People ‘waiting for Barca to fail’ – Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

The World Player of the Year Lionel Messi believes that many people are waiting for Barcelona to be eliminated out of the   Champions League next week when they face an uphill task against AC Milan trailing by 2-0 in their first leg.”There are a lot of people that are waiting out there for us to lose so that, like they did last season, they can say this is the end for this Barcelona.The test begun at San Siro Stadium and would end at Camp Nou” he was quoted as saying by ESPN Deportes. Barcelona’s performance would end their recent slump and get them back on  track to finish in style as champions. Lately Barcelona’s poor slump has not only been showcased in Europe but also as back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid have seen them eliminated from the Copa del Rey and their lead at the top of La Liga cut to 11 points.”This club is like this. When you lose two games it is a disaster, when you win two it is normal,” he added.“The people in the dressing room have known this club since they were very young and to talk about buying replacements is crazy. The majority of the players are still young.” But Lionel Messi is quite sure that his team is going to bounce back in the Champions League.

Samsung Galaxy S III / Galaxy S 3D coming this February?

Samsung Galaxy S III concept | image via Concept-Photos

Back in February of this year, Samsung Electronics had unveiled what turned out to be the most successful Android device out there in the form of the Galaxy S II. They unveiled the popular smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) – an event held in Barcelona, Spain every year that acts as a launching pad for many new gadgets. Now, with the unprecedented success of the Galaxy S II, people all over are looking forward to the Galaxy S III, which a report claims will arrive in the same glorious way its predecessor did.

The report claims the successor to the S II will feature a new quad-core processing technology, and possibly even some three-dimensional magic (3D), as the Korean electronics giant looks to differentiate its smartphones from Apple’s popular iPhone.

The report also claims 3D photo and video recording capabilities may be coming to additional Samsung smartphones next year, specifically mentioning a device referred to as the Galaxy S 3D — helping users deliver content to their 3D TVs easily.

If the report is to be believed and Samsung have really lined by the S III and/or S 3D for MWC 2012, then the device(s) is(are) most likely to be made available to the public somewhere around May/June of 2012.

As always, we’ll keep you informed as and when we find something.

Via TNW

Barcelona to open football academy in India soon

The best football club in the world at present, FC Barcelona of Spain is all set to open its first football academy in India to nurture local talent and, hopefully, give the world another Lionel Messi in the next 5 years or so. The Catalans have tied up with Delhi-based Conscient Football and their (Barcelona’s ) football nursery FCBEscoles will be conducting camps at the Heritage School in Gurgaon to train kids in the age-group of 6-14 years.

“We don’t promise to create a Messi here. This is a social project and we want to support India. We have to go step by step.” – FCBscoles director Xevi Marce said.

This is really good news for football lovers in India. Many Barclays Premier League / English Premier League teams are opening academies in India and now the Spanish giants too are entering the land of customs. This shows that India has a lot of talent and it just needs expert guidance to produce world class players who will go on to represent their country and also someday make a mark in European club football.

UEFA Champions League 2011/12 Draw Announced

The draw for the upcoming UEFA Champions League season have just been announced. Barcelona are the defending champions while Manchester United were the runners up last term. Manchester City are the most popular debutantes in the draw.

Group A

  • Bayern Munich
  • Villareal
  • Manchester City
  • Napoli

Group B

  • Inter Milan
  • CSKA Moscow
  • Lille
  • Trabzonspor

Group C

  • Manchester United
  • Benfica
  • Basel
  • Otelui Galati

Group D

  • Real Madrid
  • Lyon
  • Ajax
  • Dinamo Zagreb

Group E

  • Chelsea
  • Valencia
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • KRC Genk

Group F

  • Arsenal
  • Marseille
  • Olympiakos
  • Borussia Dortmund

Group G

  • Porto
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Zenit St.Petersburg
  • Apoel FC

Group H

  • Barcelona
  • AC Milan
  • FC Bate
  • Viktoria Plzen

A Special Pinch from the Special One: Mourinho’s antics caught on camera (video)

Mourinho (top of the screen, 2nd from left) caught pinching Villanova's ear

Barcelona may have defeated Real Madrid 3-2 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate to lift the Spanish Super Cup last night but there was more drama off the pitch as well as much as there was on it. Messi’s late goal sealed the fate of the game but things got ugly near the touchline with players and staff pushing and abusing each other. Among all the banter that was thrown around, Real coach Jose Mourinho, the self proclaimed “Special One” did something not so special: he pinched Barcelona assistant coach Villanova on the ear. Don’t believe me? See for yourself…

Spanish Super Cup 2nd leg Preview: Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Es la noche El Classico!! Yes you heard it right. Its the El Classico tonight. The world’s most biggest rivalry is back again after Sunday night’s action at the Santiago Bernabeau.

