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Neymar homage to Ronaldinho in Barca's latest team photo
+6
That's pretty cool; I wonder if he did that on purpose. Young Messi and Andrés are funny to see as well, while Xavi hasn't changed a bit.
There's an article on bleacher report about Barca's pressing game or the lack of it in the clasico.

"According to stats from WhoScored.com, Messi made no tackles or interceptions in the Clasico, Neymar one tackle and no interceptions and Suarez one tackle and no interceptions (he went off after 68 minutes, with his replacement, Pedro, making two tackles and no interceptions).

Those are not the statistics of a hard-pressing team—and it’s significant that Pedro, an archetypal la Masia graduate—won possession back as often in a quarter of the game as all the other forwards combined over the whole game...

This is part of a trend. In 2009-10, Messi made an average of 0.9 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game, while last season he was down to 0.5 tackles and 0.1 interceptions (WhoScored.com). Neymar made 0.8 tackles and 0.3 interceptions per game last season, according to WhoScored.com."

We have completely lost our pressing game. When we press we do it in a half hearted manner and the opponent has enough time to pass their way out of our defensive trap. Better teams work their way out and have enough time to launch a counter attack which leaves our defense exposed. It's not as much that our defense sucks, it's our fwd and midfield line that's not covering passing lanes. But we still play our high defensive line. So there isn't much that our slow cbs can do to cover quick counter attacks especially since our opponents synchronize counterattacks against us which have clearly been worked out precisely in training.

Neymar has never been a tackler or an interceptor. I don't think he will ever be one but he has to increase his defensive work rate. Messi definitely needs to improve his off the ball work. Suarez is a hard worker and I believe he will give his best since he has a lot to prove after his ban. The biggest reason why we have lost our edge to Madrid is because they look like they want to win badly. Their players have drive. Isco was tracking back. James was running frantically. Benz was helping out. Except for cr7 I think everyone on their team was just looking to tackle the sh it out of our team. We can't play our style and win without implementing our system completely.
+17
To be honest I think its messi who ruins it for everyone. He is lazy unless his got the ball at his feet. Its sad though because he use to score so many goals by stealing the ball and taking the defence by surprise. I mean how are the other forwards suppose tp keep pressi g when they know messi is just standing in the middle not pulling his weight. I its up to the coach to fix it up and if messi doesnt want to change, id go as far as benching him. No ones bigger then the team, pressing is a part of what makes us great
+4
Messi who ruins it for everyone? So you're telling me everybody else in the team presses like they are supposed to except Messi? Get outa here. Pressing is a team thing, everybody needs to do it. But unfortunately our team doesn't do that.
Yea but Messi is a leader.. everyone looks up to him on the team. To be honest I struggle to watch Messi play these days, his attitude is far from what it use to be. I know he had a injury prone season that effected this but its no excuse. Mate if you have played soccer and you had a team mate who thought he has a special privilege and doesn't have to run at all in defense it would badly bring down team morale. The only reason he gets away with it is because he is such a talent. Even in the World cup I couldn't help but get so angry watching him, im sure he would have scored more if he hassled the defenders on the ball! Exactly it is a team thing and he thinks his above the team and if you can't see that your too in love with him (understandable).

Sorry Sanchez but the stats are there to show his work rate is nothing in comparison to what they use to be, please show me someone else s stats that have dropped so heavily.. 1.2 intercepts on average to 0.1 now, that has a massive effect on the team going forward and suppressing the opponent.
Hypothetical situation: Messi is benched against against Celta (would never happen because he is treated as a god not a player and coach would probably lose his job), Suarez is fully fit. Suarez plays in the center with Neymar and Pedro on either side. I guarantee the team would press as a hole so much better, and they would probably create more chances and have way more possession as a result of winning the ball back earlier.
+1
Sometimes i go through this thought process with ronaldo. He sits on the left wing and does jack all most of the time. He cant be bothered to defend and usually teams try to exploit our left back.

However it is almost mind boggling how that gamble pays off in the number of counter attacks and goals we score from the team turning over the ball on ronaldo's wing.

Im not saying this is the same situation with messi, because its not. Different player different system. It is similar though.

Also a reason why these two players score more in one season than most strikers in a three, is because they pick and choose their moments. They are trying to minimize energy expended during the game while still maximizing goal output.

