Champions League & Andres Iniesta

The Champions League Twenty20, also referred to as the CLT20, is an annual international Twenty20 cricket competition played between the top domestic teams from major cricketing nations. Andrés Iniesta Luján (born 11 May 1984) is a Spanish football player. 5.0/5

Champions League Andres Iniesta Lionel Messi Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo Bayern Munich La Liga Sergio Busquets Atletico Madrid Stamford Bridge Camp Nou Alexis Sanchez World Cup Cesc Fabregas Nou Camp Pep Guardiola Xavi Hernandez Premier League Dani Alves

Andrés Iniesta shed a few tears after Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League.
Andres Iniesta only man ever to win MOTM in World Cup, Euro AND Champions League finals
Barcelona won all 6 Champions League away games in which Andrés Iniesta didn't play.
Uefa Best Player shortlist revealed 14 August 2014 Updated 16:24 GMT Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer helped Bayern Munich to the 2013-14 domestic double and was named German footballer of the year for a second time Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben are joined by Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid on the final shortlist for Uefa's Best Player in Europe Award. The three were selected by journalists based on their performances in 2013-14. The winner will be chosen on 28 August. Goalkeeper Neuer helped Germany win the World Cup, while Robben scored 21 goals for Bayern and three for Netherlands on their way to the semi-final in Brazil. Portugal's Ronaldo scored a record 17 goals as Real won the Champions League. Past winners of Uefa's Best Player in Europe Award 2010-11 Lionel Messi, Barcelona 2011-12 Andres Iniesta, Barcelona 2012-13 Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich The winner will be voted for by journalists at the Champions League group-stage draw in Monaco. The remaining players in the top 10 based o ...
BLUES DUO NAMED IN SPAIN FRIENDLY SQUAD Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta have been included in a 19-man Spain squad to face Bolivia in a friendly next Friday. The game represents the last opportunity for players to stake a claim before Vincente Del Bosque trims his provisional 30-man World Cup squad down to 23 on 2 June. The Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid players named in the provisional group have been omitted for Friday's game after taking part in the Champions League final, while Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Fernando Llorente have also been left out. Former Chelsea attacker Juan Mata joins Torres and Azpilicueta in the squad. Spain squad to play Bolivia on Friday: Pepe Reina, David De Gea, Gerard Pique, Raul Albiol, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Alberto Moreno, Zavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Ander Iturraspe, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, David Silva, Pedro Rodriquez, Fernando Torres, Gerard Deulofeu.
Atletico Madrid's breakthrough title looks set to inspire clubs all over Europe with Rafael Benitez claiming Napoli could be Italy's example. Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta rued the La Liga draw with Atletico Madrid that handed the latter a ground-breaking title. Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi faces a week on the sidelines with a back injury in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup. Atletico Madrid Diego Simeone will give Diego Costa every chance to recover from injury ahead of Saturday's Uefa Champions League final. France coach Didier Deschamps has lamented the absence of injured goalkeeper Steve Mandanda at the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Former Barcelona player and B team boss Luis Enrique has been confirmed as the club's new coach on a two-year deal. Ashley Cole is set to leave Chelsea after eight seasons with the Premier League club, the defender revealed on Monday. Jose Mourinho hailed Louis Van Gaal as a "great" manager, following the Dutchman's appointment as Manchester United boss on Monday.
The World Champions have lost their aura of invincibility and are gonna need SOMETHING to retain their crown this year. It looks like they might just have found that something...   World Cup Record:   Qualifications: 14   Wins: 1   Best performance: Champions (2010)     The Team   Coach: Vicente Del Bosque. Coach of the "Galacticos" Real Madrid side earlier this century (with whom he won the Champions League in 2002), he has successfully transferred his success to the international stage, winning both the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2012.   Remember the name - Players to watch out for:   Andres Iniesta (Central Midfielder/Left Winger) - Still a very important player for the national team despite a minor decline. Incredible dribbler with an equally brilliant eye for a pass. Many (including myself) consider him the greatest player Spain has produced. Also scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final against Holland. Ramos (Central Defender) - Has had an excellent s ...
Manchester United are rumoured to be prepared to delve into the transfer market to sign none other than Lionel Messi this summer. The Argentinean magician has not had the best of seasons with his club out of the Champions League in the quarter final stage and losing the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid. They now only have the La Liga title to fight for and they are currently sitting in second four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and many are claiming that Messi’s best form is behind him. With Barcelona’s transfer ban being suspended for the summer, they will be free to buy and sell players. Andres Iniesta has called on the club to keep Messi as he believes he is integral to the club’s future success. "I have no doubts about Messi," Iniesta told El Mundo Deportivo. He continued by saying, "He could not be better anywhere else other than here and Barca will not find another player like him." Even though United don’t yet have a permanent manager, it seems as though the Glazer family who owns t ...
Former Barcelona coach Radomir Antic believes that Blaugrana superstar Lionel Messi deliberately stayed away from the action during the 1-0 Champions League defeat against Atletico Madrid due to his frustration at being played as a winger. The Argentina international was heavily criticised after running just 6.8 kilometres as Barca crashed out of Europe and Antic has likened Messi's situation under Gerardo Martino to that of Rivaldo under Louis Van Gaal during the 1999-2000 campaign. Van Gaal insisted on playing the Brazilian on the left wing against his will - despite his preference to be deployed centrally - leading to a strained relationship between the two. "Messi did not do much running because the coach told him to play as a winger. This was Messi's way of saying 'If you want me to play on the wing, I will do just that'," Antic told Goal. It is clear that Barcelona have a major problem. How are they going to accommodate Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta in one team? "I don't think Messi will accept p ...
