Alexis Sanchez: The view from the cheap(skate) seats

So depending upon who you read and believe, we’re going to buy Alexis Sanchez, or not, for some sum of money that again, dependent upon who you read and believe, will come out in total to anything from 38 to 40 million Euros. But as we wait for news, the debate has been going on, and I’ve suddenly realized that we’ve not yet had a public airing on this matter, just snippets within various posts, so ….

To start with, before the season starts and the accusations of me hating Sanchez and wanting him to fail start, I don’t. I, like everyone else, think that he is an immensely talented player with gobs and gobs of potential. The question, for me, is what is potential worth?

We can discuss Sanchez’ potential until we’re blue. Fact of the matter is that to me, that potential isn’t worth a prospective 40m. Potential is worth 20m, tops. Because it’s a risk. And whether it’s a skewed market, sunspots or the price of squirrel carcasses doesn’t negate the fact that it’s an incredibly risky deal. Euler says that it’s also a risk for Udinese, but I don’t agree. They’re still getting 26-28m cash money for a player they bought for 2m.

Does Sanchez have talent? Absolutely. Oozing from every pore. So does Krkic, who has many, if not all of the attributes that Sanchez has, yet we’re giggling as we pawn him off to Roma for 12m. Is talent alone enough to play and succeed for FC Barcelona? Ask Zlatan Ibrahimovic, or Bojan Krkic, or Gio Dos Santos, or Dmitri Txigrinski, and they will tell you “No.” You need a head, a heart and thick, spiny skin to deflect all of the crap that, at some point or another, is going to head your way. “The next Messi.” Some have brought up Ronaldinho comparisons. That’s a heavy load to carry.

No, Sanchez isn’t Krkic, so put those “You’re comparing a bright, shining star to a player we’re unloading” notions out of your head. Sanchez popped in 12 goals in the land of catenaccio, a higher annual total than Krkic has ever done in the first team for us. But Krkic wasn’t a regular starter, either. Could he have had similar totals in the same number of matches? Fair question.

We don’t know what Sanchez is going to develop into, but he is descending into a cauldron of pressure that is completely different from anything he will have experienced. Ever. So potentially we get to see how his head and talent are because if he doesn’t meet expectations, as we all know, Camp Nou denizens will turn on a player in a heartbeat — particularly an expensive one. And no, they won’t parse it by “Well, it’s only 26m in cash, etc, etc,” just as Ibrahimovic’s price was his sum total of money + Eto’o.

Talent isn’t enough, and the price that we’re paying is a hell of a risk, is my point. It isn’t an argument against the player, it’s a quibble about the price.

Mind you, there are also the attendant issues of playing time and development, as in what happens when the (widely rumored to happen at the end of this season) departure of Guardiola comes? Another good question. By rights, Sanchez should work his way into the lineup in Copa matches, early-season Champions League matches and Liga matches that are already decided, so that he can get a feel for the lineup, the way the club plays and a different level of competition in a different league. Immense patience will be required as the player develops.

Sometimes, a purchase price argues against patience, even if it shouldn’t. Yes, Guardiola is immune to such things. We’ve seen it time and again. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave. If he does, will his successor be as stalwart?

To me, we’re in the same boat as whoever will be stupid enough to pony up 45m for Neymar: taking an immense fiscal risk, based on hype and talent. We know that Neymar is a character risk while Sanchez has been a model citizen. Absolutely. Does the character difference make Neymar even more of a risk than Sanchez, for 5m more? Arguably. But from the view of pure talent and hype, there isn’t a ton of difference.

In 2005, EE bought Robinho for about 24m. Then in a bit of alchemy, three years later, they sold him to Citeh for 42m, a truly amazing bit of business. Precious little that Robinho has done has justified the size of either fiscal outlay, but boy, was his talent and hype colossal as he came out of Brazil. And no, I don’t mean to ignore the possibility that Sanchez might turn out to be the next Messi, in which case 40m will seem the bargain of the millennium.

But at the end of it all, we are playing in a stupid market that forces teams to overpay for players. That is the reality of which we are all too keenly aware. And it’s worse for us, because a signing that another team would crow about, we’d be considering for the Segunda side. Our minimum quality level is very, very expensive.

Another reality is that if this acquisition happens, we will have signed a deal that, on paper if variables are met, values a 22-year-old player who is still developing, the same as a 20+goal per season, World Cup winner. We’re paying more cash for Sanchez than we did for Mascherano.

To my own personal worldview, that is madness, irrespective of the conditions that force said actions.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Josep
    July 13, 2011

    “Does Sanchez have talent? Absolutely. Oozing from every pore. So does Krkic, who has many, if not all of the attributes that Sanchez has, yet we’re giggling as we pawn him off to Roma for 12m. ”

    Come. On. I’ll read the rest later but this is where I have to stop reading.

    On top of that stop grouping people in the “we” category, unless you can state anyone. you’re giggling. not everyone may be, but wow that statement is borderling boorish.

    • barca4eva
      July 15, 2011

      U are absolutely spot on. That statement is downright wrong whichever way u look at it that am surprised he didn’t revise it b4 publishing. Boyan! Common men! We kept faith with him because of our emotional attachment to him (having come through La masia). It has got nothing to do with his talent, which is very limited in my opinion. And that was where I stopped as well.

  2. mei
    July 13, 2011

    Paying overrated prices is just part of what Barcelona has turned into : an incredible trophy winning mechanism.
    And these types dont sell players that work for them, so we will never get more than 20 million euros for a player , simply because we are not a selling club.
    We keep up our players/prospects and as long as we retain that status our investments will only repay us in trophies and not money back directly from selling players.

    Paying 27 million though(thats the reported number paid in cash and thats what matters, ONLY in 2011 economic season – otherwise lets start including salaries as well for all transfers) does seem paying over the odds.Initially.

    However we cannot compare this alleged transfer to the ones mentioned.
    Ibrahimovic had a huge fee+player included, was in his late 20s and demanded a huge salary.
    Like euler previously said, being young enough really is a big bonus especially because of the amortisation .
    Bojan and Gio had attitude problems. The first one never had the mentality to be a first team player, and the latter wanted to play far more than his ability at the time justified.
    Sanchez has none of those issues.
    Txigrisnki was always a huge question mark for many fans, for two reasons : speed and difference between the system he excelled at and barcelona’s.
    Sanchez at this time does seem to tick many of the boxes of a risky deal that may seem overpriced yet has good chance of being very successful.
    He is strong, fast, with a good mentality both in and out of the pitch. He has good close control and does track back.
    He is a work in progress though. He will have to become a much better passer, learn to link with our forward line and play from the wings like he does from the middle.And what will be demanded of him is to be fully consistent with his performances after the adaptation period.

    Does this command a 27 million fee?
    Well, since big clubs have come knocking, offering both the player and the club better sums, and guardiola clearly wants him, maybe it does.
    Risky deals are called like that for a reason.
    Whats the alternative? Getting llorente for 35?Aguero for 45? These are NOT risky deals? Who are we kidding?

    • Neel
      July 13, 2011

      45 for Aguero is clearly more justified than for Sanchez…did we all not see how the two mesmerizing midgets combined in the last outing for Argentina

      • mei
        July 13, 2011

        how exactly is 45 million in cash a more justified account for aguero than 27 for sanchez?

        • Neel
          July 14, 2011

          Sorry Mei, I meant if I had to pick one of them using 45m; I assumed that is the kind of money that is being talked about for Sanchez..

          • July 14, 2011

            Sanchez will probably cost 26-27m + 11m variables for things like starting 50% of the matches, winning the CL,etc.

            Many people think that Aguero could be had for around €40m, which is not that much more, but they also forget that Sanchez makes less than half in salary than Aguero. El Kun would be earning more than Xavi and Iniesta while Sanchez will be making Pedro money and that’s something to consider when bringing a player into a harmonious changing room.

  3. tutomate
    July 13, 2011

    While I agree that 40 million is a lot of money I’m not sure those figures are wholly accurate. Even if the figures were accurate I’m not sure it is not worth the risk. Consider this point that Euler brought up ealier. While we pay 40m for a player that is 28 that prize will be amortizised for about four years averaging to about 10m per year. Four years because his at age he will not last much longer at this level. Where as a 22 year old can get an additional 6 years if so the 40M comes out to about 4M per year. Like Euler said this if he were to work out. But if he did not surely we can sell him and earn some money back. Also remember that Alexis is willing to take a pay cut to make this worth.

    Every team takes risks with All players. some work out some don’t. Many thought that we overpaid for Henry but we would not have had the Triplete with out him. So was he worth it? I think so. 35 million for a defender that had never played in a top team and who could barely defend and that has worked out just fine.

    Its expensive but the risk does not outweigh the potential.

    • Josep
      July 13, 2011

      “35 million for a defender that had never played in a top team and who could barely defend and that has worked out just fine.”

      I love this. Sanchez is a project, an expensive, medium risk, high reward project.

      And if the project works out? Yes.

  4. Josep
    July 13, 2011

    The thing about variable that I don’t know if you realize is, if he meets most are variables his fee does go up, yes, but those variables are in place to protect from the situation you speak of.

    If he hits his variables that means he has performed well.

    I don’t get the talk of goals. you talk of Sanchez and his low goal tally, even though we all know he’s not a striker, and seem to act like goals are the only part of his game. then when it comes to talking about Villa we all discuss how during his dry spells, atleast he was there defensively. sanchez will be the same, and won’t be called upon to score, I can see him scoring Pedro numbers.

    when comparing the talent alone category you name a few Masia stars, and two players that were only given one sold against the coaches wishes. eh.

