Barcelona – PSG Match Comments Post

I’m still looking into alternatives for coveritlive for liveblogging this season. For the moment here is a match comments post.

Starting XI: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Planas, Busquets, Sergi, Rafinha, Sanchez, Messi, Afellay

Bench: Pinto, Montoya, Pique, Bartra, Ilie, Dos Santos, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Pedro, Tello

 

Match is at 19:45 Barcelona time.

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224 Comments

  1. Dani_el
    August 4, 2012

    What are they wearing!? they look like the sun might threw up in their uniforms

  2. August 4, 2012

    Oh, Valdes starts and Douchez wears red. Mmm… I’m not sure about the away kit. The top half looks like watermelon, the bottom half is cantaloupe-ish color.

  3. ooga aga
    August 4, 2012

    my bein sport stream is real weird

    • Ryan
      August 4, 2012

      The Espn3 stream was really nice, even if the commentators are annoying as always.

  4. August 4, 2012

    Ibra and Puyi swapped shirts, and Alexis’ hair looked flawless even after 45 minutes. Maxwell was good at defending! Overall, the kids outshone the senior players in the first half. Rafa and Sergi did well pressing.

  5. Kimcelona
    August 4, 2012

    Great first half..not so good second half but to be expected since the ESP Internationals just came back.

    I loved Sergi and Rafa’s play in the first half. Great workrate and energy while bossing the midfield.

    Good pens and Pinto as usual is a confusing entity..causes heart-attacks during the game and but then is one of the best penalty stoppers, I think, in the game.

  6. replayed
    August 4, 2012

    So Iniesta (!) and Pastore swapped shirts at the end of the match. But then after they had put on each other’s shirt, it looks like they were made to take them off and return them to each other. What was up with that?

    How about that welcome the crowd gave to Iniesta? Once again, the French show impeccable taste.

    • August 4, 2012

      Because the game wasn’t over yet, they had a penalty shootout for this extremely important trophy. Apparently now Paris belongs to us.

      (They swapped shirts back again afterwards.)

      • replayed
        August 4, 2012

        Heh. I suppose I was in good company in not realizing there was supposed to be a penalty shoot-out after the game. Only, there was no one around to clue me in and I turned off the game.

  7. August 4, 2012

    My takeaways:

    –Rafinha and Sergi Roberto were both very impressive. I hope Tito calls them up for CDR games a lot this year.
    –Planas was quite competent at LB. Didn’t attack as much as I might have liked, but covered his area well, won back balls, and pushed up when necessary.
    –Montoya played LB in the second half, and wasn’t great. He doesn’t usually play on that side and only made a couple of big errors, but he won’t be happy with his performance there.
    –I want so badly for Afellay to hit his stride and become a key player for this team, but he was largely ineffective today. Messi seems reluctant to give him the ball, and when he does get it he takes too long to decide what to do with it. Maybe he should switch sides, remember he was on the right in THAT Clasico.
    –I was actually shocked that Puyol started this game. It was wonderful to see him in action again, though. I have missed him so much.
    –Bartra is definitely ready for the first team. Not as a starter, yet, but he has really taken a huge step up and looks very comfortable in his role. I am really looking forward to seeing how he develops this year.
    –Dani was on form, so was Masche, Messi looked a bit too relaxed. Well, it was a friendly.
    –Alexis was trying too hard again, and although that wasn’t actually a dive (he slipped), it wasn’t a penalty either. In a friendly it would have been nice if he had told the referee there was no contact. I guess I’m an idealist.
    –Pinto saved TWO penalties! The legend lives on. ๐Ÿ˜›
    –Abidal looked amazing. Healthy, happy, a little too skinny. The crowd gave him a standing ovation at the kickoff & applauded him in the 22nd minute. France loves him, Spain loves him, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love Eric Abidal?

    • Kimcelona
      August 4, 2012

      I agree with you except a few points:

      -Montoya was decent to me. Apart from the give away penalty I didnt see any glaring errors and its not even his natural position (or preferred?).

      – I’m not sure if it was a matter of Afellay not making a mark but what role he was given. I didnt see any mistakes, hes not a striker and he really didnt put a foot wrong. He kept possesion moving. We dont know the role Tito wanted him to play in this game. Rafa was more impactful in this match while Ibi wasnt as, while in the second preseason, Ibi was more impactful, while Rafa wasnt as.

      – I think you are too much of an idealist ๐Ÿ˜€ . Even if this is just a friendly, I’ve never seen a professional player beg the referee not to give a penalty in their favor. Its the ref’s job to call it right. He slipped, not his fault the refs are incompetent.

      • Richzorz
        August 5, 2012

        Vittorio Esposito!!! (Well, he missed on purpose after not being able to convince the ref) :p

    • nzm
      August 4, 2012

      I don’t get this propensity to play Afellay on the left. BvM did it to him in the Euro games for the Netherlands, whereas in the friendlies before the tournament, Afellay was hugely dynamic when he played on the right to middle. Why change a player to the other flank when he’s proven to perform so well on the other side of the pitch?

      I too noticed the reluctance to play to Afellay – particularly from Messi. What gives? Have they forgotten what it’s like to play with a left side since Titi went to New York?

      Poor kid was reduced to a Maxwell-like performance – passing the ball back and into the midfield.

      I do not like this kit. Our guys looked like popsicles out there. Each time they got the ball, I thought it was the other team playing. Pinto’s strip was the only one that I liked.

  8. barca96
    August 4, 2012

    I love Phelps ever since I saw an interview of him on Eurosport almost before the 2004 Olympics (got my attention due to the background music at first). I wished he was from England so that he can get knighted because there is no such thing in the US.

    But I gotta share this hilarious comment I came across on the Guardian blog;

    Can you imagine the size of the spliff that Phelps will roll tonight? … I reckon the whole Olympic village will be out of it.

  9. elcapitan
    August 5, 2012

    If the rafinha i watched today is the same as the one nzm has been watching,with all due respect pal, nzm doesn’t have an idea who she’s talking,seriously, michelle said rafa’s development has stagnated in one of her past comments long ago,bleep the fact that you live in barcelona,the rafa that bossed PSG today is a KING-IN-THE-MAKING, he might be unproven,yeah,but going as far as saying there is nothing special about him and even proposed selling him,no offence, but that was nothing short of delusional,or maybe a hatred of mazinho,a case of misplaced aggression!

    • Jnice
      August 5, 2012

      Rafinha’s number 1 fan?

      No, but seriously, I thought he was excellent today. Solid in possession even in some tight combinations with Dani and Messi plus great work-rate and tenacity off the ball. Against Raja, I thought he was a little too eager to play through balls in the first half, but in the second half he calmed down and picked his spots well.

      Credit to Sergi Roberto as well who has played two excellent games in a row. He has a propensity to be a bit careless at times with the ball, but I haven’t seen that in the last two matches. He’s made all the right decisions and blended in well with the more experienced players.

      As for Jonathan Dos Santos, I’ve been disappointed with his performances so far. Credit to him for sacrificing his Olympics in order to get a full preseason under his belt with the first team, but he just has not played that well so far. DM isn’t his natural position, but some of the passes he’s made have been so sloppy/dangerous. I don’t feel assured when he has to ball & I remembering feeling the exact opposite a couple of years ago.

      If Tito is choosing between S. Roberto and JDS, it’s not even a contest right now. At the moment, I feel JDS is more out than in. What’s probably saving him is the fact that Keita is gone and Mascherano is essentially a permanent CB now leaving Busquets as the only DM we have. I also feel that b/c Sergi is a box-box type of midfielder, that loss of Keita gives him a shot at the first team as well. We’ll see. I just don’t think JDS has done himself any favors & Tito playing him at right back means he doesn’t really have a place on this team, IMO.

      (Javi Espinosa to win the Ballon d’Or in 2015 after Thiago ๐Ÿ™‚ )

      • August 5, 2012

        JDS problem is mental ATM and its all about moral. Any player in his position -insert any name- will barely perform as good as he is doing while being put in such situation. Deep inside he feels he lost the battle to get into the first team – not because he lacks quality but for other reasons. He can see he is used like the ball boy in a training session where there arent enough players so that the coach invite him to play where there is no one to fill.

        JDS qualities are so special that its development curve is longer. Xavi needed 15 years till he got recognition simply because his qualities arent free-style skills but more midfield management. Remember he was close to leave the club once. But when he got the confidence and the key role, and when all the puzzle pieces came together building a team and a style around him, the rest was history. I don’t think JDS will have the luxury of time Xavi had, nor I think he will survive to show he is actually up there – unlike the common belief. Unfortunately.

      • August 5, 2012

        Sergi Roberto always steps up his game when he is with the first team, and I’m really happy to see him doing so well in preseason, as he a personal favourite of mine. But he is still a B-team player and will be for this whole season, so he’s not really standing in JDS’ way.

