It’s about time, aka “Mino Raiola’s big mouth is now expensive” UPDATE

A statement by our beloved club:

FC Barcelona would like to state that we consider that recent statements by agent Mino Raiola are unacceptable as he has again questioned the honour and moral integrity of our first-team coach Josep Guardiola and that of Johan Cruijff.

The statements were published in Swedish newspaper ‘Expressen’ and reproduced extensively by numerous agencies and international media outlets.

For this reason, the FC Barcelona legal department is considering taking legal measures against Mr. Raiola, including taking him to court. With immediate effect FC Barcelona is blocking all pending payments to Mr. Raiola in relation to his contractual agreements with the club.

I lack the verbiage to express how happy this makes me. Recent statements by Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola, most recently that Cruijff and Guardiola “need to shut up and go play cards together in a mental hospital,” and other nonsense, are stupid, irritating bits of post facto record cleaning. “We’re so unhappy with how we were treated! See us spew bile to anyone who would listen.”

We invited them in, and they took a dump on the carpet. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of the club’s most hailed signings in some time. The potential was immense, and it was fully realized for much of the season. When he went off the boil, he got replaced by a midget, and apparently got all sulky, calling Guardiola a “philosopher,” who “invented football the way Barcelona plays it.”

With each statement, each dimwitted utterance, he makes Guardiola’s decision seem all the more sage. But we couldn’t really deal with Ibrahimovic, except to say good riddance to bad psychic rubbish. But Raiola, we can, apparently. A big mouth should cost you money when you spout nonsense.

I’m not sure how much of that 6m has gone Raiola’s way. Hopefully, about EUR100.

We have said a lot about Rosell and his board, but we also have to give full credit where it is due. The club is not taking the nonsense of blabber-mouthed agents and fabricated quotes lying down. Visca!

Cruijff comments, and Raiola’s response to them

At a Football Awards event, Cruijff said that “it’s very special to play in a club like Barca. People here are completely different from the rest of Spain. They have their idiosyncrasies that you have to adjust to.” Cruijff added that “Ibrahimovic fits better in Italy.”

Raiola: “You know what I have to tell Cruyff? You can go to hell. He is becoming senile and has no courage to continue his coaching career. He doesn’t know how to coach a modern club.”

(Recall that Raiola said that Guardiola needed to go to a mental hospital during the Ibrahimovic sale talks) I think Cruyff and Guardiola can go to the mental hospital together, sitting and playing cards.”

“There is a children’s …. card game where you have to take four of a kind, Guardiola and Cruyff can sit and play the game.

“Why didn’t Cruijff say that Zlatan wouldn’t fit (at Barca) before he was bought?”

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Eklavya
    November 16, 2010

    Did they something recently? As, in after the Gandhi comments?

  2. Blow-Grenade
    November 16, 2010

    Thumbs up to Rosell for protecting the clubs image.

    • ML
      November 17, 2010

      Double thumbs up. Affelay is another good thing

  3. Helge
    November 16, 2010

    Damn, it was about time to take legal actions against this fucking loudmouth.
    But I will only start to celebrate once Raiola doesn’t get any more cents from us, or even better has to pay everything back and shut up for the rest of his life about our club!

  4. sheena
    November 16, 2010

    Wow I can’t wait to hear what Raiola has to say about this! Thumbs up to the management for finally putting this loud mouthed asshole in his place.

  5. Kari
    November 16, 2010

    +100000 for the club in my book.

    What a loudmouth.

  6. Bill
    November 16, 2010

    This whole Ibra deal stank from the beginning. I was horrified when it was being discussed and couldn’t believe Barcelona was actually thinking of it. THIS STUFF IS EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT COULD HAPPEN IF THINGS WENT BAD. And with Ibra, they were more than likely to go bad.

    I said Pep was a rookie coach who should not have made a crazy deal like that because he put his reputation on the line for this one. Look how it turned out for him. Hope he learns something from it.

