And now, the world goes on: Copa Catalunya

Believe it or not, as MouMou says, the world has continued to turn, and we have more silver to battle for in the presence of the Copa Catalunya finale. For the unfamiliar, this is a fun little intramural tourney sponsored by the Catalan Football Association, the same people who brought you “Hey, if Scotland and N. Ireland have their own FIFA teams, why can’t we?”

It won’t shock anyone that it’s been dominated by us (6 wins, 7 seconds) and Espanyol (4 wins, 6 seconds). And we don’t dare scoff at it because it, like us, is a bright, shining example of Catalunya. So.

It’s a round-robin tournament that always features us, Espanyol and a victim to be named. This year, it’s the club from Hospitalet, who faces off first against Espanyol. Then we face Espanyol (grrrrr!) and finally, Hospitalet. It’s a compressed tournament in that each match is 45 minutes long. Kinda crazy, but that’s why we love Catalunya, right? The winner is the club who has the most points at the end of the round-robin. And here’s the squad that we’re sending:

Pinto, Jeffren, Keita, Krkic, Maxwell, Mascherano, Adriano, Thiago, Rochina, Vázquez, Soriano, Tello, Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos, Romeu, Fontàs, Sergi Gómez, Riverola, Masip, Carmona and Abraham

We essentially view this as an opportunity to let the B rollers and kids see real competition against grownups. Neither big side is churlish enough to roll out with the guns. The problem is, if you look at our lineup, we are stacked with quality. I mean, how about a starting XI of: Pinto, Bartra, Romeu, Fontas, Maxwell, Mascherano, Keita, Thiago, Krkic, Jeffren and Soriano. Not bad, right?

But it’s a 22-player squad, and with three matches in 45-minute chunks and a 15-minute break in between, we won’t want to tire anybody out too much. So that’s the squad that will probably face Espanyol, with the rest to be determined. Matches kick off at 8:30 p.m. local time in Sabadell, for those looking for the best time to start scouring for links. Espanyol v us is at 9:45, followed by us v Hospitalet at 10:45.

In other news:

–As we all aware by now, Sergio Ramos received a one-match ban for his explosion that took a chunk out of Messi and gave Puyol grass stains on his butt. Problem is that is was a second yellow, and the Liga believes that if the ref didn’t see fit to do a super-duper red, why should it pile on? So. I disagree. Vehemently. I think that kinds of a display should warrant at least a 2-match ban, but what else am I supposed to say, right?

Felipe Melo?. Nope. Just another silly transfer rumor.

–The club wants to renew Alves, and Alves wants to stay. Should be simple, right? There’s that whole wage structure business that the club is serious about maintaining, however, a fact reiterated by sports VP Josep Bartomeu via Radio Catalunya yesterday. “I have a year and a half on my contract … God willing, we will reach a successful conclusion. It is my interest and my intention,” said Alves. So let’s figure out some damned way to get this done.

–Post-clasic, Samuel Eto’o went to dinner with Pique, Xavi, Puyol, Sandro Rosell and some board members. A Euro for when the rumors of a return start.

–Here’s a misguided bit of humor from a blogger asserting that we wouldn’t have pulled out the same can of whipass on Man Utd. Yes, that’s the same United who went down 4-0 to West Ham in the Carling Cup yesterday. At any rate, it’s worth a giggle over your morning coffee.

–For Catalans, nothing says the holidays like shit. Or in particular, the Caganer, or little shitter. Barca caganers are part of the rich tradition that finds the little guy gracing many a Nativity scene. And new Barca caganers have been rolled out for this year. Among the list are Messi, Piqué, Villa, Busquets and Pedro. In past years of course, have been the likes of Rijkaard, Puyol, Eto’o, etc. I have my very own Ronaldinho caganer. For more on the tradition, go here.

Have a lovely day, everyone. This should help:

By Kxevin

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. i just realized there’d be a third match. ha! hell jeyah. dos santos is finally getting some minutes.

