Sabtu, 31 Oktober 2009

La Liga - Puyol to stay at Barca until 2013

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has agreed a contract extension until 2013 with the European champions.

Carles Puyol - 0

The 31-year-old Spain star's current deal was due to expire next June.

The defender, who sat out the Catalan giants' shock 2-1 home defeat to Russian minnows Rubin Kazan in the Champions League on Tuesday, will sign the new agreement in the coming days.

"Carles has been here for many years and is the heart and soul of the dressing room. For this reason, it is fantastic news," team-mate Xavi said.

Puyol joined the club's youth system in 1995 and made his first team debut on October 2, 1999 against Real Valladolid.

The shaggy-haired defender has gone on to make 451 appearances for Barca, the fourth highest for the club, helping them to win three Liga titles, two Champions League titles and a Copa del Rey.

Barca, top of La Liga on 19 points from seven matches, welcome Real Zaragoza to the Camp Nou on Sunday.


La Liga - Barcelona pair to miss out

Injured Barcelona pair Andres Iniesta and Rafael Marquez have not made sufficient progress to be available for the champions' opening La Liga match against Sporting Gijon.

Andres Iniesta, Barcelona - 0

Spain midfielder Iniesta (pictured) is recovering from a thigh injury and Mexico defender Marquez has been out with a calf problem, although the club said both were able to train as normal on Sunday.

Barca will also be without Lionel Messi because the Argentina forward is on international duty and Iceland's Eidur Gudjohnsen has not been included in the squad while he seeks to resolve his future with the club, they added.

Coach Pep Guardiola told a news conference the players were feeling the strain after their exertions in Monaco where they beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 in the European Super Cup on Friday.

Playing extra time in the heat and humidity and the heavy state of the pitch in the Louis II stadium had sapped their energy, he said.

"We have conducted tests individually to see how they are," he said. "The level of fatigue is very high."

Guardiola added that the imminent arrival of Shakhtar defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy meant the squad was "virtually complete" and denied media reports that said Barca were poised to sign Brazilian forward Robinho from Manchester City.


Statistics: Higher attendances than last season

The average attendance at the Nou Camp so far this season has been 12,000 higher than last year, with an average of 75,000 at each game.

Camp Nou fc barcelona

The average attendance at the stadium so far this season after six games is 74.254, 12.256 more than for the first six games of last season, when the average was 61.998.

This year’s figures are pretty much in line with those of 2004-05 (74.273 , 2005-06 (73.025 ) and 2006-07 (72.550 ), though still short of the numbers for2007-08 (82.002).

Laporta called Extremadura president an “imbecile”

Joan Laporta fc barcelona

According to Catalan press, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta threatened the president of Extremadura and called him an “imbecile” during a phone call after being accused of using FC Barcelona as a stepping stone towards his political ambitions.

In his column in Spanish newspaper “Marca”, Guillermo Fernandez Vara asked Laporta to stop talking about Catalan independence. Vara explained that he was unhappy with Laporta making it all about Catalunya while there are millions of Barca fans living in other parts of Spain.

Reportedly, Laporta’s responded by phoning Fernandez Vara, and calling him an “imbecile” and “a terrible Barca fan”.
“Write about Barca, but don’t ever write about me again or I’ll show you”, were the alleged Laporta’s words.

Cultural Leonesa – first Barca opponent in Copa del Rey

Fans of Cultural Leonesa may look forward to hosting Copa del Rey champions – FC Barcelona. The draw for the knockout phase took place this morning in Madrid and Barca are scheduled to travel to Leon on 28th of October and will be hosting the minnows in return leg on 10th of November at Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona Copa Del Rey

Full draw:

Alcorcón – Real Madrid
Cultural Leonesa - FC Barcelona
Marbella – Atlético de Madrid
Atlético Ciudad – Sevilla
Alcoyano – Valencia
Puertollano – Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano – Athletic
Hércules – Almería
Salamanca – Racing
Celta – Tenerife
Recreativo – Sporting
Real Murcia – Deportivo
Xerez – Osasuna
Valladolid – Mallorca
Zaragoza – Málaga
Getafe - Espanyol

Laporta still to endorse his candidate

FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta is still keeping cards close to his chest regarding the endorsement of presidential candidate that is to represent the current Barca board.

