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Team back to begin preparing for Valencia

November 27, 2014 – 12:24 | Comments Off

The Team has trained this mornig / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Andrés Iniesta, yet to be medically cleared, worked out with the group at the Ciutat Esportiva

FC Barcelona got back to their training routine on Thursday morning after having Wednesday off. It was their first session after Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Apoel in Cyprus. Today saw the team begin preparations for this Sunday’s La Liga clash at Valencia.

Everyone that was available took part, including Andrés Iniesta, who worked out at normal speed despite not yet being medically cleared. Joining them was Munir from the B team. The team will train again on Friday morning.

 

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Team back to begin preparing for Valencia

November 27, 2014 – 12:24 | Comments Off

 Team back to begin preparing for Valencia
Andrés Iniesta, yet to be medically cleared, worked out with the group at the Ciutat Esportiva

FC Barcelona got back to their training routine on Thursday morning after having Wednesday off. It was their first session after Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Apoel in Cyprus. Today saw the team begin preparations for this Sunday’s La Liga clash at Valencia.

Everyone that was available took part, including Andrés Iniesta, who worked out at normal speed despite not yet being medically cleared. Joining them was Munir from the B team. The team will train again on Friday morning.

 

The book ‘Barça, The Thrill is Back’, now on sale

November 27, 2014 – 11:00 | Comments Off

A la venda el llibre 'Barça, torna la il·lusió'
The official book containing highlights of FC Barcelona last season and at the start of the present one is including QR codes with audiovisual content for first time

Thursday sees the release of ‘Barça, The Thrill is Back’, the sixth volume co-published by Angle Editorial and FC Barcelona, containing brand new pictures of the first team players during the 2013/14 season and early in 2014/15, what proved to be a difficult period, especially due to the illness and passing away of Tito Vilanova.

Barça have started this season with renewed hopes, boosted by the arrival of new manager Luis Enrique, who is working hard to get Barça back to its best. To do so, big changes have been made to the squad, with Luis Suárez, Bravo, Mathieu, Ter Stegen, Rakitic, Vermaelen and Douglas all being signed, Rafinha returning from loan, and several youngsters from Barça B also contributing to the cause, including Munir, Sandro and Samper.

The book offers a close and intimate view of the team at different moments in the dressing room, on the pitch or travelling to away games, taking readers on a uniquely exciting visual journey in the company of the players, coaches and other members of staff. And it also pays tribute to Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés, two of Barça’s greatest ever players who retired last summer, by looking back at some of their finest moments defending the team colours.

‘Barça, The Thrill is Back’ is the latest in a series that began in 2009 with ‘Our best year ever’ and was followed by the equally successful ‘Making history’ (2010), ‘In the heart of the legend’ (2011), ‘Proud of our colors’ (2012) and ‘The courage of champions’ (2012), with more than 60,000 copies sold.

This year’s edition includes several new features, including for the first time QR codes to relive some of the greatest highlights of the last year. Anyone who buys the book also gets 2×1 tickets to visit the Camp Nou Experience.

The texts are by El País writer Jordi Quixano and the photos are by Miguel Ruiz, Germán Parga, Víctor Salgado and Horacio Seguí. It contains 204 pages and is written in Catalan, Spanish and English.

ON SALE HERE

Xavi Hernández now has made 151 appearances in the Champions’ League, the same number as Ryan Giggs

November 26, 2014 – 16:45 | Comments Off

Xavi and Giggs both have made 151 appearances in the Champions League  / PHOTO: Photomontage FCB
The Barça captain reaches the appearance record previously set by the former Manchester United player

On the 16th of September 1998 Xavi Hernández made his FC Barcelona debut in the Champions League against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Curiously enough, the Barça coach at the time, Louis Van Gaal, is now in charge at the English club and his assistant is Ryan Giggs, the man who up until Tuesday held the record for the most ever appearances in Europe’s top club competition. Sixteen years after that debut in Manchester, the FC Barcelona captain reached a total of 151 matches in the European Cup, equalling the legendary United midfielder’s record.

