Excellent news today on the last day of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s presidency. Bartomeu’s final act before resigning in order to begin the election process has been to oversee new contracts for Luis Enrique and Dani Alves. There had been doubts over the futures of both the Barça coach and the Brazilian full-back but Luis Enrique has extended his previous contract by a year which will see him continue as first-team coach for the next two seasons while Alves finally agreed terms for a new two-year contract. Continue reading
Barça confirmed the signing of Aleix Vidal from Sevilla yesterday for a fee of around €18 million. The player passed his medical this morning and then signed a five-year contract before being presented to the press. Due to FIFA’s transfer ban Vidal can not be registered to play official games for Barça until January 2016. Continue reading
The 2014/15 season reaches its climax tomorrow evening when Barça and Juventus face off in the Champions League Final at Berlin’s Olympiastadion (Saturday 8.45 pm). Both finalists arrive to the game as champions of their respective league and cup competitions, which means the winner will complete the treble. A victory for Barça would make the Blaugrana the first club ever to complete the triplete of domestic league and cup and the Champions League for the second time. Continue reading
Two days to go to Saturday’s Champions League Final and the nerves are building. Today’s news is that Juventus’s defender Giorgio Chiellini has been definitely ruled out of the game after picking up an injury in training yesterday. His replacement in the Italians’ defence is likely to be Andrea Barzagli or Angelo Ogbonna. Meanwhile, Barça have announced that all 23 first team players plus Munir, Sandro and Sergi Samper will travel to Berlin for the game. The full list is: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Masip, Montoya, Piqué, Rakitic, Busquets, Xavi, Pedro, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Rafinha, Mascherano, Bartra, Douglas, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Dani Alves, Vermaelen, Mathieu, Samper, Sandro and Munir. In other news it has been confirmed that Pedro will be staying at Camp Nou after agreeing terms to a contract extension until 2019.
To help get in the mood for Saturday’s final here’s a tune I’ve been whistling all week. With three days to go the latest news is that Juventus’s defender Georgio Chiellini had to pull out of training today with a sore calf muscle and he is now doubtful for the game.
This is not exactly hot off the press but some comments need to be made on Barça B’s relegation to the Segunda B. Most of you will know the 2-5 defeat to Leganes on Sunday confirmed the fate of Jordi Vinyals’ young side but it is difficult to understand how the B team could finish third in the 2013/14 season and then perform so badly this campaign. Continue reading
The 3-1 victory over Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey completed Barça sixth domestic league and cup double (1952, 1953, 1959, 1998, 2009 and 2015) and now there are just five days to go before the Champions League Final in Berlin where a victory over Juventus will see Barça become the first side ever to complete a second Copa, Liga and Champions triplete to go with the one achieved in 2009 in Pep Guardiola’s first season. Continue reading
Barça have won the Copa del Rey more times than anybody with twenty-six victories since the tournament began in 1902 followed by Bilbao’s Athletic Club with 23 wins. Tomorrow night at Camp Nou (Saturday 9.30 pm) the two cup kings meet again in the 111th final of the competition with memories still clear of Barça’s triumps over Athletic in the 2009 (4-1) and 2012 (3-0) finals between the clubs. Continue reading