Benvingut a Sandro Rosell, a.k.a. “And so it begins” UPDATE

El Mundo Deportivo

And so it begins. Today, Sandro Rosell became the newest president of our beloved club, FC Barcelona. He has some immense shoes to fill in those of departing president Joan Laporta, who presided over a glorious, unprecedented period of sporting and fiscal success. And Rosell has to hit the ground running, because:

The club has many issues, including:

Solving the matter of The Yaya. Simply put, Pep Guardiola doesn’t want The Yaya to leave, despite commonly held wisdom. He and Rosell will have talks with The Yaya, but at the end of those talks, The Yaya is probably outta here. So one of Rosell’s first acts will be a failure, most likely.

Resolving the issue of Cesc Fabregas, who has said most recently that it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that he will remain at Arsenal. This seems a bit silly, given that he never really said that his leaving Arsenal was within the realm of possibility. And his coach, Arsene Wenger, has said that Fabregas isn’t for sale, no matter what we offer. So this is a done deal, we can only hope, and the club can return to the task of building a football juggernaut. But figure Rosell’s second sporting task to be another failure in the eyes of many cules who are, foolishly, ready to plunk down hard-earned dosh for their Fabregas shirts.

Keeping the Boixos Nois out. There is some contention that Rosell is rather cozy with the FC Barcelona ultras, a contention that he has denied. Time will tell, but one of the successes of Joan Laporta was getting them out of the stadium, and keeping them out of the stadium. A violence-free Camp Nou became a much better place to watch a football match.

Reining in the club’s finances in light of the new FIFA “Pay your own way” regulation, which states, simply enough, that any club wishing to play in Europe must (with a three-year phase in) pay its own freight via TV contracts, shirt sales and other club revenues. No overwhelming debt, no oil-rich billionaires throwing around bags of cash. The real story of the fiscal picture of FC Barcelona depends on who you believe, but Joan Oliver reports that we finished the season with an 11m surplus. One plank of the Rosell candidacy was fiscal common sense. Now we get to see.

Continuing the sporting success. Like it or not, with a club such as Barça, the president takes the credit and the blame, even more than the head coach. Never forget that Joan Laporta was a few thousand votes away from censure and removal from office. What might have happened had such a thing occurred? We’ll never know, but the unrest and vote came after a two-year period of sporting failure. Just. Two. Years. The bar is high, and Rosell will have immense pressure, right away.

So, let’s put aside any remaining rancor, distrust and give our new president a clean mental slate. He is taking over one hell of a club, one that is poised, with the addition of David Villa to the attacking force, to become even better than the treble-winning side, if such a thing can be imagined.

Welcome, Sandro Rosell.

UPDATE A few words from our new President. Let’s see if he can live up to them:

“I put myself at your service to make this Barça the reflection of its fans and a reference for all other clubs in the world. We have set our goals high and there is a very high precedent, but we need to try for more. We are Barça, the club that has the most players playing at the World Cup. But we are more, thousands of members, millions of fans, and a common purpose that makes us invincible. We are Barça and we assume that challenge. I promise you we will be at the top. ¡Visca el Barça!

“I assume these responsibilities and I do not have any doubt that we will achieve them.

“We will have transparency and the values of this club will be our own. We want a sustainable project, but also an ambitious one. We will have the Camp Nou remodelled to reflect the cutting edge.”

El Mundo Deportivo

By Kxevin

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.


  1. That grin on Laportas face is fantastic. As if he’s thinking “Boy, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

  2. He won’t last very long if he doesn’t bring sporting success, the club isn’t broke and is winning trophies so despite having some sensible policies he could suffer from Laporta’s success.

  3. Record income and raising debt for Barca

    The treasurer of FC Barcelona, Xavier Sala i Martin, has announced that the club closes the 2009-2010 season with a surplus of 11 million euros. This surplus comes after getting an income, reflecting a record high of 445 million euros. Sala i Martin described it as “the largest income of any club in the world in any sport, including the United States.” These revenues account for 16% more than last year and 10% more than was budgeted.

