Tito Vilanova & Lionel Messi

Francesc Tito Vilanova i Bayó (17 September 1968 – 25 April 2014) was a Catalan manager and footballer who played as a central midfielder. Lionel Andrés Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who plays in La Liga for FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team, mainly as a forward. 5.0/5

Tito Vilanova Lionel Messi La Liga Real Madrid David Villa Camp Nou Pep Guardiola Champions League Cristiano Ronaldo Jose Mourinho Andres Iniesta Jordi Alba Cristian Tello Cesc Fabregas Nou Camp Atletico Madrid Alexis Sanchez Javier Mascherano Real Sociedad

A different discourse. Lionel Messi's claims that he no longer knows whether his long-term future lies at Barcelona are fruit of the forward's growing frustration at the Catalan club. Once a marriage made in heaven, Messi and Barca could now be set for an unhappy break-up. The Argentine attacker has always said he wants to retire at Camp Nou or at least stay until late in his career before ending up at boyhood club Newell's in Argentina, but he has now changed his tune. On Tuesday, he told Argentine sports daily Ole that he does not know what the future holds. And it was no coincidence. Amid the criticism under compatriot Gerardo Martino, Messi contemplated leaving Barca last season and even expressed his concerns to former coach Tito Vilanova in a visit to the former Blaugrana boss before his death in April. Vilanova convinced Messi to stay less than a week prior to his passing but the player and his team still studied an offer from Paris Saint-Germain and would now be open to considering a move next sum ...
Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol attend memorial for Tito Vilanova as Barcelona players say farewell...
Football - Liga Barca complete remarkable comeback to keep slim title hopes alive La Liga, El Madrigal - Villarreal 2 (Cani 45, Trigueros 55) Barcelona 3 (Gabriel OG 65 Musacchio OG 78, Messi 83) Barcelona kept their slim title hopes alive in dramatic fashion, coming from two down to claim a thrilling 3-2 win over Villarreal. Goals from Cani and Manuel Trigueros gave Villarreal a 2-0 lead with just 25 minutes left to play, but two own goals and a strike from Lionel Messi kept the Catalans within four points of Atletico Madrid in their first game since the passing of former coach Tito Vilanova. However, the victory was marred after a banana was thrown at Barca full-back Dani Alves - the Brazilian responding brilliantly by picking it up off the turf and eating it. Villarreal grew in confidence as the first half progressed and came close to opening the scoring before the break, with Marc Bartra clearing Javier Ignacio Aquino’s strike off the line with keeper Pinto stranded. However, the hosts did take the ...
Former Barcelona coach Vilanova dies at 45 BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Tito Vilanova, the coach who succeeded Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and won the Spanish league title in his only season in charge, died Friday following a long battle with throat cancer. He was 45. Vilanova, who has battled a recurring tumor in a saliva gland, was admitted to a local hospital in Barcelona last week. He reportedly had emergency surgery on Thursday. "It is with sadness that Barcelona must announce that Francesc 'Tito' Vilanova has died today at the age of 45," Barcelona said in a statement on its website. "The death of our former coach occurred this afternoon when he could not overcome this disease which he had battled since 2011." Vilanova's death prompted an outpouring of condolences from players and coaches across Europe. Barcelona star Lionel Messi said that is was a "moment of profound pain for Vilanova's family, and also for Barcelona and its fans." "All of us who shared Barcelona's locker room with Tito are deeply aff ...
They said about Tito... Lionel Messi “In these incredibly painful times for Vilanova’s family, which are also difficult for all those of Barça, all of us who shared the dressing room with Tito are profoundly touched by everything he gave us, whether personal or professional. Personally I will always carry inside of me the things he shared and lived with me, I can never forget him. For me, Tito is eternal.” Andrés Iniesta “I’m speechless. You were and will be an example, it was an honor to be a part in your life. I will never forget you. Strength to your family! Rest in peace míster. A kiss” Víctor Valdés “Tito Vilanova, one of the best coaches I could have possibly had in my career. Thank you for everything you gave. A big hug to all his family, you have my support and much love.” Cesc Fàbregas “Tito, thank you for everything you gave football and Barça. All us culés are externally grateful. Personally, I met him at 14 years old and I can say there are very few people like you. T ...
WE WILL REMEMBER: Eric Abidal, Jose Mourinho and Lionel Messi all pay tribute to Tito Vilanova
Messi leads Vilanova tributes: Lionel Messi led the tributes to his former coach Tito Vilanova who has died of...
Tough times for Barcelona May 2012: Pep Guardiola steps down after four years in charge, with Tito Vilanova replacing him December 2012: Vilanova undergoes cancer surgery, returning to work in March 2013 March 2013: Barcelona confirm a deal with Qatar Airways, who become the first commercial shirt sponsors in the club's history May 2013: Eric Abidal is allowed to leave the club, a month after returning to action following a liver transplant June 2013: Lionel Messi is accused of tax evasion July 2013: Vilanova steps down as Barcelona manager for health reasons January 2014: President Sandro Rosell resigns as a Spanish court looks into allegations that Barcelona evaded tax on the transfer of Neymar February 2014: Barca pay £11.2m to the Spanish authorities after being charged with tax fraud over Neymar, but deny wrongdoing. April 2014: The club are banned from signing players for 14 months before Fifa puts the punishment on hold, pending an appeal. And now! Barcelona can buy and sell players this summer af ...
Top Clasico clashes Thefootballnews picks out a selection of classic on and off-pitch battles between Real Madrid and Barcelona. 10 - Barca 3-2 Madrid (Spanish Supercopa second-leg, 2011) In his book Morbo, Spanish football expert Phil Ball describes Clasicos as less football matches, more re-enactments of the Civil War. History does not tell us whether Franco's key weapons against Catalan revolutionaries included eye-gouging, but if Jose Mourinho was one of his generals, it might have done. The ‘Gouge-gate’ game itself --a Supercopa second-leg in which Lionel Messi scored the winner in a 5-4 aggregate win for Barcelona -- was as fiery as most Clasicos were around that time. Six months earlier, Barca substitute keeper Pinto had managed to get himself sent off from the bench after wading into a touchline fight and, in a similar scuffle in the Supercopa, Mourinho crept up behind then-Barca assistant Tito Vilanova and... well, you know what he did. At least he was magnanimous afterwards, mind -- he desc ...
Why Barcelona are favourites to win the Champions League Another season has begun in similar fashion for Barcelona as records tumble and they head the table undefeated after 8 games. They’ve won a trophy already and look set to dominate Spain for another year. A football novice could have predicted Barcelona’s near identical start to last season when they won 7 successive games with a new coach as they are once again among the favourites for the Champions League. Despite losing in the semi-finals for the past two seasons, Barcelona have the quality to ensure they step up to collect the trophy for the fourth time in eight years. In some ways they are a stronger force than last season, most notably with the signing of Neymar, but also with Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas’ rise in form. There are plenty of reasons to assume that Barcelona can go all the way this season but some potential problems are easy to forecast. Lionel Messi has struggled with injury during 2013 which is an alarming sign for Bar ...
Pep Guardiola denied saying Tito Vilanova would be unable to manage having Neymar and Lionel Messi on the same...
