Levante Winds Blow Hot and Cold

Have you ever typed “azulgrana” into Google Translate and seen the English translation result?  It isn’t what it should be which is “blue-cochineal”.

That must irk bored Anglophone Levante fans who would bother to check, because their club also uses azulgrana when writing and talking (in Castellano) about the team. 

The Barça and Levante kit colours aren’t the only common ground in the clubs’ identities.  Taking a look at their club logo, they even have the same little stylised football in their V-shaped (for Valencia) shield.  The Bat of King James (which should have been a swallow and not a bat, but that’s another story), tops their emblem, and this also featured in the very first FCB logo designed in 1899.  The Barça bat was dropped in 1910 when a competition for a new logo was won by Carles Comamala who was a club player at the time.  His design serves the basis for the logo which is still in present-day use.

Those of you who have read my recent previews have probably cottoned onto my propensity to discover shared player/coach history between the Blaugrana and whichever club they’re playing.  With Levante, this was difficult because there has been little overlap in shared resources.  The club is based in Valencia which is an autonomous region of Spain, like Catalunya.  Along with Castellano, they also speak Valencian which is based on the Catalan language.

I’ll mention players such as Josep Escolà whose history while playing for Barcelona, during the Franco era, was harrowing enough for him to seek exile in France.  In later years, he would coach Levante from 1955-56.

There was also Johan Cruyff who, having played for FCB from 1973 to 1978, signed for Levante for the last half of the 1981 season when they were playing in the Segunda División.

Juande Ramos coached Levante (1994- 95) and Barça B (1996-97) as well as a slew of other Spanish teams (Real Madrid 2008-2009) before heading off to Russia.

German Bernd Schuster played for Barcelona (1980-88) and managed Levante for a season over 2004-05.

However, nothing was really compelling enough upon which to base a story.

I then got to thinking about the respective club captains – Carles Puyol and Sergio Ballesteros.

Levante’s Pugnacious Captain
Unlike our capità who has remained with the one club for his youth and adult careers, Ballesteros played 12 seasons at other clubs.

A pupil of Levante’s youth system (In 1998, he was a player in Spain’s successful U-21 European Cup campaign), 1994-95 was spent in the Levante First Team before being loaned to Tenerife for 1996.  The Canary outfit bought Sergio where he remained for 4 seasons (1996-2000) before moving to Rayo for a year (2000-01), then to Villarreal (2001-04) and Mallorca (2004-2008); returning to Levante in 2008.

Ballesteros is a man not without a little controversy and it mostly revolves around him and Real Madrid players, although he’s not slow to claim that others, such as Valencia’s Soldado, have “assaulted” him during a game.  The Soldado stamping and kicking claim earned Sergio a Yellow card from a disbelieving referee about 4 weeks ago.

While at Villarreal (2003-05), Ballesteros came to Madrid’s attention.  After an altercation with beloved Merengue son, Raúl, an article published at the time included a quote from Sergio saying, “If I was handsome like Beckham, they would not say that I’m so hard.  For some time there has been a campaign against me in Madrid.”

That campaign followed him from Villarreal to Mallorca.  In 2005 in a game against Madrid, Ballesteros slapped David Beckham and was red-carded.  “He trod on my foot and I reacted,” was his defence.  A few weeks later, he also cuffed Carles Puyol in a Mallorca-Barcelona game and was sent off again.  Amazingly, both red cards were over-turned – much to his immense pleasure and vindication.

Puyol reacts after Ballesteros smacked him during a 2005 Mallorca-Barcelona game

Last season, he had a running battle with Cristiano Ronaldo.  As this video shows, Cristiano constantly griped about Ballesteros and his elbowing, and ultimately it all looked as if it was an orchestrated campaign – attempting to goad Ballesteros into physically reacting and get sent off.  Perhaps Sergio had learned from the Beckham experience.

Madrid did win that game, but in the return match later in the season at Valencia, Levante scored to hold Real Madrid to a 1-0 loss.  In overtime at the end of 90 minutes, Cristiano was set free to run into the goal when a man, 10 years older than him, outsprinted the former Ballon D’Or winner to strip him of the ball and prevent the goal threat.  Ballesteros – all 93kg of him.

This has become one of the most-watched football plays in Spain:

A fortnight ago, the Levante-Madrid game was a rain-drenched, ugly affair which spilled over into the tunnel and dressing-rooms after the game.  A wayward Navarro elbow opened up a gash over Cristiano’s eye, but he scored before having to come off.  Levante evened the score to 1-1, but Morata scored in the final minutes of the game to give the win to Madrid – 1-2.

