Hello, Goodbye

With all the buzz ‘bout who’s coming, it’s easy to dismiss who’s going. Who’s coming generates excitement: He’s only 14 years old! He scored 8,973 goals for the youth squad! Imagine what will happen when he plays alongside him! And HIM! And HIM!

The goings, meanwhile, read like rejections from an on-line dating service: He’s too old. He has no style. He doesn’t get out enough. He didn’t live up to his profile.

But the goings give me, oh, what would Pep call it? Ah, I know. A fee-leen.

I read the news today, oh boy …

It’s really over. Raúl shuffled off to Schalke. I knew that the Special One spent Cup season transforming Raúl Madrid into Real Moudrid. But still! At 33, the Captain’s not that old. And with 7 goals last season, he’s not that bad. He’s not controversial, petulant or irresponsible. And he’s … Raúl. The White Knights’ santo 7 seña (ironic, I meant to type an ampersand and the Shift key stuck). The all-time leading scorer of the Champions, the EE and the Spanish selection. I don’t know of any other player who has received a personal adiós from King Juan Carlos II. But those rumors that Luis Aragonés removed him from the 2006 Spanish squad because he undermined the coach’s authoritah among the players …

The week’s other notable departure was that of José María ‘Guti’ Gutierrez. He’s as old as Raúl. And, no, he’s not as good. He’s always been a troublemaker, with the sleeve tattoos and metro hair and that cursi H on his jersey. But he’s also a real canterano, up from the RM kiddie squads, and perhaps La Liga’s ultimate Super Sub. He’s kind of an inside joke in Spain, with a cameo in the delightfully tasteless Torrente movies, so he’s not without a sense of humor. He’s not without his tantrums, either: we remember his outburst to Pelly during the Alcorconazo that got him a big ol’ time out just like Kaká generous recovery time from a difficult injury, just like Kaká …

I’m no conspiracy theorist. Eras are not eternities. These are older players past their prime, and with Maicón in Madrid it’s Galácticos Redux: The Special Edition. Iker will step into his official role as the Madridista Barça fans hate to love, and Ramos will commit enough nefarious fouls to keep the morbo flowing. But … but … let’s put it this way: In spring I advocated for Mourinho because I thought he was the only coach ruthless, manipulative and ambitious enough to undercut Raúl and Co. I just didn’t think he’d cut them. Guti, give our best to Bernd!

Meanwhile, somewhere between Strawberry Fields and Harrison …

Rafael Márquez and Thierry Henry cross the pond to play for New York’s Red Bulls this year. Ostensibly, Rafa came over because he wanted more playing time; at 37, Henry realized that his playing time was running out. No doubt that the Red Bulls’ attendance will spike, if only because footy fans are rushing the Arena to convince Henry that not all Americans are as moronic as Fox’s ‘Good Day’ anchors before Rafa bumps into him in the locker room and assures him that, yes, they are.

I once wondered if Rafa could do what Beckham could not, that is, bring soccer to ‘flyover country’, the vast prairie spanning CA to NY. This, for me, is the real test of soccer success: Can Henry hack it in Packer Country? Do not be fooled, Coasters: ‘SoccerMom’ denotes a white Midwest political demographic, not a sports reality. For all of June’s ESPN / ABC anchors spouting off about the Upcoming Soccer Ascendancy (‘Every cool American kid knows Landon Donovan!’), my local broadcasters only mentioned Cup results after the Packers, the Brewers, the Bucks, the Badgers, the East Memorial High girl’s track meet, the New Glarus Pee-Wee Bake Sale … you get the idea.

I am interested in the Rafa-Titi move because it may settle a long-standing argument with the Hunky Soccer Husband (especially since said spouse is currently winning the argument). When Beckham came to LA, I cried, ‘Oh, this is it! He’s a soccer star! More important, he’s a star! He knows Tom Cruise! Posh wears Tom Ford! They’re handsome! They’re chic! They’re Hollywood! And since white Americans love Hollywood, Beckham will bring soccer to flyover country!’

The HSH grimaced. ‘White people will not go for Beckham. The MLS needs Márquez, and they need Márquez in LA.’

