A Farewell to Hairstyles

His name is Jeffrén Isaac Suárez Bermúdez and I used to call him The Rooster for obvious, hair-related reasons. Then he was Final Fantasy for his resemblance, according to those who I trust to know, to a main character in that video game franchise. Or at least his hair. Then he was The Driverless Ferrari for his penchant for smashing through barriers at 300mph looking, thanks to his hair and obvious talent, like a million bucks, but ultimately failing to do much of anything other than the randomly spectacular stemming from mistakes no one could see coming.

His list of personal accomplishments is shorter than Tom Cruise without his platform shoes. And that’s the weird part, given how fast, how brilliant, and how just damned good he obviously is. Yet, like his most recent moniker alludes, he’s constantly in dry dock because he wrecks himself. It’s been the bane of his career: every time he does something good, an injury occurs and he is forgotten about on the sidelines.

Imagine Pedro, but with injuries. Imagine Jesus Navas, but with injuries. Hell, imagine Bojan, but with injuries. It wasn’t always so, though: he made more than 30 appearances in a season for the B squad twice before being promoted to the first team and featuring just 34 times in all competitions over the last 2 years and almost all of those as late subs rather than as a starter. Again, imagine Bojan, but with injuries.

And yes, some of those substitutions ended in manitas that we celebrate to this day by replaying them in our heads while we giggle and coworkers, their PowerPoint presentations interrupted by chortling right when they’re getting to the zinger their significant other wrote for them and which makes no real sense, look at us confusedly. Or…well, you guys do that too, right? I mean:

And then of course:

He’s got the ability—his goal in the U-21 European Championship is somewhat indicative—but so many are split over whether or not he’s really good that it’s hard not to question the wisdom of keeping him around. I personally believe he’s immensely talented, as talented as Pedro, but it hasn’t worked out for him, for whatever reason. In this purported Year of the Cantera Exodus (but don’t forget that an equal number of players have stepped in to replace the departed), it makes sense to trim the leaves of those who Guardiola thinks simply won’t bear fruit. Bojan are but the most well-known Jeffrén entities.

And it is sad. Very sad. Because, as a fan of the club, I’m ever hopeful that our little ones will come through and blossom into superstars, not simply because I like winning things with homegrown talent (though that is certainly true), but because I actually care about them in a sort of “I’ve seen you since you were a wee tot” kind of way. Bojan has been around for so long that it’s hard to imagine a team without him—even though my memory, which still functions on occasion, tells me otherwise—and the same is becoming true of Jeffrén. If asked before writing this, I would have said Jeffrén joined when Guardiola was promoted to first team manager. And I would have been right, but what I would have been wrong about is that I would have said that was in like 1998. It’s been a long 3 years.

So I’m emotionally attached to these canteranos in that my daily life revolves around the team they’re apart of and, as sad a statement as that may be on my life, this causes me to wish they were better than they are or that the club would simply repay their loyalty with continued contracts. Yet I want to win—or, at this point, I want to keep Madrid from winning and I want to end up farther in every competition than the merengues.

Here, without further rambling, are Jeffrén’s career statistics with FCB:

Appearances: 35 (23 Liga, 6 Copa, 4 CL, 2 Other)
Goals: 3 (3 Liga)
Times Isaiah sucked in his breath after a magnificent play…only for Jeffrén to lose the ball on the subsequent touch: 8,203

Compare these stats to Ibi Afellay, who has been around since January:

Appearances: 29 (16 Liga, 6 Copa, 7 CL)
Goals: 2 (1 Liga, 1 Copa)
Times Isaiah has gone “hijo de su madre santa, that was a a great assist to beatMadridin the CL semifinal”: 1

You can see from this why Jeffrén is on his way out. The rumored fee of €5m only makes sense if you consider a buyback clause over the next 2 years for €8m and that his contract only had 1 year to run, making him far less valuable to the club. Afellay came for €3m, after all, with 6 months remaining on his contract. I’m on the fence about this one because it strikes me as a terrible deal, but perhaps I’m overvaluing him in the market. After all, his highlight package is basically what I’ve shown you above and that ain’t much. It’s like pointing out in a job interview that 4 years ago I did some volunteer work and that’s why an NGO should hire me as director of international development. Which they should, but you can see why the interviewer might be a bit hesitant.