Then followed a sorry state of affairs.  Pepe was alleged to have victory-danced in front of Levante’s players and fans, as well as punching Ballesteros in the tunnel when the teams left the pitch.  Ballesteros, apparently dressed only in a towel, entered the Madrid dressing room to inquire about Cristiano’s injury.  While there, a heated exchange broke out which, according to police notes, began when a Real Madrid security employee pushed Levante’s Juanfran.  During the fracas, Ballesteros allegedly grabbed Pepe by the throat and punched him.  The game referee was asked to intervene, and he did so by calling the police.

Both clubs absolved themselves of guilt, with Madrid publishing a statement stating that their players were innocent.  Levante fantastically trolled Madrid’s statement by also publishing one of their own which used similar wording.

Strangely, we haven’t seen any published images of Pepe looking any the worse for wear following the event.

Consummate Professional
It would be unfair to base your opinion of Ballesteros solely on these incidents.  He’s not a violent masochist.  He’s not enveloped in a red mist which sees him vindictively lashing out at all and sundry.  He’s not a saint either.  On the pitch, he errs on the side of “professional fouls” – little nudges and elbows – reminders which bear the message, “hey – it’s me you’re dealing with – remember that I’m here.”

In an interview, when speaking about Levante’s comparative smallness when compared with other clubs such as Barcelona, Madrid  and Valencia, Ballesteros said, “We don’t have 80,000 members or 120 million euros worth of TV money. We have to work with what we have.”

Sergio Ballesteros absolutely works with what he has.  He’s not adverse to a bit of pushing and shoving, mixed with some psychological warfare on the pitch.  He uses his size and bulk to his advantage.  Ten years ago, a brave (stupid?) reporter once asked him, “Aren’t you too fat to be a footballer?”  To which he restrainedly replied, “No, I’m just stocky.”

The card magnet Ballesteros will never win Fair Play Awards like Puyol has done, but there are inherent similarities between the 2 men.

Like begets Like
Puyol’s and Ballesteros’ respect for each other stems from their mutual recognition of shared values.

Some of these values can’t be trained or coached into a player.  Some players are born to lead their teams through example – an innate willingness to fight with all your heart and soul for what you believe is right.  On a football pitch, that means for your team, team-mates and club – in victory and defeat.  Men of men.

Both captains show a level of commitment which extends beyond the boundaries of merely playing for the love of the game.  They play because the game is their mistress for which their passion has not faded.  To not be on the pitch is the ultimate torture – a forced separation from something that they adore.  We’ve seen it in Puyol’s face and his body tension as he sits in the stands or on the bench, barely unable to resist running out to do the job himself.  It’s the same desire which runs through Ballesteros.

They both play in similar positions (Sergio is a tall 6’ 2’’ Right Center-Back and Puyol a 5’ 10” Left Center-Back) and both marshal their back-lines with ferocious intensity and an almost-psychic sense of exactly where each player should be, in anticipation of the next play.  When their teams get it wrong, they take it to heart because, no matter whose fault it was, ultimately they believe that they should have personally prevented the error.

Ballesteros is now 37 years old with Puyol 3 years behind him.  In some ways, Levante is fortunate that their key man didn’t have an International career which has undoubtedly affected Puyol through injuries and a lot more high-pressure games, including Champions League and games for Spain.  Last season, Levante had one of the oldest back-lines and goal-keeper combinations in First League history – a total of 170 years between the 5 players.

Both men will play until they decide that enough is enough.  When that time comes, they won’t expect a fuss because they’ve simply been doing what they do.  Leave the accolades to the prima donnas, please.

Above all, Puyol and Ballesteros bleed for the red and blue – little matter whether it’s called azulgrana or blaugrana.

What should we expect in Valencia?
A freaking hard game, that’s what.  No matter what the score, our boys will finish the game feeling like cars just raced in a demolition derby.  Hopefully they won’t look like them as well.

The Levante fans will be baying for Barça heads and their team will be willing to provide, although the mutual respect between the teams should prevent the game from developing into an ugly affair.

Les Granotes (translates to The Frogs) will be without Right-Back Pedro López who was Yellow/Red Carded out of last week’s game against Deportivo.

