RETRO DIARY: May 20, 1992, as Barça were crowned Kings of Europe

Back when the Champion’s League was still called the European Cup, a thirteen-old boy sits in front of the tv to watch the final between Barcelona and Sampdoria. No, he did not yet own a Barça jersey at that time – having travelled to Indonesia the previous summer, a trip on which his mother had spent a good three years worth of savings, there is no money for such frivolities this year. Besides, his mother hates soccer and can’t stand people watching it, so she has resigned herself to the bedroom, making way for yours truly. Anyway, if the young Barça fan (though not yet a culé) would have written a match diary from his living room couch that evening, it might have turned out something like this:


Remember the names, bee-yotch! If we end up winning the first European Cup in the history of our club, these eleven warriors will be the ones who, maybe won’t have gotten the job done, but at least started it. The babes in the woods among you should at least recognize some of the names in the line-up. Zubizarreta is of course our technical director, Laudrup is currently coaching Swansea and doing quite well and Sacristán Eusebio is leading (or ruining, depending to whom you ask) our B team. There is also a certain Josep “Pep” Guardiola on the pitch – his name might ring a bell. Zubi’s predecessor, fellow Basque Txiki Beguiristain, is on the bench, as is Sergio’s dad, Carles Busquets. For some reason I can’t quite explain, Bakero is one of my favorite players of that team.


Think of American love for football, baseball, basketballl combined and you still won’t get close to how passionate my country is about soccer. Holland counts 16 million people, of whom a staggering 1.5 million play at an amateur football club. Who knows how many are watching the final tonight. Of course, for those who had not yet turned on their television set, Johan Cruijff proves an extra incentive. Having left the club of his youth, Ajax, a few seasons ago after falling out with some of its board members, he is steadily turning around the fortunes of Barcelona, the club he had previously left the club he just left for. Tonight he can complete the circle by leading his team to the Holy Grail. Take a deep breath, and…


Kick-off! Playing from right to left, in London’s legendary Wembley stadium, Barça is clad in orange. The Italians are wearing whites shirts and blue shorts.


The ball soon finds its way to our opponents’ goalkeeper, a man who goes by the somewhat silly name of Gianluca Pagliuca. Thoroughly removed from my memory is whether or not I actually liked keeper uniforms in the early nineties. Unfortunately I suspect that I did.


Hristo Stoichkov, one of the undisputed stars of our team, is never afraid to take on his man. Attilio Lombardo, who later may or may not have admitted to stuffing his shorts with approximately two thousand firecrackers in the minutes before the game, runs across the field to stop him…


…which doesn’t go down all that well with the temperamental forward, of whom Cruijff had the following to say: “Before Stoichkov came we had a team of very nice people, but you can’t just have a team of very nice people”. In his first season with the club, a Spanish referee found out all there is to know about Bulgarian niceties, when Hristo stomped on his foot. He was suspended for two months, but still scored fourteen goals.


Another integral part of the dream team was Ronald Koeman, whose forward surges and pinpoint passes made him about ten times as much Piquenbauer than Gerard. As it stands, he was already given the quite brilliant nicknames of “snowflake” and “tintin”. It’s a good thing Catalans don’t speak Dutch all that well, for they might have simply translated his last name into the unflattering “cowman”.


For all of Fifa’s boneheaded decisions, they do make good ones from time to time.


Changing the rules so that a keeper cannot pick up a ball that is played back to him by a teammate has definitely been a good decision. If you think teams tactics are negative today, imagine defenders and keepers passing the ball back and forth a good 30-40 times per game. This final, however, is not one of those games, as both teams set out to play football.


After 10 minutes the score is still nil-nil. Barça are establishing their possession-based game which would define our style for decades to come. The players touch the ball one, maximum two times before passing to a teammate and mostly succeed in avoiding Sampdoria’s press.


It is still early in the game, when Barça receives a free kick not far outside of the penalty area. Our renowned set piece specialist lines up. Known for his killer right foot, Koeman could strike the ball with a caressing finesse or with devastating power. It must be said that he often prefers the latter.


In the man’s own words: “Sometimes I just like to shoot the ball into the wall as hard as possible, especially if I know that I will face them again – later on, they will know how to duck”.


This time around, he by-passes the wall. His shot troubles Pagliuca, but not nearly enough. The whole of Sampdoria breathe a sigh of relief… For now.


In minute 17 Sampdoria lets off their first shot but luckily for us, Lombardo aims wide.


Stoichkov, who would prefer Lombardo to not shoot the ball at all, gives an all too predictable response: he sends the Italian rolling over the pitch. The referee, honor-bound by an era in football when men were still men and the area from the neck down was fair game to studs up challenges, does not pull out a yellow card.


However, Lombardo is not so easily deterred. When Barça fail to clear a corner it is Sampdoria’s number 7 who blasts the ball over.


On the other side of the pitch, who other than Hristo Stoichkov tests Pagliuca with an excellent header, an exam the Italian keeper passes with an equally excellent save.


And thus the finalists are still bound by a goalless tie at half time. The game has been neither great nor terrible – Barça looked to dominate from the beginning but Sampdoria created two slightly more dangerous chances. Lombardo and Stoichkov have been the main protagonists by far. The Italian star forwards Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini have been pretty quiet, as is (I imagine) the whole of Catalunya, filled with angst over what is to come over the next forty-five minutes. An all too quick look at our trophy cabinet would reveal that Barça has never quite lived up to its status of one of the world’s great clubs. Having been founded ninety-two years ago, we find ourselves in what it is only our third European Cup final, a final that, to make things worse, we have never actually won.


Unwilling to let history repeat itself, Barça start the second half determined to score the opener. Striker Julio Salinas wriggles himself free for a shot at goal, and the tone is set.


Modern day Catalan foklore has it that Guardiola told Xavi he would one day take over his position as the team’s midfield lynchpin. Upon seeing Iniesta, he added, “and he will retire the both of us”. However, it is this writer’s humble opinion that rather than emulating señores Pep or Xavi, the previous Barcelona player Don Andrés most resembles is Michael Laudrup. Freed from the shackles of playing in the Serie A, the great Dane truly flourished under Cruijff. As elusive as he was elegant, his dribbles and passes were truly a pleasure to the eye. Here he sets up buddy Hristo for yet another…


… chance that goes begging. Barcelona is dominating the game in the beginning of the second half. Is it too early to start dreaming…?


