11 Updates

Spain need a point to seal World Cup berth (Preview)

Oct 14 2013, 5:50am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 14 (IANS) It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

Madrid, Oct 14 — It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday. A point for the...

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41 weeks ago

Spain need a point to seal World Cup berth (Preview)

Oct 14 2013, 5:50am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 14 (IANS) It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

Madrid, Oct 14 — It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

A point for the Spanish at home to Georgia (who have no chance of qualifying) will assure that Spain have a ticket to Brazil and the match in Albacete's Carlos Belmonte Stadium is extra special for Iniesta given that it takes place in what is virtually his home town.

The man who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final to give Spain their first ever World Cup is from the area and has always maintained his roots there despite joining Barcelona when he was just eight years old.

Iniesta will form part of a starting 11 which pulled off a laboured 2-1 against Belarus in Mallorca Friday night to take them to the verge of qualification and thanks to their superior goal difference over second placed France, Spain could probably lose Tuesday and still be on the plane to Brazil.

However, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has some issues to settle in his starting 11. For starters, who is going to lead the Spanish attack.

Del Bosque opted to give a debut to Swansea forward Michu, who played as a false number 9 against Belarus and the experiment was not a total success as Spain laboured in front of goal, with their opening strike coming just after the hour, thanks to midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

Alvaro Negredo, a more typical centre forward made an impact as a substitute as he came on and scored the decisive second goal of the game. Negredo has now scored nine times for Spain and is pushing for a start, although his typical bustling play doesn't necessarily fit in with the touch style favoured by Del Bosque and his creative midfield.

Del Bosque also has an issue in goal where he decided to drop Iker Casillas in favour of Victor Valdes Friday. It was a surprise given the coach's previous support for the Real Madrid man, but also a logical decision given Valdes' early season form and the fact that Casillas is now substitute with his club. The question now is whether or not Del Bosque will stick with Valdes or bring Casillas back into the side.

Finally with central defenders Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique both carrying slight knocks, Del Bosque will have to consider playing Inigo Martinez in central defence, while Nacho Monreal continues at left back for the injured Jordi Alba, who will be out for six weeks with a torn muscle.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
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11

7 hours ago

Ronaldinho & MLS, Does It Make Sense?

Jul 30 2014 3:00pm CDT | Source: The Big Lead

Rebuilding, or more accurately reloading, in big-time club soccer always intrigues me. Unlike our North American sports clubs, teams aren’t restrained by salary caps or reliant on draft picks, affording them a carte blanche to spend their way out of trouble (or spend their way into a deeper mess). You only have to go back to 2011 when Bayern Munich — now considered the best (or second best) club team in the world — ...
Source: The Big Lead   Full article at: The Big Lead
 

 
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15 hours ago

The El Clasico Dream XI: Who makes a joint Barcelona-Real Madrid team?

Jul 30 2014 6:49am CDT | Source: 101 great goals

It is pretty much impossible to argue that Barcelona and Real Madrid hold the best players on the planet. We were inspired to think of an El Clasico Dream XI thanks to Craig Burley’s effort, which can be seen above with an explanation on the video below. Some of Burley’s choices are a bit quirky, to put it mildly. Its questionable whether Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa are the best full backs at Real Madrid, let alone from both sides. Similarly, will Claudio Bravo start the season in the Barcelona ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 
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9

17 hours ago

Barcelona Don't Need Marco Reus with Lionel Messi Dropping Deeper

Jul 30 2014 5:09am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona have been linked with Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Marco Reus. Per Toni Juanmarti at Sport, the Catalan giants would look to purchase him at the end of this season, for his buyout clause of €35 million. Reus is contracted at Dortmund until 2017, and with what happened to Mario Gotze fresh in the memory, Dortmund want to extend Reus' contract. Gotze signed for Bayern Munich after they shelled out €37 million to pay his release cla ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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1 day ago

Why Barcelona, and Not Real Madrid, Deserve to Be Favourites to Win La Liga

Jul 29 2014 6:46am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The comparisons have already begun. After a long summer that isn’t finished yet, fans and pundits alike are already pitting Barcelona and Real Madrid against each other as favorites to win the La Liga trophy. Both sides have strengthened well in the transfer window, though Atletico Madrid can never be erased from the picture. So who are the favorites to win La Liga? For the most part, the case is being made for R ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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7

1 day ago

Can Switching to a False 9 Save Isco's Career at Real Madrid?

Jul 29 2014 6:28am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The departure of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal on deadline day last summer was supposed to perfectly accommodate the arrival of Isco from Malaga, who joined Real Madrid for £26 million last June.  A vastly talented playmaker, the 22-year-old seemed to be a natural fit to occupy the No. 10 role in the centre of Los Blancos' attack.  Little more than 12 months later, however, Isco has seemingly become Real Madrid's equivalent of Cesc Fabregas when at Barcelona, a bit-part player ready ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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5

2 days ago

(Video) Barcelona Stars Xavi And Iniesta Star In Training Ground Dodgeball Match

Jul 28 2014 3:59pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Barcelona's stars were enjoying themselves in this recent training session... Find out who are the most valuable players in world football. Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta were at the forefront of games of dodgeball and other training ground drills, as the Barcelona players enjoyed their trai ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
4

2 days ago

Luis Enrique Will Give Youth a Chance in His Barcelona Side

Jul 28 2014 7:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Luis Enrique will bring plenty of new ideas and methods to Barcelona for the 2014-15 season, but one of the most interesting is his focus on youth. As the former coach of Barcelona's B team, he knows a lot of the younger players at the club very well indeed. Barcelona have traveled to St George's Park on Monday to train in England for a week. As well as the first-teamers, eight Barca B players are also heading over. Alen Halilovic, Adama Traore and Alex Grimaldo are among ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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3

3 days ago

Iniesta reveals close relationship with Barcelona boss Luis Enrique

Jul 27 2014 1:03am CDT | Source: Tribalfootball.com

Barcelona ace Andres Iniesta admits he's long had a good relationship with coach Luis Enrique. Enrique was a former Barca club captain. NO, This article does not meet Newsnow guidelines ...
Source: Tribalfootball.com   Full article at: Tribalfootball.com
 

 
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4 days ago

Iniesta happy Xavi staying with Barcelona

Jul 26 2014 8:46pm CDT | Source: Tribalfootball.com

Andres Iniesta is delighted Xavi is staying with Barcelona. Xavi has committed to Barca for the new season. NO, This article does not meet Newsnow guide ...
Source: Tribalfootball.com   Full article at: Tribalfootball.com
 

 
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1

4 days ago

What Barcelona Fans Should Expect from Alen Halilovic This Season

Jul 26 2014 2:13pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona made a huge statement for the future by signing Croatian midfielder Alen Halilovic in May 2014. The teenager joined from Dinamo Zagreb, with the Catalans quick to snatch him up after he made a name for himself in his home country's top flight. Halilovic, who could start for many European clubs, will spend this season at Barcelona B. Understandably, many Barcelona fans may be wondering what they should expect from the 18-year-old this season. ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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