Former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff believes the Catalan club should plan for the possibility of selling Lionel Messi now that they have signed Neymar. Neymar arrived at the Nou Camp on June 3, signing a five-year contract for 57million euros from Santos, but Cruyff believes the 21-year-old Brazilian forward will struggle to work alongside Argentinian Messi in Tito Vilanova's frontline. Cruyff told Marca: "With Neymar signed, I would have planned for the possibility of selling Messi. Some would agree with that, others not. "You are talking about a team, its players, the things around it... There are too many things at stake. That's why it's so difficult to manage such a top-class squad." Cruyff believes it will be difficult to satisfy two prodigious talents like Messi and Neymar on the same pitch, and that problems could also occur due to the two players having contracts with different sponsorship arrangements. "It's like the free-kicks. Neymar is very good at taking them, and Messi has already shown he ...
BREAKING NEWS: Lionel Messi has reportedly asked for a transfer from FC Barcelona after falling out with manager Tito Vilanova.
Bla bla bla. Why don't he just admits that Tito Vilanova is the reason? Tito only sees one player at Barcelona... Lionel Messi
Barcelona's transfer plans this summer Barcelona enjoyed a successful season in 2012-13. Tito Vilanova's team ran away with La Liga as they racked up 100 points to equal Real Madrid's record from the previous campaign and also reached the semi-finals of both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. Anyone unhappy with that, the Catalan coach claimed last week, has a very short memory. However, the nature of the team's defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals left a bitter taste in the mouth for Barca as the realisation hit home that this is perhaps no longer the era they had been dominating. Seven goals shipped over two legs told a torrid tale for the Catalan club and served to highlight many problems which had been lingering behind Lionel Messi's incredible goalscoring stats. The Argentine's absence in key matches revealed Barca's unsatisfactory attacking alternatives, while problems in defence were not suitably addressed last summer and that cost Tito's team against the very best si ...
C.RONALD still can't make it. La Liga season review: Barca stayed united as Madrid fell to pieces Jun 05, 2013 READ TO THE VERY END. Barcelona claimed their fourth league title in the last five years. There will be two abiding memories of the 2012/13 La Liga season: Barcelona’s march to a record-equalling 100 points, and Real Madrid’s painful implosion under Jose Mourinho. The tone was set from the very opening day of the campaign, when Barca waltzed past Real Sociedad with Lionel Messi scoring twice in a 5-1 thrashing while Madrid laboured to a lacklustre home draw against Valencia. Within weeks, Madrid had lost against Getafe and Sevilla while Barca kept on piling up the wins. By the time the Catalan club suffered the worrying news that new manager Tito Vilanova required a second operation for throat cancer shortly before Christmas, the league title was already effectively sealed and Vilanova was able to head to New York for a three-month recovery programme safe in the knowledge that his team was in ...
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He is the talk of the town. The Football Season has not even ended yet here in Spain, but fans of Barcelona are already salivating at the prospect of seeing new signing Neymar link up with Lionel Messi and their brilliant midfield next season. Neymar announced at the weekend that he will be joining the Catalan club after next month's Confederations Cup, in a deal worth around €25 million in total. Nobody is quite sure, however, where the Brazilian will feature for Tito Vilanova's team. So here, Barnaco takes a look at four options for Barca in 2013-14 as they seek to successfully integrate the 21-year-old forward into their star-studded line-up. BEHIND A NEW STRIKER Despite Neymar's arrival, Barcelona continue to search for a new striker this summer as David Villa prepares to leave the Catalan club. Barca are keen to bring in a goal scorer who can make an impact similar to the one made by Henrik Larsson in the Frank Rijkaard era, when the veteran Swede was happy to sit on the bench and wait for his chan ...
That's because Lionel Messi is not playing at the time"Tito Vilanova: “I want to congratulate Bayern f
Tito Vilanova defended playing Lionel Messi on Saturday after he sat out Barcelona's loss to Bayern Munich.
“Tito Vilanova defends decision to play Lionel Messi last weekend. told you, new manager
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova confirmed after his side's 7-0 aggregate Champions League semi-final loss to Bayern Munich that star forward Lionel Messi was not injured but did not feature in the second leg for fear of picking up a knock. Newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern prevailed 3-0 at the Nou Camp this evening to seal an emphatic 7-0 aggregate triumph over the Catalan club and set up an all-German Wembley final against Borussia Dortmund on May 25. Leading 4-0 from the first leg, the Bavarians were similarly clinical in Catalunya with second-half goals from Arjen Robben, Gerard Pique - who put through his own net - and Thomas Muller sealing a one-sided win over a sorry Barca side for whom Messi was an unused substitute. Messi felt good against Athletic Bilbao (on Saturday), but in the final minutes of the game at San Mames he noticed a strange feeling,' Vilanova said of the four-time reigning world player of the year. 'He's not injured, but he felt he could pick up an injury. 'Yesterday he train ...
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said his team can cope without Lionel Messi
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova insisted he was right to play Lionel Messi at ... -
Lionel Messi not injured, insists Barca coach Tito Vilanova, as striker fails to come on during defeat to Bayern
Tito Vilanova confirmed that Lionel Messi wasn't injured but had a 'strange feeling' he would pick up an injury in the match LOL!!!
Tito Vilanova has defended his decision not to involve Lionel Messi as Barcelona departed the Champions...
Tito Vilanova defended the decision to field Lionel Messi at the weekend after the Argentine was forced to sit out Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal
Roura: We can overcome Milan Barcelona's stand-in coach Jordi Roura has said he feels his players are "looking forward to overcoming Milan" as they try to recover from a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League. The last week has seen much soul-searching in Catalonia after the setback in Italy was followed by two crushing defeats to Real Madrid in five days. The results left Barca players including Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Cesc Fabregas talking of feeling low. Many observers have pointed to the importance of the absence of coach Tito Vilanova, who is receiving medical treatment in New York. But speaking after training on Friday, Roura, Vilanova's assistant, said his 30-year association with the club had shown him that both positives and negatives tended to be overemphasised. "There is always a tendency to get overly euphoric when we win and excessively pessimistic when we lose," he explained. "We all want to come back against Milan. We had a long week but the response [of ...
Messi hurt by Barcelona setbacks" Lionel Messi has said Barcelona's recent defeats have hurt him and that everyone at the club needs to "give a little more" to turn things around. Barca's season had been a runaway success until mid-February, but has since come off the rails with defeats to Milan in their Champions League last 16 first leg and to domestic rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey and La Liga. Messi opened his own Adidas-sponsored temporary museum in central Barcelona on Wednesday after having earlier attending a squad meal organised to improve team spirit. He said neither he nor his team-mates had enjoyed their recent form but that Tuesday's return leg against Milan at the Camp Nou was an ideal opportunity to start to put things right. "I am not sad, although I am hurting," the Argentine told reporters. "I do not like to lose out on important things, and neither does the team. "We now have an ideal moment to do it [put things right]. The motivation in the dressing room to want to be better ev ...
Barcelona's Lionel Messi Barcelona need to put in more effort if they are to rescue their Champions League campaign and protect their lead at the top of La Liga, Argentina forward Lionel Messi said on Wednesday. Barca's recent performances have been marked by defensive lapses and a lack of punch in attack and they need to overturn a 2-0 deficit when they host AC Milan in a Champions League last 16, second leg on Tuesday. Before then, they will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's league reverse at Real Madrid and protect their 11-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid when bottom side Deportivo La Coruna visit the Nou Camp on Saturday. "It's obvious that we need to give a bit more," Messi said at a promotional event in the Catalan capital. "We know what the problems were in the defeats, it's something we have talked about in the dressing room and it has to stay there," added the four-times World Player of the Year. "We have been losing recently and we know what we have to do to change. "A ...
