Champions League Group Draw Liveblog

It’s the group stage draw liiiive and in color from the BFB headquarters in sunny (finally) New York City! Join us at 12 noon EST (6pm CET) and we’ll boogie all the way through the selections, then you can have your say in the hastily thrown together post that will come after it.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

137 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    August 26, 2010

    A Live LiveBlog for a Live Draw? Sweet! 🙂

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      lol, a LiveBlog is always live, isn’t it? 😉

      Let me state my preferred draw for Barca (and horror draw):
      From Pot #2: Werder Bremen, because matches with Werder are always fun, they play offensively and don’t really know how to defend a result or a match in general. Panathinaikos would be an easier opponent, but Bremen is entertaining and still not a genuine threat for us (horror: Real Madrid, which is impossible so… Benfica would be the strongest opponent imo, and Shaktar the hardest travel).
      From Pot #3: Ajax: Clash of Voetbal total! Nothing more to add (Sporting Braga ahead of Spurs, although Gareth Bale kicks ass)
      From Pot #4: Auxerre: Mainly because it’s the nearest to Barcelona and I liked them under Guy Roux. Skill-wise I don’t fear anybody here (Kazan would still be the draw to avoid).

      Anyway, we cannot get more than 2 East-European-teams and I don’t see any constellation that doesn’t leave us as favourites.

      Link to the Pots: *www.as.com

  2. Kxevin
    August 26, 2010

    I don’t think anybody is a threat to us, barring injuries or anything funky. Bring it.

  3. Kxevin
    August 26, 2010

    Quotes of the day:

    –“The player wants to join Milan,” said Galliani. Barcelona are waiting to see, but the operation is difficult because of the player’s wages.”

    –Galliani: “No loan, the road is long and I can say a deal can be concluded with 50 percent chances. I want to clarify that Marco Borriello is not for sale and there is no deal for Huntelaar.”

    –Galliani: “It’s a long road ahead, I’d say the chances of Milan signing Ibrahimovic are 50%. We’re discussing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and personal terms. At this point the two clubs are working towards a definitive sale. There will be no loan deal.”

    –Raiola: “There are things on the table, we understand everything now. Will he take a pay cut? No-one is, but in some cases it can happen.”

    –Raiola: (different translation) “Reducing your wages is not a nice thing, but sometimes it is necessary to conclude a deal.”

    –Rosell: “Galliani is free to negotiate terms with the player.” (Can anyone really think that Ibrahimovic is staying after this?)

    –Guardiola: “If I have only spoken twice with Ibrahimovic, there must be a reason. Of course there’s a reason, but I don’t want to go into it.

    “On the 31st the market closes and there’s no reason to explain now. If he stays here it is my obligation to recover him and tell him the reason for certain things.

    “It depends on how he goes, we must analyse the situation.”

    –Guardiola (different translation): “We have no problem of communication. For the good of the club, it’s best not to say anything. There’s always a reason, but I’m not going to explain it now. I’m very communicative. When it’s the right time I’ll give my opinion.”

    –Ibrahimovic: “I haven’t spoken to Guardiola for six months. I do not know the reason for this, but there are certainly problems. As for Milan, for now, I do not know anything about a possible move, so I will remain a Barcelona player, but I would like to play alongside a player such as Ronaldinho.”

    Galliani has also confirmed that Robinho is the alternative if he can’t acquire Ibrahimovic. He added that he would like to return to Milan with Ibrahimovic, but “I would also like to return with a young Brigitte Bardot.” Dude cracks me up.

    On an admiring note, Galliani has played this perfectly. There are only 4 effective days left in the transfer window, and he sat tight, knowing that we had a player that we didn’t want, and that any club in its right mind would. He’s done it twice, with Robinho and Ibrahimovic. Well played. We don’t seem to do very well in negotiations with big Italian clubs over big players, it should be noted.

  4. Kxevin
    August 26, 2010

    Oh, and Inter is back in the Mascherano race. As with EBay, they will offer one penny more than us, and get the player. 😀

    • Jnice
      August 26, 2010

      I don’t know… the Sun claims Branca told them he sent in a formal fax to Liverpool, but it doesn’t really seem believable. Why would he say all that to the Sun?

      Also, I saw a video today on Sky Sports in which Hodgson was talking about the Mascherano situation and he said that Liverpool are still negotiating with only Barcelona and he wanted a resolution either way by Sunday.

  5. Lou
    August 26, 2010

    Now for something completely different… Messi apparently gave an interview to the Daily Express. A quote:

    “Javier won’t play for the club again, I can assure you of that, and I think the Liverpool coach knows that now,” said Messi, according to the Daily Express.

    //http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2010/08/26/2088524/barcelona-star-lionel-messi-urges-liverpool-to-act-humanely

    Right, that really sounds like something Messi would say.

