Our wonderfully mercurial LB and CBEric Abidal has a tumor on his liver, according to the official Barcelona Catalan Twitter feed. He will have surgery this Friday. We know nothing more and the team is respecting Abidal’s privacy, as he requested, meaning we will not hear much more concrete information from the club unless the player allows.
Eric’s contributions to the club, which have been immense as starting LB and a fill-in when needed at CB, make him a special figure for us fans, but as a human being firstly, we hope the player recovers quickly. Please leave your good thoughts, karma, prayers, whatever you do that you feel sends good vibes out for a human and a wonderful FCB player. Also, please do not make rogue speculations about the nature of the tumor in the comments. Let’s just all hope he gets better.
We love you Eric, get better soon. Here is some of the player’s heart, from the Sevilla game.
Dani Alves gets a lot of flack. Some Barcelona fans want him to shut up and sign his contract extension already. Commentators and fans think he dives and whines too much. For some reason, the Brazilian managers seem to believe Maicon is a better option on the right. I guess they haven’t been awake since the middle of the World Cup? And finally some fans seem to think he is a monkey of some kind? This morning, The Spoiler reported that our lovable Dani reported in an interview that he regularly hears racist taunts from fans in opposing stadia. To quote the man:
“Unfortunately, I have learned how to live with it. Every match the crowd goes after me. They insult me, call me monkey.”
“I don’t give it a lot of importance. I think you are only offended if you make a big deal about it. My family gets sad. They complain, but I try to distance myself from it.”
“They punish the clubs sometimes, but it’s uncontrollable. It will never end.”
As you will almost certainly know, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE seized a number of live streaming sites on Tuesday. Among them were perennial football favorites ATDHE, Channel Surfing, and Rojadirecta, though as Deadspin noted, Rojadirecta is not a U.S.-based site and it has been ruled legal in Spain, where it principally operates. Obviously this is leaving many football fans in something of a tizzy and asking a lot of questions: why did the U.S. government choose to do this? On what legal basis? Why can’t I watch that Benfica-Porto Portuguese Cup match I’ve been waiting on? Don’t worry, I am here to attempt to answer these, and many other questions for you. Continue Reading
Because we know how loyal you, our awesome readers are, we sent Isaiah out to do some top secret undercover spy work in and around London. After many days without communication, and having to sleep with countless bucktoothed English winches (and lords, mind you), his search has borne fruit. We have been given the official English Media Pricing Guide for FC Barcelona first team players. The quotes provided are from English managers and press members themselves. So without further adieu, we present it to you, in all its glory. Continue Reading
Well, well, well. That one certainly ended the first half on a positive note then. A true team victory against Pelligrini’s newly-reconfigured Malaga side where the rampant fervor of the first half was replaced with cautiousness in the second before a moderately exciting finish. It would be all pats on the back and thumbs up and smiles except for the injury to Dani Alves, which is likely to keep a normal mortal out anywhere from 10-15 days with a calf strain. So knowing Dani he’ll be on the training pitches running sprints and yelling at Pique today. But enough of that silliness, let’s take a quick look back while those of us in America celebrate the life and death and legacy of the amazing Martin Luther King, Jr (#respect #pouroneout). Continue Reading
Sunday, 3:00 pm EST – 9:00 pm Barcelona Time, GolTV, GolTV HD
Preview time! Malaga travels to the slipperiest pitch in Europe to face the unstoppable (read: not actually unstoppable) buzzsaw that is the FC Barcelona multi-headed hydra, with Valdes claws, and Pique haunches. In short, it’s mean, probably has bad facial hair, but it’s a damn good passer. As you should be aware, the boys come into this tie off 4-0 and 5-0 victories and is working on a 27-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, stretching all the way back to the times when Jesus rode dinosaurs, er, the September loss to Hercules. I am told by the internet that this ties an FC Barcelona record, I don’t know how reliable that info is, but come on, the tubes never lie right? This match also represents the midway point of the La Liga season. In other words, it’s the most important game ever. Continue Reading
As you presumably already know, Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or award in a ceremony in Zurich. After much fanfare, and terrible music, Messi became the first non-World Cup winning player to win the award in the aftermath of the World Cup since 1994. While many were calling for Xavi, I believed Messi to be the most worthy candidate, though this is not to overlook the vast accomplishments of Xavi or Iniesta. It’s just that, well, Messi is right now going through what may very well be called the greatest stretch of play that we have ever witnessed. He is, without a doubt, the most “complete” player living, as Sid Lowe might say. And as unfair as it may be, forwards are always going to be prized more than midfielders for these awards.