Lionel Messi says Barcelona have been affected by the absence of manager Tito Vilanova this season!
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Football:- Barcelona super star Lionel Messi said the squad is aware that we should all give a little extra to the team performance though the squad knows what went wrong in the past games, but we'll keep that between us. He also stressed that, Italian teams are very strong and tactical. And We hope to come back against AC Milan. They won in Milan, we can win here in Barcelona as well and turn things around as he express confidence in the squad. He also further explain that what happened with the coach Tito Vilanova and Eric Abidal affected the squad psychologically, but that shouldn't be an excuse he affirmed. This is a strong group, we will bounce back. He however praise and congratulate their eternal rival, Real Madrid for their performance against Manchester United stressing that Madrid showed how strong they are. Whoever would have qualified, Madrid or Man United, would have been a candidate to win the Champions League. He also chuckled about the suggestion that his former coach at the national side ...
FC Barcelona Manager Tito Vilanova has tried to guide the team from New York by sending messages to caretaker coach Jordi Roura before and during matches, but the defeats against Real and Milan have shown the limitations of that strategy. Barca idol Lionel Messi - who was surprisingly ineffective against Real and Milan - said Friday: "We are not used to being in this kind of situation, but I am very confident that this team will keep moving ahead.
Cristiano Ronaldo came on and transformed the Clásico Alfredo Relaño | As.com It was a strange Clásico, and it ended in even stranger circumstances. Barcelona's complaints at the denial of a late penalty were vehement and bitter, yet in truth it would have been an ill-deserved point for the La Liga leaders. Last-minute penalty calls inevitably provoke the greatest fury, but seeing the visitors' ire as they berated referee Miguel Ángel Pérez Lasa, it was striking that precisely this passion was what had been missing from their performance at the Santiago Bernabéu. They set out for a draw and, as often happens in such cases, they came away empty-handed. Neither Thiago Alcántara nor David Villa grasped the opportunity of a return to the starting line-up, although their team-mates were no better. Barça seem to have gone completely off the boil, Lionel Messi included (though no matter how badly he plays, the Argentine is so good that he is almost incapable of not scoring at least once). Real Madrid lin ...
The cause of decline in the level of Lionel Messi recent games is that his father is suffering from the same disease Tito Vilanova "cancer"
BARCELONA STAR MESSI FEELING FOR VILANOVA OVER HEALYH BATTLE: Barcelona star Lionel Messi is becoming increasingly affected by coach Tito Vilanova's cancer battle. Vilanova is now recovering in New York and Punto Pelota is desperate for a positive update on his condition after seeing his father suffer through something similar. The Barca coach was one of the decisive people in Messi's career, having backed the Argentine when he first started playing for the junior team. Messi was desperate for good news from Andoni Zubizarreta, the sports director, after he visited New York a fortnight ago. Barca President Sandro Rosell will be in New York this week to meet with Vilanova. DO U THINK BARCELONA IS MISSING THE PRESENCE OF THR COACH? LIKE/COMMENT ND SHARE
What do you think is to blame for Barca's slump? Tito Vilanova's absence? Lionel Messi's dip in form? Or...
Andres Iniesta admits that Barcelona are struggling in the absence of coach Tito Vilanova and defends Lionel Messi after Real Madrid loss
Attention.Missing Person.Lionel Messi has been missing in action since dec last year.When you see him contact Santiago Bernabeu or call Pep Guadiola.
Full details of the match Barcelona 1 vs 3 Real Madrid - Played … - I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com for the Clasico! See you next time! … - A terrific brace from Cristiano Ronaldo as well as a header from Raphael Varane see Jose Mourinho's men defeat Tito Vilanova's outfit 3-1 at Camp Nou. The Portuguese has outshone the disappointing Lionel Messi in the individual stakes as has helped his side on their way to the Spanish Cup final. Los Blancos deserve their victory! Sevilla or Atletico await in the Copa del Rey final! … - Full time! Real Madrid are through to the Copa del Rey final! 90′ - Barca look to make the result more respectable as they probe for another goal. It wont make any difference to the result if they do, though. 89′ - Assist - Andrés Iniesta Luján (Barcelona) 89′ - Goal - Jordi Alba (Barcelona) GOAL FOR BARCELONA! The hosts earn a consolation! Iniesta chips a glorious pass over the top of the Madrid defence and Alba is on hand to cushion a lef ...
How much longer can Barcelona go on without a coach? The Catalan club suffered a damaging defeat at AC Milan on Wednesday and looked to lack motivation. With no Pep Guardiola and now no Tito Vilanova, the situation is far from ideal By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer It is occasionally argued Barcelona do not need a coach. So deeply ingrained is the Catalans' passing game, it is claimed, at any one time, each player knows exactly where his team-mates will be, where to play the ball and what to do next - like a kind of telepathic tiki-taka. It sounds good in theory, but Wednesday's damaging defeat at AC Milan proved that argument is simply not valid. Barca looked lacking in motivation at San Siro; the Catalans had the ball but did little with it and barely shot at goal in the entire 90 minutes. The stars failed to shine, Lionel Messi was consumed by anonymity instead, team lethargy replaced the normal vibrant, energetic side. It was desperately disappointing, their poorest performance in recent memo ...
Flirt-->Wife of Tito Vilanova, girlfriend of Dani Alves and Xavi Hernandez, sis of Lionel Messi, ex girlfriend of Guardiola.
FC Barcelona is going to play against FC Granada on saturday (at 20:00). Messi & Co. are ready for the game tomorrow. They are also missing Tito Vilanova very much and want to win for him, said Xavi. David Villa Sánchez can´t play against Granada, because he is in a hospital in Barcelona to recover his injury. Sanchez - Lionel Messi - Pedro Iniesta - - Cesc Fabregas Sergio Busquets Jordi Alba - Pique - Mascherano-Dani Alves Victor Valdes
Barcelona's Sunday celebrations started early with a 6-1 romp over Getafe, and ended late with a slip- up by second-placed Atletico Madrid which has all but ended the Spanish title race. Atletico's 2-1 defeat at Rayo Vallecano gave Barca a commanding 12-point lead with 15 matches to play, as third-placed champions Real Madrid languish another four points adrift. "It was an unusual time to play but we had a party in the stadium," the Catalan side's assistant coach Jordi Roura said after the midday kickoff at the Camp Nou, where more than 85,000 fans turned up. "The players were at an extraordinary level. They were intense from the first minute," added Roura, who is running the team while Tito Vilanova is receiving cancer treatment in New York Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the sixth minute with his first league goal this season before Lionel Messi netted for a record-extending 13th successive La Liga game before quarter of an hour had been played -- his 35th in the competition from 23 appearances. Re ...
It's Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi time: Real Madrid take on Barca in Copa del Rey Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are primed for another memorable showdown when Barcelona and Real Madrid meet Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. Messi is coming off a four-goal performance over the weekend and has found the back of the net in the last 16 games he has started, while Ronaldo has sparked a recent resurgence in Madrid with 10 goals and two hat tricks this month. With Barcelona in firm command of the Spanish league title race, the Copa del Rey takes on even more importance for Madrid as it tries to salvage some silverware from its disappointing season. Atletico Madrid hosts Sevilla on Thursday in the opening leg of the other semifinal series. "We are very excited. We want to reach the final and have the added motivation of playing against Real Madrid," said midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who extended his contract with Barcelona to 2016 on Monday. "We will try ...
