Category Archives: FC Barcelona

Barcelona presidential election postponed amid COVID-19.

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While a new date is yet to be scheduled, the club have announced that they will look into people being able to vote via post.

Barcelona’s presidential election has been postponed due to COVID-19, the club have confirmed.

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The election was due to take place on 24 January, but the Catalonian government confirmed to club officials that exceptions would not be made to allow members of the club hierarchy to vote.

The delay means that the club will finish the January transfer window without a president, meaning any incomings are highly unlikely.

It also means that Lionel Messi’s future will continue to hang in the balance as he enters the final five months of his deal.

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An official statement from the club read: “For its part, the club has understood the impossibility of holding elections on the scheduled date due to mobility restrictions decreed by the Catalan Government in the current context of the pandemic, which is why the date of the elections must be delayed.

Barcelona’s presidentail campaign has been postponed … Camp Mou (Noble Reporters Media, Olamide)

“In this sense, the club has asked the Catalan Government to evaluate the possibility of modifying the current sports legislation in order to enable voting by post on the new date of the elections, a request that the Government has undertaken to study.”

The election is down to the final three candidates with Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa looking to take over from Josep Bartomeu, who resigned in October 2020.

Laporta and Font are regarded as the favourites, with both promising to prioritise Messi’s contract.

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Laporta was president of the club between 2003 and 2010 and was responsible for the club’s appointment of Pep Guardiola as manager. Font is keen to recreate something similar, making his relationship with legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez clear as he has name-checked him as a potential future manager.

With Barcelona struggling on the pitch for most of 2020, fans are hopeful that a new president will begin a new chapter of success at the club.

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Just in: Eric Garcia set to join Barcelona on ‘free transfer’

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The Spanish side failed to strike a deal back then but remained open to doing business in January if City were prepared to lower their asking price – something Pep Guardiola has always refused to do.

Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia is expected to join Barcelona as a free agent once his contract comes to a close this summer.

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It was revealed last summer that Garcia had rejected the chance to sign a new contract with City as he has his heart set on a move to Camp Nou, where Barcelona have been trying to sign him ever since.

An agreement over a transfer fee is all that is needed as Fabrizio Romano has again stressed that Garcia has already agreed personal terms with Barcelona, and it’s just a case of when rather than if.

Guardiola was asked about Garcia’s future during a press conference on Friday, but as he has always done, he suggested that City will try to refuse any offers to sell the 20-year-old this month, although he was not as definitive as he has been in the past.

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“I hope not but maybe Barcelona knows better than me,” he said when asked whether a deal will happen. “I don’t know what’s going to happen but maybe it’s going to happen.”

Guardiola has been reluctant to offload Garcia this season as he wants to the Spaniard to stay and act as cover for his regular starters, despite the fact that refusing to sell will cost City some money.

Manchester City Centre Back, Eric Garcia

Garcia is usually fifth in the pecking order behind John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake, but the latter two have been sidelined with injuries in recent weeks.

Ordinarily, that would have opened the door to Garcia, but injuries and illness have kept him out since early December.

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However, Guardiola clearly believes that keeping another senior centre-back at the club has its merits, and he has urged the club to reject Barcelona’s advances, but it could all come down to how hard Ronald Koeman’s side push for the deal.

Barcelona are not expected to do any real business until after their presidential elections, with will be held on January 24.

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The Future of Barcelona is Clear

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Barcelona right now is filled with eye-catching youngestars who posseses great talents,skill,stamina and techniques.

Ansu Fati is one of the them, others are; Pedro,Trincao,Piug,Alena,Aruajo,K.De la funete,F.De Jong and Segino Dest.

And with all this players, Barcelona future is set!


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Lionel Messi in a strong desire to search for his new Duo


There were flashes of the old Lionel Messi in the first half of the Clasico on Saturday.

