Monday, 12 December 2011

David Villa: I feel important at Barcelona

Villa, however, has made it clear that he's not worried about what is being said in the media.

"I feel important, and even more so when the coach speaks well of me. I don't give any importance to what is said outside the club," Villa said on a press conference.

"I don't have to be worried about all of this, it's all the same to me. I work so that the coach, my colleagues, the fans, and my family, are happy, and that's the case.

"I've always had the affection of team-mates and especially the public. I noticed it since the day I arrived."

Villa has so far scored five goals in 14 La Liga appearances this term.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate list for FIFPro World XI

Fifa has revealed the 55 players shortlisted for the FIFPro World XI 2011.

Barcelona, with 11 players and Real Madrid, with 10, are the most represented clubs, followed by Manchester United (six) and Chelsea (five).

After Spain's Primera Division, which boats 22 players, comes the Premier League (18), Serie A (nine), and the Bundesliga (four, all from Bayern Munich).

Santos star Neymar is the only player from outside of a European league to make the shortlist.

The final list, which will contain one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards, will be announced at the Fifa Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on January 9.

Below you can find the complete shortlist:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Victor Valdes (Spain, Barcelona), Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands, retired, formerly Manchester United).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (France, Barcelona), Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal, Real Madrid), Ashley Cole (England, Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France, Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England, Manchester United), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Lucio (Brazil, Inter), David Luiz (Brazil, Chelsea), Maicon (Brazil, Inter), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid), Alessandro Nesta (Italy, AC Milan), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Brazil, AC Milan), John Terry (England, Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Gareth Bale (Wales, Tottenham Hotspur), Sergio Busquets (Spain, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Kaka (Brazil, Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Nani (Portugal, Manchester United), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain, Manchester City), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, Inter), Yaya Toure (Cote d'Ivoire, Manchester City), Xavi (Spain, Barcelona).

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Napoli), Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire, Chelsea), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Anzhi), Radamel Falcao (Colombia, Atletico Madrid), Mario Gomez (Germany, Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, AC Milan), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool), Robin van Persie (Netherlands, Arsenal), David Villa (Spain, Barcelona).

Saturday, 10 December 2011

'I dream of becoming a parent,' reveals Barcelona's Lionel Messi

"I dream of being a father," he told Argentine magazine Caras.

Messi has won numerous pieces of silverware on both a personal and collective level at Barcelona, but admits without the presence of his family he would have struggled to cope with the pressures of top-level football.

"In football, you are faced with many questions and can easily become unsettled. Having the support of my family made everything easier," he continued.

"My family were always near me and often said [family support] was essential and very important for my career, especially towards achieving my goals, which is most difficult. You can get many doubts and become disrupted by everything that happens."

The diminutive No.10 is also renowned for living a far more tranquil life in comparison to some of his peers, and made no secret that he prefers to live out of the spotlight - while devoting less of his time to video games.

"The truth is I live a very normal life," Messi continued. "I'd rather live quietly at home, and when I have to go shopping, I get it done without any problems.

"I got tired of the Playstation and play very little now. I have to meet many expectations of myself," he concluded.

Barcelona are currently three points behind Real Madrid and play host to Levante on Saturday. Kick-off at Camp Nou is scheduled for 20:00CET.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas dismisses claims he lost focus at Arsenal

In an interview with on Thursday, the Spain international decided to set the record straight about his tumultuous return to the Catalan giants during the summer, and said that only injury troubles prevented him from gaining any consistency in 2010-11.

"Not for one moment, because I never knew what the future held," Fabregas said. "I was an Arsenal player and under contract until 2014, so I wasn't thinking of leaving.

"Some people claimed that, just because I didn’t play very much and had a lot of injuries, that it was a bad season for me. I disagree. I still scored nine goals and made 20 assists.

"However, what is true is that I had one injury after another, and every time I got back to full fitness, something else would happen and I’d have to start again from scratch. For all that, mentally I was 100 per cent focused on Arsenal."

Fabregas was then quizzed on his current employers, and he voiced his delight at the speed of his transition into the Barca first-team. The World Cup winner has already found the net five times and has provided an impressive five assists to team-mates, despite arriving in late August.

"[My transition has been] very comfortable, happy in fact," said Fabregas. "I've been greatly encouraged by my good early-season form.

"To be honest, everyone at the club has been helping me a great deal, above all my team-mates, some of whom I've known for many years. In addition, the fans have been great with me, so I've really no complaints."

The 24-year-old then switched to the topic of the forthcoming Club World Cup in Japan, which kicks off on December 8.

"This is Barcelona and we're obliged to win every game. It's what people expect," said Fabregas. "That makes it mandatory for us and we have to deliver.

"It’s the same for Real Madrid, AC Milan, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern, among others. That’s just the way it is at big clubs."

Barcelona will enter the competition at the semi-final stage with the fixture set to be played on December 15, and host Levante in La Liga on Saturday.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Andres Iniesta: Barcelona will not change attacking approach for Real Madrid showdown

The reigning Spanish and European champions currently lie second in the standings, three points behind their bitter rivals and having played one game more.

