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FC Barcelona News: 9 October 2019; Lionel Messi Opens Up, Gerard Pique Wins Award

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FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sources: Barcelona need to make €124m in sales, hope to offload Coutinho, Rakitic | ESPN
Barcelona must bring in €124 million in player sales before the end of the season or the club risks damaging its financial stability, sources have told ESPN FC. Philippe Coutinho, on loan at Bayern Munich, and out-of-favour midfielder Ivan Rakitic are two of the players Barca believe they will be able to sell.

Messi is the best finisher in football. Does anyone else come close? | ESPN
In case you’re not familiar with expected goals (xG) yet, the statistic is built around the idea that the majority of teams and players convert the same chances at the same frequency. For the most part, the best teams and players aren’t the best because of their ability to finish a high percentage of attempts; they’re the best because of their ability to generate a high volume of high-quality shots.

Messi reveals: his best goal, his toughest rival and his favourite coach | Sport
“It’s difficult to choose one moment, I have had so many over the years,” he said when asked for his favourite moment with Barcelona or Argentina. “I think maybe the era with Guardiola was one of the best for me as a player.”

Messi: It is an obvious lie I did not want Griezmann at Barca | Goal
Lionel Messi has dismissed suggestions he did not want Barcelona to sign Antoine Griezmann as a “lie”. Griezmann joined the La Liga champions in a long-anticipated €120 million (£108m/$132m) transfer ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Messi feared Neymar would go to Madrid after missing out on Barcelona move | Goal
Lionel Messi feared Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar would join Real Madrid in the summer if Barcelona failed to land his signature. The Brazil international made it clear that he wanted to depart Parc des Princes but after a period of intense speculation that stretched throughout the transfer window, he ultimately stayed with the Ligue 1 champions.

Messi: I almost left Barcelona five years ago over tax fraud case | Goal
Lionel Messi has revealed that he almost left Barcelona in 2014 after he and his father were charged with tax fraud. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was alleged to have used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights, and as such defrauded Spain of €4.1 million between 2007 and 2009.

Messi: I wouldn’t have said what Pique said but it’s a lie that we have power | Sport
Lionel Messi said he wouldn’t have said what Gerard Pique said after Barcelona’s win over Getafe but backed the defender’s comments. Pique suggested the board were behind an article in the local media which suggested the players had too much power at the Catalan club.

Arthur: I understand Barcelona’s view but it’s a huge honour to come with Brazil | Sport
“I understand Barcelona’s side, but for me and everyone it’s an honour, a huge honour,” he said. “It’s no different for me. Whenever I can, I’m not going to measure my efforts, I am going to do everything I can to come with Brazil.

Busquets’ days appear numbered at Barcelona, but he’s still wanted by Spain | ESPN
It’s ironic that it was Moreno, a Catalan, a self-declared Barcelona supporter and someone who helped coach that club to the Treble in 2015, who went on to name Sergio Busquets as the only Camp Nou representative with La Roja to play Norway and Sweden. There were, of course, eras when Barca would be sending seven or eight footballers off to Spain duty.

Pique named Catalan Player of the Year | Marca
Gerard Pique has been named Catalan Player of the Year for 2019 after an excellent campaign with Barcelona. The defender won with 67 percent of the total votes, beating Espanyol’s Marc Roca to the prize, who earned 27 percent of the electorate.

‘Having people against me motivates me’ - Pique has learned to love the boos | Goal
Barcelona veteran Gerard Pique admits he’s extremely motivated by those that don’t want to see him succeed. The 32-year-old has been turning heads in Spain since signing for the Catalans in 2008 and while not always the most popular figure, has learned to shine in the face of hate.

Rakitic explodes: I don’t want to stay in Barcelona for city walks and the beach | Sport
The midfielder was linked with an exit in the summer, he had offers to leave, but in the end nothing came of it. In an interview with Croatian media 24sata, he’s admitted he had a proposal from Juventus and that Cristiano Ronaldo even called him to convince him to move to Italy. But Juve could not match Barça’s asking price.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to sign new Barcelona contract | Football Espana
Barcelona are set to begin contract extension negotiations with goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, according to Marca. The German goalkeeper’s deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2022, after he penned a freshly extended contract in 2017.

Dembele’s agent is set to move to Barcelona | Marca
Barcelona are frustrated with Ousmane Dembele’s life off the pitch and his agent Moussa Sissoko is set to move to the Catalan capital in the coming weeks to help his client put his life in order. The former Borussia Dortmund forward is staying up late at night, as he is huge fan of video games and TV series, and this has resulted in him being late for training or even missing sessions.

Tente Sanchez: Mateu Lahoz knows who to send off and who not to send off | Marca
According to the referee report, Dembele criticised the referee’s performance and this was the reason for his red card. He is believed to have said “very bad, you’re very bad” and there is a debate going on because some, like former Barcelona captain Tente Sanchez, believe there is inconsistency.

Louie Barry finally set for Barcelona debut after long FIFA wait | Sport
Louie Barry is finally set to make his debut for Barcelona’s Juvenil A (U19s) team this weekend against San Francisco after receiving international clearance from FIFA. Barcelona confirmed the signing of Barry from West Bromwich Albion in July but the teenager has been forced to wait for his first competitive appearance.