22 May 2012

Piqué: "The change in cycle for Madrid, another title for them"

Gerard Piqué acknowledged at a news conference that FC Barcelona faces the cup final "with the greatest illusion" and about their personal situation has stated that "I have the same excitement as when I arrived." On the other hand, praised the statements of Esperanza Aguirre: "The fans will behave with respect and have the right to speak as they wish" and recalled that "this is football."

"It's football, going out, from one to ninety minutes, to try to win. Maybe we will win or lose, but all that that involves the final, everyone wants to say that people who do not have to swap gets ... is part of football, we are accustomed, "added the defender.

The center back has also highlighted the "special atmosphere" generated by the end of the competition: "It's a great day of football for the spectators and the players themselves." "In a Cup final motivation is always high, whatever pass. Yes it is true that there are other external things, like the case of Abidal (spoken by a liver transplant) or the last game of the coach, which makes this game special. But the motivation is high. "

About Tito Vilanova, near Barcelona coach, explained that "philosophy is Barça" and said it is "highly qualified" to take over the Catalan club's first team. For his part, expressed his respect and admiration for Guardiola: "Pep gave me the opportunity to come here and made me much better player than when I arrived. I feel that the whole team have learned a lot and will leave a void. His up, for me, going to be traumatic. "

Finally, Piqué also commented on the statements of Cristiano Ronaldo. "Change of cycle? For them, another title they have."

VIDEO: www.mundodeportivo.com

Rosell responds Aguirre: "I wish that all Barcelona fans to express themselves freely"

Sandro Rosell has used the launch of the new jerseys for the first team next season to strike back with sanity to the unfortunate statements of Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Community of Madrid has spoken of the need to suspend the final of Copa del Rey the possibility that the Spanish national anthem beeps. The Barça president has said about this:

I wish, I ask and hope that all barcelonistas and all fans can freely express their feelings, just missing." (via MD)

Aguirre returns to the fray: "Those who do not want to play the championship of Spain that do not play"

Esperanza Aguirre reiterated his controversial words and lashed back against hobbies of Barça and Athletic.

Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Community of Madrid, came back to reporters for the second time in the morning, and reiterated its position on the final of Copa del Rey. After visiting the works of the Hospital at Collado Villalba, Aguirre said that if there are teams that will not play a tournament in Spain, "not to play." "What can not it become an act of demonstration hostile to Spain and the Spanish. So if the blast occurs, the match is abandoned, is held in camera and you will see how not recur" settled. (via SPORT)

Orange and yellow change strip

The new FC Barcelona second kit for the 2012/13 is a veritable array of vibrant colours to celebrate the team’s dazzling football.

The FC Barcelona change strip for the 2012/13 season merges orange and yellow in honour of the city’s culture, art, style and architecture. It has a classic orange collar with the famous Barça colours on the nape and sleeves. The back of the shirt also features the Catalan flag, and the ‘More Than a Club’ slogan on the inside of the collar, written in a typeface was specially chosen to reflect Catalan architecture.

The yellow shorts include a trim down the side in FCB’s more traditional ‘blaugrana’ colours, and the word "Barça" on the back. The yellow socks also have the Barça colours at the top and the name of the club on the back. They also feature the innovative soles that help with balance and have gone down so well among professionals.

The kit not only combines a sporty, modern and young look. Nike have also included the very latest technological advances to enhance the comfort and performance of the players.

The new change strip is made of recycled polyester, a latest generation material that has been hailed as the most ecological garment that Nike has ever produced. Each set of shirt and shorts has been made using as many as thirteen recycled water bottles, a process that reduces energy consumption by 30% in comparison with traditionally produced polyester. Since 2010, Nike has used approximately 1115 million water bottles to create high performance sportswear.

The material used to make these kits is 23% lighter, while the textile is 20% stronger than previous Nike products, and includes what is called Nike Dri-FIT technology to eliminate humidity and keep the player dry and fresh.