Reality Cech: Why it's now time for Chelsea to bring back Courtois Contrasting performances this week from the Blues' current No.1 and his heir apparent show that Mourinho would be crazy not to start the Atletico Madrid loanee next season If Jose Mourinho was looking for evidence that now is the time to dispense with Petr Cech and recall Thibaut Courtois from his Atletico Madrid loan exile, then the Champions League quarter-finals will have provided plenty. "We had clear chances to make it 2-1, but because of Courtois we’re leaving with a draw," Barcelona defender Marc Bartra told reporters following their quarter-final first-leg against Atletico Madrid. Bartra had just witnessed one of the finest goalkeeping performances in Champions League history as Courtois made save after save to deny Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and others. He nearly got a hand to Neymar's equaliser for good measure. Meanwhile, Cech was being beaten at his near post in injury-time as Chelsea fell to a 3-1 defeat . ...
What a sumptuous night of Champions League football viewing it was! The first quarter final had United putting up a valiant display, against arguably Europe’s best side Bayern Munich. Vidic turned back the years and his neck muscles, to superbly head in a goal, and give United a surprising lead. That seemed to wake up Bayern a little, and they equalized in majestic fashion; with Schweinsteiger nonchalantly making a difficult volley look routine. Rooney then did a nice swan lake impression to deviously get Schweinsteiger sent off, and add even more edge to the return leg. In the other match, plucky Atletico Madrid, Europe’s brave story of the season, knocked Barcelona off their aristocratic perch, with what can only be called an insane goal by Diego. Only to have Andres Iniesta slip a ‘grandmaster like pass’ (he being three moves ahead of all players on the pitch), for Neymar to calmly equalize. Two matches-simultaneously played; and constantly vying for remote preference. Hope tonight is no differ ...
A number of Barcelona players would like to see Fernando Torres arrive on a possible loan deal this summer,[football] direct newsunderstands. The Spanish striker is set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after failing to impress Jose Mourinho and failing to live up to his £50m price tag, which the Blues paid Liverpool back in 2011. Former club Atletico Madrid have been credited with interest, whilst Italian side Inter Milan have also shown interest. However,[FDN]understand that a number of Spanish international players at Barcelona are growing keen on the idea of Torres joining the club on a short-term basis. Barcelona fans and close media men have often called for a 'Plan B' striker to add cover for the likes of Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Neymar and it is understood that the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique would welcome Torres to the Nou Camp. "Torres came here in 2012 and scored in front of the Nou Camp crowd, it sent Barca out of the Champions League and he has ...
The Bayern Munich boss claims top-class players can play well irrespective of coaches and insists his success at his former and current clubs is down to collective efforts Pep Guardiola has claimed he had little to do with turning Barcelona stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta into world-leading players. The Spain midfield duo flourished under Guardiola's stewardship at Camp Nou as the Blaugrana claimed 14 trophies from 2008 to 2011, including two Champions League titles. Xavi and Iniesta were also at the heart of Spain's incredible back-to-back European Championship successes, as well as their triumph at the 2010 World Cup, but Guardiola claims players of such calibre do not require coaches to get them to play at their best. "Barcelona's players motivate themselves," the Bayern Munich boss was quoted as saying by Sport. "I did not teach Xavi or Iniesta to play. Coaches are here to lend a hand, but they have been playing well for 20 years. Coaches do not make good players play well. They play well enough without ...
NEWS: Record-Breaker, Messi Stars in Barca Victory Barcelona returned to winning ways in La Liga with a 7-0 demolition of Osasuna at Camp Nou on Sunday. Gerardo Martino's men had bounced back from last weekend's shock defeat at Real Valladolid with a Uefa Champions League win over Manchester City on Wednesday. And the reigning Spanish champions also put their league assault back on track with Lionel Messi the central figure in a comprehensive win. The Argentinian's hat-trick saw him move ahead of Paulino Alcantara to become Barcelona's all-time leading goalscorer, with the latter's record of 369 having included goals in friendlies. Alexis Sanchez, Andres Iniesta, Cristian Tello and Pedro were also on target as Barca moved back to within four points of leaders Real Madrid ahead of next weekend's Clasico at the Bernabeu.
My thoughts! The excuses came thick and fast from Manuel Pellegrini and yet there are 100 reasons or more why Barcelona tore Manchester City apart. Five Barcelona players - on City’s own ground, for goodness sake - had more than 100 touches on the ball. They were: Xavi (144), Cesc Fabregas (123), Andres Iniesta (110), Sergio Busquets (108) and Lionel Messi (103). Compare that, like for like with the £200m super team that is Manchester City and it is embarrassing. Yaya Toure (72), David Silva (62), Fernandinho (40), Alvaro Negredo (32) and Jesus Navas (28). When will we ever learn? Not now. Maybe never. Until English football learns that Barcelona and Bayern Munich have turned passing into an art form, their teams will find it tough to succeed in the Champions League. Yes, it is possible to nick the occasional result and stiff a team of Barcelona’s class on the break from time to time. But it's not possible every time to pull the plan off perfectly. At this time three weeks ago, it was easy to get car ...
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta believes Arsenal play the most attractive football in the Premier League. The 29-year-old Spanish World Cup-winner, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, feels that the Gunners try to play football in what he perceives to be ‘the right way’. “I think Arsenal still play the best football in England,” he told reporters. “They play in a style in the way that most emulates what we do at Barcelona - and what is in our opinion the right way to approach the game. “They may not have spent what other teams have in England - but their football philosophy is the most attractive in England.” Arsenal have earned plenty of plaudits for their style of play under Arsene Wenger; however, the north London outfit are yet to win a single trophy since 2005. Everyone associated with the Gunners hopes the current team can end end the nine-year trophy drought, with the Premier League, Champions League and, at the time of writing, FA Cup still up ...
Two-and-a-half years earlier in November 2006, Messi’s Barça team-mate Andres Iniesta made a similar statement of his feelings during a Uefa Champions League tie against Levski Sofia. Having fired in his side’s second strike, he made a point of kissing his left wrist. “I did it to vary things a little bit,” he told reporters, before admitting he had dedicated the goal to his girlfriend, Ana. Over in the Spanish capital, meanwhile, veteran Real Madrid striker Raul has never felt much need to vary his celebrations. A Real stalwart since 1992 and scorer of over 300 goals for Los Merengues, the No7 has enjoyed a long and healthy love affair with the club, but it is to his wife that he swears loyalty when he kisses his wedding ring each time he finds the net.
