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Messi/Cesc to RM: "I'm living in the future so the presence is my past, my presence is a present, kiss my ass"

I hear the team won something tonight? Maybe we talk about it later? Messi became the all-time leading Supercopa goalscorer and he’s 24? Cesc played 10 + stoppage and won his first trophy in 6 years and had a hand in the gamewinner? Beating a rampant Madrid side coming with full force? Yeah, good night.

Also this:

Trophy swag

Photo: AP

Posted in SuperCopa125 Comments

Official: Fabregas is in


It is official, Francesc Fabregas, 24-year-old midfielder, has formally been transferred from Arsenal back to the club he grew up with, ending one of the most acrimonious, long-winded, frustrating, and stupefying transfer sagas in recent history. FC Barcelona announced the transfer just after halftime of the Supercopa first leg today, possibly in an attempt to troll the entire world, and if so, I say good on ya. I’m sorry for the lack of a zippy title, but all the analogies seemed redundant at this point, especially since they have all been used a dozen times and calling him the prodigal son rings too hollow for me anyway, and that story is stupid at even a skin deep glance.Pep has said in the presser following the first leg of the Supercopa that “we’ll see” if Cesc will play Wednesday.

The transfer is, in my opinion, a positive one. As I will be outlining more in my squad preview coming soon, I believe Cesc provides a number of positives including depth at all 3 midfield positions, yes, even the DM, because he can play there, though he’s not as solid as a defender as Busi or Masch. He’s also a proven playmaker and goalscorer as well as a player who knows the system, has a on field relationship with Pique, Puyol, Busi, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Pedro, and Valdes. Not to mention that he is very close friends with many of these players and will likely have little issue settling in or taking a role off the bench, which he has to know is coming.

The money is a question mark at this point and I know there are those who think the club overpaid, but I am of a different mind. Paying 29m up front for the best midfielder, or as close to it as we get, in the Barclay’s Premier League is a great deal. Even better when he is only 24 and can legitimately fit into the squad with very little issue. I see this as a very positive transfer providing depth and talent, while still not paying a huge premium for a player of his caliber. And I know the familiar refrain, that the team already has Xavi, and Iniesta, and Thiago, so why would it need Fabregas. Well, the simple fact is that Thiago and Cesc can, and likely will in almost every game, play different positions on the field, Iniesta has a long and storied history of injuries, and Xavi has the troubling concern of his achilles, an injury that if it is aggravated or torn would basically mean the end of his playing career. Not to mention Xavi’s age. So yes, I am happy with the move.

Fabregas has scored 57 goals while at Arsenal and has been a part of Spain’s European and World Cup championship teams. In the coming days Linda will have a post on the whole Cesc transfer saga, Euler will be posting on what we can expect tactically from Cesc, and I will be throwing up a preview of the squad itself, replete with possible lineups, changes, and the like. Isaiah will also be along with a season preview, so we’ve got you covered.

Posted in Barcelona, Transfers122 Comments

Goodbye Sweet Prince of Argentina

Robbed of a goal, and part of a career

Yesterday, Barcelona released centerback Gabriel Milito on a free transfer to return to Argentina and play for Independiente. Gabby, was, among many other things, full of piss and vinegar when playing for the blaugrana, if not always healthy or, in his later years, the player he once was.

I chose the picture above because it basically describes Gabby’s time at Barcelona to a T. The above picture shows what would have been a game-winning goal that was disallowed due to a bogus offside call, though Milito was still giving his all on bum legs because the team was short in defense at the time. Just like the picture, Gabby had tons of promise and executed so very well, but his acts were cut short by forces beyond his control, much like the knee injury that kept him out for 602 days.

If you remember back to the 2007-08 season, Milito was one of the better players that year, but tore his ACL near the end of the campaign, a blow that would keep him out over a year and a half and see him return to a dim shade of his former self, at least in the games. He simply lacked the pace he once had, though his technique was still there when he could summon it despite the injury. Sadly, his 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons were marred with more minor injuries, though he did fill in admirably at the back during the defensive injury crisis last year, and never seemed to complain about his station or his status within the team. From all accounts, he was a class act at all times and wore the colors with pride.

