Ye of Little Faith…


Some of these writers can be such cotton-headed ninnymuggins. Here goes one right here in this very space, poo-pooing the f’in bananas out of a poor, defenseless rumor. Yeah, it’s some tyrannical overlord hemming and hawing and derping all day, looking for ways to bring in some chump change on a spurious rumor. There is no vast, periodical-based conspiracy. There is no SPECTRE.

The thing about these rumors is that it’s the naysayers that make them rumors instead of facts. It’s our “hero” Simmons, whose push for grammatical correctness and inability to see that rumors just need to be believed that keeps our dreams from coming true. A rumor is just a fact that hasn’t been supported properly.

Like Buddy, wandering the streets of New York looking for someone to prove him right simply by believing, these rumors merely need your support, your love, and your total, unfailing belief in them and poof they will become reality. There was no man on the moon, but everyone believes it so much that Neil Armstrong shot into space on a shopping mall rideWithout putting in a quarter.

Cesc for a bottle of cava and a Darth Vader pez dispenser? Check the “I believe” box and he’s all ours. Alexis Sanchez? A bottle of the boss man’s signature cologne and a hearty pat on the back for Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo from one Señor Messi.

Build it and they will come.

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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. Ryan
    June 20, 2011

    Messi is lighting it up vs. Albania! 1 assist and 1 goal in the first half. He created at least half a dozen chances for his team too.

      • Ryan
        June 20, 2011

        Well, hopefully whatever is stopping you won’t be in the way for the Copa America!

  2. ciaran
    June 20, 2011

    Sensational pass for Aguero’s goal, Messi’s playing well.

    • Miguel
      June 20, 2011

      Messi looks like he’s having fun. I’m loving his play with Banega.

  3. Justin
    June 20, 2011

    it is albania, but boy does messi look good

  4. ciaran
    June 20, 2011

    Isn’t it funny that our like seventeenth choice centreback starts for Argentina

    • Obii
      June 20, 2011

      Is it just me, or has Milito had a great game? Intercepting passes at the right time, good distribution, bringing the ball out of the back line. He looked like the Milito of old!

    • Vj
      June 20, 2011

      Burdisso isn’t exactly top-notch either..

  5. Miguel
    June 20, 2011

    and Messi’s double fisted attempt of a “mano de Dios” was just precious.

    • The__K__Man
      June 20, 2011

      loved how he was trying to convince everyone it was a header 😀

  6. blitzen
    June 20, 2011

    Gianpaolo Pozzo (owner Udinese): “Alexis costs 50M but if Barça has a player that could be useful for us, that might help the deal.” [rac1]

    Ah, the stench of greed! Frankly, I’d rather keep Jeffren and Bojan and take a chance on promoting Soriano than pay anywhere near that amount for Sanchez. And I speak as one who has been preferring Sanchez to Rossi all along.

    • Nav
      June 20, 2011

      This is seriously epic levels of stupid. 50m?! Really?!

  7. sathompson1
    June 20, 2011

    I’m directing this post at all those writers who post on BFB (Kari, Euler, Kxevin, Isaiah, et al). I’ve already posted on this once, and I’m going to post on one more thread before I let it go:

    While we’re on the subject of silly transfer rumors, and while we don’t have much of anything better to post about, could some author at this blog please, PLEASE give this Arsenal blog (Untold Arsenal) credit for being willing to do a post on media fabrication and debunking the Cesc transfer saga?

    In the spirit of goodwill between Barca and Arsenal fans, I’d like for Barca fans to be able to see that an Arsenal blog was willing to post this kind of defense of Barca, along with the many positive responses that it receieved from Arsenal fans in the comments.

    If BFB could do an official post on this, or link to the site, I think that it would be a good way to drive up their traffic, as a way of saying thank you for giving our club a fair shake where all the Cesc BS is concerned. Could you just do this one little thing for me? PLEASE?!?!? 🙂

    Here are the links:

    The Cesc transfer saga, how they lied to us – part 1

    The Cesc transfer saga, how the media finally shut up – part 2

    • barca96
      June 21, 2011

      Read it. It’s a great article. I wish she would send it out to Daily Mail, News of the World and all the rest of the BritPress.

      • sathompson1
        June 21, 2011

        Well, I’m the one who wrote it, and I would love to send it out to the rest of the britpress. Except that they wouldn’t be willing to publish it anymore than a thief would be willing to present the evidence in court that would send him to jail 🙂

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      June 21, 2011

      I read it… that’s a really nice work and effort by Anne… 🙂
      unfortunately not many gooners read it…

      for us Barça fans, this is not something new, we already how *#$&% British press are with all their fake interviews and idiotic rumors…

      thanks, sathompson1… 😀

      • sathompson1
        June 21, 2011

        You don’t think many gooners read it? This blog has decent readership, and they do get a link on, which is sort of the Arsenal news aggregator of choice. Why do you say that not many people read it?

    • blitzen
      June 21, 2011

      I read it as well. That was excellent, and you put a lot of work into it. Of course, we all knew those “interviews” were fake at the time, but it is astonishing to me how easily the British (and worldwide) public accepted them as truth.

      Good job!

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 21, 2011

      Great articles Anne! That is all wonderful research.

      • sathompson1
        June 21, 2011

        Thanks to Bliten and Blow-Grenade for your compliments. I hope that you both remembered to thank Untold Arsenal as well for publishing it (haven’t been back over there yet) 🙂

  8. sathompson1
    June 20, 2011

    To everyone here,

    Even if BFB chooses not to post any link to the above articles, if you happen to take the time to read them, could you just leave a quick post in the comments to let this blog know that you appreciate how they were willing to stick their necks out for Barca? I think they deserve that. Thanks.

    • flyzowee
      June 21, 2011

      It is a fabulous post there at untold arsenal and anne deserves major credit.

      She claims to have 120pages of research on this cesc fiasco and judging by the content of the post as well as the way she handled comments down below, it is really impressive stuff.

      • sathompson1
        June 21, 2011

        Thanks flyzowee. I do in fact have 120 pages of research on this whole cesc fiasco, and I’ve compiled no small portion of it using BFB and Kxevin’s posts as a starting point (I’m an avid BFB reader, incidentally 🙂 ). That’s why I’m bringing all this to your attention.

        In short, I’m trying to induce you all into a dialogue on the Untold comments threads 🙂 Or at least, I’m trying to do that if I can’t induce BFB to link to these particular articles, and direct their readership that way. I think that Untold Arsenal deserves the increased web traffic just for being willing to post something like this.

        But I guess my main goal is to reignite dialogue between Barca and Arsenal fans (especially on this particular Arsenal blog, where the readers are of above average intelligence), so we can get past this totally obnoxious stage where we all hate each other.

        Make no mistake, I’m a Barca fan first and foremost. If it comes down to a choice between the 2 clubs, I say f*** Arsenal (although please don’t repeat that on Untold 🙂 ). I just hate to see Arsenal fans getting suckered in by these media lies that have no basis in reality, and I hate to see Barca fans being hurt by Arsenal fans’ responses to the same said lies.

        This article was my best attempt at remediation, and I don’t think it went down too badly, all things considered 🙂 The only thing I would ask of you all is that, if you enjoyed these articles, please go back and post a friendly comment from a Barca fan giving Untold Arsenal credit for these publications. Just so that the gooners know that you noticed 🙂 Thanks.


  9. June 21, 2011

    Rosell: Cesc is ‘doing everything he can’ to facilitate a move, but the club wont pay 35m for him. I actually like the hardline stance by the club, we need to do the same w/ Sanchez!!!!

    • Neel
      June 21, 2011

      agree about the club doing very much the same with Sanchez, he has definitely not yet proved himself worth the prices which are doing rounds. I hope Barca does not make a mistake. I hope Barca is keeping an eye on other potentials as well.

  10. poipoi
    June 21, 2011

    hello guys, long time no see. I’m in menorca doing my nomad-sage thing. this is the 1st computer I have touched in along time and my android is only a gps have to save me some battery. don’t like much of this silly season, no polemic departures this year I believe. Villa stays! 😉 like eto’o or ibra those were some though provoking silly seasons with all that debate. Is anyone leaving? I don’t care much about who we sign, cesc means little thiago, alexis means little p!/afelay. Afelay must be like -Alexis?! wtf!!- Whoever pep/zubi decide to sing will be okay by me.

    Anyway, had to share a thought with you: just seeing, knowing what kind of players argentina has makes me think we (Spain) have won our only World Cup because of Maradona or Maradumber as he is called here. It makes me love “El D10S” even more! 😉

    • Ryan
      June 21, 2011

      Knowing what kind of defenders Argentina has makes me think Spain would have beat them anyway if Argentina had been able to beat Germany in the first place. The team with more blaugrana usually wins!

    • Neel
      June 22, 2011

      Oh Come on, Argentina just did not have a good enough team or players in the WC. I never understood the high billing. People find it so convenient to overlook the fact that Maradona took the team through to the finals; there was a real possibility of Argentina not even reaching the WC finals.

  11. June 21, 2011

    via Barcastuff – Udinese will be invited for the Joan Gamper trophy and get the profits of the game as part of the deal on Alexis Sanchez. [sportmediaset]

    LOL. That is quite an imaginative way to try and make the transfer work. Pep must really want his man if we are pushing this hard!

  12. messi_fan
    June 21, 2011

    “Kiko Femenia (20) will sign a three-year contract at Barcelona, with an option for a 4th year depending on number of games played. [md]”

    Can someone tell me why we would want to buy Kiko? And does anyone know whether he’d play for the senior team or the B team?

    • Vj
      June 21, 2011

      I think he’ll play for the B team. If he steps up, he’ll get a crack at the first team IMO..

  13. K_legit
    June 21, 2011

    We do need to replenish the B team with some players as there seems to be a notable exodus in the players this time ’round.

    • messi_fan
      June 21, 2011

      Fair point. I just was figuring that we could’ve used some of that money to get Jose Angel

    • mom4
      June 21, 2011

      That’s what Junevil A is for…so where’s that scouting report Kari and Co.? 🙂

      Messi was very messi last night: 1 goal, 2 assists, and created Teves’ goal. While it would be nice for our flea to rest this summer, for selfish reasons I’m glad there’s the Copa America. Can’t go too long without seeing some good footy. Masch played well, even Milito. Granted, it was Albania, and a weakened Albania at that. I get a kick outta seeing Zanetti. He looks such the throwback. Perfectly groomed, shirt tucked in neatly. Kinda wierd for footy. Can we all take up a collection to buy Batista a haircut? Just sayin’.

  14. blitzen
    June 21, 2011

    “With austerity, it’s hard and you lose friends. We are suffering with it. We’ve removed the catering events, our bodyguards. It’s a disadvantage. And we don’t even have the money to make copies in colour at the club. Now we make copies in black and white and save on toner,” added Rosell.

    No colour copies! Wow, Rosell is really thinking outside the box! Hmm, let’s see if we can come up with some other ways to save money at the club:

    –Office supplies to be strictly rationed. Applications for more pens or paper clips must be approved by the Board.

    –Cut down on cleaning staff and replace them with Roombas.

    –Players required to bring their own bag lunches.

    –All first-team players (except Messi of course) will be required to spend one hour per training day signing autographs at €5 a pop. A quota of at least 10 signatures per minute must be reached. Less popular players will be allowed to drum up business on the street outside the stadium.

