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Jul 30, 2010

Jul 28, 2010

Spain's Pepe Reina (L) embraces team-mate Cesc Fabregas as they celebrate their World Cup 2010 victory on a stage in Madrid, July 12, 2010. Spain stunned the Netherlands to win their first World Cup on Sunday in sensational fashion with a goal in the last minutes of extra time. REUTERS/Juan Medina (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Cesc Fabregas story refuses to die and most probably it will do regular rounds till the transfer market is closed. Everyone expected the lid to be closed after Iniesta remarked that "Cesc will continue with Arsenal". Suddenly Mundodeportivo has unearthed a secret agreement, which has put Wikileaks this week revelations to shame. According to them the agreement has already reached and will see Cesc moving into Barca very soon and they already have said which numer he will be weraing at barca - the Guardiola "4". Trying to make sense out of this latest revelation would be futile as there is only one word to describe this - RUBBISH. Barca management has recently started to acknowledge the fact that this deal is not going to happen this season. Many big players have already commented about Arsenal's reluctance to come to negotiating deal. So this deal remains as "Dead as Buried".

Jul 23, 2010

Jul 20, 2010

May 16, 2010 - Barcelona, Spain - Images of the game between FC Barcelona and Valladolid. Barcelona were declared champions after their 4 0 victory over Valladolid, their 20th La Liga title.

Defending La Liga Champions, FC Barcelona will start their title defense with an away visit to El Sardinero. The first home match for Barca will be on the 12th of September against newly promoted Hércules. The season is sure to get interesting with a visit to Vicente Calderón to face Atletico Madrid on Matchday 3. Barca is sure to have a tough October and November with Valencia's visit to Camp Nou on October 17th, followed with a clashes with Zaragoza, Sevilla, Getafe and Villareal. The much anticipated first leg of El Clasico will be on November 28th with a Real Madrid visiting Camp Nou. The second El Clasico of the season will be held on April 17 (Matchday 32) at Bernebeu. Meanwhile our fierce rival Real Madrid will begin their campaign with a visit to Mallorca on Matchday 1.

Jul 17, 2010

FC Barcelona has completed the signing of Adriano Correia from Sevilla for 9.5 Million Euros. There is an additional 4 Million Euros that has to be paid to Sevillas depending on a variety of objectives. Adriano signed the deal which will keep him at the club for four year today and will be presented as a Barca player on Monday. This is the second signing done by Barca this season and looks like a very wise choice. This guy can play as both left back and right back and also if needed as a winger in midfield. The buyout clause for Adriano is set at 90 Million Euros.

Jul 16, 2010

Apr. 21, 2010 - 05798827 date 20 04 2010 Copyright imago Sesa Zlatan Ibrahimovic DEL Barcellona Milano 20 4 2010 Stadio Giuseppe Meazza Inter Barcellona Champions League 2009 2010 Photo Bibi Inside photo PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRA Bibi Football men Champions League EC 1 2009 2010 Milan Portrait Vdig xkg 2010 horizontal premiumd.

The jury is still out on whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a success last season. With 21 goals and 10 assist, anywhere else in the World Ibrahimovic would have been celebrated as a huge success. But when you have a price tag of 70 Million, the highest in the club's history, may be those figures are not simply good enough. The stats are pretty good when you compare with other strikers all over the planet, but still Ibra cannot be termed anywhere near as a success. Especially when a previously discarded( by Guardiola) kid, Bojan Krkic manages to replace you easily at the most crucial juncture of the season. Maybe the ridiculous prize tag associated with him is the one acting heavily against him, something I highlighted in an earlier post - Bojan Krkic Could Be the Key. But when the newly appointed financial Vice-President, rightly questions the amount spent in acquiring the star, you have to be in trouble. Suddenly the Barcelona based media houses Sport and El Mundo Deportivo both are raising the same question. Kind of strange, ain't it? About an year ago the same media houses were bringing out crazy statistics to justify the amount paid for the Swede!!! At that time also I clearly thought that Laporta has Gone Crazy agreeing for such a deal.