This allows them to remain mostly injury free, play almost every game, and score boatloads of goals

So for instance they will see an opportunity and focus extremely hard in that moment. This may happen only several times a game. However they are decisive in these moments and thats what sets them apart as goal scorers, at least for me.

However other side of the coin is that teams might play better with a harder work ethic. But hindsight is always 20/20.
+1
I part agree with barcamylove , but you also have to remember that it's been more then 2 season now that we have lost that aggressive pressing while defending , so now if someone comes and suddenly push players to do that again it will take little bit of time to have the same mentality and fitness level back .

I'm already happy that since arrival of Luis Enrique likes of messi & Neynar have tried to gave their contribution in defense , though not on ideal level but I see it improving as season proceed
I agree Malik Enqrique seems to be addressing the issue!
Xavi - 10 Milles Per Veure Una Bona Armadura - Esoesgallo


https://vimeo.com/110438866


Random fact - the Catalan band that is playing in this Xavi video is Pep Guardiola's favorite band.
+2
Messi (27) demands Luis Enrique sacking after Barcelona manager opted to drop him for their Catalan Super Cup clash against rival Espanyol [MARCA]
+4
I didn't know you were a reporter from MARCA!
Congrats!
+4
2 weeks already mate , but I remember announcing that while a ago perhaps you were busy looking for a bait rather then reading that important announcement .

Anyways job is great , perhaps only organization which provide you with job description in one liner , mine is

" Write any bullshit about Messi '

Job tile is

' Creative Bullshit writer '

and i get additional bonus if i cram an article or so about how bad Barcelona is
+1
You could also work for Mundo Deportivo,but instead of:

" Write any bullshit about Messi "

you would have to do the same but just for Perez. Just like their newest story that Perez punished Suarez for not coming to Madrid by kicking him from the 23 man short list for Ballon D'or lol. Doesn't get much better than that.
+2
Thats poor from MD if they had my services then i should have wrote Something like this

" Suarez is not on the list , so dictator messi can win it "

Or if I was with Marca last year

" FIFA decided to do re-casting of Ballon dor votes after Portugal vs Sweden so messi can win it , but apparently FIFA's monthly bank transfer was delayed "
+7
Lol sorry guys. This thread is hilarious.
Is it bad if i think some of these could actually pass for marca headlines?
+1
I just had cramps in my belly after laughing so hard. Good one Malik :D
Barcelona line-up (official): Masip - Adriano Pique
Bartra Alba - SergiRoberto Samper Rafinha - Pedro Suarez Munir #fcblive

Bench Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Montoya, Rakitic, Xavi; Ie, Grimaldo, Halilovic, Adama, Sandro

Vs espanyol

Really disappointed about Montoya not getting his chance :/
Suarez starting, I am really excited to see him play.
what do you guys honestly think about sergi roberto? hes a good player but IMO he is not shown star potential.
Yay Halilovic :-)
That Suarez's assist tho! o.O
freakin brilliant.
+1
Messi Has Reportedly Kidnapped 30 Boys [MARCA]

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B1C96nOCQAAWnny.jpg:large
+5
Fifa ballon d'or is becoming more and more of a joke. isnt this an award commemorating the worlds best player for the season? shouldnt it be objectively and stay away from controversy of any player? why is luis suarez not included knowing well that even in less playing time he scored the same ammount of goals ronaldo did in the season and carried liverpool last season? why goetze and james included knowing the mediocre season they had for their respective teams? are you counting the world cup more? then why is hazard in it? if its a mix then if a german player doesnt get it this year this award is nothing but a joke. lahm or mueller are my top pick since the dominated last season and won the fking world cup but knowing them, itll probably go to cristiano or messi again...
thanks again Fifa for, little by little, ruining the sport I love
I would say Messi, Good at World Cup, Good League record. Whole field footballer!

Haters gonna hate! Potatoes gonna potate.
+4
Also in the coach of the year award how can you leave out jorge luis pinto? who guided costa rica to the top of the group of death and guided them to the quater finals? f**k fifa and their inconsistent choices every year, it seems, Fifa comes to the spotlight for controversy in anything they said why is sepp blatter you should do football a favour and go burry yourself....alive.

