BFB’s Groundbreaking News. Fo’ sho’, bro.

Hello there.

You may reading this post hoping there is something of value to read (i.e. a deal has been announced). Or an Old Spice rendition of some sort. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but there is no such news and no such rendition.

However, something groundbreaking has happened today, so groundbreaking in fact that it deserves its own post. Here at BFB, we dedicate ourselves to reporting the most important and relevant news on the net to you, the reader. And without further ado, prepare to be fabregasted—uh, I mean flabbergasted.


At 4:40pm EST Tuesday, Barcelona forward David Villa scored a long range effort. From a freekick. In Venezuela. It is undetermined whether Spanish medics slipped something into Mr. Villa’s Gatorade, but sources close to BFB had this to say:

“Yes, it’s true [that Villa scored from a freekick]. It surprised not only us, but the players too. The opposition keeper obviously wasn’t suspecting it — he was sure it would rebound of the post. The man in the Osaka shirt in Row Q evidently thought it was for him, and we did too.”

Asked what they might feel the cause of this strange incident was, the sources remained tight lipped. However, they did hint that the continued absence of teammate Dani Alves might have been a major factor.

The man in the Osaka shirt refused to comment.

THIS JUST IN: we have video evidence.

And apparently Pedro!! also scored. Incredible. That’s VP of MVP. Now all we need is Messi and…oh. Right. It was Spain playing. Nevermind, just move along folks.

And so, because there is nothing to move along to, I leave you with a goodbye and possibly the greatest video you will ever see.

And laughing at you. Heheheheheh.

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Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Reaper
    June 7, 2011

    I always wondered why he didn’t take more long range free-kicks for us. He was spectacular for Valencia

    • blitzen
      June 8, 2011

      He has always been very good at free-kicks, but there is a hierarchy in place. Messi, then Dani. Unfortunately, unless Pep or Tito actually directs them to let Villa take them, I don’t see that changing.

  2. Reaper
    June 7, 2011

    Kari, if you had to choose between Sanchez and Rossi, who would it be?

    • June 7, 2011

      Sanchez. Think he’d offer more and we wouldn’t be weakening Villareal. He’s boss for Chile, and his partnership with Di Natale in Udinese is something to behold.

      Also, getting Alexis means Bojangles (definitely) stays. 8)

      Although, with Udinese qualifying for the CL playoffs, it’ll be very difficult to get them to let him go…

      • Reaper
        June 7, 2011

        Fair enough – I haven’t seen much of him compared to what i’ve seen of Rossi. YT makes anyone look good so was checking.. is he a better bet when it comes to defensive duties too?

        • barca96
          June 8, 2011

          Reaper, you can find the answers to your questions.
          Our resident experts already answered it 🙂

          we wouldn’t be weakening Villareal

          Are you a fan of Barca or Villareal Kari? I don’t really understand why a fan of an opposing team would wish like that..I’m a fan of Barca and only Barca in La Liga. I want us to win and win 🙂

      • Eklavya
        June 8, 2011

        Kari, if the rumors are to be believed, Bojan will be included in the deal we’re going to make with Udinese for Sanchez.

        • barca96
          June 8, 2011

          Bojan will not leave Barca. He will tie himself up to the goal post. I bet he’s already got a lock ready somewhere in the locker room. Every summer and winter he hears this kind of rumors. Poor Cuddly Toy…

  3. just listenin
    June 8, 2011

    This is interesting to me about Villa. I have to get numbers now to understand something. He is Spain’s all time leading scorer. He has scored 50+ goals in his last two Liga season prior to joining Barca. He plays consistently with a confidence and dangerous edge with the NT that seems to elude him at Barca where he plays with one very small in stature but ginormous presence in Messi and he seems a different player disposition-ally in some ways, system, adaptation, fatigue aside. Some people aren’t good second bananas, not that they don’t want to or aren’t willing to, but psychologically, they struggle. Others make a career at it (see Ed MacMahon and Dr. Watson, and Ferb). Or is he being too nice and brimming with optimism and good will like his Cackovia character instead of being an edgy predatory striker. I wonder about a few stats…

    Villa goals/min or game with Barca, with and without Messi on pitch, – does he score more or less frequently alongside Messi?
    Goals/min or game with Spain NT and Valencia prior 2-3 seasons?
    How many goals or goals/min from penalties and free kicks on NT and in previous 2-3 Liga seasons w/Valencia?

    Would be interesting to see and compare.

    • Barcaleya
      June 8, 2011

      I think that Villa has difficulty with his timing at Barca.

      Because he is being retrained in the Barca way – he ends up thinking about what he has to do instead of relying on his instincts and memory. He loses half a second when he thinks, thus losing his timing for shots.