    –No more paper towels in the bathrooms. Wiping their hands on their pants was good enough for our grandparents, wasn’t it?

    –Ll prntd dcmnts nw t b wrttn n “Rsll shrthnd” t s lss tnr. N xcptns!

    –Exercise bikes in the gym to be hooked up to the power system. All youth players to work a 3-hour shift every day to generate power. And they get fit at the same time. Genius!

    • K_legit
      June 21, 2011

      so basically Rosell wants to set up a Barça sweat shop?

    • mom4
      June 21, 2011

      OK, now I feel sorry for Rosell. We can take up a collection and send him an Office Depot gift certificate. Or maybe it would make more sense just not to pay ginormous prices demanded by crazy Italian club owners.

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 21, 2011

      “All printed documents now to be written in Rosell Shorthand to save toner.”

      • Blow-Grenade
        June 21, 2011

        Oh I forgot! “No Exceptions!”.

  15. Olufestus
    June 21, 2011

    Kxevin,a nickname for sanchez plz…i presume we continue wit the NINO MARAVILA…or maybe after scoring a hattrick again E.E,we name him IVAN ZAMORANO

  16. Josep
    June 21, 2011

    lol I work at a much smaller company than FC Barcelona and cutting those costs probably won’t save more than 500k-600k per year.

    • Josep
      June 21, 2011

      however I can’t tell you how much they save on bodyguards because there’s no damn way I’d give up mine.

      • mom4
        June 21, 2011

        You have a bodyguard. Now I’m scared of Josep :O

        • mom4
          June 21, 2011

          Granted, I was already scared of you when you had you Governator avatar!

      • K_legit
        June 21, 2011

        hey if you have a posse of female bodyguards like Chandragupta Maurya did then I do believe I owe you a tip of the hat sir..well done!

  17. June 21, 2011

    Messi’s pass to Aguero made ESPN’s Top 5 plays of the day today. Fittingly. That was pretty crazy.

    • June 21, 2011

      Messi’s pass was amazing. He was great yesterday – great in that “average Messi” game kind of way that we’ve come to expect. He makes passes like that and you marvel at them – but it’s not even a surprise.

      As great as Messi’s pass was – credit to Aguerro. The tactical discipline and intelligence he showed on that play were just wonderful. The stayed very wide on the play initially to open up space in the middle. And then he engineered a beautiful delayed, diagonal run anticipating that messi would find him. It was a brilliant run – the kind of run Alves makes. But it’s probably even more difficult to do right from the front line as it’s much harder to stay on side.

      And that was outside of the finish. Amazing all around team play.

  18. June 21, 2011

    On the Argentina match yesterday and Messi’s role –

    Arg’s attack is just unbelievable. They have forwards in quantity and quality like Spain has midfielders. This is even more true now after the terrific season that Lavezzi had.

    Batista has also made a needed decision to build the team around Messi. When he first experimented with giving Messi a role similar to the one he has with Barca he used Messi on the right. He now has him in the center which is good to see.

    All that said – I have growing concerns about how Batista has Arg playing tactially and how he is using Messi.

    Too often in the Arg set up, Messi has to stop being a false 9 and turns into an enganche. Now there’s a clear overlap and blurring between those roles. But the critical thing for Messi in how he distributes his effort is the midfield Arg is playing behind him.

    Batista has given Messi a free role in the center. But he also seems committed to playing two holding midfielders and one box to box player in Banega behind Messi. Perhaps this is because he doesn’t trust his back line.

    However, by playing this midfield this way behind Messi he’s not maximizng the impact of Messi playing the false 9. Too often Messi is forced to drop deep – just to build play. When he does this he moves away from goal and turns into an enganche.

    That’s fine in theory but that leaves Arg clustered with players in the center of the pitch and only two attackers up front. And the midfielders just aren’t dynamic enough.

    Arg destroyed Albania yesterda – and it was only a friendly. But even then their spacing on the pitch was not particularly strong. When Messi dropped deep the Arg midfielders didn’t move enough to reform triangles.

    Batista played Biglia last night – whom he seems to like a great deal. Biglia is fine I suppose but he plays at a very slow, deliberate tempo and last night his spacing was not great.

    When Messi drops deep and pulls defenders out of shape Arg can only take advantage of that right now by having the other forwards pull in centrally. Kun did that brilliantly on that goal yesterday.

    But when they do that they are prone to lose width.

    Batista attempted to address this problem yesterday by playing the backline and full backs similarly to how Pep played. The full backs pushed up, the CB split and Masch would drop centrally. The argentina full backs just aren’t dynamic enough though to push forward to provide that width.

    It’s leaving ARG disjointed. They are also still prone to turning into a broken formation because their back line doesn’t stay compact because they don’t have enough pace and are worried about getting beat on the counter.

    All this is to say – I’m still not sure how Arg are going to get the best out of Messi with how they are currently set up. Maybe they just have so much talent in attack it won’t matter and they’ll with the Copa.

    But I think Batista needs to rethink his midfield. The best way for this Arg team that has limited full backs to take advantage of Messi as a false 9 would be for them to play a true attacking central midfielder behind Messi. That way when Messi drops deep and pulls defenders out of shape that midfielder could make forward runs into space.

    Batista has that exact player sitting on his bench in Pastore. He should play him because it’s that axis of Pastore and Messi which is going to give this Arg squad a chance for greatness.

    Connected with this is their back line. It’s a major problem for Arg. They just don’t have quality defenders. Zanetti is wonderful but he’s not athletic enough to play the role he has to give Arg width.

    And playing a back 3 with Masch in the middle and the full backs up high is going to expose Arg defensively to the counter. They don’t press as a unit consistently higher up and with the full backs moving forward it is going to expose them at the back – especially with Milito and Burdisso responsible for the flanks with their limited pace.

    I really want Arg to win this summer. But I’m not sure if they are set up to maximize their chances of doing so.

    • beeeef
      June 21, 2011

      As long as Batista continues to utilize the same formation and tactics, I don’t know if Pastore will get a shout unless Argentina is chasing the game.

      Batista seems content to play three ball winning midfielders and just hope some combination of Messi/Tevez/Lavezzi/Aguero/Higauin can find the back of the net on a consistent basis.

      Tactically, it’s disjointed as you point out. Not as inept as Argentina under Maradona, but there are definite causes for concern.

      This breaks the 4-3-3 formation Batista’s been toying with for a while, but I wouldn’t mind seeing:

      Tevez – Messi – Lavezzi
      Cambiasso – Mascherano
      Rojo – Milito – Burdisso – Zanetti

      Regardless of all these issues, I expect to see Argentina in the Final.

  19. blitzen
    June 21, 2011

    Joking aside—it’s not that I object to Rosell trying to cut costs. Little things like colour copying can add up, after all. What I object to is the way he goes on television crying poor, talking about “austerity measures” and what a financial mess the last administration left the club in, and holding himself up as the sainted martyr who knows he won’t be popular but makes the hard decisions for the good of the club. And all the while there are other Spanish clubs in real financial trouble, going into administration, unable to pay their players for months, even years on end. Sure, some of that is due to their own mismanagement, corruption, absentee owners. But a lot of it comes down to the economic situation of Spain itself, low attendance at games, an unfair system of TV revenues, and the willingness of banks to loan enormous amounts to the big clubs and not the smaller ones.

    So make the cuts if you have to, Rosell. Balance the budget, turn off the air conditioning, remove every other lightbulb in the building—but don’t go on TV crying about how the club is so poor it can’t even afford colour copies. It’s political posturing at its worst, and it leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

    • Being a fan of “smaller” greek club ruined be debt forced to fall divisions for the first time in 103 years while the big three flourish I find rosell’s behavior really annoying…
      He should just do the work-I agree on many of the austerity measures and believe that Laporta was spending way too much money- but stop bragging already…
      And what about the “if don’t have the sponsor we would have to sell”…when we have 45 mil to spend on a transfer budget?!
      He got one thing right though…he really doesn’t know how to talk

  20. y2k156
    June 21, 2011

    Good analsis Euler. Argentina have great attackers and absolutely average defense and good midfield. One of the reasons that Argies struggle is that their back lacks pace big time. Players like Garay or Forlin simply have not stepped up which is a pity. Even in near future, their best players are attackers and not a single great defender on horizon.

    Another thing that was clear is that though most of argentine players are excellent on the ball, their passing is not as great. I saw too many over hit or under hit passes.

    Also as Messi did not have any many options to play around, he was trying few times to go solo. Which was great to see but of course not the most effective option in lot of cases.

  21. Vj
    June 21, 2011

    Via Pep @ Barcastuff..

    Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez (22) has left the Chilean national team hotel and will in a few hours take a flight to Barcelona. [ona-rac1]

    Sanchez will fly from Santiago de Chile to Paris, and then to Barcelona, where he should arrive on Wednesday in the afternoon. [ona-rac1]

    He’s visiting to see the architecture, isn’t he?

    • Jnice
      June 21, 2011

      Apparently he just left the hotel just to run some errands. He isn’t traveling to Barcelona.

      • Vj
        June 21, 2011

        He doesn’t like the Architecture? Too bad!

      • blitzen
        June 21, 2011

        I heard he has a private submarine on 24-hour standby!

        • Noslehcimretep
          June 21, 2011

          I heard it was yellow.

          Tomorrow’s headline: Sanchez flattered by Villareal interest, probably on his way there now!

  22. June 21, 2011

    If there was a possibility that the club would need to sell Jeffren or Bojan this summer they should have sat both of them down and been honest with them at the end of the season.

    This is especially true to Jeffren as it’s very unlikely he’s going to be in the club’s long term plans.

    Pep and Rosell should have just said – we found you, we developed you, we believed in you but things just haven’t worked out after many years of trying. It’s best to move on. We need to get some value back for you given all of the effort we’ve put into teaching you.

    Even if they said no it would at least let the club know where things stand and whether they could be used in a deal.

    But instead it’s all being done chaotically.

    As an aside the idea that Jeffren is just so wrapped up with sitting on the bench of the U21 that he just can’t be bothered with making any decision about his career strains plausibility.

    Not all of the players in La Masia are going to make it. The club must figure out a way of getting value back for the players who don’t but are good enough to play for other teams.

    They can’t just keep letting them go for free.

    And that’s where things are headed with Jeffren.

    It’s unfortunate – don’t see how this deal is going to get done now. Very difficult.

    Too much has been said publicly for either side to give a huge amount and not lose credibility. Particularly true for Udinese.

    • Jnice
      June 21, 2011

      It’s unfortunate – don’t see how this deal is going to get done now. Very difficult.

      Yep, I don’t see it either.

      And you’re completely right about the Jeffren and Bojan situation. Pep and the club didn’t handle this well at all.

      • June 21, 2011

        It’s unfortunate. The fact remains that the club is desperately short at the forward line.

        And now Villareal and Rossi know how much Barca was willing to give up in value for Sanchez. All of this is not going to decrease their demands.

        Rosell’s first major negotiations completely on his own and they’ve gone poorly. Not good.

        Someone involved in these negotiations is going to have to twist some arms.

        Pep may just need to tell Jeffren that he’s not in his plans for this year. And that means that he is not going to even make the bench and it will be another wasted year of his career.

        And Sachez is paying his agent a lot of money. It’s up to Felicevich to fix this for his client. These are the times when agents produce value. Otherwise just hire a lawyer to review contracts.

