State of the Liga: The Season in Review [UPDATED]

Goodbye Almería, Hércules, and Deportivo la Coruña. I’m not one to bemoan the drop, but rather to celebrate the promotions, so, welcome Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, and whoever wins the promotion playoff.

Betis may have lost to us 5-0 in the Copa del Rey, but they also beat us 3-1 and looked pretty good doing it. Sure, the final score suggests otherwise and maybe if we’d tried harder in the second leg we would have clobbered them again, but they looked good and were certainly entertaining. If they can continue to play that way next year we’ll have a nice mid table team on our hands that is quite capable of picking off the upper echelon teams. And I’m also looking forward to the Andalucian Derby.

As for Rayo Vallecano, well, welcome back to the top flight, boys! Haven’t seen you since 2002-03 when you crashed out in 20th with 32 points and a league-worst 31 goals scored. That was the year, if you remember, that Real Sociedad nearly took the title and Barça ended up 6th. The crazy thing about Rayo is they went from the top flight to the Segunda B in just 2 years, finishing the 2003-04 Segunda season in 21st and dropping once again. It took them 4 years to crawl back to the second tier, coming in 1st in 2007-08. They went 5th in 2008-09 and then 11th last year before finishing second this year and securing promotion.

Awards and stats:

Champion: Barcelona (96 points)
Scoringest Team: Real Madrid (102)
Scoringleast Team: Deportivo la Coruña (31 goals)
Stingiest Defense: Barcelona (21 goals)
Open the Floodgates: Almería (70 goals)

Top scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (40)
Best goalie: Víctor Valdés, Barcelona (20 goals allowed)
Manager of the year: Luis Garcia, Levante
Player of the year: Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Youngster of the year: Iker Muniain, Athletic Bilbao

Highest scoring game: Real Madrid 8 – 1 Almeria (Jornada 38)
Lowest scoring game: Anything with Depor in it.
Best game: Barça 5 – 0 Real Madrid (but maybe I’m biased)
Worst game: I think I fell asleep during something involving Zaragoza and Depor. Not sure, though.

I know I’ve crapped on Depor quite a bit in this post and on Twitter over the last couple of days and I’ve gotten a little bit of flack for it, but I’m not entirely sure why. Basically what I’ve said is that Depor deserved to go down and I won’t miss them. It’s not that I have anything against Depor in general, but this year’s version was so deadly boring and uninteresting that I feel quite a bit of antipathy towards them.

And yes, I remember SuperDepor and I remember EuroDepor and I already miss the silky brilliance of Juan Carlos Valeron, but no team deserves to be in la primera. It’s a privilege earned on a yearly basis and if Levante can do it with a budget amounting to a handful of reals and 2 pieces of Bubble Yum (watermelon!), then why can’t Depor score more goals than Lionel Messi? Sure, Caicedo is better than Riki or Xisco, but be honest, who has the better squad? The argument that Getafe should have gone down instead is fine forgets that Getafe at least scored goals and while they don’t have any fans and have just been bought by a foreign investor, there’s at least hope that next year they’ll put together a decent showing. With Depor, I wasn’t convinced there was reason for hope.

As for Hércules, I don’t know what to make of them. They made some brilliant signings, played some decent games to start the year off, including the shocker against Barça that left us all a bit overconfident about their chances of success (at least in retrospect). It’s easy enough now to see the gaping holes in the squad, but at the time, at the beginning, there was Trezeguet and Valdez, there was potential there and when the Valdez’s second settled into the Camp Nou net, what kind of a fool would have pegged them for the drop? It was all working and then it wasn’t.

Poor Almeria, maybe, but mostly poor Almeria. Can’t lament the 20th placed team too much, really, even if watching Piatti try to growl people to death is pretty awesome. Some measure of “eh, come back when you care to play better than my intramural team” is necessary for a squad that was beaten 0-8 at home and 8-1 on the road by two different squads. My intramural team was pretty badass, though. A dynasty in which we won 7 of 8 titles over 2 years (2 outdoor and 2 indoor seasons per year). So maybe Almeria is more like the hippie team that fielded stoned kids in outdoor and got trounced. I scored 7 goals against them. That’s how bad they were. Almeria is like that.

Moving way on up, it’s Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla that made the Europa league while Atletico Madrid and missed out because of head-to-head (all 3 ended with 58). Espanyol only got 1 point out of the last 12 available and ended up 9 points back of the other teams, which makes the evil, terrible parts of my heart (all of it) happy. Though I don’t particularly care about the Europa League, just like I don’t care about the NCAA NIT. But we’ve been over this.

This is the final table:

  1. FC Barcelona
  2. Real Madrid
  3. Valencia
  4. Villarreal
  5. Athletic Bilbao
  6. FC Sevilla
  7. Atlético Madrid
  8. Espanyol
  9. Osasuna
  10. Sporting Gijon
  11. Málaga
  12. Racing Santander
  13. Real Zaragoza
  14. Real Sociedad
  15. Levante
  16. Flame-broiled Getafe Team Dubai
  17. Mallorca
  18. Deportivo
  19. Hércules
  20. Almería

What was your favorite part of the season? Mine was when Abidal came back. Least favorite? Mine was any of the Madrid games I watched in which they won.

UPDATE: Atleti is actually in the Europa League thanks to the Copa final being between two CL qualified teams. Thanks for the totally civil and helpful manner in which you pointed out this oversight, Luke.

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Written by:

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


  1. privateeye
    May 24, 2011

    Ha Ha Fist one on the block

    (Cries to himself sniff sniff – Have reduced myself to cheap thrills)

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      You even made a typo in your comment hahahaha

  2. deckardcain
    May 24, 2011

    Just read something I found worth sharing with you. It is written by Swedens topjournalist, and if you don’t mind me saying so, one of the world’s best in general, Erik Niva.

    “FC Barcelona are doing what they can, but considering the circumstances, it’s not exactly easy. The club has chartered 35 planes that will take a total of 8 000 fans to London on the day of the game, and are now preparing to replace them with a fleet of 160 buses, which in that case will leave Barcelona on friday night.

    But the other roughly 15 000 culés who has arranged their own trip, are now standing without a rescue plan.

    There is a very real risk, that the Champions League Final of 2011 will be played in front of 20-30 000 empty seats, with a bleacherdynamic which in many ways would further the homeadvantage of Manchester United.

    So the question is – Should it be played at all? Or should it be postponed?

    Personally I’m resigned to say that there is way too much economics riding on this for the last said thing to happen – but in this championship-free year, the question is if there really are any real hinderings, football-wise.

    So what do you say? Should the Champions League-final be played under the ashcloud – or should we wait until the skies are clear?

    /Erik Niva”

    This is just my own translation of the text, so I apologize for any grammatical errors or un-understandable parts, but it’s an interesting subject. Needless to say is that United will get a big advantage if the biggest part of our supporters can’t make it to the game…

    So the biggest question is; What does Iceland have against us?!


