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Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Adriano, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic | Barcelona News



Despite differences, Messi thriving under Luis Enrique's leadership writes Francesc Tomas Barcelona are currently enjoying one of the most peaceful weeks of the season. With the team fully focused on extending their winning streak to an impressive 12 consecutive victories in the home game against Malaga on Saturday, there is a renewed sense of optimism and even euphoria in the air. The fantastic string of positive results has silenced the ongoing criticism that Luis Enrique had been receiving from the moment he returned to the Camp Nou. The Asturian realised early on that ...

Sergio Busquets Justifies New Deal but Form at Barcelona Can Hit Greater Heights
Sergio Busquets is set to be handed a new deal at Barcelona, but his form this season has been below its usual level. Marca reports that Barcelona and Busquets have already agreed terms on a new de...

Lionel Messi hands out Barcelona warning to Manchester City 
Lionel Messi has warned Manchester City they could not have picked a worse time to face Barcelona. The sides meet next week in the Champions League knockout stages for the second consecutive year a...

The art of passing the ball
Sometimes in a comments thread you see something that deserves to be a post. So it is with a comment from kosby: Several amazing questions – I won’t be pretending to have answers to all of them. Fo...

Understanding Pedro
Few players have been so liked by his coaches, yet so reviled by so many supporters while being misunderstood by those same supporters. Some of that is because Pedro defies traditional metrics, tho...

Adriano: "It's a pleasure to watch Leo Messi like that"
Adriano talked about Messi's great turn of form in a press conference: "It's a pleasure to watch Messi like that; it motivates us. This is the Leo that we know. He pulls the cart forward." The treb...

Alba: "This is the best moment of my career"
Jordi Alba is living the best moment of his career. In fact, he explained in an interview at Mundo Deportivo that he feels phisically perfect. The defender is one of the players with more minutes i...

Rakitic: "Messi is the best; I know it, you know it and your neighbour know it"
Ivan Rakitic has become a key player for Luis Enrique. The Croatian has celebrated how is the squad feeling, despite doing it with caution: "Everything has changed positively, but it can turn to ne... 

Andrés Iniesta could be back in time for Barça's next game, against Málaga. The Spain international, who missed their most recent game against Levante with a flu virus, trained this Wednesday with ...

Jesús Navas: "Barça aren't clear favourites" 
Jesús Navas is a man of few but well chosen words. Like his football, the chat he had with MARCA was a quickfire affair. City's big game is less than a week away; not long now until Barcelona's vis...

Lampard on Barça: "One lapse will cost you the game" 
Manchester City midfielder, Frank Lampard, has assured that "one lapse of concentration will cost you the game" against Barcelona, as they prepare to face the Spanish giants in the Champions League...

Terms agreed on new Busquets deal 
Barcelona and Sergio Busquets have agreed on the terms of a new deal for the player. Following talks between his agent, Jose Maria Orobitg, and the club's director of football, Raúl Sanllehí, it ap...

Premiership beckons for Pedro 
These are turbulent times for Pedro, who has been relegated to playing second fiddle in the wake of Luis Suárez' arrival. The Spaniard is seizing any opportunities Luis Enrique throws his way, but ...

Barcelona Sporting Director Carles Rexach Discusses Transfer Ban
"The biggest nonsense I have seen in recent years." That's the assessment of Barcelona's FIFA-imposed transfer ban from Carles Rexach, per AS (h/t ESPN FC reporter Dermot Corrigan). The Catalan clu...

Alves: "If I have to go, I'll do it with a smile"
Alves wants to renew for 3 years, according to Sport

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The Great Gamble of Barcelona with Dembélé

Recently, a lot has been said about Ousmane Dembélé, the 20 year old French footballer that received worldwide attention after hitting the second most expensive transfer in football history for £97m (from Borussia Dortmund to FC Barcelona), just after the stratospheric £198m move of Neymar Jr. from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain.