There had been speculation that Barca might approach the Clasico with a little more caution than usual, as a defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb in terms of retaining their title.

However, Iniesta claims that they will not change their attacking approach for the upcoming trip to the capital.

"We will try to win, [just] as we always have,” the midfielder told Barca TV. “For us, nothing changes.

“The situation is what it is and let's go for the win. Do not think it has to be different to previous seasons."

The Spain international also rubbished suggestions that Barcelona have already slipped too far behind Madrid to hold on to their crown.

"I do not agree that the league is already decided,” the 27-year-old said.

“My reading [of the situation] is different [because] we have the chance to win at the Bernabeu, [even though] we know it will be a very tough match."

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in last year’s World Cup final, has had his injury problems this season, but made an impressive return to action in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Barcelona's Gerard Pique cleared to play against Real Madrid after avoiding further punishment for yellow card

The Spain defender was under investigation after collecting a booking for time-wasting in Tuesday night's La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano.

The yellow card was Pique's fifth of the season, thus ruling him out of this weekend's clash with Levante at Camp Nou.

Gerard Pique
There was a suggestion, though, that he may have got himself booked deliberately in order to avoid running the risk of being suspended for the Clasico.

However, after investigating the circumstances surrounding Pique's caution, taking into account the notes of match referee Miguel Angel Perez Lasa, the Competition Committee could find no evidence of anything untoward on the player's behalf.

Consequently, Pique will only serve a one-game suspension for his indiscretion and will therefore be free to face Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on December 10.

The news is a massive boost for Barcelona as Pique has established himself as a mainstay at the heart of the Catalans' defence since rejoining the club from Manchester United in 2008.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona? Anything is possible at Anzhi Makhachkala, says Samuel Eto'o

The 30-year-old striker made waves in the summer when he decided to leave Serie A giants Inter in order to join the big-spending side and the former Barca striker is now reportedly the world's highest-earning player.

Eto'o expects that many more big names will follow him to Russia in the near future, claiming that his side now has the pulling power to attract the very best.

"Lots of players call me," he told France Football. "You would be surprised at their names.

"A few years ago, when a player was having difficulties with his club, they would be linked with Chelsea. Now, they are linked with Anzhi."

A move for Messi would seem unlikely, given the Argentine's repeated commitment to Barca, but Eto'o says anything is possible at his ambitious new club.

"Why not Leo?" he added. "Here, nothing is impossible.

"The owner [Suleyman Kerimov] can buy who he likes, although the player must also want to come here - and that is one of his missions.

"I just reply to players who want to know about it here and give some clues to the owners from time to time."

Eto'o also revealed his ideal XI for Anzhi, choosing former Camp Nou team-mates Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Victor Valdes and Ronaldinho in his perfect side.

"Messi is obligatory," he said. "[I would also have] Xavi and Iniesta, because they play great football, and Ronaldinho for his magic."

Eto'o also named himself in the team, along with Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, Cameroon team-mate Geremi, Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra and Inter defender Lucio.

Barcelona's Pep Guardiola urges players to focus on Levante rather than Real Madrid

"The most important match is always the next one, against Levante. We have to stay as consistent as possible. It all comes down to one thing, playing your game and trying to win," Guardiola said at the pre-match press conference.

Guardiola was then asked about his side's position in the table behind Real Madrid, but the Barca boss stressed that the current situation doesn't worry him.

"I don't want to waste my time talking about things we can't do anything about. You can always get behind in sport. When you are behind, you must have the ambition of trying to catch the leader. It's normal.

"Sometimes you can't do it, but if we weren't trying, we'd be doing something wrong. However, that is not the case. There is nothing odd about being behind such a strong team."

Barcelona currently sit second in the Primera Division table with 31 points from 14 games.

Monday, 5 December 2011

TEAM NEWS: Lionel Messi starts for Barcelona against Zaragoza

Lionel Messi starts for Barcelona in Saturday night's Primera Division clash at home to Zaragoza.

Messi's participation was uncertain after he underwent a long journey to feature for Argentina in their recent World Cup qualifiers this week, but the 24-year-old is named in a strong side which also sees centre-backs Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol both start, as well as youngster Isaac Cuenca.

Chile winger Alexis Sanchez also features from the outset, but David Villa is left out of the starting side for the fourth game in a row, while Andres Iniesta is also on the bench.

Sergio Busquets has been left out of the squad altogether - along with Pedro, who has recovered from injury - as coach Pep Guardiola looks ahead to Barca's midweek Champions League clash with AC Milan.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Maxwell; Keita, Cesc, Xavi; Alexis, Messi, Cuenca.

