News Aggregator & Link Dump – December 23, 2010

Afellay has opposable thumbs

Oh yeah, of course it will be quiet over what is usually recognized as the holiday period. Players are at home, everyone is on break, the team has no games for more than a week, why would they need to announce any new information? So of course the team decides to make numerous announcements today and have Afellay come in for negotiations. Thanks guys, I was nursing a lovely holiday hangover, but not now, I’m here for you with news and love, mostly love.

–Obviously the first big piece of news is Ibrahim Afellay coming in from PSV Eindhoven this morning for negotiations, the meet and greet, medical exams, and the like. If all goes well he will be presented Friday morning. According to accounts, he will be wearing Deco and Alves’s old #20 shirt. He has already met with Guardiola and the rest of the administrative staff. The team and Afellay are working on a 4.5 year deal. Follow BarçaStuff on Twitter for the updates all day.

Regarding Afellay’s use in the coming months, I see him as a handy dandy contributor who can play in the middle for Xavi or Iniesta if they need a breather, or on the wings. While he is not going to take a starting position away from Pedro, Villa, Xaviniesta, or Messi, he can contribute right away and serve as a valuable backup since we get into the full swing of Copa del Rey, Champion’s League, and La Liga games starting January 2. Ramzi over at FootballMood also presents a good analysis for how Afellay may be used in the future. If I had to make a prediction at gunpoint, I’d say he’s going to get the most work on the wings because Bojan is streaky and Pedro / Villa will need a break. I would say Messi would come out, but once again, he’s like an 8-year old and never wants to leave the game.

–In more news, the club announced plans for a Summer 2011 tour including the Audi Cup in Munich; an unnamed friendly; and matches in the U.S. against Manchester United (Washington D.C. on July 30), AC Milan (Miami on August 3), and America de Mexico (Dallas on August 6). This is a good chance for American fans not in NYC and LA to see the club for once and I hope it goes better than the super fail that was the Asian trip.

–President Sandro Rosell also gave a presser about the Qatar Foundation sponsorship deal. For fear of being flayed alive by every involved, I am just posting the link.

–The insufferably amazing and always pleasing Brian Phillips, who is the proprietor of Run of Play has written a piece for American online magazine Slate about FC Barcelona’s amazing 2010. It serves as a love letter to the style of play of the club and is a great bit of positive press. It also means that Phillips apparently has a death wish or some serious stones, because the amount of flack he will take for this from other press and from fans is going to be awe-inspiring I am sure. I’ll just post this particularly poignant and useful quote from the piece:

Of course, there’s some financial clockwork grinding behind the magic. Easily the strangest thing about Barcelona is the way its marketing-behemoth subdivision cannibalizes the team’s achievements while simultaneously enabling them. Barcelona is més que un club, more than a club, as its motto goes, because it holds itself to a high standard, both aesthetically and in its self-conceived role within Catalan culture. (During the early Franco years, when Catalonia’s regional identity was suppressed, its stadium was one of the few places where Catalan could be spoken in public.) But Barcelona is able to meet this high standard largely because its més que un club identity is a lucrative brand—the club earned almost $600 million last season on the back of schoolboy-hero narratives and carefully packaged virtues—that in turn allows it to keep pace with its more clay-footed rivals. The club frequently comes under minor fire for perceived hypocrisies that would barely register at, say, Manchester United—selling a shirt sponsorship, as it did for the first time this year, or shilling for Qatar’s World Cup bid. The paradox being, of course, that if you’re going to use Messi to dazzle the world as part of a program of sports-transcending cultural enrichment, you have to be able to afford Messi, which means occasionally steering your white stallion down the avenues of plain old enrichment.

–Bojan also signed a renewal until 2015 recently and increased his buyout to $100M. In order to avoid being labeled by some harsh epithet because I actually think Bojan is a good player and will improve, I will simply leave this here. I was already maliciously persecuted on Twitter once for this, and these outrages shall not stand!

–Finally, the Spoiler, a particularly funny and wry bit of English football coverage posts this video of Lionel “hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husbands too” Messi staying on his feet and fighting through hard challenges. Certain other players might go down in these instances, but not my own personal Patronus charm. Incidentally, if any especially awesome commenter that is familiar with Harry Potter and is also accomplished with Photoshop or similar photo editing software can create me a picture of Messi as a Patronus, please email it to me at Video below:

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.