Fifa is just like john oliver says my sausage because even though i hate them with all my being, I will not let that affect how much i love the sport.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJEt2KU33I
When a billion people was watching him on TV world wide, he bit another f*****g person. I don't give two shits what he did with Liverpool last season. When you embarrass and humiliate the beautiful game that we all love and watch every weekend, then to hell with you.

I think politics aside, he is by far the 3rd best player in the world. But, I have no problem with him not making the list.

Having said that, I admire Suarez and think he will do great things with you guys. I love the guy to death!

edit: are you seriously questioning why Simeone won it? ...
+5
simeone wha..?? Im talking about the short list of the best coach award recently released.
I was also mad when suarez but this is a FOOTBALL award if Fifa is looking at the actions of players as well then in the same sense NO player who has ever dived and proven to be a diver can and shouldnt make it and yes i mean ronaldo but i also mean robben and even neymar. why? because this is a f*****g football award and it should include the best footballers from last seasons objectively all I want is consistency from the fucks at fifa that have no clue what they are doing
Andres you just said James Rodriguez doesn't deserve to be there just for his world cup performance.

"why goetze and james included knowing the mediocre season they had for their respective teams? are you counting the world cup more?"

But then went on to say how on earth is Jose Luis Pinto not there for the manager award because of HIS World Cup Performance.

If James shouldn't be there just for WC, neither should Jose Pinto. To me it just seems like you're ranting a bit aimlessly, its nothing personal against you.

I personally gave up on Fifa and awards ages ago. You can't take them seriously anymore.
+5
exactly hinkmant I want consitency from the awards fifa presents. I just cannot comprehend fifa selection process and how could they not consider certain players and how others were. for example hazard had a great season with chelsea mind you they didnt have anything to show for it at the end of the season and his wolrd cup performance...well look at google because im sure his request to take it down was laughed at. I worry way too much about this but its because i feel the players who perfomed amazing last season are not being represented by fifa.

another fact to consider is this until leo messi ballon d'or in 2010 the ballon d'or had only been handed out to world cup winners after the world cup. I am in no way arguing that leo deserved that award because he did and everyone should know my stand point. but I am and will always be a big critic of Fifa's inconsistency year in and year out
+1
Have to agree with realfan here. I love Suarez and he definitely deserved to be #3 on the basis of football, but FIFA did the right thing not including him.
+3
Im sorry guys maybe i shouldn't feel so strong about this but i do...
Here are the rules of the Ballon d'Or nominations:
http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/ballond'or/playeroftheyear(men)/02/19/74/14/fbo_rulesofallocation2013-en_neutral.pdf

Article 3:
"The Awards are bestowed according to on-field performance and overall behaviour on and off the pitch."

There's your answer. Tbh, this could be a good thing for you guys as these kinds of punishment are likely to stop him from doing anything crazy again. I didn't see him finishing in the top 3 after the WC incident anyway, so maybe he's not really missing out on that much.
Still, it sucks not seeing one of the very best footballers not on there.
+4
Badge with the game, set and match.

Anyway, I do think the list is even more ridiculous this year than in previous years. Big names seem get an auto-inclusion while lesser names who performed spectacularly in their respective positions don't get a nomination. I honestly think a player like Radja Nainggolan (most of you will not even know him) deserved to be there at least as much as another Belgian (just so I don't come across as biased again) like Hazard. It's just that Nainggolan isn't one of the biggest names in football and is a defensive midfielder by trade, rather than a flashy winger.
+2
It's an okay list.

The one person whose selection can't be justified on any basis (lol) is Benzema. Apart from him, I would question the inclusion of Ramos, Masch, and Yaya Toure, despite Ramos' CL goals and Masch's WC performance.

The rest seemed fine to me. Hazard is debatable on the basis of performance too maybe, but it's a borderline case, and it's hard to care about whether he should be ranked 23 or 24... :)
Nainggolan has been superb for Roma but some of the other exclusions are even more ridicules Miranda, Godin, Koke, Reus Cahill, Matic, Alonso and Rakitic all deserve to be there instead of Mascherano, Iniesta, Ramos, Benzema, Pogba, Gotze, Aguero and Rodriguez.
+1
I especially don't like the fact that koke isn't in there. That guy was amazing the whole year.

