30 April 2012

Pinto: “Tito has our support”

Jose Manuel Pinto took over from Valdes in goal at the weekend and speaking to the press today he insisted: “Tito Vilanova has the strength and character” to take charge next season.

Pinto wants Messi to win the Pitxitxi: “if he wins, the whole team wins”.

Josep Guardiola’s farewell and Tito Vilanova’s appointment was at the heart of José Manuel Pinto’s press conference this morning and the keeper explained: “I completely understand what Guardiola has done. He takes everything very seriously and that takes a big toll mentally. You can’t compare them, but Tito has the character and strength, as well as our full backing”..

Asked if the changeover would affect the team’s performance, Pinto replied: “I don’t think much will change because the two of them share the same vision. We are all relaxed about it and we are right behind Tito and his way of looking at football”. Pinto didn’t want to hear talk about the end of an era, insisting: “Only time will tell”.

Pinto did admit however, that: “all of us have been affected by the news and we’ve all felt bad about it”.

The keeper also believes that Messi can win the Pichichi as the league’s highest scorer this season: “I want Messi to win –if he wins, the whole team wins. If he scores, it’s down to the work the whole team have put in”. Pinto also insisted that Víctor Valdés, who is guaranteed the Zamora as the keeper who’s conceded least goals this season if he plays no more league games this campaign: “is the keeper who most deserves it”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Former player] Deco: "Neymar, the level of Messi and Cristiano"

The former Barça player said in an interview with FIFA Neymar falls short of Messi and Cristiano.

One of the key players Barça of Rijkaard, that so many good titles won but ended up in a crisis that led to the signing of Guardiola as coach, is Deco. The player of 34 years gave an interview to FIFA.com.

The Portuguese environment compared Bombonera for Boca in the Camp Nou. Two stages to intimidate the other teams, "teams from other countries came to Camp Nou and intimidated by the size of the stadium, the mystique and the number of people, while Spanish teams and were more accustomed. I think it's same with the Bombonera: Sometimes, some foreign teams that are even better than some Argentines, have more difficulties there because they are impressed with the environment is, indeed, impressive. "

From their position and play on the field, Deco admitted that since childhood has always been responsible for the construction of the plays, and that the global example of this is Barça: "Building a play that ends in goal has always filled me both as dial. course, over time, I also changed my style. not only for having lost in explosion physics and starts, but because I learned a lot about the collective game. A good example is the Barcelona always have great players but nobody ever haggle just for bargain, only when necessary. "

Of course, Deco remembered his time with Rijkaard and the current Barça model of world football paradigm: "Barcelona is a club whose teams vary according to the players, but in that culture does not change. And this concept of playing the ball has reached perfection with Guardiola, who is someone who knows the culture. the big difference with this team is that our players have these characteristics in all positions, while we had about four or five. it's amazing: the most skilled players of Barça do not send the ball up if you may lose, but they touch. And that requires not only quality, too mentality. "

On a future possibility Barça, Neymar says he is at the level of Messi and Cristiano, and it will look when you take the leap to Europe: "Neymar, in my view, already at that level. Has in common with the other two that ability to score so many goals, despite not being a center forward. I think if he were at Real Madrid or Barcelona, it would still more than it does today, because they have better players at his side, a better structure ... We must take into account the proportions: on the one hand, it is clear that the technical level of Brazil does not reach a semifinal of the Champions League of UEFA, but also need to address different problems. it is not easier or more difficult: it is different. Thinking only at the technical level, in my opinion falls short of a Messi or a Cristiano. " (via SPORT)

Derby game against Espanyol scheduled for 21.00 on May 5th

The derby game at the Camp Nou against Espanyol will kick off at 21.00 this Saturday.

Guardiola’s team’s last home game this season.

The Spanish League have published the kick off times for next weekend’s round of games - week 37 – and FC Barcelona will play city neighbours Espanyol at nine o’clock on Saturday night. With the team also facing Malaga at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night (20.00), this will be the second game at the stadium in four days and will also be Guardiola’s last home game in charge of the team.

Barça have two more games to play following the derby game – their final league match away to Betis (exact date and time to be confirmed) and the Spanish Cup Final against Athletic Bilbao on Friday May 25th at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Alexis knock makes him doubt for Wednesday

Alexis has picked up a knock on his left leg and he will be kept under observation before a decision is made as to his availability for Wednesday’s game against Malaga.

