The Battle is Won. The War is Not Over.

Agony and Ecstasy:  polarized ends of the pendulum, between which swings that fickle thing called “hope”.  That powerful glimmer of what could be – or maybe not – as it flirtingly sashays from one emotion to the other.  Hope is, according to the old adage, always the last thing to pop its clogs, and it did just that in quite a few stadiums around Europe over the weekend.

With the season over for most European leagues, let’s do a quick wrap-up of some of the results.


ENGLAND

EPL Logo
Yesterday, we watched one of the greatest finishes, ever seen, to an EPL season.  Man U won their game and then had to wait for 2 minutes until City, with an Aguero strike in the final minute, claimed its first Premier League Trophy in 44 years.

As a UK-based City-fan friend wrote to me, “Down to the wire just doesn’t describe what happened – no words can justify the gamut of emotions that we all experienced.  The first goal was like riding the most perfect wave; then we were dumped off our surfboards into the maelstrom of undercurrents, struggling for breath and doomed to drown. Suddenly, we popped up; could breathe again; found the sand beneath our feet and all was very right with the world.”

Somehow, Arsenal found its way into 3rd position with Chelsea finishing out of the table’s Champions League places.  Tottenham grabbed the last CL position for the 3rd round play-offs. However, if Chelsea wins the 2012 Champions League, then Chelsea will be in next season’s CL and Tottenham will play in the Europa League.  (See Champions League 2012/2013 for more details.)

EPL:
1st:  Man City
2nd:  Man U
3rd:  Arsenal
4th:  Tottenham


ITALY

Serie A Logo
Over in Italia, it was more cut and dried.  Juventus (with ex-Barça, and on-loan from Sevilla, player Martín Cáceres) won Serie A and remained unbeaten in all 42 games played (a record 43 counting their last game win from the previous season).  It was the farewell game for legendary Alessandro del Piero who has played for the Old Lady for 19 years.

AC Milan says goodbye to Inzaghi, Seedorf, Nesta, Gattuso, Zambrotta and Van Bommel with Galliani stating that it’s the end of an era for the Rossoneri.

Napoli lost out on a Champions League place (will Cavani leave?), finishing 5th behind Udinese and Lazio.

Serie A
1st:  Juventus
2nd:  AC Milan
3rd:  Udinese
4th:  Lazio


GERMANY

Bundesliga Logo
Bundesliga results were settled a few weeks back.  Klopp’s BVB Borussia Dortmund won its 2nd successive league title, beating Bayern Munich who sank, still claiming that they are the greater and better team.

Nails were driven into the Bayern casket when the team was trounced 2-5 by Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal Cup (German league’s Copa del Rey equivalent) on Saturday night for BVB to claim both league and cup trophies.  What a game that was – if you haven’t seen it, find a download and watch it.  Dortmund played like Barça at the end of Pep’s first season.

Third on the Bundesliga table was Schalke 04 which will be bereft of Raúl’s services next season, as he’s off to join Al Sadd in Qatar.

Bundesliga
1st:  Borussia Dortmund
2nd:  Bayern Munich
3rd:  Schalke 04
4th:  Borussia Mönchengladbach


FRANCE

Ligue 1 Logo
Ligue 1 in France will go to the wire in the last round to be played this week.  If they win or draw, Montpellier, with wonderboy Moroccan Younès Belhanda, is poised to top the table and keep Paris Saint-Germain in 2nd place.

PSG, (now re-invigorated with Qatari cash, Ancelotti as manager, and after a buying spree which included ex-Barça LB Maxwell), stuttered in the final weeks of the campaign, and Ancelotti has all but conceded the league to Montpellier HSC.

The third and fourth spots are already decided.

Ligue 1
1st:  Montpellier HSC
2nd:  Paris Saint-Germain
3rd:  LOSC Lille Métropole
4th   Olympique Lyonnais


NETHERLANDS

Eredivisie Logo
Despite their board room mutinies, Ajax managed to finish top of the Eredivisie for the season.  Twente didn’t have the best of seasons as they finished well out of contention for CL and into the play-offs for Europa League.

Eredivisie
1st: Ajax
2nd: Feyenoord
3rd: PSV
4th: AZ


SPAIN

La Liga Logo
With 1st and 2nd positions decided a couple of weeks ago, the interest lay in which teams would finish in the remaining CL spots, as well as those who would qualify for Europa League and who would be relegated.

First to go down was Racing de Santander – a team which not only suffered on the field, but was led astray by their new owner who hasn’t been seen since last season.

Sporting de Gijón was the next to fall, after sacking their beloved coach Preciado earlier in the season, and then not doing any better under Clemente.

At the other end of the table, Valencia claimed the 3rd CL position, while the CL play-offs 4th place depended on the last games of the season for Málaga and Atlético de Madrid.  Málaga had to win.

All the remaining La Liga BBVA games were played at the same time last night (Sunday 13th), and the focus was mostly on the games which involved the teams facing relegation.  Rayo Vallecano, Villarreal, Granada and Zaragoza were in the danger zone and their games ended, as follows:

Getafe vs. Zaragoza  0-2

Villarreal vs. At. Madrid  0-1

Rayo Vallecano vs. Granada  1-0

~ Zaragoza won against Getafe, so they were safe.

~ In the final minutes of their away game, At. Madrid’s Falcao headed home the winning, and only goal, in the match, giving At. Madrid the win, and the hopes of a CL play-off spot if Málaga lost.  Villarreal staying up was now dependent on Rayo Vallecano losing.

~ In the dying minute of their match, Rayo Vallecano scored against Granada.  The Granada players sank to the pitch, thinking that their First Division run was over after just one season.  Someone let Rayo’s Diego know that Villareal had lost, and he went around telling the other players, and suddenly everything was ok for Granada once more.

When the news of Rayo’s goal against Granada reached El Madrigal, the scenes were heart-rending.  I thought that Villareal’s president, Fernando Roig Alfonso, was going to collapse as he made his way down from his seat to the pitch.  Fans, players and management were left desolated.  They stood or sat in numbness, and no one seemed to have legs strong enough to carry them away from the stadium and the pain.

Málaga won the match against Sporting, and secured a Champions League play-off position for the first time in club history.  What a great start for the club in Manuel Pellegrini’s first full season.  Dutchman, Ruud van Nistelrooy, announced his retirement and will now leave the club.

Real Madrid won their game against Mallorca, and achieved a record 100 points haul in La Liga.

Levante, after topping the Liga table for a few weeks, also created history by finishing in 6th place, thereby qualifying for Europa League – the first European championship for the club.  They needed to win their last game to qualify and did so by beating a struggling, still down-hearted, Athletic Bilbao, 3-0.

Barça’s Victor Valdés created history twice, as he won his 5th Zamora equalling FCB’s Ramaletts’ record of 5.  Victor also recorded his 4th consecutive Zamora – a new record.

Lionel Messi won his 2nd Pichichi with a record 50 league goals and, with one game remaining, has a record total of 72 goals for the season.  Messi also won Europe’s Golden Shoe, and broke so many other records that he deserves a post of his own.

La Liga
1st:     Real Madrid
2nd:    FC Barcelona
3rd:    Valencia
4th:    Málaga
5th:    Atlético Madrid
6th:    Levante
7th:    Osasuna
8th:    Mallorca
9th:    Sevilla
10th:  Athletic Bilbao
11th:  Real Sociedad
12th:  Real Betis
13th:  Getafe
14th:  Espanyol
15th:  Rayo Vallecano
16th:  Real Zaragoza
17th:  Granada
18th:  Villarreal
19th:  Sporting de Gijón
20th:  Racing de Santander

La Liga Adelante (Second Division)

Galician derby rivals, Deportivo de La Coruña and Celta de Vigo will be promoted to La Liga BBVA for the 2012/13 season.  Depor is back in the first division after only 1 season, and Celta is back after 5 seasons.