    Cash available for transfers

    Within a large amount of data, Joan Oliver noted the forecast that the current board had in an event of Toure sale. Should Barca sell the Ivorian international they would have 60 million euros to spend on signings.


    The club’s net debt to June 30, 2010 is 326 million euros, 124 more than a year ago. Sala i Martín explained the significant increase that has had to pay 65 million euros for previous costs and 60 million transfers of Ibrahimovic and David Villa and Chygrynskiy are yet to be paid.

  4. Whats to seek beyond the peak? Tough job for Rosell no doubt. Hopefully he focus on competing with Laporta’s achievements rather than bashing them to make it easier for himself to say he is better. Good luck.

  5. I wish Laporta would have tried getting Silva instead of focusing on Cesc. Silva and Villa already had a 1/2 at Val he’s played with with the Barca players on Spanish national team.

  6. Over at, Cyrus Malek, one of the few folks over there who occasionally evinces a functioning brain, has a nice summation of the Laporta years:

    It’s also worth noting that perhaps the King of Catalunya’s effors have borne fruit. Heretofore, English-speaking media has always referred to Catalunya as Catalonia. Not in this piece, though I reckon copy editors have yet to find their way into it and “fix” the incorrect spellings. 😀

    1. It’s interesting that that is noteworthy–after all, we call all of Spain something completely wrong: Spain. It’s España, of course. And Brazil is actually Brasil (and you know that English-speakers have no problems whatsoever pronouncing S’s as Z’s. Proof: Isaiah). The only reason it’s Spain is that we don’t have that funky foreign letter in our alphabet and certainly couldn’t be convinced to install a multi-lingual keyboard (alt+shift = too hard).

    2. Wait Isaiah is pronounced as Izaiah?! Wow, now that’s what I call ‘feeling like a dumbass’ .

    3. Haha, you should listen to one of the podcasts with the Madridistas, for instance. I got the pronounciation of his name completely wrong – independent of ‘s’ or ‘z’ 😀

    4. Funny I had listened to the podcasts, but I didn’t see anything out of place (for me). I suppose I was more concentrated on hearing what Izaiah had to say cause his mike was not too great. 🙂

      I suppose I shouldn’t take too much about this, it’s not like my name is anything easier lol

    5. Thats all in one hand and Nippon is another case. Not even close to “Japan”.

  7. And an interesting HeWhoShouldNotBeNamed quote, from a man who will most likely start Saturday’s World Cup match from the bench:

    “I always want to play. I’m not used to sitting on the bench and I want to be playing at this World Cup. I’ve never been a player happy to settle for what I have, I always want more. I respect the coach’s decision. I know to be in midfield is going to be difficult because we have a lot of good players but I will never give up. I’ve won a lot of caps but if I’ve not played three quarters of the game it’s not so valuable to me.”

    It might provide some illumination into his very recent comments about Arsenal, and how the tea leaves are now pointing to (as I’ve been saying all along) him staying with the Gunners, as he should. The exact same midfield that is keeping him on the bench at the World Cup will be occupying the Camp Nou locker room.

    1. Cesc can play a a holding midfielder, to the left of Busi, where Xabi Alonso plays for spain for quick turn over of the ball to the forwards. He can also play in play as the false No. 9 at Barca. He has a great goal scoring knack. This in addition to taking up either the role of Xavi or Iniesta.
      I differ with you guys on Cesc, Barca will be very competitive with Cesc.

    1. Whoa! What a massive fall from grace for Assulin. At one time, he was touted as the next world-class crack to come from Barca. Now he’s released on a free. This a cruel game sometimes. Cruel, but usually fair.

    2. That’s the problem with hyping kids in the cantera too much, everyone’s game matures at a different rate. Look at the players who’ve made it into the first team in the last couple of years, did anyone know who Pedro or Busquets were before they broke into the first team?

    3. I’m not sure if this is correct, but from everything I’ve read (including the above linked piece–thanks ballbeav) seems to suggest that the contract negotiations were deadlocked with Assulin who wanted some sort of first team assurance. That simply wasn’t going to happen in this Barça and I think that Assulin will find foreign shores (or at least non-Barça shores) to be highly inhospitable.