Subs: Pinto, Abidal, Mascherano, Fontas, Iniesta, Thiago, Villa

Zaragoza (4-2-3-1): Roberto; E. Juarez, Mateos, Lanzaro, Paredes; Ponzio, Meira; Barrera, Luis García, J. Carlos; Postiga.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Vying for the Top Spot

With both teams already qualified, tomorrow night's clash at San Siro between AC Milan and FC Barcelona is all about claiming the top spot in Group H. With 10 points Barca is at the top of the group ahead of AC Milan by two points. Usually two draws from now should see us stay at top, but the problem for Barca is the thei last Group match will take place days ahead of the first Clasico.

Guardiola would want to give his boys some rest ahead of that Clasico, and hence the clash at San Siro becomes crucial. A win will secure our top place. He have to do without the service of Iniesta at San Siro, who has been ruled out due to a slight injury. That may not be a cause of hge concern for Guardiola, as he got Cesc Fabregas at his disposal. Our last visit to san Siro wasn't a pleasant one losing 3-1 to Inter Milan in the Champions League semi-final. Our recent away form in Champions league is not quite good, struggling to win against major team. So there are some issue Guardiola needs to tackle tomorrow. Meanwhile AC Milan who shocked us with a last minute draw at Camp Nou, will be vying for us at their own back yard. And they would have the service of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for tomorrow night's game.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lionel, Messi and Xavi Were Both Excellent Night, That's No Surprise

There was no doubt that Milan was successfully stretching our back three towards the end and they needed some cover. Moreover two of them were booked and there was a serious chance of seeing red card without some help. So the big question was whether Guardiola will go for a 4 man defense in second half. But Guardiola thought otherwise and continued with the three man defense. AC Milan brought in Pato at the start of second half. In the 49th minute Cesc Fabregas had a decent penalty shout after he was brought down by Abate, but the referee thought otherwise. In the 51st minute Xavi plays a lobbed ball spotting Messi's run, but once again Abbiati did well to deny Messi. In the 53rd minute Boateng equalised for AC Milan after he thundered past Valdes following a neat piece of skill. Valdes was the one at fault there getting beaten up at the near post. In the 63rd minute Xavi put us once again ahead with a trademark Barca move. The moves started the move by giving the ball to Messi, who I don't know still how played a through ball between four players to find Xavi in the box, who made no mistake with the finish.

In the 66th minute Nesta was taken off after pulling harmstring and that should have been some relief for our attackers. Everyone was expecting Guardiola to bring in Pique, but he had other ideas bring Sanchez for Villa. In the 69th minute Abbiati made two brilliant save off Sanchez from a well taken Thiago free kick. In the 80th minute Cesc was taken off for Pedro. WE once again went into the last ten minutes with only a goal lead and that made sure that the final minutes were going to be a bit nervy for Barca fans. In the injury time Guardiola brought in Jonathan dos Santos in place of Thiago.

What a match, or should I say, Goal fest? It may not have been the best match defensively but in the offence we were brilliant. We should have atleast scored half a dozen goals had it not been for an excelllent performance from Abbiati. We looked very confused in defense whenever Milan managed to stretch our three man defense. In that sense, this match was a perfect example of when not to use the three man defense. I had earlier wrote about this topic have a look - 4-3-3 versus 3-4-3. Coming to individual performance, for me the pick of the player would be Thiago. He was brilliant tonight, maybe a bit slow in tracking back at occasion. But how can you ask more from a player who is at the first season with senior team. Lionel, Messi and Xavi were both excellent night, that's no surprise. Strangely Cesc who started the match well went anonymous after sometime and villa had another off night. The rest of the team did well collectively. For all the defensive problems, the final outcome from tonight's match is that we secured the top spot and now rest enough players against Bate Borisov.

Friday, 2 December 2011

We started with a 3 man defense but opening exchanges saw Milan pushing hard and Busquets constantly have to drop into the back line. In the 4th minute David Villa shot high and wide from a bit of promising target. In the 5th minute Xavi played a brilliant ball to Thiago in the box, who couldn't bring the ball under control. In the 14th minute Xavi put Barca 1-0 ahead which was a result of a brilliant move. All the credit for the goal should go to Thiago. He went and won a ball from an impossible position, then played it back to Messi in the middle, who found Keita on the left of box, who inturn threaded a great ball into middle which was diverted into goal by Xavi or maybe Van Bommel at the far post. In the 17th minute Thiago danced into the box from right before putting an awesome lobbed ball for Cesc, but Fabregas' shot was well saved by Abiati. In the 19th minute Robinho had a great chance to equalise when he somehow managed to shot high on an open goal.

But Ibrahimovic in the very next minute managed to equalise for AC Milan anyway. The move cam from Seedorf on the left who slipped the ball into Ibrahimovic in the middle. That move did expose the three man defense, but Thiago had to take the majority of blam for not tracking Seedorf's run. In the 23rd minute Messi shot at the cross bar from another brilliant move which involved Cesc and Xavi. That should have put us 2-1 ahead as we don't see Messi miss like that infront of an open goal.