Jul 15, 2010

Football - Chelsea v FC Barcelona UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg - Stamford Bridge, London, England - 6/5/09..Andres Iniesta Photo via Newscom

The boot with which Iniesta scored his famous goal at Stamford Bridge has raised 100,000 Euros for the treatment of Javier, a child with Cerebral Palsy. The funds were raised via a Lottery held by the Javier's family, but now its been learned that the winner has not yet claimed his/her's prize. The winning ticket was sold in Hellín, a town and municipality located in the south of the province of Albacete, in Castile-La Mancha, Spain. The lottery was held on the 18th of November. Javier's aunt contacted Iniesta's family to return the boot, but they informed her that they can continue to give the boot out. Now with the winner not coming forward to claim their coveted prize, the family have the option of auctioning the boots. With Iniesta's fame skyrocketing following his World Cup winner, this could be the ideal time to auction the boots and raise money.

Jul 14, 2010

Mar. 18, 2010 - 05644309 date 17 03 2010 Copyright imago Bernd King Thierry Henry Barca FC Barcelona VfB Stuttgart Champions League 4 0 Barcelona 17 3 10 Football men Champions League EC 1 2009 2010 Barcelona Action shot Single Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

FC Barcelona have confirmed that they have released Thierry henry for Free. Thierry Henry will be now signing for Ney York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer on Thursday. Earlier Henry has placed a request to Barca management to release him for free. FC Barcelona signed the French maestro for 24 Million Euros in 2007. Eventhough his first season was rather dissappointing, he played a huge part in the all conquering season of 2008-09. Henry made the switch from Arsenal to Barcelona to fulfil his dream of winning the Champions league. He leaves the club with the satisfaction of fulfilling his dream and also getting involved in the historic 6-2 defeat of Real Madrid at Bernebeu. That match was his best performance on a Blaugrana jersey.

Meanwhile Pep Guardiola has extended his contract by one more year as expected.

May 16, 2010 - Barcelona, Spain - Images of the game between FC Barcelona and Valladolid. Barcelona were declared champions after their 4 0 victory over Valladolid, their 20th La Liga title.

La Liga fans in India can now relax as they won't be missing the League action from 2010-11 season. There are a sizable amount of Barca and Real Madrid fans in India and this will be the best news they heard for sometime. La Liga fans were forced to watch last season's action via internet streaming since no broadcasting house were ready to telecast La Liga. But that won't be the case in this coming season. According to CNN-IBN Ten Sports will be telecasting La Liag 2010-11 season.

July 11, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Holland v Spain FIFA World Cup Final - South Africa 2010 - Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - 11/7/10..Spain's (L-R) Carles Puyol , Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique celebrate after winning the World Cup.

From the moment the Cesc Fabregas transfer saga started, there have been various counter accusations from both Arsenal and Barcelona fans. Blogs are the medium of communication in the modern world and promptly became the battle ground between Gunner and Cules. I believe the whole story started with Guillem Balague writing about a meeting that has taken place between Fabregas and Arsene Wenger He reported that Fabregas requested Wenger to allow him to move to Barca. Now it turns out that the whole story was purely fiction, I mean it looks like Fabregas and Wenger were in two different places at the supposed date of the meeting. But still no clarification has been offered by Arsenal about the meeting. Meanwhile Barca management under Laporta ponced upon the rumour and potrayed a picture via rumours that the transfer is imminent. After the initial reluctance to comment(which they shouldn't have), Arsenal and Wenger came out declaring unilaterally that "Cesc was not up for Sale".

Jul 13, 2010

Spain's Pepe Reina and Carles Puyol (R) put a Barcelona shirt on team-mate Cesc Fabregas (C) as they celebrate their victory on a stage in downtown Madrid, July 12, 2010. Spain stunned the Netherlands to win their first World Cup on Sunday in sensational fashion with a goal in the last minutes of extra time. REUTERS/Andrea Comas (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The first time watching this picture, there is only one question that comes to mind - Was This Necessary? It was not only unnecessary but also was pretty much cheap. The picture shows the level of obsession with Cesc Fabregas signing in the club squad itself. You expect Pique to do these kind of things as he is known for playing pranks but not from Puyol. Let's hope he was quite high in celebration and issue an apology soon or atleast a note of regret. What was Reina aiming to achieve by announcing cesc as the future of "the future of Barça, the future of Spain" is quite difficult for me to digest. Looks like it was a prank played by the team mates on Cesc, whatever it was absolutely stupid for FC Barcelona captain to get involved in this. The constant Fabregas transfer rumours has created a huge rift between the two clubs, and this action is not going to be viewed lightly in London.