    2. No. Espanyol won both of their games so they win the copa.
      I assume they can use subs as usual. The only real difference is that the game is 45 min.

    3. No chance we can still win, I think–because it would still be one loss and one win, while Espanyol would have the two wins.

    4. No, this a dead rubber game. Espanyol already beat Hospitalet, so they win.

      And I think we can use subs. Espanyol made a sub.

  1. 3 teams, round robin, espanyol has already played twice and won both, so they are champs. this is the consolation match now. we have completely swapped our 11.

    1. knew it was a round robin but didn’t know espanyol had won the first game. thanks for clarifying.

  2. Disgraceful performance by the Spanish teams in the Europa League season. I hope at least Villarreal will make it!
    Bundesliga will most-likely overtake Spain next season in the 5 year ranking (because the Barca CL and Sevilla UEFA-Cup winner season drops out).

  3. yo jnice, question. i know jds played as a defensive mid in the preseason and it looks like he’s playing there again today, but has he played in his “regular” position since then? i haven’t seen enough games, & the ones i have seen have been on crappy streams, to really tell.

    1. For Barça B whenever I’ve seen him, he has played in his regular position. Romeu plays as the defensive mid.

  4. If it was number 20 Dos Santos was wearing, then I will say he didn’t play well, and he is quite far from being a senior of our school. He will need to stay more than a year with the B team.

    1. His number is 20, cliveee, for sure. Then again, I think that Thiago was wearing number 4, so who knows?

  5. I would like to announce the death of Real Madrid C.F. Born 1897. Died 2010.

    Real’s life was ended by shots to the left an right corners of the goal. Real leaves ah father (Jose Mourinho), sons (Higuain, Ozil, Casillas an Benzema) an Daughter (Cristine Ronaldo) to morn its passing =D =)) 😐 The funeral service for Real Madrid will be …held at the Bernabeu on 30/11/10

    ****Saw it on Facebook and just had to post it lol :0

  6. It’s kinda interesting how all the highlights and video special for this El Classico are either banned or someone has called for copyrights. Is EE really that evil?

  7. Match review to be expected, or not worth it?

    I myself missed the match and, when I heard about the 45-minute games, didn’t mind allowing it to be spoiled.

    Although it’s upsetting to read that dos Santos performed poorly. I hope there is nothing wrong with him.

    I know that Thiago is coming through the tubes, but I remember a post Euler put up maybe a year ago now when Barca had Thiago, dos Santos, Jeffren, and Gai Assulin all up for renewal, and it really looked like we had four future stars, and we had to decide which three to keep. Now, Gai turned out to be kind of a jerk and left, it looks like Jeffren may never break through, and even Bojan might never come good. If JDS is under a cloud right now, then it’s just Thiago.

    If that’s the case, I guess I’ll just have to settle with him for the future, and Pedro, and I guess still-23 Messi 😉

    In all seriousness, I remember somewhat bitterly how Gio dos Santos left, apparently under his father’s influence, and wonder how important he could be for us now, regardless of his present form. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen to his little bro and we cut him loose as well. Did something happen when he didn’t make the Mexican World Cup squad?

    1. Yeah yeah, you might be right about JDS.
      He was according to some ahead of THiago in the pecking order but since the summer, Pep seemed to prefer JDS and on any Barca forum nobody seems to be complaining. I guess that is due to the fact that he has not been the star for the B-team this season.
      Maybe he needs Thiago to play alongside him or he was really f-ed mentally from being omitted from the WC.

  8. Cristiano doubtful Sat (bruised ankle); Higuain also out…

    Two consecutive EE losses? Would be sweeeeeet!!!!

    1. Beware what you wish for… two consecutive losses would only set the stage for the Evil Empire to rise from the asses.

    2. I literally had to read your line again halfway as I couldn’t believe you would say such a thing about them and you had me fooled right there 😆

  9. Yup JDS was for sure number 20, but what was even more interesting is that Pep played Thiago,Barta and Fontas with the big boys from the 1st team..