‘That is racist,’ I said. (This was last year, before the Tea Party redefined ‘racist’ to mean ‘a person of any ethnicity other than Caucasian’.) ‘White people like nothing more than handsomer richer white people. I see Becks on a Wheaties box!’

‘The future of soccer in this country are the Latinos in this country,’ replied the HSH. ‘And Latino fans won’t pay to see a Hollywood star. They want soccer stars, and if they’re Latino, all the better.’

Then I watched, chagrined and cringing, as Becks crashed while his wife burned. It didn’t help that he has a third-grade voice in that six-pack chest, or that she comes off as a walking Swiss Army knife. For a celebrity couple, they have the least spark I have ever seen. The only people I know who became enamoured of them were fashionistas and Flyoverians, as a rule, do not identify with fashionistas.

Along the HSH line of reasoning, the MLS moved smarter with Cuauhtémoc Blanco, but I think the problem with Blanco among blancos is that he has no personal appeal. He’s short and un-handsome. You have to know who he is where he’s from to care about what he does, and neither factor is so compelling. He’s too narrowly-defined to broaden soccer’s appeal in the States, and given the short-and-not-too-handsome issue, he has little commerical value either. He doesn’t even have an All State ad. I love All State ads.

The affected Harry is not going to affect the situation in Harrison. He’s here because he enjoys New York, and although someone like Gwyneth Paltrow may be GOOP-ing all over herself to fête the Frenchman in Manhattan’s Monkey Bar, soccer’s most manly metrosexual is not going Midwest anytime soon. It will be us diehards, Boomer Francophiles or graduates of some Paris study-abroad program of random culture and/or color who will charge Red Bull practices with our knock-offs and Sharpies, begging Henry for his John Hancock.

It remains to be seen, though, if Rafa, with his iconic status, his statuesque looks and his exquisite technique, can not only bring the entire East Coast Latino population to Jersey (oh please I want to see Chris Christie draped in papel picado), but also convince Flyover Fred that fútbol is more cool than cute. Maybe we suburban soccer moms will find Rafa as dreamy as Latino Lovers like Lorenzo and Ricardo and Julio and Enrique and Ricky and oops, well, maybe not Ricky, well, Lucy’s Ricky, yes, but not the other one, so much … And maybe our kids will try to clear it like Rafa and Márquez will become synonymous with MLS and the M in MLS will stand for machismo and maybe …

… maybe one day the Red Bulls will play Suaharos. Away.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

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Written by:

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


    • Kxevin
      July 28, 2010

      It was an automatic post. Will have to migrate, as it’s an important bit of business, I think. And I’m not the boss. Isaiah is. I’m just paying rent. SoMa and I are equals in comparison to our landlord.

      And, boss-ass post, SoMa. Unfortunately, I think HSM is right. Stars do sell tickets, but not to the extent that the MLS thinks. For example, good seats are still available for the Red Bulls v Chicago Fire match next weekend.

      • SoccerMom
        July 28, 2010

        Yes, Isaiah is landlord. I prefer to think of myself more along the lines of feudal serf. Blog wench.

  1. July 28, 2010

    Apologies for the length, but here are some excerpts from the Xavier Sala i Martin note from Facebook:

    “I read that the new board has decided that the club’s 2009-10 season was counted as the first trophy of the Rosell era, not as the last of the Laporta era. Why? Because, says the vice president Javier Faus, titles are not counted on just the league (as they did until now) but the day the trophy was delivered. And as the League Cup is not until late August will be delivered once Rosell is president, they decided (unilaterally) that the league was earned during his presidency….

    Well, that’s sad, absurd and pathetic is that the news yesterday when he starred Javier Faus said that some auditors had rebuilt the accounts of the club and they had “discovered” that the club had a loss of 70 million.

    How can that be? From +11 to -77 there is a difference of 88 million. How can the results of a change so blatantly? … Well, for example, saying that the sale of land is not effective on the day of the contract of sale (as was always done until now) but the day it was recorded, or that the bonus Mediapro gave the club as a reward for audiences obtained during the last two years of sporting success is not an award that can be assigned to Laporta, and will be paid during the tenure of Rosell. Therefore, Rosell decides to appropriate them. That is, to change the date of certain transactions that have occurred, revenue of Laporta was passed, by magic accounting, to Rosell and many of the expenses that were Rosell’s, were assigned to Laporta.

