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Apr 30, 2013

“Barça!, Orgull, Barça!“, that will be the message displayed on Camp Nou Mosaic ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich. In the end it all comes to that - The Pride. The pride of representing FC Barcelona, the pride of playing in Barca way and the very pride of not giving it up till it over. As Alexander Pope said in An Essay on Man "Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never Is, but always To be blest: The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come". And it will be that Eternal Hope that keep every Barça Football Club fan Up and Kicking when this match start. Forget the 4-0 drubbing and the scoreline, this match is all about Pride. Last week at the Allianz Arena Fingers were pointed on this team, Questions were raised about our identity and Doubts were evoked about the legacy of this team. Tomorrow that has to be answered. Like majority of the fans, I don't care what will be the final outcome after tomorrow night; but I do care a lot how we play tomorrow night. Tomorrow it's all about playing the Barca way, imposing our game on opponents and reminding them clearly that we are not that spent force they are portraying us to be.

Apr 27, 2013

Barça Football Club will not be having a title celebration tonight. When the match started there was as chance - if we win and Madrid dropped points late on. But it will never be happening as we were held on to a last minute equaliser against Bilbao. Once agains it was the lack of aerial defense at the center back position which put us in this mess. Bilbao went ahead in the first half and we struggled to find any decent response till Messi came in. Once he came in we were in for a sweet victory but that was not to be. A look up at the line-up gave you the indication that Barça football club is not going to go down quietly against Bayern at Camp Nou, they were prepared to make a fuss about it. Majority of the expected starters were on the bench. The starting eleven had Valdes, Alves, Pique, Abidal, Alba, Song, Xavi, Thiago, Pedro, Cesc and Sanchez. Pinto, Bartra, Adriano, Iniesta, Messi, Villa and Tello started on the bench.

Apr 24, 2013

It was sheer humiliation, there is no other word to describe what happened at the Allianz Arena. In the end there was a sheer releief that they put only that many goal against us. Bayern with this sensational victory not only paid rest to all our Wembley hopes but may be they have clearly emerged as the Next Big Thing in Europe. May be it's the end of Barca's domination in Rurope and it's a very sad end if it is. We were over powered in every department by the German Champions. We were struggling to stay in the match and a dream of goal never came into any of our minds at anytime. With Adriano suspended for the match, Vilanova placed his faith in the youngster Bartra to be a part of the defense. Alves, Pique, Bartra and Alba formed the four man defense infornt of Valdes. The midfield in big games choses by itself and that meant it had the usual suspects - Iniesta, Busquets and Xavi. Pedro, Messi and Alexis formed the front trio. The bench had Pinto, Montoya, Abidal, Song, Thiago, Cesc and Villa . Montoya made into the line-up due to our defensive injuries, that meant we had no place for Tello. Meanwhile Bayern lined-up in a very exciting and expected form - Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Robben, Ribery and Gomez.

Apr 22, 2013

Xavi, Iniesta and Messi

FC Barcelona will face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena tomorrow night in the First Leg of the UEFA Champions League 2012-13 Semi-Final. The newly crowned Bundesliga Champions will present a huge challenge for this Barca side, especially with a number of players missing especially in defense. Inspite of all the issues with the missing defenders Barca fans were given some good news or partial. Lionel Messi has been included in the squad and has actually travelled to Munich. He is yet to receive the clearance from the medical team. Regardless of that everyone expect him to feature in the starting eleven. Barca team has already reached Munich and the squad includes Valdés, Pinto, Dani Alves, Piqué, Fàbregas, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi, Thiago, Dos Santos, Bartra, Sergio, Pedro, Jordi Alba, Montoya, Abidal, Song, Tello, and Oier. Even though the absence of Puyol and Mascherano could be a problem for Vilanova, but the performance of Abidal on the weekend may have created some selection head-ache for him.

Apr 21, 2013

Cesc Fabregas dedicating Goal to Daughter

FC Barcelona kept on with their march to the La Liga title with a 1-0 victory at home against Levante. We did left it pretty late with the deciding goal from Cesc Fabregas coming in the 84th minute. The scoreline did not exactly tell the story of the game as we dominated it from the beginning. We were sloppy in the second half, but Vilanova was smart enough to make the necessary substitution in order to secure the important three points. With this win we remain thirteen points clear of Real madrid and will require only two more wins to secure the league title. People were expecting that Messi would get some playing time today. But the medical team never gave him the green light. As per the medical team Messi is only 70% match fit. Vilanova went with the usual 4-3-3 formation. Abidal made his first official start after coming out from injury, and that was the greatest news for Barca fans. We had Alves, Abidal, Adriano and Montoya in defense. Thiago, Song and Iniesta made the midfield trio. Tello, Cesc and Villa formed the front attacking trio. Xavi, Batra, Alba, Busquets, Pinto, Pedro and Alexis started on the bench. Pique and Dos Santos didn't make the final squad.

