Tadaaaaaa! Welcome, David Villa!

It’s official. David Villa is now a Barcelona player, as our club takes one more step toward becoming the club version of La Furia Roja. We can deal with what this all means later, for now, it’s happened.

El Guaje is 28 years old, and is a striker of rather prolific form of late. He was in the pichichi running with Samuel Eto’o last season, and will bring that cutting incision to our attack. The happy number was 40m, which is about 5m more than it should have been, but you have to pay something for expediency, right?

This one will be short-but-sweet, welcome, El Guaje, and get used to scoring goals. Bags of ’em.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

170 Comments

  1. Whatever
    May 19, 2010

    Hell yeah!

  2. M
    May 19, 2010

    great addition, and it means no Rooney bullshit for a couple of years too.

  3. Jnice
    May 19, 2010

    Nice.

    Txiki said today that Ibra wasn’t for sale. Hope he means it.

  4. han
    May 19, 2010

    Well 35million wouldn’t do the trick for Valencia’s finances. 40’s ok though, nothing more hopefully. And more good news, Cesc is staying according to the latest reports and hence the YAYA as well

    • Jnice
      May 19, 2010

      The only thing I’ve read regarding Cesc this morning is that Arsenal says we haven’t made a formal offer yet.

      As for Yaya, I don’t think he is future is tied to Cesc like that. His agent came out and said the other day thatthere was a 1 in a 1000 chance of him being included in a deal for Cesc.

  5. jake
    May 19, 2010

    Is it me or Barcelona starting to look like Madrid? Bullying other clubs? Barca are a good club but the way they let the tabloids do all their dirty work is despicable. Utter disrespect for every other club out there.

    You will never see officials from Arsenal or any decent club commenting about players contracted to other teams like that. Every day it’s someone from Barca speaking about how Cesc has Barca DNA in his blood and how he has a picture of Nou Camp tattooed on his arse. Even the presidents join in. Is the Barcelona squad now filled with scientists that they know what’s in Cesc’s blood? Why can’t they make an offer to the club and get on with it? How this isn’t considered as tapping up a contracted player is beyond me, when you have players and club officials trying to destabilize a player using whatever methods they deem necessary.

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      I seriously thinks cesc believes he was bound to play in Barcelona, close to his beloved mediterranean sea, in the sun with messi and iniesta in the best team of the world and not play with some looser promises and a french coach in a grey rainy country league.

      man, the kid wants to leave get over it. and he wants it ’cause he’s catalan, cule and it’s a change for good… or the best 😉 . I think the disrecpect comes from Arsenal in fact, they took away our player with 16 years old couldn’t give him a single CL and now they don’t want to let go even though he wants to leave. I don’t want my fellow cules to be enslaved you know, it’s disgusting.

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      he has some friends in FCB you know, he played as a kid with half of the team lionel messi included. when he passes the ball to walcott and all he receives back is a watermelon I bet he starts thinkig about messi and how great it would be to come back, he is our youth player and you Arsenal fans benefitted from that, from our beautiful style of playing football. enough already.

    • barca96
      May 19, 2010

      jake’s mad that they only have bentdner :p

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      Walcott is black. I am also black. Explain the “watermelon” reference which, prima facie, strikes me as derogatory in the extreme.

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      noo dude … lmfao this may sound weird but in spain it is said “le doy una pelota me devuelve un melón” meaning I give passes to my teammates to the very foot and the ones coming back at me are like 10 meters high 😀 … hope it is clear now but let me tell you I didn’t even see walcott as black or anything before I considered him as my same race I can be a little shady too

    • Varun
      May 19, 2010

      That was a joke right “Kxevin”.
      Watermelon means Walcott is shit in ball play. He can only run and can’t play proper passing football which Cesc is very good at and will be with fellow players who are equally good with the passing game at Barca, get it?

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      you offende me man 🙁 sigh , seriously

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      No, it wasn’t a joke. We have people here from many different nations and cultures. To a black American (which I am), watermelon jokes are crude, hateful and stereotypical.

      They are not that way to all cultures/nations, hence my request for an explanation, and the “prima facie” qualifier. One has been provided, so all is good.

      But in a space in which rape references have been used (how must that make women feel), and things have been called “gay” with a negative connotation, linguistic clarity is important. And every now and again, questions will be asked.

    • Alex
      May 19, 2010

      In your defense Kevin, I also thought that was a blatant racial slur until the explanation.

    • May 19, 2010

      You’ve got to remember Jake, Cesc is an exemplary player with out of the ordinary circumstances.

      You don’t see the press or LaPorta rallying around clubs to snatch up any old player, Cesc is, and was, OUR PLAYER.

      He is like a member of our family that left, and we’re just waiting for him to come home. When we signed Ibra, we did it with class. When we signed Dani Alves, we did it with class. When we brought Ronaldinho to Barcelona, we did it with class.

      Yes, Cesc’s transfer history has been less than stellar from our standpoint, but you’ve got to remember how exception these circumstances are.

    • Ethan
      May 19, 2010

      exactly.

  6. May 19, 2010

    EL GUAJEEEE!!!

    YES YES YES YES, Ah, so excited to see him run rampant on defenses next year. His pace and ability to lead the front line will be key, not to mention a huge leader for Bojan to follow after.

