Barcelona dominate the list of candidates for FIFA’s Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded at a gala in Zurich on January 11, 2016. Once again, Lionel Messi, Barça’s Argentine forward, is the big favourite to lift the trophy, ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the current holder of the prize for football’s best player. In total, seven FC Barcelona players (Messi, Javier Mascherano, Claudio Bravo, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Neymar and Luis Suarez) are among the 59 players.
Depleted Barcelona have a tough task ahead against Sevilla
Given the absences of Andres Iniesta, Rafinha, Thomas Vermaelen, Adriano and quadruple Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, the Asturian only has 14 outfield first-team players to choose from -- with the vast majority of them scheduled to play their third game in the space of seven days on Saturday. As a result of the Catalans' unforgiving schedule and horrendous luck with injuries so far, Enrique has been forced to call up as many as six Barca B players in order to prepare for Sevilla. Although it is unlikely that all of Gerard Gumbau, Sergi Samper, David Babunski, Robert Costa, Juan Camara and Aitor Cantalapiedra will make it on the plane to the Andalusian capital, at least they were given a chance to prove their worth with the first team squad -- well, what is left it.
Luis Enrique: People have a desire to twist things against Barcelona
Luis Enrique: "I see that there's a desire to twist things, not from within Barça, but outside of the club. But, fine, we are like a cork and we will keep on floating and keep on fighting. We will continue trying to make things enjoyable for our fans."
Gerard Deulofeu and Sergi Roberto, two news-making La Masia graduates
Two Barcelona youth players made news and raised eyebrows this week. Gerard Deulofeu tore it up for Everton, tallying two assists in a performance whose effect was immense as it steered his team to a win. And Sergi Roberto made the La Liga team of the week for the website WhoScored.com. Both players are now being debated for very different reasons. Youth is all the rage. No, not that youth. The right youth.
Yarmolenko and Gundogan? Barça want TWO signings in January
In recent weeks the club have analysed the squad and have reached the conclusion that it is necessary to sign a forward who can play on either flank and, on some occasions, who could also do a role in the middle of the front three. There are few players who can take on this role -- Luis Enrique would like a winger who scores goals and can beat a man. This signing is the priority and Barça are looking at the possible options. Ukraine forward Yarmolenko is still on the table, although there are other similar options. They have been offered international players, but the situation is that they are only looking for a player who can provide the trident with a rest -- a younger Pedro.
What are your thoughts?
What are your thoughts?