Barcelona

Keeping perspective vital for Barca ahead of Copa del Rey final

May 26, 2017 11:42 AM PDT

Luis Enrique is leaving Barcelona after the Copa del Rey final, but he is not ruling out a return in the future. The FC crew declare that a victory in the Copa del Rey final would still not salvage Barcelona's season. Luis Enrique says early season home form cost Barcelona the La Liga title. Damned if they win, damned if they don't. It's almost as if Barcelona can do no right when they face Alaves in the final of the Copa del Rey this weekend. Winning the cup, some of the players have admitted themselves, will not cover up what has ultimately been a failed season, expectations not met. But lose and this team -- which lost the league on the final day by just three points and produced that incredible Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain -- will be knocked by friends and...

As Barca look forward, Luis Enrique hopes to exit with trophy, minimal fuss

May 26, 2017 07:15 AM PDT

Sid Lowe examines Luis Enrique's legacy at Barcelona and evaluates the impact Ernesto Valverde could have at the club. The FC crew declare that a victory in the Copa del Rey final would still not salvage Barcelona's season. Gemma Soler assesses the stakes for Barcelona and Alaves in the Copa del Rey final, the last match at the Vicente Calderon. In case you hadn't heard, Barcelona have a match on Saturday. And, no, that's not quite as silly as it sounds, because you might not have heard. Well, you might not have heard much, anyway. Over the last week, maybe even beyond, it has sometimes felt like the Copa del Rey final, against Alaves at the Vicente Calderon, isn't really there. By kickoff, it will be. In the hours before the game, around 20,000 fans will make their way south-west to Madrid. There will be a lot of noise by the stadium and...

Barcelona's Jasper Cillessen: I want to be No. 1, leaving is not an option

May 26, 2017 03:43 AM PDT

Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen reveals his toughest opponent, the funniest person in football and more. BARCELONA -- The last eight months have whizzed by for Jasper Cillessen since he joined Barcelona from Ajax. However, since the completion of his dream move the Dutch goalkeeper has played just 810 minutes football, and it's even been suggested he could leave the club if he's unable to knock Marc-Andre ter Stegen out of the No. 1 spot. But Cillessen is a goalkeeper who has always had to fight. At the age of 21 he ousted Gabor Babos at NEC Nijmegen and then, after two seasons on the bench, forced...

An Iranian Cristiano Ronaldo lookalike to rival Lionel Messi doppelganger

May 26, 2017 02:12 AM PDT

It turns out Lionel Messi isn't the only global footballing superstar with an Iranian lookalike. Sure enough, it would appear that Cristiano Ronaldo has a doppelganger living and working in Tehran, too. Indeed, Iranian voters flocked to take selfies with Reza Alireza Lou while voting in their presidential elections after mistaking the local chap for the Real Madrid icon. Iranians take selfies with Reza Alireza Lou at presidential elections in Tehran. Guess which football player he resembles? @AFPphoto...

Transfer Talk: Paris Saint-Germain's Verratti couldn't refuse Barcelona offer

May 25, 2017 05:34 PM PDT

Marco Verratti reportedly told teammates he couldn't pass up the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. Mundo Deportivo writes that although Marco Verratti is happy at Paris Saint-Germain and is willing to stay in France, the offer to join Barcelona this summer would prove too much for him to resist. For more on Verratti to Barcelona, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings: Barcelona remain fourth

May 25, 2017 07:00 AM PDT

Lionel Messi did what he could to help Barcelona against Eibar. Luis Enrique's final La Liga game in charge did not end with a title triumph and, as away side Eibar took a 2-0 lead, it looked as though it would end in defeat. But then Lionel Messi took over to inspire a comeback win and set up Barca for the Copa del Rey final vs. Alaves. To see where Barcelona fit in Shaka Hislop's full rankings, as well as which clubs made the list this week and which dropped out, click here.

Ronaldinho takes time out to pose with adoring fans -- Messi and Neymar

May 24, 2017 09:26 AM PDT

Alexis Sanchez's old man disguise, Ronaldinho's visit to Barca and an all-time dive highlight this edition of the Sweeper. A very special guest graced Barcelona with a visit as the first team trained at the Joan Gamper training facility on Wednesday. Ronaldinho dropped in on his former club to wish them well ahead of their Copa del Rey final against Alaves this coming weekend. The Brazilian legend even found time to pose for a photo with a couple of young admirers. ���������� @10Ronaldinho makes surprise visit, wishes #Messi, @neymarjr and rest...