They have reinforced their side with some considerable talent including Pape Diop (who scored his first Levante goal against Helsingsborg this week) and former Inter and Newcastle somersaulting Striker Obafemi Martins.

Last season, Levante visited Camp Nou for the first round and left on a manita hiding.  The return match at Ciutat de València was much closer, and Levante took an early lead through a penalty shot.  Wasted opportunities left Barça possibly facing a defeat, until Messi popped up to score a brace (a beautiful shot after brilliant play with Cuenca and Alexis 64’ and a penalty 70’) to seal the win, but it wasn’t an easy game.

Estadi Ciutat de València will be packed to its 25,354 capacity, because Levante has declared this match day to be a Club Day.  This means that all season-ticket holders have relinquished their tickets for this match unless they have applied to attend. The club has set the tickets at very reasonable prices in order to fill every seat.

The weather should be fine and clear with a temperature of around 15°C (63°F).  The pitch should have had a chance to recover after the drowning it received a couple of weeks ago.

UEFA Fixtures
Both teams are coming into the weekend having played mid-week UEFA games where each qualified for the next knockout rounds, and still with one game to play in the Group Rounds.

Both games were played at roughly the same latitude – 56° North.  Barcelona played in Champions League on a freezing Tuesday night against Spartak Moscow and won 0-3.  Levante won their Europa League match 1-3 on Thursday night in the Swedish cold against Helsingborgs IF.

The Barça players have had a couple of extra days to recover from their game, cold and travel, in which they have also had 2 days off.  Levante came straight back and went to work to prepare for Sunday’s game.   If they didn’t exhaust themselves with their Europa League efforts, this game will be a humdinger.

The Magic 300
As a team, Levante is also seeking their 300th Primera League goal.  Villa will miss this game with an ankle injury – he’s sitting on 299 while looking to score his 300th top flight goal.

La Liga Table Positions
Barcelona heads the Primera table with 34 points – 3 ahead of Atlético Madrid (31) and 8 in front of Real Madrid (26).

On 20 points, Levante is currently 4th.  That’s right, they’re in Champions League territory and although it’s early in the season, they have their eyes on a prize that the team will not easily relinquish – especially as they’ve just overtaken Málaga to win that position.

If Levante stays in the first division after this season, it will be the most successful era in team history – the first time in the club’s 103 year history that they have managed 3 consecutive seasons in the top group.

What of Barcelona?
Tito will be taking this game very seriously, as this could potentially be the game in which Barça could drop points because of the Levante pressure and style of play.

Great news – Adriano and Thiago have both been cleared to re-join the team.

VV is reported to be experiencing some knee problems (him and me both), so Oier is also travelling with the team.

Injuries aside, I expect to see VV, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi and either Tello or Cesc starting.

Levante fans show their support in freezing Sweden last Thursday night


The game starts on Sunday 25th at 9pm CET. Click here to convert the match time to your timezone: Levante UD vs. FC Barcelona

Streams for the match are usually found here, here and here.

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  1. replayed
    November 24, 2012

    No Villa for this match. Ankle booboo. Allegedly.

    I do love me some Sergi Ballesteros. Good thing there’s so much of him to love. Still, I’m sure Barca will be grateful for the extra two days of rest.

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Yes – was changing that at the same time as you were commenting! 🙂

    • replayed
      November 24, 2012

      Sorry about the column stalking.

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Not at all! Happy someone’s jumped in to read! 🙂

  2. 505
    November 24, 2012

    spectacular article, nzm!

    i hope our guys wear the black kit tomorrow — blue & red + tequila sunrise may just be too much for my eyes.

    that magic 300 part really puts things in awesome perspective.

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Hey stranger – where have you been hiding?

      Happy to see that my mention of Puyol got you back to commenting!

    • 505
      November 24, 2012

      work got in the way for a while, but i’m back to tweeting and blogging! caught up with a lot of football these past weeks 🙂

      happy sunday! (thanks, betis!)

  3. Blau-Grenade
    November 24, 2012

    Absolutely fantastic read NZM. After reading your preview I now have renewed respect for Levante and Ballesteros. Hoping for a fantastic injury free game tonight!

    • Blau-Grenade
      November 24, 2012

      And I’ve put in my donation to keep the community going. I am proud to be part of this community.

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      You angel! Thanks so much!