        The fact that the B team can’t be promoted is really hurting Barca right now. It’s leaving a gap in the development process. Players don’t want to go out on loan as they don’t believe they’ll ever be brought back. Barca needs to figure out a better transitional phase for players like Jeffren and Bojan.

        It’s very telling that neither of them are starters anymore for Spain’s u21. Spain looked much better with Munian on the wing than with Jeffren.

        Everyone wants to stay but at some point you have to take a hard look at reality.

        • Mila
          June 21, 2011

          Euler, it is indeed unfortunate, the whole Sanchez deal is so far being shown in a very unfortunate light, but I believe it will go through. Otherwise RoSell will look even more of a tool than he looks now. Pep needs quality players and RoSell and his motley crew are botching up all the transfers.

          Too much has been said, too much has been stated about the player’s wish to come, his decision to lower his wages instead of jumping on City’s gravy train – how will we look now? Like complete idiots if we do not sign him. Poor, pauper idiots at that.

          I believe the transfer will go through, if only to save RoSell’s face – he promised Pep new players and he is so far delivered nothing. No LB, no RB, no CF – nothing to show for all his B&W copy and shirt selling saving methods.

          Another issue that is very troubling is the little messages he keeps sending Guardiola through the media. His yesterday’s interview was full of them. By saying things like: “Pep knows Cesc is not worth 40 mil…” he only gives up the plot that Pep once again asked for Cesc and RoSell cannot deliver, or doesn’t want to. And by saying this, he merely let Pep know that his wishes are no longer a priority for the club – the money is. This is the coach that will forever be the best Barca coach ever, he will be spoken about for ages as the greatest – you do not send him messages through the press or embarrass him this way! You talk to him in private, deal with his player requests in private without airing all the dirty linen in press.

          Another issue was Abi’s renewal and the way he phrased his words, it seemed like Abi doesn’t want to sign the allegedly improved deal. Ridiculous, the man loves the club!

          And the B&W copy machines, no bodyguards (like someone will attack you, Mr. President!) – this just sounded so pathetic. Sure let everyone know that the club has no money to print its own crest in blaugrana, try to drive the prices for players down, but please refrain from sounding like an embarrassment for Barcelona!

          Sorry long rant over )

          • Jnice
            June 21, 2011

            Another issue that is very troubling is the little messages he keeps sending Guardiola through the media. His yesterday’s interview was full of them. By saying things like: “Pep knows Cesc is not worth 40 mil…”

            I was annoyed with that, too. Why say things like that? It’s just so unnecessary.

          • blitzen
            June 21, 2011

            I agree with everything you say here, but I do feel it necessary to correct this:

            no bodyguards (like someone will attack you, Mr. President!)

            Laporta and his family received death threats, and kidnapping is certainly not unheard of in Barcelona. Ask Quini and Cruyff. Or Henry.

        • Jnice
          June 21, 2011

          Everyone wants to stay but at some point you have to take a hard look at reality.


          • Mila
            June 21, 2011

            @blitzen: I used this comment because I was under the impression that such reports were exaggerated by the previous administration, so forgive me if I’m wrong (which I very well might be on this issue and often am on others).

            But one thing is for certain – for a self promoting self involved creature as RoSell – if there was any real danger – he would be the first to scream bloody murder and surround himself with dozens of bodyguards. Maybe even blame Laporta or Cruyff for it 🙂

            Still – he is proving to be a disturbing presence at the club, no matter how you look at it.

            A President should not be heard, and preferably with that kind of a mug – not seen either 🙂

            Sorry if anyone is taking offence – just really not a fan of the guy 🙂

          • Mila
            June 21, 2011

            “Reports exaggerated by previous administration” – mean to for death threats to Laporta, not the situation regarding Cruyff of Quini. Sorry.

        • mom4
          June 21, 2011

          Why can’t we just say this has gotten out of hand, good luck talking your playing into moving to Manchester and go after someone else? Then maybe the other clubs won’t try to mess with us so much. Being Barca gives us some extra bargaining power in that players want to come here. Why not use it.

          Or am I being too naive?

  23. jordi™
    June 21, 2011

    To be fair, imagine being evicted from someplace that you lived your whole life, fair enough, but now the evictor is telling you you have to go live in Udine? From Jeffren’s perspective I can see why he would want to decide where he lives and works.Plus its not just Jeffren or Bojan that don’t want to be in swap deals, its Thiago, Montoya, its any player really (except Soriano but he doesn’t count, being 100 years old and all).

    Generally speaking, unless its in Italy with their weird co-ownership deals, players don’t like being used as currency. Just look at Robinho and the Cristino saga a couple years ago.In, my opinion its a pride thing: “If I have to leave, I certainly wont be helping you get the player you say is better than I”.If Chelsea or United could have afforded him I doubt Eto’o would have gone to Inter either.Its not a question of Pep handling it better, because nothing he tells a player would make them eager about being a makeweight.So far none of the youth players have ruled out leaving, just not as part of player plus cash deals.

    In the end I think Sanchez will come, its come to far for the little details separating the clubs to end the transfer forever.If I recall correctly the Ibra deal hinged on Hleb agreeing to go to Inter and Hleb rejected, resulting in us paying 5 millions more.We’ll up the cash and I’ll howl and moan about being robbed etc. etc. 😀

  24. dennise
    June 21, 2011

    I guess, you’re all overreacting here – even FCBarcelona cannot satisfy everyone.

  25. Jnice
    June 21, 2011

    Bojan off to Roma for 10m with an option to buy. He’ll sign the contract next week (via @catradioesports)

    • jordi™
      June 21, 2011

      wonder how much the buyback is, 15 maybe? we’d essentially pay what we got pique for- 5 million.

      • Jnice
        June 21, 2011

        I was thinking 15, too. We wanted 10 and Roma wanted 20. They definitely won’t go for 10. We’ll see.

      • June 21, 2011

        For that selling price, the buy back will be over 20 M – if its all true

        • June 21, 2011

          Oh I though selling price between 10 and 15 (then buy back 20 and up), if we sell for 10, buy bcak will be close to 20. 17 may be.

      • Vj
        June 21, 2011

        via Pep @ barcastuff –

        There’s a deal on Roma paying 10M for Bojan, and the discussion now focuses on the buy-back fee: Barcelona want 12M, Roma want 20M. [sky]

    • June 21, 2011


      Ehhhh?! I haven’t been taking any of the rumors seriously (for obvious reasons) but now… Well. I can’t say a move isn’t a positive thing, but I want(ed?) him to succeed at the club. 🙁 Still not official though, so I won’t go crying in a corner somewhere.

    • ciaran
      June 21, 2011

      I hope it’s not true.
      Milito, Hleb, Maxwell, Jeffren & Henrique should all be sold before Bojan.
      People give him a hard time because his lack of confidence but his stats have always been decent and if we can’t put faith in players with this much potential then we are wasting our time with La Masia

      • Jnice
        June 21, 2011

        If he isn’t getting good minutes, what’s the point of him staying? He needs to play, not sit the bench.

        • blitzen
          June 21, 2011

          He would have had a lot more minutes in the second half of the season if he hadn’t gotten injured. That was really unfortunate for him, just when he was starting to look like the player we know he can be again.

  26. June 21, 2011

    If Bojan was going to make an impact at Barca – he was going to need to leave.

    He has to play more – and he just wasn’t going to get that at Barca. I don’t think Pep, the club or Bojan took this lightly. But he had to leave to grow.

    With Lucho going to Roma it’s a unique opportunity for certain young players at Barca to gain more top flight experience. Bojan is one of them. He’s never worked with Lucho to any significant extent – but this will give him the opportunity to work in a similar system for a coach that is familiar with him and speaks the same language.

    He’s going to have to grow up though and fast. There is going to be some bad blood in the Roma dressing room given the veterans there who are set in there ways. Lucho is coming in to bring change and that’s just not going to be easy.

    It’s very possible that Bojan is seen in that dressing room as Lucho’s player. And he may be resented for that by the older players.

    But those are the kinds of things that Bojan is going to have to handle and grow from.

    What’s so unfortunate about all of this is that Bojan is leaving to complete training and experience he should have gotten from the ages of 17-20. He’s now almost going to wind up doing that from the age of 20-22/23. I don’t see him coming back in a year.

    Bojan did not receive good advice from this advisers when he was forced into the senior team. And he’s still paying for that mistake now.

    Italian football will be a whole new world for Bojan. They are going to really try to intimidate him.

    It’s up to him now. His perceived talent and reputation as a youth player will count for almost nothing in Rome.

  27. Vj
    June 21, 2011

    I like Rossi:

    Rossi (Villarreal): “Don’t like all the press talk that is going on, I still hope to join Barça. My agent? Don’t talk much with him.” [cope]

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  28. June 21, 2011

    Whether Jeffren stays or not it seems apparent that the club doesn’t count on him as a contributor.

    If Bojan goes then the club is down to 3 first team forwards + Afellay.

    This is a very concerning situation. They must develop depth along the front line.

    Right now for me they need to add two forwards this summer – not one – two.

    That second striker doesn’t have to be world class – they can be simply effective. But they need two players up front.

    But judging by the teams budget and how they’ve structured themselves in the past I’m concerned that once again they are going to go into the season with an inadequate squad in terms of depth.

    World Cup 2010. Long 2010/11 season. International Friendlies. Copa America. And next summer Euro 2012. And they’ll be competing for 6 trophies this season.

    The amount of minutes and games these players have to play is just unbelievable. And it’s basically out of the question for Messi to ever miss an Arg NT games due to the politics.

    The Barca forward line has to work harder than any other forward line in the world due to the amount of defending they do.

    If the club does not build proper depth they are going to regret it deeply. This just cannot go on – no matter how much a “small squad” may appeal to Pep.

    • June 21, 2011

      I agree, although with Bojan leaving I can see the club signing another forward, maybe even Rossi?? Or maybe the idea is to sign Sanchez and Cesc and use Afellay as a forward. Pedro, Messi, Sanchez, Villa and Afellay up front. That is 5 world class forwards for 3 positions. That is pretty good depth.

      Then in midfield, Xavi, Iniesta, Busi, Masch, Cesc, Keita and Thiago.

    • ciaran
      June 21, 2011

      Where’s all that money gonna come from? Replacing a €10million player with a €30million player when we are broke doesn’t make sense.
      Our central defensive versatility is again being mistaken for depth.
      This player can cover and that player has the attributes doesn’t excuse the fact that Pep doesn’t seem to learn his lessons in terms of depth.
      It seems like he wants cover for Xavi and Messi and doesn’t see the deficiencies in the rest of the squad.

      • June 21, 2011

        So whats your point? If we are broke then how is it Pep’s fault that we dont have more depth? Pep can only suggest who should be bought it is then up to the club to go an buy them. I think saying that Pep isnt learning from his lessons in terms of depth is a little unfair.

        I also think that having a small squad is in general a good idea, it keeps the players close and builds very good team unity. It also keeps players fit, sharp and happy cos they are playing a lot. We dont need a huge squad, in fact I think the number of players we had last year was fine, its just that players like Bojan and Jeffren werent good enough to provide cover. Replace them with players that are and I think we are just fine.