You could not go wrong with any of the 3, but most certainly not the young man, did you forget he’s only 23, who scored 34 goals in La Liga last year, winning the Pichchi, and then taking home the European Golden Boot. Oh yes, he’s scored 42 goals in 2010 in La Liga (the most) and recorded 15 assists (also the most). This year Messi won La Liga, a Supercopa of Spain, the two above awards, and was also named to the FIFPro World XI for the 4th time. I would recite everything, but it’s pointless, really. He’s the best player who is active now by a wide margin and statistics or no, it’s hard to argue.
Moving on to Xavi and Iniesta, it may be that we never hand them the individual awards for FIFA Ballon d’Or, but the 2010 World Cup should always be remembered as Xavi and Iniesta’s World Cup. Their genius is widely known, though certainly not wide enough. Without Xavi, the team would be a shell of what it is, it wouldn’t compete in a lot of respects. And without Iniesta, well, we’d be short a few trophies, and Spain might be short a nice little golden statue. If they are never fully recognized, which they probably will not be, then it will be slightly sad, until we remember the unmitigated mastery they have shown for the past few years.
The FIFPro World XI was also announced, and it was heavily FC Barcelona: Casillas, Maicon, Pique, Puyol, Lucio, Iniesta, Sneijder, Xavi, Messi, Villa, Ronaldo.
Here is a tribute video from YouTube showing the 3 finalists in STUNNING HD.
Hello all. We are wishing you a happy holiday from all of us here. Don’t know how or why you celebrate, but we hope you are having a great time with your family, friends, self, old tapes of Barcelona destroying Real Madrid. Big year coming up for us here and we hope we continue to grow in the future. So happy Eid, Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus, holiday time, whatever. Just enjoy it ok.
Oh yeah, of course it will be quiet over what is usually recognized as the holiday period. Players are at home, everyone is on break, the team has no games for more than a week, why would they need to announce any new information? So of course the team decides to make numerous announcements today and have Afellay come in for negotiations. Thanks guys, I was nursing a lovely holiday hangover, but not now, I’m here for you with news and love, mostly love. Continue Reading
FC Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao – 20:00 CET, 14:00 EST – ESPN3.com
We’re sitting on top of a Copa del Rey goldmine here! Excitement abounds for the kids’ competition, so get ready for hot cup action Barcelona fans! Tuesday at 20:00 CET at the Camp Nou Barcelona takes on Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the round of 16 matches. The return match is to be January 5, 2011 at San Mames and the winner here takes on the winner of Real Betis and Getafe in the Quarterfinals. This is the round where Barcelona dropped from the competition last year and Guardiola will certainly be looking to improve upon that finish and move toward adding another trophy to his personal mantle. Plus it’s the last game of the 2010 calendar year and the first game since we have been summarily stripped of our title of Club World Champions and the nifty little badge that came along with it, which was the best part, let’s all be honest with ourselves. Let’s go out with a bang then, shall we? Continue Reading
“Held to the past too aware of the pending.” The Barcelona Derby rarely fails to live up to the hype, in one way or another. Today’s match at El Prat again made for another highly impressive and entertaining match. Barcelona hit 5 again, in what I believe shows how far the team has come since the beginning of the year, and how all the pieces are coming together. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named decided to take a nice little break from scoring and instead contributed a hat-trick of assists. Future FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, Xavi, contributed a goal from a spectacular angle and at least 1 assist. Face of the organization Andres Iniesta played his heart out, in what seems to be a game that continually weighs on him more and more each year. Espanyol finally broke the high line for the first time in more than 600 minutes against Valdes and the defense. And the team played a wonderfully complete game, overcoming a defense that normally gives us fits. Continue Reading
I was all ready to go. I had a decent little theory about the shirt sponsorship written down and I had some ginned up outrage planned, it was all set. Then I wake up this morning to find that everyone’s favorite benevolent football dictator (no, not Laporta, though that title might have applied last year) has used his bully pulpit to weigh in on human rights and his own ham-fisted morality ideals. Responding to criticism of FIFAs decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which has very strict laws concerning consensual homosexual conduct between adults, Blatter stated:
I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities. . . . We are definitely living in a world of freedom and I’m sure when the World Cup will be in Qatar in 2022, there will be no problems. You see in the Middle East the opening of this culture, it’s another culture because it’s another religion, but in football we have no boundaries. We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings be it on this side or that side, be it left, right or whatever.
With these comments, Blatter has not only pissed off a ton of commentators and groups, he’s also taking FIFA down a slippery slope that I am sure is inadvisable: not only setting your games up in Qatar under highly dubious circumstances, but then butting into the personal sexual lives of fans. Er, um, like I am going to let this slide. Continue Reading