      He’s still very young though (19) and I hope he has a bright future ahead of him.

      It’s also interesting that this highlights (once again) the differences between the “sign-and-trade” American sports atmosphere and that of European football.

    4. Wow. Bye bye Gai, so were such a hype a few years ago. Hopefully you don’t become another Fabregas…

    5. i dont understand why these kids cant be patient.
      heck, even yaya cant guarantee a spot, and he wants some guarantess.
      would love him to stay but he really gotta understand.

  8. That first picture strangely looks like a funeral.

    Hope Sandro and Pep can somehow convince Yaya to stay.

  9. I won’t lie, I LOL’ed. Even though I don’t like him.


  10. In other, more important news, Lionel Messi has vowed to beat Germany in honor of Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. I shit you not.

    1. I saw that story about how he recently “discovered” Oasis thanks to Tevez and wants them to play at his party if Argentina wins…hilarious! But can you please, please post a link to wherever it says that he vows to beat germany on behalf of Noel Gallagher?

    2. Wait till you see the “Messi wants to go to City in the future, because he loves Oasis” rumors.. LOL
      oopss.. hope won’t see my post..:D

  11. wow rosell is starting with a bang.

    -He brought a private prosecution against Laporta for defamation during the electoral campaign.
    -Announced that the ex-general director, Joan Oliver, was given 852.787 euros in respect of indemnity.
    -They will propose to the Assembly the creation of the “Honorary President” figure, since it is not in the club’s statute.

    attacking the previous board members is one thing, but Cruyff?
    that aint cool

    1. Having Rexach in the sport department in Sandro’s board is enough to unsettle Cruyff. But the relation between Sandro and Johan was always like that.

      Yet, I think Rosell has a point here. The way the position was created is not proper as it no doubt needs the Assembly approval. Then the Honorary president will be elected (if it passes). I doubt there will be any other candidates beside Johan, but it means Sandro will prove a point making it his way rather than Laporta’s “steal”.

      N.B. Check the preview about Brazil Vs Holland game as a warm up before it starts:


      Or at least till a new post (live blog?) is published here, hectoring my comment. I sound like a troll now 😀

  12. OFFICIAL: Manchester City have secured the signing of Yaya Toure on a five-year deal from Barcelona.


    🙁 Farewell my friend. I will always love you.

    1. According to Barça’s official site, it’s an agreement in principle and they have to sort out contractual issues, which is why no official transfer fee has been disclosed yet.

      “A complete agreement is still pending the Ivory Coast international definitively terminating his contractual relationship with FC Barcelona. Once this has been done, the economic conditions of the transfer will be revealed. ”


    2. That was fast, taking the last news in consideration. But if it will happen this summer anyway sooner better for all parties.

      Wish him all luck in his new adventure. Hopefully he will play a more advanced role there, so he shows the qualities that were relatively locked while serving as a holding midfielder for Barcelona.

      That means we will no doubt have some midfield refreshments. If it’s done properly, its always a good thing. Especially after a successful season. More “Title hunger injections”, Villa-like.

    3. Agreed on everything especially the part regarding the advanced role. I know you and I have always called for him to play more matches higher up the pitch like he did on his former teams and for the Ivory Coast under Halilodzic.

      And yes, the more players hungry for titles, the better. Please be good signings, though.

      On another note, it’s 7:40 and I still haven’t gone to bed. I might as well stay up, but I think I’m going to nap for two hours before the Netherlands-Brazil match. Can’t wait for Ghana later today, though!

  13. The Yaya leaving is an obvious loss but maybe Chygy will show us his worth now? Either allowing Pique to step forward a bit or filling that DMF role himself. Who knows maybe even Marquez could be useful there (where his mistakes can more easily be covered by Pique).

    Perhaps we will even see a change of formation, 4-1-3-2 with Chygy/Busi at DMF, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi behind a front two and Villa/Ibra? Actually scrap that, moves messi to far from Goal where he creates the most havok.