Apr 15, 2013

Christian Tello celebrating Scoring against Real Zaragoza

FC Barcelona stretched their lead on top of la Liga to sixteen points after a 3-0 away victory against Real Zaragoza. Real Madrid who are yet to play this week will have a chance to reduce it. Two goals from Tello and an splendid opener from Thiago gave us the three points in a match where a lot of our stars were rested or not available. On top of a comfortable victory against a team which is fighting a regulation battle, Victor Valdes would be over joyed by the fact that he gets to keep a clean sheet. Above that we got to watch Eric Abidal playing on the field, which is a miracle considering what he have gone through. In a match where majority of stars were unavailable because of various injuries, everyone's eye was on the kind of starting line-up Tito will sent. The attack was an unchanged one from the one which started at home against Mallorca - Alexis, Cesc and Tello. The midfield had Xavi, Song and Thiago, that was quite a surprise as everyone was expecting Xavi to start from bench. Alves, Batra, Adriano and Montoya formed the back four and Valdes was back after serving four match suspension. The bench had Oier, pique, Abidal, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Pedro and Villa.

Apr 12, 2013

FC Barcelona has been paired with Bayern Munich at the semi-finals of the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League. The first leg of the tie will take place at the home of Newly crowned BundesLiga Champions on the 23rd of April. The return leg at the Camp Nou will be held on the 1st of May. The other semi-final is between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid with the first leg taking place in Germany. The winner of this tie will be seeded as the Home team in the Final at Wembley on 25th May 2013.

Apr 11, 2013

What will we do without this Guy - Lionel Messi. There were debates going on about how much this Barca side depends on him. Going by the stats it looked like they could do without him, having a 78% win record when Messi does not start. But Jesus this match showed why we depend on him so much. he may not have scored but when we went down a goal, the first thing Vilanova did was to ask him to get ready. The moment he entered the entire tempo of our game changed. We started pressing well, there was more space to operate, Villa and Pedro suddenly appeared back in the game and that the MVP trio combined to make it 1-1. Without Messi we were so poor that it is not an under statement to say "PSG was winning most of the midfield battle". Cesc Fabregas contributed the most of that inept performance. He was all over the place without actually occupying the zone he was given. He looked at times occupying the same position of Villa or Xavi.

Apr 9, 2013

Xavi and Iniesta

I don't think we have ever taken as many hit in Europe as we took when we visited Paris last week. The two goal conceded and the last minute draw was not only the bad thing, what worried us more was the injuries to Messi and Mascherano. With Mascherano out we don't have any proper center back option to chose from for tomorrow night, assuming that Abidal don't start. But then this is not the first time we have faced scenarios like this, we usually do well in adversities. There is no arguing that we remain in the best position to proceed further because of the two away goals and also the advantage at home. There are doubts about Lionel Messi's participation. Everyone expects him to start on the bench and would only be called upon if we really need him. That means we could see a similar line-up like the one we saw against Mallorca. And that was a really good performance especially considering the number of absentees. And always remember we usually have a tendency to carry on with our results and performance in League to Europe, that's indeed is a good news.

Apr 7, 2013

FC Barcelona geared up for the return leg against PSG in spectacular fashion by thrashing Mallorac 5-0 at the Camp Nou. With this win we are able to maintain our 13 point lead with just eight games to go. The team which missed majority of it's stars produced a brilliant show to win the match. The goals which were scored were simply brilliant but the moment of the match was to watch Eric Abidal coming back to action with the fans applauding him at every occasion. As expected Tito Vilanova rested the major stars looking ahead of the PSG match. The frontline saw Cesc playing the false-9 role, a clear indication of how we will start on Wednesday if Messi is not available. Alexis and Tello joined him in attack. The midfield had Iniesta, Thiago and Song. Alves, Pique, Batra and Montoya made the defense infront of Pinto.

Apr 3, 2013

The first leg of UEFA Champions League at Paris ended in a 2-2 stalemate after PSG secured a last minute equaliser. Messi gave us the lead in the first half and Xavi made it 2-1 in the ending moments of normal time, but it wasn't meant to be a victory after PSG grabbed a deserving equaliser in the end. We may have the comfort of 2 away goals but there were more worries as the injury list keeps on piling up. Lionel Messi was withdrawn after first half due to a Harmstring injury and is all set to miss the return leg at camp Nou. The unfoficial reports say that he will miss three weeks of action. To make matters worse, mascherano picked a second yellow card and now will miss the second leg at Camp Nou. Now that already leaves us one defender short and may have to do with Song in return leg. We went with a very much expected line-up with Valdes in goal. The defense had Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Alba. The midfield had the usual trio of Busquets, xavi and Iniesta. The front three was Messi, Alexis and Villa. PSG lined up with Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Silva, Maxwell, Lucas, Beckham, Matuidi, Pastore, Lavezzi and Ibrahimovic.

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