    Should be an indication that this is Milito last season in the colors as Pep seems to be grooming both Barta and Fontas for next season…(most definitely Fontas IMO)

    The number 4 shirt would always be vacant for Cesc, Pep just really wants to work with him @ barca before he leaves us to coach somewhere else..I strongly believe Pep is building the team/squad up to last and play without him eventually.

    IMO I think his master plan is to introduce the next generation of at least 5 key-players to the 1st team in maybe 3-4 years tops so the retirement or aging of Xavi,Puyol,Valdes etc wouldn’t damage the team but strive without him or them when he eventually leaves.

    Basically building the foundation for the future in terms of our mentality and in ways of a self-standing team in which Cruyff didn’t leave when he left as 1st team coach.

    1. I hope whatever you’re saying is really on Pep’s mind.
      I really wouldn’t mind if he left us 5 years later when we have a new young core of the team in the likes to replace the current core of;
      Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Pedro with
      Fontas, Thiago, Muniesa, Bartra, JDS, Romeu.

      I didn’t include Dani and Messi as they are not from this world.
      I have never seen a player like those 2 ever in my 15 years of watching football.

    2. Im confused, in 5 years you think that Iniesta, Pique and Pedro are going to be ready to be replaced?

      Iniesta will be 31, and will most probably be moved into the Xavi role which he should be able to do for another 3 years or so, Pique will be 28 and probably in his prime, and Pedro will also be 28, ambidextrous and hopefully one of the most complete forwards ever!

    3. No, I hope a new core will be ready by then to take over the mantle so that there won’t be a long transition period like at Man U.
      95-2000 and then they had to wait till 2005 for a new team to dominate the league/world.
      Arsenal are still waiting… :p

    4. Wishing to have the kids ready to step in as core players in 4-5years would be nice. Only problem with that approach is that they themselves will be in the 24-26 age group and should have had plenty of top-flight first team experience in order to develop appropriately. Otherwise, we’ll have to watch them playing for other sides across Europe.

      It’s a lot more appropriate in my opinion to picture them taking over the non-masia roles over the coming years. (Don’t get me wrong though, I’m all for bringing in top talent to support the system)

      Luckily, the core you’re referring to is quite spread out as we have players that are between 22-32 which is perfect since that will allow a very gradual core transformation with a couple players being replaced every couple years.

      Man U was in a rather different situation as there were too many ‘core’ players leaving in a short period of time. I mean, even now, you can already see what it means to them as they are preparing to deal with the loss of giggs, scholes and van der sar over the coming year.

  10. Oh shit. I don’t really believe this.
    It says on Pep’s twitter that sMasch wants to leave.
    I just can’t believe that. He has been saying all along that he understands his position etc.

    I was hoping that he would get some minutes though last night. Was waiting for Xavi to come off for sMasch but he didn’t even get to warm up.

    1. Silly rumors. His recent comments indicate his professionalism. He won’t be leaving anytime soon.

    2. Plus, he played a lot for the past few weeks and being MotM in some of them.
      How come you’re always commenting.
      I notice a trend here, most of the North Americans post when it’s late night time in Asia cause it’s daytime in America but you’re on when it’s during the day and night here. It’s like you’re always connected to BFB 🙂

  11. Pep quiz

    I only got 7 out of 10.
    Im pretty sure I got his bday, national caps and one more wrong.

  12. Guys this is a stupid question and three days late, but why do you think that mourinho didnt park the bus against us?
    I wish to have the thoughts of every body here

    1. IMVHO
      1) He didn’t have the defensive talent to work with.
      2) He had to go for a win not a draw or Flo would’ve had a cow.

  13. I really wish our plyers could be like machines and play every day. Wagching barca play is really refreshing

  14. Lost in all of the adulation and praise is the fact that we have a very difficult encounter this weekend in Pamplona.

