Saturday 8 August 2009

RIP Dani Jarque (1983-2009)

Espanyol Barcelona central defender and captain Dani Jarque has died this afternoon at the age of 26. The Catalan player got a heart attack during the club's summer camp in Italy.

Dani Jarque was talking with his girlfriend on the phone while the conversation suddenly stopped. She called his room-mate Ferran Corominas, who went to check on him together with team delegate José María Calzón. They found Jarque on the ground. Although he was taken to the hospital, he couldn't be reanimated.

Daniel Jarque joined Espanyol at the age of 12. He made his first team debut when he was 19 and was appointed captain earlier this summer after the departure of Raúl Tamudo. With his club, he won one Spanish cup in 2006. With Spain, he won one European U-19 championship in 2002.

Espanyol will return to Barcelona tomorrow. FC Barcelona has put out an official statement offering the club's condolences to the player's family and to Espanyol. Barcelona president Joan Laporta did the same on behalf of the club, talking to Spanish news agency EFE: "We're totally dismayed. Today, we're all mourning."

Lionel Messi - "Five years of golazos" (part 2)

made by barca4life

(check part 1 here)

- check part 1 of this video here -

Video Interview: Henry on past and present

note: video from ESPN Soccernet

First training session in San Francisco

Around 1,500 supporters turned up yesterday to watch Barcelona players train at the Kezar Stadium, former home of American football team San Francisco 49ers.

read the full story here

Intensified talks with Cesc could lead to bid

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona has recently be holding intensified talks with Arsenal midfielder and Spanish international Cesc Fàbregas (22).

Cesc would think that his cycle at Arsenal has come to end. The Catalan midfielder reportedly feels ready for a new challenge and would be delighted about the chance to return to Barcelona, the club he left six years ago. The new talks could lead Barcelona to launch a new offensive before the end of the transfer window.

Barcelona's board could prefer to sign Cesc. Board members would have doubts on spending money on another central defender and think it might be better to strenghten the midfield, with Cesc then being the preferred option. Arsenal is believed to be interested in Barcelona attacker and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen (30) and a loan of Barcelona central defender Henrique Adriano Buss (22), and Barcelona could include both players in the deal to lower the transfer fee.

Read more:
Barcelona ready to bid for Cesc
Gudjohnsen still didn't make decision on future
Laporta on Cesc, Messi and Ibrahimovic

Possible agreement on contract renewal Messi

Spanish television channel TVE unconfirmedly claims that Barcelona and Barcelona right wing attacker and Argentinian international Lionel Messi (22) have reached an agreement on the contract renewal of the player (read more here).

Club sources are quoted as saying that under the terms of the new deal Messi would earn a fixed year salary of 9,5 million euro, which would again make the Argentinian the squad's highest paid player ahead of new Barcelona player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Messi, who would currently has a wage of 8 million euro a year, would sign the contract renewal after the team has returned from the tour in the United States. The duration of the contract of the Argentinian attacker wouldn't change and would see him stay with Barcelona until the summer of the year 2014.

Read more:
Father Messi confident about renewal talks
Lionel Messi - "Five years of golazos" (part 2)
Laporta on Cesc, Messi and Ibrahimovic

[2008] Crosas to close Celtic deal this weekend

this post was published exactly one year ago:

Asked about his upcoming move to Celtic Glasgow (read more here), Barcelona midfielder Marc Crosas (20) has said in an interview with Scottish tabloid Daily Record that he's looking forward to joining his new club:

"It's the biggest move of my career and I'm very excited about it. It's sad that I'm leaving Barcelona after so long but I couldn't have picked a better club to join than Celtic.

I have spoken with my agent and everything is on for me to sign for Celtic. A fee has been agreed between the clubs and my agent is dealing with all the personal terms. That means I should be in Glasgow on Saturday and I hope to finalise everything and undergo a medical before they play on Sunday."

The tabloid claims that Barcelona asked French champions Lyon, who wanted to make last season's loan deal permanent this summer, a fee of 2,5 million euro°. Celtic will only pay 0,5 million euro° (with 0,9 million euro° in variables) but the Scottish champions accepted to include a 2 million euro° buy-back option in the deal (read more

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is today quoted by British sports site Setanta Sports as confirming that Crosas is on the verge of signing: "Chief executive Peter Lawwell is looking after all these things and we left him to tie up the loose ends. My part comes when he joins us and we try to make him a better player. And anybody who joins us hopefully makes us a better team."

