La Liga might not have it, but FC Barcelona has goal line technology in training. Sounds like a pretty ridiculous situation if you ask me. But here is a video straight from the club which shows two shots in training that were parried away by the keeper under controversial circumstances:
Both turned out to be goals, and now we know the score in the training match. Yay…And yet we don’t have the technology to confirm that this was a goal:
Joint training with Barça B | FC Barcelona FC Barcelona had their second training session of the week on Wednesday without the 16 players that are with their national teams. Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Paco Alcácer, Denis Suárez and Nélson Semedo completed their workout this morning.It was held on pitch 3 of the Ciutat Esportiva together with Barça B, who will host Osteria at the Miniestadi this Sunday (6pm CET).
Barça boasts best goalkeeping numbers in Europe | FC Barcelona With FC Barcelona safely among Europe’s elite eight following last week’s 3–0 (4–1 agg.) KO of Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, the team’s two netminders — the German Marc-André ter Stegen and the Dutchman Jasper Cillessen — have conceded just 22 goals on the season, and now boast the Old Continent’s top combined numbers across all competitions among those still alive in the tournament.
All of Ronaldinho’s goals with FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona During the five seasons that Ronaldinho wore the Barça shirt, the Brazilian played in 207 official matches. His record was one Champions League – the 2005/06 season -, two League titles and two Spanish Super Cups. In addition, he won a Ballon d’Or (2005) and two FIFA World Player awards (2004 and 2005).
Goal? or no goal? | FC Barcelona In a training session a few days ago at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, Luis Suárez appeared to score two goals. The first one, after receiving a pass from Rakitic, was stopped by Cillessen, and the second, after a pass from Paulinho, saw Ter Stegen use his foot to try and keep it out.
Barca still want Dutch starlet? | Football Espana Barcelona are reportedly still interested in Ajax and Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca’s coaches will ‘spy on’ De Vrij during Netherlands’ upcoming friendlies against England and Portugal.
Xavi signs new Al Sadd deal | Football Espana Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has officially extended his contract with Al Sadd, but his role is unclear. Al Sadd confirmed the news on their official Twitter account, but Sport notes it is not certain that the 38-year-old will fulfil his new deal as a player.
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has been talking about his future and says he wants it all sorted out before the World Cup starts in June.
Griezmann has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona with some outlets claiming Ernesto Valverde’s side have already agreed a deal with the Frenchman.
There are also reports that Griezmann’s release clause drops down from €200m to €100m in June making him an attractive target in today’s market.
Griezmann says he needs to know where he will be playing next season before he gets on the plan to Russia with France.
“I want to travel to Russia without this concern,” he said. “It’s not about knowing where I’ll play, but about having the peace of mind if I’m still in one place or another.
“It may be boring, but I have told my sister that, whether I stay or not, this will have to be resolved beforehand [prior to the World Cup starting]. What bothers me the most is that everyone asks me about this issue.”
The best of this week’s action is on Friday when there’s three really decent games and lots of Barcelona stars on show and even more interestingly, against each other.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen takes on Iniesta, Pique and Alba
There’s a real heavyweight clash in Dusseldorf as Germany and Spain go head to head.
With no Manuel Neuer for Germany, Marc-Andre ter Stegen should get the nod in goal for the hosts and he may well come up against some familiar faces.
Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta have all been called up by Julen Lopetegui and will be hoping to get the better of Ter Stegen on Friday night.
Germany currently top the Fifa rankings and their strength in depth is hugely impressive. They are one of the favourites to claim glory in Russia and this should be a really interesting match-up.
Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti face Yerry Mina
Over in France Les Bleus welcome Colombia to Paris in a match that could see Ousmane Dembele coming up against Yerry Mina.
Samuel Umtiti could also feature while Lucas Digne is also in Didier Deschamps’s squad for the game.
France qualified for the World Cup by topping a group containing Sweden and Netherlands while Colombia took the fourth qualification place in South America after finishing behind Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.
Can Italy stop Messi?
Friday also sees Lionel Messi in action as Argentina take on Italy at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Argentina made a meal of qualification and needed a Messi hat-trick to qualify for the World Cup in their final group game against Ecuador.
Yet Italy had an even more miserable time as they were stunned by Sweden in the playoffs meaning the four-time winners of the competition miss out for only the second time in their history.
