Barcelona continued their brilliant form in the new campaign, defeating Athletic Bilbao by a single goal in a hard-fought match.
The score line was not unexpected following their 6-2 banger against Real Betis at Nou Camp.
Arda Turan continued his fine start in the new campaign, scoring a goal in the fifth minute but it was ruled out for offside. Seven minutes later, Bilbao almost got the first goal due to the error of Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He sent the ball to the path of Benat Etxebarria, but he still able to save the goal-bound effort.
Barcelona took the game to their opponents, breaking through in the 20th minute. Turan and Luis Suarez combined well but Rakitic was the target as he picked out a cross heading the ball beyond the reach of Gorka Iraizoz. The firm header ensured Barcelona controlled the pace of the game.
The Catalan club was without key additions in Neymar who is set to return only after the international break. Andres Iniesta is expected to return after the break as well as he picked up a knee injury in the 2-0 win in the Super Cup first leg match against Sevilla.
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Spanish club Valencia has welcomed former Barcelona striker Martin Montoya with open arms after his contract was terminated by the La Liga Champions.
The 25 year old came through the famed La Masia academy. He made his first appearance for the club back in 2011, and has gone on to make 66 extra appearances for the senior team but the club deems him surplus to requirement as the new season is set to begin.
Montoya though young has three La Liga medals to his name already and was a part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League in 2015, defeating Italian champions Juventus. He wasn’t part of the team that played on the winning day but no doubt picked up invaluable experiences along the way, prompting the interest in him by Valencia despite losing the attempt to sign him for three million Euros in 2011.
In the past twelve months, he was sent to Inter Milan on a loan deal in the first half before ending the second half at Real Betis. He has been called up to join the Spanish senior team but has not played his full international debut yet. He is the second signing for Valencia this summer after the club acquired Portugal’s Euro 2016 hero and former Manchester United player Nani.
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Spanish side Barcelona have announced the signing of a new deal by Brazilian superstar Neymar which will tie him to the club until 2021.
The La Liga champions are now set to offer contracts to the rest of the team, with five-time Ballon D’or winner Lionel Messi and play maker Andres Iniesta next in line.
Messi’s current deal will expire in 2018 but the club’s management are not taking any chance as they want him to commit his future now. Iniesta’s deal is also set to expire in 2018 but the club wants to keep him at the Nou camp as well. The president of the club Josep Maria Bartomeu said last week that players with less than two years on their current deal would be evaluated. However, Spanish newspaper Marca claim that doesn’t hold true for Messi and Iniesta as the club will not hesitate to get their signatures now.
The club chiefs are keen on Iniesta ending his career at the Nou Camp and talks with the veteran player is expected to kick off soonest. The club is undergoing a £500 million redevelopment of the stadium which will extend till 2020. The reports say Bartomeu wants Messi to be available when they complete it despite other reports linking Messi to a big-money move to the Premier League. Read more »
Andres Iniesta is set to lead the Spanish squad to their third Euro straight title as captain. The very experienced midfielder had his name everywhere since 1996 when he impressed in a 7-a-side tournament which is annually broadcast in Spain.
He then moved to play for Albacete, a local team, from where scouts lured him to join the prolific La Masia. The talented player said in an interview with Spanish TV at the time that he supported Real Madrid!? Iniesta gradually bided his time, until he joined the senior team. Read more »
Ex-Gunner play maker, Cesc Fabregas who has made several inciting comments of recent made another where he mentioned his former team mate as the best he has played alongside in his career.
Fabregas had joined current Chelsea team mate, Eden Hazard, to declare publicly their wish that Leicester City win the English Premier League in light of the hot chase Spurs gave, before The Foxes
eventually clinched the trophy on Monday when Chelsea played a draw with Tottenham.
The comments drew criticisms from several quarters as they opined that the players should have kept such thoughts private, especially as professionals playing against each other in the league. The Spaniard again said he believes Mathieu Flamini is the best midfielder he has played alongside.
Despite sharing the pitch with a catalogue of world class team-mates during a glittering career at Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea, the Spain International believes Flamini’s covering qualities are unparalleled. The play maker featured alongside Xavi and Iniesta for both club and country where he spent four seasons with Flamini at Emirates Stadium before the Frenchman moved to Milan in 2008.
Flamini was introduced for Fabregas in the closing stages of Arsenal’s 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona but the pair played together regularly in the final season of Flamini’s first spell in North London. The player told Football Daily: Read more »
Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta claims that the team was let down by a few tactical mistakes in the 2-1 loss against Real Madrid.
The Catalan club surrendered their 39 match unbeaten record as a result of this defeat. More importantly, it may have just given Madrid belief that they can still win the league title is though they are seven points behind. Coming into the match, Barcelona had a 10 point advantage over their arch rivals. Iniesta played the full 90 minutes against Madrid. This was the second consecutive game in which Barcelona have failed to win in the league.
Atletico have been able to reduce the deficit at the top to just six points while Madrid are a further point behind. Iniesta may no longer be one of the decisive players in front of goal, but he remains a key member of the squad nonetheless. The 31-year-old has scored only one league goal in 21 appearances this season. Despite having featured against Madrid, he is expected to start against Atletico in the Champions League quarter-finals. Against their arch rivals, Barcelona dominated the game in terms of possession. Things look good when they took the lead through Gerard Pique in the second half, but Karim Benzema came up with an equaliser soon. Read more »
Lionel Messi is the Barcelona player who is usually receiving all the attention from the media as the Argentinean is a showstopper whenever he comes into the pitch with sensational goals and tricks.
There are however other players that aren’t in the spotlight as much as Lionel Messi or Neymar. One of these players is Andres Iniesta. The Spanish midfielder is considered to be one of the best performers in the world and even though he has been displaying world class abilities for the past few years, the players in Barcelona that are regularly in the headlines or highlights of videos and websites is either Messi, Suarez or Neymar.
Nonetheless, Iniesta is always putting in work in each and every game that he plays for Barcelona as well as the Spanish national team.
Andres Iniesta was one of the most influential players of the 2010 World Cup as it was him who managed to score the winning goal of that tournament which helped secure the prestigious piece of silverware but Iniesta has gone even further and established himself as one of the greatest Spanish players after securing his 29th title and becoming the player with most titles from his country. Iniesta even managed to surpass his former teammate Xavi Hernandez who has a total of 28 trophies in his collection. Read more »
Barcelona suffered a shock 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Athletic Bilbao in theSupercopa de Espana.
This first leg match was expected to see the Catalan club in full swing after the recently captured the UEFA Super Cup to the growing list of trophies. However, manager Luis Enrique opted for an inexperienced the starting line-up in order to keep his first-team players fit for the new la Liga season. This move backfired immediately after Barcelona were second best in all areas of the game. The team made several high-profile defence were mistakes that were key towards this defeat and midfielder Iniesta did not offer any excuses.
He also ruled out the possibility of a comeback in the second leg, which will take place shortly. Even though Barcelona have been scoring goals at will, Iniesta feels that this advantage will prove very superior for the losing finalist of the Copa del Rey 2015. It was Barcelona who beat Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey last season. The prospects of winning a sextuple have been thrown out of the window following this defeat. Barcelona will still hope to lift mid-season trophies like the FIFA Club World Cup and more. Read more »