21 May 2012

Barça and Nike presented on Tuesday the new jersey

As Miguel Rico had advanced in his cover of MD, this Tuesday will be the presentation of the Barça shirt for the 2012-13 season. The event, which will be attended by azulgrana president Sandro Rosell, will be held from 12.00 in the MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona).

Note that the distinctive feature of the new Nike shirt is a faded red central stripe and Rosell repersentarán with the club vice president Carles Vilarrubí and Javier Faus and Jordi Moix managers and Jordi Mestre.

The first team, as the coaching staff that is focused on Friday's Cup final against Athletic, will train on Tuesday from 11.00 am in the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. (via MD)

Abramovich, again for Guardiola

In England say they want to tie him in 2013.

Roman Abramovich will not desist in their attempt to sign Pep Guardiola after rejecting it, according to confirmed sources of Stamford Bridge in the English press, a super-offer to take charge of Chelsea next season, Abramovich will eager load tie Pep 2013-14 campaign.

Various British media insisted yesterday that the billionaire owner of the brand new club champion Champions Guardiola not only offer a salary up to its cache, but also complete control over the parcel sports, including high and low, the cantera and the fitness.

Abramovich is also aware that Pep is the object of desire of other teams, so it aims to formulate a proposal from his point of view irrechazable. It also noted that Silvio Berlusconi, for his part owner of Milan, has been suggested that the technician will wait until 2013 or 2014 Santpedor if this hypothetical increase the chance that Pep could call at San Siro.

Inter, Manchester City, Manchester United and the Federation of Qatar sought the availability of Pep or yearn for the best coach in the history of Barça, who has reiterated that it will take a sabbatical.

Everything indicates that Roberto di Matteo renewed this week as coach of Chelsea, who have also spoken to Harry Redknapp (Tottenham), but we must be attentive to the duration of the contract chosen. In any case Abramovich also includes Pep Guardiola offer the post of technical director in his new offensive.

"Do not stop until taking the services of Pep" they say in England. (via MD)

The Ribery letter to Abidal

French Crack of Bayern Munich, Franck Ribery, has written, as did the Barça players, a letter to Eric Abidal.

Ribery, who as reported MD had planned to devote exclusively to team-mate victory in the final of the Champions League should have got it, makes it clear at the dedication their special relationship with Abidal, "a brother" for 7 Bayern.

These are the words of Ribery to Abidal:

"One of the most beautiful encounters in this life. Abi, you're a colleague or a fellow football, you're my brother, the family Wallah. May God help you in this test and help you get up in good shape. " (via MD)

21 of Barça’s Champions League rivals already known

With virtually all the European leagues concluded, the 22 of the teams for the next UCL are decided.

Ten teams still to come through the qualifying rounds.

With this year’s Champions League and the majority of the domestic European leagues, Twenty-two of the thirty two teams in the Group stages have already been decided, with a further ten to come through the qualifying rounds.

The draw for next season’s competition will take place on August 30th and it promises to throw up some interesting ties, with the champions of the four main leagues in four different groups for the draw – Manchester City are in group two, Juventus in the third group and Borussia Dortmund in group four. Those three will provide the main threats in the draw, but there are also teams such as Schalke 04, Ajax, Galatasaray and the new French champions Montpeller, who Barça could find themselves playing in the Group Stage.

FC Barcelona have the best coefficient according to UEFA and they head the top seeded group for the draw, alongside Chelsea, United, Bayern, Madrid, Arsenal, Porto and AC Milan, who they are guaranteed not to meet, as well as fellow Spanish teams Valencia and Malaga – if Pellegrini’s team get through the qualifying rounds.

There are some big names missing from the draw – most notably, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Lyon – who will miss out on the chance to walk for the final on May 25th 2013 at Wembley Stadium – a venue Barça have already lifted two titles at of course! (via FCBarcelona.com)

[The 22 teams]
Group 1:
FC Barcelona
Manchester United
Bayern München
Real Madrid
AC Milan

Group 2:
Shakhtar Donetsk
Schalke 04
Manchester City

Group 3:
FC Copenhaguen*

Group 4:
Borussia Dortmund

*The team which wins the Danish league will not play the qualifying rounds

Pinto: "We want a happy farewell for Guardiola"

The Azulgrana keeper has recovered from his ankle injury and he’s mentally preparing to play “a difficult and beautiful” final against Athletic Club.