    I actually really liked how Mourinho dealt with this garbage when the mirror published a fake interview with him a few days ago. Deny it quickly and threaten legal action. I wonder if the reason there are so many fake interviews with Barca players is that, their representatives just don’t follow English tabloids, so those “newspapers” feel that they will never get caught.

  6. Kxevin
    August 26, 2010

    Cancel the Huntelaar alarm!

    Galliani: “No players of Milan will be included in the deal. It’s true that Robinho is an alternative for us.”

    And if Rosell has given Galliani permission to meet with Ibrahimovic to try to work out a deal, that means (to me) that the clubs are sufficiently close where something can be worked out if the player is willing to do something about his wages. This is the old “How much am I willing to make to be happy,” quandary, right? Maybe when you’re used to making 12m per, 9 or 10 seems unpalatable. Maybe not. La Gazzetta says Ibrahimovic has agreed to take a pay cut to 10m to make the deal happen.

    Rosell wants to continue negotiating throughout the weekend. Milan wants a deal done by then. Sounds like we’re the supplicant in this situation? Wow.

  7. August 26, 2010

    Its a typical set-in negotiation strategy. Its more us being Naive than Galliani being smart. He didnt smart anyone else in the past few years in all the negotiations he made. Which tells a lot.

    Again, if Pep didnt want the player, we should have negotiated a month ago. If Pep wanted the player, then we shouldn’t have negotiated in the first place. Crystal.

    Talking about Robinho, I started to visualize him in a Barca Jersey. That’s the next step of the master plan.

    • Kxevin
      August 26, 2010

      It’s both, for sure. I’d say that throwing in Robinho says to us “You know, we have somewhere to go if you don’t want to do this deal,” like when you’re buying a car and threaten to walk.

      We definitely screwed the pooch on this one. In about any way that you can think of. We’d be better off keeping the player and making another run at his transfer next summer.

      • August 26, 2010

        Agreed regarding Robinho. The “inho” thing makes him very Sandrolic, though.

        As for Ibra, I dont know… I think the damage is irreversible. Even if he stays. he will keep wondering “Am I the new Eto’o who stayed one more season because the transfer didnt fit, then was offloaded?”. Thats why I will not be more or less relaxed if we keep or we sell.

        What I dont understand -one of the things…- Why will Sandro delay till weekend? Could it be that he has a deal with a replacement already so he need no time to search? That may explain burning all the bridges in Ibra’s negotiation.

        Because I still dont believe that we will not sign a replacement. Any replacement. Yet, yesterday I thought Sandro was smarter than he ended up showing. So we never know.

        • ElShowDeJason
          August 26, 2010

          If he stays, this is Pep and Ibra’s last season. for sure.

  8. August 26, 2010

    The groups within one hour! I hope we get an entertaining group. Cant wait for football to come back to life!

  9. August 26, 2010

    mmm and here i go commenting in a thread and while i write a new post has opened 🙁 lol copy paste y’all:

    “Welcome back to the typical life of being a Barcelona fan. Hope you enjoyed the 6 seasons’ vacation”

    Aaaargh this is so true. All of y’all who jumped on this here wagon in the last 5 yrs or so y’all are in for a world of pain!

    I was against buying Ibra last year. I don’t think that he was worth 56 mil. Hell, I don’t think he was worth trading Eto’o for in a straight swap. And I don’t think he is worth being the 2nd best-paid player in our squad.

    But for the life of me I don’t know why we would sell him now. Not this way. Not without getting a decent replacement. And not at the last fucking minute, getting a dime on the fucking dollar and looking like a fucking amateur side through it all.

    If the problem is between Pep and Ibra I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to resolve it. If the problem is the agent then I hope that after they sell Zlatan they will proclaim publicly that they never want to do business with Mino Raiola ever again.

    I do not think it is right that Ibra did not celebrate with his teammates, but it kind of indicates that he is pretty upset about the whole situation also. Think about it, if he would genuinely want to leave Barça then why not celebrate the trophy? Most likely he is really pissed off about what is happening – would you want to celebrate if you feel like you are being booted out the door?

    All in all, not a good start for Rosell.
    – selling Chiggy against Pep’s wishes? check
    – throwing out our dirty laundry (or should i say, dirtying our laundry some more and then throwing it out) in order to make the previous president look bad? check
    – throwing out the honorary president, a man without whom Barça probably wouldn’t be Barça (football-wise)? check
    – disrespecting our club and opposition by not showing up at an away game only so he can Cesar it up in the Camp Nou? check
    – working on selling our striker 5 days before our season opener in a manner that defies amateurism? check

    Why? Why would he destabilize a sporting project that could give us so much beauty and success if only we continued it? What the F is wrong with him? I think he has heard of the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. Somebody should tell him “IF IT AIN’T BROKE THEN DON’T FUCKING BREAK IT!!!!”

