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The Weekly Recap: Week 43

On Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 Barca Blaugranes finally went online; the first football (soccer) SBN-blog outside of the MLS and the EPL.

Initially the brainchild of Nick, he contacted both Manuel & I, to ask if we were interested in joining him with his new project. It’s needless to say; we jumped at the chance to be part of a new SBN-powered blog.

Still, I wouldn’t have imagined that it would only take 4 weeks to see this blog realized. It’s great to become part of the SBN family, especially being the first team from the continent (sorry, the U.K. is an island) to be granted that honor.

The very first day of Barca Blaugranes (still makes me smile) also saw FC Barcelona gain a victory over Segunda B side Ceuta in the Copa del Rey; talk about coincidences!

But not everything was as smooth as the launch of this site or the Copa del Rey victory. Dani Alves is entering the final 18 months of his contract, rumor has it that Barca is willing to sell him in the January transfer window should they not come to an agreement.

The argument – in the summer of 2011, Alves wouldn’t command a high transfer fee, as his contract would expire in 12 months’ time.

I’m not exactly sure what Alves is currently earning, but I’m sure it’s not peanuts. In any case, he is definitely a player who deserves a pay-rise.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player whose contribution to the team is up for debate, was on a contract that guaranteed him the mind-blowing sum of 10.000.000€ (without bonuses) annually. Where is he now? Ibrahimovic is in Milan, Italy.

Not every player is destined or even capable to play for FC Barcelona, Dani Alves on the other hand is. His swashbuckling, all-action style suits the philosophy of the Blaugrana perfectly. He is arguably the best right-back in the world (judging by Maicon’s erratic performances this season, he definitely is) and there’s no adequate replacement available on the (free) market.

In the long-term, it would be more expensive to buy a replacement than to extend Alves contract. Not to mention, his replacement would have to go through a phase of adaptation before even begin to excel. With Mourinho’s Madrid finally gelling as a team, Barca cannot afford to lose the advantage of having a well attuned squad.

Samuel Eto’o’s departure and the subsequent signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic might have cost FC Barcelona the 2009/2010 UEFA Champions League title.

In a way it did, the 49.500.000€ wired to the accounts of Inter Milan for Ibrahimovic funded their expenses for Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder.

Replacing Eto’o has cost the Blaugrana a lot of money and perhaps the shot at winning back-to-back Champions League trophies. Only David Villa was suited enough to replace Samu, and he Villa didn’t come on the cheap.

Daniel Alves is a key-component of FC Barcelona’s "tiki taka" approach to football and it would be foolish to let him go or even sell. Chelsea FC’s Ashley Cole is recognized as the world’s best left-back and compensated as such; too often would world-class players leave Barca because they didn't feel valued by the organization. Some of them would end up wearing the white jersey of Real Madrid (Luis Figo, Ronaldo).

The board of Barca goes out of its way to accommodate Lionel Messi, whose contract is –almost- improved on an annual basis. Granted, Messi is the best player of FC Barcelona (and the world) but he usually has four or more years left. His most recent contract expires in 2016!!!!

Messi will be fine in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; the board must prevent Dani Alves from leaving now.

But the week ended on good note. After being criticized for a rather unconvincing series of victories (according to their very high standard) a five-star Barcelona squad annihilated Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou; the final score 5-0. And guess who chipped in a goal against his former team, Dani Alves.

Dani Alves goal at 53'min vs Sevilla 30/10/2010 (goal to FC Barcelona 3-0 FC Sevilla) (via fcchelseabarca)

Hopefully his contract situation will be resolved soon and we can enjoy his performances for a long time.

So that’s it, the recap for week 43, look out for further entries at every Sunday by yours truly.



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