FC Barcelona has been drawn with Osasuna for the next round of Cop del Rey clash. The draw took place today morning and had thrown up some interesting posibilities for next round. Guardiola wouldn't be happy with the dates for the Last 16 round. The frist leg will take place at Camp Nou between jan 3 to Jan 5. That could see the South american contigent being used in limited capacity as they would be just back from holidays. Having the second leg away from home means that Barca has to take a definie advantage in the first leg and that too with our problem usually after the breaks. The talk of the town is not the clash with osasuna, it's the supposed Quarter Final Clash with Real Madrid. Madrid has been drawn with rich boys Malaga for the round of 16. If both Barca and Madrid win, then the first leg of Quarter Final will take place at Bernebeu on January 18th.
Dec 23, 2011
Dec 20, 2011
Lionel Messi, once again has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award. He was nominated in three occasions and have not yet been succesful in winning this one. FC Barcelona also has been nominated in the Sport Team of the Year category and Abidal also for the Comeback of the Year. Messi has been nominated along with the likes of Djokovic, Vettel, Bolt and Nowitzki. And the company of these great Gentlemen are the problem for the Barca genius. It's not that these are players who make Messi feel miniature in status. The problem precisely is that three of them - Djokovi, Bolt and Vettel are players who plays in a Individual sport. So at the time of voting, the fact that messi plays a Team Sport will act against him. You cannot blame the Jury members for making such a choice. If you are given thge choice of picking between Messi and Djokovic, you will probably end up picking the Serbian because he fights alon and Messi fight along with his team. Eventhough Messi have achieved almost everything compared to Djokovic's achievement - scored 53 goals, Won numerous titles, scored and assisted in every competition in this calendar year, but still a counter argument could be placed "That he could not have done it without his teammates".
Dec 19, 2011
Don't forget to vote for UEFA Team of the Year - Vote Now
Dec 18, 2011
FC Barcelona were crowned the 2011 World Club Champions following a brilliant 4-0 victory against South American Champions Santos. The battle between the Champiosn of Europe and Champiosn of South America were a mismatch with Barca controlling the proceedings for the majority of match. First half goals from Messi, Xavi and Fabregas put Santos out of the final, Messi completed the tally with another goal in the second half. This is Guardiola's 13th cup victory as the FC Barcelona first team manager, all coming in four seasons. Barcelona have now won three titles this season - UEFA Super Cup, La Liga Super Cup and World Club Championship. With Villa out with injury and Sanchez also unavailable due to a knock, Guardiola went in for a revamped formation. The defense had Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal. The midfield had Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets. Thiago, Cesc and Messi made the attacking trio. The presence of 5 midfielders made it very clear that the formation of choice was the 3-4-3.
Dec 16, 2011
FC Barcelona has been drawn against Bayer Leverkusen for the first knock out round of this season Champions League season. Barca fans could be very pleased having avoided a trip to east or to the other tough opponents. The first leg matches will be played on th 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd of February. Real Madrid meanwhile will be visiting Russia for the first leg after getting CSKA Moskva as their opponents. The pick of the draw was the double Anglo-Italian clash with Milan drawing Arsenal and Chelsea drawing Napoli. Our opponent Bayer Leverkusen is nowhere near the heights they saw in the 2001-02 season when they reached the final. But finishing runners-up last season ahead of Beyern Munich is no small achievement. I would say it's a good omen drawing a German opponent. Last season we played the first leg of Round of 16 in England(where the finals were held) against Arsenal, this season the final is held in Germany.
Dec 15, 2011
FC Barcelona booked a place in the final of this year's World Club Championship final against Santos courtesy of an easy 4-0 drubbing of Qatari Club Al Sadd. It was a mismatch from the beginning and the only question was by what margin FC Barcelona will emerge victorious. But the match didn't end up so well for us, with David Villa being substituted midway due to injury. The club has confirmed that the player has suffered a fracture to tibia in the left leg. That could see him out for almost 12 weeks. Coming back to the match Adriano scored twice in the first half and Keita and Maxwell scored in the second half to complete the tally. The final will be held on Sunday.
Dec 13, 2011
Dec 12, 2011
There is no doubt that every Barcelona and Real Madrid fan is still reeling under the effect of the brilliant El Cklasico night at the Bernebeu on Saturday. Can't blame anyone as it usually takes more than a day atleast to get over these. The reactions from both Camp to the result was very much interesting. Barcelona fans felt they were vindicated, whereas the Real Madrid ones were shattered to pieces. A stroll into any of Real Madrid blog and you were able to sense the extend of dissappointment. Cristiano Ronaldo getting the stick for the poor performance was normal, that usually happens when someone happened to spend 94 Million Euros on a player. But Iker Casillas getting the stick was quite shocking, especially counting the number of saves he pulled even in this match. Real Madrid fans were calling for both of them to be benched for the next Clasico. That was seriously hillarious. Meanwhile Mourinho who for once appeared to be a bit graceful in defeat, never forget to take a swipe on the GOD. Now it looks after UEFA, UNICEF, Referee etc it's the Almighty himself who has aligned with us. As the saying goes "Fortune favours the Brave", that also happened in the match. Xavi was brave enough to take the shot, just like Real madrid frontline was brave enough to press Valdes and forcing the mistake for their goal.
