Piqué as excited as in 2009

Happy with new kit

Gerard Piqu was speaking to the media just after the new kit for the 2012/12 was revealed. Asked about the new uniform, he said I have tried it on and I like it. Its modern, different and very nicely designed.

Gerard Piqu is about to feature in his third Copa del Rey Final, and reckons he is looking forward to it as much he was in 2008/09. I am just as excited as I was when I had just arrived back here. The cup final is always a huge motivator. There are things that make it a bit more special, but just because its a final we give it special treatment Its a great day of football both for the fans and the players.

Bielsa and Llorente

Asked about the 2009 final in Mestalla, Piqu expects a similar match. With Bielsa, Athletic Club like to push forward and itll be a very intense game. I dont see a favourite, its 50-50. Theyll have a lot to say and well have to fight very hard to win. His own job is likely to be that of marking Llorente, on which he commented that we have to make sure that the second touch is always ours, because hell certainly be fighting to get it. We have to be careful with set pieces and watch out for Susaeta and Muniain coming down the wings, and stop them from shooting.

Piqu also spoke about the comments by the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, who is in favour of the game being suspended if the fans jeer the Spanish national anthem. The fans will act with respect, they have the right to express themselves he said. The country has more important problems to worry about than things like this.

A fine season

Whatever happens at the Caldern, the Catalan feels that we have had a very good season, weve won three titles, although we were missing luck at key moments On a personal level, Id give myself lower marks than for other seasons. But theres still Friday to fight for and after that theres the European Championship. In football you can only look ahead I have found it hard to get into the team due to a number of factors.

Many have commented that relations have soured between Piqu and Pep Guardiola, but the player himself shuns such suggestions. His departure is traumatic for me. I feel a much better player thanks to him and the whole team has learned a lot. Hell leave a void, but well carry on with Tito and well do well. Thats football, eras come to an end.

Barça and Òscar Garcia have reached a mutual agreement to terminate their contract

FC Barcelona has announced that the club has reached an agreement with scar Garca, coach of the Juvenil A team, to end the contract binding the two parties. The club has thereby attended to the request of scar Garca, who wished to terminate his contact in order to focus on a new professional project.

Pep Muoz, who was until now the assistant manager of the Juvenil A team will be taking over as head coach for what remains of the season.

Training session: Final sprint

On Tuesday morning, Bara trained for the second to last time before Fridays Copa del Rey Final. The venue was Sant Joan Desp. Thiago, now recovered from his stomach bug, and Alexis and Pinto, though not yet declared fully fit, were able to train at the same pace as their team-mates. Like on Monday, they were joined by four members of the B team: Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos and Tello.

In cold, windy weather, the only players missing were, as expected, Alves, Puyol, Villa, Abidal and Fonts. The team will continue its preparations for the duel with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday morning, behind closed doors at the Ciutat Esportiva.

The player @cesc4official says that the team is "eager and excited" for the Copa del Rey Final

The news about Abidal is fantastic

The Bara players were extremely happy to hear that ric Abidal was discharged from hospital this afternoon. Its fantastic news. Were very pleased that everything went well. Now its time for him to recover at home and, with out help, get back as soon as possible, said Cesc.

Cesc Fbregas, who will play in his first Copa del Rey final, is counting down the hours to when the referee signals the start of the match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club on May 25 at 22:00. His team-mates have already told him about what kind of atmosphere he should expect in the Cup final, sometimes its better than a Champions League game, and thats why Im eager to experience it. The Azulgrana midfielder said that hes very motivated and very eager for the match as he reminded the packed press room that Bara have the chance to finish off the year with four titles.

The break between games wont be a factor

The player also recognised that the team is not used to having so much time off between matches, but he doesnt believe it will be a factor in Baras last match of the season. Were prepared and ready for the final. Its not normal to wait so long to play a final but our eagerness and excitement to play has helped us overcome the wait, said Cesc.

More motivated than ever

The midfielder doesnt believe that Athletic Club, who recently lost in the final of the Europa League, will be more motivated than the Azulgranas in the Cup Final. Im sure they are not more motivated than we are. Our hunger for victory and our excitement hasnt run out. However, he also warned of the dangers presented by Marcelo Bielsas side: were going to play against a spectacular team that we admire. They have hope, theyre eager and they always go forward. They remind me of some English teams, with very direct football but they also utilise their passing game. He anticipates a hard-fought match, like most of the games between the two side.

The best final for Guardiola

Cesc also recognised that wining the Copa del Rey title this Friday would be the best way to end Guardiolas era as Baras manager. Finishing with a title would be spectacular. He also noted that the managers decision is not a letdown, but it has left the players with a lingering sadness: we know what he means to Bara and its fans, both on an individual and collective level. Hes a unique and admirable person. A Bara legend is leaving but we have to look forward and be positive. We know this team have a lot yet to give.