The most important seams of the shirt and shorts have T shaped reinforcements. The seams are also connected on the inside by a smooth finish that improves overall comfort and performance. To improve thermal regulation, a series of tiny holes made by laser helps to ventilate the body from the armpits down to the waist, ensuring that the player’s body is adequately aired at all times.

The players will complement their outer kits with Nike Pro Combat underwear, which provides further comfort and protection against injuries. Fans and players alike can also enjoy Nike’s Barcelona Sportswear collection of other products, all of which are inspired by the traditions of the club.

photogallery: www.fcbarcelona.com

Training session: Final sprint

The team trained on Tuesday morning with all thoughts on the Cup Final against Athletic Bilbao. Thiago, Alexis and Pinto were all able to work out normally.

On Tuesday morning, Barça trained for the second to last time before Friday’s Copa del Rey Final. The venue was Sant Joan Despí. Thiago, now recovered from his stomach bug, and Alexis and Pinto, though not yet declared fully fit, were able to train at the same pace as their team-mates. Like on Monday, they were joined by four members of the B team: Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos and Tello.

In cold, windy weather, the only players missing were, as expected, Alves, Puyol, Villa, Abidal and Fontàs. The team will continue its preparations for the duel with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday morning, behind closed doors at the Ciutat Esportiva. (via FCBarcelona.com)

[Youth] The cantera azulgrana continues to accumulate wins

While many football teams are already training champions, the azulgranas continue to show good football in the final of la Liga.

The Benjamín C has won the group 12 of the Second Division Benjamin.

The Female Juvenil Cadete is just a step to achieve the title of the regular competition. If they win next week at home will be champions mathematics.

[JUVENIL B]
LIGA NACIONAL JUVENIL
GAVÀ 1 - FC BARCELONA B 3
Juvenil B faced the second place in the table, the Gavà in the penultimate game of the season. The hosts made ​​the passage to all Garcia Pimienta and Marc Guitart its league title before a crowd very committed to both teams, and the azulgranas did the same with his rival, as it will be set to rise to the Division de Honor Juvenil . Ebwelle was the opener of a bumpy ride, with a goal at minute 44. The second half continued in the same vein, and a target of Munir and a penalty Godswill finished round the result. The Gavà scored the consolation goal in the dying minutes of the head in a corner, but the game was already won.


[CADETE A]
LIGA DIVISIÓN DE HONOR CADETE
FC BARCELONA A 5 - SANT ANDREU 1
The champions of la Liga de Honor Cadete outperformed the Sant Andreu in the final game of the season. The azulgranas enjoyed several times in the first half, but lacked accuracy in the final meters and went into halftime with a scoreless draw. Alexis was the opener of a second stage marked by the azulgrana attack, which continued with goals from Moha, Juanan, this doubly and one of Alexis, who also signed a double. The Sant Andreu scored the consolation goal from the penalty spot in Ecuador the second half, but the meeting was already ready for judgment.


[INFANTIL A]
TORNEO LENNART JOHANSSON ACADEMY TROPHY (Estocolmo)
Infantil A Tournament champion after winning by Lennart Johansson 3-0 to Red Star Belgrade in the final. The guys from Fran Sánchez and Xavi Franquesa Vittesse outperformed in the semifinals by a convincing 4-0, and finished first in the group in the first phase to the win in three games played. The azulgranas added a new title to their windows Champions League after winning the previous day.


[INFANTIL B]
LIGA 1a DIVISIÓN INFANTIL
FC BARCELONA B 3 - CIRERA A 0
Infantil B closed the season by adding another victory to his account particular, the 20th of the season. The azulgranas finish the race in third place with 65 points, behind Mataro and Badalona. The set of Denis Silva and Carles Lopez beat Cirera by a goal in the first half sleeves, which left the game with a victory by the minimum rest times and Valery and Juli, who consolidated the results in the second half with two more goals.

