Live MBM report Barça – Cartagena

Right ladies and gents, when the missus turns on Grey’s Anatomy you know it’s time to sneak off and prepare a minute-by-minute report for both dear and loyal readers. But before I get started I should lay down a couple of ground rules. Here we go.

DO refresh your page regularly, as I will update every so often before the match starts and every very often once the whistle’s blown

DON’T waste your time looking for an on/off automatic update button. This ain’t the Guardian, beeeyotch!

DO tell your friends and family – live, virtual and otherwise – about the double-u double-u double u dot barcelonafootballblog dot com.

DON’T expect MBM reports for every other match. Sadly, our writers just don’t have time. Some of us are still trying to figure out whether BFB gets in the way of our real lives or the other way round…

However, the most important do & don’t is without a doubt:

DON’T pull a Gee Sixty! What’s that? Oh, not reading the MBM instructions and writing into the comment section during a Live report, that is what that is. I WILL DELETE THE COMMENT like the heartless bastard my parents created, and Y’ALL HAVE BEEN WARNED

DO make yourself part of this article by sending your comments to my e-mail instead,

Now, we are one and a half hour before gametime. Will we make it to the next round or is Cartagena going to Alcarcon us? You will see it here first (or second, if you are watching the match)!

Fútbol Club Cartagena lines up as follows: Savu, Zurdo, Sánchez, Astrain, Cacho, David, Rodriguez, Menudo, Megía, Segura and López.

The team I would like Martino to select: Pinto, Adriano, Puyol, Bagnack, Montoya, Song, Sergi Roberto, Cesc, Tello, Dongou, Traoré. Our probable line-up: Pinto, Adriano, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba, Song, Cesc, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Neymar, Alexis.

Why our coach has not called up any Barcelona B players is beyond me. Fear of the mighty Cartagena? A perverse pleasure in press conferencing about rotation, rotation, rotation only to break his word a mere three months later? A backroom bet with Zubizaretta? Anything is possible at this moment.

Talking about anythings and possibles, check out our very own Pinto:

In another unfair match-up today, European Champions Bayern Munich have after forty minutes opened the score against Gzanghzou and added another one just before the break. Their place in the finals of the Club World Cup should be assured. Mandzukic scored the second while the first was struck by everybody’s favorite Napoleon syndrome suffering Frenchman Frank Ribery.

Breaking news! Official line-up: Pinto, Montoya, Puyol, Masche, Adriano, Song, Cesc, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Neymar and Tello.

So, that’s Cesc in the midfield and Neymar as a false nine. Personally I am hoping for Cristian Tello to have a great game so that he can get some playing time over the next couple of months. His limited pt and Gerard Deulofeu setting the EPL alight can only mean one thing: Speedo will leave this summer. I am currently kind of upset with Tata for never playing him and I am mentally preparing to be upset with Zubi in six months from now for selling him for 1.5 million Euros to be paid out over four years.

Watching the highlights of the first half of Guangzhou – Bayern. Let’s face it, Shoalin Soccer, it is not.

In the meantime, our Sunday opponents Getafe are up 4-1 against Girona in today’s Copa game with twenty minutes to spare.

“So what is your prediction for today’s game?” writes mister N. Oone. Honestly I think we’re gonna slaughter them. We have been on a roll the last couple of days and Martion is bringing his A-Team like Hannibal. Neymar’s gonna run amock and get a hattrick, while Cesc always wears his Fab Four costume against third-rate opponents. Cartagena better start building a city wall.

Ten minutes to go. I’m gonna get some refreshments.

Quick reminder, we won the away game with four goals to their one. You can see the highlights here.

minute 0 And the players appear at the kick-off spot, I got my three-week old daughter in my left arm and the keyboard under my right. This is gonna be legendary! Barcelona in possession of the ball. A shot is blocked and we have our first corner!

minute 1 The corner came to nothing which makes my baby very upset indeed. Her mom is coming to the rescue.

 minute 3 Tell0, playing on his favorite left flank, lets off a shot at the Cartagena goal. Straight at the keeper. Barça playing with an urgency as if this game means something.

minute 6 Cartagena string more than two passes together for the first time since the game started. More than two, mind you. Less than four.

 minute 9 Alexander Song gets called for the first foul of the game. Cartagena return the ball to the blaugrana and sit back while Barça looks for an opening.

minute 10 Niiiice dribbling by Sergio Roberto who makes two Cartagenans fall over each other, but he follows it up by giving the ball away.

minute 11 Barça ticking and tacking around the opponents’ penalty area but ca’t find an opening as of yet.

minute 13 Sweet one-two between Fàbregas and Pedro leads to Cesc being brought down just outside the box. Neymar bends over the ball for the free kick…

minute 14 …but the wall does not bend.

Mascherano shows that he does not need top level opposition to play terrible passes out of the defense under no pressure at all. Antonio Mejía almost gets a shot off but our capita is on hand to block.

minute 15 Adriano fires a scud missile from a good 25-30 meters. It sizzles about half a yard wide of the bottom right corner.

minute 18 Another free kick as Neymar gets clipped outside of the penalty area. This time Fàbregas is on hand to test the wall with a hard, low shot.

minute 20 Slowly and surely we are carving out chances. This time Pedro finds Ney with a cross. The header is too soft and easily saved.  Cartagena is hanging on.

 minute 23 Pedrito cuts to the inside from his left flank and shoots to the moon! Still waiting for the first goal, which, judging from current state of play, won’t take too long to drop.

minute 26 Cartagena hit the post!!! After twenty minutes of parking the bas, Cartagena break out on a counter. Mascherano needs a foul to stop danger developing down the left flank. The free kick is beautifully struck and leaves Pinto without a chance.

minute 28 Cartagena hit the post again! Dear, oh dear. A long free kick is prolonged with a header by their number 10. This time the ball hits the other post.

minute 30 GOOOL! After a double scare at our own end, Pedro opens the score.