In short, Gabriel Milito is a talented player whose time was cut woefully short by a nasty knee injury that sidelined him for too long and harmed his abilities, though he still worked hard after the injury, playing in many games for Barcelona and for his country, and now he is returning to his childhood club of Independiente. He finishes his Barça career with 1 goal, 10 trophy wins to his name, and other contributions we may never know about.

Thank you Garbiel, we wish you the best at Independiente and with the Argentine national team. Goodnight and good luck sweet prince of Argentina.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe

Posted in Barcelona, Goodbyes30 Comments

FC Barcelona + Gates Foundation = Eradicate Polio

Rosell, Pep, Keita, Iniesta, and the Gateses on hand to end polio

Today it has been announced that FC Barcelona has entered into a 3-year partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationin an attempt to eradicate polio. According to the facts presented, polio, though it is almost unheard of in the advanced “western” world, is still a problem for many children in poorer countries and still kills man people every year. The goal is to completely eradicate the awful disease once and for all by raising awareness, money, and support through a mutual partnership with the club and the Foundation.

In my opinion, this is a win for both groups, not that it even needs to be thought of in such terms, because ending a horrible disease that kills people is enough, in and of itself, but still, you get my point. The Gates Foundation gets an international brand and the world’s most successful club in recent memory to promote their ideals (which are completely laudable by the way) and FC Barcelona gets a PR win and does actual good to try and live up to the motto of the club. Best of all: hopefully people still dealing with polio (its 99% eradicated) are given life-saving medicines and information is spread around the globe.

The ins and outs of the deal are pretty simple, but here is what Bill Gates had to say on the Foundation’s blog:

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t spend a whole lot of time following soccer. But as I have travelled around the world to better understand global development and health, I’ve learned that soccer is truly universal. No matter where I go, that’s what kids are playing. That’s what people are talking about.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce a partnership our foundation is creating with FC Barcelona, one of the greatest clubs in the world. We hope that together we can bring more global attention to the promise of life-saving vaccines and the fight to end polio. FC Barcelona has a long history of being involved in social causes and an enormous global network of fans. We hope that once they learn more about the fight against polio, they’ll be just as fanatical about finishing it as they are about Leo Messi.

The facts are simple:

Thanks to a 13 cent vaccine and a phenomenal effort led by Rotary International to reach all children with that vaccine, cases of this devastating disease have fallen by 99 percent in the past 20 years.

Stopping the fight now is simply not an option. If we don’t do the really hard work to eradicate polio now, the disease will come back with a vengeance. Polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.

I can’t wait to learn a little more about soccer – or fútbol – by spending time with the team at Barça. And I can’t wait for them (and there are millions of them) to celebrate with us when the world reaches this global health milestone.

A video featuring great players and moments in FC Barcelona history was also produced to tout the goals of the campaign:

All in all, this feels like a win-win-win-win all around for all parties involved. It’s for a wonderful cause, with a wonderful foundation, to help save the lives of children. We as fans cannot ask for much more from the club. For more information or to show your support, please visit More Than A Goal’s official Facebook page.

Also, as usual, BarcaStuff has all the good quotes on Twitter, also follow the writers here who are on Twitter for more coverage and arguing amongst ourselves: Isaiah- @fcbfootballblog Kevin- @kevvwill Linda- @blackwhitengrey Luke- @lukeisamazing

Posted in Barcelona, Philanthropy68 Comments

Thiago re-ups ’til 2015: I credit Rosell, do not spontaneously combust

Hug it out

This morning, Twitter was abuzz with the fact that Thiago Alacantara has signed a new agreement to stay with FC Barcelona through 2015 with his buyout requirement being raised to a rather healthy 90m Euros. This caps off a rather eventful few weeks for the MF wunderkind: he played a pivotal role in Spain’s U-21 Euro win, scoring a goal in the Final; he recently made a number of ill-timed and grossly over-read-into quotes to the media regarding his status with Barcelona due to the Cesc negotiations, which are ongoing at all times, even if you think there is a break); and is now recovering from nasal surgery to repair a deviated septum (this obviously means he had a nose job).