Valladolid, Hércules, Alcorcón and Córdoba will contest each other in play-offs.  The winner will also be promoted to the first division.

*Edited to add:  silly me didn’t realise that Adelante isn’t over, so the above will only happen if no positions change before June 3rd.  Ha!

 

And that, my friends, is that!

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

172 Comments

    • Messiah10
      May 14, 2012

      Very heartfelt indeed. Apparently, from a non Sub supporter? It’s so sad to see them relegated. I will hope with all my heart that they make it back to Liga. To start next season w/out the yellow submarines doesn’t feel right. No Rossi this year killed them. I wonder if they didn’t have the finances to go and get someone in the January transfer window? I feel bad for Rossi as well. All the hard work to make it back and then another blow out of his knee. Shame. I’m not sure who they’ll sell him to? Sadly, they probably won’t get near what they should because no one is going to pay top fee for a twice ruptured ACL victim. Best wishes to Villareal and Rossi.

    • Barcaleya
      May 14, 2012

      It’s so sad when I think of the Villareal of Riquelme. I love, love him. I think I only understood what Xavi does for us because I saw so clearly how Riquleme was at Villareal. Him, always at the center, seeming ever so slow and still, feeding the balls to just the right person.

      And just days before Sunday, I saw a footage of a Boca game where Riquelme had two wonderful assists and a goal of his ownl. Vintage performance. I’m glad he’s doing well again after not fitting in so many teams with his moody nature and peculiar skills and talent.

      Forlan also found his place at Villareal with Riquelme. Forlan was another who was not appreciated while in Man U. Then, of course the Villareal of Cazorla, Capdevila. Ah.

      I hope they come back next year. They should take inspiration from Deportivo.

      • Messiah10
        May 15, 2012

        Barcaleya,

        Ray Ray was talking about that performance during Boca’s next game. He was using his normal superlatives and I loved hearing it. Riquelme is a genius. He is misunderstood because he looks like he’d rather be doing anthing else except be on the pitch at that given moment. I wish I saw the game you and Ray spoke of. I’ll have to scroll through GolTv and see if they show it again.

        • Barcaleya
          May 15, 2012

          Hi Messiah10!

          Really? I wish I heard what Rayray said about him. I’m sure I just saw it at Fox Soccer Report. They featured footage of the Boca game where Boca scored 3 and two were from Riquleme assists and one his own.

          He is misunderstood, I think, because he has a holistic vision of the field/game and he doesn’t fit into just being a soldier and doing a part mechanically. He kinda has to run the show as he did in Villareal and the Argentina of Pekerman. (Why he was ever subbed out on the Germany game when they were only 1 up, I will never understand. Arrgghhh). And it’s more difficult for others to understand what he does when the team doesn’t run as compactly as it does in Barcelona. He doesn’t have as many people to do one-two’s with or one-touch passing. Maybe he has to think of a shorter version (than our tiki-taka)of how to bring the ball upfield and into the net.

          It’s funny how people think he’s lazy or distracted. Some people have that quality of being still. But you know that his mind is running doubly fast with all the permutations on how to get the ball to the net. This is how some people with vision are. It’s like Messi when he’s being accused of just being lazy and walking about. When he sin’t resting, I think that he’s thinking/imagining/planning when he does that – where he needs to be, where to pass the ball and how it will come back to him, where everyone is and hwere they are positioning themselves, what kind of strategy the other team is playing. Sometimes you have to be still to see all these because you obviously can’t when running around all the time.

          That quality of stillness and thought was more obvious with Riquelme because the ball doesn’t ping around as fast as how we do it in Barca. And people who look at the sport as all running and jostling and kicking unfortunately misunderstand his genius.

        • Barcaleya
          May 15, 2012

          Messiah 10 – here is the Riquelme goal:

          http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/golazo-juan-roman-riquelme-boca-juniors-vs-union-espanola/

          You can see that it’s the same kind of spectacular goal that Messi makes. Except that Messi usually makes a lateral run from right to left whereas Riquelme here made a run from left to right, escaped the close attention of a defender and then found just the space to slot the ball in diagonally.

          Will look for the full highlight cause his assists were amazing too but the ones I’ve seen are all rather blurry.

  1. messifan
    May 14, 2012

    Thanks nzm for the post.

    I posted this link on the last thread. This shows data from all four major European leagues.

    http://i.imgur.com/f68ml.jpg
    (courtesy or r/soccer)

    Red and yellow cards in Liga are incredibly high. And goal differences at the top four are 89-85-15-1. Someone should print this handout and give to Liga management. This is unsustainable.

    • nzm
      May 14, 2012

      Yeah – I commented there, saying that the ball-to-hand cards and penalties have to be reviewed, as well as the fouls for players going to the ground all the time.

      They need to toughen up – carry on playing. They’ll soon start getting up quickly if their team is in danger of conceding a goal. It’ll sort the men from the boys!

      I reckon that if anyone goes down and the game is stopped, they need to go off the pitch for a minimum of 2 minutes before they can come back on.

      • Messiah10
        May 14, 2012

        nzm,

        Completely agree w/letting the game go on, but the only problem is if it IS a serious injury and they don’t stop it. Liga would be crucified. I like the minimum of 2 minutes off, but why not make it 3-5. That’s a long enough time to insure players don’t fein injury and waste time or break up the flow of the game. I just think if they didn’t stop play there could be a serious situation like the heart attack from the Bolton player or the Italian player and Liga would be sued for who knows how much.

        • nzm
          May 15, 2012

          The players know when they are genuinely injured – Villa went down and immediately called for help. Patrice Muamba didn’t move.

          I’m not saying don’t stop the game, but definitely make them leave the pitch for more minutes than just limping off and running straight back on.

          Ever watched rugby? That game does’t stop! If a player goes down, the trainers come on to assist him and play goes on around them!

          I wonder if we’ll ever get to see an interchange bench system for football? 🙂

    • stro85
      May 15, 2012

      1st post to this site and have been loving everything I see so I thought I would chime in! Hello, everyone! I will agree that in La Liga there are much more touch fouls and that officials need to be a little more stingy with the whistle and cards. I watch 15 games a week and see that in Portugal, England, Germany, France and Italy allow more play and “muscle” to take away the ball. RFEF need to fix that. The biggest problem however is the handballs and penalties called. Real Madrid and Barca though get FAR too many calls in their favor. Yes skill plays a part, but there was a game a few weeks ago in which EE played Bilbao and they were calling handball all the time, but when Khedira played it, the whistle stayed silent. I just want to see more equality in officiating, that first and foremost would help close the gap between RM/Barca vs the other 18. La Liga is my favorite to watch, but only because of the finesse and flair, the competition is just not there when Bilbao,Valencia,Malaga,Barca,RM play against Betis or Zaragoza.

      • nzm
        May 15, 2012

        Welcome! Great to have another commenter!

  2. mom4
    May 14, 2012

    Nice rundown on the major leagues, nzm.

    Villareal…sigh…so sad. They need Pellegrini back.
    There’s some high quality players there. I imagine some will get loaned out to reduce salaries while in the Segunda. We don’t really do loans but… Hope to welcome them back into La Primera for 2013/14.

    I did some searching for Euro info. It seems that ESPN3 will carry most of the games for US viewers. A lot of the friendlies, too. I hope that we have some of the more important games televised as ESPN3 streams can be craptastic at times. Poor VdB! The CdR final is on the 25th and the first friendly gets played on the 26th. He’ll be missing a ton of the core squad. Spain will get such a late start in preparation relative to the other countries. What was the RFEF thinking? …oh, wait..it’s the RFEF.

