“They play like a team in crisis.”

Former Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger’s Discusses Barça After 0-0 Draw in Champions League.

MIAMI, Fla. (November 7, 2019) —

Arsène Wenger analysed Barcelona for BeIN Sports for the midweek UEFA Champions League match versus Slavia Prague. He maintains that Barça play like a “team in crisis.”

The reigning La Liga champions were stunned on Tuesday night after they were unable to break the deadlock against Slavia Prague and were held to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou.

“They’re top of the league, they’re top of their group and they play like a team in crisis,” the legendary former Arsenal boss said on beIN Sports.

“Their game is too slow. There is no dynamic in the last 30 meters, it’s too individual.

“And every time they lose the ball, it looks like they will concede a goal on [the] counterattack because they cannot deal with pace against the opponent… the team lacks dynamic, lacks energy, lacks confidence.”

It was the first time since 2012 that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi failed to score in a home Champions League group game. He came close, striking the bar in a superb solo effort.

Wenger agrees with my own opinion that Barcelona are far too reliant on the Argentine superstar. He echoed that in discussing the Culés’ failure to make the breakthrough against Slavia Prague.

“Barcelona is an interesting case because they have a history of fantastic collective play, and on top of that, came Messi to make differences,” the 70-year-old explained.

“Today, it looks like they play and they wait for Messi to do something, but the basic strengths of the team play is a bit gone. And you think, when will Messi get the ball to do something?”

“And before, the music, the basic music, was the fantastic team play, making it difficult to catch the ball, and then on top of that came Messi.

“Today, it looks to me that they lost charisma.”

Wenger continued his brutal assessment of Barca’s performance with a stat comparison for ‘distance covered’ in the match.

Barcelona managed to cover 97 km in comparison to Slavia Prague’s 109 km, with the Frenchman saying it was the equivalent of 84 box-to-box runs.

He added: “Barcelona was beaten tonight really, physically, and then, not enough pace.”

While critical of Barça manager Ernesto Valverde, he was careful not to blame him entirely. “At the end, it’s always the coach who is guilty, he’s not always responsible,” he said. “There’s a difference between being guilty and responsible, you know?”

“As we said, Valverde does not make the decision on who comes in. He has to do the best with what he has.”

“So, what we speak about raises many questions: who has the final word when you buy a player? Secondly, is this really the player that the team needs?”

Source Credit: Sport Bible

FC Barcelona In-House Documentary Series Will Take You Inside Barça

Por primera vez, las cámaras de televisión han tenido acceso al día a día de jugadores como Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué, Marc-André ter Stegen o Luis Suárez.

Miami, Fla. (October 30, 2019) —

Fútbol Club Barcelona will be releasing its own in-house documentary that will take viewers behind the scenes.

This follows other clubs who have produced documentaries, such as Netflix’ work with Juventus and Amazon’s work with Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Leeds United.

The Blaugrana version will be an eight-episode documentary each consisting of 45 minutes that focus around eight key games from the 2018-19 season. The exclusive content features dressing room footage, the players’ reactions to last season’s shocking defeat to Liverpool, interviews, and a glimpse into the players’ home lives. Actor John Malkovich provides the narration.

The documentary will be available via Barça sponsor Rakuten and their distribution partners in Europe from November onwards. It will be available in North America although the distribution partner has not been announced.

It is definitely a not-to-be-missed series.

Here is the trailer for the project:

Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance at what’s new on the commercial side of football.

Liverpool Set To Sign New Kit Supplier Deal

MIAMI, Fla. (October 29, 2019) —

European Champions Liverpool Football Club are set to sign a new kit supplier agreement with Nike that is reported to be worth £75 million (€84.8 $93.2).

This would match Manchester United’s 10-year deal with adidas and place the Reds among the top 5 clubs in the category of kit supplier deals. FC Barcelona currently has the largest kit supplier agreement at €113.5m with Nike. 