Goodbye and good luck, Jeffrencito…and your awesome hair. I hope you become amazing at Sporting Lisbon and prove us all wrong. I hope we buy you back in 2 years and you light up the world. I hope you and Bojan are reunited and scored so many goals for us that we all put our hands up and say “Well I didn’t see that coming. Except the hair part.”

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. I didn’t see the Chivas match but can someone kindly explain what happened ? Who was terrible, Who looked good, and Why did we lose by 4 goals ?

    1. Look back in the last thread. I posted what I thought of the match. Barcabeast posted much of what I took away from the match.

  2. I watched the match, I can’t really say that anyone was terrible, its what Kxevin mentioned earlier, you can’t really take much from this game because it was pretty much a glorified training session, I mean Pep didn’t once do his usual shouting and hand waving gestures to the team, he just let them do their own thing. as time went by Guardiola began to sub on more and more youngsters until we practically had a full b-team/youth team line-up, and obviously that was the period where Chivas crawled back and demolished us.

    The most important thing about the game was what the youngsters take out of this experience, they kind of got a taste of what they need to work on to reach the level of the first team.

  3. See ya, Jeffren. In ’08 pre-season, out of Jeffren, Pedro, Busi, and Vazquez, Jeffren and Vazquez impressed me the most.

    Highlight for me is when he came on against Estudiantes in the Club World Cup and destroyed that right back with his pace. Blazing.

    1. That and scoring the fifth goal for the manita were the two moments of his that I will never forget.

  4. ooookay, let’s change the topic – Arsenal has to play CL quali rounds, right? And let’s assume, Fabregas participates there. Even if Barca buys him – Fabregas can’t play CL for Barca anymore.

    In short – Barca has to buy him now or never.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARI! (Check your e-mail or risk incurring the wrath of The Yaya :D)

    U iz da best.

  6. Thanks for this, Isaiah. I thought I was the only around here who still saw how talented Jeffren could be. This is a good move for him, I hope he does really well. And I really appreciate the way he left–no whining, no blaming, no “It’s not fairrrr!”–just an expression of regret, gratitude, and hope for the future. You’re a class act, Jeff.

    I was planning to download the friendly to watch, but having checked the scoreline I guess I won’t bother. 🙁 It would be nice to win at least one of these friendlies, huh? What day is the next one, anyway?

    I am thrilled to note that I will be able to watch both Paul Scholes’ testimonial match (Friday) and the Liverpool/Valencia game (Saturday). Should be fun.

    I did watch the Spain/Ecuador U20 match yesterday. Not their best game, but a decent win. Captain Bartra was excellent. Appalled that Sergi Roberto didn’t start. Rodrigo was awful, just awful, and should have been subbed much earlier. Tello fairly impressive. And Spain is through to the round of 16. Sad for Australia, I actually thought they played really well and would have liked them to go through.

    And Happy Birthday Kari!!!!!!!! Maybe RoSELL will sign Cesc today as a present for you! 😈

    1. What’s your take on Oriol? I watched their first match vs. Costa Rica but he hardly got to touch the ball. I really want to see how he is doing. For some reason they;re not showing the Ecuador match here.

    2. I thought Romeu was probably the best midfielder out there. Not a brilliant game by his standards, but he wasn’t getting a great deal of support either.

    3. Never! It’s still my B-day and no Cesc! Muhahahahaha!

      Spain U-20 coach sucks. He plays Sergi Roberto out of position and then benches him. Their midfield play was an absolute disaster and only a beast performance from Oriol saved them. That’s unacceptable given the midfield talent Spain has.