In the 29th minute Xavi won us a penalty after he was brought down by Aquilani in the box. The move was brilliant started by Xavi who slipped the ball to Cesc, who played a brilliant reverse pass to find Xavi's run. Messi stopped in while taking the penalty and was booked, but Messi made no mistake even with the second attempt putting us 2-1 ahead. The referee in the whole melee booked Nesta instead of Aquilani, who was already on a yellow. In the 33rd minute Abiati pulled out an impossible save from Villa to deny us from increasing the lead. In the 39th minute Messi went in a great run skipping past three challenges, but Abiati once again made the save. In the 41st minute Mascernao pulled off a brilliant save from equalising for AC Milan. AC Milan managed to stretch our back three with Boetang trying to use the flank. In the 44th minute Puyol got booked for bringing down Boetang just outside the box. We somehow managed to keep that free kick from going into the goal. In the injury time Abidal got booked for pulling down Robinho and conceded another free kick, this time right on the box. We managed to deal with that also.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Barca Secures Top Spot in a Five Goal Thriller, AC Milan - 2, Barca -3

FC Barcelona secured the top spot of Group H in Champions League with a high tempo thrilling 3-2 victory against AC Milan. An own goal from Van Bommel, a penalty from Messi and another beautiful goal from xavi completed Barca's socreline, whereas Ibrahimovic and Boateng scored for AC Milan. In a match which put to practice the Galacticos principle (that is we will outscore you, no matter what), Barca emerged victorious. It was a tough place to test the three man defense but the team pulled out a brilliant win. Barca fans wanted to shore up the defense everytime we took the lead, as we were getting stretched in the defense. But guardiola was throwing attackers after attackers.

He was proven right by him team. With this victory Barcelona has secured the top spot. That means we can relax for Bate Borisove visit to Camp Nou on Decen=mber 7th. That should give Guardiola enough chance to rest his major players ahead of the first Clasico on December 11th. Guardiola lined up with Valdes, Puyol, Mascherano, BUsquets, Abidal, Keita, Xavi, Thiago, Fabregas, Messi and Villa. AC Milan mean while lined up in a normal 4-3-3 formation with, Abbiati, Zambrotta, Silva, Nesta, Abate, Van Bommel, Seedorf, Aquilani, Boateng, Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Pedro Starts Training With Squad

In the penultimate session before facing Zaragoza, Josep Guardiola finally had his full squad with him, making a total of 20 players


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bolivia frustrate Messi's Argentina again

Argentina's Lionel Messi (C) fights for the ball with Bolivia's Jaime Robles (R) and Luis Mendez during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Buenos Aires November 11, 2011.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Barcelona's Carles Puyol: I thought about quitting football

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol has admitted he considered retiring from football following his recent knee injury.

The Spain international has just regained full fitness after undergoing an operation on the recurring problem in June.

Between January and August, Puyol missed about six months of action, and the 33-year-old has conceded he thought he may not have been able to play again.

"These were eight months of suffering," he told Antena3. "I had a hard time because I could not see a solution: I experienced loss of strength in my leg and I could not play.

"I even thought about quitting football."

Puyol was also questioned about the differences between bitter rivals Real Madrid and his own side, and the Catalan skipper was surprisingly kind with his remarks: "Madrid have few flaws, but their virtue is that they never give up."

Barcelona currently sit atop La Liga with 14 points, tied with Levante who have an inferior goal difference.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Barcelona fined £95,000 for fan flares in Uefa Super Cup win over Porto

Barcelona's attacking flair has seen them pick up 12 trophies in just over three seasons and wow the world with their exhibition-style flowing footbal, but the Spanish champions were hit with a €110,000 (£95,000) fine from Uefa on Thursday after their fans lit flares following their Super Cup victory in September.

Fans of the Catalan club celebrated their side's Uefa Super Cup win over Porto in Monaco late last month by lighting brightly-coloured flares in the stadium.

The 2-0 win against last season's Europa League winners saw Pep Guardiola's side claim their second piece of silverware of the campaign, following their Spanish Supercopa success against Real Madrid.

However, Uefa were unimpressed by the Catalans' conduct and have hit the Spanish side with a fine imposed by the organisation's Control and Disciplinary Body.

Barca president Sandro Rosell has 10 days to appeal against the sanction. 

Monday, 17 October 2011

'Jose Mourinho's actions cannot be justified' - Barcelona captain Carles Puyol blasts Real Madrid boss

Although Barcelona triumped 3-2 on the night, the match will be remembered for a late brawl that saw Mourinho poke Barca assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye.

"There are games in which the stress can trigger something bigger, but such actions have no justification," Puyol told El Mundo Deportivo.

Meanwhile, the Spain defender has heaped praise on team-mate Lionel Messi, in light of suggestions that the Argentine has a tendency to dive, saying: "If there is a player who never goes down, it's Leo.

"He's the best player ever. It's hard to remember or imagine another like him. I know I'm not objective and that there are players from other eras, but nothing is comparable. He's from another planet."

Puyol has seen limited playing time this season due to injury, but feels that he is on the way back to his best.