    The Kid must be disappointed because this will surely decrease his La Liga appearances, but we’ll see.

    40 Million in this market is a STEAL! We only payed 35 for Dani Alves and that was before “The Great Boom of Florentino 2.0”

    So pleased with the transfer. I only wish the season started next week.

    • Ryan
      May 19, 2010

      How about looking it this way: with another ridiculously good goal scorer on our team, perhaps we can finish games sooner, and thus bring out the young guys earlier in the game to get some minutes.

    • Stephen
      May 19, 2010

      I wouldnt claim any Bojan disappointment, for if he stays he could have the season he did this time, bench the multimillion euro player and play and score goals.

  7. poipoi
    May 19, 2010

    yihaaa el guaje!!! now that you come to barça you HAVE to shave that kinky 1cm square beard!!

    I understand the comments concerning his age (how old was ibra btw????) but villa is spanish soccer no need to adapt to that… he just needs adaptation to Barça and be attacking all the time, which is what spain’s national team is sorta doing already but playing with 1 or 2 stikers. It’s great, from now on we will have: puyi pique busquets xavi iniesta villa (6 spanish internationals) and maybe pedro! makes it and cesc comes so it may be 8.

    • barca96
      May 19, 2010

      what?
      thats so sexy!
      i also have that just because he has it.lol

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      oops… you know my gay friends say having many hair there is a sign of virility! lol

  8. Helge
    May 19, 2010

    Damn… I’m still not convinced by this deal.

    And how soon does transfer season start this year? Is the transfer window already opened?

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      Too good to be true, eh Helge? 😛

  9. boat forever
    May 19, 2010

    Get Mata also and we have 75% of Spain NT for at least 5 more years

    • barca96
      May 19, 2010

      no need.
      pedro will be in the team after the WC. and bojan too.

    • Kevo
      May 19, 2010

      booom! SPOT ON!

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      Im excited for Villa. I support Mata, he is the left winger we need to replace Henry. I dont know of a better option.

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      DAVID SILVA!

      If we’re going back to Valenica, it’s for Silva!

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      Silva as well. He is very good as well!!! Mata or Silva.

    • Dave
      May 19, 2010

      the markets not great for lw at the moment

    • Stephen
      May 19, 2010

      Fortunately for us we have a trident that can take any spot. Obviously its important to have someone that plays naturally but remember Henry was a true 9, and became lw, villa or Ibrah can do it too.

    • Dave
      May 19, 2010

      Henry was able to play there because at arsenal he usually received the ball on the lw before cutting in. Have my doubts bout ibra for lw thou

  10. Eduard
    May 19, 2010

    We’re all excited about Villa! I’m going to miss him being introduced because I’ll be at work, hope it’s recorded.

  11. Cule
    May 19, 2010

    If Ibra stays the situation would be complicated.

    If Ibra stays, then either he or Villa will play on the left, is that really a good idea? Would that work? I don’t know.

    If he leaves, then we need a left winger and everything will be fine.

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      I guess ibra will be given the “zigic role” 😀 just kidding

  12. Cule
    May 19, 2010

    Fabregas shouldn’t come because:

    1. If Fab comes and Ibra stays, then one of Xavi, Iniesta, Ibra, Messi, Villa, Fabregas will be benched. It would be unacceptable to bench Xavi, Iniesta, or Messi. I don’t know if Villa, Fab, or Ibra will accept their bench role..

    2. If Ibra leaves, then we will likely be having Iniesta on the left, which is NOT a good idea.

    We should concentrate on keeping Toure and forget about Cesc.

    • boat forever
      May 19, 2010

      ‘forget about cesc’ part is really not happening,,, we’ll have to just forget about it

    • JC
      May 19, 2010

      Totally agree with Mr. Cule. We can get Fab in 2 years time.

    • Hilal
      May 19, 2010

      “We should concentrate on keeping Toure and forget about Cesc.”

      That is assuming that Toure is happy sitting on the bench, which is clearly not the case. Or at least his agent isnt happy with it.

      There is no reason why Cesc, Iniesta and Xavi cannot all be rotated on the left and right midfield spots. To have 3 top players competing for 2 spots is quite common and is in fact very good;

      1 – It provides depth and ensures injuries do not effect the squad too negatively. We have been pretty lucky with Xavi so far, no major injuries, but how much do we want to push that luck? HE is almost 30 now and some rotation will do him good.

      2 – Competition. There is nothing quite like it to get the best out of players, especially when the players all know and respect each other. This will only serve to make them ALL better players.

      3 – It is an investment for the future. At 23 Cesc will be coming to Barca and will be learning from 3 of the best midfield players of our generation (Andres, Xavi and Pep).

      4 – Pep has a plan and that plan includes Cesc and in Pep We Trust.

      Will we get him? Who knows, but we have Villa now and that bodes exceptionally well for next season 🙂

    • Cule
      May 19, 2010

      Well I was thinking Toure would start…but I don’t want to get into a Toure-Busquets argument..

      I actually agree with what you said but I don’t see it actually happening. I’ve rarely seen players at the level of Xavi and Iniesta on the bench every 3 games.