    I will not discuss now each of the items questioned by Javier Faus. I will later have the audit report when I asked the club (and, curiously, nobody wanted the club has not sent). What will the moment there are four reflections.

    The first is that the lack Faus isn’t telling the truth when he says that the auditors have reformulated the accounts: The auditors give their opinion on the accounts made by the club managers. The “new” accounts, therefore, were drafted by Javier Faus, not by any auditor. This must be very clear.

    The second concern is that the new board gives very the club a bad image, destroys its international reputation and seriously damages the interests of the club. That the economic situation is chaotic within the club is not true, as explained in the following reflection.

    Third, note that the changes proposed by the new board are the date on which income and expenses are counted. That is, Rosell and Faus say that we count income that does not exist. … with the proposed changes of Faus what happens is that the loss of 70 million would be automatically compensated for in earnings of 70 million the next year. Laporta’s board lost 70 million, and has a 70 million gain from Rosell… Therefore, the second message is a message of peace to all partners: the economic health of the club is superb and the “reformulation of the accounts” no way alters that conclusion. The only thing altered by this reformulation is who gets the medal for good economic management Laporta, or Rosell.

    And this brings us to the fourth consideration: … as just explained, when you say it is the worst situation … Rosell will have 70 million profit this way, and the new board will appear as the great savior of the economic situation when in reality it would have been a simple magic trick of accounting.

    The second possible explanation is monetary in nature: if Rosell’s board shows a profit of 70 million the first year, you can retrieve all the 60 million deposited in the LFP. … The LFP requires new boards of clubs like Barca to deposit a bank guarantee worth 15% of the cost of the club from the previous year (as the expenses were 400 million, Rosell had to make a guarantee of 60 million). The rule is that if the LFP finds in the following year that the club showed profit, for example, 15 million, the amount of the deposit will be 60-15 = 45. If next year there is about 10 million in other profits, the guarantee will be 45-10 = 35. And so on until you reach zero. From here, the deposit will always be zero.

    Rosell miraculous generates revenues of 70 million the first year, and the guarantee would be zero immediately. Thus, Rosell and his board would save 60 million annually over the next five years. Remember that the cost of a guarantee is around 1% of the amount so guaranteed, so thanks to this accounting ploy Rosell saves 600,000 euros of his own pocket … every year! This could be the real intention of the board.

    During the election campaign, Javier Faus said it would be an honor for him and for the new board if I would be a club ambassador in New York. I thank him the board for their trust. As a potential ambassador, however, allow me to ask them the following question: Is it worth sullying the national and international image of the club just to get some personal benefits (repeat, personal) of 600,000 euros? I have a clear answer. The question is: Do they?”

    Now, this is fast becoming a swearing match. Recall that Javier Faus said of Martin, “some of the things that took place under his tenure, I would not do in my company.”

    So. Either Laporta and the boys were playing it fast and loose to make themselves look better, or Rosell and the boys are playing fast and loose now, to make themselves look better. Who the hell knows?

    • July 28, 2010

      If google translator didnt fool me, I think the first paragraph about the titles was a joke he used for what he mentioned later.

      We will unlikely know the truth, simply because in accounting there isn’t an absolute truth. Based on what Sala said, it seems they recorded the mentioned earnings (that is yet to be received) as Accrued revenues.

      When the revenues (cash) are actually received (during Sandro’s era), they record it in a Cash transaction. But still they need to reverse Sala’s records to close it. Which means they will receive cash that will not enhance the books of the following balance sheet prepared by Faus at the end of this fiscal year.

      What they did instead -again, based on Sala’s words- they reviewed the last balance sheet and erased the Accrued revenues records which decreased the revenues. And registered those earning directly when received in the books of the new fiscal period which will help them enhancing the balance sheet they will make at the end of the year. Hitting two targets using one stone.