Real Madrid show the way forward as inconsistent Barcelona made to pay

May 23, 2017 04:20 AM PDT

Real Madrid players interrupted Zinedine Zidane's post-match press conference to soak him in champagne after they won La Liga. Graham Hunter looks back on the best of the 2016-17 La Liga campaign in Spain and offers up a glimpse of what could happen in 2017-18. That the Spanish title was won by a buccaneering, attacking and thrilling team is a beautiful thing to announce. Real Madrid aren't simply La Liga champions, they are identifiable proof that if there is any response to the possession-based football which, via Barcelona, has dominated Spain's top flight for almost a decade, then it's this. Not to park the bus, stifle...

Barcelona awarded ridiculous penalty vs. Eibar as Jordi Alba trips himself up

May 22, 2017 11:06 AM PDT

Gab Marcotti assesses Barcelona's current squad and discusses the areas they need to bolster ahead of 2017-18. Gab Marcotti assesses Barcelona's current squad and discusses the areas they need to bolster ahead of 2017-18. Gab Marcotti assesses Barcelona's current squad and discusses the areas they need to bolster ahead of 2017-18. Not that it was enough to prevent Real Madrid from winning their first La Liga title since 2012, but Barcelona came from two goals down to beat Eibar 4-2 in their final match of the campaign. While undeniably dramatic, the game didn't pass without controversy as Barca, still trailing at the time, were awarded one of the most farcical penalties of this or any other season in the 70th minute. Indeed, referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez deemed there to be sufficient contact on Jordi Alba to warrant a...

Real Madrid wanted La Liga title more; typical Barcelona comeback in vain

May 22, 2017 02:27 AM PDT

The ESPN FC crew hail Zinedine Zidane for his part in bringing Real Madrid back to the summit in La Liga. Five thoughts from the final weekend of the La Liga season as Real Madrid were confirmed as champions, Atletico Madrid said goodbye to the Calderon, and odds and ends were tied up elsewhere. 1. Madrid suffering makes the title joy even sweeter So often during the 2016-17 season Real Madrid have left it late in games to win points, but on Sunday at Malaga Zinedine Zidane's side got things under control early to clinch a deserved title win. Needing a draw, even if Barcelona won their game, Cristiano...

Lionel Messi, Barcelona rally but come up short in title race to Real Madrid

May 21, 2017 01:58 PM PDT

Barcelona produced a thrilling comeback against Eibar, but it was for naught with Real Madrid winning the title. Barcelona produced a thrilling comeback against Eibar, but it was for naught with Real Madrid winning the title. Gab Marcotti assesses Barcelona's current squad and discusses the areas they need to bolster ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. Barcelona came from behind to beat Eibar 4-2 on Sunday, but it was only enough to finish second in La Liga, as Real Madrid beat Malaga 2-0.  Takashi Inui scored a goal in each half to manoeuvre the Basque side into a surprise two-goal lead, but Barca scored four goals in the final 27 minutes to end the campaign with a win in Luis Enrique's final game in charge at Camp Nou.  Lionel Messi scored twice -- once from the penalty spot, having already missed from 12 yards -- with the other...

How Barcelona lost La Liga: Alaves and other moments that cost Messi & Co.

May 21, 2017 01:45 PM PDT

Gab Marcotti assesses Barcelona's current squad and discusses the areas they need to bolster ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. Janusz Michallik and Alexis Nunes evaluate Real Madrid's triumph in La Liga and why Barcelona were second-best. Points are dropped every season, but it's the nature of those that Barcelona have dropped this year that will haunt them throughout the summer. After losing the league to Real Madrid on the final day of the campaign, Barca will cringe at some of the moments that ultimately cost them a third consecutive title. The problem has been the unexpected nature of their dropped points. Madrid's three defeats have come away at Sevilla and Valencia and at home to Barcelona. All three of those fixtures would...

Transfer Talk: United and City will battle for Neymar

May 20, 2017 08:25 PM PDT

Manchester's clubs will duel for Barcelona superstar Neymar, the Express reports. Manchester United and Manchester City will battle to sign Neymar from Barcelona, claims the Express. The Brazilian superstar has been urged to leave the Camp Nou by his father and the Premier League is seen as his ideal destination. For more on the pursuit of Neymar, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Barcelona's historic 1992 European Cup opened door for dominant era

May 20, 2017 05:08 AM PDT

Ronald Koeman's free kick in extra time was the deciding goal in the 1992 European Cup final against Sampdoria. Barcelona have been crowned the best team in Europe on five separate occasions, but it was as recently as 1992 that they won their first ever European Cup. A 1-0 victory over Sampdoria at Wembley after extra time ended a long, tortuous wait for the Catalan club and opened the door to an era of dominance. On the 25th anniversary of that match, ESPN FC look back at the victory and its significance. The build-up Neither side had any problems easing through the first round of the competition. Barca...