Tito knows what hes doing

Cesc also praised the decision to name Tito Vilanova as the next FC Barcelona manager. Tito knows exactly what hes doing and what he wants to do. Looking ahead to next season, Cesc hopes to improve upon this years performance. Ill try to give more next season, Ill require the absolute best of myself Hes also aware that after the first transitional season, the second is more complicated.

Cesc also rubbished claims that theres a bad relationship between Guardiola and Vilanova. Guardiolas relationship with Vilanova is fantastic, hearing these comments from the outside isnt good. It hurts us because we know that they have a good relationship.

Barça resume preparations for the Copa del Rey Final

Training session on Tuesday morning

Guardiola will lead another closed-door training session on Tuesday at 11:00 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Gerard Piqu will hold a post-training press conference.

Bara faces a crucial week of training ahead of the Copa del Rey Final in Madrid against Athletic Club. After enjoying two days off, the team returned to training this afternoon at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Thiago Alcntara, who has missed the teams last training session due to illness, was back with the team.

The available first-team players, including Pinto and Alexis, both of whom still do not have medical clearance to play, participated in the training session. The Bara B players Montoya, Bartra, Tello and Dos Santos joined their first-team colleagues as well.

Pep Guardiola will not be able use Alves, Puyol, Villa, Fonts and Abidal in the final.

Pinto: "We want a happy farewell for Guardiola"

Superstition and music

-Are you superstitious?
When I was younger I was. The older you get you more you leave these things behind. If not, I wouldnt wear the number 13. I love this number.

-Do you listen to music before games?
I prefer to read before matches, because it relaxes me. I just finished reading El maestro de las cometas.

-Do you listen to your own music or do you try to disconnect by listening to other types of music?
I listen to all types of music. We play various songs in the dressing room in order to motivate the team.

-At the Camp Nou, when you go out to warm up, your music always plays…
I passed along my CD at the start of the season so they could play it during our warmup session before the match and things went well for us that day. People thought lets keep on using this music, things worked out well, also because they liked it, obviously. The reason we listen to my music during the warmup is because of superstition, though.

In an interview with Bara TV Jos Manuel Pinto said that hes preparing for the Kings Cup Final against Athletic Club. He confirmed that hes in perfect physical condition for the match while noting that the team have overcome obstacles in the past in reference to the announced absences of both Puyol and Alves.

He recognised that it will be a special match seeing that its Pep Guardiolas last match on the Bara bench, but he also said that hed like to dedicate a hypothetical victory to Abidal and his family. Pinto went on to say that he has complete confidence in the Bara youth system and he praised Marcelo Bielsas sensational side.

– Hows your ankle?

I feel great. If everything goes according to plan, Ill be in optimal condition.

-Weve had the recent bad news of both Puyol and Alves injuries. But this team have always been able to overcome these types of difficulties. Why is that?

I believe that these small inconveniences always happen throughout the season and its a shame that we wont be able to play with some of our team-mates due to last-minute injuries. But we must keep on moving and we, whenever there has been an obstacle, have been able to move forward.

-Martn Montoya might get the nod to start against Athletic Club. Is he ready to play in a final?

Every player that comes up through the youth system is highly qualified. They prove it when they come out [onto the pitch] and they dont notice the change [when they move up to the first team] because theyre very well prepared. We have confidence in them.

-Ahead of preparing for the match, does it make a big difference on the game if Puyol, Mascherano or Piqu are playing in the middle?

We prepare for each match in the same way. The only thing that changes are the individual characteristics of the players. But I have confidence in whoever plays, the only thing that changes are the small details.

-Its an important final seeing that it will be Pep Guardiolas last match on the bench. Does this fact add pressure to the team? Does it motivate you?

Its hard to define, we dont like that hes leaving. The last match [with Guardiola] will be sad, we have to win to turn that sadness into joy so we can give him a proper send off. I hope it works out this way, were motivated. Were all awaiting that moment.

-How important has Guardiola been in your career? What have you learned?

With him Ive principally learned how to use my feet and how to read the game. Ill always be thankful for the confidence hes given me. He has complete confidence in me and Ive done my best to return the gesture. Ive done it with my attitude in our training sessions and especially when I play.

-Another final against Athletic Club. Is this team like the one in the 2009 Final?

Every team modifies itself every year. Its obvious that Athletic have improved a lot. They are a very competitive side. They play well and their manager is responsible for this positive change. It will be a very difficult and beautiful final.

-Guardiola says that Athletic Club are the sensation the year. Do you agree?

Ive followed them and I believe that they are one of the standout teams of the year. Atltico Madrid have also had a great season.