[ALEVÍN A]
LIGA 1a DIVISIÓN ALEVÍN
UNIÓ JABAC Y TERRASSA 0 - FC BARCELONA 3
Alevín A closed the season with a victory against Unio Jabac i Terrassa. The azulgranas finished second in the standings behind Espanyol. The group led by Marcel Sans and Isaac Garcia enjoyed many times since the beginning, but the opponent did not put things easy. However, Barça was able to settle the match and control the local computer with a good game. A goal from Sergio in the first half and two more goals from Alejandro and Joan Altimira in the second half sealed the score.


[ALEVÍN B]
LIGA 1a DIVISIÓN ALEVÍN
GRANOLLERS - FC BARCELONA
Match suspended by rain.


[ALEVÍN C]
LIGA 2a DIVISIÓN ALEVÍN
FC BARCELONA C 13 - L'HOSPITALET 0
Alevín C undisputed win against one of the teams classification colistas. The boys of Alex Gómez and Alexis Pintó went ahead quickly on the scoreboard with a goal of Take in the 4th minute of the first period, and the rest and won by 8-0. The second half followed the same script and the overwhelming dominance azulgrana until the final result of 13-0. Take (5), Guillermo Amor (5), Marc, Adrià and Ivan were the scorers of the day.


[ALEVÍN D]
TORNEO F-7 CIUTAT DE CERVERA (Municipal de Cervera)
Great representation azulgrana in F-7 Tournament Ciutat de Cervera. Alevín D was fifth after facing competitive rivals, some sophomores. The boys of Xavi Bravo and Oscar Hernandez won the Santes Creus in the first phase, and fell against Lleida low (1-0) and Cervera (2-1). Barça are qualified for the quarterfinals of the end to be one of the best third, but lost in a penalty shootout against Zaragoza, the set became champion of the tournament after tie to 1.


[BENJAMÍN A]
LIGA 1a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN
FC BARCELONA A 11 - MERCANTIL B 1
The set of Marc Serra and David Sanchez reaffirmed its league title, which reached the previous day, with another victory. This time it was against the Trade at home. The Benjamín A dominated from the start and was able to sign the win thanks to goals from Marc Alegre (3), Kais (2), Moriba (2), Álvaro (2), Haitam and Aitor. In the last minutes the opponent scored the consolation goal, but the three points and had colored azulgrana.


[BENJAMÍN B]
PARTIDO AMISTOSO BENJAMÍN B
FC BARCELONA B 9 - IGUALADA 1
Benjamín B played a friendly match against Igualada comprehensive, crowned champions after the previous day. The guys Sergi Milà and Òscar Jorquera were much higher along the duel due to its good game, and created several opportunities. On the first play of the game and went ahead in the light, and continued in the same vein until the end of the game. Goals from Ricard Cartañá (3), Oscar (2), Jan (2), Marti and Iker scored the team Barcelona.


[BENJAMÍN C]
LIGA 2a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN
FC BARCELONA C 3 - L'HOSPITALET 2
The team of Cristian Catena and Albert Puig became champion of the group 12 of the Second Division Benjamín after winning by minimum L'Hospitalet (3-2), his arch rival in the competition. The azulgranas only needed a draw to win the title with two rounds remaining, but did not disappoint and added another victory to their particular count this season.


[BENJAMÍN D]
PARTIDOS AMISTOSOS BENJAMÍN D
FC BARCELONA D 4 - JUVENTUS 2
FC BARCELONA D 8 - TORELLÓ 1
The azulgranas played two friendly matches this time after reaching the league title the previous week. The first was against Juventus, the champion of Group 1 of the Second Division Alevín. The guys from Jordi Perez and David Sanchez faced the game very well, especially since the second half and were able to overcome an opponent with a high level of demand thanks to their efforts and goals from Gabi (2), Sicu and Marc

In the other game faced off with Torello, the 5th ranked in group 4 of the category. Although the rival pressured defensively in the first quarter, Barça went ahead with a goal-kick Jamie. From the second period, the azulgranas were gradually entering the party to sign the scoring, with more targets of Nadir, who made a hat-trick, David, Sicu, Marc and Albert.


