La Liga 2011-12 Schedule Out

We all love ourselves some RFEF. Technical glitches and refusal to tell us when matches will be more than 2 weeks in advance means there’s lots of guesswork left, but La Liga’s schedule is out. Or at least the framework for it is.

Round 1 21 August 2011 Málaga v Barcelona
Round 2 28 August 2011 Barcelona v Villarreal
Round 3 9 September 2011 Real Sociedad v Barcelona
Round 4 18 September 2011 Barcelona v Osasuna
Round 5 21 September 2011 Valencia v Barcelona
Round 6 25 September 2011 Barcelona v Atlético Madrid
Round 7 2 October 2011 Sporting Gijón v Barcelona
Round 8 16 October 2011 Barcelona v Racing
Round 9 23 October 2011 Barcelona v Sevilla
Round 10 26 October 2011 Granada v Barcelona
Round 11 30 October 2011 Barcelona v Mallorca
Round 12 6 November 2011 Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona
Round 13 20 November 2011 Barcelona v Real Zaragoza
Round 14 27 November 2011 Getafe v Barcelona
Round 15 4 December 2011 Barcelona v Levante
Round 16 11 December 2011 Real Madrid v Barcelona
Round 17 18 December 2011 Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano
Round 18 8 January 2012 Espanyol v Barcelona
Round 19 15 January 2012 Barcelona v Real Betis
Round 20 22 January 2012 Barcelona v Málaga
Round 21 29 January 2012 Villarreal v Barcelona
Round 22 5 February 2012 Barcelona v Real Sociedad
Round 23 12 February 2012 Osasuna v Barcelona
Round 24 19 February 2012 Barcelona v Valencia
Round 25 26 February 2012 Atlético Madrid v Barcelona
Round 26 4 March 2012 Barcelona v Sporting
Round 27 11 March 2012 Racing v Barcelona
Round 28 18 March 2012 Sevilla v Barcelona
Round 29 21 March 2012 Barcelona v Granada
Round 30 25 March 2012 Mallorca v Barcelona
Round 31 1 April 2012 Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
Round 32 8 April 2012 Real Zaragoza v Barcelona
Round 33 11 April 2012 Barcelona v Getafe
Round 34 15 April 2012 Levante v Barcelona
Round 35 22 April 2012 Barcelona v Real Madrid
Round 36 29 April 2012 Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona
Round 37 6 May 2012 Barcelona v Espanyol
Round 38 13 May 2012 Real Betis v Barcelona


So we start the year at Malaga and end it at Real Betis. Add in the August 14 and August 17 dates with Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa and we’ve got ourselves one hell of a ride starting in just over 1 month. We’re also visiting Madrid for el clásico in the first half of the season instead of the other way around, which is a fun change of pace from the last couple of years. We also host the Catalan derby on the second-to-last weekend of the season.

Shiver me timbers, it’s going to be a good one. Villarreal in the second week could present serious problems, especially if Rossi is still there and wants to show us what we’re missing out on. Then again, maybe Alexis Sanchez will want to show the world why he was worth the price. Or neither of those things will come true. Who knows?

Our only “stretch of death” is Valencia followed by Atletico Madrid. Given that I haven’t compared the probable Champions League dates, I don’t know if there’s another set that will be tricky (last group stage matchday should be directly before the first clásico) and given that we have no idea who will be in the CL group, it’s best not to speculate.

The Club World Cup is scheduled to start on December 8, but Barça doesn’t participate until December 15 when we’re slotted into the semifinals. Rumors suggest that the first clásico will be changed to accommodate travel to Japan where the tournament will take place (specifically, the team plays in Yokohama where the final will also be held). Traveling to Japan and playing a competitive match on short notice would be difficult, but not unheard of if the team is able to go directly from Madrid rather than returning to Barcelona. At least they won’t have to drive…

What are your thoughts on the schedule?

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    I hate that we have to wait until January to play both Espanyol and Real Betis. That seems like forever.

    And why am I seeing this thread twice again? Is that just me?

    • Justin
      July 6, 2011

      No me too blitzen, same thing happened last article

    • mom4
      July 6, 2011

      Not, me. I’m kinda psyched. If our trip goes trough this January, I can pick between R. Betis or Malaga. Not premium games so there should be no probs with tickets, yet these two games should be awesome!

      • mom4
        July 6, 2011

        And I think we all have the double-vision post thing.

        • tutomate
          July 6, 2011

          Just an error in the HTML code, CSS I think.

  2. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    Kiko Femenia signing confirmed. Are you all happy now??? 😛

    • Helge
      July 6, 2011

      I like his name 😀

      So yeah, I’m happy. Seriously, I believe he has a chance to become a first team member in one year. The dude has some potential – from the few matches that I saw him play.

      • Ryan
        July 6, 2011

        Kikos are also those toasted corn snacks – delicious!

  3. K_legit
    July 6, 2011

    When Francesc Fabregas heads away from the Emirates Stadium to join the Spanish armada in that patriotic quest known as international football, he is drowned in an environment where the word ‘losing’ is perpetually absent from vocabulary. His face is pressed up against the shaggy hair of Carles Puyol, the scruffy beard of Gerard Piqué, and the hideous goatee of David Villa. In that very moment, the truth is laid bare for the Arsenal captain – success lies on the other side of the divide.

    A good read

    • dennise
      July 6, 2011

      yeah, keep in mind Mascherano’s transfer motivation…I do not feel like london is my home.

      • K_legit
        July 6, 2011

        I do not feel like london is my home.
        well it shouldn’t..Mascherano lived and played in Liverpool

  4. Josep
    July 6, 2011

    >RFEF techniical glitches
    >double post every post here

  5. Judas Pissed
    July 6, 2011

    I’m very hsppy with the schedule – mainly because my birthday is 17/11 (or 11/17 for you guys across the pond) & I took a chance & booked a weekend in Barcelona for 18th-20th Nov in the HOPE that we would be at home. We are at home v Zaragoza & now flight prices have instantly doubled! Yay!

    • culegirl3
      July 6, 2011

      wow…..that’s all I can say. lol

      • barca96
        July 6, 2011

        Love this comment. Could be a contender on the Blitzen’s Comment of the month Award;

        And to think that his brother has to pay to get the same kind of treatment.

    • barca96
      July 6, 2011

      Luckily Pagliuca wasn’t on the list. I always liked his short sleeved shirts. I actually like Campos’ outlandish shirts. I basically jsut like short sleeve shirts (silly Pique!)

  6. Whatever
    July 6, 2011

    Can we buy tickets for the second clasico in April already?

    • Vj
      July 6, 2011

      Someone could win La Liga or make the other do the pasillo at the time..

  7. barca96
    July 6, 2011

    I’m not complaining about the lack of players being signed.
    I think the priority is to keep the current players happy.
    Give them a better contract and the young’uns too.
    Especially from Barca B.

    I’m going to try to download all the matches of Barca B next season since there are going to be a lot of exciting young talents.

    I don’t think they will be as good as they were last season. Last season there were a lot of matured players and a few that were knocking on the 1st teams door; Thiago, Fontas, Dos Santos, Nolito etc.
    While the next season’s team includes many young players from Juvenil A.
    But older players don’t mean better players so we shall see.

    Was Dongo’o promoted to the B team too?

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011

      Re: Dongou: no, he wasn’t promoted. He is only 16, I believe.

      • nzm
        July 6, 2011

        I hope that this doesn’t let him fall into Wenger’s clutches. 🙁

  8. The__K__Man
    July 6, 2011

    I’m hoping to catch the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco then the Villareal match in Barcelona. Let’s see how that goes.

  9. Helge
    July 6, 2011

    Mmh… very tough start. Malaga, Villarreal, Valencia and Atleti should all be top6 contenders or better, RSSD and Osasuna are both Basque sides and will fight as they always do.