Lionel Messi has admitted that he is not concerned about whether or not he breaks more goalscoring records. The Barcelona forward scored 91 goals in 2012 – the most in a calendar year by any player ever. But the 25-year-old has conceded that he is not concerned with individual honours. “It is not my objective to break records,” he told Argentine newspaper Clarin. “I just want to win everything possible with my club team and national team. “We live to try and improve in every area of life – and I am no exception.” The Blaugrana man also remarked on the similarities between former Coach Pep Guardiola and current boss Tito Vilanova, as well as his dreams for the next few seasons. “There is very little difference between Pep and Tito. They both enjoy possession football and a great personality. “I want this year to be better than last year,” he added. “And then it's the World Cup – I can't wait for that.”
Little Giant Ladders
Barcelona breathes sigh of relief over Messi injury: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has revealed Lionel Messi was...
BARCELONA TO FACE Real Madrid IN THE SEMI FINALS OF COPA DEL REY barcelona achieved an intriguing 2-4 win (4-6 in aggregate) against Malaga at La Rosaleda in the return leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Pedro Rodriguez, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi scored the goals for the Blaugrana, who attempted 15 shots, nine of them on target and one that hit the post. Despite having the better chances and a higher possession percentage (70%), the Catalans never really looked fully comfortable due to the high pressure Malaga applied across the whole pitch, working as a unit when dispossessed. Barcelona did score early, but it was disappointing to see the team dropping the momentary advantage once again, proving how vulnerable the defence can be when players are not fully committed to closing spaces as tightly and quickly as possible. Despite that fact, the Blaugrana players fought tirelessly to achieve a valuable win which keeps the Catalans’ hope of retaining the title alive. The players were ...
Messi, Suarez, Pardo & More As fabulous as Barcelona has been this season, we were reminded this weekend that Lionel Messi and company are mortals. Real Sociedad made sure of that, stunning La Liga leaders, 3-2, with a late goal by Imanol Agirretxe a minute into stoppage at home. But it wasn't that Barca went down to defeat, it was the way it was achieved. The Spanish powerhouse enjoyed a two-goal advantage late in the first half and eventually saw it evaporate, thanks in part to a red card to Gerard Piqué in the 56th minute. The defeat cut Barca's lead to second-place Atlético Madrid, 2-0 winners over Levante, to eight points. Barcelona fell to 18-1-1. "Losing a game had to come at some point," Messi told reporters. "We have to pick ourselves up immediately because of the cup match coming up." Messi was referring to Barca's Copa del Rey quarterfinal on Thursday. "It was inevitable we would eventually lose a game," Barca coach Tito Vilanova said. "It puts us in our place because there is still a long wa ...
The existence of Lionel Messi, widely hailed as the greatest footballer on the planet, has been confirmed to be a hoax engineered by Barcelona over the last nine years. The shocking confession was made by several high-ranking sources within the club after news broke of American college football player Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend being a fabrication on Wednesday. "The myth of Leo Messi has gone on far too long," said one executive-level source on the condition of anonymity just a week after Messi was awarded his record fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or at UEFA's gala event. "It has always been a matter of time before it all unraveled, but now is the time for the truth to be told." "It began in 2004," another source told us. "Barca had not won a title in years and strong forces from within decided that a new icon was needed to boost morale among the team and its supporters and to achieve unparalleled levels of success. So Messi was created. A backstory was dreamed up in which he was plucked from Argentina as ...
Real Sociedad 3 Barcelona 2  DEFEATED ... Lionel Messi's Barcelona were humbled by Real Sociedad Published: 47 minutes ago LIONEL MESSI scored but could not prevent 10-man Barcelona slipping to their first La Liga defeat of the season. First-half goals from Messi and Pedro put the visitors in firm conrol against their mid-table opponents. But Real Sociedad winger Gonzalo Castro netted either side of defender Gerard Pique being given his marching orders as Barca blow their advantage. And Tito Vilanova’s men were left without even a point for their troubles when Imanol Agirretxe poked home from close range in injury time.  LAST-GASP HERO ... Imanol Agirretxe celebrates after netting the winner Before this game, Barcelona had accumulated a record-breaking 55 points from a possible 57, with the two dropped points coming in a draw against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid. Even in defeat, Ballon d’Or winner Messi closed in on yet another goalscoring milestone. The diminutive Argie hitman has now found th ...
Lionel Messi discussing the differences between Tito Vilanova and Pep Guardiola >>>
Barca cruises without Messi: There was no sign of Tito Vilanova and Lionel Messi was only on the bench, but that...
Messi to feature against Cordoba, Vilanova absent - Four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi should feature in Barcelona's Copa del Rey last 16 second-leg tie at home to Cordoba on Thursday, although coach Tito Vilanova will miss the game as he travels to New York for medical tests.
Lionel Messi: “I have more hunger, I still have many targets. “Have I comprehended my achievements so far? I do not think about it, all the awards provide me with pleasure and pride. “I’m very happy to have this now, I’m going day by day, trying to keep progressing and to take all this in without too much of a headache. “If I can win more [Ballon d’Ors], but it does not preoccupy me. I’ll have to find room for them! Now, I feel great joy and immense pride every time I receive the Ballon d’Or. “This is the fourth, but it is still something unique and again I feel an immense joy when I hold it in my hands. Although this weighs a lot!” The Argentine was asked if the fourth one was deserved, or whether another player should have been given the award. “I do not know, it is not for me to say. I would have been very happy if Andres had won it. Moreover, without him, without the help of my teammates and Coaches, maybe I would not have won. “I think of Pep Guardiola, Alejandro Sabella and ...
Where is Pirlo? Barcelona and Real Madrid bias proves that FIFPro World XI has no credibility How can the Fifa-backed award possibly be taken seriously after the shocking exclusion of the Juventus and Italy star, and the admittance of underachievers such as Dani Alves? Jan 8, 2013 9:35:00 AM More On : Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid CF, Andrea Pirlo, Lionel Messi 1613 Comments 157 Awesome 18 Dislike UEFA EURO 2012 - Italy v Croatia, Andrea Pirlo Getty Images COMMENT By Carlo Garganese Footballers are often ridiculed for having more money than sense, and it is little wonder when they are responsible for monstrosities like the 2012 FIFPro World XI. The best team of the last calendar year, as voted for by approximately 45,000 professional footballers around the globe, produced an all-La Liga line-up consisting of just one player – Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao – who is not contracted to either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Don't Miss Rosell hails Messi's Ballon d'Or success Messi: I will . ...
Lionel Messi used a TV interview after winning the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time in succession to correct his mistake in forgetting to mention Tito Vilanova and Eric Abidal in his acceptance speech. -SS.