Victor Valdes also missed training today, under the weather with fever.

The squad trained this Monday lunchtime after their big win against Rayo, but two big names were missing: Alexis, who picked up a knock on his left leg, and Valdes, who is ill. The Chilean hit man is doubtful for Wednesday’s game, though the Club doctors are keeping him under observation before making a final decision.

The players who figured on Sunday were given a gentle session, whilst the rest of the squad began preparations for Wednesday night’s game, along with 10 B team players - Bartra, Tello and Montoya –who were included in the squad for the Rayo game- and Rodri, Carmona, Oriol Rosell, Espinosa, Lobato, Sergi Gómez and Masip. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Guardiola: “Each game serves as preparation for the final”

The Barça manager is very pleased with the attitude of his players after the team beat Rayo Vallecano 7-0 at Vallecas. The manager says that the remaining games in La Liga will serve his team to prepare for the final of the King’s Cup on May 25th.

Guardiola praised Pinto’s performance: “Like always, he played very well”.

Josep Guardiola said that this Sunday’s match against Rayo Vallecano was “a demonstration” of what type of team Barça have been in recent years. “A football game is always useful for a lot of things. We know that Madrid are champions [of La Liga], and that this match was a demonstration of what this team is and have been. My players played a very serious game and they were on form throughout the whole match,” he said.

He added: “the team ran a lot, and they played a serious game against a team that’s fighting to stay in the Primera División. The players know that we’re preparing ourselves for a final and that everything has its worth. Every match counts.” Guardiola also said that his players are pleased after having scored seven goals in today’s game. “I have the impression that we have scored a lot of goals over the years. They are all welcome,” he said.

Pedro, with two goals, was one of Barça’s most lethal men in tonight’s match. The Barça manager highlighted the Spaniard’s performance: “I appreciate him a lot. We started in Third Division together, and I know him well. It’s true that his injuries have stopped him from playing more this season. I’m very pleased with his performance, for his two goals, and for the passes he gave. Also, for the way he moved on the pitch.”

He also talked about why he included José Manuel Pinto in today’s starting line-up: “if he’s on form he’ll play the final. Therefore, I prefer that he gets a bit of playing time on a pitch that’s not very easy to interpret. Like always, he played very well.”

On his decision to leave the Club next season, Guardiola said that Barça is his home: “it’s my home, and in the end I knew that it was over. The Club is healthy, and the team is young, Tito knows them perfectly and I’m convinced that Barça will compete for everything.”

Lastly, the Barça manager apologized to Rayo Vallecano’s fans for Thiago and Alves’ celebration after Barça’s fifth goal. “It won’t happen again,” said Guardiola. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Youth] The cantera azulgrana still unbeaten for the third consecutive week

The balance of the day shows the quality of football Barça formative: 9 wins in 11 games.

Cadete B is one step to become league champions. If next week is imposed on the Cornellà will take the title, when there are still 4 games left.

The formative football teams have played 3 tournaments this week. The Alevín A and Alevín C were proclaimed champions and has been runner Benjamin B.

Third consecutive win Juvenil B, this time against the Mercantil home, which helps the azulgranas face the final stage of the competition as solo leaders with 70 points. García Pimienta and Marc Guitart's team authoritatively dominated the first half and went into halftime leading by 0-2 with goals from Iu and Munir, although the difference could have been enhanced by the many times he had. After the break, the local distances pressed and cut to 1-2, but the azulgranas sealed the game with another goal from Iu, who signed and a double and rounded the day.

Second consecutive Cadete A, which continues leading the División de Honor Cadete to six points clear of second-placed Espanyol. The home side ahead in the scoring with a goal from Carlos Blanco in the 12th minute, but the guys from Quique Álvarez and Ramon Ros quickly tied with a bit of Sanabria, and hit back with another target of Albert Thomas just 4 minutes later. Mohamed finished the first time round, and resumed it was he who signed the 1-4 in the first minutes of the second half. Alex Corredera and Juan Antonio Entrena rounding ended the day with two more goals.