Casemiro was booked for trying to scythe him down. Nacho should have been booked for actually scything him down, and it was his pass over the top for Jordi Alba that sent the left-back clear to cross for Ansu Fati to equalise.

He might even have put Barcelona ahead having spun Sergio Ramos one way and then the other only for Thibaut Courtois to save at his near post.

But the flame only burned for 45 minutes. It flickered in the second half, and was almost extinguished by Ramos’ penalty that put Real Madrid ahead and shut the game down as a contest such is Barcelona’s currently failure to respond when things go against them.

Everyone still looks to Messi, but Messi just looks back wondering who will play Robin to his Batman. There were no candidates in the last 20 minutes at the Camp Nou on Saturday despite Ronald Koeman having flooded his team with attacking substitutes.

Messi’s body language late-on when Ousmane Dembele wasted one opening spoke volumes. The introduction of the French winger, Franciso Trincao and Antoine Griezmann on 81 minutes was almost a case of too much too late. A change should have been made earlier, and the three forwards made for five in an attack – an uncoordinated mess.

When the whistle blew at full-time Messi had touched the ball 98 times. That was more than anyone else but he had ended the game without a goal.

He has now failed to score in his last six Clasicos. Not since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid has he hit the back of the net in his biggest club fixture. The personal duel also fuelled him and is maybe another reason for the relative decline.

Those 515 minutes without a goal against Barcelona have come despite nineteen shots. It’s not for the want of trying. A drop in his incredible statistics was always likely as his physical numbers went down. But there are other factors.

Messi has always been helped by having decoys – players around him that terrified and occupied the opposition to the extent that space would be opened up for him – now those decoys are no longer there, or at least no longer anywhere near as effective.

Where once he was flanked by Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o and then by Pedro and David Villa, before teaming up with Neymar and Luis Suarez, he now finds himself in a moveable-feast front four that included on Saturday two 17-year-olds and Philippe Coutinho. The latter was below par against Real Madrid and is now out injured for the next three weeks.

The kids will come good. Ansu Fati is already joint La Liga top scorer on four goals despite not turning 18 until next weekend. And Pedri will have better games than his first Clasico, but they can’t yet compete with what might have been if Messi had got his way in the transfer market.

The idea that Barcelona could re-sign Neymar or bring in his national team-mate Lautaro Martinez evaporated in the financial crisis and so he finds himself having to produce more of the magic on his own, and a time in his career when he can no longer go it alone in the way he used to.

It was a feature of last season that he was dropping deeper than ever to get on the ball, and yet is further than ever from being that player who can slalom through an entire team running from the halfway line in the process.

The degree to which the transfer request and the ultimately aborted transfer to Manchester City has affected him into the season is debatable.

The mind of the genius usually works in the moment – unburdened by past failures or any imagined future shortcomings. Those close to him say he has lost little sleep over the famous Burofax.

Neither has it been held against him. In fact with Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu quitting on Tuesday, Messi has been credited with the assist in some quarters.

When the new permanent president comes in he will want to get Messi to sign a new contract.

It then will remain to be seen whether his appetite is still there to put pen to paper in Catalonia or if he feels that to squeeze another season out of his career he needs the jolt of a new challenge.

This is something which would put him back on the Manchester City agenda providing Pep Guardiola stays at the club into next season.

Before that next chapter is written, this season still offers him all to play for. But he knows from watching Bayern Munich destroy Atletico Madrid almost as effectively as they had thrashed Barcelona how hard it will be for the team to get back to the top in Europe, especially when supremacy at home is currently also beyond them.


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‘I’d prefer Messi stays at Barcelona’ – Tebas

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Lionel Messi has less than one year left in his contract with Barcelona and LaLiga president Javier Tebas has made clear that he wants to see the Argentine stay in Spain after his deal comes to an end.


The Barcelona captain asked to be released from the club last summer, but the Catalans refused to let him go on a free transfer, with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter all reportedly interested to acquire his services.