This after the London Commercial Court dismissed New Balance’s complaint for breach of contract in a dispute that centred over “matching rights” contained in the kit supplier agreement between New Balance and Liverpool which expires at the end of this season.

#soccerbusiness #commercial #russo #russosoccer #miami @lfcmiami  @the.liverpool.corner @anfield.times #nikesoccer #supplier

Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance at what’s new on the commercial side of football.

El Sueño Rojiblanco Continúa – Granada CF Shock Champions Barcelona, Climb To 3rd In La Liga

Miami, Fla. (September 23, 2019) —

“Absolutely stunning.”

These are perhaps the best words to sum up the game this last Saturday at the Estadio Nuevo de Los Cármenes. Diego Martinez’s side has impressed so far in 2019-20, following their return to the Spanish top flight. Saturday night, their tenacity was again on display, as home side Granada CF shocked the reigning La Liga champions FC Barcelona, 2-0 in a night few Granada fans will forget anytime soon.

Ramon Azeez stunned the visitors with a goal inside the first 60 seconds, heading home at the far post, after Jose Puentas profited from a slip by Junior Firpo, who got his first start for the Catalan side.

The visitors never really recovered from that early setback, with Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann unable to trouble an organised home defence.

Throughout the game, the home side played with intensity, hunger, order, perfect coverage, helping each other in a display of teamwork that Ernesto Valverde surely would have wanted from his Barcelona players.

Valverde brought on Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati at half time, but again they struggled to make any attacking inroads as the hosts looked to preserve their lead.

Any chance of a late FC Barcelona comeback was killed off with 25 minutes to go as substitute Arturo Vidal conceded a penalty for handball, which was signaled by referee Cuadra Fernández, whose decision was confirmed beyond any doubt by VAR. Alvaro Vadillo, who had come on as a substitute, then scored from the spot to make it 2-0.

All of the Granada turned in a terrific performance on the night. In particular, Ángel Montoro gave the side the rhythm needed at every moment. When he had to play wide, he did it. When he elected to change the side of attack, both Machís and especially Puertas, benefitted from his decisions. And when he has to find Yangel Herrera o Azeez inside, he executed it with certainty.

With the win Granada CF sit third in the La Liga table. They actually briefly were first after the win, prior to Sunday’s games. When the calendar came out in July, even the most optimistic fans of the club could not possibly have imagined that after 5 games, the team would have 25 % of the points needed to survive relegation.

La Liga.com Match statistics, Minute by minute, Lineups / Estadísticas, Minuto a minuto, Alineaciones

DID YOU KNOW? This was only the fifth time in history that Granada’s have beaten Barcelona. It is also the first time since 1944 that they have scored more than one goal against Barça.

Galeria Gráfica / Photos

Crónica en español

El Granada hace historia con un partidazo ante el Barcelona (2-0)

El conjunto de Diego Martínez se impone con total merecimiento al actual campeón de La Liga

El Cuadro de Nazarí mostró los argumentos que le hicieron ascender.

Diez puntos suma ya el cuadro de Diego Martínez, lo que es decir, el 25 % de los necesarios para salvarse.

Fue un histórico triunfo del Granada CF frente al FC Barcelona para colocarse como uno de los dos mejores de LaLiga Santander. Los goles de Ramón Azeez y Álvaro Vadillo (de penalti) demonstraron la superioridad de los 11 de Diego Martínez frente a un Barça sin ideas que ni Messi pudo reactivar. 

Cuando allá por el mes de julio salió el calendario, pocos podían imaginar que tras la disputa de las cinco primeras jornadas, el Granada CF tendría el 25% de los guarismos necesarios para salvarse. Diez puntos que saben a gloria tras vencer al Barcelona (2-0) y que permitieron al conjunto rojiblanco dormir como líder de LaLiga Santander. Y lo hicieron por méritos propios, con los argumentos que han llevado a volver a ilusionar a toda una ciudad.

