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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Lid Sowe
    December 9, 2009

    If Sid Lowe read this site he would not just come and say it. He would probably disguise his name when posting a comment. That’s my guess.

    • Blow-Granite
      December 9, 2009

      That is Hilarious Sid Lowe.!!!!

  2. December 9, 2009

    this xavi quote got me even more pumped up today:

    Interviewer: Tomorrow (today), you would ‘risk your life’ in Kiev?

    Xavi: Of course, our (Champions League) season depends on this match. Anything other than a qualification is a failure.

    Interviewer: Why?

    Xavi: That is because our qualification is in our own hands. We are not thinking about getting a draw, else they could eliminate us. They will be looking to get the two goals they need to eliminate us, so we must not fail.

    Interviewer: The problem is that there are other aspects to bear in mind; Dynamo is also playing for their own qualification, the cold etc…

    Xavi: For me, all that is irrelevant. We are Barca, so we must go out and play the way we always do; to score and to win.

    Interviewer: Pep has said that this is the most important match of the season. Do you agree with him?

    Xavi: Yes, absolutely. This match will decide our season.

  3. Carles P
    December 9, 2009

    BTW. Kxevin: Listening to NPR Fresh Air podcast… There is a show dedicated to Thelonios Monk (think thats how you spell name). I think its the 12/08/09 show. Very interesting, seeing as I am new to his music, but he is an interesting character.

    • Miguel
      December 9, 2009

      i’ve been meaning to ask you kxevin, you’re into jazz(monk)/hiphop(krsone) and you live in chicago…you a typical cats fan?

      • Kxevin
        December 9, 2009

        Not quite my cuppa, Miguel. But I am into pretty much everything else on the planet, from punk, metal (straight, black and death), Japanese noise, free jazz, you name it.

        • Miguel
          December 9, 2009

          japanese noise? merzbow??? not so much into viking metal…or as my homegirl in seattle would call it, “hiking metal.” free jazz aint my tea…but i do dig me some sun ra.

        • Ethan
          December 9, 2009


        • Miguel
          December 9, 2009

          fuck yeah!!!!!! been into them since high school. you know what’s up.

  4. Miguel
    December 9, 2009


    ha! no henry. no toure.

    you’re a mad man pep.

    • OhYes
      December 9, 2009

      What the fuck? The hell is going on here???

    • Blow-Granite
      December 9, 2009

      Valdez, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Busi, Keita, Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Ibra
      Its a good lineup. They will not know whome to mark and in which position!!!

      • Miguel
        December 9, 2009

        who’s gonna tire out dynamo’s defense for pedrito? 🙂

  5. December 9, 2009

    TV3 and Sport are reporting that it will be

    Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Henry, Ibra, Messi

    While EMD reports that The Yaya will start in place of Busi. Official word coming through very shortly.

  6. Alex
    December 9, 2009

    i dont see why busi would start over yaya, makes no sense.

    • Alex
      December 9, 2009

      Yaya will be gone by end of summer, he is too good to not play these games. I dont care if he is leaving soon, he still needs some playing time.

      • Alex
        December 9, 2009

        leaving soon to ACN is what I meant.

  7. December 9, 2009

    Official: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal, Busi, Xavi, Keita, Iniesta, Messi, Ibra.

      • December 9, 2009

        in PEP we TRUST! don’t ya’ll think for the biggest game of the year (his own words) he thought a little bit about who to play?

        • stowe
          December 9, 2009

          does saying “in Pep we Trust” remind anyone of Arsenal’s saying about their coach? and Wenger does some crazy stuff that hasn’t worked for about 4-5 years. Nothing wrong with it, it just rubs me the wrong way.

          • jordi
            December 9, 2009

            Well pep hasnt been trophyless for 5 years has he?, in fact hes well on his way to win 6 in a year. Its said cause we’re winning. Unlike the gooners, if we go trophyless for 5, hell,1 or 2 years , few people would keep saying it.

      • cliveee
        December 9, 2009

        I understand. This is the best performance line-up for us so far this season.

        Didn’t get to see the whole match, just saw the highlight. Messi is missing all kinds of good opportunities…

        Regarding the goal we conceded. I think the blame has to be on Valdes…

  8. OhYes
    December 9, 2009

    Sorry but with the manager troubles and all of this YAYA not starting business is starting to worry me!

