FC Barcelona News
After spending last week training in England, FC Barcelona travelled to Nice for their second summer friendly.
With 10 starting players from the first team squad and just a single B team player, Barça demonstrated their usual high possession and showed what we might expect of them in the forthcoming season.
All the same, it was Nice that scored the opener from the penalty spot after a foul by Pique, but despite a number of opportunities the Catalans failed to score.
Luis Enrique made seven changes after the break, but it was not until the visitors were awarded a penalty kick that Xavi put the ball in the back of the net. In the end the score remained level at 1-1.
The FC Barcelona squad has headed for England this morning, headed for their summer training camp in Birmingham.
The squad has been joined by new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo for six days of training at St George’s Park and includes 18 first team players and eight reserves.
After two training sessions each day, the squad heads for Nice next Saturday when they play OGC Nice in a friendly.
The draw for la Liga 2014/15 took place earlier today and will see FC Barcelona face Real Madrid on 25/26 October at the Bernabeu, with the return clasico at the Nou Camp on 21/22 March 2015.
You can view the full fixture list here, and as soon as we have pricing details they will be uploaded to the site.
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Rafael Alcantara (Rafinha) yesterday appeared at an FC Barcelona press conference where he confirmed his return to the club after a year on loan at Celta under Luis Enrique.
Rafinha said that the loan was good for him as he had the chance to play, whereas staying at Barça would have seen him sit out much of the season. The forthcoming season will be the midfielder’s first in the club as a first team player.
Yesterday also saw Barcelona come to an agreement with Valencia for defender Jérémy Mathieu. After agreeing terms at midday the player jumped on a plane for Barcelona and will give a press conference later today after a medical and the official signing.
The wait for the fixture list for next season’s La Liga is almost over, with the draw for Spain’s top league scheduled by the Spanish Football League for tomorrow (Thursday 24th July).
With it, of course, we know FC Barcelona’s schedule and can start planning weekends in Barcelona to fit in a match at the Nou Camp.
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FC Barcelona played their first ever match under Luis Enrique on Saturday, when they faced Recreativo de Huelva in the Colombino Trophy. The tournament is an invitation match to celebrate Recreativo as the oldest surviving football club in Spain, having been founded in 1889.
Playing a squad composed of mainly B-team players, Barcelona dominated the match and is common with these friendlies, all 22 players called up for the match were able to participate, including new signing new goalkeeper Ter Stegen.
Joan Román scored the only goal of the match 20 minutes into the second half, while Ter Stegen was barely tested in goal.
0-1 Joan Román (min 65)
Lionel Messi was awarded the consolation prize of the Golden Boot for best player of the World Cup after he failed to achieve his dream of raising the trophy for Argentina last night.
After ending full time without a goal the match went to extra time, with some small flourishes during the match by Messi but he certainly was not at his best. As the countdown to the end of extra time ticked away it was starting to look as if the match would be decided on penalties, a cruel way to decide the competition.
However, seven minutes before the end Germany broke through to score while Argentina saw their opportunity slip away.
The last few minutes saw much stoppage and in the end a free kick for a foul on Messi during injury time was delayed for a couple of minutes. Messi had to simply wait for Bastian Schweinsteiger to receive treatment before what was going to be Argentina’s last chance to equalise and take it to penalties.
In the end though he shot over the crossbar and when the final whistle eventually blew it was an ecstatic Germany who had won the competition.
On Friday Barça announced the club had come to an agreement with Liverpool over the reported £75 million signing of Luis Suarez.
Suarez was the top scorer in last season’s Premier League and voted player of the year, but is currently serving a four month ban from all football related activity for biting an opponent during the World Cup.
FIFA has informed FC Barcelona that they will not be able to present him as planned until his suspension is over, during which time he is not allowed in any football stadium or to participate in training.
Barça itself was banned from signing any new players for 14 months after breaking rules on signing minors. However, the ban was lifted pending an appeal, allowing the club to rebuild under its new coach Luis Enrique.
Barça players Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano are through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final after Argentina beat Holland on penalties last night.
Neither side looked to be particularly on form last night, although Messi had his occasional moments, and overall the match lacked the kind of spectacle you might have expected. After approaching the end of the second half it looked increasingly likely that the match would go to extra time and it was little surprise to end 0-0.
With neither side seriously threatening in extra time it was clear that it would take a good bit of luck for the match not to go to penalties. And here was where Argentina had a clear advantage, with the Dutch keeper having failed to stop a single penalty in his career. 16 out of 16 penalties had gone past him.
Vlaar went first for Holland, failing to put eh ball past Romero, followed by Messi who put Argentina ahead. Robben scored for the Netherlands, followed by Garay to put the Argentine squad ahead 2-1. Sneijder missed, while Aguero puit Argentina further ahead on 3-1. And then Kuyt and Rodríguez both scored to put Argentina into the final of the World Cup.
The Argentine squad faces Germany in the final in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
After losing Neymar through injury against Colombia last Friday the national squad appeared to go into meltdown, completely losing confidence in the team’s ability to progress to the final. What few can have guessed is how Brazil would collapse against Germany though.
The Germans went ahead in the 11th minute, and were two up after 23. But what came next is beyond belief, scoring in the 24th and then 26th minutes and the 29th to end the first half 5-0.
The second half wasn’t quite so impressive, but Germany had already done enough and the Brazilians much have just been waiting for the final whistle so they could escape the humiliation meted out. Germany scored two more in the second half though to put them on 7-0 and it was only in the dying moments of the match that Brazil snatched back a little dignity to score in the 90th minute for a final score of 7-1, Brazil’s worst ever defeat.
We all knew Neymar is good. But so good he carried Brazil into the semi-finals?