    • barca96
      May 19, 2010

      agree with you hilal.
      there is no need for cesc now.
      i love him but its not the time yet..
      and since he will not go to madrid, why not keep him in london a little bit longer

    • Hilal
      May 19, 2010

      Well clearly Pep favours Sergio, for whatever reason, so i dont think Yaya being a regular in the starting 11 is an option anymore and I dont think he is willing to accept a role on the bench. I am pretty sure he is gone, especially after his agents’ recent comments. As much as I like Yaya his agent is too much of a headache and I wouldnt blame Pep for a second if he let him go. Team harmony and unity is far more important than any one player and when his agent comes out and says things that not only undermine other players in the team but also the coach – well that just aint on. I just hope we cash in on him!

      As for rotating top quality midfielders, plenty of teams do it; Chelsea, Inter, even Madrid. I am sure if Pep wants Cesc, he knows exactly how he wants to manage them. I also dont see why Villa and Ibra will have any problems co-existing in the same team. Since when do we have a set, rigid front 3? Our front 3 are always moving around and switching positions. Ibra has already played on the left several times this season, I have also seen him on the right and obviously in the middle. On paper I think Villa will start on the left, which is not a position he is unacustomed to, having played from the left for both Valencia and Spain. As mentioned though they will all switch positions througout games, as they always have. Or play a 4-3-1-2, with Messi sitting behind Ibra and Villa. Dont see a problem there either. Despite the Spanish medias anti Ibra campaign the club officials have been pretty firm in their statements that he is staying. I dont think he will go anywhere and I think our front 3 next season will be Villa, Ibra and Messi. Boy do i feel bad for opposition defenders!

  13. barca96
    May 19, 2010

    after years of dreaming it has finally come true!!
    thank you pep, thank you txiki and thank you laporta!

  14. poipoi
    May 19, 2010

    I’m amazed at these arsenal fans who actually think the kid’s name is “Jack Smith” or something instead fo mothafriggin’ “Cesc Fabregas i Soler”… lol

  15. cliveee
    May 19, 2010

    DAVID VILLA EL GUAJE!! WELCOME!!!!

    Ah, it’s strange feeling, coz you are no longer a Batman. Yeah, part of us! Maybe we will all feel differently when you are presented in the camp.

    Villa is a threat? Is he? I think yes!

    what does El Guaje mean by the way?

    • Mister JT
      May 19, 2010

      The Kid.

    • Eklavya
      May 19, 2010

      LOL @ the last sentence. I don’t know either hehehe 🙂

  16. Eklavya
    May 19, 2010

    HOLY SHIT !!!

    I know it was happening but HOLY SHIT !!! I wasn’t expecting it to be so fast despite the reports! This post completely caught me off guard.

    David Villa. Now a FCB player. HOLY SHIT. 😯

    I still can’t take this all in yet. Whoa…

    • Manish
      May 19, 2010

      How does holy shit look like..i have started to wonder now.. after saying it so so many times..

  17. May 19, 2010

    I think that it’s a very real possibility that Pep had this plotted all along.

    With the development of Messi as a trequartista this season, Pep could be priming the Argentine to fill that role permanently, and deploying a ferocious line-up of a

    4-1-2-1-2

    WIth the defense looking much like it does, Pep could use Sergio (although I’d prefere YAYA) in the DM position, with XavIniesta working the middle slot, and then have Messi play the supportive striker role behind Villa on the left with Ibra on the right. Ex—
    VV
    Alves – Pique – Puyol – Abidal
    Busi
    Xavi Iniesta
    Messi
    Ibra David Villa (wow, that looks awesome!)

    With Abidal and Alves providing the width we need to operate successfully, I don’t see why this couldn’t work. I understand that Messi won’t be quite as active in front of goal initially with this formation, but he’s been playing the deep lying role all season and he netted over 40 goals, so I’m just letting the creativity flow.

    What do you think.

    Is 4-1-2-1-2 abandoning our total futbol philosophy? I would argue no, but I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts.

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      it can work but to me it really hurts to not have wingers, the good thing is that if they work it they can play in many different ways specially being pep the coach and seeing what he did this season with all the system variations.

      don’t know if all the crosses will look good 🙁

      ibra the 9, messi villa deadly wingers (E) 4-3-3
      x x x x
      x x x
      E 9 E
      ——–
      ibra the 9, messi enganche (Y) 😉 but even xavi, andres ibra or villa can be enganches. 4-2-3-1 … 4-3-3 … 3-4-3
      x x x x x x x x
      x x x x
      E Y E Y
      9 E 9 E
      ——–
      both ibra & villa 9’s(or bojan or messi ) 4-4-2 with or without wingers (E)
      x x x x
      E? x x E?
      9 9

      ——–
      villa ibra 9, messi enganche (Y) , no extremos (E)
      x x x x x x x x
      x x x x
      x x Y
      Y 9 9
      9 9

      pep can do anything with so many great and different offensive players so cross makers are gonna have fun next season!

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      I left a really really long reply talking about possible systems with crosses and all that but I don’t know how it didn’t go through… damn! All I can say after wasting so much time is it really hurts to play without wingers but pep can do anything with so many great and different offensive players.

