Copa del Rey First Leg: Barcelona – Osasuna

I’m a bit behind so no special commentary from me today, although I just took the most glorious nap so things are looking good!

Starting XI: Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Mascherano, Busquets, Xavi, Thiago, Fabregas, Pedro, Cuenca

Bench: Oier, Fontas, Maxwell, Adriano, Keita, Messi, Sanchez

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  1. nzm
    January 4, 2012

    3 – nearly 4 – assists from Xavi!

    It was 3 assists and 1 assist to the assist! 😀

  2. Olufestus
    January 4, 2012

    Eklavya…yea…av been kinda busy@school…wats good buddy??

  3. January 4, 2012

    Yo I was just going through the Liveblog: I’ll totally post some of those pics and/or videos from the open training session on BFB if you send them to us, Michele.

    If you want to write a blurb on the experience, that’s okay too; we’ll turn it into a ‘From the Stands’ feature (we’ve done those before).

    Of course, you can also do neither and just brag in the comments. That’s totally not okay too.

    • nzm
      January 4, 2012

      I’d be happy to provide some input, Kari. Oof – the pressure’s on to get some good photos. 😀

      Just a reminder to y’all that the Open Practice will be televised live on the FC Barca site, as well as their YouTube channel:

      It starts at 11:30am Barcelona time (CET), so all you US and Canadian fans would have to get up pretty darn early to watch.

      • nzm
        January 4, 2012

        And that’s tomorrow (Thursday), which is now today Barca time and everywhere east of the UK. 🙂

  4. IamXavi6
    January 4, 2012

    Seriously thinking now of my next shirt being Fabregas….to mix it up from my 6 or so Xavi shirts lol.

    Oh how I’m loving having Cesc back home.

    • Calvin
      January 4, 2012

      I never thought I would say this, but the money was well spent.

      He really just adds a whole different dimension to the team.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      January 4, 2012

      good idea!

      for home jersey (okay, it’s not an official jersey, but still.. lol) I have Xavi 6, and for away jersey (this one is the official one) I have Fabregas 4.

      even me who likes him, I thought his tranfer is unnecessary and he won’t get a place in starting XI. well, so happy to be proven wrong.

  5. Dani_el
    January 4, 2012

    Great game!
    I leave you guys this jewel, from Cristian Pulina, it is a video with the best plays of Pep during a match against Arsenal on 99′.
    Even then he was kicking Arsene Wenger’s ass. His passes are milimetrical.

  6. Ryan
    January 4, 2012

    What a game! It was nice to see Xavi get assists, as he so often makes the crucial pass before the assist.

  7. BarcaGirl_Indo
    January 4, 2012

    @FCBarcelonaFl Guardiola: “Messi called me 3 hours before the game today and said he wanted to play. So I put him on the bench”

    that is too cute.

  8. G6O
    January 4, 2012

    I don’t know if I am the only one who noticed it, but in the first half we played at a speed I haven’t seen the team play for a very very long time. I wasn’t even sure they had this in them given how they usually go for the slow patient build up, but today the very fast passing was also combined with a lot of vertical running. Nice to see 🙂

  9. BarcaGirl_Indo
    January 4, 2012

    lovely quotes from Xavi’s interview with Algerian paper (posted by mom4 AND blitzen on previous thread 😀 ) :

    Those who wish me to win the Golden Ball should realize that in football nowadays we have a player who is above all whether we like it or not, and he is Lionel Messi. This is a unique and extraordinary footballer.

    I do know there are many admirers of Barça throughout the world and I guess there had to be some in Algeria, but I don’t think I should be admired at this point. It is an honour to know that Barcelona’s jerseys ​​with my name on the back are sold there.

    yeah, what an arrogant man he is. 🙄

  10. Oil_Can
    January 4, 2012

    I haven’t watched the game yet, but I watched the goal highlights and my jaw literally just sunk to the ground.

    I don’t know what went through Cesc’s mind exactly, but surely he wasn’t expecting to get that chip shot on target, SURELY! It was absolutely brilliant but could have been a stupid decision had it not been on target.

    When you think Messi just couldn’t get any more unplayable, he just pops up and produces a puyolesque header out of the blue. I’m wondering whether Pep gave him coffee flavoured ice-cream before the game.

    • January 5, 2012

      Always nice to see messi score with his noggin but I mean it was basically an open header and some horrible defensive marking. I don’t think it makes him any more or less unplayable.

      Cesc’s goal was pure precision! What a lovely chip. He probably meant to do exactly that but it went off better than expected I’m sure. Perfect arc/flight of the chip- very difficult to do. Messi is still the king of all things chip though. His goal for arg a few years ago comes to mind.

      • Oil_Can
        January 5, 2012

        Well Messi did do really well just ghosting in between the defenders and just capitalising on the opportunity, thats what mostly counts right? he wound up a lot of power on that header too, and when I mean it was puyolesque I mean it was a header that Puyol would be proud of lol.

        don’t forget Messi also scored a similar goal to cesc’s against Tenerife around two season’s ago I think.

        • January 5, 2012

          I suppose I agree. He did put good power behind the header and did get to the ball before anyone else. And NO goal is an easy goal. Just ask Fernando Torres 🙂

  11. mega_tajh
    January 5, 2012

    What was really worrying to me in this game is Pedro’s form. He kinda looked lost out there, and when Alexis came on that side was just so much more dangerous.