Well, if you are you’re in for a rude awakening. Not happy with how things are going, the Italians start kicking us black and azurri. The yellow card stays neatly tucked in the referee’s pocket, and the free kick on the edge of the penalty area leads to nothing.


On the other side of the pitch, Sampdoria creates the biggest scoring chance of the match so far. The crowd have their fists raised in anticipation of the goal when Vialli shoots over from close range.


The game is finally opening up. When Sampdoria botch a free kick, Laudrup receives the ball in midfield…


… and releases Stoichkov with a defense splitting pass. The forward is now alone with the keeper…


…who has no hopes of stopping the shot. Time nearly grinds to a halt, as half a second seemingly lasts forever… It’s going in, it’s going in, it…


… bounces of off the post! Laudrup grabs his hair and exhales…


…while the more passionate Bulgarian screams in disgust. Surely there will be more chances to come?


This is turning into a truly spectacular game, an outright celebration of football. Both teams are looking to win this game and the hammer can drop at any given moment. Guardiola, twenty-year old lord and master of the Catalan midfield, looks up and find his passing routes blocked, while a midfielder is closing in on him…


… he turns…


… and turns, 360 degrees. The internet is still an unknown futuristic fantasy, a military experiment. Twenty years later youtube compilation videos will exist of Pep’s understudy Xavi Hernandez performing the same pirouette on bewildered opponents, while the man himself is on the sideline guiding F.C. Barcelona to their third and fourth Champion’s League medals. Today, on May 20, 1992, we simply applaud the brilliance of the move we just witnessed on the football pitch.


After sixty-six minutes, Cruijff decides to shake things up a bit. Julio Salinas makes way for Andoni Goikoetxea, one of Barça’s tricky Basque forwards.


Vialli breaks through for his second scoring opportunity of the game. Koeman, at times more comfortable creating chances than preventing them, is unable to stop him. Luckily for us, however, the forward aims straight at Zubizarreta. This should be a wake up call for our defense.


But it’s not. Again, Sampdoria break through, and again it is Vialli who finds himself eye to eye with our goalkeeper. This time he tries to beat us with a delicate lob…


… surely it is going in! Half of Catalunya cover their eyes with their hands as they can’t bear to watch. Fans of the club from Genoa wildly jump up and down…


Needlessly so. At the pace of an autumn leaf, Vialli’s lob drops ever so gently to the wrong side of the post. For the third time this game, Gianluca failed to put his team ahead. He would not receive a fourth opportunity.


Barcelona are rattled. Juan Bakero slows down the tempo with a hard foul on Cerezo and a tussle ensues. Of course Stoichkov is in the mix, too.


In the last fifteen minutes of the game, both Vierchovod and Goikoetxea try their luck at goal. Extra time is getting closer by the tick of the clock.


A few minutes before time, Barcelona commit a foul in a dangerous position. The game will be decided by a free kick…


… but Roberto Mancini won’t be the taker!


German referee Aron Schmidhuber blows the whistle after 90 minutes and pocket change. The second half has been truly spectacular. Both teams had their chances to win the game, but Gianluca Vialli in particular should prove more successful in kicking himself than in kicking the ball into the net.


Night has fallen in London when the teams prepare for extra time. Having lost the European Cup on penalties to Steaua Bucarest six years ago, we definitely want to decide the game in the next thirty minutes. Sampdoria win the coin toss…


… and off they go!


The first opportunity is for Stoichkov, but he is tightly defended and shoots well wide.


Then Manini capitalizes on some dodgy goalkeeper positioning from a corner. Well, he would have had he not headed the ball way over.


Both teams continue where they left it after an excellent second half. The winning goal can fall on either side of the pitch. Extra time it may be, but they are playing like there ain’t no tomorrow.


After a long spell of possession for Barcelona, left back Juan Carlos sets up José Marí Bakero, but Pagliuca saves…


… and one of the 25.000 culés who traveled to London exhales deeply. One out of four European Cup finals make it to extra time and right now, the tension is mounting, as any mistake made can be a fatal one.


Fifteen minutes to go, as the first half of the prongation period is finished. The neck-breaking pace of the last sixty minutes are long gone, as tired legs and a more cautious approach have slowed the game down.


Around the 120 minute mark, Invernicci fouls Eusebio about five yards outside the box.


Vialli, on the bench after having been taken off some ten minutes earlier, can’t bear to watch. Surely he knows who is going to take the free kick.


Ronald Koeman lines up. It is an indirect free kick, so Juan Bakero takes the first touch, which will allow the defenders an extra half-second to run towards the ball in order to try to block the shot.


Wall? There is no wall… As Koeman is about to unleash hell towards the opposite goal, Pagliuca moves towards the left, anticipating a curler…


… and is completely unable to stop the missile that Snowflake has just launched at him. 1-0 Barcelona!!!!


Scorer of countless free kicks, Koeman is brought to tears by the one he just put in the back of the net…

cruijff goal

…While Cruijff rushes off of the bench in order to instruct his team. “I knew that if my players did not lose their heads, we would hang on to our lead”, he commented after the game.


Hanging on to our heads is not something even remotely on culés minds, though…


Nor is drawing back into our own half in order to defend the lead on the mind of the team.


And while Sampdoria anxiously tries to make the most of the few remaining minutes…


…Barça is content to let time run its course.


The game ain’t over til the man in a ridiculous black uniform blows his whistle. And when he does, we have finally done it. Futbol Club Barcelona has secured their first ever European Cup and the players run the pitch in celebration.


Visca Barça!!!!!

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Written by:

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. Alexinho
    July 2, 2013

    Thank you Levon! As always your effort shines through and benefits those of us who joined the party too late to see the original dream team.

  2. July 2, 2013

    Wow, Lev! I’m blown away, this is brilliant. I didn’t watch the game live like you did, and I have only seen highlights since, but now I want to go find a download so I can watch the whole thing. You should definitely do more of these!

  3. barca96
    July 2, 2013

    When I first saw the heading I knew right away that you would be the author!! And the funny part is that I thought of this match just a few days ago after Cruyff ill advised comments.

    This match was the very first international match that I watched and one of the handful matches that I’ve ever watched until then. After that it was World Cup 94.

    Supported Barca of course because of the Dutch connection. Well mostly Cruyff. Can’t remember much except for the goal. As with many people, the name Barcelona stuck in my head but I never watched any of their match until I landed in Holland in 95. That season I followed them due to the many of their matches shown on tv and obvious with their attractive style (over lapping full backs and wingers) . But it was only in 96 when Ronaldo joined I decided to became a full time fan.

