Barcelona enjoyed success in 2015 after lifting the Club World Cup

Barcelona enjoyed success in 2015 after lifting the Club World Cup with a fine 3-0 win over River Plate.

The team had already won the likes of the Champions League and the league title this year. Even though they were clear favourites for the Club World Cup, the prospect of facing Argentine champions River Plate was always going to be daunting. However, they came away with a quite comfortable victory following goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The former had a bigger say with two goals compared to the Little Argentine, who opened the scoring. This was the second consecutive win for the club in all competitions.

The Catalan club will now be able to enjoy a much deserved break before returning to the league campaign with a home game against Real Betis. There were doubts about Barcelona succeeding at a Club World Cup due to the recent domestic form. Dropped points against Deportivo la Coruna and Valencia have allowed the likes of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to close the gap. The 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, though, had little significance since the team had already qualified as the group winners. Barcelona will be hoping to become the first team to defend the Champions League ground when they take on Arsenal in the last 16. Continue reading

Arda Turan will not be able to play for the club until January 2016

Barcelona’s new signing Arda Turan will not be able to play for the club until January 2016 despite having just signed from Atletico Madrid for a mammoth transfer fee of € 41 million.

The 28-year-old is expected to go straight into the first-team as the replacement for Xavi Hernandez. Even though he is a completely different player to the iconic Barcelona legend, it is expected that manager Luis Enrique will sufficiently transformed the team’s tactics in order to suit a player like Turan. Barcelona are under a Fifa ban that will prevent them from adding any new players to the squad until the end of 2015.

The ban has been in place for more than six months, but it has not prevented the club from completing the deals. One of the most important among them is the arrival of Turan. Since the player will not be able to play for Barcelona immediately, there has been suggestions that he will be loaned out to another club for the next five months in order to maintain his fitness levels. Even the 28-year-old suggested that he is frightened at the prospect of being idle for five months. Enrique, though, has stated that the player will not be sent out on loan and that he will want to work with the player until then. Continue reading

Joan Laporta has claimed that he would be working hard

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has claimed that he would be working hard in order to bring midfielder Paul Pogba to the Catalan club, as he sees the Frenchman as one of the best midfielders in the world.

The Frenchman is with Juventus and saw his team suffered a narrow defeat against the Catalan club in the final of last season’s Champions League. This is widely believed to be his last match for the Italian club, as he has grown too big for such a top club. Even though Pogba is expected to cost in excess of £ 70 million, Barcelona have consistently maintained their interest.

At least, the interest has not come from the current president and it comes from one of the candidates for the next term of presidency at the Spanish club. Elections are to be held at Barcelona for the next term of presidency with many thought to be unhappy at the recent regime. Undoubtedly, the three major trophies lifted by the club last season has helped cool the tensions around the club. Former president Laporta recently announced his intentions to stand for presidency once again and he has promised the signing of Pogba if he is re-elected. His excellent relationship with Juventus is thought to be a reason behind the statements. Continue reading

Luis Enrique already has a place in the Barcelona history

Luis Enrique already has a place in the Barcelona history as a player and he made it better by winning the league and the Copa del Rey in his first season at the club. He is on course to making it even better by winning the Champions League when Barcelona take on Juventus in the final on June 6.

The Spanish club are overwhelming favourites to win the title for the first time since 2011. Juventus have not won it since 1996 and their team looks make in comparison with the Barcelona front three.

Players like Gianluigi Buffon and Chiellini have admitted that stopping the front three of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, and Neymar will be the biggest concern for Juventus. They say that it will be tough to stop them almost entirely. Hence, Juventus will be focusing on doing their best in the match. The Italian team have already been beaten in one final back in 2003. This almost represents the final opportunity to win the title for goalkeeper Buffon, who is considered as one of the best in the world. The Italian has won every major honour like the World Cup, but the Champions League title continues to evade him. Continue reading

Xavi Hernandez will be joining the Qatar club Al Sadd

It has already been announced and confirmed that Xavi Hernandez will be joining the Qatar club Al Sadd at the end of the season as the veteran midfielder is going to be ending his relationship with Barcelona after having made his debut with the Spanish club back in 1998 when he was only 18 years old.