  29. BarcaGirl_Indo
    June 21, 2011

    @sathompson1 / anne

    I didn’t choose my words correctly…
    I visited ur link, and saw lots of comments right there, which means many gooners read it…

    what I meant is, there are still sooo many gooners in this world, that don’t even consider those interviews as fake…because they havent read your article…
    think about our gooner friends who don’t understand English… that’s what I meant… 🙂

    sad to hear Bobo’s news… I knew it was coming, but still… 😥
    now we need 2 forwards…the other 1 doesnt need to be expensive…
    maybe a player like Kanoute…?

    I think I’m gonna watch Roma a lot this season…

    • flyzowee
      June 21, 2011

      Football can all be about moments at times.
      First game of the season, the ball is spread wide left to the new guy villa – Amazing back flick to an onrushing maxwell who lays it on a plate for the tappiest of tap – ins for bojan but to no avail.

      If that chance went in, we very well might not even be having these discussions but such is life….

  30. June 21, 2011

    Folks, Barca is not broke – despite what the black and white copy maestro says.

    Sure they may have significant debt – but for any business debt only has meaning relative to income.

    Microsoft has debt. In absolute terms – they probably have enormous debt. Relative to their earnings – not so much.

    Here’s a great example. I’ve heard in many places people discuss how by winning the CL this season Barca had to play out 67M in bonuses.

    That’s a lot of money.

    What was their revenue from winning the CL? 113M.

    They made 113M euro from winning the CL this season.

    This is an organization that makes over 400M euro a year.

    The club is not broke.

    If they were then you’d see it in tangible ways – organizations that are broke are not making huge investments in new assets.

    Look at it this way – the President of the club keeps saying they are broke – do his actions correspond with those words?

    Rosell and the club are now basically on record as being willing to spend 75M on two players. Think about that.

    They are willing to pay roughly 35M for Sanchez. Rosell is basically on record as saying they’ll pay 40M for fabergas.

    They are also close to sing Kiko for roughly 3 and Jose Angel for 3-4.

    By their actions the club is willing to spend on the order of 80M in this summer.

    Either they are not broke in any way or the Rosell and the board are absolutely reckless and incompetent.

    What are they telling us by their actions. Hey look we’re saving on color printer ink but we’re spending 80M in the market.

    If you have really worrying debt relative to your income you do not spend 80M on new assets. If you do and you do in fact have troubling levels of debt then you are a fool.

    So right now we have to conclude that either the club is in at least decent financial health or Rosell is an absolute fool for spending money the organization doesn’t have.

  31. Lou
    June 21, 2011

    I wish Bojan luck but I’m really not sure how this move is beneficial for anyone.

    For Bojan, moving to Roma means adapting to a completely different style of play. If he thinks La Liga defenders are physical, they have nothing on Italian defenders. I don’t see how moving to Roma is better for him than moving to Villareal, or Valencia. Roma are a big club but they aren’t in the Champions League and even if Luis Enrique is successful it’s going to take a while for him to build the kind of system he wants.

    For Roma, they are taking a huge chance paying 10 million on a player with serious confidence issues who will have to adapt to a new club and a new style of play.

    Barcelona gets 10 million, but they will probably have to spend at least that on a replacement for Bojan. (I’m not counting Sanchez, in my opinion he is a replacement for Ibra). Bojan may have been maddeningly inconsistent in his form but he contributed a lot in terms of goals over the years, especially near the end of the season when the normal starters needed rest.

    Buying two strikers also means Barcelona will have two strikers trying to adapt to the team: not an ideal situation for a club in six competitions.

    It just seems like a big risk for all concerned.

    • June 21, 2011

      I don’t believe the transfer, but if it is true, you’ve just outlined exactly what I think, Lou.

  32. blitzen
    June 21, 2011

    Not sure if it was reported here that Mark Bolton will no longer be doing Revista de la Liga? According to his twitter today he was axed by Sky Sports.


    • Jnice
      June 22, 2011

      He mentioned that he was leaving Sky Sports 3 weeks ago, but I thought it was his choice until he mentioned he was fired yesterday. A shame.

  33. mom4
    June 21, 2011

    There are things in life more pleasant than Silly Season. Among these are taxes, root canals, standardized tests, childbirth w/out anesthetics…

    In Pep I trust, Rosell…not so much. Hope it works out. For the love of Messi, don’t give P!! the #9 shirt; it didn’t do CT much good.

    U21 Spain tomorrow and Gold Cup semis!

  34. Alexinho
    June 21, 2011

    I’m actually excited to see Bojan play for Roma–just what the doctor ordered. This time last year there was talk of him going on loan to Valencia in order to catalyze Villa’s move, and that made me so stoked to watch Valencia that season. In retrospect, perhaps that was the best thing that could have happened. I do think it’s the best thing for Li’l Bo, and I don’t think it necessarily means he will never come back to Barca.

    At the risk of sounding as if I’ve gotten my hopes up to an unreasonable level, I’m looking forward to watching the development of BarceRoma. I’ve always wanted to have some sort of investment in Serie A.

  35. Diego
    June 21, 2011

    Argentina should play Masch in CB along with Burdisso for more defence stability, Cambiasso, Banega, and Pastore (or any other player) can fill the midfield. Zanetti and Zabaleta as FBs with Messi, Aguero and a striker upfront.

    Presence of Pastore will help Messi as he wouldn’t drop back so much to build the attack.

    Barcelona has still done nothing officially this transfer market.

  36. June 21, 2011

    Some thoughts on today:

    –As I noted earlier today, and Euler has here as well, the club dropped the ball with Krkic and Jeffren. It was stupid, and potentially has damaged the Sanchez transfer, when the deal was all but done, apparently. Rumor is that he’s back on the market. Players are commodities, but they are also human beings. Perhaps a little chat at the end of the season between Guardiola and Jeffren would have made things clearer. Yes, players delude themselves. All the time.

    –Jeffren wasn’t very bright. Udinese has a way of making stars who then get sold for lots of money. It would have been worth the risk. And they’re playing in Europe this season, I believe? No loss, except to his ego that didn’t want to be a makeweight in a deal for a player that the club actually DOES want. He’s being childish, and the ridiculousness of wanting to talk to Guardiola before making up his mind is absurd. As if Guardiola is going to say anything to him except “What other club do you want to go to?”

    Valencia, Villarreal and Liverpool are purportedly in the frame. Jeffren shouldn’t want to go to the Prem. At Valencia and Villarreal, he doesn’t have a chance in hell of being on a championship winning side. Udinese? Who knows. They were 4th this season, and could improve with the right buys. Serie A is wide open right now. I understand ego. But Udinese would have been the smart play. That club will be watched this season, and you build goodwill with the club that you’re leaving. But what do I know?

    –The Roma deal will be great for Krkic, or kill his career. One thing is for sure: He wasn’t going to make it at Barcelona, with his head in the state that it’s in. A change of scenery should make him blossom. The talent is unquestioned. The head is a serious question. Hats off to Roma for taking the risk.

    –We haven’t really done anything in the transfer market. So if my math serves me right, we started with 45, add 10 from the Krkic sale and the first installment of 6m on the Ibrahimovic gutting, leaves us with 61m. This is before Milito and Maxwell are sold, which should net another 10 total, not counting what we should get for Jeffren, who will be sold.

    –Not every player can be expected to have the attitude of Soriano, who basically says whatever the club wants for me is fine by me. And this is the Segunda pichichi, who will do very well for some club.

    –Nobody can blame Jeffren and Krkic for not wanting to leave. They grew up in the system, were nurtured by the system and were part of the first team. As long as you are in the system, there is hope, even when you know that there isn’t. Even Jeffren admitted this today on the radio, apparently.

    Private planes, nice buses, victory parades and trophy celebrations are tough to give up, even when you haven’t really contributed to them. It’s a very, very hard thing.

    –The transfer window officially opens on 1 July. I still believe that by the end of the first week of July, all family business will be taken care of.

    • Soto
      June 21, 2011

      On Jeffren: I think you have captured Jeffren’s failure of vision succinctly. Now the only question is whether he can find a career sustaining solution. I am not sure why you dismiss Liverpool. Depending on Dalglish’s plans, this may be Jeffren’s best hope.

      On Bojan: Playing time anywhere would help Bojan, so if that’s in Luis Enrique’s plans, then great. But regardless of what happens, Bojan needs more fire. I was frustrated while watching the end of the U21 Spain v Ukraine game as Bojan complained to the ref about a particularly elbow-y shove from a Ukrainian defender. I wished his response was to turn around and either foul the defender or score. Better yet, both. All of those options are more productive than whining to the ref. There have been many great players of small stature, and being tough and determined is their common characteristic (e.g. Tevez, Messi, Maradona — just off the top of my head). Bojan has the technical skills to be great. He now just needs some determination and toughness (or anger, if that’s what it takes).

      I hope you are right about finishing up business by the end of the first week of July. But I am nervous that we have no heard much about new defenders. I want some support for our backline. I have always believed that our quality defense is often the unsung secret to our success. (How’s that for mixed metaphors!)

      • barca96
        June 21, 2011

        I was frustrated as well by that move. Just get on with it! You need to score. No time to waste in fighting for petty things like this.
        He looks increasingly more like a frustrated teenager. Oh wait, he is not anymore.

        However, I find his 10 min spell quite good. He made a few good runs and made an excellent pass to Thiago in the box.
        That said, he easily lost the ball in their own half in succession. Passed straight to Ukraines players while he had so much time on the ball.

    • Eklavya
      June 22, 2011

      Regarding the Ibra deal, I believe we will get 8M for 3 seasons.

  37. Dani_el
    June 21, 2011

    So, let’s see…would the club have 75M euros for buys? we will be wasting 35 to 39 for Sánchez, Rossi may go for 28? William for 13-15? Sakho for 15? Vargas for 15-17? Have I missed another player that it’s being discussed? oh..CESC!
    Rosell already told us he won’t pay more than 40M, I don’t know it it was wise to use Pep’s name on the statement, but here we are..
    I found this in Sport, it’s really great! it’s a player by player review, of goals, assists, possession, and so on…
    Here there’s the ones of messi and xavi and iniesta…!

  38. barca96
    June 21, 2011

    -I watched Ukraine vs Spain U21 and Argentina vs Albania last night.
    Thiago is really really special. I like Munain too. We should consider him as VIlla’s replacement in a year’s time. That kid is business!

    -Who said that Aguaro and Messi don’t work well together?

    -I really feel for Rossi.

    Rossi (Villarreal): “Don’t like all the press talk that is going on, I still hope to join Barça. My agent? Don’t talk much with him.” [cope]

    After being ditched for Sanchez, he still talks so good about us. He really is a far cry from those Italians from New Jersey Shore 😆

  39. June 21, 2011

    At this point Jeffren really represents an issue of cash flow.

    It seems very unlikely that they are going to keep him.

    As such – they can just as easily give Udinese the cash equivalent of how Jeffren was being valued in the deal now. Then they just sell him later on this summer to recoup the cash.

    Jeffren has to get translated into some kind of monetary figure as a makeweight. Just front the cash now and close the deal if you were going to make it before hand anyway.

    If Barca have really targeted this player the way they appear to – then Jeffren should not stop it from happening. Especially now with Bojan leaving Jeffren must see the writing on the wall.

    The only way that doesn’t work is if Udinese really wanted Jeffren because they feel that his talent is greater than his cash equivalent booked value in the deal. But if Udinese is really going to hold up a deal over that – then they are just ridiculous and don’t want to do business.