        I agree with Ramzi that Jonathan has hit a mental wall. He is not adapting well to the position available to him (DM) and if he can’t do that, then there is no room for him in the team. If we are signing anyone else this summer, it’s going to have to be a DM (preferably one who can fill in at CB as well), and then Jonathan will have to go. It’s a tough situation for him, but he is just not making his case to stay.

        • Jnice
          August 5, 2012

          But he is still a B-team player and will be for this whole season

          Maybe. I think there’s a chance of promotion, though. And he could be promoted midway through the season like Cuenca because of injuries or some crisis.

          • August 5, 2012

            He could be, but I think the B team is depending on his experience & maturity. Without him, their midfield is very young! I do expect Tito will call him up for the majority of CDR games.

    • August 5, 2012

      1) Calm down.

      2)

      nzm has a point in the context that Rafinha was supposed to be way more talented than his older brother. But his key problem is still that his position yet to be well defined. He is good in too many things but yet to be specialized in one specific thing that can give him a competitive advantage while seeking first team spot. While this is not significant in B-Team and irrelevant friendlies, to become a first team permanent this is a must figure.

      His best position is probably a 10, and there is no future for him there. First, because Barca arent using such role. And if we will, he’ll basically have to compete with Messi and Cesc there (and even Iniesta).

      His best shot is to develop his qualities as a Box-to-box midfielder. He can end up being brilliant there. So while he was very impressive against PSG, and while he no doubt has too many qualities that it shouldnt be a problem to find him a first team job, the challenge for him is still there and it can still go both ways.

      The competition -especially in the midfield- is so tough that even a brilliant young midfielder like JDS is getting wasted. No guarantees whatsoever.

      • Jnice
        August 5, 2012

        nzm has a point in the context that Rafinha was supposed to be way more talented than his older brother.

        I think people believed that a bit too much. I know their father said it or whatever, but Thiago hasn’t even realized his full potential yet so I don’t know how Rafinha was supposed to be way better. I have never seen it.

        • nzm
          August 5, 2012

          I honestly can’t remember making that comment. Can someone link to where I wrote that?

          I’ve also never advocated that someone be sold either – I don’t like players (especially home-grown) leaving our club, unless it’s to be loaned to gain more experience.

          I will, however, make an exception for Ibrahimovic. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • August 5, 2012

          It was Thiago who said it, actually, on several occasions. Not exactly an objective opinion. ๐Ÿ˜›

          Seriously, I think they are both exceptionally talented, in different ways, but they both have a long way to go in their development. Especially Rafinha, who still has games where he is all over the place. Like Sergi Roberto, playing with the first team brings out the best in him and I’m sure Tito will give him more opportunities this year.

        • August 5, 2012

          If my memory serves, I think one of Barca youth coaches mentioned it as well that Rafinha can end up being better than Thiago (I don’t buy that – for the record), but him, Mazinho and others created this snowball of belief that I mentioned. So far, he has been good. But no where near Thiago.

    • nzm
      August 5, 2012

      Hooey – bit touchy there, aren’t we?

      There’s disagreement and then there’s outright aggression, and you’re displaying the latter.

      And please don’t ever call me your pal – with that attitude you will never be a friend of mine.

      Still say that Rafa has a long way to go.

    • nzm
      August 5, 2012

      And – btw – don’t quote only part of what I’ve said, in an attempt to make it look worse.

      My original comments about Rafa stagnating were made in context to how he plays in the B team under Eusebio.

      He’s not been anywhere near as dynamic (as he was last night against PSG) when playing for the B Team during the past season.

      This is, in part, to how he’s been played as part of the B Team.

      Also – consider that his performance last night was a one-off up until now. He did ok against BATE Borisov last season, but nothing special.

      When he can give consistently high performances (which is a mandatory requirement for First Team inclusion), then he’ll be proven to be worthy of promotion.

  10. elcapitan
    August 5, 2012

    @ramzi,you nailed it,xavi was given close to 15years,rafa and thiago are just how old? And michelle is expecting stratospheric or a kinda supersonic development from both,boys of 21 and 18? Seriously? Where was xavi and iniesta @ age 21,now we worship them forgetting the fact it took a lot of patience for them to break into the team,but nzm is too much in a hurry to see thiago find his feet,thiago took the 2nd position in the youth ballon d’or,we av 2 be patient with him, we can’t all live in barcelona, and its not that you actually live in la masia yourself…lol

    • nzm
      August 5, 2012

      Hey – living behind an anonymous name on a blog is just so brave when making comments like this, huh?

      Grow up.

  11. elcapitan
    August 5, 2012

    I wake up every morning thanking God nzm aint roSELL, we woulda sold thiago and rafinha since last year

    • Blau-Grenade
      August 5, 2012

      NZM is an avid fan of Barcelona team and follows the team quite ardently. She has a point of view. She does not need to be criticized for having a point of view. You can state your point of view regarding Thiago and Rafinha, but criticizing another person for having their point of view on some players is not so cool.

    • August 5, 2012

      Seriously, dude, you need to chill out. In this space it’s fine to disagree with people, even vehemently, but personal attacks are not acceptable.

    • nzm
      August 5, 2012

      Ha – I wake up every morning thanking god that I’m not Rosell as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Leckan1
    August 5, 2012

    I wished we’d kept Oriol Romeu because unlike Jonathan he’s a natural DM. He should of stayed in the B team and now have been promoted. But maybe Jonathan can make it his own, who knows, but it doesn’t look it at the moment.

    • barca96
      August 5, 2012

      I think Romeu is a better player now with 20+ EPL matches under his belt.

  13. August 5, 2012

    We don’t need a new signing because Abidal will be back by Christmas!

    http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/detail/article/abidal-hopes-to-return-in-december

    โ€œI have started working out in the gym and it feels good. Iโ€™m on the right track and letโ€™s see if Iโ€™ll be able to play again before Decemberโ€.

    “Iโ€™m following the guidelines set by the doctors, and the truth is Iโ€™m feeling great. I can travel, enjoy football, the team and the atmosphere.โ€

    OK, maybe he’s being a bit optimistic, but wouldn’t it be amazing? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Dani_el
      August 5, 2012

      I just hope he’s ok and stays healthy. I’ve seen him with way less weight than he used to. I pray for him and his family, he seemed like a good guy and a loving father.

  14. elcapitan
    August 5, 2012

    @barca96,blitzen and blau-Grenade, its not meant as a personal attack, opinions is an ass-hoe,everyone is entitled to one, you all have a right to your opinion and i reserve the right to disagree with it,deal? Don’t take it too personal,i didn’t mean 2 be insulting towards NZM, just my 2cents,and if you’ve followed my early posts,i once said’WITH DUE RESPECT’;i only excercise the right to disagree…visca el barca!!

    • Jim
      August 5, 2012

      Oh yessss!!!!! What a match from Murray. Federer was literally never in it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • barca96
        August 5, 2012

        I’ve never ever seen Federer played so badly. Ok, I started watching the last game in the 2nd set. But the 3rd set was horrendous. It’s like he didn’t bother at all.

        It doesn’t make sense. He went all the way to the final and didn’t show any fire or fight. Disappointing.

    • Ryan
      August 5, 2012

      Part of what makes this place so great is the civility everyone shows to each other. Throwing out attacks is just not done here, even if you preface it with an “with all due respect!”

    • ooga aga
      August 5, 2012

      um, just cos you say “with due respect” doesnt make up for the fact that you subsequently proceeded to *disrespect* someone! people do this too often! they say “with all due respect” or “no offense but” and then choose words which are offensive to or disrespect the other person! there is always a better way to put things than this! you should apologize! everyone is calling you out and you are unrepentant! here are the things you said:

      “with all due respect pal, nzm doesnโ€™t have an idea who (sic) sheโ€™s talking”
      “bleep the fact that you live in barcelona”
      “no offence, but that was nothing short of delusional”

      you did not need to say any of these things to make your point. just state your opinion! dont slam someone elses or call them names or curse the place they live! nzm never claims to know more than anyone about barca simplky because she lives there, but she obviously has insights that many of us lack. i recommend you find a new way of addressing the forum, or take your posts elsewhere. thank you, with all due respect.

    • nzm
      August 5, 2012

      Not insulting? You called me delusional, trashed me for living in Barcelona etc etc.

      You can argue my points, but when you start trying to score by denigrating me personally, that’s insulting.

  15. Jim
    August 5, 2012

    I think it was as much to do with the way Murray played. Playing for his country rather than just himself seemed to take a lot of the Wimbledon pressure off. He maintained his aggression throughout.

    • barca96
      August 5, 2012

      Yes Murray had the support but just look at Federer. I didn’t watch the semi-final or any matches so far in the Olympics. Was Federer a lot of 5 set matches en route to the final?

      In any way, Murray looked more fresher and more interested between the two of them.

