Category Archives: FC Barcelona

“Signing Haaland or Mbappe will be HOT AIR” – Juan Laporta

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FC Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font was adamant that after the losses incurred by major clubs, the forthcoming summer market will be prohibitive for big money moves.


FC Barcelona presidential candidate Víctor Font was blunt in his assessment of major clubs talking about signing the likes of Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé as “irresponsible” due to the financial hit that all clubs have taken as a result of the impact of the covid pandemic.

Here at Barça, we can’t find a million and a half euro to sign Eric García, to talk about major name acquisitions is just ‘hot air’ and we need to treat our club members as adults. We simply won’t be able to make any big money signings this summer as the club has approximately between 150-200 million euro of new debt. Personally, I think Haaland is a wonderful talent and I speak as a fan. I can see things at Barcelona becoming slightly ‘Florentinizando’ as bolstering any team with the likes of Haaland or Mbappé is easy. It’s a trickier task to bring through young and unknown talents such as Pedri or Koundé. That would be our task ahead, creating the future stars of Barcelona”.

Font took a side swipe at Joan Laporta for the former president’s refusal to participate in open debates and deemed his actions as a ‘huge lack of respect’. Font also requested that club members avoid voting on whims and perceptions. He concluded by stating that he was determined in his task of convincing Leo Messi to remain at FC Barcelona and acknowledged that: “The result against PSG was a bitter pill and it showed up that, despite the good work by Ronald Koeman, we need to ensure there is a solid project at the club”.


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Koeman reveals his ‘next line of action’ amid Barca’s defeat.

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Koeman drew further anger from Barcelona fans when he was spotted briefly laughing and joking with PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, a player he previously managed at Everton.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman quickly dismissed suggestions he could quit his job in the wake of Tuesday night’s 4-1 Champions League defeat at Camp Nou against Paris Saint-Germain.

Koeman had earlier said he was confident about Barcelona’s chances in the Champions League this season, insisting he didn’t think there any other team significantly better than his own.

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Instead, the Dutchman watched on as Barça were torn apart by PSG and Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick. It leaves the Catalans needing the kind of once in a generation miracle comeback they managed against PSG in 2017, but that looks far beyond this particular side.

Despite improved form in La Liga in recent weeks, Barcelona are still way off the pace in Spain. But the problems at the club are far bigger than just Koeman and he has no intention of walking away.

Ronald Koeman saw Barcelona embarrassed by PSG | David Ramos/Getty Images

“If I was someone who gets happy when we win and then after a result like today said I had no desire to continue, that would be crazy,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN.

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“I know where I am and what we have to change. We’re trying. We’re not at the end of the path yet, we’re halfway down it,” the 1992 European Cup winner added.

Koeman was honest that his team is still lacking in key areas, having made a concerted effort to bring through young players and refresh the squad since last season’s 8-2 Champions League annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich which cost predecessor Quique Setien his job.

“You always have to aspire to win everything, but we have to recognise that we’re short in certain areas,” the 57-year-old explained.

“I have said several times that we’re on the right path, but we lack things. [Sergino] Dest at 20, in four years will be better. Pedri, at his age is already brilliant, but in five years he will be better than any PSG midfielder.”

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Koeman drew further anger from Barcelona fans when he was spotted briefly laughing and joking with PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, a player he previously managed at Everton.

Earlier this season, Koeman appeared to concede the title race in late December, which also didn’t sit well with fans as it gave the impression the club was giving up with half a season to play.

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Koeman Praises Dembele

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Ousmane Dembele has turned things around completely at Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman reserving special praise for the Frenchman’s attitude.

Ousmane Dembele


In recent weeks, Dembele has put together the consistency that has always been missing from his game and his progress is the result of hard work.

“Much of Dembele’s change is down to the player,” Koeman said in a press conference on Monday.

“He is the one who has to work hard and he’s done that.

“It’s important to be both physically and mentally strong in order to face the pressure that there is here.”

“The coach has to try to create a good atmosphere in the squad and organise the right training sessions.

“Physically, Dembele isn’t the only one who has improved. That’s important in terms of having quality.”

Koeman is right. It’s not only Dembele, as a number of other players have also benefitted from the Dutchman’s approach of late.

Dembele will be a key figure for the Cules in their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain and could help Lionel Messi overcome an injury-hit Parisian outfit.


