Puyol, Piqué, Fàbregas and Fontàs, visited David Villa in hospital and brought him a very special gift

On Wednesday morning there was yet another example of the camaraderie amongst Bara’s first team players. Captain Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqu, Cesc Fabregas, and Andreu Fonts went to the hospital to visit David Villa, and didn’t do so with their hands empty. The players took with them the trophy they came home with, as winners of the recent World Club Championship, held in Japan. It was just one more detail to help Villa, who was injured in the semifinal match against Al-Sadd, feel part of the triumph. Thus, Villa had got to hold the only trophy that was left for him to win.

We should recall that in the last couple of days a lot of David Villa’s teammates, and coaching staff, have been to the hospital to encourage him and wish him a speedy recovery.

Montoya: "I’ve fulfilled my desire"

Martin Montoya is now a FC Barcelona player until June 2014. The defender signed his contract renewal on Wednesday afternoon. The event was attended by the President, Sandro Rosell, director, Jordi Mestre, sports director, Andoni Zubizarreta, and director of football, Raul Sanlleh, as well as the player’s father and his agent. His buyout clause will be 12 million Euros until the end of this season, and 20 million for the next two.

My chance has come

Speaking to Bara TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat , Montoya expressed his happiness to carry on at Bara: “My first wish had always been to renew my contract and that’s been met. I’m very happy to have made a dream come true, a dream since my childhood. “I’ve been given my chance and hope to take advantage of it”. At the same time, the defender acknowledged that Guardiola’s work with the squad was crucial in his decision: “I feel that he has a lot of confidence in me, and without that it would be very difficult to get into the first team”.

On a memorable day for him, he recalled his long career at Bara: “I came here when I was 9 years old, to play for Benjamin A. I’ve learned everything here, I grew up here. I’ve had lots of experiences, with the other players, some poor years … I’m proud to have been able to overcome all these obstacles and make the jump to the first team, the best thing that can happen to anyone”.

“I’ll have to take it bit by bit”

From now on, Montoya is very clear about his expectations: “I’m happy being in the B Team. I’m looking to try and move up the table, and prepare myself with the reserves, and maybe get the odd game more with the first team this season, and next year be ready to move into the first team squad. “The full-back is very prudent: “At the moment I don’t think I’m ready to play all the games with the first team, I’ll take it bit by bit, but I’m getting there”.

Barça prepares the return leg of the King’s Cup match against L’Hospitalet with seven Barça B players

Unveiling of the documentary Soufian, the child that wanted to fly

This afternoon, at the press room of the Cuitat Espotiva, TV3 unveiled its Soufian, the child that wanted to fly, documentary. The documentary tells the story of a child that overcame the Laurin-Sandrow syndrome after it claimed both of his legs. Lionel Messi participated in the project.

The first team continues to prepare for the last game of the year: the return leg of the Kings Cup against Hospitalet. The game will be played this Thursday at 22.00 hrs at the Camp Nou. This afternoon, Pep Guardiola led 19 players in the penultimate training session before the match. 12 of the players that took part in the training session were first-teamers, counting Dani Alves. It’s worth nothing that all of the South American players, plus Abidal and Keita, are on holiday, the Brazilian trained with his teammates voluntarily. Regardless, Dani Alves will not play in tomorrow’s game, therefore, Guardiola will have 11 first team players at his disposal on Thursday. Vctor Valds also trained this afternoon after not attending yesterdays session because the keeper participated in the Festa de l’Esport Catal.

Reinforcements for the B side

The same seven Bara B footballers that participated in Tuesdays training session trained with the first team today as well – Cuenca, Montoya, Sergi Roberto, Tello, Dos Santos and Rafinha– the only absentee was Oier.

The team will train one last time, tomorrow at 12.30 hrs, before the match against Hospitalet. The closed-door session will take at the Camp Nou

The best year in Barça B’s history

With Pep Guardiolas arrival to Bara Bs bench in the 2007/08 season, the Bara youth team left its losing ways by the wayside and earned their promotion to Second Division B. Two years later, thanks to the manager Luis Enrique, Bara B climbed one step further up the promotion ladder and earned their spot in Second Division. A year and a half later, the youth squad continues its fantastic run.

2011 saw best Bara B side in Club history. Luis Enrique led his squad to an impressive top three finish in Second Division, beating the previous all-time Bara B record for season finishes. Despite the teams unquestionable quality, Bara B was not allowed to dispute the promotion play-offs because the first team was already in Spains top flight. Luchos [Luis Enrique] team was awarded the Fair Play award for their season-long exemplary conduct and Jonathan Soriano earned the Pichichi award with 32 goals.

At the end of the season, Luis Enrique decided it was time to manage elsewhere. Eusebio Sacristn took the reins from the Asturian with the goal of continuing to produce first team players and maintain Bara Bs divisional ranking.

A plethora of youth tournaments with the national side and the inclusion of many Bara B players in the first teams season preparations led to an atypical preseason for Bara B, where many of its players were absent or arriving late due to international duties. Therefore, Eusebio didnt have a full squad until September.

