Barça to pay tribute to Fukushima children

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Before Tuesday’s training session, the squad will meet up with a number of children who have been evacuated from the disaster area.

During their trip to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup, the FC Barcelona players will have an informal meeting with 13 girls and boys from the area affected by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The get-together will take place on Tuesday December 13th at the Yokohama Marinos Sports Center, just before the training session to prepare for Thursday’s semi-final. As well as having the chance to watch the stars train, the youngsters, all aged between 9 and 18, who were evacuated from their homes after the disaster and are currently living in a school in Tokyo, will also have the opportunity to chat with the players, officials and Club directors who are in Japan for the competition.

The Tokyo Cervantes Institute and the Spanish Ambassador to Japan have organised the meeting, which will allow FC Barcelona to show its solidarity with the victims and send a message of support to its many Japanese fans.

Worldwide press praises FC Barcelona

Front page of Sport
Newspapers and digital news outlets from across the globe praise Barça’s victory over Madrid

All the players get a special mention and Madrid’s dailies talk of Barça’s “paseo” (easy win) at the Bernabéu

“Another exhibition at the Bernabéu” Mundo Deportivo

“Heroes!” Sport

“From Madrid to heaven” El 9

“Walk in the park at Catellana” Marca

“The best team won” AS

“Barça is once again superior to Madrid” El Mundo

“Mourinho can’t beat Pep” La Razón

“Barça imposes its passing style” Público

“Barça once again makes the clásico bitter for Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu” La Vanguardia

“Iniesta puts Madrid at his feet” El País

“Pep Show Boys” Olé (Argentina)

“Barça was the life of the party at the Bernabéu” Clarín (Argentina)

“Undeniable” L’Équipe (France)

“Legendary Barça” La Gazzeta dello Sport (Italy)

“Barcelona, the law of the strongest” Corriere della Sera (Italy)

“The team led by Pep Guardiola was spectacular” O’Globo (Brazil)

“The victory reaffirms Barça’s dominance and brilliant ball control”  New York Times (USA)

“Alexis’ performance was excellent” La Tercera (Chile)

FC Barcelona are already in Japan, ready to play in the World Club Championship

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
After winning the Clasico, and a more than 12 hour flight, Barça landed in Tokyo this Sunday

The first training session will be on Monday at the Sports City of Yokohama Marinos

It was 22.20 in Japan, 14.20 Catalan time, when Barça landed at Narita Airport in Tokyo. After winning the Clasico, the team took the flight to Japan to face a new challenge: winning the second World Club Championship in the history of FC Barcelona.

The flight took over 12 hours. The joy of victory in the Bernabeu gave way to some relaxation time. During the journey they tried to adapt their bodies to Japan time, the first of the measures to combat jet lag.

After landing in Tokyo the Barça expedition travelled by bus to Yokohama, where the team hotel is located. The team will be back at work on Monday, with a training session at the Sports City of Yokohama Marinos.

Statistics from the League Clasico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Alves and Messi are the only 2 Barça players who have always been in the starting line-up in the Clasicos, in the Guardiola era

Of the 14 Barça players who took part in the Clasico, nine came through the youth ranks. From Madrid, only one

The exhibition by FC Barcelona against Real Madrid leaves us with some curious facts that are reviewed below. These are the stats from the Clasico:

– Barça put an end to a Real Madrid 15 game winning streak, 10 in the league and 5 in the Champions League. It’s also Mourinho’s team’s first defeat at home.

With Guardiola as manager, Barça have never lost at the Bernabeu. Of the six visits to Madrid, the balance is four wins (three in the League and one in the Champions League) and two draws.

– Another different lineup after 26 official games. Guardiola still hasn’t repeated the same starting eleven this season. The starting line-up for the Clasico was brand new.

– Alves and Messi are the only 2 Barça players who have always been in the starting line-up in the Clasicos, since Guardiola took charge of the team.

– Of the 14 players who played in the Clasico for Barça, 9 came up through the youth ranks: Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Messi and Pedro. Of the 14 used by Madrid, only one, Casillas.

Barça had 67.5% ball possession. Once again, Guardiola’s players had the ball much more than their eternal rivals.

– Xavi played his 600th game for Barça, and he celebrated by scoring a goal with the unwitting help of Marcelo.

– Alexis and Cesc, the two Summer signings this season, were both in the starting line-up at the Bernabeu, and they both scored a goal.

– Pique and Puyol have played 55 League games together, and the balance is 46 wins and 9 draws.

Puyol, on Saturday, won 14 balls without losing any. He committed a single foul and was also fouled once.

Al-Sadd will be Barça’s opponent in the Club World Cup semifinals in Japan

L'Al-Sadd s'ha imposat a l'Espérance / FOTO: FIFA.COM
The reigning champions of the Asian Champions League beat Africa’s representative 2-1 in the quarterfinals

FC Barcelona knows who they will have to face in the semifinal of the Club World Cup in b. Their rival will be Al-Sadd, who beat Espérance (2-1) in the quarterfinal this Sunday. The champion of the Asian Champions League scored in the 33rd minute through Al Khalafan. At the start of the second half, Koni scored the second. Espérance managed to pull within a goal of Al Sadd after Darragi scored in the 60th minute, but the Tunisian’s reaction came too late and Al Sadd clinched their spot in the semifinal.

Who is Al-Sadd?

Al-Sadd was founded in 1969, it is one of Qatar’s oldest clubs. They haven’t lifted the League title in four years, but they are reigning champions of the Asian Champions League. To qualify for the Club World Cup they had to play in the pre-qualifier phase. They reached the final (with a balance of eight victories, four draws and two defeats) where they beat South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors in a penalty shoot-out.

The team from Doha have won 30 titles, 11 of which are Qatari League titles. Al-Sadd’s manager is the Uruguayan, Jorge Fossati, who also trained River Plate of Montevideo, Peñarol and the national sides of Uruguay and Qatar. The squad boasts veterans and younger players. Niang, who was part of Marseille’s title winning team in France, and Keita, also an ex-champion in France with Lyon, are the team’s two standout players.