World Sports Another record falls. Lionel Messi finished 2012 on 91 goals in 69 games. He began 2013 by winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or (with 41.6% of the votes), Cristiano Ronaldo (23.7%) came second and Andrés Iniesta (10.9%) third. It is the fourth time Messi has won it and no one else has won it so often. Because the award is a merger of the old European Footballer of the Year and the Fifa World Player of the Year which was inaugurated only in 1991, Diego Maradona never won it and nor did Pelé but it is doubtful if they would have matched Messi's achievement. Marco van Basten won the European award three times in five years, Johan Cruyff three in four and Platini three years in a row. Alfredo Di Stéfano won it twice. Messi has superseded all of them. Months of speculation slowly gave way to a growing realisation, especially as the European Championship was left behind and Messi accelerated towards the end of the year: it was going to be him again. He scored twice in each of eight successive games and ...
Barcelona picked up their 17th win of the season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over their Catalan neighbours Espanyol at Camp Nou. A sublime opening half hour from Barca did all the damage, with Xavi opening the scoring after just 10 minutes. Pedro soon netted a double before Lionel Messi slid home from the spot, after Cesc Fabregas had been brought down in the area. The winter break proved unable to disrupt the Blaugrana's typically flowing football as they took command of the game from the first second, seemingly buoyed by the return of Tito Vilanova to the bench after surgery. Operating from the left, Andres Iniesta was dancing past the Espanyol defence with ease and it only took 10 minutes for him to create the opening goal. Having been picked out in space by Messi, Iniesta drilled a low cross into the area which Xavi coolly slotted home unmarked. The hosts were unrelenting and after Kiko Casilla made a great save to keep out Iniesta in the 13th minute, it took just another couple of minutes for the se ...
Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol: Pedro brace gives Barca perfect start to 2013 Four goals in the first half saw Barcelona cruise to a derby win over Espanyol as Tito Vilanova returned to the dugout. The home side welcomed the return of coach Tito Vilanova back to the dugout and his presence inspired a first half performance to be admired. Pedro Rodriguez was in superb form, as was Lionel Messi but it would be midfielder Xavi Hernandez who broke the deadlock. Andres Iniesta clipped the ball in following a through ball from Messi and Xavi was on hand to poke the ball past Espanyol keeper *** Casilla. Five minutes later and Barca got a second, this time Cesc Fabregas crossed low for Messi, whose shot hit the knee of Pedro, who celebrated his first goal in a very long time. On the half hour mark the Spanish winger would be celebrating again when Sergio Busquets played a defence splitting pass for Pedro to chip the ball over the helpless Casilla. Minutes later and it would be four as Fabregas was fouled by Casilla and ...
Barcelona look set to turn down David Villa's request to leave the club after making it clear he wants to join Arsenal this month. The Spain international returned from a broken leg this season but, despite scoring eight goals in 20 appearances, has found it tough to force his way into Tito Vilanova's first XI. A reported fall out with star man Lionel Messi has down little to help his cause at the Nou Camp and recent rumours have suggested he is ready to move on in January. The 31-year-old is thought to be interested in a move to Arsenal, who are desperate to link Villa up with compatriot Santi Cazorla. The Gunners are keen to add more firepower to their ranks and Arsene Wenger is ready to splash out a fair chunk of the reported £35million he has to spend in the January window. However, Barcelona are not keen to sell Villa in the middle of the season and the Gunners may have to turn their attention elsewhere or wait until the summer to bring in Spain's all-time leading scorer.
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Martins' 2nd Best La Liga Signing Rejected Super Eagle,Obafemi Martins has been voted by readers of popular and influential Spanish sports paper,Marca as the second best summer signng in the La Liga. The former Newcastle and Birmingham City striker is now at Levante, where he has scored six times in 21 appearances. Barcelona's Jordi Alba won the vote. In the same survey, Lionel Messi unsurprisingly won the player of the year title with a staggering 60 per cent of the vote, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (14.4 per cent) and Radamel Falcao (10.6 per cent). Elsewhere, Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova were all beaten to the coach of the year gong by Atletico Madrid boss, the former Argentina international Diego Simeone. Meanwhile two former Premier League stars have been voted as the worst signings of the season in La Liga. Luka Modric, who left Tottenham for Real Madrid after protracted negotiations, and Alex Song, who signed for Barcelona from Arsenal, were the worst rated, with Modric gaining 32.2 per ...
Barça end the year on a high as Real lose December 23, 2012 in Soccer , Sport MADRID — Unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona ended 2012 on a high when Lionel Messi struck his 91st goal of the year in a 3-1 win at Real Valladolid while their arch-rivals Real Madrid slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Malaga. Report by Reuters It was the perfect tonic for Barça following the news that coach Tito Vilanova had to have throat surgery last Thursday. The 44-year-old was released from hospital earlier on Saturday and was absent from Valladolid’s Jose Zorrilla Stadium as Barça racked up a record 16th win in 17 games this season. Real’s woes deepened after the stuttering champions suffered a second consecutive setback following last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Espanyol. Coach Jose Mourinho sprung a surprise by leaving captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas on the bench and the defeat left Real 16 points adrift of Barça. They are seven behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who won 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo on Friday ...
Xavi: Barcelona win was for Vilanova The Blaugrana midfielder dedicates the victory over Valladolid to his side's coach, as he returned from hospital after a successful operation on his parotid gland Xavi dedicated Barcelona's 3-1 win over Valladolid to boss Tito Vilanova, who was discharged from hospital only hours before his side kicked off on Saturday. Goals from Lionel Messi and Xavi earned the visitors a 2-0 lead before a late Javi Guerra strike gave Pucela hope of salvaging a result, only to see Christian Tello seal victory deep into stoppage time. The Barcelona players wore t-shirts before the game with "Animo Tito" written across them in tribute to their trainer and, speaking after the game, Xavi stressed that the health of Vilanova was on everyone's minds. "We want to dedicate the win to Tito," the 32-year-old midfielder told journalists. "He’s not going through the best of times but now he’s home, and that’s great news. The operation went well and we worked hard to be able to dedicate this ...
Camp Nou awaits Messi-Falcao clash * Two of the world's best strikers collide this weekend as Barcelona and Lionel Messi meet Atletico Madrid and Radamel Falcao in a top-of-the-table La Liga clash. The South American duo have lit up La Liga this season with a combined 39 goals after just 15 games. Argentina star Messi has weighed in with 23 of those to help his tally for 2012 swell to a record-breaking 88 and counting, while Colombia hitman Falcao has 16 league goals to his credit - five of which came in last weekend's demolition of Deportivo La Coruna. Messi's goals have been crucial to Barca's flying start to the season under Tito Vilanova, with the Catalans still unbeaten ahead of Saturday's encounter with a side who trail them by six points after losing two of their last six matches. Despite Messi's searing form, Atletico head to the Nou Camp in bullish mood with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois boldly telling reporters: "Do I fear Messi? No, no, I am not afraid of anyone. "He is a great player and we resp ...
Barcelona are interested in a surprise deal for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, fanatix has learnt. Officials from the La Liga giants are understood to have spoken to United about the possibility of signing the Mexican in January – with the Red Devils not interesting in entertaining offers. Even so, Barca are ready to test United’s resolve with a £15m bid for the 24-year-old, who is considered the perfect replacement for ageing Spaniard David Villa. SOURCE: Fanatix This is very interesting indeed. Barcelona rely heavily on Lionel Messi for an end product, this is hardly news clearly. However the Catalan side would have hoped that the likes of David Villa, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro could help out and prevent the Argentine shouldering the goal-scoring burden pretty much single- handedly, but as yet that is not the case. As such Tito Vilanova could well do with a proven goal-scorer who can help convert the plethora of chances that are created by Xavi, Iniesta and co. Perhaps Javier Hernandez ...