    “We don’t know what Sanchez is going to develop into, but he is descending into a cauldron of pressure that is completely different from anything he will have experienced.”

    That’s subjective. He’s from Chile, he was plucked out of there as a kid but brought back, with the weight of his world on his shoulder’s to play for Chile giants Colo Colo. He succeeded and they won the league…I’d argue that was more pressure than he would experience. That was huge for his career, he has family, his late father and whatnot to take care of and to prove to himself he could do it. He’s shined at Udinese, and moving to Barca would be great but I don’t think he would succumb to pressure.
    I mean he didn’t falter representing his country, why would he succumb to representing a club?

    “To me, we’re in the same boat as whoever will be stupid enough to pony up 45m for Neymar: taking an immense fiscal risk, based on hype and talent. We know that Neymar is a character risk while Sanchez has been a model citizen. Absolutely. Does the character difference make Neymar even more of a risk than Sanchez, for 5m more? Arguably. But from the view of pure talent and hype, there isn’t a ton of difference.”

    I don’t follow this.. So now we’re stupid for paying this price..based on hype and talent? aren’t all purchases based on hype and talent, more so the latter? I just don’t understand the point you’re making that Sanchez is the same as Neymar as a gamble. Neymar, I love Neymar, but he’s a big gamble, Sanchez is more “proven” I guess. I can’t compare the two, just like I can’t compare Sanchez’s goals because that’s not what his game is all about.. but people like to talk about goals.

    Which reminds me, Rossi, everyone’s first choice because Sanchez is too expensive, has not scored more than 12 goals in a league more than once (I believe, haven’t checked).

  5. y2k156
    July 13, 2011

    I kind of agree generally that Sanchez is more potential then results till now. For me, i would prefer paying 5 million more for Kun, who i think is better player.

    On other hand, Sanchez does not have any say in how much he costs. Its the market and sometimes in free market, weird things happen. Its demand supply and right now Sanchez is a player in demand. Barca, being top dogs, and having only few potential players who could be part of team pay premium. If we can afford it (and apparantly we can), as a supporter i do not give too much thought on how much a player cost. Even with Ibra, my problem was never his price but his attitude, specially in second half and the fact that he made our plan A weaker.

    I think Sanchez has enough ability to be a star for Barca. Will he be another Messi? Based on what i have seen of him, maybe not. But if he can be as good an accomplice as Careca was to Maradona or Puskas was to Di Stefano, i will not be complaining. One of the major short coming we had last year was lack of credible threat from bench and getting sanchez will change this and it makes me happier. In desparate situations, we can also go for 4-2-2-2 where Messi and Sanchez are false 9’s and Villa and Pedro are wide attackers.

    • July 14, 2011

      Aguero is a great player but his salary is too expensive. He earns more than twice what Sanchez earns and would be paid more than Xavi and Iniesta. That would be a bad decision by the board of directors in my opinion. On top of that, I’m not convinced Kun could play on the wing or that he would ever defend the way a Barça forward needs to defend. Sanchez fits both of those criteria to a tee and he does it for a more sensible Pedro-like salary.

  6. Judas Pissed
    July 13, 2011

    Don’t care. Flash the cash – sign the stars that everyone else dreams of signing – & let’s dominate for years to come…

  7. mom4
    July 13, 2011


    3-1 in the 80 something’s minute!

    On topic- yes he’s waaaaay too expensive, but it is what it is. Frankly, I’d rather see El Kun but I’ll take Sanchez(heck, would love to see Aquero+Sanchez rather than Cesc+Sanchez). Splash the cash because if we don’t get someone soon (just having 3m is not enough), we’re just one Ujfalusi or Welligton away from disaster.
    Yes, I’m impatient 🙂

  8. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    I think I’ve seen more Wambach headers in this WWC then all of our season last year… (Go USA!)

    I’m for Sanchez’ signing, but not for Cesc. Consigned that we might break the bank for both though.

      • Ryan
        July 13, 2011

        She would have absolutely scored that header against Inter that Bojan missed. 😉

  9. blitzen
    July 13, 2011

    Dang. I was hoping for a France-Japan final.

    Sounds like it was a good game, though. Congrats to all you USWNT fans!

    • Ryan
      July 13, 2011

      Hopefully you can be half right! Rooting for the Nadeshiko!

  10. jordi™
    July 13, 2011

    Cesc is pretty clever isn’t he? Lets his friends act as a mouthpiece while he comes out smelling like roses.I just wonder why Arsenal fans are so naive to think Xavi/Pique/ whoever, just randomly makes up conversations they had with cesc.Notice how whenever Xavi/Pique “put words in his mouth” he never comes out and say he didn’t say those things.Its always ‘everyone knows what I want’.Well what do you want Cesc.Hes not a child, a few comments to the press aren’t going to ‘turn his head’.Oh noes, I was committed to Arsenal but once My buddies starting waxing lyrical I couldn’t help hand in a transfer request.Except, I won’t hand in a transfer request and waive my percentage of the transfer fee coz that will make me look bad.Ill just sit back and let my friends, family, reps, take the heat for me instead.What a guy…

    • Jnice
      July 13, 2011

      Agree 100%. Been saying the same thing on twitter.

    • Diego
      July 13, 2011

      That’s why I don’t want him to come unless he files an official transfer request stating that he wants to join us. You can’t please all, Enough with the Silence.

  11. Justin
    July 13, 2011

    the japanese women play like barca (sorta, possession based, short, pressure), but without the genius of messi or iniesta to make it deadly.

    • Ryan
      July 13, 2011

      I was thinking that too. They really need a poacher, someone who’s there to be a bit selfish and finish off a play. They lack such a player in the men’s team as well.

    • Ryan
      July 13, 2011

      Add to the similarities a great use of the offside trap!

    • nzm
      July 13, 2011

      Yes – we thought the same! Brilliant to watch them. They ran rings around Germany and tired them out. The goal was definitely coming – you could see them building up to it, just like Barca does.

      Against Sweden, they went up a couple of gears – dynamic and strong.

  12. Diego
    July 13, 2011

    35m + Incentives for Alves
    Villa, Henry and Ronaldinho among others are examples for what happens when high money transfers work out. I don’t care about proven or that kind of talk. Henry had one decent, one great, and one terrible season. Villa has 1 or 2 top football seasons in him.

    Money comes and go, even if we’re talking about Millions.

    Will Barca be like how it is now if we didn’t buy Ronaldinho ? If we hadn’t overspend for Alves ? If we didn’t pay high amounts for older players like Henry and Villa ?

    Take the risk. If it works out …
    If it doesn’t, We’ll lose 20 or 25m after selling him, So what, See Chiggy, Ibra, Hleb, etc.

  13. Anonymous_69
    July 13, 2011

    I think you have the wrong view of Sanchez. He isn’ just a talented youngster. He has had a great development over the years, and he is now a very consistent and mature player. Over the past year, he has increased many areas of his game, and he is now well-rounded. He won’t just be a good sub, he will get similar playing time to Pedro and Villa, rotating. His quality is proven, and although his statistics aren’t amazing, we all know statistics don’t mean a thing. Sure, it isn’t risk-free, and I don’t think Barcelona should pay TOO much, but he is a very high quality player who is ready to play against any big team and perform well.

  14. dennise
    July 13, 2011

    no matter what Rosell says – for the rest of the world FCB will remain to cow for milking – in the same way as EE, citeh or manu.

    for these teams every player costs 5-10 mil more. And as long as one of beforementioned teams is willing to pay 5-10-15 mil more than “actual value” – there is nothing Rosell can do.

    We’ll see what happens with financial fair play.

    I personally find fan’s demands -get to us cheap and foolproof talents – pretty ridiculous.

  15. phunky
    July 13, 2011

    “I feel inhibited, because of everything he represents now.”
    -Marcelo Bielsa in reference to Guardiola. wtf?
    I thought Bielsa was Guardiola’s mentor of sorts! I’m kinda baffled.
    Any thoughts/explanations?

    • July 14, 2011

      Juanma Lillo was Guardiola’s mentor (the coach of Almeria when Barça dropped 8 on them this season) back when he played for him in Mexico, not Bielsa. I don’t even think they have ever spent time together.

      • phunky
        July 14, 2011

        Oh I’m sure they spent time together. I’ve watched this video about Guardiola (can’t seem to find it now) about his life after retiring from professional football, and apparently Pep travelled all around the world to learn about football tactics and stuff. That’s where he encountered Lillo in Mexico(I might be wrong here), and Bielsa in South America from whom he learnt quite a bit.

        I’ll post the link to the video once I find it.

  16. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    I am so in love with Japan’s technique. 🙂

  17. Justin
    July 13, 2011

    does it make me a bad american if I kind of want japan to beat them,

    1. the obvious reasons for rooting for japan

    2. they play barca ball really, it looks so similar.

    • mom4
      July 13, 2011

      I’m going to root for USA, but admire Japan’s style.

      Yes, I admit to cheering for Messi every time he got the ball in the US v Argentina friendly I went to this year but in my defense, it was Messi. Yet, I still supported the US.

      they play barca ball really, it looks so similar
      country before club club look-a-like.
      I know it’s hard. Because we’re cules, we appreciate attractive football.

      But no, I don’t think it would make you a bad American. Just have a good case of guilt if you do 😉 jk

    • mom4
      July 13, 2011

      Dangit Ek, I was just gonna post that :D. Too funny!