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      I like it. Note that it doesn’t leave any room for Mr. Fabregas, who I still think is not coming because he realizes that he wouldn’t be starting, nor would he be an icon.

      We have more urgent needs that I would rather spend money on than an sure to be overpriced midfielder. Quality backups and right and left back, and midfield depth. Right now, it’s still just XaviIniesta, and if that Hydra suffers any maladies, we’re right back where we were against Inter, with Xavi able to be marked into ineffectiveness.

      By the by, imagine that Inter match next season, with Villa and a fully integrated Ibrahimovic. I just don’t think that clubs are going to have enough defenders to play us. 😀

    • May 19, 2010

      I definitely agree. This year, we’ve been hurt by an inability to move before the pass is made, which was something Eto’o was so terrific at. But while we possess a plan B in Ibra, we weren’t able to implement it without the former.

      With Villa, we’re going to be able to “pass” our way into the net with Villa moving around like Sonic the Hedgehog, which I suggest as a nickname on this blog considering his speed, relentlessness, and of course, the haird. But also, by having Ibra up top, we’ll still allow Messi to drift as he please, and have a guy up top who will take up space, and attention from Villa and Messi.

      I expect Messi, then Villa, then Ibra, to lead the team in goals next year. In that order.

      What a potent offense. If we get this right, we could click on a level that makes Messi-Eto’o-Henry look like childs play.

      Of course, chemistry is key.

  18. poipoi
    May 19, 2010

    if Valencia sells villa to FCB and albiol and silva to EE all in a couple of years they deserve to go not go to europe next year or worse for irresponsible behaviour. they say villa wanted to move only to spain and silva may think the same way but it is still as stupid as a club can get

    • Stephen
      May 19, 2010

      I have to agree here, Valencia is my next favorite team, and as much I like the idea of Villa into FCB, it is quite irresponsible. Unless of course they have some kind of back up plan to substituting Villa, which they don’t. So really they are going into European competition to take up room to another team which could’ve actually wanted to win. Of course they needed the money, but still, you have to win titles to get money in the long run.

  19. Eklavya
    May 19, 2010

    So Villa will be presented tomorrow at 13:30 CET (barca time)! After he passes the medical test that is ….

  20. han
    May 19, 2010

    The problem with a 4-1-2-1-2 in our case would be enough width up front to stretch opposing defences. That is why Pedro! is so crucial. I like the idea and I guess we’ll use it from time to time if Ibra stays. But our attack stands and falls with stretching the opposition, making the field as broad as possible and pass them to certain death.

  21. Sal
    May 19, 2010

    I don’t understand you guys, with only Busquets (Ketia) being the only DM protecting our defense you are optimistic? Surely if yayha leaves they need a good repolacement. The question is who? I can see only Essien doing that and he is injury prone. i think its stupid to let YAYHA go!!

    • Whatever
      May 19, 2010

      It’s Yaya Toure, not Yayha. YAYA! YAYA! YAYA!

    • Stephen
      May 19, 2010

      I think its almost unanimous that nobody wants the Yaya to leave.

  22. Luis
    May 19, 2010

    JMo, I hope you are right and this(villa and cesc) was Peps plan all along and not just Laporta giving him superstars to make into a team. I cant see how cesc would fit into the 4-1-2-1-2.
    I wouldnt be happy to rotate xavi,iniesta, cesc. They are all too good for this, and the upside of iniesta in a more attacking role cannot be ignored. For me cesc is also better further forwards as he has attacking instincts( runs behind defense, turning and shooting). I hope this doesnt force Xavi into a more deep-lying role. I just dont buy the rotation policy. Imagine a champions league final, how could be bench either of them?

    Concerning just Villa, I could see him making Ibra more effective as a pivot. As iIbra receives the ball, Villa makes a run off him or into the space vacated if defender sitcks close to him. If they dont, Ibra has space to turn…If he can improve his sharpness and make this turn, our attack will be scary next season

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      Luis is exactly right. I know this will vex some people because everything was Ibrahimovic’s fault, but many were the times this season past that Ibrahimovic made a space-clearing move with the ball, and nobody took advantage of that space. I just can’t see Villa not utilizing those openings to bang in goals. Next season, Ibrahimovic could have as many assits as goals, given his passing abilities.

  23. Luis
    May 19, 2010

    I want to add Ibra has not proved effective with his back to goal. Does anyone know if he ever was with his previous teams.

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      He isn’t the traditional, back-to-goal striker. But his flexibility, height, strength and creativity enable him to play with his back to goal and still create chances. I just don’t know that our fluid, flexibile system requires that ability from a striker, except in very rare instances.

    • Whatever
      May 19, 2010

      What bothers me with Ibra is that he could’ve scored A LOT of goals if he just played with his head. Instead, he choose to play with his heel or his back or whatever, and just miss.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      Yes, I agree with the statement that Ibra has been ineffective with his back go goal.

  24. Lumi
    May 19, 2010

    I second sal

  25. Kxevin
    May 19, 2010

    As far as Fabregas, I just don’t think this is his time yet. Arsenal are going to demand far too much for him, and we might be stupid enough to pay it. But the reasons against his coming are, for me, more numerous than the reasons for his coming, barring anything unforeseen, such as a serious injury to Xavi or Iniesta (pretty likely, right?).

