Best 2013 Football Memories
Lionel Messi sets the record by winning the Ballon D'Or for the 4th time.
Beyond the analyses there is a very simple question: who is the best player in the world? Few would doubt that the answer is Messi. "For as long as Messi is around, the Ballon d'Or makes no sense," Dani Alves said, and Agüero concurred: "The Ballon d'Or will always be for Messi."
"To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words. I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona: Iniesta it has been great to train and play alongside you. I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentinian national team. Everyone that has worked with me coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you.-
Best 2013 Football Memories ➭ R E M O N T A D A
FC Barcelona vs AC Milan 4-0
"And so in the dying seconds, Barcelona threw a defender into the attack. But this was not Gerard Piqué and this was not desperation. Lionel Messi brought the ball out and found Alexis Sánchez on the right. On the other wing, Jordi Alba was hurtling up the pitch, legs whirring like Roadrunner: stoppage time, 3-0 up, nerves frayed, and the left-back was racing into the opposition penalty area. Some might have taken the ball into the corner but Sánchez curled it into Alba's path instead and he finished the night off at last: 4-0, relief and redemption."
Barça fashion shooting - Behind The Scenes
FC Barcelona players in FourFourTwo’s Top 100 Players in the World.
No other player combines the elegant pivote’s ease of distribution, mathematician’s spatial awareness and tough tackles. Uber-impressive.
11 FC Barcelona players in FourFourTwo’s Top 100 Players in the World. (inspired by.)
114 Anys d'Història.
In November 29, 1899 our beloved club, FC BARCELONA was founded.
Cesc Fàbregas press conference [29.11.2013]
29 november of 1899, where it all started.
He’s the same. He’s a player I have always admired because he’s a worker who always wants more and more and more. He is a machine, he is so ambitious. He is naturally very strong but he never, ever stops fighting to improve. He’s in the top two or three in the world. Some say he is the best, yet he still wants to improves. I admire him because of that.
- Gerard Pique about Cristiano Ronaldo
"The worst thing about playing at Barcelona is that one day you’ll have to leave"
inspired by redsupergiant
This was a really wonderful interview with Pique. They cover a lot of issues, Madrid, Ronaldo, Ramos, la Masia, his life, Pep, last season.
Gerard Pique sits proudly on top of the league. Not La Liga, but the football manager league he’s in with the rest of the guys at work. Nothing unusual there, you might think. But Pique is not just playing and winning Golden Manager, he “invented” it.
He thought up the game, designed it and built the business model on which it is based, operating out of an office near the club’s training ground.
Pique is not your average footballer, right down to the fact that he says he doesn’t want to be a manager…but wouldn’t mind being president one day.
Before that he will be captain. It is a role he is growing into, taking on increasing responsibility already. At 26, a father now, he is maturing into a leader. He is already a European champion and World Cup winner, has won over 50 caps, and has three Champions League winners’ medals. A central figure for Spain and Barcelona - Tito Vilanova said without Gerard, this invention falls apart.” He has worked with Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. And Roy Keane. It’s been an education.
He talks about it all with enthusiasm and clarity. At times, he falls about laughing, at other he thumps his hand into his palm to reinforce a point. There’s a determination about him too, but he enjoys being challenged and his answers are nuanced rather than dogmatic. And there’s a depth to them as well. The grandson of a former club board member, he recently celebrated 25 years as a soci at Barcelona. Few understand the club or the game better.
What are your first memories of Barcelona?
Snapshots in my mind” the European Cup in 1992, me calling Stoichkov “stofiko”, going to the Camp Nou every weekend. We had four seats in the main stand next to the directors’ box, the palco: my dad and I, and two others, sometimes my mum, sometimes my grandfather, who was a board member at the time. Barcelona were everything to me: my ilusion. I was lucky. Because of my grandfather I met some of the players and imagine one day I could be one of them. My childhood was closely tied to Barcelona.
Who were your idols?
I became properly conscious a bit later on, so Romario, Ronaldo, Figo, Guardiola, Kluivert, Rivaldo. The worst moment for us was when Figo left for Real Madrid. That was really a terrible low for everyone: for the fans, for the club itself…
Have you ever spoken to Figo?
Not really. I said hello to him the day we played at Inter but it was just hello…
You didn’t take the opportunity to say: “oh Luis, how could you..?”
Oh no! I imagine he must be a bit sick of people reminding him of it.
Is his departure something you have come to understand with time?
You come to understand it in the sense that you recognize that he’s not a Catalan, he hasn’t been brought up with Barcelona and he wanted what was best for him professionally. Here, at Barcelona people loved him: he was captain, an emblem, the star of the team. His departure was very hard to take. A few days before he said he wasn’t going to go. People talked about it as an act of treachery. I am not sure if you can talk about it in those terms, but it was a real blow. But the club rose up again as it always does. One of those days I best remember, when I felt…not fear exactly, but a sense of “pffft, wow”… was when he played at Camp Nou for the first time as a Madrid player. People were very, very emotional, very wound up. They felt very hurt.
How well do you remember Barcelona’s seminal moment: the 1992 European Cup Final?
I was only five and I remember very little, but I do remember listening on the radio. I remember ‘94 better. I was watching it with a friend of mine, my parents and his parents and we lost 4-0. It hurt, but at the time I was seven and I didn’t fully appreciate just how big a European Cup final was. You play and you might win or lose, but either way there’ll be another one. Only there isn’t. It’s not until later that you realise just how big it is. It was only two years before but Barcelona had only ever won it once, at Wembley.
So when you won it in 2011, at Wembley, that must have been especially symbolic
Rome [in 2009] was very symbolic for me too. I’d arrived that same year, and from United, so to play for Barcelona in my first season and to play the Final against Sir Alex Ferguson had great meaning. But London was of course symbolic. It was also one of the best games I can remember at Barcelona.
People talk about “mes que un club”. Can Barcelona be understood without the socio-political or Catalan element?
If you consider it as only a football club it loses a lot of that intangible something that you don’t see but that gives it meaning. Barcelona is very closely linked to Catalonia. I don’t know the exact percentages, but Espanyol has few fans compared to Barcelona for example, so Barcelona almost is Catalonia. Catalonia historically has always been behind the capital, behind Madrid, and Barcelona, the club, has always been behind them too. In the last 10 or 15 years we’re turning that round. But we’re talking about a Madrid that has dominated football for 90 years, that has 9 European Cups, that has won more Spanish leagues, more cups than anyone else. They’ve always been ahead of us.