      • July 28, 2010

        I figured people would get the humor (I hope)….

        Alfons Godall is also getting in on the act, calling Faus “reckless.”

        Hey, this is very similar to the recently concluded U.S. Presidential elections. “It was HIS fault!” “No, it was HIS fault!”

        I reckon that if we were truly in trouble, they would be spending their time trying to get us out, rather than engaging in pissing matches, right?

        • July 28, 2010

          Or they would have been spending the 50 M to pay the protesting creditors rather than running after the trolls’ generator name (TGN).

          • SoccerMom
            July 28, 2010

            This is such a great conversation … I’m glad I accidentally Hectored you because now I’m learning what I would have missed yesterday. Thanks chaps!

        • ElShowDeJason
          July 29, 2010

          clealy it’s Obama’s fault.

    • vicsoc8
      July 28, 2010

      Very interesting read, thank you much.

  2. Luke
    July 28, 2010

    The issue I see with “flyover country” adopting soccer, or using that as a mechanism for measuring success in America, is that if you define the success of all sports based on those areas, then they fail as well. Outside the Packers, the Midwest struggles with every “small town” team it has (make no mistake, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, and Minneapolis do not apply in “flyover” land-they are large, metropolitan cities that in no way fit the Midwest dynamic in terms of populace, politics, or values). Of course Midwesterners aren’t going to accept Becks, he’s a metro guy playing in LA. They won’t accept Henry either, because he dresses nicely and plays in New Yarwk Citeh. They wouldn’t accept either if they played in Columbus in so far as I can tell.

    The Midwest will be the last place to accept soccer if it is to go mainstream in America, right after my own Southeast. That’s just how they are, pulled kicking and screaming with the rest of America towards acceptance and civility until it is finally ingrained upon them after 40 years of being bashed over the head with it (then again, I guess the Tea Party has shown us that maybe that clubbing only left temporary civility).

    By the time big time Latino soccer stars who are marketable make it to the Midwest as big names, they will have been doing it in NYC, LA, Seattle, Denver, and Toronto for 20 years, lest we forget that two bastions of flyover country, Arizona and Nebraska, have embraced despicable anti-immigrant tactics of recent, just saying.

    This is all scatterbrained, and for that I apologize, but it is what it is, in my opinion. And I make no qualms about saying the Southeast is basically on par with flyover country, that’s just the way it is.

    • Kxevin
      July 28, 2010

      But the Fire is actually doing very well in attendance. Every match that I attend is close to capacity, and you see lots of people wearing the regalia.

      Chicago is also helped by its large immigrant population, which is why they built Toyota Park on the southwest side, where a great many of those folks tend to settle. They usually support teams back home, but also the Fire, so will see an assortment of shirts in the stands from whatever club team attendees support. Pretty cool, actually.

      So I think that rather than a regional discussion, you have to look at population base and its makeup.

      • Luke
        July 28, 2010

        But that’s part of my point, Chicago, for the greater part, if no Midwestern flyover city. It’s the third-largest market in America with established, and good, sports franchises in every major American league, so of course they can do it there.

        Not to mention that much of their immigrant populace come from countries where football is the #1 sport, by far. I’ve no doubt that Marquez could be a huge boon for Chicago, because he’s marketable, good-looking, and he plays his ass off. But in Kansas City, no one would care.

        • Kxevin
          July 28, 2010

          I don’t know about that, Luke. I think it would depend on the fan makeup. Mexicans love El Tri and everything connected, so Marquez would make things spike like crazy, right, if the fan base of the K.C. team (and I don’t know what it comprises) contained that population element.

          • Luke
            July 28, 2010

            Maybe so Kevin.

            I just wish the MLS would put a franchise in Atlanta.

          • SoccerMom
            July 28, 2010

            Yes I do agree that a growing Hispanic population in the US will expand soccer fan bases throughout the country and I admit, too, that I walked out of Barça’s US tour game at Soldier Field a few years back so enamoured of Chivas fans that I was jaw-slackingly coveting an ‘Hasta los huesos’ jersey with that cool skeleton on it (if I could find one in a size seven-months-pregnant I would have gotten one, too.) And I’m really angry at the state of the States today, especially today. So I’m rooting for Márquez to make it, and for the Mexicans to take him there. I’m hoping that over time the Hispanic population’s purchasing power will increase to the point that MLS will be as lucrative in Milwaukee as in Manhattan.