It was Martin Montoya, that most accurate of crossers, who swung the ball into the box from the right wing. Pedro hit it hard upon the first bounce. It would be fun if Cartagena would start to push Barça for the equalizer. Fun, but doubtful.

minute 32 Cesc almost finds Pedro deep for a second goal. He was only twenty-five yards offside, if at all. Questionable call by the linesman.

minute 34 Barça are known for t rying to play the ball out of their own defense with style and panache, but this Cartagenero almost takes the cake, as he tries to pirouette his way out of his own penalty area. He falls flat on his ass, though.

minute 36 Montoya applies his usual crossing accuracy to his long range shot. That ball almost hit me on the head.

minute 39 It must be said that for all our dominance, Cartagena is defending admirably. Apart from the chance Pedro converted, and despite the many shots taken, Barça hasn’t come close to another goal.

minute 42 Another corner, another nothing that came from it.

minute 45 Brilliant pass by Neymar! He starts dribbling back down from about five yards of the left corner flag, cuts inside and puts Montoya all alone in front of the goalkeeper. An excellent chance to double the score goes to waste, and the referee blows his whistle. Halftime, it is.

The first half’s lone goal:


@nzm_fcb tweets that Monty has three assists in three competitions: vs. Betis away (Liga) vs. Celtic at Camp Nou (CL) vs. Cartagena (CdR)

Yup, and he only needed 121 crosses to reach that astounding number. As a matter of fact he is the Cristiano Ronaldo of the cross. In conversion rate, that is.

Also, am I the only to hope that the Mascherano-Puyol combo for this meaningless Cup game means that Piqué-Bartra is now Tata’s first choice central defensive duo? And let me make clear that the word “hope” is a relative term. I would prefer us to have a bonafide world beater in there. Boy Abidal and (the real) Puyol are hard to replace.

minute 45 and the match is underway. Barça kick off and immediately resume possession and position play around Cartagena’s penalty area.

minute 46 Sergi Roberto lifts the ball into the penalty area. Pedro passes it against his marker’s legs. He could have done better with that. Cesc tries the keeper from a distance. His shot takes a nice bounce but lacks power and direction.

minute 49 The ref calls a foul on Carles Puyol for heading the ball too ferociously. According to EMD, our capita is considering retirement at the end of this season, although he might continue playing in a lesser league like the MLS.

minute 52 Neymar receives a lobbed pass in a promising position close to goal but can’t get a shot off. Since dude is suspended for the next league match, if he wants to score another goal in 2014 he has less than forty minutes left to do so.

minute 54 Oh boy. Tello, who has been invisible ever since his the first minute of the game, can’t even dribble past his own legs right now. His transfer market value is dropping with every touch.

minute 59 After some impressive bus-parking Cartagena threaten a counter attack. Puyol handily breaks it up and receives a yellow for his troubles.

minute 61 An actual e-mail!!! “Is the only way someone will mail you his thoughts if you read what you write and then you comment on what you think you wrote? Does that make you in agreement or disagreement with yourself. Should I send you a compliment?” offers up mister L. Evon. Very funny. Jerk.

 minute 64 The match trodges on at the same pace as the first half, only with less long distance shots from Barça. Curiously I can hear the crowd. I am assuming hat they didn’t bring any pillows. Alexis and Iniesta are warming up on the sideline.

minute 66 Pinto passes the ball across his own goalmouth where it almost gets tapped in. Close, that was.

minute 67 GOOOL! Tello gets played in with tons of space. He tries to drag the ball in front of the goal but it gets deflected behind the goalkeeper. Young Cristian has the good sense not to celebrate his effort.

minute 70 Neymar can’t find a way through the thirty-seven Cartagena defenders parked in their own penalty area.

Tello’s goal:

minute 74 Barcelona give up what I think is the first corner. Squeezy butt cheek time for the two or three weirdos who care about this game.

minute 75 Pedro and I missed which other player off, Alexis and Iniesta in.

minute 76 Lexus immediately starts some fire as he dribbles past his defender on the right wing and gets a cross in. I think the player off for Iniesta was Cesc.

minute 78 Jordi Alba getting ready to come on. We don’t want Adriano to pull his hamstring/sprain his ankle/break his toe/tear a ligament / injure a metatarsal / rip a muscle / snap off a heel / twist a knee / splinter a shin / crack a rib /you get the idea.

minute 81 Darn match is making me drowsy. Bear with me guys, the only reason I am not turning of the TV right now is this here report. As soon as the whistle blows, this writer’s turning off his computer.

minute 83 “Sorry lev, having problem connecting with my gmail had to use my sister’s, kess here… Fab4 has looked comfortable so far in midfield, tello is always trying to score whenever he plays…so expect lots of those outragous wide shots… out for more head shots…glad to see the MBM today…really enjoying the extra touch this blog adds to the match…thumbs up.” Thank you for your kind words and thank you for your sister’s e-mail address – that makes it all worthwile (just kidding!). We’ve certainly seen our share of outrageous wide shots today. Thank you for reading, you’re awesome!

minute 87 GOOOL!!! Neymar signs off his last appearance of the year with a goal!