  3. mom4
    May 14, 2012

    More headaches for VdB
    @barcastuff
    David Villa, recovering from a broken shinbone since December, will not be ready to take part in the Euro next month. #euro2012 [sport]

    I guess this is better for the club. I just don’t know if Soldado or Llorente can pick up the slack. El nino, despite getting a little better late this season has a lot to prove before I personally consider him anything other than a waste of bench space. I’d call up Pedro before him but VdB does seem the sentamental type.

    • Ryan
      May 14, 2012

      Well crud, that’s a bummer! If Soldado were in form this wouldn’t be as much a crisis as it is; Spain’s strikers have all lost their shooting boots…

    • blitzen
      May 14, 2012

      Just because Sport reports something doesn’t mean it’s true. I will wait for official word from his doctors.

    • nia
      May 15, 2012

      I think VDB has more problems than Villa and Puyol missing. His star players from Barca haven’t really played well this year and with Pep leaving, he’s not going to have anyone to copy tactics from, lol. I hope Spain goes far into the Euro’s but, if they are knocked out early, it will mean more rest for the Barca players and a better pre season.

  4. Helge
    May 14, 2012

    I think Dortmund’s domestic glorious season doesn’t get enough attention by the international media amidst the thrilling title decider in England, the record-breaking seasons of Real (pointwise) and Juve (the Unbeatables 2.0).

    They did not only win the Bundesliga, they – like EE – set up a new points record. ‘Better’ than any team, the Bayern of Beckenbauer, Muller & Co., the Gladbach of Netzer, has ever been.
    More importantly, they did so with incredible style (in my eyes sometimes the best of all, cohesion of the team and pressing is like Barca’s, some of their one-twos and passing routes also remind of us, but BVB use a more diect attacking way).
    What really impresses me about this new BVB is how intelligently they restructured the whole club economically – after they were broke 7 years ago. They have paid almost all of their debts now, and despite having to follow a strict austerity policy, they have won 3 major titles in the last 15 months. The transfers of players such as Kagawa, Lewandowski, Blaszcykowski, Hummels, Piszczek have one thing in common: An almost unnatural cost-performance-ratio. And I don’t believe a club can have soo much luck, it’s down to the management (in particular Michael Zorc) that these deals worked out so well.
    Now they have made the first big money signing, with Marco Reus, but probably only because they knew they’d lose Kagawa prior to that – the transfer balance sheet is still positive.
    Juve, Real, Bayern, City, Barca – they all spent 50+ mio per season. Dortmund has achieved a level of play AND success with about 10mio player investment per season. Combine it with their fans, their ecstatic coach, their youth model (which is nothing new, it’s a sort of carbon copy of Barca’s system) – it’s tough to find a more likable club these days (except of Barca^^).

    I hope Dortmund continues that way, and finally handles the international matches, too. I guess they will first have to reach a CL semi-final before being properly recognized.

    • messifan
      May 14, 2012

      Dortmund vs. Barca in the CL should be a great match. BUT I would prefer not facing them next season.

      How did they go bankrupt a few years back? Was it because of a few bad investments?

      I think it will be hard for them to keep a few key players like Kagawa. I’m also surprise to learn that Sahin’s (last year) and Kagawa’s buyout clauses are fairly low compared to ones set by Barca.

      • Helge
        May 15, 2012

        They simply spent too much money for new players at the end of the 90s and beginning of the 21st centruy. It might have won them the CL and some league titles, but there was no economical stability and no longevity.
        Players like Amoroso had one good season, but it did not pay off (he cost 50 mio DM, about 30 mio € inflation-adjusted).

        The investments were not that bad, but bought from money that was simply not there. And BVB has never been a club owned by an oligarch or sheikh. It’s actually an incorporation since 2000.
        When from 2002 on, Dortmund failed to get far in the European competitons (partialy due to some injuries to expensive key players) the situation got worse. In 2006, the old management retired with an accumulated debt of 98 mio € (there was also some financial misjudgement with respect to the rebuilding/expansion of the stadium).

        That is why, today, some people still doubt the solidity of the new BVB and prefer to wait another 4 years. The Schalke fans will hope that BVB goes bankrupt again, but unless there is one of the biggest bribery and cheating scandals hidden, it will not happen 🙂

      • Clouseau
        May 16, 2012

        Regarding the buyout clauses : It’s not a model the bundesliga usually follow there are only few known players who posess those clauses.But to be fair Sahin’s clauses was agreed before he stepped his game up and became a crack. He agreed on approximatly age of 20 on that figure.. Same can be said for Bayerns new CB Dante.

        Barça is no selling Club most Players want’s to stay thanks to ambitions,salary and lifestyle inside the city.. hardly compareable.

    • Messiah10
      May 14, 2012

      They will lose Kagawa for sure. His “life plan” is to play in the EPL. SAF and M.U. have scouted him all year and SAF was at the Cup Final. The addition of Marco Reus is a huge signing. He’s a big time player and should score 15-20+ goals next year. He’ll fit in smoothly like Alexis did w/us. I’d love to play them in the CL. They wouldn’t park the bus and the ties would be sensational football. Even better than the Barca vs Arsenal ties. I love the Bundesliga. The stadiums are packed. The prices are relatively low for the entertainment value and the football is quality. I think Liga, EPL, & Serie A could learn a thing or two about managing a league. However, if the Bundesliga becomes more popular and their able to generate higher t.v. ratings, it’s only a matter of time before the money pours in and the clubs start spending upsurd amounts on transfers. We never learn do we?

      • nzm
        May 15, 2012

        That guy is awesome! He kept Bayern out all night.

    • Over the past few years Villareal actually were probably the most likeable club I knew, I never met anyone who disliked them. I’m really sad that they’re down. But they’ll surely be back next year.

      • Clouseau
        May 16, 2012

        Some hate them for beeing a Club who is runned by a “Sugardaddy” esspecially the Localist like Levante and VCF despise them for that.

        And then there is the Mallorca who weren’t allowed to play in Euroleague by UEFA and Villarreal later on benefited from that decision the Mallorcafans began to hate them. Some cheered for Villarreals relegation…

    • Clouseau
      May 16, 2012

      +++++1. Spot on, Helge agree wholeheartly with your sentiments:)

      I feel they are unpreceated by both the international Media and to a way lesser extend by the german Media for their amazing season. But i think the Bayern-Camp plays also a huge Role by this situation.
      With their constantly mentioning their own interpretation from engl.Medias famously quote “But can they do it on a..” ^^

      Regarding their successfull Transferpolicy i think they’re quite comparable with Fc Sevilla but probably with a larger Fanbase in foraign Countries thanks to that they don’t need to sell in order to clean the books.Shrewd Buisness like Kagawas reminds me of the Alvestransfer xD…
      As we see Sevillas suffers nowadays Monchi’s famous Nose is no more all i do hope is that they don’t share the same path.But in keeping Klopp and renewing with influencial Players one can say they did their Homework.

      Speaking on Kagawas departure now i’m desperatly waiting to see that Pumuckl Guy to play.Looking at their positivly transferrecord he leaves lot’s to desire but his look makes him already a cult figure!:D

  5. blitzen
    May 14, 2012

    Nice translation of Zubi’s radio interview over on Total Barça:

    http://www.totalbarca.com/2012/news/zubizarreta-weve-had-no-offers-for-alves-pedro-or-pique/#more-110500

    “What Pep said at the press conference that confirmed that Tito would be the next coach happened on that Friday, the day of the press conference. It’s true. We spoke with Tito on Wednesday. From Wednesday, there were many meetings, there were hours that felt like months. On Friday, Tito confirmed that he would accept the position and this was the moment in which Pep was also informed about the offer.”