    And I’m getting mighty vexed at Arsenal fans who, every time his name is mentioned in the Catalan press, get all high-and-mighty and mount their steeds named Dudgeon, tilting at our windmills. As if the Chamakh transfer and all that shadiness hadn’t happened. No big club is pure. Arsenal act as if they are some Championship side and we are the Big Bad Wolf.

    I feel a post coming on ….

    • Kxevin
      May 19, 2010

      Also, someone mentioned above that Guardiola has a plan for Fabregas. We don’t know if he does. Keep in mind that Guardiola hasn’t uttered a peep about Fabregas. Everyone else has. The windfall of Fabregas saying that he wants to play for us at some point (and only us) has made his transfer once again rear its ugly head. But all that Arsenal have to do to make this go away is say, when we ask, 80 million. Cash. And he stays a Gunner, because nobody is going to pay that for him. Nobody. Not even Flo Flo.

    • Eklavya
      May 19, 2010

      The word is that Cesc wants to join us now because we are a sort of “golden” era and because Pep is the coach.

      I dunno…

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      I really hope Fabregas stays at Arsenal. They need him, we want him. Big difference. He’s team captain, the superstar…At Barca, he’ll just be another player–and most likely on the bench.

      The latest headline about Fabregas reads:

      Fabregas tells Wenger he wants to leave

      How I read it:

      Fabregas (apparently) tells Wenger he want to leave.

      Sigh. We’re probably going to go for Fabregas, but I just don’t want him right now…

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      The only important factor I see is that Cesc has apparently told Wenger he wants to move. If that’s the case there’s no point in trying to hold onto the player. Wenger has a real practical head on him. I think it’ll be about £60 if we want him that bad. Is he worth it? For someone who, like Villa, will fit into our system in a heartbeat I think so. If you’re buying someone to play in the best club side on the world you’ve got to be prepared to pay that sort of money.

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      or maybe as much as £60m ???? 🙂

    • zeebarca
      May 21, 2010

      lol actually kxevin flo flo and Evil Empire are retarded enough to pay that and more to steal fabregas from us just out of spite !!!

  26. vicsoc8
    May 19, 2010

    I’ve been skeptical about this purchase for a bunch of reasons, but now that it’s happened I can’t help but be excited.

    • Eklavya
      May 19, 2010

      My sentiments exactly! Expect that I probably had a harder time digesting it.

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      Ditto, vicsoc8.

      But it’s Villa, Villa, maraVILLA! 😀

  27. Kari
    May 19, 2010

    OMG OMG OMG OMG! It’s Villa. David freakin’ Villa!

    YAAAAAY! I’m SO HAPPY! (Ramzi, Hector, Euler (Welcome, btw! You kinda just came, saw, posted a mulitiude of awesome posts, and became an admin. All in the span of a month(?). Nice 😀 ) to discuss the tactics.)

    DO YOU GUYS KNOW HOW MUCH BOJAN WILL LEARN FOR EL GUAJE?! This is soooooooo awesome.

    • Luis
      May 19, 2010

      I know this is not going to be popular here, but I think if Ibra stays Bojan should go on loan. His skill set is more suited to striker and that is where he needs to develop if he has any chance of being good. NOw how many minutes will he get here as striker.

      I dont understand why he is so reluctant to learn elsewhere. He could do with different challenges on different teams that utilize him differently- other loans outs have broadened their game drastically, Pique, Cesc, Botia… The kid simply needs to play to increase his instincts on the ball. Many times ive watched him and thought he is physically fast but his play isnt hence is ineffectiveness on the wing with ball.

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      Even if Ibra stays he will have to outperform Bojan to command a regular place and I don’t think that’s a given. Whatever happens, Bojan isn’t a winger.

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      Actually Luis, there’s probably a bunch of people who agree with you.

      To be honest, if anyone was going on loan I’d probably go for Jeffren–not Bojan. I know Bojan’s got what it takes, he just needs good mentoring and patience. Thankfully, he’s got the latter and he now has Villa for the former.

  28. bill
    May 19, 2010

    Finally! A real striker! My prayers have been answered. 105 mil to replace a striker is quite expensive, but oh well, it’s not my money and if the team felt like doing it, well, great! Im just happy that goals will start flowing again. I can’t wait for next season!

    As for Fabregas, yeah we havent covered ourselves in glory by how we have gone about doing it, but then again, he was stolen from la masia! Let that be a warning to all teams, if you steal a player before we are ready to offload him, you will never be settled.

  29. mike in africa
    May 19, 2010

    this is awesome! all those that don’t want him, or say we don’t need him can go suck wateva they can find!

    • poipoi
      May 19, 2010

      do you know who I don’t want and has to leave for sure? titi

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      Titi is an absolutely fantastic player Poipoi. I have been and will always be a fan of his. I love him and would buy a jearsey with his name anyday!!! But, he is getting old for the left wing position – 33 this year. He does not have it in him any more, at least in the last few matches that I have seen him play.

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      However, Henry did play a full part in all the triumphs of the previous season and deserves a little respect, I think. It’s always sad when old age catches up with a great player. I’ll remember him fondly both at Arsenal and Barca.

