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This is how Messi prepared to beat the record

November 24, 2014 – 18:29 | Comments Off

The blaugrana number ’10′ wrote another page in his personal history with his performance against Sevilla
On Saturday Leo Messi became the top goalscorer of all time in the league, surpassing a record that had stood for almost 60 years. In th…

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FC Barcelona News »

This is how Messi prepared to beat the record

November 24, 2014 – 18:29 | Comments Off

 This is how Messi prepared to beat the record
The blaugrana number ’10′ wrote another page in his personal history with his performance against Sevilla

On Saturday Leo Messi became the top goalscorer of all time in the league, surpassing a record that had stood for almost 60 years. In this video you can see how he prepared for this historic game: his arrival at the stadium his warm up and his celebration with his team mates. This was one of the most important hat-tricks in Leo Messi’s career.

Luis Enrique expects similar APOEL to first game

November 24, 2014 – 18:15 | Comments Off

Luis Enrique on his way to the press conference in Cyprus / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
The Barça coach highlighted Apoel’s defensive strength ahead of their clash on Tuesday in the Champiosn’ League

Training session at the GSP Stadium

All 22 players selected for the trip to Cyprus to take on Apoel trained on Mondat evening at the GSP Stadium. Luis Enrique took the session with the 21 first team players plus Barça B’s Munir. Only Andrés Iniesta and Thomas Vermaelen were missing as they have stayed behind in Barcelona to continue their respective recoveries from injury.

[[DES_1]]In the press conference prior to the Champions League clash in Cyprus against Apoel Nicosia, Barça coach Luis Enrique explained just what kind of game he was expecting: “We are expecting a game similar to the first match, we will try to take the initiative. I expect them to use a defensive set up very like that first clash with little space and that always causes problems.”

The former blaugrana player was clear on Apoel’s biggest strength. “Their greatest virtue is that they concede very few goals. They know what they are doing defensively and it is difficult to create chances,” he added.

Overcoming difficult moments

The home side are chasing third place in the group whilst the visitors are after top spot in the group. Luis Enrique admitted he would prefer to “play the return leg in the next round at home.” He went on: “We need the points to finish first once we have achieved our main objective. Apoel is the challenge we have to overcome and after that we will look at what is happening in the other game in the group.”

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The big win over Sevilla in their most recent match has given the side confidence once more. The blaugrana coach was clear: “Big clubs always have tough moments and overcoming them is part of a season’s success.”

‘I feel bad for Vermaelen’

One player who is not having a great time at the moment is Thomas Vermaelen. Of the Belgian, Luis Enrique had this to say: “It’s a difficult subject when injuries keep coming back. I feel bad because he would be a great help to us. From the inside we have to give the support to recover soon.” Asked about Xavi’s contribution, the coach responded: “He is unique and a one off due to his qualities and his performances. He is our captain and a basic piece for us when he plays and when he doesn’t.”

Training session 24-11-14 (GSP Stadium) by fcbarcelona

Apoel is our first concern, then we will think about what happens in the other game in the group

LIVE / Ivan Rakitic and Luis Enrique press conference

November 24, 2014 – 18:05 | Comments Off

Ivan Rakitic and Luis Enrique pre-game press conference ahead APOEL FC-FC Barcelona (Champions League).

Rakitic: APOEL fans will make it difficult

November 24, 2014 – 18:00 | Comments Off

Ivan Rakitic in front of the press / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The Croatian midfielder warned ahead of the game in Cyprus that the blaugranes would have to be prepared to put in a ‘complete’ performance

Rakitic vs APOEL

For Rakitic it will not be the first time that he has faced Apoel FC. The Croatian did not play in the game at Camp Nou but he did come up against the Cypriots when he was at Schalke 04 in a Europe League qualifier back in 2008/09. The Germans won 4-1 in Nicosia with Rakitic amongst the scorers. The Barça midfielder also started the return leg which ended in a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.

Ivan Rakitic is expecting a difficult game against Apoel FC in Nicosia on Tuesday evening. Appearing before the press in Cyprus on Monday, the Croatian said the home fans would create “a lot of pressure” and that they make life difficult for away teams. In previous matches in the GSP Stadium in Group F Apoel held Ajax to a draw and lost to PSG thanks a to a very late goal from Edinson Cavani.

For the Barça midfielder the Cypriots are a side who are no pushover. He went on to explain: “I know the club a little because I played here in the qualifying round with Schalke 04. I also have a friend who plays here in the league and I know we will have to be well prepared and put in a complete performance. They work hard here.”

There were a couple of questions referring to Leo Messi and his record breaking feats against Sevilla. “There are no words left to describe Messi. He is pure football. I am very proud to be out there with him on the field.” He also had praise for his team mate in midfield against Sevilla, Xavi Hernández: “I am very happy and grateful to be able to play in the same team as him. I enjoy it out on the field.”