  7. Jeffren’s going to be a footnote someday. The teacher asks, “Okay, kids, who scored the five goals in the Manita clasico?” The voices ring out. “Xavi!” “Pedro!” “Villa!” “Only because of Messi.” “Shut up! Then Villa again!” “REALLY only because of Messi.” “Shut up! And the fifth one…. ummm….” “I think it was Pedro again.” “No, it must have been Messi.” “I think it was Bojan, that was right before he went off to Roma to be the Capocannoniere…” “Maybe Iniesta?” “It was Eto’o!” “No, come on, it was Piqué, don’t you remember him holding his hand in the air?” “Well let me tell you children, you’re in for a surprise….”

  8. What a class act this Jeffren.
    No wonder Pep had so many nice words to say about him!

    Jeffren clearly loves this club and he really does want to come back here and succeed. It’s quite a contrast to Bojan’s departure really. Now Bojan has a spoiled brat image. Sorry Kari.

    On another note. I really don’t think Deulofeu can make it this season. He loses too many balls. He rushes too much. Notice how time and time again he tries too take on defenders but it doesn’t work.

    I had many friends who were great dribblers, me included, who were dribblers in our teen days but had to change as we got older. Like me, I had to change it because the way adults defend is different to teenagers. And I am not gifted enough to turn it up a notch.

    Messi does. And he is really rare. Ronaldo made it too. But there were too many high pace dribblers who in my view failed, Overmars, Quaresma, Geovanni or Adreano or whoever his name is, this RW Brazilian who played for us early last decade, Walcott, Navas etc. It is really a tough choice. Now he can either continue and try to excel in this style and be great like Messi or he can change it now and add another skill set to his game as a plan B. Otherwise he might end up as the hyped up kid.

    ROnaldo and Quaresma came out at the same time. I read that Barca chose Quaresma over ROnaldo for some reason and only Ronaldo made it.

    1. No need to apologize. I just think Bojan will succeed, and that he needed to get out of Barca for a bit to do it. As for a spoiled brat image, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. He was quite bitter, but then, most departures are.

      Far too early to judge Deulofeu. He’s starting with the B-team and will have to earn his place there before he can even think of seeing first team time. Like most of the B-team players, he’s talented but needs to grow. And at 17, he’s on his way.

    2. That was Gerard’s first game on the first team and he was roaring with confidence after a great Euro final. It’s normal for him to be over ambitious under these circumstances. I kinda see him as a Catalan Muniain, full of energy and one for the future.

      And are you really labeling Navas as a failure? The guy scored the equalizer against us last season and was the driving force in the play that ended with Don Andres scoring on Holland. Sevilla’s good play revolves around him being healthy, in my opinion. Pace definitely has its place, and he has gobs of it! Please don’t compare him to Theo Walcott…

    3. I agree with you barca96…Really class act. Not one bad word about the club, where at some point he was used as a bargaining chip and was almost pushed out…His farewell letter just has all the positive experiences he has had at this wonderful club. he might not have been good enough to break into the first team, but his character sure is commendable…

  9. ok..jeffren and bojan out. only alexis in..
    is that going to be it for our forward list.

    1. I’ve been thinking about this too. I think the answer may be that we are not adding a lot of forwards, but we are adding attacking midfielders who can play up front and even score.

      Since a year ago, we have subtracted Bojan and Jeffren, added Afellay and Alexis. So that’s a net wash in terms of numbers; hopefully, Ibi and Alexis will be more useful this year than unfortunately Bojan and Jeffren managed to be last year, but I agree it still feels a little thin.

      But also we have added Thiago, and I think we’re still likely to add Cesc (though if it doesn’t happen soon I’ll change my mind) without losing any midfielders. We have all learned that Thiago can put the ball in the net. 🙂 Fabregas can do that too. Both Thiago and Cesc are more directly attacking midfielders than Xavi, and probably more than Iniesta as well.

      So what I think we’re likely to see when one of MVP needs a break, is not just Alexis and Ibi, but also formations where a fourth “midfielder” plays. I’m not saying an old-fashioned 4-4-2, but more like the formations where Iniesta would start as a forward in the past. But now instead of only Keita filling in behind him, we can have games where Iniesta, Thiago and Xavi all play (or substitute Cesc for one of them). Honestly, I think these guys are capable enough, and versatile enough, that they will find ways to play together that bend the usual notions of who’s up front and who’s in the middle — as Messi has already started doing.