[PREBENJAMÍN]
LIGA 3a DIVISIÓN BENJAMÍN
MONTAÑESA E 0 - FC BARCELONA E 19
Good match with bottom club azulgrana Prebenjamin of the classification, Montañesa. The locals could do nothing to address the superiority azulgrana and fell by a stunning 0-19. The team Rafa Rodríguez and Juan Antonio Gil returned to the good line that has characterized the entire season after two games a little more loose with a great job. The scorers of the day were Ilias (5), Jury (3), Abdoul (3), Pol (3), Paul (2), Iker (2), Diego and Olmo.


[FEMENINO B]
PARTIDO AMISTOSO FEMENINO B
EUROPA 1 - FC BARCELONA B 3


[FEMENINO JUVENIL CADETE]
LIGA FEMENINO JUVENIL CADETE
SANTPEDOR 0 - FC BARCELONA 7

[Youth] Barça and Òscar Garcia have reached a mutual agreement to terminate their contract

The manager of the FC Barcelona Juvenil team has requested this termination in order to be able to start a new professional project.

FC Barcelona has announced that the club has reached an agreement with Òscar García, coach of the Juvenil A team, to end the contract binding the two parties. The club has thereby attended to the request of Òscar García, who wished to terminate his contact in order to focus on a new professional project.

Pep Muñoz, who was until now the assistant manager of the Juvenil A team will be taking over as head coach for what remains of the season. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Cristiano: "We have ended the cycle of Barça"

The Real Madrid's Portuguese striker felt that his team is now stronger than azulgrana and hopes that this circumstance will last "long".

The Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo felt that after the league win of the set target "has already changed the cycle" and that the phenomenon is expected to hold "for a long time."

In two interviews given to newspapers Marca and As, 'CR7' season analyzed, highlighting the struggle with the club and the rivalry with Messi to recover the scepter of the Ballon d'Or

"I think we've changed the cycle by winning the League, which is not easy, and with nine points ahead of Barça, which are many. Of course that has changed and I hope for many years. We have a great team, Barça too, but this year we have proven to be better, "he said.

The Portugal winger was unable to park for a few minutes his renowned egotism and did not hesitate in calling his excellent season, ahead of the level offered by his computer. "I would ten to my season at the individual level and nine in the group because he wanted to win a title more. The Champions League, for example," he said.

In that sense, 'CR7' expressed his belief that the Real Madrid get their tenth European crown in no time: "The Tenth come next year or in two, but be calm."

Cristiano also recognized that the intense match against Barça at the Camp Nou was instrumental in removing white Champions at the hands of Bayern Munich.

"El Clásico bill passed us against Bayern. There is good match both major games," he lamented.

"What I can say is that this is not a challenge between Messi and Ronaldo, is a duel between many players and teams," said 'CR7' Media on the rivalry that exists between him and continuously star azulgrana. "We always compare, but we can not compare, as you can not compare a Ferrari to Porsche or a Mercedes," he added.

"Messi is a great player, I have to say. I think sometimes it's not fair to compare me with Messi and not always good, although I have to accept it," said the Luso.

The Portuguese had a good gesture to wish luck to Pep Guardiola and highlight their positive role in his four seasons in front of the first team: "He's done a great job at the club, we appreciate what he has done." "I wish him well in the future," he added. (via SPORT)

Galliani, concerned about Thiago Silva

The Blaugrana sports management has already made the first move, but insist upon the Copa.

Thiago Silva is one of the priorities facing of Barça next season. The Brazilian center- back fits perfectly in sports management that seeks to strengthen the team in defender and in fact already begun to move the issue from both sides. But the club Blaugrana is not the only interested party and several in Europe are going to bet on him.

