News of the Day: July 14, 2010

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things now that the World Cup is over. It’s hard. I don’t know what to do with myself since I have no random international allegiances to wrap myself in. I was so totally for New Zealand! And also like 20 other nations because, really, I’m basically just a World Cup slut. I was for Uruguay against France, against them against South Africa, for the Dutch against Denmark, against the Dutch when they faced Cameroon, for them against Brasil, and then against them again when they ran into Spain. Tough to keep track of all these things. Anyway, it’s back to Barça here and that means News of the Day.

Guardiola has re-signed! That all important hyphen in there is great news for us as Pep Guardiola (along with assistant Tito Vilanova) has renewed his contract with us until June 30, 2011. That’s just a 1 year deal, folks, so don’t get too comfortable with Pep at the helm. Kevin has noted before (and I tend to agree) that Pep isn’t in this for the long-haul because of a variety of factors, including Rosell’s recent truncation of Chygrynskiy’s stay after Pep had previously been counting on him for the coming season. Still, it’s good times and I’m happy he’s renewing on his own terms.

Thierry Henry has left the building. There’s been relatively little discussion of this as it seemed inevitable for a long time, but Thierry Henry is officially a member of the New York Red Bulls. Barça’s official site put up an homage to his 3 years in blaugrana. He leaves us with a solid record, having won 2 Liga titles, a Champions League, and a Copa del Rey while also aiding in the development of our young strikers, Bojan and Pedro. That is, perhaps, the more valuable than his 121 appearances and 49 goals. It’s easy to say he never made a true impact, but 3 goals at the Bernabeu speak for themselves and I can’t imagine the 2-6 without him burning Sergio Ramos (World Cup winner, holy crap!) time and again.

Adieu, sacre bleu, Roi Henry. Thank you for everything. I’ll see you in a Red Bulls jersey in a few days (first game is July 22 against Tottenham, of all teams) and maybe you’ll stop by to see some Barça with us during the winter offseason. Pretty please?

Keirrison loaned to Santos. Our striker who just can’t make it into Pep’s squad is travelling back home to Brasil to play with Santos for the season. There have been rumors that this move, if successful, will serve as a makeweight in a transfer agreement for either Neymar or Ganso (as well as the obvious rumor of Robinho); if it’s not successful, it’s just another season where we’re not paying either Keirrison’s salary or his injury insurance. Official word is here. [Question to those of you who follow these things a bit more closely than I do: is it typical that “injury insurance” is listed as an expense in a loan? Do most teams taking loans not pay that insurance?]

The Blauroja continues. After 8 Barça players were selected for the World Cup squad and 7 of them started the final (not that anyone is counting), the U-19 Spanish team is also going to have a distinctly blaugrana flavor to it. Àlex Sánchez (GK), Martín Montoya (LB), Marc Bartra (CB/RB), Carles Planas (LB/RB), Oriol Romeu (Mid), Thiago Alcántara (Mid), and Rubén Rochina (FW) have all been included in the squad. Congratulations!

Puyol retires from international football. Marca is claiming in big letters on their website that fearless captain Carles Puyol is retiring from La Furia Roja. It only makes sense, really, having just won the World Cup. He goes out on top and can now focus all of his energies on Barça and perhaps the random appearance for the Catalan “national” team. He retires with 90 appearances and 3 goals for the national team. Congratulations on a brilliant international career!

A few side notes:

Guardiola’s agent is Josep Maria Orobitg, a man who, according to this site, also represents Joan Capdevila, Fernando Navarro, and probably most relevantly, Armando Lozano of Barça B (which if you didn’t know, is back to being B and not Atletic). You may never have heard of Lozano, but he’s a 25-year old CB who signed with the B squad last year and helped them gain promotion to the Segunda A. There’s no conspiracy, of course, but it can’t hurt your Barça chances when your agent is Guardiola, can it? Even when you’re a bit too old to be in the youth squad. Cough Jonathan Soriano cough. You might remember Lozano from his 12 appearances with Levante in La Liga back in 2008-09.