    Thanks for the one of a kind reviews Levon.

  4. simple_barcafan
    July 2, 2013

    Great post Levon..lot of effort put in to come up with such a post..cheers!

  5. simple_barcafan
    July 2, 2013

    OT: Munesia signs a 4 year contract with Stoke City..Didn’t see that coming…I have a feeling it will help Muni a lot..Stoke are known for their defending after all…

  6. muttonhead
    July 2, 2013

    Thank you for this Levon!

  7. barca96
    July 3, 2013

    And now Madrid wants to sign Illaramendi. Come onnnnnnn…… They have a good future ahead if them if they really do sign Illa.

    It’ll be Varane, Morata, Isco, Carvajal and Illa and you could add Ozil to that being their core for a good few years. That’s 6 positions covered by elite players for at least another 5-7 years.

    Barca on the other hand only has 4 elite players in the sub 25 category; Thiago, Montoya, Alba & Neymar. That will be 1 if we can’t convince Thiago to stay.

    Madrid’s future does look better than us. I think they’ll overtake us in 2015/16. What I mean by overtake is not by simply winning 1 league but being the dominant and better team over a number of years period.

  8. July 3, 2013

    Why are you so paranoid man?
    We have Alba, Monty, Neymar, Deulofeu, Sergi Samper, Dongou, Rafinha and many more.

    • July 3, 2013

      Thanks for the comments, everybody!

      Barca96, do you think that M*dridistas just watched the Confederations Cup final and said to themselves, “damn…we gotta sign Illaramendi”…? Right, neither do I.

      Of the players you quote only Neymar and Varane seem on a sure path to the elite. Thiago and Isco might join them and besides, who knows what will happen in the future?

      I agree that they have a lot of young talent, but so do we, and in 2015/16 our core will still be Messi, Cesc, Busi, Piqué and Neymar… And Alba and Lexus… And Tello and Thiago if we can hold on to them… Plus, like Ultraculé hinted, the Masía is stacked and any of Deulofeu, Samper, Dongou and Rafinha might blow up in the future too.

      No my friend, I am more “worried” about the next season (still have to address our defensive frailties this very summer) than over what may or may not happen a few years from now.

    • barca96
      July 4, 2013

      Carvajal – proven in Bundesliga
      Isco – proven in La Liga for 2 seasons already
      Illa – proven in La Liga too

      Morata – was knocking on the door last season with some appearances and starred in the u21. Let’s put it this way. Morata and Montoya are on the same spot in their respective career. Both are one of the best in their position for their age.

      Deulofeu, Sergi Samper, Dongou and Rafinha haven’t proved themselves on a senior level or u21 yet so let’s not get carried away. I can also throw names out from the Madrid side like Jese (only one I know of but I know they have more from the u20 side). They have 4 to be exact with 3 being a starter. Barcelona on the other hand only has Deulofeu.

  9. July 3, 2013

    This is a lovely post, and a reminder of the days when winning was still something wonderful, rather than something expected.

    — La Real is not going to part with Illaramendi lightly. Expect a battle. Money will ultimately decide it.

    — The club has initiated disciplinary proceedings against a soci who called Rosell an SOB in a Tweet, following it by saying that folks didn’t like Laporta but Rosell is the biggest cancer in the club.

    Sport, MD both have coverage.

    I am staggered.

    • July 3, 2013

      hehehe, even though it is an almost literal translation, “hijo de puta” has always sounded a lot worse than “son of a bitch” in my opinion…

      I don’t see why anyone would be surprised. The club’s statutes that are being used to start proceedings against Marc Estorial cite both free speech and the need to respect the honor and dignity of all other socis, players, employees and directors of the club.

      To put it into context, I enjoy free speech in my country, but I bet that if the director of my workplace read a tweet in which I called her a hija de puta it would result in disciplinary measures against yours truly… It’s a fine line, gentlemen, and this is coming from a person from whose lips the terms “hijo de puta” “coño de la madre” and “vete pa la puta mierda mamaguevo” flow like rum in the Carribean…

      “This is a lovely post, and a reminder of the days when winning was still something wonderful, rather than something expected.”

      Uuuh yes, I didn’t even think of that while reviewing the game but you are making a good point there.. I still think that culés will cherish the golden age in which we are living for a looong time, though. We should enjoy it while it lasts!

    • July 3, 2013

      Rosell isn’t this person’s “boss”, in fact the reverse. This is an abuse of power, nothing less.

  10. nia
    July 4, 2013

    Wonder why Isco refused to kiss his new clubs badge. 4 times he was asked, mmm!!!!

    • July 4, 2013

      Because he’s probably sensible.

  11. hammeronmessi
    July 4, 2013

    breath taking if i were watching the game alive.

    Hats off to you.satellite tv was not available at that time so couldn’t watch it, only watch the highlights of the after reading this i want to watch the whole game.can anybody provide a link of this.searched in result

    thank you again @Levon

    • July 4, 2013

      Well, he’s still in the picture on the official club site, so how about we dial down the paranoia just a little? 😛

    • July 4, 2013

      Personally I hope he just makes a public statement either way some time soon…

    • July 4, 2013

      He did. A few days he posted on his official twitter account that he loves Barcelona. So obviously he is staying! 😉

    • July 4, 2013

      No paranoia at all, just my opinion. He refers to the city as Barcelona, and the club as Barça, so no inferences can be drawn from the Tweeted picture. The above image strikes me as much more interesting, because there is simply no reason for that crop unless there is something afoot.

      Then MD, the official mouthpiece, came out with Gundogan as a potential replacement, should Thiago leave for United.

      Latest rumor is that Moyes unveils him at his Friday presser. But we’ll see. Apparently Xavi and Puyol have spoken to Thiago, both privately, to assure the player that he is the future, whatever form that future will take.

      Personally, I think the club has figured that it could afford to lose Thiago for reasons that it and it alone know, and that’s that. Making the kind of gestures that would seal a deal are easy to do. Does anyone think that if Iniesta or Messi made rumblings about a buyout clause and wanting to consider another club, that the board wouldn’t throw all kinds of money and other incentives at them?

      Yet with Thiago, publicly, the club has said in effect “We have told him that he is the future, and we hope that is enough.”

      And if the player wants to stay and run the best attack in Europe, it will be enough.

