Barca Blaugranes Nigeria
Five talking points from Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid - Barca Blaugranes
Clasico defeat for the Catalans
Dest looks like he belongs at Barca Theres no doubt Saturdays result was a poor one for Barcelona, but there were a few positives to take from the defeat, particularly the performance of Sergino Dest. The teenager was only making his fourth appearance for the club, and his first at right-back, but slotted in seamlessly and looked like he belonged in the Barca backline. He made a brilliant double tackle to deny Casemiro and Karim Benzema in the first half, showed some great trickery in attack, and even swept up for Jordi Alba late on. Curiously he was also sent out for the post-match interview, ahead of the more senior members of the squad, and did a pretty good job on that too. Im p*ssed we lost, he said, echoing the thoughts of culers all over the world. Koeman impresses then baffles Ronald Koeman started the day well with an impressively brave starting XI that featured teenagers Dest, Pedri and Ansu Fati, while Antoine Griezmann was left on the bench. Its a far cry from the ageing side that we saw last season and all three players probably deserved their places in the team going on the form theyve shown in recent games. Dest and Fati went on to impress again, although Pedri had a quiet game. Fati scored his fifth goal of the season and notched another record to go in his ever-growing collection. Yet Koeman went all Quique Setien in the second half with his refusal to bring on any substitutes when the game was crying out for the introduction of fresh legs. The Barca boss had all sorts of options but waited until the 81st minute to finally throw on Ousmane Dembele, Griezmann and Francisco Trincao in a desperate attempt to salvage something. Martin Braithwaite then arrived with three minutes of normal time remaining, but to the surprise of absolutely no-one Koemans changes didnt work. A case of too little too late from the Dutchman. Time up for Busquets? Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images One player who was taken off and should have been replaced far earlier was Sergio Busquets who put in one of his worst performances for a very long time. The midfielder was back after being rested in midweek but was all over the place. He frequently gave the ball away, took up some poor positions and struggled under pressure. He must also take some blame for the shoddy play that led to Fede Valverdes opener. The 32-year-old should be coming under pressure from Miralem Pjanic for his place in the starting XI, but the new signing has endured a slow start to the campaign after his arrival at the club was delayed after he tested positive for Covid. Yet on this evidence Pjanic looks destined to play former team Juve next week. More records for awesome Ansu Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images Ansu Fati picked up his Player of the Month award for September ahead of the game and went on to put in yet another impressive performance in attack. The 17-year-old equalized just three minutes after Real Madrid has opened the scoring, tucking away Jordi Albas cross for his fifth of the season. It also ensured Ansu added a couple more records to his collection: The goal was Ansus fourth in La Liga in 2020-21, thats more than every other Barcelona combined, and showed once again just what an exciting talent he is. He doesnt even turn 18 until next Saturday. More VAR frustration in La Liga The turning point in Saturdays game of course when Clement Lenglet gave away a penalty for a shirt pull on Sergio Ramos that was given by VAR. Theres no doubt that Lenglet pulled his shirt, but the problem is television replays appeared to show Ramos foul the Barca defender first before he threw himself to the groud. Koeman ranted about the decision after the game, and Real Betis even joined in the argument too. Who can blame them after this incredible shirt pull wasnt given? Theres no question it was a soft penalty for Real Madrid, and its not the first (or second, or third) contentious decision thats gone in their favor already this season. VAR seems to be coming up with inexplicable decisions on a regular basis in the Spanish top flight and this weekend was no exception either.
