the final in Munich and the wellbeing of the team.”

Losing to Madrid

Iniesta also analyzed Barça’s defeat to Real Madrid: “the Liga title has practically slipped away. The difference in points is large and there are few [points] left. We knew that it would be difficult, especially knowing that they depend on themselves - but we gave it a try.”

The midfielder said that his team created enough chances to win but losing the three points is a “tough blow” for the team. “It hurts our soul to not be able to prolong the Liga a little more, but we have to accept it,” said Iniesta.

“Our only option was to win and they played with that in mind. With a draw, when it looked as though we were fighting for the win, their fast goal slowed us down.”

Here are the comments made by FC Barcelona players after the match:

Isaac Cuenca:

“We weren’t expecting this result after the game we played. We have to turn the page and focus on Chelsea. Thanks to all of our fans for supporting us in this match. I’m sure they’ll help us on Tuesday. Força Barça!”

Sergio Busquets:

“We have a very important game on Tuesday. We did what we could, we were faithful to our style of play and I believe that we played better than they did.

“We were missing the joy of scoring goals. It’s clear that we went out to win despite trailing most of the match and that hurt us. It’s a shame that they scored when they did because that’s when we had the most chances. We gave it our all.

“10 out of 10 for our fans, they cheered us on until the end."

On Chelsea: “We have to face the game like a final. We have to overturn the adverse result. I hope what happened today and against Chelsea doesn’t happen again. It’s time to prepare for next Tuesday's match.

“We gave it our all and we’ll keep on trying until the end. It’s a pleasure to watch us play. We’ll stay united and I believe that we’ll have a good end to the season.

“Real Madrid closed themselves off a the back the whole game. They didn’t play at all, the just looked for the counter, but sometimes football is like that. They did very little to win the game. It’s a bit unjust, I hope Tuesday isn’t like today.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Bartomeu is confident in Barça's chances on Tuesday

Josep Maria Bartomeu, vice-president of the Social Area of FC Barcelona, analyzed the match against Madrid: “the team dominated and we created goal scoring chances.” Despite the defeat, the vice-president explained that “this season has been magnificent nonetheless,” but he added that the team must focus on the game against Chelsea. “The players are aware that they have to concentrate on the Champions League,” he said. Bartomeu also thanked the fans, who didn’t stop cheering, for coming out and supporting Barça and called on them “to come out on Tuesday and help the team.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Guardiola: “There are very few things I can blame on the team"

The manager recognized that the defeat to Madrid means that “a competition that we fought for has slipped away”.

“The players gave it their all and because of that they know that they have me,” he said.

Guardiola said that his objective is to “recover the players ahead of the match on Tuesday. I have the impression that they’ll get up. They know how important it is”.

Josep Guardiola believes that his team played a good game against Madrid. “It’s difficult to do an analysis of the match after so many emotions, but I have the impression that we played a good game against a powerful team. We controlled their counterattacks well and they didn't create a lot of danger.” With that said the manager didn’t hide the fact that the defeat to Los Blancos means that Barça are no longer in the running for the title: “a competition that we’ve fought for has slipped away.” Guardiola also highlighted the good football that his players have put in over the past couple of years and the collective attitude of not giving up: “this dignifies them. They are unique.”

The manager also talked about the self-imposed level of expectation the players have place on themselves these past seasons. “There are very few things I can blame on the team. We’ve been on this path for a long time. We had a lot of pressure on us starting in August and we haven’t stopped.” He added, “we can’t expect to always be up to the standard, but it’s a pity that we faltered in the decisive moment.” After conceding very few goal-scoring chances to Madrid and not being on target in front of goal, Guardiola believes that “we gave it our all and because of that these players know that they have me.”

The manager explained that the team suffered a morale blow on Saturday but that on Sunday they will start to prepare for the Champions League match against Chelsea. “I’ll talk to my players on Sunday when things have calmed down, we’ll focus on next week - which means we have to focus on Chelsea.” Guardiola’s objective is to “recuperate the players for Tuesday.” He added, “we hope to recover well and play the game against Chelsea.” (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Time to focus on Chelsea

After losing the Liga match against Madrid, Pep Guardiola only has a couple of days to prepare his team for the Champions League return leg against Chelsea.