      • Jim
        August 5, 2012

        Federer had an epic against Del Potro which must have drained him but it was probably the 6 games in 8 days schedule which had more effect. Having said that, Murray has played more games this week and also had to play Djokovic in his last game – surely harder than Del Potro.

        The way this game panned out , to me, was the way the Wimbledon final was going until Federer produced two sensational points to stop Murray’s momentum. Murray was just not gonna let that happen today. When he plays aggressively he is as good as any of the other three.

      • nzm
        August 5, 2012

        The matches were 3 sets until the final. Even the bronze medal match was only 3 sets.

        Fed didn’t play well in the semi against Del Potro either. 45+ unforced errors – hell of a lot. If Del Potro has won that, I would have said good on him. But he won Bronze against Djokovic – so happy for him.

        • Jim
          August 5, 2012

          To be fair to Federer, and I’m one of his biggest fans, his semi final was really a five setter as the third set was won 19-17 !!!

          You’re right though in that I don’t think it was down to fitness. Not a great Del Potro fan but it did seem to mean a lot to him – probably because it was his country’s first.

          • Jim
            August 5, 2012

            Meant to say you can’t have classier guy at the top of a game than Federer. His interview after the match spoke volumes for the man as did his words to Murray at the net at the end.

          • nzm
            August 5, 2012

            Del Potro is a strong guy – huge serves and powerful strokes. He trashed Ferrer in the Davis Cup Final vs. Spain with his groundstrokes – and Ferrer is a guy who never gives up. It took Nadal to beat Del Potro, in the last match, for Spain to win the tie.

            The only way to wear Del Potro out is to get him running and keep him running, and to change direction on him. Fed didn’t manage to do that.

            I was disappointed for Federer – maybe his last chance at the Olympics? But Murray wasn’t going to make the same mistakes as he did at Wimbledon.

            Did you see the Raonic-Tsonga game? 3-6 6-3 23-25 Raonic is a player that I’ve been following for a couple of seasons. I like him and hope that he does well.

  16. barca96
    August 5, 2012

    How would you guys rate Sakho last night? Barca material?

    How about Pastore?

  17. barca96
    August 5, 2012

    Oh man.. Another footballer has passed away at a young age, Kirk Urso. The cause of death is still unknown. I don’t think it’s football related though since he was admitted to the hospital somewhere around midnight. RIP

    Ps. Just learned a thing from Kirk Urso. There is a draft pick for football as well. Thought it was just for the North American sports(NBA,NFL,NHL & MLB).

    • August 5, 2012

      Also a Nigerian player, Henry Chinonso Ihelewere, who played for a Romanian 2nd division team, suffered a heart attack during a friendly game and could not be resuscitated. He was only 21. ๐Ÿ™

  18. barca96
    August 6, 2012

    Ive been training eating chicken nuggets and chips etc and a still cant even get up to switch the tv off in 10 seconds.

    Note: Bolt eats lots of nuggets while other athletes are on a strict diet.

    • mom4
      August 6, 2012

      Dude made it look easy and then wasn’t even out of breath!

  19. elcapitan
    August 6, 2012

    Its okay,i can’t remember how many times guyz here have called out kxevin’s name in this same manner when they disagree with his opinion,even blitzen at one time or the other called an opinion of kxevin about pep looking disinterested in the dugout as BS,kxevin called her to order and it didn’t generate much furore,(guess because both are mods,and Aฬ…ฬฒฬถฬฅโ™ not)someone who’s name is not even isaiah subliminally said i should leave the blog, but i guess everyone wants to be in on the good side of our only mod who lives in barcelona…and to all those who felt offended one way or the other…my unreserved apologies!

    • nzm
      August 6, 2012

      See – you do it again.

      You can’t even get in an apology without digging about where I live. Does it matter? It obviously does matter to you, because you seem to be hung up on where I live.

      Your comment also calls out the distinction between people calling out other people’s opinions and what you just did.

      1. You quoted me out of context. Read where I made those comments, again – and this time look at the bigger picture, instead of reading just one line and making it fit your counter-argument.
      2. You insulted me personally and made personal digs about me.

      If you want to debate what I write, do it without the insults and without taking personal digs at me.

      Apology not accepted. The only way to redeem yourself is to cut out the crap talk and the insults and debate the points. Until you’ve grown up enough to do this, don’t bother even trying.

    • K_legit in Oz
      August 6, 2012

      Mate let me put one thing straight to you, ‘With all due respect’ is a bunch of crap always used to preface an insult..
      You’re entitled to your opinion but then again, so is everyone else eh!

    • August 6, 2012

      And if you want to bring me into the debate, I have been out of order a couple of times and apologized for it. Because that is what adults do when they are in the wrong.

      This is one of the most respected and respectful blogs around, and we would like to keep it that way.

  20. K_legit in Oz
    August 6, 2012

    In other news Curiosity has touched down on Mars..For Science!

    • August 6, 2012

      I would’ve preferred investing the money in solving Somalia problems, but cool. I guess…

      • mom4
        August 6, 2012

        Don’t discount the value of the advances made to technology and medicine that we all enjoy/rely upon that came about because of space exploration.

        • August 6, 2012

          Yep, GPS system, computer, etc… all have incorporated space technology. Military R&D tends to have higher start-up costs, but it plays a huge role in helping to improve civilian technology.

        • August 6, 2012

          If you put all the gimmicks aside, we are not better now than we were 50 years ago – worldwide. Noting that most of the achievements of this trip are already recorded and known and there were lot of opposition for this one. It was more a financing to keep the industry going.

          Nothing against the intentions, but timing is the key, and timing wasnt right this time – regardless of all the adversity.

          • mom4
            August 6, 2012

            My daughter is alive because of some of these gimmicks. She wouldn’t have survived her first year without the diagnostics, immaging (ultrasound, MRI, CT scans), and surgical advances brought about by this research. I’m glad she wasn’t born 50 years ago. Kids born with her heart defect didn’t do very well back then.

            How many lives are saved when radar systems warn us of the next serious weather event? How many more lives will be saved from the next advancement?

            http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/MedicalBenefits/main.html

  21. FinBarca
    August 6, 2012

    @barcastuff
    Arsenal player Alex Song (24) is priority signing. Further talks with Arsenal this week. Asking price expected to be at least 20M. [sport]

    What do you guyz think about all these Alex Song rumours??

    • Gogah
      August 6, 2012

      Not excited, as it will almost certainly mean we’re not getting a top quality center back this season.

      • FinBarca
        August 6, 2012

        Etienne Capoue could be better choice because he can play also as CB and he has expressed his desire to leave Toulouse..

      • FinBarca
        August 6, 2012

        Well, there arenยดt many quality CBยดs on the market for reasonable price. Agger??

    • Helge
      August 6, 2012

      I think it’s as silly as paying 40m for Javi Martinez.
      I don’t rate Martinez highly, but I still think Alex Song is just half as good as him.

      I am clearly against both of these transfer options!

      While JM might bring something, I believe Alex Song will bring nothing new to the team, be mainly a bench warmer plus an obstacle for some of the B players…

        • barca96
          August 6, 2012

          Capoue is still young, has more room to grow while Song is already at his peak. I just don’t think he can be better and while he is at his best, he still cannot command a place a place in the team.

          I do however like that he has years of EPL football under his belt.

          • August 6, 2012

            Capoue for 15 M or less will be a decent alternative to try. More than that, it will cost more than it serves.

    • Richzorz
      August 6, 2012

      He’s a decent enough player but if his hair is still bleached it would clash with the away kit!!

      Saw him play CB whilst on loan at Charlton Athletic (?) earlier in his career and he didn’t do such a great job but then he has improved greatly since then…

      • August 6, 2012

        Lol, I was going to say something about the hair. Blond Mohawk might clash with Neymar’s. Though, he played really well last season after returning from a serious injury. Providing assists and was really solid in protecting their backline. But I don’t want anything to do with Arsenal. Too much hate coming our way.

        • Jim
          August 6, 2012

          The assists I remember him best for were for us against Arsenal where if I recall correctly he left Ibra twice as CB to let him score.

          • August 6, 2012

            Oh, I wasn’t talking about those ๐Ÿ˜€ More of his assists to RvP last season.

            I thought he was Arsenal’s third best player behind RvP and Arteta. Also, congrats on Murray’s victory yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Richzorz
          August 7, 2012

          Yeah, I think he could actually succeed at Barca (albeit in a Keita kind of role not being a ‘strongest 11’ player) but the football fan in me would prefer him to stay at Arsenal as he’s practically as important to them as Busquets is to us!!

          (My guess is that he’ll sign a new contract in a few weeks with an extra few thousand a week thanks to the transfer rumours..)

    • K_legit in Oz
      August 6, 2012

      I heard that we were interested in Toulalan of Malaga…much rather buy him than Song!

