A spectacular 90,000-card mosaic with the slogan 'Som-hi tots!' (in English, 'Let's go, everyone!') is set to be formed at Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon as a way to get the fans excited and the players motivated for the final home game of season, a must-win derby versus cross-town rivals RCD Espanyol with major title implications.
Sunday's decisive derby is now just four days away. FC Barcelona host cross town rivals RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon at 5.00pm CET with the sole aim of bagging three more points, which will bring the Catalans to the brink of a new La Liga title. To get ready for this weekend's intra-city clash, Barça worked out Wednesday morning on Tito Vilanova Field at the Ciutat Esportiva. All available first team players took part in the session, plus Juan Cámara from Barça B.
He has been talking the talk for the past few months, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen is going to be given the chance to walk the walk when Barcelona host Espanyol in a Catalan derby this weekend, a game that could have repercussions at both ends of the table. Ter Stegen, who is in his second season with the European champions, has grown increasingly frustrated with his role with the club. Luis Enrique plays Claudio Bravo in La Liga, rotating the German goalkeeper into the side for the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. It's something that has just about worked until now, but it's grown increasingly apparent that neither player is particularly happy with the arrangement. Not really, anyway.
The Italian referee was criticised for several of his decisions during that match, but he told La Gazzetta dello Sport that players and bosses of Barcelona had all paid him a visit afterwards, and not shared the same rhetoric as the Catalan newspapers the following day. "The players and directors of Barcelona came into our dressing room to compliment us," Rizzoli said. "They did not protest at all. They said '[Atletico] deserved to go through.' This is what you call sporting culture. We just don't know what this is in Italy."
Barcelona face Sevilla in the Copa Del Rey finals on May 22nd and Barcelona board spokesperson Josep Vives has expressed his disappointment at the timing of the final. This year’s finals will be played at the Vicente Calderon at 9:30 local time to maximise the TV audience in Spain. The evening start, however, inconveniences players and fans who will have to travel and stay overnight at the Spanish capital.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino says that national captain Lionel Messi will prepare with the squad in Buenos Aires for June's Copa America Centenario, before flying back to Catalonia to give evidence in a tax case and then travelling to the United States for his team's first game in the competition. In the continuing investigation into whether the Spanish taxpayer was defrauded of €4.1 million in taxes between 2007 and 2009, Barcelona star Messi and his father are due to appear before a judge at the Audiencia de Barcelona on June 2.
Members of the Spanish Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) were at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Tuesday to lead a round of courses focused on integrity of the sport of football. Taking part were the FC Barcelona Women's Team, as well as several other Youth Teams, including the Under-19s, Under-16s and Under-14s. The First Team has already completed these courses.