One hundred games and counting. Neymar Jr has become established as one of the greatest FC Barcelona players of the modern era, and what better way to celebrate his century of appearances than these video highlights set to the music of his native Brazil.
Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Marc Bartra are on their way to the Euro 2016 finals in France next summer after Spain overcame Luxembourg 4-0 in Logroño to clinch mathematical qualification on Friday night. All four of the Barça players played the full match
Santi Cazorla and Paco Alcácer, both with braces, were on target at Las Gaunas, with Jordi Alba supplying the assist that led to the latter’s goal in the 80th minute. Spain close their qualification group on Monday night against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Arda Turan (with Turkey) and Ivan Rakitic (with Croatia) will be in action on Saturday night against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, respectively, as they too look to clinch berths in France. Both games kick off at 8.45pm CET.
FC Barcelona’s campaign to help the refugees, entitled ‘Tant se val d’on venim,’ continues to attract supporters, this time from FC Barcelona’s professional teams in the sports of basketball, handball, futsal, roller hockey and women’s football, whose captains have taken part in a new video aimed at publicising this initiative to aid the refugees, which was first presented a few weeks ago by Club Vice President, Jordi Cardoner.
The ‘Tant se val d’on venim’ campaign takes its name — which means ‘It doesn’t matter where we come from’ — from a prominent line in the lyrics of the Barça anthem.
The captains — Juan Carlos Navarro, Victor Thomas, Aitor Egurrola, Paco Sedano and Marta Unzué — ask all fans and members who wish to make a contribution to do so through those channels made available by the Club. It’s one more example of the unity of the Barça family in the face of an emergency situation such as the one being felt throughout Europe at the current moment.
Fundraising, awareness and integration
This campaign is in partnership with the Red Cross, an international body with expertise in managing migrant crises and which is the beneficiary of the funds collected. The campaign has three main objectives: fundraising, increasing awareness and social integration of those affected.
FC Barcelona has historically been a vehicle of integration for newcomers. Supporters Clubs, located throughout the territory, will be essential to carrying out the task of helping the new arrivals adapt to our society.
All areas of the Club are contributing to this campaign, which is counting on the entire Barça family, including members, fans, supporters clubs, athletes, coaches, sponsors and suppliers to help alleviate the migration crisis facing Europe, and especially those suffering due to armed conflicts in the Middle East.
Since its launch in mid-September, the project has gained significant visibility in the day-to-day operations of the Club, something that is expected to continue over the coming months. So far the campaign has the support of the first team players, who also appeared recently in a video to raise awareness that received a warm welcome from members and fans. This initiative has also attracted attention from the international press as various media outlets around the world have reported on the details of the campaign promoted by the FC Barcelona Foundation.
International donations can be made through the Club website: www.fcbarcelona.com/fcbrefugees. Those inside Spain can send a text message to 28014 with the word FCBREFUGIATS (cost €1.20) or can make a contribution at the different donation points which can be found in the vicinity of Camp Nou.
Neymar Jr joined Barça in the summer of 2013 and has now made it to 100 appearances for the club. He already has five titles under his belt and now is the perfect time to look back at the impressive stats that he has accumulated in just over two seasons of football in Barcelona.
He has started 87 of those games, totalling 7,663 minutes. In that time he has only ever experienced 15 defeats, along with 11 draws. Barça won all 74 of the other encounters – as the following breakdown shows (click on the different competitions to view the charts):
Goals are second nature to Neymar. He made a great start by scoring the winner in the 2013 Spanish Super Cup, but it was in the 2014/15 season that he really started delivering at an extraordinary rate. He’s got 59 in his personal account, and this chart will provide some insight into where those goals have come from.
The Brazilian’s stats are even more staggering when we look at his shooting rate. When Neymar hits the target, there is a 42.96% chance that he’s going to find the back of the net. Here his shots are divided into different categories and competitions – have fun exploring Neymar’s brilliance from a variety of different angles!
Being part of what many claim to be the best attacking threesome ever assembled, where he plays alongside Messi and Suárez, Neymar’s job is as much about providing goals as it about scoring them himself. Here you can analyse his goal assist and passing rates.
The Spanish national team are back in action on Friday night for their penultimate qualifying match for the UEFA Euro 2016. Head coach Vicente del Bosque has called on four FC Barcelona players as La Roja look to stamp their ticket for the continental championship, to be held in France next summer.
Spain currently lead Group C with 21 points, two more than Slovakia and five more than Ukraine. With a sizeable goal difference in hand, Del Bosque’s side need only a draw in one of their final two qualifiers in order to clinch a spot at the big dance.