      • Jim
        August 6, 2012

        Replying to Messifan above. Thanks for the congrats. After Wimbledon it was quite emotional for us Scots ๐Ÿ™‚

    • mom4
      August 6, 2012

      For the love of all that is messi in this world, no!
      There are better and cheaper players out there. Good, but not good enough for Barca. I’d rather go with the players we have now and save the 20M.

  22. elcapitan
    August 6, 2012

    @nzm…apologies once again…*happy now? Guess yes…sheath your sword

    • barca96
      August 6, 2012

      Why did you have to add “happy now”? I don’t get it. If you want to apologize, do it sincerely.

    • K_legit in Oz
      August 6, 2012

      dude seriously, let it go..you are just making it worse

    • nzm
      August 6, 2012

      Nope.

      It’s clear that you have a huge chip on your shoulder, and you’re choosing to build a case around me to let out some of your frustration.

      If my memory serves me well, you used to comment as “olufestus”. You’ve made similar comments about a few of the writers on this blog under both names.

      Just stop it, play nice, or take your poison somewhere else.

  23. K_legit in Oz
    August 6, 2012

    Also, today is the 67th anniversary of Hiroshima….a day that changed modern history forever!

    • mom4
      August 6, 2012

      Oops, you already posted the pic so I shouldn’t have reposted it below. I blame it on low caffeine levels.

    • Richzorz
      August 7, 2012

      LOL apparently going through 10 managers in 7 years, diving more and unsettling players are things to aspire towards…

    • Richzorz
      August 7, 2012

      LOL apparently going through 10 managers in 7 years, diving more and unsettling players are things to aspire towards…
      Got to be sarcasm/trolling/something like that! (or just a cr*p bleacher report article….)

  24. mom4
    August 6, 2012

    Not sure how I feel about this.
    Does it excite me to see him back in the colors and read that he’s talking about a return around December?
    Or does it scare the crap outta me?

    http://twitpic.com/ag5hug (taken from barcastuff)

    Will I be able to watch him play without being worried for him?

    • August 6, 2012

      lol, it’s okay ๐Ÿ˜€
      If there’s a risk, he shouldn’t try to come back. But I had a huge grin when I first saw that picture.

      P.S. GO AMERICA!!! Are you watching the USWNT game this afternoon?

      • mom4
        August 6, 2012

        You betcha!!!

        GO USA!

        There’s really so little joy we can take as Americans when it comes to this sport and it all comes from the girls! My older sister who can’t stand to watch soccer is even getting into it!

        • August 6, 2012

          NZ coach was butt-hurt about us celebrating after the goals, and the Canadian coach already plays mind game by complaining that we took corners illegally in the NZ game. USWNT ♥

    • tutomate
      August 6, 2012

      I’M More scared than anything else, a transplant is a huge deal sometimes it takes years for the body to fully accept the foreign matter and some times it never does. I would hate for anything to happen o him specially on the field,

  25. August 6, 2012

    Finally finished watching the second half of last weekend’s friendly:

    First, I didn’t think Alexis dived. It was raining in the second half and he was trying to back-heeled at full speed. If anything it was a slip and he didn’t make a big deal of it. Even Messi slipped at some point in the second half.

    Second, not surprised that we conceded from set-piece :/ We should work harder on defending corners and free-kicks.

    Third, I enjoyed watching the first half more than the second half. There is something about watching kids play for the first time that makes you notice things on display more prominently.

    Lastly, Pastore did alright, but he didn’t impress me all that much. Though, I can’t believe Sabella didn’t call him and Lamela for the friendly against Germany. I can’t figure Sabella out sometimes. He says all the right things, then he brings Sosa to the national team. This love affair has to stop.

    Bonus, I agree with NZM, the red outfit was the only one I liked, and I was very impressed with Ibra’s ponytail – so tight (almost lady-like gymnastic quality) ๐Ÿ˜›

    • mom4
      August 6, 2012

      I like the away kits. They remind me of lovely beverages sipped on a sunny beach. Speaking of which…didn’t Blitzen promiss us a new manita recipe?

      • barca96
        August 6, 2012

        Thanks for the Pastore review messifan. How did Sakho fare? Barca material or not?

        • August 6, 2012

          Barca didn’t look penetrative for most of the time, so I was not sure what to make of Sahko, but he was penalized for “fouling” Alexis in the box.

          On second thought, I think Pastore is not called up for Argentina this time around because he usually plays the n10 position, which is where Messi plays for the national team.

  26. barca96
    August 6, 2012

    Bryant said that the current USA basketball team can beat the 1992 Dream Team. I don’t understand why only now he is making noise. If he would’ve said it 4 years ago, I would’ve said damn right!

    In 2008, they had Howard, Wade, Bosh, Kidd.

    • August 6, 2012

      But 2008 was a rebounding year for us after the disaster in Athens. So I could see why Kobe stayed humble and didn’t compare that team to the dream team.

    • Richzorz
      August 7, 2012

      Haven’t watched basketball for a couple of years but Kobe was POOR against Argentina last night…on the plus side Durant looked pretty good!

  27. August 6, 2012

    elcapitan,

    You’ve been inappropriate, rude and insulting across this entire thread. Even when you feigned apology you had to integrate insults inside of them.

    Your comments are completely unacceptable here. If you want to shove off insults anonymously across the internet there are literally thousands and thousands of web sites you can do that at. Goal.com, soccernet, bleacher report – the list is endless.

    But this is not the place for that. Much of the reason why this space has been successful is that we’ve kept it free of insults. The tone and culture of a blog matter- a lot.

    If you want to discuss Barca politely, free of personal attacks, you are welcome to post. If you have other interests – there are many other places you can go do that at.

    • simple_barcafan
      August 6, 2012

      ^This. The value of this blog when compared to others in the internet is not that its posts are extraordinarily better than other blogs, but in the simple fact that it has one of the best comments section I have ever come across..All the news/ issues are discussed in a civilized polite manner where each person’s opinion is valued, even it is contradictory to your own. Each and every comment sometimes is worthy of a read. I have been a fan for many years. don’t usually comment but felt compelled to post my 2 cents. Respect should not be demanded rather it has to be earned. Alas, elcapitan, let not thy ship be doomed and sink…

  28. mom4
    August 6, 2012

    Megan Rapinoe just bent a corner kick into the goal! Unbelievable! Both teams (Can v USA) came out to play so it’s a highly entertaining game, well worth a watch.

  29. August 6, 2012

    Still not sure which law the ref abused to give the US that indirect FK. The call on the PK looked harsh as well.

    If these calls were made against Chelsea, the ref would’ve gotten death threats already..

  30. olbucky
    August 6, 2012

    El Capitan,
    I felt compelled to comment as well. I’ve been. Following and commenting in this blog for quite awhile now and can’t remember an instance coming even close to the argumentative tone you’ve brought to this site. You’ve bullied and badgered NZM for the stupidist things imaginable. Even Blitzens minor transgressions paled in comparison to the angst and stupidity you’ve thrust upon us all. Most people will be polite and say just stick to talking about Barca and keep the personal attacks to yourself. I’m not most people. You are too stupid to appreciate how keen NZM’s insights are. For that reasons keep all of your insights to yourself…go away. Be miserable all by yourself or better. Please don’t speak for Cules anywhere. Leave this blog alone. It was a much happier place without you. NZM, I look forward to reading your posts as per usual.

  31. Anonymous_69
    August 6, 2012

    I missed the PSG match. Does anyone knows links where I can download it?

  32. August 7, 2012

    Man, a lad goes away for a weekend covering Lollapalooza, and look what happens. Some stuff:

    –elcapitan, I don’t customarily moderate this blog heavily. If your efforts at making this a flame forum continue, I will simply delete your posts. I won’t have it. The family here has worked too long and hard to make this a space where we can have civilized discussions to have someone stomp into the room, flinging turds hither and yon. I can only reiterate what Euler has said: If you wish to contribute in the spirit of this space, you are more than welcome. If you do not, you are not welcome. Hopefully, that’s as clear as it needs to be.

    –If we ever have a tie come down to penalties, sub in Pinto.

    –I intend to petition RFEF to allow us to have all matches be at home this season, lest my eyes face another assault of the Running Rocket Pops. Gack.

    –Afellay will not be here in January.

    –Canada got hosed. The 6-second rule is rarely, and I mean rarely called. And if you are going to call it on their keeper, note that not long after that, Solo held the ball for about 11 seconds before restarting play. And don’t get me started on the penalty. Her arms were inside her body but more importantly, a kicked ball is rocketing toward the player’s face. Sorry, but I don’t know anyone alive (okay, Puyol) who would take that one.

    That said, excellent match. Sinclair made a comment after that she thought the refs had the result pre-ordained before the first ball was kicked. That’s harsh, but those calls were, I thought, rather difficult given the situation.