    I swear the f-ing Glazers have more class than him. At least they didn’t try to kick Bobby Charlton out of Manchester Utd…

    Excuse all the expletives.

  10. Lou
    August 26, 2010

    Do you think Rosell still sells Ibra if the club draws Milan?

    • August 26, 2010

      Barcelona and Milan are in the first pot, so its not possible to share the same group.

      • Lou
        August 26, 2010

        Oops, sorry for the mistake.

        I thought both Madrid and Milan were in pot 2, but that doesn’t make sense given that they were in the same group last year.

  11. August 26, 2010

    “Do you think Rosell still sells Ibra if the club draws Milan?”

    wooooh, nice one lol

  12. Shaun
    August 26, 2010

    Anyone else have any preferred draws?

    Personally, I’m hoping for:
    -Werder Bremen. See what Helge said.
    -Rangers. Can’t stand ’em. I’ve always had a strong admiration of Celtic, and what the Rangers fans did the last time we drew them pissed me off.
    -Rubin Kazan. Tough opponent, but hey, it’s time for some revenge! 🙂

  13. aULD sUPER
    August 26, 2010

    Rosell will be the ruination of the club, he is the antichrist.

  14. August 26, 2010

    i don’t really care who we draw. actually for personal reasons it would be nice not to draw Ajax so that I can cheer them on as well but that’s about it. Prefer not to play any Russian or Ukranian clubs. Would like to play the Spurs so that we can crush them in honor of GoonerinBarça, lol.

    Speaking of Ajax they qualified for CL for the first time in 6 yrs (yay). Man U nicked their top 16 yr old prospect right out of the Ajax academy by buying his parents a house (booh)

  15. DontPanic
    August 26, 2010

    Obviously we don’t know all the details but I have a stinking felling that Pep handled this whole issue very poorly. Is this a repeat of “feeling” like it was with Eto’o last year?

    Seriously, you throw an arm and a leg to get Ibra, and then after just one year you give up on him. Shouldn’t 46m + Eto’o make you work harder to make things work? Does Pep not like “personalities”? Well, sorry but you are their mamager. So MANAGE.

    Players have different personalities. They don’t all act the same. Pep knew Ibra is an arrogant player. Didn’t he know Zlatan would be a little more difficult than others? Or did he think he will mellow out when he came to Barca? If you want 100% obedient players then you will have to stick to cantera. But 29 y.o. players have their opinions/experiences etc., that make them more difficult to manage. But not impossible. You have to talk to them, make things work. At least you have to keep trying for Eto’o and 46m.

    Zlatan was under constant bombardment from the papers and to not speak with the player during that time is unbelievable. You can’t come with “person before the player” statement 5 day to transfer deadline.

    The bridges are burned. The transfer will happen. But Barca is going to get the short end of the stick. And will be the laughing stock second year in a row.

    • Luna
      August 26, 2010

      Exactly my thoughts. I was like, what your the MANAGER For goodness sakes!!!

  16. SoccerMom
    August 26, 2010

    I loved Laporta. I loved that little round narcissist. I loved that he went wino on outrageously expensive wine … that he smiled a smug little smile every time his team scored against another big club … I loved that he practically clapped with glee at an easy tournament draw … I loved his Caso Gürtel suits and his ridiculous TV appearances and his grandiose political ambitions …

    And I can’t stand Rosell. He’s such a weasel. He’s got that weasely little smirk and what’s sure to be a limp handshake. Who on here said he reminds them of the ’2 1/2 Men’ guy? Jon Cryer (Google if unfamiliar)? Well, Ducky has more pluck. He doesn’t have to be MoJo JoJo. But a little less crass, more class. I can’t figure the numbers and I can’t manage to get my toddler in bed before eleven. SoMa’s no boss, this business is personal. But how did this guy win at politics being such an uncharismatic person?

    Oh and yes agreed on Adriano maybe I just crush on Brazilian ex-Sevillista fullbacks.

    And little note: ‘pasta’ is slang for ‘cash’, too, so the pro-Ibra banner has a pun there too (‘Dont leave us for Italian money’). ‘Pan’, too (you ‘earn the bread’) but it’s more of a stretch.

    Recipe for pa am tomaquet:
    Peel some garlic cloves and smush slightly with broad side of kitchen knife.
    Slice some fresh tomatoes in half, keeping juice inside if possible.
    Brush some crusty thick bread slices with olive oil.
    Grill (or broil) bread on both sides, 2 minutes per side.
    Rub garlic on top of bread until garlicky.
    Rub juicy tomato slices onto garlicky bread.
    Drizzle a little more oil and season w/ salt and pepper.
    (Place 1 anchovy slice on each bread and then duck as Catalan purists throw hot cazuelas at you).