    • May 24, 2011

      If UEFA were to postpone this game we wouldn’t hear the end of the “conspiracy”. Honestly, I’ve never seen Barça ‘bothered’ by the home crowd (ask the Bernabeu) when a game really matters.
      I think the cules with tickets will shock Wembley with their presence. I’m sure they aren’t just with crossed arms hoping the cloud clears, I hope they are looking for alternatives.

  3. flyzowee
    May 24, 2011

    Haha, apparently we are asking arsenal if we could ‘pretty please’ train at the emirates.
    Lol, how awkward is that?

  4. Extreme barca fan
    May 24, 2011

    To me this season became all about ABIDAL, football takes a step back.
    Worst moment of the season, when it was announced that abi has a tumor and needs surgery. Best moment when he came back.
    About footbal: our teams kicks A… ,EE sucks, 2nd best coach is manolo (the moustache) preciado and we will beat MAN UTD after 5 days to win the UCL.

  5. Lev
    May 24, 2011

    best moment of the year?

    it’s a three-edged coin toss between:

    1. the return of the roi
    2. THAT goal by Leo Messi
    3. Pep throwing down the gauntlet and calling Mourinho el puto amo of the press conferences

    • soccermomof4
      May 24, 2011

      Exactly that, in exactly that order, except that Leo had several goals that can be called THAT goal.

      Favorite game- 5-0 against EE, duh!

      Favorite Messi goal- start of the second half against R. Sociedad, that whole 1-2 thing Leo had going on with Dani after what seemed like a bizillion completed passes. That one where he makes the whole EE defense look stupid was brilliant. And the one against Almunia was just sick. But the one against R. Sociedad was at the end of some beautiful team tiki taka and is my favorite.

      Favorite non-Messi goal- 1-0 against EE. Iniesta to Xavi. Xavi knew just what has was doing with that ball, no luck involved just skill, and no TV commentator will convince me otherwise.

      Favorite signing- sMashe

      Favorite Twitterer(tweeter?)- OK I don’t twit, I don’t tweet, but I follow barcastuff and I love seeing the pics that new tweeter Alves is posting. He’s such a family guy and I love that. Ooooohs and moc mocs can’t beat that!

      Favorite awards- The Blitzen Awards, claro!

    • Lev
      May 24, 2011

      huh? what? somebody described Xavi’s goal as LUCK?

      and THAT goal by Leo was of course the 2nd goal against EE.

      ranking Leo’s goals this season:
      1. THAT goal
      2. the one against Arsenal aka THAT OTHER goal
      3. the goal against real sociedad where he crosses from right to left making a fool of 4 defenders beforing slotting it in the net

    • soccermomof4
      May 24, 2011

      Yeah, that other R. Sociedad goal was good, too. I guess I’ve just gotten used to the whole crossing from the right the the left brilliance. It’s just ordinary, everyday, other-worldly, ohmygoshhowdoeshedoit brilliance now 😉

  6. Barka
    May 24, 2011

    Best moment for me must be when Messi scored the first goal against Madrid from Afellay’s cross.

    Also, I;m glad the team will fly early to London to escape the volcano. More time to get used to Wembley too.

    • flyzowee
      May 24, 2011

      Best moment for me was that epic hug between iniesta and messi after messi scored the opener against arsenal.

      Dani alves and adrianos dance celebration vs shaktar is another highlight.

      I also loved the villas goal dedication to the camp nou fans after that peach of a goal vs Sevilla.

    • soccermomof4
      May 24, 2011

      We have the best celebrations because 99.9% of the time they are TEAM celebrations!!!! Love that!!!!

  7. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 24, 2011

    best Barca moments in La liga this season in chronological order:

    1. Ending our early season worries by beating Bilbao away with an injured Xavi and NO Messi (was one of the most entertaining game of the season)

    2.Starting our Road to Classico ‘I’ by beating Seville 5-0 very convincingly, in one of the best displays from barca all season.

    3.Beating Real Madrid in what was the most Breakthrough performance from a football team. While also claiming Revenge on the ‘Evil’ one.

    4.Seeing Pedro sprinting after the train to make the trip to Osasuna. LOL

    5.Being Winter Champions by racking up a wonderful result against our inform cross city eternal rivals.

    6.The whole Camp Nou crowd giving a standing ovation at minute 22 for Abidal, Cannot remember which match it was though.

    7.Beating rampant Villarreal 0-1 after international friendlies, while Preciado taking revenge on JOSE ‘POR QUE’ MOURINHO and putting us ahead 8 points instead of 2 which everyone expected.

    8.cementing the la liga crown by drawing the second la liga Classico.

    9.The return the of the KING, ABIDAL back on the grass.

    10.Winning! (Charlie Sheen styles) the La liga trophy and celebrating it in style.

    • Lev
      May 24, 2011

      6. I believe it was every match until he returned

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      May 24, 2011

      are you sure? Well I guess the first time it was done, it was a very notable gesture from everyone, it was amazing to see and hear from the crowd.

  8. Josep
    May 24, 2011

    i’m having pizza for dinner

  9. privateeye
    May 24, 2011

    I decided this was my moment of the season right then.

    See what happens at the end when Messi is walking back and he is looking at the screen which shows him. Then the camera shifts focus to Mourinho(a very dog has its tail between its legs expression he has). Then it shifts right back to Messi and you see him grinning. This was priceless.

    If you have Sky sports version then this is shown in detail(It is not very clear in the above link)

    • May 24, 2011

      His control of the ball is outrageous. He is a sublime footballer.

    • jordi™
      May 24, 2011

      I saw a still of that on the official site site and thought he was just controlling the ball not scoring a goal 😯

    • Jnice
      May 24, 2011

      Wish I could watch that entire training session! Or at least the scrimmage part.

  10. Sheena
    May 24, 2011

    Best moment of the season: Had to be when Abidal returned. It was the moment that really put everything in perpective- football is just a game.

    Worst moment of the season: Obviously when Abidal was diagnosed with the tumour. Obviously.

    And now a few more bests and worsts, because I love making lists like these.

    Game of the season that wasn’t the manita:
    For me, it’s always going to be the 2-1 comeback win against Valencia at the Camp Nou. I remember how pathetic we looked in the first half, and when they scored at the end of the first half, I really thought there was no way back. Then the team came out for the second half, grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, and turned it around. It was the game that I felt really put us on the right track.

    Most frustrating game of the season:
    The 1-1 draw with Mallorca. Dominated the first half, created a million goal scoring oppurtunies, only put one away. Conceded a scrappy goal off a corner, and couldn’t score again (depite coming agonizingly close to doing so).

    Most painful loss of the season:
    Losing to Arsenal at the Emirates. I don’t know why, but losing the Copa final didn’t sting as much as this one did. I know many people claimed that we played a good match at the Emirates, but any Barcelona fan could tell you that the performance the team put in that day was nowhere near it’s usual level. It was the manner in which we lost that match that really hurt, not the fact that we lost it.

    Best Pep moment:
    “El puto amo” would take this if it weren’t for this one little incident involving a rather flustered Andres Iniesta-

    Player of the season that isn’t Messi:
    Valdes. Valdes Valdes Valdes Valdes Valdes. That save he made to deny Cazorla in the dying minutes against Vilareal virtually ended the league.