What could turn out to be massively important is that a loan of €155m was procured and signed for today by Sandro Rosell. The loan was worked out with La Caixa and Banco Santander as the main lenders, but also with involvement from (deep breath) Caja Madrid BBVA, Banesto, Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, Caixa Catalunya, CAM, and Cajamar. Did we leave any Spanish banks out? At noon tomorrow Barcelona time, Javier Faus, VP of Economic Area and Strategy, will explain all of the details in a press conference. For now, just believe that this is good. It is good there is nothing wrong what are you looking at?

The shoes that Andres Iniesta wore when he scored the blaugrana Iniestazo at Stamford Bridge have been raffled off with €100,000 being earned by the family of a 6-year old boy for his cerebral palsy treatment, but the winner has yet to claim his or her prize. Strange. Apparently this whole raffle got started when one of the boy’s family members sent Iniesta a poster and a jersey to sign so that they could raffle them off to help raise money for the kid’s large medical bills (multiple foreign trips a year for treatment) and instead of sending back just the poster and the jersey, Iniesta sent back “a surprise” as well, which turned out to be the shoes. The boy’s family is sure that the winning ticket was sold in Hellín, Albacete, but even a trip to that town couldn’t turn up the winner, so the family tried to return the shoes to Iniesta, who said no, keep them and so the family is trying to figure out what to do now that their raffle didn’t work as planned. Damn, but Iniesta is classy.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Makes sense that Puyol would retire from international football. He will be too old by the next WC, and even by the next Euros. So let’s give someone else the opportunity to slide in and gel with the back line and keeper.

    And as noted, there is no better way to go out than on top. Omnipresent on the back line, scoring the goal that got your side through to the finals, pranking it up on stage while wearing a senyera as a skirt….

    I can’t find any financials on the Henry “transfer.” Was it a free, as was the rumor?

    1. it’s a net financial plus for us as we don’t have to keep paying Henry’s massive wage bill. pity we had to keep him on a season longer than we should have; if we’d sold him right after the Treble we not only could have saved ourselves his wage money but probably made some in a transfer fee.

    2. True that, BA. But as with Ronaldinho, who could have predicted that the preceding season would be his last productive one?

    3. It’s not exactly a free transfer. Technically we rescinded his contract in a mutual agreement. There was no opportunity to earn money off of him because he only had 1 year left on his contract and would have left for free anyway (same concept as the Eto’o transfer, really).

      BA is quite correct about the wages. He commanded something like €10m a year, unless I’m mistaken. Saving that is a plus.

      Personally, I don’t know that we would have been as good as we were this last year without Henry given that both Bojan and Pedro improved significantly throughout the year, something that has to be at least partially attributed to Henry’s presence in the squad. You learn your game from being around the greats and Henry certainly is one of the greats.

    4. last season leaves something of a bitter taste in my mouth regarding Henry. i would have loved for him to have come in and had another marvelous season even approaching the 08/09 Treble; he could have been a real cult hero at Barca as a result. now, it seems like he’ll be remembered more as a journeyman who gave the club 1 great season in 3, and i don’t think that’s fair to his contribution to Barca, both in terms of the Treble and the development of Pedro and especially Bojan, or football in general.

    5. Well not to sound like a total douche, but I predicted it. I think a lot of people did as well. Titi wanted to win the CL. That was his MAIN reason to coming to Barca. He already won everything else at Arsenal. After the triplete season he was 32 y.o. striker that accomplished all of his goals. It was the PERFECT time to sell him. He had an excellent season (that was very unlikely to be repeated due to his age), he had two more years on his contract, he was a legend… We could of easily sold him for 10m. But the club was drunk on success and didn’t think clearly. And now we are letting him go for free and we actually consider it a good deal. Lately we have been letting go far too many players for free, and just today we took 155m loan. It’s ludicrous.

  2. I’d truly hate to see Guardiola leave because of Rosell’s little circus. But Im glad he signed for at least another year, we’ll take anything at this point.
    Im looking forward to seeing Henry in the MLS, I have little faith in that league, but he’s giving me some hope to perhaps get into it… one day.

  3. More crazy from

    Flamengo are going to buy R10 from Milan for 20m, and Milan will turn that money right back around and fund a 40m+ deal for Ibrahimovic, who has been told by Guardiola that he isn’t part of the club’s plans this season.

    Let’s have at that one a bit, shall we?