  6. Messiah10
    May 14, 2012

    Pappis Cisse is on Newcastle United, not Tottenham Hotspurs. Just to clarify the 2nd paragraph sumarizing the EPL top 4 results.

    • nzm
      May 14, 2012

      Arrrrgh – what was I thinking? Of course he is! Thanks – and amended! 😀

      I’m happy that you read it carefully enough to pick that up!

      • Messiah10
        May 14, 2012

        nzm,

        No problem. I make mistakes on almost every post i write! lol. Editing your own material is a bi”*# because no matter how often you read it, you inevitably miss something. Great summary and thanks for taking the time to do it! Love your stuff so far!

      • nzm
        May 15, 2012

        Yeah – I think that it also included cup games.

  7. nia
    May 14, 2012

    I knew i liked Benz for a reason, he stays away from controvercy: Benzema (Real Madrid): “Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi? They’re different players, I would like to play with both of them.” [rmc via sportyou]

  8. mega_tajh
    May 14, 2012

    So apparently Malaga are looking at a couple of Villarreal players, such as Borja Valero and Nilmar. Both would be excellent signings for them especially under Pellegrini.

    • Anonymous_69
      May 15, 2012

      Malaga really need a guy like Nilmar if they want to start posing a serious threat, PSG/Man City style. Van Nistelrooy is gone, and although I think Rondon is talented, he has a looooong way to go. Also, does anyone know what’s up with Julio Baptista? He was awesome at first, then suffered an injury, and I haven’t heard anything ever since… Regardless, they need a new striker, preferably someone very fast and mobile, which is why Nilmar is ideal. Villarreal also own Jefferson Montero, who has kicked the asses of both Marcelo and Alves this season. He’s on loan at Real Betis. He’s talented to play in the Segunda, he should stay at Betis.

      I like Malaga’s midfield. Toulalan will be back next season, Camacho is a good player, Duda makes a good CM, Joaquin and Eliseu are dangerous on their day, and of course Cazorla and Isco are stars. But they could use a deep-lying play maker.

      Mainly, Malaga absolutely need to reinforce their defense. Demichelis obviously has to leave. Mathijsen and Weligton might be good enough for the bench, but they need two new CBs. I would like to see Botia there. But they need one ball playing CB. They could use some good fullbacks as well. Nacho Monreal isn’t amazing, but they aren’t going to find anyone better for LB. They need new RBs though. I hope they make a move for Gregory van der Wiel or someone similar.

  9. FYI, the Segunda season is not yet over. They have 5 match days remaining. Depor are in good shape with a 7-point lead over Celta and Valladolid (level on points, Celta ahead on goal difference). It would be neat to see both Galician sides return. As I understand, hasn’t Madrid had a lot of trouble at the Riazor over the years?

    • Judas Pissed
      May 15, 2012

      That’s right – the Liga Adelante season’s last matchday is June 3rd. Villareal B have been automatically relegated due to their senior sides demotion meaning only the bottom 3 will go down at the end of the season. Barca B are comfortable in mid table.

      • blitzen
        May 15, 2012

        My article on Barça B will be up this week. I promise.

  10. Gogah
    May 15, 2012

    Feel really bad for the yellow submarines. It’s just all gone downhill for them. And What a campaign Juventus and Borussia have had, I had no idea that juve were unbeaten this season. Alessandro Del Piero was a class act and he will surely be missed, along with Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf. Sad that Napoli couldn’t make it to the top four, does this mean we can go after Cavani? If it does happen we will have a crazy south american attacking trident in the Chilean, the Uruguayan and the Argentine, not to mention the greatest spanish striker for support. Except i have my own doubts about Cavani’s close control abilities. Whatever, silly season, is inevitable and .. fun.

  11. Laurentiu88
    May 15, 2012

    man, what is up with Laporta? i don’t know if the quote is true but saying stuff like Pep could have been convinced to stay or that Tito is just a desperate measure… psss…. here we go with the politics and the power play 🙁

    • Messiah10
      May 15, 2012

      Those are just digs at Rosell. After all, Rosell did take him to court of his financial handling of the club. In the process, dragging his good name through the mud. If the quote is indeed true, and wasn’t taken out of context, it’s a shame he can’t back Tito b/c it’s Rosells choice. If you look at his hiring of Pep, many could argue that the same could be said. Pep had never managed 1st team football nor been an assistant under any 1st team coach. So, if the quote is true and not taken out of context, it’s just politics as you say. This in fighting is why Pep left. That, and the unreasonable expectations we placed on him after 08/09. Oh, and The Evil One.

  12. Mila
    May 15, 2012

    “La elección de Vilanova es una decisión de pánico” – Way to undermine the new coach, you j*rk.

    Please pardon my French, but these types of comments are truly unacceptable from a former president. What does he think they will achieve – instill confidence and encourage the new coach who has one of the toughest jobs in the world to do?

    Laporta and his political games have truly gone out of line here.

    Instead of supporting the club, supporting the new coach – all he does is start a mudslinging match here. Doesn’t he know when you play with mud; you are the one to end up dirty?

    I get his hate for Rosell, I get his rage at being helpless and powerless towards anything happening at the club, but to belittle the newly named coach for the sake of scoring political points is just low and classless.

    3 years from now – in the heat of new presidential campaign, when Tito will have a proven record of either being a winner or a failure – go ahead, Laporta, say your piece, but now? Twat.

    #RantOver

    • blitzen
      May 15, 2012

      I agree 100%. Laporta has plenty of good reasons to lash out at Rosell (and vice versa, frankly), but bringing Pep & Tito into it is just low.

    • Ahh why is Laporta being such a jerk?! I liked him and always used to take his side too but that’s such a dick move.

      (Ps. Long time haha)

    • blitzen
      May 15, 2012

      I love this pic more each time I see it. 😀

  13. blitzen
    May 15, 2012

    Joan Laporta: “I’m prepared to present myself as a candidate for FCB president one more time”

    Isn’t he still in the middle of a nasty lawsuit with the club? That would tend to put a damper on his campaign, wouldn’t it?

    • culegirl3
      May 15, 2012

      I believe he is still dealing with the lawsuit but why would that stop him? He’s out for revenge because in Laporta’s demented mind he wants revenge on ex buddy Rosell for what he think is the destruction of Laporta’s legacy(pardon me while I roll my eyes). So it’s all vengeance..not love for the club. I credit Rosell for backing up the signing of Tito, he could have easily fought Zubi tooth and nail to sign a big name coach but instead he’s taking a risk, and I kind of admire him for it.

  14. May 15, 2012

    To understand the hooraw between Party Boy and RoSELL, you have to go back in time to when they were best buds, remaking the club in their own glorious image(s). When plural became singular, RoSELL rebelled and friends became enemies. Now it’s just petty, stupid sniping.

    RoSELL could have made this all go away by taking the high road when he was elected. Instead, it was “Lawd, looky the debt we’s in. Don’t know how we’re going to get out, but we will try. Dat dere lyin’ snake Laporta said we had a surplus, when in fact we have a deficit. A HUGE one. I’ll see him in court, on documents I’ll have to make in black and white, since …. no color copies!”

    The intent was to keep Laporta from becoming King of Catalunya, even though in reality the president of FCB is King of Catalunya. So petty men became even pettier, and when the club didn’t do what it has been for the preceding 3 seasons, that gave Party Boy all the ammo he needed to say “See? Leave Alan Harper in charge for a bit and look what you get.”