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Julli Lopez: Only way Messi could stay? Sign Agüero!


Juli Lopez is the man who would be in charge of Barcelona’s sporting department if Victor Font wins the presential elections and he has spoken about a number of matters surrounding the Catalan club.


One of these is Lionel Messi’s future and Lopez believes it is important to convince the Argentine that there is a solid sporting project.

“The first thing is to make sure he can see that this team in the medium and long term will play in the way that he likes,” Lopez said of Messi in an interview with MARCA.

“Someone who he trusts will need to tell him this.

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“Who better to explain the project than his former teammate Xavi?

“A good project and someone he can trust are the two key ingredients to keep him at the club.”

Lopez was then asked if signing Sergio Aguero could be an argument to convince Messi to stay.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

“Barcelona need another goalscorer. Aguero wouldn’t be signed just so Messi stays. We’re talking about a top striker who wants to be playing top-level European football up to the World Cup in Qatar.

“He would bring a huge lift to the club and would play a huge role at Barcelona.”

Lopez was asked in general terms what makes Font’s project stand out.

“It’s the governing model and how decisions are made,” he said.

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“On a sporting level we are going to go with Xavi.

“There has to be a talented former player in the club’s sporting staff who knows how the club works. Johan Cruyff was first, then it was Pep Guardiola and now the key figure is Xavi.”

Finally, Lopez was asked if Barcelona will fight for the Champions League next season.

“I have complete confidence that they will,” he said.

“It’s true that the footballing side of things could be improved, but there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of talent in the squad.”


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Koeman focuses more on Alaves than PSG

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Barcelona must negotiate a LaLiga encounter against Deportivo Alavés before their pivotal Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.


Ronald Koeman insists the match in LaLiga between Barcelona and Deportivo Alavés is more important to him than discussing Paris Saint-Germain or Neymar.

A huge Champions League last-16 tie between Barça and PSG begins at Camp Nou on Tuesday and Neymar has been ruled out against his former club through injury.

But Barça boss Koeman stressed the home Alavés match on Saturday was most important to him because it is what comes next.

He also suggested he was considering squad rotation but would not make significant changes prior to the PSG game because he lacks options.

Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla
Barça lost 2-0 to Sevilla last time out on Wednesday in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie. It was their first defeat inside 90 minutes in 17 matches across all competitions.

But they have won seven and drawn one of their last eight LaLiga games with Alavés.

“I don’t think Neymar is an Alavés player,” Koeman said when asked about the injury to the PSG forward.

Focused on Alavés
“This is a question for Monday, not for today. I’m not talking about Neymar, I’m not talking about PSG.

“Saturday’s game is more important than Tuesday’s. We are going game by game and we want to continue our good streak.

“The result of the Sevilla game is there but we played a very good game. If we repeat the game, we do not lose.

“We dominated in many areas against Sevilla, but you also have to have a bit of luck. We need freshness, but the team is feeling very well.

“You don’t play a second half like we did in Seville if the team is not physically well.”

Defenders Gerard Piqué and Ronald Araújo are unlikely to be risked against Alavés.

Koeman added: “Sergino Dest, Miralem Pjanic and Martin Braithwaite have done something [in training on Friday].

Koeman not rushing back Piqué
“[On Saturday] there is training and we will decide if they are on the squad list.

“For Araújo or Piqué, I always believe in the margin of a risk. The objective is to recover players until the end of the season.

“If it is the last game of the season, you can risk more, but I am not in favour of risking a lot for a game.

“Those players have to recover well and step by step. If they are there and they can play, even better.”

On the prospect of rotation, he continued: “Of course there are players who have been playing for many minutes with us not having everyone available.

“You have to think about giving rest to those players to be well in the next game. [But] not many [will be rotated], because there is not much we can change either.

“We look at the players, we train and we will decide. By winning the game, you are always mentally less tired than when you don’t win.

“The goal is to win. But first you have to play and it will be difficult.”

The Alavés match will start a run of four consecutive home games and Koeman added: “It’s good to have back-to-back games at home because you save yourself traveling.

“We can rest more now and hopefully we will get players back to start having a very competitive squad again.

“It is good to see the youth team players and the youngsters play, but we need our more competitive players back.”

Lionel Messi has scored 10 goals against Alavés in LaLiga in as many appearances against them, including four in his last three.

If he plays against Alavés, he will equal the record held by Xavi for most Barça league appearances by playing in his 504th top-flight match.