January 13, 2014 Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or after a stunning year that saw him net an astonishing 69 goals in 59 games. The Real Madrid talisman's achievements saw him surpass Hugo Sanchez in his club's scoring charts and equal Portugal legend Pauleta at the top of his country's list with 47 in 109 games. Fourteen of his goals came in the Champions League as Madrid reached the semifinals before being beaten by Borussia Dortmund -- and that total eclipsed the record of 13 achieved in the season before by the shortlisted Lionel Messi. His 2013 goal tally has overshadowed those of his two Ballon d'Or rivals, Messi and Franck Ribery, and he is the top scorer in all of Europe's biggest leagues. Ronaldo, accompanied by Florentino Perez, Zinedine Zidane, Emilio Butragueno and Sergio Ramos, flew to the Zurich ceremony from Madrid after training on Monday morning. Speaking as he received the award, a tearful Ronaldo said: "I have to say a great thanks to all my teammates, I'm very happy." Meanwhile, ...
Emilio Izaguirre will miss Celtic's Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night through suspension. The Hoops left-back picked up his third booking against AC Milan in the last Group H fixture game but manager Neil Lennon welcomes back right-back Adam Matthews who is contention after recovering from shoulder surgery which kept him out for seven weeks. Skipper Scott Brown returns after missing the last three European games through suspension, while fellow midfielder Nir Biton has served a one-game ban and has recovered from a virus, as has Georgios Samaras. Tom Rogic (calf), James Forrest (hamstring), Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain out. While Lionel Messi, Victor Valdes and Dani Alves are still sidelined for Barcelona, Xavi and Andres Iniesta will both be fit to play following injury as will Cristian Tello, although the Catalan club will be without the suspended Cesc Fabregas.
Can this Arsenal team right a wrong? By Neil Ashton London – The great Champions League winners are easy to remember. No-one tires of talking about them and they left you wanting more.It felt as though Marcel Desailly, Zvonimir Boban and Paolo Maldini were re-inventing the game when their breathtaking Milan team were tearing Barcelona apart in 1994 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. More than a decade later it was Barca who took the game to another level when Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi lifted the European Cup on three occasions. They are footballing gods. In May, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery were added to the list of great names when Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Which brings us to Arsenal, where praise is being lavished on Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil like never before. They can do no wrong. Arsene Wenger’s side are a joy to watch, setting the pace in the Barclays Premier League and opening their Champions League group wit ...
BARCELONA COULD ONLY SQUEAK OUT A 1-0 WIN VERSUS 10-MEN CELTIC Fàbregas rescues Barça with late header Celtic failed to hold on after Scott Brown was sent off, Fábregas hitting the winning goal A late Cesc Fàbregas goal helped Barcelona gut out a hard-fought 0-1 victory over Celtic in matchday two of the Uefa Champions League at Celtic Park in Glasgow. With Celtic reduced to ten men after a 59th minute Scott Brown red card, Fàbregas scored in the 77th minute to avenge Barcelona's shock 2-1 loss at Parkhead in last year's Champions League. With Lionel Messi out due to injury, Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino started a front three of Neymar, Cesc Fàbregas and Pedro in his 4-3-3. Behind them in midfield was the usual triumvirate of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Serio Busquets while Adriano, Gerard Piqué, Marc Bartra and Dani Alves were the back four tasked with protecting goalkeeper Victor Valdés. It was another spectacular environment at Celtic Park as Celtic looked to spring another upset like they ...
LONDON -- Humbled by Celtic in the latest shock result in the Champions League, Barcelona travels to Russia this week as the competition favourites attempt for the second time to seal a place in the knockout stage. Patrice Bergeron Jersey . The Champions League has thrown up a string of unpredictable scorelines this season and none bigger than Barcas 2-1 loss in Glasgow two weeks ago, preventing the Spanish giants joining FC Porto, Malaga and Manchester United in the last 16 with two games to spare. Lionel Messi and his team still need one more victory to advance in Group G but achieving that at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday is far from guaranteed, given that Barcelona has only won once in six trips to Russia. "We must not drop our guard or relax," Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta. "Up to this point, our start to the season has been sustained and sensational. But we must continue as weve begun." While Barcelona is still a big favourite to progress, the same cant be said of a number of Europes big guns. Ma ...
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta is targeting Champions League revenge next season. The Spain international believes the arrival of Neymar and Tito Vilanova’s return to full coaching duties after his health scare will give the Catalans a greater chance of winning Europe’s premier competition. La Blaugrana suffered an embarrassing 7-0 aggregate semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich in the competition last season, but Iniesta maintains things could be different next year. “There will be changes because that needs to happen every year for us to compete at the highest level. “Next year we won’t get to the semi-finals of the Champions League without competition for places. We will try to take our revenge,” insisted Iniesta in an interview with Cuatro. “I feel happy at having finished the season and things have more or less gone well. You can’t look at it just by the goals you scored or the ones you created because there is so much more in a game. “My aim was basically to finish the season and ...
Andres Iniesta is confident Spain can claim their first-ever Confederations Cup title in Brazil. The midfielder was part of the Roja squad who won back-to-backEuropean Championships in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010. However, they have never claimed Fifa's second competition but Iniesta is determined to put that right in Brazil this summer. "We will win the Confederations Cup, the last title that we lack," he told Spanish magazine Minuto 116 . "But it is becoming more difficult to win trophies with Spain as teams want to beat us after our recent success." Iniesta scored the winning goal in the 1-0 World Cup Final win over Netherlands and he dedicated his strike to Dani Jarque, who passedaway on the training ground after suffering a cardiac arrest in2009. "The emotional connotation of thegoal of the World Cup for me is that I dedicate the goal to Dani Jarque, so that everyone will remember not only me, but him too, forever," he said. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich claimed Champions League sem ...