Just when the defense fell asleep, Iniesta creates dribbles from the top of the box to the left and finds the Brazilian with a cross. O Ney heads it into the bottom left corner. Barcelona 3 – Cartagena 0.

minute 91 “Ya se acabo el partido? Vente papi, tu mujer y tu hija te esperan en la cama” I’m coming, girl, I’m coming. You could have just called me, the kitchen ain’t that far from the bedroom…

All right, culers, this is me signing off before I get into trouble. Hope you enjoyed the MBM, thank you for reading!

By Levon

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. We appreciate the effort…i feel your frustration as the emails didnt pour out as much as it should…i tried to mail but servers are down…you really did a good job. Loving the humour and sarcasm.

  2. Love the effort you guys are putting into giving that extra touch to all the Barca-supporters out there who are, let’s say slightly more interested than average (me included). Thank you!

  3. I am a bit out of touch with the Barça world for the past week as I’m on a holiday.

    Was rushing back to hotel to stream the match at 10. I was so disappointed to see the line up and disgusted to not see outfield B players such as Dongo’u and Adama.

    They both did well with the little time whenever they get it so why not reward them more?

    Didn’t Tata learn (very recently to make matters worse vs Ajax) that it’s not a good idea to play first team players when the tie is already won.

    They lack motivation especially against players who are playing 2 divisions lower and when the tie is already won. The youngsters will relish the chance to play especially at Camp Nou and show more fight. Or did Tata really think that Cartagena could pull 4 goals back away at Camp Nou?

    They didn’t get the chance against Celtic and now not even Cartagena. If not in these matches, I think it’s safe to lower our expectations to see them in the 2nd half of the season when the stakes are higher and the teams are stronger. I really hoped that Tata would give more chances to the youngsters.

    1. Ahhh I see. I didn’t know that. Am travelling in France and Holland now. Surprisingly, there aren’t many or any wifi spots at all. So I am a bit behind in the current Barca news.

      But in any case, I think the 1st team is more important than the B-team. Or that is what I thought how it should be. I remember many years ago when the likes of Thiago and JDS were called up to the 1st team only to be riding the bench while they have an important match with the B-team.

    2. The first team is much more important. The B team’s objective should be to stay in 2a A, where they get the most difficult opponents available. Hard training that help the youngsters learn and form, before calling them to the A team or finding them a new home.

  4. I really feel bad Lev but I am in hotel streaming the match. Don’t really have the time to email you. But even when I’m back home I gotta say to you straight up that I won’t have the time to email you. First of all I don’t know what to say. Secondly I can’t take my eyes off the telly when watching a Barça match. I don’t understand how you guys do it with liveblog.

    I love reading MBM after the matches though.

  5. Am loving the MBM Levon. Haven’t had time to watch the last two matches unfortunately, so couldn’t email you in the middle. Hope you can do it for some of the later ones too though.

  6. Was not able to watch the match, but winning 3-nil with goals from Pedro & Neymar is never a bad thing. Read that we faced 2 rows of 5 men in the box. If I were their players I’d be pissed at the manager. You get your one and only chance to play Barca and you don’t try to attack and bring it to them. What are you hoping for? A win? C’mon. Giving us 90% possession is not exactly a great tactical game plan. So, if your going to lose, lose with dignity.

  7. If I were able to fully concentrate on a game and see every second of it and still be able to email you I would, but that will never happen. I hate taking my eyes off the telly when Barca are on. I’m really impressed with peeps who do loveblob and other posts. I’ve tried it in the past, but I don’t get the same enjoyment out of the game when I’m thinking about what to type instead of yelling at the telly! lol.

  8. This match is done and dusted before it even begin. Miss the first half of the game, due to the fact the match started at 5 AM over here. Any explanation over why no B teamer is included for this match, anything to do with Eusebio?

    This is maybe way off topic, but do you guys want a custom feature integrated in your WordPress, especially the MBM feature. Looks like you guys could use some extended functionality in regards to commenting and auto update feature. I could help coded that for free. Been reading this blog for quite some time, time to contribute back.

  9. Much appreciate your effort and kindness Levon.
    For me watching Barca is like watching a movie. I dont even blink, dont like to miss anything. Never can type anything while the match is on.
    Sorry friend.

  10. Thank you all for your comments. To be completely honest, I find cup games against third division teams the opposite of interesting. The only reason I watched it was to write about it.

    I understand the eyes-on-TV screen/sending e-mail conundrum, I really do. It is for that reason that you will never see me host a LiveBlog – I didn’t even like participating in them, there’s just too much going on.

    What I don’t get, however, is that LiveBlogs are often so crowded that people who log in too late can’t even sign in. There are obviously a whole bunch of you who enjoy checking the computer screen and writing comments while watching the game.

    Now here’s a secret. I started doing MBMs (this was the second one) for YOU. Not for me. I won’t be able to do them often, right now I am profiting from vacation/paternity leave double whammy, but they are, most definitely, for you guys. And I can guarantee you that they will be more fun for me to write and for you to read if more of you participate.