  9. December 9, 2009


    Auckland City beat Al-Ahli today 0-2 and go on to face Atalante of Mexico in the second round. I watched the second half and was surprised and impressed by Auckland’s cohesiveness on defense and their counterattack. I don’t think they’re capable of beating us, but I had previously though Al-Ahli was better than they showed (a distinct lack of creativity) so maybe Auckland is quite good after all.

    • Miguel
      December 9, 2009

      i watched part of the first half and then went back to sleep. unimpressed by both. atlante should be fun to watch. i really liked the way they played in the peace cup this last preseason in andalucia. they’ve got a little guy on their team, quick as hell, they call “the hobbit.”

  10. Blow-Granite
    December 9, 2009

    Isaiah, I believe Pep knows what he is doing. He is putting an extra mid fielder into the whole mix so that we keep control of the midfield and also do better defending. Iniesta will end up playing the floater role. That will really kill their defence as they will not know who to mark especially if he switches to the right where Messi, Xavi, Alves are already operating from.

  11. Helge
    December 9, 2009

    DAMN IT!!!

    Stupid line-up. If Iniesta plays, he should play next to Xavi. He is NOT good on Henry’s position, especially given the physical approach of Kiev to this match.
    And why the hell is Busquets playing in stead of Yaya? Yaya said to Sport.es that he’s happy at Barcelona. I truely doubt it. Busquets is making one error after next, Yaya must be thinking “What the hell is going on?!?” and I can understand him. It’s one thing to give Busquets playing time and experience, it’s a completely different story to choose him permanently over the Yaya.
    I would have understood if the midfield consisted of Xavi, Keita and Iniesta/Yaya, but this line-up makes me mad, sorry, I’m p****ed right now!

    • poipoi
      December 9, 2009

      iniesta ibra messi equals TACTICAL WIZARDRY!!!!

      god bless pep

  12. Jnice
    December 9, 2009

    No Yaya again? I’m frustrated and pissed. See you later, Yaya. Good luck to you at your new club.

  13. Kari
    December 9, 2009

    Totally called Iniesta being played instead of Henry (yeah, I’m gloating, who wouldn’t?) So it’s Busi over Yaya, eh?

    My mind cannot comprehend.

    • poipoi
      December 9, 2009

      Good luck then, you’ll need it 😉

  14. poipoi
    December 9, 2009

    how can barça fans dislike “canteranos”??? busi rules!!! although yaya even more

    • Alex
      December 9, 2009

      I don’t “dislike” Busi, it’s just that I feel more at ease knowing an interplanetary destroyer has the backfield on lockdown rather than a sporadic giraffe-legged 20 year old. Busi has amazing talent, but he really needs to mature.

      • poipoi
        December 9, 2009

        exactly… he needs to play some more games in order to be better when yaya leaves. Just my personal thought but I think pep has made that clear to yaya since he’s one of the best DM ever, “you will play when you come back” I guess

        • Alex
          December 9, 2009

          I see what you mean, I just don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling that Pep really stressed that to Yaya and that the Yaya fully understands. But who the hell knows right?

  15. December 9, 2009

    I’m obviously disappointed in the lack of Yaya. The lack of Henry is surprising, but not disappointing, per se, though I’d prefer Henry up there with Iniesta as the super sub.

    I don’t know that any of this means anything about The Yaya’s future because I still maintain that Guardiola has him on a path, with the knockout stages in mind, but also with January in mind and perhaps the Club World Cup being Yaya’s inviolable domain. That remains to be seen, of course.

    I’m not an anti-Busi-ist by any means. He’s freakishly talented and will grow into a very awesome player over the next couple of years, but the question I have is at what cost? Do we really want Busi for the short term AND long term or do we want him to get slowly worked into the system and then replace the departing Yaya in a few years? If we get rid of The Yaya now we’ll end up spending €35million on Mascherano in order to cover for Busi, which to me is a waste because we already have The Yaya and he cost us €9million. Is Mascherano really nearly 4 times the player Yaya is? I don’t think so.