Holy smoke: Barcelona's papal lucky charm The Primera Division leaders have a rather impressive record during the meeting of the College of Cardinals, again winning by four goals on Tuesday Messi: Everything came off perfectly » 'One of our best games ever' In the wake of Barcelona's incredible Champions League comeback against AC Milan, Andres Iniesta has hailed the clash as one of the Blaugrana's most “complete” performances to date Vilanova overjoyed with progression - Roura » Allegri: We were centimetres away from qualification » Messi & Villa inspire great escape The Spain international and Jordi Alba added to the Argentinian’s first-half double to ensure Barcelona overturned a two-goal aggregate deficit to see off Milan 4-0 at Camp Nou Pique: We were better than AC Milan from the start Allegri: Milan were centimetres away Dani Alves :messi lacking spark
Vilanova, Neymar and where it's all going wrong... Barca president Rosell holds crunch board meeting By Charlie Skillen PUBLISHED: 09:52 GMT, 4 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:57 GMT, 4 March 2013 Barcelona president Sandro Rosell faces a meeting with his board today over the future of the Catalan giants. Despite running away with La Liga, sitting 11 points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, recent results have seen this meeting take on extra importance. Barca face an uphill battle to continue their progress in the Champions League when they host AC Milan next week, 2-0 down from the first leg at the San Siro. Crisis? Barcelona players, including Lionel Messi (left), Andres Iniesta (centre) and Alexis Sanchez look dejected at Saturday's 2-1 loss to El Clasico rivals Real Madrid Two defeats in El Clasico matches against Real Madrid in their last two outings have not helped matters. Saturday’s 2-1 league defeat by Madrid came just four days after the 3-1 loss, Jose Mourinho’s side putting them out o ...
»NextGen Series Chelsea's youngsters show the future's bright at Stamford Bridge Chelsea's youth side overcame a resilient Barcelona on Wednesday night to claim a hard-fought 2-0 win over their Spanish counterparts. In doing so, the Blues became the third English youth side to progress to the quarter-finals of the NextGen competition this week, after Tottenham and Aston Villa booked their places following wins over Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax . Barcelona’s famed youth academy, La Masia, has produced some of the world football’s leading players, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. And many pundits have tipped their next crop of young talent to continue the tradition of Barcelona’s style and success, with good reason too. But, like the senior side did at the Nou Camp last season in the Champions League, the ten-men of Chelsea outfought Barcelona and came out on top. Midway through the first period, Somalia- born striker Islam Feruz put Chelsea in front, cooly fini ...
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has nailed his colours to the mast regarding the Messi/Ronaldo debate. Wenger says that Lionel Messi was lucky to win the 2012 Ballon d’Or, and that if it were up to him, he would have given football’s highest individual award to someone like Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo or Andres Iniesta, who had starred in title winning teams. But Wenger also says he thinks that Messi is “from another planet”, and that Ronaldo was simply unlucky to be born in the same era as the little Argentine, “the best in the world.” Asked if he would have picked Messi for the Ballon d’or, Wenger told the Arsenal website: "No, not this year. "Messi is from a different planet. He's certainly the Best Player in the world, the best I've ever seen, but I believe that this year he has really been rewarded for what he did individually, rather than what he won for his team. "For once he has not been in a team that won absolutely everything. He did not win the Champions League, he did not win th ...
Frank Rijkaard was sacked by Saudi Arabia on the same day his successor at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, was appointed at Bayern Munich. Rijkaard is football’s forgotten man. Yet seven years ago he was hailed as the greatest coach on the planet. There are striking similarities in the Barca careers of Rijkaard and Pep, so the timing last Wednesday was symbolic. Particularly as the main difference between the two is exactly this — their sense of timing. Pep left Barcelona at just the right time, Rijkaard left a season too late. Both were managerial gambles. Rijkaard, who took over at the Nou Camp in June 2003, had just led Sparta Rotterdam to relegation. The Dutch boss put Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Victor Valdes and a 17-year-old Lionel Messi in the starting line-up as Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o arrived. They mesmerised the world for years BEFORE Guardiola. Rijkaard re-established the tiki-taka, won the championship in his second season and completed the Liga and Champions League double in his third. B ...
Who were the cameras focused on when Leo was making his acceptance speech? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who was linked with a move to soon-to-be European Powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain after the awards had been dished out? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who immediately had a plethora of internet memes dedicated to his gorgeous face? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who was the one immediately back in action on Wednesday hitting a superb hat-trick against Celta Vigo? Cristiano Ronaldo. Whose team did Messi claim could overhaul Barcelona's huge La Liga lead after the ceremony? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who was hailed as "the complete player" this week by Sir Alex Ferguson? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who has immediately moved on from all this individual award nonsense and is eyeing a Champions League triumph with his side? Cristiano Ronaldo. Who was wearing a suit that made him look like an extra out of a 1980s Peter Gabriel video? Lionel Messi. Who remembered Andres Iniesta? Anyone?
Five questions on why the 2012 FIFA FIFPro XI was dominated by La Liga Samrin Hasib , January 9 2013, When Wesley Sneijder was snubbed in 2010, debates about the FIFPro XI started raging. This time, the controversial selection of 11 La Liga players has raised more questions than ever. First of all, in the line up, Iker Casillas wasthe goalkeeper. The back four consisted of Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo. Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta were the midfield trio. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Falcao made up the front three. 1) Do FIFA and the voters focus more on international competitions? The two teams which contested the Uefa Champions League final contain a total of zero players in the team. Both these teams beat the best teams Spain has to offer. One ofthe two dominated the midfield in their pair of clashes in the semi-final. However, the Champions League is of course a club competition. The professionals who vote perhaps give more importance to international comp ...
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Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been awarded the Ballon d'Or for a fourth year running.   Messi, 25, hit 91 goals during 2012 and beat club team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid's Ronaldo to the trophy.   Despite his goals, the Catalan giants failed to win either the Spanish league title or Champions League last year.   Abby Wambach won the women's award and Vicente Del Bosque the coach accolade, while the team of the year was made up only of players from Spain's La Liga.       Messi was announced as the winner of the Ballon d'Or, the award given to the world's Best Player, during a ceremony held in Zurich on Monday.   He was part of a three-man shortlist for the prize, which is voted for by journalists, and national coaches and captains, alongside midfielder Iniesta and forward Ronaldo.   He becomes the first player to win four consecutive Ballons d'Or, breaking the record he jointly held with former France international, and current Uefa president, Michel Platini.   "To te ...
