FC Barcelona ended a wonderful 2011 with a bit of diappointment having failed to breach an ultra defensive Athletic wall. That were some of the few dissappointments in a rather wonderful year. Exit at teh Chamnpions League was yet another one. Toa huge extend 2010 should be considered a very good year. Maybe there are some disappointments considering the amount of trophies we ended up with in the previous year, but to expect a repeat of the same was kind of asking too much. The second half of the year especially the last quarter has been an excellent one. Topping all with a 5-0 destruction of arch rival Real Madrid at the Home of Beautiful soccer.
Dec 27, 2010
Dec 25, 2010
Dec 22, 2010
FC Barcelona failed to break a tough Athletic defense
FC Barcelona non-stop winning streak has been ended by the Basque club, Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey tie. FC Barcelona tried everything to break a determined defense, but had to settle with a goaless draw in the end. The second leg of the tie will be held in the first week of the new year. Guardiola rested five players from the one which started against Espanyol, still the side was a very good one. Jose Pinto was back in goal as he is the chosen one for the King's cup. The defense had Pique and Abidal at the centre with Alves and Maxwell on the flanks. The midfield has Xavi, Mascherano and Keita. Iniesta was back in the front along with Bojan and Pedro.
Dec 19, 2010
Barcelona Derby Lives upto its expectation
FC Barcelona remained at the top of table going into the mid season break with a 5-1 win over city rivals Espanyol. Pedro and Villa scored twice and Xavi scored once for Barca in a very tough match. This definitely was the best game seen in La Liga till now in this season. With this victory we have opened a 5 point gap in the top of table. Real Madrid has the chance to reduce it tomorrow against Sevilla, but then this is a good way to keep the pressure on Mourinho and his boys. Guardiola decided to go in to the last match of 2010 with his strong line-up. So we had Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal in the defense. BUsquets, Iniesta and Xavi formed the midfield. And as usual Messi, Villa and Pedro formed the attacking trio. Andres Iniesta received a heroes welcome as expected throughout the night.
Dec 17, 2010
This was destined, there is no other way to describe it. After two sensational clashes and a summer full of slanging mathches they had to meet, sooner or later. We had a chance to meet Inter, Roma, Lyon, Marseille or AC Milan, but it has to be Arsenal. Last time we had two absolutely memorable clashes and FC Barcelona rightly emerged victoorious in the end. Some time has passed and both teams have moved along further. So this clash once again will be the pick of this Champions League season. FC Barcelona's recent exploit in big matches has made us the most feared side in Europe at this moment. But that form may amount to nothing, if we cannot keep up with this form till February. Another crucial element will be to have our crucial players, especially Iniesta, Xavi and Messi without injury to the build up of the tie.
Dec 13, 2010
With non football events grabbing all the headlines this week, it was time for the action on ground to take centre stage. And it did, with a 5-0 thrashing of Real Soceidad we have moved back to the top of La Liga. Two goals from Messi and one each from Villa, Iniesta and Bojan rounded off a confident and comfortable victory for Barca. Guardiola decided not to risk Pique as he was still on four yellow card and one more will see him miss the derby. So Abidal partnered Puyol in trhe centre of defense with Maxwell and Alves performing full back duties. Mascherano, Iniesta and Xavi made the midfield. Pedro, Villa and Messi made the attacking trio.
Dec 12, 2010
The Qatar Foundation Shirt sponsorship deal has been the most discussed news in past 48 hours in Barca fans circle. Eventhough there is a match against Real Sociedad tonight, but Barca fans looks like least bothered about it. Pep Guardiola yesterday during his pre match press cobference has defended the Qatar Foundation deal, actually Qatar Government as a whole. He said "Injustices exist all over the world, not only in Qatar. It is a Muslim country but is much more open than people think and it is a very safe country. It has a government that has given a lot of assistance everywhere and its people are well educated. When I was there, I was well received and I had a great experience. I can do everything that I would not have been able to do had it been a country that does not respect human rights.The people have all the freedom they can have in this world.Yes, the women there can choose to get a profession, and if the majority of them stay at home it’s because they choose to, due to their religion. As for the segregation between the sexes, that too is because they respect the teaching of their religion." Thanks for TotalBarca.com for translating this interview.