  30. Blow-Grenade
    May 19, 2010

    Im super excited about Villa.
    Villa Villa MarVilla!

  31. Kari
    May 19, 2010

    I like JMO’s proposed lined up, but I’d LOVE it if it were Yaya instead of Busi (NO! I’m NOT starting another Busi v Yaya debate) because you know how BADASS that lineup would be?

    Imagine El Clasico, it’s the 50th minute and we’re naturally winning 3-0 with Villa, Ibra, Messi, Xaviniesta up front and Casillas justabout surviving yet another onslaught. Madrid get the ball around the halfway line and charge up the field and then they see this:

    *http://blogdelrojo.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/abidal.jpg

    and then this:

    *http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_eosGkndaIFM/SsH7H-7GvnI/AAAAAAAAKHM/Ey4eLxzlwpY/s400/carles+puyol.jpg

    and finally this:

    *http://11gunners.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/yaya.jpg

    AWWW Baby!

  32. Jose
    May 19, 2010

    VILLA!! I wasn’t crazy about this transfer at first, but I do see the utility in it. I just don’t like that it will mean less time for Pedro and Bojan. Still, when Pep busts out the 4-2-4, this will be one of the most terrifying front lines in football.

    Also, if we get Cesc (which I’m not crazy about), we can expect some terrifying work from the Spanish national team in the next 5 years. Having a national team XI with the spine of a club like Barcelona (Pique and Puyol, Xavi Cesc and Iniesta, Villa), with reinforcements like Casillas and Torres, would be almost unfair.

    Now I just hope we focus on keeping Yaya and try to get Cesc some other transfer season.

  33. May 19, 2010

    The way I see it…in this season’s “alternate” formation…the kind of crooked 4-3-3/4-2-4/4-2-3-1 hybrid monster.

    – – – – – – Valdes – – – – – –
    Alves – Puyol – Pique – Abidal
    – – – – – – – Yaya/Sergi – – –
    – – – Xavi – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – Iniesta – –
    Messi – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Villa – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Ibra – – – – – – –

    Basically, any of Messi/Villa/Ibra are interchangeable with themselves as well as Bojan/Pedro/Jeffren. Obviously it’d be rare to see Ibra out wide right (he is no Eto’o) or Jeffren playing as the most advanced striker but these are players who are comfortable playing all over the place and this system suits that. Iniesta’s role can also be filled by Keita, Maxwell and under some circumstances (Yaya stays, etc), even Sergi. If Xavi is ever unable to play, Sergi or Iniesta could take his spot with others providing cover. It all works out very well in my head but hopefully Pep can put all the pieces together and make it work on the pitch.

    • BA
      May 19, 2010

      Villa and Ibra would be taking up the same spaces, and we’d still seriously lack width. i honestly don’t know how we’re going to accommodate Villa (out on the left a la Henry, play 2 up front with Messi just behind, Villa and Messi out on the left and right with Ibra drawn back as a ponta de lanca, Ibra gone and we buy a pure left-winger?) but i’ve got faith in Pep to do that much at least.

  34. Kari
    May 19, 2010

    I know what all Madridistas are thinking:

    Villarato!

    Hehehe 😀

    • Jnice
      May 19, 2010

      hahaha 😀

  35. Jose
    May 19, 2010

    I am also amazed at some Valencia fans complaining over Villa’s price as compared to Ibra’s. Transfers don’t take place in a vacuum…

  36. Hilal
    May 19, 2010

    *http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2010/05/19/1932403/agent-gives-reassurances-over-zlatan-ibrahimovics-barcelona

    Yaaaay to that!! The thought of what that front 3 can do together is just too much for my mind to process. The options it gives Pep are just endless. I know a lot of ppl are worried about what this will do to the growth of Bojan and PEdro but honestly I am not worried. Neither of them are really ready to start for us and as good as Pedros season was we all know he doesnt have the effect on games that a player like Villa could. As for Bojan, at only 19, he still has plenty of learning and growing to do and I honestly couldnt think of a better striker than Villa for him to learn from. I also think they will both get decent minutes next year between 3 competitions, possible injuries and general rotation.

    Its funny cos all year long ppl complain about a lack of depth and now we are have signed Villa and are looking at Cesc ppl are saying we are neglecting the youth. You cant have it both ways!

  37. Auld Super
    May 19, 2010

    Welcome goal machine, you’ll love it at the mighty Barca. Now lets hope money bags Man City decide to take a chance on Zlatan so we can get some cash in and not turn into debt madrid.

    On the Cesc transfer he’s coming like it or not so it’s time to welcome him home even though he did cost us 40m but he got good experience at Barcalite so he’ll fit right in.

  38. MemoryLane
    May 19, 2010

    I love Yaya and his attributes he brings to the team that honestly are irreplaceable. Never in it’s history has Barca had a player of his nature he is simply a joy to watch for me anyway, the same is for Etoó but that deal is done and I’m happy for him and hope he goes on to win another triple this Saturday.

    Here is what credible Spanish journalist Graham Hunter had to say regarding the matter and I quote:

    “If they manage to push out Toure, poor ol Toure has reacted brilliantly to the fact that he knows Pep IS AGAINST HIM and also very much against his Ukrainian agent. He’s reacted sterlingly to the last half of the season so.. They will replace him, THEY LOVE Sergio Busquets”
    🙁
    Well there’s not much else to say after this, I lost a lot of respect for Mr Guardiola though.