    Guardiola’s departure had feck all to do with RoSELL and his management. Anyone could look at the man and see that it was time. It. Was. Just. Time. And Vilanova isn’t a panic decision. Party Boy is an asshat for saying that. It’s a call for continuity of the sporting project. But what can we expect from a dude who “settled” for Ronaldinho after promising David Beckham as part of his campaign.

    Grrrrr!

    /rant

    • culegirl3
      May 15, 2012

      What course of action do you think Rosell should have taken in regards to Laporta’s manipulation and lies of the money? Is it ethical to turn a blind eye and let him walk without so much as a reprimand? And before anyone starts calling me a Rosellista..I’m quite aware of his transgressions…there are no saints in politics after all.

      • May 15, 2012

        Both presidents did fiscal boondoggles. Laporta jiggled the books to make it look like more of a surplus, Rosell jiggled them to make it look like more of a deficit, so that he could then announce, as he did after his first year, “Hey, looky how much we have already taken off the deficit! Yay for us!”

        You do it in a way that doesn’t bring dishonor to the club, and you do it properly. Setting up an assault at the assembly, then declining to vote is the weasel’s way out. Then you act as if you don’t have any choice but to take him to court, when in fact you do. You always do.

        Let him off scot-free? No, but there is certainly a more private way, which almost certainly would have transpired had the two not become bitter enemies. At some point, there is a price to be paid for the kind of success that we had. And yes, that price includes parties, and schlepping dignitaries around to Champions League finals, etc. Party Boys roll like that.

        • culegirl3
          May 15, 2012

          Rosell and Laporta seem like two high school boys who are out to impress the cheerleader at any costs.

          I agree that things should have been handled in a more delicate and tactful way instead of declaring a public war and engaging in a public smack down. It just makes them look so classless.

          However, Laporta isn’t exactly endearing himself with all the smack talking that he’s been doing. It’s time for him to move on.

  15. aaron88
    May 15, 2012

    As usual, I am with you Kxevin. One of the shocking parts to me about Graham Hunter’s Barca book was the discussion of the capture of Dinho and the campaign issue of Beckham. I know signings in election campaigns are pawns, but the thought that they faked Beck’s signing with Florentino’s complicit approval blew me away. Also that Rosell and Florentino were buds.

    BTW — thanks to you and others on the BFB that alerted me to the fantastic read. Go get it, if you haven’t already.

  16. May 15, 2012

    And here’s something else: Maybe it was just time for Guardiola to leave. A sporting project such as his can only go for so long. Guardiola never said that he would be a coach for the ages. He gave himself 3-4 seasons, which was what we got. Like Helenio Herrera, you just can’t ramp up that kind of intensity for too long, or you start to see signs of burnout, as we noticed this season.

    I don’t think that admitting it might have been time is in any way at all diminishing the man or his great, great accomplishments. But it is something worth thinking about.

    • May 15, 2012

      And it wasn’t even like he decided one day that he’d quit out of the blue. He’d been saying that he wouldn’t coach for long after the 2nd season itself. But people take whatever they want to take out of any situation.

      RoSELL is smart enough to know that forcing Pep out would lead to disaster. Given that he had little or no leverage against Pep. Pep would say a word and an impeachment motion would start against RoSELL, such is the popularity of Guardiola.

      I don’t think he had anything to do with Pep making his decision..

    • Agree. Some coaches are sprinters and some are marathonners, and that’s true in any sport. When a “sprinter” coach runs out of gas, he does neither himself nor the team any favors by trying to stick it out. As an example from American college football (the gridiron variety), look what happened to Urban Meyer at Florida. He was burned out from the pressure cooker of the SEC (probably the closest American analogue to the all-consuming passion of European football) and “retired” for a day due to health reasons. But then he changed his mind, came back for another year, things didn’t go well, and he left on a disappointing note. No one wants Pep or Barça to suffer a fate like that.

  17. Laurentiu88
    May 15, 2012

    I dont know much about the conflict of our two presidents. It does seem that our club’s financial position is quite terrible since with an extra 30 mil a year we are still having difficulties. It does seem to be a deep conflict here, between large factions even, and this represents a serious pb for the club at a very delicate moment. And this makes Laporta’s comments even more appalling! We don’t need inside fighting for the new season, extra pressure on the team and manager. Not now when we need to take important decisions on the team and acquisition! Last thing i want is some wrong deals to silence some inside critics!! So silly!

  18. Laurentiu88
    May 15, 2012

    On another topic, it seems that from all the young players to leave our team (not to be promoted to the first team) only Soriano is actually doing great, albeit in Austria.

    This may point to the fact that maybe their value was not that great, that they were good in our team (think of physical aspect) and that maybe that masked a bit some of their weaknesses?

    This just shows the difficulty of raising great players…

    • blitzen
      May 15, 2012

      Nolito has been doing very well with Benfica. 10 goals in 22 appearances isn’t bad at all.

      Oriol Romeu was on course for a decent season at Chelsea, but afer AVB left he sort of disappeared. Don’t know if he fits into their future plans anymore. Shame.

      Most of the B team players who left last year weren’t all that good, to be honest: players like Benja, Saul, and Abraham have all landed in the Segunda AFAIK.

    • Clouseau
      May 16, 2012

      Like blitzen said most of them we’re not good enough anyway and we’re only buyed to get Barça on Liga Adelante but most of them succeeded(not titlewise) in their Club.

      Víctor Vazquéz did started very well and helped Brügge with his Goals to qualify in Euroleague.He is a sure starter at his club played mayority of brügges Games but failed to win the Title.
      But Brügge is a crazy Club anytime with a short-term mentality changed their Coaches for the 3rd Time on current season.

      Abraham started slowly but played an essientiell Role for Zaragozas retaining on LaLiga.Scored the winner against VCF, played as LB,LA or DM.. He’s far from a Barçamaterial hardly a LaLiga quality so playing itself is a gift for him.

      Oriol went also to Zaragoza but sufferd he is no LaLigamaterial anyway.

      Nolito scored Benfica to the CL and is considerd a Toptransfer and Fanfavourit, did also broke an old record set by Eusebio..

  19. May 15, 2012

    The only league table that is missing from this post is BFB’s Fantasy League ! I demand one of those too! 🙂

      • May 15, 2012

        Nope. At a (somewhat) respectable 7th. Decent enough considering I didn’t know you could update your XI, during the first few months.

    • nzm
      May 15, 2012

      I know nothing about that league – my fantasies are about something else other than football. 😛 😛 😛

  20. messifan
    May 15, 2012

    Sigh…We should have a beer summit for Joan and Sandro to work out their differences. They were once friends. What happened? And what is up with ex-Barca men holding grudges against current people at the club? First, it was Jose vs Josep, and now it’s Joan vs. Sandro 🙁

  21. mom4
    May 15, 2012

    I’m not gonna engage in a discussion about politics. FBC, local, or world politics…it’s all the same. The only things worse than politics are politicians. Anyone smart enough for the job is smart enough not to want it. Just my extremely jaded, worn-out, disenchanted, middle-aged perception of things.

    Soooo, I’m just gonna leave this here for Kari. It’s her favorite flea… all gussied up (courtesy MD and totalBarca).
    http://www.totalbarca.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/mundodeportivo.75015.jpg

    • Laurentiu88
      May 15, 2012

      we are appalled by bad, dysfunctional politics, and not politics or politicians in general.

      as a commentator pointed out, Bilbao has not scored in the last 5 games while it conceded 11… hope they won’t wake up against us!!

      • mom4
        May 15, 2012

        Oh, have loads of fun discussing it all: good, bad, dysfunctional, etc… It’s kind of integral to football and therefore fair game for discussion. I just came in the middle of a discussion to leave a pic for Kari(something a little incongruous to the current theme) and was excusing myself from it (maybe letting a bit too much of my cynicism show).