      So we will have just five guys we normally think of as forwards, but if Cesc comes, eight quality players who can play the four slots in front of Xavi. I wouldn’t mind having a backup striker to sit on the bench, but if I’m thinking about this right, I think this is enough strength and versatility to work.

    2. yea, your reasoning is also what i imagined pep must be doing. He’s looking to add versatility. now we have many players, if not all, capable of playing in more than 2 positions. while that might be a tactical challenge to pep and a tactical headache to other coaches, one must look to the facts. in theory, it sounds lovely, but the fact is that ever since pep’s first year we have been scoring fewer goals. from 105 to 98 to 94 in the league if i remember right. yes, our defense has become more effective, but having too many versatile / total footballers might just end up spoiling the broth. we also need specialists. an out and out center forward or an out and out C.defender. why i say this is because players will always look to do what they are most comfortable with. if we are going to only buy a special midfielder, i can see the season being long…lots and lots of beautiful link up play and buildup…BUT NO ONE IN THE BOX TO FINISH STUFF OFF..

    3. To be fair, the lower numbers of goals could be down just as much to the fact that teams have realised that they can’t afford to take us on and so sit back more. They are also gradually evolving more sophisticated styles of defence to make life hard for us.

  10. weird lowe’s article on Oriol even though earlier he tweeted about not knowing too much about him (I noticed this earlier, and just RT’d barcastuffreply who brought it up)

    Weird how 2-3 weeks ago so many people here berated Jeffren for not being part of the team, for not wanting to be part of an exchange but now everyone loves him for his letter.

    1. Nothing weird about it, really. Journalists are valued for their ability to become an instant expert. You do research, gather information, make phone calls and suddenly, you are fluent in a topic. Lowe knows the Liga, knows far more about all of its clubs than most BritPress journos. The rest should have been pretty easy for a good reporter, which apparently he is.

    2. Sid Lowe has lost ALL credibility for me after the Busi incident. Once a journalist is caught lying so blatantly so he can sell a story or for whatever else, his credibility is lost forever because this type of journos are more dangerous than the Daily star and News of the world journos since people tend to value their “expert” opinion much more.

    3. I am on record as supporting Jeffren through this whole transfer season. I never thought he should allow himself to be part of a deal with a club he didn’t want to play for, just because of some kind of “loyalty” to Barca. He may love this club, but he needed to look out for his own interests as well.

  11. Just saw on barcastuff: Milito is off to Independiente. The official site has “Milito allowed to leave” and apparently the announcement is coming today. So long, Gabi.

    So will they grab a backup center back now? It saved our season that Busi and Javier were able to fill in back there, but I’d much rather have a real CB with some size.

    1. I doubt they pick up another center back. When you think about it Pique will play 90% of the games he is healthy for. Puyol will also play 90% of the games he is healthy for. When one of the two is out you have Abidal, Fontas, Mascherano, and Busquets (in that order) to fill in.

      Then if you need a fill in Bartra has been playing very well, and Sergio Gomez also looks promising.

      Milito really didn’t play that many games last season and Mascherano himself probably could have filled in for Milito in almost every game he played.

      I’ve argued for a new center back before, but it isn’t an issues of numbers for me. Rather it’s an issue of having center backs who complement each other. Looking over it again you generally have two groups of centerbacks. There is Pique, Fontas, and I would say Busquets as the ball-playing centerbacks who are also a bit slower (I would also say Bartra would fit in this group from what I’ve seen of him). Then there is the Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano group who are more of the prototypical center back types. I’m not sure where Sergio Gomez would fit.

      Looking at it that way we are actually decently balanced. The issue is that in the prototypical center back group one of the players is the first choice left back, and another is a converted DM. Milito was in this group, but I don’t think Pep is going to see the need to replace him.

    2. Looks like you are correct, from barcastuff again:

      Guardiola: “To replace Milito, we count on the guys from the B-team. We have more than enough options there.” [via marca]

      If we have few injuries we are fine; Puyol and Pique play most games, Fontas substitutes when one is out, Abidal slides over with Adriano at LB if necessary. But if there are several injuries together, and Pep doesn’t want a new CB but plans to rely on the B-team, I hope he brings up Bartra and actually uses him. Fontas sat while Busi played CB last year, and that’s the kind of thing I want to avoid.