  1. from Rosell: “My best decision was to sell Ibrahimovic. It was a disaster for us on an economic level, but he has a high salary and it was not possible to get anymore from his sale,”

    I had a new respect for Rosell after he did this.

    1. On the flipside, it’d be weird in the Liveblog:
      “Why didn’t you pass Messi? Fly was open!” 😀

  2. Soooo happy today, Barca coming to the US for summer 2011, Miami Aug. 3 vs Milan and July 30 v Man U in Washington D.C. Add that to my Bonnaroo trip, its gonna be a badass summer.

  3. Afellay n. \ah-FILL-eye\: Last name of Barca’s #20

    Interview in English(!): /

    Baby faced! So cute! 😀

    (I’ve been a bit busy lately (still am) but I just HAD to pitch in. A~fell~ay! A~fell~ay! Ib~ra~him A~fell~ay!)

    1. His English is great! So he will at least be able to talk to Pep, Pique and Mascherano right away. Do any of our other boys speak English? What about Abidal?

    2. I don’t think Abidal speaks English. Maxwell can and that’s about it. All of our other English speakers left in the summer.

    3. nobody reads blitzen’s comments ;^)

      when do we get to play arsenal already?


  4. Aw crap, I just read this on ESPN…

    about the US tour-

    “The Blaugrana are likely to be missing star forward Lionel Messi, right back Daniel Alves and midfielder Javier Mascherano because of the Copa America in Argentina, which ends July 24. Messi and Mascherano are regulars on Argentina’s national team and Daniel Alves on Brazil’s.”

    Still gonna go!

  5. Dayum! I may just have to sell my body some valuables and get myself down to the Washington game on July 30th! I can live without Messi, but if Xavi and Iniesta don’t play, heads will roll!

    1. “sell my body”

      LOL. 😀

      I think I might be going to the DC game too. I wished they were coming to NY like two years ago, but oh well.

    2. “I may just have to sell my body”

      Strictly out of curiosity, what price tag are we talking about here 🙂

    3. Never mind. The Qatar Foundation just offered me $10,000 to tattoo their logo on my back, so I’m good. I’m going to add the Unicef logo on there for free, though. 😛

    4. Uh oh, that was quick.

      Let me guess, this deal is going to “make you stronger in the future … you had to take one step back to take three steps forward ” and “if Family opposes the agreement with Qatar, you’ll withdraw. What the Family says is what counts.”

      Amiright 🙂

  6. From barcastuff:

    Afellay: “Meeting Guardiola was impressive. What a charisma that man has!”

    There is “feeling”! yay! 😀

    1. look who milan is bringing in instead.



      should be fun to watch.

    2. i’m not discounting the potential locker room problems that would result from having these three guys in the same time, but from a purely sporting point of view… it should be good stuff.

    3. cassano as the “1” in a 4-2-1-3 or 3-3-1-3 is kind of ridiculous though, right? he’s a striker. he’d have to switch off w/one of the dudes up front(most likely pato because of his long term injury), i would think. that’s seedorf’s position. maybe robinho but not likely.

    4. oh, i see your forward slash now. my comment still applies, though. he’s not an enganche. maybe a winger.

    5. *


    6. while cassano isn’t your typical AMF, he’s better suited for that role behind Zlatan and Robinho/Pato than Seedorf who is many years past his prime. Ronaldinho was supposed to be that guy, but we know that he’s really suited to that LW position in a 4-3-3 (which milan failed at horribly last year).

      the way that allegri’s milan plays with the three ball-winning DMFs in Rino/Ambro/Prince/Flamini will allow the front three to focus more on the offensive side of their game while not sacrificing milan’s aging, vlunerable, backline (especially in the absence of Thiago Silva).

      my elementary tactical setup could easily see Cassano drifting towards one of the wings to link up with the other forwards. maybe even sometimes Zlatan will come back to the mid, and Cassano will move up.

      cassano scores goals, but he’s even a greater ‘creator’ in my opinion. pazzini blossomed at samp w/ cassano because he was getting amazing service from the guy.

  7. But he earned a lot of money the last 3 seasons without being a professional player!!!Now he can have full time holidays in brazil!!

  8. I love brian olivan!He is a 16old boy who play in our youth teams and one of our great talents!He decided to stay here and not go to united and chesea who they wanted him!Bravo boy!