Tonight’s game is in Logroño, in north-central Spain, where the two-time defending European champions will face a Luxembourg who are second to last in the group with just 4 points. Blaugrana defenders Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba and Marc Bartra, and midfielder Sergio Busquets could all see some action. The game kicks off at 8.45pm CET at the Estadio Las Gaunas.
Spain then close out qualifying for Euro 2016 against third-place Ukraine on Monday 12 October. Ukraine may still have a chance to qualify, depending on Friday’s results.
Ecuador score twice in two minutes to shock Argentina in Buenos Aires, 2–0
The very first South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia were played on Thursday night, with three FC Barcelona players seeing action. Barça goalkeeper Claudio Bravo captained the Chile national team to a 2–0 victory over defender Dani Alves and Brazil, while another blaugrana player, Javier Mascherano, could do little to help Argentina avoid an unanticipated defeat to Ecuador.
Current South American champions Chile started off on the right foot with a shutout in Santiago. Ex-Barcelona striker Alexis Sánchez scored one of Chile’s goals en route to knocking off Brazil. The two Barça players, Bravo and Alves, were the only ones from either side to play all 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, the Argentina national team, coached by former Barça manager Tata Martino, fell to an upset loss to Ecuador, which scored in both the 81st and 82nd minutes to shock the Albiceleste on their home turf. Barça’s midfielder Javier Mascherano played all 90 minutes as well.
Barça have seven games between now and the last international break of the year, which will be followed by the big trip to the Santiago Bernabéu. Four of those games are in La Liga, and three of those are at the Camp Nou (Rayo Vallecano, Eibar and Villarreal). The only way trip in the domestic championship will be to Getafe.
The Champions League brings back-to-back encounters with Bate Borisov. The first in in Belarus, and the second is at the Camp Nou. There is also the first game in the Copa del Rey to loom forward, against an opponent and on a date yet to be confirmed.
After the announcement that the State Attorney intends to accuse Lionel Messi of three cases of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009, demanding a 22 month jail sentence, FC Barcelona declares the following:
1.- The Club expresses its surprise at the difference in criteria between the Public Prosecutors, which on September 25 decided not to accuse Lionel Messi of tax fraud, and the verdict expressed today by the State Attorney, which states the complete opposite.
2.- FC Barcelona has expressed its affection and solidarity to Leo Messi and his family in such a peculiar situation. The Club shall continue to offer him and his family its full support and assistance in the legal, fiscal and administrative aspects of these proceedings.
3.- FC Barcelona decries the accumulation of totally inadmissible and external decisions that have been going on for some time, and that have nothing to with strictly sporting affairs. They are damaging to the good operations of the Club, its stability and also that of the athletes that form part of it. The Club shall be working with more determination than ever to defend its legitimate rights and is ready for any new challenges that might arise.
Barcelona, 8 October 2015
FC Barcelona and Croatia national team midfielder Ivan Rakitic received the award for best Croatian player of 2015 according to the Zagreb-based daily newspaper Vecernji List. The decision to name Rakitic this year’s winner was based on his contributions to both Barça and the national team, as well as his influence during the Club’s treble-winning season.
It is the first time that Rakitic has won the award. Other internationally renowned players to have taken home the honours in previous years include Davor Suker, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic. Rakitic is the second Barça player to have been chosen as the best player in Croatia. Former midfielder Robert Prosinecki won it in 1997.
The marathon journey to Russia 2018 begins today in the CONMEBOL zone. Each of the ten South American countries will play each other home and away between now and November 2017. That’s 18 games in total, with four automatic berths for the highest ranked teams, while the fifth placed side will go into a playoff against the top team from Oceania.
And FC Barcelona has representation in three of the strongest candidates to qualify – Brazil and Argentina, with seven world titles between them, and current Copa America champions Chile.
CHILE v BRAZIL (8.30pm local, 1.30am CET)
And two of those teams meet in the very first round of matches. Claudio Bravo will be captaining Chile at home to Brazil and Dani Alves. Neymar Jr is still serving a suspension and misses out on the match in Santiago.
ARGENTINA v ECUADOR (9.00pm local, 2.00am CET)
The other Barça player in action is Javier Mascherano. The Monumental in Buenos Aires will be the venue as Argentina host a team that has reached three of the last four final stages, Ecuador. Former FCB manager Gerardo Martino will have to make do without the injured Leo Messi.
Next Tuesday brings the second round of matches. Brazil entertain Venezuela, while Chile and Argentina travel to Peru and Paraguay respectively.