News of the Day, October 8, 2009


There’s news, of course, and then there’s news that FCB is putting up our players in Abu Dhabi’s Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri (pictured above) during the World Cup of Clubs. You can check out the accommodations at their website, here. It looks swanktastic. I hope we got a discount on what appears to a thousand euro a night kind of place. It’d be nice to know that my soci membership fee went for more than just the pillow mints on this trip…

I got an email this morning concerning the presidential elections coming up next summer and then I surfed my way over to El Mundo Deportivo and found out that the elections are on their minds as well. So, naturally, I’ll start off today’s news segment with a look at the presidential election:

I’m not terribly caught up on all the inner workings of the Laporta administration, but suffice to say that they’re looking for an heir to the throne, so to speak. The two names that have been bandied about for that position are VP of marketing and media Juanme Ferrer and Columbia University economics professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin, who is also the chairman of FCB’s board. There are several other candidates worth mentioning, many of whom are discussed here at Pep’s latest blog, an excellent FCB presidential race blog worth following. Sandro Rosell is the biggest name there, though, for full disclosure, am I not at the moment in favor of him as a candidate because of his ties to Nike, though I do recognize that Ronaldinho probably only signed with Barça because of those ties to Nike.

As of right now, only one hat has been tossed into the ring and its own is Agustí Benedito, a soci for the last 45 years and a former important member of Elefant Blau, the group that effectively took down the Josep Lluís Núñez administration*. Benedito was also a member of Barcelona’s social committee up until a few months ago, according to this EMD report (Sport also has the goods). I don’t consider Benedito to have much of a chance of beating the heavyweights in the later rounds of the election, but I’ll certainly be reading up on him over the coming weeks and months as his candidacy either grows or spirals out of control Mike Gravel style.

Moving on, Maxwell, has claimed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Barcelona during his best moment as a player. I understand those kinds of statements are made for the cameras, but if it’s true, isn’t that a bad thing? To me that says it can only go downhill from here, but, of course, I’d say the same thing if I were constantly asked about at press conferences about players who aren’t me. I can imagine that Maxwell goes over to Ibra’s place every now and then, since they’re supposedly BFF, and punches him in the arm for ruining yet another perfectly decent press conference. Regardless, I think much, much better things are to come from Ibra and from Maxwell. They’ll both improve, though I think we’ll note Ibra’s improvement much more because he’ll have the obvious goals and assists to point at while Maxwell will either have to stop giving up corners or start scoring goals (how about both?).

Good ole Pep Guardiola was honored by his hometown, Santpedor, by being given their “favored son” award. No doubt it was actually an honor, but it’s funny think about being the favored son of a provincial town after you’ve just won the Triple and been heralded as one of the greatest coaches in the world. Of course, I’m from a tiny town myself, so I can understand why he was so pleased and why he said he was proud “to have been born in in this town and to have played for Barça.” He also pointed out that while it sometimes looks like he’s the only doing any work, there are many people behind him that allow him to get his work done. Always classy, that Pep. Check it out.

If you’re looking for a solid videocast of previews to Barcelona’s Champions League matches, you should checkout Jonathan Moynihan’s CNN iReport, Tiempo Barça. Given the nature of the medium, it’s dynamic in its own way and quite enjoyable. There should be previews 24-48 hours before each match and so far there’s one match review.

And, of course, a great link for today: Sergio Ramos does Blue Steel.

*You can read a bit more about Elefant Blau in this Spanish wiki article or this Catalan one. Roughly, Laporta and Sebastià Roca led a vote of no confidence against Núñez that failed, but garnered enough votes that during the 2000 presidential elections, Núñez decided not to run again, heralding the end of his long “reign” (1978-2000) and leading to the election of Joan Gaspart. I didn’t know this until writing this article, but Gaspart is the current president of UE Sant Andreu as well as being VP of RFEF.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Khairallah
    October 8, 2009

    Devastating news to all, apparently Guti would never play for Barcelona.. So whoever was crossing his fingers out there, tough luck, it ain´t gonna happen..

        • Blow-Granite
          October 8, 2009

          Holy Cow!!! Our midfield will never get to the next level without Guti!!!! *&%$##*&^

  2. Jnice
    October 8, 2009

    Maxwell did have an assist last game. That’s improvement, no?

    • October 8, 2009

      That’s true.

      I didn’t mean to sound like I was disparaging Maxwell, I’m actually somewhat of a fan so far this year because of what he offers once he adjusts to our style a bit more. I’m excited to see Abidal capably replaced.

      • eklavya
        October 8, 2009

        I want to see him at LW.At least he’ll give US corners then, right? 😉

        • October 8, 2009

          Meaning you’d sacrifice Keita or Iniesta to see Maxwell play in front of Abidal?

          • eklavya
            October 8, 2009

            No we could leave Iniesta or Keita in the mid. :


        • Eduard
          October 8, 2009

          that’s not a bad idea

          messi- Ibra

          • Eduard
            October 8, 2009

            ooops sorry
            ————The Yaya———–
            ——————maxwell house

      • Jnice
        October 8, 2009

        No, you didn’t sound like that at all. I was just posing the question because even I overlooked that slightly, whereas had Dani made the pass, everyone would have took note immediately.

    • Miguel
      October 8, 2009

      prior to watching keita’s performances this year i would have been up for trying maxwell in the mali man’s position, but not anymore. well, maybe just once to see if he’d be able to rock it during the acn.

  3. Cesc Blanc
    October 8, 2009

    Gaspart is really a nice guy and maybe one of the most hardcore culés ever(he famously jumped into the Thames after winning it in 92) but God, what an awful president he was. Another one big player of the Elefant Blau was Lluis Bassat, who now plays Donald Trump in Spain’s version of The Apprentice on LaSexta. (here for more.. He ran against Gaspart back then and had a deal done with Zidane, in 2003 Pep was his man for the Sporting Director role but they famously lost…ah well, things might have turned out different then.

    I still hope for Ferran Soriano running, because although his decision making in the light of him leaving his post in 2008 after the mocion is questionable, he is still the biggest brain when it comes to running a business and most of the financial success and marketing we have now is based on his and Marc Ingla’s work, so I would probably give him the vote.

    • October 8, 2009

      Thanks for the little history lesson, CB! I’ll incorporate that knowledge into this packed brain of mine and see if it can’t remember it.

  4. Cesc Blanc
    October 8, 2009

    and let me say that the Ramos-Zoolander thing is the best ish ever!

    • October 8, 2009

      My lady just started at Columbia and I’m pushing her to meet him and introduce me.

      • Miguel
        October 8, 2009

        if i wasn’t such a cheapskate & was a socio i’d vote for the dude. i wish i still went out w/a chick who’s granmama taught @ columbia so she coulda put in a good word for me for technical director.

        • Carles P
          October 8, 2009

          I like this guy. As an Economics grad (BA), I would love to see a fellow Economist (although much, much, much more destinguished) at the helm.

          Wish I could meet him!

  5. anonymous
    October 8, 2009

    I know this is being a bit picky (maybe i’m just tired), but there are lots of typos in this article, makes it a bit hard to read

  6. October 9, 2009

    I still remember the end of the 2002-2003 season when we ended in 6th place and the white hankies everywhere! Poor Gaspart! He reminds me a lot of Maradona and his inability to translate his passion into positive results. gosh those were nightmarish times!

    Who else thinks Roberto Bonano was the worst goalkeeper of all time? Right? Right? He was absolutely diabolical! 🙂

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