    And you know ManCity won’t buy him for €30million, which is his value relative to the current market, so we’d be going in losing out an all for Busi apparently fragile ego?

  16. Blow-Granite
    December 9, 2009

    All the Busi lovers will be vindicated today!!!! Go Blau-Grana.

  17. December 9, 2009

    it’s not about busi lovers or yaya lovers. It’s about BARÇA, and our march to the Death Start to repeat our dominance over the world. With any lineup we put out, we are the greatest team in the galaxy. So to those who have fear because of the starting 11, remember we have won epic matches with 10 people. This is the most important game of the year and sets the tone for the rest of the season. Do not fear, feel no anger, rally your emotions in support of BARÇA, not your desired imaginary lineups! VISCA BARCA!

  18. December 9, 2009

    The ref for the match is Howard Webb, a man previously dropped to the Championship in England and not likely to give easily fouls to us. Keep that in mind if any of our players flop around like fish out of water. Not that I’m zeroing in with that comment on a particular right back or a defensive midfielder or anything.

    • Carles P
      December 9, 2009

      LOL. I think we will see plenty of flops…

  19. majatt (Maximus)
    December 9, 2009

    Messi had competition with Guily for RF before he became Messi, Busquets is giving away goals and being rewarded with UCL starts. I true Josep Guardiola as much as I trust any subject matter expert I’ve never met.

    I don’t like it one bit.

    • Kxevin
      December 9, 2009

      I’m with you. I can understand wanting to get someone ready for when the main man is gone, but it’s increasingly looking as if The Yaya isn’t the main man any longer. Which means that I can’t see him keeping quiet, which means more agent blabbering.

      I know that Pep knows what he’s doing, but damn!

  20. Kxevin
    December 9, 2009

    Sorry. In Pep We Trust, but this is a match for The Yaya. He isn’t going to call any of that Busquets falling down and grabbing his ankle crap while Dynamo speeds the other way on the counter. And thankfully, Alves has been doing much less of his “I’m dead! I’m dead!” act of late. This is good.

    It is Guardiola’s right to put out there whomever he wants, but it’s also my right as a supporter and observer to wonder what the hell he’s thinking.

    Iniesta, right now, can’t score a goal in an empty stadium, and he isn’t very physical. And you’d better believe that Dynamo are going to play us the exact way that Rubin Kazan did: big and physical. And Shevchenko does most of his damage up the middle, in precisely the area that would be covered by our Death Star, were he not in exile.

    For the record, I don’t like it. Not one little, tiny bit.

  21. December 9, 2009

    I think Pep amd I are wrong. Regarding Henry and Yaya.
    Good luck for this night, and lets hope the game doesnt go the other way (shits happens in football). Or else I can imagine the comments.

  22. vicsoc8
    December 9, 2009

    Not happy that Yaya isn’t starting. It makes me nervous for the game AND for the near future of the team.

  23. eklavya
    December 9, 2009

    No Yaya? WTF! Damn you Pep! The Yaya hasn’t played like aince 5 matches or something! Busi will become a great player in some years, we must prepare him for January BLABLABLA!
    Seriously, busi MAY become a good player but IS ALREADY a GREAT player. What the point of- oh forget it. Im just hoping Yaya’s agent doesnt start dicking around again! 😡

  24. eklavya
    December 9, 2009

    Does anyone know The Yaya’s addresse? I’m going to write to him!

  25. December 9, 2009

    and to all that worried about the starting lineup: well, looks like pep still knows what he is doing.

    and fuck the dynamo defenders, such a dirty tackle on messi and in injury time no less. inexcusable! regardless, we prevail, we finish on top.

  26. Eklavya
    December 9, 2009

    how the hell can you die as a virgin isaiah?

  27. Hawk
    December 9, 2009

    Who else thinks were getting Lyon again?

    • ElShowDeJason
      December 9, 2009

      I think we are getting Bayern again 🙁

  28. ElShowDeJason
    December 9, 2009

    Clearly the Poll of the day should be:

    Who’s Fault was Valdes’s Own goal:
    A) Busquets
    B) Marquez
    C) Henry
    D) All of the above.

      • ElShowDeJason
        December 9, 2009

        Yeah, clearly his shitty display is what left to our defeat.