    –20m would be an IMMENSE sum for a Brazilian club, in a league that is more in the business of building talent, then selling for around that sum. And there are the wages of Ronaldinho. Whew!

    –Signing Ibrahimovic and HIS big, honkin’ wages would fly in the face of Galliani’s austerity program, as would be the transfer price.

    –How would anyone know that Guardiola, who is a notoriously closed-mouthed coach, what Ibrahimovic, who the club has said is not for sale and is staying, has been told?

    –Returning to Serie A would be a step backward for a player who only makes forward steps or, in the case of the Premiership, moves that might be perceived as forward steps.

    Ding! Next, please.

    1. What I’ve been hearing is that Ronaldinho has some sort of clause in his contract where Flamengo can pick him up for free in January..
      now I don’t know if this is a pre-contract cuz his expires this year or if its an actual contract.

  4. Puyol made the right decesion. Nothing better than retiring directly after winning everything. Thats also a good news for Barca as he will only has his club to play for. Will his retirement mean that he will not play for the Catalan national team? That will be interesting to know. Though its not a big deal.

    Henry move is also good (and predicted). I think he served enough and now he can enjoy one year or two where the pressure is less and probably the return is more.

    There are roumors that Marquez price tag is 7 Millions. I dont think he will find a problem to find a club, but Barcelona may have problems if he leaves without signing a replacement.

    Looking forward for the board explanations about the loan. I hope it will be used wisely to pay some annoying commitments that has a bad interest rate here and there. Beside I think they need to pay some clubs for some players we bought in the past and didnt pay the full price (which will be forbidden based on the new UEFA regulations).

    1. Crap, I forgot the Marquez rumors. I’ll handle those tomorrow when there should be more information.

      Sport is saying something like Fontas as being the replacement for Marquez. Isn’t this where Chygrynskiy is suppose to step in and…oh. Right.

  5. Second that comment about the loan. Furthermore I’m praying the Cesc-saga ends as soon as possible. Marquez will find a club the problem is will that club pay us 5m+ ? I suggest we should bring back Caceres and possible even Henrique. Caceres is versatile enough to cover more than one place (cb,rb even lb)

    1. I don’t think that Caceres wants to come back. I suspect that the pressure of playing in the Camp Nou and the burden of expectations had a lot to do with his performances for us. He’s a lot less uncertain playing for Juventus, even Uruguay.

  6. The thing about selling Henry for free saving us a lot of money really makes you realise its players wages, more than huge transfer fees, that is a major problem for clubs. If wages in football manager are accurate, Marquez is also earning quite a bit, at least alot more than his 4th backup position warrants.

    Also with our current streak of success and reputation, do we really have to pay our bought superstars that much- Im talking about players like Ibra, who are world class but not necessarily cracks like messi, iniesta and Xavi who define our team. Ibra really wanted to play for us. We should make it our policy to pay them not more than their on pitch value warrants. I see it as similar to the nba, where lebron takes a pay cut to play on the best team and win trophys.

    1. You’re forgetting one major part of the LeBron deal that is often overlooked in discussions of it: Florida has no state income tax. That’s a major factor in a decision to take less money. I imagine that Bosh is making a lot more money (I’m assuming that Toronto/Ontario has a higher tax rate than most if not all American states/cities) based on this change of tax rate.

      The same is potentially true for Ibra because of his transfer from Italy to Spain, where the tax rate is 23% for the first 5 years of his time there (and imagine this: he has a 5-year contract). Because the club pays the taxes for the player, it could actually work out to about the same cost to the club while further enriching the player. Obviously I don’t know all the details of Ibra’s Inter contract and it’s probably safe to assume that he did get a significant raise after his move, but it’s not *quite* as bad as you might think.

      Still, the wages are probably a little bit out of line with on-the-field value, but you’ll rarely get a contract signed if you lowball your potential transfers.

  7. finally the arsenal fans has retreated back.
    will FIFA really take action on us?
    i reckon no, as it was the players who did the talking, not the club

    1. I dont think this FIFA thing is serious, but as I mentioned in the previous post, if we can make two fast smart signings then FIFA decides to ban us out of transfer market for two years, that will be the best music for my ear (or eye, as I will read it…whatever). Imagine, two years without transfer rumors and a complete focus on the resources in hand. I love that!

