News you can use from Barca-land

mes shirt

As promised, here’s a news update from the club we all love sooooooo (damn, that’s a lotta o’s) much.

Pep Guardiola, sez Sport, wants no more signings if they can’t be Barca quality. Apparently his top two targets are still Fabregas and Chygrynskiy. If they can’t come, he’s willing to stick with what we have. No shame in that, right? Know that the latter is cup-tied, and the former is common sense-tied, as in Wenger would be out of his mind to sell him.

–With this is mind, the kids practiced with the big boys for the Gamper match. Names worth noting from the list, as in people we are certainly going to see this season in Camp Nou, are Fontas, Muniesa, Jeffren, Dos Santos, Thiago and Assulin.

Messi and Ibrahimovic have received the green light for Gamper. This means that the world (well, those with a streaming Web feed, dammit! Not that I’m bitter or anything. Nope.) will see the beginnings of how we roll. And you heard it here first: If Ibrahimovic plays any significant number of minutes, he will score.

Gudjohnsen is too spendy for West Ham, say the British press and Sport. The Hammers are now said to be eyeing a younger, less-expensive option at striker. (Kxevin note: If Monument stayed, that kinda wouldn’t be a bad thing, given our squad depth in the midfield. I’d just play him with a quick hook at the ready.)

–Anybody planning at the last-minute to hit the Gamper match can probably forget it. With 70,000 tickets sold two days ago, club officials are predicting a sell-out for this match, that will feature the debut of BAS. (Kxevin note: I should have gone this year. Don’t know what I was thinking.)

Pedro! will be getting a new contract soon, that reflects his first-team status, one that is now permanent. After all, he doesn’t need a deal linked with first-team-based incentives, right? Excellent news.

–In other injury news, Iniesta and Marquez aren’t expected back until the first league match. Iniesta’s picking up that stomach virus pushed back his recovery. He was also very upset by the Jarque passing.

Alves and Messi have been granted permission to leave the club for the Brazil/Argentina match (duh, right?).

About that shirt in the picture. It is a limited edition (only 1899 will be made….everyone knows the significance of the number, right? It’s the founding year of the club.) match shirt that will be worn for the Trofeo Gamper match. For the unfamiliar, MES is a third world sporting and education initiative spearheaded by Barca and Nike. Proceeds from the sale of MES merchandise go to that very worthy cause, as in you buy shirts, kids get an education, shoes and footy balls. I already have mine, and it comes in a lovely, numbered, fully recyclable presentation box. Size L is the only size on offer, and if you want yours, you can go here. Note that it runs a bit smaller than the regular match shirts.

Kxevin note: As the posting pace picks up, it’s worth noting that a new post doesn’t mean that old posts die. They just move down the page. Thanks to all for contributing to what is, in my humble estimation, the best Barca community on the Web.

There have been many new names popping up here. My apologies if I seem unfriendly for not saying “Hi” as you surface. We’re usually very good about that, but with the debut hustle-n-bustle. πŸ˜€

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. JeffP
    August 18, 2009

    Good stuff, Kevin. Have you heard from Genus lately? I really haven’t seen him around these parts for close to a year……

  2. eklavya
    August 18, 2009

    Old posts don’t die but we cool people don’t comment in old posts,riiiight? πŸ˜€

  3. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    I haven’t heard from Genis since I returned from Barcelona to a wonderful care package from him (books on Catalunya and Barcelona, Catalan-language music and DVD). I know that he gets very busy with work, and sometimes just likes to lurk.

    Yes, he has received a missive about our new digs. πŸ˜€

  4. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    Oh, and I know that it seems kinda janky, but I am not ordering anything from the N. American Barca shop ( until they a) get a full line so that it is an analog of the real shop and b) institute the soci discount.

    I’d rather take my dosh to Kitbag, which is the next best thing to the official online shop anyhow, since they do all the picking/order fulfilling when you order from the official site.

    So there.