    • vicsoc8
      July 28, 2010

      Couldn’t agree with you more on the Southeast. A shocking fact: as of a year ago, only two SEC schools had varsity mens soccer teams.

      • stowe
        July 29, 2010

        true, but the ACC is really good at soccer, so it’s a toss-up. I think my high school in South Carolina was the number 1 team in the nation a few years back. (i didn’t play so i have nothing to brag about). but i can’t see soccer being big in alabama, tennessee, mississipi, or georgia

  3. Lev
    July 28, 2010

    true, and the days of Mexicans living only in the border states are over, so arguably any Mexican star in any MLS team would help generate interest

  4. Kxevin
    July 28, 2010

    So, thanks to Jason for posting those links. Um …. I have to say that I’m pretty happy that Wenger has said they will “not nevahevahevahevah!” sell Fabregas, because Thiago kinda knocked me the hell out. I know that he’s playing with his age group, and Krkic kicked out the jams with his age group also, before having complexities playing with the big boys at times.

    But it wasn’t hard to look at Thiago and see Xavi. And it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I have to say. Usually, when a player such as Xavi retires, a team is forced to rejigger its system, or spend major bucks to replace that kind of a player. Can it be that all we will have to do is point to the bench and say “You. Thiago. Your turn?”

    Does anyone know if the Spain/France final will be televised? Should be a hell of a match. The future of Les Bleus looks very bright.

    • July 28, 2010

      only seen thiago play twice but i thought thiago was closer to iniesta kinda style..
      not sure about his play in the under 19’s tournament though

    • vicsoc8
      July 28, 2010

      Interesting thought on Thiago seeming like Xavi. For some reason I get more of a Iniesta/Deco hybrid vibe from him. Xavi is a skilled player, but he is able to control the tempo of the game mainly because of his superb intelligence and reading of the game.

      Thiago strikes me as a player who is more creative in a freewheeling, anything goes sense. Not sure he has the tactical understanding or discipline to replace Xavi (I think JDS, while being less skilled than Thiago, is much more tactically disciplined and reads the game better).

      But then again, Xavi just keeps getting better as he gets older and wiser, and maybe Thiago could follow that path.

      • Kxevin
        July 28, 2010

        He’s been playing a different role in the U-19s, more of that passing, metronome type, like a hybrid Xaviniesta who attacks when the time is right, but usually puts balls exactly where they need to be. Very impressive.

        • vicsoc8
          July 28, 2010

          I have to admit I haven’t seen the games, but it’s great to hear he is filling that role without missing a beat.

    • Hilal
      July 28, 2010

      I know EuroSport have been showing all the U-19 games, have been watching all of Spains matches (in HD nonetheless). Not sure if they will televise it in the US though.

    • poipoi
      July 29, 2010

      each player is different, like when people compared xavi with guardiola or cesc with guardiola… I think he’s more of a “deco” judging for his moves, only deco of the three steps on the ball and the change of pace when dribbling kinda remids me of deco also, the bicycles, the way he waits for the defender to move when he’s still and then runs forward is so deco. iniesta dribbles different to me he doesn’t even need the defender to fall for nothing… and there’s the hard shot also, none of andres or xavi has that shot. and btw… if he defends only half of what his dad did he has to be a monster defensively 😀

      btw… tomorrow I’m going to fuentealbilla to see andres!!! party at 21:30 lol

  5. Bashir
    July 28, 2010

    I dont get all the business talk the last board and the current board
    is talkin about

    But one thing that i agree with Sala Martin is that
    allt his is not good for the image of Barcelona as club and brand

    Simple as that, Rosell should have handled this with in the club
    instead of bringin our books to the world.