“It’s true that a player is very important in one specific part of the world,” Tebas said in a speech the CEU Cardenal Herrera University. “A Japanese player or a Chinese player are better positioned in those countries.

“With Wu Lei, Espanyol would be twice as [popular] in LaLiga Santander as Real Madrid or Barcelona.

“I’d prefer Messi to stay, but it’s not a matter of life and death. We have closed TV agreements for four years.

“There is a fact: that we have sold our international TV rights for the next four seasons. Even if Messi leaves, we have still sold them, and we have three years to recover.”

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Several superstars including Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have left Spain to join other leagues in the last few seasons, but Tebas denied that LaLiga Santander has lost its value.

“I’ve heard that so many times but LaLiga Santander is not losing value,” Tebas added. “I’d rather have those players here playing.

“I prefer that they go for tax reasons than for something else. We are better in terms of managing [the league] than England, but they have 77 million inhabitants, with a larger TV audience and more income per capita.

“Every weekend in England there are 14 million more households that pay to watch English football. It is impossible to reach that turnover.”


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Coutinho set to be out on injury for weeks if not a month

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Barcelona have confirmed that Philippe Coutinho picked up a hamstring injury during the El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday.


The Catalans were beaten 3-1 by their arch rivals over the weekend but their misery has been compounded by the loss of one of their key attacking stars.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Barcelona did not confirm how long Coutinho will be out for as ‘it depends on how the injury evolves.

But according to Spanish news outlet AS, the Brazilian attacker is expected to be out for three weeks – which will rule him out for crucial LaLiga and Champions League matches.

Barcelona’s next game sees them travel to last season’s Serie A champions Juventus in Europe’s premier club competition, while Coutinho could also miss the league trip to Alaves next weekend as well as home ties with Dynamo Kiev and Real Betis.

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Catalans boss Ronald Koeman will be hoping the Brazilian star can recover in time for Barcelona’s trip to Atletico Madrid on November 22, which will be a pivotal match for the club’s title chances after a slow start to the campaign.

Coutinho’s injury means young wonderkid Ansu Fati can expect more game time for Barcelona, while Antoine Griezmann could also come in to replace the Brazilian.

Teenage midfielder Pedri started the El Clasico match-up on the opposite wing to Philippe Coutinho so could also be given more minutes while wide options Ousmane Dembele and Francisco Trincao are alternative wide options.

Coutinho played the full 90 minutes of the El Clasico contest at the Camp Nou, which saw Barcelona fall behind early on to Fede Valverde’s opener after five minutes.

The home side equalised just three minutes later through teenage sensation Fati and Coutinho nearly gave his side the lead in the second-half but missed a gilt-edged header from inside the penalty area.

Sergio Ramos won then scored a penalty go edge Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid side back in front before Luka Modric won the tie late on with a superb individual effort.

The result saw Madrid go to the top of the table on Saturday night, with Barcelona six points behind in 12th place after back-to-back league defeats.


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Today is Barcelona Decision day, renovation of Barca board

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On Monday, Barcelona will hold a Board of Directors meeting to discuss about the date and further details regarding the vote of no confidence motion against Josep Maria Bartomeu, and whether there will be any members’ resignations.


In addition, the promoters of the vote of no confidence are awaiting the agreements reached by the leaders at the meeting, in which they are obliged to set a date for the referendum. Otherwise, the promoters have already made clear that they will denounce the board.

It will be this Monday, October 26, when the board will inform their members about the details of the vote of no confidence which, in principle, is set for November 1 or 2.

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The regional government in Catalonia have already given the green light, so long as the health protocols are met. However, Barcelona’s board informed them that they do not have enough time to apply the established regulations due to their complexity and will need a 15-day margin.

The promoters of the motion believe that this postponement is some kind of strategy by Bartomeu and his current board and, therefore, they have threatened to take legal action against the club if they do not call for a vote on Monday.

