Barça v. Racing – Match Preview

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

Sunday, August 29, 2010. 1 PM EST, 7 PM Barcelona time. ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

So this is the new year? Yes, yes it is. And isn’t it about damn time we get down to some La Liga games? As far as benedictions go, this is a good one. On Sunday, FC Barcelona begins its 80th La Liga campaign and another league championship title defense at Racing Santander. For a squad that many are predicting will win its 21st league title this year, Barcelona certainly faces a number of questions ranging from the starting front line to depth concern and the prospect of youth and young manhood taking over in the midfield. Then again, the club also sports the greatest amount of talent in the league, and likely of any club in the world. So… let’s preview shall we?

A little housekeeping first. Normally Isaiah dutifully handles the previews and Kevin deftly rolls out the reviews but this year we are doing things a little differently and I will be handling a few of each to relieve the workload. I do my previews and reviews differently, so there will be less talking about the histories of cities and more of me waxing prophetic, cause that’s how I roll.

Ignoring the giant purple elephant in the room for a moment, we find ourselves on the road in Santander to start the year. You’ll forgive me if I am none too afraid I’m sure. Last year Racing took a big step back after approaching the middle of the table in 2008-09 and giving our boys a ton of trouble, regression set in and they barely finished above relegation, and were made to look bad on both occasions by our Blaugrana. Sadly, they look to be doomed to relegation now.

The team has done very little to improve after selling Sergio Canales to Madrid and somehow not getting sure guarantees that he would be sticking around on loan this year too (although it is unlike that their poor showing are 100% their fault since all the big clubs in La Liga keep all the money with no revenue sharing that might make the minnows spend a dime or three, but I digress). Instead, they rely on the ageless, and sometimes toothless, Pedro Munitis for goals (although he did get a ton of assists last year). So yeah, it’s not looking good. This does not even mention that Barcelona will be looking to put an ugly offseason behind them and Pep is likely going to beat the boys to death so that they will not underrate the Cantabrian side. In short, this one is going to get bad, and it’s going to get very bad early.

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe
I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I leave off the prose in relation to Santander and tend to our own mountainous and nebulous concerns that have been piling up, since oh, hoisting number 20 last May. Call it a preview distracted by external factors, but that’s where we are, I cannot help it. As if to make matters more hectic in regards to any preview that was going to be put up, everyone decided that 4 days before the end of the transfer window is the appropriate time to buy a highly-coveted MF from Liverpool in Mascherano and sell last summer’s big swipe, Zlatan for more than $40M.

Then there is the possible World Cup hangover that Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, and Villa might suffer from. Such an affliction may also hit Messi… And where does Villa fit now? Is he playing on the left with Messi in the center and Pedro on the other side? Vice versa? How does Pep fit everyone in? How will the team react with actual, perceivable depth at every position? What is the meaning of life? Will Thiago, JDS, or Fontas make lasting contributions? Should we build a Captain D’s 2 blocks from the BP oil spill? Many of these are unanswerable. However, as your gallant and epic preview writer, I will make some seemingly bold predictions for the upcoming season.

Thiago will make a huge impact
Huge by degrees obviously, but still. I am a foremost proponent of our Brazillia-Spanish (ok, maybe Ramzi has me), but I think the chances are going to be there for him to step in. He played very well in the U-19 Euros and seems to be tailor-made to step in in the event that Iniesta is injured, or for Xavi as well in a pinch. The fact that he scored his first and only first team goal against Racing is just icing on the cake.

FC Barcelona will have to deal with increased cynicism from all sides
Face it, when you are involved in 4 high profile transfer sagas, one of which involves a most beloved EPL player, and 2 more involve asshole agents publicly bashing your manager, things are going to be very public all summer (if you’re counting it home, the blame lies as follows, that one kid-media/FCB/his club; Yaya-agent/himself; Mascherano-player; Ibra-FCB/agent). All of this following a disastrous trip to Asia, in terms of PR (although I think that’s horse shit, when everyone is exhausted that stuff happens, you’ll move on I am sure), means one of the most well known clubs in the world with a reputation for being fan-centric is going to have its rep besmirched, mostly through its own doing. The way this Zlatan business has ended up just makes us look worse, as Kevin alluded to here, is only going to further damage our reputation. When you win, it also makes it worse. Rightly or wrongly, it’s coming.

Maxwell will continue to impress, and Adriano will fill in that role as well
The unheralded Brazilian left back that we signed for $3M last summer has been more than a revelation, he’s been a savior. When Abidal was injured last year, he filled in. He played up front on the left. He provided pace, skill with the ball, and defensive alacrity when needed. He fits Pep’s system perfectly and does what is needed. The perfect signing. Likewise, Adriano can play roughly 5 positions on the field, maybe more. He’s never going to score a lot, but he will fight for the ball, cross well, and use his pace incredibly. What’s better is that he will provide a break for Alves, something we could definitely use without moving Puyol out.

The offense will be better, somehow
Subtract Ibra, add Villa. Another year of maturity for Pedro, plus World Cup success. Xavi is who he is. Iniesta had an amazing World Cup and can hopefully be healthy. Jeffren, well, he’s still alive I think. And Messi, well, he exhibits all the powers of Cthulhu, with none of the awful tentacle-ish side effects of godhood (and as well all know, just like Cthulhu, Messi waits…). And then there’s Bojan, cute little sweet Bojan. Of anyone who is going to benefit from Ibra leaving, it is our midget 11. Running the 4-3-3, the offensive front is going to look like this:

Villa (Iniesta, Maxwell, Adriano) – Messi (Bojan) – Pedro (Jeffren, Alves)
Iniesta (Thiago, Keita) – Xavi (JDS) – Busquets (Mascherano, Keita)

Last year Messi flourished as a false nine after acclimating, and this year, we likely have the trident back with Villa and Pedro on the wings, cutting inside and providing their scoring flourishes. The midfield is equally stacked with the earth, wind, and fire combining. All of these players know their roles, where they fit in, and how to play with the other players. The only one that we may worry about it Villa, but at home on the left with Iniesta and Xavi feeding and Messi providing space and passing lanes, he won’t have trouble acclimating I am sure.

Season Predictions
La Liga CL Spots: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Villareal
Europa League Spots: Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia
Relegation: Hercules, Racing Santander, Levante

Champions League: Barcelona (lose in Finals); Madrid (lose in Semis); Sevilla & Valencia (into Europa after Group Stages)

Copa del Rey: Barcelona (lose in the Semis)

Oh yes, I remember why we were here in the first place: Santander. Predicted score: 4-0. Goals by Messi (x2), Iniesta, Pedro.

Starting Lineup
Valdes
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa

Get excited about the new year, cause here, we, go.

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427 Comments

  1. SoccerMom
    August 28, 2010

    Hi-YA!
    Luke’s La Liga Preview Power!

  2. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    what? am i the first to tell Luke this is a bangin review?

    though i think Pedro on the left wing, Villa in the center and Messi on the right would also be a possibility, as putting Messi as a false 9 all the time in all the games would be overaccentuating our midgetness…

  3. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    Villa-Messi-Pedro is a very interesting front line. With a front line of those three who is designated as the central striker is going to be tactically far less important than it is in most other cases.

    The purpose of that kind of front line is their movement not where they positioned. The hope is that their collective movement and position switching as a 3 man unit will break down defenses. The trade off may be a diminished focal point for the attack. But inside of the stringent ball control game Barca plays a focal point for attack is far less important than for most clubs.

    This Barca front line will take the importance that multidimensional players have in the contemporary game in interesting directions.

    • Dave
      August 28, 2010

      They will swap roles similar to what Villa did at Valencia

    • Lev
      August 28, 2010

      this is definitely true of course. Lack of height might definitely prove to be a problem throughout the season. What’s the over / under on goals conceded from set pieces?

  4. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    Im not sure the ousting of Keita from the team is a foregone conclusion.
    Regardless good work Luke

  5. GREECE BARCA
    August 28, 2010

    good work luke!my prediction 0-3 villa(2)pedro!

  6. mei
    August 28, 2010

    Nice preview luke!
    Kxevin , did they listen to you?
    “The private plane that had to carry Ibrahimovic to Milan tonight has been cancelled. [milannews]”

  7. gv
    August 28, 2010

    great preview luke! and hilarous photo, lol!

    or maybe pep would start with messi, bojan and pedro, then villa will be introduced as a sub.

    ot, where’s isaiah? is he still on vacation?

    • August 28, 2010

      Not only is he on vacation, but he (rather conveniently, I will add 😀 ) forgot work while he was gone. So you’re stuck being Isaiah-less for a while.

      Speaking of, soliciting volunteers for LiveBlog duty tomorrow, if anyone’s up for it. Let me know here, and thanks in advance.

  8. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    ““The private plane that had to carry Ibrahimovic to Milan tonight has been cancelled. [milannews]“”

    cause it couldn’t carry his ego! :p

    • August 28, 2010

      I’m staying clear of this deal for a while, and I think that everyone should. Nobody can see it through anything short of whether they like Ibrahimovic, Rosell, Laporta, Guardiola, chickens, puppies, etc.

      I want what’s best for the club. But it isn’t up to me to sort that out, only offer opinion, which I’ve already done. So I’ll let the folks whose jobs it is to look out for the club, do so. We’ll deal with what happens when it happens.

  9. August 28, 2010

    Actually, Krkic isn’t an 11. He’s a 5.5. 😀

    My predicted lineup:

    Valdes
    Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
    Busquets Xavi Keita
    Messi Villa Pedro

    Keita has been playing too well not to roll him out there, and given Racing’s danger on the counter, it makes sense to have a pair of defense-oriented mids out there. I’d put Iniesta in the “in case of a deficit, break glass” box because remember, if the front line as rolled out doesn’t work, we’re pretty much bereft of options. With Ibrahimovic, Pedro! becomes the killer option off the bench. Now, we’d need something else, such as the destabilization effects of some Ghostface.

    It’s going to be a looong season, and I’d rather Iniesta were fresher for the middle/end of it, than used at the beginning, where we shouldn’t need him.

    • andrew
      August 28, 2010

      i agree except switch out pedro for iniesta.

  10. andrew
    August 28, 2010

    I would just like to weigh in my 2c on the Ibra deal.

    i have two points:

    1) first of all this seems to be all of ibra’s (read: mino’s) own dealings. he has a reputation for doing this (ie: ajax and inter). Before ibra arrived people were asking about his attitude and arrogance and whether or not pep could tame him and it just seems like ibra is too much. Ibra got a few boos and a few insults for not being “perfect” which, granted, is not fair, but come on this is nothing new for the camp nou is it? its shit or get off the pot and i guess he decided this kitchen is too hot for him. perhaps its also because he is not the hero and he wants to be the superstar in the team while here at barca he is only another name, and one that is not performing at that. so in this regard i do not blame pep, or even that wanker rossell. it is ibras fault and he should have known he was skating on thin ice due to the extravagant price laporta shelled out for him.

    2) i think that we wont buy another forward and that pep doesnt mind that much that ibra goes because i have a hunch he wants to push iniesta forward and play a very mobile front three which could be just villa with messi and iniesta behind him or messi and villa with iniesta behind or whatever. if andres can find his shooting boots he could be a great winger (although i know you all disagree with me). this way, we have less trouble trying to play all of our midfielders. this way we can start keita each match with xavi and busi, or push busi forward with xavi and put hulk smasch(cerano) behind them. we also have JDS and thiago to filter in there so i imagine iniesta will play a more advanced role this season.

    Maybe its just me but there was always something amiss about ibra in our colours. i cant put my finger on it. he is too sensitive to the fans reactions. in a club like barca, the fans own the club and so they have the right to tell the players what they think of them. if he cant stand up to the pressure he should skidaddle.

    but whatever. my point is just that its not the end of the world if ibra leaves.
    sad? yes. it was handled in a terrible way. like someone said, barca need a full time PR team.

    but we will get over this. i value the team over a player like kxevin always says, and if ibra is causing pep stress then he must leave because pep is god. yes, god. i am a pepist.

    sorry for the rant.

    🙂

  11. poipoi
    August 28, 2010

    nice preview and great pic of andres bullfighting! the defender is soo f*cked up lol

    it would be nice to rest xavi and iniesta and see how thiago does starting.

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      Thiago isn’t in the squad, he’s playing with Barça B today.

  12. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    As an aside – if Ibra wasn’t good enough at Barca, what kind of striker will possibly meet Pep’s, the club’s and cules?

    Pep since he took over has prioritized getting a taller striker who could expand the attack in new ways.

    But that tall striker couldn’t just be a target man – he had to have outstanding technique to fit in with Barca.

    Pep literally got the a player who is perhaps the most versatile, tall strike on the planet.

    But with little surprise as no player is perfect outstanding pace wasn’t a key strength of this player. So he couldn’t move like say a Messi or Pedro.

