Sandro’s Late Goal Thrusts Barcelona past Villarreal at El Madrigal

3 09 2014

Barcelona-vs.-Villarreal-XI

Barcelona vs. Villarreal

August 31, 2014

Estadio El Madrigal

Villarreal, Castellon, Spain

La Liga Match Day 2

El Madrigal

Villarreal’s iconic stadium, El Madrigal, in the heart of Spain’s province of Castellon.

It took 81 minutes, but Barcelona finally managed to break down a stubborn Villarreal side at El Madrigal last night. On the one hand, it was a familiar sight: the home team defending deep and compact, launching counterattacks into open space behind Barça’s high line. But the Barcelona side that met Villarreal on the pitch today was distinctly unlike anything seen in the last two seasons. They created numerous chances against an excellent defensive side, looking relatively composed and solid at the back, before a youth player and out-and-out striker managed to net the game-winner. All new, all exciting.

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A New Season at Camp Nou: Triumph over Elche

2 09 2014

FCB-ELCHE

 

Barcelona vs. Elche
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Camp Nou, Barcelona
La Liga Match Day 1

First Starting XI of the 2014-15 Campaign

First Starting XI of the 2014-15 Campaign

The time had finally come for the new season to kick off for Barcelona. With new faces galore, familiar faces gone, and a former Barcelona player taking over the reigns as manager, the season was ready to set of with a bang. Barcelona set out in a 4-3-3 formation with a lineup of Bravo; Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Rafinha, Munir, Messi. Elche’s Starting XI consisted of Tyton; Damian, Lomban, J.Angel, Pelegrin, Albacar; Mosquera, Pasalic, Rodrigues; Jonathas, and Coro in a 5-4-1 formation. Everything looked set for La Liga to kick off for the two sides… But just as the season started, it was postponed… Momentarily. And by the unlikeliest of things.

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New Faces of Barcelona 2014: Luis Suárez

11 07 2014
Suarez

#9 Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, Forward (Uruguay)

On July 11, 2014, Barcelona completed a deal with Premier side club, Liverpool, for the rights to Uruguay striker Luis Suarez. With the deal being around 80 million euros, Barcelona hope to provide Lionel Messi and Neymar with another threat in a side that found it difficult to put goals in the net during the crucial parts of last season. The Barcelona board decided to overlook the recent events at the World Cup, involving the “Biting Incident”, and sign the recently four-month-banned striker anyway. Suarez signing with Barcelona marks the second year in a row where the Premier League’s top scorer transferred to a Spanish side, whereas last year it was Gareth Bale moving from Tottenham to Real Madrid.

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New Faces of Barcelona 2014: Ivan Rakitić

11 07 2014
Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic and Leo Messi squaring off last season at the Camp Nou.

The biggest name for Barcelona to snag (so far) in 2014 is Croatian midfielder, Ivan Rakitic. He is a familiar face to Barcelona, as he played at Sevilla from 2011 till this previous club season. He was a club captain in 2013/14 and led Sevilla to a UEFA Europa League triumph. Prior to coming to La Liga, he played four seasons with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga in Germany from 2007 until 2011. His professsional career started with FC Basel of the Swiss Super League in 2005, where he played through 2007 with the 17-time Swiss champions.

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Éric Abidal: “Barcelona Thought I was Too Risky”

9 06 2013

 

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Frenchman defender Éric Abidal played his final game for Barcelona just over a week ago.

Éric Abidal has revealed he was not offered a new contract by Barcelona because the club considered it to be too risky.

The 33-year-old Frenchman was released by the Catalan club at the end of the season just weeks after he made his comeback from a liver transplant.

Abidal spent a year on the sidelines as he recovered from the transplant last April, having previously had surgery to remove a tumour in March 2011.

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South America World Cup Qualifying: Argentina draws, remains atop CONMEBOL table; Chile moves up to fourth

9 06 2013
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Argentina vs. Colombia
CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Matchday 13 went by in the South American qualifier and with it the Argentina vs. Colombia match in Buenos Aires, which had been circled in red by all fans in the region since the draw for the qualifier took place.

Even with all the hype created around this match in Monumental Stadium, the final output of both teams was far from what could be expected of the two top teams in the region.

Argentina vs. Colombia: Messi on the bench the first hour

Messi was on the bench during the first hour of play, as Sabella had mentioned was the most likely case, and while many expected the Barcelona starlet to become the deciding factor in the last stretch of the match, having been inactive for the better part of the last two months proved to be too much for the Argentine to overcome in such an important match.

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Argentina forward Sergio Agüero (16), currently signed with Manchester City, tries to control the ball against two Colombia defenders in the 0-0 draw in Buenos Aires.

 The game, however, was not void of controversy as Marlon Escalante, the referee assigned by CONMEBOL for the match, made a deciding call early on the that ended up hurting both teams from then on. Higuain hunting for a ball upfront, confronted Zapata and Ospina, and after losing possession, kept the pressure on and ultimately kicked the AC Milan defender. Zapata retaliated and the Venezuelan referee sent both players off.

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Aftermath: Barça’s 2013 – The Future

8 06 2013

Dazzling finishes, mesmerizing tiki-taka, marvelous saves. These are the sort of things you talk about at the end of the season in Barcelona. This season was no different, with ups and downs, triumphs and failures, greetings and farewells. Another fantastic season of football came to a close not long ago, with memories and accolades to go with it.

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Finishing the season with 100 points, Barcelona matched a Real Madrid record for most points in La Liga. Outpacing their arch-nemesis from the start, the Catalans pressed forward in the Spanish league like few have done in recent years. Falling so far off the pace, Real Madrid found it impossible to gain much ground on the blaugrana. Jose Mourinho and crew, at times, lacked the chemistry that was needed to hold to a constant string of solid play which leads to hoisting up the League Cup like they did last season. This 2012-13 league season belonged to the boys in navy blue and deep red, and no one in Spain could stop it.

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