With Montoya’s possible call-up to the starting line-up, Pinto noted the quality of the players that come up through the youth system. “They arrive prepared and qualified”.

He said that he’s won the Barça fans over by giving his utmost in the games he plays.

In an interview with Barça TV José Manuel Pinto said that he’s preparing for the King’s Cup Final against Athletic Club. He confirmed that he’s in perfect physical condition for the match while noting that the team have overcome “obstacles” in the past in reference to the announced absences of both Puyol and Alves.

He recognised that it will be a special match seeing that it’s Pep Guardiola’s last match on the Barça bench, but he also said that he’d like to dedicate a hypothetical victory to Abidal and his family. Pinto went on to say that he has complete confidence in the Barça youth system and he praised Marcelo Bielsa’s sensational side.

- How’s your ankle?

“I feel great. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be in optimal condition.”

-We’ve had the recent bad news of both Puyol and Alves’ injuries. But this team have always been able to overcome these types of difficulties. Why is that?

“I believe that these small inconveniences always happen throughout the season and it’s a shame that we won’t be able to play with some of our team-mates due to last-minute injuries. But we must keep on moving and we, whenever there has been an obstacle, have been able to move forward.”

-Martín Montoya might get the nod to start against Athletic Club. Is he ready to play in a final?

“Every player that comes up through the youth system is highly qualified. They prove it when they come out [onto the pitch] and they don’t notice the change [when they move up to the first team] because they’re very well prepared. We have confidence in them.”

-Ahead of preparing for the match, does it make a big difference on the game if Puyol, Mascherano or Piqué are playing in the middle?

“We prepare for each match in the same way. The only thing that changes are the individual characteristics of the players. But I have confidence in whoever plays, the only thing that changes are the small details.”

-It’s an important final seeing that it will be Pep Guardiola’s last match on the bench. Does this fact add pressure to the team? Does it motivate you?

“It’s hard to define, we don’t like that he’s leaving. The last match [with Guardiola] will be sad, we have to win to turn that sadness into joy so we can give him a proper send off. I hope it works out this way, we’re motivated. We’re all awaiting that moment.”

-How important has Guardiola been in your career? What have you learned?

“With him I’ve principally learned how to use my feet and how to read the game. I’ll always be thankful for the confidence he’s given me. He has complete confidence in me and I’ve done my best to return the gesture. I’ve done it with my attitude in our training sessions and especially when I play.”

-Another final against Athletic Club. Is this team like the one in the 2009 Final?

“Every team modifies itself every year. It’s obvious that Athletic have improved a lot. They are a very competitive side. They play well and their manager is responsible for this positive change. It will be a very difficult and beautiful final.”

-Guardiola says that Athletic Club are the sensation the year. Do you agree?

“I’ve followed them and I believe that they are one of the standout teams of the year. Atlético Madrid have also had a great season.”

-Do you believe you’ve permanently won over the Culés? Do you believe your public image has hurt you in anyway?

“I’ve never thought about it. I believe that I’ve won the Culés over because when I’m out and about they show me their appreciation. The only thing I’ve done is give everything I have and try to bring something to the group. When someone comports himself with honesty the people see that and give it value.”

-Have you thought the match over in your head? Have you dreamed of the perfect match?

“I’ve had a flash or two, but I’ve quickly forgotten about it. We want this to end well. I hope that I can dedicate the trophy to my grandparents, who recently passed away. I’d also like to dedicate the trophy to Abidal and my family.”

vSuperstition and music

-Are you superstitious?
“When I was younger I was. The older you get you more you leave these things behind. If not, I wouldn’t wear the number 13. I love this number.”

-Do you listen to music before games?
“I prefer to read before matches, because it relaxes me. I just finished reading ‘El maestro de las cometas.’

-Do you listen to your own music or do you try to disconnect by listening to other types of music?
“I listen to all types of music. We play various songs in the dressing room in order to motivate the team.”