Memphis Depay will ‘do everything he can’ to join Barcelona in January - Aulas - Barca Blaugranes
The Netherlands international is not giving up
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says Memphis Depay is disappointed he could not join Barcelona before the transfer window closed on Monday and will do everything he can to seal a January move to the Camp Nou. New boss Ronald Koeman has made it clear that he wanted to bring in Depay to boost his attack following the departure of Luis Suarez. A deadline-day transfer failed due to Barcas wage bill, but Aulas is expecting the Catalan giants to reignite their interest in the next window. Since the beginning I have been clear with Memphis. I spoke with President Bartomeu at Barcelona twice, he told me he couldnt see how things could happen. I know that Koeman made him continue to hope and that Memphis was ready to make sacrifices. Today, he is disappointed, but not towards Lyon, more towards Barcelona. He is going to do everything he can to find himself in a position where he moves there in January. It is not up to me to make that decision, it is Juninho, in the same way that he has taken full responsibility for transfer situations with Vincent Ponsot. Rudi Garcia, he, fought with everything he had for Memphis to stay. I have not abandoned the idea of extending his contract (Depays), but as he has always said no, it looks difficult to do. Source | Get French Football News Reports have suggested Barca agreed a cut-price deal for Depay to move for a fee of 5m plus 10m in variables. Its not clear yet if Barca will go back for the forward in January or wait until the end of the season when he will be a free agent.
Ansu Fati vows to ‘make the best’ of every chance he gets at Barcelona - Barca Blaugranes
The youngster impressed again with two goals
Ansu Fati says hell continue to try and make the most of every opportunity hes given after starting the season with two goals in Barcelonas 4-0 victory over Villarreal. The 17-year-old also won a penalty in another superb performance and offered his thoughts about the game and how hes feeling after the full-time whistle. Every opportunity I get I try to make the best of it, he said. When a striker scores goals he always wants more. Albas pass has been very good and I just had to accompany him. We really want to keep improving, especially in the first half, its the way to go. Im playing alongside the best players and the truth is that I face every game with the greatest enthusiasm. Playing with Messi has been a dream of mine since I was a child. He always helps me and gives me advice. Fati also came in for praise from manager Ronald Koeman. The Dutch coach said he was very happy with the teenager and added he has a great future ahead of him at the Camp Nou.
Koeman’s new-look Barcelona team leaves a gaping hole in one position: fullback - Barca Blaugranes
Any money that can be spent this window must be spent on fullbacks.
Even though there have been no new signings, this has been quite a hectic summer for Barcelona. Following the humiliation at the hands of Bayern in the Champions League, Quique Setien was immediately sacked and replaced by Blaugrana legend Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman has tried to stamp his brand on this team, making some notable changes to the side. As soon as he arrived, he called Luis Suarez and told him that hes not in his plans, although he may be reintroduced as a rotation player if he fails to secure a move away. The most notable change has been the 4-2-3-1 formation Koeman has implemented. It will be fascinating to see how the players adjust to having that double-pivot in the midfield. New signings Trincao and Pedri have caught the eye in preseason, while Carles Alena and Philippe Coutinho have returned from loan moves to play a part in the new team. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeus future is also under-fire, with a petition among club members calling for a vote of no confidence very close to reaching its target. His departure would be a very welcome sight, although even if the vote succeeds its a very complicated process in order to get a new president/board in charge early. Of course, nothing this summer compares to the Lionel Messi transfer saga, but it has all been sorted now and hes staying for at least one more year. Koemans new-look team is beginning to take shape, and there are some promising signs ahead of the new season. However, there is one massive hole in the team, and its very clear: the full-backs. As of now, there are four first-team full-backs at the club; Jordi Alba and Junior Firpo on the left, Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto on the right. At the moment, none of them deserve a starting spot. Albas decline has been evident in the past few years, as he has never really recovered from that night in Anfield. Out of the four, he may be the only one who could change my mind, because his quality is well-known, its his form thats way off. But right now, hes not playing well enough to warrant a starting spot, and having a 31-year-old as the clear No. 1 isnt smart either. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Firpo, on the other hand, isnt out of form; hes just not that good. The 24-year-old is an adequate backup, but hes not good enough to start for a club like Barcelona, and he may never will be. There were rumors of signing Jose Luis Gaya, but those have quietened, primarily because the club simply have no money. The awful financial decisions Bartomeu has made, combined with the COVID-induced revenue loss, means Barca need to sell before they can buy, and theyre struggling to get rid of their fringe players. Now, on the right, Semedo is a different story. He was our best full-back last year without a doubt, but thats more down to the poor play of Alba, Roberto and Co. Hes not a bad player, nor is he out of form. Hes just not good enough for Barcelona. At the standards we hold our players to, at least at the standards we held our players to pre-Bartomeu, Semedo would never have been signed. Just like Arturo Vidal, Paulinho, Andre Gomes, Arda Turan, and Kevin-Prince Boateng would never have been signed. Its these types of signings, these exactly, that have typified Bartomeus reign over Barca. We have gotten accustomed to mediocrity. Quick-fixes, average players signed to plug certain gaps for one or two years. Sure, they might do their job initially. But every single minute they play are minutes wasted on players who have no future. If the minutes Vidal and Ivan Rakitic played last season had been given to Riqui Puig and Alena, theyd both be better, more experienced players right now. But what happened? Alena was loaned out, and Puig played very sparingly. Rakitic was then sold for almost nothing, and Vidal will be too. Meanwhile, Puig and Alena are the future of Barca in the midfield, along with Frenkie de Jong, and they barely got a look in. Back to Semedo, he is typical Bartomeu in the transfer market. After Dani Alves, likely the clubs greatest right-back ever, departed in 2015, Semedo, an unknown youngster from Benfica, was signed to replace him. Not Joshua Kimmich, who at the time was worth very little. Not Hector Bellerin, one of our own who was a top right-back at the time. Not even a La Masia prospect to develop (besides Roberto, who was just Mr. Versatility at the time). When Messi said in his interview that Bartomeu has no project, signing Semedo is part of what he was referring to. His signing reminds me of Yerry Minas, a man who was popular and impressed in a less competitive league, but ultimately it became clear that he wasnt good enough to play at the Camp Nou. The difference is it didnt take much time with Mina, but it will with Semedo. Why? Because Semedo is obviously better than Mina. But one day, the club will realize the same thing they did with Mina, the same thing they did with Paulinho, and the same thing they eventually did with Vidal. Hes just not good enough for Barca. Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images Semedo is a decent right-back, and would be a great player in the Premier League, but at Barca, he is once again the symbol of settling for mediocrity. His passing is average at best, and his positioning is worse. He has a decent cross, great pace and at times good dribbling, but he is not a Barcelona player, plain and simple. Roberto is a Barcelona player, but hes simply too slow and weak to be a right-back. His positioning is excellent, and often bails out his lack of pace, but the lack of pace is a liability at any sign of an opposition counter-attack. Thats why Alba could still have a future; on his day he has pace and excellent passing/positioning. On his day, Semedo always lacks one, while Roberto lacks the other. With Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barca always look good in goal. At the heart of the defence, Ronald Araujo looks an absolute gem, and should get significant minutes this year. Clement Lenglet had an excellent and very underrated first season, and theres always Gerard Pique. Jean-Clair Todibo may leave this summer, but if he stays he can also be a valuable option. We always harbor some hope that Samuel Umtiti can recover his form, but its been made pretty clear that if an offer is made, hes gone. The midfield looks set as well, with De Jong, Sergio Busquets, Puig and Alena to go along with new signing Miralem Pjanic at the double-pivot, and Coutinho, Pedri, Trincao and Messi all capable of playing the attacking midfield role. On the wings, there is wonderkid Ansu Fati, fresh off his Spain debut, eternal wildcard Ousmane Dembele, Messi, Trincao and Pedri to work with, and up top we have Antoine Griezmann and possibly Suarez, with Martin Braithwaite as a backup. Maybe well see Memphis Depay in Blaugrana colors, though it remains unlikely. The problem is, there is no one to play full-back. It seems that Semedo will be given another go this season, and Koeman wanted a new left-back but that now seems almost impossible. There is simply not enough money, I get that, but its a pretty big hole to put the club in. We are now left to hope that Alba can somehow recover his previous form and that Semedos passing and positional play improves substantially. Either that or Roberto suddenly got stronger and faster. At Barca, the full-backs have always been of paramount importance. The connections Messi has had with Alves and then Alba were critical to the clubs success, and he hasnt developed such a connection with Semedo, who is apparently the long-term starting right-back. Koeman has assembled a younger, more exciting team than last years, but the full-back position continues to have a lack of cover, and quite frankly a lack of quality. This has to change sooner rather than later, and for now it leaves a gaping hole in the team.