    • Dave
      May 19, 2010

      Agreed surely there are better ways to treat a player. What was that on Memo?? Revista? The African unit (Keita, Toure and Eto) have been great for us. Its a REAL Shame

  39. Dave
    May 19, 2010

    IBRA IS FOR SALE REGARDLESS OF WHAT TXIXI SAYS

    you all don’t expect someone from the club to announce his sale as this will effect his value.

    Pep did this with deco r10 and eto. Ibra is for sale, barca are moving back to a high mobility? /pressure style. Perhaps a cheaper big man will be bought llorente etc

    • May 19, 2010

      For the right price, ANY player is for sale. Do you think that if some club came to us and said 250m for Xavi, we wouldn’t take it? Emotion is one thing, but nothing says love like money. No player is ever unsellable in this crazy business of world football. The rumors bandied about a 150m figure for Messi, and we giggled. Messi said he would “Never” consider playing for the EE.

      Which is probably true.

      But how would the discussions go if the figure was 300m for Messi? Just asking.

    • Stephen
      May 19, 2010

      True, Barça would take 150m+ for Messi, hes under contract he has little to say about it. Guardiola would go for that price too 🙂

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      Agreed. The difference is i would accept £50 million for Ibra in a heartbeat. Messi is an exception though as we don’t need the money so could afford to ignore it.

    • May 19, 2010

      I’m serious when I say that, if a club offered us 200 million pounds for Messi, we should, in a heartbeat, say NO.

      What he brings is invaluable. His class, humility, history, leadership.

      We’ll get to witness it over the next 10 years!

  40. Luke
    May 19, 2010

    If you guys are thinking/hoping that this means the demise or abrupt leave of Ibra, you might want to rethink this. Here is Ibra’s agent Raiola:

    “The club already said they were happy with Zlatan. Villa’s arrival has nothing to do with Ibra and it does not put his stay in danger seeing that Villa can play well on the wings”

    He went on to say Ibra is happy at the club.

    So take this how you will.

    • Dave
      May 19, 2010

      agent speel nothing more

    • Jim
      May 19, 2010

      On Revista, all were agreed he is available if not actively being touted.

  41. Dave
    May 19, 2010

    Kevin is black oh I thought that was Thuram haha

  42. Kari
    May 19, 2010

    So Kxevin, if a post addressing Arsenal fans is coming on, how about also giving the masses a lowdown on our lesser known players situation (i.e Who’s on loan, who will leave, who will stay, etc.)?

    Example:

    Defenders-

    Adriano/Henrique (Age: 23) – on loan, injured. Didn’t impress when we played him. Probability of return next season: 30%

    Botia (22) – on loan, injured. Teared it up for Sporting before getting injured this season. Probability of return next season: 30%

    Muniesa (17) – youth teamer, injured. Made of win and a shoe-in for future Puyol–he even has the hair to fit into our back line. Probability of getting into first team next year – 5-10%

    Caceres – on loan. Juve are interested in buying him. Didn’t impress when he played last season. Probability of returning next season – 5%

    Midfielders –

    HeWhoMustNotBeNamed – on loan. (Apparently) Wants to come back and fight for a place. I could care less. Probability of return – -Yaya%

    (Okay, forget the last one. But something like that would be nice. I need to separate my Assulin’s from my Etock’s, if you know what I mean)

    I also wanna see a Season End Award post. Like, best signing, most improved player, etc. but nothing like “Player of the Season” for obvious reasons.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      That is brilliant!!! Add to that, a post on future left wingers for Barcelona to replace Titi.
      Kari’s favourite: Silva
      My favourite: Mata
      Others: Angel de Maria
      ….

    • ElShowDeJason
      May 19, 2010

      we just signed our new Left Forward: Villa

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 19, 2010

      I see Villa more as a central striker, I am not sure Villa is very good at staying on the left hand side touch line to provide width, and/or, making plays by cutting inside, or, making runs to the byline for crosses/passes.

  43. tyler
    May 19, 2010

    Laporta got his cherry! Wow, never thought it would happen so fast, and now it seems crazy that he is here. I love El Guaje and I think this signing is going to help our width like crazy. Villa knows this system and is going to be playing with 10 other players of his caliber for the first time in his career, well at least on the club level. Man next season is going to be crazy!!!!!!

    I guess I should go ahead and pre-order a long sleeve Villa home jersey!

    • barca96
      May 19, 2010

      villa=short sleeve
      pique=long sleeve
      🙂

    • Helge
      May 19, 2010

      LOL 😀

      And that’s the official broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup 2010 for Canada?

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      Yes, Helge. Yes, they are.

      What? At least we have someone to broadcast the WC! 🙂

    • UAI
      May 19, 2010

      Ouch.

    • El Tel
      May 19, 2010

      They’ve corrected the foto now. Better late than never!

    • May 19, 2010

      As El Tel said, they’ve corrected the photo, but what about this part?