    –Men’s track cycling match sprint. Hellz yeah! Hell of a job for Jason Kenny, dispatching the best sprinter in the world right now, who apparently left his brain in his other kit bag. It happens. Mens keirin tomorrow. None of you should miss that one, either. The match sprint, by the by, is my chosen discipline. Just knock about a million KPH off of what those big boys do. Too much fun.

    –How about those Abidal comments about trying to return in December. That would be a pretty wonderful holiday gift, though I am not getting my hopes up about that one.

    –Did I mention that the away kits were hideous? Might be a blessing in disguise to not have matches on TV this season.

    • Bill
      August 7, 2012

      Kxevin, why do they ride around slowly till the last lap before sprinting? Can’t they just start the sprint from the beginning?

      • August 7, 2012

        I’m not a professional Cyclist, but -as in running- No one have enough explosive energy to sprint all the way in circles. Beside Walt Disney’s road runner of course!

      • Richzorz
        August 7, 2012

        Saw Mark Cavendish explain this one, if they go all out from the start their opponent (unless they’re asleep) can just ride along in their slipstream and save a lot of energy then easily pass them on the last lap.

        It’s worked before when they’ve caught their opponent out but it’s a really high risk strategy!

        • nzm
          August 7, 2012

          Still makes me wonder why they just don’t make it a 5-lap race and be done with it! ๐Ÿ˜€

          • August 7, 2012

            So as with Barca and an opponent, the challenge is getting the other person to ride your race. Some sprinters like to ride from the front, others from the back (most, actually).

            To boot, sprinters only have about 12 seconds of that kind of effort in them. To understand, try running all out, and I mean ALL OUT, from a dead start, to get a sense of the kind of effort required. It’s really awesome to watch, particularly in person.

            Most of those guys are capable of top speeds north of 45 mph., which is pretty spectacular when you think about it. The 100-meter dash runners such as Bolt are always celebrated and they should be. But track cycling sprinters are every bit as badass.

    • August 7, 2012

      Sinclair’s post-match comments were made in the heat of the moment after the match, and I honestly can’t say I blame her. I’m pretty angry about the refereeing in that match, to the point where I haven’t even yet managed to congratulate my American friends on their victory. Not to take anything away from the excellent performance of the US players, but I really do feel this was an injustice to football to the Canadian women.

      *sigh* Why can’t I quit you, football?

    • mom4
      August 7, 2012

      Yeah, there was some dreadful reffing during that Canada v US game, but this was the first women’s soccer game that I watched not because of patriotic obligation, but because I couldn’t take my eyes off it. What a sporting event!

      • August 7, 2012

        It was a fantastic game between two evenly-matched teams. I hope this is the future of women’s football (with better reffing).

  33. Gogah
    August 7, 2012

    Wow, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud to Arsenal. Not bad eh?

    • Clouseau
      August 7, 2012

      Now if they even manage to snatch Sahin then and later on express their wish to not plan with van Persie anymore *lol*..
      By doing that they would make sure everyone notice the new route they have chosen.

      I wouldn’t say i take them as title contender but i would take them seriously again.So far out of all PL Clubs they have make up the most of the silly Season.

    • mom4
      August 7, 2012

      My EPL team just got worth watching again.
      That said, losing Silva, Mata, and now Santi in the last few years is so sad for La Liga.

      • Ryan
        August 7, 2012

        As well as Kun and Forlan! La Liga is losing all of its non-Big Two stars.

  34. nzm
    August 7, 2012

    Personal Note to All:

    I would like to thank all of you who have spoken for me in the above comments.

    I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the BFB blog because, out of all the Barca blogs on the web, this one stood out to be as close to a community/family in both the posts and in the comments section, by all who commented and contributed information. The level of respect and regard for each other is second-to-none, and that’s a huge reason for sticking around here and sharing in whatever way that I can.

    Usually I would ignore people such as elcapitan/olufestus, but he made some untrue allegations, quoted me out of context and generally made the atmosphere in here quite unpleasant – not only for me, but for a lot of you, as well.

    I don’t mind my comments being debated, nor taken to task when I’m wrong – I’m not going to get every prediction correct, otherwise I’d be rolling in money from lottery wins. ๐Ÿ˜€

    But I will not be silent when some anonymous troll accuses me of being aggressive (pot calling kettle?), of having a hatred towards Mazinho (what? I’ve never ever discussed the man), calling me delusional (time to look inwards, elcapitan), using where I live as a point of contention (jealous, much?) and taking a single line (from a longer discussion on how Rafinha’s progress is stagnating in the B-team), in order to make it the basis for his rant.

    I am sorry that a lot of you had to waste time and energy in writing comments in reply to him/her but, at the same time, am humbled and touched by the level of support that youโ€™ve shown me.

    So thank you again, and long may this blog be a place of respect, hearty debate, informative discussion and, above all, a lot of fun โ€“ while we support and discuss the team that we all love.

    cheers
    Michele (nzm)

    • K_legit in Oz
      August 7, 2012

      I dunno about elcapitan but I sure am jealous you live in Barcelona *shakes fist*

      • nzm
        August 7, 2012

        Ha! We chose Barcelona to live in (because we love the city and the people) before becoming truly au fait with FCB. I must confess that the first game that we attended, I didn’t know what to expect. I shed tears of joy when I realised that Henry was playing there and that I was seeing one of my most favourite players on the pitch – live, in front of me!

        Apart from Titi, the only player who we knew was Messi – only because he was on Dubai TV in ads for the Qatari Star Sports Academy.

        How things have changed in such a short time – Barca is now a huge part of our sporting fan lives, and we are truly blessed to live in this wonderful city. Not knowing how this whole financial crisis is going to pan out, we’re enjoying every day that we have here!

        • K_legit in Oz
          August 7, 2012

          I am trying to save up money so that I can come visit Barcelona in the next couple of years..I mean come on the city of Gaudi, Dali and La Sagrada Familia are enough reason! Perรฒ per desgracia, Barcelona รฉs bona si la bossa sona ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • August 7, 2012

            If I come to Barcelona they’ll have a tough time getting me out of Camp Nou. What’s the official policy on camping out in the Stadium? ๐Ÿ˜›

  35. y2k156
    August 7, 2012

    So Cazorla goes to Arsenal. Another star from liga decamps to league. This is getting sad.

    For the first time, my enthusiasm in watching la liga is wavering. The ligue seems too unfair to be a contest. If Barca and Real buy best players from other clubs every year and if you already know the results of 36 matches for your team at beginning of season, it is not that interesting anymore. I do not think it is only Barca and Real to blame. The administrators of local clubs and the hugely incompetent liga admin is equally to blame. But if things do not improve, i can see decline of interest in la liga and that would be a pity. Barca and Real have more to lose then any other liga team and i hope they take some action, even if it is painful for themselves. Else, it is not hard to think of ligue where two mega clubs are more interested in paying lucretive friendlies across world while fielding second string teams in liga matches.

    And Malaga (and other teams from england) prove that there are very few fairy tales. Unknown people (w/o ties to football) with bags of money are advance warnings of lots of hassle and eventual demise.

    • nzm
      August 7, 2012

      I’m truly not getting this Malaga thing – there’s no financial reason for Qatar to treat the club in the way that it has.

      It was an exciting project, and one that could have huge benefits in the coming season. Instead, the club is being decimated and top players are leaving/being sold. I seriously doubt that they’ll now qualify for CL.

      It’s almost like Qatar’s decided that PSG is where they’re going to concentrate, and let Malaga be damned.

      Sheikh Abdullah, Malaga’s owner, is a part of the Qatari ruling family, although he is only a distant cousin to the present Qatari ruler, Sheikh Hamad. Family politics, perhaps?

      Thankfully, QF couldn’t get hooks too deeply into FCB as it did into Malaga. If they pull sponsorship from FCB, at least this club has huge opportunities to get another better sponsor.

      I’m betting that, with Dubai’s Emirates Airlines now flying directly into Barcelona, that it won’t be long before we see their familiar red and white logo – but that won’t happen until the Turkish Airlines deal expires.

      I feel awfully bad for Manuel Pellegrini.

      • August 7, 2012

        The Qatari project in Malaga was supposed to go beyond the football club. Qatari (the big Qatari investors) always play it sold, either they get it all or they get uninterested fast. They have no interest in Bureaucracy (with the well to spend to bypass it) and cant take a “No” for an answer, regardless of what they are originally demanding.

        The Malaga thing was a series of projects that includes the club, tourism projects (Malaga is a main destination for Qatari tourists), and many other stuff. What I read was that the local authorities were not willing to let things go at will and rejected some of the ideas proposed.

        In the other hand, there was the football factors like TV shares and the fact that the Qatari never felt welcomed in Spanish football community (beside in Malaga), for being foreign investors (and from specific destination). There were many signs of unrest toward Malaga especially through the media and they were treated in a way clubs in worse situations weren’t.