      In Valencia and the NT, he just shoots when he has to based on his experience/memory of the game. At Barca, they do all these complicated passes because those passes are all calculated. They know how far the ball would normally go if lost so that they are where they should be to retrieve it. Other teams don’t do that. They just shoot and won’t know where the ball will land if the ball doesn’t go on goal.

      In a way, Barcelona is conservative. They shoot at areas with the highest percentage for goal and also at areas where they are most likely to get the ball back if ball is saved or stolen. They don’t shoot when they don’t know where the ball will land because then it might go to the opponent, leading to a goal. Especially since they’re all so high-up, they can’t take too many chances of the ball being lost and going the other way.

      It’s a very complicated, calculated way of playing. And if you play a sport, you know how difficult it is to undo something you’ve done for so long. Instead of relying on your instincts, you stop and make yourself do the action you’re trying to learn. All that is good at practice. In a fast-paced, intense match – this leads to second-guessing yourself or stopping for a half-second to think and that makes all the difference on whether the shot will go in or hit the post or just fly out.

      Also, he was never made to track back and press so much before. This is quite exhausting and he is still trying to adjust to it. I think he will be much better this coming season. Especially if there is someone whom he can rotate with for the all-important rest.

      • Barcaleya
        June 8, 2011

        So I think, that’s what’s wrong with Villa last season. Not that he can’t deal with being second bananas. I really think it’s adapting to the kind of game Barca is trying to perfect. And they’re better at it this season than the previous ones.

        • can_we_go_Xalvies
          June 8, 2011

          On Villa’s Wikipedia page, its says his last season was the first season where he reached up to 50 apps in all comps, He was equal second most started player in the current Barca squad last season.

          in 50 apps, hes hit an almost 50% goal/game ratio, which is not bad, given that its hard to maintain consistency over 6-8 months.

          • Extreme barca fan
            June 8, 2011

            Back in 1996 we paid 17 million us dollars for a teenager, and that was in 1996, so its not so strange

      • just listenin
        June 8, 2011

        That’s a good way to put it, agree with you, and empathize with the challenges on the change, adapting and conditioning issues. I was thinking about it in terms of decision making too as another perspective, in terms of how quickly you need to decide and make the choices to dish an additional pass or pull the trigger in Barca – This is kind of what you mean by timing? I think maybe this may account for the difference in “confidence” that there appears to be as well. Difficult to be confident when your doing something new – it almost like playing a different game, right?

        • Barcaleya
          June 8, 2011

          Yes. I’m going to discuss a completely different sport but relevant in the effect of unlearning something you’re used to and doing new things.

          I’ve played table tennis for years and years and learned it without real training from pros. So I have certain shots that come instinctively and from pure muscle memory. There are also many shots I don’t know to do or don’t do automatically such as spins. With spins, you have to wait til the ball is lower than the table (instead of hitting it at its apex on top of the table), then hit the ball very delicately, almost tangentially to generate the spin.

          When I train and try do these, I usually lose my competitive matches. I’m thrown off my normal timing as I have to wait a half-second longer to hit the ball and then I have to think how to hit it. I usually fail to execute the shot. When I do and when I’ve done it enough (cause I still haven’t mastered it) it will become second nature to me and will do it correctly and well. But right now, I automatically prepare to do what I’m used to, then stop and wait, then think how to hit the shot and it usually comes out wrong. This is what’s happening to David.

          He is being asked to do that extra pass. Wait a little longer than when he would normally just shoot. He has to think where he has to be, look up to see where his teammates are, etc. All these kinda affects his timing. He used to just hit instinctively. Now, he has to think. Messi, Iniesta and Xavi don’t have to think cause they’re so used already. The passes, the moves, the field vision are ingrained in them. Villa doesn’t have this yet. And unlike other players who are just expected to make the pass, be at some point, move this way – strikers need to score. That’s also the extra pressure on Villa.

          Look at Alves. I think that he’s a relatively good shooter. He could score more goals if he wants to. But he doesn’t try as much. We keep shouting “chut de bol” but he doesn’t. I think it’s a calculation on his part that if he shoots where he is and don’t score, they won’t be able to retrieve the ball. Or just that it would be better to make the pass as the other person has a higher percentage of putting the ball in the net. They’re trained differently. It’s not just shoot when you think you can. It’s shooting and also being able to gauge where the ball will land or go if it doesn’t go in the goal. They’re one move ahead. Theirs is a game of possession. They have to be able to get back the ball when they lose it and all these are calculated.

          This I think is what Pep has done.