        • mom4
          May 15, 2012

          As for Athletic, may their scoring woes continue for one more game and may they come back strong next year!

    • Bill
      May 15, 2012

      The problem with politics is that it involves governance, and the problem with governance is that it involves politics…

  22. ciaran
    May 15, 2012

    According to Guillem Balague on Revista, Barca are willing to listen to offers for Villa, Alves & Pedro as well as the possibility of Keita leaving.
    I don’t understand the Pedro thing. He had a terrible goal scoring season but he worked his ass off for the most part.
    Villa, due to his age I understand even though I don’t agree.
    Alves could potentially earn a tidy transfer fee but again I’m not sure.

    We need to be very very clever and very very careful this summer.
    EE looked very impressive this season and unless Higuain leaves, I don’t see them being any weaker next season.

    • Dave
      May 15, 2012

      Well Ciaran, did they mention anything about possible signings?

    • blitzen
      May 15, 2012

      Seriously. Don’t listen to a word Balague says. He doesn’t have any kind of “inside track” on what is happening at FCB. His job is to throw out plausible scenarios and generate discussion. That’s it. (If he was that close to the club he would have known about Tito’s appointment. He didn’t.)

      • Dave
        May 15, 2012

        Yep been saying it for years here about Balague, hes a spoofer. His exclusives are really sketchy.His website is rubbish.

        There’s something slimy about him too, in a Jorge Mendes way. He’s all for himself. He tries to keep in with everyone and has been defending or glossing over Mourinho’s actions. Last week he was going on about how the penalties against Espanyol should of been disallowed.

        He also has a enormous ego and just look how he has moved from being a expert on Revista to almost a co presenter. Would not be surprised if he had a hand in Mark Bolton’s departure

        Espanyol tosser

        • blitzen
          May 15, 2012

          He blocked me on twitter, actually. Didn’t know why at first, since I’ve never gotten in an argument with him or anything. Figured out that he must have been searching for his name—I may have called him smarmy and sycophantic, but not to his face! 😉

          • simple_barcafan
            May 16, 2012

            smarmy…lol..finally I see someone use that word..

        • Richzorz
          May 19, 2012

          I don’t mind Balague, isn’t he an Espanyol fan…? Actually missed that match but I heard the penalties were a little soft (possibly to ‘make up’ for the penalties not given back when it mattered…)

      • Laurentiu88
        May 15, 2012

        i guess it remains to be decided if Tito and Co. will decide on a major change of personnel. a common opinion circulating is that next season Barca has to forget all about the past success; that they must accept that they come from behind now, and so on. Surely this will be achievable with an extra infusion of players. But, on the other side, during the reign of Pep & Tito we have grown slowly painfully slowly incorporating new addition and then mostly players previously familiar with our ‘philosophy’. There is a clear risk involved in bringing in 5-6 new players!

        Besides, a review of the past season is necessary. What was the cause of our failures? Do we have an old squad or was it just tired after many years of too many games? Are some players below our level, on the downside of their careers or was it due to other aspects: tactical changes; injuries; etc.? Are there money for such huge investments? (For ex when Pep came in we have spend well over 100mil; same when Laporta came and build that team, 115 mil i think). These and many more questions await an answer from Tito. From what I can say is that the team is nowhere near the 2007 team – that was without energy or desire. Tito will know if he can inspire and which players need to be kept in the team. Are they too tired of success or have the same eager to win and continue with their Legend?

  23. Dave
    May 15, 2012

    It was also above that Rosell had nothing to do with Pep’s departure and that Pep was leaving any way out of tiredness. I disagree with this.

    Imo the fallout from Cruff has been a major part. He was a major part of Pep’s ideas and the two were very close.

    Additionally, the president and his staff have failed to protect Pep from the Madrid media like Laporta did.
    Tito will be torn apart if they are so meek in the future.

    • Dave
      May 15, 2012

      These attacks have hastened Pep’s departure I think

    • culegirl3
      May 15, 2012

      You bring up an interesting point Dave.

      How do you think they should have protected him?

      I know the impact Cryuff had on Barcelona and on Pep as a player and coach but if this is all for reasons of sentimentality then a different perspective is needed IMO.

      What is more important, the club or your loyalties to specific individuals? If you love a club like you say you do, you put everything else second. And I personally don’t see Pep as a petty person who’d walk away from the opportunity of a life time because a group of people dissed his friends. I just don’t see him being that way.

      • May 15, 2012

        Agree with culegirl3. Guardiola, if that kind of crap was going on, would have let them have it with both barrels as he did Mourinho when he’d finally had enough of his blather, then gone about the task of coaching his club.

        Never forget that Guardiola said, many times, that he wouldn’t be here for very long. I had him going next year at any rate, but you could see how he would think this year was the year. He also said that he would leave when he felt that he couldn’t help the club any longer.

      • Dave
        May 15, 2012

        By being far more robust in there condemnation of various allegations during the seasons.
        Laporta despite the perilous financial situation he left the club in, was much more forthright and defensive of players and managers. Call it empty rhetoric but he always pushed a strong Catalan agenda, this helped to galvanize the club against its foes. This is not xenophobia but gives Barca part of its identity. I can’t imagine Laporta standing by while Mourinho and his cronies bullied the refs into submission.

        Cruff is a notoriously prickly character and perhaps his friendship with Laporta meant he and Rosell with never see eye to eye. But the man is a genius and a fundamental part of the club and its identity.

        Kevin, Guardiola is too much of a club and football man to get in involved in the politics. He not Mourinho who thrives on conflict.

        No one is denying Guardiola was going to leave, but in my mind his departure has been hastened by the above.

        Furthermore I get the feeling he leaves with a sour taste. When of his memories of the Classico’s (including the 5-0) he says ‘not good’. This is sad IMO.

        Maybe mentally he wasn’t as robust as other managers- but the club should provide for this by providing him with a larger media entourage etc.

  24. Bill
    May 15, 2012

    When Mourinho says things like Ronaldo should win Ballon D’or because his 46 goals counted in winning the league, Rosell and co. should counter by stating that Messi’s 72 goals already helped win 3 titles, with a possibility of a 4th one.

    • May 15, 2012

      True, but this season, his most productive goal-wise, resulted in no Liga or Champions League, would be their counter-argument. Yes, we know that injuries were killer, but ….

      • Dave
        May 15, 2012

        The Euros may have a large bearing on the destination. But there does not seem to be to many stand out performers at club level to rival Messi and Cristiano

      • jordi™
        May 15, 2012

        Messi basically did both Cristiano’s job and Ozil’s to sensational effect. FCB’s media just need to hype it as Messi’s 100 goal contribution season.

  25. ciaran
    May 15, 2012

    Dmirti Seluk, Yaya Toure’s agent is once again running his mouth about a transfer. I think I’ve got deja vu?
    He was a troll back then and he’s a troll now.

    He’s trying to move Yaya on again for another massive sign on fee.

  26. Dave
    May 15, 2012

    Off topic but personally I’m looking forward to seeing Spain with the Barca boys. Should be interesting. If only they were playing someone tougher

    • messifan
      May 15, 2012

      Did you mean “without” Barca players? I’m looking forward to it too. But I’m kinda disappointed that Ballestaros didn’t get invited. It is a friendly squad, at least reward him for his hard work, instead, we get to see Albiol (RM’s permanent benchwarmer) in the squad 🙁

      Clearly, Vicente did not get my message…that I sent in a bottle, and now floating somewhere across the Atlantic.