Read more:
OFFICIAL: Crosas to Celtic
Crosas could stay in Lyon
Crosas agent confirms deal with Celtic close

Zlatan's cars

Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have the following cars in his garage:
Ferrari 360 Spider, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Audi S8 Quattro,
Volvo C30 T5, Ferrari Enzo, Porsche GT and Mercedes-Benz CLK 430

(pictures from above to below)
source: aftonbladet - sport

Jorquera offered himself to Cadiz

Asked about the rumours linking Barcelona goalkeeper Albert Jorquera (30) with a move to Spanish second division club Cádiz (read more here), Cádiz sports director Julio Peguero has said in an interview with Cadiz local newspaper Diario de Cádiz that the player has been offered to the club by his agent:

"It's one of the players that has been offered, his agent has called me... But what can I say, it's an option that seems unlikely at this moment. The most logical thing would be that a first division club would sign him. It would be great for Cádiz to be able to count on a Barcelona player. But, like I always say, it's a name that is out there, together with a lot of other names that all have the same chances to arrive here.

Asked about the transfer rumour, the player's agent Arturo Canales has meanwhile said in an interview with Cadiz local newspaper
La Voz de Cádiz that he thinks a transfer of Jorquera to Cádiz seems unlikely at this moment: "Cádiz did not ask us about Jorquera. And I really don't see this happen."

Read more:
Jorquera close to joining Cadiz
Contract Jorquera to be rescinded this week

Transfer summer 2009: Overview


former club: bayer leverkusen
age: 22
country: brazil

official announcement: [wednesday 15 july]
contract duration: [4 years]
transfer fee: -
note: the player comes back from loan, barcelona paid last summer 8 million euro (plus 2 million euro variables depending on the qualification for the champions league in the four years after his return from loan)

former club: inter milan
age: 27
country: brazil

official announcement: wednesday 15 july
contract duration: 4 years (plus an option for one extra year depending on games played)
transfer fee: 4,5 million euro (plus 0,5 million euro variables)

former club: palmeiras
age: 20
country: brazil

official announcement: thursday 23 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 14 million euro (plus 2 million euro variables depending on games played with the first team)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
former club: inter milan
age: 27
country: sweden

official announcement: monday 27 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 66 million euro (plus compensation for non-loan of hleb)
note: barcelona player eto'o joined inter milan as part of this deal and was valued at 20 million euro


new club: ...
age: 35
country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2009

official announcement: wednesday 3 june
contract duration: ...
transfer fee: -
note: the contract of the player expired

Samuel Eto'o
new club: inter milan
age: 28
country: cameroon

barcelona player since: 2004
barcelona contract until: 2010

official announcement: monday 27 july
contract duration: 5 years
transfer fee: 20 million euro
note: the transfer was part of the deal on inter player ibrahimovic

new club: benfica
age: 20
country: brazil

barcelona player since: 2009
barcelona contract until: 2014

official announcement: tuesday 28 july
contract duration: 1 year
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the player leaves on a one-year loan deal

Alexander Hleb
new club: stuttgart
age: 28
country: belarus

barcelona player since: 2008
barcelona contract until: 2012

official announcement: tuesday 28 july
contract duration: 1 year
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the player leaves on a one-year loan deal

Martín Cáceres
new club: juventus
age: 22
country: uruguay

barcelona player since: 2008
barcelona contract until: 2012

official announcement: thursday 6 august
contract duration: 1 year
transfer fee: 0 euro
note: the player leaves on a one-year loan deal, juventus has an option to buy the player next year for a transfer fee of 11 million euro plus 1 million euro variables

check last summer's transfer overview here

Muniesa and Fontas could be promoted

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona Atlètic centreal defenders and Spanish youth internationals Marc Muniesa (17 - picture) and Andreu Fontàs (19) could be promoted to the first team this summer.

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola would have made clear to the club that in case it wouldn't be possible to sign Shakhtar Donetsk central defender Chygrynskiy (read more here), they shouldn't look for alternatives. Guardiola would then prefer to count next season on B-team players Muniesa and Fontàs.

Read more:
Four youth players flying to the United States
The Wembley Ramble, Back to the future.
Chygrynskiy only option as centre-back

Barça B - Friendly 1: Tona-Barcelona 0-2

Masip (45 Miño)

Sobregrau (45 Montoya)
Iván Benítez
Espasandín (45 Polaco)

Ilie (45 José Luis)
Rueda (45 Maestre)
Luque (45 Thiago)

Rochina (45 Nolito)
Benja (45 Soriano)
Gai (45 Edu Oriol)

9 Rueda 0-1
15 Rochina 0-2


Tona will play in the Spanish sixth division, Barcelona Atlétic plays in the Spanish third division.