  6. vicsoc8
    July 28, 2010

    Not sure if this has been said but these player were NOT taken to Oslo for the friendly against Valerenga:

    Abidal – just returned to training
    Jeffren – experiencing a slight muscle niggle
    Fontas – recovering from injury
    Victor Vasquez – recovering from injury
    Oier – ?
    Cuenca – ?
    Masip – ?

    Hleb – I guess Pep really doesn’t want him.

    The squad is: into, Adriano, Bojan, Ibrahimovic, Keita, Maxwell, Milito, Victor Sanchez, Miño, Armando, Benja, Dalmau, Edu Oriol, Ilie, Jonathan dos Santos, Jonathan Soriano, Martí Riverola, Muniesa, Nolito, Sergi Gomez, Sergi Roberto and Tello.

    Victor Sanchez goes but Hleb doesn’t. Now that’s a statement.

    • Kxevin
      July 28, 2010

      I think that Guardiola is being stubborn about Hleb. Give him a second chance to be important midfield cover, I say. Unless he’s being a total dick behind the scenes.

  7. fcbfan
    July 28, 2010

    and tomorrows our 1st friendly right? yay! cant wait!

  8. Lev
    July 28, 2010

    “I think that Guardiola is being stubborn about Hleb. Give him a second chance to be important midfield cover, I say. Unless he’s being a total dick behind the scenes.”

    I think it would be the lack of fight he showed his first year at Barça. Pep might figure that while a player can improve or not, his personality / character is likely to stay the same.

  9. Kxevin
    July 28, 2010

    Sandro! No vengui la camisa! (Sorry, that just slipped out.)

  10. Kari
    July 28, 2010


    It’s been 2 something months, but there will FINALLY be a Barca game! Here’s hoping we’ll see a lineup of:

    Dalmau (maybe Adriano) – Milito – Muniesa – Maxwell
    JDS – Victor Sanchez – Keita
    Oriol (Nolito( – Ibra – Bojan

    Honestly, I doubt so many first teamers will start the first half, but meh. I’m just glad we’re playing again!

  11. DoYourResearch?
    July 28, 2010

    Raul wasn’t cut, it was his decision, knowing his role on the first team would be diminished to more a mentor for younger players than a full fledged stater. He leaves with respect.

    • SoccerMom
      July 28, 2010

      Raul’s departure isn’t merely ‘with respect’; Madrid has gone practically into mourning. And Guti has received a hero’s welcome in Turkey. I was just surprised to find *myself* a wee bit nostalgic for the passing of an EEra. I’m not insinuating overtly that MouMou is personally responsible for their departure, or global warming, or unidentified submarine objects or anything.

      • nora
        July 29, 2010

        I never got on board with raul (sorry for the spelling) but I always liked Guti. It is sad for Madrid, really. Kind of like how I hate the NY Yankees but it seemed wro g even to me when Joe Torre left.

    July 28, 2010

    kxevin i have a question 4 you.you say you are happy that cesc will stay in arsenal.last summer you were happy when we buyed ibra for 46m and a better striker?

    • Kxevin
      July 28, 2010

      Yes, because it made the team better in that it expanded the offensive palette. And technically, we did the Ibrahimovic transfer for X amount, with Eto’o as a separate transaction.

      Without reopening old crap (you missed all the roiling debates about this), Guardiola has the right to assemble whatever team he wants. And you can parse “better” any way you’d like. One person would say “better” because he scored more goals, never mind that last year was Ibrahimovic’s first with us in a difficult system, and he showed up injured, which affected his fitness, etc, etc. Direct comparisons, as in Eto’o did this and Ibrahimovic did that, are therefore, the profoundest nonsense.

      Someone else would parse “better” as it relates to touch, movement, passing ability and ability to make those around him better, in addition to not disappearing on the wing.

      So it depends. Short answer is “yes,” because the possibilities and potential with Ibrahimovic in the lineup excited me. They still do, particularly now that we have an actual left wing threat now. Messi, Ibrahimovic and Villa can all interchange, interweave and wreak havoc. All three have an excellent touch, and can pass the ball as members of an integrated attack that includes Xavi and Iniesta.