The atypical preseason and the loss of important players from the previous season, like Nolito – who now plays for Benfica – and Jonathan Sorianos long term injury, were key factors in Bara Bs irregular start to the season.

At the start of the season, Bara B beat Huesca and Cartagena away from the Miniestadi, but they lost at home to Villareal B, Deportivo and Sabadell. Improving at the Mini has been one Bara Bs goals this season.

The team played great football, but some players showed their inexperience, seeing that many came from the Under-17 squad. The turning point came after the draw with Alcorcn and loss at home to Guadalajara in matchday 10. The Azulgranas occupied the 17th spot of the table and were dangerously close to the relegation zone. From that point, Eusebio Sacristns men went on a winning run, they managed to string four wins and two draws together in six matches. The streak was broken by Elche, the current League leaders.

Bara B ends the calendar year comfortably sitting in the middle of the table, with Rodri and Kiko Femena fully integrated in the teams dynamics and with a recovered Jonathan Soriano. The reserve side wants to improve and grow, their goal for the upcoming 2012 year is to improve the results at home and avoid losing points due to conceding goals in the final minutes of matches.

Three draws after intercontinental championship

The new world champion has a new challenge to overcome, both against L’Hospitalet in the cup on Thursday and at Espanyol in the first league game of 2012. They have never lost their first game after the Intercontinental or Club World Cups, but have never won either.

FCB v Villarreal (1-1) 2/1/10

In 2009, Bara became the first club to win six major trophies in a calendar year. And they were able to celebrate the feat in front of their own fans at home to Villarreal. The game got off to a great start with Pedro’s 7th minute goal, but Fuster equalised after 50 minutes. Those were the only points FCB dropped at the Camp Nou all season.

FCB v Atltico Madrid (1-1) 21/12/06

Rijkaard‘s side returned to the Camp Nou after the disappointment of defeat to Inter of Porto Alegre, to face Atltico Madrid, a real nemesis for the team in those times. With Eto’o and Messi both injured, Ronaldinho opened the scoring with a pearl of a free kick, but Agero levelled in the second half. Bara were still three points adrift of Sevilla in the table, with a game in hand.

Rayo Vallecano v FCB (3-3). 20/12/93

Shortly after losing to So Paulo, it was off to the Nuevo Vallecas (where several top teams had already lost), where Bara got a heroic point despite both Stoichkov (min 6) and Koeman (min 69) being sent off and the home side going 3-1 up. Salinas sneaked a late point for Johan Cruyff‘s side, who were second in the table behind Deportivo, who Bara would eventually pip to the title on the very last day.

The second Club World Cup is in the Museum

Since Tuesday afternoon, the Club World Cup trophy has been resting at the FC Barcelona Museum. The trophy, which was present at the presidents luncheon with Club employees, is now amongst the other trophies won in 2011 (Champions League, Liga, European and Spanish Super Cups).

Bara won the Club World Cup this Sunday in Yokohama against Santos (0-4). This is the second Club World Cup trophy, after winning it in 2009, in FC Barcelonas Museum.

Dani Alves: “Guardiola is the heart of this team”

Collaboration with Global Humanitaria

Dani Alves, who attended the presentation of Global Humanitarias Solidarity Wristband, is collaborating with the NGO to improve health and child education in the municipality of Juazeiro, Brazil, where the player was born. Its a small town in Brazil, in much need, with humble people that have a heart bigger than the world, said Baras number 2.

At the event, the spot I also help, filmed by the footballer to encourage collaboration between the citizens and the initiative, made its premiere.

Dani Alves, at the event sponsored by Global Humanitaria to introduce the NGOs wristband, praised Josep Guardiola and the key role the manager plays in the teams success: He is the heart of this team, of the Club. We all know that without Guardiola we wouldnt be the great team that we are now, without him we wouldnt have won so many titles. For this reason, according to the player, one of the squads goals is to keep him here a long time.

Since Guardiola took charge of the Bara bench, the team has won 13 titles out of 16 played. The balance is spectacular, said Alves, we will never have so many quality players in the same team, with so much eagerness to make people happy, and with the ambition to keep on winning titles. Along these lines, the footballer called on his team to continue with the same hunger to make people enjoy the game. For the Brazilian, its an honour to be part of a Club like this, and that it’s difficult to adequately express the many joys of being part of the team.

Alves attributes to Guardiola the merit of returning football to the fans. Football turned into a sport where people didnt enjoy themselves, it was all about the result, and that isnt very attractive, it wasnt exciting. Pep has recuperated that. We compete to win, but he has reconciled that with good play and making people enjoy the game, he added.

Alves also talked about Mourinhos comments on Baras Club World Cup victory in Japan. Hes a person that plays his role, he devalues what other people win. The only thing that has value is what he wins. Thats his personality, and we respect it. Mine is different, however. To play these small games, as he says, you have to win the Champions League. We have done that and thats why we are happy. Envy is a bad thing. He added, we live in the moment, and we are the reigning world champions. The numbers are what they are, regardless of who that bothers.

