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EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION – WIN A TICKET TO SEE A GAME

We’ve got great news for all of you Barça fans! Thanks to Foryouticket, a new online ticket platform, we’re offering all of our readers/members/followers a chance to win a ticket to see FC Barcelona live at a La Liga match of your choice (except for vs Sevilla, vs Valencia and vs Atlético Madrid).

All you need to do to enter is answer the following question before 10th January 2017 and email info@barcelonafans.org:

Which player has scored the most goals for Barca since the club was formed?

If you’re our lucky winner, choose the home Barça match of your choice and we’ll send you an official ticket to see Messi and Iniesta in action. Good luck! 😉

El Clasico – FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid

As one of the biggest games in Europe and Spain gets nearer, MysoccerHQ.com have put together an infographic about El Clasico.

They collected all the info about the history of the game, including but not limited to biggest wins, previous meetings, top scorers, most appearances, and a lot of other information so that you can see all the history about the big game all in one place.

infographic:
El Clasico Infographic (Barcelona Vs Real Madrid) – An infographic by the team at www.Mysoccerhq.com

 

NEWS – Great to be working with World Football – FC Barcelona
The reliable source for football results and stats from around the World.

WELCOME TO SPORTITO

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Ever wanted to draft the best team and not be restricted by salary caps?

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Welcome to Sportito, the brand new way to play your online fantasy sports.

With no salary cap restrictions, no season long commitments, and instant cashpay-outs, this is really the new way to play your fantasy sports!

Contests on Sportito last from a day to a week; and not the whole season. At Sportito you win daily and withdraw cash immediately.

You can draft teams with players from any league and manage them daily to increase your chance of winning some big cash prizes. With the user-friendly platform on Sportito, managing and checking your points with the live updated scoring system has never been easier.

Challenge millions of fans around the world or just friends, the option is up to you.The entry fee is little as £2 and there are also free entry contests available too.

Do you think you have what it takes to play against all odds and win some real cash?

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Three Barcelona youngsters to watch this season:

Three Barcelona youngsters to watch this season

 

Beko Washing Machine Challenge with Éric Abidal

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Celebrating Beko’s FC Barcelona partnership and new FC Barcelona branded product range at IFA 2016, football legend Éric Abidal was challenged by Beko to take a shot into the new Beko Washing Machine. FC Barcelona striker Luis Suárez was the first to take on the Beko challenge, scoring a goal into the washing machine on his first try. To find out how defender Éric Abidal fared as he went head to head with football freestylers and the general public at the Beko IFA stand – watch this video!

More information is available at beko.com/FC-Barcelona-Sponsorship

 

EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION TO WIN NEW FIFA 17 GAME

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We are offering one lucky Barca fan the chance to win a copy of the new FIFA 17 (PC platform) game.

All you have to do to enter is answer the following question before the 21st October:

In what year was FC Barcelona founded?

Please send answers to info@barcelonafans.org

Don’t worry, if you don’t win the game, you can still buy one here – for an awesome price! – https://www.kinguin.net/fifa-17

This competition is sponsored by Kinguin.net

Suarez versus Messi

Following the very successful season Luis Suarez had in 2015/2016, in which he outscored Lionel Messi, the new season is going to be very interesting between these two superstars.

For the first time since 2009, in which either Messi and Ronaldo have topped the La Liga charts for goals, Suarez emerged as a new top goal scorer in 2015/2016. After so many years of so easily outscoring several world class teammates in the form of Samuel Eto, Thierry Henry, David Villa, and Zlatan Ibrahimović; Messi was outscored by a team mate which raises the question is he the main man anymore?

In the first game of the season Suarez continued his fine from with a hat-trick against Real Betis and he got the only goal in a one-nil win against Athletic Bilbao which took his tally to an incredible 17 goals in 6 games league games!
So is Messi slowing down or has Suarez raised himself to Messi’s level?

Suarez had the most successful season of his career to date with 59 goals in all competitions last year, against Messi’s 41 goals, which is roughly in line with what he has been doing in last 8 years and has landed him fiveBallon d’Or awards.