    And I don’t care if your e-mails are analytical or nonsensical and if it is one sentence or ten. Just participate.

    I’m going to try it one more time, probably against Getafe this Sunday. If y’all let me down, (clicking my tongue), I think I’m just gonna have to notch this MBM thing up as a failed experiment. It would be a shame, I think, because with your help BFB minute-by-minute reports have the potential to be more fun than the ones I am so obviously imitating, because we all “know” each other – we’ve been interacting on this blog for years now.

    1. I appreciate the work you put into the MBM, Lev, and I enjoy reading them after the game, but I think people are more attracted to Liveblogs and twitter because of the ability to interact with people. I also suspect that people would be more into it if there was a way for the MBM to auto-refresh rather than doing it manually, and if there was an-site comment form instead of having to actually email you. No one wants to open up a whole separate program while trying to watch the game as well as follow comments. Just IMO, and of course I don’t know if either of those things are possible with WordPress.

    2. I might have commented in a live blog only once or twice. Only because wife was working with the lap top while I was watching, and commented during the half time break.If she isnt working, my lappy would be shut down, sure, during a game. I have always wondered how some of you manage to comment while watching.

      Feel sorry. I agree it would be excellent if you write the MBM with all the readers sending you their thoughts, which further inspire you… but ..

  11. Between travel, a holiday party and their own match today, it’s clear why there were no B teamers selected. Eusebio has some butts to save, not least his own.

  12. A couple of very interesting legal things going on around the club:

    1. The EU is investigating us, RM and other clubs for unfair tax and other advantages in re: state aid, land swaps, etc. At the extreme end of the spectrum, could Barça become a corporation? Not likely, but interesting to consider.

    2. A judge has ordered up the Neymar contract in full, as part of an investigation into charges brought by a soci, Jordi Cases, accusing Rosell of misappropriation of club funds.

    1. I actually don’t mind the Neymar paperwork being made public. If there’s a €40million discrepancy between what we paid and what the owners received then people should have to answer for it.

      If memory serves me correctly Madrid, a few years, ago purchased land outside of the city that was zoned as agricultural. It was then re-zoned as business and resold by Madrid at a huge profit obviously.
      This sort of thing is not fair on the smaller clubs and shouldn’t be allowed.

    2. @ciaran

      WOW. If what you said about the land conversion and sale is right, that is one heck of a corruption. But if that is real, I think the people would make noise.

    3. 1. Unfair tax because non-profit organizations pay 25% instead of 30% – but the rub is they need to be turning profit. 🙂 If Barcelona have to become a corporation like Bayern, the club could sell 10% of the team to Nike/Audi/some Arabian prince, clear the debt and start reconstructing Camp Nou without breaking a step – and in three years when the stadium is finished and generating the additional income, people wouldn’t be screaming bloody murder about Barcelona sucking in all the best players – they would’ve already come to grips with it.

      2. It’s not a case yet, the judge has given Barcelona five days to submit the papers in order for him to decide whether to start an investigation at all.

  13. Er I didn’t want to flood your mailbox. So I laid low. My bad.
    Better be prepared next time, Lev. Insightful(?) mails coming through by bucketloads.

  14. I just watched Atletico Mineiro get upset by Raja Casablanca. It was a great game! Raja is there because of a home seed or spot. They actually have some players that know how to play. Can make some great runs and passes and not afraid to take it to a team. Ronaldinho scored a brilliant free kick. Sick curl on it. The hometown fans were going nuts. After the game the Casablanca players essentially stripped Dino of all his gear. His shirt, shorts, and shoes. They were fighting over his shoes! Hilarious. I would’ve too! If you have a chance to watch it don’t miss out. Great story! Considered the biggest upset in CWC history.

    1. Thanks for the update. Damn. Now let’s hope that the Moroccan team won’t just roll over for Bayern.

    1. Anyone who wants to extrapolate anything at all from the Bayern result (not all journos are), can feel free. But personally, if I were a City supporter, I would be rather worried about Neymar, a fit Messi and Sanchez running at my defense. I’d also be worried about trying to get the ball off Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets, particularly working with Alves and (hopefully) Adriano.

      I know that this isn’t the Barça of two years ago. But potentially, it could be better when fully realized. Right now, the team is still finding its way. By the time the CL knockouts begin, this team is going to be in a very different place. Will City? Good question.

      But I know that as a BBC journo, he is supposed to say that City is a favorite, blablabla. But anybody asking me to be against my team, with the best player in the world back in its ranks and fully fit, is um … misguided.

      I don’t think that culers should be OVERconfident, but I think that we have some weapons of our own. Just a couple.

    2. I welcome such articles. We need more of them.

      We need articles comparing Yaya Toure and Busquets talking about how Yaya was driven awaya due to catalan nepotism. I want comparisons between Alexis, Pedro, Neymar and Jesus Navas. I want to see the rising star of David Silva being compared to the aging Xavi and disgruntled Iniesta and the traitor Fabregas who ran away to mommy because he wanted the easy way and the trophies. I want to see talk about clownish Pique, limping wreck of a Puyol, inept Mascherano and Bartra with milk on his lips, crystal-man Adriano, two-touch Montoya and simulating midgets Alba and Alves. Let them shout from the rooftops about Messi’s links with drug cartels and his injuries due to hormone treatment. Talk about unconvincing victories, imminent defeats, scream about “fin de siglo”.