          I trust Villa will be so much better this season. Once this kind of game becomes second-nature to him, he will be making those shots as accurately as in his Valencia/NT days.

          So, it looks to us as if it’s a decision-making problem for Villa. In a way, it is. But just because he’s not used to doing those before. Once he does those passes over and over, and the imprint of the field, where his teammates are, etc are stuck in his mind, he will be doing things silkily like Ini and Messi and Xavi. As I said, it will become instinctive and it will look like he’s deciding well when in fact he’s just doing it instinctively already.

          • June 8, 2011

            I will note that this is precisely why every first-year striker at Barcelona struggles. It’s worth thinking about before cules label people “failures.”

            Eto’o was all over the place when he started with us. So was Henry and Ibrahimovic, and now Villa. It happens. Hopefully what people have learned is patience and understanding for how tough our system is.

            About the only striker I’ve seen who dropped right in with the magic was Right Ronaldo, but we weren’t playing the same system at that time.

          • just listenin
            June 8, 2011

            Good discussion. I completely understand what your saying, and have experienced it as well. I agree a with this a lot. I actually think Villa will do much better next season too and I’ve said before that I think he has more potential in our system than most any other striker we could get (though many disagree, but so what), and not just because he’s “a good guy”, I think if/when he does adapt, he will be lethal, and has shown moments of this already.

            I was reacting to the “swagger” or confidence difference I see with him outside Barca, and was wondering how much of it might be the confidence in style of play (and the resulting frustration of leopard trying to change his spots) and what component of it may be resulting from a different role. You know how at work sometimes people act different with their superiors than their subordinates… not even intentionally, but it happens. I was wondering about the chicken-egg aspect, confidence level of going from big fish in a smaller pond to new kid on the block in a team that plays at the absolute highest levels… etc. Subconsciously, not any animosity or ego problems about his role… I don’t think it is a humility issue or anything conscious with Villa in the least, but it is an element of additional change to be playing in a different “culture” with players of such immense talent and credential – this conversation has convinced me that it is at least 80% the adapting issues versus the psychology of confidence issues (though some of this would be natural too, how could you not occasionally get stuck just watching them when you are supposed to be playing and thinking “Damn, they are good!”).

            I’ve always thought that one of the next highest potential scorers in our system is Iniesta for all the reasons we’ve laid out – he is unparalleled with the ball, makes lightning quick decisions, and has a really good shot when he wants to, he seems to become a little disoriented (probably same things) when he’s played as a forward though. Our forwards need to ultimately become these blended play maker/attackers – which is of course Messi’s brilliance, – no one knows what he’s going to do and he can do it all, good luck containing that.

          • Barcaleya
            June 8, 2011

            Yes. Confidence is affected so much when you don’t get a goal or miss a sitter. It makes you even less unsure the next time you get an opportunity.

            That’s why Pep likes Villa and why we should also appreciate him more. It takes a LOT of humility to try to fit in our system. He is incredibly good elsewhere. And made to look like a fool sometimes in our system. Especially since he joined when we have elevated already that system to a much higher level than at Pep’s debut year (which is when Henry and Eto’o were around).

            Re Kevin’s statement on Ronaldo – yes he fitted in well but as he also said the system was different then.

            From what I’ve read about Pep, I’m convinced he has studied every single permutation of where the ball could go, etc. He has to because almost all our players are in the opponent’s half when we play. We are very very susceptible to a counter-attack. That’s why we’re accused of almost walking the ball to the goal. We don’t just kick the ball wherever because we have to lessen the chances of it being taken by opponent and kicked up field for an opponent goal. We really try to make sure that even if we miss the goal, we retain possession.

            Also, all our intricate passes that include passes backwards and sideways are meant to lure the opponent’s forwards to follow ball, defend it and stay in their half instead of staying back for the counter. As I said – it’s a very sophisticated strategy that Pep is trying to execute. And also very difficult for players except for the rarified few. And it helps that you’ve done this for years in La Masia. That’s why it will be heartbreaking for him to sell players like Bojan and Jeffren but he may have to if they don’t deliver. He might want to give these players chances rather than train new players for our system.

            As for Iniesta – agree. He is certainly very, very close to Messi’s ability. But he holds back sometimes because he’s tasked to be in a different position than where he’s more confident in. He’s better at being in the middle than playing at the wing or outside or super forward. But he can’t be in the same place as Messi – especially when Messi is free to roam around. That’s why he reins in his instincts, I think. Else, they’re going to bump into each other and leave a space in the wing that’s uncovered or unprotected.

            But when it’s do or die and he just has to do what he must to win – then Iniesta unleashes his own genius.

