Author: Kxevin

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.

February 25, 2010 / / Champions League
I can carry more of you, if you want.

So. Four times I watched this match. Once on a craptastic Web feed at work. Never again, I say. Again bleary-eyed at home last night, whereupon I cost myself a shiteload of sleep, banging out a screed whose vituperation would have been unmatched by any document offered up by modern man.

After the morning viewing, I calmed down a lot. After this evening’s viewing, I was even more calm, because things really weren’t that bad.

February 22, 2010 / / Injuries
So good I have to kiss myself!

We have a few things to discuss, as per some of the very interesting points raised in the aftermath of our rather lackluster victory against Racing, including the qualities of one Sergi Busquets.

But first, some news:

–Aleksandr Hleb says that a resurgent Stuttgart have a “10 percent” shot against us in our upcoming Champions League match. The good thing for us is that we start the tie at their house, which means that if we can steal an away goal or two, we’re sitting pretty for the home leg.

There is, of course, bad news ….

February 21, 2010 / / La Liga
This one just HAS to go in ....

Here he is, our Man of the Match, scoring his first goal since the Iniestazo against Chelsea, Andres Iniesta. And truth be told, it was a shot that was far, far more difficult than it appeared on the screen. It needed to apply control, accuracy and body control to take advantage of the open net created by having a French wolf at the doorstep, looking to take advantage of a pretty darned perfect pass from Rafa Marquez.

It was also the early goal that is such a crucial part of our success, because when we score early, the other side has to come out and play. And if we are at all on form, it’s all over but the shouting.

February 16, 2010 / / La Liga
Okay, maybe Jeffren wasn't the best idea....

It was bound to happen, say the pundits. Even Pedro! said “We had to lose sometime,” and you know what?

I just don’t buy it.

Most football matches come down to one or two moments, and this one did as well. When Guardiola decided to roll the dice, and pencil in “Jeffren” at right back, the damage was done.

No, I don’t mean to armchair quarterback, but Jeffren is an attacker who has played at right back before, against lower-level opposition, not a Liga side with something to prove at home.

February 12, 2010 / / Nonsense
February 10, 2010 / / Injuries
I am wearing all black, because I am a jinx.

So. Here’s what we officially have to say on the Cesc Fabregas matter:

“Given the exceptional repercussions created by the stories that have appeared in different media with respect to an agreement with Arsenal FC player Cesc Fabregas, Barca flatly deny that there have been any negotiations or agreements with the player.

“In accordance with FIFA regulations, FC Barcelona’s contract policy has always made it a priority to negotiate with the club of origin before making any particular agreement with the player. FC Barcelona wishes to stress that it has always maintained excellent institutional relations with Arsenal FC.”

February 7, 2010 / / La Liga
It's you, baby! It's you, all day and all night!

How excellent it was that this glorious moment, captured after the goal that, in effect, put this match away for good, features two of our best players, on a day in which everybody who took to the pitch was very good, and in some cases magnificent.

This was right after the second try that Messi had at feeding Xavi, the successful one, for a butter-smooth goal that came off a counterattack that was kick-started by the man people love to hate these days, Rafa Marquez, who was having one hell of a match. But more about that later. For now ….

February 6, 2010 / / La Liga

Barca v Getafe liveblog

February 3, 2010 / / Team News
Money! Yeeeaaah, that's what I want!

The price of success can almost be quantified. Whether justified or not, every player involved in that success, if they have a contract that is anywhere in the realm of being up for renewal, wants more money. Mo, mo, mo, mo.

Dani Alves is no exception. We have fiscal complexities at every turn. Gerard Pique is up for a renewal, and we have to deal with the kids. But also, we have our Brazilian Hummingbird who, dependent upon who you read, is either unsettled or not going anywhere.

February 2, 2010 / / Team News
Dammit, Wayne! I said no, dude!

Guess who is 23 years old today? If you guessed Gerard Pique, you guessed right. The central defender, a canterano who returned home last season, also has the distinction of being one of only three players to have won Champions League glory in consecutive seasons, with different clubs.

He’s been capped 13 times, but you can look for many more, as the man whom we have all affectionately dubbed “Piquenbauer” for his dashing forward runs with the ball, is only just learning to become the defender that he is. And who remembers that Piquenbauer’s first Spanish goal was a match-winner, in a Copa tie against Espanyol? Very cool.

So happy birthday, Pique, and many more (in the colors, of course!)

February 1, 2010 / / La Liga
What just happened??!!

So, JMo is right: That was rather a pessimistic liveblog during that second half, and for good reason, right? We couldn’t put the ball in the net, and Sporting Hee-hone was playing with pluck and determination, pressing hard and playing for the equalizer that was going to screw up all of our Saturday.

Right?

Right?

Wrong.

January 30, 2010 / / La Liga

Barca v Gijon liveblog