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Barcelona reveals when Ansu Fati would return from November injury.

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Sport and others say that he was due to return to the training pitch at the start of February, but his recovery is behind schedule, and that has not happened.

Barcelona midfielder Ansu Fati has suffered a set-back in his return from injury, as reports in Spain say it will be April at the earliest before he is back on the pitch at Camp Nou.

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The 18-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young wingers in Europe and had started the season with five goals in ten appearances before a knee injury forced him off against Real Betis back in November.

The serious nature of the injury came to light in the hours after the match and it soon became apparent he would have to undergo surgery to amend the issue.

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That procedure was undertaken later in November, and the initial prognosis was that he would be out for around four months.

Fati has been out since November | Eric Alonso/Getty Images

As the season wore on, the Champions League second leg with PSG at Parc des Princes on 10 March emerged as a target date, and earlier this week, Barca boss Ronald Koeman expressed a cautious hope that this was on track – though he was reluctant to make any promises.

On Tuesday, he said (per Marca): “Hopefully he can participate [against PSG in France], but I am not sure. The most important thing is that he recovers well but I am not going to set a date.”

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Unfortunately, reports that have since come to light suggest that his cautious tone was well measured.

Sport and others say that he was due to return to the training pitch at the start of February, but his recovery is behind schedule, and that has not happened.

Acknowledging that the club do not want to commit to a date that would add pressure to the youngster, the consensus is that he won’t feature again until some time in the middle of April.

He is expected to undergo another surgery soon, and could go under the knife for a third time depending on how things progress.

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PSG on 10 March, at least, is now viewed as an impossibility, meaning Barca will have to navigate a tricky last 16 tie without one of their best attackers.

Ronaldo Koeman is hopeful Fati will return to face PSG | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

They go in in decent shape, however – while they are ten points from La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, they remain undefeated in the league in 2021, and have won their last five on the bounce.

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Barcelona block question claims most referees are Madrid fan.

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Five consecutive wins have put Barca into second place in La Liga, ahead of Real

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique claims to have heard from a former referee that 85% of match officials in Spain have an affinity for Real Madrid and has suggested it would be impossible for them not to favour Los Blancos during games, even just subconsciously.

Pique, who has won La Liga eight times with Barcelona over the last 12 years, mused that if ever there is a 50/50 decision or a referee is unsure of something, that significant majority would be likely to give Real the benefit of any doubts.

“A former referee, I don’t remember who he was, said that 85% of the referees are fans of [Real] Madrid,” Pique said in an interview on YouTube channel Post United.

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“It is a statistic you look at [and think], how can they not whistle in favour of Madrid? Unconsciously, but how are they not going to give more to one side than the other?

Gerard Pique has questioned how La Liga referees can be impartial | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

“I totally respect the professionalism of the referees. I know they try to do the best job possible, but when there is a moment of doubt…?”

Following a wretched start to the season, which at several points saw them fall into the bottom half of the table, Barcelona have rediscovered their form over the last six weeks.

Pique himself is injured but he has watched his teammates pick up 26 points from a possible 30 since the misery of losing to Cadiz almost two months ago.

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Five consecutive wins have put Barca into second place in La Liga, ahead of Real, although Atletico Madrid have left both clubs in their wake this season and have opened up a 10-point lead.

It puts Diego Simeone’s side on course to win their first title since 2013/14 and it would be only the second time since 2004 that anyone other than Barca or Real has lifted the trophy.

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Ronald Koeman blast PSG’s Di Maria over comment on Messi.

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Koeman did express his delight with his team’s performance on the night after Barca came back from two goals down in normal time and then scored three goals in extra time.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has hit out at Angel Di Maria over the PSG forward’s comments suggesting Lionel Messi could join him in Paris next season.

Messi’s contract at Camp Nou expires at the end of the season and PSG have been mentioned as a possible destination, in part because they are one of only a handful of clubs that could afford the Argentine star’s massive wages.

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PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has opened the door to a move, telling France Football last month: “Great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list. But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it.”

Di Maria echoed his sporting director’s comments on Wednesday after his side’s 3-0 win over Nimes.

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“Yes, yes, I hope so,” Di Maria told Canal Plus of a possible PSG move for his international team-mate. “There are many possibilities. We have to be calm and things will develop.”