Indeed, Dembélé is going to be playing Neymar’s same position and, because of that, media all around the globe have rephrased the same question, asking if the favourite son of Mauritania has what it takes to pay off his transfer price with goals and skills of the quality of Messi, or if his big marketing brand and solid presence on the football field is going to be missed by all of the Barcelona FC fans in the upcoming seasons.


Photo: FC Barcelona via Facebook
Several comments have arisen so far and from very different points of view, starting from the lack of faith in the young player by soccer legends like Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal coach stated that D…

Why Paulinho can be an unexpectedly great partner for Lionel Messi

Paulinho landed at Barcelona after the Blaugranas agreed to pay his whopping €40 million release clause to his previous club, Guangzhou Evergrande from the Chinese Super League. After weeks of endless speculation and an even more significant amount of negative opinions from the vast majority of fans and media, it is clear that the Brazilian was going to face plenty of adversity as soon as he landed at the Camp Nou.

While it is obviously still early days in the season, Paulinho is slowly but surely establishing himself not only as a valid player for Barcelona, but also a real contender to break into Ernesto Valverde's starting lineup on a weekly basis. The Brazilian international's two goals in his last two matches have certainly contributed to Barcelona's impressive start to their La Liga campaign and, judging by his effective performance against Eibar, his presence in the team is very likely to remain a constant for the remainder of the season.

As our The Barcelona Podca…

Nelson Semedo only getting better for Barcelona

He may have only started three games for FC Barcelona, but the hype train for Nelson Semedo has already left the station.

A twelve minute cameo against Chapecoense AF in the Joan Gamper Trophy game got him his unofficial Barcelona debut, followed up by a forty minute appearance against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup where he looked like a player getting accustomed to his teammates.

Four days later in the La Liga opener, the Portuguese defender was given his first Barcelona start against Real Betis. He hit 94% of his passes, 52 in total, and seemed to be finding his feet on the right side.

After not featuring against Deportivo Alaves, he was given another start against Espanyol in a 5-0 trouncing of the local rival. His dribbling was less purposeful, but his defending was spot-on in controlling the right side of the field and combining well with Gerard Deulofeu. He still hit 92% of his passes and landed 78 total passes while showing his speed on a few occasions.

With the start a…

Is Maxime Lopez the heir to the Barcelona midfield?

Maxime Lopez, 19-year-old Marseille midfielder, is the latest name to pop up as a potential successor to Andres Iniesta or Xavi in Barcelona's midfield.

Maxime Lopez plays as an attacking midfielder in Rudi Garcia's 4-3-3 and looks right at home next to bigger names such as Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin, Morgan Sanson and Luiz Gustavo. A French youth player with a Spanish father and an Algerian mother, it isn't too far-fetched to think that he would adapt well to Spanish football.

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Aleix Vidal becoming a victim of Nelson Semedo's excellent form for Barcelona

Aleix Vidal has been left out of the Barcelona's squad that is to play away at Getafe on Saturday for the second consecutive match -- which is disappointing given the fact that the Catalan full-back had, in theory, everything in his favour to establish himself as a regular starter this season.

As it could not be any different, Ernesto Valverde refused to make give the situation much importance when speaking to the media in the Getafe pre-match conference: "Aleix is a player who can help us in more than one position. I understand these type of questions, but it’s likely that I will have to leave one or two players out of the squad on a weekly basis. Aleix started the game against Alaves and, although, he’s not been in the squad for the last two matches, that could change at any moment. I’m happy with him and with his performances."

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Paulinho rescues uninspired Barcelona | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings

Barcelona left it late to secure the three points when they visited Getafe on Saturday. The hosts were determined to bring the game to Barca from the initial whistle and, thanks to their high pressing and that crucial extra degree of energy applied, they were ultimately unlucky to come away from the game without a single point to show for their sacrifice.

Ernesto Valverde decided to field his preferred starting eleven with the only exception of Sergi Roberto for the in-form Nelson Semedo. The manager's idea was not as effective as expected, however, given the fact that his Barcelona lineup looked tired throughout the game and, what's worse, disappointigly unfocused during large periods.