  4. November 24, 2012

    Terrific preview as always, nzm! Isaiah had better watch his back. 😉

    Regarding the Levante/Madrid hostility, you forgot to mention the famous “FEOS POBRES MALOS” banner flown in the Ciutat de València stadium in response to CR7’s “handsome, rich & good at football” statement.

    I love Sergio Ballesteros (although I did not know he smacked Puyol!). He knows his own strengths and limitations and how to work those to his advantage. Levante is a great example of how a team with few resources can succeed. They may resort to dirty tactics sometimes, but they play with so much heart and conviction that i can’t really hold it against them. I hope they continue their brilliant run of results…just not against Barça.

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Thanks, blitz.

      Wasn’t sure how to incorporate that banner thing with reference to Ballesteros or Barca, so I left it out. It got kinda long as it was!

      Every team needs a Ballesteros – a bit of mongrel to keep everyone honest!

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      That is an awesome article. Thanks for posting the link.

      Camp Nou does the ordered flag thing too – on match days.

    • Messiah10
      November 24, 2012

      Definitely worth the read. Thanks for sharing!

  5. November 24, 2012

    Judging from today’s training pics, Tito has incorporated basketball into the sessions. Perhaps to improve their jumping skills? 🙂

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      They were heading the ball into the net! Alba, Alves and Adriano were damn good!

  6. Blau-Grenade
    November 24, 2012

    Twitter is exploding with news that Pep could taking over the reigns of Brazil!!!

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      If he does, he should look at Léo Baptistão from Rayo for up front. He’s been simply awesome today – goal and assist. Kid’s going to go far if he keeps up the standard.

      Rayo beat Mallorca 2-0 at home.

  7. Richzorz
    November 24, 2012

    “Strangely, we haven’t seen any published images of Pepe looking any the worse for wear following the event.”

    You know if Madrid hadn’t got the 3 points he’d have been brought out the next morning in a wheelchair and neck brace! :p

    Sounds like the Levante match calls for Puyol back in the starting 11, hopefully the midweek exertions will have taken more out of Levante than Barca! 😀

  8. ooga aga
    November 24, 2012

    lovin NZMs previews, and Levon’s reviews. fresh blood. isaiah and cxevin deserved a break too. go team.

    we saw obafemi a couple years ago when he was with rubin kazan. he came on as a sub in the first (group stage) match and started the second game. he only took 3 shots in the 2 appearances, none on goal, and all 3 were in the 25 minutes he played as a sub. he didnt seem to cause us too many problems.

    ive always liked him, thought he was a great striker, when he was young (with Inter) he seemed raw but with a great upside. not sure he ever fulfilled the promise.

    • November 24, 2012

      A couple of bad choices…i thought newcastle was an ideal move but somehow he(or they) fluffed it…really came to life in dat birmingham vs arsenal game (he always does well against arsenal)…kazan was a bad judgement…he is more of an high tempo game…valencia and atletico wld have been ryt choices at the time…plus he gave that wonderful assist vs madrid so we myt wanna go google eyed on him

  9. November 24, 2012

    Nzm i swear to you and all the good people here that i will never read anyother prematch article except yours…thats the best write up have seen in a long time now…love the puyol-ballesteros comparism…i always thought he could make the NT especially at the euros when puyol was out…nice post once again

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Shhh….. don’t tell Isaiah that – I may get the preview job permanently and that’s a lotta work!

      Thanks, Kess!

  10. November 24, 2012

    Levante away is gonna be really tough, and after only just losing to Madrid they will be extra-hungry to get a result against us. Thinking we might drop some points there…

  11. bhed
    November 24, 2012

    Great write-up!

    Anyone know how long Villa is out for?

  12. Messiah10
    November 24, 2012

    Ballesteros is the kind of player most supporters of opposing clubs hate and the club supporters he plays for love. Busi has this characteristic. I constantly see him slated as over rated and a diver in EPL blogs. However, there are some who know and appreciate his immense talent.

  13. Messiah10
    November 24, 2012

    BTW: If you are in the USA and want to see the game live, you’ll need to watch beINsport Spanish television. For whatever reason, beINsport English television is showing the game an hour delayed. Not happy about it. I will probably just stream it, can’t decide, unless the pub I go to has beINsport Spanish.

  14. Ben
    November 24, 2012

    Betis playing their hearts out against RM. 1-0 at half time. I’m not sure that they will be able to keep up that level of intensity till the end of the match.

  15. November 24, 2012

    This German Madridista on BeIn is really outdoing himself today. SO biased, it stopped being funny.