    Best hair:
    You have to give Villa and Pique As for effort, but Pinto takes this one. Duh. 🙂

    Top 3 Messi goals of the season (because I couldn’t decide on one):
    His second against Madrid. His first against Arsenal. His second against Villareal.

    Best celebration:
    Hands down, Villa’s celebration after scoring his second, and our fourth against Madrid. I still get goosebumps.

    Result that really tilted the balance in our favour:
    People will talk about the Clasico, and some may pick out the weekend Sporting upset Madrid and we walked out with the 3 points at El Madrigal. But for me, it was Madrid’s loss to Osasuna that really saw us take control. Even after the Clasico, we only needed to slip up once, and Madrid would catch us. Then they drew with Almeria, and we had the tiniest of breathing spaces. Then Osasuna came along, and Madrid never quite recovered from that. Even when we faltered against Sporting and Sevilla, they never came any closer than 5 points.

    • Jnice
      May 24, 2011

      Wow, I agree with almost everything. I would probably chose Abidal as player of the season just because he stepped in at CB when Puyol was out and performed at such a high level almost every single game. He was amazing.

      The Valencia game- I couldn’t believe we were being outplayed and out-possessed like that in the first half. Then we come out in the second half and Iniesta scores almost immediately. Great second half.

      The Mallorca game- I was SO pissed that day. I went off on twitter and I remember saying that we wouldn’t win the game after we missed all of those chances. Stupid N’sue header. Argh!

      Most painful loss- You all know how hard I took that match, so there’s nothing much to be said there. That was an all-time low for me. Definitely more painful than the Copa loss.

      I love that Villa celebration as well. It was so epic. The emotion on his face says everything.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 25, 2011

      Enjoyed the comments Sheena. Thanks.

  11. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 24, 2011

    my worst moments of the season, in chronological order :

    1. Ibra saga… will he, won’t he? some fans were cursing Pep and Rosell… some fans were cursing Ibra and Raiola… fans split into two sides…

    2. that famous defeat by The Mighty Zeus Son a.k.a Hercules, 0-2 at Camp Nou.. horrible debut by Mascherano.. Piqué was bleeding again.. this season seemed will be a disaster..

    3. when Messi cried on the ground caused by awful tackle from Ujfalusi.. after the game, pictures show his ankle were swollen.. that terrified me..

    4. the worst defeat for me was the one against Arsenal at Emirates..
    it crushed my soul and heart imagining THIS Barça side journey end in 1/8 final CL.. I felt so scared and sad with the possibility of elimination..
    and we lost Jnice for almost a week!

    5. Suddenly they announced Abidal has tumor in his liver.. Oh God, that was the worst of the worst moments of the season..

    6. Copa del Rey final defeat.. at extra time, goal by TB.. Honestly, I was not as sad/devastated as the defeat against Arsenal, but it still a tough defeat for me..

    7. Busquets allegations.. this was just a bad moment..

    do I miss anything? other bad moments?

    • Sheena
      May 24, 2011

      Shirt sponsorship. Soci restrictions. etc.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 24, 2011

      aaahh… yes!

      8. Shirt sponsorship

      9. Soci restrictions

      10. Osasuna game at Camp Nou…where the camera shot Shakira kissed Gerard again and again and again… yuck! stay away from our stadium!

    • Jnice
      May 24, 2011

      the worst defeat for me was the one against Arsenal at Emirates..
      it crushed my soul and heart imagining THIS Barça side journey end in 1/8 final CL.. I felt so scared and sad with the possibility of elimination..
      and we lost Jnice for almost a week!

      T’was a tough time. I remember sitting on the couch after that match asking myself “What am I going to do now?” And the fact that we had to wait 3 weeks to make amends for that lost sucked too. BUT, we’re in a final now and it’s all good. 🙂

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 24, 2011

      tough time, indeed…

      I made lots of errors at work, I was irritating, lost my appetite, just bad bad mood…

      remembering those moments makes me feel so grateful we have won La Liga and in UCL final! 😀

  12. May 24, 2011

    One of my single favorite moments of this season was Abidal scoring that away goal at San Mames in the second leg of the Copa against Athletic.

    I just loved that. Athletic played so fiercely over those two legs and did so in such different ways. In the first leg they played deep and stayed compact and emerged with that 0-0 draw at Camp Nou. At San Mames they played a very aggressive, physical (but clean) high tempo pressing game. I didn’t see a way through.

    All game Atheletic were giving space to Abidal on the left challenging him to beat them.

    Then late in the game Xavi plays a ball in the air to Messi in the box. He has two players on him but calmly controls the ball and turns.

    And once messi controlled the ball and turned you could see the future of the entire play unfold. You could see that Messi knew he would have Abidal in space off the left.

    And Abidal makes a brilliantly timed delayed run – the kind of run that Dani makes so well – and messi like clockwork plays the ball into space for the free man to run onto. And Abidal calmly slot the ball home past the keeper.

    I loved that entire sequence. It was such a relief.

    And the best part was watching Abidal – the last person one would think to score – backpeddling towards the corner his elbows high in the air, facing his teammates as they were chasing after him, thrilled that he was the one to put the team through.

    • Jnice
      May 24, 2011

      Yeah, that’s definitely one of my favorite moments as well and probably my second favorite celebration of the season.

      That is what you call epic, Eklavya. 😉

    • Vj
      May 24, 2011

      More epic considering he was hit with a coin moments earlier..

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      Even more epic was the fact that Kxevin thought it was a cookie and suggested that he should have eaten it 😀 (or something like that).

    • Vj
      May 24, 2011

      Even moar epic considering that our lovelymofo called it just moments before he scored..

    • May 24, 2011

      Epic has no meaning now. Just like fail. I remember a time when it was seldomly used…. 🙁

  13. Vj
    May 24, 2011

    Is the season over or should we wait till Sunday?

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      That’s what I was thinking as well. My Moments of The Season includes CL stuff. Are we only talking Liga ❓

  14. Humphrey Bogart
    May 24, 2011

    Favourite Players:

    I love them all to death but just for the stick they got Dani and Sergio.

    Best moments:

    Dani and Adriano celebrating by dancing in the Shakthar game, celebrating the Pedro goal in the rain in the 2nd leg of the CL semifinal; the Espanyol fans cheering for Iniesta in the Cornellia stadium, the return of Abi,…

    Best goals:

    the 2nd in the first game against Villareal, the one in the game against Panathenaikos (the 2 one-twos with Messi-Xavi-Pedro), the Messi goal against Arsenal in the 2nd leg and THAT goal

  15. blitzen
    May 24, 2011

    Ooohhh looky here! A La Liga wrap-up post! Why, this seems like the perfect place for a bumper end-of-the-season edition of blitzen awards!

    Most Frustrating Game Award: Espanyol could somehow not manage to beat RM at home, with an extra man on the field and RM forced to play their third-string keeper after Casillas was sent off. Gah!