Dec 11, 2011
FC Barcelona got the league back on track with a thrilling 1-3 comeback win at Santiago Bernebeu. The match started with a disaster as far as Barca were concerened. We went a goal down in the very first minute following a horrendous mistake by Valdes. But this match was about whether Barca's grit and they dig deep and produced a brilliant comeback. Sanchez equalised in the 30th minute and Xavi and Fabregas scored in the second half to conquer the stadium of Santiago Bernebeu. This is Real Madrid's first defeat at home and also this looks like their first defeat after going 1-0 up.
This clash had a huge importance as it set the phsycology for the rest of the clashes this season. Many of the pundits would like this victory. Many were arguing that Mourinho's second season is really when he push things up opponent's throat. But this one didn't go according to the script for him. One of the most disappointed football writer would be Sid Lowe from Guardian who predicted a Real Madrid win. He did last season also. So he is officially our lucky charm. Putting to rest all confusion regarding the formation and line-up, Guardiola decided to go with a 4-3-3 formation. David Villa was ommitted from the starting line-up again and Cesc took his position. We had Valdes on the goal; Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal formed the defender. The midfield had the Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets. The front trio had Cesc, Messi and Sanchez, with Cesc playing teh false 9 role. Meanwhile Real Madrid went with a 4-3-3 formation, with Casillas, Coentrao, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Diarra, Ozil, Maria, Benzema and Ronaldo.
Dec 10, 2011
Less than 24 hours is left for the start of the first edition of this season's "El Clasico" encounter in the La Liga. Usually this would have been the first meeting between the two giants of not only Spanish football, but World Football. But this year they have already met twice in the two legged Super Copa clash and Barca had emerged deserving winners at the time. Since Guardiola took over as manager, the first Clasico has always been played at Camp Nou. That gave Barca the edge to get to the front foot early on. This time FC Barcelona will be visiting Santiago Bernebeu for the first edition. The last time this has happened was in the 2006-07 season, when Barca went down 2-0 and eventually lost the League. But don't worry a year ago Ronaldinho inspired Barcelona mesmerised the Bernebeu crowd with a 3-0 victory and eventually won the League and the Champiosn league. This is Guardiola's third fourth visit to Santiago Bernebeu as a coach and he hasn't tasted defeat in any of those visits. Of all the visits this one could be extra tricky with Real Madrid leading us by three points with a game in hand. So this eventually become a must win match for FC Barcelona. From a fans perspective, Barca fans are a bit confused about how we will approach this clash. There is no doubt that we will be going for the kill, but the confusion is about the formation and the line-up. I will come to that a bit later. First we will start with our opponents.
Dec 9, 2011
Video about Miguel Ruiz's, official Barca Photographer Book. Gives a bit of insight into Barca dressing room. The drooling faces after the Copa del Rey defeat made me emotional.
Dec 8, 2011
With the completion of the last of Group matches yesterday, we now clearly know the clubs which will go to the next stage of 2011-2012 Champions League Tournament. Bayern Munich, Napoli, Inter Milan, CSKA Moscow, Benfica, FC Basel, Real Madrid, Lyon, Chelsea bayer Leverkusen, Arsenal, Marseille, Apoel Nicosia, Zenit St Petersburg, Barcelona and AC Milan are the ones qualified for the knock out stage of 2011-12 Champions League. Last night was quite disastrous for the two clubs from the city of Manchester. Despite winning 2-0 against Bayern Munich at home, the cash rich Manchester City found themselves going out of Champiosn league as Napoli won at Villareal. But the shocking result of the night was Manchester United going out losing to FC Basel. Italy with three teams lead the country wide representation in knock out stage. Spain, England, Germany, France and Russia all have two clubs representing them, Portugal, Switzerland and Cyprus has one each. The last time Manchester United got out in Group stage was in 2005-06 season, a season in which FC Barcelona triumphed in Europe. To make matters more interesting in the 2005-06 season, Manchester United got eliminated on the 7th of December. So are the stars are aligning perfectly for us? Let's hope.
Dec 5, 2011
The final three men shortlist for FIFA Balon D'OR 2011 has been announced. The final list is no surprise to anyone following serious footballing action - Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez. Actually everyone know who is going to win - Lionel Messi. But still you need a three man shortlist. The Women final three contenders are Marta from Brazil, Homare SAWA from Japan and Abby WAMBACH from USA. Xavi and Messi are not the only ones representing Barca. They have their manager, Pep Guardiola giving them company. Guardiola has joined Mourinho and Ferguson for the final shortlist of Coach of the Year. Lionel Messi is also vying for FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal(Goal against Arsenal) along with Neymar and Wayne Rooney.
Dec 4, 2011
FC Barcelona closed down the lead between them and Real Madrid to six points with a comfortable 5-0 victory against fourth placed Levante. Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring, then doubled it followed by Cuenca, Messi and Sanchez goals gave Barca a comfortable victory at Camp NOu. Now all the focus will shift to next week's Clasico action at Bernebeu. With the El Clasico next week, everyones eye was on the line-up Guardiola was going to employ tonight. Once again Pep Guardiola went with a three mand defense, which could again feature at Bernebeu. Abidal, Mascherano and Puyol made the back three. The midfield had Cesc, Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi. Cuenca, Messi and Sanchez formed the front line. Levante has been in fine form this season and is known to have a very well organised defense and that definitely was the reason why a 3-4-3 formation was employed.