The promoters understand that the board will flagrantly breach the club’s regulations, which specify that the maximum term has to be one of 20 business days, counting from the day when the notification is sent to the board, with a minimum notice of five days.

Barcelona’s board will also discuss potential resignations and in the event any member steps down on Monday, Bartomeu will have to find someone to replace them.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government is waiting for Barcelona to present plans to hold the referendum in the current climate, as well as the health protocols that would need to be put in place.

Until this is submitted by the club, there will be no definitive decision on whether or not a public referendum can be held.


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Shocking: Antonnie Griezmann informed to leave Barcelona

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Having struggled to produce his best form for Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann has been told he should look to move on by Bixente Lizarazu.


Antoine Griezmann has been urged to cut his losses and leave Barcelona by former France left-back Bixente Lizarazu.

Griezmann should leave, says Lizarazu
After joining Barca from Atletico Madrid for €120million in July 2019, Griezmann scored 15 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions last season – his worse return since 2012-13 with Real Sociedad.

The 29-year-old attacker averaged one LaLiga goal every 285 minutes for the Blaugrana, way below his best return of one every 112 minutes for Atletico in 2014-15.

He has been vocal about his frustration at playing on the right wing since Ronald Koeman took over as Barca coach in August and only played eight minutes off the bench in the 3-1 Clasico defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday, having been an unused substitute in the midweek thrashing of Ferencvaros.

World Cup-winning left-back Lizarazu believes Griezmann, who is reportedly set for a new contract at Camp Nou, should look to move on before his situation deteriorates any further.

“Griezmann is great. He’s a very, very good player and he’s fantastic for France. But he isn’t at all for Barcelona. This is a real problem,” Lizarazu said on Telefoot on Sunday.

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“He went to Barcelona with a dream of playing with Lionel Messi, but unfortunately there is no technical relationship between the two.

“He cannot find his position, he can no longer player football with Barça. It’s a crisis of confidence.

“At some point it is better to cut off your hand than your arm. Do not hesitate to leave when you cannot find your place.

“It’s been 18 months, not just two… the situation is really critical.”

Griezmann and Messi are yet to create a single chance for one another in LaLiga this season, though the Barca captain has provided one key pass each to Francisco Trincao and Gerard Pique, two to Ansu Fati and three to Philippe Coutinho.

They have also combined on just 23 passes, with Messi having shared more with Fati (35), Frenkie de Jong (39), Jordi Alba (47), Sergi Roberto (54), Coutinho (55) and Sergio Busquets (109).


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Since Ronaldo left Madrid, Messi hasn’t score a goal in El Clasico

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After drawing another blank on Saturday, Lionel Messi has now failed to score against Real Madrid in each of his last seven games against them. Ansu Fati scored Barcelona’s only goal as they were beaten 3-1 in the Clasico at the Camp Nou.


The last time Messi found the net against Los Blancos was during the 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou on Matchday 36 of the 2017/18 LaLiga Santander season. That means the Argentine is yet to score against Real Madrid since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. This season, Messi has scored just one goal in LaLiga Santader – during Barcelona’s opening game against Villarreal. Since then, he’s failed to score or make an assist in four league matches. You have to go back to 2014 to find a similarly poor run from the forward.

Messi’s slow start to the new campaign comes after a rocky summer at Barcelona. After surrendering the LaLiga Santander title to Real Madrid and suffering the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in August, the 33-year-old handed in a transfer request, which was rejected by the club. Away from his club duties, Messi has scored once in two games for Argentina in the 2020/21 season – against Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier in October.


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Furious Koeman can’t explain how he feels after El Clasico’s defeat

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Barcelona reacted furiously to the VAR decision that cost them the Clasico with Ronald Koeman accusing the video assistant referee system of only giving decisions against them. One club director went further abusing the referee on social media.


Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp but the game turned in the second half when Sergio Ramos had his shirt pulled by Clement Lenglet and VAR prompted the referee to check the incident pitchside.

