Midweek News Roundup

You must be shorter than this crest to play for this team.

Time for a quick round-up of team news! As you can see from the picture above, Jordi Alba was at the club today to do an interview, shake some hands, and pose in front of the club crest. Tomorrow he will have his medical, formally sign his contract, and be presented to the public at the Camp Nou at 17.00 local time. Welcome, Jordi! We’re glad to have you.

Now that the Euros are over most of the first team are on a well-deserved vacation. Some others have been named to the preliminary teams for the Olympics. Dani Alves will likely be representing Brazil, and is reportedly almost fully recovered from breaking his collarbone. The call-ups for the Spanish team include Thiago, Tello, Montoya, and Jordi Alba. This means they will miss most, if not all, of Barça’s preseason. It’s a bit unfortunate in Alba’s case as he won’t have a chance to train or play with the rest of his new teammates until the new season begins, but as he is a La Masia product as well as a member of the senior NT I don’t expect him to have much trouble adapting. And of course there is always the prospect of Spain getting eliminated early and everyone getting plenty of rest after all!

The UEFA Under-19 Euros are underway right now in Estonia, and two Barcelona players are on the team: Gerard Deulofeu and Alejandro Grimaldo. I didn’t get a chance to watch their game against Greece on July 3rd, but Spain won 2-1, and all reports indicate that Grimaldo was a monster on the left side of the field. He is still only 16. Their next game is against Portugal on Friday July 6. You can find all the info here.

The other big news is of course Andres Iniesta’s impending wedding, which will be happening this weekend at the beautiful Castell de Tamarit near Tarragona on the Mediterranean coast SW of Barcelona. I’m sure the Spanish papers will be dissecting the guest list for evidence of who is feuding (or not) with whom. At any rate, I hope they release a few pictures to the media because seeing Iniesta happy is one the great joys in life. 😀 (Michele, any chance of you sneaking in and posing as an official photographer?)

Seems nice, but does it have an open bar?
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Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. hansh
    July 4, 2012

    Thanks for the roundup, blitzen! I’m annoyed at the Olympics, after the ineffective preseason last year, but I can understand why the players want to go to them.

    Also: pictures of Iniesta and Alba being silly, http://xavessi.tumblr.com/post/26446649864. Just because.

  2. ooga aga
    July 4, 2012

    great caption.

    article on xavi and casillas vs. mouuuuuu


    meanwhile, new FIFA world rankings

    1. spain
    2. germany
    3. uruguay
    4. england
    5. portugal
    6. italy

    how is england in 4th. my stars

    • Cam
      July 5, 2012

      Thanks for posting. This doesn’t exactly leave me with warm fuzzies about having access to La Liga matches come August. And I already had to switch once when Dish dropped GolTV. Hate to keep chasing.

    • Ryan
      July 5, 2012

      Should we be in “we’re all gonna die” mode yet?

      • Messiah10
        July 7, 2012

        I guess I’ll have to take what they give me. I can’t switch now b/c just signed up for Uverse last year and huge penalty for changing. Hopefully, it’ll get sorted out. If it’s not sorted by the networks then hopefully a stream will be available. This is such B.S. beInsports is going to outbid every major provider b/c they have oil money to back it. Their going to change the game and the fans can’t do anything but take it.

    • nzm
      July 4, 2012

      Given that he has a year to go on his contract, it could just be a warning shot over the club’s bow to try to get him to stay.

        • July 4, 2012

          Yeah, that statement leaves absolutely zero room for equivocation. This means they have to sell him this summer, for not as big bucks as it could have before the RVP Declaration of Independence.

          He’s spot on believing that signing Podolski and Giroud isn’t a sufficient statement of ambition or intent. He’s seeing Fabregas leave the club and hoist trophies, Nasri leaves the club and hoists the Prem trophy. Then Arsenal sign Podolski and Giroud, which to him probably says “They want to make sure they’re in a Champions League position,” because you aren’t challenging to the whole magilla with those two signings.”

          But man, do I not dig the way he did it. Very public, very nasty.

          • July 4, 2012

            I agree with the nasty part, but weren’t you one of the ones demanding (repeatedly) that Cesc come out and make a public statement of intent last summer? And giving him all kinds of crap because he kept quiet (at the request of both clubs, it later turned out)?

            *poke* 😛

          • July 4, 2012

            There’s a middle ground between what Fabregas didn’t do, and what Van Persie did.

          • Messiah10
            July 7, 2012

            I’ve had mixed feelings about this. For Arsenal fans it’s not the end of the world. He’s 29 and very injury prone. He’s been there 8 seasons and only played 3 full seasons! The money they’d have to cough up to keep him could be used for 3 very good to great signings. I can’t see RVP repeating what he did last season. If he proves me wrong then congrats to him, but I doubt it. He has totally slapped Wenger in the face with his comments. He’s been supported through said injuries and a rape allegation. Doesn’t show much class. I hope Barca aren’t thinking of signing this joker. He’d be a cancer in the locker room. I must be in the minority, but I think Podolski and Giroud are terrific signings. Especially, for the price. Arsenal can use the money saved on RVP to sign some quality defenders and 1 more midfielder which they desperately need. They lost Viera, Henry, Cesc, Nasri, and still finished in the top 3 each season. It will be tough to lose RVP’s goals, but Wenger will find a way. They also have Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere at full heatlh next season.

    • July 4, 2012

      Laughed for 2 whole minutes after reading his ‘Declaration of Independence’. Ditto after reading Gooners tear into each other and their ‘idol’.