Dec 10, 2010
Qatar Royal Family has become the official sponsors for Barca
I wouldn't say that this is the worst news since election of Sandro Rosell, there were a procession of them. But this one was the least expected. According to Javier Faux, Barca vice-president FC Barcelona has reched an agreement in principle to sport Qatar foundation's Logo on the much holy FC Barcelona jersey. The deal is worth 30 million per year and will run for five years. That mostly explained the recent cosiness with Qatar royal family and Qatare Kingdome by representees of the club. Javie Faus also didn't let go off a chance to take an invisible swipe at the previous regime. He said that if the debt wasn't this enormous, this deal wouldn't have been necessary. Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar. They may be a non-profit organisation but the initial picture given as some organisation which helps the needy is pretty wrong. It is an organisation which is basically like a University. It looks like they also act as the PR agency of the Qatar Royal family. Otherwise someone care to explain why a non-profit organisation will spend 150 million in such a deal. Many Barca fans around the world are pretty upset with this decision, but what's the fuss. The Catalan members who make the decision has already supported this idea.
Dec 9, 2010
We will be knowing our Champions League second round opponent on the 17th of December. With the comppletion of the group stages we have the potential list of opponents. Courtesy of finishing on the top, FC Barcelona will be playing the second leg of the tie at home and will only have to deal with a team which finished second in their respective groups. But the list of teams which finished second is quite scarry. By UEFA rules, we don't have to face teams which were in our group also from the same assoication. That removes FC Copenhagen and Valencia from the list. That draws the potential opponets to defending champion Inter Milan, French side Lyon, Italian side Roma, French side Marseille, current Seria A leader AC Milan and current English premier League leaders Arsenal. Now that's a potentially explosive opponent list.
If the story put up by Sport.es is to be believed, FC Barcelona would be sporting a commerial advertisement on the very much reverred Blaugrana jersey in the near future. Considering the coziness between Sport.es daily and Sandro Rosell administration, this has to be seen as a definite indication to the public about the inevitable. May be Rosell is looking to measure the response of the Barca fans, or the Catalan fans in particular by putting up such a story and a survey linked to the same. By going by the latest result of the survey, only 38% of those voted are in support of the idea. FC Barcelona members has in the past rigorously opposed any move of this kind. Considering that, a 38% vote should represent a go ahead signal for Rosell to implement his latest reforms.
Dec 8, 2010
Young Barca side Strolls Past Rubin Kazan
It's fourth time lucky for Guardiola and Barca against the Russian side Rubin Kazan. Rubin Kazan have been remaining as an unsolved puzzle till tonight. Guardiola tried thrice unsuccessfully with the first team to break the Russian side, it looks like he should have gone for the kids earlier itself. In one of the most commanding display, a young FC Barcelona side broke a stubborn Rubin Kazan side with two goals, and the best part is that the goals came from La Masia. Both Fontas and Vasquez gave another reason for FC Barcelona's breeding ground to be proud of after clean sweeping the Balon d'Or nomination.Guardiola lined up in a rather unusual 3-4-3 formation. Pique, who was the only regular starter led the side tonight. THe defense had Pique, Busquets and Fontas. The nidfield had Maxwell, Mascherano, Thiago and Jonathan. The front trio had Bojan at centre, Jeffren on right and Adriano (who is actually a full back) on the left. This line-up showed a glimpse of what may hold in the future for Barca.
Dec 6, 2010
FC Barcelona would be looking for their first win against Rubin Kazan
Having already qualified as the Group leaders, FC Barcelona's final group match against Rubin Kazan usually should invoke only academic interest. But I doubt it. Guardiola might be taking this test a bit serious than other thinks. I mean, Rubin Kazan is that one challenge in which Guardiola never managed to be on the right side. In their three meetings we have 2 draws and one defeat. So that should make Guardiola a bit more motivated. And more over, we may not get a much better chance to beat Rubin Kazan that tomorrow night. To be honest, Rubin Kazan has been extremely hard for us to break down in the last couple of meetings. They usually line up with a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1 formation against us and we had found it time and again difficult to break. BUt tomorrow they themselves are going to be in a dileama. Rubin Kazan's victory at home against FC Copenhagen means that they now have a realistic chance of qualifying for the second round. They are currently in six points and Copenhagen in seven points. A victory of Copenhagen could break Rubin's hopes, but I still believe they will go for a win and hope for Pananthanaikos to do a favour to them. Now any team chasing for a victory is a very good news for Barca, actually extremely good news for Barca.