Xavi started the game against Apoel in Nicosia on the bench but in the 62nd minutes he was given his chance, coming on to replace Ivan Rakitic. That was the moment he drew level with Giggs and now he is well placed to become the player with most appearances in the competition including qualifying rounds.

Xavi and Ryan Giggs lead the all time appearance list with 151 appearances – they are followed by Iker Casillas in third place (146), Paulo Maldini (139) and Clarence Seedorf (131). The game against Apoel means that Xavi is now the player who has made most appearances in the Champions League since the new format was introduced back in 1992. Without qualifying rounds, Xavi has played 145 matches, one more than Iker Casillas who could equal him on Wednesday evening against Basel.

FC Barcelona – Juanfersa Grupo Fegar: No mercy (40-25)

November 26, 2014 – 16:30 | Comments Off

Jallouz, scorer of 5 goals, about to strike / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB
Xavi Pascual’s side put in an excellent performance to record their 12th victory in the Asobal League

MATCH STATS

FC Barcelona, 40
Juanfersa Grupo Fegar, 25

FC Barcelona: Saric, Entrerríos (2), Sorhaindo (5), Ariño (3), Gurbindo, Jallouz (5), Saubich (4) (starting 7), Lazarov (2), Rutenka (8), Morros (1), Noddesbo (2), Márquez (1), Sarmiento (1), Sigurdsson (6), Pérez de Vargas

Juanfersa Grupo Fegar: Pejcinovic, Rial (3), Huerta (1), Pellitero, Paraja (3), Serdio (2), Paredes (1), Serdio (starting 7), Golubovic (1), Río (6), Montoya (2), Adrián Fernández (5), Ignacio Fernández, Plaza (1)

FC Barcelona’s handball team recorded yet another victory in the second of three consecutive matches at the Palau Blaugrana. At the weekend they dispatched the current European Champions and on Wednesday they made short work of the team currently propping up the table Juansfersa Grupo Fegar from Asturias. The win was their 12th consecutive victory in the league this season.

Grupo Fegar took an early lead but that was as good as it got for the visitors with Barça scoring nine unanswered goals thanks in part to the counter attacking skills of Enterríos and Sorhaindo. The blaugranes dominance in the first half was sealed with a goal right before the hooter from Rutenka to make the score 20-8 at the break.

Relaxed second half

Barça continued to dominate in the second half with Sarmiento, Lazarov and Sigurdsson all outstanding. The Asturians via youngster Rubén Rio were able to bring a little respectability to the scoreline but the result was never in doubt as Xavi Pascual’s side maintained their 100% record in the league.

The other side of Apoel-FC Barcelona

November 26, 2014 – 16:05 | Comments Off

.The other side of Apoel-FC Barcelona

Luis Suárez the elder on Luis Suárez the younger

November 26, 2014 – 15:30 | Comments Off

Luis Suárez with Ramon Alfonseda and Josep Maria Fusté at the Barça veterans dinner / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB
The legendary ex-Barça midfielder spoke about his Uruguayan namesake’s arrival at FC Barcelona

Luis Suárez Miramontes

The midfielder born in La Coruña, Spain played for Barça between 1954 and 1961 alongside such other legends as Kubala, Kocsis, Czibor and keeper Ramallets. He became the first Spanish born player to win the Ballon d’Or in 1960 and when he left the blaugranes to join Internazionale a year later, the move saw him  become the world’s most expensive footballer at that time.

[[DES_1]]During the annual dinner for the Former Barça Players group last Friday, Luis Suárez Miramontes spoke to Barça TV about the arrival of his namesake at FC Barcelona. The Uruguyan version scored his first ever goal for the blaugranes on Tuesday against Apoel and for the legendary ex-Barça and Internazionale midfielder he is, “an important signing for Barça.”

“He is a very important player for the team because aside from scoring plenty of goals, he is a winner with character” maintained the man played for Barça between 1954 and 1961. The elder Luis Suárez even joked: “With that name he can’t fail.”

Just three days before the Barça number 9 found the net, the former player highlighted his goalscoring ability. “He has always scored goals and he won’t stop because he is in his prime,” he commented.