We bring you the profiles of the 3 ballon d'Or nominees -VIA BBC 1 ) Andres Iniesta - Barcelona and Spain The 28-year-old midfielder, who came through Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, is one of a select group of players to have won the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League. Andres Iniesta However, he has yet to win this award, coming closest in 2010 when he finished runner-up to club-mate Lionel Messi. So, how has he earned another place in the top three? Apart from producing moments of brilliance for Barca, he played the leading role as Spain won Euro 2012 to clinch back-to-back European Championship titles. Iniesta won three man-of-the-match awards during last summer's competition in Poland and Ukraine, and was named Uefa's player of the tournament. He played fewer games than Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo at domestic club level, but nonetheless managed to achieve impressive feats. Iniesta was a key member of the Barcelona team that set a club record for successive home gam ...
Wanyama's star continues to rise after a number of impressive displays this term - most notably in the defeat of Barcelona - and has been linked with a transfer to Manchester United.Wanyama has played key role in taking Celtic to the top of the SPL and knockout stages of the Champions League this term and Law would love to see the midfield enforcer at Old Trafford. The 21-year-old Kenya international is reported to be a target for Manchester United boss Ferguson as he looks to bolster his Old Trafford midfield, and Law believes Wanyama would be an ideal addition for the Red Devils."He’s brilliant," Law said, as reported by The Telegraph. "He’s a top player and I’ve seen him linked with my club, United, recently."I’d take him to Old Trafford – he is that good. You saw against Barcelona how much quality he has. I read what the likes of Andres Iniesta said about him. Wanyama’s a top player and, for me, is the best midfielder in Scotland."To go up against a player like that and test yourself is gr ...
‘No magic formula to stop Barca’ Frank Rijkaard doesn’t believe he kick-started the current era of success at Barcelona, nor does he see a ‘magic formula’ for stopping their style of play. The Dutchman spent five years at the Camp Nou, eventually ending the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and overall winning two League titles, two Supercups and a Champions League. “Of course, five years is a long time. We went through some tough times and some excellent ones, and it’s only natural to dwell on the positives,” he reflected to FIFA’s official website today when asked to think back to that time. “I’m happy because I had the chance to work with a major club like Barcelona with so many star players, so I have wonderful memories of the place.” Even with the Coach credited as the first to rely heavily on the likes of homegrown stars such as Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, he does not believe he is responsible for the shape that Barca find themselves in t ...
Lowlight | The Ferdinand-Terry saga rocked English football & unveiled its hypocrisy Andriy Shevchenko's double for Ukraine against Sweden illuminated Euro 2012 early and a goal of rare beauty from Jordi Alba in the final bore all the hallmarks of a Spain team for the ages. Relentless dominance from la Roja and their player of the tournament Andres Iniesta. The only thing that will beat them is time. More Spanish glory came in the Europa League with Atletico Madrid overcoming a sapped Athletic Bilbao side who thrilled at Old Trafford earlier in the competition. Radamel Falcao was the star for them and continues to be so. Chelsea's Champions League victory, after nine years of trying on the part of Roman Abramovich, seemed to have been written above such was the sense of fate about it. Defiantly they overcame Barcelona. They overcome Bayern Munich too. Didier Drogba, with his last touch of a ball for the Blues, rolled a penalty home which denied the Germans the famous old cup on home soil. Roberto Di Matte ...
French sports newspaper L'Equipe has today revealed it's 2012 Team of the Year, as voted for by football journalists from around the country. The usual suspects all feature with this year's final three FIFA Ballon d'Or nominees - Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta - all making the world XI, which has been set up in a 4-3-3 formation. La Liga is the best represented of Europe's top five domestic divisions, with four Barcelona stars (Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Jordi Alba) and four Real Madrid players (Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso) dominating the make-up of the team. Six of the aforementioned players are Spanish, which has been largely attributed to Los Rojiblancos successful defence of the European Championship trophy in Poland and Ukraine in the summer. The line-up features just two Premier League stars, Vincent Kompany; club captain and defensive backbone of last season's title winners Manchester City, and Ramires; a surprise inclusion from Champions League holders Chelsea, ...
Figo backs Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or Former Real Madrid and Barcelona player Luis Figo believes Cristiano Ronald deserves to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The Real Madrid and Portugal forward has been shortlisted alongside Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, but Figo believes his compatriot should get the nod. "There's nothing to stop him winning it. He's always one of the favourites for any individual trophy", said Figo. "He's had a great campaign in 'La Liga' and the Champions League. He's always come through. “But we all know that individual trophies come down to the personal opinions of lots of people and it's always difficult to know who is going to win." Figo won the accolade in 2000 and he still has fond memories of receiving the coveted award. "It was one of the most special moments in my career on the individual side of things, because there are few players who have the opportunity to win this trophy,” he said. “At the time, there were lots of players who were in with a shout, whilst ...
Top 2O football special moments of the year: 2O. Atletico Madrid defeating Athletic Bilbao in all Spanish team final of the Europa League to clinch the title. 19. The top Scottish team, Rangers put into the 3rd division league and the top Spanish team, Villareal getting relegated even though they played Champions League that season. 18. Arsenal are thrashed out of League cup by an underdog. 17. Corinthians beating the European Champions Chelsea to win the FIFA Club World Cup. 16. Radamel Falcao scoring a hattrick against Chelsea to hand Atletico Madrid the UEFA Super Cup trophy. 15. Montpellier won their first Ligue1 title 14. Pep Guardiola stepped down as the Barcelona manager. 13. Celtic beats Barcelona by 2-1 at their home keeping only 16% ball possession. 12. Real Madrid won La Liga title. 11. Spain winning the Euro for the 2nd time in a row 11. Mexico won the Gold Medal in the Olympics Football 1O. Andres Iniesta winning the UEFA Best Player in Europe by beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 9. ...