    If I had to guess part of why Jeffren may not have wanted to go to Udinese is the volume of young talent they have. Between Udinese and Granada their team is stacked. I wonder if he was concerned about getting passed by again.

    Villareal and Valencia are better teams than Udinese – but they both have less talent in terms of numbers.

    Rosell came in telling people he was going to make Barca a much better team in the transfer market.

    Time for him to put up. Because so far he’s done a poor job in his first major negotiations.

    • June 21, 2011

      And he doesn’t seem to have the luck of Laporta, who wanted David Beckham and “settled” for Ronaldinho. 😀

      Now apparently, on RAC1 Jeffren has said that he is not that enthusiastic about joining Udinese, but he will reevaluate after the U21s. He should have plenty of contemplation time while sitting on the bench.

      I still think we should play hardball. Sanchez made a promise to his dying father. Not to capitalize on heartache, but he only wants to come to Barca. Udinese understand that they have to sell him this summer. The risk is too great not to. They are over a barrel as much as we are.

      As noted above, I think that much of Jeffren’s complexity is wounded pride. No player wants to be a makeweight. Hopefully his advisors will be telling him “If you want a chance to return to this club, don’t burn bridges. A year or two at Udinese won’t hurt, and might even help.”

      Like Krkic, Jeffren needs time to develop. Unfortunately time is a luxury that a side competing for trophies 24/7 just doesn’t have. If a player can’t contribute at the level necessary, it’s just a wasted roster spot.

  40. June 22, 2011

    For me, the only good thing about Bojan leaving, and I mean only, is the fact that this means we are for sure bringing in another front line playe. And w/ Jefferen leaving, maybe two???? I know this sounds crazy but why not bring in Sanchez then have Villareal sweat it out until mid August, then hope we get Rossi as well for like 24-26m. Let Thiago and 3M be the first and second off the bench in the midfield and next year bring in Cesc and a CB or FB!!!!! We all see how good Villa is on proper rest, so if we play 50 games next year, there is plenty of room for Messi, Villa, P!!, Sanchez and Rossi in the squad. I mean MAN City has like 6 or seven forwards in their rotation and they play a 4-4-2.

    If Rossi replaces Villa for every CDR game, and early CL games, as well as second leg games that are essentially over + starts 10 La Liga games and replaces Villa in the 65-70 min normally, he will play what is like a full season at Villareal. With Sanchez, we are not paying him to back up P!! this season, for the first 10-15 games, yeah, let him intigrate, but after that, he should split time w/ P. Plus I think Sanchez is a long term rep[lacement for Villa (if Messi stays as a false 9), so at 22, he can only go up in playing time over the nexty few years.

      • June 22, 2011

        When Tevez is playing w/ Baleoteli or Dzeko, I consider it two strikes. The point is, Usually they only have 2 recognized front line players on the field at the same time, with guys like Silva and Johnson only able to play the wings. So, you may be right, just like MANU plays a 4-4-1 alot, the point was they have 2 strikers on the field at the same time. We play w/ 3 guys who could all play a #9.

  41. June 22, 2011

    Sorry, more clear here. Villa played in 36 games for Valencia (a less demanding phyical system) mhis final year there. Last year at Barcelona, he played in 48 game. He looked really tired all season, late in games, and going on 30, I don’t see him getting to much more phyically fit. Having said that, on full rest, he is one of the deadliest strikers in the game. So, what do we do? It’s clear that Sanchez has to be looked at as a long term replacement for Villa, who has moved to the wing with FCB. At 22, he is eight years younger than the Spanish interntional, and is a naturally more fit player (as evidence by how he tracks back), Barca is an elite team, who should have an elite option off the bench up front, so this is what I see. Reasonably, for the next 6-8 years we can look forward to Messi, Sanchez and P!! up front. The scary thing is, out of those three, you have to say Sanchez and P!! have the most room to grow, as Messi was a world bearet at 21. I think that we need a Rossi type player to shake it up off the bench as a CF, while 3M can grow into our wing specialist in the future.

    (best front 3 for the future)

    W/ Messi @ (false 9)


    W/ Rossi (like) player in the line up


    Note, if any winger is hurt, P!!!, 3M, Sanchez or Messi can all play the position.

    Having a Rossi type forward allows us to invert the front three and gives us tons of options on the wings.

    • momo
      June 22, 2011

      Rossi + Sanchez + inflated market = Sadness

  42. dennise
    June 22, 2011

    Inflated market=EPL oil moguls. Blame them, not Rosell.

  43. Srini
    June 22, 2011

    With a terrific coach, an all time great squad, brilliant farm system, one would have expected Barcelona FC to have a good management team. They might definitely have one, but their president Sandro Rosell does not inspire confidence at all. By publicly letting know what budget is available for transfers, who are the targetted players, and what would be the offer limits, the president has placed too many of his cards on the table for everyone to view. That does not always work well in a competitive market where gaming the other is one of the keys looked for by smaller clubs, such as Udinese.

    • dennise
      June 22, 2011

      Do not try to read too much from public announcements.

  44. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 22, 2011

    I don’t know how Roma found an agreement to sign Bojan when he is at the U21 Euro. Don’t believe what you read guys.

    I think we are still far from signing anyone, even reports on Kiko have been wrong. Yesterday they said he was hours away from signing.

    TBH, I don’t think we are close to signing Sanchez yet, Its obvious thats the case when one side says the deal 80% complete and soon after the other side are saying we are not close to negotiating a deal.

    Udinese have set a value for Sanchez at 50 mil, but thats the ideal value, everyone would have said the same thing. It’s like how we would value Busquets, he ideally is worth 50 mil too, but in reality we’ll accept probably a fee of 30mil if we wanted to sell him or if he wanted to leave.

    So I think if a deal were to come through, it would be sufficiently lower than 50 mil, thats the beauty of negotiation. If not then we go for Rossi, who would be cheaper and add more depth.

  45. June 22, 2011

    It does seem like the notion around Europe is that we are there for the taking. If we were more shrude, we would have more respect in the market. Even if it takes something durastic like going all summer w/o buying a big player, if it gives us back some respectability, that would be great. But, alas, we are Euro champs and have money to spend, so by the end of next summer I want Sanchez, Rossi, Cesc, a big time CB and a Coentaro type LB…..Cesc is the least important since we have Thiago and 3M. I think that there is no possible way we can sell Thiago, he is one of the most important players we have.

    *** If Jordan Henderson is worth 20M O.M.G, Thiago is a 35M player, but you know how crazy the EPL market is for young English players!!!!

  46. June 22, 2011

    I would rather spend 150M over the next 2 years, while getting 40 or so back by selling Villa/Kieta/JDS ect next summer and being set for the next 5-7 years. I also love the idea of buying players for the B team. We could never do what Udinese did and send 8-9 player to another team, our boys need our system to flourish. Having said that, I really hope we use Roma as a Barca B+, sending our good fringe A team guys to them to get good minutes with a quality team.

    • The__K__Man
      June 22, 2011

      you can’t be set for 5-7 years…no top team does that kind of’ll always have injuries, players whose performances have dropped and players who want to leave to other clubs for more money or playing time.

  47. hammeronmessi
    June 22, 2011

    So still now there is no new my staying out of football zone was in vain.

    2 forwards are absolutely of them has to be kanoute/forlan/rondon.other one should be either san or rossi.i prefer san cause imo rossi will not upgrade barca.

    barca didnt handle jeffren situation well but at the same time barca should tell him whats good for both sides.

    regarding the sanchez price i think 35 m is the exact value for barca to dish out against man city inflated offer,.

    cheers everyone.

  48. messi_fan
    June 22, 2011

    One thing that’s abundantly clear from all this. We NEED to change the way we handle players who we send to other clubs (on loan or otherwise).

    Caceres, Hleb, Keirrison, Henrique, even the case of us not buying back Botia. Anyone with half a brain will look at their situations and come to the obvious conclusion “once Barcelona sends you out you’re never coming back”.

    No wonder players don’t want to leave.

  49. Lou
    June 22, 2011

    Nice interview with Thiago on FIFA’s website.

    So he is going to the U20 world championships too? That’s a lot of international football, but the more experience he can get in tough competitive tournaments the better I suppose. And since he isn’t in the Barcelona starting 11 yet, there’s little risk of him burning out.

    Does anyone know if other Barcelona players have been selected?

    • Jnice
      June 22, 2011

      The squad hasn’t been released yet.

    • I think Barca tried not have him called up for U20 so he can finally have a preseason with the first team. I hope they succeeded and he wont get the call up cause pre season is reaaally vital!

  50. hammeronmessi
    June 22, 2011

    this question is lingering in my mind for a few days

    what is the worst ever barca 11?
    so far i had managed this


    oleguer reizeger


    only four , i managed

    whats your opinion on this?

  51. Olufestus
    June 22, 2011

    maxi lopez
    keirrison(he didnt do anytin to warrant coming back)

    • barca96
      June 22, 2011

      What the? Hleb never played piss poor for us. It’s just that he didn’t get enough minutes.
      How can you guys rate Reizeger as poor? He was just an average RB but definitely not poor.

      • Vj
        June 22, 2011

        Oleguer was half decent too. Gerard? I remember him as quite a squad player..

  52. Pyro
    June 22, 2011

    Thank God Bojan is gone. The boy needed actual playing time to develop into a good player. That is how Messi did it. He played A LOT more than Bojan did in the first team. At Roma, he is with a coach he knows and probably appreciates.

    Jefferen needs to be sold. The man is fast and skilled, but too injury prone. Sanchez seems like an ideal buy, but the one that will replace villa in the future is going to be Rossi.

    We need one more Centerback at least. If we bought Thiago Silva, we would be set for life. (well the next 8 years)

  53. June 22, 2011

    Sport if reporting that Jeffren is effectively being valued at 4M in the Sanchez deal.

    That’s his cash equivalent and how much more Barca would need to up their cash offer in if Jeffren does now go.

    Barca could probably sell him for more (not much but maybe 5M) in the open market. More if its to Liverpool.

    Jeffren really only complicates the deal if Udinese were looking at him as a speculative investment. If they think that in buying Jeffren for 4M they were going to get a player who could get them 10-15 in a year or so. Don’t think Pozzo can afford to not sell for this reason if Barca replaces Jeffren with cash.

    Also, don’t know if the’re true – but it was reported in England and Spain – that City once again increased their offer to Udinese and to Sanchez himself. MD said they offerred 40M + 5M variables and increased the salary offer – Sanchez turned them down again. Whether or not that’s accurate – who knows. But I really doubt City has just pulled out of going after their top summer target. So it seems plausible.

    I also seems very clear that Sanchez only wants to play for Barca at this point. If City increased their salary offer again and Sanchez turned it down – he very well may have turned down 30-40% less money. Whether or not someone is making millions – 30-40% of your salary is a lot of money. A lot.

    Not too many people would insist on doing that. Sanchez seems to have made very few salary demands and doesn’t seem to have used City’s offer to get Barca to up their salary offer. He really does seem to be doing what Masch did – taking a lower salary than what his market rate would be to facilitate a transfer to Barca.

    I think this says a lot about how much he wants to wear the shirt. It means a great deal. He is coming here for sporting reason and is very motivated to do so.