Barça’s schedule isn't forgiving and there is no time mourn. The defeat to Real Madrid (1-2) leave Barça facing an uphill battle in the Liga, however, the Champions League final is just one game away. It’s a decisive match, Guardiola only has a couple of days, kickoff against Chelsea in on Tuesday at 20:45, to prepare his team for the return leg of the Champions League semi-final return leg.

The team will train this Sunday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva and on Monday they’ll train again at the Camp Nou at 18:00. Guardiola, along with a Barça player, will hold a press conference before Chelsea take to the pitch for their training session. FC Barcelona will train one last time at the Camp Nou on Tuesday morning.

Chelsea, who arrive in Barcelona on Monday, come into the match against Barça after having reserved many of their starters in the game against Arsenal this weekend (0-0). (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Video: The Clásico Mosaic

Senyera (Catalan flag), Azulgrana colours and a message of support are all part of the mosaic that Barça fans will make at the Camp Nou when the first team takes on Real Madrid.

Barça hand out 25,000 roses at the Camp Nou in commemoration of Sant Jordi

The Sant Jordi celebration was moved up a couple of days at the Camp Nou, where President Sandro Rosell and other members of the board handed out roses and ribbons to Barça fans.

This is the second year the Club has given out roses for the day of Sant Jordi.

Coinciding with the match against Real Madrid , just two days before the major festival in Catalonia, the Camp Nou intensely celebrated the day of Sant Jordi. The FC Barcelona Social Area Department distributed 25,000 roses among the women and 30,000 ribbons for the men that attended the match. President Sandro Rosell, accompanied by vice-presidents Jordi Cardoner and Carles Vilarubí and other members of the board, was in the Camp Nou stands celebrating the Sant Jordi Blaugrana initiative with Barça supporters.

Besides the members of the board and the social commission, the event was also attended by ex-Barça players Fusté, Migueli and Alfonseda. The presence of Club members and fans was overwhelming and many press outlets took interest. This was the second time that the Club has handed out roses at the Camp Nou, the first occasion happened last year. “It’s our party, we’re sharing it with our members and people involved with the Club. It’s an homage to our Catalan heritage,” said Cardoner.

Besides the roses and ribbons, the fans that came to the Camp Nou found a copy of ‘La smarreta màgica’ (the magical jersey), written by Víctor Panicello, on thier seats. In total, more than 90,000 copies were given out. Taking advantage of the proximity of the day of Sant Jordi, this initiative is meant to encourage Catalan literature, especially among the youngest Culés and raise awareness for children that deal with disease on a daily basis. The project is part of the FC Barcelona Foundation, the Leo Messi Foundation and the Ànima Foundation in collaboration with the Institute of Catalan Writing. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Liga BBVA; week35] FC Barcelona 1 - 2 Real Madrid CF

Barça have lost to a practical and effective Real Madrid, but have come out of the game with their heads held high.

A Cristiano Ronaldo goal just after Alexis had equalised was enough to sentence tonight’s clásico at the Camp Nou. Barça are now seven points adrift of the leaders.

[Match Stats]
FC Barcelona: Valdés; Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano (Pedro, m.73); Alves, Busquets, Xavi (Alexis, m.69), Thiago; Tello (Cesc, m.81), Messi and Iniesta.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Di María (Granero, m.73), Özil (Callejón, m.89), Cristiano; and Benzema (Higuaín, m.90+3).

Goals: 0-1, m.17: Khedira. 1-1, m.70: Alexis. 1-2, m.73: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Referee: Undiano Mallenco (Committee Navarro). He showed yellow card to Busquets (m.15), Pepe (m.43), Xabi Alonso (m.47), Alves (m.76), Özil (m.77), Granero (m.78) and Mascherano (m .86).

Subs: 99,252 spectators attended the match in the match played at the Camp Nou, corresponding to the thirty-fifth day of First Division. On stage, full of personalities.