  27. I think we always do well when we end up in situations contrary to all anticipated and planned. Ronaldinho was not supposed to join the club, but Beckham was. I to date never understand how an election campaign can based on such an over-rated player. Beckham simply put is and will be the most over-rated footballer of all time. Apart from a decent right foot which was good in set-pieces, he was crap. But still it drives me crazy that we actually tried to sign him. So we know what happened after that and it all turned really great.

    When Rijkaard was about to leave everyone expected us to sign Mourinho. I was praying for that not to happen. And from out of the blue Guardiola with no record came. That also turned out to be right.

    Till Tito decision was announced we never expected him to take reigns. We expected someone like Biesla. Actually many speculated that Tito’s absence due to operation was one reason which prompted Guardiola to take some time off. So going by the law of averages this also will turn pretty nice.

  28. AJ_10
    May 16, 2012

    I will forever despise Rosell.
    For a fan in an Asian community with not lot of interest in football, whenever I go on about Barca (which is quite a lot), I am often faced with ” Are you Spanish? Are you from Barcelona? What relation do you have with the club?”. Then I go on an /long, sometimes pointless (since they never understand anyway) tirade of explaining “mes que un club” and how I am a cule & would become part of the club the first time I visit spain.

    Then here comes Rosell with his “only catalan” rule and leaves me with my link to the club faltering.I am only a cule , never to be a soci, although being a cule is great. I mean I live in Middle East, so when he gets sponsorship(I hate him for selling the shirt as well) deals from middle east and is going great lengths for more exposure in middle east, and then accepts only catalans , it reeks of double standard. He wants income from all over the world yet will only let catalans join?!! He strikes me as a cutthroat businessman instead of a club president.

    Rant over/
    But Barca is my club. I try to separate the club from the business. I will support them as long as they stay true to their style and do all they can.
    Visca Barca
    Just my (very low) opinion of him

    • AJ_10
      May 16, 2012

      In retrospect, that last paragraph should read for as long as I live. I was in rant mode & was thinking if rosell signed mourinho on some other pathetic low life to represent the club. Shudder. Hope it never happens.
      This club has too much history & class for something like that to happen.

  29. K_legit in Oz
    May 16, 2012

    Fuck..Dani broke his collarbone it seems..Montoya for the final in all likelihood then 😐

  30. Clouseau
    May 16, 2012

    Agree on the sentiments of Laporta statement. Very cheap to bring Tito&Pep into his own Vendettatrip against Rosell. Needs to shut it but never will all after all only his statements on Tito was surprising..but something tells me that Joan will say, if Tito succeed, that rosell only harvest othe fruits of his work and yadda yadda…

    only a matter of time until sandro’s camp takes the bait preferable if Titos succeed 😉

  31. blitzen
    May 16, 2012

    Official: Dani Alves has broken his collarbone on training today and will undergo surgery this afternoon (@barcastuff)

    The bad news just keeps on coming. WTF is this season? 👿

    • Laurentiu88
      May 16, 2012

      WTFFFFFFFFFFF !!!!!!

      plus i hate the speculation of Toure to RM!!!!

    • mom4
      May 16, 2012

      Not surprising. After this season, nothing surprises.

  32. blitzen
    May 16, 2012

    It’s OK, everybody. I have a plan!

    In my secret laboratory I have a team of mad scientists ready to assemble the perfect Barça defender:

    Abidal’s legs.
    Dani Alves’ guts and lungs.
    Fontas’ height.
    Puyol’s heart and head.

    From the carnage of injured players we will build him!

    It’ll work, I know it will! 😈

    • mom4
      May 16, 2012

      Um…Zombiedude Blaugrana will be missing, amongst other things, arms? I know soccer is played mainly with the feet but what about balance, throw-ins, and most importantly team-hug goal celebrations?

      • blitzen
        May 16, 2012

        Well, Abi’s arms still work, don’t they? We’ll use his. Don’t question the mad scientists, woman!

  33. Dani_el
    May 16, 2012

    Alves broke his collarbone in training today, he will undergo surgery.
    He will probably miss the Copa del Rey final. At least this may signify they won’t sell him this year.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2012

      I believe the words you were looking for were, “we’re all gonna die!!”

      Sheesh, what is with us and injuries this season? Pretty soon it’ll just be the unbreakable Messi + 10 Barca B players on the pitch…

      • messifan
        May 16, 2012

        Messi + 10 B players = disqualified from the CdR.

  34. Laurentiu88
    May 16, 2012

    what do you think about going for Suarez? not much diversity but a clear talent that will fit right in. and besides, he admires us for a long time 🙂

    • blitzen
      May 16, 2012

      No. He’s stupid and he bites people.

    • culegirl3
      May 16, 2012

      I love Luis Suarez 🙂 so that would be an awesome signing since he’s talented but I don’t see that happening.

  35. Judas Pissed
    May 16, 2012

    We should sign Balotelli. He’s a loveable nutcase a la Mad Sammy Eto’o.

    • May 16, 2012

      We were discussing this on Twitter. It originated in other places, as well. If he were willing to take a pay cut, as some of the rumor stories suggest, wanting to be part of the sporting project, aka go out with glory a la Henry, I’d make the move in two seconds.

      We have NO PLAYER who can do what Drogba does. And make no mistake, what Drogba does is valuable. I don’t see any of the personality (“—-ing disgrace!”) stuff being an issue. Players are professionals. And if he can control and do damage with Lampard passes, imagine what he will be able to do with Xavi passes.

      This is all rumor and conjecture, as is everything connected with Silly Season. But as a theoretical, for me, hell yes. With extra sauce, and plenty of caveats:

      –Pay cut
      –Bench player who accepts that role
      –Some adaptation to the system
      –Limited contract, 2 years max, preferably 1+option year

      • May 16, 2012

        Oh yes, most definitely. This is exactly the type of player we need. No better way to smash a parked bus than have a player like Drogba to get on the end of crosses and unlike a certain Swede this guy is actually good in the air!

        The main obstacle I see is his salary, which is quite frankly ridiculous considering his age. However, if he accepts a pay cut and a role from the bench then I would take him in a heartbeat. He would have to be a bench player though, a high impact bench player (ala Larsson) but a bench player all the same. He is the perfect plan B.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2012

      Yes, yes, and some more yes. He’s a prepackaged and ready-to-go Plan B! But I definitely agree with Kxevin’s preconditions.

    • messifan
      May 16, 2012

      Ummmm…I feel like Spanish reporters read this blog or something ‘cuz this Drogba story was mentioned here a few weeks ago right after we were kicked out of the CL semi.

    • mom4
      May 16, 2012

      Absofragginlutely.
      Strong as an ox, good work rate, can hold up the ball, skill, does great things for his country, someone else to speak French with Abi and Keita. Good plan B.
      Agree totally with Kxevin’s caveats.
      Our docs may even be able to help the poor guy with his little gravity/grass alergy problem that kept him on the ground for so long during the semi at the Bridge.

      • Jim
        May 17, 2012

        He has these qualities but when exactly will we need someone to hold up the ball . That’s route one stuff. We’re already camped around their box all the time and for me his feet aren’t nearly quick enough to work in that environment.

  36. Oil_Can
    May 16, 2012

    If we are going to agree to sign Drogba, will we sign him up first or wait till we sign our defenders players first? Drogba might not be willing to wait that long, and If we do sign him first it will limit our budget even more which would suck.

    On the other hand it would be interesting how he would fair in our Squad. Also Im a bit worried how he will play alongside Messi, there could be a potential clash there.

    • mom4
      May 16, 2012

      He would be a free tansfer. His contract is up.