      BTW, Imma lovin’ how Japan is playing. Hope they get it out of their system before Sunday or else the USA are in a boatload of trouble.

      • Ryan
        July 13, 2011

        Right, the US struggled with France’s possession-based soccer. I think the American physicality could be the trick to beating the similarly technical Japanese, but that’s how the Germans were supposed to beat the Japanese. At least Hope Solo is much better than the Swedish keeper.

  18. Judas Pissed
    July 13, 2011

    Dunno if it’s an American thing with some of you guys – but I support a football club, not a business model. Barca are in oodles of debt – but who isn’t? Who cares if we spend 30, 40 or 50 million on the best available players in the world – as long as we keep winning trophies & play with mesmerising awe!

    • Ryan
      July 13, 2011

      We sold the shirt because of alleged troubles with finances, yet now we’re looking to spend 90 million on 2 players? What if the Camp Nou’s name is next on the chopping block, not because of the economic problems, but because we need a new marquee signing? At least that’s why I care; if we keep throwing caution to the wind we might just become solely a business.

      • yonono
        July 13, 2011

        We’ll have the “Turkish Airlines Campus” like Man City’s Etihad..

        • nzm
          July 14, 2011

          and Arsenal’s “The Emirates”.

          In Melbourne Australia, the football (Australian Rules footy) stadium is also called Etihad Stadium.

          The airlines from the Middle East have the money, and it’s solid marketing from them. In most cases, it’s either just before or just as the airline starts flying into the local airports/countries, so it’s a huge branding exercise to create awareness. What better way than on the shirts and signage of the local sports teams?

  19. Gogah
    July 13, 2011

    Sanchez deal:
    27M? bargain.
    33M? fair price.
    40M? excessive. risky.
    NOT unnecessary. its not like he’s as old as henry, ibra, villa, eto’o, where he will sell for a lot less.

    Fabregas deal?
    27-30M? fair price.
    Not unecessary.
    >30M? Foolish. Indulgent. unnecessary.

  20. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    And there we have it! We’ll have a Japan-USA WWC final!

  21. July 13, 2011

    Hey, whoa, whaddaya know! Udinese says that Chelsea has come in with a most excellent offer for Sanchez, that is a whole lotta lotta more than ours. 😀

    Then they should accept it, so that the world can move on.

    • Jnice
      July 13, 2011

      Where’d you see that? I haven’t come across that bit of info anywhere.

  22. July 13, 2011

    Generally speaking, I think its Sanchez performance over the coming seasons that will tell if the price paid is right or not. Can he make the impact Alves made and made him worth every euro? We have to see, but I think he can. Some theoretical points to kill time till the boy start kicking:

    Is there a more fitting alternative for a better price? I can’t think of any. I can make a case for Lorente as a nine. But for the role Sanchez is supposed to do, I can’t think of a player who can come even close. Is it better to pay over 25M for a player who at his best can be just good enough, or 35M for a player who can be either as good or at his best so amazing that he upgrade the offense to another level? I won’t mind signing cheap players (under 15M type) if the idea is to create depth. But if the need is for starters who can make definite impact, that’s another story.

    It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of Sanchez. Never thought Barcelona will buy him- for many reasons, not least that I was hoping to get a central strikers with different qualities. It’s a given that there is a risk in every transfer and the hindsight opinion will be easy to make, but at this point I have to say it as it is: This guy can catch you all by surprise, and at the moment I’ll take him over Aguero for the same price. No need to say that I won’t even bother to comment on any comparisons with Aymar and co.

    In another note, I hope Barcelona take some time to scout Coates who plays for Uruguay.

    • “Is there a more fitting alternative for a better price? I can’t think of any”
      Yep I’m on the same boat on this.
      An we are for starters paying 27 mil the rest is only if sanchez succeeds and the team gains titles.
      EE paid 37 mil for DiveMaria who was even more unproven…good players are getting more and more scarce

    • July 14, 2011

      Barça is a buying club, so the price of any player will always be more expensive, that’s something that must be accepted. I think that Rossi at a similar price is the only other player I could see as a viable alternative, although he would bring more of what we already have in Villa rather than a clearly alternative style like Sanchez.

      I’m curious how you would fit Llorente on to this team. I’ve heard his name mentioned on many culé wish lists, but I just don’t see a player of his profile on this Barcelona. First of all he’s a young ambitious star, so he would have to play minutes. But in order for a player like Fernando to be effective you have to put him in the middle and play off of him. So in what situation can you imagine Barcelona preferring putting Llorente in the middle and playing off of him instead of Messi?

      With a player like Leo you always want to accentuate his strengths, even when things haven’t been going well in a particular match, because lightening can strike at any moment. The way I see it, if Pep were to bring on Llorente in a given match in order for him to have an impact he would either have to sit Messi or change the way the team plays to give the big guy space to operate. Which means Messi would be minimized.

      I can’t imagine that ever being the best option.

  23. Worddriven Bozo
    July 13, 2011

    Bojan scored 12 goals (in all appearances) twice — in 2007-2008 and in 2009-2010.

    Sanchez is more powerful, which is exactly where Bojan fell down — he got pushed around whenever the box was crowded.

  24. Helge
    July 13, 2011

    LOL, Venezuela scored the 1-0 against Paraguay after just 4 mins.

    Craziest Copa ever?!?

    The quarterfinals have semi-final character right now, Uruguay – Argentina and Brazil – Chile 🙂

  25. yonono
    July 13, 2011

    I still just can’t get over dumping Bojan for Sanchez when there’s also Afellay. I don’t see the value in dropping a canterano who knows the system and seemed to get his timing/rhythm/confidence back playing more minutes for a fresh face while dropping a cool €40 million. I can’t help but wonder if we would be having this discussion if this goal had stood:

    • yonono
      July 13, 2011

      and where the heck is our center back?!

  26. culegirl3
    July 13, 2011'-arsenal-suffering-to-end?cc=5901

    My view of Cesc Fabregas’ character has changed. Not sure if this article is true but for crying out loud someone needs to force Cesc to say whats on his mind OUT LOUD instead of having your friends speak for him. Is he that spineless that he can’t be open about what he wants? He must be pretty stupid if he does not realize that his silence is being taken advantaged by Wenger. IMO the key to him being able to leave Arsenal is him handing in that transfer request, holding a press conference or announcing on twitter that he wants to go to Barcelona. Will he do it? I don’t think so because this is the sequel to last summer and he obviously didn’t learn his lesson that without being proactive nothing will be accomplished. As far as Wenger’s comments about Xavi being disrespectful towards Arsenal for what he said, well…I will say Wenger has got it all wrong. The only person being disrespectful to Arsenal is Cesc because he’s the one stringing along two teams and its fans, giving mixed signals and false hopes because the little boy who lacks guts won’t take a firm stand.

  27. July 13, 2011

    I’m willing to pay 40 for Sanchez. All transfers, to some extent, carry an element of risk. For younger players, it’s about not being proven (Sanchez). For older players, it’s about maybe running out of gas (Villa) before their deal is up. For headstrong players, it’s about being a dressing room issue (Ibra). For mentally weak players, it’s about not standing up to pressure (Chyrginski).

    So in some sense, all incoming players carry some risk. The ones that don’t are ludicrously expensive (such as CR to Madrid).

    Now, we get to the question of “worth”. Unfortunately in a world of demand and supply, Sanchez is worth what City would pay for him. This means teams like Barca that want top quality talent have to either pay through their nose for it. If not, we can keep trying with La Masia players and hope for the best.

    But I see this post as more a plea that we live in an alternate reality where prices are more “reasonable”. I think even as little as 3 yrs ago, someone of Sanchez’s pedigree would’ve gone for 20-25 or so. But that world is long gone. Only in cases where the contract is soon expiring (Ozil), the team is desperate to get rid of him (Sneijder) or the player has flat out laid a red line and said get rid of me now (Mascherano) can top quality players be bought for relatively cheap. Otherwise we have to pay up.

  28. Lev
    July 13, 2011

    I can grudgingly accept that Sanchez’ market price is 40 mil. And would love to see him in the blaugrana.

    But would have strongly preferred not selling our shirt over buying Sanchez.

  29. Lev
    July 13, 2011

    anybody watching venezuela – paraguay???????????? just scored 2 goals in the last 4 minutes of regular time to equalize 3-3 dale vinotiiintooooo!

  30. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    Julio Cesar lets a rather easy shot in, so now Ecuador are tied with Brazil. I still hold a grudge with him for saving Messi’s great curling shot in the Barca-Inter tie. :/

  31. July 13, 2011

    Speaking of crazy copa, Equador just equalized with Brazil!! If they win, Brazil is out, Equador is in.

  32. can_we_go_Xalvies
    July 13, 2011

    Ahsan pretty much pointed out the main reason why we are rumoured to be paying 40 mil for Sanchez.

    Udinese are playing things smart, because as long as Chelsea or Man City hold some sort of interest in Sanchez, Udinese can demand whatever price they want.

    Personally I feel we’ve stumbled onto an opportunity to sign a unique player such as Sanchez. If we do sign him then it is worth the money because whatever we pay for him will always be less than what Udinese demand.

    However, what Kxevin wrote on this blog post is correct. Ideally if we sign Sanchez we have paid over the top for him relative to a normal market. Does that make us stupid? maybe, but it also shows we are competitive.

    Bojan on the other hand I feel both bad and good for him, he gets to experience potentially more game time and more opportunities. BUt in terms of our track record of buying back players we sold the odds of us signing Bojan back is very slim. But judging by Bojan’s comments in the media, eventhough hes hurting, he remains enthusiastic and thats what will make him succeed hopefully.