  4. mega_tajh
    June 8, 2011

    I honestly do not know how the EPL transfer market works. Liverpool reportedly signed this 20 year old Jordan Henderson from Sunderland, get this for £20mil. Thats £2Mil less than what we paid for Mascherano. Crazy Business I say.

    • Benj
      June 8, 2011

      Its true, crazy market.
      Henderson is a good player, as evidenced in his last 2 seasons with the Mackems, however a £20m pricetag is outrageous for a player who has 2 top flight seasons under his belt and one or two caps.

      Youth players should not be worth that much (unless their name is Messi).

      Having said that, good to see Liverpool moving in the right direction and buying young talent, as opposed to buying superstars. They are my EPL Barca 😀

  5. Cesc Pistol
    June 8, 2011

    Just for fun, I was looking at Barca’s financial statements and there are 2-3 key points that need to be noted:

    1. The first team, standalone, is a profitable enterprise.

    2. All other aspects of Barca are not.

    3. The first team’s salary is only 165 million Euros while including the youth team’s slalry as well makes it 176 million. All quite reasonable and much less than reported in sources like Tom Johnson here and Swiss Ramble (pre-results by him)

    The 70 million differnce is because of other sports and activities.

    Furthermore last year’s cash flow statement is quite healthy. Short term debt was 360 million euros (of which the first team had 51M) while long term debt was 44M. About 61M in provisions. Current assets (cash payables etc.) are 160M while long term assets(buildings, team and such) are a measly 350M which is obviously grossly undervalued since 125M of intangibles includes the value of all our players plus Barca’s brand etc.

    So in short, even despite RoSELL’s excessively prudent accounting manipulation, we are quite safe and there is no need to panic. The only worrying aspect may be short term cash requirement to pay off short term debt. But even this is minor as interest expense is only 3% of revenue.

    • Cesc Pistol
      June 8, 2011

      Our Wages-to-turnover, which required to be maintainted below 70%, was 50%.

      So all this scaremongering by RoSELL and “experts” around the net is quite pointless. Further, let me re-iterate just how ridiculous the suggestion of cutting down salaries was:

      Imagine a company that wants to become big and get lots of consumers, like Samsung in the last decade. They spend much more than they earn and take large amounts of debt to do this. If you could tell samsung that because of extraordinary spending in 4-5 years will get them dedicated consumers (fans) who will buy products and bring revenue (watch matches both TV and in the stadium, buy merchandise etc.) for decades (as is the case with loyal football fans), they will be ready to spend billions. That’s exactly the reason why billionares are buying clubs and spending as in Chelsea and Manchester City. However realise that Barca can get much more by spending much less. Asking it to jeopardise one of it’s best periods for a few million is being penny wise pound foolish to a ridiculous extent. It’s the sort of advice that not only gets a consultant fired but also looses a client for his company forever.

      In this decade and the next, the marketing buzzword is ‘consumer loyalty’, with consumers being absurdly (or rather rationally) fickle. Football on the other hand is a complete opposite to this trend as the saying goes “You can change your car, you can change your house, you can even change your wife but you can never change your Football Club”

      Put that into the equation and a strong brand in football becomes more important than in any other business.

    • barca96
      June 8, 2011

      I must admit, the girl on the right caught my eye. Now I feel so guilty to the Messi-ah.

      I thought it was something about Deulofeu actually. Speaking of him, I’m very surprised (and relieved) that there are no rumors about him leaving or Arsene sending sweets to him.

  6. Diego
    June 8, 2011

    YouTube account allasFCB has been terminated because we received multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including:

    * UEFA
    * UEFA
    * UEFA

    • June 8, 2011


      We had the same problem in our account. MediaPort used to be on our video’s like a fat kid on cake. There is a way to go around it. I’m actually surprised allas has lasted this long.

    • Xingxian
      June 8, 2011

      I was hoping Fair Use would protect him 🙁

  7. June 8, 2011

    @barca96: I think Kari has a point in the sense that La Liga sides shouldn’t become weaker. While it’s nice for a team to keep winning by 4 and 5 goal margins, there is a level of competition that has to be maintained in the league. Not only so that the league appears strong to outsiders, but more importantly so that Barca and Real Madrid are always prepared for the high level and intensity of Europe.

    There is much more pleasure and much more to learn from a hard fought 1-0 win than a 5-0 steam rolling. Barca and Real Madrid fans seem to be very spoiled as of late. Just 2 years ago, things were very different. Losing 6 or 7 games a season didn’t mean the end of the world and reaching 70 goals a season was considered a success.