      Part of why I think the club is a bit laid back about the potential departure is because who knows what Vilanova has up his sleeve, tactically? I reckon that when Xavi moves on, the death of tika taka as we know it will be complete. Note that the club was already moving away from it during the unbeaten run last season, before Vilanova went away for that time to tend to his health. Then old habits returned.

      Could we see a more vertical, Bayern-like Barça in the rather immediate future? Good question. I find it hard to imagine that the club would buy the most dynamic and vertical young attacker in world football right now, then tell him to stop running and wait for passes from a comparative old man.

      So Thiago being the “Xavi heir” I don’t imagine means as much to the club as it does to cules. Tika taka (vs possession football) was a means to an end, a way to excel given the personnel available in a given situation.

      By way of example Dormund and Bayern play high-speed possession football that isn’t tika taka, yet relies upon possession of the ball to control the match. But with fast, physical specimens, tika taka isn’t as essential.

      The coming season will be interesting on so many levels. I suspect that we will see a further evolution of the changes that Vilanova was throwing at us at the beginning of last season.

    • July 4, 2013

      Apparently (and I didn’t know this) Mazinho had a restaurant in Barcelona that he just sold.

    • Jim
      July 4, 2013

      Not sure I agree with all that you’re reading into this situation, Kxevin. I do agree that the club doesn’t seem to be devastated about his potential departure and I actually think they have handled it quite well. We shouldn’t have to beg players to stay at Barca .
      I’m not sure about the death of tika Taka as you put it or even what the difference is between that and possession football. Is tika taka not just possession football done by the best team in the world at it – ie. us ? I wasn’t a great fan of the way the team played at times in the first half of the season and don’t consider it an upgrade on our usual style. We’d need to change more than Xavi to perfect that style. You may be right that there will be a temptation to alter the style because of personnel but I’m not sure that Barca would be wise to do nothing other than tweak it slightly to take advantage of Neymar and Messi. I thought the reason we bought Neymar was to have someone who could handle being faced by a parked bus.

      It will be interesting to see how the two examples you give fare this year. I’m not one of those who think we are about to witness any kind of domination by Bayern in Europe. Just thinking about what might happen next season has got me wishing it were here already though.

  12. barca96
    July 4, 2013

    Isco said that he couldn’t say NO to Madrid even though Man City were in a more advanced position. He couldn’t say no to a team that he doesn’t even like. Imagine if Barcelona came calling. Sigh. What could have been…..

    Now let’s get Oliver Torres!! He impressed me enough in the 10 min cameo against us a few weeks back. There’s something special about him. His touch, vision, calmness. Special!

  13. July 4, 2013

    Rafa Alcantara renews with the club until 2016, says if he has to go on loan to get minutes, he’s happy to do so. Nice!

  14. KEVINO17
    July 4, 2013

    Wayne Rooney – are they kidding?

  15. TITO
    July 4, 2013

    Yeah, Villa and 25 mill euros.
    Even if we want to buy Rooney, his price is around 25-30 mill euros at max. So what a hell will Villa cost? If those reports are to be true.

  16. K_legit in Oz
    July 4, 2013

    I want Rossell to go away, far away!

    • July 4, 2013

      If people crave some distance from Rosell, it is worth specifying why. For me it isn’t the player transactions. I could care less if a want-away player leaves. Fare thee well.

      But there are very real governance complexities going on that, back in the day when only a few of us were muttering vile names about our new president, we were being called haters, and told to lay off, for what has he done to us?

      Only now is it becoming apparent.

      If he values running our football club as a business that has to make profits (record ones, at that) that is certainly his right. Hell, Wenger has run Arsenal with one eye on the bottom line and people keep calling him brilliant.

      But from his vendetta against Laporta, to comments about African players at La Masia, to selling the shirt, to the soci restrictions, there is some galling stuff happening here. He has also changed the percentage of socis requesting recall from 5 to 15 percent, and it is still unclear what the point of the census is. He also wants to give Penyas voting privileges on “key issues,” issues that presumably include a new stadium.

      And now, he’s gone Big Brother, acting to censure a soci in good standing after an “anonymous tip” ratted the soci out for justly being suspicious of Rosell and the point of the census, and having to travel from Girona to Barcelona just to show up at OAB and say “Yep, I am me.”

      And like Laporta with his Uzbek dalliances, Rosell has a corruption/kickback case going on in Brazil. It’s either an illegitimate deal involving matches, or Texeira’s daughter gets one hell of a monthly allowance from sugar daddy Rosell. If folks are going to lambast Rosell, I just want to be sure that it’s for the right things. Some cules are blaming Rosell for everything from the Thiago transfer to bathtub ring. And that isn’t right, or fair.

      Some suggest that they are all linked to the transfer activity, but I disagree. If Thiago wants to leave, my guess is that the club is fairly certain he can be allowed to go and we will be fine. I have been watching matches from this season past, and I am beginning to see the logic of that line of thinking, as laid out above.

      Player transfers are the technical staff making requests, and the money people trying to make sure that those requests can be filled. Transfer season is also filled with some wack-ass rumors about various players and various destinations. Before reacting, it’s worth considering the potential reality of the rumor.

      In the Rooney case, he earns almost 16 million Pounds per season. That is north of 18 million Euros. Let’s say he consents to take a pay cut to oh, what Messi makes (EUR 16m). Then you have to look at the sporting project and what Rooney would bring. He isn’t a 9. He’s an aging winger who, if he were still up to full snuff, would have a guaranteed spot at United.

      Now why would we bark up that tree?

    • K_legit in Oz
      July 4, 2013

      A lot of us saw this storm a-comin’ when he created that whole ‘commitment card’ fracas.
      Now, if the team continues tow in it will embellish his obvious inability to talk from just one side of his mouth.
      And I don’t have problems with him being a lying slimeball but he’s an incompetent lying slimeball which is the crux of the issue.
      Oh well at least we saved on that colour toner ಠ_ಠ

      PS: Also, I am in the minority who believe that Ferguson ruined Rooney as a player!

    • K_legit in Oz
      July 4, 2013

      *to win even

  17. alpinegroove
    July 4, 2013

    “Tottenham and Liverpool don’t want to pay more than 5M for Barcelona forward David Villa (31). Barcelona want at least 9M. [sport]”

    How is it that teams are willing to pay over 25M from Higuain but so little for Villa? I know Higuain is much younger, but still…

    We paid 40M for him not that long ago.

    • July 5, 2013

      Age mostly, but also status within the club. Best time tosell Villa would have been last year, but we had to put him and his leg in the shop window.

