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October 2, 2010 / / Barcelona

In tribute.
Sunday, October 3, 2010 – 19:00 pm Barcelona time / 13:00 pm EST – GolTV & GolTV HD

Good time for Isaiah to leave me in the lurch to write a preview eh? Xavi out. Villa suspended. Messi recovering (hopefully). Coming off a long trip to Russia and a draw. Pep still dressing like a Jehovah’s Witness. Players arguing about their FIFA 11 ratings being far too low (I am looking at you Pique and Busquets). A schizophrenic start to the season. Isaiah being out of town. My inability to wear the awesome new jacket my wife bought me for my birthday because it’s still too hot in this sweaty dungeon in which I live (aka, the American Southeast). As you can see, the team is at a critical juncture in the season already with so many story lines ongoing and we welcome a typically feisty side to the Camp Nou on Sunday without our best midfielder and short on offense. It’s preview time kids, step inside. Read MoreBarça v. Mallorca Match Preview: Back on Track?

October 1, 2010 / / Barcelona

Puyol over Arsenal? Yeah, realistic.

FIFA 11 has just been released. This means many of you, and myself, will be spending many many many hours playing online or creating extensive dynasties in Career Mode. Personally I play offline for the most part, usually getting to the 5th or 6th year of my career (at which time Puyol is normally found hobbling around the pitch with a cane and a flowing white bear). Being as this is a Barcelona blog we are focusing on the Blaugrana in the game and how they stack up with their real life counterparts. Read MoreFIFA 11 Review Time

September 22, 2010 / / Barcelona

Alright, let’s wring our hands, gnash our teeth, and do other various and sundry things that seem to be misspelled, but in fact, are not. Normally I have trouble writing reviews that are not simply recaps because I find that they do not have the benefit of man’s greatest ally, hindsight and time. Writing a review of a match without time to properly think it through is silly and short-sighted, similar to proclaiming the cultural significance of an album after its first listen (see any 80s album) or talking about how a movie is the “best I’ve ever seen” without adequate time to actually process it. Exclamations are just that: excited utterances we sometimes make without time to think properly. That is why they qualify for hearsay exceptions in evidence law and why we probably should not take anything as truth 20 seconds after we’ve seen it.

A win and a facepalm... about right.
Read MoreBarça 1-Gijon 0 Review: A bus, a goal, a win.

September 17, 2010 / / Barcelona

Tales of lore do not attain their status overnight. They become bigger than life over time due to their implausibility and the decisions made that affect our histories so greatly. Such is the tale of Lionel Messi. A diminutive youth player with good skill in need of expensive treatments to repair a growth hormone deficiency flies to Barcelona for a trial made possible because of some familial connections with then-sporting director Carles Rexach. His trial is a success. He is offered a youth contract and that the medical bills would be paid for his growth hormone deficiency treatments. He succeeds in the youth leagues.

Almost 5 years ago to the day he if offered a first-team deal. As if this were not enough, he then scores a hat trick in El Clasico. The goals start coming, the assists are there, and he gains more time with the first team. Finally, he inherits the #10 and repays the team with a six trophy haul and 38 goals, winning the FIFA World Player of the Year Award. Then he outdoes himself the next year scoring 47 goals. Oh, and he’s still only 5’6″ and is the best player in the world. Adding to all that, he’s named after Lionel Richie, which is scary. It’s the stuff of legends that inspires us. 10 years ago today Messi and his father landed in Barcelona to take part in a trial that would pave the way for him to sign with the club. We present a collection of Messi’s greatness in the form of Youtube. Warning: Lots of video below.

Hug your MESSIah
Read MoreSept. 17, 2000: What Child Is This?

September 12, 2010 / / Barcelona

So great, even Eidur gets a nod
Champions League primer time. Let us do away with the mincing of words at the outset: I love the Champions League. In my mind, I hold it in higher esteem than the league and would much rather win it than La Liga, although I’d rather not have to choose. Something about the anthem (it gives me chills somehow), and all the teams coming together, and the shady draws with players from eligible teams determining who will play, and the best players from the best leagues playing against one another makes me weak in the knees. Champions of Spain, eh (not really). Champions of Europe, I love it. Like the One Ring draws Sauron, so am I drawn to European competition starting the fall and ending in the Spring, like the bookends of the best time of the year. In all seriousness, I see it as a more fitting competition for a club of our size to show its skill, because many of the lesser teams are done away with so early and the match-ups are so intriguing. It just all makes for better stories than a February fixture against Levante. On that note, it’s Champions League overall preview time y’all. Read MoreChampions League, In Bloom