Koeman got word of those comments and speaking after Barcelona defeated Granada 5-3 in an extra-time thriller in the Copa del Rey, the Dutch manager accused Di Maria of being disrespectful.

“It seems to me a lack of respect. Someone can be wrong in saying something like that,” Koeman said.

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“It is not fair, I do not think it is respectful towards Barca to speak like that of a player who is ours. So many people from PSG talk a lot about Leo, who plays for Barca.

“Besides, we have a tie against them,” Koeman added, referring to the teams’ upcoming Champions League last-16 matchup.

Koeman did express his delight with his team’s performance on the night after Barca came back from two goals down in normal time and then scored three goals in extra time.

“It’s incredible,” Koeman added. “The football is incredible. I think we’ve done well. We had chances to win the game earlier.

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“The team has been huge. In the last five minutes of the second half, we scored two goals. Then extra time was incredible

“The first thing that stands out about the team is their mentality. We never stop trying.”

Story Source: Goal.com

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Barcelona to sue El Mundo over claim Messi’s contract worth €555m.

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Barcelona will take legal action against the Spanish newspaper El Mundo after it published details on Sunday of Lionel Messi’s current contract, which it says is worth up to 555 million euros ($674 million) over four years.

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Barca responded by also insisting they were not responsible for the leak, although the club did not deny the details of the report.

El Mundo say the deal signed by Messi in 2017 is the “largest in the history of sport” and called it the “colossal contract that ruins Barcelona”.

The 33-year-old could end up collecting a maximum of 555,237,619 euros before it expires on June 30 this year, if all conditions were met.

With six months left of the deal to run, “the player has already earned 511,290,052 euros, almost 92 per cent of the possible total”, the report claims.

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The leak comes as Barcelona are wrestling with a dire financial situation, worsened by the pandemic, and with Messi’s future still up in the air, given the striker can leave the club for free this summer.

“In view of the information published today in the newspaper El Mundo, in relation to the professional contract signed between FC Barcelona and the player Lionel Messi, the club regrets its publication given that it is a private document governed by the principle of confidentiality between the parties,” said Barcelona in a statement.

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– ‘Absolute support’ –

“FC Barcelona categorically denies any responsibility for the publication of this document, and will take appropriate legal action against the newspaper El Mundo, for any damage that may be caused as a result of this publication.

Sky-high price: Lionel Messi’s salary is in the spotlight J. Bassa AFP/File

“FC Barcelona expresses its absolute support for Lionel Messi, especially in the face of any attempt to discredit his image, and to damage his relationship with the club where he has worked to become the best player in the world and in football history.”

According to the report, Messi earned 115 million euros just for signing the contract in 2017 and among his potential bonuses is a 3,548,644-euro reward for winning the Champions League and 2,365,766 euros for winning La Liga, El Mundo claims.

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His club contract dwarfs those of the other top earners in global sport.

Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, last year signed the biggest contract in North American sport, worth a minimum of 450 million dollars, but it is 10 years long.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with Juventus is worth a reported 30 million euros a year, but bonuses may have taken it up to 70 million euros last season. Ronaldo also earns more from endorsements than Messi.

Messi is set to decide in the coming months whether he wants to stay at Barcelona or leave the club he joined as a 13-year-old and where he has become arguably the greatest player of all time.

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Frustrated with Barca’s decline in recent years, the Argentinian also feels unfairly blamed for worsening performances on the pitch.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the favourites to sign Messi if he chooses to leave.

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Lionel Messi eye-catching Barcelona contract ‘revealed’

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News of Messi’s contract comes just days after the club revealed their 2019/20 financial report, which showed Barcelona are facing gross debts of £1bn.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s current contract will see him earn £492m by the time it expires next summer, making it the biggest deal in the history of sports.

Messi became the highest-paid footballer in the world when he penned the four-year deal with Barça back in November 2017, with club officials more than happy to pay up to prevent him from walking away for free in 2018.

Rumours in the infamous Football Leaks drama in 2018 shed some light on just how much Messi would earn from that contract, but El Mundo now claim to have a copy of the paperwork which reveals the true extent of Messi’s earnings.

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It’s stated that Messi is guaranteed to take home £122m each season, but that’s not even the craziest part. There was a £102m bonus handed to the Argentine simply for signing the contract, on top of a £69m loyalty bonus he gets every season for staying at the club.