    And I don’t think Barcelona can sue an agent saying shit about the club. Is Barcelona really that thin skinned? Just ignore him but make it clear you will never sign any player associated with him. Or remind him that you still own the rights to Ibra, therefore he can be de-activated or sent to hercules to play there for 3 years.

    • Kxevin
      November 16, 2010

      Okay, you were right. But he was saying and doing all of the right things at first ….

      I think that the actions that the club can take depends on how the deal is structured. There might be a non-disparagement clause.

      As for bringing him back and loaning him to Hercules or some similar club, there’s that salary business.

      • Bill
        November 16, 2010

        He was saying the right things about us, but did anyone pay attention to what he said about inter when he left? And what he said about Juventus before that? If anyone did, they would have known that it was more than likely that it would happen to Barcelona at whatever point they separated. Granted, it happened sooner than I expected, but it was bound to happen. I for one like players like Alves who are greatful to their previous clubs.

    • jhargrid
      November 16, 2010

      “And I don’t think Barcelona can sue an agent saying shit about the club.”

      I would guess FCB has a team of lawyers who have said otherwise.

  7. BA
    November 16, 2010

    Ibra’s outbursts are that of a spoiled but now spurned and bitter 16-year-old girl who really liked the guy who was going to take her to the dance, but then he found out she had crabs and took someone else instead.

    • Hilal
      November 16, 2010

      Haha. Exactly. Nothing worse than a woman scorned!

    • Bill
      November 16, 2010

      Lmao. Or when Silvio Berlusconi was messing with a young woman, remember his wifes venom?

  8. Roz
    November 16, 2010

    Can Barca block his payments if its in a contract. Is it even legal?

    • Blow-Grenade
      November 17, 2010

      Barca is a brand. The value is in the brand. If somebody does something to harm the brand name, the clubs monetary value goes down. Money is involved here. I am pretty sure that during the transfer transactions it must be in the contract regarding what can be said to the press and the financial repercussions there in.

  9. Humphrey Bogart
    November 16, 2010

    Look our machos are speaking. I was thinkg of a boy who was dumped by a girl and then telling his friends that he was not interested anyway because the girls is stupid, ugly…

    • Kxevin
      November 16, 2010

      I was thinking of a player being a jackass toward a club that gave him a real chance at the brass ring. We have men and women here, and the gender-related stuff works better in your own minds, whether guys are dumping women or women are dumping men.


      • poipoi
        November 16, 2010

        men can dump men and women can dump women also… I see a lot of prejudices here 😀

  10. Soy Culé
    November 16, 2010

    Wow. Seriously, sometimes, I think the club can be TOO nice. Don’t just denounce their statements– threaten to press charges. This is worse than the “Let’s Hate Barça” campaign from the past summer. This is just ridiculous.

    I’ve never seen 2 grown men act like such children before. Their egos are bigger than anyone’s I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading about.

    I can’t speak for anyone else…but personally, I’ll be glad never to see Ibra play in a blaugrana shirt again. Not so long as he has that douchebag as his agent.

  11. Euler
    November 16, 2010

    The lack of professionalism in football is just stunning. As much as the football press is horrible, it’s just remarkable how individuals routinely use the press to make dim witted, chest thumping statements just for the sake of some kind of short term emotional catharsis.

    Just think about how stupid and short signted Raiola’s remarks have been from a business perspective for him.

    He’s an agent. He needs clients. All agents are, are middle men. They themselves add no value. Personal relationships an trust are the life blood of that kind of work.

    Barca is one of the wealthiest, highest revenue producing clubs in the world. Raiola has now destroyed his relationship with that 800 pound gorilla.

    If you were a talented, up and coming footballer, especially one that had any interest in possibly playing for Barca, why would you sign Raiola as an agent? Even if you wanted to maximize your market value as a player, why would you not want Barca involved with bidding for your services because they don’t want to deal with your agent?

    This is almost like a supplier of an expensive fruit juice trashing their relationship with whole foods. Why would you ever do this as an agent?