  5. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    And yes, eklavya got Hectored. Nice work. πŸ˜€

  6. IceMell
    August 18, 2009

    hey guys thanks4 ur effort great Job.. here and CONGRATS FOR UR NEW BLOG …


    there is one the guys who posted a vidoe@ THEOFFSIDE BLOG on pep guardiola in a training session yelling at them and praising abidal and yaya …

    PLZ GUYZ I NEEDD THAT youtube LINK ASAP … if any of you GOT IT plz post here..

    i was looking for that post all day long and i couldn’t find it ..


  7. IceMell
    August 18, 2009

    hey guys i found it .. any way ignore ma 1st post

  8. SC
    August 18, 2009

    Thanks for the news kxevin!

    I think that it would be nice, as this blog progresses, to have an area devoted to basic 411 and facts on Barca. I think someone mentioned in a previous post, possibly linking to Hector’s articles. That’s a great idea. But I also think it’d be good to have basic info about what Mes is (you could just copy/paste what you wrote above), what ‘Mes que un club’ means, 411 on the UNICEF partnership, the words to the anthem, an explanation as to who that guy is on the banner. You know, stuff like that. πŸ™‚

    I know that the vast majority of us already knows this stuff, but i think it would a welcoming gesture for new fans to help them learn more about the Club. just my two cents…

  9. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    So post the link here, why doncha? We’d like to see that one, too.

  10. SC
    August 18, 2009

    and when I say “the vast majority of us already knows this stuff,” i’m excluding info on the guy in the banner. does anyone know??

  11. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    We’ll put that in the “You betcha” file, SC. Good idea. Something permanent on the rail.

  12. Helge
    August 18, 2009

    You seem to have a lot of trust in Zlatan, Kxevin!
    I will go crazy if he scores tomorrow night, but I’m not as sure about it as you are.

    Do you think it’s a coincidence that ManCity has to play against Everton during this midweek playday in the Premier League? I’ve heard that computers make the schedule… so the date for Everton playing in the Europa League quali should already have been determined months ago, but Gamper match is pretty new(not the date, but the opponent). I wonder if the Premier League has adapted to Gamper Trophy or if we chose ManCity because they are free this midweek but more attractive than Bolton, Blackburn or West Ham (who are also on holiday due to opponents playing in qualifiers).

  13. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    I think it might be one of life’s great mysteries, SC. πŸ˜€

  14. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    I have a lot of trust in the ability of our attackers to get him the ball in a good position, Helge. Note that my assurance is a bit diminished if Xavi doesn’t play.

    Good question on the opponent front. Remember that Gamper is a roving match, whose opponent can come from anywhere. We were trying to find an opponent for a while, before working something out with Citeh.

    It will be a good test for us and them. Adebayor is the kind of striker who has always given us fits, and they move the ball very well.

    UK-based people looking for an English-language stream should note that Citeh’s official site will be streaming the match.

  15. Achraf
    August 18, 2009

    Hey kxevin you spoke about a direct link for the gamper game from la sexta. SO you go to their official site and stream from there and you get to watch the WHOLE game. Have you ever done this before cuz I tries their sexta tv and its great 720 p so iif thats the type of quality to expect rfor the gamper game that is excellent. Can you please confirm this Kxev.

    As for the guy in the Banner i think its Isaiah pulling in some favours and some guy was like hey i got this pic you shoud seriously put up cuz you owe me one..

  16. Achraf
    August 18, 2009

    And Icemel ever hearde of sharing any time yaya gets praised we need to see it to. Please put up the link to the video

  17. Achraf
    August 18, 2009

    And how good is the quality from the city stream

    Sorry 4 three straight posts

  18. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    I can’t confirm, Achraf, but last time I watched via La Sexta, for the Copa Final, it was a very nice stream and I watched the entire match from there.

    Don’t know about the quality of the Citeh stream but if it’s anything like the quality of the overall site (provided you live in the UK), you needn’t worry.

  19. Mher
    August 18, 2009

    So we gonna have a nice game preview on how to defend Man City’s 2-1-5 formation? πŸ™‚

  20. Achraf
    August 18, 2009

    and provided i don’t live in the uk there are no international streams I suppose

  21. Tutomate
    August 18, 2009

    Radio Marca are reporting that they have word that Cesc will not start today and may not play at all.