    That tall striker despite his size also needs to have an outstanding, non-stop work rate or he is “static.”

    And of course the striker desired cannot have much of an ego either. That’s completely unacceptable as well.

    So who exactly fits this picture? What player is this perfect?

    It’s as if the requirements of the position mean that the only player who can fit in as the striker the Pep and the club seem to long for is Mario Balotelli without Mario Balotelli’s personality.

    They literally are looking for the perfect footballer or a robot Would Andriy Shevchenko or Marco van Basten in their primes been good enough?

    Barca better crack open the bank and hope that all of the excitement about Romelu Lukaku is turns out to be true because it seems like the requirements are so stringent to play striker for Pep and Barca are such that it will take a near perfect talent to satisfy what’s needed.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      one that actually runs and dribbles?

      • Euler
        August 28, 2010

        …and is 190 cm and has great technique and has pace and has no ego. In other words the perfect player. Good luck with that.

        Pep didn’t want another 170cm striker so runs and dribbles and is another midget while much easier to find wasn’t what pep of the club wanted. Runs and dribbles was never sufficient by pep’s own requirements.

        • poipoi
          August 28, 2010

          no need for 1’90 at all, no need of overwhelming technique to score either, just some great sense of goal, “olfato de gol”. Two of the strikers fitting that profile of height and technique could be Kluivert and Ibra, none of them will be very well remembered in Camp Nou. It’s those kind of great but unneficient players that make me like the not-so-skilled 9’s that score like crazy.

          Why are people so mad about ibra’s departure? he is nobody in this team, nobody. We even play better without him. Remember we won the triplete without him. And the end of this liga also. I think it’s great that a player like that, a legend, is sat by bojan, a midget. When you come to FCB you have to give your best, and if they want you to run you just run. And now Villa wil sit him, another midget. The tall dude can go back to Italy to enjoy that fast, skilled and “pure attack” footy they have there.

          • poipoi
            August 28, 2010

            and let’s not talk about ibra’s supposed “bus-breaking” abilities, which were the reasons why he came here… and then we get kicked out of CL by a bus.

          • Euler
            August 28, 2010

            That’s what your requirements may be but it’s clear that not what pep desired. That’s what I am referring to. The kind of striker pep wants. Not the striker either you or I would want. Pep has talked about wanting a tall striker since he got the job. That’s what he has been looking for.

            That’s what I’m discussing – what pep’s requirements are. You may disagree with those requirements but that’s a seperate issue.

            And my question now isn’t even about ibra. My question takes ibra being a failure of requirements for pep as a given. Perhaps this experience has changed what pep wanted in a striker. I’d guess he still wants a more physically imposing player. You may not value that but pep does.

            Given that ibra was a failure how does pep find ghe striker he has wanted so badly. Badly enough to spend 69m to try to meet those requirements? That player pep ideally wants seems near perfect.

            So either pep changes his requirements and settles for less or the club gets very lucky and finds this ideal striker. Maybe that’s already happenned and he’s now happy with villa-messi-Pedro I hope so because the striker pep was looking for – the striker he thought he was getting in ibra but didn’t – is such an ideal player he probably doesn’t exist and it’s best not to keep having those kind of difficult requirements and be more practical.

          • Kxevin
            August 28, 2010

            Oh, bullshit. Giant, festering bullshit. People are concocting bullshit to justify their hatred of Ibrahimovic, and I’ve had it.

            We got kicked out of Champions League because everybody’s beloved midget, Bojan Krkic, couldn’t push a header into an open fucking net. Then a second goal was disallowed because of an incorrectly judged handball. How in the hell is that Ibrahimovic’s fault? Oh, wait …. let me guess. His static, inadequate play meant that he was sitting because he sucks, and if he didn’t suck, Krkic wouldn’t have been playing, so he couldn’t have had the opportunity to miss the header. Got it.

            Euler makes a perfect point about the absurd, unattainable standards that cules hold players to, and you spout some dissertation on why you hate Ibrahimovic, tailored to infinitely malleable reasons. Stop it. Say something, anything positive. Just once. First Henry, now Ibrahimovic. Who’s next?

            Kluivert and Ibrahimovic won’t be well-remembered in the Camp Nou. Read Euler’s initial comment, then ask youself why. Don’t bother. I’ll tell you. Because cules have absurd, unrealistic expectations. Good thing Messi came into a side that already had plenty of stars. Imagine signing Messi today, and what he would have to live up to. Could he? He did last season, but would he have been judged inadequate long before then?

            “He should pass more,” “He makes too many runs,” “He has no head,” would chant the cules, outraged about his 60m transfer fee. “We paid that much for a midget?”

            Absurd? Unrealistic? Not hardly. Nobody can imagine Messi as a transfer because he started with the system. But use your imagination, and think for a moment about the standards that Messi, or ANY transfer has to meet coming into the club. Just because it has always been thus, doesn’t make it right.

          • poipoi
            August 28, 2010

            ok I understand about pep’s requirements. I don’t watch much football apart from FCB but diego milito is good, tall, can take down and control long balls, is a matador, knows spanish football, has “good sense of goal” and was sill hungry to show how good he is, in the pitch. ibra still thinks he’s the best no matter how bad he plays. … I also think pep’s happy with villa-messi-pedro! and the back-up. Ibra is so full of himself that he wouldn’t take being back-up very well, so out with him.

            I never hate the players I don’t know them personally I hate their game, more like dislike in the case of ibra… hate in the case of titi. and they both earned too much money for what they did which made me dislike them even more.

            So now it’s bojan’s fault, a 19 year old canterano who earns a quarter of what ibra does, and has to win his spot in the team every single practice. And not the player who we signed specially for these cases and plays “a priori”… not ibra who came here as the bus-breaker the plan B the saviour the superstriker. He should have scored in that game he is the bus-breaker not bojan, he started not bojan. I’m saying it was his fault but he did little when he was supposed to be superibra. Don’t even rememeber if he really started that’s how much he did… a true bluff a nobody, at least for what he did here in FCB.

            I saw a Radomir Antic documentary yesterday and realized something. Ibra is a riquelme 😀

            Cules have liked and loved many many foreign players that came here and played well, not those two you mentioned but many more. It’s their opinion can they have one without being called bullshiters, absurd or haters?

          • poipoi
            August 28, 2010

            and most important:

            one magic play of messi in camp nou and the (already disrespected here) cules would change the “He should pass more,” “He makes too many runs,” “He has no head” stuff into a big “MEEEEEESSIIIII – MEEEEEESSIIIII”

    • Vicsoc8
      August 28, 2010

      Personally, I think Ibra would have been perfect if he moved off the ball more intelligently. I just thought that man times he looked lost on the field last season without the ball, as if he wasn’t sure how to move.

  13. hannibal
    August 28, 2010

    I like these predictions alot Luke. Atletico will ‘hopefully’ be a force to reckon with. Duplicating their ’97 title run will prove to be difficult but for the first time since long they seem to have a very good core players (De Gea, Filipe, Godin, Camacho, Reyes, Tiago, Forlan, Kun,…) and bar injuries they can challenge the Twin Towers in La Liga. Villareal started of miserably last season but they still have enough power, creativity and experience. Add that to the fact that the expectations will not be as high and I can see them come close to CL-territory.

    Both Valencia and Sevilla seem a little less strong than last year. Moreover, Valencia will have to adapt to live without the David’s. In Andalucia it seems as if the glory days of 2005-2007 are even further away after the CL-fiasco against Braga. All in all I go along with your analysis, yet I see Hercules staying up (just a feelin’)

  14. Diego S.
    August 28, 2010

    Who Will wear the #9 Jersey ? It’s Hard to think that a team is starting the Season without a no.9

    What we’ll we do in set pieces Defending or Attacking ? The Only Tall Players we have are Pique,Keita,Busquet,Abidal .. And Average Puyol,Maxwell,Villa,Masch ..

    Some of The B Players have to step up .. And Hopefully They’ll can Handle it .. We Have Versatile Players that can play in many positions (Maxwell,Adriano,Iniesta,Messi,etc) .. But Fatigue and Injury may be a concern

  15. Vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    I can liveblog tomorrow if needed Kxevin. Game is at 1 EST right?

    • Kxevin
      August 28, 2010

      You’re on, Vicsoc. Thank you. We’ll do the usual thing. Just shoot me an e-mail with the code, and up the post will go.

  16. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    Barça B’s lineup v. Celta Vigo:

    Miño, Montoya, Bartra, Fontas, Planas, Thiago, Romeu, Dos Santos, Benja, Soriano, Nolito.

    That’s pretty strong.

    • Helge
      August 28, 2010

      Wow, but that means neither of them will be given permission to play for Barca on Sunday?

      When will the match start?

      • Jnice
        August 28, 2010

        It’s started already…

        And yeah, they can’t play.

        Defense had a few scares, Benja just came close.

        *http://www.justin.tv/narkitu_pt#/w/347721440

    • Kari
      August 28, 2010

      Now that I’ve actually seen the B teamers in action (for us during preseason), no wonder our B team is in the Segunda.

      I looked at that lineup and thought, “THIAGOOOO! ROMEU!! NOLITO!! JDS!! FONTAS!! BARTRA!! HOLY CRAP, WE’RE SO STACKED!!”

      • Jnice
        August 28, 2010

        It’s nice that they are in the 2nd division because a lot of their games will have streams.

        Celta Vigo is testing us defensively…

  17. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    btw, will there once again be a la Liga prediciton game for the first half of the season?
    I know that usually Isaiah is responsible for that and since he is away right now, we could start it on the 2nd playday which is not until two weeks due to international break.

  18. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    Bartra keeps getting exposed.. Mino has come up big a couple of times.

    • Vicsoc8
      August 28, 2010

      I’m disappointed Muniesa wasn’t starting, but thats one of the problems you have when you are that stacked.

  19. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    Soriano just scored a golazo.

    Thiago clip a pass to Nolito, he came across the box, slipped Jonathan Soriano through, one on with the keeper, he dribbles around him and taps it in.

    Nice.

  20. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Que GOLAZO !!! Watch out, Primera Division, Barca B is coming to get you 🙂

  21. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    BTW, Thiago is the #4, Jonathan the #20.

  22. sab
    August 28, 2010

    read this,sid lowes pre view of la liga 2010-11

    *http://www.swfla.rr.com/sports/topicdl/article/dlt/0gCU0JA9zlehF/0eWdcd67GvdrK/Sid_Lowe_La_Liga_2010-11

  23. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Btw, the average age of the Barca B line-up against Celta Vigo is 20.5 years !
    Name me any other team in the second division of a big European league with such a low age.

  24. sab
    August 28, 2010

    please share this to EPL loving fans who argue that EPL is much much more competitive
    *http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jonathan_wilson/08/24/epl.observations/index.html

  25. Vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    Anyone know what number Mascherano will sport?

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      I believe 14, titi’s number. he got it for the hardness 😉

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      I don’t think it’s been sorted yet.

  26. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    Umm.. our lead will not last this match. I don’t know how in the world Celta haven’t managed to score, but our defense is in straight shambles. Mino is a lifesaver right now.

    Enrique needs to get them in order.

  27. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    OMG… que golazo de Fontas!

    Fontas dribbled a couple of players outside the box, gave it to Nolito, Nolito slipped it through, and Fontas puts it in the corner.

    Scoring against the run of play again. I love it.

  28. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Wow, Fontas scores! 2-0.
    What a lucky result for us, tbh it’s a miracle Vigo didn’t score yet 🙂

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      It’s a shame I have LSAT class and can’t watch the 2nd half… this game is exciting.

      We should be down 3-0 at least, but instead we are up 2-0 with a couple of golazos.

      Nolito had a couple of great assists… and what tidy finishes from Soriano and Fontas (who is the captain).

  29. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    It’s a shame that neither EMD nor Sport has a live coverage for Barca B linked on their main webpage 🙁

  30. Roz
    August 28, 2010

    And Pep was kung-fu fighting LOl. Very nice pic

  31. Kxevin
    August 28, 2010

    There’s a deal on the transfer of Ibrahimovic to Milan. The last details are being finalized. [sportmediaset]

    An official statement on the transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to AC Milan is expected in the coming minutes. [sportmediaset]

  32. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic will join AC Milan in a deal worth 25M. [milannews]

    I think im gona puke..

    • DontPanic
      August 28, 2010

      HAHAHAHAHA what a joke
      Nice job Rosell, Pep

    • August 28, 2010

      There will be a pretty long line at that bag marked pour mal d’air, Hilal.

      As I said, for me it isn’t a question of Ibrahimovic and what he did or didn’t do for the club. Not at this point. At this point, it’s a question of the people who should have that responsibility, doing what is best for this club. It staggers me to understand how selling this player for 25m meets that requirement.

      But I await the details. Official announcement to come in about 10 minutes.