FC Barcelona's breeding ground, La Masia is guranteed to be crowned as the "Best in the World" after the sensational trio of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were shortlisted for Inaugral FIFA Ballon d'Or award. This has to be one of the most proudest moemnt as far as a FC Barcelona supporter is concerned. These three has been the heart of all good things at Barca and this comes as no surprise for the proud fans of the club. Lionel Messi, the current Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player is once again the front runner for this award. But most probably this edition, which is the first one after the above mentioned two awards were merged will end up with either Xavi or Iniesta, courtesy of the great triumph in South Africa. Meanwhile Pep Guardiola is also been shortliested for the Coach of the Year award along with Jose Mourinho and Del Bosque. Once again in a World Cup year you expect the award going to a World Cup winner.
Dec 5, 2010
Barca make short work of a terrified Osasuna
FC Barcelona moved five point clear off Real Madrid with tough 3-0 victory against Osasuna. This is our seventh consecutive away win of the season and that's yet another La Liga record. There has been huge controversy into the build up of this match. Barca were planning to fly tonight to Pamplona, but the sudden strike by the air traffic controller through off Barca's plan onto disarray. We were told in the morning that the match was postponed to tomorrow by the RFEF. But it looks like Osasuna objected to that and wanted to play us on saturday. It looks like some phone call from a particular business tycoon in the Capital, might have made that decision. Camacho with his association with Real Madrid, did his best to make life easier for his older club. But his and his club's cowardly insistence to have Barca travel all the way from Barcelona to Pamplona in both train and bus did nothing to change the fate of this match. It is still not clear what made his club to insist on playing tonight - maybe the fear of Barca or maybe the love for Real Madrid. A first half goal from Pedro and two second half strikes from Messi helped Barca to yet another away win in the league. Guardiola retained the same eleven which lined-up against Real Madrid - Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Alves, Abidal, Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Villa and Messi.
Dec 4, 2010
Camacho and Osasuna looks to avoid facing Barca at any cost
I was in no mood to write a preview after the Monday night's clasico. But many of you may not be aware of the issues surrounding the Osasuna clash. The Osasuna vs Barca match was shcheduled to start tonight at 8pm. But a sudden strike of air traffic controllers have put Barca's plan in disarray. Sometime before it was confirmed through official channels that the game was postponed and will be held at 5pm. But it looks like Osasuna players, fans and club are terrified by the prospect of playing us and will do anything to get away from that. The Osasuna players have refused to play tomorrow and is looking to invoke the withdrawal rule to get three points against us. It looks like this club is also funded by one from the Capital. Barca's delay has been due to unforseeable circumastances and their request to play tomorrow is justifiable. But it looks like Osasuna is a club full of cowards and will do anything to get away from a tough challenge. As it stands, Barca has already started for Osasuna match and most probably will be reaching there at 9pm. If the rumours has to be believed then we most probably will have a match at 10pm. Our boys most probably have to get down the coach and head straight into the field. This is going to be very tough, but I hope our team is able to teach these bast**rds some lesson about dignity.
Latest Rumours suggesting that we will lose points if we are not at the stadium by 20:30.
Latest Update : Players are warming up at this moment. Looks determined.
Watch out this post of latest updates.
Dec 1, 2010
FC Barcelona Produced a Matser Class to thrash Real Madrid
"The worst thing isn't losing, the worst thing is not having a clue what's going on" wrote the pro Madrid AS's Tomas Roncero after seeing the wonderful display put upon by the great Barca side. In a nutshell that explained the entire match. This Real Madrid side had no idea of what struck them for most of the match. The world has once again awed by the great performance put up by FC Barcelona last night, already there are statements which declare this team as one of the Greatest in the history of the game. This is not the first time this has happened. After we have won at Rome, we had same reaction and so was after our performance against Arsenal. But the stunning fact is that they simply forget this fact. To the build up of this match we were told that Mourinho under Real Madrid is going to cause Barca huge trouble and most probably will make them taste the first Clasico defeat in two years. Everyone of them predicted a Madrid victory yesterday, like they did in Rome. Atleast they had some logic behind predicting a Manchester United triumph at Rome, but the expectation of a Madrid win at Camp Nou was too much.