-At the Camp Nou, when you go out to warm up, your music always plays...
“I passed along my CD at the start of the season so they could play it during our warmup session before the match and things went well for us that day. People thought ‘let’s keep on using this music, things worked out well,’ also because they liked it, obviously. The reason we listen to my music during the warmup is because of superstition, though.”(via FCBarcelona.com)

Barca Think about Zabaleta if leaves Alves

If you are going Alves, Barça would have to strengthen the right side with experience.
The versatile Argentinean of City is one of the names in the squad.
Meet the elite, la Liga and has good relationship with Messi and Mascherano.

Barça does not want any decision caught him changed over. So, faced with the possibility of reaching a deal for Dani Alves irrechazable and for the entity, the obligation of the club is to have your back covered. Barça is quite clear that the market offers another Alves, but contrasted right side level, eventually, could strengthen guarantees the template. Has learned MD, Pablo Zabaleta is one of the names on the agenda of the coaches.

In the Camp Nou, Martin Montoya progression this season offers good prospects for their 21 years to be consolidated in the first team. The presence of Alves, a player who except his latest injury is capable of playing practically all alternate side relegated to a role merely testimonial.

But the march of Alves hypothetical change that pattern. If that happened, the idea would bring in an experienced player in the high competition that could divide the presence on the team with Montoya. This profile is perfectly fulfills Zabaleta, a player character for much of his career in San Lorenzo and Espanyol midfielder held the role, but who already in his time as a whitish paper was recycled to the side capable of perform in both bands.

This versatility and the competitive nature that distinguish and Barça drew attention in his days as Espanyol, but eventually took him to Manchester City in 2008, beginning to build with petrodollars the winning team it is today. Indeed, one goal by Zabaleta in the last match of the Premier League helped the City achieve the title after 44 years.

Its significance to the City has been uneven. Recently, injury to Micah Richards gave him the opportunity to finish the Premier as a starter. In February there was talk that Zabaleta could even consider a change of pace, playing for Valencia as a destination. Previously, the interest of Rome forced in November 2011 to a contract extension through 2015.

In addition to the targeted qualities, there are other factors that play into the work with Zabaleta and interest of Barça, always subject to a previous farewell Alves. At 27, Zabaleta knowledge of the Spanish League, where he played from 2005 to 2008, he became a professional football would know what was coming. The same goes for Barcelona, ​​where he met his partner.

Another detail is that nothing contemptible Zabaleta has a great relationship with FC Barcelona apparel heavyweights as Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano. Zabaleta debuted in the senior Argentina the same day that Leo, against Hungary in 2005 and three years later both and 'little chief' were Olympic champions.

What's more, the plan of the City this summer is to sell players for $ 240 million. For Zabaleta, Espanyol who bought 8 million, listen to offers .. (via MD)

Drogba calls for two-year contract

The equipment wish get the services of Didier Drogba will offer a contract for two years, as the hero of the Champions League final in Munich wants to remain active until the World Cup in Brazil-2014.

Ivorian international himself, which sounds to Barça as a possible reinforcement 'type Larsson', is made known to Chelsea, with the contract just in June that if the club would only warrants an extension of two seasons. According to the British press also reports, the proposed Roman Abramovich is a season, but expect new contacts.

Drogba's fellow calls have been made through the means for the billionaire owner of the Stamford Bridge club impede the progress of the combustible striker, 34 years, but Abramovich does not seem interested in one hundred percent Didier reward for services provided.

As reported on Monday the Daily Mail, Drogba could have already decided to sign for Shanghai Shenhua, where he reunited with former teammate Nicolas Anelka. The Chinese team has spent months pursuing the hiring of civilian and Touré Yaya a few weeks ago said Didier had ruled Asian football leave.

A lack of confirmation of this news, Drogba, who as reported MD has been offered to Barcelona, I would hang the Catalan club can make a move to take it free of contract. (via MD)

[Slection] Villa shot on Wednesday an ad for Euro

El Guaje, optimistic about his call, recorded in the Velodrom d'Horta as the image of McDonald's.

Until Vicente del Bosque does not announce on Sunday the 23 squad for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine will clear the mystery about the presence of David Villa in the Spanish team. Meanwhile, the Asturian forward, injured since last December, continues to recover in full swing and with little break in order to defend the continental crown and the top scorer in 2008.