    Most Enjoyable Game That Wasn’t the Clasico Award: The first game against Real Betis. Even though we won 5-0, they played extremely well and it was just a great game to watch. Also really enjoyed both legs against Shakhtar, the second against Arsenal, and pummelling Espanyol in their house.

    How Far the Mighty Have Fallen Award: Deportivo. At no point this season did this look like a team that was even trying to win a game, much less avoid relegation. Sad.

    Most Disappointing Team Award: Villarreal. Yes, I know they finished in fourth place, but still. The football they played in their second half of the season was dismal compared to how brilliantly they started.

    How Far the Mighty Have Fallen Award Part II: Diego “Goldie” Forlan. He went from winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup to sulking his way through the season, clashing with his coach and teammates, issuing “come-and-get-me” calls to anyone who would listen and scoring a total of 8 goals in the league. Why are we even considering buying him?

    Most Overrated Player Award: No, not CRonaldo. Sergio Ramos, who is constantly praised by the English media as “the best right back in the world.” He’s not even the best RB in Spain and especially not this season.

    Manager of the Year Award: Jointly awarded to Luis Garcia, for dragging Levante out of the drop zone to finish a respectable 15th, and to Manuel Preciado for leading Sporting Gijon to a victory at the Bernabeu and then being gentlemanly enough not to accuse Mourinho of fielding a weakened team against him. 😛

    Lo Puto Amo Award: Pep Guardiola, for knowing exactly when and how to respond to provocation and how to look like a boss doing it. Media savvy? You bet!

    Special Award for Specialness Award: Who else? Jose “Por que?” Mourinho, who went from being a source of amusement in my eyes to an object of deep and utter loathing. Now that’s special!

    Most Evil Charity Award: UNICEF, apparently.

    Please Tell Me We Don’t Have to Do This Again Next Year Award: Four Clasicos in three weeks. I still haven’t recovered. I can’t even bear to think about the Supercup games in August. *shudder*

    I will love him, and hug him, and squeeze him, and I will call him George Award: Pablo Piatti. I just want to pick him up and cuddle him. Can’t we buy him? I’m sure he wouldn’t cost much, and Almeria could sure use the money.

    ”It’s a Victory For Football” Xavi Memorial Award: Jointly awarded to Shakhtar, for actually playing it instead of rugby or whatever RM was playing, and our entire team for making through the QuadrupleClasico madness more bonded than ever.

    Guilty Pleasure Award: Crackovia Mourinho, who almost makes me hope Mou sticks around for a while so they can continue to take the p*ss out of him.

    Iniestazo Award: Still the one he scored against Racing Santander after their goalkeeper punched it away. Love it!

    I Thought We Only Made Short Passes? Award: That long, perfectly accurate diagonal from Fontas to Pedro in the Almeria game. It still thrills me every time I see it, and I get all mushy when I see Xavi running to congratulate Fontas instead of pedro who actually scored the goal. Awww.

    Thank Our Lucky Stars Award: Iniesta making it through the entire season without a major injury. Hallelujah!

    DVOC Award: David Villa was offside 68 times in all league games, more than any other forward I could be bothered to check. (Llorente had 49 and Rossi only 20) Congratulations, David!

    !!!!!!!!!! Award: Messi, because I have run out of words to describe him. Please let us never take his genius for granted.

    And finally:

    Long Live the King! Award: Eric Abidal for coming through his cancer scare in record time, for his commitment to his team, and for being an all-round amazing human being. Cheers!

    This ended up being a lot longer than I expected….sorry!

    • Xingxian
      May 24, 2011


    • Barcaleya
      May 24, 2011

      Love your awards, Blitz!

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 25, 2011

      Love the awards. Thanks Blitzen.
      These blurbs have more than enough merit for them to be posts on their own. Can somebody do the honor of doing the right justice to these.

  16. May 24, 2011

    Xavi: “The players are close. We visit each other’s homes, hang out together… It’s the first time that happens, and I’m here for 13 years.” [barcastuff]

    Now, doesn’t that tell you something?

  17. Eklavya
    May 24, 2011

    -Match of the season:

    3-1 vs Arsenal. I prefer this one to Manita, just because CL > all other competitions, and we lost the first leg, and we were dominating this one and were still not being able to score. And when we finally did, we own-goal’ed one. Then somehow managed to score 2 more after creating 5783 chances. And then we almost gave it away in the last second when Bentdner almost scored. Adriano finally showed his potential, Mascherano silenced his (biased) critics. Overall, it left me with much more emotions in the end than the 5-0, plus a headache. 🙂

    – Toughest Match of The Season:

    Gotta be vs. Atheltic Bilbao. Damn, that was hard.
    Copenhagen were hard as well, but that in the group stage.

    – Best Celebration(s) of The Season:

    When Messi scored vs Arsenal, Iniesta came and fiercely hugged him it was so epic (sthu Jnice 🙂 ). The rest of team came and well and Pep’s celebration was representing my feeling so accurately, I was so thrilled (and relieved) at that time. We were gonna f**king do it!

    The team celebration when Messi scored the 2nd vs. EE in the CL was also great. I loved how Milito was the first one to get to Messi! He pretty much stayed till the end of this season just for that!

    Pedro and Villa’s celebration in the 2nd of the CL vs EE was also nice!

    – Stupidest Celebration(s) of The Season:

    This of course goes to our very own Cuddly Toy: Bojan, who had the “what the hell” celebrations vs Ceuta (gun shot to JDS) and Malaga (“I won the WC!!!”).

    – Funnest Match of the Season:

    8-0 vs Almeria. We scored goals for fun!

    – Slickest Match of The Season:

    3-1 vs Villareal. Great match to watch anytime! Great passing by both teams.

    – WTF! Match of The Season:

    3-0 vs Osasuna. We had to travel by train and arrive on time or else lose the 3 points. WTF!

    – Best Awards of The Season:

    Blitzen Awards win hands down.

    – Best review of the season:

    All Kxevin reviews!

    – Randomest match:

    The penalties vs Milan in the Gamper cup. What was Pirlo thinking! 😀

    – Least Enjoyable Moments:

    Messing up the preseason, Ibra fiasco, Abidal tumor, Busi allegations, conspiracy allegations, Mourinho.

    – Relief of The Season:

    Alves’s renewal.

    -Bad Timing of The Season:

    Isaiah’s piece of banning smoking in the Camp Nou came just when Alves’s renewed! Bad timing! :mrgreen:

    – Worst defending of the season:

    Goes to Pique who completely messed up his pass/clearance Levante (Deportivo?).

    – Best Comment of The Season:

    “Breaking News: Kari constructs conspiracy” one 😉

    – Random Comment of The Season:

    “Josep says:
    May 24, 2011 at 8:42 am
    i’m having pizza for dinner”

    – Surprise of The Season:

    Messi winning the Ballon d’Or. The ceremony on that day was hilarious as well.

    – Expression of The Season:

    Messi’s expression when he saw the holograms during the Ballon d’Or ceremony! It was priceless, he must have been thinking that it was PES 2012 demo or something 😀

    I think I’ve covered it all, but I’m sure I’m forgetting something!