        I don’t think the fact that the club will never be profitable played any role as most of the clubs in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc… cost zillions of rabbits and earn none. And I don’t think PSG project has anything to do with this one. If PSG project would’ve had an impact it would’ve been motivating Malaga owners to spend more. There is always this kind of competitions between the wealthy there to take different clubs and compete.

        I just believe there was no reason or motive for the Qatari to continue.

        • nzm
          August 7, 2012

          Thanks for the insight, Ramzi.

          It’s truly short-sighted of the area if that’s what has happened.

          In late May, on our way to Tarifa to catch the fast ferry to Morocco, we landed in Malaga and then drove the rest of the way.

          What we saw, shocked us – a true indication of how the property bubble well and truly burst in Spain. Mile after mile, we were treated to condo complexes and resorts – sitting empty, half-finished, or bare blocks of land sitting behind rotting sign-boards which promised properties which did not come to fruition. I’m not kidding – we must have driven 20-30 kilometers and seen this. It was like driving through a huge ghost town.

          However, on the other side of the Gibraltar Strait – in Tangiers – we saw how Qatar had influenced and created a property bubble in Morocco. Mile after mile of unfinished condos and resorts – all bearing big signboards proclaiming Qatari (and some Bahraini) investments into the developments – all of which were now abandoned.

          I’m not sure how Qatar could have helped in Malaga, given the enormity of the disaster. But it sure couldn’t have made things worse – even though they do appear to have a few failed projects of their own, given what we saw in Tangiers.

          Spain is incredibly hostile when it comes to foreign investment (that isn’t EU-generated) and, dare I say, it does have racist overtones. I also wonder if this will happen to Qatar in France, given that France has already banned the niqab and has had violent demonstrations of a racist nature. It’s all too sad.

          • y2k156
            August 7, 2012

            Without going into causes, which are multiple, i think Barca and Madrid need to act quickly to maintain their brand equity.

            One option is European super league (a closed shop like American football league) which might find resonance with most of other european nations. I see that only England and Germans would be against it. Even in Germany, Bayern seems inclined by nature to join such league. Italians have good incentive and so do French, Dutch, Portuguese, Greeks etc. So having a european super league of 20 or so clubs (even without English) becomes more of reality. If english do not join, their top teams could participate in maybe knockout rounds. Due to the nature of fandom these super clubs have, the super league seems more near then ever. In past, i used to be vehemently opposed to this super league concept but i can see its positive points now. Tbh, i am in favor of european super league now. I am not that interested in Barca playing Racing or Levante when the gulf in quality of players is simply too huge. Its not a game anymore.

            Second option is for Real and Barca to push La Liga to become more professional. Maybe hire some american executives to restructure and professionalize the league. Also as a part, give up their monopoly on tv income so that all the clubs can get adequate money.

            Last option is to continue as is and in five years find that very people are interested in your games.

            If i was in Madrid or Barca board, i would really start looking at option 1 or 2 with view to realize them in next 2-3 years.

  36. providence
    August 7, 2012

    El capita….I’m also forced to comment

    –words like delusional, where Nzm lives and other derogatory words are unacceptable here

    — My favorite (NZm) with all fairness also used some words I would not validate been a neutral person here ..words like ” grow up”

    — all hands where directed to Elcapita but personally I think both of them were at fault although it was all started by El capita

    — to my friends (Nzm and el capita)
    “When some one wrongs you, its a great virtue to ignore it”
    #Proverbs 19:11b#

    –both should apologise sincerely and lets all move on in unity and tolerant as Catalans on this blog….tot unit fem.forca!!!

    — Goal.com top 50…lol ๎

  37. y2k156
    August 7, 2012

    Continuing with European Super League, lets see who can join.

    1- Barca, 2 – Madrid are obvious. I think we can also include 3-Atm Madrid and 4- Valencia to this list from Spain.
    5- PSG, 6 – Lyon and 7 – Marseillies would be happy to ditch French league.
    8- Anderlecht and 9 – Ajax, 10 – PSV would be also happy to finally join big league.
    11 – Benfica, 12 – Sporting and 13 – Porto would be from Portugal.
    14 – Inter, 15 – AC, 16 – Juve and 17 – Napoli/Roma/Lazio would be from Italy.
    18 – Salzburg is also possibility.
    19 – Basel could represent the swiss.
    20 – Bayern, 21 – Dortmund and 22 – Shalke/Bayer from Germans
    23 – Zenit, 24 – Spartak and 25 – Anzhi would be from Russia
    26 – Shaktar and 27 – Kiev from Ukraine
    28 – Gala and 29 – Fenerbahche from Turkey
    30 – Olympiakos/Panathanaikos from Greece

    I think almost all these clubs would be happy to join the Super League looking at current situation.
    If you add Scottish teams, Nordic team and if English want to join, there could be up to 46 teams who would participate in European Super League.
    To make it easier, these could be split in two tiers of 20/22/24/26 teams with 2/4 teams being relegated and promoted every year. Due to the pedigree and tv markets, both the leagues would have excellent TV revenues so you would end up with strong teams.
    As an addition, you could add elimination only cup competition with national league champtions to join the super league participants. This would promose at least 50 matches per team and up to 60 matches in season for team winning competition.

    If i look at that, this idea seems more and more interesting for me. In fact, as international barca fan, i would be even more interested in how the team fares on weekly basis as against the current way of doing things.

    • Lev
      August 7, 2012

      We already have a superleague…it’s called the Champion’s League!

      The only interests I see for a superleague as you (and others before you) suggest are economical.

      Personally I want Barรงa to win la Liga against Madrid. As has pretty much always been the case.

      Also I don’t see the incentive to Dutch, Portuguese, Belgian, Turkish, Russian teams etc to compete in a league they will never have any chance of winning… Other than the financial incentive that is…

    • barca96
      August 7, 2012

      Ooh I’ve always been a fan of the G14 Super League. But not this one though. Too many small teams. It is supposed to be only the big teams.

      The problem with implementing it now is that you have sugar daddy’s buying over clubs and all of a sudden making them a top club within a year.

      Perhaps they could make it like eg. PSG was 2nd last season so for the coming season, they will still have to play in Ligue 1 and only if they become champion this season will they be able to join the super league or go to the KO with the current France representative Montepellier.

  38. August 7, 2012

    OT – Just stumbled upon an old post from the Lyon Offside page railing against Abidal just as he was about to leave them for us.

    Tbh I didn’t rate Abi very highly back then, or even after his first couple of seasons. But its astonishing to see the level of improvement after that. Just goes to show that you can never predict when a talented player jumps from good to world class and from there to the best in the world, all you can do is have faith in his abilities and back him to become all that he can..

    • August 7, 2012

      So true, Vj. Very recent history has Mascherano to make that argument for us. It’s funny how sometimes talent can come to life under the right coaching and other times it just languishes. Guardiola could have made (I think) Ibrahimovic into one of the best strikers in the history of the game, if only he’d been willing to work and buy into the program. Look at Messi, by way of example. If you think about the programs that might have let his talent go in a different direction ….

  39. barca96
    August 7, 2012

    I noticed that a lot of Westerners think that some individuals, teams, sport shouldn’t be at the Olympics. I don’t really get it.

    I noticed that Kxevin and some others that Team USA shouldn’t be playing.
    I understand it a bit because they’re just too damn good. But they don’t have a valid reason not to allow Team USA to participate.

    As for football, most of the people think that it shouldn’t be there or the superstars shouldn’t be there.

    @messifan

    Which Team USA basketball team do you find better? 2008 0r 2012?
    I find 2008 much better than the current one and also better than that of 1992.

    • Nik
      August 7, 2012

      92 > 08 > 12 IMO. 12 is lacking in size.

    • August 7, 2012

      I haven’t been following this year’s team all that closely tbh, and I was too young to remember ’92. Though, ’08 competed against fairly decent opponents, China with Yao, Spain, Germany and a few other good countries iirc.

    • August 7, 2012

      No. Don’t misconstrue my remarks. I do think that the U.S. basketball team should be make up of amateurs, college players who should be savoring a great time in their lives, instead of realizing they don’t have a hope in hell of EVER playing in the Olympics because the professionals have all the spots locked up.

      I don’t believe that ANY professionals — from Serena Williams to Messi to Bradley Wiggins — should be in the Olympics.

      I think that it corrupts the spirit of the Games, leads to the disgusting, “win at all costs” mentality that we’re seeing, and it just isn’t sporting.

      The Olympics used to be a showcase for amateur athletics. Now, some discus thrower is working at Home Depot to make ends meet, while LeBron James and his crew take a private jet to the Games. And yes, I fully agree that the U.S. Olympic Federation should be funding ALL sports to the degree that allows our athletes to have the best shot, not just the sports in which they can medal in.

      But the same programs that build champion gymnasts can build champions in other disciplines. But someone has to want to do it. Tapping the best NBA players on the shoulder is just churlish.