Barca extend Xavi, Messi contracts * Barcelona have announced that the star duo of Lionel Messi and Xavi have agreed an extension to their existing contracts on Tuesday. The Catalan giants confirmed on their official website the Argentinian would pen the deal "in the coming weeks" and would stay till 2018. Barca also revealed Xavi and Carles Puyol had agreed extensions until 2016. Messi's current deal runs until June 2016 and the new agreement will keep him at the Nou Camp beyond his 31st birthday. The forward has enjoyed an extraordinary year, even by his own remarkable standards, netting his 89th and 90th goals of 2012 at the weekend. The 25-year-old had already surpassed Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year. He is also in contention to claim a fourth successive FIFA Ballon d'Or crown, being named on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Andres Iniesta. Defender Puyol's contract was due to expire at the end of the season, while midfielder Xavi's ran o ...
German legend Franz Beckenbauer has claimed that Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze and Marco Reus have forged the best midfield partnership in the world. The 67-year-old believes that the duo are better than Barcelona midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta and describes them as "classic". "At Barcelona Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi are building a triangle," he told Bild. "But as a classic duo there is nobody better than the prolific Reus and Gotze. How they split Ajax in the Champions League impressed me. I hope they do not succeed in Munich."
Goal.com shared the following link and had this to say about it: Goal.com's Word Player of the Week has been announced - step forward Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund! 20-year-old notched a goal and four assists as Borussia Dortmund threw down the gauntlet in both the Champions League and Bundesliga this week, which saw him pip the likes of Andres Iniesta, Felipe Melo and Philippe Mexes ...
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol makes his return from injury this evening as the Catalan side face Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou in the Spanish Primera Division. The Spain international has been out of action since suffering a dislocated shoulder against Benfica in the Champions League, but returns to the starting XI tonight and will partner Gerard Pique in central defence. There is another slightly surprising selection by Barca coach Tito Vilanova as Martin Montoya starts at right-back in favour of Dani Alves, with the Brazilian having to settle for a place on the bench. The integral midfield trio of the hosts features Xavi, Alex Song and Andres Iniesta. David Villa is rewarded for his current form by earning a start this evening. The former Valencia man has been in excellent form in the last few games and netted for Spain against Panama during the week. He will start on the left-hand side with Pedro and Lionel Messi making up the attacking frontline. Zaragoza start the match without Portuguese striker Helder ...
This year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or promises to be a tightly contested affair between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Many people may feel that Andres Iniesta may also have a chance, but the tiny Spaniard who got married this year (but didn’t invite the great Sepp Blatter) stands no chance. There are probably 185,039 reasons why Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or and in fact, why the Portuguese is a far far better player than Lionel Messi, but as you guys don’t have that much time or patience, here are just a few. Even Lionel Messi won’t vote for Lionel Messi When the Argentine himself feels that he doesn’t deserve the Ballon d’Or, then why should we even bother with him? Ronaldo on the other hand clearly said ‘If I could, I’d vote for myself.’ Messi still hasn’t done it on a cold December night in Stoke Lionel Messi still hasn’t managed to do ‘it’ in England (he did score in the 2011 Champions League final, but that was a warm summer day). Also, he has never faced Rory Del ...
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla has finished in second place, behind Andres Iniesta in the category of ‘Best attacking midfielder’ for La Liga for the 2011/12 season. (Apologies that this originally said second behind Messi, that’s what one of the other reports I read had said and for some reason it’s what I saw when I looked at the list of winners printed below). During his time at Malaga, Cazorla scored nine goals and grabbed six assists during his 38 league appearances and was integral to the side securing Champions League football for the first time in their history. He was the team’s second top scorer for the 11/12 season. The 2011-12 Premios LFP winners are voted for by players and coaches at each Spanish club. Full awards: Best Player : Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Best Coach : Josep Guardiola (Barcelona) Best goalkeeper : Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) Runner Up : Victor Valdes (Barcelona) & Roberto Jimenez (Real Zaragoza) Best Defender : Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Runner Up : Javier Mascherano (Barc ...
TEAM NEWS: Villa and Tello partner Messi upfront as Barcelona head to Mallorca The Spain international and Masia graduate start in attack for the Blaugrana, as the club look to put their disappointing midweek Champions League defeat to Celtic behind them By Charlie Scott Nov 11, 2012 4:10:00 PM Tito Vilanova makes five changes to the side that lost during the week for Barcelona's trip to Mallorca, with David Villa and Cristian Tello chosen to play with Lionel Messi in a front three for the Catalan giants. Villa and Tello replace Pedro and Alexis Sanchez, while Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets also return to Barcelona's starting XI as Marc Bartra and Alex Song are dropped to the bench. Pique makes his first start in eight weeks after being injured during the club's Champions League match against Spartak Moscow in September. Cesc Fabregas is included in a midfield three alongside Xavi and Busquets, as Andres Iniesta is named as a substitute for tonight's game. Joaquin Caparros makes one change from his side ...
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Latest Scores Xavi: We must move on from Celtic defeat The 32-year-old called on his side to forget their defeat in Scotland and focus solely on their next Champions League game in Russia By Paul Gorst Nov 8, 2012 2:10:00 PM Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez - FC Barcelona says Barcelona must move on from the 2-1 defeat at Celtic and concentrate on Spartak Moscow . The Blaugrana were beaten by the Scottish champions at Celtic Park on Wednesday night and theSpain international believes they must get the loss out of their system and focus on their trip to Russia on November 20. “The important game now is when we go to Moscow,” Xavi told reporters. “You have to be top of the group.We missed the opportunity to do that [against Celtic], but we depend on ourselves. “We have to go and seek victory in the two remaining games.” Following the clash with Spartak, Tito Vilanova’s side host Benfica at Camp Nou on December 5 and remain top of Group G with nine points, despite their defeat in Scotland. Follow O ...