    I didn’t care about the 2 Clasicos before the schedule, but now I hope even more for a b line-up. Let EE win the Supercup, as long as it’s their only trophy of next season 😀

    • culegirl3
      July 6, 2011

      I must disagree with you! I’d rather EE wins absolutely nothing this season. I’d like to think we were far too generous letting them win the CDR 😀

  10. July 6, 2011

    FINALLY! For the first time since 06/07 we have the second clasico at home!

    • Dani_el
      July 6, 2011

      I think EE is pressing hard to have a better schedule, first, the supercopa will be played on sunday in Madrid, and on Wednesday at 11pm in Barcelona, a work day! Maybe they’re hoping people dont show up as much as usual (I believe they’re wrong thinking that). That game in december is scheduled 4 days before the semifinals of the Clubs World Japan! We need more than 2 days to aclimate to their time zone, and I dont think that EE would use their trademark sportsmanship to change that date, unless the federation presses for it. It’s great that 5 years later, the second clasico will be played at home, but the rest of it…Don’t matter what, this is Barça.

  11. Roz
    July 6, 2011

    Does anybody know when Barca start presason?

  12. footballfan
    July 6, 2011

    Argentina’s lineup is out, and there is no change at all, apart from Zabaleta for Rojo.

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011

      Those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

  13. BarcaGirl_Indo
    July 6, 2011

    Round 35 22 April 2012 Barcelona v Evil Empire

    Round 37 6 May 2012 Barcelona v Espanyol

    so two evils will come to our house by the end of the season…
    oh, the joy! 😀

    and welcome, Kiko Femenia!
    please tell me that’s not the only player we’ll sign, Rosell… 😕

  14. IamXavi6
    July 6, 2011

    Sorry to take away from the schedule butcan anyone confirm Enrique has taken Bojan with him to Roma? Seems like it’s all done from what I’ve read

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011

      It is not confirmed. Word is there is a deal, but nothing has been announced officially.

    • July 6, 2011

      Nope, it’s not confirmed, but it’s at a pretty advanced stage. They only have to agree a fee; Roma want him for 8m, but we’re holding out for 10. Roma seem confident it’ll get done and going by Bojan’s latest comments, it seems that he has one foot in Rome.

  15. IamXavi6
    July 6, 2011

    “This is a bittersweet feeling, reaching this point is not easy, but someday it would have to happen,” he told the Spanish press. “I feel privileged for all I have done at the age of 20, for breaking through Barca’s youth ranks and for all I have left to do.”

    “I have not spoken with Luis Enrique,” Krkic said, “but I know he is interested in me and it is an honor there are teams interested in my services.”

    Nothing concrete but I dare say he is indeed off to Roma…sad to see him go if he does but to be honest I was always skeptical if he could cut it consistantly here…hope he moves and gets his cofidence and groove back because he is a talent, many Spanish caps for him to come when he finally sorts it all out.

    • ciaran
      July 6, 2011

      Zubi’s comments seemed to make it look a little less clear, more like we are studying the offer but are not sure.
      I would much prefer if we were to sell him to another La Liga club like Villarreal or even someone like Sporting so that we can keep a tighter eye on him. He really needs a squad where he will be the undoubted starter.

  16. July 6, 2011

    Colombian striker, you stupid bastard. I can’t believe I just saw that happen 😛

  17. Miguel
    July 6, 2011

    Can you fucking believe that miss by Colombia? Ley de la ventaja!

    • July 6, 2011

      I mean, if he hadn’t taken that awful shot, that would have been a direct red and a penalty for Colombia, right?

      • Miguel
        July 6, 2011

        Was he the last defender? Maybe a yellow? Def a pen.

        • July 6, 2011

          “Last defender” isn’t in the laws, as far as I know. But the Argentinian defender definitely denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and that’s a direct red.

          • Miguel
            July 6, 2011

            You’re right. Straight red, advantage or not.

  18. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    Could we just stick an Argentina shirt on Iniesta and send him in? They really need him. Or we will hypnotize Dani and make him think he is Argentinian.

    • Miguel
      July 6, 2011

      Thiago for Cambiasso and Pique for Burdisso. Or Puyol for Milito.

  19. July 6, 2011

    Argentina is once again playing like a very confused mimic of Barca.

    How Batista has this team playing makes no sense.

    Pressing with no pretense of staying compact. Playing a false 9 without any ball playing midfielders with creative flair. A front line that simply doesn’t exhibit quality off the ball movement. They just stand there waiting for the ball. Tevez is just standing around as messi draws 3-4 players to him.

    Argentina has the best player in the world and one manager after another has no clue how to use him. It’s just astonishing how incompetent the AFA is.

    ARG is very lucky not to be down 1-0. Milito with an absolute shocking give away on a simple pass in his own third. How columbia didn’t score is hard to believe.

    Milito is a shell of the player he once was. Notion that he will still be able to play meaningfully at the level Barca requires is fantasy.

  20. Barcaleya
    July 6, 2011


    Milito giving away that ball is just unbelievable. And the Colombian striker miss is even more so.

    I don’t see how Argentina can score playing this way. No strategy anywhere. Only Messi creates really good chances but no one supports him by being open for the pass. He’s used to having someone to pass ball to until there is a clear chance that opens up. He can’t do it by himself!

    This is so frustrating….

    • July 6, 2011

      Batista doesn’t seem like he’s learned anything from the last match. That, really, was what kept my faith in Argentina. It’s not at all as if they’ve been unlucky, their attack plan is awful.

      They have the pure talent to make it to the knockouts like this, but all it takes is one well-managed, talented team to blow them apart.

      • blitzen
        July 6, 2011

        Agree. Not that Colombia’s plan is much better, but they have one thing Argentina doesn’t: speed. They can get past the Argies with ease, and have created chance after chance.

        Argentina still has no creativity at all. Messi has to play so deep he is effectively nullified. This is incredibly frustrating to watch.

      • Barcaleya
        July 6, 2011

        Colombia has better passing even, some tiki-taka at times.

        And they’re opening up the Argentine defense so well! The keeper has been doing such a fine job that’s why ARG is not down by 7 at this point. Arrrrghhh!

  21. jordi™
    July 6, 2011

    Just as I was saying Gabi was having a decent game he did “that” O.O

    Btw, why does Batista never even sub in Pastore? Argentina is so pedestrian in midfield.

  22. Ryan
    July 6, 2011

    Moreno looks the most likely to score; those long range shots keep surprising Argentina’s keeper.

  23. Obii
    July 6, 2011

    I honestly can’t watch this match anymore. Such a disjointed team, its not even funny. Batista is just another Maradona, except without the hugs and the kisses.

    • Ryan
      July 6, 2011

      He’s also missing the epic belly slides. 😆

  24. Barcaleya
    July 6, 2011

    Ohmygosh – what happened to Messi??!

    I don’t want him hurt! If ARG is going to play this stupidly anyway – pls take out Messi now. This team doesn’t deserve him.

    Why can’t they study and come up with a good plan and use all the talent they have?! There are all the Barcelona games to watch and learn from. They don’t need to copy but they can at least make the most of what they have, which is a lot.

  25. July 6, 2011

    Argentina is just playing with no tempo. They are so slow and deliberate in midfield. And their midfield just cannot circulate the ball quickly. In fact – the midfield doesn’t even try to circulate the ball quickly because that’s not their game.

    Batista is playing a conservative side in an attempt to keep his job. Playing Tevez suddenly to pander to the crowd is the worst example of this.

    But if Batista doesn’t start watching what’s happening and base how his team is to play on reality rather than ideology he’s going to do exactly what he’s set out to avoid – getting himself fired.

    Just awful football from Argentina. Terrible tactics, poor use of talent and overall confusion out on the pitch.

    He needs to use the players on his team who understand off the ball movement and play at a higher tempo – the tempo that Messi plays at.

    And that’s Kun and DiMaria.

    Every team is going to form a box of defenders around Messi. Arg doesn’t use width at all because their full backs can’t get forward and the forwards playing alongside Messi keep pinching inwards – Tevez especially.