    (I am reposting this from earlier b/c I was so distracted by Pinto’s Jedi Ponytail that I did not bother to read the identification)

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      Nobody can stand Rossell, except of the more than 70%(?) who voted for him. This is insane, I want me some Laporta back.

      That recipe reminds me a lot of Italian Bruschetta:
      *http://services.spservices.sg/images/cs_lifestyle_recipes_s-snacks_bruschetta.jpg

      Damn, now I’m hungry 🙂

    • Jnice
      August 26, 2010

      “And I can’t stand Rosell. He’s such a weasel. He’s got that weasely little smirk and what’s sure to be a limp handshake.

      LOL, you had me cracking up with that.

    • Kari
      August 26, 2010

      He’s Jon Cryer’s twin brother.

      In fact, I should just start calling Rosell, Mr. Cryer, since he seems to be moaning about our finances every time he gets the chance.

  17. Eklavya
    August 26, 2010

    The LiveBlog is not working for me…

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      It’s never working for me when I’m using my laptop because of some security settings…

      btw, I bet Milito will be Club Forward of the Year. Although Messi is waaaay better than him 🙁

  18. Helge
    August 26, 2010

    lol, all for Inter…

    How many Barca players won last year? Otherwise this suggest that Inter was more dominant this season than we’ve been during the last one – ridiculous!

  19. Helge
    August 26, 2010

    Damn it! Another journey to the far east

  20. GREECE BARCA
    August 26, 2010

    yeah barca will come to greece and i was hoping for that!magic!but not again a trip to russia!wtf??very good draw!a magic season coming for us!i will be back in some days guys cause some personal problems!cu!

  21. Jnice
    August 26, 2010

    HAHAHA Eklavya. You said wait…. got cut off.

  22. Eklavya
    August 26, 2010

    Damnit…it was all going well until…BAM KAZAN!!

  23. August 26, 2010

    mmm got kicked out of the chat somehow. cant get back in

  24. Diego S.
    August 26, 2010

    So .. Group of Death is it :

    1- A – Inter, Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, Twente
    2- G – AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      Nah, wouldn’t count Group G to that category. AC Milan is such a pathetic team these days (even with Ibra they will still be pathetic) and the rest is no match for Real anyway. I think there is no group this year which is even close to our group last year.

  25. Jnice
    August 26, 2010

    Milito club footballer of the year? Get real.

  26. August 26, 2010

    “1- A – Inter, Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, Twente
    2- G – AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre”

    yeah the Dutch clubs are quite unlucky in this draw

  27. Kari
    August 26, 2010

    Miltio Club Player of the Year?

    That takes away all credibility that UEFA had been desperately clinging onto. And they never had any in the first place.

  28. Wow
    August 26, 2010

    Wow I’m embarrassed by all the Barca fans who freaked out in the live comments after we got Rubin. Are you kidding me? You guys are afraid of Rubin? I mean last year they took just two shots in the entire match, and we missed tons of chances. It was a fluke win and I’m glad we got this crap team, we will destroy them.

    • Jnice
      August 26, 2010

      We weren’t really serious. It’s more an issue about the cold, not fear of their quality. Like I said before, we dominated them at home, but we were unlucky. We’ll see what happens this year.

    • Kari
      August 26, 2010

      No said we’re afraid of Rubin. I don’t want us to go to Russia. Period.

      I look forward to us playing them though. Since we got them and all.

  29. August 26, 2010

    lolwhere does all the sneijder hate come from? i wanted him to win apart from being dutch i would have liked EE to have sold a poty once instead of always buying them 😉

  30. Euler
    August 26, 2010

    Milito winning is completely and entirely out of touch with the way contemporary football is played. He basically won player of the year for his performance in one game.

    Sneijder must be very unhappy and very surprised.

    How Messi couldn’t have won is just embarrassing to UEFA. Good luck trying to convince people around the world Diego Milito was the top footballer this past year when Messi is almost universally considered to be the best.

    Milito himself said during the World Cup Messi is the best player playing now and no one is even close to him.

    Milito seems like a good guy and has been under recognized for a long time. But this doesn’t speak well for UEFA nor for the award.

  31. aULD sUPER
    August 26, 2010

    Milito, what a joke. I like how Sneijnder didn’t mention that bollix mourinho in his acceptance speech.

  32. August 26, 2010

    Dont underestimate Valencia’s group. Even though Rangers are not at their best now, but they are tricky. And turkey always make it tough. Then Man utd.

  33. August 26, 2010

    @euler yeah messi is the best player in the world, but since it is a UEFA award I think is based on the performances in the UEFA CL (correct me if I’m wrong).