EL 'Guaje' is optimistic to the point that has kept some of its advertising commitments in connection with the final phase will start in Warsaw on Friday June 8. Without going any further, Villa on Wednesday shot an ad for McDonald's in the Velodrom d'Horta de Barcelona with Spain flags giving background color to it.

During the World Cup South Africa-2010, and was the icon Guaje chain fast food restaurants, which in turn is one of ten official sponsors of the Euro, and promoted several competitions with fans.

Depending on what you decide Del Bosque, the sense of the campaign could change something pointing to Villa as the first fan of la Roja from the couch at home, but is rolling spots to three weeks of the great international event of the campaign can give some clues to its presence among the 23 chosen to be available to the technician in Salamanca June 10 debut against Italy in the Polish city of Gdansk. (via MD)

Chelsea opened the door of the Barça to Gareth Bale

The triumph of the Blues' in Munich leaves Champions to Tottenham next year.

Twist of fate, the same team this season Barça deprived of playing in the Champions League final in Munich, and thus attempt to defend the title won at Wembley last year, could help you now to sign one of the major goals for Barça for next season.

And is that the triumph of Chelsea last Saturday at the Allianz Arena to Bayern Munich to leave to Tottenham without participation in the next edition of the Champions League, a condition 'sine qua non' Gareth Bale, one of the dreams Barça , put the London club to continue playing there next season.

The Spurs finished the Premier League in fourth place and therefore were entitled to contest the Champions League before going on the run. However, Chelsea win in Munich, who finished outside the Premiership Champions positions and will play the next edition for being a champion, pushes Tottenham to UEFA to have a maximum of four spaces for Champions Englishmen. Tottenham is the fifth in discord and stays out.

In this new scenario, the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Redknapp, will have the difficult task of trying to convince Bale to canvie of opinion and reconsider leaving the club. The coach of the Spurs considered basic piece Bale for his team and is not willing to give up his star.

The Welsh footballer, without participation in next month's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine is not ready to renounce to play the top competition at the club next season. Bale is on vacation and left his future in the hands of his agent, Jonathan Barnett, who recently claimed and Barça to make a greater effort and ascended its offering of 45 million euros to sign him.

Surely, without the participation in the upcoming Champions of Tottenham, Barça will now have much more force if the London club agrees to negotiate. (via MD)

[Former player] Marc Crosas is proclaimed champion of the Mexican Clausura 2012

The former azulgrana Marc Crosas, midfielder of Santos Laguna of Mexico, with his team reached the title of the Mexican football Clausura 2012, his fourth title as a professional and first in this country.

Crosas, 24, celebrated the fourth title of Santos Laguna senyera carrying a flag of Catalunya, which was placed in the back after finishing the game and during the awards ceremony. The footballer born in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Girona province, participated as a starter in the final two games.

Before the title in Mexico, midfielder won the championship of the League 1 and League Cup in France with Olympique Lyon (2008) and the League Cup in Scotland with Celtic Glasgow (2009).

Crosas, emerged from the youth ranks at Barcelona, ​​the Catalan team concurred with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta.

In his first tournament in Mexican football, participated in fifteen games, eight starts and seven entered an alternate. (via SPORT)

Abidal discharged from hospital

Eric Abidal was today discharged from hospital, although according to a medical bulletin he will still need to return for regular checkups.

The French defender was discharged form hospital today after his liver transplant on April 10th. The Club’s medical services released a bulletin explaining: “given the particulars of his recovery process. Abidal will have to undergo a number of hospital checkups”. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Thiago, the great obsession of Galliani and Allegri

In Milan insist that the only way to let out Thiago Silva passed by the arrival of most of Alcántara.

Since coming to the bench of Milan, Massimo Allegri asked the vice president and strongman of the club, Adriano Galliani, an ambitious project to rejuvenate the workforce. The defender was a priority, but the midfield could not be excluded. They were football players needed a very specific profile: young promising talent and have cost more than small. That fit perfectly Thiago Alcántara a rising but not the name enough to break the market.

Adriano Galliani put the name as an alternative, Massimo Allegri gave their approval and the enforcement arm of Milan got in touch with Barça sports management. However, there was no way to perform the operation. Himself confessed Galliani, the club blaugrana refused point blank to negotiate the release of his young star.