El mejor guión

Si a Diego Martínez le hubieran pedido que hiciera un guión del partido, seguramente habría soñado con un choque como el que hicieron sus jugadores ante el campeón de liga. Intensidad, hambre, orden, coberturas perfectas, ayudas y automatismos que seguramente Ernesto Valverde hubiera querido para su equipo. Y encima, un gol en la primera acción de ataque. Lo soñado por todos.

Los rojiblancos se adelantaron a los dos minutos, gracias a las ganas que pusieron en un balón dividido de Puertas con Lenglet, en una acción en la que los culés reclamaron falta. Pero Cuadra Fernández no lo estimó, ni el VAR tampoco. El almeriense, tras un excepcional pase de Soldado, se internó en el área y centró, tocando Piqué el esférico que se elevó para que Azeez remachara en boca de gol para delirio de Los Cármenes, que se frotaban los ojos ante tanta eficacia.

El Barça comenzó a dominar el esférico pero sin profundidad. El sistema defensivo de los nazaríes se le atragantó a los de Valverde, incapaces de superar las dos líneas ordenadas desde el banquillo. Pero es que cuando tenían los locales el balón, lo cuidaron con mimo. En especial, Ángel Montoro, que le dio el ritmo que necesitaba al partido en cada momento. Si había que jugar en largo, lo hacía. Que tocaba cambios de orientación, tanto Machís como, especialmente, Puertas, se beneficiaban de ello. Y si lo ideal era asociarse por dentro con Yangel Herrera o Azeez, lo ejecutaba con acierto.

Pocas Ocasiones

Ello incomodó al Barça, que no tuvo profundidad, con un Griezmann desaparecido, Luis Suárez desasistido y con Carles Pérez como único estilete con algo más de peligro por banda derecha, aprovechando su velocidad ante un debutante en Primera, el canterano Carlos Neva.

Las ocasiones no es que fueran numerosas, pero si hubo un equipo que lo intentó, ese fue el Granada CF. Puertas, Neva o Yangel Herrera lo intentaron desde fuera del área y casi siempre para cerrar una contra. Y, todo ello con Piqué en el campo, que pudo ser expulsado por una agresión a Machís en el 18’por la que pudo ver perfectamente roja. Acción que repitió en el descuento del primer acto, donde sí vio cartulina.

“Sí, Se Puede”

De hecho, la mejor ocasión visitante llegó en el añadido con un remate mordido de Luis Suárez que Puertas supo despejar en línea de gol. No habría sido justo que llegara el empate ante el esfuerzo descomunal de los rojiblancos, que fueron despedidos con una sonora ovación de su afición al grito de “¡Sí se puede!”.

Valverde era consciente de que caer en Granada generaría una enorme crisis y apostó por sacar todo su arsenal ofensivo. Dio entrada a Leo Messi y Ansu Fati, situando al astro argentino por detrás de los tres atacantes. Pero no era el día del conjunto con mayor límite salarial de la competición. Y no lo era porque enfrente se encontró con un grupo de jugadores humildes que se dejaron todo en cada duelo individual, que presionaron en bloque, con intensidad pero que, sobre todo, tenían el hambre que las estrellas culés no tienen a día de hoy. Y eso es mucho.


Porque, pese jugar con hasta cuatro delanteros, Rui Silva no pasó por excesivos apuros, logrando así su tercera puerta a cero de manera consecutiva gracias, además, a que todos sus compañeros se afanaron en proteger el arco nazarí. Con tanto riesgo asumido, lo normal era que, a la contra, el Granada CF pudiera hacerle daño a su rival. Y, aunque no tuvieron el acierto ni los efectivos necesarios porque el objetivo era evitar que el Barcelona se metiera en el partido, cada opción había que aprovecharla. Y así lo hicieron los de Diego Martínez.

Fue por medio de una falta lateral que ejecutó Vadillo y que Arturo Vidal tocó con el brazo demasiado extendido. El colegiado tuvo que acudir por primera vez en la historia en Los Cármenes a la pantalla del VAR y señaló penalti. El propio extremo gaditano ejecutó magistralmente la pena máxima para júbilo de los seguidores granadinos, que no todos los que acudieron a la instalación del Zaidín iban con el equipo de su tierra, por cierto.