Thiago has just turned 20 and is legitimately considered the best youth product for the club and one of the best under-21s in the world. He will be expected to play a lot more for the parent club next year, filling in for Xavi/Iniesta, giving them breaks, and hopefully making his break. Now before you ask, we have no idea how this will affect the pursuit/lackthereof of Cesc Fabregas. Currently, Thiago’s father, former Brazilian world champion, Mazinho is saying all the right things as reported on Twitter, that he’s not worried about Cesc possibly coming in because they play different positions. It may still be possible, I am not sure.

However, this brings up one tiny fact that a lot of people are overlooking: Sandro Rosell is damn good at doing businessperson. Please note this giant, huge, Puyol’s-hair-sized warning: I do not endorse him as a good person, I think he’s xenophobia regarding outsiders among Barça socios and ideas about Catalan independence are wrong. Remember this when you misquote me on your witch hunts. Let’s go through his business decisions:

-Signing Afellay for 3m
-Signing Adriano for about 9.5m
-Signing Mascherano for 19m
-Signing Villa for 40m (Ed. note: This was a Laporta signing according to Isaiah)
-1 starter, 1 spot starter/fill-in at CB, 2 for depth
-Loan of Ibrahimovic, with sale-option this year: Pep said he had to go and we had limited buyers, did the best with a bad situation
-Toure to Man City for 24m: Yaya wanted to go, his agent made that clear, he made that clear
-Gaining the highest shirt sponsorship deal in the world: not arguing the merits, just the business, good deal.

Granted, this does not include the Chygy debacle, which I stated my opposition to at the time, and which Pep was not fond of, but I think the rest speaks for itself. Not all of these deals were popular, but they were all helpful for either goals, depth, or behind-the-scenes issues that we don’t all know about. Also, the commentary about how he’s handled deals this summer isn’t useful yet, since we do not know how they will come out or what the actual parameters are, since it’s all being reported by third-party rags.

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images Europe

Posted in Barcelona, Barcelona B, Transfers/Transfer Rumors174 Comments

Messi Attends Sexy Party, Does Messi-Like Things

Carles said I could go to the alcohol party, OLE!

Here at BFB, we give you nothing but the most hard-hitting journalism minimal bandwidth and old Geocities encoding can buy. Some fans complain about the dearth of posts and real news during these summer months, but I am here to bring you out of the morass and into journalistic splendor at its best. As we all know, Lionel Messi is usually the clean cut golden boy who is not involved in controversy unless it’s nagging Pep to play him the entire 90 against a 3rd division side in a December scrimmage match. But now we know that he’s not a goodie-goodie but a hardcore party-boy. According to Deadspin (via Argentine funny paper Libre): Messi showed up at a “sexo, alcohol y cumbia” party (I’m going to assume this is the Albiceleste version of a frat party but with more international sex symbols). This party was thrown by the Milito brothers and included lingerie and Playboy models, some WAGs, and Martin Palermo was there too, presumably scoring after everyone else did all the work.

Now you might think to yourself: “why should I care if he’s at a sexo party? Ronaldinho still has 37 arrest warrants in his name in 22 countries from his time with the club and I’ve seen Pique have actual sex in the stands during a game, with my own eyes. Beside, it’s none of my business what goes on in someone’s personal life. This isn’t real journalism” You might say that, if you had something to hide. We at BFB know someone’s hiding something when we see it, and we see it here. Those of us who are more intelligent know better, and we know that the golden boy has never done anything wrong, plus, when he started growing that patchy beard, he became a man, and a man who goes to cumbia parties. PLUS, if nothing went on, why hasn’t he made a public comment about it? Huh!? HUH!!!? There had to be some pretty shady dealings going on there, right?

Wait, what’s that you say? He did comment and rebutted anyone who might think he was doing anything naughty or untoward at such a party. When asked about his involvement, the party animal simply responded with:

We just danced and then we played some PlayStation.

… Oh, um, well… that makes total sense. You go to an awesome party and play Playstation? Well of course you did. Were Legos involved as well? Did you and international lingerie model Andrea Rincon build a Lego Star Wars ship? While the Brothers Milito were doing body shots off each other’s hair, Messi was eating pizza and playing Little Big Planet? You know what? I totally believe that. The next time I make a Messi-playing-with-Legos reference and you give me a hard time, I’m pointing this out.

Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe

Posted in Nonsense125 Comments

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