11 Updates

World champions Spain book ticket for Brazil

Oct 15 2013, 8:12pm CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 16 (IANS) Defending World Cup champions Spain assured they will be able to defend their crown in Brazil next summer when they confirmed their place in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win at home to Georgia Tuesday night.

Madrid, Oct 16 — Defending World Cup champions Spain assured they will be able to defend their crown in Brazil next summer when they confirmed their place in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win at...

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45 weeks ago

World champions Spain book ticket for Brazil

Oct 15 2013, 8:12pm CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 16 (IANS) Defending World Cup champions Spain assured they will be able to defend their crown in Brazil next summer when they confirmed their place in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win at home to Georgia Tuesday night.

Madrid, Oct 16 — Defending World Cup champions Spain assured they will be able to defend their crown in Brazil next summer when they confirmed their place in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win at home to Georgia Tuesday night.

In a game in which they only needed to draw in order to qualify for the finals the Spanish were in control from start to finish against a side that lacked their technical quality and which set out to defend from the start, Xinhua reported.

Goals in each half: from Alvaro Negredo, who also netted against Belarus Friday, and Juan Mata gave Spain their triumph.

With the game played in Albacete's Carlos Belmonte Stadium, there was no doubt that local boy Andres Iniesta, who scored the goal that took the Spanish to their memorable 2010 triumph, was the man the home fans wanted to see.

Iniesta took his place in midfield alongside his FC Barcelona club-mates Xabi Hernandez and Sergio Busquets, while despite the importance of the game, Del Bosque handed a debut to young defender Alberto Moreno and gave the nod to powerful striker Negredo in attack.

Expecting to play against a packed defence, Del Bosque also started with Pedro and Jesus Navas in an attempt to inject pace into his side's forward line and Naves almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute before being crowded out by the visitors.

With Negredo looking to prove he deserves to be Spain's first choice striker and Pedro using his pace, all of the chances were falling for the home side with the most spectacular a Negredo overhead kick which dropped just wide.

He got his reward after 25 minutes, finishing off a move 'made in Barca' as Pedro and Iniesta combined to allow him a simple finish to put Spain ahead.

He could have doubled the lead five minutes from halftime following a cross from his Manchester City team-mate Navas, but his effort hit the post.

With Spain needing to concede two goals in the second half to miss out, the fans in Albacete were already celebrating as the second half kicked off and qualification was sealed on the hour when Juan Mata, who had replaced Pedro just three minutes earlier, scored his side's second with a neat volley on virtually his first touch of the night.

Georgia showed little sign of reacting to the second goal, indeed they hardly troubled Iker Casillas, who returned in goal ahead of Victor Valdes, all night and for the remaining minutes the chances all fell Spain's way with Iniesta and Negredo both going close, while Navas almost added a third as the Spanish fans' thoughts turned to Brazil.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
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11

10 hours ago

Retired Spain Icon Xabi Alonso Embodied the Power of La Roja

Aug 27 2014 7:28pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Slowly but surely, the Spain team that dominated world football between 2008 and 2012 is being disassembled—the dismantler in this instance not a manager, but the effects of time. In 2011, it was veteran left-back Joan Capdevila retiring from international duty; in February 2013, stalwart defender Carles Puyol played his final match for La Roja. Striker David Villa was given a send-off against Australia at the 2014 World Cup, after which pass-m ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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10

1 day ago

European Team of the Week: Lionel Messi Back to His Best, Lamela in Limelight

Aug 26 2014 7:01am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Lionel Messi made a blistering start to the season with a perfect WhoScored.com rating of 10. The Argentinian netted either side of half-time to help Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Elche as Luis Enrique got off to a winning start as the new head coach. Messi also played three key passes and completed an incredible seven successful dribbles to hit the ground running in the new campaign. Hannover 96 forward Edgar Prib partners the diminutive B ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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9