Jul 12, 2010

July 11, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Holland v Spain FIFA World Cup Final - South Africa 2010 - Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - 11/7/10..Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring the first goal for Spain as Holland's Joris Mathijsen (R) looks dejected.

Iniesta scores the vital goal which earned Spain their first World Championship

Spain won their first World Championship of their history with a 1-0 win against Holland at the Soccer City Stadium in Johanesburg. FC Barcelona'sAndres Iniesta was the hero of the night, scoring the vital goal with just four minutes left for the end of extra time. Spain become only the second reigning European Champions who managed to win the World Cup. The match did live up to his billing of a tight contest, but failed to match his billing as a Clash between two brilliant "Total Football" side. The match was a huge headache for referee Howard Webb, who flashed 10 yellow cards, including two for Heitinga. He overall did a good job, but there were times when he left the game to become more physical. De Jong's kick on Xabi Alonso's chest was a huge moment and the player should have been send off. But Webb flashed a yellow card instead.

Jul 9, 2010

More La Masia Recruits for Barca

With Chygynskiy's and Toure's departure, Guardiola is looking to La Masia for defensive cover for next season. Atleast four Barca Atletic defenders may find more playing time with the first team next season. Barca is expected to release Marquez and Caceres and also is expected to send Henrique out on loan yet again. Caceres performance against Holland in the World Cup semi-final may force the management to think about a loan deal rather than selling the player. He still may fulfil all the promises he shown at a very early age. Marc Muniesa, Andreu Fontas, Marc Batra and Sergi Gomez all are expected to make the cut for the first team this season. Muniesa is widely regarded as the natural heir to Puyol's throne and he should see more playing time than others. Add to this, Jonathan Dos Santos and Thiago, we have two brilliant midfielders also emerging from the academy.

Jul 8, 2010

Moses Mabhida Stadium Durban Germany v Spain Match 62 07/07/2010 Carlos Puyol (SPA) scores opening goal Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Barca Captain Steers Spain To Final

Spain setup a mouth watering World Cup final clash against Netharlands after seeing off a much fancied, but young German side confidently. The Spanish National team dominated the match, depriving their opponents off any meaningful possession. For all their possession it took a second half goal from the most unlikeliest of source, Carles Puyol from a Xavi corner to see off the Germans. This young German side has been on the rampage packing England and Argentina home, scoring eight goals in those two matches. But this Spanish side's midfield is the best in the world, may be one of the best of all time and the Germans had no answer to their tiki-taka style of playing. Barcelona fans would have been extremely happy to see seven of their players starting in the line-up. Pedro came in for Torres and joined his other club mates - Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Villa, Puyol, Pique, who all retained their places. It is a very proud moment for La Masia with five players in the starting line-up.

Jul 7, 2010

FC Barcelona has confirmed the agreement of a deal (rumoured to be around 15 million) for the return of Dmytro Chygrynskiy to Shaktar. Barca bought the tall defender from Shaktar at around 30 Million, now does that makes sense to sell him just after one miserable year? Chygrynskiy's lack of pace was always going to trouble him and his performance in each of his appearances strengthened that belief. The coach and Management already had lost faith in him and there were rumours ever since the season ended about a move back. Its yet another transfer failure. The jury is still out to decide whether the Ibra transfer was a failure. The new management has to make sure that the recent pathetic transfer failures are not repeated. The haste at which we arrive at decisions has to be sole reason why these transfer fails. Chygrynskiy was brought after having an excellent season with Shaktar. At that point it made sense, but with Milito coming back and performing well, his oppurtunites were pretty limited. The statement on Barcelona’s website notes that, “the money received for the 23-year-old central defender will help ease the Club’s short-term liquidity problems.” But still don't understand the logic in going for Cesc, especially when we have a liquidity problem and the whole of Spain in recession.