    As for Fabregas, Wenger is pulling a lot of strings here, morally he shouldn’t be taking advantage of Cesc right now, but who knows, even if we don’t buy Cesc now, there may come a point during next season where Cesc turns on Wenger/Arsenal and the situation becomes very bad for them, hopefully that happens :).

  33. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    Caicedo scores again to nullify Neymar’s goal! Craziness!

    • mom4
      July 13, 2011

      crazy game-crazy copa

      I’m petty enough to hope Brazil loses just cause they benched Dani.

  34. July 13, 2011

    We got Ourselves a he’ll of a game. Equator equalizes again 2-2. One freak goal and bye bye Brazil!!!! This is a great way to end the group stage. Two very good games…. And Brazil scores again to make it 3-2 WOW

  35. Ryan
    July 13, 2011

    I think Maicon just got his starting spot back. Assists Neymar, 4-2!

  36. July 13, 2011

    As a football fan, it’s become so painful to watch what Brazil has evolved into. Still hard to believe this is it.

    There seemed to be a glimmer of opportunity when Manzo took over. But that was clearly a false signal.

    Menezes is just reverting back into Dunga and Dunga’s system with different players. As new challenges arose – challenges that were inevitable whenever change has to happen – Manzo regressed back to what was “safe” rather than creating fundamental change. It’s too bad.

    Outside of Chile and a few other sides, the state of football at a team level in South America just isn’t very heartening. There’s still tremendous talent at the player level – but in terms of organizing as a team and a system – things are particularly good.

    • July 13, 2011

      Excellent piece. He actually did sound angry. It’s like he was just finally fed up with all the hypocrisy and stupidity present in the media.

      He brings up an interesting point regarding Cesc’s injuries too, one which I hadn’t considered. Cesc is constantly injured at Arsenal. He has a recurring injury that has kept him from playing dozens of matches. He’s even hired a private physio just to help him with that problem. The fact that Arsenal’s physios are apparently awful, and that his importance to the team means he is *always* being rushed back from injury, means that he’s never going to get that injury properly taken care of. At this point, it’s stunting his development and keeping him from loads of international matches. That last point in particular must worry him. Spain has no shortage of midfielders, and his oft-assumed inheritance of the Spanish midfield is in jeopardy if he keeps missing matches.

      • blitzen
        July 14, 2011

        I’ve made this point before as well. It’s not even just him–Arsenal is constantly missing players due to recurring injuries, and rushing them back for “important” games. The fact that it is often the player himself who wants to come back too soon makes no difference–it is up to the medical staff to ensure they stay off until they are completely healed. For whatever reason, Arsenal medicos are unable to do that.

        Now look at Barcelona’s last season–our players had their share of injuries, but with the exception of Puyol (and Jeffren, of course) their recoveries all exceeded expectations due to the excellent plans mapped out for them by the physios. And even Puyol’s long-term injury was handled carefully–they knew surgery would be required but managed it so that he would be able to play a few minutes if necessary without doing further damage.

        I truly believe that if Cesc comes to Barcelona, his hamstring problems will become a thing of the past. Unless the years of mismanagement have done him a permanent injury (in which case he wouldn’t pass the medical–how ironic would that be?).

    • July 13, 2011

      And though I promise myself I won’t rage or generalize other groups of fans, I can’t help myself 🙁

      When a reporter asks about Fabregas:

      -Wilshere: Fabregas staying over another year would prove that he is a real man, because real men show loyalty.

      Gunners: Oh I love it when players don’t spout off coached answers! Go Jack, speak your mind!

      -Xavi: Cesc confided in me that he is suffering because he cannot secure a transfer away from Arsenal.


      And yes, I do imagine their voices to be like facebook teenyboppers.

  37. outerspacedout
    July 14, 2011

    I don’t see how this whole ‘value’ thing is judged. How is his ‘real’ value 20 million?

    In the current market? In the current market a player of his talent is worth much more than 20mil based on talent and performance alone, even though its the demand bidding war that drove it all the way up to 40mil instead of say, 30mil.

    Wait, this current market is inflated, you say, because of City and Madrid and Ibra and Torres and Caroll over the past three years. So three years back? Three years back as well, someone of his talent and performance commanded fees of more than 20 million, more around 25 million.

    So you go even further back, and say okay before Chelsea under Abramovich inflated the market? And then say in 2003?

    So what is ‘fair’ value? Is it what the value would have been in an arbitrary point in time where you feel the market was un-inflated enough to be considered fair? Well then even the point where Sanchez would have been worth 20 million would have been massively inflated compared to before that, when transfer world records were 20 million, or when transfer world records were 10 million… so setting any one point of time as ‘fair’ would be arbitrary, wouldn’t it?

    Then what? Judging value by what the work they do is worth? In that case you could argue no footballer is worth even the in-real-life huge amounts like 2 or 3 million, compared to say emergency doctors or teachers, for example. So judging by the amount of money he would make the club? As in say, percentage increase in likelihood of us winning each trophy due to the signing multiplied by money we get from winning each trophy + the amount we would get from shirt sales and marketing? That’s a silly way to judge value in footballing terms, because then in footballing terms Beckham would be worth 200million and someone underrated like Valdez worth ten times less. That’s definitely not how to measure value.

    The most non-arbitrary without being silly way I can think of is, in the current transfer market of today, what would a player’s price be if he were not involved in a bidding war (or Man City were not the ones buying, since their involvement inflates transfer fees much more massively than almost every other club like even Madrid or us right now, since they’re a lot more willing to pay over value than the more established wealthy clubs). What would his club sell him for in a normal situation where say instead of him, say, Cavani had been the Serie A player to get circled by a million clubs and get the attention and Sanchez had only gotten the ‘normal’ amount of hype that a similarly talented young player gets and thus there wasn’t a fight-to-the-death sort of bidding war? Such an answer would definitely be very subjective, but I think that even if he wasn’t hot property and a deal was being made in a normal situation without loads of attention, today he would cost 26-30 million. Saying ‘fair value’ and meaning it as ‘in this or that day and age’ is almost completely arbitrary, because football fees have always kept on rising upwards, with record fees considered ‘obscene amounts’ going from 500k to 1mil to 5mil to 15mil to 25mil to 50mil and so on. Identifying any one point in time as the ‘fair value’ time- usually the time you first got into football and which is thus stuck in your head as ‘normal’ and fees from then on as ‘increasing’- is completely and utterly arbitrary.

  38. Srini
    July 14, 2011

    There are several problems in Kxevin’s argument –

    1) He says we are giggling at the Bojan prospective transfer for $12 mil. We indeed are, because he is supposed to be bought back later and transfers with buy back option is best done at lower prices so that buybacks are not too high. We are not selling Bojan outright but are buying Alexis outright.

    2) In a normal valuation, Alexis would have been bought for close to 20-25 mil for what he is worth. But this no time for a normal valuation as the market has indeed been skewed with all the English club purchases and agent evaluations. Considering that Alexis has refused even higher offers for his transfer to clubs like Manchester City/ Chelsea and the likes – the Barca offer of 27/28 mil + 10/11 mil variables seems “reasonable” enough.

    3) the fact that Barca refuses to pay Udinese a straight transfer fee suggests that reasonable haggling is in the process.

    The other questions to be answered therefore are –

    1) Do we really need Alexis at this skewed price?

    I would answer that Alexis is indeed a need – a very good on the ball talent who can do a decent job as a Messi standby and who could potentially be a good replacement player in a squad that is already the best in the world. He is a need because the coming season is bound to be very heavy for the Barca squad players and more the equivalent talent, the better is the chance for Barca to repeat the all-winning spree that they have been doing in the near past.

    The question therefore is best answered if we consider what is Barca’s requirement and in my opinion, Alexis fits a very important need. Considering that he is willing to shed his salary to a reasonable amount and that he is also willing to accept a potential bench role in Barca (refusing other lucrative and starting roles elsewhere), he is a good squad fit already.

    I really think that provided Barca haggles hard for the variables, this would be a very good transfer.

    With Euler’s argument that this signing would push Barca to newer frontiers not limiting themselves to the template currently – the pros of signing Alexis get only better.

  39. Here we go again..

    40 Million is bullshit! What has he done to commend such a price? 12 Goals in Italy! Is that such a great statistics? In that case Ibra’s 70 Million price tag is perfectly justified. Two years before I was screaming at about the stupid swap deal including Ibra – It was too costly and stupid. But Barca fans being Barca fans wouldn’t listen. It looks like Common sense has no place in our dictionary. At that time evryone said that it was a fair price, teh Coach knows better etc… After a year later the same people came out attacking the transfer and Laporta of all people for the transfer. Atleast in Ibra’s case he was a star and we still could get 25 Million from sending him to Milan.

    Let me tell you, if Sanchez screws(which he surely will) we will never get anything more than 5 million for him. He may be a good prospect but when you come to Barca with a 40 Million price tag, you will never be allowed settling time.

    “No, Sanchez isn’t Krkic, so put those “You’re comparing a bright, shining star to a player we’re unloading” notions out of your head. Sanchez popped in 12 goals in the land of catenaccio, a higher annual total than Krkic has ever done in the first team for us. But Krkic wasn’t a regular starter, either. Could he have had similar totals in the same number of matches? Fair question.”

    Very good point, mate. I have been watching Copa for analysing Sanchez performance but have to admit that I haven’t seen anything spectacular to justify a 40 Million price tag.