Nov 30, 2010
FC Barcelona Humiliates Real Madrid with a Towering Display
Cristiano Ronaldo has to be the most disappointed man in the world tonight - he asked for eight, we could only gave only five. They say Real Madrid has the best defensive record in La Liga, boy oh boy they should have waited till this match. The English media somehow and my commentators predicted a comfortable Real Madrin win at Camp Nou, you heard that at Camp Nou. They have no idea of what we really are. Mourinho did get us out in Champions League last seasonbut they discounted teh fact that overall last season we had a 2-1 record against Mourinho - English arrogance at its best. Real Madrid learned in a bad way that with 250+ million worth of players and a manager who cost almost like another player, they are no match to this Barca side. They say Mourinho is the best, Pellegrini didn't had such a rout last season, a point for thought. On a night when Barca controlled the most hyped side of the world, Villa twice, Xavi, Pedro and Jeffren all scored for Barca. Barca is right now moved to the top of the league, and this is Pep Guardiola 's fifth consecutive victory against the team in white and bloody hell has 100% record against Real Madrid.As expected we roled out with a defense line-up of Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal. The midfield had Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets. The attack had the usual trio formation of Messi, Villa and Pedro. HIguain picked up a late injury and Benzema started for Real Madrid.
Nov 27, 2010
FC Barcelona will move to top if they beat Real Madrid
FC Barcelona would be looking to register a fifth consecutive victory against arch rivals Real Madrid when they host Madrid on Monday. Internet is already buzzing with discussion, debates, puncches and counter punches about El Clasico. Both sides have looked in top form coming into this clash and the match does gives out a promise of lots of goals. FC Barcelona is currently trailing Real Madrid by a point in the table and would be looking to go on top with this match. Guardiola who hasn't lost a single Clasico as a manager would be keen in continuing his winning record. Like last season, La Liga this season would also be decided by what happens in the two Clasico matches and that explains the fixation with these two clashes.
Nov 25, 2010
FC Barcelona has secured the safe passage to the second round of Champions League with a brilliant 3-0 victory against Greek side Pananathanaikos. This one was a rare away victory for Barca in Europe. I would say that this victory was brilliant than the 8-0 demolishing of Almeria. Messi scored his 150th goal for Barca inbetween a brace by Pedro to secure Barca the top spot in Group D. Guardiola made two changes to the team which murdered Almeria. Adriano came in for Maxwell and Pique in for Fontas. Puyol and Alves completed the defense. The midfield remained the same with Iniesta, Xavi and Mascherano. Messi, Villa and Pedro formed the attacking trio.
Nov 23, 2010
El Clasico Day, It's the biggest day in European Footballing Calendar
Ok, FC Barcelona have to deal with Pananthanaikos before even thinking about next Monday's clash against their eternal rivals. The inability to seal the Champions Laegue qualification by now could come to hurt us still. Anyone can pick an injury in that match, where you cannot blame the players if they are a bit unfocussed. Real Madrid, who has already secured their place in next round can afford to stay focussed for the big clash on Monday. That was precisely why I went mad when Milan conceded their lead in the dying minutes at San Siro. How we will line up in Greece is still not sure, but I believe we will still have a quite strong line-up on the pitch. Guardiola don't want a scenario where we have to go to Russia and secure the qualification. In that sense, Clasico happening in Monday is not a bad thing as we will get atleast one extra day to recover.
Nov 21, 2010
FC Barcelona registered their biggest victory so far this season, with a 8-0 victory over Almeria. This victory it is a great way to prepare for the Clasico which will be held on next Monday. This also equals our biggest victory record away from home. Messi scored thrice, Bojan twice and Pedro, Iniesta plus an unfortunate own goal completed the tally for FC Barcelona. Almeira came out with the decision to stay deep and defend deep. That proved to be a big mistake. Guardiola decided not to take any ridk with Pique as he could get himself suspended for the Clasico. That gave Andreu Fontas a rare start in La Liga. He partnered Puyol at the centre of the defense with Maxwell and Alves as full-back. Iniesta, Mascherano and Xavi formed the midfield. The attacking trio remained unchanged with Messi, Villa and Pedro.
Nov 18, 2010
The Copa Del Rey draw were made today and Athletci Bilbao will be FC Barcelona's opponent in the next round. There was no seeding alloted for the draw and the possibility of drawing Real Madrid was always there. Real Madrid will be facing Levante in the next round and a Barca-Madrid final is a real possibility. The entire draw is Valencia-Vilarreal, Barça-Athletic Club, Cordoba-Deportivo, Betis-Getafe, Almeria-Mallorca, Seville - Malaga, Madrid-Levante and Atlético-Espanyol.