    Agents in other never bad mouth teams, especially wealthy ones. A basketball agent would never say anything remotely like this about the Lakers for instance.

    But people in football really don’t treat it like a business. Where is it getting Raiola to make these stupid statements? It achieves no end other than letting him vent his puerile anger. But that makes him look stupid, unprofessional and childish. It’s going to cost him clients and money.

    And none of this helps his existing clients – even Ibrahimovic. It just makes ibrahimovic look awful.

    Let’s put this in context. Pick the 10 most influential people in world football over the past 40 years and Cruyff is clearly on that list. Another person who very well may be on that list is Arrigo Sacchi.

    Ibrahimovic has now gotten into silly public feuds where he has insulted not only Cruyff and but Sachhi as well. And Sacchi is an AC Milan legend. He is untouchable there. There is no question about that.

    And these “feuds” are just one sided because Cruyff and Sachi are making tactical comments about the nature of football and he (or his representative) are coming back and responding to those substantive points with empty personal insults and bluster.

    Raiola and Ibrahimovic must have no sense at all about the history of the game or the “opponents” they are trying to insult. These men are geniuses who have made enormous, landmark contributions to the nature of the sport. Guardiola is headed in the same direction.

    You cannot win an argument with these men. Your temporary celebrity status right now means nothing in the bigger picture of things. It just makes you look superficial and stupid.

    Guardiola is, as always, a shrewd dealer. He’s just letting Ibrahimovic and Raiola hang themselves with their own words.

    Raiola and Ibrahimovic vs. Cruyff, Sachhi, and Guardiola. This is like the two village idiots trying to yell at Einstein, Feynman, and Wiles.

    • Soy Culé
      November 16, 2010

      Damn, that was brilliant. Well said, Euler.

    • Bill
      November 16, 2010

      Wow! Nice Euler! Thats why i said the team should just blacklist Riola and make it known they would never deal with any player associated with him.

      • MoSSi
        November 17, 2010

        If this blog was a club and Kxevin and Isaiah were the presidents, then Euler would be the best signing in the history of the club!

        And I would be Messi..:-D

  12. November 16, 2010

    “We have said a lot about Rosell and his board, but we also have to give full credit where it is due.”

    Well, I always struggle to keep my big mouth shut. But at the moment I have to, because that’s what the situation dictates:) So all what I can say is that the board of directors get most of the credit for being willing to listen and -so far- to react based on the inquiries received.

    As you know Kxevin, we already witnessed that while dealing with the fake interviews case. Now this. But there are more important and sensitive issues where in the past few weeks the board of directors proved open to discuss. I will certainly come back with more details later (Positive or negative). We cant judge intentions, but behaviors. And it has been promising lately.

    And for the record, I am a bit surprised about:

    “With immediate effect FC Barcelona is blocking all pending payments to Mr. Raiola”.

    Dont get me wrong, I like it. But laws are not emotional. Are we legally allowed to do so? If we are, then the:

    “the FC Barcelona legal department is considering taking legal measures against Mr. Raiola, including taking him to court.”

    Because after FC Barcelona’s decision to pay the Agent no more money. Court it will be. I just hope we will have enough material there because if he wins…I dont want to think about it…

    Still, more than anyone can expect. If it will make him tremble for one second. I call it glory.

    *Alright, all that doesnt mean that I will not keep criticizing the board where I dont agree on what they do 🙂

  13. blitzen
    November 16, 2010

    I wonder how Maxwell is feeling about all this?

    • Bill
      November 16, 2010

      Maxwell should cut ties with Raiola immediately

      • blitzen
        November 16, 2010

        It’s not that easy, though. Maxwell has been dealing with the guy for 10 years. Raiola was the one who set up the deal to bring him to Barcelona. The guy may be an asshole, but he gets results. No matter how much of a jackass he is, Maxwell might be leery of cutting all ties. Also, I don’t know anything about how this works, but how easy is it to just fire your agent? Do they have contracts? Would Maxwell have to pay some kind of compensation if he just ditched him?