    3. Mascherano is good at CB too. He really is too good to stay on the bench for too long and playing CB gives him some extra minutes. Seeing sMasche tackle is a thing of beauty (Puyol’s tackles are too).

  12. Many happy returns of the day, Kari.

    Jeffren definitely has ability. He would have been 6th or 7th fwd in our system and for him, playing time is way more important. He will be a good forward for sporting and maybe get a move to bigger club in another couple of years. I just don’t think that he is coming back.

    Sad to see Milito go. He was one of favorite defenders even from his Zaragoza days. Again he knew that he was not going to play in any meaningful match so good for him to play some in his own club. I wonder what Messi will feel though. Always got the feeling that Messi really trusted the guy. So many times Messi made a point to hug Milito first after scoring the goal.

    As for GD, lets not compare him to Messi. He is 17 and comparing with Messi is simply not fair for the young one.

    1. That’s the worst thing about Gabi leaving. Thankfully, Messi has Masche now. Not the same maybe, but it should help!

  13. Seeing players leaving by the minute is kinda scary. Hope Pep has a plan for all of this. Happy B-day Kari!

  14. For me, the sentence that describes Jeffren’s time at Barcelona perfectly is this one:
    Times Isaiah sucked in his breath after a magnificent play…only for Jeffrén to lose the ball on the subsequent touch: 8,203
    I’ll probably never forget those 8,203 moments – and if he somehow succeeds to keep up the brilliance for more than just a few seconds, we will be very ashamed of sending him away.

    Last but not least: Feliz Cumpleanos, Joyeux Anniversaire, Happy Birthday und Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Kari!

  15. Rosell has been great in dealing with the transfers so far.

    Since 08/09 and I feel that we’re losing numbers every year. That we lack depth even more than Last year.

    1. I belived that first sentence for a second :D. Man someone needs to make a sarcasm font.

    2. Potentially alexis is better than bojan + jeffren. + milito as well probably.
      Because hes brought here to actually challenge for a first team spot rather than fill in odd minutes here and there.
      And it has to be noted that milito and jeffren last season did not even do that.

    3. We’re currently at 20 first team squad members.

      We started last season with 19, and the season before that with 21.

      Out this summer: Milito, Jeffren, Bojan

      In this summer: Thiago, Sanchez (and then add Fontas and Afellay from January)

      I would say we have a better team this year than we did at the start of last season. I think one more signing would be ideal.

  16. Bye bye Jeffren. Good luck. Come back as a Ferrari with a driver, and without the chihuahuas (man, that was one freaky photo!)

    Happy Birthday, Kari. I wish I coud send you a The Yaya action figure as a present. Consider one virtually sent 🙂

  17. barca96 did i read correctly that in your view Overmars failed???

    Just because he failed at Barça when he was already half-dead through injuries does not take away his incredible career at Ajax, Arsenal and the NT. Why would you disagree?

  18. Getting rid of Milito’s (what we all assume) substantial wages frees up a lot of money.
    Jeffren wasn’t ever really going to make it.
    Bojan needs a bucket load of confidence and may eventually take Villa’s place in our first team but currently couldn’t do it with his complete lack of self belief.

    Once we get someone to permanently take Hleb and then bring in ‘that’ midfielder I would consider it a very successful summer.
    Everyone would like a bigger squad but Montoya, Fontas, Thiago & Jonathan will all get more minutes this year than last year.
    Sergi Roberto & Kiko may also start getting some minutes in the Copa.

    I would be more concerned for Barca B than the first team

  19. I suppose I’m a jerk for thinking this but I’m glad Milito is gone. Paying someone to contribute absolutely nothing to the greatest team in the world would be a waste. I’m not sure how I feel about Jeffren leaving so I guess I’m indifferent about it.