  26. Blau-Grenade
    July 6, 2011

    Loving Colombia. I have no idea how Argentina are not a man down or a couple of goals down. Colombia is fighting for the ball in all areas of the pitch with enthusiasm. Is messi the only play maker for Argentina? Zanetti/Cambiaso are too slow. They need to make way for youngsters. Zanetti/Cambiaso are too slow defending, no and do not add to the pace attacking. They usually stay in no man’s land just ahead of the defenders, neither defending nor attacking.

  27. ciaran
    July 6, 2011

    Messi playing deep isn’t the definitive problem. If he plays deep as a no.10 at least have a striker playing centrally with good movement allowing him to play off someone. Xavi & Iniesta make it possible to play as a false 9 but without them he should have a target man to play off.
    Midfield is a joke though. Pastore or Lucho Gonzalez would be doing a better job than Cambiasso as the attacking midfielder.
    I still believe that Di Maria should be their left back also.

    • Obii
      July 6, 2011

      No, thats exactly what Tevez is doing. He is playing centre forward when Messi goes deep. The problem with that is Argentina having zero width on the side he left. You simply need more creativity in the midfield.

  28. mei
    July 6, 2011

    This must be the stupidest way to setup a team.
    Can they press like barca? no
    Can they pass like barca? no way.
    They dont even have any player capable of creating game in their midfield.
    Cambiasso has contributed NOTHING in the whole half while lavezzi has missed a great opportunity.
    Tevez is drifting inside while he shouldnt and their defence is simply laughable.
    Forget about the barca way, you cant even come near it.
    Get pastore in there and make yourself more of a threat because your defense is shit no matter how many defensive oriented players you will put out there to make up for it.

  29. jordi™
    July 6, 2011

    They are actually worse offensively than the worldcup.

  30. July 6, 2011

    This defense makes me cry. #bringonKun #PastoreforHlbbedPastore

    Messi’s okay — his parents are watching, he’ll never let himself get subbed out. A kiss from his mama will make the boo-boo go away.


    Tell me when it’s over. /goesbacktolivetorture

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011

      It’s OK, Kari. It will all be over soon.

  31. July 6, 2011

    DiveMaria is awful. I wouldn’t sub him on, even if his one move gets Argentina a penalty. And this is coming from someone who wants Argentina to win.

  32. y2k156
    July 6, 2011

    As a Argie fan, i think time has come to agree that Argentina simply does not have a team and there is no chance in hell of this team winning anything.

    Milito is past it. Pep knew it and did not play him anymore. Batista i guess decided that just because Milito was non playing Barcelona player, he should be in starting 11. Mascherano is having a shocker today. He has lost so many balls.Lavezzi is again average. He might be better suited to system but as a player and threat, he falls way below Aguero.Nothing much to write about Tevez. Thought he did ok.

    On the other hand, Messi rarely came deep this game. I guess Batista wanted him to stay up field. And this has resulted in Messi hardly seeing any ball.

    Batista is a bad coach, thats the only reason i can come up with.

    I do not give Argentina any chance but hope that they play better. And they have to give up on system and just try to play football with their best players, which means having Aguero and Pastore in first 11 and getting rid of Milito for anyone out there.

    Columbia on other hand were much better. They have good offense and excellent defense.

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011


      No, not really. 😛

    • July 6, 2011

      A year ago I watched the Arg-Germany match in the WC live. I was so excited about that match. And watching it was so dispiriting. After a while I just had to start marveling at Germany’s technical and tactical mastery. But it was really painful to sit through as reality was dawning that they had no chance whatsoever.

      In some ways – this might actually be worse. The stupidity just continues. Almost nothing has been learned.

      Batista is awful.

      • Barcaleya
        July 6, 2011

        It’s true! I didn’t think they could be worse than in that Germany game.

        But they are now! It’s really very stupid. I don’t see what they’re doing. Not that I know much but sometimes I can at least see what the team is trying to do. Here – nothing!

        I hate Batista!

  33. July 6, 2011

    I still believe that Di Maria should be their left back also.

    I would do the same thing. Arg has three main problems in attack: no width, slow ball circulation in midfield, and limited off the ball movement.

    They get nothing from their full backs. No width. And their forwards keep pinching in.

    And they have few options at full back even coming up through the youth ranks.

    If I were the Arg managers I would have experimented playing Di Maria at LB and Lavezzi at RB.

    • ciaran
      July 6, 2011

      For the record, I hate Di Maria but he needs to be starting for this Argentina team.
      Tevez needs to be benched and become Messi’s substitute.

  34. mei
    July 6, 2011

    Hes a diver , a pretty bad one too but hes a good player.
    And in this kind of match he would be useful , because you know , he plays on the wing rather than always cutting in like tevez, who is effectively breaking up the play and narrowing the formation of argentina.
    Either get pastore in for cambiasso, or sub cambiasso for aguero and get messi in the midfield.
    The way argentina tries to play makes absolutely no sense.

    • blitzen
      July 6, 2011

      Dive Maria also has speed, which is something this stumpy-legged team is sorely lacking.

  35. can_we_go_Xalvies
    July 6, 2011

    Tevez and Lavezzi are hopeless, even if they are given chance after chance they will not score.

    Columbia are just too good on the ball, no matter how good our midfield is, if our forward line don’t make anything happen, columbia will continuously hurt Argentina when they have possession.

  36. y2k156
    July 6, 2011

    And as for Maradona, in hindsight, he was a much better coach. He knew his team. His only screw up was starting with Maxi and Di Maria with Masch against Germany. Guess he started to believe in his own hype instead of being pragmatic as he was till then.

    Thing to remember about football is that it is team game and though coach can tailor little bit according to one player, the plan has to suit team. What Batista is doing is so half baked. It seems he is so dazzled by Messi that he has lost all his senses. Sad for fans like me.

  37. culegirl3
    July 6, 2011

    Yet another painful/frustrating game by Argentina. Don’t know what is going through Batista’s mind but he’s not doing any better than Maradona..that’s for sure. wow. He’s dead weight to Argentina..what’s the point of calling him up anymore? What ever he had to offer to the national team has been given already (if there was anything to begin with)’s pretty much an embarrassment when you have younger defenders like Garay, Pareja, and Rojo who frankly cannot screw it up worse than Milito has and they sit there warming that bench up. 🙁

  38. July 6, 2011

    Last thing: Kun would have put away that Messi pass. Just sayin’.

  39. July 6, 2011

    And no changes from Batista. It’s unbelievable. Now it’s as if he is just trying to prove that he’s right rather than admitting this isn’t working and doing what’s needed to win.

    He’s completely out to lunch. His midfield is a complete disaster.

    And it’s only a matter of time before Columbia scores.

    Falcao is much too quick and intelligent to be played by the Arg backline.

    And Milito just gets roasted on pace once again. There is no way he should play for Barca again next season. They cannot count on him.

    • culegirl3
      July 6, 2011

      Do you think Milito’s price will go down significantly due to his poor performance during the Copa IF Barcelona were to sell him?

      • July 6, 2011

        I can’t imagine Barca would get much for Milito. But this tournament clearly is not going to help.

        He’s been awful.

        The notion of him functioning as “depth” at CB for Barca is fantasy.

      • Miguel
        July 6, 2011

        Can you get any cheaper than a free transfer? You know how Barca do. Henry. Marquez.

        • culegirl3
          July 6, 2011

          Actually if I was a team interested in acquiring the services of Milito… I’d make Barca pay me to take the dead weight of their hands.

  40. Miguel
    July 6, 2011

    You know you’re in trouble when “El Jefecito” is taking shots.

  41. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    Argentina apparently hasn’t heard about one-touch football.

    • jordi™
      July 6, 2011

      Heh, doesn’t Gabi’s one touch set up count?

  42. July 6, 2011

    How bad do Lavezzi and Tevez need to be before they get removed?

    The Arg passing is just awful.

    This is the country with more creative attacking players than any other in the world and Batista is optimizing the team for failure.

    Messi as a false 9 with Tevez out “wide” is not working. Tevez is so used to playing in the same space. And Lavezzi just plays so slowly and isn’t a good passer.

