Tags: eto'o

So precious.

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let's all go to jail together.

Marc Bartra did an interview for a Catalan radio station by the end of last season, after Barça Atletic got promoted to Segunda división.

Since we're all on a jailbait mood lately and I already did a summary of one part for ayejayyy on _fb, I might as well post the complete interview it and share it with you all.

Collapse ) Spam me with jailbait, i'll be away for 5 days and i need it!!!!


Animo Samuel (a tribute, and farewell)

(I thought going back to the beginning would be appropriate. He was so young.)

Thank you for every single goal, the tap-ins and spectacular displays of skill alike.

Thank you for the passion and work-rate, never letting up and always running, going where the team needed you to be.

Thank you for every amazing Clasico performance.

Thank you for your bravery in Zaragoza.

Thank you for the titles.

Thank you for Paris and Rome.

You've been part of two teams who made history at Barca and carved your name into the record books. Thank you for everything.

[EMD has a good gallery of Sammy photos if you want to relive the ups and downs and fun and glorious moments (and his amazing fashion sense, naturally).]
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news & picspam

It's too painful. I haven't prepared myself properly yet. :'(

» Barcelona have confirmed 20 year old Keirrison will sign a 5 year contract. Despite signing he will spend the next season on loan to an undetermined club (EMD and SPORT are reporting Benfica).

» Barça Atletic are keeping busy. Dani Toribio has signed with Malaga B, Longás has gone to Cartagena and Atletic have signed 21 year old Ivan Benitez from Las Palmas B. Benitez is Atletic's 4th signing this summer.

» Manchester City will be Barça's opponent for the Joan Gamper Trophy... to be played on August 19th.

» The boys have been in London since Tuesday. They're staying at Danesfield House & Spa and have been training at the Bisham Abbey Sports Centre in Marlow.

Upcoming Wembley Cup games:
FRI JULY 24: vs Tottenham @ 21:00
SUN JULY 26: vs Al-Ahly @ 14:30

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Some thoughts on the current transfer situation

Some of this is what's been reported in the press. Some of it is official. Some of it is pure speculation by me. So I'll label which is which and note that my intention, as always, is not to offend anybody.

1. Samuel Eto'o (or, 'what the hell is going on here?')

I'm usually willing to take whatever Pep Guardiola says on faith, since he's got a pretty good record with proving himself right. And it's the same with his first press conference of this pre-season - except for the bit about Samuel Eto'o.

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stock; raining <3's

Pichichi & Zamora standings

After 32 games played here are the current standings...

Pichichi (awarded to the top goal scorer in the league)

27 » Samuel Eto'o
25 » David Villa (Valencia)
22 » Forlán (Atlético Madrid)
20 » Lionel Messi
19 » Negredo (Almería)

Zamora (awarded to the goalkeeper with the lowest coefficient [goals to game ratio])

(goal-to-game ratio » goals conceded/games played)
0.75 » 24/32 » Víctor Valdés
1.00 » 30/30 » Palop (Sevilla)
1.03 » 33/32 » Casillas (Real Madrid)
1.28 » 37/29 » Toño (Racing Santander)
1.29 » 40/31 » Aranzubía (Deportivo)

Eto'o has won the Pichichi once before in 2005-06 with 26 goals. Valdés has previously won the Zamora in 2004-05 conceding 25 goals in 35 games (0.71).

World Player of the Year: The Candidates

Fifa have announced a 23-man list of candidates for the World Player of the Year award.

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh from picking up the top gong in the FifPro awards, is the favourite to take the title.

The winner, voted for by national captains and coaches, will be unveiled at a star-studded ceremony at Zurich's opera theatre on 12th January.

Fifa World Player of the Year nominees:

Kaka (AC Milan, Brazil)
Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal, Togo)
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal, Spain)
Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, Argentina)
Deco (Barcelona, Portugal)
Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Cameroon)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)
Xavi (Barcelona, Spain)

Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, France)
Michael Ballack (Chelsea, Germany)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England)
John Terry (Chelsea, England)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan, Sweden)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, England)
Fernando Torres (Liverpool, Spain)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, Spain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid, Holland)
David Villa (Valencia, Spain)
Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg, Russia


So, if you count Deco, we have 5 players up for this award, more than any other team. Even after the crap season we had last time. Go figure. Of course, it would be a major shock if C. Ronaldo didn't win it this year, but it's still nice to see our players recognised. Especially Iniesta, after he was snubbed for a Balon D'or nomination.

news bits ahead of Basle v Barca

+ Barca and Basel have a special connection - several, in fact, both in terms of Barca's founding and in terms of the ground being the place where Barca won their first official European trophy.