[[CITA_1]]

Finally Luis Suárez gave his opinion on the trident formed by the Uruguayan, Messi and Neymar in Luis Enrique’s Barça side. “They are intelligent lads and they know that, at certain moments they have to think of the team,” he explained before adding, “it’s the best for them all because if things go badly for them, then they go badly for the team.”

aside from scoring plenty of goals, he is a winner with character

World’s media running out of words to describe Messi

November 26, 2014 – 13:00 | Comments Off

Messi dominated the sports headlines all around the planet
After he smashed the Champions League goalscoring record on Tuesday, Leo Messi has made global headlines

Miracle, legend, and even extra-terrestrial are the kind of words the international press has used to describe his amazing achievement

These days, a month rarely goes by without Lionel Messi breaking a new record. Where he is concerned, the term ‘rewriting the history books’ is not just a cliché. It’s literally true, and the world’s media will vouch for that. After he broke the Champions League record by taking his talky up to 74 goals, we are running out of superlatives to describe somebody who is nothing less than a living legend.

No sooner had the final whistle blown in Nicosia than the Argentinian’s name was all over the international press. In one game, he had moved three goals ahead of Raul’s previous record of 71, and that was enough to make headlines all around the planet.

“It capped an extraordinary four days for Messi, who on Saturday became the top goal-scorer in La Liga’s Primera Division after his hat-trick against Sevilla took him to 253 goals”, writes British paper The Telegraph. “Another day, another record broken … it was another opportunity to unleash a barrage of superlatives towards a football phenomenon” gushed CCN, while The Daily Mail points out that “Messi has been the Catalans’ star man for much of the last decade, and at 27, still has many years of Champions League football in him.”

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The Washington Post uses images of tweets from our own official Twitter account to illustrate its piece, proclaiming that “Lionel Messi is knocking down all-time soccer scoring records like a heavyweight boxing champ.” ESPN didn’t hold back with its words either, commenting that “Whenever Cules begin to feel that there is there is very little more that Messi can do to surprise them, the diminutive Argentinean strikes again, breaks yet another record and rises the bar even further. Having a player of his calibre come through the ranks of La Masia, then excel at a professional level for over a decade, is little short of a miracle.”

The Guardian Data Blog takes a statistical take on the story and works out that “it has taken the Argentinian player 90 appearances to reach 71 goals … That gives Messi a terrifying 0.79 goals per game, meaning he will probably score in roughly four out of every five Champions League matches – a rate that is considerably higher than both Ronaldo’s (nearly two out of three) and Raúl’s (one out of two).”

[[CITA_2]]

Moving away from the Anglosphere, in Italy Gazzeta dello Sport has no doubt that “Messi’s record equates to a legend.” In France L’Express waxes lyrical about “A November with a taste of eternity,” while L’Équipe produced a curiously similar comment about how “this month of November will always have a taste of eternity for the four-time winner of the Balon d’Or”. Meanwhile, Le Fígaro asks “Can one record demerit another? If your name is Lionel Messi, it can.”

German daily Die Welt believes that the new record is “too spectacular”, while Der Speigel reminds us that “no other professional footballer has had such repeated success” and Frankfurter Allgemeine adds that “Messi’s 74 goals add to the term superlative.”

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In Messi’s native Argentina, there was naturally euphoria at this latest achievement by a national hero. Clarín’s headline is clearer than any other, proudly announcing that “Messi has become the single highest goalscorer in the history of the European competition.” Argentine sports daily Olé explains its use of the title “Señor Record” by saying that “if you needed to find a synonym for the word ‘record’, then there’s no doubt that Messi would be the right choice. Because there are no limits to this football extra-terrestrial.”

Little short of a miracle
A taste of eternity
Señor Record

FC Barcelona give support to the campaign to end violence against women

November 26, 2014 – 12:45 | Comments Off

Support for the declaration against Violence against Women
The club supports a declaration in writing made by the Secretary General for Sport for the Generalitat of Catalunya

FC Barcelona has lent its support to a declaration for the elimination of violence against women distributed by the Secretary General for Sport for the Generalitat of Catalunya (The Catalan Regional Government). The text was put together to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25th of November.