      • August 28, 2010

        Oh, and it will be structured as originally noted. Loan with obligation to buy.

        • Hilal
          August 28, 2010

          If this is true we will be the laughing stock of the football world. Every club we try and negotiate with from now on will try and take us for a ride, and why not? Rosell is clearly an idiot. Not sure how he made it to where he is with this sort of business.

      • DontPanic
        August 28, 2010

        Do not expect it to differ significantly from leaked info.

        • August 28, 2010

          We’d probably sell Messi for 30m. But first his agent will call Guardiola’s mama a ho. Then the deal will happen. 😀

          Laughing to keep from crying. Our last three significant transfers have all had the same patters: Player runs afoul of Guardiola, agent starts talking crap, player gets sold. This was true for Eto’o (caveat: Last year of contract), The Yaya and Ibrahimovic.

          I want to believe that this is for the overall good of the club. I need someone to tell me how it is because prima facie, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

          Perhaps the reasoning is rather than paying his salary, we dump the salary and get 25m? Which will immediately go toward reducing our overall debt load. Maybe? Dunno.

          Now, we wait.

  33. Kari
    August 28, 2010

    Jnice’s Thiago avatar is made of win. YES! I approve!

  34. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    So, according to us, Ibra costs 25 mil, while Yaya cost 30 mil?

    Right Holy Mess!

  35. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    If these reports are true and it’s 25m the financial losses are going to be staggering

    barca will not only have gotten less for ibra than inter did for balotelli. They will have gotten less than Aston villa got for James milner. Think about that – less than James milner and by a fair margin.

    Plenty of cules hate ibra. Fine. Bug how can anyone be pleads about the club itself suffering such massive financial losses. How can anyone be satisfied that barca is entering into an awful financial deal.

    How could rosell not have sold ibra to man city. Man city paid more for balotelli, Taya, silva and milner than what barca may get for ibra. How much would they bought ibra for is barca management had done it’s business properly.

    • August 28, 2010

      Great galloping Jesus. Less than Balotelli? Less than James Milner?

    • Jim
      August 28, 2010

      How desperate are we? If its that low you’re almost talking about a bench player’s cost for us. We’d be much better off keeping him and watching the agent’s face. .

  36. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    Twenty.Five.Million. Wheres a drogba gif when you need one?What a disgrace.

  37. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    Its weird to not have The Yaya next to your name Jnice :-/

    Maybe I should change my avatar too….never been a die hard fan of Puyol. I just put it up because it looked different from the others…

  38. Miguel
    August 28, 2010

    “Milan owner and Italian primeminister Berlusconi has arrived in Milan’s training centre Milanello. He could personally announce the transfer.”

    • August 28, 2010

      I rather imagine he will. I’m sure he’s very proud of the bit of business their club has done. I’d sure be were I a Rossoneri.

      • Jim
        August 28, 2010

        Clutching at straws it couldn’t be so he can sanction an extra 5m out of his own pocket?

  39. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    Berlusconni is going to personally announce the tranfer in Milan. This us politically gold for him. Gaillini played this brilliantly. He took barca to the cleaners. They are getting the player considered by many to be the worlds best striker for 25m and on top of that they aren’t going to start paying the fee fora whole year and even then will do so in installments.

    In real dollars this is less than 25m.

    And the deal will look even better for them from an accounting stand point on their books dud go the loan structure. Milan may be able to actually book ibra’s purchase as a 21m profit. That right – not as a cost but as a profit.

    Just staggering.

    • Miguel
      August 28, 2010

      jesus christ. can we start a recall on rosell, already?

  40. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    It cant be that low, theres.. just.. no way

    I want to hear how Sandro spin this fantastic “fiscally responsible” deal.I dont care if he shit on camp nou’s field, that price is a joke.

    • Jim
      August 28, 2010

      Is there something we don’t know? rosell can’t be this desperate. He must know it won’t look good. Is it because Pep has put his foot down and said he has to go. It doesn’t make sense for us at all at that price.

    • Jim
      August 28, 2010

      This is crazy. It’s a Saturday night and I’m glued to Barcastuff and BFB 🙂

    • Nik
      August 28, 2010

      If only it were that easy.

      Joan, where art thou?

      Also, just got this tweet:

      Ibrahimovic: “I’m here to sign my new Barça contract… Ask Guardiola about it.”

  41. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    Ibrahimovic: “I’m here to sign my new Barça contract… Ask Guardiola about it.”

    ?????????? Sarcasm?

  42. Miguel
    August 28, 2010

    Ibrahimovic: “I’m here to sign my new Barça contract… Ask Guardiola about it.”

    what a dickhead, ha!

  43. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    Ibrahimovic: “I’m here to sign my new Barça contract… Ask Guardiola about it.”

    WTF. He is making jokes at our expense now. Jesus. This is an absolute fucking mess. Never have I been ashamed of being a Barca fan, till just now.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      why? raiola and him are the ones talking trash, and we will never know the full, real story

  44. poipoi
    August 28, 2010

    hope ibra leaves ’cause if not we’re gonna have discussion for long, some people still think he’s the best and some other people think he’s more like a drag. that is too bad for us. not any other FCB player does that, even keita has won the cules love. even busi has won the FCBlogger’s love, but ibra is a whole different subject. hope they do reach an agreement

  45. Nik
    August 28, 2010

    Honestly, if you were Ibra and considering how the last week has gone, wouldn’t you be a little snarky?

    • mei
      August 28, 2010

      NO.FUck IBRA , AND HIS AGENT. FUCKING GET THEM OUT OF TOWN.

    • August 28, 2010

      I reckon, but is that really the time to make that kind of statement? I’m certain that he isn’t entirely blameless in this situation. If he didn’t want to take a pay cut, he should have manned the hell up and made up with Guardiola. This situation was salvageable at any point. All somebody had to do was say “Stop. This is stupid.”

      Who is most macho? Dunno. But I do know who got screwed. The club, who is taking a loss, and the player, who is taking a pay cut to leave town, and go back to a league that he left in triumph, to play with a bunch of coots.

      • Nik
        August 28, 2010

        True enough. There is plenty of stupidity to be spread around in this situation.

  46. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    If he didn’t want to go he could sit where he is and there’s nothing we could do. He’s heading into oblivion in Milan and good riddance.

  47. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    How could he not be sold to man city ? Someone at minimum needs to be accountable for this. This is why I was so concerned about barca nit even trying to build a market of two teams. If you only have one buyer it’s almost always going to be a bad deal.

    And as great as pep has been he also needs to be accountable here. And by that n
    I mean nit simply using the agent as the scape goat.

    Pep wanted ibra. This was his player. If you want the club to invest 69m based on your wishes you are personally responsible for making it work. That the bottom line. No “feeling” no agent. You have to be accountable.

    When is there a pattern here also. It’s not only ibra. If pep has this much trouble getting along with players ot integrating them into his system the club shouldn’t spend large amounts in the transfer market because the risk of it nit working I’d too high

    • Vicsoc8
      August 28, 2010

      I was under the impression Pep wanted Villa, and assented to Ibra when the Villa deal was unobtainable.

      • jnelson
        August 28, 2010

        Pep was calling for Ibra when he first took over, wanting Eto’o out along with Dinho and Deco. Nothing happened, and Eto’o stayed. next season, They began negotiating with Inter for Ibra, but they couldn’t reach an agreement, so he turned to David Villa and that deal was sabotaged, and finally they were able to get their man in Ibra.

    • Hilal
      August 28, 2010

      The only thing I can think is that Ibra refused to go to City. If he had no interest in going there then there isnt much the club can do about it. Milan will have known that Ibra is only interested in them and so what would be the point of negotiating with City. The situation wouldnt be any different than it is today because at the end of it all the player has to agree to personal terms with the club.

    • Philo Barca
      August 28, 2010

      The other part of the pattern is making demands at the very end of the transfer season. Last season, it was saying he wanted either Chygrinskiy or no one after the first round of negotiations failed with Shakhtar. This year, after couple of weeks of saying we would stick with youth, he all of sudden started saying we may need someone. Then, in the last week, there has been the Ibra stuff.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      I repeat many say that ibra was behind 2 other strikers in Pep’s list. The sure thing here is that he did not want eto’o anymore (the feeling stuff) and did anything to get rid of him. He did get rid of him at a high cost I think.

  48. Vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    And this is why I respect Txigrinski so much. He got dicked over by the club and took I like a man.

  49. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    Can you guys give me Ibra’s twitter?

  50. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    Hurry up, Ibra. I’m due to go out for a meal in 25 !!! Mind you, what my good lady will make of me attempting to engage her on the merits of a more flowing tika taka without Ibra over a Mexican meal remains to be seen.

  51. Euler
    August 28, 2010

    Sorry for the typos. Damn iPhone…

  52. August 28, 2010

    Ibrahimovic signing termination with us, and new contract with Milan right now.

  53. mei
    August 28, 2010

    How come he’s signing a contract with another club in the camp nou??

      • mei
        August 28, 2010

        What wound?
        We just took a financial wound that we will obviously withstand with no problem.
        He just got back in italy in a lesser team that is supposedly being revamped yet the youngest player they signed is him!haha

        • Nik
          August 28, 2010

          …Right. The loss in squad depth the day before the season starts isn’t a wound?

          • mei
            August 28, 2010

            It is but the player wanted to leave and the coach wanted to let him. Not much to be done about this , unless if rosell interfered something that he didnt.

          • Vj
            August 28, 2010

            “Not much to be done about this”

            How about getting appropriate compensation? That’s Rosell’s job isn’t it?

  54. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    And we blamed Txiki for making useless transfer losses…

  55. sab
    August 28, 2010

    @kxevin,
    the most obvious big money signings that come into my mind in the last decade for barca are R10,DANI,DECO and IBRA(henry dont fall in that category).what R10 and Dani did was above excellent and we cules remeber them,its not ibras fault that he was purchased at a high rate,but when u demand 12m salary a year u ought 2 perform excellently and quickly.sorry ibra did good but not the standard we cules hope for,when he agreed 2 join he should have known that(CR knew that and he did that@RM,though i dnt like him).

    plz for the last time,dont compare ibra 2 bojan,ibra has experience,has the money,a definite starter when he joined us,not bojan.and for the last time compare CR 2 messi,that is acceptable,but dont compare ibra with messi.

    • August 28, 2010

      Ronaldinho went out the back door, with his transfer value damaged by bad blood with the club. As a result he effectively went on strike, leaving us no option but to sell him.

      I don’t believe that anyone could perform at the standard “we cules” demand, even Messi if he were a new transfer, announced tomorrow. It’s an absurd standard. We might as well promote canteranos. No attacking transfer will ever measure up, unless they cost about 12 Euros.

      • Kari
        August 28, 2010

        OR Pique, who was a canterano and cost 5 mil.

    • mei
      August 28, 2010

      if you sum up the transfers he made and we never used its a pretty big shocking chunk of money.Not that theres much wrong with that , but txiki was far from a transfer wizard only making wonder signings.

  56. August 28, 2010

    4-year deal with Milan. Best of all, because we don’t get paid, we can’t even go out and sign anyone, not that there’s anyone worth having who’s available for 25m.

  57. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    I’m not believing its that low a sum until I hear it officially.

    Then I’ll probably weep.

  58. Kari
    August 28, 2010

    I just want this to be over. I’m tired. I want the season to start and get our matches underway again.

    This is just a farcical way to do business. I can only say there was a titanic fall out between Guardiola and Ibra over the course of 2 weeks, especially after his agent’s sh*t stirring. The board have handled this despicably…

    You know what? I don’t even care anymore. I can’t wait for this to all be said and done and start our season again. We can moan about this later… Sigh. At least Barca Atletic won today.

  59. sab
    August 28, 2010

    pep is alo culpable in this situation.u have 2 integrate ur signing(especially when he is worth so much).he couldnt do that and now he didnt have the patience

    • Miguel
      August 28, 2010

      great picture of guardiola for the match preview, luke.

  60. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    When we spend the 25 million on Robinho it will complete a superb summer all around.

  61. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    I can’t not care, Kari. It’s unbelievable. however, you are right. Season starts tomorrow.

  62. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    I agree with Euler.

    How the fuck can Pep, Ibra, Rosell, Raiola actually do this.

    -Pep wanted him.
    -The club paid the highest fee in their whole history.
    -Ibra broke Ronaldo’s record.
    -Ibra already took a pay cut to come here and didn’t do anything against the club.

    Above all he scored 21 freaking goals and 9 assists!!!

    To all Ibra haters: F*CK YOU. Thanks to you, who, make no mistake also played a big part in this thing, leave us looking like idiots. Well done! Bravo!

    • mei
      August 28, 2010

      To ibra lovers : fuck you .Support your club not the players.
      I never hated zlatan but what the fucking kind of fan are you if you go by his side , especially when the fishy parts on this transfer seem to mostly have come off him and his agent.