  22. August 18, 2009

    RM is apparently lowering their asking price on Sneijder just to get him out. From 20m to 15m so that Inter will pull him off their payroll. Damn. Must be weird to recoup like 5% (Isaiah math) of your spending…

  23. Cesc Pistol
    August 18, 2009

    BTW Ramzi posted his article. Do you guys discuss it over here or on that blog itself?

    (I was sorta hoping he’d do it after Hector posted part two, I felt any further discussions might take away from what Hector was gonna put in his article anyway. Sort of why I refrained from making further comments… πŸ˜› )

  24. lovelymofo
    August 18, 2009

    Woah, that shirt is pricey but I wants it. What size did you get Kevin? And how much smaller does it run?

    I’m stuck at work on Wednesday, but I think I’m gonna be able to watch the match online. Crosses fingers.

  25. Achraf
    August 18, 2009

    Why doesn’t ramzi start posting hera as well I don’t mean writing two diffferent posts but just havind two different locations where we can discuss them I just don’t see pep’s place as good discussion. Just throwing this out there.

  26. Ramzi
    August 18, 2009

    Cesc Pistol, I thought about that. But because my article discuss different topic than thats of Hector, it sounded ok to delay my article one day and squeeze it between Hector two parts and the games previews here and may be on Pep blog as well. Though it will burn in the traffic jam, but its all cool.

  27. August 18, 2009

    Okay, so this has nothing to do with FCB and maybe most of you don’t have any idea who Nick Collison is and don’t have any idea about this whole Seattle-OKC thing, but it’s a must listen because it’s about media misinterpreting and creating meaning in what a player says when there is none.

    Seriously a must listen.

  28. August 18, 2009


    I found the header pic on flickr but I lost the link. I used the keywords like – Barcelona, fc, football, club etc – to search for Barca images on Flickr and ran across this one.

    No clue on who the guy in the pic is.


  29. Tutomate
    August 18, 2009

    I think we do need Cesc to back up both Iniesta and Xavi. 3 people for 2 positions in 60+games isn’t bad. The problem is wether or nt Cesc is willing to be a back up. If he is then benvingut if not ” screw you” or what ever the equivalent in Catalan is.

  30. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    lovelymofo, size L is the only offering in the Gamper shirt. So it’s a lovely collector’s item if you’re an XL and up, or nice and loose-fitting if you’re an M on down.

    It seems that they sized it a bit down, taking into account the fact that most people aren’t going to be XLs and up. I’m an L in the normal shirts, and you lose maybe an inch through the torso….not much.

    Achraf, I don’t think that many places out there have the quality of discussion that we have here. Again, it’s a tribute to the people we have here.

  31. Erik
    August 18, 2009

    So, which site is recommended for streaming the Gamper for fans here in US?

  32. Kevo
    August 18, 2009

    Im S how about that…. its a pretty shirt but i wouldn’t buy it. The one that i want is the fluorescent green shirt that the team uses for training… ooooooooh shineeeeeeee!
    I bet that can glow in the dark too.

  33. Kevo
    August 18, 2009

    @Erik, check out they might have links to international channels.

  34. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    Dang, Tarun, you’ve gone and messed up the mystery, like the background of the Tom Hanks character in “Saving Private Ryan.” πŸ˜€

    Kevo, so get your butt over to Kitbag and lay one in. I’ve not noticed FCB stuff selling so quickly. And it’s encouraging that the MES line is selling almost as rapidly. Speaking of, the “MES than a colour” shirts, raher than silkscreening, have the logo and slogan embroidered on them. Very nice.

    And for those contemplating the polos, they are made of a synthetic this season, so when you wash them, you won’t wish that you’d ordered a size larger.

  35. Kxevin
    August 18, 2009

    lovelymofo, that is niiiiice! Isaiah and Tarun, we should contact the creator about authorization to use that at some point. After all, the banner can’t stay the same forever, right?