"I'm feeling good, I've been picking up the pace, but more importantly, after playing a game, I feel fine," he said.

Puyol could start for Spain in Friday's Group I Euro 2012 qualifier against Czech Republic in Prague.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Club rivals Lionel Messi & Gonzalo Higuain combine to make a deadly partnership for Argentina

Verbal tirades off the pitch in the press are followed by ugly clashes on it, and the situation reached boiling point in this year's Supercopa when members of each team's coaching staff squared up on the sidelines. There is no denying, however, that away from the fracas the Spanish giants are blessed with outrageously talented players; and two of them combined delightfully on Friday evening in what can only be an extremely encouraging sign for Argentine football.

In his competitive debut as Albiceleste coach, Alejandro Sabella took the decision to pair Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain together as his two front-men. He was rewarded by one of the most convincing performances by the side in recent memory, as Chile submitted to a 4-1 defeat in the Monumental to mark a perfect start to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Mention must be made of the opponents, who committed football hari-kari in Buenos Aires. Roja coach Claudio Borghi must be admired for refusing to play for a draw, but an all-out attacking formation was painfully exposed away from home, and missing players of the calibre of Alexis Sanchez one must wonder if the amiable trainer got it wrong in not giving at least a wink to pragmatism during what turned into an Andean nightmare. 

Let's not take anything away from the hosts though, and especially Higuain. 'Pipita' has the reputation of a prolific - if occasionally profligate - goalscorer, but on Friday he offered signs that he can be the natural heir to Gabriel Batistuta and so much more.

He ran, sprinting a full 70 metres, to punish Chile on the counter-attack and get on the end of Angel Di Maria's exquisite ball to notch the first. He passed, threading Messi through for the second goal with an assist the Barcelona man would have been proud of.

And, of course, he scored. The hat-trick he notched was composed of three world-class finishes: a bombastic blast past Bravo with the right; a half-volley converted with the left without blinking; a second with his weaker foot delicately placed out of the hapless keeper's reach. His triple brought him up to 13 in just 19 appearances with the national team, an impressive record for any striker.

For Messi, even though the humble Rosario native would never admit it, there is one statistic that was key on Friday. Two years, six months and nine days: the time that had elapsed since 'La Pulga's' last competitive international goal, in a 4-0 victory over Venezuela. An incredible drought, especially when considering that in the two full seasons that passed in that period, he netted no fewer than 100 times for Barcelona.

And boy, did he enjoy it. Having all but robbed the ball from Di Maria's boot-strings for the right to beat Bravo, Messi let slip the most fleeting glimpse of bashful contrition as he hugged the Madrid man, before also being embraced by Higuain in a moment that Argentine fans will hope serves as a release for all the tension that had built up in the days of the inexplicable drought.

Other players also excelled in River Plate's home. Di Maria looked more comfortable than ever in national team colours, his move down the field necessitating a more democratic approach to his game which was amply shown with two wonderful assists for 'Pipita'. He was ably assisted in the creative department by Jose Sosa, who never stopped running and drifting across the field and who did more than most to disorientate an already punch-drunk Chile defence in the second-half.

The night, however, belonged to Messi and Higuain. They sealed the victory beyond a shadow of a doubt with an exhibition move which ended in a goal. Almost taking glee in torturing isolated centre-back Waldo Ponce after a defensive error, a succession of tricks and flicks between the two left Gonzalo all alone, and the on-fire striker was never going to miss as he secured his hat-trick. 4-1 Argentina, and what Sabella and the entire nation hopes was the birth of the partnership to restore joy to the Albiceleste faithful.

After the pain and suffering of the Copa America, one had almost forgotten that, with some of the best players in the world, Argentina were capable of playing explosive attacking football. Friday's demolition serves as a timely reminder for South America and the world what the nation can still do; and they have the unlikely union of Blanco and Blaugrana to thank for it.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

AC Milan line up January moves for Barcelona's Maxwell and Real Madrid's Sami Khedira

Massimiliano Allegri's side made good use of the mid-season transfer window in 2010-11, bringing in Antonio Cassano and Mark van Bommel, which helped the Giuseppe Meazza team win the Scudetto.

With a slower-than-expected start to this campaign, the Italian champions are eager to bolster their playing squad with signings in the new year.

Maxwell has had an injury-prone time at the Camp Nou since moving to Spain from Inter back in July 2009, and is now behind Eric Abidal and Adriano in Pep Guardiola's preferences at left-back.

With the position a problem area for the Serie A side, an attempt to bring the Brazil international back to Italy does not seem out of the question.

Khedira, meanwhile, was criticised by coach Jose Mourinho after being sent off against Levante earlier in the season for the Santiago Bernabeu team, and now finds his place in the starting line-up under threat.

With Xabi Alonso assured a place in central midfield, the Germany international has to compete with Lassana Diarra and Nuri Sahin for a first XI place, and the El Clasico outfit may be willing to negotiate a sale.