      Reminds me that we have slightly better nincompoops running the ship.

      Now pardon me as I go self-flagellate..

  3. nzm
    July 4, 2012

    Blitzen: if I could, I would!

    I wonder if we can get press accreditation with BFB?

    Kevin – mock something up, based on what’s used at the Trib! 😀

  4. July 4, 2012

    Estiarte, Guardiola’s right-hand man, says Guardiola will negin making moves in December with an eye toward returning to the bench next season.

    • nzm
      July 4, 2012

      Jupp Heynckes’ contract expires in December. 😀

    • July 4, 2012

      I am so conflicted! On the one hand I will be fascinated to see what Pep’s next project will be, and thrilled to have him back in the game. OTOH, it makes me sick to my stomach to think of him coaching a team that might meet up with Barcelona in the Champions League. I can’t even contemplate the thought of him coaching Chelsea or Inter. 😥

      OTOOH, I wouldn’t mind seeing him coaching Ajax, a team I have always been fond of for many reasons. He would have the Cruyff Seal of Approval and could do amazing things there. It would be kind of a full circle of the Rinus Michels philosophy.

  5. Chiu
    July 4, 2012

    You must be shorter than this crest to play for this team.

    ROFL, thanks blitz for that line and the sum up.

  6. July 5, 2012

    So, we are considering not buying a CB this summer acc. to Sport via @barcastuff.

    Given our reluctance to shell out on players who don’t seem to want to join us and us only coupled with our love of a ‘short squad’, it doesn’t seem all that shocking. Especially if we manage to retain Keita.

    Nor is the CB position vacant. Masche and Pique are first choice with Puyi to be used sparingly. For a CB with requisite skills to join us, why would he be willing warm the bench?

    I imagine Zubi and co. advising someone to ride out his contract just like they did with Alba..

    • Messiah10
      July 7, 2012

      Thanks Kevin. It’s pretty easy to sit there and second guess what Arsene’s done. They defensive players he sold, i.e. Viera, Petit, etc. were aging and looking for 1 last contract. I think the author’s correct in that Arsenal don’t press high, aren’t organized, and aren’t a cohesive unit. The cohesiveness is more down to injuries then talent the last few years. It’s been said before that David Dein was instrumental in helping Arsenal achieve their success. He was sacked by the board in 2004-5 and without him Arsenal & Arsene haven’t won anything since. I think it’s crucial for clubs to have a Director of Football. A Manager who can do both is nice, but you need to have a balance of opinion and someone able to say, “no, we don’t need this player”, or, “no, I don’t see what you see”. I think the overall decision should rest in the managers hands, but their needs to be a 2nd party capable of offering serious dialogue.

  7. July 5, 2012

    OFFICIAL: Thiago will not be going to the Olympic Games as his shinbone injury has not healed sufficiently.


    I’m sad for him. This was probably his last call-up to the youth team, as Del Bosque will undoubtedly call him back to the first team next season. I know he was looking forward to it.

    Still, now he will be able to get 100% for before the Barça preseason starts, and that’s the most important thing. Puyi and Cuenca will have someone to keep them company.

    • barca96
      July 5, 2012

      Good because it shows that Barça is the priority. Although his situation with JDS is different. Unlike Thiago, JDS needs to fight to be a first team member whereas Thiago is already a fixed member, back up to Xavi and Iniesta.

      Come to think about it, the Olympics will be his last chance to be a starter in the Spanish team for many years to come. Not only is Xavi & Iniesta ahead of him but he has Cesc, Cazorla etc. ahead of him.

      • Jnice
        July 5, 2012

        I like Santi, but I Thiago will get his fair share of minutes in the next few years. Don’t think Santi and the others will be automatic picks ahead of Thiago.

    • Ben
      July 5, 2012

      I really hope that he is 100% for the preseason. When it was first announced it didn’t seem very serious at all, but here he is missing the Olympics. With so many of the team playing in the Euros, it would have been great to have his fresh legs at the beginning of the season.

  8. nzm
    July 5, 2012

    Barca B GK, Rubén Miño, has gone to Mallorca.

  9. barca96
    July 5, 2012

    Who’s contract is expiring soon in reference to Alba’s situation? Both Silva & Hummels just renewed their respective contracts.

    They should have a go at Vertonghen. He is cheap. If he doesn’t suit us, we can always sell him to Arsenal or Spurs and not make any loss at all.

    I prefer Vermaelen but it’s unlikely that he will leave and I’m not familiar with his contract situation.

    We seriously can’t go into a season with only 3 CB ‘s. Yes I don’t count Fontas who is simply not ready and not good enough. I really want Bartra to take over his spot.

    • barca96
      July 5, 2012

      T’was meant as a reply to VJ. Damn Opera.

    • July 5, 2012

      No one we know yet.

      We’ve never really looked interested in Vertonghen, nor do we buy someone to sell him on (Not even Henrique, Keirrison or Hleb). Vermaelen too injury-prone.

      4 if you count Busi, who can step in when required. I don’t see any other viable candidates otherwise.

      I’m betting we finish the Keita business – however it ends and call it a summer..

  10. July 5, 2012

    Dani Alves won’t be going to the Olympics either, as he has not healed sufficiently from his collarbone fracture.

    • mom4
      July 5, 2012

      Blitzen’s always thinking of her fellow BFB girls. Always striving for the greater good. That’s why we all love her.

      Now girl, find me one of Xavi! 😉

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