-Do you believe youve permanently won over the Culs? Do you believe your public image has hurt you in anyway?

Ive never thought about it. I believe that Ive won the Culs over because when Im out and about they show me their appreciation. The only thing Ive done is give everything I have and try to bring something to the group. When someone comports himself with honesty the people see that and give it value.

-Have you thought the match over in your head? Have you dreamed of the perfect match?

Ive had a flash or two, but Ive quickly forgotten about it. We want this to end well. I hope that I can dedicate the trophy to my grandparents, who recently passed away. Id also like to dedicate the trophy to Abidal and my family.

Ja es coneixen 22 dels 32 equips que participaran a la fase de grups de la propera Lliga de Campions

The 22 teams

Group 1
Chelsea
FC Barcelona
Manchester United
Bayern Mnchen
Real Madrid
Arsenal
Porto
AC Milan

Group 2
Valencia
Benfica
Shakhtar Donetsk
Zenit
Schalke 04
Manchester City

Group 3
Olympiakos
Ajax
Anderlecht
Juventus
FC Copenhaguen*

Bombo 4
Galatasaray
Borussia Dortmund
Montpellier
Nordsjaelland*

*The team which wins the Danish league will not play the qualifying rounds

With this years Champions League and the majority of the domestic European leagues, Twenty-two of the thirty two teams in the Group stages have already been decided, with a further ten to come through the qualifying rounds.

Big names spread out

The draw for next seasons competition will take place on August 30th and it promises to throw up some interesting ties, with the champions of the four main leagues in four different groups for the draw Manchester City are in group two, Juventus in the third group and Borussia Dortmund in group four. Those three will provide the main threats in the draw, but there are also teams such as Schalke 04, Ajax, Galatasaray and the new French champions Montpeller, who Bara could find themselves playing in the Group Stage.

Top seeded group

FC Barcelona have the best coefficient according to UEFA and they head the top seeded group for the draw, alongside Chelsea, United, Bayern, Madrid, Arsenal, Porto and AC Milan, who they are guaranteed not to meet, as well as fellow Spanish teams Valencia and Malaga if Pellegrinis team get through the qualifying rounds.

There are some big names missing from the draw most notably, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Lyon who will miss out on the chance to walk for the final on May 25th 2013 at Wembley Stadium a venue Bara have already lifted two titles at of course!

Benjamí C claim the Liga title (3-2)

The end of the season is coming to a close for Baras youth teams, and, in the final stretch, the effort put in by the youngsters is yielding its rewards. This weekend the Benjamn C teams turn in the limelight. The side managed by Cristian Catena and Albert Puig claimed the Liga title of the Segunda Divisin Benjamn after beating Centre dEsports LHospitalet, the second-place team in the standings. by 3-2.

Even first half

The match was marked by inclement weather that, at certain points during the match, forced the referee to halt the game. Despite the weather, the first half was dominated by Bara. The Azulgranas quickly took the lead thanks to two goals from Xavi Dimons and Arnau Martnez. Bara didnt want to wait another week to claim the title, and they gave it their all against their direct competitors for the Liga thrown.

However, the visiting side were also in the hunt for the title and they didnt relinquish their bid easily. Hospitalet managed to level the game at two goals apiece before the half. The halftime result, however, favoured Bara, a draw was enough to mathematically clinch the title.

Pleguezuelo breaks the deadlock

Even though Bara attempted to win the three points, the scoreline didnt move until the last part of the match. Pleguezuelo stepped up to give his team the lead with four minutes remaining on the referees clock. There wasnt time for the visiting side to react. Baras Benjamn C team had won the title with two game still remaining on the schedule. The victory was followed by the Bara players storming the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gampers number 8 pitch in celebration.

With a record of 25 wins and only 3 defeats all season, the title confirms the teams splendid season. Furthermore, its further proof of Baras benjamn teams, who have won all the league titles in their respective divisions.

FC Barcelona’s women’s team take a giant step taken towards the title (0-7)

MATCH STATS

SD REOCN, 0
FC BARCELONA, 7

SD Reocn: Yumay, lex, Andrea, Ana, Marta, Taty, Rebeca, Eva, Andri, Roco (Tamara, min 53) and Carla (Luca, min 47).

FC Barcelona: Rfols, Marta (Kenti, min 70), Meli, Ani (Olga, min 50), Melanie, Guti, Luli (Corredera, min 50), Mriam, Vicky, Snia and Carol (Leila, min 70)

Goals: 0-1, Vicky, min 9; 0-2, Luli, min 32; 0-3, Olga, min 53; 0-4, Olga, min 62; 0-5, Olga, min 75; 0-6, Snia, min 78, and 0-7, Leila min 86.