        Oh, wait… there’s a rumor going around that he had a perfectly adequate game, and that we in fact, won the match…


    • December 9, 2009

      sport said that they should know in the next couple of hours. now that’s something I’m worried about. i doubt he plays against espanyol.

      • December 9, 2009

        not that we need him for it haha, we beat inter without ibra or messi

        • Kari
          December 9, 2009

          Sport is saying that he looks a doubt for the derbi.


  29. jordi
    December 9, 2009

    “Messi – 7.5 – Always hustling and bustling and looked very good. Curled in his free kick superbly but went down too easily under Dynamo’s challenges.

    wtf were goal.com watching, leo rode through so many tackles.

    • Kari
      December 9, 2009


      I JUST saw that. If he was a diver, would we be sweating on his injury right now?


      • Kari
        December 9, 2009

        Recently-crowned Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi had one of his quieter evenings, even by his standards, but he made sure his impact was the lasting memory of the match, four minutes from time.

        Who thinks that he was one of our better players? Obviously everyone was rattled by the VV own goal, and he was on the right far too long, giving the Dynamo players time to recover. When he went more central though, the defenders were more alert and confused because they didn’t know whether he’d pass or shoot.

        The second goal was classic Barca 🙂 And Leo finally scores a freekick that where the goalie was prepared 😛 Look on Pep’s face was funny 😀

    • cliveee
      December 9, 2009

      I am growing more and more hatred for goal.com

  30. jordi
    December 9, 2009

    well i would like to avoid milan, we could obviously beat them but Ronnie back at camp nou would be too much for me 🙁

  31. Kari
    December 9, 2009

    Now I know why Goal.com doesn’t name the people who do their play-by-play (I pity the people who actually rely on it)

    It’s pretty funny if you read it 🙂 By funny, I mean sad.

  32. December 9, 2009

    i’m not afraid of any of the teams left in the second pot. I say bring them on.

    and to anyone who says the Premiere league is stronger than la liga can stuff it, because we are right there with england with 3 top seeded teams in knockout stages, (us, sevilla, and e.e.)

    • Kari
      December 9, 2009

      I find it (PL v LL debate) pretty funny. The PL supporters use the ‘Big 4″ , there are 4 teams in it to win the title and La Liga only has 2 legitimate contenders’

      Okay, that argument is reasonable, but really, couldn’t you also say that the PL only has 2 legitimate contenders in Man UTD and Chelsea? I mean really, think about it. Liverpool’s last won PL title , what?, 19 years ago (1990) and are only looking for a Top 4 finish. Arsenal, well, there may be my favourite PL team, but I just don’t see them competing with Man Utd and Chelsea…

      • December 9, 2009

        I totally agree. Arsenal is my favorite team, but they are injury ridden and lack the finishing instinct you see in teams like Chelsea and Man U. Liverpool is in a terrible spiral right now, and they need to heal and rebuild as well.

        I think England’s style of direct, physical football just isn’t going to cut it against teams like us and sevilla. It’s evolution baby, and the premiere league refuses to change.

        I see Chelsea as our main competition, but when we play as a team, we are unstoppable. We have a long way to go, but glad to see La Liga in the knockouts with three strong teams. Wait, let me rephrase that. Two strong teams, and the E.E.

        • December 9, 2009

          and by favorite team, I meant favorite English team. i of course bleed blaugrana

  33. ElShowDeJason
    December 9, 2009

    I think this was a very odd match in many aspects. I was thinking about the ratings, and how it would be hard to give them. This is just what i noticed:

    Valdes 4: Was only called to action once. He failed. He didn’t put a foot wrong the rest of the match, but didn’t get a chance to redeem himself.
    Alves 8: Active in the offense, good outlet wing, and had to be, since Messi was mostly in the middle. Also made some important tackles in the defense.
    Puyol 7: Good solid match. Not an incredible lot to do, but what he did, he did with urgency and efficiency.
    Pique 5: Like Puyol, didn’t have a lot to do. But his execution was not as good. Multiple needless fouls, including the goal. Sticking his hand out, which could have easily been a red.
    Abidal 8: Perfect in defense when called up, and a perfect ground cross for Xavi. If he keeps developing his offense like this, Maxwell will never get off the bench.
    Busquets 6: Adequate. Wasn’t tested too often, but he never lost focus, which would have caused us to scramble. Was a good enough Outlet in the middle.
    Keita 8: Very active all match. He made sure Busquets didn’t have much to do. Was running in front of the defense, running in the middle, and running to the wings when Iniesta tucked in. Unfortunately never got up enough to disrupt the Dynamo’s backline.
    Xavi 7: Turned in a good performance. Took his goal well. Always running, I think that Iniesta and Messi crowding his midfield actually hindered his effectiveness, and limited him to moving the ball around, instead of playing dangerous balls.
    Iniesta 7: Average. Didn’t hold the ball too long like he has been doing lately. Did his ussual outlet thing, but probably could have done better at attacking on the left and disrupting the backline
    Ibrahimovic 5: Didn’t have a bad game, just a frustrating one. There was lack of communication today, between him and the midfield. I suspect he would have done better with Pedro! or Henry out there. To his credit, he was full of effort, and kept trying, but it was not his day. Bad luck with the free kick. Beat the keepers hands, but hit his face.
    Messi 7: disappointing and frustrating first half, but came alive in the second. He was suffering from the lack of communication with Ibra at first, but adapted, and became a constant threat in the second. Perfectly hit Freekick. Any higher, and it hits the post. Any lower and it is saved.
    Team 8: Clunky at first, and that can lead to bad things, but kept a level head, kept passing, and kept attacking. Didn’t let the early deficit get to their heads.
    Pep: 5: Regardless of whether this game called for Busi or Yaya, the latter should have started. In not doing so, it sends the wrong message. Henry or Pedro! Should have started, as we lacked Width. A wide attacking threat might have helped Ibra get involved, and not have stifled Xavi.

  34. Kari
    December 9, 2009

    ‘Confirmed’ (if you believe the source) Messi injured; though it looks like a sprain..


    I know a lot has been said (mostly by me admittedly) but I’m loving how they’re contradicting themselves:

    “The Argentinian wizard was subjected to a number of tough tackles throughout the game from a physical Ukrainian outfit but was rewarded or his perseverance four minutes from time, curling in an exquisite free kick off the under side of the crossbar to knock the hosts out of European competition this season.”

  35. Tajh
    December 9, 2009

    Anyone has any favorite team they would love to face in the next round?? I personal would love to face a new different team we haven’t played in years gone bye, such as Porto or CSKA Moswcow..or even that greek team Olimpkios.

    • Kari
      December 9, 2009

      CSKA is a no-no. While it’d sound good on paper, who wants to go to Russia the middle of February?

      Regardless of what team we get, big or small, they’re gonna play their lungs out against us because we are the champions.

      I say bring whoever on! (although Olympiacos is an appealing opponent I must admit…:P )

    • Helge
      December 9, 2009

      I don’t want to face CSKA, got enough of Russian winter journeys…

      Milan and Bayern are the toughest possible opponents. Olympiakos is a free berth to quarter-finals. The rest is approximately on the same level.

    • Jose55
      December 9, 2009

      I thought about that… but since the Russian League has adjourned, when we play them in February they will have not played a competitive match in two months. That could help.

  36. John
    December 9, 2009

    I love yaya, but I really think Busi was more than servicable today. The kid has a bright future w/ inestia and Cesc a couple of years from now.

  37. Achraf
    December 9, 2009

    “Curled in his free kick superbly but went down too easily under Dynamo’s challenges.” This is how BS.com described messi tonight.
    So wat i understand is that unless you legs are chopped off ur going down too easily.

    • Tajh
      December 9, 2009

      But I’m glad he is still improving as a player..He’s getting the headers on target and the free kicks a little better just now he is missing those 1v1 with keepers..that he normal puts away in his sleep…I guess its just all a phase.

  38. Alex
    December 9, 2009

    Some bad things I saw today were the two one v one chances Messi once again completely botched. I know it’s been said before, but he needs to start making those. I think it’s now 5 or 6 of these in a row he has botched.

  39. Tajh
    December 9, 2009

    Or btw when is the draw for the last 16???????

  40. Kari
    December 9, 2009

    An English ref that was down graded from the PL to the Championship is reffing a crunch CL fixture? Messi injured as a result.