Club sources have confirmed that Galliani attempts have been repeated for several months. In Barça still remember that during the extension and renewal of contract Thiago Alcántara, which lasted more than desired, alluded to the presence of Milan as negative element. Then interpreted the Rossoneri club willing to host the midfielder if he forced his ouster as Blaugrana. Last June, the club confirmed that Thiago Alcántara was only tied for the future.

So far the position has been adamant Barça and Milan, in the absence of economic game, has had no pressure elements. But the presence of Thiago Silva has completely changed the decor. The club wants the Brazilian central blaugrana as a cornerstone for the future, but it is one of the few props that still maintain the team AC Milan. A more than complex.

Galliani, with permission from Allegri, examines the new scenario. If the Brazilian just calling at the Camp Nou, Milan wants to Thiago as currency plus ten million. A very complex operation but now it is feasible. (via SPORT)

Valdés: "So that means, I ask that this gives Zamora me Ramallets"

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Collects a real 'little hand' of Zamoras and is a mainstay of the team.

Among other things, Victor Valdés talks about the Zamora Trophy who just got. He says, is what has made him more excited.

"Short of obsession, I knew this had special meaning for match of FC Barcelona as a myth Ramallets. Has been a landmark in my career, my challenges, I get the numbers, to reach their brands. As I Zubizarreta happened to. "

"I proposed to the club give me Ramallets. If we have to go to Madrid I would make a tremendous enthusiasm to come with me and I gave him. Would also recognition of her figure. I love it that way," says Valdés.

You can continue reading the interview with Víctor Valdés in the paper version of Sport on Monday. (via SPORT)

[Former player] Premiership and Bundesliga think Bojan

The father and advisor to Bojan Krkic believes the future of her child can be cleared within weeks.

Bojan Krkic not rule out any possibility of their future, and that includes from the possibility of continuing in Rome to return to Barcelona, to hear some of the deals that have come from the Premier League and Bundesliga.

Bojan has completed its first season in the Rome club that came from the hand of Luis Enrique Martínez who has already set the technical direction of Italian. That fact and the fact that there is a clause in his contract that Barça can get him back in the summer market, are no future time in a brief standstill.

'Skysports' reproduced a statement yesterday Linyola striker, Bojan Krkic, the Serbian newspaper "Blic" in which not rule out any possibility about his son sporting future. "At the moment he is thinking about where he will play next season. This is your priority, "he said. "He feels good in Rome, is happy there and would be happy if I had to keep playing for the Italian club. But there are other alternatives. Could return to Barcelona, "he recalled.

Bojan Krkic senior did not rule out the option that the attacker can try their luck in Catalan the Premier League or the Bundesliga. "It could also go to England or Germany. There are clubs in both countries were interested in my son. What clubs? I can not talk about names at this time. We'll see what happens over the next few days. " (via SPORT)

Ander Herrera: "For Bielsa, the final against Barça is the match of his life"

The Athletic player Ander Herrera said the "enormous intensity" prints Marcelo Bielsa training reflects the final of the Copa del Rey on Friday against FC Barcelona "is the match of his life."

"For him, playing a final against the best team in the world and to win is awesome. And us being transmitted to us, we are also aware that we have a unique opportunity," said the midfielder at the conclusion of training Sunday in Lezama.

Herrera added that the sessions focused on preparing the appointment of Calderón, Argentine coach is being "quite vehement and direct" with the template and that is making them "feel on alert" permanently printing "intensity" to the exercises.

The Bilbao, on the other hand, has emphasized the intention of Athletic "to put a brooch perfect" Cup title with a" great season "and noted that" leap "of quality also need to" see the cross of the money "as ten days in the Europe League final in Bucharest.

"We now have the opportunity to deal a final, which is not common in football. In the game you can spend whatever, but we will leave the soul because we are indebted to our people. Also been there in the bad moments and we owe it, "said Herrera.

His partner Gaizka Toquero has affected the "great desire" that has the red and white costume of "take that leap" quality win a title and believed "that can really be a champion, Athletic".