Cadete B incontestable win against ranked junior in the table. The group led by Fran Artiga and Andres Martin was far superior to its rival over the two days, and enjoyed times since the start of the meeting. A hat-trick Alexis Meva and a goal Paik left sentenced the first part and resumed, Ferran and a new target of Alexis finished the scoring round. This new victory allows Barça dream of the title of the regular competition because if they win next week in the field of mathematical Cornellà be proclaimed champions of la Liga Preferente Cadete, in the absence of 4 games left.

Very complicated and contested match between the leader of the classification, FC Barcelona, the second-placed Espanyol, which generated strong buzz and gathered a good number of spectators. The shock was very close, especially in the first half, in which Barça failed to generate occasions due to strong Espanyol defense. In the second half, the team of Fran Sanchez and Xavi Franquesa took control of the game, but the good performance of goalkeeper prevented the Infantil A open the scoring. Despite the draw, Barça still in the lead with two points ahead of Espanyol and a game.

Exhibition goleadora of Infantil B at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper. The azulgranas had many opportunities throughout the match, until the bright Lluis Mangas opened on 19 minutes the first time. Mboula scored the second just two minutes later and Viedma materialized a penalty in the final minute of the first period that left the party quite sentenced to 3-0 at the break. The second half continued with azulgrana domain, and two more goals, Juli and John Cruz, finished the day round.

(El Álamo - Madrid)
Alevín A champion of the eighteenth edition of Youth Football Tournament El Álamo, held in Madrid. The team of Marcel Sans and Isaac García was first in the group stage, after facing level as rivals Getafe. In the quarterfinals the azulgranas faced off with the Alcala, who won by 3-0 after a very good first half, and the semifinals were imposed at Valencia, also on the score of 3-0. In the finals were tied with Rayo Vallecano (1-1), but took the title by overcoming in the round of penalties. Great experience for Barça, which by their good play was just awarded the tournament

Sixth straight victory from the guys at Jordi Font and Jordi Puig in the Primera Division Alevín. This time the azulgranas were imposed on the Gramanet in a match they dominated from start to finish. The Alevín B offered a sample of good football and enjoyed many times thanks to the rapid movement of the ball and strong intensity with which they left the pitch. The entire barcelonista could have won by an even greater distance, as several balls crashed to the bottom, but eventually took the win 0-7 with goals from Albert Portas (2), Pere (2), Oriol Verdaguer, Oriol Solina and Labinot.

The team of Álex Gómez and Alexis Pintó became champion of the City Council of Cerceda VI Tournament, played in Galicia on 28 April. The azulgranas finished first in the group after playing intense games against rivals Deportivo La Coruña. In the semifinals, the Alevín C was faces with Celta de Vigo, a very fast, and in the end defeated the Mountaineers to 5-0. Barça knew face pressure throughout the tournament with great intensity and with a very complete game, allowing them to obtain possession of the ball in most matches. FC Barcelona dedicated the victory to Tow, invite them to the concert was the Catalan group in Galicia, and the good treatment received by both singers.

Undisputed domain Alevín D against el Prat, one of the teams classification colistas. The game for the 25th round of Group 2 of the Second Division was a monologue Alevín azulgrana from the start. The group led by Xavi Bravo and Oscar Hernandez had many chances to score throughout the match, and finally beat his opponent by a resounding 13-0 thanks to goals from Kenneth Soler (5), Juan Julián Mahicas (3) Daniel (2), Roger Vegas, Jose Álvarez and Nil.

(Xilxes - Castellón)
Good azulgrana representation in the City Tournament VI Xilxes held in Castellón. The Benjamin B finished second after losing in overtime in the final against Real Madrid on a tight 3-2. The final match was hotly contested and either team could have taken the title, but was eventually to Madrid. However, azulgranas coaches, Sergi Milá and Òscar Jorquera, are very happy with the outcome of the tournament and the game of Benjamín B, as the azulgrana equipment finished first in the group stage and won the semifinals with authority by 5-2 to Levante.

The guys from Jordi Pérez and David Sanchez played a friendly match this week against el Vila Olímpica B, a team a year older that is in the top of the second division Benjamin in group 5. The azulgranas faced secured the match and had to make a good game at the team level to overcome his rival. The Benjamín D was very attentive throughout the confrontation, both in terms of offensive and defensive in and through this work and intensity beat a tough opponent. This match served to set barcelonista in preparation for the tournament to be played Puig Reig on Tuesday May 1.