    Inter’s technical director today on the BBC also said that Barca had a deal in place with Udinese and that Inter was out:

    “Sanchez is a player we liked,” Branca told BBC Sport on Wednesday afternoon.

    “Manchester City raised their bid for him to €35m plus a bonus, which ruled us out of the race.

    “In the end, the player preferred to go to Barcelona and they got him for €28m and a €10m bonus. Not many clubs can afford that.”

    Sanchez is going to be very expensive – but you see why. City really wanted him and pushed the market. But it’s clear that Barca also really wants him. Either Barca would just bow out or up their offer and hope that Sanchez’s desire to play for the club would force Udinese to take an offer Barca had to stretch to make but was still feasible. I think that’s why there’s been so much discussion of such a large portion in variables. It reduces Barca’s risk.

    • Vj
      June 22, 2011

      Branca said that? Makes me believe its kinda like those open-secret type of deals. Like the one with Alves. Maybe we’re waiting for Jeffren to accept being a makeweight in the deal and save us some dough..

  54. Justin
    June 22, 2011

    watching spain u21 on espn3, no announcers so its just game sounds, very cool way to watch.

  55. June 22, 2011

    Bojan should pay very close attention to how Munian plays. Munian has so many of the exact qualities that Bojan is lacking.

    Munian is just wonderful.

    It’s always interesting to see how youth teams reflect the strengths/ weaknesses of the senior side.

    Spain’s wide play from their full backs just isn’t great. Didac has not been impressive this tournament at all. Montoya has been fine but given how narrow Spain becomes in attack he’s not dynamic enough to provide the kind of width they need.

    Belarus is giving both full backs time and space on the ball. That’s a good decision.

    On the whole these u21 teams aren’t playing Spain the right way. It would be interesting to see what the Spain u21 side would do against a side that maintains a very narrow shape through the middle.

    • Justin
      June 22, 2011

      the more I watch, the more I want munian. Hes so young and already so talented and multi faceted.

      • blitzen
        June 22, 2011

        That’s what they said about Bojan….

        • Justin
          June 22, 2011

          munian is way more comfortable on the wing than bojan has ever been, so he has a position in the way barca/spain play, whereas bojan is at his best in the center but may not have the composure/strength to preform at the necessary level.

    • Soto
      June 22, 2011

      I had never seen Munian play before, but I have been really impressed with him this tournament. I don’t know why I never noticed him in the Barca v Bilbao games, but he’s has a very strong influence in these games.

  56. Ryan
    June 22, 2011

    Adrian pulls a Van Persie and gets the yellow – at least he converted his time waster!

  57. June 22, 2011

    Munian is the best player on the pitch today. He’s really special.

    He’s almost single picking apart how Belarus is trying to play. Belarus are sort of trying to maintain shape and stay narrow. Munian is finding space out on the flanks (when he maintains tactical discipline and stays out there – he keeps pinching in to look for the ball).

    But the Spanish team is not understanding how space is organized on the pitch right now. They are not reading the game correctly. They keep playing through the middle when the attack should be left sided through Munian.

    • Justin
      June 22, 2011

      in reply to your earlier comment, Why can’t spain say convert one of their numerous midfielders and wings into attacking fbs?

      • June 22, 2011

        That’s really what they should do in tehory – but it’s not that easy.

        The biggest issue in that is that the Spanish midfielders don’t have very much pace. That’s not their strength.

        And to play FB in the modern game to provide width you need pace. Technique is not enough.

        That’s why you can’t just take an Iniesta and move him to FB, for example or a Mata.

        The other thing is that these players are so used to forming tight triangles to pass the ball even when they are stationed wide they constantly pinch into the middle to play the ball.

        It’s why Silva for example doesn’t provide width when he’s stationed on the wing. Same thing for Iniesta.

        Munian is actually trying to stay wide – but they aren’t playing him the ball enough so he’s then resorting to pinch in centrally.

        So with Spain and FB it’s a combination of pace and the general pull of how the players are developed. It doesn’t lend itself to FB play.

  58. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Goal to them.

    De Gea has his Iker face perfected. 😛

  59. June 22, 2011

    And there you go. Much too lax from spain. Far too casual again. I don’t like how Milla has had this team prepared. Very unimpressed.

    For an u21 side they seem to play as if they can turn it on and off when they please because they are just better than the opposition.

    Several poor habits out there in the red shirts. And it’s not just this match.

    Thiago is wonderful. He’s a great talent. And it’s difficult for him to completely assert himself with Mata and Martinez out there.

    All that said – he’s not reading the game properly right now. Mata, Martinez and Hererra aren’t either so it’s not just him.

    But this is a game where the ball should be funneled out every time from the middle out to the left to Munian. They cannot defend his pace and technique on the edge and he’s the one who is forcing Belarus to break their shape.

    But instead the ball keeps getting pinged around the middle.

    Perhaps that’s too much to ask from Thiago. Mata really should be asserting himself I suppose. But Thiago runs this team.

    And if he’s going to play a major role for Barca this season he has to do a better job of understanding space on the pitch.

    • Ryan
      June 22, 2011

      And will Milla actually make a sub before the 80th minute or stick with his starting 11 like he has in most of his games? Bojan coming in and getting the equalizer anyone? 🙂

  60. June 22, 2011

    Citeh trying to hijack the Sanchez deal is funny. He doesn’t want to go to Citeh. Simple as that. He promised his dying father that he would play for Barcelona.

    I also don’t think that Citeh has the best track record in handling talent. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that you could go there and sink into an abyss of expensive players.

    • June 22, 2011

      I think they are just not used to getting turned down. Almost every player they have really wanted they have been able to buy. Even players who don’t initially want to go there (not that it turns out ideally afterwards…)

      I do believe Mancini built this off season around Sanchez. He is absolutely perfect for how Mancini wants to play. City’s big problem is that they had no creativity or vision in midfield.

      Sanchez as a trequarista would be perfect. That is the one player they do not have there. Silva is not that player.

      To take that next step up City needs Sanchez – or someone like him. They need a player in the advanced third even more than they need a central midfielder because they are going to play with two holding players, one of whom can link up play through the center.

      Sanchez is the key for them. If not him they’ll have to try for Pastore, Fabergas, Sneijder, etc. None of those players will be easy or cost effective to get. And for how City want to play and what they need Sanchez’s pace is particularly useful to them.

      • Vj
        June 22, 2011

        I think they are just not used to getting turned down.

        I’m sure they have two full years experience in that department. Its just these couple of years has had them seeing the ~1Bn investment getting some returns. What with the clock not ticking over for a change.

        They’re the only guys where personal contracts with players is more difficult than that with the club..

  61. June 22, 2011

    At half at least Mila made a change – moved Munian to the right.

    Not sure if that was the right adjustment to make though. On the right he’s asking Munian to stay wider and cross the ball more.

    Munian had space on the left. They just needed to funnel the attack through him more consistently.

    Spain now is playing in a more conventional way with wide wingers. Interesting to see what happens.

  62. June 22, 2011

    Wow. Look at Munian run all the way from his right wing position to to the defensive third to stop the Belarus counter.

    Just fantastic.

    • Barcaleya
      June 22, 2011

      Yes, was really impressed at that.

    • Barcaleya
      June 22, 2011

      They took out Muniain for Jeffren?! Couldn’t they have replace someone else?

  63. Ryan
    June 22, 2011

    Jeffren replaces Muniain, interesting…

  64. June 22, 2011

    Montoya has the ball and makes a run forward. He has Munian all alone in space ahead of him wide.

    And instead of circulating the ball quickly to the man in open space – and the player who has been dangerous all match – Montoya dribbles the ball to the middle and passes to a midfielder who is surrounded by the belarus defense.

    That was emblematic of this match.

    And Milla take Munian out of the match and puts on Jeffren. While already putting Capel out on the other flank.

    Milla is clueless.

  65. blitzen
    June 22, 2011


    So frustrating. Spain has been by far the better team, but they haven’t been able to capitalize on that. They need an Iniesta-type.

  66. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Jeffren doing exactly nothing. Bojan at least looks like he is trying.

  67. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Does it go to extra time or straight to penalties?

  68. June 22, 2011

    Thiago finally figured it out. Look at how the play developed.

    They finally got the ball out to the player wide who was in space.

    All game long they have had that player in open space an not utilized him efficiently.

    Very good cross from Jeffren.

    But the key there was using space properly.

    Milla is very, very lucky. He’s done an awful job with this team and in this match.

  69. Barcaleya
    June 22, 2011


    Yes, quite agree. Just didn’t see us getting a goal for the most part of the match.

    But great assist by Jeffren and thank God Adrian did well enough to get it on goal.


  70. Ryan
    June 22, 2011

    And we finally get to see more than 10 minutes of Bojan. Game on!

    • Para
      June 22, 2011

      If you’re referring to the tackle that I’m thinking of, I agree- I love a pretty tackle, and that certainly was one.

    • Ryan
      June 22, 2011

      He’s working hard, hopefully something comes out of it.

  71. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Someone has already updated Adrian’s Wikipedia page with today’s goals. Mindboggling.

    Even more crazy, Adrian plays for Deportivo.

    • Ryan
      June 22, 2011

      A striker from Deportivo has 5 goals in a tournament! Who would’ve imagined?

    • June 22, 2011

      Played. Apparently, he’s signed with Pathetico. But still.

      …Whoa. Did Javi Martinez just body check someone?

    • Para
      June 22, 2011

      Someone on twitter said that Adrian’s now got 5 in 4 for the Spanish under 21s in this tournament, and only had 8 in something like 36 for Deportivo all season.

      • Barcaleya
        June 22, 2011

        Guess he’s good enough if he had support.

        Wit a team that can keep the ball and provide assists, he’s good enough to convert chances.

  72. Ryan
    June 22, 2011

    Adrian is pretty good at finishing those offside calls. 😆

    • June 22, 2011

      Right? He needs to stop doing it though. He’s already on a yellow and to miss a final because of something like that? Sad.

  73. June 22, 2011

    I bet we could sell Jeffren for more than 4M now!

    Take that Pozzo.

  74. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Jeffren!!!!! I take it all back!!!!! 😀

  75. June 22, 2011

    Golazo Jeffren. 😯

    (I’d have been pissed if he didn’t score it, because Bojan or someone else was wide open through on goal)

  76. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Hard to believe this is the same team that was 2 minutes away from losing the game.

    • June 22, 2011

      Part of it is that Belarus is just breaking down physically because they’ve had to defend for so long. The longer the game went the more Spain could dictate play.

      But on the whole this Spain team is far too up and down in terms of their effort and concentration.

      In this tournament their effort has varied far too much. To be honest they’ve played as if they just assume they are better than the opposition and have the game won before it’s played.

  77. June 22, 2011

    So we pull Jefferen out of the Udinese deal and give him to Liverpool on the cheap for 10m now lol……Great game, impact sub. Everyone was giving love to Munian and here comes his sub and tears it up!!!! Great coaching, great sub!!!!

  78. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    Attempts on goal: Spain 24, Belarus 4. !!!

    • June 22, 2011

      And yet Spain were so close to getting baby-Hlebbed. Oh the horror.

  79. Humphrey Bogart
    June 22, 2011

    I tell you if RoSELL does sell Thiago I will go to Barcelona myself burn my membership card in front of his face and piss all over him.