Jul 3, 2010

Within days of Rosell begining his tenure, the first change has happened. Media houses in Spain has reported that Cryuff has resigned from the post of Honorary President. Rosell earlier argued that the post of Honorary president is illegal as its against the constitution of the Club. He may be right but the problem is that Cryuff seems to be caught between two presidents - the current and the ex, taking revenge on each other. It was the club's mistake to award Cryuff the honorary president post, if it was illegal not that of Cryuff's. Cryuff returned his badge saying "It hurts to accept it, but it seems I'm a nuisance". That showns a deeply hurt man. What a wonderful display of our gratitude to a man who has been a legend for majority of Cules. Cryuff ealier had said that he tried to call Rosell, but he was not available. Rosell remarkked earlier that sorting out the honorary president post issues was a top priority but it looks like humiliating cryuff was a bigger priority. Many may argue that the post itself was illegal and Rosell was right in action, but the bottomline is Cryuff didn't chose himself to get elected as Honorary president, the bloody board chose that. If this is the way we treat our Legends, than what about the lesser players. It is no surprise that Rosell sees Cryuff as a staunch Laporta supporter.

Netherland's Wesley Sneijder scoring his sides second goal..FIFA World Cup 2010 Quarter Finals..Netherlands v Brazil..2nd July, 2010.

Brazil defeated by Holland

In one of the biggest upset Brazil has been knocked out by Netharlands with a scoreline that read 2-1. Brazil took the lead in the 10th minute when Robinho took advantage of some bad defending by the Dutch. But an own goal from Filipe Melo (in which the goal keeper ia an equal culprit) and a second from Sneijder, add to that Melo's supension - all these shut the door firmly on the Brazilian national team. To an extent I am glad that this Brazilian team went out of the tournament. It has nothing to do with the fact that Argentina and Spain are my favourites. But it is quite sad to see Brazil play a defensively orriented counter attacking style. Brazil can't do that, they are the pioneers of the beautiful football and they definitely have to stick to that. This defeat shows that you have an equal chance of failure while playing a defensive style as in an attacking style. Atleast playing an atatcking style, when you can will let you hold your heads held high. A triumph of Brazil in South Africa would have seen the game moving into somewhat the "Wresting Side". The irony is that, had Brazil stuck to their attacking style they could have sealed off the match in the first half, when there were utter confusion in Dutch midfield and centre-defense.

Jul 2, 2010

June 25, 2010 - South Africa - Football - North Korea v Ivory Coast FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group G - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, South Africa - 25/6/10..Yaya Toure celebrates scoring Ivory Coast's first goal.

Quite strange, isn't it? Yesterday there were reports that Guardiola is having a re-think on Yaya, but today the news has been confirmed that Manchester City has secured his signing. This ends a rather long transfer speculation. Now Yaya will join his brother Kolo at Manchester City, meanwhile Guardiola would be out in market for a decent holding midfielder. Javier Mascherano doesn't looks like the replacement, but you can't judge what Guardiola would be upto. Last season Valencia demanded 50 Million for Villa, we decided that it was 8 Million more costly so we went and signed Ibrahimovic for supposedly 70 Million of total cost. So I still expect us to still sign Mascherano. Toure will be joining David Silva at Manchester City.

Jul 1, 2010

Toure Transfer is to be Cancelled

Two day ago this deal was almost done and there was no ambiguity about the same. The Club management has secretly confirmed that Toure will be moving to Manchester City adding 25 Million to Barca's coffers. Actually there were rumours that the money from Toure deal will be used to fetch Cesc Fabregas. The best things about Transfer Sagas are that it goes berserk when everything appears to be normal. Now it looks like Guardiola is in a last ditch attempt to convince the big Ivorian to stay at Barca. For the record, Toure always wanted to stay but with a Guarantee that he will see regular first team action.

June 30, 2010 - Pretoria, South Africa - epa02231088 Argentinian national soccer team striker Lionel Messi performs during his team's training session at the Pretoria University's specialized sports training centre in Pretoria, South Africa, 30 June 2010. Argentina will face Germany in the FIFA 2010 World Cup quarter final soccer match on 03 July 2010.

Messi has to find his goal scoring touch against Germany

Many of the usual poster boys of the World Football, the Cristianos, the Rooneys etc has struggled to make an impression in this World Cup. A simple look at the statictics of Messi in this World cup will force you to his name into the aforementioned list. But statistics always doesn't tell the real story, isn't it? Messi looks like have a sigle assist in the ten goals scored by his fellow Argentinians. That's too poor for a person like Messi, but anyone who watched all his matches know that he has an indirect or direct part in 80% of the goal scored by Argentina. But still everyone is still waiting for Messi to break his goal scoring duck soon. I have earlier pointed out the need of Messi playing as a pivot behind the two main striker in my Argentina, World Cup preview. Such a move is reaping good benefit for Maradona's team in South Africa.

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