    Apart from his amazing game against Arsenal at home, Leo did not do that much in the CL this year. As such it is only right that the award goes to an Inter player.

    • Eklavya
      August 26, 2010

      Yeah, he was top scorer but that was pretty much it…yeah. Right.

    • Kari
      August 26, 2010

      Yeah. Not much against Stuttgart either, eh?

      • August 26, 2010

        whoooah don’t get me wrong I love Messi he is my fav player and the best player in the world. But that doesn’t make me a blind partisan. For me if this award is given based on CL performances it has to go to a player of the winning team. I’m old school like that. Personally I felt Sneijder was Inter’s MVP of the season, but Milito scored both in the final and in the semi-final (and probably in games before that as well), which is probably why he got the award even though he is not in the top 50 players in Europe imo

    • Diego S.
      August 26, 2010

      Messi was the only Player to score against Dynamo Kyiv Home and Away .. Against Arsenal .. Against Stutgart .. Give me someone else who did that Last Year !

    • Euler
      August 26, 2010

      Messi was amazing in the CL though. Amazing. As Elkavya noted – he was the top scorer. But how good he was in the CL goes past even the goal totals. And the thing is – those are the games people from around the world are watching the most.

  34. Diego S.
    August 26, 2010

    The Final Team In group D is .. Give me RSTLNE

    R***N ****N

    Choose 3 letters Please .. and a vowel

    • Diego S.
      August 26, 2010

      Now That’s A Nice Picture

      **http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs296.snc4/41137_440848304617_300579419617_4591827_7713231_n.jpg**

  35. jord(TM)
    August 26, 2010

    YES.Wesley didnt win.Thats what happen when you dont score in the final 😀

  36. Lou
    August 26, 2010

    Yeah, I’m a bit worried for Valencia, that’s not an easy group. Good draw for Barca, I bet they feel pretty motivated for the games against Rubin Kazan.

    When do we find out the schedule for group stage?

  37. Diego S.
    August 26, 2010

    Is It too late To Exchange Zlatan for Luis Suarez ? The Dude scored 49 goals in 48 matches Last season .. I hope he Scores a brace against EE

  38. Blow-Grenade
    August 26, 2010

    What Ruben again????????????????
    Holy Cow!!!

    • Diego S.
      August 26, 2010

      Remember the last Time they visited Our House ?
      **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHUqApUqzsc**

      • Blow-Grenade
        August 26, 2010

        I know they screwed us!!! I still have bad memories of this guy called Dominguez tormenting Pique and Puyol. He was also the Russian footballer of the year or something there.

  39. Helge
    August 26, 2010

    Get used to the silly award winners this year. FIFA Ballon d’Or will be the same shit, they give prices for the most succesful, but not for the best!

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      About the UEFA Club … of the Year:
      They’ve been voted by the 16 coaches of last season’s Round of 16 teams, but there will be another prize from the UEFA called “Team of the year 2010” where the users can vote on the official website. We gotta make sure that there will be some Barca players.
      Oh, and having seen Milito’s offside goal once again really got me freakin’ out. Then all these Inter awards – I am right now as much an anti-Interisti as I am anti-Madridista *devil*

  40. August 26, 2010

    For the record, I like to see the individual prizes given to a hard worker who make up for not being the most skillful. No complains.

    Beside, Messi must NOT win everything all the time. Too bad for his mental health at this age. If he want it back, he can fix the records again this season. Thats for the best of the club.

    And while we are all looking toward Kazan, I hope we keep an eye on Greece. We need to win our game there (its never a certainty there). If we do, we’ll have no concerns.

  41. ElShowDeJason
    August 26, 2010

    Why does everyone keep insisting that Pep is behind getting rid of Ibra!?!?!

    just like with Chygrinsky, Pep wants Ibra to stay, but Rosell is trying to push him out the back door

    This is pep regarding Ibra after the gamper, Thanks to Luna for posting this 2 threads ago:

    “No todo depende de mí en este club, yo doy mi opinión al club, pero el secretario técnico y el presidente están por encima de mí, hay cosas que se pueden hacer y otras que no”, añadido Guardiola.

    –Not everything depends on me in this club, I give my opinions to the club, but the presidnet and secretary are above me, there are things that can be done and others that cannot…–

    • Vicsoc8
      August 26, 2010

      I just think it’s very difficult to tell who is driving the deal a the moment. It could be any of Rosell, Pep, or Zlatan himself, or even more than one of them. Maybe even all of them. The evidence we’ve seen leaves all three as rational possibilities.

      This is largely due to the fact that we have many contradictory and confusing statements out there, so it is impossible to know who/what to believe

      • Colby
        August 26, 2010

        The quotes I posted below were meant for Jason.