    And did the announcer really just say Lady Gago is coming into the match along with Kun?

    • July 6, 2011

      At least they’re bringing Gago in… he’s good at forcing defenders to make mistakes… They can’t read his Poker face, pah pah Poker Face.

  43. Obii
    July 6, 2011

    Gago? Really? Are you joking? This guy is a dunce!

    • Para
      July 6, 2011

      I din;t think I’ve ever seen him play for Madrid–is that because he’s rubbish, or injury prone, or both?

      (Or, I suppose, neither)

      • Obii
        July 6, 2011

        Gago isn’t creative. Thats what Argentina needs. Theyre playing 1 DM and 2 box to box midfielders. Pastore should be on for him!

  44. July 6, 2011

    He has Pastore just sitting there. And he brings on Gago – a player who hasn’t played much at all the past year.

    What is going on? Is Batista really this clueless? His love for deep lying midfielders is just weird.

  45. Miguel
    July 6, 2011

    That would have been such a great goal for Colombia! It gave Burdisso a bloody nose.

  46. jordi™
    July 6, 2011

    Ice got Pastore on my bench and my offence is lacking, well obviously
    Ill bring on Gago!

  47. July 6, 2011

    Falcao is the business. He is so good. Great movement. Great intelligence.

    How Columbia is not winning this match is amazing.

    And Messi threads the needle and Kun blows the touch. Nothing is working for the Argie attack.

    • Miguel
      July 6, 2011

      Kun woulda scored that goal. Just sayin’. Oh wait.

  48. July 6, 2011

    72nd minute, 0-0… predictions?

    Argentina to win on the back of a moment of individual brilliance. The atrocity of Argentina’s performance gets papered over. :\

    • Miguel
      July 6, 2011

      It’s too late to bring on Palermo. I hope Colombia snatches this at the last minute.

  49. Obii
    July 6, 2011

    So presumably with Higuain coming on, Messi is gonna play in MF? I’d hope so, but thats such a waste of his talent.

  50. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    Amazing that ARG’s #9 only comes on with only 20 minutes left.

  51. July 6, 2011

    Batista just doesn’t get it.

    His problem is the midfield. Moving Messi back to play the 10 may add creativity there but it takes his best player away from goal.

    He takes Cambiasso off and plays another deep midfielder in with Gago. Never mind that Gago is awful. Tactically he plays like for like.

    With Tevez playing awfully and ARG having o width he puts in Higuain and takes off Banega. Messi is now even farther from goal.

    Gago and Higuain were hurt all season long. They’ve barely played. And those are the two players he goes to to change the match.

    • July 6, 2011

      I can already hear “See that freekick? Messi’s heart isn’t into Argentina. He scores those all the time at Barcelona.”

      • Barcaleya
        July 6, 2011

        The commentator said it. Something like – I see no fire, no focus. Lackadaisical. Blah, blah.

        Argggh! Are they blind?! Don’t they see how hard he’s working?! But the team. The team is a disaster. Thanks to the stupid coach.

  52. July 6, 2011

    If Messi wants to save his international career he is going to have to take control of the situation and dictate what is to be done.

    Neither Batista nor the AFA is competent to do so.

    Messi is going to need to speak up and demand changes. It’s not him nor his style but desperate situations call for dramatic action.

    • Obii
      July 6, 2011

      I agree one hundred percent. The guy gives his all for his country. Plays needless friendlies for them when he desperately needs rest. Yet, they question his commitment? He needs to speak up, and let them know what is what! Batista is a fool!

    • Barcaleya
      July 6, 2011

      True. He should do this.

      I haven’t forgiven Peckerman for the botched ’06 WC but he at least formed a team around Riquelme, who was his best playmaker, and whose best form is comes out through a supportive team.

      Batista should do the same for Messi. Form a team to support him. And bring on some consultant who can make sense of the players they have and how they should be used.

    • July 7, 2011

      But that’s never going to happen. Messi is borderline autistic, he’ll never be a player that takes over a changing room.

  53. blitzen
    July 6, 2011

    Tomorrow’s headline: “Messi lets Argentina down again while Tevez struggles heroically.”

    Ugh. 😥

    • July 6, 2011

      By rights, the headline for tomorrow should read “Colombia held by Argentina.”

      • mom4
        July 6, 2011

        Very true, that’s why Romero is MotM!

      • blitzen
        July 6, 2011

        Or “Colombia miraculously held by Argentina despite several clear scoring opportunities.”

        Poor Leo is going to get ripped apart tomorrow. I don’t even really care about this competition, but I want our players to do well, especially Messi. I feel so bad for him.

        The other thing that pisses me off is that Batista keeps saying he wants to emulate Barça. NOTHING he is doing is anything like Barcelona’s tactics. He has no clue how to work to Messi’s strengths. He doesn’t seem to care about all possession. His players don’t pressure for the ball like Barça’s do. He doesn’t have an attacking midfield and wingers. Initially I was excited to see him take over, but at this point I have completely lost faith in him.

        • yana
          July 6, 2011

          This, exactly. That’s what I feel when I say below that there’s Messi doing everything asked of him, and his teammates and coach especially aren’t holding up their end of the deal.

        • mom4
          July 6, 2011

          This is so very sad. I can’t stand people hating on our flea. So sad. And the unfairness of it…

  54. Ryan
    July 6, 2011

    That was extremely painful to watch. How can a coach be so clueless?

    • aaron88
      July 6, 2011

      i only saw the 2nd half, but painful it was. If Colombia could shoot anywhere but where the keeper was, it was theirs for the taking.

      Is it just me or did seem his teammates ignored him close to goal? Or maybe just Tevez doesn’t like to pass to anyone.

      Euler, thank you for your excellent analysis as always.

  55. Barcaleya
    July 6, 2011

    Messi is being booed by the crowd!

    Such ingrates. And ignorants. Sorry.

    But if they didn’t see how much effort and skill Messi displayed out there, they should stop watching football and stop calling themselves fans. They’re just a mob. A mob that encourages this failure by loving Tevez to a fault. And how dare they boo Messi??!!

    • July 6, 2011

      It looked like they were booing the team off the pitch to me, not just Messi. Least I hope that was the case.

      • Barcaleya
        July 6, 2011

        The commentator said they were booing Messi.

      • y2k156
        July 6, 2011

        Lets be honest, Argentine people are not exactly known for going by their heads, are they. They follow their heart and truth is that Tevez is player of their heart while Messi is not.

        Messi is player of our hearts as Barca fans.

        • Barcaleya
          July 6, 2011

          I have nothing against Teves, in particular. I love Argentina and have supported them for decades. But it’s killing me that the coach makes absurd line-up decisions to pander to the crowd and that the crowd voice their displeasure so openly of Messi – when he’s the one who wants Argentina to do well so badly.

          He has achieved everything at individual and club level. It’s for Argentina now that he’s working so hard.

          Argh. So very frustrated.

          • ak
            July 7, 2011

            Don’t worry, when Argentina start winning, which they will, they will love Messi like they’ve never loved Tevez

  56. July 6, 2011

    Batista has major problems on his hands and he seems incapable of dealing with them.

    This is just awful football from ARG. They are broken as a system. It’s not one player or an isolated series of plays. It’s the whole thing.

    And Batista is in a big fix. Teves is contributing nothing. But I really wonder if Batista has the stomach to stop playing Tevez while they are playing in Arg. He completely caved to public opinion in putting Tevez on the team and then starting him.

    Arg was very lucky even to get a point from this game. They should have lost. Columbia had so many good chances.

    And from the changes batista made today – it doesn’t seem as if he understands what the true problems on the team are. Inserting Gago and Higuain – neither of whom has played much at all over the past season – when the true problems is in advanced midfield – it just speaks to Batista either not seeing what the problem is or not being willing to take the chances needed to fix them.

    I have no idea why Batista dislikes Pastore so much.

    ARG is very, very fortunate to be in such a weak group. If they advance they will have done so through a good bit of luck.