Barcelona pleased with David Villa’s recovery and effort Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has praised David Villa following his performance in the 2-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba on Wednesday. Lionel Messi was again a double scorer for Barca on Wednesday but the first goal came from a brilliant move involving Villa who then unselfishly chose to pass to his teammate. Villa has been reported to be discontent with life at Camp Nou after receiving little playing time since recovering from a broken leg earlier this summer but he featured for 80 minutes against Cordoba. “I am very pleased with [Villa's] work,” Vilanova said. “He provided the assist for Messi and he gave us a lot of options up top. “He fought a lot. He played with a lot of rhythm and he reminded me of the footballer he was before his injury. I took him off because I believed that [Cristian] Tello’s pace would help us score a third goal. Midfielder Thiago Alcantara also returned after an injury lay-off and was deemed man of the match b ...
Liverpool are involved in a tussle in their attempt to bring Barca's Alexis Sanchez to Anfield in January. The Reds have had Sanchez on their radar for a while and are keen to bolster their firepower. Manager Brendan Rodgers is worried Liverpool have become over-reliant on Luis Suarez, who is already into double figures for the campaign. And in allowing Andy Carroll to be loaned out to West Ham in the summer, Suarez is their only recognised striker. AS have it that Juventus have sounded out a January move for the former Udinese forward. Sanchez has struggled for consistency at the Camp Nou this season. Playing time has been restricted with coach Tito Vilanova deploying predominantly Lionel Messi up top without a strike partner. In total, Sanchez has scored just once this season and that came in Barca's 2-0 away win against Benfica in the Champions League group stages SeanLFC4LIFE
Vilanova: Tie not over yet Tito Vilanova has reflected that Barcelona still have another 90 minutes against Cordoba before they can say they are in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. The Coach reflected that whilst Barcelona had done their homework and had the correct attitude for this first leg Last 16 Cup tie they eventually won 2-0 on the night, that things are not yet decided with a second leg at Camp Nou still to play. “Is the tie over? No, we have not eliminated them with a 2-0 win. It is a good advantage, but 90 minutes still remain,” he told reporters after the game, which was decided by two Lionel Messi goals. “I was not surprised at all by Cordoba. They were like we expected, we had to push forward. We knew we were going to have space, but that the match was not going to be easy. “I believe we need to play with a ball worthy of the Champions League, though. The Copa ball is a Beach Ball. I don’t know why we cannot have a decent ball for the Cup. “The reception for this game was what we ...
[VIDEO] Tito Vilanova claims he 'couldn't care less' about Real Madrid's reaction to Lionel Messi's goalscoring record! Plus Roberto Mancini, Rafael Benitez, Nemanja Vidic, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Arsene Wenger and more. Watch the video here: [from GMF]
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi broke Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year as his brace helped Tito Vilanova's side to a 2-1 victory at Real Betis in La Liga.
Barca to reward Adriano Barcelona are reportedly interested in offering a new contract to Brazilian full-back Adriano, as reward for his work so far this season. The 28-year-old, who signed for the Catalans in July 2010, currently has a deal with the club until June 2014. La Blaugrana are said to be impressed with the player’s improved fitness this term, in reaction to a number of previous injuries. Having lost five kilos in weight over the summer, Adriano’s versatility for the side shown so far under Tito Vilanova is also another reason why the club are understood to be keen to extend his contract. The player has a one-year option in his current deal and it is that, plus an improved wage, that Barca are reportedly eager to action. The club have a number of ongoing contract negotiations on the table, with talks started or due to start with Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Victor Valdes, Jose Manuel Pinto, Cristian Tello, Marc Muniesa and Gerard Deulofeu. football espana
E be like say Gerd Mueller, wey dey play for Germany and Bayern Munich before before, record of 85 goals in one calender year go remain de record for now. Barcelona talk say Lionel Messi no go play in the King’s cup against Alaves. Everybody dey yan say Messi na Argentina’s best forward of all time and na him go secure World Player of the year again for the fourth time dis coming January. De guy go gats score three goals to equal de Mueller guy wey set record in 1972. Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova on Tuesday talk say, “Messi no dey focus on him own personal record but na de team’s success wey dey matter to am most.” “If na himself him dey tink about, he suppose don tell me say him won play in de Cup.” Barcelona go play Alaves in last-32 second leg at Nou Camp on today but dem dey carry 3 goals enter the match so confido go dey. Vilanova no go play de regulars like Messi, Victor Vlades, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Gerard Pickey abi na Pique. “We go gats give regular boys some time to cool body ...
LEV 0 Barcelona 4 REPORT Andres Iniesta took centre stage with a virtuoso display as Barcelona continued their unbeaten start to the Primera Division season with a classy victory at Levante. Iniesta provided assists for Lionel Messi's quickfire double - his 81st and 82nd goals this calendar year - before lashing home a goal of his own and playing in Cesc Fabregas for a fourth as Barcelona ran riot in a devastating 18-minute spell at the start of the second half. Jose Barkero had the chance to pull a goal back for the hosts late on but saw his tame penalty saved by Victor Valdes as Barca comfortably maintained their three-point lead at the top of La Liga with their 11th win in 12 matches. Tito Vilanova's visitors had most of the possession in a cagey first period but surprisingly lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Indeed it was the hosts who were the first to threaten, Barkero cutting in from the right and sending in a swerving effort that Valdes had to guide over the bar. A minute later Barcelona s ...
Football legend Johan Cruyff has spoken out on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's bids to win the Ballon d'Or, and discussed Pep Guardiola as well as his successor at Barcelona, Tito Vilanova.
Tito Vilanova : "Each and every day, Lionel Messi doesn't fail to surprise with his ambition and his eagerness to win and help out his team-mates. We always talk about the goals he scores but we also have to say that at a tactical level he's excellent too."
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Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova was thrilled his side could graft out a win in Russia against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday. The Spanish giants sealed top spot in Champions League Group G with the 3-0 win that included another brace for Lionel Messi and the Argentine's 80th goal in 2012.
Messi has a special gene, says Unai Emery 0 Spartak Moscow coach Unai Emery has hailed Barcelona star Lionel Messi prior to their showdown on Tuesday night. The Ballon d'Or nominee, who recently broke Brazil legend Pele's record for scoring the most goals during one calendar year with his 76th strike against Mallorca, is now only nine behind Gerd Muller's tally. Having a tough meeting with Tito Vilanova's men ahead of him, Emery revealed his belief that the South American star is truly one of a kind. 'He has a special gene; it's unique.' he told reporters. 'It's the essence of the game. He does everything so naturally, that, when he scores three goals in a match, it seems normal to us.' However, the Spanish coach insisted that, although they are blessed with an outstanding individual player, it is the whole team which makes Barcelona dangerous opponents. He continued: 'Barcelona are still centred around Messi, but they give a lot of importance to the group and the contribution of all the players. It's a p ...
Tito Vilanova has dismissed suggestions that Barcelona are a one-man side after Lionel Messi scored twice in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Real Zaragoza.
Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7) VS Lionel Messi (LM10) "Lionel Messi is the Best Player on the planet" - Tito Vilanova, Barca coach. "Cristiano is the Best Player in the universe" - Jose Mourinho, Madrid coach.
Vilanova: Messi tally is spectacular - Tito Vilanova has lauded Barcelona forward Lionel Messi after the Argentinian...