  42. August 26, 2010

    And you never know, after the draw, maybe Ibra will find it uncertain for milan to qualify to the next round so he think twice. Or Galliani gets more desperate to get him so he pay more. its all good…or less bad…

  43. Eklavya
    August 26, 2010

    Hey if we do sell Ibra to Milan, do you guys think Flamini is a good backup DM for us? As long as he takes a pay cut of course…

  44. Vicsoc8
    August 26, 2010

    Rumors of a 40 million deal are surfacing. This is the magic number for me. Anything less than this and we are just downright getting robbed. And no, bonuses don’t count towards that number.

    That said, pretty interesting looking draw. Our group games aren’t likely to be exciting, but we should progress top o the group.

    • August 26, 2010

      40 mil + Pato. And I’d still be upset about it all, but 40 mil + Pato should be he absolute minimum. We would need a backup forward.

      • Vicsoc8
        August 26, 2010

        Trust me, 40 million is still bad business, but it’s bad business in the sense that I can forget about it once we start winning games. Less than that and it won’t go away all season.

        • Jnice
          August 26, 2010

          But the 40 million will be in 3 year installments of 15-15-10. Still kind of weak.

          • Diego S.
            August 26, 2010

            But 40m won’t be bad business if we want to get rid of him .. We got Him (40m+Eto’o) .. we got the 40m back and Eto’o didn’t want to renew his contract

          • August 26, 2010

            We paid 46, and would be losing 6m on the deal, but dumping his salary. In Rosellnomics, it makes sense, even if the club isn’t as good after the transaction.

            It’s doubtful that we would have been able to get much more from anyone, including Citeh.

    • Kxevin
      August 26, 2010

      If they pony up 40m, I do that deal. He’s gone right now. Might as well get money for him. If Milan have that kinda dough to pay that AND pay him, however, rock on.

      • Kxevin
        August 26, 2010

        And Galliani has already said that no current Milan players would be included in the deal. You can’t demand maximum value for a player whom you don’t want. It’s just the way of the world.

  45. Diabolics
    August 26, 2010

    People claim that the show/no show of Ibra at todays training will be a hint on whats going on. Is there a way to know who is training or not?

    A lot of newspapers are twisting this Ibra-Milan story out of proportions… just check the headlines at newsnow:barcelona
    Seems like a lot of people have been waiting for a reason to trash barca and now all floodgates are open.

    • Vicsoc8
      August 26, 2010

      Rumors are that he showed up to training, but is not training with the group die to an ankle problem

        • Diabolics
          August 26, 2010

          die to an ankle problem, well, that fixes everything 😉

        • Jnice
          August 26, 2010

          That’s kind of different from not showing up to training at all.

        • Vicsoc8
          August 26, 2010

          I would classify it as a mental no show. He did show up for practice, but while physically there…

      • Vicsoc8
        August 26, 2010

        *due to an ankle problem. I officially suck at typing on a mobile.

  46. Hilal
    August 26, 2010

    One of the biggest problems nowadays with trying to analyse the situation at the club and trying to figure out what is going in with Ibra is that it seems like making up quotes and interviews has become acceptable at a lot of newspapers (if you can call them that). That makes it REALLY hard to figure out real quotes from made up quotes and even harder to try and decipher what is going on via these so called quotes. The fact that MOST of the quotes coming from Pep, Ibra, his agent and Galliani seem to contradict each other means we cannot really put any faith in these “quotes”.

    In the space of two days Ibra’s agent went from being 99.9% sure that Ibra is staying to being open to negotiations. Ibra himself went from being very happy at the club to having not spokent to Pep in 6 months!?!? Its all too fishy to me.

    There are only a few days left in the transfer market so lets just wait and see what happens before we start apportioning blame to one party or another. The only real fact is that nobody outside the club knows what the hell is going on.

    • Kxevin
      August 26, 2010

      The only quotes I think are reliable come from broadcast sources. Because it’s the person on camera, talking. Then you know. Otherwise….

  47. Shaun
    August 26, 2010

    Those awards are given out more for achievement than actual skill. Inter won a Treble, and thus, made a clean sweep of the individual awards. That’s how UEFA (and FIFA) do it nowadays, unfortunately.

    • Kari
      August 26, 2010

      So did we, and we did not win a clean sweep.

      EUROPEAN VILLARATO.

  48. Colby
    August 26, 2010

    “If I have only spoken to him twice in the last six months, it is for some reason,” said the Barca coach to the assembled press.

    “There’s always a reason for things. I’m super communicative and talked to him for 45 minutes, it was not a tense conversation.

    “I have an open door, if we do not [speak], sure there’s a reason but now is not the time to talk about it. I insist. For the sake of the institution it is better not say anything.”

    “There’s always a player and a person and the person comes first. I am coach of Barcelona, not coach of one player.