+ Seydou Keita will be out for two weeks after sustaining an injury against Athletic Bilbao. Initially it looked like he'd broke a bone, but thankfully that turned out not to be the case and he's just got a sprain.

+ Other injury scares for Rafa and Yaya turned out to be nothing, so they've both been included in the latest squad.

+ Having been rested because of muscle fatigue in the last game, Xavi is now back in the squad. Along with Leo and Puyi he has been tipped to return to the starting line-up, although with Pep you never know.

+ Incidentially, Leo is on 49 goals [in 118 games] for Barca right now. Hopefully 50 is just around the corner.

+ Speaking of goalscoring, Sammy has scored 11 goals in his last 12 games. So he's got some form at the moment.

+ Pep says:

"It's typical of this club to underestimate teams, but in Europe one mistake can cost you the game."

So the message is no complacency. A win here would put Barca in an excellent position in terms of qualification for the next round and take the pressure off during the month of December with all those difficult league games against Sevilla, Valencia, Real and Villarreal.

Post international break update

+ Injury news first: Aleks now has medical clearance, so he'll be fit to play in Bilbao. Dani's probably going to be okay too, after missing the Atletico game as a precaution.

That's the good news. The bad news: Pedro broke in training with the Spanish U21s, and he's out for a month, Guddy got an injury playing for Iceland and will be out for at least a week, and Yaya's got some sort of knock from playing for the Ivory Coast which is not terribly serious but might be enough to rule him out for the Athletic game.

+ Quick international highlights round-up: Titi and Andres both scored fantastic goals for France and Spain respectively [both definitely worth watching], Leo now has 8 goals in his last 9 games, Sammy has now scored 10 goals in his last 11, Puyol saved the day for Spain (and scored a goal in their other game) and Sergi Busquets made his debut for the Spanish U21 side with a goal.

+ the Fundacion FC Barcelona's collaboration with UNICEF is expanding to cover projects in Malawi and Angola as well as Swaziland. The article also details the good work that's been done in Swaziland already.

+ Leo made his official first team debut four years ago. Seems like longer, to be honest. So much has happened.

+ On the contract extension front, talks for Sergi Busquets' new contract have begun. There's a lot of BS flying around about other clubs poaching him, but I wouldn't worry. Firstly, he's a cule who is the son of a cule who works at the club. Secondly, he shares an agent with Guardiola and said agent has a record of dealing well with the club. As long as Barca don't screw him over economically, we should be fine.

+ Further contract news: it has now emerged that the club sneakily signed a new contract with Leo a couple of months back and just didn't tell anybody. There's no extension involved - it still goes until 2014 - and the buyout clause is still an astronomical 150 million euros, he's just earning a lot more money now. No one's sure as to the figure, but the rumour that was floated a while ago was 8 million euros + up to 4 million euros in performance-dependent bonuses per year.

[This is Leo's fourth professional contract, which just goes to show how careful Barca are about keeping him, even though neither him nor his dad (who acts as his agent) have ever come out and publicly demanded anything of the club.]

100 goals for Barcelona: congratulations Sammy!

Something's not quite right here...*g*

Samuel Eto'o's brace against Real Betis means that he has now scored 100 goals for Barcelona in 154 official games, a brilliant ratio for any striker, but especially impressive when you consider the way he's been troubled by injury for the past 2 seasons.

Here's another impressive stat: Sammy is La Liga's leading goalscorer of the 21st century. Since the turn of the century, he has scored 129 goals in the league (48 for Mallorca, 81 for Barca). Behind him is Raul on 106, the other Raul (Tamudo of Espanyol) on 103, Villa on 93, and (the Brazilian) Ronaldo on 83. Out of those players, only Villa is younger, and only by a couple of months, so Sammy's on course to retain that record for a while yet.

He is of course also the leading scorer in African Cup of Nations history with 16 goals, and Mallorca's all-time leading domestic league scorer.

But Sammy is far more than his stats. He's passionate, committed, and always gives 100% on the pitch, dragging the rest of the team along through sheer force of will. Barca are a different team when he's not a playing.

Congratulations, Sammy, and long may your awesomeness continue.