So it would appear that Suarez has elevated himself to Messi’s level which was clearly evident based on last seasons performances. This competition with Messi can only be good for Barcelona. As the season starts with Messi lining up alongside Suarez and Suarez already scoring four goals in the first three league games, willSuarez be able to keep up his form, or will Messi take back his crown, only time will tell…

Written by Milan Farhan

HAVE BARCELONA CHANGED STRATEGY??

Click HERE for the thoughts of one of our expert Bloggers.

Check out the Latest Exclusive Video from #scottsTerrace

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Five Barca Stars in Spain Euro 2016 Squad

Having collected their sixth La Liga title in eight years over the weekend, Barcelona player’s attention was quickly drawn to the international stage, with the announcement of Spain’s preliminary squad for the upcoming European Championships in France this summer. Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has chosen to select five Barcelona players in his squad for Euro 2016, with a number of big names failing to make the cut in what still looks like a very strong group. Defenders Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra, along with midfield duo Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta will be representing the Catalan club come June, as Spain look to successfully defend their title from four years ago.

With the holders facing Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey as they battle to qualify for the latter stages from Group D, Spain will find themselves up against some familiar faces during their three opening matches. Turkey captain and Barcelona winger Arda Turan will no doubt be relishing taking on his team mates when the two nations meet, with Spain currently the 4/7 favourites with bookmakers Coral to win Group D. With a free bet for any match in the Euros, backing Spain against a weakened Turkey could well prove fruitful. Ivan Rakitic will be another familiar face when as Spain take on Croatia on the 21st of June.

Elsewhere, former Barca duo Cesc Fabregas and Pedro have earned a place in Del Bosque’s squad despite far from successful season’s with current team Chelsea. Also, having previously been one of the favourites for the golden boot award in France, Stamford Bridge team mate Diego Costa is among the list of high profile absentees for Spain. The goal scoring responsibility could well fall to Alvaro Morata, with the former Real Madrid man 16/1 with Coral to be the leading scorer this summer. Why not make the most of your Euro 2016 free bet and back to Juventus striker in France.

Previous regulars in Atletico Madrid’s Fernando Torres and Manchester United’s Juan Mata miss out on selection, with youngster Saul Niguez and Real Madrid man Lucas Vazquez taking their spots. Of course, with two names needing to drop out with a maximum of twenty-three players allowed, it remains to be seen who will be cut further. The new season is fast approaching and now is the time to start thinking about betting on La Liga. Who will be in contention and which players are going to stand out from the crowd?

Exclusive Invitation to Scotts Menswear, Mundial Magazine and Laces Out Euro 2016 Event

Scotts Menswear has collaborated with Mundial magazine and Laces Out to invite BarcelonaFans.org readers to a VIP showing of all the Euros matches on the 11th June, at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace. Expect football, music, a book launch, art and a trainer festival all in one. This venue is a sell out for major sporting events such as this one, so this is not one to be missed.

There will also be a private viewing of artwork from a number of popular artists including A Guy Called Minty, Marcus Reed and Peter O’Toole. At the end of the evening there will be some goodie bags that we will be handed out to guests.

Here is a little breakdown of the day:
– Doors open at 11am
– Art exhibitions will be open from 11am

Match Schedule:
Albania v Switzerland @ 2pm
Wales v Slovakia @ 5pm
England v Russia @ 8pm

For great deals on menswear visit Scottsmenswear.com

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid Lock Horns Again in UCL 2016 Final

For the second time in as little as three seasons, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will meet in the Champions League final. Two years after their dramatic 4:1 encounter in Lisbon, when Real Madrid secured a record 10th title in the competition. Now the pair will lock horns again, this time on San Siro in Milan.

Our friends from soccerstand live scores, prepared a stunning infographic to get ready for that final UCL match on Saturday.

The 2016 UEFA Champions League marks the 61st season of the top European club tournament. This year’s final among Real Madrid and Atletico will be the 6th tournament final to feature two teams from the same country, and only the second between two teams from the same city. As you probably remember, the first one happened between these teams in the 2014 final.

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What is your verdict for one of the biggest football matches of the year? Whatever the result may be, the atmosphere in Milan on May 28 will be filled with adrenaline, rush and action!   

Fancy a bet on the game – sign up to a Coral account via our Betting Page.

