Tags: pre-season

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Dundee United 1 - 5 Barca [match report/picspam, and some news for the Viola game]

Once again I apologise for getting this up so late - I wasn't able to get hold of the game until yesterday. Hopefully this trend won't continue, but I'm going to be quite busy with uni in the next month, so if you guys would like to chip in with match reports and picspams and such, I'd be very grateful.

But anyway, onto the second game in Scotland.

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In about nine hours Barca will play Fiorentina in the Artemio Franchi for a charity game, watched by a crowd of 40,000.

[Curiously, when Barca played Fiorentina in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup in 1996/97, winning 2 - 0 in Florence, one of the goals was scored by Pep Guardiola.]

This game is being regarded as the biggest test for Barca before the CL qualifiers, and rightly so, given the talent possessed by the Viola, who are a fine team these days under Cesare Prandelli. Unfortunately, they are missing an important player in the form of Riccardo Montolivo because he's with the Italian Olympic football team, but I'm sure the likes of Pablo Osvaldo, Adrian Mutu, Alberto Gilardino, and talented new boys Stevan Jovetic and Felipe Melo [who you may remember being awesome for Almeria last season] will give the defence a hard time anyway.

As for Barca, everybody's now fit, but there's a doubt over Samuel Eto'o, who clashed heads with Victor Sanchez in training and was prescribed 48 hours of rest as a result. He may play if he's well enough - we'll see. Look for Sylvinho, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol to get their first run-out of the pre-season in this game.

Now for the difficult bit. Leo Messi has travelled to Florence, but having received FIFA's ruling on the Olympics issue, he is now probably set to fly out to Shanghai after the game in compliance with the decision. The latest from Laporta is that Barca will not stop Leo from joining the Argentina squad [thank God] but will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try and get him back. So more on this later.

For now, enjoy the game. It should be a good one.
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travelling/training photos: Scotland!


Look at the height variations!


I know, I know, bad timing since the first game's in a few hours. But there are lots of nice photos, so here we go.

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Barca will play Hibs in a few hours. Due to injuries to Eto'o, Sylvinho, Abidal, and Oleguer (all short-term, don't worry), and the fact that Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol still aren't 100% since they've just gotten back, this is the expected starting line-up:

Valdes; Alves, Pique, Marquez; Caceres; Yaya Toure, Keita, Hleb; Messi, Henry, Bojan

So all the new boys will get a run-out.

So, the first game, start of a new season and all that. Last season was a bit of a write-off, so let's hope for better things this time around. Personally, I hope and pray that everyone has a bit of patience with this new project, because new players taken time to bed in, and even the most successful teams had to come from somewhere.
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training photos: take 2

Second batch, and the last before the team jets off to Scotland. As such, Samuel Eto'o, Dani Alves, and Seydou Keita, who turned up on Saturday are included, not to mention new signing Aleks Hleb.

+ There would probably be more pics, but Pep's been kicking the press out of training after 15 minutes so that they don't distract the players. Scotland will be all open training, though, due to the demands of the tour.

+ I've completely lost track of which day any given photo is from, so these are in no particular order, with the exception of the ones from Friday and Saturday.

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News round-up: pre-season, youth teams, and more transfers

Since the last time we, er, spoke, not much has happened, but there has been one big piece of transfer news and some other items of interest.

+ Barcelona have finally, finally signed Dani Alves from Sevilla. No details have been disclosed yet, mostly because he still has to pass a medical and put pen to paper, but this one is definitely done.

I'll do a proper welcome post for him when the presentation happens - after all, he's our biggest signing in some time, so he probably deserves it.

+ More presentation related news: Pep Guardiola will be officially presented as first team coach on the 16th. [I won't lie, I'm really looking forward to it. If his presentation as B team coach is any indication, this is going to be pretty big.]

After that, there will be a quick string of presentations for Keita, Pique, Caceres and Alves, mostly because the club wants to get all that out of the way before the vote of no confidence on the board. [Speaking of which, remind me to do a post about that sometime.]

+ Speaking of Pep, the B team (or Barca Athletic, as they will be known next season) beat Barbastro 0 - 2 away in the first leg of their play-off final. If they can maintain or add to that advantage in the second leg at home [this weekend, folks, so keep your fingers crossed], they will be promoted to Segunda B.