Puyol served as captain and ruined the dance of Thiago and Alves after the fifth goal

The image of the game came after the fifth goal achieved by Thiago Alcántara, who was a little dance with teammate Dani Alves. Captain Puyol came quickly to stop this action to consider a lack of respect for players and fans of Rayo. The public is angry and rebuked the Brazilian side with some even throwing objects onto the field.

Sandoval: "Why not dance Thiago Alves and when Torres scored in the Camp Nou?"

Rayo Vallecano coach was dispatched at home in the radio program 'Fora de joc' chain Ona FM: "I do not understand why Alves and Thiago did not dance when Torres scored in the Camp Nou," referring to the dance of both players in Barcelona's fifth goal in Vallecas.

José Ramón Sandoval did not hide his displeasure at this action, stating: "In your home take the jam and I mean in the face, then if something happens is the fault of the public ...". The coach was visibly hurt rayista big defeat for his team. "We employ a very short," he complained.

Sandoval talked about rival coach: "Guardiola is great as a coach and better person. Is humility personified, people should look into it."

Concerning the statements of Karanka after learning that Guardiola would not in front of Barcelona, Sandoval said, "Everyone is a prisoner of his words. I would argue the opposite of him."

Rayista coach also spoke about the suspicions of the matches intrigues LFP: "If la LIga has been suspected of rigging in some games there must be. Some recent results are a bit strange." (via Marca)

Alexis has a bruised left thigh

Alexis has a bruised left thigh and developments mark the date available for the match against Málaga.

[Youth] Juvenil A try to win the title of the Champions Cup

Òscar Garcia's team begins the eighteenth edition of the tournament on Monday at 18:30 h. against Espanyol.

The competition brings together the winners of the seven groups of the División de Honor Juvenil, and the best runner of all groups, FC Barcelona.

After finishing second in the División de Honor Juvenil, Òscar García's team now has a new challenge ahead: try to take the XVIII Champions Cup, which begins on Monday April 30 in Lepe, Huelva, and will last until 5 May. Participate in this tournament champions of the seven groups of the División de Honor, plus the best runner of all groups, which in this case is the Juvenil A of Barça, as is the team that has won more points of those who have occupied the second position of the table.

FC Barcelona has experience in this competition. The guys have played Òscar García seven finals of the Champions Cup, which have won three in 2004/05 season in 2008/09 and the previous year, in 2010/11. Thus, the whole attempt to defend the title Barca to put the fourth trophy to their cabinets.

Espanyol will be the first opponent to that Barca will face this Monday at 18.30. If the azulgranas take the victory, will play the semifinals on Wednesday May 2, and, if overcome, the final will take place on May 5th at 18h.

All teams will stay at the Islantilla Hotel & Spa, and the matches will be played at Estadio Ciudad de Lepe, host city for the second year the tournament. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Keita opened the door to Thiago Silva

The Italian press has become a hive of continuous rumors at this end of season.

For months the option that Seydou Keita ends up being a new player of Milan is one of the most recurrent news. The Malian footballer environment has confirmed the interest of Massimo Allegri's squad, but also pointed out that there is no formal offer to the player and no one has addressed yet Barça to negotiate the relevant transfer.

In Italy also ensure that the operation would be feasible including a second player. This is Thiago Silva. Rumors collect the interest of Barcelona by the Brazilian center-backl and its will cheapen a more expensive operation than drawing out of Seydou Keita. No further details that the interest and desire of all parties, but the fact is that there would be time to open negotiations and concrete figures.

By the way, and while the patient waiting Milan, several teams of Premier have also moved the card and have targeted the environment to probe player's will. (via SPORT)

Pedro: "The team is strong and eager"

The Spanish striker laments Guardiola’s decision to leave the Club at the end of the season but he said that the team is looking forward to working under Tito Vilanova.

Dani Alves and Thiago Alcántara apologized to Rayo’s fans for celebrating Barça’s fifth goal with a dance.

Thiago congratulated Afellay on his return to the football pitch after being injured for more than seven months.

Pep Guardiola’s team put in a spectacular performance in Madrid as they thrashed Rayo (7-0) to take the three points from Vallecas. The players highlighted the team’s commitment and professionalism as key factors in today’s victory.

“After a difficult week because of our elimination from Champions League and the game against Real Madrid, this match was proof that the team is strong and eager,” said Pedro Rodríguez, who scored a brace against Rayo.