    “I have no problems with his behaviour in training. He was an example of professionalism at work, but there is a person and that always comes first.”

    It seems like Guardiola is hinting at something here, something that will come out in a week’s time once the transfer is complete.

    • Jnice
      August 26, 2010

      YES. I love it. I was actually waiting for someone to do one of these…. now we have our own in-house compilation maker. Great job, cliveee.

      I love Thiago, he’s going to be great.

    • jord(TM)
      August 26, 2010

      THANK YOU! you’re my hero dude 😀

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      Wow, his technical ability seems to superior to all other players 🙂

      I believe he can be our Ozil, just a bit younger and better technique, worse long-range passing accuracy (so far…). If you see him and JDS, who still wants Cesc back?

  49. Euler
    August 26, 2010

    Regardless of what happens, it now seems that the club’s desire is to sell Ibra.

    Given this, it was an enormous failure of management and leadership to not try to sell him to Man City before the Balotelli deal was closed. And the Balotelli deal dragged on for months.

    Whatever they get out of Milan will be considerably less than what they could have gotten from Man City in all likelihood.

    To essentially only negotiate with one club, that is cash poort and to doso at the end of transfer window for an asset that cost you 69M euro only a year ago is sheer incompetence. There’s no two ways about it.

    In many ways, it’s sort of shocking how cavalier the club has been with a 69M investment.

    • August 26, 2010

      If the 40m number is true, we wouldn’t have gotten much more from anyone. And Raiola has done his job, stirring the pot and getting his client out of town and himself a commission. Kinda like Seluk and The Yaya.

      • Euler
        August 26, 2010

        Let’s see what the final figure is. But if it’s 40M then I’d guess that 40M includes the 6M-8M the agent is going to skim in the deal.

        And if Milan would pay 40M at the very end of the transfer season as the players relationship with the club deterioriates leaving Barca with less and less leverage, doing a deal with Man City 2 months ago would have brought back considerably more. Barca would have had much more leverage.

        With UEFA “fair play” rules coming into effect, Man City only has a couple of more years in which they can utilize their financial advantage. That’s why they have spent like crazy this summer.

        I can’t see how Barca couldn’t get a considerably better deal from Man City than Milan.

        • Vicsoc8
          August 26, 2010

          I agree with you. Unfortunately I think that something has come up within the last several weeks which is what is specifically driving the deal now.
          While I have absolutely no evidence, I think the decidingfactor has been that Ibra realized his starting spot was in serious danger, and this was not a situation that was acceptable to him.

      • Helge
        August 26, 2010

        Yah, I’m also pretty sure that ManCity would have paid at least 50m for Ibra 2 months ago. Their coach, Roberto Mancini, is a very big fan of Ibra, and so is Ibra of him. The sheikh has endless money to spend, and imagine that they almost paied 40m for a youngster who has mainly been sitting on the bench; was going to war with his coach and the fans. Balotelli has worked just one instead of 3 (or 4?) seasons with Mancini before. Plus ManCity could have needed a striker like Ibra a lot more than Balotelli, cuz Balotelli is somehow more like a winger and dribbler, not a true #9 who can bulldoze its way towards goal. City got SWP, Silva, Tevez and Johnson who are all good at dtribbling – and now also Balotelli. On the other hand, ManCity tries to build 3 teams instead of one, so… *g*

    • Diabolics
      August 26, 2010

      Another BS.com article:

      _http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2010/08/26/2088710/milan-ibrahimovic-latest-barcelona-striker-ibra-asks-for-24?

  50. fcbfan
    August 26, 2010

    Just to comment on the Ibra thing, agree with Ramzi. If Pep doesn’t want Ibra, he would have said it right after the season ended or at the beginning of the season. We know how Pep works that he is a perfectionist and he surely wants the team to be set as early as possible. This doesn’t strike as Pep pushing out a player.

    And that Pep and Ibra only talked twice in the last 6 months? bullshit! I’ve read interviews where guys like Iniesta, Xavi, Busi said they themselves don’t get to talk to Pep outside training unless there is a problem. So those guys probably haven’t talked to Pep in more than 6 months, longer than Ibra.

    Those 2 times I remember though is at the beginning of this season when Pep just came back from holiday and Ibra reiterated his desire to stay and fight for a place. The other is when Ibra was having difficulty scoring goals last season and Pep took him out for dinner. I’m sure there are others. As usual, the media is probably making the whole thing bigger than it is.

    My assumption is that Ibra really wanted to stay and Pep has his support. Then Rosell through his media mouthpieces started the Letts kick Ibra out of Barca. Ibra got unsettled. Wouldn’t blame him seeing how Chygrynskiy went. So The club unsettled their own player and now Pep will have to get Ibra back on track if he stays.