Alves continued: We arent bothered by Madrid because we dont feel like we are inferior to them, and if you dont feel inferior to those that criticize you, it doesnt bother you … but I am bothered by their continual effort to discredit our accomplishments. Theres always a but, or a why. Thats the only thing I do not understand. But I understand that its an unwinnable war, we only try to compete well and make it difficult for others.

Lastly, when asked about how he felt about a hypothetical move by Neymar to the team, Alves said, hes more than invited in this house … if it were up to me I would have brought him already. Hes a player that would bring different qualities to the team, and I believe this is the best club for him to play his style of football.

Pinto: “Contract negotiations are advanced”

Even though there are a few loose ends still to be tied up, Jos Manuel Pinto said during his press conference that negotiations with FC Barcelona are going well and that he is close to signing his contract renewal. The renewal talks are advanced, its coming along. Im very happy, the keeper confirmed.

Wary of LHospitalet

Pinto, who will start this Thursday against lHospitalet, doesnt believe the tie is resolved: We are ready for the match and it wont be easy. Not only because of the fatigue after Japan, which I believe well overcome, but because lHospitalet proved in the away game that they can play well and they will make it difficult for us. Were mentally prepared. Its worth noting that Bara won the away game against lHospitalet by 0-1.

Villa is eager to return

On David Villa, sidelined for the next four to five months due to the injury he picked up against Al-Sadd in the semi-final of the Club World Cup, the keeper admitted that he hasnt had the chance to visit the striker at hospital, but he has exchanged messages with the striker: I got up pretty late and I havent gone to see him yet. Weve exchanged messages and I saw the video he posted. We know hes a strong person and hes very eager to return. Im happy for him because the surgery went well.

The recipe for success

Pinto also explained Baras recipe for success: To persevere, to have hope and to have a lot of ambition. The keeper explained that some of his colleagues that have won every title possible continue with the same eagerness as the youngsters from the reserve side. On the importance of the recently won Club World Cup title in Japan, he keeper said, for me all the titles are equally important, its respectable that others think otherwise.

First training session in Barcelona after the Club World Cup and the match against Real Madrid

It has been many days since the Ciutat Esportiva hosted the FC Barcelona players. This Tuesday, after the win at the Bernabu (1-3) and the Club World Cup, Josep Guardiola directed a training session at Sant Joan Desp. Eight Bara B players participated in the session: Oier, Montoya, Dos Santos, Cuenca, Sergi Roberto, Muniesa, Tello and Rafinha.

With Alves, but without Abidal and Valds

Dani Alves, one of the players that is on holiday until the 29th, was also present at the training session. The Brazilian voluntarily trained with his teammates. ric Abidal, who was given time off until next week Thursday, didnt train. Vctor Valds, with permission from the Club to attend the 15th edition of the Festa de l’Esport Catal, was also absent.

The first team will train again on Wednesday, at 19.00 hrs, in a session that will be held at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Valdés: "We want to win more"

It was an Azulgrana party a the Palau of the Catalonia Congress, which hosted the Festa de l’Esport Catal gala (Catalan Sporing Awards) organized by the UFEC (Athletic Cataln Federations Organization) and the newspaper SPORT. Vctor Valds and Navarro were FC Barcelonas award winners.

The keeper, with permission from the Club didnt train this afternoon, believes the team will be competing at the top level for a long time and that the players are still eager to win: We have shown that we want to win a lot of titles. When we lift a trophy, we do it as if it was our first. We want to win more. The keeper, who won the Best Catalan Athlete of the Year award, praised Guardiola: Day in and day out, hes a maestro. Each training session is like going to class at University. He never allows you to relax. He taught me how to enjoy the game and to play team football.

Valds praises the team

Winner of four Zamora awards (keeper that concedes the least amount of goals in the League), and the keeper with the most games in the history of the Club, wins the award after the two team captains, Xavi Hernndez and Carles Puyol claimed it in previous years. Valds believes he was awarded the accolade because of his brilliant trajectory defending the Azulgrana goal, also because of the teams success on the pitch … this means a lot to me. I receive this award with pride, but behind it is a lot of work done by the team.

The keeper also wanted to praise the teams successful Club World Cup bid in Japan: Its a title thats really important to us. We all must respect this title a bit more, because its difficult to win it.

The best male team

Valds wasnt the only Bara player to receive an award, the whole FC Barcelona team was awarded the Best Male Team of 2011 as well. President Sandro Rosell, accompanied by Vctor Valds, received the award for the team. Vice Presidents Carles Vilarrub and Josep Maria Bartomeu, and directors Silvio Elas, Manel Arroyo, Jordi Mestre, Jordi Moix, Toni Freixa and Manel Estiarte were also present at the gala.

Creus receives the award for Navarro

The captain of Bara Regal, Juan Carlos Navarro, won the Most Universal Catalan Athlete award. His merits with the Club, champion of the ACB, Cup and Spanish Super Cup, and his success with the Spanish national team, where he was awarded MVP of the Eurobasket tournament, were pivotal to his selection by the jury. Joan Creus, basketball technical secretary, received the award for the player: Hes injured and on top of that he has gastroenteritis and a fever of 39, said Creus.

The player sustained his injury against Caja Laboral this Sunday and he will be out of action for three to four weeks.