  9. Oh! Here’s something to keep you guys busy for 30 or so minutes.

    Second Half of Arsenal v Barcelona

    Part 1: /

    Part 2: /

    There are two more parts after this, which I’ll upload when I get the time. I doubt you’ll be in a hurry to see the ending of this game anyway…

    By the way, if anyone needs any of the previous parts for some reason, just leave a comment or something and I’ll repost the link.

  10. I have always said that if I had a Patronus, it would be Lionel Messi. Glad someone else has the same sentiments. 😀 Merry Christmas!

  11. Rewatching El Clasico. Noticed my VLC Media Player icon is wearing a Santa hat. That’s not just me, right?

    1. “porque se tiene que morir la mama de bambi?”

      classic. thanks again. just finished watching it. the whole thing is a gem.

      in case anybody missed it:


    2. oops. that should be “por qué”

      learning how to correctly place accents in espanish is a million times easier than finding the accent marks on your keyboard. sheesh.

  12. If i meet ibrahimovic in any place i will doing to him what he want to do to pep.This guy is a disgrace for the football world.

  13. god wants me to win. shia is a devil. *

  14. that means that i am an angel, a protector of animals, a benefactor of websites, a gracious creature of God, most merciful, most beneficent. a winner. a fu***** super bowl winner. team of destiny. the world buys me lunch tomorrow.

  15. If he actually said that he really is loopy. Just made a lot of enemies and issued a clear threat of violence.

    The only good thing about it is that the Barca situation is obviously still hurting him – not unrelated to the fact that we are playing much better without him. I’ll take some ( guilty) pleasure in that.

    1. What did he say now Jim & Greece?
      I was away for a couple of days.
      Couldn’t find anything on barcastuff

    2. From Total Barca :

      “In Catalunya, it’s not because I’m not capable but if I ever meet him ( Guardiola) in any other place in Europe, I will give him a ‘knock-out’,” remarked the black-belted taekwando player to a startled club representative.

  16. i oppose the devil in every avenue of my life. warlords, abortionists, child traffickers (chelsea). rally to God by rallying alongside me.

  17. shia is not the devil, and i apologise for stating otherwise. i deserve to suffer for saying that.

  18. I read it in total.barca.There is a report from an italian source and the translation is something like”if i met guardiola in any place except catalunya,i will doing tn him a knock out”.Maybe he was joking and the translator made mistake,but this guy make me mad.

  19. I am starting to not understand cruyff.He speak for everything last months.Now this story with the 100.000 euros that the club must pay for his charity.I understand him but why he must talk about everything in public?This is no good for the club.If he has a war with rosell keep it out from barca.

  20. did you see that Busquets wasn’t named to the FifaPro 11?
    Mascherano made it. Kaka made it. Ronaldinho made it. no Busi.

    Masch is great and should be on the list. The others maybe, but Kaka has barely played this year.

    Busquets should at least get it if his backup does.
    my list:
    Alves, Puyol, Lucio, Cole
    Sneijder, Xavi, Iniesta
    Messi, Forlan, Crynaldo

  21. I don’t think we should be badmouthing the Devil on here, from what hear about the guy I think we’d get on pretty good.

  22. Guys according to zubi we are not going to have any other transfer activity in winter!Pep hate the winter transfers eh??

  23. Well here in greece in a few hours will be christmas!I will be busy so i wish to all of you merry happy christmas and to have a wonderful day and night!!Love and peace and health to everyone here and in the whole world!:-):-)

  24. From Zubi on the official site:

    On Thiago: “Thiagos’ contract states that we have to tell him at the end of January exactly what role he’ll have in the squad next year, but right now it’s not a direct incorporation into the first team squad”.

    On Fontas: “the performances of Fontàs, Batra and Muniesa have convinced him” we don’t need to look there right now. Those three will continue to play for the B team with options of moving up to play with the first team. We are changing the concept of first team and reserve players for a squad where every player can play with different systems and ways of playing”.

    So it looks like no one gets promoted in January?

  25. Well, Ibi at least speaks enough Spanish to read a statement at a press conference without stumbling or mispronouncing anything.

  26. idk if this amazing video has been seen around here as yet but I will post it since its to EPIC to miss!!!


  27. Hey, did they take down the announcement about the 2011 pre-season?? I can’t find it on the official website now :-/

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