    I think I’m right in saying they are yet to be defeated at home. Last season we drew there, I think Pique scored an own goal in the dying minutes. The year before, Messi spanked one in with about 5 minutes to go in an intense and foggy match.

    Osasuna players are already saying they won’t make it easy for us and that we won’t score 5 goals against them, which is probably true. The fans in that stadium are ridiculous. Always whistling every call, influencing the ref, etc.

    I’m nervous. Hope the players are up for a battle and are as motivated to win as they were against Madrid.

  15. As for me playing the Kari GIF’er Extraordinaire role, here are some gems from the last Clasico and its aftermath

    1. Mou Mou in the post match press-con

    2. Messi’s Mad Boy look

    3. Best Gif ever (unless yous luurvves Cristiano ie)

    4. And this youtube video of Laudrup and Romario’s own footsie

    1. Naah I am not.
      In hindsight I should have given a shout-out to the guy though.

      He had an epic fest with ‘Tiagosong’

      Credits to moBbad on the Sid Lower article comments page for the gifs

  16. Watching the Spain/Portugal bid presentation… looks good. Then they announced that the final would be in the Santiago Bernabeu… bah

    Oh, an apparently they will plant a thousand trees for every goal scored, in the city where they are scored.

    1. Oh, but the Camp Nou will be the opening match!

      Portugal, apparently, is getting absolutely hosed with the match placement… they’ll get 3rd placed match and maybe a semifinal.

  17. Just want to wish all you in Spain the best with the WC bid. Please, please don’t let England win it. Our lives north of the border would be unbearable. I’m listening to Sky News bad mouthing the Spain/ Portugal bid just now. They seem to think that the mere presence of Beckham ensures success. Never has a player in the history of the game been so overhyped imo.

    Besides, I’m harbouring a thought that Spain might be based around Barcelona for the group stages ? If so, I quite fancy trying to get a ticket and supporting them – in the unlikely event that Scotland don’t qualify, of course.

  18. Epic highlights package
    Take my advice and download this bad boy

  19. If England get this world cup im not going to hear the end of it here in NZ. The media here bend over backwards over the poms whether it be prince Williams wedding or their biasim towards english football, all you hear about is the EPL on the news and everyone here thinks its the best league in the world bar none. Though it was refreshing to see they had a segment on El Classico for once but it was probably due to it being a tuesday game and there was no other footballing news. I want Spain to win it purely because its my other country,although Russia showed an interesting bid. I see it as un fair even though its unrelated that if England got it they would have the 2012 olimpics and well as the 2018 world cup. Hoping the aussies get the 2022 one tho!

    1. All clasico goals in HD plus…uh…some audio commentary.


    2. This video contains content from WMG, Mediapro – La Liga and UMG, one or more of whom have blocked it on copyright grounds.

  20. Do we really need to hate this guy more?
    Mou’s post match press-con..what an arrogant tool!

  21. EMD says that after the Guardiola-Crynaldo showing match Crynaldo was confronted by Pedro and Crynaldo did some more showes and asked Pedro ‘Who are you eh?!’
    hmm..dodgy memory Cristiano..The little Canarian has two more El Clasico goals than you no?

    1. And a World Cup winner who was a starter in the Final less than two years after playing in the lower divisions of Spanish futbol?

    2. I was going for the most recent aspect where Pedro pwns TB but mets make a list how Pedro outranks Crynaldo no? ‘Twill be fun me thinks:
      For starters, Pedro is NOiT a diving, preening, posturing, whining, bitching, moaning Prima-donna

    3. I didn’t know exactly what Cristiano said, but I could tell by the way he looked at Pedro, he said something of the sort.

  22. Morning mirth:

    –We have reopened transfer talks with Arsenal over Fabregas, with one likely coat-effective optionn being a swap for Busquets. Wow.

    On the Alves front, Citeh is still rumored to be the front runner, though I can’t believe that he isn’t learning from the example of The Yaya.