1st Leg:

“If we want to win the Spanish Super Cup, we will have to play much better,” said Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. It was a night to savor for the home fans at the Santiago Bernabeau where Barcelona had a below-par performance. Real Madrid shared more of the possession  but still Barcelona managed to take their chances and scored twice. It was a 2-2 draw which could have gone either way. As usual there was controversy in the game. Victor Valdes pulled Cristiano Ronaldo’s leg inside the box which should have been a penalty but the referee couldn’t see it.

Now the Spanish Cup will be decided at the Camp Nou. Real Madrid look really strong this time around. This game can go either way. Barcelona, as we all know, is very difficult to beat at the Camp Nou. This looks set to be an exciting game coming up.

Team News:

Barcelona will be boosted by Alexis Sanchez’s sparking performance in the first leg against Real Madrid as well as the addition of Cesc Fabregas to their squad. Whether or not he’ll play Wednesday night is questionable, though. The former Arsenal midfielder trained with Barcelona on Tuesday and appears to be matchfit.

On the other, hand Real Madrid isn’t expected to make any changes to it’s line up, but you can expect them to be a little more defense minded as they know one goal from Barcelona can kill this tie off.

What can be their tactics?

A key to how both teams will play tonight is the away goals rule. If the second leg is tied after 90 minutes, the winner will be decided using the away goals rule. Barcelona scored two precious goals at Real Madrid’s backyard on Sunday night so they definitely have a significant advantage knowing that Real Madrid will need to either win the game or score three or more goals if the game is tied.

The other option, of course, is a win for either side. That would rule out considering of the away goals rule.

The tactics that will be employed Wednesday night are just one part of the intrigue around this game that features two of the best teams in the world.

In a calculated move, straight from Jose Mourinho’s textbook, he didn’t attend the Real Madrid press conference Tuesday but had his assistant manager, Aitor Karanka, speak to the media instead. During the press conference, Karanka defended Pepe and brushed off the criticism Pepe has received from the public. Many Barcelona fans argue that Pepe is a dirty player who intentionally goes out of his way to harm Barcelona’s players on the pitch when given an opportunity. Karanka, not surprisingly, disagrees.

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi?

These two are back again on the same pitch together. Is this going to be a game between these two? No need to mention both of them are skillful and capable of scoring goals and turning the match on their head single-handedly. This time it looks like these two have to do it again for their respective teams. Messi did score in the first leg so there must be some added pressure on Ronaldo to score.

So,the Spanish giants are set to face each other. One of the world’s most exciting game is coming your way tonight!!

5 Possible replacements of Fabregas for Arsenal

Yesterday saw an end to one of the biggest transfer sagas in the history of football. Francesc Fabregas, the now former Arsenal skipper completed his dream move back to his boyhood club Barcelona. Now, we all know that Arsenal are a fantastic footballing side with wonderful passing and movement. But they have been struggling a lot since the last couple of seasons and with their inspirational captain’s departure at this stage, they will certainly miss him (Fabregas) dearly. Fabregas serviced Arsenal for 8 years. Now let us see who can replace Fabregas for Arsene Wenger’s men.

1. Eden Hazard

This transfer looks highly unlikely as Lille themselves have said that Hazard is not for sale. BUT, Arsenal do have the cash this time around after selling Fabregas for around about 36mn. They can tempt Lille to sell him by putting in a huge offer.

The Belgian International can suit Arsenal’s quick passing style of play. He can give good support in midfield to Jack Wilshere. He is capable of scoring goals and making assists. He is one player that Wenger would be keenly looking for.


2. Aaron Ramsey

No one has really spoken about this guy yet. Ramsey, who is already in the Arsenal team, can be a real good replacement for Fabregas. Ramsey got a serious ankle injury 2 years ago but is back and fit again. Already having the Arsenal style of play inside him, Ramsey can become an Arsenal great, especially when you consider the fact that he is much more mature than everyone his age. He became the youngest captain of Wales recently.

After looking at his squad Wenger would certainly be looking out on Ramsey.


3. Xabi Alonso

After the arrival of Sahin and the kind of form Mesut Ozil is in, it looks like Alonso won’t get much game time at Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso, an ex-Liverpool player, is in a place where you never know what can happen in world football. Xabi Alonso is a kind of player who can play anywhere in midfield. Turning 30 this November, Xabi Alonso has the vision and the experience to help Arsenal get back to their winning ways, and he would be a great addition to Arsenal’s midfield.

