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The Weekly Recap: Week 50

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The end is near…not exactly the end of the world but the end of the first half of the season. Just as FC Barcelona is hitting top-form we are forced to endure a couple of weeks without the world’s favorite pastime, football.

Somehow it kind of slipped under my radar but we have officially broken the century-mark as far as members are concerned. Our readership is growing and so is our staff. After penetrating the fanpost section for the better part of two months with his much appreciated La Liga reviews and opinion pieces, we can officially announce the addition of Bostjan aka Bosko18 to our team.

And speaking of team-accomplishments, FC Barcelona destroyed yet another opponent. This time City-rivals Espanyol Barcelona suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands, pardon me, legs and boots of Pep Guardiola’s men. Usually, Espanyol are one of the more uncomfortable sides FC Barcelona has to encounter during the season, even more so in their own backyard the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. If anything, "El Derbi" is historically super-charged.

Nevertheless, one Blaugrana player was guaranteed to receive a warm welcome from the Espanyol faithful, his name – Andres Iniesta. While El Illusionista is set to receive a hero’s welcome in any Spanish stadium, due to his heroics at the World Cup and more importantly for scoring the sole goal in the final, he has endeared himself to the Espanyol supporters for paying tribute to their late Captain Dani Jarque.

Andres Iniesta welcome by Espanyol Fans (around the 50 second mark)

Español 1 - 5 Fc.Barcelona 18.12.2010 Reconocimiento a Andres Iniesta Afición Español

Espanyol supporters thank Iniesta who paid homage to his friend Dani Jarque (via jorandchey)

Even after the Blaugrana tore the Blanquiblaus apart, the Espanyol fans showed real class when FC Barcelona’s very own Andres Iniesta was substituted for Seydou Keita and granted him a standing ovation. When your team is humiliated, would you take your time to pay respect to one of the best players from the opposing team? I highly doubt it. The match itself ended in a 1-5 defeat for Espanyol, thus ensuring that FC Barcelona will finish the year as league leaders.

Espanyol Vs FC Barcelona 1-5 - HQ All Goals & Full Match Highlights - 18/12/2010

On the transfer front FC Barcelona is only a couple of days away of finalizing the deal for PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Affelay, who will join the Blaugrana in January. While Ibrahim Affelay’s imminent transfer has been expected for weeks, the ridiculous rumor of Manchester City’s hunt for Andres Iniesta’s signature was not. San Andres to Manchester City – get outta here. Still, the rumor had to be addressed since everything that has monetary value isn’t safe from Sandro Rosell.

While I’m not the biggest fan of Sandro Rosell, the guy is the President of FC Barcelona and in his capacity as such he was present when the Champions League draws were announced. In an interesting twist of fate FC Barcelona were once again paired with Arsenal London FC. Once again Cesc Fabregas is given the chance to enter the Camp Nou pitch to face his boyhood club. Time will tell if Cesc is destined to ever play against FC Barcelona in the Camp Nou.

At the very least we are guaranteed a spectacle. Arsenal is one of the very few sides in Europe that will not employ "parking the bus" tactics. It will also serve as an opportunity for FC Barcelona to silence the annoying English critics, fans and supporters who claim a full-strength Arsenal would be more than a match for the Blaugrana. We’ll see what will happen in February.

FC Barcelona won the Champions League final in Rome without four (!) regular defenders, Yaya Toure had to slot in as a makeshift center-back!!!

Moving away from the glitz and glamour of the UEFA Champions League and the spectacle offered by Lionel Messi & Co., there’s also the Barcelona B team where the up-and-coming talents of FC Barcelona learn their trade under the supervision of Luis Enrique. As he has done in recent weeks, our resident writer Arron has provided another installment of his Barcelona B Update. If you really support FC Barcelona I am urging you to take a closer look at Barca’s B team!

On a slightly different note, what’s wrong with our readers? I believe we have a relatively large readership yet only 26 people bothered to click on the Facebook-like button. C’mon people, it’s not that hard to click on the button ;)

We – the Barca Blaugranes team – aspire to become the best football site on the internet. It might sound a little cocky and to be quite honest, it is. But then again, if you don’t set yourself goals or targets in life you might as well not achieve anything. If I shoot for the stars and end up in the stratosphere - that’s a start, right?

I want to be the best, I want the best and to be quite frankly I think we are on our way to become the best. To be second in anything is unacceptable. Just as FC Barcelona is always looking to improve on their high standards we are also trying to approach Barca Blaugranes in the same fashion.

Visca el Barca!

Sebastian