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Weekly Review: Week 27 ǀ Why keeps Lionel Messi underwhelming for Argentina? ǀ Where is Cesc? ǀ Is Alexis Sanchez really Barca-bound? ǀ And why do FC Barcelona entertain the acquisition of Neymar and Gareth Bale?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Getty Images


First things first, Lionel Messi has flattered to deceive in the Argentina jersey, yet again. La Pulga is without a doubt the best player in the world, a fact even acknowledged by the current darling of the media, Santos’ Neymar. While every pundit and/or couch potato (sometimes these two are indistinguishable) seems to have a take on that matter, Barca Blaugranes’ Jose articulated perhaps the most definitive explanation for Messi’s underwhelming exploits for Argentina.


Nevertheless at 24, La Pulga definitely has one more World Cup in his absolute prime to prove that his name should be mentioned along the all-time greats of the sport. One of those greats, Santos legend Pele, publicly stated that Neymar is his heir apparent, but so were a dozen others. I truly respect Pele’s accomplishments as a player but more often than not is he talking out of his… But even without the dubious endorsement of the Brazil legend, 19-year old Neymar has the football world at his feet, or Nike boots for that matter. Perhaps it is due to the connection with the American sports apparel giant, FC Barcelona’s president, Sandro Rosell, felt inclined to attend a Brazil game at the ongoing Copa America tournament. For those not familiar with Sandro Rosell’s pre-FC Barcelona background, the Lupin III lookalike used to be an executive for said company, in Brazil. Does it ring any bells now?

Who do you think engineered Ronaldinho’s transfer from PSG to FC Barcelona in the first place? Yes, none other than we-won’t-pay-over-the-odds-for-Cesc Sandro Rosell. Oddly enough he seems to be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the Brazilian youngster. According to reports (which as we have learned is never a safe bet) both, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are willing to meet Neymar’s buyout clause of €45 million. Let’s recapitulate here for a moment, Neymar is valued at a ridiculous €45 million by his employers and Arsenal FC’s Cesc is available for a reported €40 million (again, that’s the number floating around) but the latter isn’t even close to arrive in Barcelona. It’s strange to say at the least.

Personally I find it a blessing that Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro prefers Real Madrid over FC Barcelona. At €45 million the youngster represents too much of a risk to warrant such a massive price-tag. For all I know, Neymar could be the second coming of Robinho. Although I do admit that his skills and technique would mesh splendidly with FC Barcelona’s current crop of players, provided he can mature, on and off the pitch.

But once more the ineptitude shown by FC Barcelona’s higher tier in regards to transfer dealings is very hard to stomach. Unlike Neymar, Arsenal FC’s Cesc Fabregas and Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez are very openly carving a move to FC Barcelona, but yet somehow Sandro Rosell can’t leverage an attractive deal for those two. FC Barcelona is the only team in the market for both players, at least the only one the pair wants to join.

Real Madrid is buying players every other week and all FC Barcelona has to show for is ex-Hercules youngster, Kiko. Yes, the transfer window is open until August 31st but isn’t pre-season fundamental in adjusting new recruits to the FC Barcelona philosophy? Remember the Ukrainian defender named Dymytro Chygrynskiy? He was cup-tied and arrived very late in the transfer window. Where is he now? Not in Catalunya, I know that much.

In related (transfer) news, footballs equivalent of the yellow press, a very popular website, is reporting that FC Barcelona is preparing to launch a mammoth €50 millon bid for the services of Gareth Bale….in the summer of 2012. Really, are you serious? First of all, Gareth Bale is a fine talent, no doubt about that but he is not worth more than Cesc Fabregas, not now and certainly not in 2012 or the foreseeable future for that matter.

That’s it for this week’s update folks.

Yours truly,



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