After a prolonged tug-of war the date for the upcoming Clasico has been set; November 29, 2010…a Monday. Because of local elections in Catalunya on the preceding Sunday, MediaPro have decided that the world’s biggest (club) football fixture will be played on a weekday.
For those of you who aren’t living in Spain (or Europe for that matter) it means to either a) miss the game or b) watch it in the morning or during work hours. It is the most-watched game in the World, second only to either the Champions League or World Cup final. How did that happen? Anyways, the anticipation for this year’s edition is great.
The Blaugrana as well as David Villa are starting to get their grove back. In the Copa del Rey, where Barca are record-title holders, the club defeated AD Ceuta 5-1 (7-1 on aggregate) at the Camp Nou thus qualifying for the next round. Bojan for once was on target in the victory over Ceuta.
FC Barcelona Vs Ceuta 5-1 Goals & Highlights
In the last couple of days rumors have aroused that Barca’s no. 9 is considering his future in Catalunya. Normally I’d brush this rumor aside but in Bojan’s case I’m not so sure if his future lies with Barca. His potential is evident but it is also very clear that with each goal David Villa bags, his chances of regular first team football diminish.
Whereas Pep has promoted Sergi Busquets and Pedro Rodrigues to first teamers in the past two seasons, he has yet to show his preference for Bojan, Thiago or Jeffren. Something tells me that Pep is feeling increased pressure to deliver this season.
One very welcomed rumor that has been confirmed is the (possible) arrival of Ibrahim Afellay. According to the latest official news, Barca are willing to negotiate a fee for the Dutch footballer of Moroccan descent. Since Afellay will be out of contract in the summer of 2011, a fee in the region of 2-4 million Euro is being discussed.
The addition of Afellay would immediately address the depth in midfield as well as the wide areas. Equally adept at playing left or right-winger, in addition to his natural position as an attacking midfielder, his acquisition could prove fundamental in achieving the three-peat.
The fact that he is not cup-tied makes him the perfect signing for Barca in the January transfer window. All fingers crossed that he will become a Blaugrana. I guess this means Cesc won’t join his boyhood club in the summer but who cares? As long as he doesn’t become a Merengue I couldn’t care less.
Ibrahim Afellay in action
Another player FC Barcelona are linked with is Javier Pastore. For the forseeable future, the Argentinean remains a Palermo player yet somehow he still managed to grab the headlines with a Barcelona-related quote. Pastore proposed the idea of Lionel Messi leaving FC Barcelona for Palermo. It's needless to say, Pastore was crowned Barca Bla Bla's Stinker of the Weekquite early, on a Tuesday. A new record!
But let’s get back to the sporting side of things. On the pitch, Barca registered a win against Villareal, the only team that managed to take points from the Camp Nou last season. Despite abysmal refereeing the Blaugrana sank the yellow submarine 3-1, with goals from Barca’s new dynamic duo of David Villa and Lionel Messi.
FC Barcelona Vs Villarreal Full Highlights
Unfortunately Sporting Gijon couldn’t prevent a 0-1 home loss against Real Madrid, which means that Barca are still trailing the men in white for at least another week.
But judging by the schedule Barca have already played all big La Liga teams (Atletico Madrid, Sevilla CF, Valencia CF and Villareal), something the Mourinho-led team still have to do. Given that Sporting Gijon aren’t exactly the strongest side in the Primera Division I assume Real Madrid will drop some points eventually.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the Clasico and even though I can’t watch it myself I am sure we will come out victorious. I hope that by the time the fixture arrives, we can announce some additions to our team and cracked the century-mark in terms of membership.
That’s it Blaugranes
Visca el Barca
P.S. Nick should charge the developers of TotalFootball CL2010 for promoting their app on Barca Blaugranes ;)