    He is the focal point of this team, when they were as good as out he did take initiative, he is just so good,

  80. June 22, 2011

    Congratulations to Spain. They pulled it out.

    But on the whole it should have never come to this. Milla has done a poor job preparing this team to play. They come out against England – don’t really bother to score that second goal and just play lackadaisically and settle for the tie.

    They go on to play two relatively comfortable games and then today they reverted back to poor form against an organized side. Given how much was at stake in this match that’s not a good sign.

    They won and advanced but this is an easy match for both Milla and the players to draw the wrong lessons from.

    The Spanish midfield completed one pass after another – but they didn’t play well or efficiently as a unit. They did not read the game properly. And that’s the first main job of a midfielder.

    The players on Spain with space and time on the ball were the wide players. Belarus was trying to stay narrow. The ball should have been circulated rapidly into space along the flanks. When Spain did this Belarus broke down. Munian in particular was very dangerous when he got the ball wide in the first half.

    Instead for most of the game Spain just tried to play “their game” and not see what was going on in the pitch.

    Thiago played well technically today. But he did not read the game well. The other Spanish players were worse than he was – Mata and Martinez should really provided the leadership needed for Spain to correct course.

    But Thiago runs the team and it’s ultimately his responsibility. That’s the nature of the position. He’s only 20 so that’s just part of the process of learning. But today’s game showed limits to where he is as a central midfielder. Again – this is no statement on him or his talents or potential. It’s just where he is right now.

    • June 22, 2011

      Also – just to add to my comment. As I wrote earlier – credit to Thiago for setting up that tying goal. The key there was playing the ball out wide – that was the right decision as Jeffren had space wide of play.

    • Soto
      June 22, 2011

      In the run up to the World Cup, the senior Spanish team was playing to prove something, to prove that Spanish football deserves the top title and probably had for a number of years. These players were playing against the sense that previous Spanish teams had failed to perform at the level that their talent warranted. The Spanish players of ’08 to ’10 weren’t going to let that happen again.

      My worry is that the younger Spanish players now look to that success and think: “See! Our way is superior. So let’s just tiki-taka for a bit and it will all work out.” They are missing the chip on their shoulder that drove the previous senior team. Add to that the inexperience of reading the game and their coaches seeming inability to read it for them and you get today’s near loss.

      I just hope that the senior team doesn’t develop the same mental problem during Euro 12.

  81. Jnice
    June 22, 2011

    Gab Marcotti just told me Roma is taking Bojan on loan and not purchasing….

  82. Jnice
    June 22, 2011

    Bojan to Roma loan unusual. Can buy him outright for 10m. But, if they do, Barca can then buy him back in next 2yrs for 15m. Almost done.

    @Jnicee17 Roma are taking him on loan

    To clarify Bojan. Roma take him on loan. If they want 2 buy him nxt summer, it’s 10m. If, after that, Barca want him back, they pay Roma 15m

    So basically, we aren’t getting paid this summer. What a joke.

    • blitzen
      June 22, 2011

      What makes you think this journalist is privy to the details of this (unconfirmed) deal?

      • Jnice
        June 22, 2011

        Marcotti knows his stuff and other people in Italy were taking about a loan deal earlier today. Makes more sense on Roma’s part. We’ll see.

  83. Vj
    June 22, 2011

    So, if Bojan, at Roma,

    1) Sucks – They ship him off back to us. We skimp on his salary for a year, then ship him off somewhere else.

    2) Shows Promise, but doesn’t name names – Roma say thank you very much, a bag containing 10M is thrown at us. We still keep an eye out for him for later.

    3) Sets the Stadio Olimpico alight (figuratively) – Roma get 15M for a bucket-load of goals over a couple of seasons possibly.

    We lose 5M if we want to take him back, not pay his salary(someone could get that?) to see if he steps up. Not that bad.

    I take my earlier comment

    • Vj
      June 22, 2011

      *as in someone could pull how much he’s getting paid at the moment for discussion sake.

      All the above holds provided what Marcotti is saying is indeed the case..

  84. culegirl3
    June 22, 2011

    This is off topic but….is anyone watching the USA vs Panama match? What a goal!

    • Ryan
      June 22, 2011

      Yep! Adu’s pass to Donovan was great. 😀

      • mom4
        June 22, 2011

        Ado to Donovan to Dempsey …quite pretty. But what a nail biter.

        And hubby said that Barca has spoiled me rotten when I complained about the lack of movement off the ball. 🙂
        Go USA!

  85. June 22, 2011

    Great counter attack by USA, Adu to Donavan to Dempsey(offsides?) for the go ahead goal in the 74th min.

  86. Ryan
    June 22, 2011

    I like Adu’s passing, much more thoughtful than the hoofing up the field that the rest are doing.

    • culegirl3
      June 22, 2011

      Hopefully he gets more playing time in the final game..IMO he is an underrated player who can possibly make an impact on the USMNT if given the opportunity.

    • Ryan
      June 22, 2011

      And he’s what, 22 years old? Plenty of time left for him.

  87. blitzen
    June 22, 2011 picks their best World XI to beat Barcelona:

    I can’t argue with their choice of GK (Neuer) or their front three, even if it does include CRonaldo, but Ashley Cole as their LB? Dani Alves would eat him for breakfast. And BSdotCOM rates Pepe much higher as a DM than I ever would. I would pick either Fabregas or Schweinsteiger over him.

    • June 22, 2011

      Cole, Wilshere, Zanetti? 😆

      They are good/great players, but what makes them especially, well, special is the team surrounding them. And I could say that for every player, really.

      A collection of individually good players won’t “beat” us; as Hercules, Betis, etc. have shown, a functioning team that plays for each other will. And even then, we’d have to be on an off-day. No matter how I phase it, that’s just how it is IMO. An on-form Barca is just unplayable.

    • mom4
      June 22, 2011

      Oooooh looking forward to y’all’s report!

      • Vj
        June 23, 2011

        Yeah, before RoSELL gets around selling them..

  88. June 22, 2011

    Very interesting game for the US in the Gold Cup.

    Freddy Adu changed that match. He gave the US some of the creative spark they are always in need of.

    By bar the key play in the goal they scored was Adu controlling the ball and funneling that lovely ball out to Landon Donovan.

    Donovan put in a good cross – but honestly – the Panama defense did an awful job. They didn’t close down Donovan. They gave him time and space on the ball around the box.Can’t do that. Under those circumstances Donovan has to lace a good cross in.

    The real piece of difficult skill that sparked the play was Adu’s. That was very nice.

    Both good and strange to see Adu out there.

    And on another note – the Sanchez transfer really has become a total circus.

    Pozzo is just not going to make a deal on this until the very last minute. He wants to force Sanchez to city but that’s doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. So he’s going to keep holding out and holding out to literally drag every single cent out of the deal.

    And in the mean time the rumors in the press are just out of hand.

    • Jnice
      June 22, 2011

      I’ve been calling for Adu’s inclusion for awhile now. He’s more skillful than anyone on that squad. People love to hate on him, but the fact is, he can play. No surprise he was the game changer.

    • Nav
      June 22, 2011

      So what should Rossel and Barca do? I think they should hold firm on their offer because Sanchez wants to come to us.

      • June 22, 2011

        They should sit tight. At this point I would talk to Sanchez and his agent and get them to put as much pressure on Udinese as possible.

        This needs to get wrapped up before the copa otherwise it’s just going to linger for a month.

        And given how much depth barca have to build they need to get this done. As it is they are going to waste enormous time and organizational focus going after fabergas again.

        If things don’t start moving soon I would open up negotiations for Rossi – both to get the process started again and to put pressure on Udinese. Have Sanchez tell Udinese I’m going to Barca – if i don’t go this year i’m going to go next year. I won’t go to City or United. So if you don’t come off this hard stance your not going to get a penny for me.

        • Nav
          June 22, 2011

          When does his contract expire? I agree with everything you said regarding the approach. If we miss out on Sanchez, so be it, Rossi is also an excellent talent.

          • June 22, 2011

            It’s not for several seasons. I think he might be signed until 2016, IIRC.

            But Udinese must sell him this summer. They really should sell him before the copa because if he gets injured it could really cost them 35M.

            They are literally trying to suck out pennies from the deal. City is simply not a realistic option.

            Udinese should wrap this up before the Copa starts next week.

            Negotiating for Rossi will be more complicated now though. Villareal will know how much Barca was willing to pay for Sanchez.

  89. blitzen
    June 22, 2011

    And if any of you haven’t gotten around to downloading the video of all Barça’s goals this season, DO IT NOW! Rediscover such forgotten classics as:

    –Xavi’s goal vs. Athletic Bilbao through a very narrow space.
    –Maxwell’s corker against Ceuta (you want to sell him because why?)
    –Dani Alves’ Ibra-style kung-fu goal against Sevilla
    –Milito! vs. Ceuta (and Nolito too!)

    Perfect video to watch on a rainy day. 😀

  90. June 22, 2011

    Cules who want Neymar should watch the Copa Liberadores.

    He would have to radically change his game to fit in at Barca.

    He doesn’t defend at all. At all. It’s just not part of the game in Brazil right now. Forwards don’t have much in the way of defensive responsibilities. Neymar takes that to another level. And his overall work rate isnt’ good.

    And while he’s very good on the ball – when he doesn’t have it he doesn’t add much value. His off the ball movement just isn’t very good.

  91. June 22, 2011

    On the other hand – Ganso really is the business. He is so good.

    Barca don’t need him. But some team should snap him up.

    It’s funny – all the emphasis Chelsea is paying on trying to get Neymar – and the player they really could desperately use is Ganso.

    United could also really use Ganso. They made a big mistake last year not buying Hernanes (or Ozil). They really could have used Hernanes at Old Trafford. He was wonderful for Lazio.

    It’s so unfortunate and really says a lot about the state of football in brazil that Menezes has no time for Hernanes.

    Really ugly ending to the match. Santos and Penarol almost getting into a riot at the end of the match. Penarol players were livid with Santos.

    Regardless – congratulations to Santos. It will be a fascinating match next season against Barca if Santos holds onto it’s players.

    • beeeef
      June 22, 2011

      Ganso was superb. I mostly tuned in because I read he was finally coming back from his injury layoff. Never would have figured he’s been out for over a month by the way he played.

      He plays with a cool head and rises to the occasion. I remember the second leg of the State Championship final last year in which he had a strong game too.

      I wonder if he’ll feature in the Copa at all? I believe he’s included in the squad.

      • June 22, 2011

        I really hope the play him. If they don’t I’m afraid we are once again going to see a completely pedestrian midfield from Brazil just as we did in the WC.

        The only really creative midfielders on the team are Ganso and Lucas. Don’t think Menezes is going to play Lucas in a major role yet.

        I think they need to play Ganso especially after how he looked tonight. If they don’t they are going to run into problems like they did in the last WC.

        • Jnice
          June 22, 2011

          I love Ganso. He’s so classy on the ball. Shame we don’t need him. He’s probably my favorite non-Barça midfielder along with Asamoah on Udinese.

        • Jnice
          June 22, 2011

          I think Menezes really likes Ganso and Tim Vickery says if fit, he’ll play.

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 23, 2011

      Echo what Jnice says. Love Ganso. Cool midfielder. Would definitely fit into the Barca midfield.

