Atletico v Barcelona
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.
Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to lead Barcelona to a 4-3 win at Real Madrid on Sunday, becoming the rivalry’s all-time leading scorer with 21 goals in the process. Before his hatter, which included two penalties, Messi was tied with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano on 18 goals. And if you’re wondering (you are), Cristiano Ronaldo also scored on Sunday and currently has 13 ‘Clasico’ goals.
Messi also passed Hugo Sanchez for second place in La Liga’s all-time scoring charts (he now has 235 goals) with the hat trick, and notched yet another historical first:
RMA 3-4 FCB (84’): Lionel Messi becomes the first EVER Barça player to score a #Clásico hat-trick at Bernabéu.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive)March 23, 2014
The goal that broke Di Stefano’s mark, Messi’s first of the day, was a classic Barcelona tiki-taka masterpiece. Watch it below:
Lionel Messi scored a hat trick at Osasuna on Sunday to become Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer at the tender age of 26! Twenty-six! Messi equaled and overtook Paulino Alcantara’s record with his 369th and 370th goal, the later added a third for good measure.
What. A. Legend.
Check out the hat trick below:
If you’re into math, Messi needed only 452 games to break the record, scoring an average of .82 goals per match. Simply amazing. As a reward, he gets to wear these bad boys soon:
— Michael Ehrlich (@adidasUSPRGuy)March 16, 2014
With Messi now having run out of club records to break, he’ll set his sights on the all-time La Liga goalscoring record next. With 233 goals to his credit, he is 19 goals shy of Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra. Look for the Argentinian magician to break that sometime early next season.
When Neymar went down in the 23rd minute in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match against Getafe, Culés held their breath and feared the worst.
The rising Barca star was down for several minutes being tended to by the club physios after awkwardly rolling his ankle. He needed assistance off the pitch, clearly unable to put much weight on his right ankle.
Barcelona confirmed the initial reports that Neymar sprained a tendon in his ankle, but more tests will be conducted on Friday. Hopefully it’s nothing worse, and the injury won’t keep him sidelined for too long. Until then, Barca fans and Brazilians will continue to hold their collective breath:
Neymar sprained the peroneal tendon in his right ankle. He will undergo additional tests tomorrow. #FCBLive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona)January 16, 2014
They call this time of the year the “season of giving,” but Barcelona winger Pedro seemed perfectly fine taking away three points from Getafe on Sunday.
With Barca down 2-0 in the first half, Pedro selfishly scored three goals in a span of just over eight minutes to turn the match on its head. Getafe, who to that point looked on their way to a special holiday upset win, never recovered from Pedro’s Christmas trick and ended up going home 5-2 losers. Ouch.
As for Pedro, that match ball will make for a nice gift to himself under the Christmas tree.
— Pedro Rodríguez (@_Pedro17_)
(Image: Pinto’s Twitter)
Whoa! So that’s what Barca backup goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto looks like with his braids unfurled.
Pinto shared the image via his Twitter on Wednesday, and we must say we’re quite impressed.
Toss a pair of glasses and a bowler hat on him, and he could easily pass for Cousin Itt from the Addams Family:
We just feel bad for the poor soul who has to re-braid Pinto’s locks.
Computing giant Intel today announced a novel shirt sponsorship with Barcelona: Instead of plastering the chip-maker’s name on the front of their shirts, Intel’s logo is on the inside.
The intention is that Barcelona’s players will reveal the logo during their goal celebrations, and thus pay homage to Intel’s long running advertising campaign as well. (The fact that the players will be carded for taking off their tops? An afterthought, apparently.)
If this sounds goofy, keep in mind that Barcelona are not the first team to put a logo inside a shirt. Spanish side Getafe had Burger King’s “king” on the inside of their shirts in 2009.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the club, but media reports said Intel had paid in the neighborhood of $21m for the deal.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is one of the premier faces in football. So, is it that unreasonable to see him living in a house shaped like a football?
A concept designed by architect Luis de Garrido with Messi in mind has this idea well on its way to fruition.
Messi’s work life revolves around soccer, and it appears his home life might as well. A birds-eye view gives the first look at the numerous football-inspired designs, with an overall look of a football pitch.
The house itself comes in the shape of a football, and appears to be two stories. Our favorite subtle nod to Messi’s profession? The front entrance and the ball forming the shape of a “10,” the Argentine magician’s number.
Casa de Messi is still in the design phase, but it would be interesting to see how this would look up close and personal.
(h/t 101GreatGoals). Images and video courtesy of 101 Great Goals.