Il Milanista indicates that Milan are weighing up a €10 million move for the 24-year-old, but may face competition from Manchester City.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain thrilled by goalscoring form: 'This was a perfect week'

The 23-year-old attacker helped Madrid move up to third in La Liga by scoring three goals in the side's 4-0 victory at Espanyol on October 2.

Just six days later, Higuain picked up another hat-trick and assisted Lionel Messi as Argentina thrashed Chile 4-1 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

"You can say this was a perfect week," the striker is quoted by AS as saying. "I am very happy with how things have turned out.

"But more than happy with my goals, I am happy with Argentina's victory against a very tough opponent such as Chile."

After such an impressive start to the qualifying campaign, Higuain said he hopes the team will be able to stay on the winning trail.

"It was very good to get off on the right foot," he added. "It was very important to begin the road to the World Cup with a victory, and doing it with this result was even better.

"We could have scored more goals, but we are very happy with our display. We have to continue like this to get what we want."

The Madrid striker then heaped praise on Barcelona's Lionel Messi, saying: "It is impossible to play badly alongside him.

"We are very lucky that he plays for us, we got along very well. It is a pleasure to play with him, because everything makes much more sense."

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Barcelona's David Villa: Lionel Messi has made me a better player

Barcelona striker David Villa says he has improved as a player since joining the Catalan club, paying special tribute to Lionel Messi.

The Spain international joined Barcelona from Valencia in the summer of 2010 for €40 million (£35m) after spending five years at Mestalla.

Villa enjoyed immediate success at Barca, helping the club win the Spanish Supercopa, La Liga and the Champions League in his first season at Camp Nou.

The 29-year-old has been used in a wider role at Barca, rather than being a target man, and he claims he has become a better player since his transfer last year.

"I have other tasks and although it is the same offensively, it is not the same in defence," he told El Pais.

"I am proud to be doing well and to be enjoying football from a position that was not my own until recently.

"Pedro has helped me a lot. When I had doubts, I observed him. When I was a bit lost on the field, I would look to see what Pedro was doing on the other side and he would guide me."

The striker went on to praise Lionel Messi, who has played a leading role in Barcelona this season with 14 goals to date in all competitions.

"Messi is a player who demands a lot from those who are around him because you always need to be alert," Villa added.

"Sometimes, it seems impossible that he has seen you, but he has. You must be ready for the impossible when you are playing with Messi because, it is not about what he does, but about what he makes others do.

"Honestly, I have improved by playing next to him. In the future, when I look at photos of Messi in which I am next to him, I will be able to say: 'I played with Leo Messi'.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Messi makes him a better player at Camp Nou

David Villa already said Messi makes him a better player at Camp Nou, and Xavi, currently on international duty with Spain, has heaped more compliments on the formidable Argentinean.

"I have no doubts that Messi is the best footballer in the world and one of the greatest in history," he told TV3.

"We enjoy his play on and off the pitch and what he does is incredible.

"Messi is very humble, a great team-mate and a reference point for Barcelona."

Spain are already through to Euro 2012 and play Scotland in their final Group I clash on Tuesday. However, Xavi kept the focus on Barcelona's season and said they are as motivated as ever to win everything.

"I love playing football and winning both for Spain and Barcelona," he said.

"I am always motivated. We [Barcelona] want to win more Liga titles, more Champions League trophies and the Club World Cup in December.

"The team [Barcelona] is doing well and we want to win everything."

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Argentina vs Venezuela 2011

Argentina vs Venezuela 2011
Final score and result:- Argentina vs Venezuela 1-0 ( Nicolas Otamendi 67′)

Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India- Friday, September 2, 2011- International Soccer Friendly
Nicolas Otamendi’s second half header is enough for Argentina to beat Venezuela 1-0 in this international soccer friendly at the Salt Lake Stadium. Otamendi’s goal was assisted by Lionel Messi, who was captaining the Argentine national team in this fixture.
Argentina vs Venezuela 1-0 ( Nicolas Otamendi goal vs Venezuela 67′)

Argentina starting XI vs Venezuela:- Romero, Demichelis, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Rojo, Gonzalez, Mascherano, Di Maria, Messi, Higuain, Alvarez
Venezuela starting XI vs Argentina:- Romo, Amorebieta, Vizcarrondo, Rosales, Cichero, Gonzalez, Flores, Rincon, Feltscher, Rondon, Fedor

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The girl with the charms that can save the selection

Argentina National Team not find answers or encourage football, on and off the court. Adrift, the team led by Sergio Batista is on track and his players, most stars are beginning to generate the first short circuit, as evidenced by the claim of Nicolas Burdisso to the maximum figure, Lionel Messi, who was reprimanded "Asshole, runs the last ball."