    • Vj
      May 24, 2011

      Suspensions of the season:
      – Eklavya, for swearing and being a racist in the LB.

    • blitzen
      May 24, 2011

      Awesome list, Eklavya! 😀

    • Barcaleya
      May 24, 2011


    • Eklavya
      May 25, 2011


  18. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 24, 2011

    From Sports Ilustrated :

    A tactical preview of Barça v Manchester United.

    • May 24, 2011

      Wait a minute …. WHAT!!!!

      but still, there is an element of fortune that nobody has caught their studs in the turf while turning, or taken a whack on the knee or ankle at the wrong angle.

      He’s right, I suppose. Just tumors, tendinitis, fatigue, various pulls and tears, Jeffren, knee injuries. If that’s luck, I’d hate to see bad luck.

    • Lev
      May 24, 2011

      idk dude. we are lucky that we had cover for the injuries we did have. Any long term injury to our MVP + Xaviniesta might have been harder to replace.

    • Josep
      May 24, 2011

      I actually tweeted Jonathan about this and he responded with “compared to United, Arsenal, Chelsea… very lucky. Nobody out for protracted spell.”

      Now he’s a great writer, but maybe he doesn’t realize how thin the squad is and how vital each player is. One player from 18 missing 3 months >>>>> 1 of 30 missing 7 months.

      I did reference abi, puyi, then maxwell and adriano’s simultaneous injuries but he didn’t respond after the first message.

    • soccermomof4
      May 24, 2011

      I was thinking the same thing.

      There was a time when we were contemplating life without Xavi. Messi’s ankle v Ujfalusi. Puyi’s been gone almost half the season. Puyi’s replacement was gone for months and only divine intervention and exemplary dedication brought him back to us before the end of the season. Milito’s either been injured or off form for the whole year. Pedro’s been out a couple of times. We lost CT just when it looked like he had gotten some semblance of form back. Jeffren, nuff said. Goodness, even Alves was out for a while and it takes an act of God to get him off the field. There were games without fullbacks. We’ve used a B team CB as a LB, DMs as CBs. And then there’s the fatigue factor. What other team had so many players without a real preseason? All this with a teeny tiny squad.

      SI dude needs to get his facts straight.

    • Nik
      May 24, 2011

      He’s also got this gem a few lines down:

      Eric Abidal, having had a tumor removed from his liver in March –the one Barca player to suffer misfortune with his health

      Obviously, Abi’s was the most serious out of all of them, but WTF is this guy smoking? I’m glad to see that Pedro, Puyol, Adriano, Maxwell, and Xavi all haven’t had ANY health problems this season. /sarcasm Their injuries don’t compare to the life-threatening implications of a tumor, but to say the others didn’t “suffer misfortune” with their health is ridiculous.

    • Nik
      May 24, 2011

      Ah, forgot to include Jeffren, Milito, and Bojan in the list. There are probably others I’m forgetting, sadly.

    • Josep
      May 24, 2011

      the weird part is he’s a fantastic writer and does great research. I don’t know why he wrote such an off article though. great tactical analyzer though. JSmooth said he weighed injuries like TV and Valencia vs. length of Abidal, which I guess.. but those teams had huge squads to rotate.

    • Ryan
      May 24, 2011

      It seems like the writer wanted to continue his narrative of Barcelona not having any injuries rather than actually go with the facts. Even Abidal’s tumor is handled pretty lightly… and nobody reading the article can look at comments to see corrections to what he wrote.

  19. Humphrey Bogart
    May 24, 2011

    On the german TV they just show the 2006 finale again, with Marquez and Gio, the good old times

    • Humphrey Bogart
      May 24, 2011

      and of course VV still with hair

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011


      Where did you watch it, I suppose on Sky Sport. But the schedule says they started with the 2007 final at 3.30 pm CEST. I don’t see the 2006 final scheduled on the website…

      According to the TV schedule I found, they’ll show the 2009 final on 7.30 pm. Will watch it!

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      Hey Helge (and Humphrey Bogart), what German channels do you get Barca matches on? The only German channels I have are SF, SF Zwei (great channel!) and ZDF. As far as I know, they only show Barca when it’s champions league. Except for ZDF, which showed the CDR final.

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011

      I don’t even know SF.

      I have Sky Sport (not Sky Sports UK or Sky Italia) football package, but it doesn’t show any la Liga matches. There’s no possibility to watch la Liga live on German TV, neither free- nor pay-TV 🙁
      But at least I can watch every single CL match (or a multicast) on Sky Sports!

      ZDF made an exception by showing the CDR final, they never showed it (or any Spanish football) before. The Champions League is this season on Sat.1, but it’ll be at ZDF for the next 3 or 4 seasons. They show one CL match per week, and it’s usually a Wednesday match. Of course, they also broadcast the final on Saturday, for free.

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      Yeah, I have loads to channels to watch CL football from. Italian channel = Italian match, German channel = German match, Swiss channel = best matches just because they are neutral 🙂

    • Humphrey Bogart
      May 24, 2011

      Hey Helga,

      the show the 2007,2008,2009,2010 on Sky sports 1, the 2006 was on Sky sports HD 1

  20. guano
    May 24, 2011

    Iniesta’s standing ovations

    • May 25, 2011

      Thanks XavIniestAbidaLeo ! Interesting read indeed…and proud indeed I feel! Football love in its purest of forms 🙂

  21. K_legit
    May 24, 2011

    random fact of the day:
    Thiago (735 minutes) has played more minutes with the first than Canales (554 minutes) while being part of the Barça B team..

    *The numbers were quoted by a EE-ista should take it with a kilo of salt but they strike me as being fairly accurate

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011

      And there are rumours that Canales goes to Villarreal.
      Damn, that was a great deal, right? 😀

      Considerung that EE will probably still buy Aguero and Coentrao (Bayern Munich gave up on him due to the requested transfer fee of Benfica), all the youngsters should ask themsevles whether it makes sense to continue at Real. And even if they buy you back (cf. Callejon) you’ll end up on the bench – or does anybody believe Callejon will play a role in the upcoming season???

    • May 24, 2011

      “does anybody believe Callejon will play a role in the upcoming season???”

      Yes, replacing Pedro Leon as bench warmer — this time, it’s Mourinho’s first choice bench warmer rather than Valdano’s first choice bench warmer.

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      I thought the said the same thing when Altintop was signed 😀

      Kari, hasn’t it been over a month now? Time to change your name back?

    • K_legit
      May 24, 2011

      And now I hear rumours of BANGS to EE..bleh as long as we get the 24 mill I don’t give a flying fuck where he e.nds up!
      I don’t think Milan will let him go, mind

    • culegirl3
      May 24, 2011

      Rooster hair boy knows he won’t be seeing any action..every canterano from EE knows it. If he’s been bought its to be a back up plan for Benzema and his erratic performances. He’s still behind TB and Higuain.
      They get trained, then they’re sold and most of the time they don’t come back. EE doesn’t believe in shaping their youngsters and keeping them, they’re just used for profit so they can bring the big guns in.
      I don’t understand why anyone would want to be a part an institution like that.