Nov 14, 2010
Lionel Messi double secures Barca victory
FC Barcelona moved to the top of La Liga table with a comfortable 3-1 win against thrid placed Villareal. Two goals from Messi and one from Villa was enough to see off the challenge from posed by the team in Yellow. Real Madrid will play only tomorrow and that means we could remain in te top for close to 24 hours. Billed as the clash of Titans, the match did live upto its billing especially in the first half. But second half saw Barca taking full control and shut the door firmly on VillarealAS I wrote in my preview, Puyol and Abidal partnered in the centre of defense with Alves and Maxwell as full back. The midfield had the best possible combination with Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets. Messi, Pedro and Villa formed the attacking trio.
Nov 12, 2010
Make Shift Barca defense ready to face Villareal
Defensive worries would be troubling Guardiola while he prepares his team to face the stern challenge of Villareal. With Milito being ruled out for six weeks and Pique being suspended, Guardiola has to turn to a make shift defense for facing a high flying Villareal team. Villareal currently lies in third place and could provide Barca with their toughest test since the start of the season. There are rumours of Marc Batra partnering Puyol in defense. Honestly against a team like Villareal, Guardiol is not going to do that. He may still get a start against Almeria, but not against Villareal. That could be suicidal. With Chygrinskiy and Toure shipped out and Caceres loned out, Abidal is the only choice left to join Puyol. Abidal has played a couple of times at centre back in the start of season. His lack of positioning has caused numerous trouble in those matches and could once again be exposed tomorrow night. Loaning out Caceres now proves to be a very stupid decision as we have no proper back up for situation like this. Guardiola did point that the reinforcement could come from the B team but has never shown courage to nurture thos kids till now.
Nov 8, 2010
Three seasons ago, a visit to Getafe was quite difficult. But tonight's easy 3-1 victory has officially confirmed that those times have changed. FC Barcelona started the game in the third gear and stayed in that for almost entire first half and even lowered it a notch down in second half, still Getafe didn't have any decent chance of springing a surprise. Goals from Messi, Villa and Pedro was enough for Barca to wrap all three points, eventhough they made their life difficult by taking the focus away from the game. Guardiola started with his usual defense of Maxwell, Puyol, Pique and Alves. The midfield saw Mascherano pairing Xavi and Iniesta. Messi started in middle flanked by Pedro and Villa on right and left respectively.
Oct 27, 2010
Six FC Barcelona players have made into the 23 Men shortlist of FIFA Balon d'Or. Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Lionel Messi and Dani Alves are the Barca team members who has made it into the list. In a World Cup year this award is believed to go to a World Cup winner and that makes Xavi Hernandez the Primier Choice to Win the Opening FIFA Balon d'Or. The final 23 men list is Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Júlio César (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Mesut Özil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain). THe biggest surprise is teh absence of Diego Milito of Inter Milan in that list. But that may give an earlier indication that the performance at the World Cup is going to count the most.
A young looking FC Barcelona side strolled to a 2-0 victory against third division side AD Ceuta in their opening match of this season's Copa Del Rey tournament. Goals from Maxwell and Pedro in the first half sealed a valuable away victory, which almost see us through to the next round. In the absence of a host of first team players, Bojan Krkic captained the team. Pinto has been our choice of keeper for this competition and that continued in this match also. We had a new central defense pairing with Fontas and Batra flanked on each side by the experienced Maxwell and Adriano. The midfield was much more experienced compared to defense with Thiago, Mascherano and Keita. Jeffren, Bojan and Pedro formed the attacking trio as expected.
Oct 25, 2010
FC Barcelona will start their campaign to re-gain the Copa Del Rey tomorrow against third division side Ceuta. Guardiola has rested a host of first team starters for this away match. Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi and Villa has been rested, meanwhile Xavi and Milito are still continuing their recovery programme. Guardiola has announced a young squad which would make the trip. The squad list is Pinto, Puyol, Abidal, Maxwell, Adriano, Mascherano, Keita, Bojan, Jeffren, Pedro, Miño, Bartra, Fontàs, Thiago, Dos Santos and Nolito.
Oct 23, 2010
FC Barcelona maintained their 100% away season reconrd with a confortable 2-0 victory over bottom placed Zaragoza. Yet again, it was Lionel Messi who scored all the goals for Barca. With this victory we go temporarily to the top of the table. Madrid is playing Racing currently and could retain the lead with a victory. Zaragoza came out with an ultra-defensive approach emphasized by a five man defense. Abidal returned to the line-up in place of Maxwell for Barca, the rest of defense remained tth same with Alves, Puyol and Pique. Xavi was rested for this encounter and so the midfield had Iniesta, Keita and Busquets. We had our usual attacking line-up of Pedro, Messia and Villa upfront.