      Fact is that he is old, and not the player he was even before the broken leg. Also in last year of his contract and on big wages. We will be lucky to get 9-10m.

      Barça isn’t a selling club. The expectation that we will do good business with outgoing transfers is a myth. Weare selling a player for one of two reasons: washed up and we are done with him, or he isn’t good enough. Either way, we aren’t in the driver’s seat.

      When we do sell players with value (Toure Yaya, Ibrahimovic), they arr want-away which again, affects our negotiating power.

    • Eric THE EYE Wynalda
      July 8, 2013

      Explains why Barca sold Villa to Atletico for 5.1m euros then.

      Perhaps Rooney is who really wants a move to Barca. Barca will not offer United much money, money they would use to reinforce their interest in, say, Suarez, which would trigger the English transfer chain, to the benefit of
      Tottenham Hotspur, who ultimately gain from Arsenal’s (and maybe, unlikely, United) buy of Madrid players, who could then afford to buy Bale. Spurs want to sell Bale for a tremendous amount of money, Madrid are the only team willing to do that, and Arsenal/Spurs cannot afford Higuain/Villa at prices until some money enters England, one way or another.

      Holding out in this bidding war, I think Barca’s demonstrating the business that they mean here. If the English club won’t pay what he’s worth, we’ll sell to a Spanish club for just over their maximum estimation. Better to hurt Barca slightly, as this doesn’t help Madrid at all. The money they want just isn’t there until Barca/Bayern/Dortmund spend big in their leagues.

  18. KEVINO17
    July 5, 2013

    Wait till Wayne discovers paella. He’ll look like he’s in a fat suit.

  19. July 5, 2013

    The madness continues. At the presser at which Moyes was supposed to be announcing the signing of Thiago Alcantara, the subject barely came up as our beloved club announced that …. “We still have received no formal offer for the player.

    This obviously doesn’t mean that there haven’t been informal offers, or informal offers in principle, etc.

    Still silence from Camp Alcantara, except for Thiago Tweeting a picture of him shopping, and trolling the universe.

    In a pair of related developments, the rumor of the holdup because he wants United to agree to the the same clause he is maybe using to do us, persist. And apparently if the player buys out his contract, the 18m will cost more like 30-35 for the purchaser, once you deal with taxes, VAT and all that fun stuff. So United, if they are going to buy the player, will need to negotiate with the selling club, which is us.

    Ha haaaaa!

    • July 5, 2013

      It should also be noted, in the linguistic shilly shallying of transfer season that technically, United don’t have to make an offer. They can just roll up with a check and tell the player to pack his bags. My guess is that the delay is because they are still working to get personal terms sorted, which might or might not include the clause in question.

  20. July 5, 2013

    option 1 : Tell TA, that he’s best off where he is. Isco is almost certain to get a NT call up for Brazil 2014. I would bet on it, what with the RM quota needing to be fulfilled.

    option 2 : Sell for 25M. No more, no less. Give S.Roberto a chance to fill TA’s spot.

    option 3 : Sell for 25M & Reinvest in MF. Gundogan excites me.

  21. barca96
    July 5, 2013

    Happy Independence Day!

  22. Jim
    July 5, 2013

    Start of the school holidays, one of the best tennis matches I’ve ever seen, glass of wine in hand and Murray just about to start. Thiago who ?

  23. efcmentor
    July 5, 2013

    Hello everyone!This i my first time of posting on this thread,not that i am new to the forum.i have be visiting here almost everyday since 2011.Of all barca forum i had come across,this one i the best and most matured forum.Thanks to admin for making it the best place for all cules.

    • July 5, 2013

      Thank you for your comment, and welcome to the family 🙂

    • efcmentor
      July 5, 2013

      Thanks @levon. Deloufoe may be heading to everton fc. Hope he will get enough playing time under J Martinez to aid his development.

  24. July 5, 2013


    There has been a PhotoShopped Tweet going around, purporting that the club has sent out a Neymar 11 shirt advert, and that the Thiago deal is done. Nothing of the sort has happened.

    Never mind the PhotoShop flaws that are evident, but the shirt that Neymar will have for the club is “Neymar Jr,” not “Neymar.”

    Fake as can be.

    • 86ed
      July 5, 2013

      These rumours will continue until either the player or the club publicly come out with a statement, one way or another. As far as I know, neither have.
      I wish they would get it over with and we can concentrate on a much-needed defender.

    • nia
      July 5, 2013

      Well according to Sport front page, it’s a done deal.

      Thiago is as good as gone

  25. July 5, 2013

    In the mean time Bojan will be loaned out to Ajax – a move I advocated two years ago…

  26. Judas Pissed
    July 5, 2013

    Thiago can go now as far as I’m concerned – Rafinha will take his place. To quote the venerable Will.I.Am. –

    ‘Bigger. Better. Stronger. Power.’

    • K_legit in Oz
      July 6, 2013

      I know some who would be very upset at Thiago leaving!

      I’m ok with it but will still be annoyed!

    • barca96
      July 6, 2013

      I am one of those that will be hella upset. I wonder what Jnice feels about this.

  27. barca96
    July 6, 2013

    I don’t think it’s a good idea for Bojan to go to Ajax. A young aspiring player should Ajax – Barca. Not the other way around. You can go to a smaller team or an inferior league but not from La Liga to a Mickey Mouse league.

    Apparently the club is not interested in the Portola CB anymore in case they can’t get Silva.

    Deulofeu should go to a La Liga or Bundesliga team to get playing time and experience. Look what happened to Cesc, Mata, Silva. Their touch are heavier now 🙂

    Bartra should stay. Why doesn’t Tito want to give him a chance? Poor kid.

    I think for the next contract renewal for Messi’s, the club should put a clause in his contract limiting him to a certain amount of time or distance that he can travel during the off season. It’s ridiculous how much he travels!

    Are you going to watch the friendly Kxevin and any other Chi Towners here?

  28. ilie
    July 6, 2013

    As much as I like Thiago, I wouldn’t mind Oliver Torres in his place. So calm and talented for his age.

  29. ilie
    July 6, 2013

    And he just dribbled through the Uruguay defense like they were nothing..

  30. July 6, 2013

    Abidal to Monaco. Confirmed by player.

  31. Laurentiu88
    July 7, 2013

    i wonder if Barca hints towards Rooney are a part of Thiago to MU story…

    i like Real’s transfers so far…

    hope we manage to get a really good CB…

  32. Jim
    July 7, 2013

    Sitting watching Wimbledon. How can a Scot bear that heat? Worse still my daughter is on Henman hill ( Scottish flag in front of the 2013 flowers). Sunstroke much?