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        like ,like and like without the f word

      • Eklavya
        August 28, 2010

        (I’m not a Ibra lover BTW, I’m a neutral … like Switzerland.
        )

        – I support the club by watching their matches, buying their jerseys and therefore through their players.
        I thought Barca was “owned” by fans.

      • Nik
        August 28, 2010

        You can support the club and disagree with some of its actions. Blind subservience =/= support.

        True support is disagreeing but still showing up to root for the team game in, game out.

      • Vicsoc8
        August 28, 2010

        I know things are emotionally testing right now, but let’s not descend into total filth on this site.

        I don’t care if you love Ibra, hate him, or couldn’t give a crap, this sort of back and forth hitching is not acceptable.

      • Phil
        August 28, 2010

        You can support the club and not agree with everything that they do. This was bad business pure and simple. Fiscally irresponsible and very shortsighted in the sporting sense. We won’t ever know exactly how this all came to pass, but it’s just bad all around and we should have no problem saying that no matter how much we love the club.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      I heard pep didnt want ibra as 1st option, only as 3rd. And he was all old Laporta could get him. Now that we have one of the two 1st options, ibra out if he loathes the bench.

  63. sab
    August 28, 2010

    @kxevin.
    Ronaldinho went out the back door, with his transfer value damaged by bad blood with the club. As a result he effectively went on strike, leaving us no option but to sell him.

    after effectively playing 3 yrs(without last 2 yrs ).

    but didnt R10,Deco and dani performed fr the very start?did the cules have so much conversation about whether they r bad,good,avg or outstanding transfers.no,coz without doubt they performed the very standard that we cules demand fr the 1st season.

    • August 28, 2010

      Alves is a defender, and double threat. He didn’t have to work his way into a very difficult offense.

      Ronaldinho scored 20 goals and no assists his first season with us. One less than Ibrahimovic, who is a failure?

      Deco’s job was different, so he gets a pass for not scoring goals, as does Iniesta. The malleable, absurdly biased standard that cules have is indefensible, so don’t even try.

      • mei
        August 28, 2010

        Kxevin ronnie cost 26 million , and was a midfielder.
        No comparison to a 70 million striker transfer , obviously plus ronnies flashy playing style was the absolute attribute for marketing .

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        r10 was the only shining light at that season,ibra was already @ a history setting team.now u consider who is a failure.

        • mei
          August 28, 2010

          Ibrahimovic was not a failure , at all.
          Did he let us down due to his transfer fee , competition with evil signings(ronaldo) ?Even if it wasnt his fault , since he didnt slap that transfer fee on his back and he has never scored more than 29 goals , he didnt live up to his overrated fee.
          But no comparison to ronnie , at all.

      • Eklavya
        August 28, 2010

        R10’s 1st season: 20 goals and no assists?

        Are you serious? Wow …

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        i remember R10 didnt win anything in the 1st season,ibra did win the la liga.so 2 the naked eyes R10 will definitely be a failure. but thats to the naked eye,we all know who is the failure.where is ur that view that everything cant be measured by simple statistics(such as keita having a 10)

  64. August 28, 2010

    Gone Adriano: On loan (15m, loss TBD)
    Txigrinski: Sold (10m loss)
    Hleb: Loan (17m, loss will be huge)
    Caceres: Loan (15m, loss will be huge)
    Keirrison: Loan (15m, we’ll take a loss)
    Alves: Kicking ass
    Keita: Ditto
    Adriano: Oh, yes.
    Maxwell: Wow
    Ibrahimovic: Um …. never mind. (21m loss)
    Henry: Released to dump salary (Loss? Gain? Champions League value?)
    Abidal: Kicking ass
    The Yaya: Sold for great value (20m gain, dumped salary)
    Villa: ????
    Mascherano: ????

    Am I missing anyone in the last few years?

  65. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    I hope we SMASH Racing tomorrow. How about 8-0?

    • Kari
      August 28, 2010

      How about YAYA-0. With Messi, Bojan, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Pique scoring hattricks; Puyol going caveman on their asses; Valdes stone-colding them; Pep giving them his best b*tch face

      ROARRRRRRR!!

      /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs1dCW4VzPg

  66. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    Ibra the player and Ibra:the transfer are two entirely different things, Eklavya. A mediocre performance ( in my view) didn’t bring this about. He was set to start the season until a few days ago.

    Until we know the reasons behind this we’re just whistling. Doesn’t do any good to add to our woes by falling out at this point.

  67. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    I’m beginning to question whether Ibra really was Pep’s signing..

    It’s like Pep didn’t want him, maybe it was forced on him by Laporta. This is the only logical conclusion I can gather from all this..

    BTW, every time I see that goal Pippo scored against us, I wish he joined us.. He’ll accept time at the bench, could be brought on as a Super-sub, but more importantly, Bojan could learn from him considering they have similar physiques.. Apart from the “Born Offside” jokes, that man is a legend..

    Is any of the above making some sense or is my mind shot from that appalling transfer fee?

    • Miguel
      August 28, 2010

      first of all, pippo is a 1000 yrs old. he’s got jock straps older than ibra.

      second, ibra was pep’s transfer. he’s always wanted him ever since he played w/him/against him in a friendly years ago. that was all him, that was his “feeling.” a “feeling” i, & probably most of you, shared.

      • Vj
        August 28, 2010

        1000 yrs old or not, he still made a mockery of our defense..

        I still have ‘feelings’..

        Rivaldo
        Ronnie
        Eto’o
        Ibra and the list goes on.. We’re never for a clean break-up are we? All of them must be messy. Pun. not. intended.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      many say pep didn’t want him, I believe so. Such an old and egotistic star?? no way

  68. Miguel
    August 28, 2010

    “Milan is deciding who will announce the transfer: Galliani and Ibrahimovic at the Camp Nou or Berlusconi at Milanello.”

  69. sab
    August 28, 2010

    @kxevin,
    in case of
    Txigrinski: Sold (10m loss)
    Hleb: Loan (17m, loss will be huge)
    Caceres: Loan (15m, loss will be huge)
    Keirrison: Loan (15m, we’ll take a loss):

    are they given the enough chance 2 play?nope.so i m with u on that.in case of ibra is he given enuf chance 2 play?.yes.did he perform like the super signing we cule demand?.no.end of story.

    and u miss my point.i talk bout big money signings.apart fr txi none of big money signings.

    • jord(TM)
      August 28, 2010

      mei ibra isnt gone because he didnt perform, pep already said its not ibra the “player”.

      • mei
        August 28, 2010

        I know this , and have already highlighted it.
        Ibra caused a stir amongst the squad , im sure of it.
        And pep obviously wanted this out , thats why he okayed the transfer.
        I remember ibras agent going to the press since january , badmouthing the whole team and pep.
        Something about not being assisted much , and attributing to pep for not using him the title crazy.
        Now , today raiola said that the only ones that can ask him to shut ap are his client or his family , and hes got a point.
        I never bought the independent agent view that has nothing to do with the player anyway.

    • August 28, 2010

      But what does big money mean? For 30+m, Alves his first season had 5 goals and 12 assists. Is 30+m not big money? It’s why I say that “standards” are malleable, and no attacking player will ever live up to them. Keirrison wasn’t a big money transfer, but it’s 15m that we have, at present, thrown away. Where’s the value in that?

      And if we transferred Messi, what then? His first year as a first-team regular, he had 19 goals and 3 assists. Ask yourself, given what he would have cost in a transfer fee, even that first season, if cules would have deemed that adequate. And think carefully before you answer. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

      Henry’s first year brought 16 goals and 11 assists. Yet everyone said that his first year sucked. Why, and compared to what?

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        And if we transferred Messi, what then? His first year as a first-team regular, he had 19 goals and 3 assists. Ask yourself, given what he would have cost in a transfer fee, even that first season, if cules would have deemed that adequate. And think carefully before you answer.

        ur question is like what if the ref allowed that goal against IM,lots of its and buts.taking some sime time will say that if nessi wasnt injured for a long time he would have definitely scored more than that amount of goals and assists.

        ps.in his 1st injury free season messi scred 38 goals and i think have 12 assists

        • August 28, 2010

          But Ibrahimovic wasn’t injury-free last season, either, right? Nor was Henry. Yet both were deemed failures, and never recovered from that label. It’s what I mean by malleable standards.

          • sab
            August 28, 2010

            there is two things,truth and partial truth.in case of messi when he was injured he was ruled out for the season and only returned late @ the season.h many games did ibra miss through injury,not very much.

            i didnt consider henry a failure in his 1st season.so i guess i didnt raise the standard like the other cules.but even to my standard ibra was ok,just ok.

            btb,why r u forgetting ibra was already in an all conquering thing?(no the hexa didnt blind me or didnt raise the bar for me)

            i dunno but i think i m one of those cules here who witnessed and suffered those terrible 6 trophyless years.so i know what the barca standard was and is.and 2 me ibra just did ok

          • Jim
            August 28, 2010

            This is a difficult one. Some of us saw Ibra as hindering our playing style, some saw him as Plan B. The way I see it, if you win 6 trophies you don’t need a plan B and certainly don’t mess with perfection. Ferguson never messed with greatness – until he saw it decline. We are just starting out with this team – even Xavi has a couple of years at least.

            Different way of looking at it – no rights no wrongs but for whatever reason Plan B didn’t work.

            I’m happier without him.

        • sab
          August 28, 2010

          according 2 me henry did good,considering the situation of the team(that team was falling apart still he did that,the armchair fans will say he sucked,not me).the important thing is the situation of the team when he arrived @ the time.compare henry,r10,dani with that of ibra and c for urself.

          u asked what is big money transfers.IMO.
          GK-5-10m.
          BACKLINE->20M
          DM->25M
          AM->35M
          ST->40M

          IN TODAYS MARKET.
          when R10,Deco were signed their value was of the highest order at that times transfer markets

          • poipoi
            August 28, 2010

            armchair fans? what is that supposed to mean 🙁

  70. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    Laugh or Cry, Laugh or Cry.Decisions…

  71. August 28, 2010

    Jim makes a very good point. Ibrahimovic the transfer and Ibrahimovic the player are two very different things. And then there is what’s best for the club, which is yet another thing.

    We are a family here. Families can disagree, but be sure on what we are disagreeing about. There are fans of Ibrahimovic and what he can do for the club, who were for the transfer, at the right price. There were people on the fence about the player, who were against the transfer at any price.

    Understand the issues, and most importantly, do not forget the standards that we have in this space.

  72. Lou
    August 28, 2010

    Guys, this transfer may suck but let’s not forget that we still have an fantastic team and an excellent crop of youngsters knocking on the door. (Barca B was the only Segunda team to win away today). We’re not by any means doomed.

    Bring on Racing! After all this transfer noise I can’t wait for the start of the Liga.

  73. poipoi
    August 28, 2010

    I`d bet ibra will be “whistled” in Camp Nou if he ever come to play here… big time. Not only my wishes but what I think will happen also, after his declarations and Raiola`s.

    • August 28, 2010

      I would learn to whistle, just to whistle him. 😀 But I booed Eto’o at the Inter Champions League match that I attended last season, because of the fact that he was the enemy, as well as the circumstances of his departure. Another one that didn’t have to be as it was.

  74. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    Yet again “our” fucking media win.Its not about ibra, they can turn on any player just as quickly, and they will.Shaping public opinion and transfers one year at a time.Im enraged really.

  75. August 28, 2010

    Ibrahimovic took a 4m pay cut to leave town? Amazing bit of business by Milan, on all respects.

    • Nik
      August 28, 2010

      Seriously. If there was an award for best piece of transfer business, Milan would walk away with it hands down.

      Fortune handed them a great situation, and to their credit, they took complete advantage of it.

  76. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    Not sure how this degenerated into a pro ibra vs anti ibra thing. This is not really about Ibra leaving. Let him leave. Clearly there is a problem between Ibra and Pep so Ibra leaving is probably for the best. That is not the issue. The issue is selling him for 25m which is about as laughable as it gets. Since it is not official yet we cant be sure, but all signs point to 25-30m, which is disgraceful.

    We will continue to be successful without Ibra, who knows, maybe we even get better, but taking such a big hit from his sale is not really an acceptable way to do business.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that something really bad happened between Pep and Ibra, so bad that Pep refused to have him in his locker room anymore. This would be the only scenario I could see that would make the club so desperate to sell that they would take such a huge hit.

    • August 28, 2010

      Spot on, Hilal. Hopefully, Guardiola will explain things in a way that makes us go “Oh! Okay. All better now.” I want something more than a “feeling,” which for me was insufficient justification for the removal of Eto’o (which I know will shock some people, who believe I am fully anti-Eto’o).