    • K_legit
      May 24, 2011

      I love Sid Lowe’s nickname for Callejon: Jedward 😀

    • blitzen
      May 24, 2011

      According to the comparador at, in league games only, Canales has played 302 minutes and Thiago has played 688. Canales has started only 3 out of his 10 games, while Thiago has started 6 of 12. Thiago has also recovered an astonishing 34 balls, considering the number of minutes he played (Xavi recovered 89, for comparison).

      Wasn’t Canales supposed to be the Next Big Thing coming out of Madrid?

    • blitzen
      May 24, 2011

      I just checked, and even Jeffren played more minutes than Canales did this season. 😆

    • Ryan
      May 24, 2011

      Canales was the next big thing coming out of Sporting – his move to Madrid halted his progression. A shame too, as watching him and Thiago play together in la Rojita was fun.

    • K_legit
      May 24, 2011

      Canales is a Santander boy not a HeeHon one Ryan :p

    • Ryan
      May 24, 2011

      Hehe, you’re right. Not sure why I wrote Sporting on there. 😆

  22. Liva
    May 24, 2011

    This is pretty awesome: the plane, with which the team will travel to London, today was covered with pictures of the entire team. I remember there were pictures before with the plane that they were supposed to be flying with, but this is different, the previous one didn’t have any pictures, I think.

    It’s a pity that they don’t have a picture of how it looked like at the end, I hope it will appear somewhere later. But it is funny to imagine how all of the workers who had to do it must have panicked when they found out that Barca are going to travel already today (or maybe they didn’t if they had planned to do it today anyway). 😀

    • Ryan
      May 24, 2011

      Is that Thiago who gets his face covered by the door? Poor fella! 😛

  23. Eklavya
    May 24, 2011

    In other news, reports are coming out that De Gea to ManU is a done deal. The fee is ~£17M. Well I rate De Gea less than Neuer and Lloris, so it’s a bother for me. It’ll be fun to see him play regularly, he might called up for Spain in the coming seasons.

    • Eklavya
      May 24, 2011

      *so it’s NOT a bother for me. Stupid typos ruin everything!

  24. blitzen
    May 24, 2011

    I am really enjoying reading all your lists! I have thought of a few of my favourite goal celebrations from the season:

    -Others have mentioned it already, but Iniesta’s leap of joy onto Messi after the goal against Arsenal is one of the best moments of the season for me!
    -Puyol’s heart for his girlfriend.
    -Following Pedro’s goal in the first Clasico, Villa grabs his shirt and drags him along behind him while celebrating almost as if he had scored the goal himself 😆
    -Xavi’s reaction to Jeffren’s goal in the same game (someone must have that clip, I can’t find it right now)
    -not a celebration, but Casillas’ Iker Face after every goal in that game was priceless 😛
    -Dani refusing to celebrate after scoring on Sevilla
    -Iniesta looking so proud as he does the thumb-sucking thing after scoring for his little girl. Awww!
    -Abidal’s hilarious backward walking
    -Not a goal celebration, but Keita taking his shirt off after a match to show a message of support for his “brother” Abidal. I love our team.

    • May 24, 2011

      Xavi’s reaction to Jeffren’s goal in the same game

      That clip was taken down 🙁

  25. Josep
    May 24, 2011

    sporting are going to pip us to the league title next year
    with our players

  26. Humphrey Bogart
    May 24, 2011

    Hallo Helge,

    it was on Sky Sports HD 1, the finals from 2007-2010 are on Sky sport 1.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      May 24, 2011

      and you can watch a lot of La liga games here:, they even have german commentary, the show every EE game, every Barca game and some others

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011

      Yes, I already knew about it.

      But I don’t really like their broadcasts, the commentators are sooo bad and delusional, as soon as Barça doesn’t beat and outplay its opponent by 4-0 or better, they start to criticize them.
      And it’s not the same quality as on TV :/

      I already asked Sky if I can expect some la Liga next season, but it doesn’t look good… sucks!

      Maybe now that Sahin is also @ Madrid, they’ll overthink the decision.

      I’ve been mainly watching via GolTV (Ray Hudson) on TVU Player, but since some months, the sound doesn’t work anymore, so now I’ve been watching laola1 (but usually muted^^).

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011

      Ah, okay, now I see… or I actually don’t see because I don’t have Sky Sport HD 🙂

  27. soccermomof4
    May 24, 2011

    Match squad (vs Man United): 25 players. All first team players. 4 B-team players: Mino, Oier, Fontas, Thiago #fcblive

    Everyone’s available, what an embarrassment of riches!

    • soccermomof4
      May 24, 2011

      I guess except for Pinto 🙁

  28. blitzen
    May 24, 2011

    Raiola denies the Ibra to Madrid rumours:

    “I don’t know anything about interest from Mourinho. He hasn’t called Milan or myself.

    “Ibra is fundamental to a team that wants to win because he brings with him his quality as a player and his mental strength.

    “These things are important for the changing room and both Mourinho and Mancini know that.

    “But the fact is it must be (Real president) Florentino Perez who calls (Milan vice-president Adriano) Galliani to come to an agreement.

    “But it seems impossible to me that Zlatan will change teams this year for two reasons: firstly Milan don’t want to sell him and secondly because he doesn’t want to leave, even if Mourinho calls.

    “But if tomorrow Perez gives Galliani 100 million euros, then it’s Galliani’s problem. We’ll only decide after that and the player always has the last word.”

  29. poipoi
    May 24, 2011

    Best moment… villa’s 2nd vs EE and mou’s face after it. Sal del banquillo! Mourinho sal del banquillo let’s not forget that.
    Worst, football speaking, to me was van persie r

  30. blitzen
    May 24, 2011

    In other news, Paolo Di Canio has been appointed manager of Swindon Town, an English League Two side. One of the club’s sponsors has already withdrawn in protest.

    Interesting. In a horrifying sort of way.

  31. poipoi
    May 24, 2011

    Sorry, I’m in the train and damm dolphin browser in my phone is going crazy…. * red I erased all memories of CDR ; arsenal game in camp nou was big let down for me

  32. Jnice
    May 24, 2011

    Revista De La Liga 05- 24-11

    / De La Liga – 24-05-11.avi


    Credit to Pakman at

    • K_legit
      May 24, 2011

      Muchas gracias Jnice 🙂

    • May 24, 2011

      Coming from a Real Madrid perspective, a VERY VERY bad episode Real Madrid wise. Mark takes his biasness to a whole new level and finally Graham shut him up and described him as: A dog with a bone. I hope Mark goes back to normal next year, because he wasn’t this bad before.

    • Jnice
      May 24, 2011

      I think he dislikes Mourinho more than he dislikes Madrid.

    • May 24, 2011

      Yea he is very anti-Mourinho. But you can be anti mourinho and still do a proper journalistic work no? He seems to be stifling any intelligent communication with his stats and just rude interruptions. And it looks obvious on Graham and Balague’s face that they are getting tired of it.