      “Last season, when Barcelona won a historic treble, Toure was a valuable presence in the centre of midfield, behind Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate of Messi, Andres Iniesta (or Thierry Henry) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”

      Hmmmmmmm.

  44. Kari
    May 19, 2010

    Okay, everybody. Let’s get serious here (i.e forget all the paper talk and journalists trying to make a living before the WC).

    There is absolutely NO WAY ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC is leaving. Zero. Zip. Zitch. It’s just not happening, especially after just one season.

    Yes, his demeanor can be a bit irritating at times, and he does tend to miss/waste chances that are supposed to be easy by attempting the spectacular (see last game of the season). But those are just simple things. People who dislike a player will use anything as an excuse.

    Weren’t people raving about Ibra before January? That player is still with us, but he’ll be even better because he knows what to expect now. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

    21 goals and 8 assists in his first season. That’s pretty damned awesome and it’ll only get better now that we have Villa (whether that makes Villa will be the supporting striker and Ibra will be the main striker ala Torres, or vice versa).

    • ElShowDeJason
      May 19, 2010

      January? I’m still raving about Ibrahimovic right now.
      Ibra owns.
      Haters will Hate.

  45. Stephen
    May 19, 2010

    I see everyone is thrilled, and happy, and all fuzzy inside… now remember your posts when the maraVILLA doesnt score 5 goals every game like I think everyone expected from Ibrah. Just remember.

    Im looking forward to seeing Villa play for us, I think hes magnificent given the right circumstances, I am sad to see him leave Valencia, and look forward to see how they will perform without him.

    Also happy to hear that Ibrah stays, and I think he stays because theres a world cup coming up in which Messi and Villa are surely players that will play EVERY MINUTE for their teams (aka Injury prone) and he would be a sort of insurance to this. Also Guardiola wanted Ibrah, Laporta wanted Villa, theres difference here in who has the last word.

  46. fcbfan
    May 19, 2010

    havent red comments yet but holy crap you guys are on a roll. last we were on the other thread and now a new thread over 100 comments! Wait till Cesc comes! and the usual his! hahaha. :hits:

    Anyway, Villa!

  47. El Tel
    May 19, 2010

    What will the kid’s jersey number be?

    • Kari
      May 19, 2010

      Naturally, # 7

      It’d be weird otherwise.

    • jordi
      May 19, 2010

      Probably 7

    • cliveee
      May 19, 2010

      isn’t it strange? this popular number among all teams is not taken in Barca. giving him the 7 will ensure the shirt sale go normal if not crazy.

  48. Euler
    May 19, 2010

    Perhaps the biggest difference between the squads in 08/09 and 09/10 was the capacity to structure space on the pitch by generating width on the left flank.

    The working assumption by many has been the team won everything the season before last and in turn only changes in personnel would be responsible for the team not repeating it’s success in full. In turn much too much focus was placed on the center striker position with Ibra vs. Eto’o.

    Villa is a wonderful move because of his multi-dimensionality – and his specific skill sets of of being equally strong with both feet and being able to play on the left.

    Villa has played in the center of the pitch in the past – but he will be almost ideal on the left wing for Barca’s system.

    There are many ways to generate width on the pitch. It’s not only an issue of long crosses from the traditional wing positions through which width is established. Villa gives Pep an enormous range of options to diversify the attack and prevent it from narrowing on the left flank.

    Ibra will most likely stay. And Barca will be one of the first modern clubs to have two world class attacking forwards – who could play in the center – stationed out wide on the wings.

    It will be a nightmare to mark this team.

    • Luis
      May 19, 2010

      “There are many ways to generate width on the pitch. It’s not only an issue of long crosses from the traditional wing positions through which width is established. Villa gives Pep an enormous range of options to diversify the attack and prevent it from narrowing on the left flank.”

      I can just imagine the overlapping and swithing between villa and Ibra on this flank. Understanding between the two will be essential.
      ALthough Villa may not provide the constant running of henry to stretch the field, he is however more of a threat once he gets the ball in those areas. Henry’s main threat was to cut inside and shoot- something which had a success rate of about 3%, at best. Defenders forced him to his second option- going to byline and crossing. We all know how this usually went.
      Villa left foot strike from tights angles will make him hard to play. Btw, more than Bojan, I see Pedro as someone who could benefit alot from modelling Villas game since he is ambidextrous.

      The thing im most excited about is 1-2s with iniesta(and ibra) on the left which could see Villa with the ball very close to goal.

    • Euler
      May 19, 2010

      I can just imagine the overlapping and swithing between villa and Ibra on this flank. Understanding between the two will be essential.

      Very much agreed. In addition to one on one switch’s they are going to be able to engage in the kind of complex ball play you allude to later – 1-2’s on the left side that they couldn’t dream of doing this season.

      They are going to be able to create remarkable, dynamic triangles such as iniesta-villa-ibra which will allow them to open up space in ways which are going to be extremely disruptive to the opposition’s defensive scheme.

    • stowe
      May 20, 2010

      “And Barca will be one of the first modern clubs to have two world class attacking forwards – who could play in the center – stationed out wide on the wings.”
      I’m curious what you mean by this? I assume you mean messi and villa, but wasn’t Henry considered a world class attacking forward that could play in the middle?
      or do you mean that we have henry and villa?

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