  37. K_legit in Oz
    May 16, 2012

    No, I would never support this. He might end up being a Larsson-esque player for us if he does sign but I will never forget his antics against Barça in the semi final..He might sign and score goals for us but I will not stop despising him..
    Larsson was used in a role (especially after his injury) as an impact striker where Rijkaard almost played 4-2-4..With this Ivorian, we could expect Tito to utilize him in a similar way..Not comparing the talents though, Henke was twice the player Drogba is..

    • mega_tajh
      May 17, 2012

      Personally I would rather we get Diego Milito if we are interested in an expired striker.

  38. Dani_el
    May 17, 2012

    If we’re talking about older strikers, what about Claudio Pizarro. I throw his name because I’m peruvian. I know he didn’t make it on Chelsea, but he’s the all-time top foreign scorer in the BundesLiga and has no issues about his personality and team work. Also he’s a good header and can fix the central defenders.
    He just said he will stay in the Bundesliga, maybe Schalke or Borussia Dormundt. That may be, because Barça hasn’t knock on his door yet. I wish Nol solano would be 15 years younger, or maybe Farfan on his prime…

  39. lyd
    May 17, 2012

    “Drogba to Barca? – Billion billion billion blau blistering barnacles!!!” (The voice starts off as Sagan and then reaches Haddock at the desired point)

    I get the points Kxevin made, which theoretically fits the project. But personally I’d be devastated at the sight of him wearing our colors. And i cant really imagine him at training tbh. Can he handle “Drogba in the middle” drill for long? work on “off the grass” movements without hampering play+dressing room atmosphere?

    Cant Dongou be the potential solution for “plan B/Bus”?

    • blitzen
      May 17, 2012

      (The voice starts off as Sagan and then reaches Haddock at the desired point)

      This made me LOL. Thanks! 😀

    • Nik
      May 17, 2012

      You mean 16 year old Dongou? The last thing he needs is to be brought up too early like Bojan.

      • blitzen
        May 17, 2012

        Yes, exactly. He hasn’t even officially been promoted to the B team yet. he needs at least 2 years there before he will be anywhere near ready to be promoted.

        (Although I believe he turned 17 not long ago.)

        • lyd
          May 17, 2012

          Dont forget, he is not the regular 17 year old.

          There would be little harm in inviting him to training sessions every once in a while. And maybe keep him on the bench post 2nd half of the season whenever we anticipate a parked bus.

      • lyd
        May 17, 2012

        Forget Bojan, think more of the way Tello, Sergi Roberto were groomed this season.

        • blitzen
          May 17, 2012

          Both of whom are several years older than Dongou. And Sergi Roberto isn’t being promoted either AFAIK.

          • Nik
            May 17, 2012

            Agreed. We’ll see where Dongou is at in terms of his development in 2-3 years. We can talk about bringing him up then. Right now, he needs regular playing time to sharpen his skills against competitive opponents, which he can get through the Barca B or Juvenil A. He doesn’t need the unrealistic expectations that come as a teenage wunderkind promoted to the first team.

  40. May 17, 2012

    Apparently we’re getting after EMD for the story alleging that Giardiola and RoSELL don’t have a good relationship. Huffy statement from club, legal action, etc.

    • messifan
      May 17, 2012

      Do you mean El Mundo? El Mundo is a Madrid-based paper (PP-leaning general newspaper). That newspaper and ABC are the worst. It’s almost like reading Fox news on steroid.

      EMD or MD (Mundo Deportivo)is based in Barcelona and covers sports only (Extreme Barca-biased).

      • May 17, 2012

        Yes. See my correction rigjht above. I so automatically default to EMD rather than EM.

        • Laurentiu88
          May 17, 2012

          unfortunately looks like lots of local media has ‘taken’ copied that info! in Romania here press is so unprofessional that they even written the rumors of Pep being gay 🙁

          I am all for freedom of the press but this shows what happens when we have a global coverage (with all the money and comes from this) and an ugly war between the two clubs that can get this low.

    • messifan
      May 17, 2012

      But it raises the issue of Rosell’s selfishness. The club has been accused of many things, and he only takes selective actions on things that can hurt his re-election campaign.

  41. May 17, 2012

    I wonder why we aren’t being linked with Vertonghen. Apparently he is the business; young, fast, tall, strong, can play LB as well as CB and would only cost 12m. Instead we are being linked with Thiago Silva who is no spring chicken, would cost upwards of 30m, is injury prone and IMO pretty overrated.

    • May 17, 2012

      An Ajax scout said the same thing, only without the Thiago Silva stuff, which I also agree with.

      • May 17, 2012

        I’m pretty sure it was Frank de Boer – Ajax’s manager who said this in several interviews.

        For those without much historical inclination, FdB played almost 150 matches for Barcelona at centerback. He also has Ajax playing some great football – very pretty and similar to the fluid way we play. (Keep an eye on him for the future if we need a manager).

        I’m not a professional scout. All I know is when someone like him says we should be interested in Vertonghen, I believe him.

        • mega_tajh
          May 17, 2012

          Yeah today one of their scouts labeled him as a left footed Ronald Koeman and that he would fit in perfectly with us.

          Maybe the club is working behind the scenes and told Vertonghen to hold off on any transfer till our season has truly finished.

          • Clouseau
            May 17, 2012

            Well that Koeman comparison is exagerrated but yes he probably would fit in with us.

            I’m pretty pessimistic on that as i think Spurs already got dibs on him.

  42. May 17, 2012

    A little OP.

    It’s been a very long time since I have visited BFB.

    I’ve only since followed BFB through the newsletters since I have been really busy. The problem is I sometimes receive the newsletters very late, sometimes a day late, sometimes a week or two weeks late.

    Maybe Tarun can look to this.

    More power guys, and the community has really grown since the offside days.

    Visca el Barca!

    • Chiu
      May 17, 2012

      follow BFB from newsletter? how you do that??? thanks

  43. Salia
    May 17, 2012

    My Liga team of the season:

    Courtois
    Ramos Puyol Ballesteros Alba
    Cazorla Xabi Xavi
    Ronaldo Falcao Messi

    What do you think? Anyone who shouldnt be there or someone who should be there in place of them

    • blitzen
      May 17, 2012

      I’d pick Busi over Alonso any day of the week.

    • K_legit in Oz
      May 17, 2012

      lol no Mascherano? really? I’d have him there even before Puyol after Masche’s exploits this season.

  44. Gogah
    May 17, 2012

    Just when i was wondering for quite a long time now, why no one has yet, made a film on this incredible Barca,(possibly because one is so inspired by the poetry and the story or one just wants to cash in on it) someone decides to..paul greengrass is making a docu on pep’s barca!

  45. olbucky
    May 17, 2012

    Ok, now it’s getting good….What do you guy think of this one? I’m not sure he’s good enough anymore.
    http://tribalfootball.com/articles/anzhi-ace-etoo-explores-prospect-shock-barcelona-return-3180361

    Samuel Eto’o has put the word out that he’d be interested in a sensational return to Barcelona.

    The Anzhi striker was back at his former club this week to meet with old friends and ‘half-joked’ with coaching staff that he’d be interested in a return.

    Eto’o knows Barca are in the market for an experienced striker, with Chelsea star Didier Drogba the latest big name mentioned, and El Mundo Deportivo says the Cameroon icon also wants to be considered.

    Barca could sign Eto’o for €20 million this summer – which is well inside their transfer budget.

    A move could be on, particularly with Pep Guardiola out of the picture.

    • Clouseau
      May 17, 2012

      Same as with Yaya : highly unlikely his Time @Barça is over and if they say he’ll return now that Pep is gone(as if their issues was that deep)they shouldn’t exclude him and Rosell’s spats in the past…

Leave a Reply