Koeman told Barca TV: ‘Every decision goes against us. In five games there have been none in our favour. There was the [Leo] Messi penalty against Sevilla that was not given and the red card against Getafe. Today’s penalty is just something that happens in the area.’

Lenglet’s tug on Ramos’ shirt convinced Juan Martinez to point to the spot and the Real Madrid captain scored the penalty to put his side 2-1 ahead.

Koeman added: ‘I don’t think it’s a penalty. VAR in Spain only acts against Barcelona.’

Betis fans were also furious with the decision because their striker Toni Sanabria was involved in an identical situation a week early and no penalty was given.

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One Barcelona director went even further and had to apologise online. Xavi Vilajoana, who is director at the club of women’s football and Barcelona B tweeted: ‘This is a f*** scandal. Munuera f off.’

He later tweeted apologising if he ‘had offended anyone’ with the message.

Barcelona full-back Sergino Dest preferred to concentrate on the team’s failure to take their chances post-match. He said: ‘I don’t know if it was a penalty. They had chances and we had chances but they were maybe a bit sharper in their finishing.’

Real Madrid were just happy to end a run of two straight defeats. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said: ‘It was not easy playing against Cadiz last weekend after the international break and conceding an early goal we could not get back into the game. We then had a hard game facing Shakhtar in Europe.

‘But here we had the intensity that the manager wanted from us. It was a bit back and forth in the second half but we got the penalty and we held out for the win.

‘We have to fight in each game when we wear this shirt. Today we did that. This is only three points but it gives us an awful lot of confidence.


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Coutinho returned from Bayern adding four Kilograms of muscle

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Tite has revealed the progress Philippe Coutinho made physically during his loan spell at Bayern Munich. The midfielder is notably bigger following his year in Germany, where he won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.


Coutinho has started the new season in fine form for Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman preferring to play him in a more central role. Before his loan to Bayern, the Brazilian struggled to adapt to life at the Camp Nou under Ernesto Valverde.

“There’s a factor you have to bear in mind; Coutinho is a player who is very dedicated to the physical aspect,” Tite explained recently.

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“This is even more so after his spell at Bayern Munich, where he gained five kilograms in body weight, four kilos of which were muscle mass. He’s improved a lot physically.”

During the October international break, Coutinho featured in both of Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

The former Liverpool player has also been included in Tite’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Venezuela and Uruguay in November.


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From Camp Nou to ‘Messi’; Could this really come to pass?

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Gerard Pique has been equally outspoken in his defence of Lionel Messi and his criticism of the Barcelona board. The Argentine is now into the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou having been denied a move away from the club in the summer.


Messi’s future was a hot topic of debate over the summer, particularly after he handed in a transfer request following Barcelona’s humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. After a dispute with Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board, the captain ended up staying.

During his first public interview since his transfer request, Messi claimed that Bartomeu had broken promises he’d made to the forward in the past. Now, the president faces a vote of no confidence at the club.

“Leo deserves everything,” Pique told La Vanguardia. “The new stadium should be named after him. We must preserve our past and present legends and not discredit them.”

Should Barcelona take Pique’s advice and name their redevelopment Camp Nou after Messi, it would be the first time in history the club’s stadium has been named after a person.

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Over the course of their past, Barcelona have played at the Velodrome de la Bonanova (1899-1900), the Hotel Casanovas pitch (1901-05), the pitch on Calle Muntaner (1905-09), the Campo de la Calle Industria (1909-22) and Les Corts (1922-57).

Barcelona first started playing at the Camp Nou in 1957, when its capacity was 90,000. Today, it can hold up to 99,354 fans, making it the biggest stadium in Europe.

Forgotten legacies
“We must preserve our past and present legends and not discredit them,” Pique said, dismayed at the fact that club figures like Pep Guardiola, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Victor Valdes weren’t involved at the Camp Nou these days.