Fortunately for Cules, Barca decided to step up a gear in the second half, especially after both Denis Suarez and Paulinho were subbed on. An increase of purposeful passing and success when running at defenders resulted in goals from both subsititutes and yet another three points, extending th…

Can Messi reach new heights under Valverde? Semedo progression, Getafe preview and Maxime Lopez [TBPod33]

The Barcelona Podcast duo review the 3-0 win over Juventus, discuss the signing of Maxime Lopez, preview the Getafe match and give an update on the vote of no confidence. Episode 33 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Running Order:
Who are the 5 Star Players from the 3-0 win over Juventus?
What makes Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta so effective under Ernesto Valverde?
How quickly is Nelson Semedo adapting to the Barcelona style?
Why is Lionel Messi excelling under Ernesto Valverde?
What advantages do Barcelona and Real Madrid have in the race to sign Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez?
What can Barcelona expect when they face Getafe?
How optimistic is Agusti Benedito on his progress with the vote of no confidence?

If you enjoy the podcast and want to be part of it, why not show your support? Learn more at http://TBPod.link/Patreon -- Moltes gràcies!

What did you think about this episode? Leave a comment via Twitter or Facebook and debate with Francesc, Dan and the rest …

Lionel Messi thrashes Eibar to extend Barcelona's perfect start in La Liga | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings

Barcelona achieved a comfortable 6-1 victory against Eibar at the Camp Nou in Matchday 5 of La Liga. Although the game was not spectacular, Barca's effectiveness upfront was the decisive factor that unbalanced the game in the Blaugranas' favour.

As it could not be any different, the ever-present Lionel Messi stole the show once again. The Argentinean star continued to excel in the False 9 role that Ernesto Valverde has granted him, taking full advantage of the many fluid partnerships he is now capable to build from his more central position. As surprisingly as it may sound to most, Messi's constant linking with Paulinho was actually one of the highlights of Barca's attacking transitions.

With Luis Suarez remaining an unused substitute, Barcelona's newly arrived manager decided to trust both Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu as wingers and, given what we saw on the pitch, it is hard to disagree with his decision. Denis was influential throughout the whole game, runn…

Can Barcelona overcome the absence of Dembele? Deulofeu golden chance, Paulinho progression and Cruyff [TBPod34]

The Barcelona Podcast duo break down the disheartening Ousmane Dembele injury, provide in-depth analysis of the games against Getafe and Eibar, discuss Paulinho's role as Barca's saviour and so much more! Episode 34 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Running Order:
What does Ousmane Dembele's injury mean for Barcelona?
Who could get more minutes with Dembele's injury?
Is it time to trust Paulinho?
Who are the 5 Star Players from the 2-1 win over Getafe?
How will Barcelona match up against Eibar?
What does the new stadium mean for Barcelona B and Barcelona Femeni?
Is Agusti Benedito any closer to the vote of no confidence?

If you enjoy the podcast and want to be part of it, why not show your support? Learn more at http://TBPod.link/Patreon -- Moltes gràcies!

What did you think about this episode? Leave a comment via Twitter or Facebook and debate with Francesc, Dan and the rest of our 700,000-strong FC Barcelona community.

You can also subscribe via em…

Why is Messi excelling under Valverde? Celebrating Semedo, Getafe preview and Maxime Lopez [TBPod33]

The Barcelona Podcast duo review the 3-0 win over Juventus, discuss the signing of Maxime Lopez, preview the Getafe match and give an update on the vote of no confidence. Episode 33 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Running Order:
Who are the 5 Star Players from the 3-0 win over Juventus?
What makes Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta so effective under Ernesto Valverde?
How quickly is Nelson Semedo adapting to the Barcelona style?
Why is Lionel Messi excelling under Ernesto Valverde?
What advantages do Barcelona and Real Madrid have in the race to sign Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez?
What can Barcelona expect when they face Getafe?
How optimistic is Agusti Benedito on his progress with the vote of no confidence?

If you enjoy the podcast and want to be part of it, why not show your support? Learn more at http://TBPod.link/Patreon -- Moltes gràcies!

What did you think about this episode? Leave a comment via Twitter or Facebook and debate with Francesc, Dan and the rest …