FOR ALL THE LATEST NEWS IN SPANISH FOOTBALL VISIT – FOOTBALL ESPANA

 

METRODOME ANNOUNCES HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASE DATE FOR

BARÇA DREAMS

A TRUE STORY OF FC BARCELONA

DIRECTED BY JORDI LLOMPART

STARRING LEO MESSI, GARY LINEKA, LOUIS VAN GAAL, ANDRES INIESTA, XAVI HERNANDEZ, GERAD PIQUE, CARLES SANTACANA, EMMA GAMPER, JAUME DESCALS, FERRAN OLIVELLA, SALVADOR SANDURNI, RAMON BESA, CHARLY REXACH, JOHAN CRUYFF, JOSE RAMON ALEXANKO, TERRY VEBABLES, PAU GASOL, FERRAN MARTINEZ, JOSE MARIA BAKERO, RONALD KOEMAN, MIKO MILANY WARSHAW, GUS MAHLER, NICOLAI PERALTA, CARLES FOLGUERA, GRAHAM HUNTER, JORDI ROURA, ERIC ABIDAL

BARÇA DREAMS is the most complete documentary ever to be made about the story of FC Barcelona, one of the top football clubs in the world, highly praised for its legendary figures like Leo Messi, the best footballer of all time, the prestigious coach Pep Guardiola, or the man who revolutionized this sport (football and football are used interchangeably throughout the entire text) with his innovative vision: Johan Cruyff.

The film narrates the football club’s long road to fame and acknowledgement, culminating in the generation of players of the stature of Leo Messi, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta, all of them trained in the famous school of La Masía. It also reveals the secrets of a powerful football club that causes admiration worldwide and is closely linked to the Catalan identity, making the motto “Barça: more than a club” a reality. It is a genuine emotional voyage to the heart and soul of the club which Joan Gamper, an undisputable sportsman, founded over a hundred years ago. It rekindles the dreams and ambitions of a long list of footballers who sought glory in one of the most admired football clubs in recent times.

Release date is 25th April 2016 and we are running a competition to win a copy of the DVD. Answer the question below correctly to be entered:

Q: What year was FC Barcelona founded?

Send your answer to info@barcelonafans.org

 

EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION TO WIN A SIGNED LUIS SUAREZ PHOTO

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Competition brought to you by www.exclusivememorabilia.com

Transfers we would have loved to see go through…

Paul Pogba
This is an easy one, who isn’t after the French star. He more or less has his pick of the bunch, but Barcelona is one of the only teams that could fork out for him. At the age of 22, he is already one of the best central-midfielders in the game. Whoever manages to secure his signature will have a certified ball player for years and years to come. Capable of doing his defensive duties, he is also more than sure of himself in front of goal. Having 6 goals and 9 assists this season, Pogba doesn’t have a ceiling of just how good he can become and I believe being at Barcelona will only enhance his chances of being the best in the world for a long time.

Aymeric Laporte
Another young talented Frenchman, the 21 year old Centre-back has caught the attention of all of European football’s top clubs. The rumour mill has been going back and forth on this one, with reports of Barcelona agreeing a deal for Laporte for next season; it looked likely that it was all but done for the youngster to join Barca. However, recent reports are suggesting that Laporte does not want a move to the Camp Nou and that he is likely to look elsewhere. That being said, I would love to see a move like this, not only would it be a ‘reasonable’ price, Laporte’s game would be catapulted further into world class status training day in day out with the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

Paulo Dybala
Dybala has really been making waves since his move to Juventus, the 22 year old has found the net 16 times as well as assisting on 8. This is officially is trial period on Europe’s elite stage over, Dybala is in the club, and teams such as Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich taking notice. I refer back to the opportunity to train with the best players in the world, period. For a player who still has much more to learn, we’d all love to see him in Barcelona and he’s not going to cost as much as Pogba, this move just makes sense. Although Barcelona don’t exactly need the help, arguably boasting the best front three in the world, Suarez and Messi aren’t getting any younger, so learn from them whilst you can. I can see Neymar, Munir and Dybala being a deadly force once it is their time.