  57. y2k156
    July 6, 2011

    Messi was good nor bad today. As for Argentina press blaming Messi, they know it makes good copy. Best for Messi would be to just ignore it.

    Argentina as a footballing nation is playing the worst football i have seen in last 25 years of my watching football. They are simply bad. I am not really sure about Batista, is he really that clueless or is there a grand plan behind. Right now, i am with the Batista clueless camp.

    Lavezzi again had a poor match. Milito and Mascherano had very poor matches as well. As for Gago, he was ok for me. Though why not introduce Pastore is something which is beyond me. Tevez with Messi is simply not working.

    If Batista starts with Lavezzi, Tevez and Milito in next match, he will take a big risk on his reputation.

    Argentina, if they do not find right combination straight away might even lost to Costa Rica next week and get out of the tournament, which will be fair assessment of their performance. If not, they are for sure getting out in QF’s.

    As Argentina fan, this entire situation is breaking my heart but do not see any way out.

    Bring back Maradona! At least he gave entertaining press conferences.

    • Helge
      July 7, 2011

      “If Batista starts with Lavezzi, Tevez and Milito in next match, he will take a big risk on his reputation.”

      I thought Tevez is a ‘man of the people’?

  58. July 6, 2011

    Horrible, horrible match. No midfield creativity, Messi relied on for all inspiration. So so frustrating and sad for him.

    Why isn’t Di Maria starting? Pastore? They can offer creativity in midfield, take the pressure off of Messi and leave him free to score. Not there. Not even subbed on.

    Tevez is useless, while Aguero is a consistent threat. Why isn’t Aguero starting?

    Argentina will be lucky not to be eliminated in the quarterfinals, if they can even get out of the group stage.

  59. mom4
    July 6, 2011

    Gago? Really? You solve this by subbing in GAGO????

  60. yana
    July 6, 2011

    Uh… I liked the fit of the Colombian kit?

    Watching the post-game on Telefutura. With condensed highlights, it becomes even more stark that Colombia showed serious attacking threat (albeit ultimately counting for nothing without actual goals) and Argentina had difficulty stringing together a meaningful attack.

    The look on Messi’s face toward the end… How anyone can doubt where his heart is, is beyond me. I have to wonder how heartbreaking it must be for him, if he ever looks around and thinks, I’m doing everything asked of me, why can’t the others hold up their end of the deal? Because that’s a team of seriously talented players, so frustrating to see that potential wasted.

  61. Srini
    July 6, 2011

    I am not an Albiceleste fan. I am a Lo Roja/Cule. But the frustration on Messi’s face and his discomfort was very very difficult to see. For people from India, this frustration in a sport icon must be reminiscent of what Indian cricketing genius Sachin Tendulkar went through in the 1990s, when the Indian team had assorted talent but never got its act together and were overly dependent on Tendulkar to deliver the goods. The frustration and angst that I saw in young Tendulkar (in his early and mid 20s) is exactly what I see in 23 year old Leo Messi. I just hope that he comes out of the Copa unscathed physically even if scarred mentally.

    Argentina seems to be a very uneven squad with some rank mediocrities inhabiting the same team as some special talents. And as Euler points out, the tactical acumen or lack of it has not helped at all. We were all gaga whenever Messi played in deep for Barca, for we knew that was a prelude to great things in the advanced third for the likes of Villa and Pedro. But seeing Messi play so deep without concomitant coordination by other Argentine players around him and all that disjointedness is highly irritating to watch. Getting his legs snapped at all the time and getting no recompense in terms of buildup further must be terribly frustrating for the genial genius.

    One can only hope that the drift in Argentinian soccer does not continue forever during Messi’s peak years.

    • privateeye
      July 8, 2011

      The comparison with Tendulkar is unfair. He is a big game choker :).
      Messi isnt.

    • Xingxian
      July 8, 2011

      I’m going to laugh if Messi finally wins a World Cup way past his prime in his mid-late 30’s.

  62. outerspacedout
    July 6, 2011

    You think Brazil women’s team could beat this Argentina? I’d bet on it. By a couple of goals too. Those girls can score.

    My God Argentina though they frustrate me SO MUCH

  63. Blau-Grenade
    July 6, 2011

    I think the problem with the Argentina National team is bigger than Maradona/Sergio Batista. Somebody at the AFA has lost their marbles and the result has percolated down to the poor choices in coaches and overall football played by the Argentinian national team.

    Pep will have a big job on his hand repairing Messi after the Copa.

    • mom4
      July 6, 2011

      Pep will have a big job on his hand repairing Messi after the Copa.

      My biggest fear!

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        July 6, 2011

        Juanjo Brau is there, right? really wish Pep is there right now, too… 🙁

  64. BarcaGirl_Indo
    July 6, 2011

    it’s so painful to watch… painful… 🙁
    I can’t even begin to understand Batista’s “tactic”…

    I just want to give Messi legos and ice creams…and a big hug…

    the only entertaining part of the game is when Lady Gago came in and everyone made a poker face…

  65. hammeronmessi
    July 7, 2011

    The moment that caught my eye late at the game.messi standing near the halfline,staring and then he rolled his jersey and covered his sad to c that.

    messi was ok,but still 2 fantastic through balls,both missed.

    been an argie fan for a long time,may be i support the argie more passionately then barca.but batista is so damn clueless.

  66. July 7, 2011

    Clearly there are tactical problems with the Argentine midfield and forward line. Euler and others have outlined a number of strategies to deal with this (the use of wingbacks, replacing Tevez with a forward that can play wide, Pastore over Lady Gago, etc.). Whether Batista makes these type of tactical changes is a mystery illuminated only by crystal balls and burning herbs — which is to say we won’t know until the next game is over.

    But the defense worries me more because I see no tactical path to fix it. Even with wingbacks that include DiMaria, the centerback situation is dismal. I have enjoyed Milito’s play in previous years and respected his tenacious return after a gruesome injury, but the man is done. He can not be a part of your defensive backbone. But what can you do? You country is gifted with great striking talent — though not properly used, currently — and seems to lack any quality defenders to shore things up. What do you do?

    I have no idea.

  67. July 7, 2011

    Didnt watch the game. I waited till I knew the selection and slept as it sounded too predictable to waste the night watching.

    The problem is not the offense line -it is there where it leaves the impact -because so far Argentina didnt play against very strong teams.

    The problem is in the Midfield that lacks everything in buildup and offense, then the defense behind especially the lack of contribution offensewise for the fullbacks, leaving the wingers to do it all the way -while they are both better when they cut inside in a space.

  68. Helge
    July 7, 2011

    I never thought that I would proclaim the following, but I have to:
    Maradona is not the worst coach that Argentina has ever had. Because there is a new epitome of absolutle ignorance and incompetence.

    What Argentina is practicing under Batista during the Copa so far is pure self-destruction. How on earth can Batista choose Lavezzi over Aguero, Gago(!) over Pastore?
    How on earth can he play almost the same line-up again, albeit it most obviously failed against the 97th ranked team on the FIFA world ranking?

    Everybody played awful, it almost hurt my eyes to watch it. I think I will not watch a Copa match again this year, because so far each match I’ve seen was horrific. This is the worst Copa that I can remember, not only with regards to the performance of Argentina.

    I wouldn’t care about it if it wasn’t for Leo… the cameras were once again focusing on him, and he’ll be the scape goat of the Argentina media once again, right?!?
    All the other players were as bad or worse (e.g. Burdisso, Milito, Banega, Lavezzi) than Messi, Messi was not as much involved in the match as he was against Bolivia – but guess why?
    Because Batista, the world’s worst coach ever, has figured out that Messi should stay up front and dropped back way too often against Bolivia (as he said in a pk). So what does he do? Tells me Messi to stay up front without making any tactical/personal changes to the midfield. I’m not a coach, but I think that Batista is absolutely clueless and he has not managed to instill any system into the team! 🙁

    When Messi almost cried on the pitch, my heart also bleeded. And my anger towards Batista, the AFA, Grondona etc. aroused once again. Accompanied by the anger is a pure lack of understanding for the Argentinean fans who never show up any banners or protest against the authorities of their football association.