    *sigh* UEFA, the shining beacon for all things inept.

  41. John
    December 9, 2009

    Don’t quote me on it guys but i think Howard Webb (today’s ref) is the English representative for south Africa 2010, and is generally regarded as one of the best referees in England, if not the world.

  42. stowe
    December 9, 2009

    Isaiah, i’m really impressed that you correctly predicted Xavi’s goal.

    • cliveee
      December 9, 2009

      he is just lucky. oh wait, but he has been lucky for so many predictions already!

  43. Kari
    December 9, 2009

    BTW, how about the Europa League this year? Liverpool, Atletico, Juventus, Rubin, Marseille, Wolfsburg, Valenca, Roma, and more.


  44. Boat Forever
    December 9, 2009

    Stats so far this season, in the order of La Liga, Champions League, CDR, Super Copa & Uefa Super Cup

    Goals :

    Messi_____ 9,2,1,2,0 = 14
    Ibra______10,1,0,0,0 = 11
    Pedro_____ 3,2,3,1,1 = 10
    Keita______ 6,0,0,0,0 = 6
    Bojan_____ 1,0,2,1,0 = 4
    Pique_____ 2,1,0,0,0 = 3
    Xavi______ 0,1,1,1,0 = 3
    Alves_____ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Henry_____ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2

    Assists :

    Ibra______ 5,1,0,1,0 = 7
    Alves_____ 5,1,0,1,0 = 7
    Messi_____ 5,0,0,0,1 = 6
    Xavi______ 1,1,0,1,0 = 6
    Pedro_____ 1,0,1,1,0 = 3
    Busquets__ 3,0,0,0,0 = 3
    Iniesta____ 2,0,1,0,0 = 3
    Keita_____ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Maxwell___ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Abidal_____ 1,1,0,0,0 = 2
    Jeffren____ 0,0,2,0,0 = 2
    Bojan_____ 0,0,1,0,0 = 1
    Henry_____ 0,1,0,0,0 = 1
    Puyi______ 1,0,0,0,0 = 1
    JDS_______ 0,0,1,0,0 = 1

  45. cliveee
    December 9, 2009

    Let’s talk about the goal we conceded (from a goalie’s ,aka me, perspective).

    The freekick is from a spot so near Juninho’s last season. It came in not as high, but had the similar confusion. But the lower ball means there will be a lot of chances other players will be able to touch the ball. In fact, it was deflected by Milevskiy’s header ever so slightly. and then, three barca players lifted their foot up to try to clear it. They are: 1st Ibrahimovic 2nd Busquet & 3rd Pique. Puyol was around the area, but was busy gaining position from Dynamo’s player.

    So they all raised their feet trying to get a touch of the ball, which is a big distraction for Valdes. When you see I write this, you must be thinking I am trying to excuse Valdes. But the fact that Valdes could get a touch of the ball means he can do better than that. He could see the ball coming in pretty good, he should be able to predict the path. The slight deflection to me is too minimal to cause a big trouble. The ball did not speed up that much, it might have changed a bit of spin and direction, but the distance wasn’t that far to make a big difference.

    The confusion is more from our own players. Each of the players who lifted their foot has a part to this mistake. But Pique clearly shared the most of it, because he is the nearest player to Valdes and had a big motion. Any big motion near goalkeeper can affect them a lot.

    BUT STILL, Valdes should have saved it. He did touch it, with TWO hands on the ball. But somehow it slipped away. It was probably due to the hard landing of his whole arm/upper body that caused the shock, and somehow the ball came loose.

    And here are my excuses for him. 1 Coldness. 2 Early in the match and he is not on fire yet. umm, which is similar to the first one. 3 Pique’s intervention. 4 Thinking about La Roja in Africa.

    I truly believe Valdes is one of the best goalkeeper with a world class quality. Casillas is not a flawless keeper either. But since Valdes is under unfair treatment, he must redeem himself with some extra-terrestrial performances. Today he disappointed many of his supporters with me included. But I have faith in you, Victor!!!!!!!!

    by the weee, Abidal is a monster. Someone please make a video of his alien performance on earth and put on youtube or outer space for all to see.

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