Serge Aurier
Barcelona need to start thinking of life without Dani Alves as it is looking more and more like this is his last ride at the Camp Nou. Whilst there are potentially better right/left backs to target in the next transfer market, I believe that Aurier is the best bet here. An all-around athlete who has really turned up for PSG this year, he knows what it is to fight his way into the starting line-up of a top European club, and he gets the job done for a reduced priced in comparison to someone like David Alaba, and at the young age of 23 there is a lot of he can add to his game.

Nolito
With the departure of Pedro last year, Nolito would be the perfect candidate to fill the hole. Now I know that he is 29 years old, but after a deal was close to coming through, the Spaniard wants to play for Barcelona, and he can play. Not considered an elite player by some, he has arguably carried Celta Vigo when able to play, 8 goals and 5 assists in just 15 games proves that he can play at the top level and on top of everything he comes with a smaller price tag.

Article by Edward Butler

UCL: What Kind Of Threat Does Arsenal Pose?

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While Arsenal was far from the weakest team that Barcelona could have drawn for its Round of 16 pairing in the Champions League, news of the match-up was welcome to most Barca supporters. There’s been a growing perception in recent years that Arsenal’s struggle to compete at the very top of the Premier League has made them all but a non-factor on the European stage, where Spanish and German sides have been superior of late. Reports from The Sun even indicated that Barca players “cheered” and “cried tears of joy” upon learning of their opponent. Players confirmed that they wanted Arsenal as opposed to PSG or Juventus, but we suspect the tears of joy were a bit of an overstatement.

Whatever the case, the initial reaction to the pairing seemed to be not a tactical look ahead or a tone of cautious optimism, but outright dismissal. But what sort of challenge might the Gunners present? Nearly a month after the Round of 16 draw, Arsenal has seized control of the top spot in the Premier League and is looking like one of the most in-form clubs on the continent. Might the English side actually have the stuff to make this an interesting contest?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger certainly seems to think so. In the days following the draw, Wenger was quoted by Metro’s sports section not just spewing hopeful optimism, but citing past battles between his club and Barcelona as inspiration. The manager referenced Arsenal’s win in the first leg of a like pairing back in 2011 and said that his club has never been in over its head against the Spanish side. Furthermore, he pointed out that the 2015-16 version of the Gunners has matured significantly and should be even more prepared for the test. That may all be true, but in 2011 Barcelona didn’t have a couple of crucial players named Neymar and Suarez, so really it’s a bit of a silly concept for Wenger to invoke the past. To say that his current Arsenal squad is more mature than in past years, however, is fair.

The maturity is evident when you look at the actual football team, rather than records of performance from the past. A shaky defence has solidified nicely, and all of a sudden Olivier Giroud may be playing his best season in London up front. But more than anything it’s the remarkable ascension of Mesut Ozil that’s carried this club to new heights and brought on a sense of consistency. A shell of himself for much of his stint at Arsenal thus far, Ozil is on a record pace in creating opportunities for teammates this season. Also, according to Betfair’s coverage, he has recently risen to the top of the Player of the Year conversation in the Premier League. The same report referenced Thierry Henri’s record of 20 assists in an EPL campaign, which has stood for 13 years but is about to be obliterated by Ozil.

Perhaps most troubling of all to Barca supporters should be the fact that Arsenal has achieved a great deal of its success this season without a sizable chunk of its roster. Alexis Sanchez, the Gunners’ most dynamic scoring threat, missed the club’s deciding match in the group stages but should be back in time for the first leg against Barcelona. There’s also a chance that both Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck could return to action in time to provide some depth for Wenger, though their returns are less certain.

In all likelihood, none of these points will save the Gunners from the sheer power of the Barcelona attack. No matter how much Arsenal’s defence has strengthened, Barca is bringing one of the most capable attacks in club football history. The strong odds are (and should be) with Barca. But to dismiss Arsenal entirely the way so many seem to have done over the past month is a mistake. This pairing will produce some compelling football.

#BeatExtremePoverty and Watch FC Barcelona Play in Person!

This year, Global Citizen and FC Barcelona are making incredible moves to ensure that the ambitious goal of ending extreme poverty becomes a win. But, if we are going to become the world’s biggest team to achieve this goal, we need you.