But Cahill? Was he that good last year? (I wasn't paying attention...)
I think he was really underrated last season here are his stats in the BPL last season

Games 30
Tackles 34
Clearances 205
Fouls conceded 12
Yellow Cards 2
Clean sheets 15

Tackles per game 1.13

Clearances per game 6.83

Fouls per game 0.4

Was also named in the PFA team of the year
+2
James and Benzema deserve to be on the short-list. Lay off the haterade fellas
+1
^ ya since when you start noticing that player named James Rodriguez exists ?
+4
About 4 months, give or take 2 days hahahahahahahahaha
Imho, Cahill is a decent defender, playing in a fantastic setup with a fantastic captain. Cahill is great, but he has real obvious limitations like backing off the ball and sometimes getting beat way too easily (hence all the spectacular blocks) but he is a good player. If any Chelsea FC defender should be on there, it should be JT, but he definitely won't get that recognition lol
and also comparing Jose Pinto with james is quite naive , Jose pinto didn't had any other opportunity then WC to be on the list , while james had whole year to do that , its just like james scored 3/10 in a test while jose scored 3/3 .
I'm surprised you guys didn't bring up the Jose eye poke incident, if thats why Suarez was left out this year, where's the consistency? Or was that a rule put forth from 2013 onwards?

Anyways for me, i think FIFA are making an example out of Suarez.
^ oh,we forget.like they did against translator,I get it..
I knew about James since his later days at Porto. What's your point? His accomplishment during his short time in Monaco speaks for itself. Not to mention a great world cup

Haters gonna hate
Leo Messi makes dream come true for 30 sick children from around the world http://ow.ly/Dtafi

Media wont post that -_-
+1
Not trying to be a massive a hole but i saw that today on bleacher report.

Great gesture from Messi. Unselfish.
@danny , TBF Bleacher report is hardly a media exposure , what no one can deny is that messi has been targeted unfairly for about year and half now and this targeting is led by Spanish media , they make sure to blow every little thing he does on & off the pitch , for Eg the substitution thing , it was clear thumb up from messi , felt like a sort of plea from him to let him continue but what marca published ' messi turned his back '

Well i don't think i would be expecting any thing else from a paper that published ' Di maria who ? '
+3
Neymar scored in 6 of the first 9 Liga rounds of the season. Messi did so just once: 2012/2013
+2
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B0-K6ARCQAACgFy.jpg:large

Messi needs 7 more assist to top most assist in Laliga record and he will beating traitor no 1 once he does that :D
+3
i can only imagine messi's stats when he retires... dudes gonna be leader of nearly every stat lol
+4
When those players that were holding the record ever thought someone would beat it? I mean how long before someone beats Messi's records? Oh and for me the biggest accomplishment is beating Raul's CL record. Both Messi and Ronaldo are on the verge of breaking it and they will go wayyy past it. I don't think anyone in our life time would be able to achieve that.
Plot twist, blatter does away with champions league tomorrow.


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Primera División Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
22
20
3
23
1
1
7
9
1
22
8
9
17
1
1
7
9
2
21
23
10
33
2
0
7
9
3
20
12
8
20
1
2
6
9
4
20
8
7
15
1
2
6
9
5
16
5
11
16
1
4
4
9
6
15
3
8
11
2
3
4
9
7
14
4
9
13
3
2
4
9
8
11
-5
16
11
4
2
3
9
9
10
-1
10
9
3
4
2
9
10
10
-2
11
9
3
4
2
9
11
10
-7
13
6
5
1
3
9
12
9
-3
10
7
4
3
2
9
13
9
-7
13
6
4
3
2
9
14
8
-6
12
6
5
2
2
9
15
8
-8
19
11
5
2
2
9
16
6
-4
14
10
5
3
1
9
17
5
-8
14
6
4
5
0
9
18
5
-13
21
8
6
2
1
9
19
5
-19
23
4
6
2
1
9
20
C/L  C/L Qualifying  UEFA Cup  Relegation 

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
8
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
11
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
12
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
14
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
15
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
16
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
17
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
18
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
19
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
20
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
21
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
22

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
7
2
3
5
0
1
2
3
1
6
2
4
6
1
0
2
3
2
2
-2
5
3
1
2
0
3
3
1
-2
3
1
2
1
0
3
4

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