    • The__K__Man
      July 14, 2011

      Not saying 40 million is a good price but if you didn’t think Snachez was the star of the 3 games he played in then I don’t know what you were watching!

    • mei
      July 14, 2011

      A player isnt judged solely by the amount of goals he has scored in a season. Especially when this kind of player isnt there just for the goals , but acts as a creative/disrupting force behind the strikers.
      The team you play in also has its part in the productivity of a player, plus its system.
      Would you judge iniesta solely by the amount of goals he scored last season?
      Transfer fees seem to be grossly misunderstood between football fans.
      Its what you pay in front , cash ,that describes the transfer fee not the incentives or the contract of the player.
      There are several reasons to that.
      Anyway its funny people lament common sense and at the same time have very definite and extreme views on each matter.
      Ibrahimovic transfer was not stupid or too costly when it happened.
      If we had won the tremble and he had added a new dimension into our attack that would seem like a very good deal.

      We are reportedly paying 27, TWENTY SEVEN, million for sanchez. Is this transfer worth it judging by what he may add to our attack?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      July 14, 2011

      Let me tell you, if Sanchez screws(which he surely will)

      oh, wow. that is so negative.
      the power of positive thinking, buddy.
      he might screw, or might not. we don’t know that.
      don’t say he surely will.

  40. Lev
    July 14, 2011

    I believe the argument can be made that in today’s transfer market 40 mil (or 27 mil + variables) for Alexis is logical, no matter how ridicously high I personally find that price.

    I do not believe the argument could be made that Alexis could be “the next Messi”. Messi at 22 yrs old was already the best player in the world, imo. Messi at 24 is among the greatest ever.

    Agree with Allaboutbarcelona’s comment that if Sanchez turns out to be a disappointment, we will not get a comparable sum back for him. But more than 5 million, that is for sure!

    Also, Kxevin, I agree with a lot of what you wrote in your post, but I strongly disagree that whoever buys Neymar for 45 mil is in the same boat. Personality is VERY important and in Neymar’s case a huuuuuge red flag. Add the fact that he has never played in Europe before whereas Sanchez was arguably one of the serie A top players, admittedly for half a season, and I think Sanchez is the surer bet.

    Look at it this way – I am sure that if Barça was about to fork out 45 million euros on Neymar your blog entry would be 1000 words of anger and incomprehension. Agree?

  41. Josep
    July 14, 2011

    When people’s arguments start with “HE ONLY SCORED X GOALS” about a winger/Trequartista… I stop reading, sorry.

    Can we look at it this way? Okay our Outs:
    Zlatan, nets us 8m this year.
    Bojan will potential net us 12m.
    Outs=20m so far
    Kiko..what is that 1.5 right now..?

    So we’re up 18.5m.

    People say they’re fine with 20m for Sanchez.. which is almost our profit from sales so far..then we have 50m more to spend.

    If its 26+11 variables (which can we STOP arguing about price until anything is confirmed?) it’s great. If we win the CL..the variables pay for themselves. Same as the league, the bonuses of winning this will pay more over for the variables of the transfer fee does no one realize this?

    Yes the bonuses for players are higher, but it outweighs the loss. And if we don’t perform and don’t get those bonuses, if they’re his variables, Udinese doesn’t get more.

    So based on sales Sanchez is, according to what we’re hearing, only a 1.5m hit upfront.

    Right? If we hit his variables he’ll cost us 13m based on our outs and ins.

    We don’t need to be buying for depth, and I don’t see Barca making any signings like that which is why we’ve passed on some good but not great players. They signed Kiko hoping they can form him into a player who can make an impact in the first team in a few years. So 2.5 on a player who can potential be a backup or starter down the line..or 15m or so now for a rotation player?

    The new business model is extremely intelligent, and cheap, but to a degree. The club knows about its youth, and would rather promote them for depth than to dip into the market for depth. Sanchez is one of 1-2 available players out there that would improve the team RIGHT NOW. We’re a buying club, and we always make that 1-2 “superstar” signings. Keep in mind, they must be “superstars” to break into this all we’re doing is paying for the best players in the world who will improve the squad, not just make it bigger.

    I don’t think Rossi would do this, he’d play well for a few years, but once Villa retires I don’t think he’d step into that role and we’d need another replacement to rotate with him. However, if Sanchez works, he can be in the 11. I don’t rate Rossi like most of you.

    • mei
      July 14, 2011

      Its mostly that rossi would add little to what sanchez may do.
      Sanchez has great close control , tons of pace ,creates space for himself and for others and has a high work ethic. He’s also a work in progress .
      Aguero doesnt share these kind of characteristics although some have suggested it. He takes very well care of space and bags goals but we actually want a different option in attack that can play wide/centrally and can create space opposed to just be able to take advantage of it. Sanchez is the name thats seems to fit that bill.

  42. can_we_go_Xalvies
    July 14, 2011

    If Chelsea and Man City are willing to offer 50 million to Udinese for Alexis Sanchez that says something. Just because some clubs have unlimited funds doesn’t mean they should be allowed to buy however they want. We have the advantage in this transfer, we are actually paying less than what other clubs will want to offer for Sanchez.

    We shouldn’t bring Rossi into the discussion because he is a completely different player to Sanchez and in terms of effectiveness Rossi would be just as good if not better than Sanchez, especially given the difficulty for a new player to adapt to the Barca system. But we shouldn’t focus on this because it has no relevance in Alex’s pricetag.

  43. July 14, 2011

    Agreed on Rossi. My essential points are unrelated to any other players. It’s simply a contextual one related to the bottom line. I don’t even argue against his talent. That is clear.

    The Udinese rep in Spain is saying the deal will be done this week, which means it won’t be. 😀

    The following quote is why any other offers for Sanchez are pointless, and why he would stay at Udinese until he could come to us, if it didn’t work out next season:

    Tweet via @barcastuff: Jose Delaigue (adoptive father Sanchez): “Thanks to Alexis I’m still alive, I want to fight so I can see him play at Barça before I die.”

    • mei
      July 14, 2011

      Sentiments are not really the biggest part in transfers.
      Dreams are for the living anyway and his father is not.

        • mei
          July 14, 2011

          I think the only part is true as long as we are seriously interested. If we went away for a month and a big club came knocking meeting udineze’s valuation, he would be on his way.
          And he would be correct to do so.

          • July 14, 2011

            Dunno ’bout that. Citeh and Chelsea were more than willing to meet Udinese’s valuation. The player only wanted to play for us. Would that change if we weren’t interested? Probably.

  44. JoachimD
    July 14, 2011

    Since we sold out our shirts to try and lessen the debt and it seems we are hell-bent to pay large amount of sums to new players. Why not just go get Aguero and sell Jeffren and Bojan to Atletico to lessen the painful amount with perfomance payouts? etc.

    Messi, Aguero, Villa line-up is insane. Not to forget Pedro, Affelay etc.

    Do not buy Cesc. Get 2 cheap back-up players in defense (Angel what happened? etc.)

    Prefer quality to quantity even with all those matches coming up. We have a great youth set-up for a reason.

    I think what is hurting more to Barça finances are the high salaries of a lot of deadweights that need to get cleaned up.

    • July 14, 2011

      Aguero has too many limitations to be effective in our system. Krkic is sold to Roma as soon as the Sanchez shoe drops. Jeffren is a tough sell.

      • Josep
        July 14, 2011

        Hmm.. care to go into detail about said limitations?

        • July 14, 2011

          Size, limited wing-ability, doesn’t track back, suspect work rate. He also needs the ball, and without the ball he’s just waiting for the bus. We already have one of those in Villa. If I’m spending 45m on a forward, it’s to tempt Bilbao to sell Llorente.

          • Josep
            July 14, 2011

            Hmm interesting..size is in reference to the other option being Llorente then, correct?

            Which reminds me if he came he’d need the ball, he is a plan B but..he’s NOT a plan A. He has limited wing-ability, in fact he couldn’t play the left AFAIK. I don’t know about his tracking back, but I’ve seen Kun do it don’t know where that or the suspect work rate comes from..

      • flyzowee
        July 14, 2011

        Those crying for aguero should also get that its common sense for any serious minded club to examine the system it employs and THEN buy players to fit the puzzle

        You dont just buy quality because its more ‘proven’
        Obviously the club have seen something in this Sanchez boy right?

        But… lets abandon all sanchez reports from our scouts coz 5mill extra gets you aguero? C’mon enough of that.

        • Lev
          July 14, 2011

          plus 45 mil is not the same as 27 + variables. Also just because his buy out clause is 45 mil, if EE or other clubs are interested in buying him they might drive up the price.

          Btw I have always disliked Kun :p

          • Josep
            July 14, 2011

            you just contradicted yourself..atleast on transfer fee.

            if his buy out is 45m no one can force the club to pay more than that. Well, in the technicalities of it Atletico could, but without the technicals that makes no sense.

        • Lev
          July 14, 2011

          @josep …yeah. you are right. realized it after writing it. that was my bad busi moment of today, i guess.

    • dennise
      July 14, 2011

      sry, but high salaries -compared with EPL overall – really can’t say barca pays so much. ESPECIALLY taken into consideration – FCB currently pays for several the most prized title owners.

      IF you want to stay at the top – you have to pay the price. Case closed.

      • July 14, 2011

        The other thing about the salaries of our players is that there are no attendant transfer fees. Imagine what it would cost to build our club in the open market.