Then, faced with such embarrassment, the closest solution would be one of the best in the world, a genius of Messi can not be interpreted by any rival and leading to the selection you get your first win. However, the face of the star of Barcelona when they consummated the draw against Colombia does not leave much hope: Leo was hopeless, angry and hopeless. Something in his usual character was absent.
So the only hope of the Argentine team may not be within the field, but in the stands. Antonella Roccuzzo, the girlfriend of the life of Rosario, is the only one who can change the mood of the best of all, which as seen in the first two games seem upset. If Antonella succeeds in changing the attitude of the Flea, perhaps the story of a 180 degree turn.
The couple has many years but the last time was in doubt because of the amount of media starlets and women who were awarded a night with 10 of the Barça. Xoana González, for example, formerly of Dreaming of Dancing, was one of those who have been with Leo said at a bowling alley, but ultimately acknowledged that nothing happened to the peace of Anto.
Sabrina Ravelli is another who claimed to have shared intimate moments Flea, especially through a video chat, and he sent flowers to conquer it. So Messi grandfather once said that his grandson had left Antonella, but was denied by Leo: "What came out is a lie. What people think and say what they want," he said.
Messi Roccuzzo known since they were five years. She is the cousin of one of his best friends and both families are also well known. Now, with the selection in critical condition, it is time to Anto, the girl that best meets Leo, wake him from his slumber football with a change of attitude and hope that will give us a title Pulga after 18 years of waiting.

Messi And Ronaldo Would Struggle To Adapt To Epl

English Premier League analyst and journalist, Andy Gray, has claimed that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi would struggle to adapt to play in the English Premier League.

When Gray was asked by co-presenter Richard Keys whether or not he felt Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would be able to score the same number of goals in the EPL, Gray stated that the Argentine international would “struggle in a cold night at the Britiannia Stadium”, referring to the home of top-flight side Stoke City. He added that “Barcelona would struggle in the EPL as they’ve never played the likes of Stoke.”
Gray later went onto say that La Liga lacks the depth that the Premier League has, suggesting that both Ronaldo and Messi would struggle to score consistently.
Perhaps Gray has forgotten that Ronaldo netted a whopping 31 goals in 34 matches during the 2007-08 season with Manchester United.
To add insult to injury, Gray finished his remarks by saying that Ronaldo “would not be the player that he is today had he not played in English football”.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Messi vows to continue for Argentina

 Lionel Messi says he will continue to play for Argentina despite harsh criticism about his performance for the national team.
Messi on Thursday responded to Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentina Football Association, who suggested the star Barcelona playmaker could quiet the criticism by declining to play for his country.

Messi and Argentina played poorly in their first two group games in the Copa America and were booed off the pitch in one of them. But on Monday, Argentina beat Costa Rica 3-0 to reach the quarterfinals, and Messi showed some of the form he regularly displays with Barcelona.
''Although they criticize me, I will always come to the national team,'' Messi said in a press conference. ''Criticism by the fans bothers me and everyone, but we are aware that we didn't do things correctly.''
''Nobody likes to be whistled at,'' Messi added. ''It happened because the team did not play well.''
Grondona, in a radio interview, talked tongue-in-cheek about Messi staying away.
''The solution would be if he (Messi) said: `I'm not coming again, I'm staying in Spain'.''

Monday, 18 July 2011

Pablo Zabaleta dispute with Cesar Elizondo in a 3-0 win with authority

Pablo Zabaleta dispute with Cesar Elizondo in a 3-0 win with authority

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Costa Rican Messi tries to haggle at night gala in Córdoba

Costa Rican Messi tries to haggle at night gala in Córdoba

Friday, 15 July 2011

Aguero celebrates with Messi and Di Maria's second goal in the match

Aguero celebrates with Messi and Di Maria's second goal in the match

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Higuain try by every means at his goal against Costa Rica, without success

Higuain try by every means at his goal against Costa Rica, without success

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

With a magical Messi, Barcelona won the first semifinal of the Champions League

The team led by Joseph Guardiola defeated Real Madrid by 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lionel Messi scored the goals for the great victory of his team.

The whole “Merengue” had a difficult afternoon in the capital of Spain as they suffered a heavy defeat local in the European Champions League, and the expulsion of defender Pepe and José Mourinho DT.
Messi led Barça to victory with two goals and a wonderful game. Now, they can only hope that their efforts will bear fruit next Tuesday, in the second leg.
Whoever wins this “derby” key shall play Manchester United or Schalke 04. Thus, the 2009 final could be repeated as the English side won 2-0 in the first leg.

Messi Scores 50th Goal of the Season

Villa slid in the opener from close range before half-time, his first goal since February, while Messi came off the bench to finish inside the box and continue an astonishing season of football for the Argentine. The win re-extends the gap at the top of La Liga to eight points. Earlier Real Madrid had hammered Valencia 6-3 at the Mestalla in a statement of intent on the title race, but Barca responded with enough to edge closer to retaining their crown.

There was a buoyant atmosphere inside the Catalan cathedral despite the sapping midweek Copa del Rey final loss to Real Madrid. With the third Clasico of this historic quadruple coming up on Wednesday, the Champions League semi-final first leg in the Bernabeu, Pep Guardiola rested stars Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. And the lack of star quality showed, with Barca struggling to break down their opponents and not dominating possession to the level now expected of them.
Striker David Villa summarized, stating “It was a complicated game but 3 more points. We were a bit tired from Wednesday’s game. The goal? Of course it’s nice but main thing is of course that the team wins. Now we rest a bit and then we’ll be trying to reach the final of the Champions League.”