  36. Maximus
    August 18, 2009

    The pep orchestra was brilliant!!!!

  37. Ciaran
    August 18, 2009

    So Pep has said that Cesc will not come and Eboue “probably not”.

    Chygrynskiy is still first choice defender but is cup-tied and not worth the money.

    Riera has been mentioned for the left wing position for the last few days. He did a good job with Espanyol and would settle very quickly. He isn’t a world beater but is a physical, quick and has a decent shot. For €10million I’d buy him.

  38. Cesc Pistol
    August 18, 2009

    Just some minor fun things I’m pointing out before I make deeper comments (Hopefully after Hector posts his part 2)

    I like how you imply the 3-4-3 throughout the article without explicitly saying it. Very subtle!

    “That’s why I demand changing the club name from Barcelona FC, to Barcelona TFC.”
    I don’t think cules will be too happy with you calling our club Barcelona FC, atleast you didn’t say CF Barcelona πŸ˜‰

    “You are faster without the ball than you are when you have it”
    I bet Messi doesn’t agree πŸ˜€

    “Beside, Pep exceeded my expectations when he modified Henry role from a pure wing hugging the line as last season to a second striker roaming on the left and cutting in all the time, creating a lethal offense troika, with Messi and Eto’o.”
    You surprise me with this one, you really didn’t expect this? I was hoping for it before the season even started.
    What I was impressed by, was rather Henry’s off the ball movements. For me, that was the big sign that he was becoming a part of our team.

    And it goes without saying, excellent article. Clearly you put quite some effort into it specially with the gifs.
    Which if you allow me to be a harsh critic, I’d say that your effort would have been much better spent in explaining the little details of the tactics in your gifs rather than talking about man-marking and zonal πŸ˜›
    Don’t you think the average reader would easily know alot of the basics you pointed out yet suffer in grasping the potential to be exploited as pointed in your gifs?

  39. Cesc Pistol
    August 18, 2009

    BTW the previous post I’m referring to you Ramzi, if that wasn’t clear…

    Also I must say again, excellent work with the GIFs! Wonderful!

    I do hope you get to brag about them after Pep uses some of these tactics. πŸ˜€

  40. inNYC
    August 18, 2009

    There definitely needs to be some Yaya in the front-page banner at some point (I vote for that Yaya-in-space looking one). Kind of like how Google will change its logo on special days.

  41. SC
    August 18, 2009

    Tarun!! The mystery is solved! πŸ˜€ Thanks. Seriously, it kept me up all night.

    If you’d like banner variety, you could always make it dynamic so it refreshes into 4-5 different options. That would be really sweet, but not sure how much time you want to devote to aesthetics.

    @gv, read that… not even worth our time imo.

    Is it Wednesday yet? No? Damn.

  42. SC
    August 18, 2009

    inNYC, EVERY day is a special day with the Yaya.

  43. eklavya
    August 18, 2009

    WOW Lovelymofo’s banner is awesome!!
    You guys cannot not put it now…ortherwise….

  44. eklavya
    August 18, 2009

    LOL remember the top scorers chart at pep’s place?
    Well now the instead of having 3 separate columns for each competition it has 6!! πŸ˜€ lol they really need to put up a table of some sort instead of using brackets.

  45. Alex
    August 18, 2009

    Isaiah!!!!!!!!!!! Break out the YAYA goodness, you know what I’m talking about………….

  46. August 18, 2009

    Alex, I will, the post has gotten a bit lost within the whole site launch thing, but I have big plans for it. In fact, I’ll probably be writing you with ideas soon.

  47. Ramzi
    August 18, 2009

    Cesc Pistol, thanks for your critics and your praise.

    I thought the average reader can explain the gifs as well as understand the text that was more a needed intro. That intro is like Keita, you dont feel its need when exist, but it feels something missing if you dont start with. Or thats what i thought.

    I would comment in more details, but obviously its not the right place here, so u know…

  48. bill
    August 18, 2009

    Congratulations on this new site. It was a shock when I found out you guys moved.

    Ready for the gamper.

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