+ Barca's youth teams have been beating up on Espanyol's lately. Cadete A (U16), Infantil A (U14) and Alevin A (U12) all beat their Espanyol counterparts to secure titles as champions of Catalunya in their age group.

+ Also on the beating Espanyol front, Juvenil A (the highest ladder in the youth team structure, right below Barca B) beat their Espanyol counterparts 2-0 to win through to the youth Copa del Rey semi-final (3 - 1 agg.), where they will face a Celta youth team.

This is worth noting because that team has an exceptionally promising bunch of young players right now, many of whom have high hopes of making it in the first team in a year or so. Keep an eye on names like Montoya, Thiago, and Rochina. Let's see if they can emulate the feats of Messi, Cesc & co and win the Copa del Rey.

+ Finally, the pre-season schedule, which looks worryingly full. Pep wants to have everyone back a week earlier than usual so he can work on getting them to look like a team in time for the CL qualifiers, but this means that the players currently at the Euros will get next to no vacation time.


Thoughts? Comments? News that I've missed?
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news round-up: transfers!

Since we last spoke:

+ Gianluca Zambrotta has left us for AC Milan. The fee is said to be around 9 million euros, possibly rising to 12 million depending on performance. Personally, I'm gutted to see him go.

+ Gio Dos Santos has also left us, for Spurs, in a deal worth 6 million now, with the possibility of rising up to 11 millon (again depending on performance). I'm not pleased he's gone (I'm never pleased when we sell a player from the youth system), but there were a number of factors pointing to his departure, not all of them controllable by him.

+ On a happier note, Pep has finally put pen to paper on his two-year coaching deal. His no.2 will be Tito Vilanova, who has been his right-hand man in the B team. Tito will be familiar to the likes of Messi, Pique and Bojan, as he's coached in the youth system for a while.

+ Sylvinho has renewed for another season! [On a personal note, can I just say, yay!]

+ We've signed young Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres from Villarreal for 16 million euros. He's a fantastic prospect. [Ignore the dodgy fashion sense and bad hair. Actually, now that I think about it, that means he'll fit right in.]

+ Next season's Gamper trophy opponents will be Boca Juniors. [Riquelme back at the Camp Nou? Fantastic.]


I'll be spamming your flists again in the next few days to tell you guys about some new features we (0ntheverge and I, your friendly neighbourhood mods) have planned for the comm. Until then, take care.
stock; raining <3's

Scotland

"Barça's stay in Scotland created great excitement among the locals and fans were an ever-present feature and training. The chance to see some of the best players in the world on their doorstep was too good a chance to pass up. The supporters also came out in huge numbers for both the matches as Tannadice and Murrayfield were both packed for the Blaugrana's games against Dundee United and Hearts respectively."

Dundee United 0-1 Barça (Henry)
Hearts 1-3 Barça (Ronaldinho x2 and Dos Santos )


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Our boys head off to Asia on Thursday.

- Sunday, 05 Aug | vs Beijing Guoan
- Tuesday, 07 Aug | vs Yokohama Marinos
- Friday, 10 Aug | vs Mission Hills Invitation XI

(no subject)

Pre-season fixture list

- East Jutland XI - FCB. Friendly. Atletion Stadium. Aahrus, Denmark (23 July)
- Aarhus GF - FCB. Friendly. Atletion Stadium. Aahrus, Denmark (25 July)
- Yokohama Marinos - FCB. Friendly. Nissan Stadium. Tokyo, Japan (30 July)
- Shenzhen Jianlibao - FCB. Friendly. Macau Stadium. Macau, China (3 August)
- Carranza Trophy. Primer partit. Estadio Ramon de Carranza. Cadiz (5 August)
- Carranza Trophy. Segon partit. Estadio Ramon de Carranza. Cadiz (6 August)
- Betis - FCB. Spanish Super Cup First leg. Manuel Ruiz de Lopera. Seville (13 August)
- FCB - Betis. Spanish Super Cup Second leg. Camp Nou. Barcelona (20 August)
- FCB - Juventus. Friendly. Joan Gamper Trophy. Camp Nou. Barcelona (24 August)

Any of this matches will be broadcast in your country? o.o Maybe the "important" ones like Barça - Betis /Juventus...

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