"We played two finals, the Copa of 2009 and the recent Europa League, we have taken very large sticks and all of us deserve Athletic title. Compared with three years ago, the team has grown and is more done. Hopefully this will help us to win this time, "he noted. (via SPORT)

[Youth] FCB Juvenil A 3 - 0 Athletic Club

Óscar García's men qualified for the quarter-finals of the King's Cup after beating the Basque side thanks to a brace from the young Cameroonian.

Doungou was the man of the match after scoring two goals against Athletic Club. With the 3-3 from the away leg of the Round of 16, played in Lezama, the Barça side beat the Basques thanks to the Cameroonian’s goalscoring prowess. Óscar García’s team will be handed a quarter-final rival in the King’s Cup draw later this week.

The match started with both teams coming close to putting the ball in the back of the net as the pitch soaked in the heavy rains. The striker Gorka Santamaría failed to score from a one-on-one and Dongou responded for the Catalan side. Both teams were looking for the win in an intense match. The clearest goalscoring chance, however, fell to Edu on a corner kick. The Azulgrana defender controlled the cross after beating his mark to the ball, his shot, however, sent the ball narrowly over the crossbar.

The ball wasn’t rolling properly due to the rain-soaked surface of the pitch. Intensity was the key factor in creating danger on attack, both teams attempted to take advantage of dead balls. The only collective play from Óscar García’s men in the first half that created any danger ended with a poor control from Dongou in Athletic’s area.

From that point on, the game played out with little collective play and a lot of imprecision. The goalless draw meant that Barça were going through to the next round. But a Basque goal could endanger Barça’s away goal advantage from the 3-3 result in the away leg.

With an Athletic trying to secure qualification to the next round with a goal, it was Barça that enjoyed the best goalscoring chances. Edu, with a powerful header from a corner kick, was denied by Aitor, the Basque goal keeper. Minutes later, however, Dongou stepped up to score the opener with a beautiful goal. The Cameroonian beat his mark and beat Aitor with a low shot.

The goal practically finished off the tie. Tienda saved a point-blank shot to deny the equaliser. Dongou quickly scored his second goal in almost identical fashion to his first. It was the definitive blow to Athletic. The reigning champions of the tournament now awaits a rival in the next round. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Match Stats]
FC Barcelona: Tienda, Edu, Brian, Bagnack, Ayala, Samper, Ernesto (Sandro, min 45), Patri, Dongou (Pol Calvet, min 87), Quintillà (Nando, min 66) and Cristian (Miguel Ángel, min 60).

Athletic Club: Aitor, Artabe, Arribalzaga, Molinos, Montoiro (Alejandro, min 66), Seguín, Gil, Iturraspe (Etxaburu, min 72), Martín, Etxeberria, Santamaría (Vegas, min 87)

Goals: 1-0, Dongou, min 52, i 2-0, Dongou, min 70.

Referees: Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo.

[Youth] Benjamí C claim the Liga title (3-2)

The team managed by Cristian Catena and Albert Puig claimed the Group 12 Segunda División League title after beating L'Hospitalet at home.

The Azulgranas are League champions with two matches left on the schedule.

The end of the season is coming to a close for Barça’s youth teams, and, in the final stretch, the effort put in by the youngsters is yielding its rewards. This weekend the Benjamín C team’s turn in the limelight. The side managed by Cristian Catena and Albert Puig claimed the Liga title of the Segunda División Benjamín after beating Centre d’Esports L’Hospitalet, the second-place team in the standings. by 3-2.

The match was marked by inclement weather that, at certain points during the match, forced the referee to halt the game. Despite the weather, the first half was dominated by Barça. The Azulgranas quickly took the lead thanks to two goals from Xavi Dimons and Arnau Martínez. Barça didn’t want to wait another week to claim the title, and they gave it their all against their direct competitors for the Liga thrown.

However, the visiting side were also in the hunt for the title and they didn’t relinquish their bid easily. Hospitalet managed to level the game at two goals apiece before the half. The halftime result, however, favoured Barça, a draw was enough to mathematically clinch the title.

Even though Barça attempted to win the three points, the scoreline didn’t move until the last part of the match. Pleguezuelo stepped up to give his team the lead with four minutes remaining on the referee’s clock. There wasn’t time for the visiting side to react. Barça’s Benjamín C team had won the title with two game still remaining on the schedule. The victory was followed by the Barça players storming the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper’s number 8 pitch in celebration.