    Still a good start….

    • Jim
      July 7, 2013

      Oh yes! Nearly expired during that final game !

    • July 7, 2013

      Congrats. If not Federer, Murray my preferred winner over the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, etc.

    • Jim
      July 7, 2013

      Thanks. As you can imagine after 77 years its pretty big over here. He comes from a small town just 40 miles up the road from me. Absolute self belief in that match. Bursting with pride here.

      I’m a big Federer fan as well, Kxevin. Class.

    • Messiah10
      July 9, 2013

      For him to come back from 4-1 in the 2nd set to win 7-5 was absolute guts and determination. Last week my girlfriend accused me of yelling at the TV during Barca matches. I denied it, but during this final and especially the 2nd set she called my bluff! Lol. Congrats!

    • Jim
      July 10, 2013

      Yeah. I have honestly never been so tense in my life in any sport even when playing as I was during that last game of the match. My daughter was on the hill and she said half of them were struggling to look at the big screen.
      I remember him saying some years ago about the Scottish psyche was regarded as being to suffer adversity, get so close then feel you’d done enough and lose and how he didn’t buy into that sentiment. Well, boy he sure showed that.
      Also loved the way he handled himself in the post match interviews with the English media. My favourite was with Holly Willoughby, a blonde TV “presenter” who asked him if he’d now marry his girlfriend. His reply was a classic. If I was, why would I tell you? I’ve only known you ten minutes!”

  33. July 7, 2013

    For you people watching the Tour de France (I don’t recommend it, as it is specTACularly boring), yesterday’s stage in the Pyrenees was noteworthy for the astounding number of Barça shirts, Catalan and Independence flags that festooned the mountainside. And there was one screamer, running alongside the Colombian leader (at the time), rocking the last UNICEF home shirt, and waving an Independence flag.

    Very cool.

  34. July 7, 2013

    Apparently, there is a race between MD and Sport, and the finish line is CrazyTown:

    — Sport says we’re working on a three-player deal that sends Villa, Thiago and 4m to United for Rooney.

    — MD, not to be left out, says that we have a list of players that we will choose from should Thiago leave, including … (you’ll want a seat for this one) Ever Banega, Jack Wilshere, Mata, Borja Valero. Only name on the list that makes any sense at all is Gundogan.

    Yes, the very same Ever Banega who injured his ankle when he ran himself over with his own car …. whose Ferrari spontaneously combusted on its maiden voyage.

    • K_legit in Oz
      July 7, 2013

      And one who videotaped one of his more private moments.

    • July 8, 2013

      Well, private life, ya know. But having him drive to training every day in BCN traffic would worry me greatly.

      Massively talented footballer, it must also be said.

    • July 8, 2013

      massive talent, with the trade mark of inconsistency.
      On his day, he is pure world class.
      And most days, he isnt and is terrible.

    • barca96
      July 8, 2013

      Or he could carpool with Alba whose being chauffeured by his Dad 🙂

  35. July 8, 2013

    Abidal officially to Monaco. Announced today.

    • barca96
      July 8, 2013

      Looked to be off just last week. I had expected Monaco to close the deal instantly but I guess their medical team were not 100% sure either.

    • CuleToon
      July 8, 2013

      And Villa to Atleti for about 3-5 mill. subject to the number of seasons at Atleti (plus some rights for Barça on Atleti players)…

    • CuleToon
      July 8, 2013

      More details on Villa.

      Barça gets 5,1 mill max: 2,1 next season; plus 2 mill if Villa still at Atleti in 2014-15; plus one mill if he stays there «until» 2015-16. And Barça gets a 50% of his potential transfer to another club (forget about Atleti players).

    • Jim
      July 8, 2013

      Quite frankly that’s a waste. At that price we’d be better off keeping him. He’d get us more goals coming off the bench than our other alternatives. And why sell to someone else in our league? I can see it already …

      I also thought Spurs would have fitted him quite well. Wonder what happened there?

    • alpinegroove
      July 8, 2013

      I think the team was fine with Villa coming off the bench. I believe it was the player who didn’t want that option.

    • July 8, 2013

      I agree that the price we sold him for was terrible but from what I read the English clubs weren’t offering much for.

      Unlike you, however, I am happy that he stays in La Liga. The talent drain is bad enough as it is…

    • CuleToon
      July 8, 2013

      It seems that what happened is that, because of his contract with Barça, Villa’s salary would rise to 11 (eleven!) mill next season (his last one here). That’s more than 22 mill including taxes.

      I also think that Villa prefers to play a lot —he will at Atleti— with an eye to next WC, and that he wants to stay at Spain for family reasons (or he doesn’t want he and his family to go through the process of adaptation to another country/language/culture).

      Because of all this, and after these years with us, I can understand that the board has agreed to this transfer. And although I don’t like this board at all, I think it’s OK.

    • July 8, 2013

      I always said Villa wouldn’t leave Spain. Seems I was right. The way I see it, there were two main factors here:

      1. Atleti will guarantee Villa Champion’s League football, which Tottenham could not. That plus lots of playing time are extremely important to him. He really didn’t enjoy being benched for much of the Confeds Cup, and this will help get a spot in the WC.

      2. Cultural/family reasons. I think he just really wanted to stay in Spain if at all possible. He speaks hardly any English and I really couldn’t see him being happy in England.

      On the club’s side, FCB saves his huge wage bill and does the player a favour by letting him go at such a low price. There is no way Atleti could have afforded to pay more on top of his salary. Think of this as a reward for Villa’s very professional behaviour last season–benched for long periods, he never acted out, never spoke to the media, and just continued training hard and performing when the club asked him to.

      This may not be the ideal bit of business for FCB, but it’s a good deal for David Villa, Atleti, and Spanish football. The people complaining about this deal are the same ones complaining about the drain of Spanish talent into other leagues. Well, this one is staying. Good!

    • Jim
      July 8, 2013

      I can see from Villa’s point of view why he prefers this but I’m not sure that the same sentiment was shown to Abidal. Need a bit of consistency. I defended that decision but on the grounds that we need to have a pretty hard headed business like approach.

      I’m also not keen on letting him line up against us next season with something to prove. I’ve no feelings about any drain from Spain. That’s not really our job to preserve.