      • Philo Barca
        August 28, 2010

        It’s a catch-22, though. If he had gone into detail as to why he didn’t want Eto’o, then we would have been faced the spectacle of Eto’o being obliged to respond to defend his honor and the media circus that would have surrounded the whole affair (in a year when we ended up playing Inter 4 times, no less).

      • Miguel
        August 28, 2010

        i don’t care that he booted eto’o’s ass out. he had just won the triplete. he had the leverage to do what ever the fuck he wanted. i was fine w/it. but that guardiola didn’t stand up to rat face’d rosell when he put first chignasty, then ibra on the chopping block is not cool. stand by your decisions. don’t cower before some weasel. guardiola gave up the high ground w/out a fight. that’s the issue.

      • Hilal
        August 28, 2010

        The only conciliation here that I can see is that it appears Rosell has done Pep’s bidding. I had originally thought this was all Rosells doing, but that doesnt really make sense, as we are taking such a huge hit on this. It actually makes Rosell look REALLY bad, especially after spending the whole summer talking about poor finances. A deal like this makes him look pretty damn bad. If it is indeed the case that Pep was demanding Ibra’s departure and Rosell made sure that happened no matter what, well at least it means we know who is in charge. I can imagine a lot of presidents might have turned around and said tough luck Pep, this sale doesnt work, deal with it. Clearly Rosell is willing to take the hit.

        As you can see I am trying my best to find something positive out of this whole mess.

  77. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    Further no other club in the last few years fell for ‘master’ negotiator Galliani’s tricks.Which is why they didnt buy anyone , but of course we have to get bent overr.When is Robinho signing?

    • Philo Barca
      August 28, 2010

      He did get 65 million for a broken down Kaka.

  78. August 28, 2010

    Right. I’m hungry, and there’s not much going on. Let’s all play nice, and I’ll pop in once I’ve made a dent in my 6,000 calorie per day requirement.

    😀

  79. August 28, 2010

    On the up side, Milan will be able to use Ibrahimovic to eliminate EE from Champions League.

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      I hope he scores vs Inter as well.

  80. ermengol
    August 28, 2010

    does this remind anyone of the laudrup-cruijff blowout?

    or am i too old?

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      laudrup says cruiff blamed mainly him for the loss in Athens (4-0 vs milan), but he also says that as a star it is your job to be the one to blame. “You know, it’s how they treated him” said laudrup about cruiff in an interview.

    • Lev
      August 28, 2010

      (no you’re not)
      at least Ibra is not going to EE (then again Laudrup did have the decency to almost break down crying when he came to play us in the Camp Nou 😉 )

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      ha ha, a little bit, but Ibra’s going to Milan, so not all the same

      • ermengol
        August 28, 2010

        yeah, but i was alluding to the mister-player aspect of things. lack of comms and “feeling”.

        • Luna
          August 28, 2010

          True that…I guess we will have to wait and see

          And you are right to point out this isn’t the first time this sort of thing happens, that we know about…personalities, eh it’s life you know!

          • Luna
            August 28, 2010

            now the transfer/money that’s another issue in my way of thinking!

  81. theMaginator
    August 28, 2010

    Come on people lets not turn on each other.
    Lets turn on Rosell, :-,If it is in fact 25m. If its 40M then lets just move on.

    • sab
      August 28, 2010

      agreed.
      since when we fans are concerned about our finances or the net profits fr transers.(are we becoming the gunners fans?).

      if i m the financial adviser i would be since i m not i should nt be.and our finance is not that bad as rossel portrayed.see swiss ramblers blog for barcas actual financial condition

  82. messi_fan
    August 28, 2010

    I wonder how all this will affect Maxwell

  83. sab
    August 28, 2010

    @poipoi armchair fans are those who just watch the match,enjoy the goals,the assists and nothing else.

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      I watch every minute of every game. If I can’t watch it I download it, and let me tell you I would have injuried titi with a kick to the knee if I bumped into him in the street in the last 3 or 4 years.

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        i didnt mean u.i mean those fans who chased the barca bandwagon after the hexa

        • sab
          August 28, 2010

          i live in that region where every barca game starts usually 1 am local time.i still watch that and when there is no tv coverage i download the games for a week 2 watch.coz in the region where i live the net speed is nt fast enough 2 watch live streaming

  84. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    “Milan-Barcelona: 25M, first year on loan, obligation to buy next year. Milan-Ibrahimovic: 4-year contract, 8M a year.”

    Ibra for peanuts..

    • Vj
      August 28, 2010

      All quotes via Pep @ ||twitter.com/Barcastuff

  85. ermengol
    August 28, 2010

    so, Milan to knock us out of the UCL?

    • Vj
      August 28, 2010

      Improbable considering half of their squad have jock-straps older than Ibra..

  86. Luna
    August 28, 2010

    Also there’s a lot of blame being assigned and we have no idea what actually happened. What we do know are the numbers, the last minute transfer. We may never know the full details. So for people saying x must have surely done this and y must have surely done this…all speculation, at this point

  87. sab
    August 28, 2010

    i m against the transfer of ibra.

    but looking back at his transfer history its obvious why and how it happened

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      Really? As someone who knows this history are you sure it is that obvious? One thing is stories another thing is…well speculation

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        may be i speculated.after reading his transfer histories i hope my speculations are right.but dont know may be i m wrong

  88. sab
    August 28, 2010

    anybody thinks milan with their old squad and ibra is going to haunt us in the CL?

    i guess nobdy thinks that way

  89. vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    On a really serious note – I know a lot of us check Pep’s twitter, but if you repost quotes from him make sure you give him credit (as Vj did above)

    I only say this because someone on twitter was reposting Pep’s tweets without giving him credit, so let’s not be those people.

    • Nik
      August 28, 2010

      Whoops, forgot to do that earlier. Apologies.

      • vicsoc8
        August 28, 2010

        No worries Nik. I’ve forgotten myself at times. Pep provides such an awesome service to us, for free, so let’s make sure he gets the credit.

  90. sab
    August 28, 2010

    @poipoi

    sure it is on fire ,coz when u compare barca stars r10,messi(to me they r barca legends)2 the technically gifted,tall,giving barca another dimension ibra it sure gonna be on fire

    • poipoi
      August 28, 2010

      sorry but I’m spanish and a little dumb… don’t understand and I would like to 🙁 😀

  91. Roz
    August 28, 2010

    We are seriously selling Ibra for penuts.Didnt Chygrynskiy cost about 25 mill. Oh the horror

  92. sab
    August 28, 2010

    many fans i c here are turning against PEP regarding ibra.in this reagrd i have 2 remind in the quote of the self proclaimed special one”pep is the perfect coach for barca”

  93. Nik
    August 28, 2010

    Via Pep: Galliani: “The transfer is for 24M. First a loan, then we buy him next year.” #fcblive

    Ouch.

    • jord(TM)
      August 28, 2010

      wow 24, just piss a little more on us and say its over 4 year installments.

  94. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    Milan sold Huntelaar for 14 million.Epic fail we’ve committed here.Atleast for 40 million you can stomach it.but 25 is just…

    Gonna listen to this now 😀

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSD4vsh1zDA

  95. jnelson
    August 28, 2010

    It’s official, and worse than anyone could have imagined. From Milan’s Official site:

    MILANO – L’A.C. Milan ha acquisito dal F.C. Barcellona il calciatore Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in prestito gratuito con diritto di opzione da esercitarsi alla fine della stagione sportiva 2010-2011 alla cifra di 24 milioni di Euro. Il campione svedese sosterrà lunedì mattina le visite mediche, dopo le quali firmerà un contratto che lo legherà alla Società rossonera per 4 anni.

    MILAN – A. C. Milan have acquired the F.C. Barcelona footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on loan with the right of free option to be exercised at the end of the season 2010-2011 to 24 million euros. The Swedish champion will support a medical on Monday morning, after which he will sign a contract that will tie him to the Company Rossoneri for four years.

    • jnelson
      August 28, 2010

      acmilan.com. click on the IBRAHIMOVIC banner. *cries and goes into an uncontrollable rage

  96. alex
    August 28, 2010

    ibra is a good player but are game down so ibra fans suport peps desicion who has won 8 out of the ten competisions with bean in

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      Let’s keep the discourse civil please. that word is highly offensive

      • August 28, 2010

        Sorry I was slow on the moderating draw, Luna. Comment has been edited.

      • alex
        August 28, 2010

        dont cry luna you idiot
        do you riley like ibra his shit

  97. Philo Barca
    August 28, 2010

    Please tell me that 24 M means we pay no golden parachute?

    • vicsoc8
      August 28, 2010

      I’m worried about the answer to this

      • jnelson
        August 28, 2010

        I’d bet we have to pay a 12m exit bonus. that would cover a whole year’s worth of his wages from his Barca contract.

  98. James
    August 28, 2010

    Start the vote of no confidence? 24 million, and we don’t get it this year? Someone has to answer for the fee if true.

  99. jnelson
    August 28, 2010

    So, was this a transfer negotiation masterclass by Galliani or the most fucking stupid whatever by Rosell? The shame. I am so ashamed of my club. Well, the Chargers threw LT to the dogs, Seau to the dogs; the Magic traded McGrady; the Mariners traded A-Rod, Randy Johnson, and Griffey…you would think I would be used to it, but what has happened at Barca is just another level. I’m seriously surprised now that it wasn’t 10m plus Huntelaar. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I could live after witnessing something that horrendously stupid.

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      Are you a mariners fan? OMG I thought I was the only one that suffered through Mariners?!

      • jnelson
        August 28, 2010

        Yep, I’ve been a fan since Griffey Sr. and Jr. played on the same team. I’m a HUGE Ichiro fan. But, at this point, I feel sorry for him being on the team. Ditto for King Felix. Who could believe that we won 120 games that one season and just sucked since??

    • blitzen
      August 28, 2010

      Surprised or embarrassed, OK, but never ashamed. *Never* ashamed of my club.

      • jnelson
        August 28, 2010

        true. i was looking for a word stronger than disappointed. it would be embarrassed.

  100. sab
    August 28, 2010

    thats a bad business.but at least all the negativity surrounding the club are gone

    • jnelson
      August 28, 2010

      Yes, instead of the negativity, all of the clubs of Europe will be laughing at us and being quoted as saying “24m? First year loan? We would have been interested!”

      • sab
        August 28, 2010

        when we kick them out may be then they will stop laughing,but yah i get ur point

  101. sab
    August 28, 2010

    yay,

    can c the racing match live @zee sports.thats a relief for the barca fans in the indian subcontinent

    • Vj
      August 28, 2010

      NAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNN !!!!!

      I don’t have Zee Sports!

  102. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    So we bought Ibra for 46m plus Eto’o, sold him for 24m, that too to be given next year, smacks of bad business all round..

    Who’s to blame? Rosell, Laporta, Txiki, ZubiZa, Pep, Ibra, you, me everyone part of FCB..

    • Vj
      August 28, 2010

      I forgot to mention Raiola? seriously, my mind IS shot!

  103. Nik
    August 28, 2010

    I’m not sure I understand Sandro’s reasoning for this deal. 24 million is pure robbery, plain and simple. No matter how bad the relationship between player and coach was, he must have realized that this deal would reflect very poorly on him.

    I guess the question is: who was holding the gun to his head?

    • Hilal
      August 28, 2010

      The only person I can think of who has the clout to force through a transfer this financially irresponsible is Pep. So then the debate becomes what is more important the teams success or being financially smart. Rosell is a lot of things, but he isnt stupid, he managed to get us MAscherano for dirt cheap in a scenario very similar to this one. He knows the game and how it is played, that he allowed himself to be played seems very curious to me.

      • blitzen
        August 28, 2010

        We only got Mascherano for that price because he was so desperate to get out of England that he agreed to give up his percentage of the transfer fee…about 3 million, which allowed us to increase our offer to something that was acceptable to Liverpool.

    • Lev
      August 28, 2010

      wow. in just a couple of days we went from Ibra and family are happy in Barcelona and “99.9%” sure he will remain to selling him for 24 mil which we won’t even receive til next year.

      I mean, I am not as pissed off as when Figo or Ronaldo left, but I am still pretty pissed off. Most of all I don’t have a f-ing clue wtf just happened!

      What I do know is that Laporta’s reign had given us arguably the most stable (and definitely the most successful) years ever. I do hope we will be given the truth on what happened.

    • Mikel
      August 28, 2010

      At this point I’m not sure Rossell is really a Barca fan. I mean a TRUE Barca fan wouldnt of treated Cruyff the way he did…

  104. blitzen
    August 28, 2010

    THANK THE GODS IT’S OVER!!!! Now can we all just relax and get down to some football?

    Seriously, I liked Ibra and wanted him to stay, but if we were THIS desperate to get rid of him that we made this crappy deal, there must have been something pretty major going on behind the scenes that we don’t yet know about. And we may never know what happened, or what the final straw was, why this late in the transfer window, any of it. I just hope this hasn’t affected the mentality of our other players. (Maxwell, maybe you might want to think about getting a new agent? Please?)