    What’s chrystal clear is Pep is no longer at the controls and that is sad. Chygrynskiy was sold without his consent and now Ibra as well I expect. and with Ibra’s crazy agent and Ibra himself who probably couldn’t stand being a good boy after a year of model behaviour, well. This just isn’t how Pep deals with transfer. plus who is the replacement? Badly handled all around. Rosell just lack professionalism so far. Things just excalating from bad to worse. Cant wait for first Sep!

    2nd last, I love Thiagoooooo!

    Last, I fear bad times are coming, but Visca Barca!

  51. Vicsoc8
    August 26, 2010

    There is something really positive that can be taken from this whole saga. Zubizaretta has been handling himself with class, and his comments have been very understated and respectful of all parties.

  52. Kxevin
    August 26, 2010

    Sept. 2, 10 a.m. BCN time is when match tix (including El Clasic) go on sale for socis. Sept. 14 is the on-sale date for everyone else.

    FYI

    • Vicsoc8
      August 26, 2010

      I’m trying to find a science conference in Barcelona that conveniently coincides with a game or two. I’m going to need to do some really fast talking to convince my mentor that a conference in Barcelona would be worthwhile to me, so wish me luck.

        • Vicsoc8
          August 26, 2010

          Systems neuroscience. More specifically processing of visual motion and the mechanisms of navigation.

          • Eklavya
            August 26, 2010

            Awesome! Not my field but sounds cool yeah.

    • Eklavya
      August 26, 2010

      Great! You can buy tickets for all of us!

  53. Vicsoc8
    August 26, 2010

    If Zlatan goes, and with Sevilla missing out on the Champions League, we should see I we can get Fabiano for cheap.

    • Jnice
      August 26, 2010

      Fabiano is annoying to me. He’s become sloppy over the past year. Doesn’t work hard, always complaining and ready to fight someone.

    • Euler
      August 26, 2010

      That’s a very interesting idea. They may very well have to sell him now due to the revenue shortfall. That’s said, I don’t know how he’d fit in with what Pep wants to do. And we know that Pep is not going to adapt anything to fit the player.

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      No, not Fabiano. I dislike him almost as much as Robinho. And his triple-handball-goal against Ivory Coast was a fucking disgrace and cost the Ivorians the round of 16, imo!

  54. jord(TM)
    August 26, 2010

    Thiago got called up to the sub21 as well.About time,it was frustrating seeing parejo and merida plod through midfield 8).Hopefully he gets a place in the starting line up.

  55. Euler
    August 26, 2010

    Speaking at the 31st world congress of Barca, held at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona yesterady, Rosell revealed,

    “There is little to improve on from last season, but between now and the end of the transfer window we may make an addition to the squad.”

    “But we will not throw money out of the window. It is true that economically we are not in a good position, but we’ll fix it. It will take some years, but we’re going to turn around the situation.”

    When does the President or CEO ever speak so openly and frequently about the organization he is leading being in “financial trouble?”

    And that’s not just in football – but in any business or any industry, especially when the organization is privately held and not publicly traded?

    In fact when organizations are in financial trouble their leadership tries very hard for the information to not be revealed publicly. It creates uncertainty around the organization, diminishes it’s brand, makes the employees feel very uncertain as to their future.

    Nearly all business need to take out loans. If the President of the organization keeps talking about it being in financial trouble it stands to reason banks will feel that the business is at greater risk to default on the loan and will charge it higher interest.

    These kinds of comments are not in Barca’s best interests.

    But you can see the narrative being planted and writing itself. I took over, sold mistakes like Chygrinski and Ibrahimovic, straightened out the books and look at the financial miracle I created. There is no other reason to speak about financial distress this way publicly.

    Liverpool and Man U are in major financial difficulty. Their leadership goes out of its way to assure everyone publicly that in fact they aren’t in financial trouble. Barca’s leadership does the exact opposite.

    It’s unfortunate, but this kind of political nonsense happens in organizations when they undergo changes in leadership.

    Mes que un club after all…

    **http://www.totalbarca.com/2010/news/rosell-we-will-not-throw-money-out-of-the-window/

  56. MoSSi
    August 26, 2010

    Damn, Pep is so not staying next year!

  57. Watching FC Copenhagen (who we play) in a replay of yesterdays game. They are feisty, had 26 shots on goal….but only one one nil. they will be wide open for us.

  58. August 26, 2010

    Hey guys did anyone else notice that our Group is made up of all Domestic champions from their respective countries….Same as last year.

    • Helge
      August 26, 2010

      Well, but Kazan is currently 10 points behind Zenit* (if Zenit wins their 2 matches that they are behind in the schedule) and lost their complete attack in Bukharov + Dominguez.
      *Note that Zenit lost 0-2 to Auxerre and this crashed out of the CL.

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