FC Barcelona 2011-2012
Visca el Barça - More Than A Club!
|Even for FC Barcelona, 2010-11 was . . . |
. . . More Than A Season!
Playing trademark 4-3-3 football, the Catalan giants thrilled stadiums across Europe with their intelligent midfield possession game combined with thrilling individual talent.
Pep Guardiola remains at the helm and will continue to put his trust in the same players, same system.
The first team newcomers - Alexis, Cesc and Thiago - all have Barça DNA and their a number of younsters waiting to step up their game to first team level.
There's no reason why Barça shouldn't repeat one of their most successful seasons ever - Liga, and Champions League - in 2010-11.
The star performers of this extraordinary side are undoubtedly Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta.
Playing on the right of the attack but with freedom of movement, Messi's dazzling individual runs, dribbling, dummies and superb goal tally make him odds on favourite for European Golden Ball and FIFA World Player once again this season.
| Football Club Barcelona 1899 |
C/ Arístides Maillol, s/n
Barcelona Province Region
Catalonia Fixtures 2011-12
| FC Barcelona Squad |
|2010-11 was another great Liga season for Andrés Iniesta. |
Capable of playing on the left of the attack but even more dangerous in midfield, the Manchegan is not only a defender's nightmare but is also giving opposing goalkeepers bad dreams as well.
His 92nd minute scorcher in the Champions League Semi-Final against Chelsea went down in history as dis his winning goal against Holland in the World Cup final.
After a difficult first season at the FC Barcelona, David Villa is back at the top.
No longer a straight centre-forward, he now plays on the left of the attack and without losing any of his consummate elegance, has become a much stronger team player.
With the transfer of eternal promise Bojan Krkic, Barça's new killer in the area for 2011-12 will be Chilean international - Alexis Sanchez - his stylish play should create more opportunities for the other forwards and attacking midfielders.
These three are supported by Dutch international Ibrahim Affelay and Canary Islander Pedro Rodriguez - both of whom play with a great deal of confidence and are capable of scoring decisive goals at crucial moments.
|Coach: Josep Guardiola|
|1. Victor Valdés (Goalkeeper)|
|2. Dani Alves (Defender)|
|3. Gerard Piqué (Defender)|
|4. Cesc Fabregas (Midfield)|
|5. Carles Puyol (Cap. Defender)|
|6. Xavi Hernández (Midfield)|
|7. David Villa (Forward)|
|8. Andrés Iniesta (Midfield)|
|9. Alexis Sanchez (Forward)|
|10. Lionel Messi (Forward)|
|11. Thiago Alcantara (Midfield)|
|13. José M. Pinto (Goalkeeper)|
|14. Javier Mascherano (Defender)|
|15. Seydou Keita (Midfield)|
|16. Sergio Busquets (Midfield)|
|17. Pedro Rodriguez (Forward)|
|19. Maxwell (Defender)|
|20. Afellay (Midfield)|
|21. Adriano (Defender)|
|22. Eric Abidal (Defender)|
|The Real Maestro of the FC Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, though, is Xavi Hernández - The Professor. |
Xavi's intelligence, precision and almost telepathic ability to read a game earned him MVP at the Euro 2008 and many fans wanted to see him win the European Golden Ball this year but he was just pipped by Messi..
The Xavi-Iniesta doubles partnership makes the Barça midfield the most clinically efficient in the world.
The dynamic duo are ably supported by the extremely capable Sergio Busquets in the defensive midfield position with the excellent Seydou Keita capable of substituting any of the first team trio at a moment's notice.
We're also really excited about the potential of young Thiago Alcantara, who if this summer is anything to go by could turn into an FC Barcelona legend before the season's out.
And after an endless transfer negotiation, Cesc Fabregas has returned home from Arsenal to complete FC Barcelona's awesome midfield lineup.
Eric Adidal, whose fight against a tumour last season turned him into a local hero, is ably supported by Maxwell and Adriano.
The two central defender positions are covered by three mighty players.
The Great Captain Carles Puyol is the soul of Guardiola's Barça, and at 33 still has plenty of football left in him.
He is accompanied by the mighty Gerard Piqué - Piquenbauer, who along with being Shakira's boyfriend is also tipped for both the FC Barcelona and Spain captaincies when the time comes.
|They're accompanied by el 'Jefecito' Javier Mascherano. |
Mascherano turned out to be last season's best signing and, although more of a defensive midfielder, did a marvellous job alongside Piqué when Puyol was out through injury last season.
The Back Four is completed by samba-loving Dani Alves - the best Brazilian back since Roberto Carlos. His surging runs both serve to release Messi's genius and his own imperious designs on the opposing team's area.
Victor Valdés is the FC Barcelona goalkeeper and won the Zamora Trophy yet again last season. Pinto - his substitute - is more than capable of holding the fort in minor competitions.
There's been a lot of concern that the squad is a little small.However, President Sandro Rosell and Technical Secretary Andoni Zubizaretta have both stated that Guardiola has all the players he asked for.
I suspect that throughout the course of the season we'll see quite a few youngsters moving up to the first team - Jonathan Dos Santos and Fontàs have already been assigned first team squad numbers, so expect them to be household names before the season's out. Pep Guardiola's Barça has already got everything it takes to make history for the fourth season on the trot.*
|Jimmy Burns' Barça: A People's Passion is an excellent history of FC Barcelona taken from two perspectives. |
Beginning with a Barça-Real Madrid Clásico from the fan's point of view, the main text traces the history of Football Club Barcelona from its founding by a group of foreigners through the repression of the Franco regime right up to Cruyff's Dream Team and centenary year in 1999.
FC Barcelona is much more than a club - it's a political and social phenomenen.
Barça: A People's Passion is much more than a book about football - it's the story of one hundred years of obsessive national pride.