      I already powered all my ranting about this (you know who) topic in a post I made today. Every time I will be forced to comment on it I will post a link to that post as it brief my frustration and anger.

      Apologies for Kxevin, Isaiah, and co for posting the link here in a new published post. Consider it as a help you offer for my mental treatment after this Chaos:

    2. it’s like the u.s.’s beef w/china over that whole “currency manipulation” thing. if you’ve got a problem, make a case for it @the united nations. if not, shut up.

    3. LOL i don’t think you can compare that. China are free to do what they want with the currency. There’s no laws being broken. It would piss the US off big time but essentially there’s nothting they can do other than impose trade restrictions on them etc.

  8. i just never ever want to see jeffren play right back again please. thanks pep/zubi.

    1. Ha. Yes that made us look really desperate. But maybe for Jeffren, not a bad career move. He certainly has all the natural attributes like pace dribbling tacckling to be an offensive RB. Just dont want to see him learning this in our first 11

  9. @Kxevin (in response to a post from the previous article):

    Yes, yes I know it’s very ironic! I’ve know a lot more about Barca than the average Englishman so my opinion should probably be taken a bit more seriously than most other Arsenal fans. I also get the whole Catalan thing as more or less all my workmates are Barca fans/Catalan and I’ve questioned them to death about it. In fact I’ve probably been to more Barca games this season than most of you guys here (6 including the second leg of the CL game against Arsenal).

    Is it possible for a player to “tap himself up”? It’s a weird situation and a I guess his current club can punish him for it.

    I think if there was a deal, Wenger would buy at least 1 big player at least to calm the fans, if not 2 or 3. It’s all hypothetical of course because he could buy 5 or 6 lesser lights who are equally effective. Gourcuff or Ozil would be someone I’d love to see at Arsenal.

    There is a bit of dissent about it all especially as it’s now been 5 years since we won a trophy but that’s to be expected. It’s hard to take but if you look at football and the world as a whole it’s understandable why he’s doing it. What Liverpool and Man Utd are doing simply isn’t sustainable and it wouldn’t take too much for them to go bust. If Liverpool don’t get Champs League this year then they really will be in trouble.

    1. Thanks for the response. Lot of clutter in there, huh?

      I know that Wenger ruled out Gourcuff already, which means (to me) that Fabregas is staying, and Wenger knows it. Ozil is weird. Werder is crazy if they don’t cash in on him right now, but the player seems to want to stay put.

      What do you think the reaction will be to Fabregas at the first Emirates match? I imagine appreciative, and glad the captain stayed.

      And believe me, I understand the dissent. After just 2 trophyless years, a group mounted a campaign to recall our president and install a new one. TWO. When people call us spoiled, I usually want to agree with them. Plenty of evidence to support that conclusion.

      I’ve been thinking about ways that our game can rein itself in, mostly so that it doesn’t become like Formula One, in which your speed (except for Toyota) is governed by how much you can spend. Championships shouldn’t cost money. In theory, the way that we have done it, building from the Masia and adding the occasional high-powered transfer.

      Problem is that wages make that model expensive, eventually. Messi is SUPER expensive, even though his transfer was essentially free. Ditto for the rest of the 7 players in our starting eleven.

      Not sure what the answer is, but as a Chicagoan who was thrilled to see our Chicago Blackhawks win, it’s weird to see them have to ship out 9 players, all essential to the championship, because of the NHL’s hard salary cap.

    2. Hah, I’m also a Chicagoan (south side) and it wasn’t that weird to me, its kinda like Barca or any other club. Like Madrid shipping Robben and Wesley.. the new coach didn’t want to but had to.

      The Hawks players were signed all to make one big season, then we’d get screwed on money. We can’t sign Hjamarsson and Niemi now because of the money…

      Oops, back on topic. Does anyone think Muniesa has the talent to breakthru to the first team this year? AS a backup, but still. Or is Bartra better?

    3. I think Fontas is in poll position to break into the first team. After that, maybe Bartra has a bit on Muniesa.

  10. When you factor in salary costs along with transfer fees, I wonder why Rosell didn’t push to transfer Marquez, not Chygrynskiy? I am assuming the Marquez’s salary is significantly greater than Chygrynskiy’s, since Marquez is a senior player.

