FC Barcelona

AFP

Atletico-Barca ‘spectacle’ overshadows political backdrop

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Madrid (AFP) – Players and coaches of both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona hailed the atmosphere at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday as the thrills of a 1-1 draw drowned out fears the match would be overshadowed by political tension sweeping across Spain.

Barca’s previous match was played behind closed doors as a protest to a violent police crackdown on an independence referendum in Catalonia, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, on October 1.

Atletico-Barca ‘spectacle’ overshadows political backdrop

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Madrid (AFP) – Players and coaches of both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona hailed the atmosphere at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday as the thrills of a 1-1 draw drowned out fears the match would be overshadowed by political tension sweeping across Spain.

Barca’s previous match was played behind closed doors as a protest to a violent police crackdown on an independence referendum in Catalonia, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, on October 1.

Suarez earns Barca point at Atletico, Ronaldo rescues Real

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Madrid (AFP) – Luis Suarez saved Barcelona’s unbeaten La Liga record this season by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday in a match laced with political tension amid Catalonia’s drive for independence.

Saul Niguez’s spectacular strike had given Atletico an early advantage.

Barca met with wash of Spanish flags in Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid ultras waved hundreds of Spanish flags and shouted “Viva Espana” (long live Spain) ahead of their clash with Barcelona on Saturday in a match laced with political tension amid Catalonia’s drive for independence.

The game is Barca’s first trip to the Spanish capital since an independence referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, was marred by violence on October 1.

Barcelona travel to Atletico Madrid amid Catalan crisis

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Madrid (AFP) – The biggest game of the La Liga season so far is shrouded in political tension as Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid on Saturday in their first trip to the Spanish capital since a Catalan independence referendum marred by violence.

Barca played their last match behind closed doors as the October 1 referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, took place amid chaotic scenes as police seized ballot papers and clashed with voters leaving 92 injured, among nearly 900 who sought medical attention.

Barcelona travel to Atletico Madrid amid Catalan crisis

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Madrid (AFP) – The biggest game of the La Liga season so far is shrouded in political tension as Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid on Saturday in their first trip to the Spanish capital since a Catalan independence referendum marred by violence.

Barca played their last match behind closed doors as the October 1 referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government, took place amid chaotic scenes as police seized ballot papers and clashed with voters leaving 92 injured, among nearly 900 who sought medical attention.

Barca promise to try again for Liverpool’s Coutinho

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona are planning a fresh assault on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window, the Catalan club’s CEO Oscar Grau promised on Wednesday.

Barca were thwarted in their attempt to prise Coutinho away from Anfield during the summer with Liverpool placing a reported 200 million euros ($238 million) asking price on the midfielder.

Iniesta agrees first ‘lifetime’ contract at Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona tied down captain Andres Iniesta for the rest of his career as the club announced on Friday the 33-year-old midfielder has agreed the first “lifetime contract” in Barca’s history.

“It is a way of rewarding an exceptional player,” said Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Iniesta agrees first ‘lifetime’ contract at Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona tied down captain Andres Iniesta for the rest of his career as the club announced on Friday the 33-year-old midfielder has agreed the first “lifetime contract” in Barca’s history.

“It is a way of rewarding an exceptional player,” said Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

FC Barcelona, Iniesta urge dialogue in Catalonia crisis

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona Football Club and its captain Andres Iniesta on Thursday urged dialogue to resolve a volatile political crisis over Catalonia’s drive for independence.

“I have never before publicly commented on situations that are so complex and involve such diverse emotions, but this situation we are experiencing is exceptional,” the 33-year-old midfielder wrote in a Facebook message.

FC Barcelona, Iniesta urge dialogue in Catalonia crisis

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona Football Club and its captain Andres Iniesta on Thursday urged dialogue to resolve a volatile political crisis over Catalonia’s drive for independence.

“I have never before publicly commented on situations that are so complex and involve such diverse emotions, but this situation we are experiencing is exceptional,” the 33-year-old midfielder wrote in a Facebook message.

Ex-Barcelona star Stoichkov backs Catalans

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Sofia (AFP) – Former Barcelona favourite Hristo Stoichkov on Thursday backed the independence referendum in Catalonia and denounced the violence that marred the banned vote.

“The leaders of Catalonia and the people who voted decided that the moment has come to separate and I will back them,” Stoichkov, a Bulgarian, told his country’s public broadcaster BNT.