  15. Not related, but I just wanna jump on and say thank you very much to everyone who helped me with my camp nou ticket enquiries (think it was mostly SoMa) . I had a great time watching Barca vs villareal with my dad and my brother, and your city is absolutely beautiful.

    Quick impressions:
    -Camp Nou pitch seems much smaller in person!
    -regret sitting so close to the pitch under the overhang, higher up you can see the whole stadium and crowd
    -octobusi! Nuff said.
    -watching live is awesome for watching off the ball movement, the lines and angles, blows away ball-centric TV cameras
    -everything Pique does in person seems so comical, when he did an overhead kick to keep the ball in play and got whistled for out of bounds he gesticulated incredulously at the ref and bent over and pointed with both hands vehemently at the line. I laughed my ass off.
    -weird yellow card for Neymar, I love how the crowd roared in disapproval at the ref as Neymar paused by the corner flag, soaking it in.
    -Iniesta, such a boss. My brother (does not watch football) after watching him turned around and said “it seems like his whole purpose in life is to gain possession” to which I laughed and agreed.
    -Camp Nou crowd very cultured and clap good combinations and quick to encourage the players.
    -as a spectator I was dissapointed to not see Xavi start, but as a fan I was happy Tata was rotating him. When he came on the crowd went wild!
    -crowd quite sedate in first half, but got really tense in the second. Great match!

    Time for a dirty confession. I also watched the Madrid match last night (felt like a traitor, but I figured may as well use the opportunity when on holiday)

    -I inadvertently ended up sitting with the ultras’ section. How do you know where to book/sit in regards to things like that? I enjoyed being among such passion and constant singing and chanting, the anti Messi chants annoyed me though.
    -found it interesting that the crowd chanted Mourinho’s name, but there was a quick “puto mourinho” chant afterwards
    -there was a “Diego lopez Diego lopez” chant, quickly followed by an “iker iker” chant. This went back and forth multiple times!
    -There was a “Cristiano ballon d’or cristiano” chant which I found quite funny. But then they chanted something like “Messi Messi sudra mar” afterwards, what does that mean? I suspect nothing nice.

    Sorry that turned out to be not quick at all! But thanks again

    1. Oh man. That must’ve been fun! I’m in Paris now for 4 days. I really wished I could take the train to Barcelona and come back quickly. Unfortunately I didn’t sell any house for the past few months so the pocket isn’t so deep 🙁 Thankfully the girls in France are the cutest in the world. Even the guys are good looking.

      What did they sing about Messi (the first one)?

      I felt like a betrayer too last Sunday as I went to a Feyenoord match with my old school friend. I went there to feel the atmosphere because de Kuip has the best atmosphere. I wanted my little brother feel a proper football atmosphere. (My 3rd time at de Kuip haih). Hehe. The ultras sang all the time too. Loved the constant singing by the ultras. One section was singing. On the other side, the fans constantly wave at other sections to sing along. Funny stuff. They seemed to have their eyes more on other fans than the football. Lol.

      I’m quite surprised that the Madrid fans still sing Mourinho’s name. It’s not like he won them a lot of titles.

    1. Reports by an Argentinian journalist/pundit that unnamed sources have said that Tata has confided in them that he will leave.

      In other football news:

      Thiago scored a brace and asisted for another as United defeated Arsenal 4-3 despite a hattrick by Luis Suarez.
      Barcelona announced the starting eleven for the match against Getafe:
      Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, David Luiz, Alba; Gundogan, Busquets, Xavi; Pedro, Lewandowski, Alexis.

  16. Just watched the match. That Neymar pass to Montoya made me emit a dolphin noise. Imagine a pass like that to Messi or Sanchez or Pedro. Tap in. Lord, today!

    1. An Argentine journo first offered it up a couple weeks ago. Hiddink signed replacement. Rosell called BS on it at today’s presser.

    1. Playing for Barca requires much higher intelligence than that of the average footballer plus they probably see and hear things first hand we have no access to.

      No surprise at all, in fact I would have expected much more open dissent and much earlier

  17. Mr. Lionel Messi:

    “(FC Barcelona vice president) Faus is a person who doesn’t know anything about football and wants to run Barcelona as a business, which it isn’t. Barcelona is the best football club of the world and should be managed by the best directors in the world”

    And also, “neither me nor anybody around me have asked for my contract to be revised”

    1. Excellent. Recall the reactions to Faus’ comments about a Messi renewal, pay rise. Messi has come out swinging. Expect transfer story rumors and second now.

    2. I wonder how Rosell supporters will react to this. If there’s one thing that culers are united about, it’s their love for Messi. To see Messi strongly rebuke one of the board members in public…respect, Leo.

  18. Not defending the board member as it is a stupid thing to say in public but I actually have a lot of sympathy for the sentiment. I would also disagree with Messi’ s comment about it not being a business. Of course it is and always will be, more so now than ever before as the money coming into football reaches ridiculous levels.

    First wrong step in public by Messi for me. No question fans would support Messi but he is paid to play football and needs to watch his step.

    1. And Leo should just accept the disrespect that Faus showed him. Because he should not talk in public and if he talks he should only speak about rainbows and puppies. No. Faus was the one who messed up. You do not call your club’s greatest player “un señor” and speak of him like he is a money grabbing mercenary.

