Saturday, September 22, 2007

Barca news round-up: what a difference a day makes

Barcelona 3-0 Lyon

  • 3 points against arguably our most difficult rival in the group
  • Messi continues to improve all aspects of his game
  • Henry really needed that goal
  • Great to see Giovani and Bojan get their Champions League debut
  • That defence: Zambrotta-Marquez-Milito-Abidal. Excellent, and they should start every game until Puyol is fully fit. Lyon only had one shot on goal.
  • Deco has really responded to the pressure (credit to Rijkaard for motivating him once again), Xavi is as tidy as ever, and Iniesta is just brilliant. It's a hard choice for the coach to make, having to pick two out of three.
  • Toure has made a great start to his Barca career, really earning the admiration of the fans with his work rate and skill. Same with Abidal.
  • Far too wasteful in attack. So many great chances went begging before Messi's goal.
  • Ronaldinho still doesn't look quite right. I believe his substitution was the correct decision.
  • Henry also looks a bit off the pace, although that should change as he gets used to the way Barca play.

The bidding to renovate the Camp Nou has been won by prestigious architects Norman Foster. The plans include the addition of another 10000 seats, taking the stadium capacity to a ridiculous 110000 and is expected to cost 250 million euros.

Congratulations to Xavi, who equalled the club record for most number of appearances in international competition with his 85th match for the club in UEFA and FIFA club competitions. Remember, he's only 27. The Catalan had this to say about the honour:
"It is a beautiful number to help celebrate an important win," smiled the 27-year-old Spanish international midfielder. "I still feel young. I feel important within this squad and the fans continue to show me great affection.
I damn well hope the club continues to make the third captain of the squad feel important. He's a hugely underrated player and always wonderful to watch.

Congratulations are also due to Bojan Krkic, who became the youngest player ever to play in the Champions League not only for Barca, but in the history of the competition at the age of 17 years and 22 days. The previous Barca record holder was the man who he replaced, Leo Messi, who was an ancient 17 years, 5 months and 13 days when he started the game against Shaktar Donetsk 3 years ago.

Lastly, it gives me great pleasure to announce that club captain Carles Puyol is finally back in full training with the rest of the squad, who gave him a warm welcome back. We've missed his leadership and his spirit.

However, Puyol hasn't been included in the squad to face Sevilla.


Amol Diego said...

Linda , Once again great performnce by Messi vs Sevilla . He Scored two goals . What a player!

Last Week was really superb .. its all arround Argentinamania . Tavez scored for MU.. Saviola scored for Real and now Messi did it for Barca.. Nice to see all the goals..

I am upset to see Riqueleme still out of action . He is lossing his game and talent ..

Linda, i m from India. we missed lots of Argentina's news .. but ur really doing good job .. By reading ur blog ..thanks for that .
hope this month we could see Riqueleme in action ..

take care and god bless

Linda said...

Yeah, I'm really happy that he's stepping up when Barca needs him.

Last week was a great one for Argentinian players - Kun also had a very good game. As for Roman, that's just a tragedy. I don't even know what to say about it anymore.

Thank you very much for your kind words!

Gonzalo said...

It's right and proper for Barça to get someone of the status of Norman Foster to refurbish the Camp Nou (wish Real would get their act together and do something about it), but is it only me who thinks it looks like a big birthday cake with all those colours?

Linda said...

To be honest, I was kind of confounded by it at first, but the more I see of it the more I like it. Has personality, if nothing else, even if as you say it does look a bit like a particularly colourful cake.

(I kind of agree with Phil Ball's latest column, though, at least where Laporta is concerned. God, he's an embarrassment.)