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Neymar contract, Johan Cruyff, Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Rijkaard, Philippe Coutinho | Top 5 Barca


Four key areas of Barcelona's minor 'crisis' that Luis Enrique must address
It's a useful litmus test as to how things stand at FC Barcelona when you hear Luis Enrique release a huge sigh of welcome at the arrival of the international break. The international break is a threat, like putting a bug in an otherwise fully functioning system. The international team coach will train differently, the player will often be a mega-star and welcomed as such by his national fans and media. Egos can be inflated, daily discipline distracted. Completely different strategic or tactical tasks may be asked of players who need to shed their "club mode."

Barcelona players suffering with fatigued legs
The season started just two months ago and many players are starting to suffer from minutes' accumulation. The squad is more reduced than ever and we had never seen such a large number of injuries in FC Barcelona. This fact alerted the coaches, who suffer for the most used players' conditions. One of the keys of success last season were the rotations. This allowed players to be fit at the end of the season. Now the big number of lows prevent players to have rest, specially the midfielders. This will be a great handicap until January, when Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will be able to play. These are the players with the most fatigued legs.

Liverpool's Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho wants Barcelona move
Coutinho's new agents have a good relationship with the Catalan club. In fact, they were previously involved in talks the club had with David Luiz and Marquinhos. That fluid relationship has allowed the possiblilty of a transfer to move forward, although none of the parties involved have taken an definitive steps forward yet. In fact, David Luiz, who has the same agent, has already said that Coutinho is being followed by Barcelona and that it would be good for his career to move to Camp Nou. One of the handicaps, at the moment, is the money Barça can spend in January. They spent a lot of money on Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal and the cost of the first team squad is very high.


Barcelona Technical Secretary Robert Fernández talks about Neymar's new contract at Barça
Robert explained: "Neymar's contract renewal is going very well. I have no doubt that he'll be here his whole career. That's the way I feel. Not being top of La Liga? Nobody likes to lose, especially a team like Barca, who are used to winning. Despite the defeat in Sevilla, the team responded very well. It isn't normal to lose that game. I get the feeling it will be a very competitive league and there will be some rivals who, at first, we thought wouldn't be able to fight to the end. To some extent, it's normal. We want good competition apart from just Real Madrid and FC Barcelona."

Cruyff says Messi is better than "goalscorer" Cristiano Ronaldo
Johan Cruyff: "For me, I have always liked small, technical players because that's a little what I was like. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, but he's a goal scorer. He will never be the player that can create or force a team to play well. He cares about finishing. He is a great player. Messi is much more of a team player than Cristiano. He gives passes, produces many more assists so for me, as a player, not a goalscorer, although he also scores a lot, the best is Messi. For me, there's a great difference between being a great player and a goalscorer."

Rijkaard: "I'd happily go back to Barcelona"
Rijkaard: "I'd gladly go back. I have a lot of great memories and it was a big part of my footballing life. Luis Enrique's Barca? Every season is tough at Barcelona, but we'll see how the season pans out. I don't think they have a problem with motivation after winning the Champions League, it's still a challenge. Luis Enrique has shown that he's brave and he'll have his own way of motivating his players. Barcelona have the outstanding players they need to achieve their goals this season".

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