Jaume Ferrer fc barcelona 810

6 months ago, vice-president, Alfons Godall, looked as a possible candidate but after he gave up the run there was only 2 names that were left on the list. The eccentric economist Xavier Sala i Martin and vice-president Jaume Ferrer (on the pic).

Reports coming from Catalan press claim that Laporta only supported Sala i Martin as a counterbalance for a candidate he’s not being fond of – Jaume Ferrer.

Recently, polls have shown that Sala i Martin doesn’t face good odds if he is to run for a president so Laporta turned again to Alfons Godall.

Iniesta:”New contracts aren’t important, it’s being valued that counts”

FC Barcelona midfielder, Andres Iniesta, attended a press conference after a training session with the Spanish national team.

Andres Iniesta fc barcelona 810

“I never asked anything from Barca. It’s the club that reached out to me regarding new contracts. If the club feels that I need a new contract then I can only hope it’s a fair one. I don’t know if I’ll sign a new contract but I think that what’s important for a player is not a new contract but a feeling that he’s valued in the team.”

Iniesta also commented on the treatment he received from Barca staff during his injury: “I never lost the drive and determination to return to the pitch. Everyone has been treating me kindly,the coach, the physiotherapists and my team mates. Entire squad has shown me support and I am thankful for that.”

Rosell wants Guardiola as Barca’s Alex Ferguson

Sandro Rosell fc barcelona guardiola 710

Sandro Rosell is finalizing the details of his 2010 Barca presidential bid.

Speaking for “Esport Club”, Rosell revealed some of the key points of his project. Rosell said that above all he would like to preserve the good image of FC Barcelona, include the ethical code for directors and to give Guardiola more power to decide on the transfer policy and the technical issues, something similar to Alex Ferguson in Manchester United.

This last proposal would mean the disappearance of the technical director position, currently occupied by Txiki Begiristain, who was being criticized over the past few months by the Catalan press for his inability to meet Guardiola’s needs.

Pedro: “Guardiola gives me confidence”

FC Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriguez has come along leaps and bounds over the past several months, and the Tenerife-born youngster explained that this is due to the confidence he is getting from coach Pep Guardiola.

“I have more confidence because of the opportunities the coach is giving me, the minutes I am getting [on the pitch], and I’m also more more integrated with my teammates”.

pedro fc barcelona 06 10

However Pedro notes that despite his impressive statistics this season – he has scored a goal every 85 minutes he has been on the pitch, including winners against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Super Cup and Almería in La Liga – there is still room for improvement in his game.

Pedro commented that he made “many passes” failed to reach their target in the game against Almería on the weekend, and that his “tactical” position on the pitch could be better.

“I have to improve in several aspects,” he said, “such as taking on the opponent more and putting in better crosses with both legs. I try to improve myself day by day in training”.

Pedro’s place in the first team comes as more surprise given that he has largely kept superstar Thierry Henry out of the side. Although Henry has suffered one minor injury this season, it has also been Pedro’s impressive form that has kept the Frenchman on the bench. However Pedro simply explains that hs is “making the most of the opportunites,” while noting that Henry is “a very important player”.

Keirrison loan turning raw

Sending the young Brazilian starlet, Keirrison, to Benfica in order to gain experience in Europe could turn out as a bad deal for Barcelona.

Keirrison fc barcelona benfica 510

Out of nine of

ficial Benfica matches this season, Keirrison featured in starting eleven only once, three times came from the bench and in the rest he didn’t even play.
With so few chances to play, the Brazilian is still waiting for his first goal in Europe.

For now, his representative, Naor Malaquías asks for patience and more time for Keirrison to show his worth. “If the situation does not improve, the chances of Keirrison making a leap to Barca first team next season will decrease and we could see another Henrique scenario, who after an initial loan spell at Leverkusen had to go to another loan, this time to Racing Santander.

Marquez wants to stay at Barca

Mexican international and FC Barcelona defender, Rafael Marquez, is keen to sign a new contract with Barca and likely see out his career at Camp Nou.

Rafa Marquez (30)

Rafael Marquez fc barcelona 510

will be out of contract in 8 months but the club already expressed their desire to keep the Mexican after 6 years of loyalty to Blaugrana shirt.

The defender was lin

ked with a move to Serie A several times but opts to stay in Barcelona: ”I am eager to sign a new deal. My wish is to finish my career at Camp Nou. I am proud to be a part of a club that is more than a club.”