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Barca can forget difficult summer as they face Levante
Photo Credit: David Ramos, Getty Images

Barca can forget difficult summer as they face Levante

Aug 17 2013, 7:40am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 17 (IANS) When their Sunday's Spanish La Liga match at home to Levante kicks off at 6 pm local time, fans and players of FC Barcelona will be relieved that a difficult pre-season has come to an end.

Madrid, Aug 17 — When their Sunday's Spanish La Liga match at home to Levante kicks off at 6 pm local time, fans and players of FC Barcelona will be relieved that a difficult pre-season has come to...

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1 year ago

Barca can forget difficult summer as they face Levante

Aug 17 2013, 7:40am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 17 (IANS) When their Sunday's Spanish La Liga match at home to Levante kicks off at 6 pm local time, fans and players of FC Barcelona will be relieved that a difficult pre-season has come to an end.

Madrid, Aug 17 — When their Sunday's Spanish La Liga match at home to Levante kicks off at 6 pm local time, fans and players of FC Barcelona will be relieved that a difficult pre-season has come to an end.

The summer started in the worst possible way with Tito Vilanova forced to step down as first team coach in order to continue his fight against cancer. Vilanova was rapidly replaced by Gerardo 'Tata' Martino, given the job of evolving but not radically changing the Barca game plan, but Martino didn't arrive until the pre-season was well under way, reports Xinhua.

He wasn't helped by a schedule which saw Barca collect more air miles than time on the training ground as they flew to Germany, Norway, Israel, Thailand and Malaysia in a dizzying schedule.

No sooner had they returned to Barcelona than Cristian Tello, Victor Valdes, Andes Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez and Jordi Alba were on a plane to Ecuador with the Spain national side for Wednesday's friendly match, finally arriving in Barcelona again Thursday with what must be a dictionary definition of jet-lag.

Martino has had to cope with a lack of signings, with the club's search for a central defender starting to assume tragicomic proportions, but he will take comfort that there have been few changes to last season's title winning squad, meaning the side can almost be recited by heart with Javier Mascherano still covering for Carles Puyol and Neymar in for David Villa, who was sold to Atletico Madrid.

With respects to Lionel Messi, who is likely to play despite suffering a muscle problem in midweek, Neymar will be the star attraction after his signing from Santos and the Brazilian has given signs of his undoubted talent, although the club has designed a program to help 'beef him up' after losing weight with suspected anaemia this summer.

Alexis Sanchez is also in favour after an impressive summer has seen him play more than any of his companions and the goals scored by the Chilean winger have helped forget his confidence crisis from last season. His willingness to run himself into the ground for the cause fits in perfectly with Martino's policy of pressing high in the opposition half.

That will be one of the big problems for Levante, who will present a new-look side at Camp Nou under a new coach, Joaquin Caparros.

Murmurings of match-fixing allegations at the end of last season saw a clear-out of Levante's veteran defence with younger players drafted in along with the experienced Caparros, who has a talent for getting the best out of a limited squad.

He does favour a packed defence and direct style of play, however, and that is going to gift Barca the ball for long spells of pressure, so expect the familiar script of the irresistible force of Barca's attack.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
10

3 hours ago

Barcelona announce they will rename training ground after late manager Tito Vilanova

Sep 16 2014 1:01pm CDT | Source: 101 great goals

Barcelona have announced that they will honour their former manager Tito Vilanova by renaming their main training ground after the late boss.Vilanova won the La Liga title in his only season as boss at the Camp Nou but had to step down due to his battle with cancer. He died earlier this year aged 45. Vilanova had previously been assistant to Pep Guardiola in the most successful period in the club’s history.Now the club are going to rename Ciudad Deportiva de Sant Joan Despi aft ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 
Update
9

4 hours ago

Barcelona name training ground after Vilanova

Sep 16 2014 12:00pm CDT | Source: Tribalfootball.com

Barcelona have honoured the memory of former coach Tito Vilanova by renaming a training ground after him. NO, This article does not meet Newsnow guidelines ...
Source: Tribalfootball.com   Full article at: Tribalfootball.com
 

 
Update
8

13 hours ago

Spanish Paper Talk: Cristiano Ronaldo Gives Real Madrid Faith

Sep 16 2014 3:01am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Portuguese international's 17 goals in Europe last season provides Los Blancos with hope... All the latest headlines from the newspapers in Spain as Real Madrid begin their Champions League defence on Tuesday night and Cristiano Ronaldo will be key.  Image courtesy of Marca. - The Champions’ challenge. Real Madrid’s triple test. - To win two consecutive European Cups; nobody has done it within the Champions ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
7

1 day ago

Barcelona’s main training ground to be named in honour of Tito Vilanova

Sep 15 2014 2:49pm CDT | Source: inside spanish football

The Barcelona Board of Directors have approved a proposal to rename Barcelona’s main training ground at the Ciutat Esportiva in honour of former manager, Tito Vilanova.   According to Mundo Deportivo, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the proposal to name Barcelona’s main training pitch the ‘Campo de Entrenamiento Tito V ...
Source: inside spanish football   Full article at: inside spanish football
 

 
Update
6

1 day ago

Barcelona Will Name Main Training Ground After Late Manager, Tito Vilanova

Sep 15 2014 2:44pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona will pay tribute to their late manager, Tito Vilanova, by naming their No. 1 training ground after him.  The club announced on their website (in Spanish) that the board voted unanimously to name the ground at the Ciudad Deportiva to be named the Tito Vilanova Training Camp. Vilanova passed away of throat cancer in April ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
4

4 days ago

Remembering Tito Vilanova His Barcelona#8207;

Sep 12 2014 3:29am CDT | Source: football

Former FC Barcelona Manager Tito Vilanova’s untimely demise on 25 April 2014 at age 45 had since left me shattered introspective and judgemental of God’s fairness para ...
Source: football   Full article at: football
 

 
Update
3

1 week ago

What Is the Minimum Required from Luis Enrique for Him to Be Judged a Success?

Sep 7 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Luis Enrique has inherited something of a poisoned chalice at Barcelona. Rightly or wrongly, he is likely to be unfairly judged against Pep Guardiola's benchmark team in the same way that Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino have been. Both previous incumbents were successful in their own way but this is instantly and conveniently glossed over and forgotten. Vilanova equalling the 100-point mark set the previous season by Jose Mourinho's all-conquering Real Madrid side, on th ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Is There Still a Place for Marc Bartra in Luis Enrique's Barcelona Revolution?

Jul 27 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Marc Bartra has to be one of the unluckiest members of Barcelona's current squad. As he begins his third season with the first-team squad, not only have the club gone out and bought Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia but rumours are rife that they are ready to acquire more central defenders. Per Mundo Deportivo (via John Drayton of the Daily Mail), Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen is the latest to be linked with a switch to Camp Nou. The 23-year-old Bartra must be ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

5 Reasons Why Barcelona Has Declined

Jul 19 2014 12:23pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona was, at one time, the best team in the world. Some even argued that Pep Guardiola's side was one of the greatest of all-time. However, since his departure, the club has slowly gone downhill. The late Tito Vilanova did the best he could, winning a league title in the 2012-13 campaign. His eventual replacement, Gerardo Martino, couldn't steer the ship back on a winning course. The 2 ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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