    When at the end of the first half, Messi’s foot was stuck in the lawn, I seriously hoped for a light injury that ends his Copa tripo and thus spares him a lot of the now upcoming criticism.

    How can the performance of a team that beat Spain, Portugal and Brazil in the last 9 months suffer from such a huge decline??? For me, Batista is the culprit.

    Argentinean football is dead, and I don’t even know how to revive it as long as the AFA exists in its current way.

    PS: I think it will be quite easy to repair Messi after the Copa. He just wants to play football and have fun on the pitch, as soon as he returns and plays in a real team, the joy will be back. Yesterday, there was no joy at all, all the players looked uncomfortable. Oh… if Messi had just chosen to play for Spain, how awesome would that have been?

    • Helge
      July 7, 2011

      PPS: I didn’t talk about the defense, because that is a hopeless case anyway (even in the under-XY teams, I didn’t see a promising talent yet).
      But fact is that the midfield and the attack have the potential to be worldclass, and I believe there are many coaches who could use that potential at least 10 times better than the current coach does…

  69. Diego
    July 7, 2011

    Milito is …..
    Using 3 Deep Lying Midfielders is ….


    Messi will have to play on the wing since Fullbacks aren’t roaming or providing depth at all, I don’t care that Tevez is loved by Argentinines or that Lavezzi has a tattoo, They both aren’t doing anything, even Di Maria would do better.

    Everytime Argentina attacks, You only see the 3 FWs doing the work with the 7 others in their centre half, Everytime Messi has the ball, he faces 4 players.

    It’s too late to write Arg off as they need some changes to make them click, especially with Uru,Bra,Chi among others not looking that convincing.

    • JoachimD
      July 7, 2011

      Yeah, I think that is the line-up that should be used. Batista being a chicken he could even put Tevez in there instead of Higuain to please the masses.

      He could even put Parejo in CB and put Masch in DCM instead of Cambiasso, if he thinks Masch to be “reckless” in CB.

      Anyway, its amazing to see a coach so clueless on this level, its incredible.

  70. outerspacedout
    July 7, 2011

    No wonder the likes of Spain, Germany and Holland did well, they’re one of the few national sides that are actually properly organized, properly set-up, players picked into a proper system based on merit, well-coached (Del Bosque, Low..), tactically solid.. with those advantages the sheer talent Spain has even almost seems like overkill.

    Look at the other NTs. Argentina has no decent system or clear identity to speak of, the AFA sucks, their tactics are awful, and their player selection seems to pander more for public support than maximizing their output. England, even lack of technical ability aside, suffer from players being picked for reputation over skill, being stuck into tactics and positions they don’t fit into, and so on. Italy and France were both disasters under Domenech and Lippi for such various reasons. Ivory Coast and many of the other African nations also suffered from screwed-up national federations, reputation-based selections, individual play instead of playing for a defined system, etc.

    The only top NTs I see with a clear and defined system and identity, good tactical coaches, a team and not individuals, players picked on form and merit not public demands or reputation, coaches not sucking out of fear of media mockery or being sacked at the slightest problem, etc are Spain, Germany, Holland, Uruguay… oh wait, that’s the four semi-finalists at the World Cup! Coincidence? Nope. The likes of Chile and Ghana, as well.

    Makes you wonder what kind of corrupt/evil/incompetent gits get the top jobs in national federations when it’s so clear what path to take to maximize chances of success but they refuse to take them and massively decrease the chances of THEIR own countries winning tournaments.

  71. hammeronmessi
    July 7, 2011

    Why doesnt batista change the system?is he that naive?

  72. K_legit
    July 7, 2011

    So more doctored ‘quotes’ of Dani Alves (this time) have appeared in the English media *sigh*

  73. Helge
    July 7, 2011

    Batista dirige el Titanic al iceberg

    I wish that was the headline of an Argentinean newspaper, but it’s only from -_-

    @hammeronmessi: Naive? Naiveté is usually based on inexperience and not always the fault of the person who is accused of it.
    The word naive doesn’t do justice to Batista, I think he is simply clueless/stupid/incompetent/feckless and so on.

  74. Judas Pissed
    July 7, 2011

    The English media & football fans are loving the failings of Argentina & blaming much of it on Messi -‘Argentina persisted with the misfiring Messi’ says The Guardian, whilst The Independent says ‘Messi…exerted little influence and even blasted a free kick over the top’.

    A comment from an Aston Villa fan on reads ‘Why are pplz suprised messi isnt scoring? he hardly never scores outside barca, pplz are just slow every time he plays outside barca he does nothing…did u see him in the w.c?? im a a.villa man and saw c.ronaldo up close 4 me in terms of strength, power, scoring is the best in the world. say wat u will about cr7 but his not scared to try new leagues unlike messi whos smart enough to know he wudnt last in epl’

    Yawn yawn yawn…

  75. mei
    July 7, 2011

    Pozzo is making sense at last!
    Says a fair price must be paid for sanchez! 😛

  76. Vj
    July 7, 2011

    Pozzo back to his old tricks:

    Pozzo (owner Udinese): “A fair price should be paid for Sanchez. So far we talked with 2 clubs but it didn’t lead to anything serious” [rkk]

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  77. outerspacedout
    July 7, 2011

    At least Maradona’s Argentina beat good but not top-top teams like South Korea, Nigeria, Greece and Mexico (who are actually very good more so than the previous three). Colombia are a good side but this Argentina looks terrible so far against the likes of Bolivia as well.

    Let’s hope they recover from this, change the system, buck up, and win the Copa America.

  78. messi_fan
    July 7, 2011

    The only good coach Argentina has had in past few years has been Pekerman. Yes, he messed up the game against Germany by leaving Messi on the bench, but with him Argentina had an identity. And he wasn’t the sort to play a player just to please the crowds. I remember him doing his best to protect Messi from all of…. well, this.

  79. blitzen
    July 7, 2011

    Not sure which is more depressing, the Argentina game or TFC losing 5-0 to the Red Bulls. Oy. 🙁

    How many more days till La Liga starts again?

  80. outerspacedout
    July 7, 2011

    Ah, I just saw my second team Valencia got Piatti from Almeria. Probably old news but it must have happened during a spell where I wasn’t checking footie sites much, maybe on the days I was out. Happy right now.

    They do have a pretty great squad, loads of depth too, now.
    Diego Alves is a massive improvement on their goalkeeping position, as is Rami for their defense. They signed Piatti and Dani Parejo so now they have those two and Topal, Tino Costa, Banega, Mata, Albelda… and the likes of Jordi Alba, Pablo Hernandez and co out wide, with Aduriz and Soldado up top.

    That’s a stacked midfield and serious quality all over the pitch. Strengthen the defense a little further and they’ll be back to the feared Valencia side of mid-2000s at least, if not quite the level of the title-winning Valencia sides of the early 2000s.

    If the big two weren’t so extremely strong right now, they’d be major title contenders. They did finish with ~65 points last year and are much stronger now (especially defensively).

    • outerspacedout
      July 7, 2011

      I’m excited for Valencia. Unless they do something retarded like sack Emery- which they were considering last season apparently, so wouldn’t put it past them- they are slowly but steadily becoming very strong. They were a serious threat in Europe up until their sudden implosion in 2007, never surprising to see them in the quarters and so on back then.

      I see them as starting to make deep runs in Europe regularly from now on, regulars to the QFs or so if they don’t meet a giant in the round of 16. Last season their problems were their defense/goalkeeping and, in Europe, lack of finishing. The defense is set to get much better, and the attack looks more dangerous now. I’m optimistic.

  81. ciaran
    July 7, 2011

    There are a huge number of issues with the Argentinian national team and they are 3 common problems faced by all associations.