Ex-Barcelona star Stoichkov backs Catalans

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Sofia (AFP) – Former Barcelona favourite Hristo Stoichkov on Thursday backed the independence referendum in Catalonia and denounced the violence that marred the banned vote.

“The leaders of Catalonia and the people who voted decided that the moment has come to separate and I will back them,” Stoichkov, a Bulgarian, told his country’s public broadcaster BNT.

Barcelona board members resign over closed doors decision

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed on Monday two of the club’s board members resigned in the wake of his decision to play a match behind closed doors after a violent crackdown by police of an independence referendum for Catalonia on Sunday.

Police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into polling stations, often violently removing activists, to confiscate ballots leaving at least 92 people confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, according to Catalan authorities.

Barcelona board members resign over closed doors decision

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed on Monday two of the club’s board members resigned in the wake of his decision to play a match behind closed doors after a violent crackdown by police of an independence referendum for Catalonia on Sunday.

Police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into polling stations, often violently removing activists, to confiscate ballots leaving at least 92 people confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, according to Catalan authorities.

Tearful Pique haunted by ‘worst experience’

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Barcelona (AFP) – Gerard Pique broke down in tears describing Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Las Palmas in an empty stadium as the “worst professional experience” of his life on a chaotic Sunday in Catalonia.

At least 92 people were injured as Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into activist-held polling stations over an independence referendum for the north-eastern region of Spain deemed illegal by the Spanish government.

Tearful Pique haunted by ‘worst experience’

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Barcelona (AFP) – Gerard Pique broke down in tears describing Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Las Palmas in an empty stadium as the “worst professional experience” of his life on a chaotic Sunday in Catalonia.

At least 92 people were injured as Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into activist-held polling stations over an independence referendum for the north-eastern region of Spain deemed illegal by the Spanish government.

Barcelona win behind closed doors amid Catalonia clashes

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Barcelona (AFP) – Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Las Palmas 3-0 in a match played behind closed doors after the Spanish league refused Barca’s plea to postpone the game on the day of the highly-charged Catalonia referendum.

At least 91 people were injured as Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into activist-held polling stations over the independence vote deemed illegal by the Spanish government on Sunday.

La Liga

Could this Barcelona star help fix Liverpool's defensive problems?

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Jurgen Klopp’s failure to resolve Liverpool’s defensive woes is threatening to derail their hopes of success this season, but he has been handed a golden opportunity to secure a short term fix for their problems.

Javier Mascherano’s announcement that he will consider his Barcelona future next summer should trigger an immediate response from Klopp, hopefully with a view to bringing in the Argentinian during the January transfer window.

Spurs eyeing January move for highly talented playmaker, he was close to signing in summer

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Premier League outfit Tottenham will look to sign Andre Gomes from Barcelona when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Mauricio Pochettino was set to sign the former Valencia midfielder in the summer but the move broke down because the Catalan giants failed to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.

Shocking reaction from Tottenham fans on Twitter, ready to accept top class star's sale

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Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been sensational for the Londoners ever since he joined them from MK Dons.

The England international has firmly established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League and it is no surprise that the top clubs are interested in his services.

Club ready to consider offers for Everton's La Liga target in January, Koeman must sign him

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Thomas Vermaelen is looking for a move away from Barcelona and the Catalan giants are ready to consider offers in January.

Earlier this week, there were reports that Barcelona refused to sell him during the summer transfer window despite genuine interest from Premier League clubs such as Everton.

Man City ready to pay versatile star's release clause in January, Pep's influence will be key

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Pep Guardiola is looking to add to his squad in January and the former Barcelona manager has identified Sergi Roberto as a target.

According to latest reports, the Spanish midfielder is a target for the Etihad outfit and they are prepared to pay his release clause when the transfer window reopens next year.

Despite the Near Perfect Start Barca Coach has a Lot to Ponder

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Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford

Barcelona Football Club fans could not have ever dreamed of such a perfect start. When this season started no one would ever have thought of such a start. The Club was in total disarray with Neymar's transfer and the extremely poor performance against Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Barcelona player says club refused to let him leave, Koeman wanted him at Everton in summer

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Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that he was not allowed to leave the club during the summer transfer window.

The 31-year-old time at Camp Nou has been plagued with injuries and he spent last season on loan at Roma. When he returned to Spain earlier this summer, Premier League outfits Everton, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Watford were all interested in signing him.

Wenger opens up on the possibility of Barcelona joining the Premier League

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had his say on the possibility of Barcelona leaving La Liga and joining the Premier League, following growing unrest in Catalonia.