“Something’s not right,” Pique continued. “You always have to keep these people around; they are part of the club’s history. They have made it great. They should be here, contributing.”


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Ronald Koeman defends Pique slamming Barcelona Board

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Ronald Koeman has come to defence of Gerard Pique after the defender gave a controversial interview slamming Barcelona’s board.


On the eve of El Clasico against Real Madrid, Pique sat down with La Vanguardia to talk the future of Lionel Messi, president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the social media scandal which has seen the LaLiga club allegedly attack its own players.

Pique’s comments, particularly the ones aimed at the ‘outrageous’ board, proved agenda-setting in Spain ahead of El Clasico.

But for Koeman, the 33-year-old is ‘a clever guy’ and knows the added scrutiny he has placed on himself going into one of the biggest games of the season.

‘He’s been here a long time and I’ve been here three months,’ Koeman said. ‘He’s got his opinion and I respect that.

‘He’s a clever guy and he knows when he does these interviews that he’s got a game the next day and that he’ll play well.’

It has been a tumultuous 12 months with Barcelona now onto their third manager of 2020 having sacked two-time LaLiga winner Ernesto Valverde in January, and his successor, Quique Setien, after the 8-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August.

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But the big story of the year was Lionel Messi submitting a burofax informing the board, who he had lost faith in, that he intended to leave in the summer, a year before his contract was due for expiry.

Pique was reportedly among a gaggle of players to stay quiet in the middle of the saga but he has since spoken out on the poor handling of the situation by president Bartomeu.

Pique added: ‘As president I would have acted differently. I asked Leo to stay on.

‘I didn’t have much dealings with him those days because I thought it was a very personal decision. I only said: “Leo, it’s a year, and then new people will come.”

‘I asked myself: “How can it be that the best player in history, who we have had the incredible luck to enjoy, gets up one day and sends a burofax because he feels that they are not listening to him?” Everything is too shocking. What’s going on?

‘Leo deserves everything. The new stadium and its sponsor should have his name (on it).’

Real Madrid travel to the Nou Camp three points ahead of Barcelona in LaLiga, albeit having played a further game.

Pressure is on both managers, with Real manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly under the microscope following back-to-back defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

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In contrast Koeman will welcome back Jordi Alba for the visit of Real. The full-back picked up a hamstring injury against Sevilla at the start of the month but has returned sooner than expected to be in line to feature.

The Dutch boss will, however, be without first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and defender Samuel Umtiti.

Koeman, 57, played in 14 Clasicos while at Barcelona as a player, but admitted it was a new feeling going into it as coach.

‘Hopefully I’ll sleep alright! Of course it’s different, the best thing would be going out there on the pitch, but my playing days are behind me,’ he said.

‘So the next best thing is to be as close to the pitch as possible. We know it’s an important match but I’m used to that kind of pressure.’

The excitement for the first Clasico of the season, which is being broadcast on LaLigaTV, has seen LaLiga roll out the red carpet across the globe.

It is a game which brings immense scrutiny and Koeman will know a poor showing from Pique will see his interview come back to bite him.


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Segino Dest Sets to make El clasico’s debut

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A Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is watched by millions of people around the world. For the first time ever, viewers from the United States will be able to see a compatriot on the pitch on Saturday.


Sergino Dest will become the first American player ever to feature in the fixture in its 118 years of history, should Ronald Koeman decide to play him.

The possible absence of Jordi Alba, who is a doubt for the match because of injury, could leave a spot for the 19-year-old out of position at left-back, presuming Koeman opts for Sergi Roberto at right-back.

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Dest’s versatility was one of the many things that attracted interest from several clubs across Europe over the summer. Barcelona beat competition from the likes of Bayern Munich to sign the defender from Ajax.

A United States international, Dest was born in the Netherlands to an American father and Dutch mother. He made his decision to represent the USA at international level at the age of 16.