    I think Alves will be successful wherever he plays (unlike Busquets, who needs this system as much as the system needs him). But he will not be as good anywhere as he is with us.

    Tell me The Yaya didn’t watch El Cllasic and feel twinges. Or maybe he sat there and said “Hmph. They wouldn’t have played me anyway.” Doubtful.

    Busquets isn’t going anywhere. Alves however very well could. If that is allowed to happen, it would be a HUGE black eye to the Rosell regime, who would be perceived as having penny-pinched Alves out of town.

    Mascherano just got here. No way he wants to leave. If he does, let him. Everyone knows my views on want-away players.

    1. After the last 2/3 performances by Alves I don’t think there is any logic involved in letting him go..In other words “Pay Da Man!”

    2. Well, the very clear complexities are the existing wage structure and the club’s unwillingness to upset the apple cart, so to speak. Laporta would have done the deal in two seconds, but it’s very clear that the new boys don’t think much of ANYTHING that Laporta did, who would have just paid Alves, then handed out raises to everyone.

      You can see the club’s resistance to that approach. Middle ground is being sought.

    3. how much is the difference between the Club’s offer and Alves’s ask? Can this turn into a Ashley Cole-Arsenal case then?

    4. “how much is the difference between the Club’s offer and Alves’s ask?”

      It sounded as if you are opening your wallet to pay the difference and solve the case.

      Oh Ashley’s head was already elsewhere. I doubt it is the case with Alves.

    5. lol as if I could pay the difference..if it was INR maybe..Euro’s a bit much for me financial standing you see 😀

    6. about 2M euros I guess..

      I’m happy to throw in my INR 9k/month stipend if you’re starting a bid to pay the difference 😛

    7. “Laporta would have done the deal in two seconds”

      I am not that sure. If I remember well, Laporta and co refused to meet Yaya’s demand in the first place (even though everyone was screaming: Pay the man-Me excluded). They refused to meet Alves demands till their last day in the power hall, and that is exactly why the current board will be dealing with the hot cookie.

  23. From barcastuff:
    As last weekend, a Barcelona scout will tomorrow follow Benfica left back Fabio Coentrao (22) in a league game. Buyout clause: 30M


    1. Second lesson: FIFA ExCo members will vote for anyone who will fill their pockets and leave some sort of “legacy” as long as they’re old enough and the tournament far away enough that they won’t have to live with the consequences. 😛

      Happy for Russia, WTFed for Qatar.

    2. Third lesson: Do your homework before you jump to conclusions, or else you will smell arrogance.

      but wait! I am going to write about it! Yeap…I will!

    3. Sad to see some angry people here about the Qatar bid, i will not go into a debate of they did – no they didn’t buy the votes.
      For me its a very good thing since i live 400 miles away from Qatar so this means I’ll be there and i hope each and every one of you will be able to do that if that is what you want.

    4. Personally, I’m really happy Qatar got the WC. It’s about time the Middle East got it. They’re football fanatics over there. The stadiums will be beautiful for sure.

      I think what the people above meant (about the oil money) was that there won’t be any problems financially (i.e. they have enough money to make sure everything goes smoothly; to get enough good workers that will finish the stadiums without any complications; proper security; fix any problems in transportations; build super gorgeous hotels….). I’m thinking about the huge fuss that surrounded South Africa’s stadiums and what’s going on in Ukraine supposedly and I’d imagine FIFA would like that financial security.

      I don’t think they meant buying votes literally… I hope. US 2022 would have been nice just because I could get there much easier, but I didn’t think they’d get it over other countries that have never gotten it before.

      By the by, I wanted Spain/Portugal to win the 2018 bid. 🙁

    5. Thank you Kari, you are as cool as always, i also wanted 2018 to go to Spain-Portugal. but i got i out of 2 and that is very satisfying to me.
      I hope you will be able to be there when it happens, surely ill do my best to be there.

