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.

By Isaiah

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


    1. 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: *

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

  2. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  4. 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.


    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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! 🙂

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

    1. 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:

      Damn, now I’m hungry 🙂

    2. “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.

    3. 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.

    1. 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 🙁

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. So .. Group of Death is it :

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

    1. 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.

  15. “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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  18. 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 😉

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. @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.

    1. 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

    2. 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 !

    3. 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.

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

    R***N ****N

    Choose 3 letters Please .. and a vowel

    1. Now That’s A Nice Picture


  24. 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?

  25. 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

    1. Remember the last Time they visited Our House ?

    2. 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.

  26. 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!

    1. 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*

  27. 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.

  28. 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…–

    1. 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

  29. 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…

  30. 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…

  31. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

  32. 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.

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

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

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