    1. Picking a squad of your 23 best players and hoping that they fit is completely pointless.

    Argentina have picked Messi, Tevez, Lavezzi, Higuain, Aguero & Milito yet 5 of these are what you would consider second strikers. Only Milito is a no.9.
    Di Maria is a left winger yet there is no right winger in the squad.
    Banega, Biglia & Gago are all the same player with different levels of skill while the closest replacement to Mascherano in terms of abilities is right back Zabaleta.
    Pastore is the only true attacking central midfielder in the squad and has no alternative so he can’t be part of the first XI.
    Look at Fred in the Brazilian NT, he doesn’t fit in to the squad and tactically he gives them nothing.

    2. Allowing your best players’ best position at club level dictate the formation you play.

    Picking Messi as a false ‘9’ without having any of the other players capable of playing in this system is wasting his talents and the talents of his teammates.
    Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t fit in the the 4-2-3-1 that Portugal have always played so they have modified it.

    3. Picking your best players instead of your best team.

    Tevez doesn’t fit into this system’s XI, neither does Lavezzi.
    Stephen Gerrard is often played as a left midfielder for England even though he can’t play there
    Robinho in Brazilian NT doesn’t have the workrate or productivity but still gets picked.
    On the flip side, Fernando Torres doesn’t quite fit into Spain’s system so he gets benched.

    Successful squads have a system which works, players that work in that system and play the players that work best in that system. There is still room in the squad for players that can change your team when needed without changing your system completely.

    Argentina have fallen into each of these downfalls which is causing them huge issues.
    Argentina finished playing 4-2-4 without any wide players. Interesting but unsuccessful.

    Here’s what I would do…

    Zanetti | Burdisso | Pareja | Di Maria
    Zabaletta | Garay | Milito | Rojo

    Pastore | Mascherano | Banega
    Lucho | Cambiasso | Gago


    Higuain | Aguero
    Milito | Lavezzi

  82. Lev
    July 7, 2011

    So many Argentina fans…..

    don’t you guys have countries of your own? :p

    • Barcaleya
      July 7, 2011

      Haha. It’s only in the past year that my country is even interested in futbol.

      And only in the past year that they’re competing internationally (in the region). They stopped playing international games for many years. So no one to root for really.

      I’ve supported Argentina and the Dutch since I’ve followed futbol.

      I have been disappointed for so many WC’s now. I thought 2006 was the year. But Peckerman botched it against Germany bigtime.

      I started supporting Spain in ’06 though. I felt sorry for them in ’02 for what I thought was a super bad ref call in Korea. I thought they’d do better in ’06. Happy that their potential was realized in ’08. But after many major changes.

      Batista should learn from Aragones. It was after dropping Raul and playing these not-so-famous-and-popular players did Spain win the Euro.

      • Lev
        July 7, 2011

        Only in the past year that they’re competing internationally? I’m intrigued – where are you from?

        • Barcaleya
          July 7, 2011

          The Philippines.

          I exaggerate a bit. I’m sure we play in the region (South East Asia) but we never qualify for anything so it was pretty useless.

          Last year though, many half-Filipino players of small clubs from all over the world (Netherlands, Germany, England) joined the team and have gained so much support and adulation (as they are all good-looking, it turns out) and have actually been having a good run.

          This whole thing started when two Filipino/English brothers who used to play for the Chelsea youth team went home. Suddenly, many (half)Filipino players from all over joined them. It’s a good start. Hope we eventually develop a good system and start playing well enough for international matches.

  83. Barcaleya
    July 7, 2011

    Abidal declined his renewal offer!!

    What happened? Why?!

    Rossel – what have you done? I cannot imagine what terms they must have offered for him to refuse.

    Argh. This is getting worse and worse.

    No new signings and our best LB not renewing. YET. Hopefully.

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      its kind of weird. not sure whether it is rosells fault though, since we dont know what is happening. Hasn’t Abidal repeatedly said that he wanted to retire with Barça, even before his operation? So why doesn’t he accept the terms? Are they so bad or does he want Dani Alves type money?

      • Barcaleya
        July 7, 2011

        Exactly! I don’t understand what it could be. And he’s always said he doesn’t care about the money. He just wants to play for Barca and it’s not like it’s going to be a long contract. He’s just closing out his career.

        It could only be an insulting offer for him not to accept.

        Argh. I don’t get it.

    • blitzen
      July 7, 2011

      Don’t be ridiculous. Abidal is still in France, isn’t he? All this panic over a “report” from a Spanish newspaper.

      • July 7, 2011

        It’s a one-sentence throwaway in an EMD piece on a meeting between the chiefs about transfers. I can’t imagine there wouldn’t have been a full story. The question is worth asking, but everything that we know about the player and how he feels about the club argues against that.

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      haha i was just going to post that! good article

      • July 7, 2011

        Best part is the line about how Guardiola stepped in when Messi started partying with Ronaldinho.

  84. July 7, 2011

    Guardian’s transfer wrapup suggests that Chelsea would let Drogba go for 10m? Dayum! I’d do that in about two seconds, and the one would be the pause as I reached for my checkbook.

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      Hmmmm….great player. Awesome skill-set. I’m not sure he would get on well with Pep, though…

      • July 7, 2011

        That would be the concern, wouldn’t it? But man, imagine what he would do with some of those Xaviniesta passes, or Alves crosses. He is direct, lethal and strong as a bull. I can’t imagine we’re considering it even for a second, though.

        • Lev
          July 7, 2011

          and he would add some much needed long distance shooting also. Plus aerial threat. It could be friggin awesome.

          Twice the player Larsson was. Too bad he only has half of Larssons’s humility 🙁

          • July 7, 2011

            HALF??!! Has he gained some humility lately? More like an eighth of Larsson’s humility.

          • privateeye
            July 8, 2011

            Dunno if you have watched Drogba lately. He has dumbed down a lot. I dislike Chelsea from yore and used to dislike Drogba by induction especially after 2009. But he has changed lot.

          • nzm
            July 8, 2011

            Yes – I agree with privateeye about Drogba’s behaviour. He seems to have calmed down after Ballack left Chelsea. I’m sure that Ballack was the real trouble-maker, and the others followed his “lead”.

    • blitzen
      July 7, 2011

      The asking price might be cheap, but his wages would be very high, so it’s not quite as much of a steal as it appears. And we would only have him for a year or two most likely. Better to invest in someone younger, I think. Still, if it did happen I don’t think his ego would be a problem. He would know coming in he wouldn’t be the star.

      • Lev
        July 7, 2011

        Yes, he would know that coming in. But what if he doesn’t adapt to our system and as a result Pep doesn’t play him as regularly as he would like? How would he handle that?

        Good point about the wages – hadn’t thought of that. Still, an awesome player with a lot of heart.

    • mom4
      July 8, 2011

      um…no…he doesn’t, but that’s a really interesting site I just bookmarked you have there. 🙂

  85. JoachimD
    July 7, 2011

    Bleh, rumours that EE and Barça are willing to pay the 45mill for Neymar… heck no. For that kind of money, might as well buy Aguero and sell Jeffren + Bojan, a large amount in generous payment installments and the remaining amount in nr. of appearances, wins etc. all in the same deal. Kun is only 23, a measly 1 year older than Sanchez but way more proven.

    • Ryan
      July 7, 2011

      You want a crazy rumor? How about Malaga offering 35 million for Sneijder? Pellegrini is going to have way too many options to not get into the top 4… but hopefully Villarreal can fight to keep their top 4 spot anyway.

  86. July 7, 2011

    Ibrahimovic said he could be the coach of Barca because we have a star-studded team, and of cos he had to believe he is even better than Pep.

    It’s only until we see another star-studded team play like crap then we know how good Pep is, and how difficult the job actually is. I imagined Batista being our coach for a second, and decided to quit the thought, because comparing amateurs and masters is just pointless.

    Messi struggled, so did Tevez, and you bet Lavezzi felt the same. Perhaps only Milito didn’t feel that way with his ‘confidence’. Mascherano made more sliding tackles than he did with us in the whole season last night. There was only Columbia last night, Argentina wasn’t a team. More like A for Aguero, R for Romero, G for Gabi, E for Ever… It was a shame.

