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It’s been a busy, busy Monday at the Blaugrana Corporation.
It started off with an official team photo, in the cold at Camp Nou, with Alves as the resident clown trying to invoke the best smiles out of everyone:
Oh my – don’t our boys scrub up well? Bonus Abidal sighting! Funny how most of them can’t fix their own ties.
The team then took to the Mini Estadi for the practice session before tomorrow’s trip to the Basque Country.
Messi then glammed up to attend Marca’s Awards Ceremony where former Barcelona player and 1960 Ballon D’Or winner, Luis Suárez, slapped him on the cheek and presented him with the Golden Shoe for his last season’s record 50 Liga goals:
Marca also did something very cute when they also gave Messi a miniature Golden Shoe for the about-to-be-born Mini-Me(ssi) – a.k.a. Thiago, who, if he is born tomorrow may also get the name Diego. Dios Doble.
Today also marks 10 years since Iniesta first stepped onto the pitch as a young Senior player:
Doth spake Iniesta: “I felt very comfortable that day. There were a lot of B team players who went on the trip, because we had already got through to the next round. It’s a dream to make your first team debut – thank you Van Gaal. I’d been training with them since the start of the season and I think I played a decent game”.
Shock! Horror! Messi to miss a game!
Our #10, together with Valdès, Alba, Xavi and Pedro, will not be travelling to Vitoria to play Segunda B side Alavès in the first Copa del Rey match for the season. Does this mean that we’ll see an Alexis – Villa – Tello attack, or will Tito have another surprise to foist upon us?
Barça leaves Barcelona around 11am tomorrow (Tuesday) to play at 10pm. Tito has already given his approval to the Alavès pitch, saying that it is a “good field”.
Players travelling are: Pinto, Oier, Montoya, Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Song, Dos Santos, S.Roberto, Cesc, Iniesta, Alexis, Villa and Tello.
5 Blaugrana players are listed among the 23 players on the extended Ballon D’Or list: Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Piqué and Busquets.
The full list is: Aguero, Balotelli, Benzema, Buffon, Busquets, Casillas, Drogba, Falcao, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta, Messi, Neuer, Neymar, Oezil, Piqué, Pirlo, Ramos, Ronaldo, Rooney, Touré, Van Persie, Xabi Alonso and Xavi.
Pep Guardiola is also one of the 10 finalists for Football Manager of the Year, along with Del Bosque, Di Matteo, Sir Alex, Jupp Heynckes, Juergen Klopp, Jogi Loew, Roberto Mancini, Mourinho and Prandelli.
Barcelona B player, Gerard Deulofeu, also made it onto the Finalist List for the Golden Boy Award, which you can vote for here: Tuttosport (although the real voting is done by 30 sports journalists.)
Under the guise of “wanting to improve on our services to you and better transparency”, FC Barcelona socis are being asked to complete a club census to increase the amount of information that the club will know about each of its members.
Finally – to all of you in Sandy’s path: stay safe and dry.