Con 2-0, el choque se puso muy de cara para hacer una de las cosas que mejor sabe hacer el Granada CF, que no es otra cosa que dormir los partidos. Pese a que el Barça lo intentó, no tuvo ideas y sí demasiadas imprecisiones. Y tampoco es que los locales se encerraran atrás. Todo lo contrario. Siguieron presionando a destajo, como si cada balón fuera el último de la temporada. Unas ganas que la grada agradeció con ovaciones constantes, como la que llegó en el 90’ con todo el equipo en campo contrario. No era para menos. Se estaba cerca de vencer al actual campeón, cosa que se confirmó y que la plantilla, en el campo y en el banquillo, celebró como si de un ascenso se tratara. El matagigantes ha vuelto. Y todo con Ivan Rakitic en la cancha.

Highlights / Destacados

Sources: Granada Hoy, YouTube, La Liga, Granada CF, FC Barcelona

Images by Alex Camara

Más imágenes del Granada-Barcelona:



Barça, Messi Continue Champions League Mission With 3-0 Win Over The Reds

Barcelona, ES (Thursday 2 May, 2019) -by Kenneth Russo

Fútbol Club Barcelona continued on its mission of capturing Europe’s biggest prize, beating a strong and well-managed Liverpool side 3-0 in front of 98,299 spectators at the venerable Estadio Camp Nou last night in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

Luis Suarez scored the opening goal (26′) while Leo Messi added his 599th (75′) and 600th (82′) career goals for Barcelona.

El estadio culé registró ante los británicos la mejor entrada de la temporada, reuniendo a 98.299 espectadores

At the beginning of this season, Lionel Messi made a promise to the Blaugrana faithful: “We promise we’ll do everything possible to bring that beautiful and desired cup back home.”

With the group stage first-place finish and after eliminating Olympique Lyon and Manchester United, Liverpool was up next.

The Reds are a very strong side and are battling for the Premier League title, currently sitting on 91 points, one point off the top of the table to leaders Manchester City, with two games left in the season to play. Liverpool actually had more completed passes and more possession than Barcelona in last night’s match, a remarkable feat in itself which rarely occurs in a game versus the Blaugrana.

But Barça have Messi.

Messi is from a galaxy far, far, away.

Game Over.

This video tells the story better than any words; it would be impossible to make this up:

The 600th Goal for Leo Messi

By now anything complementary that could be said about Leo Messi has been said. We’ve run out of superlatives to describe his presence, which is a problem considering Messi has not run out of new ways to leave us mesmerised. Here is a quote from today’s FC Barcelona website:

“The 31-year-old virtuoso continues to marvel as an undisputed leader who scores goals not of this world, who cuts through opponents like a hot knife through butter, who passes the ball with uncanny precision, and who, when required, even becomes a feared defender. Messi is the total footballer. He is unstoppable. That’s why he wears the captain’s armband and why the team follows his lead.”

ter Stegen as Überman in Goal

Meanwhile, Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen had rendered a stellar performance, making at least four critical saves to preserve the game for the home side.

Highlights – Momentos Destacados

FC Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool FC (español)
Highlights (English)
Estadísticas del Partido
Más estadísticas aquí en La Marca

Related Content On FCBarcelona.es

Aquí tenemos un artículo por cortesía del app de FC Barcelona: ¿De qué galaxia eres, Messi?

Which universe is Messi from?


Want to Establish a Great Culture at Your Soccer Club? Do this first.

Miami, FL (Tuesday, January 15, 2019.)

At the core of any successful company is a great culture. To establish one, think about how you want your company to impact the world. Where does one begin this?

Football (Soccer/Fútbol) clubs are no different. What do two of the largest clubs have to say about this? What does a new club do first?

Read more to find out with the link below!

Continue reading Want to Establish a Great Culture at Your Soccer Club? Do this first.