2 days ago

Analysing How Ivan Rakitic Will Boost Barcelona and Lionel Messi This Season

Aug 25 2014 7:20am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Ivan Rakitic was brought to Barcelona to bolster a flagging core, and early evidence suggests he's going to go above and beyond that. The Croatia star was the key piece of Sevilla's midfield as they won the Europa League last season, and it earned him a switch to the Nou Camp. Rakitic is the replacement for Xavi in the side, with manager Luis Enrique set to use the veteran Spanish midfielder sparingly as the season progresses. He plays ahead of an ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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8

3 days ago

Twitter Reacts to Lionel Messi's Performance in Barcelona vs. Elche

Aug 24 2014 4:16pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona kicked off their 2014/15 La Liga campaign in style on Sunday, disposing of Elche 3-0 at the Nou Camp despite being reduced to 10 men.     Midfielder Javier Mascherano was dismissed just before the interval, and while Elche’s one-man advantage may well have given them confidence, they were forgetting one impossible task that still remained on their hands—keeping Lionel Messi at bay. Messi was the thorn in Elche’s side throughout the match, and just before his countryman Mascherano got ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
7

3 days ago

Barcelona vs. Elche: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Aug 24 2014 3:57pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona 3-0 Elche Lionel Messi opened his La Liga season in style with two goals to help Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Elche at the Camp Nou. But the mercurial Argentina star was joined in the limelight by teenage forward Munir El-Haddadi, who scored on his first-team debut. Luis Enrique, making his own debut in the dugout, saw his team even brush off the dismissal of Javier Mascherano for a last-man challenge in the closing stages of the fi ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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5

4 days ago

Barcelona vs. Elche: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Aug 24 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The big question for new FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is who will partner Lionel Messi in attack in his team's season opener against Elche? Things looked great for Barca in attack headed into the new campaign. But a Grade 1 ankle sprain suffered by Neymar Jr. has thrown Enrique's potential forward line into a state of flux. How Enrique resolves his first real selection dilemma as Barca boss will help determine a game his side will be expected to comfor ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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4

4 days ago

Barcelona vs. Elche: How the Blaugrana Will Line Up in the La Liga Clash

Aug 23 2014 6:45am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona kick off their La Liga campaign on Sunday when they host Elche at the Camp Nou. With new manager Luis Enrique leading the charge, fans are expecting an exciting start to the new La Liga season. The likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta are sure to be vital in the upcoming match, while new signings Jeremy Mathieu, Ivan Rakitic and either Claudio Bravo or Marc-Andre ter Stegen could all feature as well. With that being said, let’s take a look at how La Blaugrana will line ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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3

5 days ago

Barcelona To Speed Up Signing Of Manchester United Target After Fifa Transfer Ban

Aug 22 2014 10:46am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Barca accelerate efforts to sign in-demand playmaker. SEE MORE: Greatest football team of all time! Check out the best XI of the 21st Century Barcelona could be set to step up their efforts to sign Atletico Madrid playmaker and Manchester United transfer target Koke before the end of the summer after learning of their transfer ban imposed by Fifa, according to Fichajes.net. Koke is a long-term target for the Catalan giants, but they will now accel ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
2

5 days ago

Why Javier Mascherano Will Shrug off Barcelona Captaincy Snub

Aug 22 2014 7:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The coming season in Catalunya looks set to be one of transition and great change. Luis Enrique takes over on the Barcelona bench to become the third coach in as many years, and the ex-Blaugrana favourite as a player faces a slew of challenges in order to reverse a trophyless campaign in 2013/14.  One of the former Roma coach's first duties was to oversee the new men in the Barcelona captain's hierarchy. Retired central defender Carles Puyol and goalkeeper Victor Valdes ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
1

6 days ago

Neymar Injury Opens Door for Rafinha and Munir El-Haddadi to Shine

Aug 22 2014 5:43am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Luis Enrique was always going to give the kids some chances at Barcelona, but now Neymar has been injured the Barca manager has virtually been forced to. Rafinha and Munir El-Haddadi could start for Barcelona this weekend against Elche as La Liga kicks off. Pedro has been sidelined with gastroenteritis, per Sport, so it leaves relatively few options for the new Barcelona manager. News of Neymar's grade one ankle sprain broke on Friday morning, and it will come as a crushing blow ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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