Ronald Koeman wanted Romelu Lukaku at Barcelona - report - Barca Blaugranes
He was ruled out due to lack of funds
Ronald Koeman wanted his first signing after joining FC Barcelona to be his former pupil Romelu Lukaku, according to a new report from Catalonia. However, the Belgian was unable to come due to economic issues. Lukaku plays for Inter Milan, the same club as another striker the Catalans targeted: Lautaro Martínez. Luis Suárez was told he would not be counted upon for next season, opening up a door for a new striker. Koemans first choice was Lukaku, a player he knew from when they both were a part of Everton. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economic front made Barcelona unwilling to pay a high price for Lukaku, especially as the club was looking at trying to find several solutions in the transfer market. Now, its up to be seen whether Suárez does indeed leave, and if so, whether the Catalans bring in someone to replace him. Memphis Depay has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou.
WATCH: Angry Barcelona fans force their way into Camp Nou - Barca Blaugranes
Supporters have been calling for Lionel Messi to stay
Tensions have been rising in Barcelona in the wake of Lionel Messi telling the club he wants to leave. Supporters have been making their feelings on the make pretty clear, chanting for Messi to stay and for president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign. A group also managed to force their way into the Camp Nou with security unable to prevent then entering. OJO Un grupo de aficionados entran en grupo al Camp Nou. El personal de seguridad no puede pararles. Van a por Bartomeu que está dentro. TENSIÓN EN EL CAMP NOU. Han tenido que intervenir los Mossos dEsquadra #fcb#fcblivepic.twitter.com/dbilPntNcR David Ibáñez (@DavidIbanez5) August 26, 2020 Reports on Wednesday have suggested that Bartomeu wants to talk to Messi directly to try and convince the captain to change his mind and stay at the Camp Nou. Sporting director Ramon Planes also talked about Messi during Francisco Trincaos unveiling and made it clear Barcelona really dont want their captain to leave. Messi is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City currently but is expected at Barcelona on Sunday for PCR testing before starting pre-season on Monday.
Lionel Messi deserves to end his Barcelona career however he wishes - Barca Blaugranes
Seismic day in club history
I still cant quite believe that Im typing these words... Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona. Six words that have completely broken the internet in the past few hours or so, and which have thrown a grenade into the boardroom. When news first filtered out, the jokes were expected and they came thick and fast. And then they suddenly stopped. The realisation dawned on everyone. This was not a drill. The best player to have ever played the game and Barcas main man for the last two decades had decided enough was enough. Frankly, whatever the why's and wherefores, and lets be honest, we all know what they are, Leo deserves the upmost respect from the board. Photo by Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images Of all of their acts over the last few years which have left a sour taste in the mouth, trying to keep Messi at the club by taking him on in a court of law will be the most despicable of the lot. If Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board had any ounce of decency, they wouldve resigned after the debacle against Bayern Munich. Theres little to no chance of it happening now because of the expected financial burden that would befall them personally. With Ronald Koeman talking openly in his lengthy club interview at the joy of having Messi in his side, the Dutchman would appear to now have to plan for life without him, which will markedly change the way in which Barca wouldve set up under him. In any event, wherever Leo ends up, all cules will, Im certain, wish him well. The only surprise to this seismic event would be if there were dissenting voices towards our captain and talisman. Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images The one player that has dragged Barca up more times than we care to imagine, but has been let down year on year since the last treble back in 2015. Salid y disfrutad Johan Cruyff famously said. Go out and enjoy. It was clear from Leos body language in the Bayern game that hed had enough. The enjoyment had completely evaporated. With his partner-in-crime, Luis Suarez, being told in no uncertain terms that hes surplus to requirements, and no chance whatsoever of Neymar returning, 2020/21 already wouldve appeared to be another uphill struggle for Messi. At least this way he goes out at the very top, with his legacy completely intact. As it should be.
Champions League Final Live Thread: PSG vs Bayern Munich - Barca Blaugranes
Join us to follow and comment the 2020 European title match!