    Yawn… when will ARG learn how to pass the ball and make space for passes? It’s perhaps a mystery…


    Hi! Everyone.

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      that’s hilarious. he couldn’t adapt to our style of play but he could coach us?

    • messi_fan
      July 8, 2011

      In a way I compare what Pep does with Barca, to what Phil Jackson did in basketball, and what Tony Dungy did in American Football. As strange as it sounds, it takes a special sort of coach to get the best out of superstars.

      And continuing the analogy a bit further. Few would debate that Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player who ever lived, but he didn’t start winning until he had the right people around him. In a TEAM sport how much a player is able to achieve depends on, surprise surprise, the team.

  87. Ryan
    July 7, 2011

    u17 Uruguay just beat Brazil 3-0 in the semifinal. The country sure seems to be on an upswing!

  88. Vj
    July 7, 2011

    How did I miss this comment? Perfect analogy. Even though he was the best player in the world for 20 odd years, Sachin finally got the Holy Grail once he had a proper team. And success in Football depends 10x more on the team than Cricket. If Messi could maintain this level for the same amount of time then only one could hope of him winning the WC because the Argies might have to wait a long time for a proper team/coach/tactics..

  89. Ryan
    July 7, 2011

    Bolivia is getting hammered by Costa Rica. This group is crazy!

    • July 7, 2011

      Tico Kids have the first two-goal-margin victory of the tournament! Who would’ve though 😛

      This match probably ensures Colombia will win the group, as its last match will be against a Bolivia who will be missing two starters due to red cards.

      Now the Costa Rica-Argentina match will be especially interesting… A draw would see Costa Rica through and Argentina *might* have a shot at best third place. Even then, such a result would likely mean Argentina meeting Brazil in the QF or SF.

      • Ryan
        July 7, 2011

        Right, hopefully this means Batista has to make some changes. He probably won’t do anything drastic though.

        • blitzen
          July 7, 2011

          Wait…are you saying a team actually scored a goal in this competition? More than one, even? Wow.

  90. blitzen
    July 7, 2011


    Mali midfielder Seydou Keita (31) has asked his agents two months ago to look for another club, where he can be a starter. [el confidencial]

    Seriously doubt this.

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      it’s possible. thiago promoted. possible arrival of cesc. he must see the writing on the wall…

          • Jnice
            July 7, 2011


            But all jokes aside, I think Rosell is serious about not raising the bid and Arsenal seem serious on their stance, so unless Cesc hands in a formal transfer request, I don’t see a resolution this summer. Sorry, Francesc.

            • July 7, 2011

              ….I’m not sorry.

              (Looks like you’ll be winning your bet(s) :D, but it’s still early goings. Remember The Ibra Fiasco? Yeah… )

          • BarcaGirl_Indo
            July 8, 2011

            Ibra fiasco, yes…. 😆

            I was very sure Ibra will stay, because I didn’t think Milan willing to pay that much money and I didn’t think Rosell could be that idiot and weak to sell Ibra for cheap…

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      this comment cracked me up!

      “Arsene starts to see the appeal of jumping ship…”

  91. BarcaGirl_Indo
    July 7, 2011

    Leo does wonders with his organization, Fundacion Leo Messi, for children all over the world, is the better man not to mention the better player, but he will never be as loved. Not even if Argentina win the World Cup. He knows this and it’s destroying him inside. The pressure is too great, and he does love Argentina. A lot more than they deserve.

    “A lot more than they deserve…” it breaks my heart to read this sentence (a comment from Guardian…)

    But he is not the angel with the dirty face. I have to say I myself miss the days when Leo was the wandering waif with the messy, long hair. It seems the Barcelona clinicality (and I speak as a blaugrana) has destroyed something inside of him, some restlessness, something that cannot be tamed, a rebellion.

    I like his hair now, to be honest… 😕

    • Lev
      July 7, 2011

      idk. i thought that untamable rebellious restlessness was on full display when he wacked that EE supporter shooting the ball over the sideline as hard as possible 🙂

  92. July 7, 2011

    In case this hasn’t been mentioned, Barcelona and Barcelona B were both handed the Fair Play award in their respective leagues yesterday. Basically, each team gets a point for every yellow card and three points for every red it gets every season. At the end of the season, the team with the lowest score gets the Fair Play award. So Barcelona committed the fewest cardable offenses of any team–in both La Liga and la Segunda Division.

    Barca, notably, only received two red cards in the entire league season, the second least next two Real Sociedad (who didn’t receive a yellow card all season o_0 ).

  93. Xingxian
    July 7, 2011

    “Despite having an embarrassment of riches in an attack spearheaded by Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez, Argentina failed to impress. Coach Sergio Batista, however, said there would be no major changes for the final group game. “We have a game against Costa Rica and if we win that, we will have five points and go through,” he insisted, adding that he understood fans’ frustration.”


    • Ryan
      July 7, 2011

      I’m not sure what Aguero has to do anymore to get a starting spot. Or how many times the forward line has to fail before Batista will make any changes!

  94. blitzen
    July 7, 2011

    If you are a fan of Crackovia (who isn’t?), you might enjoy this interview with Jordi Rios:

    And if you are a bad cule and haven’t become fluent in Catalan 😉 you can copy/paste a reasonable translation here:


  95. simple_barcafan
    July 7, 2011

    A comment on totalbarca
    “You wouldnt want Barcelona to be your girlfriend. She might be beautiful but damn she’s possessive”

  96. Olufestus
    July 8, 2011

    I didnt see the columbia game but in the first game of the copa,LE0 was far and away their best player and their only spark of creativity.sometimes he looked like the only one who cared.what’s he being blamed for exactly?for playing with a bunch of selfish idiots trying to secure a big move who has less than 10% OF HIS TALENT,AND 2%OF HIS COMMITMENT?

  97. Judas Pissed
    July 8, 2011

    A London newspaper suggests Abidal & £32million is the offer on the table for Cesc now. I seriously hope not…

  98. y2k156
    July 8, 2011

    Just booked my flight to Granada for week of October 24 as they play Barcelona on match 26. To be safe, i shall be there on Oct 25 and 27 so LFP cannot screw me up:). Now will have to see if those guys even have a website where i can buy the tickets to the match.

  99. blitzen
    July 8, 2011

    I found this article about Luis Enrique here:

    The writer seems to think there was friction between Lucho and Pep over the issue of B players being called up for first team games:

    Pep Guardiola speaks highly of Luis Enrique, which says a lot given the friction between the two of them this year. ‘Lucho’ is a winner, like Pep. ‘Lucho’ has a strong character, like Pep. ‘Lucho’ has his own ideas, like Pep. And when Guardiola took the best players of Barça B to complete his squad, the Asturian was not happy and let this be known. Because Fontas, Muniesa, Thiago, Nolito, Montoya and the others were essential players in his team, while they were only there to make up the numbers in the first-team squad.

    I never heard anything like this during the season. Did any of you? Obviously no coach would be thrilled to lose players every week, but the whole point of the youth system is so young players can get experience training and playing with the first team. He knew that was going to be one of his challenges going in, and he did amazingly well to take the team to third spot in the Segunda.

    So what do you all think? Any foundation to this? I think if it bothered him that much he wouldn’t have stayed in the job for three years. Then again, Lucho always did like to finish what he started.

    • Jnice
      July 8, 2011

      Never read anything at all about that. I’m no one important, but I read a bunch of different things and follow journalists who cover Barça with pretty good info and I’ve never read something like that. Not sure that wouldn’t have leaked at some point if true.

      Also, anytime Lucho and Pep merged training sessions (namely during FIFA international dates), there seemed to be good feeling between the two; all laughs and smiles.

      And like you say, blitzen, Lucho knew the deal coming in and it’s not like Barça B did poorly as a result of players being called up.

      Short answer: No foundation at all for me.

  100. Miguel
    July 8, 2011

    Uruguay Chile is on right now.

    Still no Mati Fernandez or “El Mago” Valdivia. Sad faces.

  101. Ryan
    July 8, 2011

    Wow, Suarez, I thought he was going to bury that.

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