Sports like ‘fútbol’ have the unique ability to unite people from all ethnicities and backgrounds for a common cause. When people join together, they form an unbreakable bond of hope, excitement, and the ambition to beat the impossible.

Can you imagine what’s possible if Barcelona’s millions and millions of supporters unlock their potential and join the fight to end extreme poverty? The impact could be huge.

Sign the petition and pledge your support in joining the world’s biggest team to #beatextreme poverty by 2030. You’ll be automatically entered in the draw to win 2 tickets to FC Barcelona – Atlético de Madrid game at Camp Nou on January 31st, 2016 (including flights and tour of the stadium!)*

Challenges and obstacles on or off the field are overcome when not one, but all unite together. Tackling the world’s most pressing issues starts with the collective actions of millions of Global Citizens and FC Barcelona fans alike.

What are you waiting for? Get your head in the game and let’s #beatextremepoverty poverty together.

 

*the winner will not only receive two tickets to an upcoming FCB game, but also flights to and from the game, a guided tour of the stadium, and a jersey signed by the team. Terms and conditions apply.

The link to the sweepstakes is:
glblctzn.me/FCB2

Lionel Messi Barcelona exit reports are ’embarrassing’ slams club president Josep Maria Bartomeu

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During a TV interview in the last few days Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu said that exit reports of Lionel Messi are rubbish and embarrassing. The Barca star player is now out injured until the start of December.

There have been some reports in newspapers across the Spain and the UK, suggesting that the Argentine superstar would be open to moving to the Premier League. Manchester United are the current front-runners for securing his services should he decide on making a change. They believe it will be a profitable bet spending big on the all-time Spanish League goal scorer.

It has not been an easy year for Messi. He is now sidelined with a knee injury and has been in court with his father on tax evasion. It has led to a lot of scrutinies and left him frustrated.

Bartomeu, has stated that the star player is not going anywhere and has labelled the claims as embarrassing. He said that Messi is now in recovery and hopes that he will be fit to play in the Madrid vs. Barcelona game. If he is fit for the game, the successful betting system would be to put money on him to score.

Currently, Messi seems to be happy at the club. The relationship between himself, family and club has been damaged, due to how the Spanish taxation case has gone. He still has three seasons left on his current deal and negotiations for a new contract have not started yet. Barcelona will be keen to tie the former world players of the year to a longer term contract. It is believed that Barca is waiting for the long-running tax investigation to come to an end before entering into negotiation for a new deal.

Currently, if any of the world’s top teams want to buy Messi, they will have to pay the buy-out clause in his contract. It is set at 250 Million Euros, which no club in their right minds would spend such a huge amount on a player soon turning 29. It would not be a successful betting system spending so much money on one star, even if it is one of the greatest footballers ever to live.

The only way that any deal will be able to be stuck to buy him will be is Messi decided to refuse to sign a new deal. It is a situation the board will not want to find themselves in. It would mean that if it got out that the player and club negotiations fell through, it would have a damaging effect on the club. It would also make Barcelona’s position for negotiating a high price for the superstar a lot weaker. If his is handled badly by the board, they will all lose their places at the elections next year.

Another of Barcelona’s superstars has also been subject to transfer rumour. Brazilian captain Neymar was reportedly subject to a world record offer for the summer from Manchester United. It is believed that the Brazil international was keen on the move but it was blocked by the board of Barcelona.

Bartomeu stated in the TV interview that Neymar contract renewal is happening this year. They are working on it quietly and hope they will be able to announce the contract extension soon. It will be profitable betting on them securing the stars contract for a least a couple more years.

The author of this article is sports writer and journalist John Hawthorne. Providing the latest reports of one of his favorite pastimes is a great way to encourage one’s enthusiasm for sports. Not only a sports writer John is also on the analytical side and contributes to a U.S based mathematical sports betting system Simplythebetsus.com.

JD Football Takeover adidas BaseBrixton

Check out this video of the event in London

Check out the latest adidas football boots from JD Sports – www.jdsports.co.uk/men/adidas-football-boots

 

How Is Barcelona Handling Its UEFA Business?