    • July 8, 2013

      blitzen is spot on. The club dumped a big salary that had the potential to be an albatross. I, for one, wouldn’t have wanted Villa sitting around, stroking his goatee and making 7+m per. Seems like everybody wins in this situation. Villa leaving also removed an impediment for Tello getting more playing time, with an attacking force that is now: Messi, Neymar, Pedro, Sanchez, Tello. Lots of rotation possibilities there.

      Villa gets Champions League football, and gets to stay on Del Bosque’s radar. Atleti get a quality player for a song, unless you count that salary. All good.

    • htMillBay
      July 9, 2013

      problem is Tito doesn’t seem to have what it takes (neither did Pep) and stand up to Messi when it comes to rotation. Neymar will probably be treated like Messi. It means Alexis, Pedro and Tello, plus Cesc and Iniesta on occasion, will be fighting it out for minutes in the third forward spot.

    • July 8, 2013

      Very cool! Thanks for that. Doesn’t make the race any less boring to watch, but does add some charm to the proceedings.

  36. July 8, 2013

    Interesting bit of stuff from the rumor mill, that Sergi Roberto is following Krkic on loan to Ajax. If that happens, the biggest difference is that we will see Vidal Sassoon again.

    Someone familiar with Ajax football says the source is credible in that it isn’t an MD/Sport/Daily Mail, but not always right with transfer rumors.

  37. Archie
    July 8, 2013

    Any details on the access to Athletico players clause in Villa’s contract? If FCB buy Oliver Torres as a result then the apparent disarray would begin to appear like a plan.

    • July 8, 2013

      I haven’t heard that any player rights are part of the deal. Just money and incentives.

    • July 8, 2013

      Graham Hunter says only gilding is that we get 50% of any sell-on fees if Atletico sell Villa during the 3-year contract term.

    • PrinceYuvi
      July 8, 2013

      Would be great, Oliver Torres looks every bit of mini Andrea Pirlo. Pin point long balls. We could use some variety.

  38. PrinceYuvi
    July 8, 2013

    David villa to join At. Madrid for 4.5 M max. If not for that bloody tibia fracture…..
    I started watching Barca matches for Villa & surprisingly not for Messi.
    La roja were just too mysterious and tough as nail during that 2008/10 patch. Miss those days, will miss villa. Damn it.

  39. Archie
    July 8, 2013

    I see, culetoon corrected his own post to say no AM players. Why not a package including OT? And some money? Is he worth more than €18mil?

  40. Alexinho
    July 8, 2013

    Any thoughts on Angelo Ogbonna as a potential CB transfer?

    Know little about his style so can’t speak to his fit, but he’s young, consistent, and very highly rated. Seems to fit the bill, more so than certain other rumored defenders, but not a peep about him.

  41. K_legit in Oz
    July 8, 2013

    Guaje 🙁

    Also, could we please buy a centerback. Someone, anyone (I hate that the club management has been so incompetent in this regard)

    • BlaugranaFR
      July 8, 2013

      Guaje indeed 🙁

      Management hasn’t been incompetent. They’re just being very selective, not buying for buying’s sake. Tito’s preference for Silva is evident, but PSG won’t sell unless Silva forces their hand.

      The only other two options that seem realistic are Marquinhos or David Luis. I like the former, but dislike latter. A lot.

  42. pr17
    July 9, 2013

    terrible deal on el guaje front. we could have got a bit more but seems like it is a good move for el guaje. He has been treated in a cowardly manner by Tito who said all positive things about him and didnt pick him in matches immediately after he had scored a goal in previous one.

    More reason to hate rosell’s incompetence. I cant imagine anybody paying 40 Mn to a player’s dad. I think that outweighs all of neymar’s potential wage earnings over a lifetime. I am sure rosell had a cut in that.

  43. Huckleberry
    July 9, 2013

    at the end three parties had to accept the deal.
    There were simply no CL-playing clubs in a big league who would have taken the risk to pay a huge transfer fee and a huge salary for a 32 year old player who hardly played an important game for over a year.
    I think it is a fair deal for all three parties.

  44. July 9, 2013

    This deal is indeed great for all parties except Barcelona.
    It’s good for Atletico, Villa and Del Bosque even.
    Only thing I don’t understand is that for a board that constantly gloats about how financially and business-wise shrewd they are, this is a terrible piece of business, looking only at the numbers. We paid 40M for him and got really, only one season.
    Frankly, I don’t even understand why that peanut sum of 2.1M is even there. Might as well have let ‘the kid’ go for free. I am a Villa fan and its sad to see him go. Hopefully he will kick ass at AM and again show us that he isn’t done yet, just like I hope Abidal will.

    • BA
      July 9, 2013

      totally agree, re: great deal for all parties except for Barça.

      this board has been utterly inept in it’s transfer dealings: instituting but not implementing Thiago’s “game limit” contract, releasing Abidal, wildly overpaying for Neymar (and how much of that is off the books or illegal?), stubbornly demanding Thiago Silva in the press but not making any overt offers to his people (and if he doesn’t want to come, then it’s time to move on) and now letting Villa go for a pittance….

      and that’s just so far THIS SUMMER. last summer it was : spending 17m on a player we didn’t need and who doesn’t work in our system, passing on Javi Martinez closing up the cash register on the very same Thiago Silva we now want to purchase, and by doing so not purchasing a real center-back. nearly every decision they’ve made related to player transfers has been, in some significant way, bad for the club. i’ve come to think that Rosell and Co. are simply like so many other “businessmen” who’s claims for austerity are a veneer for their total lack of competence at management.

    • BA
      July 9, 2013

      and i should add not just for a pittance, but for a pittance to a team that should be a direct rival for the title next season. why would we be handing Atleti a weapon that might be used to kill us?

    • July 9, 2013

      It is hard to disagree with any of your points, but may I also add that the summer ain’t over til the fat lady stops sweating 😉

    • July 9, 2013

      The transfer window is 9 days old. Folks need to calm down.

      For me, the Villa move is an excellent bit of business, principally because it gets his onerous salary (in the context of his playing time) off the books.

      People snarked and snarled when Henry was a bit player during his last season with the club. Don’t think he even played 20 matches due to that injury that was bollixing things up for him. It was languishing money, and Henry doesn’t even make as much as Villa. We jettisoned a useless player who wasn’t going to be able to perform at the level required. So he and his salary are gone.

      And Villa isn’t good enough to kill us. He wasn’t even good enough to kill lesser Liga sides, in tandem with Messi. If he was good enough to kill us, he wouldn’t have been sold.