Thiago Silva is a desirable piece for anyone looking for a center-back. They know the technical secretariats of the European clubs and, above all, know that the rulers of Milan, who recognize that it will be very difficult to retain the player. At least that's what I said yesterday one of the strong men of the club `Rossoneri do Tuttosport:" I have to resist the attacks against Thiago Silva, "he said worried. Which, translated, could mean that every day he receives offers and bids that are so interesting that it is difficult, in some cases, not accept them. In fact, no translation was needed because the executive itself materialized in this regard: "There are plenty of clubs in Europe who are willing to do crazy things for him." According to Italian newspaper, in addition to Barça, also enter the bidding Manchester City, that is all, and Paris Saint-Germain, one of the clubs that are becoming a staple of the pools at the time of transfer, transfers and other.

In one way or another, the Milan knows that, at 27, Thiago Silva is one of the players who arouses most interest among those who form its staff. For Rossoneri, Brazilian is a piece based, in the same manner that it is also Ibrahimovic. But in either case, they are considered transferable, since they also appear to show loyalty bombproof. So much so that the center-back would welcome discipline to leave the Rossoneri and become new Barca player the next season. To do this, yes, the club Blaugrana need to bet big. For now, the first offer is 20 million plus the inclusion of a footballer. Ibrahim Afellay like a long time in Italy, although the preferred sports management from Milan's Thiago Alcántara. The letters, though not all, are on the table and start playing now will be playing. Both clubs have been placed after the final of Copa. (via SPORT)

[Barça B] Seek a way out Rodri and Kiko Femenía

They were the two star signings subsidiary and the two cost 4.5 million, but have not been decisive.

nly three games remaining to finish the season in the Segunda Division A and the sporting already planning template Barça B for next year. Having ensured the continuity of Eusebio Sacristán coaching the team, Valladolid is setting next to the sports governing guidelines to follow and one of the priority issues to address are the cases of Rodri and Kiko Femenía.

The club has decided to hear the offers that come to agree a way out. In the winter market emerged options, but then decided to retain Eusebio fearing understatement of troops in a second round just as eternizándose the Second Division A.

The outlook now is very different. The entity Blaugrana have time to plan and both Kiko and Rodri have not provided the expected plus two players who had raised great expectations. Femenía has joined the group well, his attitude was always positive, but on the pitch has cost to acquire the necessary automation in a system as complex as Barça.

The Alicante has participated in 27 games, 20 starts, but only completed 90 minutes in two games. Kiko signed by three tremporadas, cost two million euros (plus 1.5 depending on incentives) and have the option to be free if you do not have information about the first team. The player must decide in this case, although you may want to remain connected to Barça and then gain confidence on loan at another club either first or one of the leaders of the Second Division.

The case of Rodri has different nuances. Its price was also high, 1.5 million, and Sevilla have rejected the option to repurchase two million euros, which also holds for summer 2013. Detract contract three seasons, has scored seven goals and has seen eleven yellow cards. The release also points out as the most viable. (via SPORT)

[Ex player] Alexanko: "It will be a final very different of 2009"

The ex Barça timeout to suit Tito as head coach.
He fears the frustration that can result in the Athletic if you lose the Cup final.

The ex player of FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Alexanko José Ramón has said in an interview Monday on FM ONA final between Barcelona and Athletic will be "very different from that of 2009, as all finals are different" . Alexanko stressed that "the game model has changed, especially the Athletic. Barça is following the same philosophy that has gone well and not have to change, "he added. In 2009 the Athletic coach Joaquin Caparros was playing style opposed to the current occupant of San Mamés, Marcelo Bielsa who opted for a touch football.