Report: Guardiola Favors Chelsea Former Barcelona FC coach Pep Guardiola, who is currently on sabbatical with his family in New York City, “has made it known to his close circle of advisors that Chelsea is his preferred choice” when he decides to return to coaching, the Daily Mail reports. Apparently, the 41-year-old is attracted to the types of players that Chelsea is signing, namely, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. Under Guardiola, Barcelona had an astonishing 72 percent winning record in La Liga. He is widely credited with taking Frank Rijkaard’s 2006 Uefa Champions League-winning team to another level, which culminated in the 3-1 defeat of Manchester United at Wembley in 2011. Lionel Messi, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta all rose to prominence during Guardiola's reign.
Who wins the Ballon d'or?Drogba’s Champions League exploits for Chelsea could see him as the main contender to the Barcelona and Real Madrid stars, but it will be hard to see past Messi after a season where he scored a record 73 goals.Here is the full list:Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Yaya Toure (all Manchester City), Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie (both Manchester United), Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets (all Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Iker Casillas, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso (all Real Madrid, Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon (both Juventus), Neymar (Santos).
Andres Iniesta believes Chelsea are among the strongest teams in this year's Uefa Champions League. The Barcelona star sees Roberto Di Matteo's side - who beat the Catalans on the way to winning the trophy last year - as one of the main threats in this year's competition, alongside Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. But he also believes other sides are capable of lifting the trophy at Wembley in May. "Chelsea, as current holders, Bayern and Madrid are the strongest teams in this Champions League, although there a number of teams that have a chance to make it as well," Iniesta said. "It is a very difficult competition and very unpredictable. One bad game and you can go out." Barcelona scraped past Celtic 2-1 on Tuesday to preserve their 100 per cent record in Group G this term, with Iniesta netting the equaliser. "It is ten years now [since his Champions League debut] and I have improved and become a better player," Iniesta added. "I have done all I can to be at my best to play for Barca and the Spain team, bu ...
Barcelona 2-1 Celtic: Heartbreak for Hoops after Alba wins it late A disciplined defensive performance from the visitors saw them keep the Catalan giants largely at bay but they were denied a historic draw in stoppage time at Camp Nou By James McManus Oct 23, 2012 9:40:00 PM Barcelona overcame a spirited display from Celtic to secure a 2-1 victory courtesy of a stoppage-time winner in their Champions League group stage clash on Tuesday evening. The Scottish champions took a surprise lead in the first half, with Javier Mascherano heading past his own goalkeeper after a superb delivery from Charlie Mulgrew wide on the right. The hosts levelled the scores shortly before the break, though, when after an intricate move involving Xavi and Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta stabbed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. And, with the game nearing its conclusion, Jordi Alba was on hand to break Celtic hearts by prodding home at the far post after beating his man for pace on the outside and latching onto an Adriano ...
Barcelona midfieler Andres Iniesta has set his sights on Champions League glory this season as the Blaugrana prepare for their competiton opener against Spartak Moscow
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will miss his team's Champions League opener against Spartak Moscow next Wed ...
Here's the full story on Andres Iniesta being named Uefa Best Player at the Champions League draw in Monaco. The Spaniard pipped Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize, but is he a worthy winner?
Manchester City were drawn into the Uefa Champions League group of death, Thursday, joining Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund in intimidating Group D. In addition to the reigning Premier League champions, the bracket also includes the winners of La Liga, the Eredivisie and the Bundesliga. City are the only one of the quartet to have never won the European Cup; Madrid, Ajax and Dortmund have combined to win the continent’s most prestigious club competition a total of 14 times. The 1970 Cup Winners Cup is the only European trophy in City’s cabinet, and when all continental prizes are considered the four sides in group D have 20 pieces of silverware between them. Cristiano Ronaldo, who along with Lionel Messi finished behind Andres Iniesta in the Best Footballer in Europe voting, bagged 60 goals for Madrid last season—10 of which came in the Champions League. He’ll once again be central to his side’s European ambitions as Madrid look to go one step further from their semifinal exit of 2011-13 ...
Andres Iniesta (C) of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring with his teammates Lionel Messi (R) and Xavi Hernandez during the Champions League quarter-final second leg match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at the Camp Nou stadium on April 3, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.
Is this destroying football? Andres Iniesta may have scored the World Cup winner two years ago, but the real star of that tournament was Paul the psychic Octopus, who correctly predicted the results of eight World Cup games including the winners Spain. After his success - and subsequent tragic demise - Krakow Zoo held auditions to find the animal tipster for Euro 2012. Citta the elephant was chosen ahead of a donkey called Katherine and a parrot called Jacko after correctly predicting that Chelsea would win the final of the Champions League last Saturday. The final three were narrowed down to elephant Citta, donkey Katherine and parrot Jacko. The animals were tasked with choosing the Champions League winners, and Citta the elephant was the only one to correctly choose the apple that symbolized Chelsea. The huge elephant celebrated by crushing and eating an official Euro 2012 ball. Citta isn't the only predicting animal we can look forward to during the Euros, however A prophetic pig will also be offering ...
Fabregas speaks on Chelsea’s European triumph May 22, 2012 · No Comments · By Ifreke Inyang Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has praised Chelsea’s win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, but admits they were rather lucky. “People say they did not deserve it but when it’s your year, it’s your year. “It’s like when Andres Iniesta scored the goal against Chelsea in the last seconds at Stamford Bridge the year we won the treble.” The former Arsenal captain also said that for Chelsea to finish sixth in the domestic campaign and rule Europe, shows the strength of the Premier League. “Chelsea had some luck but all the teams that win it need that, and you can only congratulate them,” he said. “It says a lot for the Premier League that they have five or six teams that can beat anyone' in the world, and next year it will be even worse. It will be tough for the rest.
Barcelona took a bold step to ensure their continued dominance by petitioning FIFA to rewrite the rules of football so that possession of the ball counts for more than goals scored. Following two important losses over a four day span to Chelsea and Real Madrid in which Barcelona dominated possession of the ball but still failed to score more goals than their opposition, they decided that now was the time to act. "Football is obviously broken," said Barcelona midfielder, and defender of all that is right, Xavi. "When the team that just scores the most goals is ruled the winner over a team that holds the ball for the vast majority of the match only because the rules say so, something is very wrong. And it is time we correct that wrong. Because Cesc is suffering." Xavi is not the only Barcelona player speaking out on this issue, though. After Barcelona's 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal despite maintaing 79 percent of possession, Andres Iniesta labeled the match "unjus ...