    (I wasn’t successful in tracking down salary numbers, so I recognize that this is an unsubstantiated question.)

    1. Rosell mentioned that we sold Chegrinskiy to pay some aurgent commitments (it make sense to sell him instead of Marquez as he bring a highier return). But then he said that we have 89 M transfer budget collected from initial 50 M plus selling Chegrnskiy and Yaya. Did we use the 15 millions to pay salaries or we still have it in the transfer budget (unless if we sold two chegrnskies).

      I cant answer your question till I figure out how 15 millions = 30 millions.

    2. For someone who campaigned on cleaning up the finances, Rosell seems to already be playing sketchy money games. A club as successful as ours should not need to break out such shenanigans. I hope the socios demand some transparency from the management.

  11. Boy were those two wasted – Talk about spitting on the old guy..

    As The Spoiler headline says, You can take the boy out of Manchester…


    1. Reason 139025192329^10 not to sign him:

      He’s a baaaaad influence.

      (Because we all know Geri wouldn’t do something like that…. 😀 )

  12. Are we doing anything with Gabi? Is he gone? I really hope he will stay. But even if he does, we will still need reinforcement. But who is really good out there and demonstrated his ability to fit our style lately??

  13. Was hoping to see more Thiago in preseason. He missed preseason last year because of international duty as well.

  14. Losing Marquez, Chiggy and Yaya at once is not good for our title chances. So, I am going to view this coming season as a rebuilding process. Expecting a few youth players to break through by the end, especially cbs.

  15. What I don’t get is the wage structure. Why does Messi have to have the biggest contract? When Ibra came, Barca restructured Messi’s contract so that Messi would still be the highest-paid player.

    I don’t understand, in general, why Barca needs to increase the wages of the players who have existing contracts. Can’t Barca just sign a contract extention where the increased wages would only take effect in the added years, and not the remaining years of the previous contract?

  16. I think losing Yaya is by far the riskiest loss. For defensive midfield from the players that saw time last year we now basically have Busquets and Keita, with someone from barca B as the back up. That’s thin. I don’t think the back line is as desperate in that we have Maxwell and Abidal on the left, Alves and Puyol (and maybe Caceres assuming he is back) to cover on the right, Puyol, Milito, Pique and Caceres in the middle. That’s not too bad. And of course things are lovely up front and on the wings with a lot of choices. Actually, with Villa here it will be a difficult year for Pep in terms of balancing playing time.

    1. going into a season thin and with few proven backups? have you been brainwashed by us old Emirates folk? my how we rub off. We should go haunt Citeh and Chelsea blogs and see if we have similar efficacy : )

  17. Damn it. haven’t been here in a while-missed all the Arsenal Trolls. Love it when park their wagons!

  18. My Fav EE video from last season HANDS DOWN:


    (It’s the music, I tells ya. The music 😀 )

    And then, you have Messi


    Runner-up: The Thong Boy red vs Malaga, if only for Marca’s reaction to it : “How dare that Mtiliga attack Cristiano’s elbow with his face! The bastard!” 😀

    –Another dive I found and this one I hadn’t seen before. It was hilarious IMO.


    (Expect more of these. I seriously can’t wait for our season to start so I’ll be in full-on reminisce mode to satiate myself. Ha! I sound like an addict that’s suffering from withdrawal…maybe because I am.)

    1. Ahh, poi poi.

      You really didn’t like him during his whole stay here, did you? I wondered what it was you didn’t like about Henry: was it his playing on the wing, or a more Ibra-esque “his demeanor pisses me off”?

      Well anyway, you’ll have to find a new target now. 😀

  19. I love how Xavi’s signature doesn’t look like anything. He really doesn’t give a damn, does he? I love Xavi 😀 . “XAVINIESTA” 86/68 Barca/Spain jersey here I come~!


    BTW, I’m talking about the page before you enter the website; the one that says “Barca’s World Cup heroes”

  20. Keep hold of Pep as long as you can- that guy is a total class act. Hard to see him at many other clubs though, his ideals only fit Barca and Arsenal.