Barcelona was taken over in 2014 by the 40th president of the club in Josep Maria Bartomeu, and he has spent most of his time as president dealing with UEFA sanctions and troubles. UEFA wants to have more control over FIFA, and Barcelona is arguably the most successful club within the ranks of UEFA. Barcelona can maintain its reign of success in Spain, but it has many hurdles to cross first.

#1: Transfer Rumors

Barcelona is an extremely successful team with a track record like no other, but the team itself cannot allow Leo Messi to be its only good player. Barcelona will only succeed if they can provide help for Messi as he grows older. The world of soccer allows players to play into their late 30s, but Barcelona cannot allow the club to dwindle as it looks for new talent. Barcelona fans expect their team to win the La Liga title every year, and there is an expectation that the club will win the Champion’s League every few years. Bringing in new players is the only way to balance the roster.

#2: Coaching

There is not a coaching problem in Barcelona today, but there could be a coaching problem at any minute. A mediocre season for Barcelona is reason enough to fire their coach, and hiring another coach would not be out of the question. The manager of the team could change more than once before Leo Messi retires or comes to play in America. Bartomeu must keep the club as stable as possible while allowing Messi as many chances as possible to win.

#3: Finding The New Messi

Barcelona is a club that thrives on major talent, and Bartomeu must look for the new Leo Messi to help take the club into the future. Free bets can be taken on players who may become the future of the team. Gamblers will place free bets online for Barcelona regardless of who is on the roster, but the club must find someone who will be the best player in the world for at least a decade. That process may require a few free bets on players who are unknown, but it will pay off when the team works out their future roster.

#4: Are They Still The Best?

The world of international soccer is extremely competitive, and there is no one tea that dominates over all the others. Free bets online are placed on teams all over the world, but any of them could prevail. The Champion’s League has not been won by a repeat team in a very long time, and there is no reason to believe that will change at any time.

Barcelona must compete with Manchester United, Arsenal, PSG, AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid for supremacy while hoping to replace Leo Messi before he gets too old. The balancing act Bartomeu performs in the next few years could mean the difference between a few more trophies and a lifetime of obscurity at the bottom of the Spanish table.

This article was written by sports written Tony Samboras. Being a professional writer with a passion for football has brought Tony to a full time career writing about his favorite sports. Tony writes for many websites and sometimes even bookmaker sites that offer free bets.

Will Barcelona defend the La Liga title?

Barcelona will look to defend their La Liga crown this season after their second treble victory in six years. Luis Enrique’s side claimed the Spanish title, Copa del Rey trophy and the coveted Champions League crown after beating Italian side Juventus in the final at the start of June. The Catalan outfit are the best team on the planet and with Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest player to ever grace the sport, Neymar and Luis Suarez in attack, Barcelona can dominate opposing sides. We take a look at their chances of defending the La Liga title this campaign and consider the probability of Suarez, Neymar and Messi scoring even more goals throughout the year. At the time of writing, Barcelona are priced at 8/13 in the football betting markets to retain the Spanish top flight crown this year.

Luis Enrique’s side will be extremely confident ahead of the upcoming campaign and will fancy their chances of securing the title. They have two world class goalkeepers in Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo – meaning that they will always have a reliable pair of hands between the posts. Defensively, the Spanish champions have one of the best units in the world. Dani Alves and Pique are experienced professionals and are regulars in the Barcelona starting line-up, while Jordi Alba is an incredibly talented full-back and the Spaniard is likely to feature at the Camp Nou for many years.

Their midfield is sensational and the likes of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Busquets all played key roles in Barca’s success last term. Although the legendary Xavi has now left the club, they have signed Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan this summer. Both players will be useful additions to the squad and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the two midfielders make an impact throughout the season.

In attack, Barcelona possess the best trio on the planet – and one of the greatest of all-time. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez broke numerous records last season and will continue to terrorise defenders in the upcoming campaign. The trio scored 122 goals last term and were the main reason for Barca’s dominance throughout European football. One must remember that Luis Suarez missed the opening two months of the season due to a ban and the trio could go on to score even more goals this season if they can perform at a similarly high level.

 

Barcelona’s 2015 Turnaround Hints at Even More Glory in the Future.