LINEUPS PSG Starting XI: Navas; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembé, Bernat; Herrera, Marquinhos, Paredes; Di María, Mbappé, Neymar (4-3-3) Bench: Rico (GK), Bulka (GK), Verratti, Choupo-Moting, Icardi, Sarabia, Kurzawa, Diallo, Draxler, Bakker, Gueye, Dagba BAYERN Starting XI: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago; Gnabry, Müller, Coman; Lewandowski (4-2-3-1) Bench: Ulreich (GK), Hoffmann (GK), Odriozola, Süle, Pavard, Martínez, Coutinho, Cuisance, Perisic, Hernández, Tolisso, Zirkzee Competition/Round: 2020 Champions League Final Kickoff: 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India) Venue: Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA) How to watch on TV: CBSSN, TUDN (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), Canal+ Sport 1, SuperSport 5 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others How to stream: FuboTV (USA), BT Sport Live (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), DAZN (Canada), others Matchday Thread Rules We dont have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads: Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, be careful with the swearing. Its just unnecessary. Also, dont discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do it will be warned, and those who post links will be instantly banned. Finally, be nice to each other. Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!
Quique Setien talks Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona formation and Robert Lewandowski - Barca Blaugranes
The latest from the Barcelona boss
Barcelona boss Quique Setien faced the press on Thursday to discuss Fridays Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich. The coach spoke about Ousmane Dembeles fitness, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski comparisons and his formation for the big game. Here are the best bits: Setien on Dembele I think everyone will be pleased hes able to be here and be in the squad. Obviously hes going to be able to play and might be able to play a few minutes if the opportunity arises. Its been nearly a year without being able to participate, but we have the possibility of him playing a few minutes and doing well. Setien on Lewandowski Lewandowski is a great footballer but I dont think hes up to Leo. Its clear, hes in a great moment and hes very well assisted by teammates who can hurt him. Leo we also saw him against Napoli. Its good that we can enjoy of footballers like that. Setien on possibility of playing 4-4-2 We have considered many things, but we will not see it until tomorrow. We may think that the formation is important, but perhaps it is not so important. We know the talent and speed they have. Theyre a special attacking side and when they have the ball well have no option but to defend. Itll be better for us to keep the ball and try to hurt them in the best way possible. Setien on if Barcelona can win Of course, we are convinced. We know the potential of the rival, their numbers and their capacity, with an extraordinary potential, but we are too. I think it will be an even game, with alternatives. We have a lot to say in this game. Setien on Bayern Many things worry us about them, they are a complete side they can pressure you, they can defend too, they have a lot of threats with a lot of players in attack. They press you well, we know this, but lets see if we can beat their press. Something we have going for us is our ability to keep the ball and overcome that pressing from other teams. If we get through that we can hurt them. I dont see one team dominating. Its whoever takes their chances thatll get through. Setien on Messi Leo Messi can help us win this game, of course, but I always believe in the strength of the team. You have to help Messi and give him the ball. Its true he can make goals for himself but without the strength of the team, Leo would be less, just like any other player you can highlight.
Mikel Arteta tells Ivan Rakitic to leave Barcelona for Arsenal - report - Barca Blaugranes
The Spanish manager reportedly called the Croatian to convince him to join the Gunners
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has personally contacted Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic to try and convince him to join the Gunners this summer. Thats according to a report from le10sport, who claim Arteta called Rakitic over the last few days to express his desire of managing the 32-year-old next season. Arsenal will most likely not be able to re-sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan for one more season, and want an experienced player to partner with Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. If a report from Mundo Deportivo is to be believed, Rakitic could join his former club Sevilla for just 10 million, so Arsenal could tempt Barça to sell him with an improved offer. The problem is convincing Rakitic: the Croatian reportedly told Arteta that England is not his priority, and he would like to either stay in Spain or go to Italy. Rakitic has been linked with Inter Milan multiple times, and although he would prefer to stay at Barça next season, Ivan knows that the competition for minutes will be fierce with the arrival of Miralem Pjanic and youngsters like Riqui Puig, Pedri and Carles Aleñá being promised a bigger role by the club.