    Still holding a small hope that we can buy Llorente(someday) and Rossi 🙂

  20. meh, Cesc looked ugly yesterday, like Tom Hanks in Cast Away movie or a guy from Lost…at least he can clean himself for the photoshoot session, no?

    so, according to Independent, “Arsene Wenger was given the backing of Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke yesterday to hold out on his £40m valuation of Cesc Fabregas and not to change his position in any negotiations over the player’s putative transfer to Barcelona this month.”

    predictable, it’s summer 2010 all over again, now please make it official soon, so FCB can move on…

    *though it’s unlikely we’ll get another signing* 🙄

  21. With the news that Milito’s mane will be leaving us, the title of this post remains appropriate.

    And happy birthday Kari!

    While there is nothing much to take from that 4-1 loss in pre-season, I still do think we need more pace in the backline, don’t we? So the B-team and starters have plenty of quality centre-backs among them, but the only ones we have who aren’t slow are Puyol, who is aging and may suffer from injuries, Abidal, who is our first-choice left-back, and Mascherano. Fontas, Pique, Busquets etc are all slow.

    1. I’m hoping Rosell will buy us a defender with pace, very much. we need it. or a forward.

      don’t think it’s gonna happen, but there’s nothing wrong with praying, right? cause Cesc saga is pretty much over.

    1. If all goes as planned, Luke will be paying me $15, though blitzen and barca96 owe me nothing.

      Once August 16th comes (or whenever the date is for CL registration for Arsenal), I’ll be more certain. But with news of our latest bid being rejected, plus the fact that Cesc will be travelling with the team to Portugal and most likely playing against Benfica, it just seems like this deal isn’t happening.

      Sandro won’t raise our offer to 40m pounds. No chance. And Arsenal don’t want to hear about our cash plus variable formulas, so unless something drastically changes in either Rosell’s or Wenger’s mind, this looks to be over.

      Cesc fans, feel free to disagree with me and tell me I don’t know what’s really going on (I accept that), but this is just how I see it right now.

    2. But with news of our latest bid being rejected,

      Then again… “Sky Sports understands” usually means Sky don’t know jack shi*t. They are definitely using Guillem and AS as their source.

  22. Sky reporting latest offer has indeed been refused. However, I have a horrible feeling it’s not over till it’s over. I’m a huge fan of Fabregas and believe he would be a game changer for us but there comes a point when we start to look silly and this is it. If there is to be any new development it has to come from the player himself.

    I’m reminded of myself when I go in to buy a new (used) car. Having done my research I know the price is reasonable but I’m determined to haggle to persuade myself I’ve got a bargain. Sadly, usually the salesman knows better than me the current state of the market and I end up accepting maybe a couple of new tyres 🙂

    Fabregas is worth £40m on the open market, given prices today. He’s under contract and with their other worries Arsenal will be in trouble if they sell him. No blame to them on this. Either pay the money or move on. If the latter, I’d accept a specialist, pacy CB, thank you.

    1. My whole thing is, I think we’re just wasting time right now. We know their valuation is 40m pounds or whatever and they don’t plan on budging from that. All of this 25+ this-that+Cesc wages stuff is a waste of time. They aren’t going to accept. All of this haggling has gotten us nowhere. In this case, we either meet their valuation or just move on. Enough already.

      I’m with you, Jim, I want another defender. However, it seems Pep has made it clear we’ll use the B team and we won’t sign anyone else. I don’t really want to question Pep, but there were games last season against poor opposition in which Pep was afraid to even put Fontas in. Excuse my doubts, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of Bartra and whoever else he has in mind in any meaningful games this upcoming season.

    2. Although, Keita will most likely be going to ANC with Mali in Janurary, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sergi Roberto or another midfielder called up during that time.

    3. yes, it seems to be over, but well, nothing official yet. it’s not really over until it’s over.

      and yes, we’re wasting our precious time.
      so far our transfer window is such a waste of time (except for Alexis).

      and you know, I think the main source about Arsenal rejecting Barça bid today is from GUILLEM BALLAGUE (he wrote it for AS), and he doesnt have a good record re transfer.
      in the past he gave false rumors/reports.

      I *almost* feel sorry for Cesc, like @DarrenArsenal1 said, their captain looked like a littlest hobo yesterday.
      bad message for other players in their club.