With Guardiola to the end, excited that Tito will be next

The Spanish striker said that the team is with Guardiola “100%” until the end of the season, but that the squad is optimistic about Tito Vilanova’s appointment as manager for next season. “It was a hard blow for the players, after everything Guardiola done for the Club, but we have to respect his decision. However, we’re very pleased that Tito will be manager. We wish him the best,” said the player.

“We’d like to present the King’s Cup title to the fans and to Guardiola. We’ll see how we come into that match,” said Pedro. The canterano also evaluated Lionel Messi’s insatiable goalscoring appetite: “he demonstrates game after game that he’s the best in the world. We all have to help him finish the season as top scorer.”

Congratulations to the futsal team

Pedro also analyzed the game against Rayo: “we found the goals very quickly, we pressured them high up the pitch. It was an open match and we’re pleased with the victory.”

On the other hand, the footballer said that he’s fighting to be included in Spain’s Euro Championship squad. He also congratulated Barça Alusport for their conquest of the Club’s first European Cup. “It’s a very big joy,” he said.

Here are some of the statements made by Barça players after the match (some of them were made on Twitter):

Víctor Valdés:

“The team played a great game and we showed a lot of ambition and perseverance. Now we have to focus on our next match.”

Dani Alves:

“I want to apologize to the Rayo fans if I offended them with my goal celebration. I never wanted to offend anyone.”

Sergio Busquets:

“The most important thing is the team, but we have to do everything we can so that Leo Messi finishes the season as top goalscorer. He’s broken all the records, he’s the best in the world.

“Pinto is the keeper in the Cup and this match was a good opportunity for him to get a bit of game rhythm. The game we have left [Cup final] is very important, I hope Pep can leave the Club with the Cup title.”

Thiago Alcántara:

“Before anything else I want to congratulate Afellay for his return. He deserves the best.

“I want to apologize if I offended Rayo’s fans with my goal celebration. I made a mistake when I was overjoyed with my goal. It won’t happen again.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Martín Presa: "We must isolate ourselves from the demands"

"We have to win a game. All we signed three days to reach the end depending on us," said the Rayo Vallecano presindent on Canal +.

Rayo Vallecano President, Raúl Martín Presa, declined to assess the situation at Canal + where is the club after the receivers have filed a lawsuit against the players to return the premium's rise last season. "I am not one to judge, we must isolate and know that a party makes us Primera," he said.

"The first match we have in Mallorca and we will try to take it. Then there will be time to talk and sort everything, but now it is essential that we focus on ensuring the continuance," he added.

"We have suffered all season, but be optimistic. Remain three games with four points and three we saved almost. We have to win a game. All we signed three days to reach the end depending on us," he said.

VIDEO: www.as.com

Afellay reappears in Vallecas against Rayo seven months after

The Dutch forward Ibrahim Afellay FC Barcelona came back today at the Stadium of Vallecas after seven months injured in the match that his team won Rayo Vallecano (0-7), playing the last 17 minutes of the encounter.

The Dutchman fell seriously injured on October 3, 2011, for a break in the the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which occurred at a team training.

Afellay reappeared today vs. Rayo Vallecano in the game for the thirty-sixth day of la Liga, when he replaced on 73 minutes from match to Sergio Busquets. (via MD)

Cardoner: “This is a present for the fans and for Guardiola”

The Social Area vice-president considers the 0-7 result at Vallecas a good present for Barça fans and for Guardiola. “It was a perfect game where Barça played with tranquility. The team emptied itself and they were very comfortable on the pitch. Spectacle once again won this Sunday.” On Guardiola’s goodbye and the news that Tito Vilanova will be Barça’s new manager, Jordi Cardoner explained that, “we were discrete on the matter, and we managed the change naturally. Tito Vilanova is looking forward to the challenge with excitement. He’s excited and the fans are behind him.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Afellay: "I'm very happy to be playing again"

Ibrahim Afellay returned to competitive football after seven and a half months on Barça’s injury list. This Sunday he played 20 minutes against Rayo Vallecano.

The Dutch player’s last official match with the team was the Barça-Osasuna game played on September 17th.

Afellay: “I really like to play football. I’ve worked hard during the team’s training session and I’m very pleased”.