    Good luck Henry, you are a legend. I hope to see you back at the Emirates in any back office role soon.

  21. Maradona has been offered a 4 year contract to lead Argentina all the way through to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    Messi will never get his chance, will he… 🙁 He will be 31 by 2018.

    1. If they don’t win the Copa America in Argentina in 2012, he won’t be around for 2014.

    2. Damn it!!! Sack this f***ing idiot. Sack the whole AFA! They will not win anything as long as they don’t revolutionize their whole organisation.
      Usually, I would simply give up being an Argentina fan, but as long as Messi is Argentinian, it breaks my heart… 🙁
      If Messi played for Spain, he would be the greatest player of all times!

  22. hopefully getting a update on the financial situation after the press conference tomorrow?

    1. Whoever made that up is clearly bored. Clearly Iniesta wouldn’t leave Barça and then why would Arsenal sell 2 midfielders for 1?

      How about Messi for a packet of cigarettes, a Mars Bar and Mikael Silvestre?

    1. Hartwick, before jumping to conclusions please read Swiss ramblers comments on the link you gave. Arsenal has similar figures.Are they in risk of defaulting?

  23. Wonderful gesture by Iniesta. Not suprised that no one has picked up the boots coz take it from from moi Iniesta bought them back under cover using a fake ID.

    I used to think that Pep wouldn’t sign a long term contract coz hes using it as a means to keep the squad motivated. I mean with the possibility of him leaving due to poor sporting results, the players who just idolize him wont relax or will they?

    Where is our Swedish magician by the way, hes been awfully quiet and i personally thought he was going to use the extra time hes had in the summer to fine tune his game for next season.

    With Henry, yaya and chiggy gone, you kinda wonder wat the average height of the team would be come pre-season.

  24. Funny rumor of the day: Citeh asked about P! when they were talking about The Yaya.

    1. The problem is their wallets are bigger than their brains. If Rosell was to say €50m they’d probably write a cheque there and then. Did Adebayor really give them a £25m player season? Was (Kolo) Toure really worth £15m? Arsenal were laughing all the way to the bank when they got those offers. In fact it’s probably because of those 2 transfers that we don’t “need” to accept any offer from Barça.

    2. I like Busquets’ comments. I think that they are more in keeping with the common sense approach that should have been taken to this thing all along. But as I said, thank the elections….

  25. Today’s conference


    But you need to translate it (google)

  26. I don’t Know what is worse too many comments from gooners or no comments at all

  27. geez, Ramzi, what the hell! //

    Poem? Hymn?! this should be collected in one of the finest barca blogger book. Together with SoMa’s Mou Mou Mourinho piece. I spent time reading the whole “song”, super. love it.

    ooops, I read it there and respond here.

  28. Just finished watching the live Henry press conference. He did a great job and is getting praised for how professional he was and how serious he looked about winning. They are saying unlike Beckham, who came for the brand and marketing, Henry is serious and wants to win.

    Thierry also thanked FC Barcelona, Pep, Laporta, and the fans before the conference was over. Good job, Henry. I’ll definitely remember him for his contributions in the 08/09 season.

  29. So according to Rosell, we have 50m to spend this transfer season, not counting if we sell the likes of Marquez, Hleb, Caceres, etc. That would just be extra. Interesting.

  30. This cute little girl wants her Xavi


  31. What’s everyones guess as to when our first signing under Rosell will be? I say we will sign someone by next Friday. I had hoped we would have almost all our signings done by the start of preseason (July 19th), but that obviously won’t happen. I hope it doesn’t turn out like last summer, where Pep is left unsatisfied with the signings and feeling the squad is short.

  32. Oh and shoutout to Messi who organized a friendly in Panama to raise money for the children in Haiti.

  33. So I just returned from a four day stint in the woods with no phone, let alone internet. I’m feeling very tired and don’t know if I can read through the last stories (let alone comments!)

    If someone would give me a very succinct overview of the news since the Iniestazo 2.0, I would be very grateful.

    1. And you were. No offense meant, I just thought that since I had been gone so long some other things of significance may have occurred that fell outside “news of the day.” Unfortunately I quickly learned that the only thing in this category was “Fabregas incident number 127,” which I’m quite happy I missed.

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