  33. blitzen
    May 24, 2011

    Mascherano speaking English. Wah!

    “Hernandez is a very, very good player. I knew him when he was in Mexico but it was a big surprise when he came to England. He is having a fantastic season. “

    And also, there is a rumour going about that Goldie Forlan might follow Maradona to Dubai to be Al Wasl’s new star striker.

    • Ryan
      May 24, 2011

      I think I’ll always see “chut de bol to me” video whenever I hear Masch speaking English. 😀

      By the way, you gotta love Masch’s humility and willingness to contribute from the bench!

  34. Whatever
    May 24, 2011

    I don’t really care who Madrid sign, but this doesn’t make sense to me: Reports are saying that they have signed Contreao. If these are true, I’m asking why? Marcelo is a world-class LB.

    • K_legit
      May 24, 2011

      Marcelo is a world-class LB.

    • Helge
      May 24, 2011

      Indeed, he has become a world-class LB this season. He’s among the top 8 LBs imo. Offensively, even among the top 3!

  35. gowtham
    May 24, 2011

    Award TIMMMEEEEEEE!!!!!

    Celebration of the Season: Iniesta hugging Messi in Arsenal game, and THAT Villa celebration, and Abidal’s “I can run as fast backward as I can forward” celebration at San Mames.

    Goal of the Season: I loved Messi’s second goal vs EE in Cl Semi’s, but his first goal against Arsenal is the BOMB. We’ve seen players waltze past players before, heck! we’ve even seen Messi do it more than once, but the man had TOO much audacity and confidence to chip the keeper from such a distance and then tuck the ball in.

    Player of the Season: MESSI…he’s aight…

    assist of the season: I must be honest, I liked Messi’s assist to Villa for his second goal in the Manita game more than any of Messi’s goals. That was just wicked. One of the highlights for me!

    Saddest Moment of the Year:
    I was sad when I heard about Abidal, about to cry btw…
    But I was pissed-off when I heard about the shirt sponsorship!

    Happiest Moment:
    Minute 88 vs Real Madrid Champions League Semi-Finals 2nd Leg: LE ROI coming on for THE KING(Puyol)

    hardest loss: Copa Del Rey…hate losing against EE.

  36. May 24, 2011

    Don’t know if this has already been discussed, but did anyone read Phil Ball’s last column

    Says there’s no manager of the season, but Mourinho provided the most “entertainment”. For the player of the season, he says “I guess Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the title for his historic feats, but Leo Messi was awesome again.” Team of the season is Valencia.

    Reading his column you wouldn’t actually think Barca won anything this year. I normally like hie stuff and I hate throwing around accusations of bias (I’ve read “Morbo” and found it to be fairly even-handed, if a touch supportive of the Madrid position), but this column was quite irksome.

    • May 24, 2011

      Naw, after the 4 clasicos, it’s safe to say we know where Phil Ball and Sid Lowe stand 😉 I know Sid gets accused from both sides, but really, after his tweets, he brings it upon himself. I haven’t forgiven him re: Busi

  37. Diego
    May 24, 2011

    I’ve just joined Twitter 😀

    Accounts of fellow BFBers and other interesting people “Like this Sid Lowe I keep hearing about?” would be very much appreciated.

    • May 24, 2011

      I only know @barcastuff and @sidlowe. Oh, and @optajose, @messistats, @2010misterchip

    • Diego
      May 24, 2011

      Thanks. Aren’t you going to join us ? 🙂

    • Diego
      May 24, 2011

      I’ve found Eek-Love-Ya and Jnice.

    • May 24, 2011

      For a Barcelona fan, or actually any fan that is interested in Barcelona news, i would suggest you follow @BarcaTheOffside. Ade does a really good job at translating everything that is said by the Barcelona players. It allows me to know what exactly im hating when i read Pique and Puyol tweeting to each other 😉

      I would follow all the Opta team, well worth it.

      For other La Liga sources, @aupasubmarino is a good source of Villareal news and random La Liga news. Fun guy who is very interactive.

      @madridatleticos is a good source for Atletico Madrid news and they seem to be very respected among journalists as they go to the interviews and press conferences that happen.

      @BumperGraham is Graham hunter from Revista. Doesn’t tweet much, but he replied once to Eek-Love-Ya. @GuillemBalague is a nice person to follow. If he tells you its 10 pm, don’t believe him right away. I would check my watch again. But he is fun to follow.

      If you want to follow the best blog alive, i will humbly direct you towards our very own blog, @Real_RMFB. Believe it or not, Kaushik who runs the account is very cool headed.

      Last and of course who is least, you can follow Isiah on @fcbfootballblog. He is ok to follow if you like this thing called Barcelona 😉

      Hope this helps!

    • Diego
      May 24, 2011

      Thank you, Bassam.

  38. May 24, 2011

    Awesome post, and awesome comments! Agree with almost everyone, this season has been a tremendous high!

    My manager of the season would have to be Pep Guardiola though, not because I’m a Barca fan, but because of the way he’s practically carried the team this season. To keep the team united and motivated with their fighting spirits intact after *everything* they’ve faced this season, to know when to take the high road and when to take on Mourinho and stand up for his team…he has been impeccable. It’s crazy to think of the amount of pressure when every game and every point matters. Against a team as good as Real Madrid, the third consecutive Liga is huge. Pep never gets enough credit, it’s always “this team coaches itself”, but former players give us some idea as to just how important Pep is in the scheme of things.

    Also, “Most heart-attack inducing half this season” would have to be our second half against Arsenal at home, after Busi tried to make things more exciting with an own goal. I swear I didn’t breathe for a substantial period of time during that game!

    • Nav
      May 24, 2011

      Everytime I see someone say “barca coaches itself” I make it a mental note to not ever take that idiot seriously ever again.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 25, 2011

      Wow, that is an unbelievable keep ball in the end of the video. Messi must have had at least 50 touches before dropping the ball.

  39. K_legit
    May 24, 2011

    Awesome revista this one..Bolton and Hunter really going at it.. 😀

  40. K_legit
    May 24, 2011

    lol yeah i know Kaushik and i didn’t know he ran that twitter account..he’s an absolute twitter addict 😀

  41. May 24, 2011

    My favorite moments of the season:

    -Abidal coming back in 2nd leg against RM and being tossed in the air by the players after the game
    -As everyone is saying, THAT GOAL
    -Messi kisses the badge, don’t remember which game but it was a few matches ago
    -The whole Manita
    -Reading the BFB liveblog of 2nd leg of Barca-Arsenal on my phone in a pizza parlor because I couldn’t watch the game

    • May 24, 2011

      Man, I can’t imagine how excruciating the last point (about following via the LiveBlog) must have been! I think I would have been dying, especially with our tendency of one word exclamations.

    • Nav
      May 24, 2011

      I was in a meeting and I kept on sneaking out “to check on a process” to check the score. 😀

    • May 24, 2011

      It was nerve-wracking but I was so happy when we made it. And yeah, whenever there was a ‘Nooooooo’ or something like that I would freak out.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 25, 2011

      Nice article indeed!