Barcelona legend Xavi has been talking about Ousmane Dembele and specifically what the young Frenchman needs to do to become a hit at his new club.
It’s been a tough start to life at Barca for Dembele who has struggled with injury but he’s started to show in recent weeks what he’s all about.
Dembele opened his goalscoring account in some style with a brilliant goal against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League and followed that up with another assist against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
Here’s what Xavi reckons Dembele needs to do if he is to successfully adjust to life at the Camp Nou.
“He will need some time. Barca is like a final exam for a footballer. It is like Dembele is passing a Master’s degree right now because not everyone can play for this club.
“Why? Because you have to know things three times more than elsewhere. Barca play on barely 30 metres of the pitch.
“Dembele has a lot of talent, he is very fast, but here, he is not going to have the space he had at Dortmund or Rennes. He had more space, so more time there.
“He will have to learn to think faster, in a few thousandths of a second. This is where we will see if he has the mentality.
“He must say to himself: ‘l am a Barca player’. You have to be mentally strong, to have conviction.
“There are average players who spent 15 years at Barca, because they had character. And there are some excellent players who did not do anything because they couldn’t handle pressure.
“In training, when you saw them, you would say to yourself: ‘They will break everything. They’re going to be legends’. But no. As soon as they entered the pitch, their legs started shaking, they did not want the ball anymore. And you would wonder: ‘Holy f***, what’s happening to them?’”
Barcelona’s future signing Arthur Melo spoke this week about how he became interested in Barcelona and more. One of the highlighted aspects was that apparently Neymar was one of the key voices in Arthur’s ear about Barcelona. According to Arthur, Neymar praised the city and the club when Arthur discussed the potential move with him.
“When the stories started coming out about Barça’s rumoured interest, I had a short conversation with Neymar with the national team,” Arthur said.
”I asked him about Barcelona and he only had praise for the club and the city. He recommended Barcelona to me.”
Arthur then spoke about how happy he was that things ended well with Gremio and his working to make the Brazilian World Cup squad.
“I am happy that the negotiations ended well for me and for Gremio, the club of my heart. I wanted to help them and I feel happy about the result of the operation.
”If I have to join Barça sooner, then we will have to resolve it together. Right now I am 100 percent. I wouldn’t have returned until I was totally recovered and I am. I’m working hard to make the [Brazil] squad for the World Cup.”
With the majority of the squad away on international duty the training ground is a pretty sparse place at the moment with Sergi Roberto, Paco Alcacer and Aleix Vidal the only other first teamers around.
Barcelona also say that Sergio Busquets and Thomas Vermaelen were at the ground and “spent the morning rehabbing their injuries” but there’s no update on when either is expected back in action.
Most coaches are usually very positive about their players, Denmark’s national team coach Age Hareide was especially positive about one of his best players. Hareide was not shy at all regarding his high opinion of Denmark and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
“I think he is a type that can adapt to anything, Give him a ball, then the ball will speak for him wherever he is. Christian is a type that just gets better from dealing with better football players.
”When looking at the players that play centrally for Real Madrid and Barcelona, none of them are better than Christian.
“Luka Modric came from Tottenham to Real Madrid, and he was not as good as Christian.”
Eriksen would be a fascinating player in La Liga, specifically at Barcelona. He could be a perfect addition to the Barcelona midfield regardless of what happens with Andres Iniesta this summer. But especially interesting, and needed, should Iniesta leave.
The season in which Jordi Alba has assisted the most | FC Barcelona Jordi Alba is in a great moment of form. The left-back from L’Hospitalet is having a wonderful season and his numbers confirm his pass completion rate at 86.74%. He has also delivered 10 assists in all competitions, the most for a defender in the League during 2017/18, and one more than Eibar’s José Ángel ‘Cote.’
Iniesta better than last year – Spain boss Lopetegui | Goal Barcelona star Andres Iniesta is in better form than last year and will again play a key role for Spain, according to coach Julen Lopetegui. The 33-year-old is enjoying another fine campaign for Barca, although his future with the Liga giants is uncertain.
Wired magazine runs piece on Camp Nou renovation and Espai Barça | FC Barcelona The article, which also includes a video and was authored in cooperation with Audi, the German automaker and FC Barcelona Premium Partner, details the litany of changes coming to both the stadium and its surroundings as part of the broader Espai Barça project, which will further integrate the Club with its neighborhood in the Les Corts district in Barcelona.