  14. jhargrid
    November 16, 2010

    What do you think is more frightening, Barça’s starting XI or her legal team?

    Let’s not forget that this decision was probably taken in consultation with Barça’s lawyers. This probably means one of two things:

    (1) Barça has some clause in the contract that allows them to do this.

    (2) Barça doesn’t really have any legal backing to stop payment. They may lose the eventual court case, but in the meantime Raiola gets exactly no euros. The ultimate cost is probably paying back the money that was supposed to be paid to him anyway and maybe court fees.

    Either way, Barça makes the point that such behavior will not go unanswered and puts Raiola in some serious pain for a bit.

    • mei
      November 16, 2010

      probably the legal team (of a huge company that barcelona is).
      Barcelona’s football team can humiliate you only in sporting terms , and thats if you play football.
      Its legal team can make a legal accusation and then sue you , your mom, your aunt , your kid ,your pet , your pets pet for anything they can come up with , tie these into a case and drag you to court for several years.

  15. Kari
    November 16, 2010

    Well this confirms it: Raiola’s in deep sh*t (he’s already backtracking)

    Raiola (agent Ibrahimovic): “I only said Cruyff should go to a spa. I didn’t say anything about Guardiola.” [ona fm + rac1]

    Raiola (agent Ibrahimovic): “I don’t have anything against Guardiola. He’s a great coach. My player Maxwell feels good with him.” [ona fm]

    All quotes from barcastuff.

      • Kxevin
        November 16, 2010

        Note also that by taking this action, the club is also taking tiny steps to reclaim its relationship with Cruijff, which ain’t a bad thing.

          • barca96
            November 16, 2010

            So he is an agent to Cruyyf as well? Whoa Ramzi 😆

  16. Jose
    November 16, 2010

    Agree with all that’s been said. Even if suing Raiola is a fool’s errand, it will at the very least serve as a warning to our future business partners. Same as the false newspaper quotes for our players: even if we don’t win the case against the papers for fabricating quotes, you can bet that would-be journalists will think twice about making stuff up.

  17. ooga aga
    November 16, 2010

    from the official site

    Andoni Zubizarreta también ha anunciado que existe un “compromiso” con Thiago Alcántara para comunicarle antes del 31 de enero si formará parte del primer equipo en la temporada 2011/12. Además, no ha descartado la posibilidad de subirle a la primera plantilla coincidiendo con el mercado de invierno, así como tampoco ha descartado el ascenso de otros jugadores del B en este periodo de mercado. En cambio, ha descartado prácticamente cualquier otra incorporación externa.

    Andoni Zubizarreta also has announced that there exists a commitment to Thiago Alcántara to communicate to him before January 31 if he will form part of the first team in the 2011/2012 season. In addition, the possibility of promoting him to the first team in the winter window has not been ruled out, nor has the promotion of other B-team players been ruled out. On the other hand, he has ruled out practically any other external incorporation to the team.

  18. tutomate
    November 16, 2010

    Wow too many news. We signed Ibrahim and were suing Raiola?

    About blocking payments to him. I think Agents sign contracts with clubs and I would not doubt that those contracts say something to the effect that the agent will say nothing that could potentially damage the clubs image etc. So if Raiola did say something like what was quoted from the news source that would be a breach of contract and therefore potentially give Barca the right to suspend the payments of that contract. Then again I know nothing so who knows?

  19. barca96
    November 16, 2010

    There was a reason why I spammed Barca’s website last summer urging them not to sign Ibra 🙂

    The funny thing is that some people suggested that Yaya and his agent were worse. Clearly you guys didn’t know Ibra too well back then. Ibra played for Ajax so it was only natural that I followed him over the years and yes, I do like him as a player but I never wanted him here. He was the kind of player that I like, but I don’t wish him to have on my team because he’s such a frustrating player.

    Kxevin, how can you say that he said all the right things at the beginning? He was b******g about his ex-employers? What made you think that he wouldn’t do the same to us? It was only natural that he would say bad things about us once he leaves us.
    “A leopard never changes it’s spots”

    • Kxevin
      November 16, 2010

      Because nobody ever believes that they wil be the next one, and only a cynic doesn’t believe in second chances.