    2. I agree 100%. Barca is a business, as is any other major league sport — that is not to say it doesn’t have many other aspects that make it unusual and that many fans identify strongly with.

      But think what happens when a player no longer fits in a team. He is sold in a heartbeat!! The team was there before him, and will be (must be) there after him. This is true no matter how good the player is.

      I have found Messi’s very low key public persona very refreshing over the years, and I think it is very curious that he has spoken out so publicly.

    3. For me, Messi was attacked directly by Faus, and in a way that portrayed him as a moneygrubber, the real-life version of that wonderful Crackovia.

      Faus was asked about Messi’s salary in relation to Ronaldo’s, in light of the latter now being the world’s highest-paid footballer. What Faus should have said was “We value Messi far more than we can ever say, and when it comes time to deal with his contract, rest assured he will know how much we value him and his contributions.”

      Instead, he snapped something about why should the club have to renegotiate contracts that were just negotiated, etc, etc. It was a very clear slap, and I said so at the time.

      Combine this with the Juanjo Brau/injury stuff and the club not speaking out, and that “feeling” that Iniesta said was absent, and the club staying silent about so much … this was building. Messi shouldn’t have had to issue a statement clarifying the Brau and Ricart situation, he shouldn’t have had to defend his training as related to how it was under Guardiola, etc.

      The club should have did it for him. They didn’t, and the player was justifiably annoyed. So he spoke his mind. The only misstep I see is from Faus, who handled it wrong.

      They finally pushed Guardiola too far, and he said something. Pushed Thiago too far, and he said something. Pushed Valdes too far, and he’s leaving. Pushed Iniesta, and he let them dance on pins and needles. Now it’s Messi’s turn.

    4. He is paid to play football, but ain’t a slave of the club! He still have the right to express his feelings. If anyone in the club object, they can sell him! I think there is a hint of that in the statement he made.

      But keeping quiet is not anymore an option for Messi. He had simply enough, I believe.

      Everyone agrees that the way Faus made the comments was very disrespectful. So Messi is very much justified for hitting back. He may be contracted to the club, but that doesn’t mean he have to eat whatever thrown at him by the masters who pay him. He ain’t a slave. Once the Neymar transfer fee(may become wage also) comes clear out in Public, we will have more issues coming up.

      The only question is after all these events, will Cryuff be proven right?

  19. He is paid to play football but he also must keep his reputation which according to him is not one of a money grabber.
    Personally, i support the stand that when you have something to say, say it, regardless is it in public or not. Especially when you are “attacked”.
    Anyway, i don’t like the whole situation, which will surely affect us, if not already.

  20. And I love how he did it himself. Straight from the Horse’s mouth as people say!.
    In case somebody is missing the point I mean that he doesn’t use ‘intermediaries’ to do his bidding. Leo hardly talks anyway and that too about a board member? It says a lot. This things have been brewing for a long time and was not said in the heat of the moment.

    I get it though how some people would like to skip over the utter nonsense the board has been doing, especially in terms of the human aspect. But some of us have been talking about how the conducts itself. It’s not easy to gloss over something by saying ‘yes football is big business now and Messi is just a player” duh! like anyone in this room doesn’t get that?

    ‘Intermediaries’? Remember how Pep used this words. Told him to come out and talk himself? Instead of his ‘intermediaries’ -the papers(mouthpiece) the so called experts, businessman- do his talking?
    When you push too many buttons something is bound to erupt. It was never about the money for Leo.

  21. I’m surprised it took so long for anyone to say anything. It has been clear that trouble has been brewing between the board and the players for some time. The way the board never defends the players (especially Messi) is sad.

    Good on Messi. He reacted perfectly. The best player in the world doesn’t deserve that kind of disrespect from a board member.

    Also seems like there may be some turmoil within the board, and Faus and Rosell made essentially opposite comments.

    1. I’m sure that Faust is already in bother with Rosell but this is not a good move by Messi. He has stepped over the line of being a paid employee to bad mouthing his employers. I know what would happen if I did that in public and he should be no different. I’d have been happier had he left it at saying the board know he hasn’t asked for an improved contract. That way I think everyone would have sided with him. This way I’m not so sure he doesn’t lose something. It can only end badly when a player comments negatively on his own club in public. I’m guessing he’s feeling the pressure of the constant allegations and is pretty stressed about the goings on but as has often been said here no one player is bigger than the club. Just because it’s handy to add to anti board sentiment doesn’t make the action right, imo.

    2. Note that he didn’t comment negatively on the club. He is clear in saying that Barça is the best club in the world. He is, however, commenting on the people who are running that club. That is his right as a player, just as it is my right as a soci, or the right of the GoBarça group, who had the censure motion ready to go against Rosell.

    3. He could easily have gone to Rosell and asked him to clarify the situation although if I’d been Rosell I like to think I’d have come out straight away and disassociated myself from the remarks. Then if he didn’t, it might be fair enough.

      The analogy stands though. Would I get away with saying in public that one of my bosses didn’t understand education? Would you get away with bad mouthing your bosses, not the institution, in public? It never has been the right of any employee to bad mouth one of their bosses in public unlike your complete right as a soci to express your dislike of the current regime.

      Just starting to get a feeling that Messi needs some good council. I didn’t like the public spat with Villa, I didn’t like him jetting all over the world playing friendlies in the close season ( and I’m sure the club wasn’t thrilled either) and now this. Not major, just a feeling at the moment. The sooner he gets back to playing the better.