Bravo amomg candidate goalkeepers for FIFA Fifpro

November 24, 2014 – 12:22 | Comments Off

Bravo is one of the five nominees goalkeepers for the FIFA Fifpro XI. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
The other four nominees are Casillas, Buffon, Neuer and Courtois

The XI will be revealed at the FIFA Balon d’Or Gala on January 12

Claudio Bravo is one of the five goalkeepers to have been shortlisted for a place in the FIFA Fifpro XI. He is joined by Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Thibaut Courtois (At. Madrid/Chelsea) and Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich). These names have been picked by 60,000 footballers from around the world and the definitive eleven will be announced at the FIFA Balon d’Or Gala in Zurich on January 12.

The other 50 finalists will be announced over the next few days. On Wednesday 26 we shall learn the names of the 20 chosen defenders, on Friday 28 of the 15 midfielders and on December 1 of the 15 strikers.

The trip to Cyprus, as seen by the players

November 24, 2014 – 11:54 | Comments Off

Neymar and Alves
The first team players’ view of the flight to Larnaca

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FC Barcelona head for Cyprus

November 24, 2014 – 10:18 | Comments Off

Pedro is among the travelling players / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE
The first team’s flight to Larnaca left El Prat Airport at 9.15 AM CET

The FC Barcelona first team have departed for Cyprus for Tuesday’s Champions League match with APOEL. The flight to Larnaca left El Prat Airport at 9.15 00 PM. The 22 players named by Luis Enrique are expected to reach their destination at around 12.50 PM CET, from where they will be transferred to Nicosia, which lies some 50 km to the north.

The travelling party is being led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who’s joined by vice-president Javier Faus directors Silvio Elías, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pau Vilanova, and director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta.

Luis Enrique and Ivan Rakitic will be giving a press conference at 5.15 PM CET, and then at 6.00 PM CET the players will train in the same stadium that will be holding the game on Tuesday evening at 8.45 PM CET.

Busy week with trips to Nicosia and Valencia

November 24, 2014 – 09:30 | Comments Off

Barça have two big games this week / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The first team has Champions League and Liga fixtures this week

Barça have their fifth Champions League group stage fixture in Cyprus against APOEL this week. They fly to Nicosia on Monday and the buld-up will include the typical training session at the match venue and press conferences by the manager and a player.

Valencia await

They’ll have a day off on Wedneasday, but thenattention turns to Sunday evening’s Liga game at Mestalla. The players will be travelling south on the same day as the match, and those not included in the squad will train in the morning at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Barça first team schedule:

Monday 24
08.10 AM CET: Trip to Nicosia (Cyprus)
7.00 PM CET: Training for players travelling to Nicosia.

Tuesday 25
8.45 PM CET: APOEL v FC Barcelona, fifth  UEFA Champions League group stage game.

Wednesday 26
Day off

Thursday 27
10.30 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Friday 28
11.00 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Saturday 29
11.00 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Sunday 30
10.15 AM CET: Trip to Valencia.
9.00 PM CET: Valencia v FC Barcelona, game thirteen in the Liga BBVA.

Infographic of Leo Messi’s Liga goalscoring record

November 23, 2014 – 17:40 | Comments Off

Full details of the 253 goals scored by the Argentinian.

The other side of FC Barcelona v Sevilla

November 23, 2014 – 17:22 | Comments Off

Pareja and Rakitic are former Sevilla colleagues / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The other side of Barça v Sevilla

L’altra cara del Barça – Sevilla

Messi makes global headlines

November 23, 2014 – 15:30 | Comments Off

Messi's name and image dominated the Sunday papers / FCB PHOTOMONTAGE
The Argentinian’s Liga goalscoring record has attracted attention in the global media

Not only the sports pages but also more general newspapers have featured his image on their covers

Leo Messi’s record breaking goals against Sevilla dominated the sports pages around the world this morning. In Catalonia, El Mundo Deportivo titled a double-page spread “Always Messi”, adding that “Leo beat Zarra’s record and with 253 goals is now the greatest player of all time.” The headline in Sport was “Never leave us, Leo!” while L’Esportiu de Catalunya features the image of the Argentinian being tossed in the air with the caption: “Enough said.”

In the Spanish press, Marca calls the Barça player the “Goal king”, while the other major Madrid sports daily proclaims that “Messi beat Zarra in style”, referring to how he broke the record with a spectacular hat-trick in the 5-1 rout of Sevilla.

Moving onto the general interest papers, La Vanguardia included the player’s picture on its cover, stating that “Messi’s legend gets bigger”. He also appears on the front page of El Periódico with the words “More than Zarra”. Ara is yet another newspaper that opted for the picture of Messi being given the bumps, along with the headline “At Messi’s feet”. El Punt-Avui chose the words “Trio of goals for a historic record” and El País titled its piece “The Camp Nou honours Messi”.

In his native Argentina, the record was also headline news. “Our Messi” said Olé, while Clarín reported that “Goalscoring record makes the legend grander” and La Nación described “Messi, above everyone”. Finally, in Italy Corriere dello Sport highlighted “Messi’s legendary treble”, while La Gazzeta dello Sport and Tuttosport’ also dedicated large spaces to the amazing new record.