    1. im never a fan of chiggy at dm. he is slow and doesnt have the physical side to him.
      yaya,could initimidate players. notice how he chases a player and the player looks like he just gives the ball up.
      busi, chase after every ball!

      i dont think chiggy can offer us anything at all at dm

    2. hopefully cyhyhgy and ibra have been doing wind sprints this summer. they both need to have a quicker first step, as well as better flat-out speed.

    3. Nice! Can’t wait for him to start limiting memberships to foreign (read non-Catalan) supporters..

  14. The fact that Rosell is more concern destroying Laporta than working to moving the club forward is not reassuring. I welcome the new presi, but he only wants to be the presi of Catalan socis.

    1. is melo just a dumbass, or is he getting paid to act dumb? that was incredible.

  15. 😀 Melo did this to Juve many times last year. “How can i help my team implode”

  16. BRAZIL ARE OUT.. TAKE THAT DUNGA!! WTF was that sub by the way? Nilmar f or Fabiano?

    I’m LOVING IT!!!

    Sneijder for WPOTY?

    1. Sneijder for WPOTY?

      I wouldn’t go that far; he was pretty craptasic in the first half. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s nominated. He’s done a hellava lot more than Thong Boy, that’s for sure.

      Dunga is dead when he gets back to Brazil. He played this way and vindicated himself with the fact that he got results; but now, Brazil crash out at the same stage as last time, playing defensive/effective football rather than Joga Bonito (although, had Kaka’s effort in the first half gone in, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion now)

      -Also, good thing we didn’t get Robinho. I don’t know if Puyi and Xavi vetoed it or Pep or whatever/whoever, but I’m damn glad he didn’t sign for us. What a whiny, annoying, childish guy. Pissed the heck out of me in the game. How he escaped a booking, I will never know.

    2. Well he manufactured that equalizer.. If helps the Dutch win the WC, with that Champs League Medal, I can’t think of a reason why not..

      IMO the Brazilians were too cocky going into the game.. The Dutch smartly got them riled up, and they imploded easily.. And what’s up with Pele and co. sticking their noses in Argentinian business the last few days? Maradona must be celebrating right now!

      Alves didn’t look bad out there, we got another option in the midfield.. Van der Wiel didn’t impress me much I have to say..

    3. ” I can’t think of a reason why not..” Some Argie guy.Think hes a “10” as well.Some Spaniards might also have a say…

    4. If Holland win the WC, I think he’d probably win it TBH.

      Yeah, Alves wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great either. He should stay at RB me thinks.

      van der Wiel must be feeling pretty crappy right now, since his unnecessary dive meant that he’ll miss the semifinal. Brazil attacked him for most of the game (which I thought was funny since van Bronckhorst was on the other side) and I thought he did reasonably well. He should have stuck with Robinho for the opening goal (and not let Robben tail him), though the entire Dutch defense was at fault.

    5. i told a friend before the world cup that if holland won then sneijder would be WPOTY. if they gave it to cannavaro, they will give it to wesley. but ONLY if holland wins the cup, which i dont think they will. if they do, messi will just have to win WPOTY the next three years after that.

    6. totally agreed with you on Robinho’s part. He is a flatout jerk that complains and judges things all the time, as if he is the ref. i am so pissed he didn’t get a yellow card for yelling at the ref.


    De Jong and van der Wiel are suspended so it’ll be interesting what they do the next game, but the Dutch aren’t thinking of right now.

    The World Cup just got crazy. Holy sjifw#pjr3j(^$!

  18. I am loving this. ppl were saying how crap the dutch defence is, and Brazil great defence and goalie. and now! hahaha.

  19. LOVE IT! I am Dutch and the Brazilians are soo arrogant…!! I live in Brazil and love the country but when it comes to football.. way too arrogant.. loving it!!!

    Dutch are weak.. bla bla…. Holland beat Brazil with 2 old age defenders that are retiring after the World Cup (Ooijer and Van Bronckhorst).

    Hoping for Holland x Germany in the final. Holland wins this.. for sure. Its rivality but the (near) future is Orange!!!

    1. Congrats Joachim!

      I’m going to stay far, far, far away from making predictions at this WC, but it’ll be interesting to see how van Marwijk replaces van der Wiel and especially De Jong for the next game.