The deal also includes bonuses like more than £520,000 for winning FIFA’s The Best award, something he did in 2015 when it was known as World Player of the Year, and £3.1m if Barcelona reach the Champions League final.

With a total value of £492m, Messi’s contract is now understood to be the biggest in the history of sports, beating the £402m ten-year deal inked by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and boxer Canelo Alvarez’s £292m five-fight deal with DAZN.

It’s prompted claims that Messi has ‘ruined’ Barcelona – something El Mundo go along with in their headline – but presidential candidate Victor Font has hit back at the idea that Messi has run the club into the ground.

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“Leo Messi has earned every euro paid to him by Barca,” Font wrote on Twitter. “He has not ruined us. On the contrary. He is the best player in history and we want him to stay with us forever more.”

Instead, others have pointed to the combined £384.5m which was spent to sign Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann, none of whom have really justified their lofty price tags at Camp Nou.

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Koeman reacts after Messi get 2-games suspension.

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Spanish Football Federation Competition Committee deemed a two-game suspension sufficient – but Barcelona have announced their intention to appeal and this has been supported by Koeman.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has backed the club’s decision to appeal Lionel Messi’s suspension following the Argentinian’s red card against Athletic Club in the Supercopa de Espana final.

With Barcelona trailing 3-2 in injury time, Messi’s run was blocked off by Asier Villalibre and the forward responded by striking the Athletic Club striker round the back of the head.

The incident was not initially seen, but after the referee consulted the VAR monitor, Messi was shown a straight red card – the first of his club career.

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Despite reports suggesting the six-time Ballon d’Or winner could be slapped with up to a 12-game ban, the Spanish Football Federation Competition Committee deemed a two-game suspension sufficient – but Barcelona have announced their intention to appeal and this has been supported by Koeman.

“The club has told me that they do not agree on it and we will see,” said the Barcelona manager (via Blaugranagram.) “There are things that can be defended and it is a matter for the club, hopefully they will reduce the sanction, otherwise we will play two games without Messi.

“He has trained without problems this morning and it means that he has recovered well from the last game and will be good to play when he has to play after his suspension.”

With his two game suspension, Messi is currently poised to miss Barcelona’s Copa del Rey last 32 tie against Segunda B outfit Cornella on Thursday evening, followed by Sunday’s La Liga clash with struggling Elche.

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He would then be in contention to return the following Sunday for Barcelona’s league meeting with Athletic Club – the side against whom he initially incurred his suspension.

Barcelona currently sit third in La Liga – seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid – after another turbulent season on and off the pitch.

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Koeman defends decision to play Messi after first career ‘red card’

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Messi was well off the pace and allowed his frustrations to boil over in stoppage time, striking Asier Villalibre and being shown the first red card of his club career after VAR intervened, but Koeman insisted that it was the 33-year-old’s decision to play.

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has defended his decision to play Lionel Messi in Sunday’s Spanish Supercopa final defeat to Athletic Club, in which Messi picked up the first red card of his club career.

The Argentine had been a doubt for the game after missing the semi-final with a hamstring injury, but he was surprisingly named in the starting lineup and played the entire 120 minutes, putting in a performance which looked like that of a player who wasn’t fully fit.

“After so many years, he knows when he is fit to play and when he is not,” Koeman said (via Marca). “He has decided to play, nothing more. He was fine.

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“I understand what happened. I don’t know how many fouls he has made. The player tries to dribble and cannot. Can I excuse him? I have to see the play first.”

Koeman also declined to give his opinion on the performance of referee Gil Manzano, adding: “I’d better not speak. It would be repeating things and I don’t like it. I’m not going to give an opinion.”

Ronald Koeman defends Lionel Messi’s appearance despite historic career red card. (Noble Reporters Media, Olamide)

Fortunately for Barcelona, Manzano did not describe Messi’s foul as ‘aggressive’ in his match report, instead stating the Argentine used ‘excessive force’, a charge which brings about a lighter punishment.

It’s expected that Messi will now miss just two matches – the Copa del Rey third round against Cornella and the league meeting with Elche – whereas he could have been sidelined for anywhere up to 12 games if it was deemed as aggressive.

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That decision will likely frustrate Villalibre, who claimed after the game that it was clear Messi set out to physically hurt him.

“I put my body in his way to stop him from going forward, he has got angry, he has put his hand in my face and I think it was a clear show of aggression,” the Athletic forward said.

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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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