      He rolled in posing for pix with fans, etc, and my words back then were right now, he’s doing the right stuff. Let’s see about later. Now we know.

      • barca96
        November 16, 2010

        Laporta should’ve done a background check on Ibra and Pizza-man before they signed him instead on spying on the directors 😆

  20. ooga aga
    November 16, 2010

    stat corner – stats from official site

    villa vs ibra

    david villa so far
    14 games (10 liga – 4 CL)
    1158 minutes
    8 goals
    3 assists
    70 shots
    26 shots on target
    5 shots off the post
    16 balls recovered
    125 balls lost

    ibra last season
    41 games (29 liga – 10 CL – 2 CdR)
    3036 minutes
    21 goals
    9 assists
    136 shots
    68 shots on target
    3 shots off the post
    24 balls recovered
    390 balls lost

    • barca96
      November 16, 2010

      I hate stats but “balls recovered” alone suggests that Villa fits better with us. He fights for the ball and tracks back. He even looked like a LB against Villareal, just like Henry.

      • jnelson
        November 16, 2010

        I wouldnt necessarily say that. There are plenty of times when Villa is lazy and does not track back. Also, Ibra played in the center, up against CBs. There are much fewer chances of dispossessing a last man CB than someone on the wings. Ask Alves.

        • ooga aga
          November 17, 2010

          FWIW, messi has 23 balls recuperated this year so far…

          • mei
            November 17, 2010

            villa can track back , he’s got both the pace and the will to do it. Hes not like someone else who couldnt , and when he did he simply fouled the player.
            Villa also is can also go past his marker both by dribbling or pure speed.
            He does flirt with the offside at times but not because he doesnt have a shot at getting past a player without playing there ,like some other tall static, swedish whiny bloke.

          • November 17, 2010

            Look, don’t use revisionist history to make Villa look good and Ibrahimovic look bad. I don’t think that either of them have the sheer pace to get past defenders, not like Henry or Eto’o, for example.

            And Ibrahimovic won balls on defense, as well as defending on set pieces and battling for possession in the midfield. And no, this isn’t a defense of Ibrahimovic. It’s a defense of fairness. He is whiny, but he was only occasionally static. So is Villa, btw, particularly when he starts getting winded. And both of them evince the same tendency to line up offside or when the defense steps up, be lazy about getting back on.

            Villa is our striker. No need to pump him up by pissing on his predecessor.

          • ooga aga
            November 17, 2010

            i wasnt trying to revise anything….to me the players output (yield) are very similar, it is true though that villa is winning back possession more and losing it less than ibra…i plan on revisiting this a couple more times this season. without commentary, just numbers.

  21. Jnice
    November 16, 2010

    Revista De La Liga 11-16-10




    Courtesy of pooloop at

    • November 17, 2010

      I will post this week roundup on my blog later today. For those who can’t download it, cant watch it there directly.

      • Kari
        November 17, 2010

        Ah, thanks for that, Ramzi 😀 (even though I can download it…)

        Fear not, I promise not to bookmark him 😉

        • Jnice
          November 17, 2010

          Only thing I don’t like is that Andres doesn’t give credit to the guys on fbtz he gets his games and revistas from. It’s not like he rips it straight from his television.

          • Kari
            November 17, 2010

            Balague really pisses me off! AS writer and Espanyol fan, but tries to act like he’s neutral–and a know-it-all.

  22. Miguel
    November 17, 2010

    afellay sa da tay. sine yo pity on the runny kine. no problem for the tipi tais, biggie shorty.

    • SoccerMom
      November 17, 2010

      That appears to be the general consensus!

  23. Reagan
    November 17, 2010

    This will go a long way towards building bridges with Cruijff. I truly believe that Pep will have a comical reply to questions posed to him about this in the next post match conference. He’s the epitome of class. Cruijff on the other hand will probably have a heavenly response on his blog next week.