  45. Diego
    July 14, 2011

    Let’s discuss what we know

    We’re not paying 40m for Alexis Sanchez, We’re paying 27m + Variables

    Some of you say that the talent and the risk is worth 26 or 27m. That’s what we’re actually paying for him.

    The Variables will be paid if he had an amazing season. An Amount will be paid if we win CL, which He’ll probably have a role in. Another sum if we win the Liga, which He’ll have a part in. An amount paid depending on his goal count, +10 goals will be something, +20 will be something. If he participates in over 50% of the matches, We’ll pay another sum.

    So The Variables which will drive his price up to 40m will only be paid if he had a great season where We won the CL and Liga, He scored +20 goals, He participated in more than 50% of the matches, etc.

    People who are arguing against the transfer, Find me a Starter who’s on the same level with the same money, Should we pay 15m-20m for a Squad player ? I’d rather have a starter and a talent on the bench rather than 2 squad players.

    Money is Money, It comes and goes, If we lost the 40m, so be it. Imagine what will happen if the transfer works. 8-9 Years of Top Football along with Pedro and Messi. Every year developing and understanding each other more. We’ll only need one or two additions in the next 8-9 years, Not even considering the development of Deulofeu and Rafa.

    • Excellenet post. Thats exactly what i think as well.

      “…People who are arguing against the transfer, Find me a Starter who’s on the same level with the same money, Should we pay 15m-20m for a Squad player ? I’d rather have a starter and a talent on the bench rather than 2 squad players…”

      Only with quality on the bench could wee effectively rest Messi/Villa/Pedro since you have to be very talanted in order to be able to play with this team and provide solutions

    • Gogah
      July 15, 2011

      what about a striker, a 9? its so difficult to find a striker for barcelona. now we are buying sanchez, bojan set to leave. that leaves barca with only one striker, Villa, who is not only ageing, but is forced to play out of his favoured central position.
      i don’t care what anyone thinks.
      i say get Eto’o back. or Falcao!!

  46. July 14, 2011

    A couple of things on the Sanchez transfer.

    First off – while the transfer feel is obviously a large proportion of money spent on a play it is not the “total cost of ownership” for that player.

    The player’s salary is a huge factor as well. In addition how the money for the transfer fee is structured and is accounted for matters as well.

    Two comparisons that have often been made to the Sanchez transfer are Villa last season and a potential Aguero transfer this season.

    Villa was purchased for 40M. Aguero would cost 45M.

    Comparing the “total cost” for Sanchez with those two is simply not accurate.

    Villa was much, much more expensive than Sanechez. And he was more expensive for two reasons – his wages and how the money was structured.

    Sanhez is turning wages down to wear the shirt. Sanchez is going to make 3.5M. That is a very low wage for a player who has gotten offers ofr 40M+ on a transfer.

    Villa did not give up wages to any significant degree. Villa walked onto the team and was instantly slotted in as the second highest tier paid player on the team. He is making 7M/year and then top of that I believe he gets some performance related variables.

    Villa’s contract was 4 years. So Villa will cost 14M more than Sanchez. Now you can say he’s “worth” that much more than Sanchez but his transfer is at least 35% more expensive than Sanchez.

    And on top of that I’d fairly certain that Villa’s contract has larger lump sum payments than Sanchez’s will, especially given how much is locked up in variables for Sanchez. That means Barca pays more up front. That means Villa’s “40M” is much more costly to Barca than Sanchez’s “40M.” The net present values are not the same in any way.

    This same exact principle applies to Aguero. Aguero is not simply 45M vs. 40M on Sanchez. Aguero will make 7M+. In addition Atletico reportedly wants his entire fee up front. They probably won’t get that but paying out the transfer fee for Aguero will undoubtedly be more cash out of pocket up front.

    Finally, Sanchez is not going to cost “40m.” This is an important point, especially with financial fair play. Sanchez will be booked as a 27M player on Barca’s accounts. That value may be modified by the variables but it is distinctly different than how Villa is accounted for on Barca’s books or Aguero would be.

    This means that Barca needs less revenue on hand to cover Sanchez’s transfer fee than they do to cover Villa’s (or Aguero’s) and still meet financial fair play guidelines.

    These are not small issues. They are huge business issues.

    You cannot compare the total cost of Sanchez to Villa or Aguero. Sanchez will be much less expensive from multiple dimensions e.g. cash flow, net present value, accounting, etc.

    Now you can still argue that he’s still “overpriced” after all that. But his deal is going to be very weird and it’s not accurate to compare the cost of that deal to other players like Villa or Aguero.

    Finally, this whole notion of him being 40M is largely theatrics to make Udinese look like they got the price they wanted for their player.

    The “40M” from Barca is worth considerably less than the “40M” offers from City or Chelsea. They were flat cash and likely paid in large installments. That’s not Barca’s outlay.

    But Udinese knows they can’t sell to the bidder they want. So these negotiations between Barca and Udinese have been entirely about how risk is shifted between Barca and Udinese based on a market valuation that Barca is not going to meet.

    Most deals structured this way would never get reported as “40M.” It’s a 27M deal + variables. Those variables are a huge proportion of that 27M but they are still not guaranteed money. If for no other reason – Udinese likely won’t see that money in one major payment. That decreases it’s value – you have to put significant discount rates on that cash and factor in the risk that say Sanchez gets hurt and Udinese never sees a cent of many of those variables.

    One last point on this issue – because people aren’t considering “total costs” for Barca’s transfers Fabergas’s transfer is actually much worse than what it looks like. Fabergas will be around the 4th highest paid player on Barca. He’ll make just less than the Villa/ Xavi/Iniesta level. He will make more than Alves. Think about that – when everyone was telling Dani just to sign. Fabergas will walk onto the team making more than Dani. And Fabergas’s transfer will have to be in huge outlays of upfront cash. Arsenal is going to get paid in large installments.

    So much is being written in Sport and MD about the financial “sacrifices” Cesc is making. It’s all misdirection.

    But by the start of next season if Fabergas and Sanchez come, most cules will think both players “cost” the club the same. Not true in any way.

    • Diego
      July 14, 2011

      I agree with what You’re saying, Everyone is going to skip my comment to read yours 😀

      • July 14, 2011

        haha, don’t worry diego i’ve already read yours and i like it!
        but great way to remind others who actually did skip…:p

    • July 14, 2011

      You can just get out of here with your damned logic, Euler. I’ve warned you about rationality before ….

      For me, anything more than 20 is too much for Sanchez. As for Fabregas, you’ve laid out my objections (and then some) to that transfer. But yes, I also think he’s an Oft-Crocked Glory Hunter who wants to fence-sit his way to a new job.

      • July 14, 2011

        For me, anything more than 20 is too much for Sanchez.

        And that’s a completely reasonable argument. People will have different perspectives on these kinds of issues. My main point was that the money is just different than what Villa and Aguero did/ would cost and different by a lot.

        To be honest – all of the stories reporting out “40M” make limited sense to me. The fact is he’s not 40M. Transfers rarely if ever get talked about based on the total potential financial outlay if all variables are met. We never talked about Alves costing 42M or whatever he finally wound up costing. It was 35M and then for the most part the variables were a complete afterthought.

        But for some reason in the discussions around the Sanchez deal the amount that’s being reported in the press and discussed is the total.

        My sense from all this is that this deal is being described in a certain way to make it look like Udinese got “market price” for a player they could not sell at an available price.

        The whole thing is just strange.

        And Fabergas – he’s so tiring. Very unimpressive individual in terms of how he conducts himself professionally.

    • Gogah
      July 14, 2011

      Thats an insane analysis. sanchez’s transfer is a bargain compared to the monstrous blunder we would be making purchasing cesc/kun given the mode of payments, as you so wonderfully help me understand. I found it interesting you mentioned the financial fair play rule and how this sanchez transfer would only be accounted as 27+. This is something that is very blurry to me. could you please explain..we know the FFP is set to start in a couple years..what are the implications now? does that mean clubs will make all their costly purchases now,(building for a “frugal” future?) like Real seem to be and last year (all young, upcoming player purchases). And with the FFPR, will clubs really abide by these things (paperwork and accountability is extremely dubious in sporting governing bodies..(fifa/corruption/sheikhs/etc etc)) i am sure even with the FFP the top 10 big clubs can continue to make one big signing every summer (15-30M).

      P.S> barca needs to issue a statement, that they are done with allegations of tapping up and disrespect from arsenal club..that they will only make an offer for cesc if he hands in a transfer request!!

      • July 14, 2011

        The FFP issues is extremely complicated and uncertain.

        But there’s a general idea that clubs need to spend now because next summer FFP kicks in. That’s only partially true.

        If you buy a player now – how his transfer fee is amortized will not only carry over to next year. It will carry over to all of the years of his contract.

        So if you sign sanchez to a 5 year deal that player’s transfer deal is on your books and depreciates over the next five years.

        So signing a player this season will impact FFP dynamics when it kicks in.

        I’m not sure how variables go into the accounting in terms of amortization and depreciation. But it’s not the same as paying cash out up front.

        For example if Barca pays 27M + variables then Sanchez is on the books for 27M this season. Next season he will be booked as a roughly 21.6M asset + depreciation on varibles paid out during year one.

        If he was truly a 40M player he would be booked as a 40M player now, 32M next season and so forth.

        In turn that means Sanchez’s transfer will require less revenue to cover to stay within FFP.

        Again, this is all speculative because no one knows how UEFA will interpret/ implement their rules. And for the first two years you can still lose up to 45M.