    • blitzen
      June 8, 2011

      Oh, I don’t know, I got a whole lot of pleasure from the 5-0 steamrolling we gave you in November! 😉

      I actually agree with you, though. I want the gap in quality in the league to become much smaller so that the competition will be better. This is why I’m not really in favour of buying Rossi. yes, he is a great player and will likely fit in well, but I don’t want to benefit at Villarreal’s expense. *sigh*

      • Barcaleya
        June 8, 2011

        Yes. Same reason why I’m not in favor of buying Llorente. And why I don’t want Mata to leave the Liga.

  8. blitzen
    June 8, 2011

    Seems like Lucho to Roma is a done deal. How exciting for him! I look forward to seeing what he can do with that team.

    He did mention taking Barcelona players with him. Speculation? Soriano has already been mooted about. Who else?

  9. June 8, 2011

    Liverpool’s deal for Jordan Henderson both demonstrates and adds to the complexity of Barca trying to make any kind of deal for Fabergas.

    The British transfer market makes absolutely no sense. Teams are literally spending millions just to pay for a players nationality. This has always been an issue in the EPL – but the premium being paid just for a player being British is amazing. Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson = 55M pounds.

    Liverpool purchased Jordan Henderson for more than Barca is offering for Rossi. Just think about that.

    I really don’t understand EPL teams. They could build powerhouse teams for a relative pittance by looking for players from other leagues. But there really does seem to be this strange bias there that British players are somehow the only players truly built to thrive in the “physical.” It just makes no sense.

    But this premium completely distorts the entire market in the EPL. And that has major implications for all of their players.

    If Jordan Henderson is “worth” 20M pounds what is Fabergas worth from Arsenal’s perspective?

    But that’s not even close to what that player is worth on the international market – which is what Barca want to pay.

    The only way this is going to happen is if Fabergas makes the situation untenable for Arsenal by taking things public. But he’s been unwilling to do that as he expects all other parties in the situation to make it as easy as possible for him to break an 8 year contract he signed.

    • Vj
      June 8, 2011

      As if that will happen. The only way to get Fabregas for a decent amount will be when his contract will runs down. Otherwise Arsenal will stick to their guns and demand an arm, two legs, a toupee made of Pep’s hair and a lot more for the ‘world’s best midfielder®’..

      • K_legit
        June 8, 2011

        so hair sourced from any part of the anatomy would do?

    • Josep
      June 8, 2011

      It doesn’t affect the Fab potential transfer.

      Is it the EPL teams not wanting to look like cash cow foreign non-Englanders?

      Maybe they get tax breaks for signing Englishmen? 😀 They signed Jonjo last year for pretty cheap. I’m joking but maybe they do? There’s a stupid English premium.

  10. Vj
    June 8, 2011

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..
    Yesterday, Barcelona and Udinese exchanged e-mails regarding Barcelona’s first bid for Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez (22). [md]

    What next? Dirty images of the first bid 😛

  11. blitzen
    June 8, 2011

    Graham Hunter is writing a book on Barca. Interesting. His twitter is full of awesomeness, btw. I don’t even have Twitter and I still check him regularly. He likes old punk music and Barca, so he is clearly a good one in my book. 😀

  12. K_legit
    June 8, 2011

    Its 13 mill + Ngog for Henderson, which even then is overpriced

    And I get what you mean, if Henderson *all due respect* an unproven Intl can demand a transfer of that quantity, surely Cesc, a top 5 midfielder is worth thrice that, at the very least twice that…insane policy

    and now Arsenal are facing the prospect of Nasri leaving for Utd, that will be a body blow to them I feel

  13. Barcaleya
    June 8, 2011

    I love Robbo Robson.

    He used to have a column at BBC but it’s gone now. He usually writes about English football but also writes about other European teams especially on Champ League games.

    He’s super funny.

    Check out his post on Barcelona’s CL win:

    And look at this prayer he made:

    ‘Our Barca,
    Who Art in Heaven,
    Lionel be thy name.
    Thy kings shall come,
    Thy Wembley won,
    On turf by the best eleven.
    Give us this day our Abidal,
    And forgive us our Messi-passes,
    as we forgive those that Iniesta against us,
    Lead us not into Tottenham, but deliver us from Arsenal,
    For thine is the Pique, the Puyol and the Pedro,
    for Alves and Valdes, Amen.’

    • just listenin
      June 8, 2011

      That’s good.. might have to go with that as my new match head in hands stress prayer, with minor substitutions as needed like; Lead us not into Eastern Europe, but deliver us from Mourinho or something.

      • Barcaleya
        June 8, 2011

        Yes! We should totally change that line to that. Good one!

        In the new post (I reposted this as I considered it Hectored) they’ve also complained about not having Xavi in the prayer so there is another changed line 😀

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