His last minutes played in the Barça strip were at the Camp Nou during the 8-0 thrashing of Osasuna, and today, he did his part in another Barça exhibition (7-0). After a long time on Barça’s injury list, Ibrahim Afellay returned to competitive football today against Rayo Vallecano.“I really like to play football. I’ve worked hard during the team’s training session and I’m very pleased,” said the Dutch footballer, who also said that he’s been looking forward to this moment with a lot of enthusiasm: “you know the moment will come someday but you don’t know when. I’m happy to return.”

Afellay, therefore, has left behind the ACL injury that he picked up on September 22nd during training. On October 3rd he underwent surgery to mend the torn ligament and he started his long road to recovery the following day. On April 11th, after six months of work and rehabilitation, he was given medical clearance to play and this Sunday he stepped out onto the pitch to help his teammates claim another victory.

Afellay was subbed in for Sergio Busquets on 72 minutes, with 0-4 on the scoreboard. In the 20 minutes he was on the pitch he participated in 10 collective plays and was involved in 21 overall plays. However, beyond the numbers, this Sunday will be remembered as the day of his return. The Dutch player hadn’t played in an official game since the Barça-Osasuna match on September 17th. He played 24 minutes that game.

"We won't change”

Afellay also talked about Guardiola’s decision to leave the Club at the end of the season: “Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world but Tito is almost the same. They’ve worked together all these years. I believe everything will be the same.” The Dutch player, who spoke to the press in Spanish, said “I hope to speak to you in Catalan next year.” (via FCBarcelona.com)

Pep Guardiola: "Without me, Barça will continue to compete at the top"

Pep Guardiola admitted having lived a very quiet game and praised the team's attitude.

The first question to Pep Guardiola was on the performance of Pedro. "We started in third together. It is true that this year has had injury stoppages. I am very happy for his performance, beyond the two goals for how he has moved."

Declarations of Arsène Wenger to know his farewell, Pep was limited to "acknowledge the words of Arsenal." And it grieved him decide whether to leave the club added that "Barça is my home and realized that time was over and there is no getting around. It is a young team knows that Tito and I am convinced that Barça will continue to compete in the top ".

The coach lamented the goal celebration Thiago made ​​by the scorer and teammate Dani Alves, which Carles Puyol had to put an end. "There are acts of Barça players. We apologize to the fans of FC Barcelona. Not happen again."

For Guardiola, the game served to delay the alirón of Real Madrid. "A football game always goes a long way. We know that Madrid is champion, but this game is a demonstration of what this team has been a long time. Vallecas is a difficult but we played well. We are preparing for Calderon's final and we can not let go. why I am so happy with the performance of the players. "

For Pep, was a normal match. "We have prepared their best, but it was nothing special."

At the insistence of his farewell, Guardiola was adamant in stating that "I'm not dead. Will keep spinning around. But thank tests esteem."

Guardiola justified because on the bench he and Tito Vilanova had held so little goals. "We are pleased when we do so many goals, but with the League sentenced you take it more calmly. Also saw that the party was controlled."

On the ownership of Pinto, justified it by saying that "will play the Cup final because he led us there and I'd rather take the pitch, dynamics. Has been fantastic as always."

The statements of Karanka on his farewell, he lamented to classify them as "a no-brainer. La Liga existed before me and follow after me. Congratulations."

Finally, in response to an English journalist, Guardiola did not rule out going to train to England, but made clear, as Friday that it would be now, because today's off. (via SPORT)

The best and the worst of Rayo-Barça

Barça thrashed the Lightning in Vallecas. Discover the best and the worst of the match of Guardiola.

BEST: The Return of Afellay. Barça recovered in Vallecas the Dutch player who had injured since last September. A reinforcement of good insurance can provide new options in attack for the final of the Copa

WORST: The lack of sensitivity of Thiago and Alves to the rival. The midfielder scored the fifth goal of Barça and celebrated with a dance with the Brazilian. A gesture that could be misinterpreted by the home crowd and that the captain, Carles Puyol, happened to stop immediately. (via SPORT)

[Liga BBVA; Week36] Rayo Vallecano 0 - 7 FC Barcelona

Goals from Messi (2), Alexis, Keita, Pedro (2) and Thiago gave Barça a record win at Vallecas in a game they totally dominated.