Andres Iniesta of Barcelona is challenged by Frank Lampard of Chelsea during the Uefa Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2012 in London, England.
Stoppage time of the 2nd leg semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea. Barcelona was down entering this leg 1-0. Goals by Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta p...
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Chelsea produced one of the greatest escapes in the history of European football last night, surviving the sending off of John Terry and overturning a two goal deficit to win an astonishing Champions League semi-final. On a night of unparalleled drama at the Nou Camp, Terry looked to have pressed the self-destruct button on the Blues' hopes of glory on the continent when he saw red for kneeing Alexis Sanchez from behind. Nevertheless, the 10 men were simply magnificent for the rest of the second leg, fighting back from goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta with a stunning chip from Ramires before half-time. The cascade of noise that had filled the Nou Camp turned to silence at half-time but they were soon cheering again after the restart when Drogba conceded a penalty. The visitors were hanging on and were given two lifelines in 60 seconds in the final 10 minutes when Sanchez had a goal ruled out for offside and Messi hit the post from 20 yards. And then, in stoppage-time, a long clearance found s ...
John Terry issued an immediate apology to his Chelsea team-mates for the red card which left them facing a backs-to-the-wall battle against Barcelona. The Blues skipper was given his marching orders by referee Cuneyt Cakir in the first half of their Uefa Champions League semi-final second leg for a blatant knee into the back of Alexis Sanchez. But despite their numerical disadvantage, the Stamford Bridge side hit back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Camp Nou and progress 3-2 on aggregate. Goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta either side of Terry's moment of madness put the Catalan club in control, only for Ramires to put the Blues back on top with a sublime chip shortly before half-time. Lionel Messi then fired a penalty against the bar early in the second half and later hit the base of the excellent Petr Cech's post, before substitute Fernando Torres sparked scenes of jubilation with a breakaway strike in added time. Terry, who will now miss the 19th May final through suspension, admitted after the ...
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta labelled his side's Champions League defeat to Chelsea "unjust" but admitted the Catalans were the architects of their own downfall because of a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. - Terry: Drogba put fear into Barca - Palmer: Chelsea find the blueprint - Drogba: Chelsea have learnt lessons - Di Matteo: We've answered critics - Chelsea v Barcelona gallery A Didier Drogba goal was enough to give Chelsea a 1-0 semi-final first-leg victory at Stamford Bridge as Pep Guardiola's side squandered a host of a chances. Barca enjoyed their customary lion's share of possession, with Iniesta and Xavi at their instrumental best, but Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Buquets all missed glit-edged opportunities to score an away goal. "The result is unjust but we knew that Chelsea are a team that take advantage of their opportunities,'' Iniesta told Barcelona's official website. "We were off target in front of goal but we still have the return leg at home. "We have the feelin ...
Chelsea will be without defender David Luiz for their Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona. The Brazilian centre-half injured his hamstring during the FA Cup win over Tottenham at the weekend and has been ruled out for a fortnight. Gary Cahill could start in his place while Branislav Ivanovicis available. Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has been out with a thigh strain but is back in contention, while David Villa and Eric Abidal remain sidelined. The match is a repeat of the 2009 semi-final, which Barcelona won with a stoppage-time strike from Andres Iniesta. Discipline is a huge fact at this level. Keeping 11 on the pitch is crucial Frank Lampard "Chelsea were strong in 2009 and this year they will be very strong, dangerous and focused," said Iniesta. "And playing at their ground, the atmosphere will multiply that." Barcelona could yet compete in an all-Spanish final if Real Madrid defeat Bayern Munich in the other semi-final. But Iniesta added: "All of our thinking and concentration s ...
Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri insists his old side will not fear holders Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final. The Blues host Barca on Wednesday with the return in Spain six days later. Ranieri told BBC Sport: "They will respect Barca but afraid? No. Why? It will be a close match. "They have had some close matches before - Andres Iniesta scored in the last minute last time - and maybe it will be different this time." It will be the fifth meeting between the two sides in the knockout stage of Europe's premier club competition and a repeat of a memorable tie at the same stage in 2009, when Iniesta's stoppage-time goal in the second leg at Stamford Bridge put Barcelona through. Barca are heavy favourites to progress this time, too, but Ranieri feels that if interim Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo gets his tactics right the London side can progress."It's not easy because Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world at the moment," added Ranieri. "A lot of their players are in their best mo ...
Many pundits make Barca favourites to beat the Blues and advance to their third Champions League final in four seasons, but Kalou is adamant Pep Guardiola's defence has enough flaws to offer hope of eliminating the holders. While Barca's strength lies in the world-class skill of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, Ivory Coast star Kalou is less impressed with their back-four.
VIDEO: Goals/highlights (3-1) Barcelona Vs AC Milan, Leg 2 Champions League 2012 3 comments | Post Comment Email Print Text Size: aA aA aA Barcelona celebrate another goal while a devastated AC Milan keeper Abbiati is on his haunches (Reuters) WED, 04 APR 2012 8:33A.M. Lionel Messi scored two first-half penalties to lead Barcelona to a 3-1 victory over AC Milan and a place in the Champions League semifinals for the fifth straight season today. Messi opened the scoring in the 11th minute at the Camp Nou before Antonio Nocerino countered with a 32nd-minute strike that gave the Italian champions a valuable away goal after the first leg had ended scoreless. Barcelona's attack did not relent and the defending champions were awarded a second penalty when Alessandro Nesta needlessly yanked Sergio Busquets down inside the area during a corner, and Messi calmly scored his record 14th goal of the competition this season. Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati kept Milan in reach but could not stop Andres Iniesta from comp ...
Barcelona qualified for the Champions League semi-finals as two Lionel Messi penalties and a second-half strike from Andres Iniesta
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