Magical Messi Beats Madrid

Two Lionel Messi late goals, the second of which an amazing solo effort, at the Santiago Bernabeu in a heated Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Real Madrid to give the Catalans a vital away goal before the second leg next week.

In what panned out as more of a riot than a football spectacle, both teams had players sent off while Real coach Jose Mourinho was banished to the stands. The first half ended goalless, but a melee between the players after half time, just outside the tunnel had Barca’s substitute goalkeeper Josep Pinto seeing red for his role in the clash. After the restart, Pepe went into a challenge against Dani Alves with his studs up and though replays suggested he didn’t intend malice, he was given a straight red card. In his protests, Mourinho, who sarcastically winked and the fourth official and seemed to say “well done, well done”, was banished from the technical area and into the stands.
The game was at risk of being remembered for tackles and play acting. However, at the late stages, there was some football to savour. Ibrahim Afellay, who came on for the injured Pedro, used his pace to skip past Marcelo down the right before delivering a cross at the near post for Messi to touch in from close range. It was the crucial away goal they had wanted.
It wasn’t over though. There was still time for some Messi magic. If his first goal had been a poacher’s goal, the second was a conjurer’s. As only he can do, Messi raced at the Madrid rearguard in typical fashion, skipping past Arbeloa and Albiol and into the box, where he calmly slotted it past Casillas. Madrid were left flabbergasted. Real have given themselves a lot to do in the second leg if they are to get to the final, and it remains to be seen what Mourinho will do. At the moment though, Barca are definitely the favourites to go all the way to Wembley.

Jorge Messi and Sergio Batista Reflect On Clasico

Lionel Messi’s father has criticized the approach of Jose Mourinho following Real Madrid’s defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Argentina national team coach Sergio Batista believes that Lionel Messi is on course to establishing himself as the greatest footballer ever
After the match, Mourinho complained about the referee’s decision to send Pepe off in the early minutes of the second half for his challenge on Daniel Alves and claimed that it was a “scandal” at the Bernabeu. The father of Lionel Messi, Jorge, has now given his take on the matter and says that Mourinho was wrong to vent in the manner he did after the clash.
“It was bad, very bad,” said Jorge Messi, according to Spain. “I can understand that the game was heated. “I cannot tell if it was right to show him [Pepe] the red card or not but I agree that it was the turning point. But until then, Madrid played badly. “Mourinho’s approach was very conservative,” he added.
Jorge was delighted to watch his son Lionel score both the goals, the second one of the finest strikes in a Clasico. “I told him [Lionel] that they would win 2-0 and that he would score both the goals,” enthused Jorge, who then jokingly added: “Paul the Octopus is useless, you have to listen to me.”
Messi’s national team coach Batista was at the game last night and was left mesmerised with what he saw.
“We saw the Messi we all know and love,” said Batista, according to Reuters. “He’s on his way to becoming the best player in history. Given what we already know and because he surpasses himself day by day, he’s already the best in the world. I left the stadium telling myself, ‘Thank God players like Xavi and Messi exist’. They give you goose bumps, they thrill anyone.”

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Barcelona Stars Come Out For Shopping in a Boutique

Barcelona’s star forward stepped out for a spot of Italian boutique shopping on Sunday, 20th March. He and his posse received preferential treatment in the Dolce & Gabbana store, but only left with a tiny bag as a token of his well-spent time.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Cheryl Cole – Lionel Messi Love Gossip Rumors

Lionel Messi became Cristiano Ronaldo’s successor in five different categories: the Ballon d’Or, the FIFPro, the FIFA Player of the Year, and the UEFA Club Forward & Player of the year tiles among other awards.

In short, one will tell you that Messi has arguably conquered Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. Now what else is needed to wipe away the Portuguese’s name from the public’s mind?

The Argentine superstar might feel that he’s already done enough on the football stage to gain more respect and applauds than Cristiano Ronaldo.
On a personal level, however, Lionel Messi is way behind the world’s most expensive player. He is yet to rival Cristiano Ronaldo as a womanizer.

But, making noise in the media with Cheryl Cole and the Tango dance dream could start off a fresh competition against the six packed former Nuria Bermudez, Maria Sharapova, Nereida Gallardo, and Letizia Felipe lover, Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi Joined Newell's Old Boys

Lionel Messi

However, despite this, Messi can cover these shortcomings with his talent. When I joined the junior team of renowned Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, Messi is unbeatable in the field. Never in a game he easily passed two big opposing players (ideal posture). His opponent is bigger, the first, easily skipped. Fight them, trying to intercept by using a larger body. But, with a little trick of the foot, Messi with the ball can pass smoothly is that instead dropped his opponent.

Popular Posts