      • August 7, 2012

        But to compete means wanting to win. Why not take advantage of your strengths? It’s survival of the fittest. What is this spirit of the Games? Because the U.S. dominates a field by playing professional athletes then that’s not right? By that logic, traditional soccer powerhouses shouldn’t bring professional players, who apply their trade in famous European clubs, to the World Cup or Euros because that would be unfair to countries that field amateurs?

        And how does LeBron James taking private plane and a discus thrower working at Home Depot relate to the Olympics? That discus thrower would still work at Home Depot even if James were not in the Olympics because track and field does not generate a lot of income.

        • August 7, 2012

          Because it points to the disparity in the two sports, a disparity that is supposed to be remedied by a national sports federation, rather than just calling your best professionals and turning them loose. That discus thrower wouldn’t have to work at Home Depot if the U.S. Olympic program adequately funded and supported its athletes, as so many other countries do, is my point.

          And yes, I strongly believe that the Olympics should be for amateur athletes. The Games used to be the pinnacle of athletic aspiration for an athlete. That dream is gone, stomped on by a millionaire wearing his signature shoe.

          No pros. Period. In no sport, including football. People have this misguided notion that the Olympics is “best and brightest” or “survival of the fittest.” No. Back in the day, many athletes lost medals for taking a bit of money for appearing in something as simple as an exhibition game. It violated the rules of amateur athletics, and the Olympic spirit, back when the Games had one, before it turned to jingoism and crushing the other countries.

        • August 8, 2012

          But we don’t have a national sports federation with 100% public funding. Do you know the cost of funding such idea with adequate yearly salary and benefits? A lot of money. The plan just seems so unrealistic.

          The USOC relies on commercial sponsorship to support the sports. And sponsors are going to evaluate the popularity of the sports before committing to the cause. Visa or Nike signed up for the partnership because the sporting package include swimming, basketball, etc…sports that most Americans are interested in and the Americans dominate those fields.

          As for “as so many other countries,” I don’t know any countries with full national funding. Maybe China but they also specialize in certain sporting fields. It’s a simple comparative advantage situation.

          For the amateur athletes comment, that’s how you feel about it. The way I see it, the goal is to win the competition, thus fielding professional athletes is fine with me as long as the the rule permits.

      • barca96
        August 7, 2012

        Holy crap. I never thought it would be possible but we have a female version of Pepe!!

      • August 7, 2012

        But the U.S. players had as many fouls as Canada, not to mention the tactical fouls that stopped play and allowed their defense to re-set on those times that Canada was on the break. The ref was very good about what to allow and what not to allow. Her only significant error was succumbing to pressure being applied by one player, and making a call that traditionally is dealt with via yellow card.

        If every keeper got nailed for the 6-second rule, we’d see all kinds of indirect free kicks at every level of the professional and amateur game. And as I said yesterday, Hope Solo would have failed more than a few counts herself, particularly after the call was made against Canada. Organizing your players or not, you’re still holding on to the ball with your hands. It’s why you see Valdes make a save, and almost immediately drop the ball to play it with his feet. It’s another benefit of him being good with the ball at his feet.

        • August 7, 2012

          I agree that the 6-second rule was ridiculous and it indirectly costed Canada the game. But the stamping on Lloyd was also a serious infraction that was not punished. A simple push is a foul; stamping on someone’s head is also a foul but with a higher degree of brutality. You just don’t stamp on someone. So go back to my original point, the ref was awful for both sides.

          • August 7, 2012

            And yet, the fact remains that the referee’s interpretation of a rule directly benefited one team. Don’t let the stomp obscure that, not that I would call it a stomp, in watching that GIF a few times. More “treading on,” technically.

            But that action is a red herring in this debate, to my view.

  40. Jim
    August 7, 2012

    Sitting watching Sir Chris Hoy collect his gold medal after the most amazing final. Looked like he had lost it twice but what determination! Tears from him and a lump in my throat thinking this is the end for him. Absolute top Scot.

    • August 7, 2012

      Chris Hoy is all kinds of man. If you haven’t watched that Melbourne Keirin final, it’s worth a YouTube search. I still don’t know how Hoy won that one. Staggering rider.

  41. Bill
    August 7, 2012

    If a super league is created, two things will happen. 1. Madrid and Barca will demand to be allowed to negotiate their Own TV rights, then proceed to dominate that league and rake in huge revenues, eventually killing that league too. Or 2. They will agree to some sort of profit sharing, making the league stronger, which is what they should be doing right now anyway.

    Isn’t it interesting that American leagues operate in a kind of socialist system, where the richer clubs share profits with the smaller clubs in order to make the whole system stronger?

    • August 7, 2012

      THIS!! We and RM are the best clubs in the world right now, period. It has only been flukes that have kept us from not winning CL the two years that we didn’t (volcano, ridiculous finishing luck). RM is right on our heels.

    • August 8, 2012

      From consumer or rival competitor perspective, the NFL as an entity is operating like a monopoly. And there are a few anti-trust cases against the NFL.

  42. August 7, 2012

    Looks like we may be in for another strike by Primera clubs:

    http://www.athletic-club.net/web/main.asp?a=0&b=1&c=1&d=1000&berria=12341&idi=1

    Google translation:

    In Madrid, on August 7, 2012, meeting the following clubs in the First Division of the National Professional Soccer League (LNFP):
    Athletic Club
    Club Atlรฉtico de Madrid, SAD
    Real Betis, SAD
    Real Club Celta de Vigo, SAD
    RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, SAD
    Getafe Club de Fรบtbol, SAD
    Granada CF, SAD
    Real Club Deportivo Mallorca SAD
    Club Atlรฉtico Osasuna
    Rayo Vallecano, SAD
    Real Sociedad de Fรบtbol, SAD
    Sevilla Football Club, SAD Real
    Zaragoza, SAD

    Given the recent developments within the LNFP that all Premier League clubs at the meeting, representing a large majority of it, not shared by assuming a lack of respect for the rights of the clubs in their capacity members of the LNFP own, and before the grave situation of legal uncertainty that affects all clubs due to the lack of agreement between TV operators who are transferees of media rights, have unanimously agreed to request the President of the LNFP the urgent convening of a Board of First Division, to be held on Tuesday 14 August to discuss, vote and, if appropriate, approve the following agenda items:

    1. Demand immediate payment of all amounts owed by TV operators to First Division clubs.

    2. Demand the withdrawal of all claims against First Division clubs in relation to contracts of sale of media rights.

    3. Determination of a transparent and regulated [process] for fixing schedules [of] Premier League matches, with the adoption of necessary measures to that end.

    4. Require television operators to establish a stable framework to ensure the peaceful exploitation of media rights of the First Division clubs.

    In the case of the failure to achieve an acceptable solution for most Premier League clubs, the clubs met are willing to adopt all necessary measures, including delaying League Championship First Division season 2012 / 2013, scheduled for next August 18.

    • August 7, 2012

      And I have to say that I agree with the rest of the clubs. The situation is ridiculous. At some point, RFEF has to treat the clubs as equals. We and RM elevate the league by our presence, which doesn’t mean that the other teams are recalcitrant children, highly paid practice partners who are lucky to be on the same pitch with us.

      The Liga needs help. Bad. Or an infusion of brains, one or the other. The Malaga situation is bad, but you can see how someone wouldn’t want to keep investing money in a setup like that.

  43. August 7, 2012

    If anyone has a stream for the Brazil – South Korea match I would be grateful, as NBC online wants me to sign in through a cable provider – and who has cable these days?

  44. Josep
    August 7, 2012

    Guys I missed the Canada-USA game what happened? all i’ve seen so far was a canadian player ( i think ) stomp on the head of an american player with no card that looked like ouch

    can any1 recap me? so usa got screwed out of a red card or wat

    also im glad professionals are in the olympics its a once in a lifetime opportunity that for some reason kevin wants the best of the best to NOT compete, and wants competition to be lowered

    if you get paid to do your job you can NOT do it for your country says one poster and i dont agree with it 1 bit!

    • Josep
      August 7, 2012

      also whats the 6 second rule? someone broke the rule and was infractioned for it? that is such an injustice to football how can referrees correctly make decisions this is wrong and needs to be stopped

      • August 7, 2012

        Canadian keeper was flagged for holding the ball for longer than 6 seconds before re-starting play. U.S. was awarded an indirect free kick, which resulted in a handball (that or missing teeth) which tied the match, thus sending it into extra time where the U.S. won.

        The issue isn’t that the Canadian keeper was called for it, it’s that the U.S. keeper, after the rule was made active in this match by the implementation of said rule, wasn’t tagged for it.

        –It isn’t that I don’t want the best to compete. But what’s the point of amateur athletics? Why not just jettison everyone who isn’t professional? If baseball finds its way back into the Games, let’s round up a roster of MLB players and have at it. Personally, I don’t think it’s very sporting.