  24. Great vid, basically like a mini-movie: *

  25. Oh man just saw this today, speaking of arrogance.

    barcastuff Cristiano Ronaldo (to Pedro during a row in the clasico): “And who are you?”

    My response would be “A world cup winner, and someone who scored today, and you?”

    A little bummed U.S.A. didn’t win the bid, and all this talk of corruption with RUssia and Qatar winning is sickening. It’s clearly Blatter wanting to leave a legacy though.

    From barcastuff:
    As last weekend, a Barcelona scout will tomorrow follow Benfica left back Fabio Coentrao (22) in a league game. Buyout clause: 30M

    This made me cream my cereal this morning haha 😛

    RE:Biscuits swap for Fab. That can’t be anywhere near true. I know Arsenal are rumored to look at him, but Pep wouldn’t let a cantera player like that leave, even for another. We’d be down a DM for another Iniesta. It just wouldn’t work, we’d be even more attacking with less cover.

    And regarding that worst miss ever by O’Shea this one is worse and I watched it live. Poor guy, I like him he’s a good player.

  26. From paradigmaguradiola:
    Aunque hoy parezca difícil suponerlo, este paradigma de juego puede perder. Los mismos que lo ponderan sin sentido, los que lo critican desde el resultado, los que no ven las virtudes sino los defectos del rival, no tardarán en variar sus discursos.

    Qué el último partido y este video sean una reivindicación al modelo de juego y al sentirlo de esa forma. Que puede perder, claro, o ganar de forma brillante. Creemos en la persistencia y en el intento de llevarlo a cabo en cualquier cultura. En la del Barcelona, con una estructura ideal para lograrlo, o en cualquier parte del mundo. La cultura del toque no tiene pasaporte

    *can anyone translate this for me translate just confuses me. A gist would be fine*

    1. ill give it a shot

      Aunque hoy parezca difícil suponerlo, este paradigma de juego puede perder. Los mismos que lo ponderan sin sentido, los que lo critican desde el resultado, los que no ven las virtudes sino los defectos del rival, no tardarán en variar sus discursos.

      Even though today it appears difficult to imagine, this paradigm of play can lose. The same ones that will consider it as not sensible, those that criticize it based on the result, those that dont see the virtues but instead the defects of the rival, will not hestitate in changing their discourses.

      Qué el último partido y este video sean una reivindicación al modelo de juego y al sentirlo de esa forma. Que puede perder, claro, o ganar de forma brillante. Creemos en la persistencia y en el intento de llevarlo a cabo en cualquier cultura. En la del Barcelona, con una estructura ideal para lograrlo, o en cualquier parte del mundo. La cultura del toque no tiene pasaporte

      May the last game and this video serve as a vindication of this model of play (…) It can lose, clearly, or win in brilliant way. We believe in the persistence and in the attempt to carry it out in whichever culture. In the culture of Barcelona, with an ideal structure for achieving it, or in whichever part of the world. The culture of “el toque” (i think this means technical, tiki-taca football) has no passport.

      I think this is basically an ode to attacking, technical football…the philosophy of Barca…even though you might lose, and people will bad mouth you no matter what, stick to your guns and play football the beautiful way…

    1. Crap. Sorry. It worked fine for me via FireFox. The same thing happened to Jnice. I went directly to Angle Editorial’s site and grabbed the link, so I’m not sure where the spam popped in. Apologies again.

  27. although i am a firm supporter of getting Cesc back to Catalunya HELL NO should we trade biscuits for him.

    Also I don’t know how much of a chance Holland and Belgium would have had getting the WC (I think they should one day, because Holland is the “biggest” football nation to never host a World Cup) one of the reasons we were deemed not to have a chance is that our government refused to give in to some of Fifa’s more outlandish demands (like promising that all FIFA revenue would be tax-free).

    What I like about Qatar getting it is that they will give the stadiums to other countries afterwards. Very cool. And yes, the Middle-East is crazy about football so they deserve it, although one could doubt if Qatar is very representative of the average Middle-Eastern

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