The former Ajax right-back isn’t the only American on the books at Barcelona either these days. Konrad de la Fuente has spent the last two years playing for Barcelona B and has received call-ups for first team squads, although the 19-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.

Having two players in and around the Barcelona first team is good news for the US national team going into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2026 World Cup, which they co-host alongside Canada and Mexico.

There are American players dotted around some of Europe’s biggest clubs, too, such as Weston McKennie at Juventus, Giovanni Reyna at Borussia Dortmund and Chris Richards at Bayern Munich

You’ve also got Tyler Adams at RB Leipzig, Josh Sargent at Werder Bremen, Timothy Weah at Lille and Antonee Robinson at Fulham all making a name for themselves on the continent.


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Newspaper apologize profusely to Ansu Fati for Rasist Comment

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Journalist had written Black player moved like a ‘gazelle’ or a ‘very young black street vendor running from police’.

Spain’s Ansu Fati during a UEFA Nations League football match between Spain and Switzerland in Madrid, Spain.


Barcelona player Ansu Fati has received a statement of “regret” from a Spanish journalist who compared his moves on the pitch with an animal and illegal street vendor fleeing police.

ABC journalist Salvador Sostres wrote of Barcelona’s win over Ferencvaros on Tuesday that “Ansu when running has something of a gazelle, or a very young, black street vendor running” away from police.

Team-mate Antoine Griezmann was one of many readers who denounced the description by Sostres in a message on Twitter: “Ansu is an exceptional young man who deserves the same respect as any human being. No to racism and no to bad manners.”

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ABC published a statement of regret by Sostres on Thursday.

“My intention was to praise the beauty of Ansu’s movement and his talent as a very young player,” Sostres wrote.

“Some expressions were understood as racist insults. Nothing was further from my intention, nor the very favourable opinion of the player that I have expressed in all the match reports I have written since his debut. I deeply lament the misunderstanding and I ask forgiveness if anyone has felt offended.”

Fati, who is Black, was born in Guinea Bissau and immigrated with his family to Spain when he was six years old. Now 17, he is one of Barcelona’s most promising players.

Barcelona says it was planning to sue the newspaper and journalist, but after Sostres’s apology, it is reconsidering what course to take.

In the first six weeks after football restarted in the United Kingdom after the coronavirus halted games, more than 40 percent of Black players were racially abused on social media, the Professional Footballers’ Association Charity said – prompting Man City’s Raheem Sterling to call for action.


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Arguments and Rift in Camp Nou dressing room unfolds

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Barcelona’s dressing room has been left split by the initiative aimed at reducing player salaries. President Josep Maria Bartomeu has gone down this route in an attempt to mitigate the financial outgoings at the club given the reduction in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic, yet the process has not run smoothly.


Some players have been accused of putting their individual interests before the collective. This was made evident by the news that on Tuesday – right after the club’s Champions League win over Ferencvaros – that Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong and Marc-Andre ter Stegen had all renewed their contracts on an individual basis.Some members of the playing squad are frustrated not only with those who have looked after themselves but also at a board who have allowed this to happen.

A letter was signed by most of the squad to reject the plans for pay cuts, but not all players signed it. Curiously, Pique was one of those to sign the letter, before agreeing a contract extension to 2024. Bartomeu’s plan involved reducing player salaries this season, but then stating in their contracts that the board will make up the difference in years to come. Bartomeu won’t have to worry about this, since he’ll be out of his role by next summer anyway, with presidential elections forthcoming – or possibly sooner if he is voted out by the club’s members.

Barcelona’s salary negotiations
All of this comes just before negotiations were set to begin on Wednesday about a collective salary reduction. A player should be there at the table for these discussions, but they’d already said that they won’t attend.

However, there is a split in the group and it seems Bartomeu has adopted the ‘divide and conquer’ tactic. While the club rolled over their Hungarian opposition on Tuesday night, it remains to be seen what impact this dressing room split will have on the club’s fortunes on the pitch in the longer term.

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