Xavi passes Raul for all-time Champions League appearance record

imageXavi Hernandez applauds the fans following his record-setting appearance (Getty Image)

Though he may no longer be a starter for Barcelona, Xavi is still around breaking records.

The 34-year-old midfielder, who’s won the Champions League three times with Barcelona, came on as a second-half substitute in Barca’s 3-2 loss at PSG on Tuesday, marking his 143rd appearance in the Champions League. That broke the tie for the all-time record, which he shared with fellow Spaniard Raul.

Breathing down Xavi’s neck is Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas, who has made 140 appearances to date and is in line for his 141st on Wednesday. Make sure to keep an eye on those two, and the record, as the Champions League continues.

imageXavi in a 2004 Champions League match vs Celtic. (Reuters)


Adidas launches World Cup ad during Champions League final


Adidas unveiled their official World Cup TV spot during halftime of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final, and of course it didn’t disappoint.

With the tagline “All In or Nothing,” the ad features some of adidas’ biggest clients - Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, Luis Suárez, Robin van Persie and Xavi - and is directed by “City of God” director Fernando Meirelles. And yes, none other than Kanye West is on the 1s and 2s.

Watch it below:


Iniesta, Guardiola and other Barcelona greats pay tribute to Carles Puyol

With nagging knee injuries dragging him down, Barcelona legend Carles Puyol reluctantly called it quits on Thursday.

As the curtain closes on a memorable 15-year career in the top flight, Barcelona put together a touching video to thank the shaggy captain for his services.

Barcelona legends, current and former, all got together to pay tribute to Puyol in the video above. Watch and enjoy.

(FC Barcelona)


Beckham plans Xavi move for Miami franchise


David Beckham is already starting work in recruiting players good enough to compete in MLS. First on the list is Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who would be 37 years of age when Miami kicks off in 2017. Xavi has already expressed his desire to stay at Camp Nou but three years down the line and his body may not be up to the rigour of La Liga.

Sticking with the Barca theme we’ve also got the latest on Victor Valdes, whose proposed move to Monaco is on the verge of collapse. Where could he be heading? Click here to find out. 


Van Persie lines up sensational Arsenal return

So, the transfer window has closed until the summer but one of the most intriguing stories to emerge so far is the rumor that Robin van Persie wants to return to Arsenal. The Holland striker is reportedly frustrated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and would consider moving back to Emirates. 

We’ve also got the latest on Barcelona’s hunt to replace Xavi and we have the newest Premier League player to be linked with a move to MLS. Click here for more.


FIFPro World XI consists exclusively of Bayern, PSG, Real and Barca players

imageLast year, for reasons we’re still trying to comprehend, every single member of the FIFPro World XI came out of La Liga. This time around, there thankfully was a little more diversity, though some will undoubtedly still complain over an apparent La Liga bias amongst the players who voted.

The biggest gripe will probably come over the inclusion of Xavi — over the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger or Arturo Vidal — who for his standards experienced a down year, and was completely taken apart by Bayern Munich’s midfield in last season’s Champions League.

Liverpool fans, too, will be frustrated that Luis Suarez was not rewarded for his fantastic form, although you can’t argue against Zlatan Ibrahmovic either. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos keeps getting a spot in the World XI (it’s his fourth inclusion) despite probably having been sent off for challenges on every player who voted for him.

The 2013 FIFPro World XI:

GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

DEF: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona)

MID: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Photo: Getty Images


Mourinho’s Eye-Gouge Reaches Spain’s Constitutional Court


No matter where he goes, Jose Mourinho just can’t seem to leave the drama behind.

According to a report from Spanish newspaper Marca, Mourinho is the subject of a legal case that has just reached Spain’s Constitutional Court. The topic? The infamous ‘eye-gouge’ incident in which Mourinho poked then-assistant coach of Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, in the eye.

A law-firm based in Barcelona took it upon themselves to file a complaint against the former Real Madrid manager, alleging that he was guilty of disrupting the public order.

Are we sure they’re referring to the eye-gouge incident, or the season Real Madrid managed to break Barcelona’s grip on La Liga?

Either way, Spain just can’t seem to get enough of Jose.


Perfect: Xavi completes each and every pass he attempts


Image via 101greatgoals.com

In today’s Champions League match vs PSG, Barcelona midfielder Xavi attempted 96 passes and he completed all 96 of them. 96 for 96!

According to the Daily Mail, that is a Champions League record. Since the 2003/04 season, no one has completed more passes at 100% accuracy in the competition!

So, Xavi is Number 1, makes sense. But you’re probably surprised to see who the next two gentlemen are on this list:

2. Javier Zanetti in 2010 (72 passes, Inter Milan vs Tottenham)

3. Emmanuel Eboue in 2006 (54 passes, Arsenal vs Porto)

For the full list click on the link.