Messi stays the number one for Guardiola

Asked if Lionel Messi stays the best player in the squad after the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola was clear at a press conference in San Francisco:

"Of course. Do I want more transfers? It would be pretentious to say that I'm not happy with what I have. Of course, we'll be competitive. 99 per cent of all coaches in the world would like to have a squad like this one.

We should try to stay modest and keep a good group spirit. We'll try to make the players see that they need their team-mates to get better. We know they have talent, but I want them to feel united. During the first game against los Angeles, the defense was to far away from the strikers. If they are closer, they need to do less efforts. IN Seattle, we recovered the good feeling."

Read more:
Messi doesn't ever want to leave Barcelona
Assistant coach wants one or two more transfers

Zaragoza interested in Henrique loan

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona central defender Henrique Adriano Buss (22) could again leave on loan this season (read more here).

Barcelona still believes in the Brazilian defender but with Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola having asked for another centre-back, Henrique could get very little playing time.

After a loan to German club Bayer Leverkusen last season, Barcelona could therefore decide to loan Henrique out for another season, this time to a Spanish first division club. Zaragoza would be one of the clubs that have shown the most interest.

Read more:
Guardiola asks to give Henrique more time
Looking forward to the last transfer window month
Henrique will again leave on loan

Medical: Milito is finally pain free

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that there's good news about the recovery of Barcelona central defender Gabriel Milito (28).

Barcelona would have been informed that Milito hasn't felt any pain in his right knee over the last two weeks. At this moment, no one nevertheless wants to predict when Milito could return to action.

Milito suffered a right knee injury on 29 April 2008 during the second game of the Champions League semi-finals against Manchester United last season. The predicted recovery time was then being estimated between six and nine months.

Read more:
Milito writes letter to the fans
Medical: Barcelona confirms new Milito operation

Vice president Yuste: "I felt sad for Villa"

Barcelona sports vice president Rafael Yuste gave an interview to Catalan sports paper Sport.

Which transfer operation was your debut?
The sale of Ronaldinho. That's where I learnt that a football player always ends up playing where he wants to play. For us, the best option was Manchester City, but he wanted to go to Milan and he ended up in Milan.

What do you think of this world of football?
Well... Complicated. It's about persons, so there's a human factor you should be able to manage. And then you have the clubs, coaches, intermediaries, press... It's very complicated.

You had signed Villa?
The boy wanted to come. We went to Madrid to close the operation with Valencia but at the last minute they asked an exaggerated sum of money that was above our budget. I felt sad for Villa that it didn't go through.

So then you went after Ibrahimovic...
He was the dream of Guardiola. And ours, but it always seemed something far, impossible, until we decided to actually try it.

That suddenly crossed your mind...
I've always been very persistent and I think nothing is impossible. I thought there was a possibility if we could convince Eto'o. We had one advantage: we knew that the dream of Ibra was to play at Barça.

And so you went to Milan...
That's where we already had a series of circumstances that helped us. Moratti was in Milan, we could land at the airport that same afternoon when we returned from Ukraine and the president negotiated very well. You can see the result - Ibra seemed impossible but we signed him.

Let's see if the same happens with Ribéry...
No, Bayern doesn't want to sell him. The day they put him on the market, we'll be the first to be informed.

What about Mascherano, Chygrynskiy, Cesc...?
We know that the priorities of Pep are a centre-back and a midfielder. We'll make a decision when the moment is there. To uptouch a Picasso is very difficult.

Read more:
Laporta on Cesc, Messi and Ibrahimovic
Assistant coach wants one or two more transfers

The Front: Sport


Cesc wins points
Barça will do an effort to sign him

Filipe Luis
A judicial ruling gives him his freedom and now he could come for free

There are contacts and a deal could be closed on Tuesday, possibly on loan

Valencia rejects the offer and Maxwell could play as winger


Messi, culé for life

Barcelona could sign Filipe for free

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona is again looking at the option of signing Deportivo La Coruña left back defender Filipe Luis (23) (read more here).

FIFA would yesterday have made a judgment in an old case between Filipe and Deportivo and FIFA rules would say that the Spanish club has to let the Brazilian defender leave for free to the club that asks for him.

Barcelona is now analyzing the new situation and is considering to sign Filipe as left-back back-up and move new left-back signing Maxwell to the left wing, where the Brazilian played before he moved to Europe.

Read more:
Counterproposal Deportivo for Filipe comes too late

Sergi: "I want them to enjoy playing football"

Barcelona Juvenil B coach Sergi Barjuan was interviewed by Barcelona's official website.