        • Gogah
          July 15, 2011

          and will this also influence the spanish FA to allocate more reasonable TV rights to the other smaller clubs?

    • Xingxian
      July 15, 2011

      Thank you as always for the analysis, Euler 😀
      Is there anything in soccer you don’t analyze?

      • Jnice
        July 14, 2011

        That it is, but friendlies and trips to other countries during pre-season allow players to gel quicker with their new teammates. It allows for more bonding, it gives Pep a chance to try different things with tactics and players, and it also gives the new players a chance to get fit along the same time frame as the other players.

        • blitzen
          July 14, 2011

          Our first team hasn’t even started preseason training yet. My assumption is that a lot of Barca B players will play this game. Possibly including Kiko.

          • Jnice
            July 14, 2011

            I know, but they’re still going to travel and spend a few days in Croatia. For me, the big miss is if we don’t sign someone in time for the US tour. 3 games in the United States plus several intense training sessions. New players will miss out on a lot.

    • Jnice
      July 14, 2011

      I’ll assume she wasn’t hurt because they didn’t go back to check on her after they stopped. In that case: LOL 😀

  47. July 14, 2011

    I don’t know if anyone’s realized this, but we’ve signed Sanchez. We couldn’t get it done before the Copa so it’s gonna be announced after for obvious reasons (so Sanchez and Chile can focus on the Copa and not have the journos asking about Barca and all that jazz. Not mention Sanchez can’t sign the contract right now).

    At least, that’s what I think.

    • Vj
      July 14, 2011

      That might be the case, yet I’ll wait till his mug is splashed in the jersey. Pozzo might yet raise his price..

    • Rastogi
      July 15, 2011

      off topic!!!!! where can i download messi’s 53 goals of last season ?

  48. ooga aga
    July 15, 2011

    i cant believe no one has posted this…FCB official site says that the Gamper match will be played august 22 against NAPOLI

    • nzm
      July 15, 2011

      Yes – let’s hope that they remember to take Lavezzi home with them when they depart, and don’t leave him behind. 🙁

    • Helge
      July 15, 2011

      Way too many matches in the pre-season (and at the beginning of the official season this year): 11 games in 30 days.

      And 7 B players are not available for tje majority of these matches, due to the U20 WC.

      I think they should have thought about dropping the Gamper match this year. And also the Copa Catalunya.

  49. @Euler:
    “And on top of that I’d fairly certain that Villa’s contract has larger lump sum payments than Sanchez’s will, especially given how much is locked up in variables for Sanchez. That means Barca pays more up front. That means Villa’s “40M” is much more costly to Barca than Sanchez’s “40M.” The net present values are not the same in any way. ”

    Nonsense analysis. In Villa you had teh world’s best striker, who could easily integrate into this Barca side better than anyone else. So it was a sure bet. 40 Million is the price you pay for the guy’s quality which was proven over the years. Villa was a safe bet when we signed him and was sure to be the one of the pillars on which were looking to build teh team’s success.

    Sanchez at the moment is a fringe player. He could work well or he could just fizzle. Look at our recent history all our big money signings baring Villa and Alves has been risky. Villa may not have been on fire last season, but he linked well with his team mates and scored some crucial goals. Alves was the perfect signing at that cash because we badly needed a Right back at that point. With Sanchez coming in 27 Million+ I would expect Pedro getting less time. If that doesn’t happen and we once again emerge lucky with injuries, then he will not even get much playing time.

    “Thats an insane analysis. sanchez’s transfer is a bargain compared to the monstrous blunder we would be making purchasing cesc/kun given the mode of payments, as you so wonderfully help me understand. ”

    Could you explain why paying Sanchez 27+ Million is a bargain compared to paying 40 Million to ACesc. Cesc is once again a proven player. Eventhough I am dead against Cesc transfer it is ridiculous to consider that Cesc is not a great prospect.

    • Gogah
      July 15, 2011

      1. my name is gogah.
      2. answer already there in the copy/paste piece. bargain because of the MODE OF PAYMENTS barca need to make (given our poor financial position).
      3. Cesc is a great prospect, only if he doesn’t end up costing his parent club 40M. only if he proves his toughness and professionalism.
      4. nobody is saying fab isnt a good prospect. What is ridiculous is a club as big as barca chasing a player who does not have the b***s to openly admit his desires.

      on another note, if you guys like good artwork and barca players, look at the posters in my blog :

        • Gogah
          July 16, 2011

          what? you dont like it? whats your problem man?
          i am just a fan sitting somewhere in india unable to connect and speak with other like minded fans, trying to reach out to the BFB audience, who i hold in high regard, in my own way. I am not some sports journalist trying some cheap tricks to get more views. So what exactly is your problem? and how is a few characters in a link troubling you

    • Vj
      July 15, 2011

      Cesc is a great prospect alright. An injury prospect. To pay over the odds for an MF who can’t last a season without 2-3 lengthy spells of absence makes the Sanchez deal a bargain. Not to mention his salary, his reluctance to fight for a spot and the massive fee that Arsenal will demand upfront for his signature versus the staggered payment for Alexis.

      Besides Cesc is the one who’ll warm the bench more. How many times this season did you see Xavi/Iniesta being subbed off than Villa?

  50. Rastogi
    July 15, 2011

    off topic!!!!! where can i download messi’s 53 goals of last season ?

  51. Lev
    July 15, 2011


    Cesc has to prove his toughness?

    Blasting in an equalizing penalty a couple of minutes before time with a broken leg isn’t tough enough for you?

    • Josep
      July 15, 2011

      lol “blasting” “broken” lol.

      Come on, if what you’re saying were true maybe he’s too tough. maybe his toughness gets him hurt. maybe he’s too tough a guy! too tough to come out and clear the air about what he wants.

      yeah, he’s a fucking tough dude!

      • Lev
        July 15, 2011

        ” “broken” “?
        mmm…you are making me doubt. his leg was in fact broken when he scored 2-2 after getting a penalty by kicking Puyol’s leg instead of the ball, right?
        All I am saying is that this should prove to all that on the field at least he is tough.
        I wasn’t commenting about his attitude with regards to wanting to leave Arsenal.

    • Ryan
      July 15, 2011

      Well, he did score the winning penalty in the shootout vs. Italy in Euro08, finally breaking Spain’s horrible, horrible record in international tournaments and especially in quarterfinals. Maybe not a definition of toughness, but it’s a pretty nice tidbit I think! (Unless you’re an Italy fan 😉 )

    • Gogah
      July 16, 2011

      lol..yea..i was refering to ze mental toughness 😀

  52. July 15, 2011

    In Villa you had teh world’s best striker, who could easily integrate into this Barca side better than anyone else.

    My comment was not related to sporting issues or quality. My comment was for the most part simply a statement about finance and accounting.

    It was specifically related to net present value and discount rates.

    If I give you 40M right now in one payment that is much more “valuable” in financial terms than if I give you 8M this year and then 8M for the next 4 years after. If I give you 40M in one payment that is much more “valuable” in financial terms that If I say, I’ll give you 27M now but in order to get anymore of the 40M I may give you you have to meet certain conditions.

    That’s a very simple example of the kind of argument I was making. Now that is only an example – that’s not how the payments are structured in Villa and Sanchez’s cases. It’s just an example of the principle involved

    I’m not making a comment on whether Villa was “worth” his 40M or if Sanchez is “worth” his “27M +variables.” I’m just explaining that the “40M” Barca paid for Villa is not the same value as the “40M” they could pay for Sanchez due to the structure of the payment and the time frame they will be made over.

    Because the deal for Sanchez is getting reported as “40M” it’s confusing people. That’s why some people are arguing well if we can get Sanchez for 40M let’s pay another 5M and get Aguero. That’s just not the right way to think about the finances. Aguero could cost Barca 60-70% more than Sanchez due to his wages and the structure of the transfer fee.

    Now it’s very possible that one can feel that Aguero is “worth” 70% more than Sanchez. That’s involves making a sporting argument. But that’s an issues outside of what I’m saying. I’m only making a financial comment. Aguero is not 5M more than Sanchez. In terms of finance, Aguero is an asset that is far more costly than Sanchez. It is not simply a matter of “40M” vs. “45M.”

    It’s the same issue with my comments on Cesc. His transfer will not simply cost “40M.” His wages are enormous. He will walk onto the club as the teams 4th highest player. Now you may feel that he’s “worth” those wages but that’s outside of what I’m commenting on.

    The transfers of Villa, Aguero, Cesc, and Sanchez are all being described as being similar in cost. That’s just not true from the perspective of finance and accounting. They are wildly different costs with each transfer. Again, that’s not saying anything on the “value” of each deal or the “worth” of any of those players individually or in comparison. It’s just the financing of the deals.

    But unless you can accurately characterize the true total “cost” of the player it’s difficult to say whether or not any of the transfers are appropriate in terms of value.

    • mei
      July 15, 2011

      Financially , and thats what euler mostly focused on here, its a good enough way to put it. I must underline that his view doesnt represent fancy accounting , but real risks and value of money.

      Being a proven player doesnt say that much because you are not proven in barcelona unless you meet expectations in this team.
      Fabregas has “proved” himself in arsenal.And has proved himself in a big club that has won nothing while he was in charge.

      It must be underlined also that barcelona isnt looking primarily for proven players , because it has a quite different and demanding system that would take any player however great his is some time to adapt(and anyone can fail during that process for many reasons).