    • blitzen
      January 5, 2012

      Really? I thought Pedro had a great game! He almost scored a couple of times, and his runs were great. Neither he nor Cuenca started too well but once they switched places things improved immensely.

  12. Xavi will be one of the legends of the game and not just Barcelona even without a Ballon d’Or. He has literally won every possible trophy for club and country. World Cup, Euro as MVP, 3 CLs, 6 Ligas, I think three Spanish Cups, 2 CWCs, 4(?) Supercopas, 2 Euro Supercups. Even an U20 World Cup.

    Actually come to think of it a surprising number of our players have managed that very rare feat in sports, winning every possible trophy for club and country. Puyol has pretty much the same trophies as Xavi, of course, and Iniesta does as well except I think a league and cup less than those two (he also won an U17 and U19 Euro). Busquets and Pique (Valdes and Pedro too, though they weren’t starters throughout for Spain) have all of those except for a Euro. Villa has won everything too, with the Copa in Valencia and the other five trophies last year plus the Euro and World Cup.

    They’ve already won every major trophy for club and country, now all Spain needs to do is win the Olympics with Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol as the three over-age players (possible… unless the players who played the Euros ending 7th July don’t go to the Olympics starting 26th July… yeah I guess they won’t) and win the Confed Cup in 2013 for there to literally be no trophy they haven’t gotten. I’d like them to win those too. These guys are probably among the most decorated players in history.

    • blitzen
      January 5, 2012

      The Spanish Olympic team will in effect be the U21 NT, with the possible addition of Mata, Javi Martinez and Busquets, although I personally doubt any of those three will actually go. Maybe Mata. If Mata doesn’t go, then Thiago will be team captain! 😀

      • January 5, 2012

        Would be nice to see Thiago as captain of the olympic squad but I would much rather VDB picks him for the Euros. He is certainly ready for the big stage though I don’t know how much actual time he would get with every game being important in a knock-out format. And we all know Spain is spoiled for midfield choices. Though I suppose with Villa’s injury and Torres sucking, VDB could steal another of Pep’s ideas and use Thiago in a more forward left role. Just being on the bench at the Euros with the big boys (many of whom don’t have many international tournaments left in them) would be a great learning experience for Thiago.

        • blitzen
          January 5, 2012

          I would rather Thiago go to the Olympics and play every game than go to the Euros and play 1 or 2 games. He is young and will be available for the next Euro and WCs, he has lots of time.

  13. barca96
    January 5, 2012

    Forgot about the Live training session and just got to watch the last 15mins.

    I hope there will be a download for it.

  14. Surprised to see nobody talking about Alves. He had a wonderful match. He was turning the screw throughout the match on the right. In a 3 man defense Guardiola earlier had not much idea how to use Alves. That’s why he used him in the front trio earlier this season. But Guardiola looks to have found the solution to it now. Use him as a pure Winger in midfield. One benefit of doing that is that he will be available to help the defense.

    • January 5, 2012

      Hey hey alves is in a bit of a pickle. When you’re beastly day in day out it’s hard to stand out from yourself 🙂

      I think messi would have to score with a backheel from half field now to truly shock us. Well, I’m sure we would still have expected it.

      About alves though, agreed. Such a versatile player for us and his work rate is next to none. Must give fits to whoever plays down the left on the opposition. You can tell he just enjoys himself out there.

    • Ryan
      January 5, 2012

      So true, Alves was beastly. If the guy had a good shot our right flank would be absolutely unplayable. As it stands, it’s just the best ever. 🙂

  15. Helge
    January 5, 2012

    Neither the Mou nor Crynaldo will attend the FIFA Balon D’Or Gala in Zurich.

    Looks like a double for Barca (Pep and Messi or Xavi) is certain! 🙂

    • January 5, 2012

      Mou rules with an iron fist and probably forbid CR7 to attend. I was kind of sad to see Kaka play poorly against Malaga. Ozil is better there’s no question about it, but I feel Kaka has good years left in him and would be very valuable to another team of slightly lesser quality.

      #KAKATOARSENAL please. The dream would be #KAKATOTORONTOFC 😀

      • blitzen
        January 5, 2012

        Oh, I’ve seen it, trust me! I spent way too much time staring at that pic last night! 😛

    • January 5, 2012

      Read somewhere on twitter that Howard now only needs 35 more goals this year to match Shearer’s scoring record! Hahaha.

      Que golazo though! Totally unintentional but still one for the books. So he basically has a better scoring rate than El Nino now right?

    • barca96
      January 5, 2012

      One of the comments which cracked me up;

      Even he scores , Shame to torres …… !!!

  16. blitzen
    January 5, 2012

    So it seems all I needed to stimulate my creative side was an actual football game! blitzen awards coming up later today! 😀

    • mom4
      January 5, 2012


      How “bout the Berlitz Award for epic fail at translation. I.e. don’t say flu if you don’t mean influenza.

    • January 5, 2012

      No points for guessing who the “Hanes Black Briefs of the Jungle” award goes to.

      Hesus the number of times I saw that image tweeted yesterday!

    • Chiu
      January 5, 2012

      waiting you to share your experience watching the open training live 🙂

    • Srini
      January 5, 2012

      Hilarious crackovia video, but I guess it was produced and released last year (check the Qatar reference from actor Miquel Ripeu in the end of the skit).

      I thought the recent Crackovia video about “the origins of the rivalry” or something like that was equally funny as well.

        • nzm
          January 5, 2012

          Sorry – it is last season’s – my mistake.

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