August 31, 2010 / / Barcelona

Well that was an absolutely dreadful weekend of transfer news, culminating in the proverbial and yet somehow literal kick in the crotch that was Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s odd loan + buy option for next year at €24M the following term. In its wake, enough e-ink has been spilt over the transfer saga to drown even the most epic of football or FC Barcelona fans. Predictably, much hand-wringing has been made about the financial bath that the Blaugrana took from this mess, and rightly so. This was an unmitigated financial disaster that is going to cause us a fair amount of monetary distress, not to mention the problems if Zlatan is injured during the season and Milan balks at the purchase, but also making everyone involved in the deal look very very bad. Truly this was another of Pep’s phyrric victories, his scorched earth policy that consumes all who get on his bad side and all agents who would deign to deride his managerial style. However, should we, as Barça supporters be so down about this as to become fed up with everything and start laying blame everywhere, even when it may not be so deserved? Maybe we can brave this one with a little humor, a level head, and the man with the knowledge on La Liga at the Guardian Sid Lowe, whose excellent article provides all the quotes below.

In happier times...
Read MoreLevity, Please

August 28, 2010 / / Barcelona

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

Sunday, August 29, 2010. 1 PM EST, 7 PM Barcelona time. ESPN Deportes,

So this is the new year? Yes, yes it is. And isn’t it about damn time we get down to some La Liga games? As far as benedictions go, this is a good one. On Sunday, FC Barcelona begins its 80th La Liga campaign and another league championship title defense at Racing Santander. For a squad that many are predicting will win its 21st league title this year, Barcelona certainly faces a number of questions ranging from the starting front line to depth concern and the prospect of youth and young manhood taking over in the midfield. Then again, the club also sports the greatest amount of talent in the league, and likely of any club in the world. So… let’s preview shall we? Read MoreBarça v. Racing – Match Preview

August 27, 2010 / / Barcelona

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe
Well, this is turning into an interesting back half of the week. Today FC Barcelona announced on its official site that the club has reached a deal with Liverpool to buy Argentine MF Javier Mascherano assuming proper medical clearance and all that jazz. Terms are being reported differently everywhere, ranging from 25M euros to 21M + 3M in incentives to 16 + 3 and so on and so forth. All seem to agree that Mascherano will sign a 4-year deal with the club following medicals, photo-ops, and pledging allegiance to Lord Pep. Read MoreWelcome: Javier Mascherano

August 20, 2010 / / Barcelona

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

Woo! It’s preview time for the Sevilla match and Barcelona is hoping to bring home the 8th championship of the Pep Guardiola era and start the season off right after an offseason of ups (hey, 8 World Cup champions) and downs (Zlatan is staying, for the last time, if you ask again, the banhammer is coming out). But out boys have got some work to do after taking a 3-1 beating at Sevilla last weekend in a game that featured very little good play, although that’s to be expected when none of your players have practiced together in 3 months and most of them have spent that time on a beach. But enough with the excuses here, Barcelona lost and the only way to make it better is to win at least 2-0 tomorrow. Read More“We Ready” – Supercopa, Leg 2 Preview

August 7, 2010 / / Barcelona

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe
Sergio Busquets, our mercurial midfielder, is a much-maligned figure in the minds of many Barcelona fans. They say he can’t play DM at the Camp Nou because he’s not good enough and he makes too many mistakes. That he’s deficient in the key aspects of the game and is the most expendable man we have. Well, nuts to that. This seems a strange take for a player who started 26 games for the La Liga champions and all 7 games for World Cup champions Spain, of whom manager Vincente del Bosque noted, “if I was a footballer, I would like to be Busquets.” (Lest we forget that the likes of Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff has lavished even more praise.) Oh, and lest I mention the 7 pieces of silverware to his name and being named as La Liga’s breakthrough player of 2009. Thus far, Biscuits & Gravy has made quite a name for himself on the world’s best national team and one of, if not the best, club teams around. But why does out fan base doubt the 22-year old star? This article endeavors to deconstruct our newest star, and determine just what to make of his past, and the future. Read MoreOn Misguided Discord: Deconstructing Sergio Busquets

July 20, 2010 / / Barcelona
July 16, 2010 / / Barcelona