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has heaped a lot of praise on star forward Lionel Messi after the Argentine moved...
Barcelona boss, Tito Vilanova played down rumours of a spat btw star strikers, Lionel Messi nd David Villa after the duo's heated xchange during their 2-1 defeat at Celtic in d C.L. on Wednesday. But he earlier said, d rift btw both gave him headache. Which one make we believe now?
Vilanova lauds record-breaker Messi: Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova heaped praise on Lionel Messi after his brace ...
"It takes other great players seven or eight seasons to score the amount of goals he scores in one season." Tito Vilanova on Lionel Messi
Barca boss hails Messi: Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova praised Lionel Messi after his brace enabled the Catalans to...
Tito Vilanova has taken the time to praise Lionel Messi in the wake of Barcelona's 4-2 La Liga win over Mallorca at the weekend
Despite taking a three- goal lead into half time, Barcelona survived a second-half scare from Mallorca to win 4-2 at Iberostar Stadium. Xavi put the Blaugrana on the path to recovering from their shock midweek Champions League defeat to Celtic with a sumptuous free kick, and goals from Lionel Messi and Christian Tello ensured a comfortable lead at the break. The hosts came back out fighting, though, and pulled two back through Michael Pereira and Victor Casadesus. However, Messi once more saved the day as he ensured that Barca's blushes were spared when he slammed in his 76th goal of 2012, breaking Pele's record for strikes in a calender year in the process. Mallorca set out to stifle the Catalan giants, dropping midfielders back when out of possession to create a wall of bodies in front of their own goal. In time, Joaquin Caparros' team grew in confidence but were unable to take the chances that came their way. After blazing over from Ximo's cross moments before, Tomer Hemed saw his header turned around ...
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 ...
FC Barcelona (More than a Club) wrote: The Ballon d'Or Saga: * Jouse Mourinho: "It would be a crime, if Messi wins Ballon d'Or again. Ronaldo deserves to win it." * Tito Vilanova: "Campaigning for Messi? I am sorry. I am not going to do that. People are watching what he is doing in every week." * Cristiano Ronaldo: "If I could, I would vote for myself for Ballon d'Or. I am what I am and I am happy with that. In Portugal we say that 'too much humility is vanity." * Iker Casillas: "To be honest, I couldn't vote for myself. I prefer that, the recognition for my work comes from outside, instead of myself. My vote is going to Sergio [Ramos] because he had the most complete season has had in the last eight years. He was sensational through out liga and fearsome in the European Championship." * Lionel Messi: "I don't know who is on the shortlist. I will vote for Xavi, Iniesta and definitely one of my countrymen. I think, it could be Casillas'Ballon d'Or, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and also Cr ...
Lionel Messi and Co. are left cowering as Barcelona fail to tame the Celtic lions - here's today's Cartoon of the Day! LIKE this if you think Neil Lennon's side deserve praise for their colossal efforts against Tito Vilanova's charges...
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Lionel Messi, Bota de Oro, Barcelona vs Celta Lionel Messi claims Barcelona 's performance could not be faulted after losing their first Champions League group stage match in three years. Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt ensured the Blaugrana's advantage at the topof Group G was cut to two points and prevented Tito Vilanova's side from securing an early passage through to the knockout phase. After the game, the Argentina forward reflected on a night where missed chances, the woodwork and another inspired performance from goalkeeper Fraser Forster cost his side the game. "We did everything well, played better than two weeks ago against them, but the ball didn't go in," he told reporters. “The same thing happened at the Camp Nou. They played defensively and they waited to make fast counterattacks. They are very comfortable on corners and set-pieces, and that’s how they scored their two goals.” Messi scored in the 90th minute and celebrated with a thumb-sucking gesture, fivedays on from the birt ...
Latest Scores Vilanova: Nothing toblame Barcelona players for The Blaugrana coachfeels that his side deserved victory at Parkhead on Wednesday night, and refused to pointhis finger at any of his players after their continental defeat By Stefan Coerts Nov 8, 2012 9:10:00 AM Tito Vilanova - FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has insisted that his players are not to blame for Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League loss away to Celtic . Victor Wanyama gifted the Scottish champions the lead after 21 minutes of play, before Anthony Watt made it two in the closing stages of the game, and Lionel Messi's goal well into stoppage time proved to be too little, too late. Nevertheless, Vilanova feels that the Blaugrana did everything they could have done, and that they deserved to win the encounter at Parkhead. "There is nothing to blame the players for, on the contrary," Vilanova said at a press conference. "We must congratulate their effort to read the game properly from the beginning. "I think we deserved the victory. We tr ...
Celtic took a massive step towards the last 16 of the Champions League with an astonishing victory over Barcelona.They took the lead when Victor Wanyama rose majestically to head past Victor Valdes from a corner on 21 minutes.Barcelona pressed for an equaliser, but teenager Tony Watt came off the bench to give Celtic a cushion in the closing minutes. Lionel Messi tapped home in injury time, but Celtic held on to inflict Barca's first defeat of the season. It was a momentous victory for manager Neil Lennon, who was part of the team that knocked Barca out of the Uefa Cup in 2004, and his men - banishing memories of the injury-time defeat in Barcelona a fortnight ago.And it leaves Celtic second behind the Catalans in Group G on seven points, three ahead of next opponents Benfica and four better off than Spartak Moscow, who visit Glasgow on the final matchday.Celtic Park was rocking at a decibel level previously reserved for the most meaningful of Old Firm derbies, but predictably the unflappable maestros of ...
Latest Scores Extra Time: Messi, Iniesta & Xavi pose with Celtic shirt The Ballon d'Or nominees were more than happy to hold the famous hooped jersey, but not as happy as they'll be at the prospect of running riot against a depleted Bhoys side By Ewan Roberts Nov 7, 2012 7:00:00 PM It’s an image Celtic fans could barely even dream about: Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta holding aloft the hooped jersey. Oh, and Xavi there too! Has Henrik Larsson been extolling the virtues of Glasgow to his former team-mates? Does Iniesta long to face clubs as steeped in history as Ross County? Is the Ballon d'Or winner hooked on deep-fried Mars bars? Sadly not Bhoys fans, unfortunately Messi & co. will not be strutting their stuff in green and white on the hallowed turf of Celtic Park. Nor is this a case of preemptive, Andre Santos-style shirt swapping. The trio actually snuck past Tito Vilanova and out of training before stumbling upon Celtic's 125th anniversary celebrations. They posed for a cheeky snap before hitting t ...
Vilanova happy with Messi: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has defended Lionel Messi after the forward failed to s...
CONGRATULATIONS: To Lionel Messi and Antonnella Roccuzzo with their new born son, Thiago Messi. Coach Tito Vilanova says Lionel Messi will be available for Celta Vigo match on saturday, after he missed this morning training.IRE O.
MUST READ. WHY IT IS HARD TO BE Cristiano Ronaldo. I think we will never see another player like this. He is the best in the world by far." For Barcalona coach Tito Vilanova, Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the 'numero uno' in football. He added that Messi's arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo would have been "more recognised" if his career had not coincided with Messi's. He wasn't downplaying Ronaldo by any means, but again, I wonder how far one can agree to that statement. Comparisons can be exasperating, and it can inadvertently feed on the green-eyed monster that fuels animosity; the same time, it could help bring out the best in everyone. In sports, rivalries at top order have always helped players to set their limits higher - be it the Borg - McEnroe rivalry in the late 70s or Federer-Nadal duel of the current era - it draws a larger spectacle to the game without fail. Messi or Ronaldo? The question itself is quite ambiguous as Hamlet's age old dilemma "to be, or not to be". The 6 ft 1 petulant, assertive Rona ...