    And speaking of football (and we were, originally), Valencia is spanking Malaga 3-1 at the moment, so it looks like they might be just fine without Villa and Silva. Then again, it’s only Malaga.

  105. August 28, 2010

    As I see it, everyone is to blame.

    Cules: Because 21 goals/9 assists was inadequate.
    Media: Because they acted like dimwitted cules.
    Guardiola: Make it work, dude.
    Rosell: Don’t get taken to the cleaners. Seriously.
    Ibrahimovic: Man up. Being a baby is costing you 4m per season.
    Raiola: You got a commission, but did you serve your client’s best interest?

    The list goes on.

    • James
      August 28, 2010

      It’s an OPTION to buy? Haha so if he gets a career threatening injury we’re on the hook for him while giving AC Milan a free 1 year loan. Fuck me.

      From the official website:

      “Included in the agreement is the option for AC Milan to make the move permanent next summer for a fee of €24 million.

      If the option to buy Ibrahimovic is taken up by the Serie A club then that could see FC Barcelona save approximately €60 million. ”

      The fact they had to print the last paragraph is proof enough they realize how badly we’ve been taken here.

  106. Luna
    August 28, 2010

    Ok, this saga is over for me. The money thing really bites. I wish the best for all parties involved. My own speculation, no one is blameless, and I love them all, except the politicky types Rossel and ratty types Raiola.

  107. mei
    August 28, 2010

    thanks god we play a match in less than 24 hours thats all i got to say

  108. August 28, 2010

    From barcastuff via Twitter:

    Ibrahimovic: “Would I come back if Guardiola leaves. I prefer not to comment on that.” #fcblive

    • Nik
      August 28, 2010

      Ibra’s intent on burning all bridges, it seems.

      Via Pep:

      Ibrahimovic: “When I entered a room, Guardiola left. I don’t know, maybe he was scared of me.”

  109. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    We sold him for less than we bought Dima for, and we dont dont get the money this year.I cant think clearly anymore.24 million wouldnt have bought his bloody head band last year.I need an explanation.A proper one because if Laporta did that Sandro would have attacked him.Atleast when we rescinded Rivaldo’s contract he was 31.Gaspart where are you?

  110. ermengol
    August 28, 2010

    official site:

    FC Barcelona and AC Milan have agreed a deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to move to the Italian club on loan for the entire 2010/11 with the Rossoneri paying all his earnings.
    Included in the agreement is the option for AC Milan to make the move permanent next summer for a fee of €24 million.

    If the option to buy Ibrahimovic is taken up by the Serie A club then that could see FC Barcelona save approximately €60 million.

    • August 28, 2010

      The part that I would have bolded is If the option to buy Ibrahimovic is taken up by the Serie A club….

      Hang on, Myrtle! Say what now?

  111. August 28, 2010

    More Ibrahimovic quotes, via barcastuff on Twitter:

    “I’m very happy because I’m joining one of the best clubs of the world.” (When does a player NOT say this?)

    “Since the coach didn’t want me, this is the best solution.”

    “To know what the problem was, you should talk with the coach. I don’t know it.”

    “When I entered a room, Guardiola left. I don’t know, maybe he was scared of me.”

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      Kevin I am following those quotes, do we know if they are actual? Where’s the source, beyond the twitter

      • August 28, 2010

        Various bloggers and journos who were at the press event, Luna. Pep is always legit, never taken in by made-up nonsense.

        • Luna
          August 28, 2010

          Thanks Kxevin. Wish I could hear that presser

  112. messi_fan
    August 28, 2010

    Wait wait wat wait wait…..It’s with the OPTION to buy?

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      yes as far as I can read option only

      • Luna
        August 28, 2010

        opzione da esercitarsi alla fine della stagione sportiva 2010-2011

        option to be exercised at the end of the 2010-2011 campaign

  113. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    “”The 24 millions will be paid over the coming three years.”

    I thought it couldnt get worse..

    • Lev
      August 28, 2010

      wow. We should have left Ibra rot in the stands….

  114. Lou
    August 28, 2010

    From the official site:

    /http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/08/28/n100828112606.html

    “FC Barcelona and AC Milan have agreed a deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to move to the Italian club on loan for the entire 2010/11 with the Rossoneri paying all his earnings.
    Included in the agreement is the option for AC Milan to make the move permanent next summer for a fee of €24 million.

    If the option to buy Ibrahimovic is taken up by the Serie A club then that could see FC Barcelona save approximately €60 million.”

    60 million in savings? Uh-huh. That’s an interesting spin on the matter…

    • Lev
      August 28, 2010

      gotta be kidding me. an option??? What if he gets injured? we will get stuck with him? this is ridiculous. Liverpool got a better deal for Mascherano, a “lesser” player who flat-out refused to play for Liverpool after already been wanting to leave for a year now.

    • IS
      August 28, 2010

      How dumb do Rosell and his crew think the fans are?! 60m in ‘savings’!

      I’m lost for words and I think I’ll remain that way till I get over this mess.

  115. IS
    August 28, 2010

    24m AND what Milan are referring to as a ‘FREE LOAN’?!?!?!?!?!?

    WTF!!! I hope I’m reading it all wrong…

  116. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    How did this end so ugly?
    These quotes are gonna completely unsettle team preparation esp this one
    “When I entered a room, Guardiola left. I don’t know, maybe he was scared of me.” Pep’s Twitter
    Imagine if we had signed Villa last year.

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      I dont’ think they will. His former team mates probably know his glib way with words better than us,

  117. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    “IF”

    Pardon my french but WHAT THE FUCK

  118. Kari
    August 28, 2010

    My thoughts on the transfer:

    -Txigrinsky is a full on stud.

    -Season starts tomorrow at 1 pm EST

    – Yay! for Bojan. Take your chances, Bojangles, you’ll be getting plenty of ’em.

  119. August 28, 2010

    It is sounding like this all happened because grown-ass men making millions of dollars decided to act like children, rather than adults. As someone above points out, from the way this deal appears to be structured, if Ibrahimovic blows out a knee tomorrow, Milan can return him to us at the end of the season, and opt NOT to exercise the purchase option.

    Yes, he signed a four-year contract. So those two parts contradict each other.

  120. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    And we could “pontentially” save 60 millions, oh, ok, im happy its not guaranteed.

  121. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    I know I was against Ibra coming to Barça to begin with but little did I know how bad it was going to turn out

  122. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    If they dont buy there will be a penalty clause. Peanuts in comparison

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      I would think the penalty clause is more than 24m, no?

  123. August 28, 2010

    As well you can imagine, they are over the moon at the Milan board. And they should be. Had we done a bit of business like that, I would be crowing to anyone who would listen, and even those who wouldn’t or couldn’t. “Hey, mr bunny …. we just took their ass to the cleaners! You hearing me? The cleaners, yo!”

  124. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    TWENTYFOUR Mio. only, and first year on loan!?!

    Fuck Ibra, Fuck Raiola, Fuck Galliani, Fuck AC Milan, Fuck everything!

  125. Luis
    August 28, 2010

    I actually feel sick. The option thing has to be a mistake. PLs someone tell me so…

  126. James
    August 28, 2010

    Do you guys see what’s coming next summer?

    Galliani: Ibrahimovic is almost 30 years, we have to renegotiate the fee. 24 million is too much for a 30 year old player.

    I can see that coming from a mile away. We’re not done with this saga at all. All we did was save on wages this year and gave Milan a free loan without fee.

    Honestly, without hyperbole, start the vote of the no confidence please.

  127. Hilal
    August 28, 2010

    U know what. It doesnt matter. We got screwed financially. It sucks. Shit happens. My concern is winning and the continued success of our club. IT seems from Ibra’s remarks that this whole thing is Peps doing, which means he felt that Ibra leaving was the best thing for the club. Whatever the reason, if Pep wants him gone, then so be it. The fact that it cost us so much financially stings like hell, but if I had to chose between this and a season of Ibra’s antics causing choas in the dressing room and even the slightest chance that we end up gifting the title to Mourinho’s Madrid then I would take the financial hit any day. The team comes first, dont care who the player is or how much he cost us.

    This was ALWAYS the concern with Ibra, from day one, that his ego wouldnt fit in. I guess Pep thought he could change that and realised he was wrong.

    At least Rosell was willing to take this hit. I actually find it quite surprising because it reflects very badly on him.

  128. August 28, 2010

    But at least they are paying his salary. I’m kind of surprised, given everything else about this deal, that we aren’t paying that, as well. (Cynicism, you do not become me!)

  129. Shaun
    August 28, 2010

    Wow. Just wow. I’m stunned. This is possibly the worst piece of business in football history.

    At this point, I don’t care who’s fault it is. He’s a Milan player now. Whether you’re for him or against him, doesn’t matter ’cause there’s nothing we can do but discuss it. Like they say, “it’s the badge on the front that matters, not the name on the back”. Sp, personally, I’m just going to look forward and not back. Good luck to him in Italy.

    That’s all I’m gonna say. Visca el Barca.

  130. August 28, 2010

    Hang on, kids. Part of our official statement says buy option that WILL be exercised at the end of the season. Didn’t think we were that crazy.

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      We’ll have to wait to hear more b/c if it in contractual terms an option, will be can be read differently, it’s not a clause, not a stipulation, etc.

    • James
      August 28, 2010

      And in the very next sentence it says:

      “IF the option to buy Ibrahimovic is taken up by the Serie A club then that could see FC Barcelona save approximately €60 million.”

  131. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    You know what? In 2 years, we will be Leeds United if the management under Rosell’s leadership continues like this!

    argh… can’t depict my current anger with words!

  132. August 28, 2010

    And with that, except for a massive, towering rant of a post that is festering in my addled little mind as I type this, I move on, as I did with Eto’o. He is not a Milan player. As I said about The Yaya, good luck to him until he faces us. Then I hope weasels rip his flesh.

    Pep notes this bit of the official statement:

    “The deal in the end was possible thanks to the cooperation of the player and the willingness of his agent.”

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      what is weird is it is un zlatan like to take a reducation in fees. It piques my curiousity

    • Sasha
      August 28, 2010

      re: “cooperation” statement. Not sure if that is PR-speak, or if there is something to that, as in “we wanted to sell him and he agreed to let us sell him”?

      I also love this: “Barcelona president Rosell has left the offices through the backdoor without making statements.” from Pep. I mean seriously what would he have to say?

      • Kurt
        August 28, 2010

        “Umm…well…at least I didn’t buy Bebe for 9 million? Right, guys?”

  133. August 28, 2010

    Also from Pep, via two other sources: “Barcelona president Rosell has left the offices through the backdoor without making statements. #fcblive [via @escolanmarca]”

    You bet he didn’t!

    • Dave
      August 28, 2010

      Im confused. I want to start a full-blown witch hunt.

    • jord(TM)
      August 28, 2010

      The balls of this guy!when was the last time we actually heard his voice? Is he going back on vacation like this never happened?

      • ermengol
        August 28, 2010

        don’t you mean the LACK of balls?

  134. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    idk if it is a problem between Pep and Ibra then why did this happen at the end of the summer? If it is purely Ibra’s ego then doesn’t his ego hurt like hell going back to Italy to a lesser team? The dude left Inter, who then finally won the CL, and now he is back at AC Milan? Wouldn’t he feel much happier fighting for a spot in the Barça line-up? What, he is afraid of losing his place to Pedrito? Or Booojan even?

  135. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    barcastuff :

    Barcelona president Rosell has left the offices through the backdoor without making statements. #fcblive [via @escolanmarca]

    WOW, the guy has balls!!

    I’m Speechless. This is the worst moment in our club’s history.

    At the moment the most important thing is continuation of sporting success.

  136. jnelson
    August 28, 2010

    I hope Ibra fails his medical. what would happen then? sounds like some chaos.

  137. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    Heh, hindsight is a wonderful thing.. If we’d spent 5m more on Villa last year, we’d have avoided this fiasco..

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      Spent 5m more and saved some 60m …

      And NOT potentially.

  138. jnelson
    August 28, 2010

    I am completely shocked that the EE didn’t take Ibra from us. We clearly were capable of doing business with ANYONE.

  139. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Oh Laporta, Where Art Thou ? 🙁 :'( :*(
    PS: I want more emoticons to express anger and grief.