The glorious ending to FC Barcelona’s 2014/15 season couldn’t have been imagined just six months ago. In January 2015, FC Barcelona appeared to be suffering meltdown. Results were uninspiring, player morale was low, and head coach Luis Enrique’s squad rotation policy was ruffling feathers.

Trusted members of the coaching staff – club legends, no less – left their positions and Enrique was fighting for his own career at Camp Nou. The turnaround since then was nothing short of remarkable. The side delivered a second “triplete” to their supporters and Enrique— on the brink for so much of the campaign— was rewarded with a new contract.

Barca’s treble was sealed with a 3-1 victory in the UEFA Champions League final against Italian champions Juventus who were, themselves, vying to complete their own clean sweep of trophies this season.

The final scoreline was perhaps a little harsh on Juve. They certainly created problems for Barcelona once they had overcome the shock of conceding within four minutes of the kick off. However, Barca’s dominance of, and calmness in, possession ensured that once Juve were chasing, there would only be one outcome.

Barca’s incredible possession game—a strong feature of the side since Pep Guardiola’s reign—has been easy to implement with players like Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez at the club. Enrique’s task was to build upon that bedrock and make the most of his new attacking trinity within the squad. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Messi is, of course, the major point on the trident. Luis Enrique’s rotation policy—which saw the Argentine benched in some games—was an attempt to wrestle away from reliance on one player and keep all of the points on the trident sharp. The media uproar that surrounded his decisions was to be expected—especially after defeat to Real Sociedad on January 4. After all, how can you leave a player like Messi out of your side?

True champions come out fighting when they are up against the ropes. Most of the squad had won everything already—instead of retreating when faced with the “crisis” of early January, Barcelona showed a steeliness and resolve unblunted by their success.

A question remains. Pep Guardiola laid the foundations for Barca’s success over the last few years. Despite being hailed by some pundits as the greatest club side ever, they were unable to successfully defend their UCL titles.

No side ever has ever managed to win the UCL back-to-back since the European Cup was rebranded and reformatted in 1992. Ticketbis can supply tickets to see Barcelona attempt this feat next season. They are sure to be in high demand.

Enrique rode the storm that he faced at the turn of the year. He was judged too early by the standards that his ex-teammate Guardiola had set. He and his team came out of the other side even stronger and matched one of Pep’s feats by winning La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in one season. Could he go one step further next year?

UEFA Champions League Final 2014/15
Infographic above provided by Guaranteetickets.com

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Photo Competition

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This is your chance to showcase your photography talent on an international stage!!

We are looking for photos with an FC Barcelona theme. The photo may have been taken at a game, at Camp Nou, of your favourite player, or of something that just reminds you of Barca!

We are offering the lucky winners the opportunity to have their FC Barcelona photos published on Barcelonafans.org.

To enter please email your photos to info@barcelonafans.org

More Than a Club: A World of Champions

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A new year brings new dreams and ambitions, and as mid-season turns it course, things are heating up for the team. For Barça and its throngs of beloved fans, this doesn’t just mean taking back the crown of La Liga and defeating the Madrid giants, but delivering the distinctive performances which make FC Barcelona one of the finest clubs in the world with the added magic of heroes like Messi and Neymar. There truly is something to be said for the team whose mantra is “Més que un club”: more than a club. And indeed, symbolising the proud Catalan identity and embracing the hearts of its fans is what Barça is all about. For a world class team which has successfully created and maintained its own brand while gaining international recognition, Barcelona has done what many big teams struggle to do while taking the limelight – keep that essential relationship and hometown, personal feel with its fans.

Why Barça Succeeds

FC Barcelona, like all high-end professional football teams, is ultimately a business. Right down to the manager’s bench, decisions are made based on which is believed to be the right investment for the club at the time. Barcelona has embraced this aspect of modern football, flourishing from its humble beginnings into a successful sports academy, with Camp Nou the proud home of men’s, women’s, and youth sports teams in basketball as well as football and other sports. Brandishing the brilliant blue and red with pride, the mantra stays the same – these people are playing out of love for Catalonia, their heritage, and their fans.

