30
Sep

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)

25
Sep

Lionel Messi opts for pizza, Pique a fan of Nutella sandwiches after games

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(Image illustration: FOXSports.com)

It could be suggested that our obsession with soccer players borders on the absurd. For instance, take the quasi-firestorm that was drummed up after a reporter from Spanish newspaper Libertad Digital leaked a photo of Barcelona’s post-game meal selections.

Seems a bit bizarre to snap a photo of what players eat after a game, but look! Look at what these guys chow down on!

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(Image: Libertad Digital)

Lionel Messi has his eyes on a pizza (which is the biggest hit), although La Pulga opts for plain cheese. A few players (like Mr. Shakira, Gerard Pique) selected Nutella, a chocolate and hazelnut spread, to make a tasty sandwich.

Perhaps the most surprising reveal? Take a guess at who has the biggest appetite. If you guessed Luis Suarez, you’re wrong.

None other than diminutive midfield maestro Andres Iniesta, with an order of a ham and cheese pizza alongside a chorizo sausage and cheese sandwich, seems to have the biggest stomach.

Perhaps it seems like a lot, but consider how much running around these guys do, they can eat whatever they want.

Now, who said a picture of a menu would be boring?

(h/t Daily Mail)

15
Sep

Thomas Vermaelen has difficulty getting into Barcelona car park

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Amused by famous people suffering through real-world problems?

Then you’ll love new Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen having some serious issues getting his Audi into the club’s car park:

Good thing Vermalen had about five different guys instructing him with violent hand gestures and dozens of fans egging him on. I’m sure that calmed his nerves.

The whole ordeal took about two minutes, but the former Arsenal man finally did get his Audi into the park without a scratch. 

Now you only have to do that, what, 200 more times this season? Good luck, bud!

Image provided by Reuters

(H/T Who Ate All The Pies)

10
Sep

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are bickering again and it’s fantastic

imageLittle did we know Mourinho was showing off Guardiola’s bald head. (Getty)

Jose and Pep are our favorite “frenemies” in the world of soccer, and their feud added a new chapter this week at a UEFA coaches summit in Switzerland. 

It turns out that even being in the land of neutrality couldn’t stop the two from bickering. The fight reportedly started over the length of the grass on the pitch. Guardiola thought the length of 3 cm was too long, and wanted it reduced to 1.5 cm, and be watered before every game. This would, according to Pep, make the play faster and more beautiful.

From TZ, the rest of the exchange went as follows:

"Everyone has his style of play, which should be respected," Mourinho responded. "Football can be spectacular in several ways."

"The beauty of football depends on the coach," Guardiola replied. "It seems to me that Mourinho prefers the result to the spectacle. I know to him that’s all that matters."

And it doesn’t end there. El Confidencial reports that Mourinho hit back at Guardiola with a cheap shot about his lack of hair.

"When you enjoy what you do, you don’t lose your hair, and Guardiola is balding. He doesn’t enjoy football."

This is just classic Mourinho. It’s not entirely clear if he actually said this, but we’re really, really hoping he did. 

10
Sep

Lionel Messi’s hometown bans parents from naming newborns ‘Messi’

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You probably haven’t heard of Hector Varela but he is the proud father of Messi. Not Lionel Messi, but Messi Daniel Varela. Hector needed two weeks to get special permission from the authorities in the south Argentinian region of Rio Grande (Patagonia) to name his son after the Barcelona maestro. 

That news has prompted Rosario, the hometown of the original Messi, to ban the use of Lionel’s surname as a first name because it would be too confusing.

The director of the Civil Register of the Santa Fe province, Gonzalo Carrillo, insists naming a new-born son Messi is “against the law” although he accepts the Messi Daniel Varela case may upset his plans.

However, proud father Hector is delighted that he got through the red tape. He told Mundo Deportivo: “I am Messi’s father. Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious.”

Another Messi is born, but how many more will follow?

Image used from Getty.

(H/T Deadspin)

24
Aug

Black cat invades Camp Nou pitch during Barcelona’s La Liga opener

imageThe Blaugrana will be hoping the furry pitch invader in their La Liga home opener isn’t a sign of things to come this season.

Just as their match against Elche kicked off, a rather adorable black cat ran rampant on the pitch for a good few minutes, sprinting the length of the pitch before it was eventually wrangled by a steward.



If Barcelona has some kind of disastrous or unlucky or ‘cat’-astrophic season, we all know who the Camp Nou faithful will blame.

Image: Josep Lago, Getty Images

19
Aug

Neymar steals the show in Luis Suarez’s first Barca match

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So, uh, Neymar is back, you guys.

The Brazil star painted a sad figure at the World Cup this summer after breaking a bone in his back vs Colombia and missing the Selecao’s infamous last two contests. 

Just about six weeks later, Neymar returned to the pitch in Barcelona’s 6-0 friendly win over Club Leon, and boy did he show up.

First, he converted Andres Iniesta’s pass with a lovely chip over goalkeeper Will Yarbrough, before scoring on a cheeky little back-heel finish just before the halftime whistle. The fact Luis Suarez made his Barcelona “debut” was reduced to a footnote on the night.

Enjoy:

H/T Reddit

Photo: Reuters

16
Aug

Ronaldinho fan really loves Ronaldinho

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Ronaldinho has many fans, but Giovanny Tocohua might be the biggest of them all. His kit collection could make even the most persistent Hollywood stalkers blush; he’s secured every single jersey the former Barcelona star has worn in his career.

We counted 79 shirts (including the one he’s wearing), charting Ronaldinho’s career from Gremio to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan, Flamengo and finally Atletico Mineiro. Even the commemorative jersey for Ronnie’s 100th cap for Brazil made the collection!

Duly impressed, Ronaldinho posted Giovanny’s picture to his Facebook and Twitter:

There’s an outside chance the fan held Ronaldinho hostage in his basement and forced him to post this, though.

15
Aug

Luis Suarez trains with Barcelona for first time

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Luis Suarez trained with his new Barcelona teammates for the first time following the CAS ruling on the Uruguayan’s appeal. While Suarez still has to serve his four-month ban from football, the CAS ruled he is allowed to practice and feature in friendlies.

Check out some of the best pictures of Suarez’s first day with Barca:

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When will we see Suarez back on the field for an actual competitive match? As luck would have it, that could come on the weekend of October 25-26, against none other than Real Madrid. Tasty!

Images via Reuters