      How can you not be happy about that? This club needs versatility and ways to improve offensively. Pedro! was a revelation last season, scoring many a crucial goal. Ditto for Messi and Ibrahimovic. But at crunch time, the offensive versatility suffered because of that lack of a real wing threat. Now, we do, in addition to depth. Suddenly instead of a starter, Pedro! is a killer sixth man, which is astounding when you think about it.

      I will be happier when we have legitimate cover for Xavi and Iniesta. The notion of spending 45m+ for said cover is more nonsensical than comparing a new striker to one that was fully integrated into the system.

      That’s my .02.

  13. Luis
    July 28, 2010

    Oh man have I miss barca games. The plus side this reduced squad is that we get to see some propects. I’m most excited about dalmau playing. He has great technique and is even faster than alves. I hope he can impress pep to secure a place above montoya who hasn’t looked too great thus far. Jds can also show he can be the main man in midfield. I also have a feeling this will be ibras season. Hoping for a hatrick tomorrow!

    • Jnice
      July 28, 2010

      Montoya has looked great with Spain in the U19s.

    July 28, 2010

    Luis do you have the same feeling that pep had when we kick away eto??hehe..just kidding!the truth is i don.t believe in ibra,for me is overated.but i hope the same!

    July 28, 2010

    i see your point.when i said that ibra is overated i talk about the price we payed.45m was ok but it was better to sell eto to other team.i really want ibra to be monster this season.i read many comments in blogs this season said ibra is a flop.nonsense.i just want him to be faster in passes and movement.

    July 28, 2010

    i have to say something.maybe we disagree in some points but you guys in this blog doing amazing job.you,ramzi and others bring to us informations,details and other stuff to undestand what happen about our club..and about rosell i am not a supporter of him.i am just don.t want to accept that our president put his ego above the team..

    • stowe
      July 29, 2010

      use the reply button and even though ramzi has amazing comments he has his own blog

  17. vicsoc8
    July 28, 2010

    Jnice – can I ask you a favor? Would you post a download link for the game tomorrow sometime after it is played? I’m going out of town and have no internet/phone service until Monday, and I would really appreciate it.

      • July 28, 2010

        haha how can at this age some places still not have a phone service in USA?

      • vicsoc8
        July 28, 2010

        Thanks so much. As for not having phone service – I have to admit that that is a personal choice. Call me old school, but backpacking/camping isn’t the same with phone service.

    July 28, 2010

    hm i read that cesc was here in greece in mykonos island vacations..if next summer come to barca maybe someday will see a picture with him,pique and ibra..hehe i am joking(mykonos is a celebrities island and also a gay island)!!i hope gay is the political correct word in egnlish!

    July 28, 2010

    shit!homosexual is the right word e??mistake!

    • Kxevin
      July 28, 2010

      Actually, “it doesn’t matter” is the right word. As in, what or who Cesc Fabregas chooses to spend time with is his business.

    July 28, 2010

    oh and i have a question for you friends living in U.S.A!how much do you pay to see barca games in t.v?i pay 50e the month!

  21. July 28, 2010

    Hey Kxevin
    i just want Xavier Sala i Martin’s Facebook page. when i searched it i got plenty of options non of them contain the written note about the DBET stuff Faus reevealed couple day ago …


  22. Alex
    July 28, 2010

    Where is the famous match preview?????!?!????

  23. Miguel
    July 28, 2010

    soccermom is not a girl who misses much, doo doo doo doo doo doo, oh yeah!

    great post!

    chicharito got a rip roaring ovation in houston, just now, playing in the man utd v mls all stars game.

    • Miguel
      July 28, 2010

      & as i type this, he scores a sick semi offside goal ;^)

  24. andrew
    July 28, 2010

    chris christie is too fat too fit into any shirt that isnt custom-made

  25. Reagan
    July 29, 2010

    Hey guys, haven’t chimed in for a while. Been super busy. I apologize in case you guys missed a fellow Barca blogger 🙂

    There’s a beast getting a FULL PRESEASON and INJURY FREE this time. It’s just the best possible start to our season for our ninja-esque striker! If he doesn’t bring the rain this time, then fine, bring out the swords but I really believe our front line is going to break all records this season. With CT and P! ready to pick up the pieces we’re all set on that front and more.