  24. Nick
    November 17, 2010

    Take your pick:


  25. Diego S.
    November 17, 2010

    What matches are you going to watch today ?

    • blitzen
      November 17, 2010

      I can’t watch it, but I will be closely monitoring Spain-Portugal. Is Brazil-Argentina today as well?

      • mei
        November 17, 2010

        Yes. Brazil Argentina at 5 GMT.
        Lets watch this pastore kid everyone is telling us about.

    • Diego S.
      November 17, 2010

      I’ll be watching Argentina vs. Brazil and Egypt vs. Australia. Monitoring other matches (Eng vs. Fra) (Spa vs. Por).

  26. November 17, 2010

    In other news, Michel Platini says that Xavi would be his choice for Ballon d’Or. Duh.

    –Joan Laporta signed on Catalan porn actress Maria Lapiedra to drum up support for the campaign. I’m in!

    –ZubiZa’s comments on Afellay:

    “Ibrahim Afellay is a player we’ve always been interested in because he’s the ideal player for the Barcelona style. He’s young, with a lot of experience, international, who can lose his marker, shoot from long range and play well down the wings. He reminds me a bit of Andres Iniesta because of the way he moves,” said Zubizarreta on the official Barcelona website.

    “He has to learn to play with this team, where there is a high level of competition. We have heard that he has a positive attitude and I think he knows what team he’s coming to and which players he will be fighting with for a team place.

    “We want to close relations with PSV nicely and not in a cold fashion by signing Afellay on a free transfer in the summer. That is positive in terms of implication. It is an excellent opportunity for both Afellay and Barcelona. The sporting and financial prospects that Barça can offer him are good.”

    • mei
      November 17, 2010

      There was also a comment about thiago from zubi.
      Something like well sort out your short term future in the coming month.
      If hes not promoted in the first team ,it will be a massive waste of time development on this kid.
      I mean let him play(grow) with the b team if you dont count on him this season.

      • November 17, 2010

        We have a deal with Thiago where he will know by Jan. 31 if he is to be promoted. My guess is that he’s going to be promoted in January. He has progressed so quickly, and is always part of the squad, even though he’s a B-teamer.

        –We also have our last, best, final offer in to Alves, and he’s been given time to think about it. It isn’t what he wanted, which is to be paid on a Xavi level. He would be behind Messi, Villa, Xavi and Iniesta, as he should be. Now we wait. If he doesn’t want that deal (renewal until 2015), we’ll have to sell him to the highest bidder at the end of the season. And that’s that.

        –I don’t understand why everybody is talking up Pastore. Not that he isn’t talented, but the money that Palermo want for him is crazy. Dude’s worth 20, tops. Messi is talking him up, Alves is talking him up, ZubiZa is saying he’s “interesting,” etc.

    • blitzen
      November 17, 2010

      “He has to learn to play with this team, where there is a high level of competition. We have heard that he has a positive attitude and I think he knows what team he’s coming to and which players he will be fighting with for a team place.”

      I like this bit especially. This is a player who knows he will not be an automatic starter and that he will be expected to work hard to earn his spot. A good attitude is essential, and it speaks well of him that in interviews he has done he has acknowledged that. It seems like everyone is on the same page here.

      As for Thiago, I am of two minds. One the one hand, I think he is ready to join the first team. He is not a finished product yet by any means, but he has shown that he has what it takes to play with the big boys. We could promote him now, give him the Copa games, and have some extra backup for Xavi and Busquets. On the other hand, will that be the best thing for his development? He is not going to get many minutes in Liga or Champions games. Will he be happy with 10 minutes here and there? Will the Copa games be enough for him? He strikes me as a very ambitious young man. No problem with that, but is he self-aware enough to see that a starting berth won’t be served up to him a plate, no matter how good he is? I don’t know enough about him on a personal level to know if he can have a good attitude while sitting on the bench, or if he will get impatient or sulky. Personally I would prefer him to stay with the B team for one more year, but I really doubt that will happen. He may not be promoted in January, but definitely by next summer.