      We are looking for players that can enhance our options, especially in the attack department.
      Fabregas ,sadly for me , seems to fit that description yet his price is too high for me to overlook the field of the team that gets less rest than them all : attack.
      Our attack has only had 3 real and performing options for two years in a row. The players that were supposed to share time with our front three were either injured or incapable of being considered first team options throughout each of those seasons.
      We need a player that both can take games off our front 3 hands and help in rotation while he can also provide a different option in the attack department.
      The only name that i can think of that seems to have these characteristics is Sanchez. Not aguero or another experienced striker that will cost less(an experienced striker would play some games but would never be a first team choice).

    • Agreed on the Total Salary part. But here is my point.

      Take Villa’s case : he came at 40 Million + 7 Million in salary into a position where we had no one. That means the salary didn’t increase by 7 Million but got reduced by some 2 million, considering that Ibra was making close to 9 million(I am not sure how much of Ibra’s salary we are paying, but atleast from this season we don’t have to pay him). As you pointed out Villa may have cost us 40 + till date(plus the incentives), with Ibra being send off we needed him. From that perspective for me we actually are saving 2 Million per year from his signing.

      Villa made 50 appearance in all last season and that would make we are paying him 140,000 per match and the main part is that he started in most of that. Now in Sanchez case 3.5 Million salary, if we assume that he plays 25 matches where he at least get 30 minutes of playing time, we most probably would be paying him similar 140,000. If we start looking at salary per playing minute Villa could come much cheaper. I know these statistics are nonsense, but still we can use that to scale the deal. My point is that at 40 Million and 7 Million salary, we had to sign Villa because we needed a player at that position. And the best thing was that he was cheaper than Ibrahimovic in terms of Salary. The chances of success was also great with his signing as I pointed earlier.

      I do agree completely with the cesc evaluation.

      • mei
        July 15, 2011

        if you bring in sanchez and he works , you could take games off messi,villa and pedro and making them a little bit costlier while having the potential of a fresh attack throughout the year.
        The thing is not that villa played 50 games last season and worked more for his salary. The thing is that he shouldnt. Nor should messi or pedro.

        • mom4
          July 15, 2011

          The thing is that he shouldnt. Nor should messi or pedro.

          You tryin’ to take games away from Messi? Gonna break the kid’s heart! 🙁

          Totally agree, btw

  53. y2k156
    July 15, 2011

    Btw, after the long hiatus, finally the games for the team are on horizon. And it is going to get busy. Potentially we have 10 games in one month starting from first friendly. I have missed to see our team play.

  54. Diego
    July 15, 2011

    #Liverpool have spent €85m on Henderson, Downing & Carroll.

    • Reaper
      July 15, 2011

      That is insane money for the above mentioned names –

    • Lev
      July 15, 2011

      wow. To be fair they also got Luis Suarez for I believe 27 mil (?) and that was a good buy imo. Can’t say I have seen Downing and Caroll play all that much and I haven’t seen Henderson at all but 85 million would have been better spent on sooo many other players. King Kenny, huh?

      • Justin
        July 15, 2011

        yes but there english, that means they have the ruggedness and toughness to compete in the best league in the world

      • FalseNine
        July 15, 2011

        The thing you have to remember about the Carroll deal is that it was both forced by, and coupled with, the Torres deal. Liverpool paid a ridiculous sum for Carroll, but they have come right out and admitted they would never have paid it if they weren’t getting a ridiculous sum from Chelsea. So Liverpool in the end swapped Torres (who was unhappy, underperforming and had demanded a transfer) for Carroll and £15M, which is not unreasonable, especially considering the short amount of time they had to work with. It’s Newcastle who really won big, and Chelsea who got really shafted.

  55. Jnice
    July 15, 2011

    An English translation of Menotti’s interview with El Pais:

    Wonderful interview, really insightful. He says interesting things about Pep and Mourinho as well.

    • Barcaleya
      July 15, 2011

      What a great interview! Thanks for the link, Jnice.

      In Argentina, isn’t there anyone like Guardiola?

      No, there’s just one Guardiola, but given the case, people wouldn’t let him exist. He would get murdered first. Here we just have Mourinhos or people like him, who just think in winning and, when they lose, it’s not their fault; we know them since long ago.

      I agree with his thoughts about Guardiola. How instrumental he is in forming the squad and its philosophy. That we don’t have this incredible team because of it’s extant incredible players. Else, Argentina NT wouldn’t be this crappy, right?

      • Barcaleya
        July 15, 2011

        Or rather “That we don’t have this incredible team JUST AND SOLELY because of it’s extant incredible players.”

        It definitely needed an even more incredible coach in the mold of Guardiola.

        Indeed, who was Pique before he worked with Guardiola? And as Maradona said – Valdes used to score goals for the opposing teams. Now, he’s as solid a goalie as one can ask for. Pedro and Busquets -they were about to be thrown to second tier teams if not for Pep’s discerning eye. Iniesta’s potential would not have been this realized. And everyone being able to work in the places best for them, playing to their potential, resulting in an amazing well-drilled team has really got to be credited to the genius of Pep.

        • blitzen
          July 15, 2011

          Hey now, Valdes has always had incredible talent. Yes, he went through a period of making huge mistakes, but it was Rijkaard who believed in him first and gave him the confidence to be the world-class keeper he is now. Guardiola helped him improve his team play and other skills, but you can’t say he was solely responsible for what Valdes has become.

          • Barcaleya
            July 15, 2011

            Oh, I’m not saying that.

            He’s always been good (and I’ve loved him since he started playing for the first team) but not as solid as he is now. That’s why people have never placed him higher in their estimation cause he’s prone to making terrible mistakes as well.

            Besides – I just paraphrased what Maradona said in his interview about Valdes.

            And obviously – nowhere did I say or mean that Guardiola is responsible for ALL that they are or become.

            They’re all talented to begin with. [This is pretty obvious] It’s just about making them better as individuals and as a team. And believing in them. Giving them more chances and finding the optimal use for them. Though Valdes cannot be other than a goalie, perhaps he became more of a defender as well because he distributes the ball to the back four and not just hoof it to the middle of the field. With Guardiola, our attack and our play really starts from the Valdes. So that might be an additional dimension given to him through Pep.

            The point of what the interviewee was saying was that people tend to discount Guardiola’s contribution and attribute this team’s greatness to the already great skill and talent of the players. And I’m just agreeing with him.

          • Barcaleya
            July 15, 2011

            Tell me what you think after you’ve read the article

    • mom4
      July 15, 2011

      Hey Jnice, my computer won’t allow me to go to that link. Got any ideas?

  56. blitzen
    July 15, 2011

    Full-time: L’Escala (5th div) – Barcelona B 0-8. Goals: Tello (3), Sergi Roberto, Riverola, Kiko Femenia, Bartra, Soriano

    Wow. I know nothing about L’Escala, so maybe they completely suck, but that’s a very impressive tally for a preseason game. And Kiko scored in his very first game!!!!! No panic attacks for him now. 😀

    • mom4
      July 15, 2011

      Wish there had been a link. Hungry for some real football. Wanna see dudes in blaugrana kicking a football. Dear God in heaven please let the season start before I go apesh*t from silly season and lack of decent footy!

      • Ryan
        July 15, 2011

        Most of the WWC has shown quite a lot of decent soccer though… hopefully we can say the same of the Copa America’s elimination rounds. 🙂

        • mom4
          July 15, 2011

          I’ve been enjoying the last two US games of the WWC and I have to say I’m impressed with Japan. But it’s not the same.
          I enjoyed the most recent Arg. game. But it’s not the same.
          I want my Barca back! Hope some preseason is televised or streamed.
          Can’t wait ’til the game in DC even if we are missing our Brazilians and Argentines!

          • Ryan
            July 15, 2011

            Well yes, they aren’t the same, but I’d say they’ve been at least decent! Plus there’s a refreshing lack of diving/playacting (besides Brazil, hehe).

  57. July 15, 2011

    The interview of Menotti from El Pais that JNice linked to above is really wonderful. He’s just a genius of the game.

    Here’s another link for those having trouble with the one above. It probably is the same translation (though I was also having trouble with JNice’s link so I can’t be certain – the one below was another link i’d seen elsewhere).

    • blitzen
      July 15, 2011

      After that game, you said that he [Mourinho] shit himself

      In my neighborhood, we call it shit onelself down the legs. He shit himself. I watched the next game of [Barcelona against] Madrid, with Higuain, Adebayor, Benzema and Kaka on the bench and I thought: He shit on himself again. It was the biggest signal of cowardice I ever saw in a big team. And, in Madrid, it is outrageous.

      Best. Interview. Ever. <3

      The accompanying picture is kind of frightening. @@

  58. mom4
    July 15, 2011

    Lionel Messi has set up more shots (15) and completed more dribbles (21) than any other player in the Copa America so far. [via @optajose]

    It’s such a shame that the kid’s game totally falls apart when he plays for his NT. :roll:

    • Helge
      July 15, 2011

      But in the end, he could only achieve two out of a possible 15 assists. That’s a very bad quota, and it’s only his fault, because he didn’t set up his team-mates well enough!
      Plus, he didn’t score a goal so far.

      Conclusion: Messi sucks, Neymar is the king of the Copa.

      • mom4
        July 15, 2011

        Yeah I know. And he didn’t have any saves in the goal either. Think maybe he can get a job in Iniesta’s winery since he obviously isn’t cut out for this football thing? 😉

    • Neel
      July 16, 2011

      VDB’s interview is also pure class. Just goes to show the mentality of a world cup winning coach

  59. outerspacedout
    July 16, 2011

    Happy 23rd birthday to Sergio Busquets!

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