This new commitment to women’s rights is an initiative of the Grup Edelmira Calvetó, led by Barça director Susana Monje and created with the intention of promoting women’s roles within the club and of women’s role in sport.

With this support FC Barcelona aim to promote and strengthen the battle against violence against women within society.

Record number of passes in Cyprus. Barça set a season high of 934 passes against APOEL

November 26, 2014 – 12:37 | Comments Off

Mascherano led the team in passes on Tuesday night / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
FC Barcelona set a season high of 934 passes against APOEL, 840 of which were good

FC Barcelona’s 4-0 win against APOEL will always be remembered for Messi setting a new Champions League all-time goalscoring record. But there were other reasons to be proud of a stunning performance in Cyprus, as shown by this collection of trivia from the game.

  • FC Barcelona made 934 passes, of which 840 were completed, the highest tally of the season.
  • The highest number of passes until now under Luis Enrique was achieved against the same side, APOEL, in the game at the Camp Nou (856, of which 747 were good). However, Barça actually completed more passes away to Levante (768) out of a slightly smaller overall total (852).
  • Barça set that new passing record with a brand new midfield line-up. It was the first time Mascherano, Rafinha and Rakitic had all started together.
  • The Argentinian led the team in passes (118, of which a massive 111 found their man), a record figure for this season’s Champions League.
  • Goalkeeper Ter Stegen’s game was as good as perfect. Apart from one particularly outstanding save, he didn’t get any of his 23 passes wrong. APOEL stopper Nuno Morais made more passes, 29, but three of them were bad.
  • The German kept his second consecutive clean sheet, taking his overall record for the season to three in five appearances, all in the UCL.
  • The last time Leo Messi got two consecutive hat-tricks was in March against Osasuna (7-0) and then Real Madrid (3-4).
  • The Argentinian has scored in every European away match this season, a total of five goals in three games.
  • He’s scored six goals in his last two games and eight in the last four.
  • 7 of the 12 Champions League goals scored by Barça this season have come in the first half. The second quarter of an hour has been the most productive period, with three goals.
  • Rafinha was only the second FC Barcelona player to be sent off this season. The first was Javier Mascherano in the league game with Elche.
  • Barça have played 65 minutes with a man less this season, and in that time they have scored three goals and conceded none..

Four FC Barcelona defenders shortlisted for FIFPro

November 26, 2014 – 12:30 | Comments Off

Piqué, Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and Mascherano are in the running for the World XI / PHOTO: @FIFPro
Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano are among the 20 candidates for a place in the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014

The quartet join goalkeeper Claudio Bravo as nominees for a place in the prestigious eleven

Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves have been shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014. The four Barça defenders are among the 20 candidates in that position chosen by around 60,000 professional footballers from all around the world. The definitive XI will be revealed at the FIFA Balon d’Or Gala in Zurich on January 12.

The other sixteen players are as follows: Alaba, Boateng and Lahm (Bayern Munich); Carvajal, Marcelo, Pepe, Ramos and Varane (Real Madrid); David Luiz and Thiago Silva (PSG); Filipe Luis and Ivanovic (Chelsea); Godín (Atlético Madrid); Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) and Kompany and Zabaleta (Manchester City).

Joining Bravo

Barça already have Claudio Bravo in the running for a place as one of the five nominated goalkeepers. The 15 candidate midfielders will be announced on Friday 28 and the 15 strikers on December 1.

Dani Alves was in the World XI last year and has been selected four times. Gerard Piqué was in the side three times (2010, 2011 and 2012), and Javier Mascherano returns to the list of nominees after missing out last year. All four of Barça’s candidates were also involved in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Els 20 defenses preseleccionats per al FIFA FIFPro

Fans honour Messi’s Champions League record on social networks

November 26, 2014 – 12:24 | Comments Off

Tuesday’s hat trick sent the Argentinian up to a new record of 74 goals in Europe’s premier club competition.