Tags: la masia


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?