  42. May 24, 2011

    Sport is reporting that Barca are negotiating the transfer of Kiko Femenia from Hercules and that a deal is in an advanced state.

    Obviously take it with a grain of salt. It’s sport. But this just seems like a name that is so random that there could very well be something to it.

    Basically Sport is saying that Barca does not want to spend a great deal of money this summer and are looking for less costly alternatives. Thus the interest in Jose Angel and now Femenia.

    I know next to nothing about this player. He’s 20 and plays on the right flank. He’s represented Spain at the youth ranks. And he played for Hercules in both matches against Barca (match 1 as a substitute – second match as a starter). He started 21 matches this season. Hercules evidently have rated him at 10M in the past but now that they are going down have to sell him. The price for Barca would be around 4M. Supposedly Valencia and Villareal are also looking to sign him also.

    Just reading tea leaves – I’d have to guess that Barca’s interest would be to have him play at RB. Doesn’t make sense to sign him as a midfielder where he played for Hercules. Given how the Barca full backs play they may see Femenia as a player who could be fit into the FB position in the system.

    Who knows what’s true – but it does seem like Barca is looking to add players for next year and that they are looking to find players who are talented but won’t be that expensive but do have some first team Liga experience. Given those requirements it’s going to be young players who fit the bill. It’s a risky strategy but one that has some upside if you really believe in their talent.

    Cules often talk about not wanting to bring in young players from the outside given the message it would send to the players at La Masia. Not sure if Pep sees it that same way. This year it become even more clear that Pep is committed to the youth development but wants to integrate those players very, very slowly. Even the most mature players in the B team have brought along slowly and even then much of their playing time was only due to absolute need from injury. Fontas is an extremely mature player – but even he was used sparingly despite the disaster at CB late this season.

    These potential transfers may also speak to where the team sees the the full back situation at La Masia. There aren’t any clear standouts at LB. And on the right there probably isn’t a player who can assume significant first team playing time next season.

    Next season we could see a back line where Abidal is at CB with Puyol at CB. Adriano would then play at LB opposite Dani and the two full backs may be backed up by two very young players.

    Adding relatively inexpensive back ups at FB would allow Barca to spend on a striker and another 1-2 CB (2 if Botia is one of those CB as he only costs 2m).

    If Barca have 40M to spend – botia + two young full backs = 10M. That would leave 30M for a striker.

    • Dani_el
      May 24, 2011

      Last time I think Rosell said we had 50M for signings, and I read in sport also that those 2 young signings would be for Barça B, and that it was a great sign for young players, that they’re willing to play in segunda just to get a shot of being with the first team for some games, and maybe deserve a place in the first team.

    • May 24, 2011

      I was throwing 40M out there as a conservative figure as it’s been reported they would have 40-50. I do think Rosell said 50M but I thought even with him it was something to the effect of “approximately” 50M.

      And then they would supposedly have money from players they sell – it’s unclear how that gets factored in to the 40-50M. Does Ibra’s sale already get booked to that 50M? I’d guess it does. But then if they sell a player like Maxwell – that would likely be on top of the 50M. But how knows.

      I do hope it’s 50+ sales of players like Maxwell, Milito, etc. If they get Botia + 2 young players = 10M, that would leave them with 40M. If they could get a striker for 25M they could still get another CB for 15M.

      I’d imagine if they did sign young players like Angel and Femenia both would spend a considerable amount of time with Barca B – especially early on but would also then make the first team on a regular basis.

      It is a real testament to the team that talented young players are willing to come to barca and spend time on the b team after having been with first team Liga sides this season.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 24, 2011

      I’ve heard Jose Angel’s name before, but I’ve never heard anything about Kiko Femenia…

      do you think our main backline will be Adriano – Abidal – Puyol – Alves next season, Euler?
      Piqué will be a benchwarmer?

    • May 24, 2011

      I don’t think Puyol will be counted on as a starter next season. There’s a chance that right after the season he’ll need surgery on his knee.

      At his age it’s difficult to count on him as an every game starter. I think we are going to see Adriano-Abidal-Pique-Alves as the starting 4 with Puyol as the 3rd CB or perhaps even 4th CB depending on how important the match is. Against lesser sides I could see Fontas playing ahead of Puyol.

      If Puyol regains health in his knee I think Pep will use him for big matches e.g. RM and the CL. Otherwise he is going to rest Puyol and use him sparingly to avoid wear and tear.

      This is why I think it’s important for Barca to start looking for the player who will pair with Pique long term. Abidal is over 30 himself and has now had his own health problems. Fontas isn’t the ideal partner for Pique. And we don’t know what the club think of Botia yet. I don’t see him as a long term starter either.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 25, 2011

      so true, we need to find the right long-term partner for Piqué…

      both Puyol and Abidal are in their 30s…

      what about Mascherano? can you see him a CB starter and partnering with Piqué for long term?

      I’m still hoping for Sakho…

    • Dani_el
      May 25, 2011

      What do you think about Sakho, I’ve seen a few videos of him, and he seems fast, pacey, anticipates well, and I know it doesnt show so much from videos, but he seems to have leadership skills (being captain an all)

    • barca96
      May 25, 2011

      I’ve never seen Sakho play so decided to Youtube him. His tackles looked pretty rash. And some on his own videos, are really poor tackles. Don’t know why that dude who uploaded it decided to put his poor tackles on the video while he is trying to promote the player 😆

    • Barcaleya
      May 25, 2011

      I think Femenia is going to Barca B.

  43. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 24, 2011

    “Barça coaches itself?”

    I’ve read someone wrote “Pep is a great coach? please, even an elementary school kid can coach Barça!”

    one the most underrated coach, indeed… that’s why I really love the interview between The Independent and Gudjohnsen… he told us what a lot of people don’t understand, that Pep is the key man in the team…

    by the by, what’s Diego twitter account? 😀

    • Dani_el
      May 25, 2011

      Pep is awesome, without him I dont think this team would play such a beautiful football. I’ve seen Rikjaard’s Barça, and sometimes they played on the counterattack, Dinho was great though, and Valdez, Puyi and Xavi-niesta were already great…
      I didnt like Deco that much, now I did like Cruyff’s dream team, and also Cruyff as a player, I downloaded the 0-5 in the bernabeu of 74′ I think, with my compatriot Hugo Sotil, and they played awesome!

    • Diego
      May 25, 2011



      I think I’m already following you if I’m not mistaken.

  44. barca96
    May 25, 2011

    Josep posted this;
    i’m having pizza for dinner

    How come nobody picked it up? So ultra random!!! 😆
    I LMFAO in the office.

    • Eklavya
      May 25, 2011

      If you read my comment you will see that I picked it up…

    • Josep
      May 25, 2011

      You responded to me on twitter. Also the pizza was so good I could only have two slices.

      but guess who has leftover pizza for lunch today!

  45. tutomate
    May 25, 2011

    Love that Kxevin made a new injury category called “jeffren”.

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