    On the Cesc front, most of you disagree with me but I feel there’s an entire nation waiting to welcome back their prodigal son. It’s all fine and I completely agree that on a sporting front, it doesn’t make sense bringing him now and unsettling the xaviniesta combo but I want it to happen because it’s going to bring a nation to its feet.

  26. Bundy
    July 29, 2010

    I just don’t know why Rosell and co. are taking so long on their next transfer, is it really that hard to find a Defensive midfielder?

    I understand its complicated, but it seems they managed to bring out all these financial figures so quickly and easily, the new office look more eager to focus on the status of the past and not on what they need to work on for the new season. Or has Rosell already planed he will breeze through the sporting responsibilities of a club president, and just focus on how great he is.

    • Hilal
      July 29, 2010

      I think they are still waiting to see how the whole Cesc thing plays out over the next week or so. Cesc is going back to London tomorrow to talk to Wenger so by Monday it should be pretty clear whether or not it will happen. If it happens then I think we will get Senna since he will be cheap. If it doesnt happen then I think we will get a more expensive DM like Capoue and then maybe Ozil as well.

      I still think we need another CB though and I havent heard anything about that. Then again we didnt hear anything about Adriano till the deal was done so you never know..

      • Bundy
        July 29, 2010

        I think Iniesta pretty much hinted that Cesc will stay at Arsenal last weekend. Lets just hope the best outcome pays out, and we do not face with the short end of the stick.

        I doubt Barcelona would find it easier to negotiate with Ozil. I also doubt that he will come on the cheap either. Also thinking of buying an expensive DM isn’t exactly the best option. because that opens more complications trying to negotiate with other signings.

        Plus, the Cesc negotiations have extended over the past two weeks and nothing has happened. Every day that goes past, is one less day for pre-season practice and that comes at a significant cost to the new signing’s space to adapt and find any sort of proper integration into the squad.

        by all means, Rosell can keep trying, but the clock is ticking,he has to do something, so far he hasn’t been any better than our last man in office.

        • Kxevin
          July 29, 2010

          It’s funny, because there haven’t been any Fabregas negotiations. Arsenal refuses to talk, or even entertain the notion of selling Fabregas. We should move the hell on. Now.

          Ozil will be easier, because at least Werder understands that for the right offer, they’d be willing to talk. But Ozil won’t be any closer to starting, or any happier with riding the pines than Fabregas will be.

          We need a man-sized DM. Watching a bit of The Yaya playing for Citeh reminded me of that need. Senna would be perfect, and cheap, and short-term, which is what we need.

          The other buzz I’ve heard is that Guardiola would like to fill out the squad with canteranos. I wouldn’t mind this, as there are some of them who are close enough to being ready where it might be the perfect way to blood them, without making any promises, as there were with Krkic.

          • fcbfan
            July 29, 2010

            Let’s just get Senna for dm, and Marchena cb/dm and call it a day.

  27. Larm
    July 29, 2010

    does anybody know if the friendly is being broadcasted in the us.

    • July 29, 2010

      Simple. We strongly suggest that they not play him. I thought we had that deal in place where he wouldn’t be called up for friendlies any more, after the Olympics business?

      And another thing: The goddamned World Cup is OVER. Put a sock in it, let the players do their national league thing and relax. This is absurd. Last year it was friendlies and qualifiers, this year it’s MORE friendlies?

  28. fcbfan
    July 29, 2010

    I just hate that the dm and other necesary transfer is dependent on the Cesc situation.

  29. stowe
    July 29, 2010

    part of me wants to be angry with Batista calling for Messi, but if I were in his shoes I would want him to play in my first game as well. he is a crucial part of the team and isn’t there a South American tournament to prepare for next summer?

  30. Jnice
    July 29, 2010

    Pachecho thinks Thiago should win best player in the Euro U19 despite the goals he has scored. Even AS agrees and says that “Thiago has left the public with their mouths open with his ability to move the team from side to side. The coaches have realized this and it is difficult to find someone who has done better than him.”

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