  23. Now that Arsenal have turned down our latest bid for Cesc – basically telling him he HAS to stay there & play whether he wants to or not (a strange way to run a football team but there you go) – does that mean we now have about €35milliion to spend on someone else?

    Who are we being linked with then..?

  24. BBC today gazidis will meet with barcelona officials over fabregas future.
    Dont trust news outlets.

  25. i have a doubt.
    what exactly is a buy-back clause?
    i mean, with oriol romeu’s case, do
    chelsea HAVE to sell him to us if we make
    a bid of 15 million in 2013?

    1. Yep. Their hands are tied. Their only hope is that the player doesn’t want to go back to Barça or fails to agree personal terms.

      So if we come in for him and they want to keep him, their job will be to convince him that Chelsea is better for his career, he’s more valued at Chelsea, tell him that at Barça he’ll find it tougher to get into the team, promise him a new and improved contract, etc. Whatever it takes.

    2. Hmmm..so the oriol has no way to play for another team. meaning, if he does really well, he can get barca and chelsea to give him excellent contracts/pay. but can he agree terms with another club?

    3. Assuming Barça came in for him, In order to pay for another club, he would have to say no to Barça, and the other club in question would have to then negotiate with Chelsea for his transfer.

  26. By the way our new shining kid made the seleccion as it seems.
    Imagine him displacing fabregas out of spain’s bench in the long run , how cool would that be! 😀

    1. Our boy done growed up and is ready for the big leagues! I.e., VdB is nabbing him before the other countries get him.

      Does anyone know if a cap in a friendly is binding, or does it have to be a tournament/qualifier?
      Also, is he elligible for Brazil, or just Spain and Italy?

    2. Hes eligible for both.Has both nationalities.
      Doesnt matter if youre called up by any number of the countries your eligible to play, but as soon as you get on that field with a national side’s shirt on in an official match, you are bound with it for life.
      Friendlies are official matches too.
      (for example goals in friendlies count for official goals with a national side.Same with callups .)

  27. Happy Birthday Kari! (belated? time zones are confusing..)

    Thiago got called up for Spanish NT good recognition for his work. I wonder taking his skills and deficiencies into consideration if he might be suited for a Messi-like role as a false 9 or a No.10

    I seem to be immune to all this Cesc talk. Lucky me I guess. Would be disappointed if he comes esp. for Arsenal’s valuation. BTW this whole Cesc deal has made like Rosell a bit, he’s going for Cesc because Pep asks for him and he was also part of his mandate unofficially but he has remained steady on his part and was prudent in the past as well. His statements like “I like a player who shows he wants to for come here” “We think the valuation of an ex-cantera is unreasonable at such prices etc” give me confidence. I do hope Rosell proves me wrong in due time.

    Talking about transfers one thing to notice is that Pep has been continuously reducing the size of the squad with the saving grace being our versatile players. Though we really suffered last year when he had a set-in-stone XI, minimal depth and no tactical options on the bench.

    This year we are stronger because of a)Villa, 3M, Adriano and sMasch’s second year, adapting well. b) Fontas and Alexis adding better quality depth. c) Cantera are better than last year. However the fitness of both Xavi and Puyol might be dangers we have not taken precautions for.

    How come no one is talking about these new European League discussions going on? As I understand Barca are in support of it. Could be significant.

    Also, the new stats app from fourfourtwo seems interesting, basically the CL one for the prem, I really hope they make one for La Liga soon.

    Finally what was the cause of the mass exodus of the cantera? What is the impact of this on the teams and most importantly on the mentality of players left? Do they lose confidence etc?


  28. “Finally what was the cause of the mass exodus of the cantera? What is the impact of this on the teams and most importantly on the mentality of players left? ”

    Do not overreact. Every year youth players leave. There ara only limited available slots and athletes, due to short pro careeers, can’t wait forever.

    It is easy in the internet demand “sacrifices and loyalty” but please, is anyone of you “sacrificing” better job opportunities IN THE REAL LIFE?

    For fans all this here is merely a fantasy but for players – their real life.

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