Bayern and Barcelona have been two of the dominant forces of European football in recent years, with Bayern reaching three Champions League finals in the past five seasons, yet Cruyff believes that the Blaugrana will always be the bigger draw. "Globally, Barcelona are a bigger club than Bayern Munich," the former Barca player and coach told Bild. "In South America, for example, everybody is watching the Primera Division. Barcelona are much bigger than Bayern over there and that will always be the case."
With regards to his own future he said, "Football is my life, I want to carry on playing and if that's with Barcelona, which is my lifelong club and the club I support, then I'll be doubly happy." He heaped praise on his teammate Iniesta saying, "He's the most talented Spanish footballer of all time".
The team trained this morning under the watchful eye of Luis Enrique, the final such session before Sunday's match against Levante. Twenty-five players took part including B players Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi. Thomas Vermaelen trained with the group, although he was somewhat limited since he has yet to be medically cleared to train. Jordi Masip did side work.
This is going to be a key week for FC Barcelona as they will have three Liga matches in seven days. From Sunday 21 September through Saturday 27 Luis Enrique's squad will have nine points in play, the same number of points that were on the table through the entire first month of the season.
Zinedine Zidane is under investigation by the Spanish federation’s competitions committee after a complaint was made over the nature of his coaching role at Real Madrid. According to Marca, Zidane may have breached the rules by assuming the role of head coach of Real Madrid’s reserves without being in possession of the necessary qualification.
Spanish football club Real Madrid have published accounts for the 2013-14 season, which saw their debt rise to a total of 602 million euros ($773 million). The debt has risen by 61 million euros from the total debt of 541 million euros which was posted for the 2012-13 campaign and includes all of the money that the club owes, be it to banks, providers, other clubs and the public administration, reports Xinhua.
"We will face Barcelona with the hopes of making it a game. This is football. We know they have an excellent team but we know if we work hard, we can turn it into a tough game. It’s eleven against eleven, we’ll just have to give our all and see what transpires. There are no easy games in this division and that’s typified by the fact that Barcelona arrive this weekend. We just have to give our all and enjoy the experience, in my opinion."
Asked specifically whether James suits the 4-3-3 shape favoured by coach Carlo Ancelotti as well as Di Maria did, Perez appeared to not think the question entirely relevant. "I do not know how James plays," he said. "But he had a great World Cup and we wanted him here."
Goals by Dani Garcia and Raul Albentosa gave Eibar its second win of the season as it defeated Elche 2-0 in the Spanish league on Friday. A poor clearance reached Garcia who took two steps forward and unleashed a blistering right-foot shot that bounced in off the post, beating Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton in the third minute. "We had that bit of luck that had evaded us in our last two matches of getting to score very early," said Albentosa. "It's been a deserved and very well worked victory."
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