  140. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    “I’m Speechless. This is the worst moment in our club’s history”

    umm pretty far from it dude. Worst moment in our club’s history was when Real Madrid stole Di Stefano from us (it is said the Franco regime ordered this to happen). Or, if you wanna get all humanitarian, it would be the assassination of Josep Punyol back during the civil war.
    Also the losses of Laudrup and Figo (both to our arch enemies) were a lot more devastating. And I was crushed when real Ronaldo left for Inter.
    The bad thing about Ibra leaving is the way in which he leaves. Other than that I pretty much think he was our least valuable starter. Still mighty pissed off though

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      Hahaha I knew someone would come up with examples. 🙂

      I just wanted to say it anyway…cause I didn’t find any other words lol

  141. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    I seriously feel like sending some “suggestions” to the club right now, in their “contact us” section:

    *http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/socis/oab/contactans.html

  142. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    I’m beginning to wonder if Rosell has any sense left in him.. Oh well, it’s only us that elected him – time to pay the price..

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      Prepare for 6 years of Rosell lovers vs haters.

  143. Jnice
    August 28, 2010

    I can’t wait for the Catalan press to rationalize the installments of 24m. If there was ever a time for Marca and As to make fun of us, it’s now.

  144. vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    Please Pep, make a statement. Sooth my anger with your words. Even if you have nothing good to say.

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      I’m guessing he is going to wait till after the Racing match tomorrow. We better win.

  145. IS
    August 28, 2010

    Since we clearly got our asses handed to us in this negotiation – then what the fuck was so ‘difficult’ in deciding things over the past few days?

    And what’s with the media leaks of 40m that lead some (not all) of the unhappy fans to give in to the idea of Ibra’s sale? This really was, as Ramzi mentioned, a case of boiling the frog!

  146. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    There’s only one explanation to this deal:
    Pep must have told Rosell and Co. that Ibra will NOT play any substantial role in his planings for the upcoming season. Pep must have valued him on the same level as Jeffren (nothing against Jeffren, but he’ll struggle the most to face any competitive minutes during league or CL).
    So they wanted to offload him, at any costs. Now we have at least saved 12m salary for this season and the atmosphere inside the team will most likely be better.

    But if we buy Robinho now, I’ll lose my mind.

    Oh yeah, and Rosell is definitely doing a great job in reducing our debts…
    The balance sheet for this transfer period must be about -33m: 40m Villa, 22m Masch, 10m Adriano — 24m Yaya, 15m Chiggy
    Damn it! We should have gotten 15m for Rafa and Titi, and 48m for Zlatan. I cannot imagine a worse business situation than this.

    If we lose tomorrow, I won’t be able to live anymore!

    • jord(TM)
      August 28, 2010

      adriano was also in the last year of his contract, so we got bent over there too, but i like adriano so ill pretend that one didnt happen.

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      “Pep must have told Rosell and Co. that Ibra will NOT play any substantial role in his planings for the upcoming season. Pep must have valued him on the same level as Jeffren”

      If this is indeed the case, why do it last minute?

      And why, even if you don’t like a player, as manager you can see his value, would you not play him. You think many managers liked, say Maradona? It doesn’t make sense to me, at all

  147. jord(TM)
    August 28, 2010

    I also like how they say we save 60 millions, that has nothing to do with what we spent in cash :45 transfer + 14 wages, we already spent that. We made a 35 million euro loss on what we spent.Stop trying to take us for idiots.We could have saved the 60 million salary PLUS made back a closer amount to what we paid $40, even 35, shit 30?. But no 24,And its in installments.And we havent had any explanations.Only pep can reassure me, nothing sandro says can justify this.

  148. JC
    August 28, 2010

    The only positive thing is that now we can say that the Club sacrificed it’s income for the best interest of the player, unlike Aresnal who want to keep their captain when he clearly wanted out.

    n can someone explain how we are saving 60M?

    • August 28, 2010

      Over the life of his contract with us, assuming that he isn’t replaced like with like.

    • Helge
      August 28, 2010

      Maybe Zlatans netto wage was 12m, 15m brutto. 4 years left on his contract –> 60m

  149. Kari
    August 28, 2010

    In all the excitement, you guys all forgot little Cuddly’s birthday.

    How about a “Happy 20th, you’re going to have to man up” for the guy, eh?

    • blitzen
      August 28, 2010

      Maybe we could make him play in platform shoes so we’ll have some height in the front line? 🙂

  150. August 28, 2010

    I don’t think this is Rosell vs Laporta, or anyone vs anyone. People have to make difficult decisions in what they think is the entity’s best interest. And look, if we do a double or triple, at the end of it all people will be singing the praises of Guardiola and Rosell.

    Now let’s get this season started!

    • Ciaran
      August 28, 2010

      In reality, Laporta wouldn’t have let this happen. Rossell isn’t 10% of Laporta

  151. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    We got buggered in his sighing and we got buggered in his sale

    • Dave
      August 28, 2010

      Moral of the story, do not do business with Italians (well maybe honest Juve)

      • Luna
        August 28, 2010

        right b/c poor Barcelona are so innocent and pure…c’mon, it takes TWO to do business and if Barcelona messed up that is our club’s fault.

        I hope you were being ironic about honest Juve…right?

        • Dave
          August 28, 2010

          Just trying to lighten the mood, ironic you call it that

          • Luna
            August 28, 2010

            Ok, sometimes mood doesn’t come through in print…

            As for juve and honesty, I thought you were joking b/c surely Calciopoli!!!

  152. August 28, 2010

    Positives:

    1. We made Madrid’s CL group a lot tougher.
    2. The spirit in the locker room won’t be toxic.
    3. We bought a great center forward this summer so we won’t lack for attacking options.

    Negatives:

    Everything else. Every fucking thing else. Really shocking transfer. Lost for words.

    • Miguel
      August 28, 2010

      looks like it. fell free to hector me ;^)

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      At the Offside we reached 500 comments. And that was at Isaiah’s holiday trip post LOL

  153. Miguel
    August 28, 2010

    i’m over futbol right now. gonna go skate & take my frustrations out on other people’s personal property.

    • August 28, 2010

      I’m going to enjoy the commencement of my off season by having ice cream, donuts and anything else I can think of.

      LiveBlog tomorrow, hosted by vicsoc! Yay!

      • Eklavya
        August 28, 2010

        I’m waking up at 3 in the morning to observe Jupiter through my telescope! Yay!

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      As someone who owns personal property, take it easy bro! I’m gonna go chill and get back to real life worries that put this in perspective for me…

  154. vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    Who wants to calculate how much we paid for one year of Zlatan Ibra?

    46 – 24 = 22 million in transfer fees
    + 12 million in wages

    = 34 (+ Eto’o) for one year of Zlatan.

  155. Ciaran
    August 28, 2010

    The €24million is the problem. We might as well have just loaned him without the purchase option cause if Man City don’t win the league this season then they would probably try to sign him next summer.

    In reality though, this transfer is basically selling him for €36million (this year’s wage and €24m next summer). We only paid €40m for him last summer and could have given Eto’o a free. Laporta valued Eto’o’s transfer higher to make himself look better.

    I think we’ll probably try to loan Robinho from Man City to make up the numbers.

  156. August 28, 2010

    The way I look at is this: we spent 25 million euros for the honor of sending two top class strikers to the city of Milan.

  157. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    more barcastuff :
    Raiola: “Galliani has been able to lower the price from 70M to 24M . Exit bonus? Ibra hasn’t recived any exit bonus of Barcelona.” [sky ita]

    Yaaaaaaaay!

    • IS
      August 28, 2010

      They must’ve thought they were negotiating with a Shanghai street vendor..

      Galliani: “How much for the big guy?”

      Rosell: “70m”

      Galliani: “Last price?”

      Rosell: “50m”

      Galliani: “I’ll give you 5m”

      Rosell: “No, last price 45m, and like that I’m already losing compared to how much he cost me”

      Galliani: “I can go up to 10m, but that’s it”

      Rosell: ” Ummm…. No? 40m? 🙂 ”

      (Galliani walks away)

      (Rosell chases him with ‘the big guy’ in his hand and shoves ‘it’ in his hand)

      Rosell: “Ok, ok, 30m – but just for you!”

      Galliani: “25m”

      (Galliani waves the cash infront of Rosell)

      (Rosell’s eyes widen and sparkle as he starts dreaming of all he can do with the monieess – but then reverts to a a big frown)

      Rosell: “Fine, 25m :(, here you go…”

      (Rosell hands over ‘the big guy’ and takes the money and counts it)

      Rosell: “Mister, Mister! There’s only 24m here!!”

      Galliani: “Sorry, that’s all I had on me”

      Rosell: “Oh, ok… well.. please come again and I make you another great deal. Oh… and tell your friends!! :D”

      • Helge
        August 28, 2010

        LOL… so sad, but possibly so close to reality *puke*

        • Eklavya
          August 28, 2010

          I like when it goes from 25 to 24… so close to reality.

      • Luna
        August 28, 2010

        Ha ha, I can so see this. Thanks for the laugh!

      • jord(TM)
        August 28, 2010

        LOL .Its so accurate that its funny and sad at the same time 🙁

      • Kari
        August 28, 2010

        LOL

        So sad and yet so funny. Nice IS, very nice.

  158. vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    from Pep @Barcastuff:

    Raiola says Ibra received no exit bonus from Barcelona!

  159. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    LOL, Pep Twitter’s tweet just appeared on Twitter’s front page as one of the top tweets of today! 🙂

  160. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    To quote Shehan over at the Milan blog (This comment was the most sensible to me – funny it was from a Rossonero)


    ibra was going to ride the pine at barcelona, he is too expensive to be a sub. so it was either lose 12m this year and sell him next year, or just save 60m and make a 24m profit too.
    if ibra didn’t leave this summer, it would’ve been next summer. he is not in guardiola’s plans. you can’t blame rosell for this, it is laporta’s fault for not having the foresight to see that ibra is not the kind of number 9 you needed; guardiola deserves flak for it too.
    sure you guys lost money on his sale, but that 50 odd million you paid for him was on last year’s accounts, this year is a brand new ball game and rosell figured that he might as well save 12m (the ultimate savings) by doing the inevitable and selling ibra.
    it makes sense, rosell just tried keeping your losses to a minimum. as for us, we benefited from laporta’s mistake. galliani is no hero, he just exploited a niche in barca’s armor. i would still push him off the empire state building if i had the chance.

    • jord(TM)
      August 28, 2010

      You went there ?I feel too much shame :/.

      • Vj
        August 28, 2010

        Hell I even congratulated them.. Apart from the caustic relation Ibra and Pep shared, I felt that the witch-hunt Sport/MD orchestrated was a major factor in him leaving..

        Why should he stay where he isn’t wanted? Let him go wherever he feel happy..

        • Luna
          August 28, 2010

          I agree VJ. We all know it’s hard to come as an outsider to Barca in the first place. I don’t think we will ever know the full story. Oh well, another football story to add to the exploits of history

    • IS
      August 28, 2010

      The problem with this rationalization is that the presidents of our clubs are not the owners. Socis elect a president to handle the club’s business with the best interest of the club in mind. Ideally, a regime change should not be solely focused on the state of the financials from year 1-6 of the president’s reign; year 0 and 7 are just as important to focus on when planning a full financial strategy.

      In this case, and based on the limited information we’ve been exposed to, the board had the opportunity to act earlier in the transfer market to minimize the inevitable loss that would incur from this transaction. No matter what, 24m is not, not even by a long shot, a wise or a sound financial decision. The only way for it to be seen as such is if the board is narrow sighted to the extent that their vision is limited to the financial success (forget the club’s image) of the club over the presidents term – neglecting all that came before or will come after.

  161. iBlau
    August 28, 2010

    The calm before the storm. If you thought the thread got heated earlier, imagine the Gooners crowing at us talking about “justice has been served”, etc.

    Regarding Ibra, I initially thought it was indeed Rosell’s doing but he just not that stupid to a)clearly go against the coaches wishes b)make himself public enemy #1 in Catalunya c)Wait until a couple days before the start of the season to sell our most expensive signing in history. After Ibra’s comments however, I can safely assume there was some friction or tension between him & Pep.

    Strange seeing that couple weeks ago, the sun was shining bright in Catalunya and Pep publicly declared that he wanted Ibra to stay. Was that a cover up of locker room issues? We don’t know. But something must have happened between then & now, because if Pep doesn’t even want to be in the same room as Zlatan, then something has obviously soured the relationship. I mean 24M? Pocket change for some of Europe’s biggest clubs. If Pep was indeed the puppeteer in this whole fiasco, then I can take some pride in knowing that he dealt with the issue before it blew up in our faces two days before a season defining game. But 24M is far too low for Ibrahimovic.

    It’s all in the past now. We have a game tomorrow & I hope this doesn’t affect the team’s spirit.

    [I’m going to go cry in a corner now.]

  162. Vj
    August 28, 2010

    To your last comment – NO NEED!

    We still have an unmatchable squad with added steel – Masch.. If Ibra didn’t wish to fight for his place, it’s his loss.. He won’t have our players to support him now – not even Maxwell!