Leaked Barcelona kit shows new stripe pattern for 2017-18 season

May 19, 2017 09:05 AM PDT

Sid Lowe explains why Real Madrid look likely to win La Liga when they visit Malaga on the final day of the season. Cesc Fabregas admires Lionel Messi's ability to stay humble despite his success at Barcelona. Shaka Hislop agrees with Jurgen Klinsmann over recent comments that Lionel Messi needs a World Cup win to cement his legacy. Barcelona's home kit will look a bit different next season. The club's new sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten kicks in, replacing the familiar Qatar Airways logo, but that doesn't appear to be the only change. Spanish news outlet Diario Sport published what they claim are leaked images of Barcelona's shirts for next season, with a new twist to the stripe pattern. #EXCLUSIVA | Así serán las camisetas del FC Barcelona 2017-18 https://t.co/H1gVxBcAtH - Diario...

La Liga title looms for Real Madrid but the 'Tenerife' factor provides a warning

May 19, 2017 08:04 AM PDT

Sid Lowe explains why Real Madrid look likely to win La Liga when they visit Malaga on the final day of the season. Zinedine Zidane urges his Real Madrid team to maintain their focus after moving to within a point of the La Liga title. Malaga have incentive to beat Real Madrid, but the FC crew think Zinedine Zidane's side will win La Liga on the final day. On a stiflingly hot day in June 1993, Real Madrid's players squeezed into two tiny, cramped planes and flew southwest across the sea to their island of the damned. The league was in their own hands, but they were terrified. They had been here before, a year earlier, and the unthinkable had happened then, so somehow they knew it would happen again; fatalism's grip was firm. For the second successive season, they went to Tenerife and lost the title, giving it to Barcelona. Tenerife manager Jorge...

Transfer Talk: Barcelona interested in bringing back Hector Bellerin

May 18, 2017 04:44 PM PDT

Hector Bellerin could be an unforeseen casualty if Arsenal don't make the Premier League top four this season. There is more than just Champions League football at stake for Arsenal this weekend. Mundo Deportivo reckons that Barcelona will move for Hector Bellerin if the Gunners don't make the top four. For more on Bellerin to Barcelona, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings: Barcelona remain fourth

May 18, 2017 08:47 AM PDT

Neymar celebrates one of his three goals in Barcelona's victory over Las Palmas. Neymar's hat trick sealed a sixth straight league win -- thrashing Las Palmas 4-1 -- but the title looks to be slipping away. Fans seeking some hope, though, might point to Barcelona's last defeat: A 2-0 reverse at Real Madrid's final-day opponents, Malaga. To see where Barcelona fit in Shaka Hislop's full rankings, as well as which clubs made the list this week and which dropped out, click here.

Real Madrid beware: Barcelona still able to snatch La Liga crown

May 18, 2017 03:38 AM PDT

The ESPN FC crew discuss whether Real Madrid will blow their La Liga title hopes on the final day. Real Madrid's 4-1 win against Celta Vigo on Wednesday means they need just one point from their final game of the season at Malaga this weekend to claim their first league title since 2012. If they lose, though, a win at home to Eibar would be enough to earn Barcelona a third straight title under Luis Enrique. And history shows the pressure of a final-day showdown can do funny things. ESPN FC take a look at five times Madrid and Barca have scrapped it out on the final day of the season to be crowned...

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez's partners launch joint business venture

May 18, 2017 02:53 AM PDT

Lionel Messi's fiance and Luis Suarez's wife opened their own shoes and accessories store in Barcelona. With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez regularly combining to such deadly effect on the pitch, perhaps its only natural their partners attempt to do likewise from a business standpoint. Indeed, the Barcelona duo's significant others, Antonella Roccuzzo (Messi's fiancee) and Sofia Balbi (Suarez's wife), have paired up to open a new boutique in the city in conjunction with Argentinian fashion designer Ricky Sarkany. Messi,Anto,Sofia & Suarez during the launch of their store Sarkany in Barcelona pic.twitter.com/3nes5BcHEU -...

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