Tags: pre-season

Football Barça Antimadridista

European champions back at work

The Barça squad met up again on Monday morning after the summer holiday. Sixteen players took the different medical tests.

The Liga and European champions got the 2011/12 season off to a start this morning with the traditional medical examinations at the Ciutat Esportiva and after that in the Camp Nou medical centre, where they did different exercises and were also had their weight and height checked.

Carles Puyol, who is still recovering from injury, and Bojan, who has been allowed some time to sort out his future, were excused from the session, and obviously the five player that have been playing at the Copa America (Messi, Mascherano, Milito, Alves and Adriano) were also away.

Good atmosphere

The players were wearing the new yellow change strip, and there were smiles all round as they got together for the first time in weeks. They were divided into four different groups for the Camp Nou tests. There were two groups of five (Valdés, Pinto, Piqué, Iniesta and Xavi, in one group and Sergio, Villa, Pedro, Keita and Abidal in the other) and two groups of three (Jeffren, Maxwell and Afellay, plus Thiago, Fontàs and Jonathan dos Santos).

First training this evening

Barça have their first training session this Monday evening at 19.00 in the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Only the first quarter of an hour will be open to the media.

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transfers. usa pre-season.

» Hleb has signed with Stuttgart on a 1 year loan.
» Cáceres is set to sign with Juventus on (supposedly) a 1 year loan, he's already passed his medical.

USA Squad List: Valdés, Jorquera, Pinto, Puyol, Alves, V. Sanchez, Piqué, Márquez, Henrique, Abidal, Maxwell, Xavi, Touré, Keita, Busquets, Gudjohnsen, Iniesta, Henry, Pedro, Messi, Bojan, Ibrahimovic, Muniesa, Fontás, Dos Santos, Jeffren

SCHEDULE fcb.cat
Thursday 30 July » Nike-FCB promotional event
Thursday 30 July » Reception for members of the LA Barça Supporters Club (19:00)
Friday 31 July » Commemoration of the agreement between FCB & Malaria No More (19:30)
Saturday 1 Aug » Game: LA Galaxy v FC Barcelona (20:00)
Sunday 2 Aug » Travel to Seattle (16:00)
Monday 3 Aug » Event to set out the 'More than a Club in the World' project, the activities of the FCB Foundation and the club's global alliance with UNICEF (17:30).
Tuesday 4 Aug » Visit to Microsoft's HQ and House of the Future (17:00).
Wednesday 5 Aug » Game: Seattle Sounders (19:30)
Thursday 6 Aug » Travel to San Francisco (16.00)
Saturday 8 Aug » Game: Chivas Guadalajara (20:00)
Saturday 8 Aug » Return to Barcelona (23:50)
Sunday 9 Aug » Arrive in Barcelona (20:15)

While in LA they'll be training at UCLA and
staying at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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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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pre-season training has begun!

Piqué, Alves, Xavi, Puyol, Busquets, Iniesta and Eto'o were not present... they're still sunbathing somewhere. Messi still had another week of vacation but decided to show up a week earlier than expected. Milito (as stated in his letter) and Márquez are trying to recover from knee injuries.

A number of youth players were present including Gai Assulin (who just recently recieved his Spanish passport meaning he can play with the first team when called upon [=D!!!!]), Jonathon Dos Santos (Gio's younger brother, who according to SPORT also recently recieved a Spanish passport), new signing Edu Oriol, Marc Muniesa and many more.

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New York: charity, press conferences and training at Central Park

*dies laughing* Look at Alves, rocking the NYPD gear. Best photo ever.

So as you may have inferred from the above pic, Barca are in New York! And they've been pretty busy once they landed, launching a charitable initiative and training in Central Park of all places [assisted by members of the NYPD!].

+ All about the charitable initiative, in which Barca are joining forces with the American Youth Soccer Organisation and Malaria No More to help fight the deadly disease. If you want to learn a bit more about this very important cause, here's the 'Kick it to Malaria' program's official website.

+ There was a press conference to promote the program, attended by Pep, Puyol and Titi. [The report I link above mostly talks about the charity. They also dealt with some football-related questions.]

+ There will be a four-a-side tournament attended by the players, also to promote the program. Attendance is free, by the way, for all you New Yorkers who might like to go.

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On the footballing side, Barca will play the New York Red Bulls before heading back home to complete their pre-season preparations. To those of you going to the game: please have fun, take lots of pictures and show us when you get back!
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chivas 2 : 5 barça

Stadium: Jalisco
Capacity: 60,000
Attendance: 40,717

Line-up: Pinto, Alves, Caceres, Marquez, Abidal, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Hleb and Henry
Substitutions: 46' Puyol in for Marquez | Guddy in for Hleb | Eto'o in for Iniesta | Bojan in for Henry

0-1 Xavi (min 25)
0-2 Hleb (min 45)
0-3 Eto’o (min 48)

1-3 Padilla (min 58)
1-4 Eto’o (min 72)
2-4 Hernández (min 88)
2-5 Cáceres (min 89)

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Match Report: Fiorentina

I apologize for my lack of activity in the community lately.

1:3 to barça
Stadium: Artemio Franchi
Capacity: 47,282
Attendance: 40,428

Line-up: Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal, Xavi, Touré, Iniesta, Pedrito, Keita and Messi.
Substitutions: 36' Jeffren in for Iniesta | 45' Sylvinho in for Abidal | 45' Caceres in for Puyol | 45' Busquets in for Xavi

Goal videos:
0-1, Puyol (min 28)
0-2, Jeffren (min 47)
1-2, Pazzini (min 68)
1-3, Bojan (min 72)

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Barcelona are currently in Chicago and will be playing Chivas de Guadalajara August 3rd. Then they head to NY to play the Red Bulls on August 6th, which I'll be attending. =) Anyone else attending one of these games?

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.