      As with any business, salary and benefits are the biggest part of the cost of an employee. The real benefit of the Villa transfer to the club is between 20-22 million. That makes it a good bit of business.

      — As for transfer rumors, tips and twaddle, newspapers know about feck all. It’s opinion as much as assessments of players in this space are opinion.

      — Rosell and the board are, these days, responsible for everything from global climate change to trench mouth. It doesn’t make sense. The board has, this summer, added a significant talent to the club, who is the most exciting European football talent since Messi. With that one addition, the made the club a lot better.

      The players the club is getting rid of is also helping the bottom line, and freeing up salary cap/transfer fee space for the player(s) who actually will be signed this summer window.

      “Austery” is a joke that is being perpetrated on the ghost of Laporta. Simple. Barça has the money to buy any player it likes. It proved this with Neymar, a player who would have been significantly more expensive for any other club. That makes the deal good business, particularly when you consider the immense marketing might and revenues that he is going to add to the bottom line.

      As for Thiago, golden handcuffing a player is bollocks. So we play him enough matches to meet the absurd demand of his contract clause. Then he pouts all season, and Mazinho plants bombs in the press about how his son needs to play more, etc, etc. Now he has the choice, that is entirely his.

      Should the club have agreed to a clause that provided for a mandatory 30 minutes per, in 60 percent of the matches? Nope. Crazy. But that is on ZubiZa, not Rosell and the board.

      As for Abidal, we don’t know how he is going to perform for Monaco. I’d wager his contract is incentive-laden. That will be worth watching.

      I think that calmness and a sense of humor are required for this transfer season. Nobody knows anything. Period. In a presser today, Freixa said that the club is working on signing a CB, but if that doesn’t work out, we might not sign one at all. That’s a bridge that we cross when we come to it.

      For now, it’s all rumor and conjecture.

    • July 9, 2013

      Just because we got rid of his salary, doesn’t make the sale of Villa a good piece of business imo.

      If we judged all deals on how much we save in salaries, Zlatan’s sale to Milan for 24M over 3 yrs would be pretty amazing.

      Still, I am happy with the move to Atletico and wish el guaje good luck.

    • July 9, 2013

      It depends on how you view the bottom line. If you have a 3-year-old pair of shoes that you paid $500 for but don’t want any longer, what are those shoes worth to you? Nothing, because you don’t want them.

      So you put a “for sale” ad up. Some guy comes by, likes them and offers you, say, $30 for them. Do you say “I paid $500 for these not that long ago,” or take the money and run, because you have profited from a valueless asset?

      Now, in another example, your mechanic tells you that your 5-year-old car will cost about 3k to repair, but the car is barely worth 3k. You decide to sell it to a wrecker, who gives you 2k for a car that, in fully repaired condition is probably worth 5. Do you take the money and run, or say “This car would be worth 5k, if …”

      We got a little bit of change from a worthless asset for us, honored the player’s wishes and dumped the big salary, which is the biggest value of that deal. Imagine if someone hadn’t bought Villa, and 11m was sitting on the bench, watching Tello and Neymar run around.

      The highest offer for Villa was 4m, apparently. The market defines value more clearly than any team can, yes?

    • July 9, 2013

      Well, it is one thing to admit that the market defines the value of a player, another to say that selling Villa for 2(+3)M is excellent business just because we are saving his salary. If it’s for saving the 11M he would make next season, letting him go for free would be an excellent deal also.

      Then again, like I said, I am happy that he is staying in la Liga. I would assert that in hindsight we massively overpaid for el Guaje, a player who in my opinion has never quite lived up to his promise (at Barça).

    • July 9, 2013

      Letting him go on a free wouldn’t have been as good a piece of business as getting a bit of change for a worthless asset, though. So there’s that.

      He will be good for ATM, because they will get more space than us, and he won’t be asked to play the whole pitch.

    • July 9, 2013

      Worthless? Even I think that’s a bit harsh, and I’ve been saying for a while now that he has been disappointing for us, but yeah, I suppose 2-3M is better than nothing.

      Here’s hoping he will shine for AM, and especially against RM!

    • Jim
      July 10, 2013

      I think describing Villa as a useless player is going way over the top. Not sure how that’s borne out by goal scoring stats or the value of the big goals he has scored or assisted in. IMO, the best we have looked in a long time was in the second leg of the Milan CL match and that was at least partly down to Villa.

      He was never played in a run of games to get his sharpness back after his injury. He was in one out one. He was hardly allowed to play alongside Messi in the games he did get and we are half the team offensively without Messi.

      Having said all that, time moves on and I have no problem with the club deciding to invest in youth and moving Villa on. I don’t regard the deal we got as a good one and we really need to stop this perception of ourselves as being so well off we can afford poor deals, especially trying to pass it off as being in recognition of something when it’s clear from Abidal’s situation that sentiment plays no part. If push came to shove I’d rather have kept Villa for another year and lost him for nothing. Not sure where the astronomical amounts of his salary come from. Looking at Barcastuff it is being reported as 4.5 m possibly rising to 6.5 with incentives, almost as much as at Barca.

      Anyway, I wish him well until he comes up against us. There aren’t many in his position who would have accepted the constant benching without going in the huff. Are you listening Thiago?

    • July 10, 2013

      We are the only club that sells the most proficient spanish striker in history, a 40M Euro player, one who was widely considered to be the best striker in the world only 2 years ago, for a sum that might be less than the cost of JDS. It’s the Age, you say? Villa is 31. It’s not like he is an inzaghi, a buffon or a pinto. Hell, we are about to splash about 40M on a 29 yr old defender! We bought a 28yr old Zlatan for 70M.
      I think at some point, we just need to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that its terrible business, just like many others. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception to make shitty deals in our club.
      I love the fact that we prioritize the players’ wishes over business. But I’d dare to say that, were Villa a RM player, under the same circumstances (with the same injuries, etc) he would have still left for a club of his choice whilst fetching his club atleast 10-16M Euros. anyways Good luck Villa. I was a fan.

  45. Huckleberry
    July 9, 2013

    Having a player on the bench and on the payroll (how much with all the costs? € 20 million?) with less playing time than last season would be even worse – for Barça and Villa.
    If Villa flourishes again, then because he gets regular playing time.
    And to sell Villa to – let’s say – Anschi Machatschkala, what would have probably generated a huge transfer fee, was never an option for Villa.

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