    4. Barcelona is not just a business. The business aspect is only one part of the club. If you think the club is ONLY a business then well…

      The business analogy just isn’t good.

    5. The business part of the club is the reason we can support other causes and keep players who play the game the way we want to see. It’s also the reason Messi is with us. Or do you think he would take a pay cut to stay as long as we supported charitable causes ?

    6. The club had ten days to correct Faus’ statement, or placate Messi (Didn’t Zubi go and visit him in Argentina during this time?), and none of that has happened, which is why he felt the need to speak out about it.

      Not quite sure what you wanted Messi to do in this situation; smile and nod and say nothing? I’m sorry, but he was publicly disrespected/slandered. It might not be the politically savvy thing to do, but it’s completely justifiable.

    7. So you’re ok with a board member bad mouthing Messi, but you’re not ok with Messi responding in a similar tone and manner? What?

      Just because he’s a paid employee? Have you forgotten that Faus is also an employee of the club, one which I am supposedly a part owner?

      The players aren’t the club, but neither are the directors. And sorry, but Messi is a more important part of the club than Faus ever will be

    8. Not questioning the relative importance to the club, Calvin, and as I’ve already said above, Faus’ public comment was stupid but last time I looked the board run the club and pay Messi to play . As a part owner of the club you are and were entitled to help select who runs the club but not in between elections.

      People not having the class to rise above petty statements made by others usually only results in escalation. I’d just have been happier had Messi dealt with it another way.

    9. Messi has had more than enough class. If the club won’t defend him against a campaign to ruin his reputation, and then actively attacks him, he needs to defend himself.

    10. You make some good points, Jim. I just think that in light of all the other stuff, some ire was built up. While I don’t know if Messi handled it EXACTLY right, I do applaud him for saying something.

      I know that I am pretty much seen as a board-basher, but I do think they go about their business in a way that is unseemly. The Faus comment was typical of that way of dealing with a situation. Like schoolyard gossip.

      “Guardiola didn’t visit Vilanova.”
      “Thiago is greedy.”

      The way, and wording that Faus chose in answering the question was an irritant (well, clearly). I have said before that I am fond of athletes taking the high road, as you know. This was a direct response to Faus.

      It’s also complex, because Messi is an employee, but certainly more than just an employee. Certainly, some of the reaction to the Messi quotes has to do with the general reactions to the board and its actions.

  22. I don’t believe Messi would blurt out such a response if this was a one-off issue. There have been signs for a while now, that players and Pep + Cryuff haven’t approved how this board has been doing things. I even saw a video of Valdes ignoring Rosell!

    I think it’s even worse for Faus, because he plays the role of bad cop to Rosell’s good cop persona. That’s why those contacts drag out for a while and then Rosell pretends that he came in and saved the day.

    It’s great that Messi spoke out. I just wish that other heavyweights like Laporta would pick up that fight so the players don’t feel the need to. Bottom line is this current board has to go

  23. If for a minute we accept that the club should be run just like a business – can you think of a major business/company that badmouths its top talent in public?

    1. I don’t think there exists a major business/company that would badmouth one of it’s personnel especially one who brings the majority of it’s business. Messi is top talent and has huge face value in advertising as well.
      So often when inept people try to grapple with something that is beneath them such things happen. Its not only a disaster for the squad but also a really bad PR move for the club. It’s like Faus doesn’t understand how to talk. Where the media in Spain construe something out of nothing Faus’s comment/attitude was really embarrassing.
      The human element seems to be lacking- squad suffers- individuals suffer-reputations at stake-finances-match results- club future- a chain.

      Talking about big business let’s see: Faus VP of economics did confirm that consideration for partial sale of naming rights is on the table. “Adding a ‘last name’ is the lesser of two evils. We could generate around 100 million euros, but these contracts have a duration of 25 years.”

      My point is people don’t go to the Nou Camp to fill up the stadium. They go there to watch good football. The deal Faus is talking about brings in 4 million per year(what!!BIG BUSINESS! right!)

      Quite a good article with good bit of information. You can go through it if you are interested about the club’s business issues.

      Read more:

    2. I would have been more happy if Messi had told everything else, except the part Faus do not know nothing about football. Without this part, no one could have faulted him at all for his remarks.
      But we should understand Messi. There are smear campaigns against him from every where, as if that is the only way to prevent him from remaining a good boy, and when he get something from his own club – I can understand one can lose his cool.
      But the sad part is a lot of media is reporting the whole incident in a distorted way, as if Messi is angry jut because Faus denies him another renewal. Many reports have swallowed the part in which Messi says he didnt ask for any renewal.

  24. While our club endures this shit storm, we actually have an important game coming up tomorrow, the kind which wins you leagues. History has shown that the years when we beat Getafe away, we win the league, and lose it when we don’t. Added to that, we face this match without Leo Messi and our second most important player and scorer in Neymar. This is a potential Banana skin which can very well see us concede the top spot to Atletico by the end of the year if we lose concentration.

    Considering that we are without the services of Leo and Neighmar, I would like to lineup like this.