  27. SoccerMom
    November 17, 2010

    OmaSay onfusedkay.

    So Rollola makes a meanie.

    Wherefore the suit for the Barcelona suits?

    Let Rollo and Ibra throw their plastic buckets around the sandbox.
    Mental hospital? Spa? Or casa fallera? Nyah nyah!

    Let them pitch their fit and cheer on our new Ibra on the pitch.

  28. Josep
    November 17, 2010

    As noted above where is Maxwell in all this isn’t that his agent too?

    Also, on the questions about Thiago constantly and what this means for his future…
    There’s two ways to look at it. Either he gets promoted, and is a role player on the A team come January or hes gone.

    Its really that simple. I DON’T want him to leave, I’d hate it. But thats the two options the club have based on his contract. I guess they could loan him, but I wish his contract didn’t have that. He’s getting valuable minutes with Barca B and the scarce opportunities with the A team are great.

    AS far as Afellay, I’ve been a fan for a year or so. I’ve always thought he looks a lot like my friend hah! But enough has been stated about him. I think he’ll move around a lot on the wings moving in, or the middle moving out. He can roam all over the field.

    But is anyone else worried about his defense? His tracking back and whatnot he’ll need to amp up his endurance training a lot. Think Barca are trying to tell PSV to put him on an intense physical training schedule so he’s ready to come here? 😀

    • November 17, 2010

      EVERY player that comes here has to ramp up the fitness levels. Recall that Henry said that he has never run as much in his career as he had to run under Guardiola. Villa is laggardly in that regard, as well.

      Afellay will, like every new player, have a period of acclimation. If Ibrahimovic hadn’t been such a flaming dick, he would probably be kicking butt and taking names for us.

      • Josep
        November 17, 2010

        Good post on the Alves negotiations, I forgot to mention that.
        Now we really see what Dani is made of. If he’s as loyal as we think he’ll realize he should sign. If not there’s the exit buddy. Its a bigger deal than people are making it.

        It determines if we get 30m or so to spend on a RB to replace him or if we have our RB for the next 4-5 years.

        AFAI (haha like how that looks), I never liked him. He’s a mercenary, thats all I can say. He clearly has no club loyalty. For the level of talent he has, I’d take other strikers over him. It’s not a game all played on paper, his ego and his agents are ruining his image to teams.. but theres still those teams who don’t care so he’ll always have a home. At Barca its either no one is bigger than the club, as started with Ronaldinho’s selling, at other clubs they’ll accept it and deal with it. Milan has a few players like that.

        • blitzen
          November 17, 2010

          And may have one more, if the rumours about Mario Balotelli (also a Raiola client) wanting to leave City already and go to Milan are true.

          AC Milan — where “problem” players go to wind down their careers!

  29. November 17, 2010

    Anyone want to to know the difference between Quality and Hype?

    Watch Pastore vs Neymar

  30. cliveee
    November 17, 2010

    Not good, Pastore. Too many lose balls and bad passes.

    • Josep
      November 17, 2010

      He blew that one chance in the box, where I have no clue what he was doing.

      Neymar is the quality I assume? The boy surely can play..

      • November 17, 2010

        Not for me. I like Pastore, and believe with some tuning he will be a world class quality.

        I dont really know what you like about Neymar so far.

        • Kxevin
          November 17, 2010

          I haven’t really watched enough of either to make a call one way or the other. I just know that Pastore is oooooverpriced, and the more the hype builds, the higher the price goes.

        • cliveee
          November 17, 2010

          I sort of liked Pastore, not Neymar. Not at all.

