Barcelona v Real Madrid
Barcelona v Real Madrid
The road to the UEFA Champions League final is down to just four teams, with one of those clubs Chelsea FC from the Barclays Premier League.
Chelsea is set to play Atletico Madrid in the semifinals, but before then club manager Jose Mourinho sat down for a fan Q&A session with Chelsea Magazine. Chelsea FC granted FOX Sports early access before the magazine launched on Monday.
Here are Mourinho’s thoughts on defensive strategy, versatile players on the pitch, and Premier League play versus La Liga, and much more:
We’re sure that Andres Iniesta normally loves the support of his fans, but when a young girl ran onto the field to hug her idol after Barcelona’s loss to Granada on Saturday, we can’t blame him for trying to brush her off.
Her timing was less than ideal: it was during a TV interview. After a loss. To a team that hasn’t defeated your club since 1972.
Come on, kiddo. Not cool.
You have to give her credit for her commitment to the hug. That girl has a death-grip on Iniesta’s waist. But was it worth the inevitable months of being grounded?
Atletico v Barcelona
See that, Sepp Blatter? You don’t mess with Barcelona!
In response to FIFA handing the Catalan heavyweights a one-year transfer ban for violating international transfer rules regarding minors, the fans at the Camp Nou unfurled a giant, defiant tifo ahead of their match against Real Betis. It read: “La Masia No Es Toca,” or “La Masia is not to be touched.”
La Masia, of course, is Barcelona’s fabled youth academy that has been dragged in the mud a little bit as a result of the ban. Though FIFA will not bat an eyelash to this display, one thing it really can’t touch is the academy’s greatest ever product - Lionel Messi - who scored twice in a 3-1 win.
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Want to win a print of this cool Lionel Messi illustration by Eight by Eight Magazine? Just tell us on Twitter @FOXSoccer why you think Messi is the greatest, and the best answers will earn a copy!
Lionel Messi’s stratospheric ascent to four consecutive FIFA Ballon D’Or titles began when manager Pep Guardiola deemed him the savior of FC Barcelona in 2008. However, the quality and consistency of his performances for Argentina have yet to match his club form. The revenue generated by Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League competition has allowed for him to be surrounded by superior players with whom he is able to play more frequently - and against superior opposition - than with his national side. This has led to media in Argentina expressing disappointment with his commitment to the Albicelestes (sky blue and whites).
Success at the 2014 World Cup will be the biggest factor in whether he can wrestle the Ballon d’Or back from Cristiano Ronaldo, but more important, a final win for Argentina could establish Messi as the greatest player of all time.