With a record of 25 wins and only 3 defeats all season, the title confirms the team’s splendid season. Furthermore, it’s further proof of Barça’s benjamín teams, who have won all the league titles in their respective divisions. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Eliminating Barça, synonymous with winning the title

Every team that eliminated Barça in the last four seasons have gone on to win the title. Chelsea were the last team to do it as the English side claimed the Champions League in Munich on Saturday.

With the King’s Cup Final on the horizon, Barça have won 13 out of 18 possible titles since the 2008/09 season. Of the five titles that the team didn’t win, the teams that eliminated the Catalans went on to win said titles. The last team to do it was Chelsea. The Blues claimed the Champions League crown in Munich after seeing Barça off in the semi-finals.

In 2009, the team led by Pep Guardiola won six Cups and Sevilla, in the Round of 16 of the 09/10 King’s Cup, were the first team to eliminate Barça from a competition The Andalusian side went on to win the Cup at the Camp Nou. The second team to eliminate Barça from a competition was Inter Milan in the Champions League. The Italians also went on to claim the trophy in the Final.

Last season, Barça lost in the King’s Cup Final to Madrid. This season Los Blancos finished ahead of Barça in La Liga, and Chelsea won the Champions League after eliminating the Catalans in the semi-finals.

Champions League

Of the last five Champions Leagues tournaments, Barça have won two (2009 and 2011) and, of the other three, the teams that eliminated Barça all went on the win the Cup: Manchester United (2008), Inter (2010) and Chelsea (2012). (via FCBarcelona.com)

Open letter from President Sandro Rosell to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Wembley Final

FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell highlights the importance of the first European Cup won by the Club.

Dear members and fans of FC Barcelona,

Today is a day worth remembering, it is a day that’s written in golden letters in our history. Today marks the 20-year anniversary of the Club’s first European Cup title won on May 20, 1992. That day marked the beginning of a journey that, in present day, has turned into the most glorious era in the Club’s nearly 113-year existence.

Today, as I say, is a day to explain to the youngest among us what that victory in the old Wembley stadium over Sampdoria meant. How on the 111th minute, in overtime, the dream that so many generations of Barcelonistas had pursued came true. In that magical minute on May 20 of 1992, in the triangle just outside the area formed by Stoichkov, Bakero and Koeman, the faith of thousands upon thousands of Culés was concentrated. We all held our breath as the Dutchman’s right foot unleashed that powerful and intentional free kick to give us all an unforgettable moment that we all have retained in our memories and our hearts. An eruption of overwhelming joy, hugs and tears of shared happiness, a moment that we must keep alive forever, that we must remember and relive because the history of our Club claimed justice that day. On that day the Club etched its name among the European greats.

The painful defeats in Bern and Seville were left behind on May 20 of 1992, the year in which Barça, Barcelona and Catalonia won the respect and admiration of the whole world. We need to remember and we must be grateful to all those that started to balance the Club’s history with the Club’s trophy cabinet. To President Josep Lluís Núñez and his board of directors, and especially the heroes that brought the Cup home, starting with Johan Cruyff and Carles Rexach, the fathers of the Dream Team. These men sowed the seed of the best Barça team in memory, Josep Guardiola’s.

That team pioneered the creation of a model of play that now days is recognisable throughout the world. That team showed us the way, the Barça DNA is apparent in any player in Barça’s youth system. It's the spirit that makes us singular, unique, and proud.

With the Champions League titles won in Paris, Rome and London, in the new Wembley stadium, Barça’s history gradually started to reflect the greatness of our Club and country. We’re convinced that more will follow... But today is a day to remember and relive the 20th of May of 1992 and that magical 111th minute.

No Culé has forgotten where and with whom they shared that day. Explain the experience and the feelings to the youngest among you. Remembering this feat is the best tribute we can give to that team’s legacy. Explain it to your children, who are used to living in the bonanza of success, that to win and taste the victories we also must suffer painful defeats, that the moments of joy inevitably come with hard work, perseverance and faith. That these joyous moments we’re living today started 20 years ago.

Visca el Barça and visca Catalonia!

Sandro Rosell
President of FC Barcelona