Spain v Ireland in New York a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Barcelona and Real Madrid stars - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Football fans in New York are set to be spoiled this summer, with two high-profile games to be played at the Yankee Stadium in the European off-season. Chelsea and Manchester City are set to do battle on May 25th, and the first international fixture at the historic stadium is set to be played between world champions Spain and Ireland on June 11th.
It may look as simple as players covering their equivalents while on defense, but to have Robben and Ribery effectively negate the impacts of Alves and Alba is a remarkable sacrifice for the 2 attacking players and accomplishment for Heynckes to successfully implement.
How Arsenal can become more Barcelona-like - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Arsenal came face-to-face with Barcelona in the final of the 2005-06 Champions League, but despite being beaten by the Spanish giants, they held their own and were good value for their place at Europe's top table.
Champions League Recap: Barca Need Away Goal To Best PSG is a post from: Serie A Weekly Champions League Recap: Barca Need Away Goal To Best PSG is a post from: Serie A Weekly Barcelona advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League after another draw with PSG meaning they progressed on the away goals rule.
On a night where Lionel Messi did not feature in the starting XI, Barcelona did at times look very lost. Without the Argentine frontman, PSG largely looked the more aggressive and dominant side which contributed to the opening goal as Javier Pastore was allowed acres of space in the Catalans half of the pitch and converted in the 50th minute.
With regular penalty taker Leo Messi out of the game due to injury, Barcelona captain Xavi stepped up the spot to convert an 89th-minute penalty that put his side up 2-1 on PSG in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. After scoring, Xavi immediately began patting his head -- a manner of celebrating that might have seemed unusual, but actually served as a means of communication to a 10-year-old back in Barcelona.
In the previous round of the Champions League FC Barcelona destroyed AC Milan 4-0 after having lost the first match in Italy 0-2. Today, in the first leg of the quarterfinal in Paris the Catalonians got 2-2. FC Barcelona was up 2-1 on goals by Messi and Xavi (on penalty) until the 93rd minute when Blaise Matuidi equalized for the French side to give them hope before the second leg in Barcelona.
Paris Saint Germain Crest (Google Creative Commons)
PSG enter their Champions League quarterfinal bout against Barcelona with plenty of confidence after taking down a very well-organized and tactical Valencia side in the previous round. However, as the French side note, the Spanish giants overcame a two-goal deficit at the Camp Nou to erase AC Milan's advantage and are keen to not allow such an unpleasant situation happen to them.
Xavi Hernandez's recent hamstring injury has given us a chance to view this current Barcelona side without their wizardly midfield maestro. At the age of 33 there's no doubt that Xavi still has a few good years left but we all know there are more years behind him than in front of him.
The Spanish national team have arrived in Madrid to prepare for their decisive World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France. The 24 players called up by Vicente del Bosque were required to turn up at the headquarters at 10:30am this morning and the "early birds" were Barcelona's Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta, who arrived half an hour before the stipulated time.
Wow. What a performance. The last time I saw Real Madrid dominate Barcelona like this was way back in the 'Pasillo' Match. That match however was played at the Bernabeu, not at the 98,000+ capacity Camp Nou (the largest football stadium in Europe). The last time I saw Real Madrid dominate Barcelona like that at the Camp Nou?
Photo taken by friend of AFR, Julia Christy, in Buenos Aires
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We're always freshly squeezing plenty of articles and content by our talented network of writers and contributors at AFR; but we also read quality work which is being written throughout the football world.
01.03.2013 -Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Víctor Valdés y Xavi te hablan vía celular dejandote los consejos a seguir para dejar de fumar y mejorar tu estilo de vida: es la campaña Quit smoking with Barça (Dejá de fumar con el Barça). Luego de inscribirse al programa, el fumador responde un breve cuestionario según el cual iCoach (un entrenador personal en línea) baja las sugerencias para cada caso.
Barcelona find themselves in a situation they aren't often in -- trailing Milan 2-0 after the first leg of a Champions League round of 16 tie. So to remind fans (and perhaps themselves) that this can be turned around before the threat of elimination becomes a reality, Barca put out a short video showing several goals in the club's greatest comebacks throughout history.
They didn't like being called the favourite. Barcelona almost always are these days, but something about AC Milan frightened them. Not so much the team, or its players, but the very thought of playing against Milan. Barcelona's people spoke of their opponents in the round of 16 in the Champions League as if they were patron saints of the tournament.
Antecedentes Milan vs Barcelona Local Visita Hora Torneo 8sF Barcelona --- Milan 12.Mar.13 13:45 CL 12-13 8sF Milan --- Barcelona 20.Feb.13 13:45 CL 12-13 4sF Barcelona 3-1 Milan 03.Abr.12 14:00 CL 11-12 4sF Milan 0-0 Barcelona 28.Mar.12 14:00 CL 11-12 5 Milan 2-3 Barcelona 23.
Philippe Mexes of Milan-Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images
AC Milan will look to raise the UEFA Champions League trophy for the first time since 2006/07, which would be their eighth all-time in the competition. As for four-time winners Barcelona, the Catalans could spring-board their title hopes with a spirited performance against the Rossoneri.