    All I’ll remember of Ibra apart from that wonderful strike against EE is the support he got – Remember when he was stinking it up against Zaragoza and Messi allowed him to take the penalty he earned? That is called team spirit..

    We are great, and we’ll still be great if we stick to our philosophy.. Come Rosell or high water!

    • iBlau
      August 28, 2010

      “Come Rosell or high water!”

      made me smile 😀

  163. Eklavya
    August 28, 2010

    Extremly out of subject but what happened to your small “TM”, Jordi?

    • jord™
      August 28, 2010

      Sometimes it doesnt show up on the offside so i use the other one in brackets i just was too lazy to change back here

  164. vicsoc8
    August 28, 2010

    As someone said above, happy birthday Bojan. It’s almost too coincidental to be a coincidence that Ibra is leaving on Bojan’s birthday.

  165. majatt
    August 28, 2010

    What the…24…loan…option…I’m off the internet for a few days due to complete disbelief.

  166. majatt
    August 28, 2010

    oh and the real winner here is Raiola and maybe milan because Ibra took a pay cut, barca lost a good striker, milan may get a good performance out of him but Raiola got his transfer money somewhere in there I’m sure.

  167. jordi™
    August 28, 2010

    Im pretty sure the portada at MD couple days ago was “ibra no regala”, too funny.

    Look at this one and laugh at their delusions *http://kiosko.net/es/2010-08-27/np/mundodeportivo.html

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      MD definitely said “Ibra no regala”. And that Ibra plus one of their players made me laugh.

  168. Bashir
    August 28, 2010

    DID I GET THE HOLE DEAL WRONG

    I think we all agree we made chockinly bad deal.
    But we put our selfs in this mess.

    The only thing bothering me is that
    the buy option Milan has is it a “must buy” or they can
    buy him if they want?

    or did i get it wrong?

    if Ibra gets injured at the end of this season and he’s gone fo like 4-6month do MILAN still have to buy him or can they say, we’r not usin our option?

  169. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    At least I’m relieved that Sevilla and Valencia won. I don’t want this la Liga title race to be a 2-horse-race after just 14 playdays or so…

    And judging by their performance against Inter, Atleti will be the toughest opponent next to Real Madrid this season.

    Now, let’s get it started, a 4-0 (as Luke’s prediction, btw a very nice preview article!) is needed to take #1.
    Visca el Barca!

    • Eklavya
      August 28, 2010

      Yeah Luke, awesome preview! Look at all the comments it got! Lol.

  170. Bashir
    August 28, 2010

    This hole we’r saving 60m on this deal must be the joke of the year
    Cause the 60m was for service Ibra would give us and since we wont be
    getting his service we wont pay the 60m durin this contract
    so Basicly we’r in need of the missing service

    and this or the next season, who ever takes up the Ibra spot in the squad will need salary to offer us the service we’r missin due to Zlatans sale.

    The new salary will surely not be 60total but sure around 30-40m during the length of contract ibra would been here

    so the total savings on him leavin will never be the 60m they TRYIN TO SAY

    OR?

  171. Helge
    August 28, 2010

    Oh yeah, and it will be fun to see Milan crash out the CL, maybe even during the groupstage (RM is clearly superior, and maybe Luis Suarez can work some magic), after this comment:
    Galliani (executive director Milan): “With Ibra, Pato and Ronaldinho our squad isn’t inferior to any European club.” [sky italia]

    Mr. Galliani, first of all a team does not only consist of attackers and offensive midfield, plus Ronaldinho is not even close to any other creative, offensive midfielder (insert Iniesta, Silva, Kaka, Sneijder and 100s more).
    And besides these 3 players, Milan only has Pirlo and Thiago Silva who can compete on worldclass level. I just don’t see them as a genuine title contender in any competition, sorry .

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      I don’t wish any ill on Milan. They don’t annoy me like Inter does. Maybe because Inter’s fans hate us so much.

      Galliani is clearly wrong, but I guess he is hyped right now.

  172. Luna
    August 28, 2010

    You know watching video of Zlatan’s last training day, it’s clear the players get along pretty well. It doesn’t look like a show.

    Conspiracy theory:
    What if Pep was to Ibra (knowing Ibra’s personality): Look you better get out of here b/c next year you aren’t going to be valued as much. The higher ups here don’t want you and I am gone in a year. Plus you have to fight for your spot, not a guaranteed starter. If I were you I’d go somewhere if you wanna play every day.

    Pep (screw Rossel) I am out of here next year…

    Ok just a fantasty

    • Luna
      August 28, 2010

      *fantasy* wrong word/ not sure what word describes best…

  173. Shaun
    August 28, 2010

    With this mess happening just 24 hours before the first game of the season, does anyone have idea of how we might line-up tomorrow? Perhaps your typical 4-3-3, with Messi in the middle and Pedro on the left???

  174. Jim
    August 28, 2010

    For me a lot will depend on what Pep has to say about this. I hope he’ll come out and tell us the full story. If he doesn’t I’m laying this debacle at his door.

    • James
      August 28, 2010

      We can’t even root against Milan because then we’ll be stuck with an older, shittier, less valuable Ibrahimovic making 12 million a year we can’t get rid of if Milan opts out of the deal.

  175. jordi™
    August 28, 2010

    I feel like if the negotiations lasted any more days we probably have gotten 15 million lol.We should count ourselves lucky.Galliani must feel like a pimp.Lost in all this has been Caceres moving to sevilla on loan with and option to buy for million.Depreciation Barca style, no one does it like us 😀 .So any bets on Sandro moving for torres next year? For an ‘economic’ price of 50 million+ maybe.

    • jordi™
      August 28, 2010

      that should read caceres option to buy for 5 million (i think).Today was charity day at Can Barca.

  176. Diego S.
    August 28, 2010

    So we Sell Yaya for 30m (Actually get 24m) and we Sell Ibra for 25m !!! Balotelli is 29m, Di Maria is 25m, Chygrynski is 25m, Lescott is 25m ..

  177. MoSSi
    August 28, 2010

    I guess sport en MD were right all along when they were splashing rumours about Ibra leaving in the beginning of the transferwindow ..

    • Jnice
      August 28, 2010

      Don’t think so. I think that was what they were hoping for. We would have offered Ibra to Man City if we wanted to sell in the beginning of the window. Only towards the end when all the leaks came out about Milan were MD right. Intentional leaks, too.

  178. Steamy
    August 28, 2010

    Last year, when we brought Ibra in, I remember all the talk about how not only did he compliment our playing style but he also could be used as a plan B (in being over 5ft). Without him can we deviate at all from our standard game plan when we need to ‘break the bus’ and will this be a real problem this season?

    • Dave
      August 28, 2010

      I think Pique will be the emergency answer.

      • mei
        August 28, 2010

        pique always seemed to be that kind of plan B , and the few times that we actually needed it seemed to work better than Ibrahimovic for this purpose.

        • Jim
          August 29, 2010

          I was always unsure about that Plan B. If you are the best football team in the world and teams start finding ways to stop you, you tackle that not throw your style out of the window.

  179. Jose
    August 28, 2010

    Anybody sell Messi here for 10 mil. EUR?

  180. Dave
    August 28, 2010

    Had to happen, the clubs are well used to leaking intentions to papers.
    Forget other transfers, club needs to have a serious meeting and then scout like Monchi from Sevilla.
    Anyway what stood out against Milan, was how utterly dependent we are on Xavi. Thats what our success is built on and we don’t seem to have a suitable back up at the club.

    • mei
      August 28, 2010

      We cant scout like sevilla. Just cant.
      They get bargains for potential stars, that may or may not be the real deal , yet they always find playing time for them.
      We cant do that , when we get potential stars we pay a shitload of money because of our name ; they either perform , get benched loaned -kicked out, or just loaned and kicked out.
      Theres also always the comparison with a canterano that makes it even harder for them because cantera costs “nothing”.

      To be honest i cant remember the last potential star we bought and pleased the board, the coach and the fans if you discount pique who was a canterano and came at a very low price.Everybody else was a catastrophe and was eventually treated as an outcast.

      So the road we seem to take this time , although quite painful with the latest ibra transfer , except for rewriting the book of how not to manage transfers , players and their representatives , seems the most logical and viable one if we take the above points into consideration :
      wed better reach into the cantera first , because it is less costly on every level. Or get the bargain , but thats very rare(mascherano , even if he fails he can be offloaded easily due to his status , age , international presence).
      This way we give less money on transfers, and signings/promotes get more support from press , fans plus can always get the youth products back in the cantera if they dont work out(and ship them out for money if they cant perform).
      Cruel but our transfer dealings when it comes to huge names accompanied by hefty transfer fees , just cant live up too potential. Overmars , saviola , petit, henry , ibrahimovic .
      These were either pretty expensive transfer dealings or huge names when they came to us , or even both. They all never pleased the crowd or the coach to a satisfactory level.
      The names that actually did make it , were ronnie and daniel alves.Both werent world class names at the moment of their signing , ronnie didnt even cost that much money.Alves was already a proven right back in la liga. We are better of with that kind of transfer dealings and i only hope villa and mascherano follow their steps , along with adriano . 🙁

  181. Lev
    August 28, 2010

    If a certain president had not been so busy screaming to the world in what a financial mess his predecessor supposedly left us in, then he would not have to sell Ibra for a dime on the dollar. Especially grating is that he gave Milan an “option” to buy. So if he messes up in Milan then we will be stuck with an even bigger problem.

  182. jnelson
    August 28, 2010

    Some people are saying we never “needed” Ibra. Some are saying he didn’t fit in. Some are saying he would disrupt our team this season. No matter what the problem, 24m, loan, option to buy, and all that ish is unacceptable. The only winner in this mess is Milan, for sealing the deal of the century. Ibra took a 4m paycut (1/3 of his salary every year) to join a team that realistically will never come close to winning the CL during his playing days, and have a difficult time with the Italian League at that. That said, this sucks for him. Then, there is Barca. We lose (65m valued purchased) for 24m (installments over 3 years after first year loan). We also take huge hits to our reputation and Pep’s reputation. Not only that, but there is the risk of Ibra getting injured and falling back on us or Milan renegotiating even lower (after how stupid the deal is we came to, it’s a possibility).

    IMHO, we just got screwed out of the best CF, (not striker), in the world. Now, of course we all trust in Pep and he’s worthy of that trust. All former players like him, even Eto’o wants him to be coach at Inter. If Ibra turned and said that Pep was a great coach, he would be in the books as the greatest manager ever. Unfortunately, with all the rumors and such, it appears that Pep was the one who wanted him to go. I trust Pep, if that’s the case, but I could never agree with the pathetic deal that was done. Many of you have hated on Txiki B., but Henrique and Keirrison were investments. He even said so. They were never expected to play for Barca, only to develop into top-flight talent on loan and be sold for millions more. Whether they have not had enough time to develop or just suck remains to be seen. Caceres and Hleb, on the other hand, were request of Pep who have failed to make the grade as Barca players for one reason or another. Understandable. Pique and Dani Alves, of course, are world class and well worth their fees (in Pique’s case, over 5 times his). Add to that all of the contract renewals for our players, and Txiki had done an excellent job, up until and including some of this summer. David Villa was great for 40m, and Yaya good to leave for 30 (ok, 24m). Marquez and Henry leaving for free was tough, but mostly goodwill I guess. Attempting to sign Cesc for 40m!? was insane, but a critical part of Laporta’s closing plans as President. Selling Chygwimpy and Ibra for 15m and 24m(loan+option+installments[which are all (-)’s]) is outrageous. If the Masch fee is to be believed, even for basically a sub, I guess could be good business, but if we are in such economic trouble that we have to save “60 mil”, why are we buying Masch???

    • jnelson
      August 28, 2010

      I would not be surprised if Milan beat us in the CL and win the trophy (against all odds), and also win their league and cup, a la Inter. Like Kevin said before: karma.

      How can anyone think Sneijder deserves the Balon d’Or!? HAHA!!!

  183. August 28, 2010

    New post up, if only to keep people from getting carpal tunnel while scrolling through this monster on their mobile devices. 😀

    Thanks to IS for the material.

    • mei
      August 28, 2010

      thanks for god sake kxevin !
      i was scrolling down like crazy in my 5800 Xpressmusic :p

  184. mei
    August 28, 2010

    “Ibrahimovic and his agent will choose what they think is best for his future. He has to be a key player. We’ve talked. Last season he did very well. I didn’t ask anyone to try and sell him.” Pep
    From ramzi’s blog.
    If i were a journalist , tomorrow , after the game I would read that quote that was included in his first interview after vacation , and I would ask him just one question :
    What changed ?

  185. JC
    August 29, 2010

    Trezeguet is available on a free. Wasn’t he on Pep’s radar last season?

  186. Helge
    August 29, 2010

    by the way, Luke. Who do you think will beat us in the CL final?

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