How come you became the coach of Juvenil B team?

I received a call from a director of the football base, Alexanko and we agreed that I could take over the reins of this youth team. We spent one week to get a first impression of what it takes to become a coach. I’m already acquainted with the dynamics and functions of the football base here so it’ll be easier for me to adapt to it.

Is the objective to get new "Sergi's"?
I don’t know about that. The first day I came I met Olmo who was also the reference of his era, training players and trying to make them better. I will also try to help the kids and most importantly I want them to enjoy playing football. It is also important that they mature on the personal and human level while progressing through the youth system. This is also something we'll try to achieve.

What kind of a coach will Sergi be?
We need to know people on a personal level as well, hence I’ll strive to develop a good rapport with the kids. I'll try to help them solve issues even if they are beyond football. I want a relationship based on trust, like a family.

Do you think you arrived at the best time of the cantera?

I think a good cantera takes around 20 years of careful development. You have to nourish that kind of approach, go step by step and now we can reap the fruits of our work. Titles aren’t the most important thing, our goal is also to promote as many players to the first team as possible. You can see that many youngsters who have gone through the youth system make a living playing football and some have become coaches.

translated by quini

Read more:
Ex-Barça: Sergi to Barcelona Juvenil B
Former left back Sergi to return as youth coach

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo


The treble winners, strenghtened by Ibrahimovic, start the new season like a motorcycle


"I won't move. So people can be calm"

Zlatan signing stirs souvenir shop chaos

Journalists from Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan visited Barcelona's souvenir shop two days ago and described it as chaos. Shop cashier Magda Trabajo told the paper:

"It has been a rush on the shirts here since Zlatan signed. We sell most of Ibrahimovic's shirts this year since he is new. I guess half of the sold shirts has his name on it."

In addition, Sydsvenskan also observed thousands of people at the Nou Camp grounds lined up in a hundred metre long ticket line to tour the stadium.

Read more:
Zlatan presentation (picture special, the end)
Ibrahimovic talks about first days at Barcelona

Picture: Zlatan's bicycle kick

Ferguson driven by Barca battering

Speaking to journalists ahead of Sunday's Community Shield match with Chelsea at Wembley, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claims that last season's Champions League loss to Barcelona will drive his team to more success in the coming term:

"Adversity is always an important factor in developing and improving."

Previously skirting around the issue, Ferguson now believes that the agony of losing such an important game can be used as a major motivational tool by his team.

"When you lose the last game of the season you have two or three months to reflect on the disappointment. We have not enjoyed that. But we will cope - and we will bounce back."

Read more:
Three possible alternatives for the centre-back

Laporta on Cesc, Messi and Ibrahimovic

Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave an interview to Spanish television channel La Sexta. Some excerpts.

"Guardiola is very satisfied with the current squad. But if another transfer would be needed, we will do that."

Central defender
"If the coach says he wants to add another centre-back to the squad, then it will be like this. We'll try to solve the issue."

"If we need more midfielders, our technical department will propose some names of possible transfers."

"The most important thing is the commitment and the affection from both sides. This paves the way, so when we're drawing up the papers everything will be done like it was planned. Every time he plays, he shows he's the best player in the world. And what is more important, he shows that he is happy. He creates a lot of expectations, he unbalances the opponent, he offers a show... I like to see him happy."

"Like all the fans, I want to see him play as soon as possible. People really expect a lot. It's a great quality player and I think he'll add a lot to the team."

Read more:
Barcelona ready to bid for Cesc
Messi doesn't ever want to leave Barcelona

Medical: Iniesta to return in Gamper game

Catalan sports paper Sport claims that Barcelona player Andrés Iniesta (25) will get the green light from the medical staff on 19 August and will that way be able to take part in the Joan Gamper Trophy game against Manchester City.

Iniesta tore a quadriceps muscle on the front of his right thigh during the league game against Villarreal on Sunday 10 May and although he played the Champions League final against Manchester United on Wednesday 27 May, he has never fully recovered from that injury. On Friday 5 June, the medical staff of the Spanish football federation confirmed that the player has torn a muscle in his thigh and he was then expected to be out for the next six to eight weeks.

Read more:
Medical: Iniesta close to recovery
Medical: Marquez out for 10 to 15 days
Medical: Ibrahimovic succesfully operated

Barcelona players playing baseball (picture special)

After the last training session in Seattle, some Barcelona players tried to play some baseball at a local stadium. Gudjohnsen, Pinto and Fontàs proved to be the best hitters.

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