Wilshere to be subjected to Cesc & Henry like transfer saga by Barcelona? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
If the debacle against Blackburn Rovers and the spectre of an eighth trophy less seasons were not enough for Arsene Wenger to spend sleepless nights, additional impetus has been provided to Wenger's woes in the form of Dani Alves.
Arsenal fans have had enough of Barcelona trying to poach players from the club, and the latest report will not make them feel any friendlier towards the Spanish giants. In typical Barca style, one of their players has been talking about a possible transfer of the midfield star Jack Wilshere, just as they did with Cesc Fabregas.
FC Barcelona will be travelling to Milan to face AC Milan in the first leg of Champions League pre-quarter of this season. The match will be held on Wednesday and the squad which will travel to Milan has already been announced. The notable absentees are Adriano and Villa, both recovering from their recent injuries and illness.
Antonio Nocerino of AC Milan-Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
This Wednesday, two of Europe's most storied clubs will meet in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League when AC Milan host Spanish side FC Barcelona at the San Siro. AC Milan have undergone a major resurgence which has seen them leap all the way up the Serie A table from their early mid-table mediocrity to a tie for third place.
Cesc Fabregas was happy during his years at Arsenal, and has said before that the club is close to his heart, but when he left in 2011, it was to go back to the club he had been at from the age of 10, and also the one he supported growing up in Catalunia. His first season back at FC Barcelona was not ideal, and he struggled to convince the fans that he was right for the club.
Arsenal were one of the clubs linked with Pep Guardiola before he decided to restart his football management career in the German Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. The former Barcelona boss was widely expected to come to the English Premier league, and had apparently spoken of his admiration for the Gunners and the way the club is run.
It's contract signing time at Barcelona! The legendary Xavi followed in Puyol's footsteps and renewed his contract that will see him at the club until 2016 while Leo Messi is expected to sign his (which binds him to the club until 2018) next week.
Avid followers of Barcelona will probably tell you that Xavi Hernandez has said some regrettable things in the past, and they prefer him to "do the talking on the pitch". Well, the charismatic midfielder one of the best players of this generation recently spoke up about his interesting friendship with Iker Casillas, which dates back to when they were both starting out for Spain in 2002.
This weekend FC Barcelona look to go on the road to take on fourth place Malaga. Barca is coming off a big 4-0 win against Espanyol last Sunday. With the win, Barca is now eleven points clear of second place Atlético Madrid, who tied 1-1 against Mallorca over the weekend.
El Dream Team del fútbol mundial año 2012 fue presentado el día de hoy, no sin causar alguna que otra polémica. Algunos de los jugadores que aparecen por ahí no merecían estar según expertos. De los 11 que estuvieron en la gala, todos participan en la liga de las estrellas en España, acaparan los titulares el Real Madrid y el Barcelona, aunque los hayan presentado por nacionalidades.
Barcelona vs Espanyol 2013 Highlights 4-0 Xavi Pedro Messi Goals Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Barcelona vs Espanyol 2013 Highlights 4-0 Xavi Pedro Messi Goals Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Barcelona vs Espanyol 2013 ( Barca Espanyol VIDEO BELOW) Final score and result:- Barcelona vs Espanyol 4-0 ( Xavi, Pedro*2, Messi) Nou Camp, Barcelona- 6 January, 2013- 18.
Analysing Arteta: Dissecting the Spanish maestro's game. By Jules
As this week is a Champions League week, a competition neither we or any other English club are still in, we were able to enjoy the football on show without being burdened by the stresses and strains of going toe to toe for ninety minutes against the continent's finest.
Santi Cazorla has had a fantastic start to his career at Arsenal, scoring 11 Premier League goals and providing eight assists. The Spanish international can play anywhere across the midfield and has an eye for goal. For Spain, he has played with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, David Silva and Fabregas, so when a player really impresses him you know they must be something special.
It must be frustrating for the vice captain of Arsenal to be continually ignored by his country. Mikel Arteta is consistently one of the best midfield performers in the Premier league and, since joining the Gunners from Everton 18 months ago, has played regularly in the Champions league. This week's friendly for Spain against Uruguay could have been the perfect opportunity for the 30-year old to win his first full international cap, but he was overlooked again.
After months of speculation and rumours, Neymar has confirmed that he is indeed going out with Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine.
At a Carnaval parade over the weekend which he attended (in support of Bruna, who was dancing for a samba school!), Neymar told the Brazilian paparazzi : "Yes, we are together (and) it's going good, I'm very happy.
If you're still reeling from Lionel Messi's fashion faux pas at the Ballon d'Or last night, you're not alone! Whoever dressed the Argentinean for the awards show from leftover Christmas wrappers needs to be given his marching orders now.
It's a classic case of Brilliant footballer, but not so brilliant choice of bow-tie ("It isn't that bad, polka dots and bow-ties don't always scream "Pee Wee Herman in Da house!
In England, we've spent the last decade wondering whether Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard can play together for the national team. Perhaps the real problem was a lack of forward planning. Take Argentina, for instance, where Diego Maradona is already sparking tactical debate about how his newborn son, Diego Fernando, might fit into a national [.