Xavi Hernandez made over 490 appearances for Barcelona and is even regarded to be one of the best central midfielders of all time as he was a specialist in being able to find empty space anywhere in the pitch and being able to slip a pin point pass to his teammates no matter where they are positioned.

At his 35 years of age, Luis Enrique wants to have a fairly young team and Xavi Hernandez no longer plays the same influential role that he used to have at Camp Nou as he used to have some time ago.

It won’t be easy to find a player who can fill in the gap that is going to be left by the absence of Xavi Hernandez but Luis Enrique is rumored to be setting his sights in Athletic Madrid’s Koke. Continue reading

Luis Enrique hints of Barcelona relying on other Player than Messi

Luis Enrique has denied that the Barcelona management might think about relying on someone else than Lionel Messi for taking the penalty hits in future.

Messi has been missing penalties quite a bit off late and that has raised concerns among the Barcelona fans.

Messi’s costliest miss came in the previous game of Barcelona in which they were taking on Manchester City in Europe.

People have been of the view that some other player, who is in better form than Messi, should be given the responsibility of converting the penalties.

Enrique though does not seem to be supporting that view. He is totally behind Messi and he made it clear that he was not bothered by some of the errors that the Argentinean star has committed on penalties in the ongoing season. Continue reading

Tata Martino exit from Barcelona starts rumors about New Manager

The departure of Tata Martino from his managerial position at Barcelona started a string of rumors involving which coach would be selected as the new man to guide the Spanish club to success, something that they were getting used to under the guidance of Pep Guardiola a few years ago but have struggled trying to find a coach that can fill in the boots that was left by Guardiola.

Luis Enrique was selected as the man to replace Tata Martino and things kicked off in superb form for Enrique as his team did not concede a single goal during the first seven matches in the Spanish League but things have started to fall apart for Barcelona and Luis Enrique after losing an away match when playing against PSG in the Champions League.

Barcelona also started to make a number of underwhelming performances in the Spanish League after losing a home game when playing against Celta Vigo and having to settle with a goal-less draw when facing off with Malaga and Getafe.

There have been questions being raised to Luis Enrique as if he is actually certain about what to do as the manager of Barcelona as he has started off matches with over 20 different formations. Having made so many changes in formations doesn’t look like someone who is certain or confident about his team.

Things will be even more difficult for Luis Enrique and his squad as they have to enter the year of 2015 without being able to make any new signings and the Champions League has advanced into the last 16 remaining teams, which means that only the best of the best will be facing off against each other.

It’s the time for Luis Enrique to demonstrate why he was chosen as the new coach of Barcelona and his challenges awaits him as he is not only being pressured to win the Spanish League but also the Champions League and it will be fairly disappointing if Barcelona is not able to win any of those trophies in this season.

Pep Guardiola wont return to Barcelona

Pep Guardiola, who is presently the manager of the Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, has made it clear that there is no possibility of him returning to Barcelona as manager.

The 43-year old did say that he would like to make his way back to Catalonia in future, but, only to live there.

No other manager has achieved as much as success at Barcelona as Guardiola did. He remained there for 4 seasons and the Catalans just kept bagging one trophy after the other under him.

Since the time Guardiola resigned, three people have taken over as the head coach of Barcelona and neither of them has proved to be that effective.

The man who is in charge at Barcelona at this point of time is Luis Enrique who has already lost the first El Clasico of the 2014-15 Season.

Moreover, Barcelona has recently been replaced by Real Madrid at the no. 1 position in the Liga table.

So, Enrique is also having a bit of a hard time which has resulted in many fans urging the club owners to try and lure Guardiola back.

When Guardiola was asked yesterday if he would take the offer of Barcelona if they come with one, he said, “No, I won’t. My tenure at Barca is done and dusted. Obviously, I would return to that place one day. That’s my motherland and my family is there. But, I would be there only to live and not for the coaching purpose.”

During Guardiola’s time at Camp Nou, Barcelona totally dominated Real Madrid, defeating them in 6 out of the 8 El Clasicos.

A couple of games Barcelona won by margins of 6-2 and 5-0, these numbers themselves tell how dominant they were.

Guardiola lost only one El Clasico. That was in April 2012.