 


4. Yoann Gourcuff

He will take time to settle in the premier league but his potential is there. His desire to play football is there. His arrival would make Arsenal really strong and make a new partnership between him and Robin Van Persie. And he can bring in his old Bordeaux partnership with Marouane Chamakh as well. His ability to split a defense in half, along with his technique and his eye for goal, would make him the perfect replacement for Fabregas and a perfect signing for Arsenal.


5. Willian

The Brazilian midfielder is really strong both physically and mentally and can shake the premier league with Arsenal. Willian is a very creative midfielder and he can fit into the Arsenal side perfectly. BUT will Shaktar Dontesk sell him? Thats the big question.

 

 

 

There are many possible replacements for Fabreagas and above are just 5 of them. Who do you think will actually replace him at Arsenal?

Barcelona complete Fabregas signing: But how will it work?

Arsenal have announced that they have agreed a deal to sell their club-captain Francesc Fabregas to European champions Barcelona. Fabregas was heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou since the last 3 years, and now the longest running transfer saga has finally come to an end. The deal has been completed for a reported 36mn with Fabregas having to pay 4.5mn from his own pocket to complete the deal. Fabregas left Barca’s academy to join Arsenal in 2003.

Fabregas was with Arsenal for eight years and made 303 appearances for them, scoring 57 goals. Arsene Wenger the Arsenal manager told his official website:

“We have been clear that we didn’t want Cesc to leave and that remains the case.

“However, we understand Cesc’s desire to move to his home town club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona.

“We thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and wish him future success.”

But now the question arrives: How can he fit into the Catalan side?

Will Fabregas get a chance to play at Barcelona? His dream has come true but looks like he won’t get much chance to play in the Barcelona shirt. We all know that Fabregas is a world class player but can he play ahead of Xavi Hernandez or Anders Iniesta? I doubt.

What do you expect from Fabregas at Barcelona? Will he be a regular starter for the Catalans? If yes, then who will make way for him?

Veteran French defender Eric Abidal to undergo surgery on Liver Cancer (Tumor)

In a very sad and depressing news, veteran French defender, and one of Barcelona’s most used player Eric Abidal has been diagnosed with liver cancer (liver tumor), and will undergo surgery for the same two days later on Friday.

Eric Abidal’s peers have rallied in support of the Barcelona defender who will undergo surgery on a liver tumour on Friday, said EspnStar.

Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka as well as Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas on Tuesday sent their best wishes to the 31-year-old France international after Barcelona announced the news.

Abidal’s condition was revealed in a Twitter statement by his club.

Barcelona announced: “A liver tumour has been detected in the player Eric Abidal and he will be treated surgically next Friday.

“Abidal will be operated on by Dr Josep Fuster Obregon. Per the express wish of the player, we call for the utmost respect for the right to privacy.”

Barcelona later confirmed that Abidal will be operated upon at the BarnaClinic Grup Hospital Clinic, in the city.

Fabregas, a former Barcelona youth player, wrote on Twitter: “Much encouragement and a lot of strength to Eric Abidal. Bad news for football.”

Ronaldo, who plays for Barca’s major rivals Madrid, wrote on the social networking site: “I hope it all goes well with Abidal, and that he gets back soon”, while his team-mate Kaka added: “What sad news about Eric Abidal, tumour in the liver! Let’s pray for him .. God bless!!”

Abidal had support from England as well as Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted on Twitter showing his concern: “Just heard Eric Abidal has been diagnosed with with cancer, thoughts are with you. The man was a rock vs arsenal as well.#perspective”

Abidal joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2007 and has been a regular this season in the team which leads the Primera Division and has reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

He played in both matches against Arsenal in the last 16 of the latter competition.

Capped 52 times by France, Abidal made his international debut in 2004 and has played for his country at two World Cups as well as the 2008 European Championship.

We at Firstain wish Eric Abidal a very quick and painless recovery from this trauma. God Bless!

Football Roundup: Champions League action

Lionel Messi lit up the Nou Camp with a stunning four-goal haul to beat Arsenal and maintain Barcelona’s bid for back-to-back Champions League titles.

Inter Milan booked a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona with the minimum of fuss in Moscow. Continue reading “Football Roundup: Champions League action”

UEFA Champions League and Europa League draw

The draw for the quarter final and semi final for the Champions League and the Europa League have been announced. Read below: Continue reading “UEFA Champions League and Europa League draw”