  92. June 23, 2011

    The crack staff at EMD is saying that if Thiago feels he wont get first team exposure w/ us, he prefers Chelsea. So clearly tomorrow we wil hear Thiago & 15M for David Luiz….This is gettilg hilarious. I would not give Thiago up, at all. If Jordan Henderson is worth 20M pounds in the EPL, my god, Thiago is worth 30M!!!!!!

  93. June 23, 2011

    I have full confidence that Thiago will be just as good at his position, MF, as Rossi and Sanchez are at their respective positions. So if they are worth 30M, surley a 20 y/o Thiago with virtually no ceiling is as well.

  94. June 23, 2011

    One final thought tonight. I know we are not E.E, and take pride in that. What we are is the three time defending league champs and have won 3 CL titles in 5(?) years. We are a big club, with lots of money. If Alexi Sanchez is the right fit for this club, and we are between 30-35M for him, we should jump on it. I mean, remember, it was only a year ago that E.E paid 34.5M for their promising winger. And I can say w/ confidence, Alexis is a beter fit w/ us than the fallen Angel is with them!!!!!

  95. Question…
    Is sanchez fast? How would he do in a comparison to pedro villa messi?
    I’ve watched the youtuve vids but I can’t tell.. since I don’t how paced are the defenders he runs against. And Ibra looked much faster in serie A..

    • stowe
      June 23, 2011

      try checking out the Chili national team from last summer. i remember that whole squad being fast

  96. mom4
    June 23, 2011

    I got this from barcastuff:

    Check out the name on the cake!

    Better than cookies with sprinklers on ’em don’t you think, Bassam? 😉

    • Blow-Grenade
      June 23, 2011

      Nice Cake!!! I want one for my birthday.

      • barca96
        June 23, 2011

        I always knew Bassam was a Cule in his heart 😆
        It’s just that he became a Luke Skywalker.
        Is that right> Im not really a Star Wars fan.. 🙁

  97. barca96
    June 23, 2011

    Euler was absolutely spot on regarding Pozzo.
    Euler said Pozzo will increase his valuation on Sanchez again and again.

    Pozzo: “50M would even be a good deal deal for Barça. To start with, Madrid won’t win anything next season if they sign Sanchez.” [as]

    Now 50 is not enough since he said it would be a good deal. That implies that he wants more.

    • Vj
      June 23, 2011

      What happens when Sanchez plays well in the Copa America?

      Pozzo raises Sanchez’s price again.

      • barca96
        June 23, 2011

        That means that we better wrap this up asap before he increases it again. Or just stop at once!

  98. beeeef
    June 23, 2011

    So, if Sanchez plays today’s friendly against Paraguay instead of hoping on a plane for Barcelona, we can effectively rule out the possibility that this deal will be completed before the Copa (if ever), yes?

    I can’t imagine Borghi will let Sanchez leave anytime after Thursday. With the Copa starting in ten days or so now, this last week becomes essential for squad preparation. Sanchez leaving the Chile camp even for a day or two would throw a wrench in those plans.

    Seems like this saga will only drag onwards.

  99. June 23, 2011

    The Seven Creatures of the Transfer Window: which one are you?

    Ah, the summer transfer window: three balmy, barmy months in which normally sane football fans go doo-lally at the merest drop of a rumour.

    But which Creature of the Transfer Window are you?

    1) The Eternal Optimist
    Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every seemingly ridiculous signing will be alright. Sold your best striker and replaced him with a dud from the second tier of French football? Eh, it can be hard to score goals in that division, English football will suit him. The Eternal Optimist will spin everything so that it makes perfect sense.

    Natural Habitat: A Betting Shop
    Most likely to say: “The manager knows what he’s doing.”
    Least likely to say: “We’ve signed WHO?”

    2) The Football Manager Addict
    Never heard of a player and have no idea how he’d fit in at your club? Just find the Football Manager Addict. They’ll be able to give you a rundown of his strengths, weaknesses, positional ability, shot strength, attitude, sell-on value and how good they’ll be in five years. Who needs to actually watch football anyway!?

    Natural Habitat: University Halls of Residence
    Most likely to say: “I know it’s not real BUT…”
    Least likely to say: “I’ve renewed my season ticket.”

    3) The Apathetic
    Jaded by years of transfer windows these people have seen it all. Cynical about any link with a player they take everything with a tonne of salt. Always ready to hose down your excitement about the possibility of a signing, frustratingly they’re correct more often than not.

    Natural Habitat: On a Higher Plane
    Most likely to say: ‘There’s no point speculating until he’s pictured with the shirt on.’
    Least likely to say: “The deal is almost done, I read it on Twitter.”

    4) The Committed Pessimist
    It’s all going wrong. It is. Perhaps they predicted doom wrongly last year but this time they really mean it. The club is going the wrong way. A slippery slope to nowhere. So you’ve just signed a world class player? Pah, what’s world class these days? He could get injured on the first day of the season and then what? A new keeper, two defenders, a midfielder or three, and a top class striker are essential to avoid the fate they are predicting – and even then it will be a close run thing.

    Natural Habitat: Football Forums
    Most likely to say: “I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist.”
    Least likely to say: “We’re looking good for next season.”

    5) The In-The-Know
    This creature literally thrives at this time of year and is lesser spotted outside of it. They won’t reveal why they know what they know but they’ll tell you that they know it. They just know y’know. They know what you don’t know but would like to know yet they never know anything that would be boring to know as that wouldn’t be worth them knowing. Now you know.

    Natural Habitat: In the Pub or on Twitter
    Most likely to say: “Just trust me.”
    Least likely to say: “I’ve no idea.”

    6) The Wind-up Merchant
    Of course your best player wants to leave, you’re a small club. Last season was your peak and so next season will be your trough. Its better you accept it now. You’re a selling club. Not in the market for best players. Basically find the most controversial angle on any subject and the Wind Up Merchant will take it to a new level.

    Natural Habitat: On the payroll at TalkSPORT
    Most likely to say: “If you disagree, you know how to get in touch.”
    Least likely to say: “I could be wrong as it’s just my opinion after all.”

    7) The Sufferer of Premature Elation
    A lack of football can lead to a certain level of delirium for these people. Just the slightest rumour can result in them proposing formations for next season to suit the player’s strengths, making up chants, and contacting the club shop to see what number shirt the player will be wearing.

    Natural Habitat: Pacing Any Room Repeatedly
    Most likely to say: “Where should I get the tattoo?”
    Least likely to say: “It’ll never happen.”

    • June 23, 2011

      I am firmly The Apathetic… which is why I’ve just been lurking lately 😛

      • hammeronmessi
        June 23, 2011

        thank you for a funny read.

        i m definitely in the apathetic group.

    • blitzen
      June 23, 2011

      I’m a cross between the Apathetic and the Optimist. Apoptimist.

      I think most people in here fall into either the Football Manager Addict or Committed Pessimist categories. 😆

      • ciaran
        June 23, 2011

        Football Manager addict, I’ve scouted and signed so many of the talents that we’ve been linked with years ago in FM.
        The major issue I have is when EE sign them I sell them or bench them in the game, It really annoys me.

  100. Vj
    June 23, 2011

    Also, has RoSELL really added the extra disgrace of a UNICEF tramp stamp onto our jersey?

    I hate that guy..

    • culegirl3
      June 23, 2011

      The guy is a total moron in the PR department. He runs his mouth too much in my opinion. bring back Laporta!

    • yana
      June 23, 2011

      Well, lower back of the shirt is much better than on the shorts, across the ass, as you see with some teams…

      And it’s UNICEF. I’m glad at least we didn’t drop them completely.

  101. hammeronmessi
    June 23, 2011

    i m not sure but it seem most of us here is condemning pozzo for the ridiculous price he set for sanchez.but as the clubs owner he holds the right to do that.nothing wrong in that.

    and if jeffren doesnt want to be a part of the sanchez transfer,no grudges against him.his right should be above the club.

  102. hammeronmessi
    June 23, 2011


    i visited the RMFB.

    thank u for your comment there

  103. ElJefe
    June 23, 2011


    I’m sold tired of this and the Italian owner granstanding I’d almost want to walk away from both now. I will say this:

    1) We need additioanl scoring threat more than will need midfield depth. I would think Sanchez has advantage here but Cesc’s scoring numbers have been great recently.
    2) On the flip side, Cesc could be Xavi’s long term replacement when he retires.

    In case Pedro has a slow year or Villa stays slow, I like the pace, age, and threat factor of Sanchez but not for 50MM.

  104. just listenin
    June 23, 2011

    I’m so bored… I’m fidgety like a junkie needing a fix. Sigh… When do we play again?!?!? I’ve already watched a lot of repeats, I am starting to be able to recite some of this seasons commentary for some of the matches verbatim… ughhh. Why is nothing happening? I mean some of these tournaments and stuff are OK, maybe not the Gold Cup so much… Sign somebody or something, c’mon already… painful. How can Pep play golf? you’d think those two would kick their putts… was surprised they used clubs

    • beeeef
      June 23, 2011

      Chile v Paraguay starts in under an hour if you’re interested.

      Not sure if Sanchez is playing or not, but.

      • Jnice
        June 23, 2011

        I’m pretty sure Sanchez, Matigol, Suazo, Valdivia, and Medel are being left out due to risk of injury.

      • just listenin
        June 23, 2011

        Thanks beeeef, maybe that will pick me up, got that one on the radar, I’m afraid he won’t play and I’ll be disappointed or he’ll play really well and we won’t sign him and then I’ll be mad…I’m suffering silly season emotional doldrums. Maybe I’ll throw on my jersey and watch the CL final again later and try to pretend I don’t know how it ends – I watched the 6-2 Clasico from 09 last night.

        • beeeef
          June 23, 2011

          Jnice, you’re right.

          Gonna watch something else lol

  105. June 23, 2011

    Ughhhh Does anyone know if the Copa Libratodores is on American television….

    • Jnice
      June 23, 2011

      Yeah, Fox Deportes, but the competition ended yesterday.

    • June 23, 2011

      Youtube is streaming it for free, and I believe Univision will be carrying it. I am fairly sure it will also be transmitted live (for free!) through the Univision site. If their Copa America coverage is as good as their Gold Cup coverage, it would be the best way to follow the tournament here in the states 😛

    • Jnice
      June 23, 2011

      Copa America? It’ll be on Univision. I’m sure you have that.

      • mom4
        June 23, 2011

        To me, it appears that Univision is carrying some but not all of the Copa America games. The Argentina game on July 1st will be on WMDOC (whatever that is, channel-wise for me it’s in the 500’s). I thought for sure that GOLTV had the rights for the Copa America but they never publish their schedules until a few days before (maddening) and you’d think they’d be advertising it on their website it they had bought the rights. Hopefully good old barcastuff will post links.

        • mom4
          June 23, 2011

          sorry, that’s WMDOCA

          WFDC is also carrying some games.

          What’s with the dearth of stations carrying this thing?

  106. blitzen
    June 23, 2011

    Mods! Can we have a new post please? This one has been up for three days.

    I realize there is no actual news to report, but this thread is getting too long to scroll through.

    Thank you.

    • June 23, 2011

      I had one scheduled for 12am, but I guess I can still post it.

  107. can_we_go_Xalvies
    June 23, 2011

    with all this talk about Pozzo pricing Sanchez worth 50 mil. if we for some reason end up pulling out of the race to sign him, will Man City even be willing to sign Sanchez for 50 mil?

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