Building a spectacular academy like the one at Camp Nou takes years of careful structuring and unprecedented dedication combined with hard labour and passion. And for a city like Barcelona, it’s an integral asset of the city’s sportscape. Aspiring youngsters who dream of playing on their favourite pitch have the opportunity to work with some of the finest athletes and trainers in the industry, while establishing a solid foundation of technical skill and work ethic and forging a bond with fellow team mates. Just as Barcelona works beautifully as a team, the academy gives individual players the chance to shine while developing a strong network where players grow to understand and work with one another like second nature. And in the same breath, so is Barcelona itself intricately connected with the city it calls home.

Barcelona might have the prestige and allure of the big players, but it has excelled in maintaining a balance between creating a diverse team of international talent as well as home-grown players. Many of Barça’s stars have passed through the ranks of the youth camps and many, like the recently retired Puyol, have stayed home at Barcelona throughout their career. Even Messi’s eager pursuers haven’t drawn away the star who calls Camp Nou home.

Community Outreach

Like many professional teams, Barcelona gives back to the community by investing in charities and outreach programs to help those in need. This is an essential aspect of what makes a sports team an integral aspect of a city and a people. Barça have participated in events supporting both international and local charities, ranging from New York’s star-studded concert to end poverty in 2012, the FC Barcelona Soccer Camp which gives kids around the world the chance to play football, and recurring involvement with UNICEF with whom they have had a long-time relationship. In 2013, the club won the acclaimed “Variety Humanitarian Award” for its “charity work and social commitment to the education of children around the world.” The club has also reached out to people struggling with other challenges, as well – 2012 saw the club become involved in “Quit Smoking with Barça” campaign to help millions of smokers kick their habit in conjunction with the European Commission. The program took on a more intuitive approach to addiction – rather than stigmatising the issue, it offered a comprehensive solution by providing counselling and closely examining the nature of the addiction itself, as well as motivating people to adapt to a healthier lifestyle and most importantly, letting people know they weren’t alone in their struggle. It is this tactic which, as many leading rehab programs across the world have adopted, has helped members of the Barça community and beyond to overcome their challenges and succeed.

One Big Family

Barcelona’s contributions to charity, establishing an identity and providing opportunities isn’t just what the club is about. Anyone who has enjoyed a typical game at Nou Camp can say that it’s a family friendly game, where people of all ages and backgrounds can go and enjoy their heroes on the pitch; despite its international appeal, Barça is all about keeping it local when at home. But that doesn’t mean that the club always stays at home – it is set to embark on a whirlwind tour of Mexico and the USA later this year, giving fans across the pond a chance to see their favourite team in person and enjoy La Liga level football which they otherwise may not have been able to enjoy. Combined with admiration for its talent, it is this enthusiasm and dedication to all of Barça’s fans which make it so enduring for everyone from all corners of the planet – and this year could be one of the team’s finest performance-wise, with the players sweeping through the Champion’s League and the Holy Trinity of Suarez, Messi, and Neymar proving formidable.

So yes, one can say Barça is a business, and a savvy one – but it’s the club’s commitment to delivering its fans the best quality football, serving the community, and encompassing the heart and soul of what their hometown is all about which makes them such an iconic aspect of football history and Catalonia itself.

An independent freelance article by Helen David.

The Return of Guardiola

Pep Guardiola returns to the Nou Camp for the first time as Bayern Munich boss as his side take on FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League on Wednesday 6th May 2015. 14 titles, including two Champions League medals over his period of 4 seasons at the helm, it will no doubt be an emotional and surreal experience for Pep whose opponents are now managed by his former team-mate Luis Enrique.

Slumping to German Cup semi-finals penalty defeat last week to Borussia Dortmund, with the league secured, Bayern seek the double. Yet with his Bayern side missing key trio Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba and more notable absentees ahead of the trip to Catalonia, it seems an uphill task. Exacerbated by a free-scoring Barcelona with the last 2 performances recording emphatic wins of 6-0 and 8-0 albeit at Getafe and Cordoba respectively.Nonetheless one would expect the prospect of a Bayern Munich will prove a much tougher task.

Barcelona have only won one of their eight previous matches against Bayern Munich in European competitions and following the 7-0 aggregate demolition at the semi-final stage 2 seasons ago, Barcelona look to set the record straight. The stage is set.

An independent freelance article by Declan Doherty.



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