          WHAT A SHOT, MESSI…

        • Josep
          November 17, 2010

          I’ve jsut liked Neymar since I first heard of him.. but my opinion dwindles more and more thanks to his attitude. There’s nothing wrong with Pastore, in fact I still think Argentina has to be favorites for WC 2014. I mean their lineup will be.. I can’t think of a LB? Cristian Ansaldi? CBs are Otamendi and.. not sure actually. DM sMasch DM Banega AML Di Maria AMC Pastore AMR Messi ST Tevez


  31. ooga aga
    November 17, 2010

    possible rivals in next round of copa del rey (sorteo is tomorrow)

    Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Villarreal, Valencia, Athletic Club, Espanyol, Getafe, Mallorca, Málaga, Almería, Deportivo, Levante, Betis y Córdoba.

  32. cliveee
    November 17, 2010

    Argentina is obviously a level or two lower than Brazil still.

  33. MoSSi
    November 17, 2010

    Tito Vilanova speaks! And how!

    “”Mourinho is a coach who never talks about football.” “And we don’t like it.”

    “Real Madrid have bought the players they wanted and more,”
    “They have spent twice as much as we do. But I can not enumerate any facet of their game that really stands out. Madrid usually plays with six defensive players, physically very strong. The four attackers have a free role and wait patiently.”

    “The game is not exactly beautiful to see and they don’t always play good football.”
    “But Real is very strong in both halves and that makes them a strong opponent. It is not a good development when a trainer profiles himself like he does.

    Then he says something about the fact that Real don’t rotate that much in la liga..

    “That on itself is not that bad but it can be detrimental as the reserve players are no longer motivated.”

    I tried to translate it as good as possible..


    • November 17, 2010

      Good news for Mourinho. If Barca coaches do not respond, the follow coaches in the Liga will. I suggest keeping it for them to keep Mou-Mouth busy.

  34. November 17, 2010

    Neymar is still young and still can go both ways. But if I have to make a bet, we will -at the best- witness a new Robinho, with more feather.

    And for the record, It never crossed my mind to buy Pastore. We simply have no place for him, especially after buying Afellay. We have enough hayabusa, the only thing needed is a trucktor for urgency.

    • Josep
      November 17, 2010

      Agree on Neymar. I’m more sold on Ganso now based on personality.
      Lavezzi with two great runs.. Pastore shoots and is an inch from the ball but cries for handball.
      Son, the ball is right next to you, make a play on it instead of whining.

  35. Ryan
    November 17, 2010

    Messi sure is trying hard to get those one-twos working with his countrymen.

  36. jordi(TM)
    November 17, 2010

    Can someone explain how Lukaku is 17? Poor defender was like a strawman here


    • November 17, 2010

      He scored two goals today. But for the first half (I only wtahced that), he was the player contributed least in buildup and retaining possession and was out muscled many times on the ball. Not the best Lukaku performance I saw.

      His papers and studies say he is (17 years old). Though, being the building he is, doubts are understandable.

  37. November 17, 2010

    Dalessandro still playing for the national team? I had no idea 🙂

  38. blitzen
    November 17, 2010

    What position do they have Messi playing in?

  39. November 17, 2010

    And seriously, you can see that this is a match of show, not football:1)players carelessness. 2) Calling Ronaldinho to meet the organizers/fans demands.

    Next, watching Italy. Prandelli finally doing the right thing, calling under 40 years old players. good to see what team he is trying to build. .

    • Josep
      November 17, 2010

      Haha I liked Dinho’s performance.
      Bad pass there from Lavezzi.
      This game from the start was meant to be a draw though, wow brilliant move by Lavezzi.. he’s looking very good is he still at Napoli?

      • cliveee
        November 17, 2010

        right, Dinho makes sure Argentina gets the ball back every time Brazil attacks with 5 men going up.

        good show, great goal, happy for Messi after all.

  40. Josep
    November 17, 2010

    MESSI!!! With teh winner! what a run!

  41. Josep
    November 17, 2010

    Lavezzi AGAIN linking up well with Messi. I’m impressed with Lavezzi the most today.
    Leo’s first win, first goal, against Brazil.

  42. blitzen
    November 17, 2010

    LOL! And I was just about to object to Ramzi’s comment about the game being for show, not football. Messi *never* plays for show! It’s just not in him.

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