  16. nzm
    November 24, 2012

    Malaga took it to Valencia tonight. Never seen Los Che so lost. Not sure that Pellegrino is going to last long unless they pick it up.

    Malaga played very steady football – playing with 2 at the back during some phases. Joaquin is so hit and miss though – reminds me a bit of Pedro at the moment.

  17. November 24, 2012

    EE lost!!!!!!

    • Jim
      November 24, 2012

      More sadness 🙂

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Earth just tilted on its axis!

      Mourinho applauding the Betis fans!

      Double tilt!

    • Blau-Grenade
      November 24, 2012

      I can feel the double tilt here in Canada. It’s just gotten a few notches colder today!!!!

    • Ryan
      November 24, 2012

      What a goal from Beñat too!

  18. Jafri
    November 24, 2012

    Eleven point lead!!!

    • nzm
      November 24, 2012

      Not unless Barca wins tomorrow. 😀

    • replayed
      November 24, 2012

      Getting ahead of yourself there.

    • Jafri
      November 24, 2012

      I know, was rather presumptuous in my excitement. Here’s hoping we can make it an eleven point lead over RM tomorrow!

  19. November 24, 2012

    Is that the title race? (Yes yes anything can happen etc, but realistically speaking).

  20. TITO
    November 24, 2012

    Ok now, let’s win tomorrow and end this!!!
    I know, i know…

  21. November 24, 2012

    People shouldn’t forget about the other capitol club. So far, they are for real this season, even given the recent loss to Valencia. Some say 11 point lead, I say 3 point lead. We haven’t played ATM at all yet this season, and that club is leaving folks with many questions, including will they belly up for RM twice again THIS season? What will Falcao do against our back line?

    It’s important for cules not to lose sight of the club that is, right now, the real opponent. Yes, I like an 11-point lead over Mou Mou and the Boys, but the side shouldn’t relax. Not. At. All.

    • November 24, 2012

      Atleti have played 2 good teams so far (Malaga and Valencia) and lost one and won one. 3 of their next 4 league opponents are Sevilla, Madrid and Barca. If they’re still that close after that run, I’ll be impressed for real, but not before.

    • mei
      November 24, 2012

      Asking what will falcao do against our backline is quite the distraction for me , i suppose. It’s what will our (heavily manned by world class players)attack will do against A.M. backline and our midfield against that opposition rather than one player, even if that name is indeed falcao.
      No relaxing is scheduled , but not let’s carried away with the cule driven attitude.

  22. Messiah10
    November 24, 2012

    Here’s to hoping Ballestero’s and the boys decide to tank it tomorrow to shove it up EE’s ARSE! lol. I know that won’t happen, but it’d be very nice of them to give our boys a easy game and rest. I’m in complete agreement with Kxevin. A.M. are only 3 pts back and looking very motivated this season. However, the only thing that gives me solace is the fact that Falcao will most likely leave in Jan. for Chelski. Roman wants him and he will get him. I would revolt if I were an Atleti fan and they sold Falcao in Jan.!

    • Helge
      November 24, 2012

      Keep in mind that Chelsea will probably also play in the EL from February on. This provides hope, cuz I want Fslcao to stay at least until the end of this season.

  23. barca96
    November 24, 2012

    According to barcastuff, the only team Pep would end his sabbatical early for is Brazil. I really hope that that isn’t true.

    I’d prefer him to take over the reign at Argentina. Both Brazil and Argentina looks to be in a mess but at least at Argentina he would have an amazing attacking players.

    The Brazilian team lack a few games changers. They only have Neymar. And then you have Oscar.

    • nzm
      November 25, 2012

      Take a look at Léo Baptistão from Rayo. If he’s eligible and can keep up the play, he’ll be in the Brazil squad before too long I reckon.

      It’s surprising that he hasn’t been in any youth squads, but then he has only just come back from a longtime injury, so I guess that ruled him out.

  24. barca96
    November 25, 2012

    I don’t understand this Mourinho. He loves to contradict himself. Or is there no Portugese word for it? Is that the reason why he doesn’t know what it is?

    “I try to be fair and objective, and when my team lose, I do not seek excuses or blame other things,” he explained.

    He continued..

    Obviously a team that played on Wednesday should not have to play today. Obviously there are other teams that have control of the match calendar, which we don’t have, but we are talking about top professionals and you have to take into account mental toughness, ambition and spirit.