The Catalans held a referendum this weekend to determine their right to an independent statehood which was met with strong opposition from the Spanish government.

On This Day in Football: Puyol makes Barca debut, Dundee go on unbeaten run

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On this day 1999, a 21-year-old Carles Puyol made his debut for Barcelona’s first team in a 2-0 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga.

Born in La Pobla de Segur in Catalonia, Puyol initially started out as a goalkeeper but persistent back problems forced him to change positions.

Spain

Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool to block January bid from Barcelona

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Liverpool will reject any fresh bid from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window, according to The Independent. The report...

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Philippe Coutinho: Barcelona confirm they will bid again in January

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Barcelona have announced their intention to launch a fresh bid for Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window....

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Man Utd’s Anthony Martial linked with Barcelona transfer

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Barcelona are tracking Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, according to Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo. The 21-year-old France...

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Barcelona transfer chief linked with Arsenal and Man City

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Arsenal and Manchester City are both being linked with attempts to hire Barcelona transfer chief Raül Sanllehí. Catalan newspaper Sport reports that...

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Spain Training Session Lasts 23 Minutes Before Gerard Pique Forced To Leave With Security Escort (Photos & Video)

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The tension was palpable during Spain's open training session in Madrid on Monday, the very day after the Catalan independence referendum in Barcelona was mired by scenes of police brutality and politically-fuelled violence.

Of course, after he was seen voting in the referendum, it was Barca defender Gerard Pique who bore the brunt of the ire from the dissenting spectators in attendance, emerging from the tunnel at the beginning of the session to a chorus of boos and hisses.

Arsenal

Arsenal transfer rumour round-up – Benzema, Lookman, Turan, Alberto, Lozano,

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With the international break yet to be broken up by domestic football for the Premier League sides, the rumour-mill has continued to roll, with Arsenal continually speculated. One player who is ALWAYS linked with a move to us is of course Karim Benzema, and it appears as though he will need to die before the [.

Arsenal boss rules out Premier League switch for Barcelona

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that a move to the Premier League for Barcelona would make no sense, and would also cause conflict for England politically. The Camp Nou club are believed to toying with the idea of joining England's coveted competition, should they be dispelled from the Spanish La Liga amidst the Catalonia [.

Huge transfer raid on Barcelona to make Arsenal great again?

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A large number of Arsenal fans are of the belief that the Gunners will never get the glory days back while Arsene Wenger is still the manager, while many others feel that the Frenchman could propel Arsenal back to the top of English football if he was willing and able to match the really big [...]

Manchester United

Man City to make January move for Man Utd target

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Manchester City are set to make a €40 million (£35.9m) offer for Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto in January, according to reports. The 25-year-old has been a regular in Ernesto Valverde's side this season, playing in six of Barcelona's seven La... Continue Reading →

Monday Kickoff: Gerard Pique offers to quit Spain national team, doctor tells Zlatan Ibrahimovic not to rush and more

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Political unrest could have major ramifications for the Spanish national team while one star's doctor insists he take his time with injury.

After playing behind closed doors to do the recent political issues in Catalonia, Gerard Pique said the experience was the "worst" of his career while adding he could step away from the Spanish national team as a result of the recent referendum.

Lionel Messi

Per Sempre: Barcelona Maestro Andres Iniesta Signs ‘Lifetime Contract’ To Prolong 21-Year Stint Into Eternity (Photos)

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In what we assume must surely be some sort of first, Andres Iniesta has signed a new 'lifetime' contract with Barcelona.

In potted terms, the deal means that Iniesta has pledged (presumably on a rolling basis) the rest of his career to Barca, the club he joined as a 12-year-old boy in 1996, some 21 years ago.

Lionel Messi: €170m Theme Park Dedicated To Barcelona Star Scheduled To Open In China In 2020

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If you enjoy theme parks but are always left thinking they could benefit from a thematic tie-in with a professional footballer, then you might want to start looking into flights to Nanjing, China.

For that, dear people, is where the Lionel Messi Experience Park (MEP) is set to open in the year 2020, as confirmed by the head of the company who are manning this spectacular project.

The Rest

Tuesday Kickoff: Alvaro Morata to miss time, Barcelona open to La Liga departure and more

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Chelsea's Alvaro Morata will miss over a month due to a hamstring injury. (REPORT)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says Barcelona will discuss the possibility of leaving La Liga if Catalonia gains independence from Spain. (REPORT)

After Romelu Lukaku missed training with an ankle injury, a scan on the Belgian's ankle revealed there was no fracture or serious ligament damage.