Further good news for the team was the return of Ibrahim Afellay after his long injury layoff.

The game proved to be the perfect opportunity to react positively following the disappointments against Madrid and Chelsea as the team swept Rayo aside with a demonstration of attacking brilliance which saw them three up at the break. Goals from Messi (2), Alexis, Keita, Pedro(2) and Thiago gave Guardiola’s team a comfortable win which beat their previous best result at Vallecas(1-4 in the 1989-90 season)in their first visit to this ground in the last nine years.

The result was another demonstration of the team’s character, bouncing back from a difficult week with painful defeats and the announcement of Guardiola’s farewell with a seven goal show that keeps them seven points off the leaders.

It was pretty clear from the start that we were in for a game full of goals, with Messi opening his account by rounding off a good team move and then winning the ball in midfield to set up Alexis for the second. To add, literally, injury to insult, Rayo defender Rober banged into the post in the goal and was stretchered off.

Rayo were playing a high line and Barça were happy to take advantage, looking for the runs of Alexis and Pedro in behind and after laying siege to Cobeño’s area, it was really no surprise when they went three up through a Keita goal – once again set up by Messi to deservedly send them three up at the break.

There was no change in the second half, with Messi firing an early chance from an Alexis cross at the bar and the ball falling to Pedro who simply had to knock it back in to make it four. Ahead of his probable game in the Cup Final, Pinto got a rare start and made a number of classy stops, whilst Afellay came on for Busquets on 73 minutes to make a welcome return after his long injury layoff, which has seen him miss most of the season.

Barça then got three more in the last quarter of an hour, as Thiago headed in a great cross from Alves for the fifth and Pedro got his second after more great work from Messi, who rounded off the rout with his second on 90 minutes. It was a great performance from the Argentinean, who is now just two short of Gerd Muller’s record of goals in a season, and indeed from the whole team who were once again at their very best ! (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Match Stats]
Rayo Vallecano: Cobeño; Rober (Aitor Núnez, m.31), Arribas, Pulido, Tito; Trashorras, Movilla (Diamanka, m.46); Michu, Lass; Tamudo and Diego Costa (Diego Benito, m.65).

FC Barcelona: Pinto; Montoya, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano (Dani Alves, m.60); Busquets (Afellay, m.74), Keita, Thiago; Pedro, Alexis (Tello, m.82) and Messi.

Goals: 0-1: M.15 Messi; 0-2: M.26 Rober en propia puerta; 0-3: M.38 Keita; 0-4: M.46 Pedro; 0-5: M.77 Thiago; 0-6: M.88 Pedro; 0-7: M. 90 Messi.

Referee: Delgado Ferreiro (Basque committee). Admonished Rober (M.22), Tito (m.35), Arribas (M.45), of Rayo Vallecano and Pedro (m.52) of Barcelona.

Subs: Meeting for the thirty-sixth day of la Liga Primera División match at the Stade de Vallecas (Madrid), before some 12,000 spectators.

Barça will sign to Bale or Alba

The announced over from Tito Vilanova for Pep Guardiola will not alter the planning of Barça 2012-2013. In the meetings held months ago between the estates managers, club executives and technicians, all of them today in the presence of azulgrana coach, passed plans to strengthen the defensive line and the bands with a minimum of three signings that could be more depending on the departure of some players. The search for a left back is the avanzada.Dos names are on the table. Gareth Bale is the preference but Andoni Zubizarreta, the athletic director, has hedged its bets with Jordi Alba.

Catalan is finalizing its renovation with Valencia until 2016. Worthless in the event that Barça formalize an offer. The two parties have included an escape clause at a fixed price which would allow it to reach the Camp Nou. This double move would enable Jordi Alba stay at Mestalla if Bale is ahead of him. Tottenham defender is the player who captivates everyone for their considerable technical potential. We compare with Alves. No matter who becomes the main economic effort the next project.

But if the arrival of Welsh international is complicated, Zubizarreta activate the operation Jordi Alba. For its features, speed and profile squad, the Valencia is a guarantee to cover the gap left by Eric Abidal. Tottenham hopes that the player does not leave the entity at the end of this season. Coach Harry Redknapp doubt his departure but the player has already warned that if your computer is not qualified for the Champions League, the club would request a change of scenery. Of course for the modest figure of 30 million euros. (via MD)