    —– Jose Manuel Pinto ——
    Alves – Bartra – Pique – Alba
    — Xavi – Busquets – Cesc —
    — Pedro – Alexis – Iniesta —

    Subs :
    – Sergi Roberto for Cesc
    – Dongou / Tello for Ini / Xavi
    – Song / Masch as protection for a lead if we have one

    1. Xavi is not in the group.

      The game is really important though – we are level on points with Atletico in case someone has forgotten. And we better score some goals too because they play Levante at home today and will likely win comfortably, and last week we remained on top only because we have scored one more…

    2. I like your lineup (with Sergi Roberto instead of Xavi as he is out for tomorrow).

      Do you guys prefer Alba over Adriano? I personally think Adriano is better suited for such games as the upcoming because hes more reliable defensively and still can add to the attack with his dangerous shots. Keeping a clean sheet and controling the game might be the recipe against Getafe.

    3. My personal opinion is that smaller teams like Getafe are much more apt to park it when Barcelona’s starting eleven are tilted towards attacking. Alba is practically a winger who is supposed to defend as well – and Adriano is more balanced.

      It’s just my outside opinion, but it seems to me that if Tello plays on the left then Adriano will be a better option – but if it’s Pedro on the left, Alexis right and Tello front and center, then Alba may be a better idea. Tello needs space, and Adriano’s experience and a bit more defensive posture would not require the Getafe defense and right winger to track back and close down.
      On the other hand, Pedro and Alba would also be quite balanced – Pedro stretching the right side of the defense, while Alba overlaps and sprints forward, trying to divide the attention of the defense and ease Pedro’s tasks.

      I have to confess my utter ignorance of the Getafe players’ strengths and weak spots, so my conclusions may be absolutely wrong. After all, as Pep once said, he’d watch replays of opponents’ matches over and over until he noticed something that could be exploited – and then he’d devise tactics in accordance.

      Like that Chinese guy said “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

      P.S. Two other thoughts of that same Chinese wise guy for the people talking about the disappearance of Barca’s style:

      “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”
      “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

    4. It was a conscious decision to include Alba.
      – When playing teams like Getafe, effective width is crucial. Alba is a natural winger and has better link up play. In this game defensive solidity from the full back may not be as important as their attacking contributions. While adriano is no slouch in the attacking department, his tendency is to cut inside. Alba in that sense is a better overlapping full back, not to mention his superiority in pace.
      – Plus i want to preserve Adriano. I am a fan and while he has performed admirably this year and shown improvements in the health front, I want him to end the year healthy.
      – I predict a nervous win. 2-1.

    5. Pinto
      Alves Bartra Pique Alba
      Busquets Iniesta Song
      Sanchez Fabregas Pedro

      That’s how I see it. Adriano is more stable, but we will need to generate some attacking mojo off the left flank, so Alba a more useful option there than Adriano. Pique will have to have his dancing shoes on to cover for him.

      Make no mistake, this is a big match, particularly as I don’t see Atleti faltering. That January matchup won’t be decisive, but it will let everyone know how both sides stand. We should be fully fit with Messi back along with Valdes, Neymar and Xavi recovered from his leg thing. But there is Elche before that, we shouldn’t forget.

    6. Good thoughts and given Getafes record in LaLiga this year defensive stability might not be as important as attacking threat.

      As much as I like your lineup it will probably look more like Kxevins suggestion. Maybe Tata will again try to play Song in advanced positions at times (if Fab4 drops back).

    7. The one and only.

      Every time I see Barcelona “playing chaotically” and “Barcelona being pushed back” and then scoring, I remember those words.

      I find it fascinating how very much The Art of War is applicable to football.

  25. I hope now that Messi has spoken up, there will be more who speak up and maybe it will up pace and there will be many more socis who will turn against Rosell and try to overthrow him. This is the best time for anyone who wishes to take over the board to strike.

    The next best thing is for Rosell to fire Faus.

  26. Beautiful goal from Thiago. Raja Casblanca had enough chances to equalize. I guess they were surprised to even get a chance.

  27. In an interview today, Jorge Messi handled it all beautifully. He said that the Faus comments would be the extent of the public statements on the contretemps, and reiterated his son’s link and commitment to Barça. He added that Rosell has been nothing but supportive to the Messis, and that they aren’t seeking any sort of a renewal, etc.

    The exact right tone.

    1. I read it as well, all I can say is “Finally! Someone finally taking a step back and a deep breath and uttering common sense!”

      Not that the press is going to let it stand, though. The british… I just can’t use the word journalists, are upping the talk of “Messi vs the Board”, “power struggle at Barcelona” and “City prepare to snap up Messi in January”.

      Bizarrely though, both Faus and Messi are right. FC Barcelona are not really under obligation to better Messi’s contract every six months – but do it anyway. FC Barcelona won’t do anything to imperil their relationship with Messi. They want him focused on the challenges on the pitch. Faus may not know anything about football and may be trying to manage FC Barcelona like a firm. But that’s basically the extent of his job – he’s in charge of finances. His job is to be as economic as possible with spending and as resourceful as possible with finding new venues of income and striking the best financial deals. It’s not his job to decide how much to pay Messi.

    1. It is the saddest thing in the world.
      It will be a while before we find a captain with so much heart.
      I have always wished that he could enjoy the longevity of a Maldini, or Zanetti or Giggs. But it’s his ‘all-in’ style that has taken a toll on his body. Visca Puyol!

  28. Merry Christmas to you all!! Kevin, kari , Michele, Mom4, barca96 (sidlowe :)) etc … the entire bfb crew. You made my year!!! Feliz Navidad

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