Alexanko lamented the long without football since the end of league competition since "the week has been very long, for fans and players and this break is not good for anyone because you're used to the pace of competition. Barça arrives in good time, has made a strong finish in the league, with games and goals. Athletic has been shown in Europe that is very valid. "

Losing two finals is very hard. So clear has been Alexanko on the possibility that the Athletic again after losing a final rout suffered in the finals of the Champions League against Atlético Madrid. "For the Athletic, the feeling of being able to lose the finals is very frustrating. It was very important to get a European title for the windows, but with so much time between the two end Bielsa has been able to boost morale. "

The former coach Barça, with Carles Reixach on the bench, asked to be given time to Vilanova. "Tito needs time to adapt as head coach, is a very good chance, but is behind a history of big titles. We can not compare. "He stressed that Barça has his own style, but "we'll see if there is continuity, if the gameplay is the same. Have to take a while. " (via MD)

Athletic promise to give everything in the Cup final

Athletic Club on Monday introduced a new campaign to encourage the hobby of red and white for the final of the Copa del Rey next Friday against Barça.

In the video, released Monday, listed many of the players that form the template set Vizcaino, who sent a message of commitment, dedication, effort and enthusiasm to the fans of Athletic. Do not miss the announcement prior to the final of Copa.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Abidal: "Thank you all for your support"

Éric Abidal appreciated the outpouring of support received since undergoing a liver transplant a month ago and a half.

FC Barcelona defender was discharged from hospital on Monday and addressed his fans in a brief statement through his official Facebook page:

"Hi everybody, I confirm you that I went out of the hospital today: I wanted to give you first, this information. I will give you more news tomorrow.
Gérard (my cousin) joins me to thank all of you for your numerous messages of support! "Abidal said in a message in three languages ​​(Castilian, English and French).

The Frenchman was operated on April 10 by the team of Dr. Garcia Valdecasas after he reproduce the tumor that was detected in the liver a little over a year.

Since then, little had transpired, except the recent visits to the hospital of the coach, Pep Guardiola, or president, Sandro Rosell-side state Barça, whom the club has maintained throughout the process their privacy at the express wish of the family.

Today, the French international has left the clinic to continue recovery at home, but "given the particularity of these recovery processes must be subject to specific hospital controls," the statement said club doctor. (via SPORT)

Piqué: "Shakira is the new Lebron!"

The center back enjoyed a later a couple and wanted to share the talents of Colombian practicing basketball in a fun game.

Piqué, like Messi, also took the day off of the template in the best way possible. The center back decided to have fun with Shakira and hung on your twitter account a video that looks to the Colombian artist enjoying a basketball game.

"This is the new Lebron Colombia," said Piqué, in reference to the strengths of his partner shooting hoops.

VIDEO: www.sport.es

Susaeta: "We dream of the barge, but to go soft"

Markel Susaeta has admitted that dream of holding the Cup title on board the barge.

"Of course you dream of the barge, but again, at the end of Bucharest also looked around and look what happened. So now you have to go soft," stressed the player Guipuzcoan in statements made at the time open to the press in Lezama.

Susaeta noted further that, for the final four days, "in the environment begins to notice that something happens" and added that the contact you had with him many fans say that "we must bring the title" to Bilbao because Athletic takes many years without winning a trophy and "it is time" to do so.

The right inside-half, on the other hand, said that one of the keys to overcome a "team player" as Barça will avoid "errors in the pressure" because, otherwise, "can be put into the goal" .

Meanwhile, the captain of the Athletic, Andoni Iraola, stressed that the type of opponent makes this cup final "has nothing to do with" Europa League against Atletico Madrid.

"The way you play has nothing to do. Barcelona tighten from the beginning, you want to get into our camp and steal possession. We do not want to be locked back because it is what we do. Are a better team than us, but if the highest level we can face them, "he explained.

"At Barça not only defend it well. You have to hit scares and create chances. We want a return game and not become a handball as many of those plays," he added.