      Also Huntelaar really isn’t good enough (what a spectacular fall from grace). van Persie can only get away with playing so poor for so long and Robben is typically selfish.

      But anyway, soak in your win! No-one would have thought you’d beat Brazil, espcially when you were down at half-time. You guys deserved it!

  20. That being said I also hated the way how Holland didn’t GIVE A CRAP about scoring in the so many occasions they got in the end.


    Sneijder by the way, will win some individual awards, and fully deserved to win them. Spectacular! producing one own goal for Brasil and scoring one on his own! and is Brasil they were facing! Spectacular!!!!!!

    Dunga totally showed how dumb and useless he actually is. A totally wrong substitution and a wrong line-up that he has been using for the whole tournament. A win doesn’t make everything u do right. The illusion is now exposed! HAHAHAHHAHAH!!!!!!!!

  22. kari, you’re right.
    my dad and grandpa wouldve been so disappointed in me if they had known that i underestimated holland.
    haha but they didnt play well, its just that brazil self destruct and holland had the fighting spirit, more than brazil.
    was expecting

  23. good news for everyone but brazil, they could have really harmed spain defending and counterattacking … if spain reached the final 😉 If we don’t win this WC we won’t even win any

  24. How did Van Bommel stay on the pitch until the whistle? I have no idea why he wasn’t even awarded a yellow card. Ridiculous tackles and fouls time and time again. especially in the second half. Well, human errors are part of the game, huh?

    1. Yeah, I really dislike Van Bommel. Every time I’ve seen him play he’s just been dirty. The reffing left a lot to be desired, but Brasil lost this game with their over-confidence and lack of urgency.

    2. exactly.
      he knows it himself whenever he makes another tackle, he had the look in his face where he expected to get a card.

  25. Well Holland deserved the win but I won’t yet say they will win the cup. Anyone can beat anyone from here on. no more predictions from me.

  26. I’m so f***ing delighted that Dunga’s counter-attacking Brazilian side is out of the tournament !!! 😀
    It was a disgrace to see Brazil play under Dunga, Cruyff and Pele have been absolutely right with their criticism. Now, Dunga can suck it 🙂

    Now, if only Argentina wins against Germany tomorrow, one of my 3 favourite teams will definitely win the WC (no, neither Uruguay/Ghana nor Paraguay will stand a chance). This could become one of the best WCs ever, from my point of view (and considering only the semi-finals and upwards).
    Viva Espana, Vamos Argentina, Hup Holland Hup!

    1. But aren’t you going to support Germany, Helge? Paul the Octopus predicts another German victory 😛 *

      Apparently, Messi missed training because of a cold but he’s expected to start tomorrow (duh!, right?). This German team, well, I just don’t know what to make of them. They’re young, dynamic, but crucially inexperience. After England scored their goal, they lost their shape and their inexperience showed.

      The Argentina defensive, with Demichelis leading from the back, are shaky at best. The best CB pairing would be Samuel-Burdisso but that ain’t gonna happen. The first goal will be crucial in that game.

      Argentina need to make sure Veron is no where near the pitch.

    2. *crucially inexperiencED and Argentina DEFENSE is what I meant

      Whoa, am I nervous for the Ghana-Uruguay game or something? 🙂

  27. Well, I’m off to watch the pre-game show for Uruguay-Ghana. Good luck, Black Stars! If you can kept Forlan, who is really the attacking/creative force for the South Americans( Suarez looks to be a typically poacher to me. Very limited), quiet, you’ll have a chance! All of Africa are rooting for you!

  28. right now i am still splitting between argentina and spain. i love spain because most of our boys are there. but i also want leo messi to become the best of the best player and claim the world cup once and for all, so that he can shut all the mouths that claim he has not won the world cup so he is still not the best.

    so, i don’t know. nike curses!

    1. Me too!
      Being from a country that I think would never be in a world cup, maybe, hoping to get there in another 20-30years, I support spain for the Barca players. But I really wanted Messi to win it all, to show the world, that he is the best in this generation right now.
      Damn it.. who should I support if they meet in the semis…

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