    “A player of 23 or 24 years should be able to play two games in four days. As always, because I speak out, and I’m the only one who has spoken out, I’ll be the bad guy.”

    What a hypocrite!

    • nia
      November 25, 2012

      I think it’s been clear for a while now that, Mou’s elevator doesn’t exactly go all the way to the top. I don’t even think he himself believes the crap that comes out of his mouth. Ever notice the kind of people that are his friends? Pele, Maradonna, Jorge Mendez, see a trend here? lol ;). He’s probably friends with Mugabe as well, who knows?
      He only says things to deflect away from his team’s poor peformance or simply just to get attention. I’m suprised that he has yet come out and complain how Barca are playing the same teams right after them and how it’s helping them out with what tactics to use. The British media idolizes him coz the can write pages and pages on him but, he’s kinda not getting the same treatment in Spain. The man has a nerve to complain about the refs after RFEF handed them the title on a silver plate last year.
      I hope he quiits EE soon. I didn’t know i hated RM as much as i do till he came to Spain.

  25. KEVINO17
    November 25, 2012

    RM’s performance was just flat out hysterical. The world’s most expensively assembled team and they played like a pub side. Showed, once again that if a side sits deep and takes away the counter they are totally bereft of ideas. The sluggish way they tried to break down the defence was a hoot. And best of all, whenever they had a good set piece situation. Cristiano stepped up to blast the ball into the wall. Either they all took a sedative before the game or something is truly rotten in their team.
    Jose may disappear faster than anyone thinks.

    • barca96
      November 25, 2012

      I read it in a match report that he missed his 18th free kick 😆
      Don’t think it’s real though.

    • alpinegroove
      November 25, 2012

      Wasn’t it the case that a couple of weeks ago RM got more rest than FCB after a CL match?

  26. KEVINO17
    November 25, 2012

    Jose shook the hand of every Real Bêtis player. Good sportsmanship or Jose settling scores with some of his own players because he knows he’s on the way out. I reckon he’s already left RM. It’s just not official yet.

  27. nzm
    November 25, 2012

    Espanyol just lost at home to Getafe – 0-2.

    Stadium was pretty empty at the start of the game and even emptier by the end of it.

    Major upset socis at their GA last week, and even more upset fans at the game showing their unhappiness towards the presidential box.

    • November 25, 2012

      It’s starting to get a bit sad now, isn’t it?

    • nzm
      November 25, 2012

      For sure. I’m starting to feel sorry for them – ugh – never thought that I’d say that about Espanyol!

    • Leckan1
      November 25, 2012

      Would be so great to have a derby — In Segunda.

    • Messiah10
      November 25, 2012

      Espanyol deserve everything that they get. An exclusionary club with Franco sympathies. Until recently their official language was Castilian which tells exactly where their loyalties lie. Good riddance to them and may they stay in Segunda.

  28. endico
    November 25, 2012

    I hope we win today to extend the lead to 11 points!

    P.S: When will Kari return from hiatus?

  29. alpinegroove
    November 25, 2012

    Why is Mou complaining about the calendar?
    A couple of weeks ago RM played a CL match on Tuesday and FCB played on Wednesday.
    Both had La Liga matches on the following Sunday, which means that RM had one extra day of rest…

    • barca96
      November 25, 2012

      Exactly. Fickle minded. Or age has caught up with him. We were in their position just a couple of weeks ago.

    • mei
      November 25, 2012

      Well it’s not like this is not common from Mou and he has been in charge of RM for 3 years so how can you still be surprised by such remarks and why are you still complaining about this?

  30. Gogah
    November 25, 2012

    11 against 11 for 11.

    lets do this.

  31. Messiah10
    November 25, 2012

    I need help Cules. What channel is beINsport Espana on DirectTv? The pub I go to isn’t sure if they have that channel and the beINsport English channel is delaying the Barca game in favor of AC Milan vs Juve. A quick response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • yana
      November 25, 2012

      BeINñ is on 426. Hope your pub has it!

  32. Blau-Grenade
    November 25, 2012


    Barcelona line-up (official):

    Alves Pique Puyol Alba
    Xavi Busquets Cesc
    Pedro Messi Iniesta

    Hoping to see Montoya Song and Tello get some minutes.

    Excited to see Cesc play, he is the player like Messi who runs between midfield and the forward line creating all kinds of chaos with his runs and passes. He is also the one with the best on field connection with Messi.

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