Iraola finally hoped that the experience of the final of the Champions League they can use to play with "less stress" on Friday against an opponent who, in his view, "will not notice" the absence of players ordinarily held as Puyol or Alves. "They have a team of security and hope to a club to its highest level," he said. (via SPORT)

Barça resume preparations for the Copa del Rey Final

The first team returned to training after enjoying a two-day break. Thiago Alcántara featured in today’s training after recovering from a stomach virus.



Barça faces a crucial week of training ahead of the Copa del Rey Final in Madrid against Athletic Club. After enjoying two days off, the team returned to training this afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Thiago Alcántara, who has missed the team’s last training session due to illness, was back with the team.

The available first-team players, including Pinto and Alexis, both of whom still do not have medical clearance to play, participated in the training session. The Barça B players Montoya, Bartra, Tello and Dos Santos joined their first-team colleagues as well.

Pep Guardiola will not be able use Alves, Puyol, Villa, Fontàs and Abidal in the final.

Training session on Tuesday morning

Guardiola will lead another closed-door training session on Tuesday at 11:00 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Gerard Piqué will hold a post-training press conference. (via FCBarcelona.com)

Cesc: “We're ready for the final”

The Catalan midfielder, who will play in his first Copa del Rey final, says that his team-mates are “eager and excited” for the Final on Friday.

Cesc wants to win the title in order to finish off the year “on a high note,” but also so that the team can pay tribute to the outgoing manager in his last game on the Barça bench.



Cesc Fàbregas, who will play in his first Copa del Rey final, is counting down the hours to when the referee signals the start of the match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club on May 25 at 22:00. His team-mates have already told him about what kind of atmosphere he should expect in the Cup final, “sometimes it’s better than a Champions League game, and that’s why I’m eager to experience it.” The Azulgrana midfielder said that he’s “very motivated and very eager” for the match as he reminded the packed press room that Barça have the chance to finish off the year with four titles.

The player also recognised that the team is not used to having so much time off between matches, but he doesn’t believe it will be a factor in Barça’s last match of the season. “We’re prepared and ready for the final. It’s not normal to wait so long to play a final but our eagerness and excitement to play has helped us overcome the wait,” said Cesc.

The midfielder doesn’t believe that Athletic Club, who recently lost in the final of the Europa League, will be more motivated than the Azulgranas in the Cup Final. “I’m sure they are not more motivated than we are. Our hunger for victory and our excitement hasn’t run out.” However, he also warned of the dangers presented by Marcelo Bielsa’s side: “we’re going to play against a spectacular team that we admire. They have hope, they’re eager and they always go forward. They remind me of some English teams, with very direct football but they also utilise their passing game.” He anticipates a hard-fought match, like most of the games between the two side.

Cesc also recognised that wining the Copa del Rey title this Friday would be the best way to end Guardiola’s era as Barça’s manager. “Finishing with a title would be spectacular.” He also noted that the manager’s decision is not a letdown, but it has left the players with a lingering sadness: “we know what he means to Barça and its fans, both on an individual and collective level. He’s a unique and admirable person. A Barça legend is leaving but we have to look forward and be positive. We know this team have a lot yet to give.”

Cesc also praised the decision to name Tito Vilanova as the next FC Barcelona manager. “Tito knows exactly what he’s doing and what he wants to do.” Looking ahead to next season, Cesc hopes to improve upon this year’s performance. “I’ll try to give more next season, I’ll require the absolute best of myself” He’s also aware that after the first transitional season, the second “is more complicated.”

Cesc also rubbished claims that there’s a bad relationship between Guardiola and Vilanova. “Guardiola’s relationship with Vilanova is fantastic, hearing these comments from the outside isn’t good. It hurts us because we know that they have a good relationship.”

“The news about Abidal is fantastic”

The Barça players were extremely happy to hear that Éric Abidal was discharged from hospital this afternoon. “It’s fantastic news. We’re very pleased that everything went well. Now it’s time for him to recover at home and, with out help, get back as soon as possible,” said Cesc. (via FCBarcelona.com)