        At one time, the Olympics were the best amateur athletes. Now many of those people don’t have a chance to compete in many disciplines, and I think that’s wrong. The argument is “Other countries send their professionals, so why can’t we?” Can’t say that I buy that, because other countries fund their programs in a way that brings their athletes up to a world-class level. We choose not to do this, and just break out the howitzer to hunt butterflies.

        • Josep
          August 7, 2012

          When was it the best amateur athletes relative to the timeline of how long athletics have been a professional sport tho?

          The players who play amateur athletics, I’m assuming, aren’t playing because they choose not to be professionals, rather that they’re not good enough. I don’t see the point at all of allowing lesser competition to be put out on the biggest scale of ALL for all to see. i don’t understand what you’re saying about the MLB either tbh.

          i for one don’t want to see beer league softball players at the Olympics which seems to be what you’re suggesting. its a world stage where the best compete, not the “almost really good but not quite”

          • August 7, 2012

            Not at all. If you look at boxers as the ideal, they train like crazy as amateurs, hit the Olympics, win a medal or two then turn professional, where the marquee can trumpet “Gold Medalist So and So” vs “Some Other Dude.”

            Boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and a few other sports (judo, fencing, etc.) are still contested by amateurs, in part because there is no pro track, but also in part because that’s always been how the organization is set up.

            Using softball as your example, there are some absolutely stellar college softball teams, boasting some thunderous hitters and unhittable pitchers. And they’re amateur as all heck. Bring ’em. Tell me the cream of our college hoops crop couldn’t, with the right coaching, romp and stomp like the pros are doing. Might take a little more effort, but the talent is there.

            Cycling in this country doesn’t have a shot no matter what you do, though our track riders are a lot closer to dominance than our road program. It can be done, without settling for sub-standard performances.

            The “biggest stage” is contextual. The point of the Games is supporting your athletes, whoever they are, in the true spirit of competition. Trinidad and Tobago got a men’s match sprint rider in the bronze medal ride. You’d have thought the dude won, such was the pride. Compete with honor, and do your best. Win, or not. THAT, for me, is the Olympic spirit. We don’t need LeBron James to do that.

  45. Jim
    August 7, 2012

    So far in the second half Brazil are doing a good impression of a Scottish second division side. Whatever happened to valuing possession?

    • Kimcelona
      August 7, 2012

      Were you watching today’s game?

      I thought they kept possession pretty well ..especially after they went 3 goals up and South Korea never looked much trouble, to me.

      My prediction of a Brazil vs Mexico final after the group stages came through!!

      I’m looking forward to a rematch of the Japan vs US final from the Womens WC and the finals between Brazil vs Mexico for the men.

      • Jim
        August 7, 2012

        My comment was made some time after the start of the second half when Brazil were still one up, had hardly touched the ball and every time they got it lost possession almost immediately and as you can see from the comment was specific to that time period. At that point their midfield was non existent. They were so poor I switched over to watch the athletics so didn’t see the rest of the second half.

        Not sure I understand the antagonistic first sentence. Your post would have lost nothing without it.

        • Kimcelona
          August 7, 2012

          Not sure where you got “antagonistic” from anything I said in my post.

          I didnt look at the time of your post and furthermore would have no idea which part of the match you were talking about except for it being the second half, which you specified.

          You know, you can disagree with me without sounding like you want to chastize me. Your post would have been reasonable without the last sentence.

          • Jim
            August 7, 2012

            If you don’t know when it was posted or which part of the match I was referring to then it might have been more prudent to give me the benefit of the doubt and not to begin that way which might well have produced a retort along the lines of “did you actually read my post ? The implication in the first sentence was quite clearly not just that you disagreed but also that I couldn’t sensibly have come to that opinion. Not huge, just not necessary.

      • August 7, 2012

        I have to Agree with Jim. Brazil were generally unconvincing throughout the tournament, today’s match included.

        Some individual moments can get you to Olympics final, as for world cup they need to improve a lot to even have a chance. If they can keep themselves disconnected from the hype’s snowball , and the pressure of playing at home.

        • Kimcelona
          August 7, 2012

          Hey Ramzi,

          I try to watch matches without the Barca goggles on and with that I dont expect teams to hold the ball as well as Barca. I do agree that they werent overly impressive, there’s work to be done before they can be claimed as favorites for anything beyond this Olympics. But, imo, they were decent going forward (as a group) on countless occassions in this game and most of the other games.

          The team is still gelling..I expect by the WC, with the same coach and same players they will come into their own..hopefully haha.

  46. Kimcelona
    August 7, 2012

    @Jim, look dude, you’re the one who took my post and turned it into something offensive to you (saying that it was antagonistic). You said one sentence about Brazil looking like a pub team in the second half and I responded as based on what I saw today, I thought you were talking about one of their other games.

    No need to affront me, just disagree and move on instead of making a mountain out of an ant hill. Yeesh.

  47. elcapitan
    August 8, 2012

    Wow!! Am just so much impressed by the stand everyone has taken in condemning, 10 people can’t be wrong! I take full responsibility for the attack, am a cule through and through who bleeds blaugrana and shares his feeling,in this case,i think i’ve gone overboard,but am happy to know everyone is in a safe hands if anybody tries to pull an ‘elcapitan’, (don’t add that into the bfb dictionary,am pleading..”Lol) maximum respect to euler kxevin and others who responded, loads of apologies to NZM/MICHELLE.sincerely sorry
    P.S–am happy K-legit in oz is also jealous……lol,anyway shout-out to everyone on this blog….long live BFB! Long live FCB! Long live BFB’ers
    EL.capitan

    • Lev
      August 8, 2012

      Now THAT’S an apology! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. DumbOx
    August 8, 2012

    Hi BFB community! I usually reserve my opinions or thoughts to myself and just contend myself reading everyone’s comments — what a thriving and vibrant online community! The family’s been in full summer mode with summer camps, family visits, road trips, soccer tournaments, etc, but I have been faithfully following this blog.
    Anyway, I am very distressed about the most recent news re La Liga BBVA: GolTV no longer has the rights to air La Liga in the US; it was recently bought by Al Jazeera’s sports network, BeIn Sport. I had to ask my cable provider and they have no idea what BeIn Sport channel is. Even in desperation, I don’t think I would be switching providers, so , this is really a step back for football in the USA and quite frankly not good for the La Liga brand in terms of expanding viewership in the USA. Sometimes lots of money upfront means less money in the long term. The fact there is a question about language (since its not in English now) and access to the worlds number (if not most popular league)is limited or nonexistent, La Liga just shunned its American fanbase.

    • DumbOx
      August 8, 2012

      Also, since GolTV has an agreement with ESPN, this would ESPN3 will not be able to stream La Liga games online as well. (sigh)Plus I just learned that Phil Schoen (never mind, Phil Schoen) and Ray Ray Hudson have resigned from GolTV; does this mean they’re switching to the network that bought the rights to La Liga? Man, this is a summer downer. What is La Liga thinking!?%$$

      • August 8, 2012

        Yep, Ray Ray and Phil are with the new network now. You can watch via online streams like me ๐Ÿ˜€

  49. August 8, 2012

    Anyone have any ideas why we’re interested in Song and what marginal value he can add to this squad?

    • August 8, 2012

      He’s a DM with not so great hair and can be used as a backup. JDS hasn’t been convincing so far. But I think Song is looking for a new contract with Arsenal, hence this rumor.

  50. August 8, 2012

    Sport say we have a agreement with Song, get his agent’s name wrong. They need to hire better monkeys..

    • K_legit in Oz
      August 8, 2012

      We have an agreement with everyone!

  51. Gogah
    August 8, 2012

    What I simply cannot get is Barca’s extreme reluctance to sign a center back. Are we so scarred by the Chygrynskiy experience that we don’t want to sign someone outside of the cantera for this position?

    Another thing that annoys me is the straight up escalation of a player’s value when barca is interested. Players like vertonghen can go for 8m, ozil can be bought for just over 10, but when barca wants a player, a cool 10 million is added to the actual market value, almost as if the selling club weren’t aware of the player’s value and abilities before barca were interested.

    Song for 20m or so will be a shitty deal! no doubt. Rosell’s run of good transfers will have ended.

    • Lev
      August 8, 2012

      Well, we did get Ibi for 3M ๐Ÿ™‚
      And I think we paid fair or below market prices for Cesc and Masche…

      I don’t understand who in their right mind would charge 20M for Song, but if I were a gooner I would be really fed up with one of their players coming to Barcelona pretty much every summer.

      I think I would prefer to get Romeo back that Song, though that is based more on feeling that on knowledge. Any Premiership followers care to comment?

    • August 8, 2012

      Ozil was on the last year of his contract with WB and same with Vertonghen. What I don’t get is why are we always looking to the EPL for players?

      • Lev
        August 8, 2012

        Most of our players come from La Masia, and I think most of the players we buy come from La Liga… When thinking about the EPL, when was the last time we bought a player who was not from Arsenal? :s

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