FC Barcelona News
FC Barcelona’s second pre-season friendly against Moroccan side Raja Club Athletic took place in Tangier last night, with a nine familiar faces side by side with B-team players.
Possession was more than 60% throughout the match, a figure that doesn’t seem particularly high, and the Catalans have sometimes had higher possession without the kind of result of last night; a hat trick from Messi, two from Alexis and one each from Dani Alves, Sergi Gomez and Gerard Deulofeu.
However, these matches aren’t so much about winning as providing entertainment and expanding the club’s support. The result should see a few more Barça shirts sold in Morocco, and a successful trip into North Africa.
Earlier today FC Barcelona announced that they would field their B-team against Espanyol in the Catalan Supercup on July 31st and the response of the Catalan football association has been to suspend the match.
We have therefore removed tickets from sale and unless a solution is found and the match goes ahead as planned, all clients will receive a full refund.
FC Barcelona defender Marc Muniesa will be out of action for six months after it was confirmed that he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the match against Hamburg on Tuesday. Muniesta, who last season played for the main squad three times, was stretchered off the pitch in agony and the injury was immediately suspected. His treatment will require surgery followed by months of rehab that will continue into 2013.
Lionel Messi stayed behind for the trip to Hamburg for the first match of the Tito Vilanova era, with the new coach apologising to German fans. Barça’s new coach said Messi was suffering a small injury that was at risk of being aggravated and was therefore rested, hoping to be match fit on Saturday.
Dani Alves, who has recently made it clear that he is currently feeling unappreciated by the club, opened the scoring in the 4th minute, with Arslan equalising in minute 20. And Deulofeu scored Barça’s second after an Alexis goal was disallowed.
At the break Vilanova changed nine players for a very different second half that saw the score unchanged. However, there was a blow to Marc Muniesa’s fitness when he went down with a knee injury. It is suspected that he has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will undergo tests today. He previously was off for 10 months after an injury on his left knee.
0-1 Alves (min 4)
1-1 Arslan (min 20)
1-2 Deulofeu (min 36)
Following a session in the heat of Barcelona on Wednesday, Tito Vilanova had 12 senior squad players and eight B-team players back on Thursday morning. Joining the main group were David Villa, Dani Alves and Andreu Fontas under medical supervision, while Thiago and Cuenca are reported to be continuining with their recuperation programmes in order to get fit for the start of the season. Following today’s morning session, tomorrow the players have two sessions scheduled at 09:00 and 19:00.
Tito Vilanova was filmed at his first day’s training session as head coach yesterday at FC Barcelona’s training ground. The short video shows Tito’s arrival and the squad, including Lionel Messi, greeting each other before warming up and knocking the ball around a bit.
Watch the video below:
FC Barcelona will be playing Espanyol in the Catalan Supercup on July 31st. The match will be played at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys (the Olympic Stadium) and kicks of at 21:45.
Although Barça’s new signing, Jordi Alba, will be missing from the squad due to Olympic duties, and the match is unlikely to be seriously competitive, it should provide a good opportunity to watch both Barcelona’s main football teams play at what was until recently was Espanyol’s home stadium, but now considered neutral.
More info on the Catalan Supercup 2012.
Tickets for the forthcoming season of la liga, starting in August, are now available from Simply Barcelona Tickets.
The highlights of the season are, as usual, the clasicos, those hard fought battles between Barça and arch-rival Real Madrid. With Tito Vilanova in charge, after the departure of Pep Guardiola from the role after four fabulous years, little is likely to change.
However, fans of the Catalan club are looking for Vilanova to turn around the situation from the 2011-12 season which saw Madrid climb safely to the head of the table after a number of less than spectacular results from Barcelona.
However, that’s all relative as Barcelona where still head and shoulders ahead of third place Valencia. While Barça trailed Madrid by nine points, Valencia were behind them a full thirty points!
Check out Barça’s full fixture list for la liga and reserve your FC Barcelona tickets from Simply Barcelona Tickets this year.
The fixture list of next season’s la liga, the Spanish League, was drawn earlier today and sees clasicos scheduled for earlier October and the beginning of March. Other notable clashes are against Valencia at the Nou Camp in Sepetember and February, Athletic Bilbao in December and late April, and Atletico Madrid in mid December and May, with the Barcelona derby against Espanyol scheduled for 5/6 January and the end of May. Click here for FC Barcelona fixtures for la liga 2012-2013 with availability and pricing (once available).
|18/19 Aug||Barcelona v Real Sociedad|
|25/26 Aug||Osasuna v Barcelona|
|1/2 Sep||Barcelona v Valencia|
|15/16 Sep||Getafe v Barcelona|
|22/23 Sep||Barcelona v Granada|
|29/30 Sep||Sevilla v Barcelona|
|6/7 Oct||Barcelona v Real Madrid|
|20/21 Oct||Deportivo v Barcelona|
|27/28 Oct||Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona|
|3/4 Nov||Barcelona v Celta de Vigo|
|8/9 Dec||Betis v Barcelona|
|10/11 Nov||Mallorca v Barcelona|
|17/18 Nov||Barcelona v Real Zaragoza|
|24/25 Nov||Levante v Barcelona|
|1/2 Dec||Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao|
|12/13 Jan||Malaga v Barcelona|
|15/16 Dec||Barcelona v Atletico Madrid|
|22/23 Dec||Real Valladolid v Barcelona|
|5/6 Jan||Barcelona v Espanyol|
|19/20 Jan||Real Sociedad v Barcelona|
|26/27 Jan||Barcelona v Osasuna|
|2/3 Feb||Valencia v Barcelona|
|9/10 Feb||Barcelona v Getafe|
|16/17 Feb||Granada v Barcelona|
|23/24 Feb||Barcelona v Sevilla|
|2/3 Mar||Real Madrid v Barcelona|
|9/10 Mar||Barcelona v Deportivo|
|16/17 Mar||Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano|
|30/31 Mar||Celta de Vigo v Barcelona|
|6/7 Apr||Barcelona v Mallorca|
|13/14 Apr||Real Zaragoza v Barcelona|
|20/21 Apr||Barcelona v Levante|
|27/28 Apr||Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona|
|4/5 May||Barcelona v Betis|
|11/12 May||Atletico Madrid v Barcelona|
|18/19 May||Barcelona v Real Valladolid|
|28-30 May||Espanyol v Barcelona|
|1 Jun||Barcelona v Malaga|
It was also announced that Jose Mourinho’s Spanish Supercup two match ban has been lifted and he will therefore attend both matches in August. The ban was given for his attack on Tito Vilanova last summer. The new Barça boss also received a one match ban which has also been lifted.
The FC Barcelona website has confirmed that Seydou Keita will be leaving the club after four years there, in which time Barça has won a total of 14 titles. It is not currently known what club the 32 year old player will be to, or even if he will continue his career, although there is some speculation that he is headed for China.