‘Best footballer’ Lionel Messi has no limits: Tito Vilanova - Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova believes Lionel Messi is the best footballer on this planet right now and has no limits
With Lionel Messi as a three-time goal-taker and Cesc Fabregas as a three-time goal-maker, 10-man Barcelona won a wild 5-4 shootout at Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league on Saturday. It looked to be a one-sided affair when the league leaders raced into a three-goal lead through Jordi Alba, Cristian Tello and Messi after just 18 minutes. However, Depor replied with a Luis Pizzi penalty and an Alex Bergantinos goal before Messi struck again to put Barca back in the driving seat. Pizzi's second of the match then set the nerves jangling once more and the dismissal of Javier Mascherano gave the visitors further food for thought until Messi made it 5-3 with his treble. The excitement did not stop there though, and an own goal from Alba brought Depor back within touching distance of their opponents with 11 minutes remaining. However, despite their best attempts to grab a deserved equalizer, their luck ran out as Barca held on for the points. Barca coach Tito Vilanova had left influential midfielder Xavi o ...
Barcelona vs Deportivo in words:- Barcelona made it 12 matches unbeaten in La Liga courtesy of an astonishing 5-4 victory over Deportivo at the Riazor on Saturday evening, in a thrilling match that saw six goals scored before half-time. Well-taken strikes from Jordi Alba, Cristian Tello and Lionel Messi made it 3-0 to Tito Vilanova's side inside 20 minutes, before Pizzi reduced the deficit with a penalty. Alex Bergantinos then beat Valdes with a half- volley from distance before Messi made it 4-2 with a low finish from 15 yards shortly before the break. Pizzi grabbed his second with a fine free-kick shortly after half-time before Barcelona's Javier Mascherano was sent off for a second yellow card after an altercation with Riki. Messi completed his hat-trick with an explosive run and finish in the 77th minute, but there was still time for more drama as Alba sent a volley past his own goalkeeper Victor Valdes to make it 5-4.
“Now it’s Tito Vilanova and we hope to keep winning.” — Lionel Messi
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova says Lionel Messi can improve even further after he scored twice in the latest Clasico -
Tito Vilanova the Barcelona head coach said he believes Lionel Messi is the best footballer&nb
arcelona coach Tito Vilanova hailed Lionel Messi as "the Best Player in the world by far" after his two goals in El Clasico
Lionel Messi has been hailed as the Best Player on the planet today by his boss Tito Vilanova! like if you think he is :)
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The "Clasico" shockwaves have reignited the debate about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, as José Mourinho remarked that the two players are quite simply from a different planet, while Tito Vilanova preferred to go further and claim that Ronaldo is just unlucky to have born in the same era of his...
Tito Vilanova: 'Lionel Messi is the world's Best Player' - Sports Mole via
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova insists the world will never again see a player like Lionel Messi.
celona superstar striker Lionel Messi warned on Monday of Real Madrid's rapid counter-attacking threat as the archrivals prepare for a Sunday showdown. While praising Real Madrid's game, the 25-year-old Argentine refused, however, to comment on their coach Jose Mourinho, explaining that he had never spoken to him. "Madrid kill you in the counter-attack," Messi said in an interview with daily El Pais. "They have very fast forwards and the connection between defence and attack takes five seconds and then it's a goal. They don't need to play well to score three goals. They have a lot of positions for their players who are very good." Messi said he was friends with two fellow Argentines on the Real Madrid squad, Gonzalo "El Pipita" Higuain and Angel di Maria. "You don't see El Pipita and then he has two kicks and scores twice," he added. The triple Ballon d'Or winner declined to give his opinion of Mourinho, however. "I can't say anything. I don't know him, I have never spoken to him," Messi said. "I can only ...
Tito Vilanova insists de world will never see a player like Lionel Messi, I agree with him, Messi is wonderful, nt attention seeker, nt self centered, a Humble Talented footballer dis world has ever peoduced at age 25 in 2012
More than ever, tonight's Barcelona-Real Madrid was a shootout between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The two Best Players in the world left their stamp on a game that was at once an all-out battle between two top sides and a head-to-headshowdown. In the end, the spoils were shared both in terms of the overall scoreline (2-2) and the Messi-CR7 bout. Braces from Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo saw La Liga's 'Clásico' end all square, leaving things as they were in the league table, with Barcelona retaining its eight-point lead over 'Los Blancos'. Tito Vilanova's makeshift defence struggled in the first half, in which Mourinho's side threatened to deliver a knockout blow when, after setting up Cristiano for the opener, Karim Benzema crashed a drive off the near post. Had the Frenchman found the net, the whole complexion of the game could have been different. It was not to be and a major slip-up from Pepe gifted Barcelona a lifeline, the Portuguese centre-back mistiming his jump in the box to leave Mess ...
This are the of messi concerning today match barca agaist madrid. Lionel Messi has granted an interview to a Barcelona-based media outfit, in which he spoke about Real Madrid’s duo of Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, his team mate David Villa and the current Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova. “He’s [Mourinho] a good coach who does his job. So is Cristiano Ronaldo, [who is] a great player,” Messi told todo-barcelona.net. “Villa is also a great guy that nobody can be wrong about.” The 25-year-old forward also praised Vilanova for continuing with the methods Pep Guardiola employed at the Camp Nou, before he departed in the summer. “[With Tito], you will see the sameBarcelona from past seasons,” he added. “Our style of play will not change because Tito thinks like Pep in this regard. There is no change. “Pep left a mark on the history of football. He gave me the bonus of playing in different positions on the field and that’s something he did with the team. “He changed and reinforced t ...
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score in six consecutive Clasicos. The 27-year-old opened the scoring in the 23rd minute minute at Camp Nou with a powerful left-footed drive after latching on to a Karim Benzema cross. The previous record of five, which Ronaldo matched in the 2-1 win over Barca in August, was held by Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano, who represented Los Blancos between 1992 and 1996. During his Clasico career, the fomer Manchester United winger has netted nine goals against the Blaugrana, six goals behind Lionel Messi, who has scored a total of 15 times against the Catalans' arch-rivals. Of the five previous last matches against Barca during which Ronaldo has found the net, he has ended up on the losing team three times, though he did find the target in last year's Liga win at Camp Nou. Ronaldo will be hoping that his strike will help Jose Mourinho's side close the gap on Tito Vilanova's men to just five points.
Who reigns supreme as the best footballer on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? It’s the age-old debate really and we have the pleasure of indulging ourselves in it once more with the La Liga already underway and the El Clasico Super Copa finals beckoning. Over the past four years, the phenomenal duo has dominated the world of football in their individual quests to be the best. In that time, the Ballon d’Or has been won once by Ronaldo and thrice consecutively by Messi. The two will go head-to-head for the prestigious award this year as well, as Ronaldo tries to wrestle the award back from Messi. Messi seems geared up for this season after being well rested in the summer since scoring a mammoth 73 goals for his club during the course of last season. The Barcelona front man has the advantage over his adversary of not being involved in an international tournament over the summer and has been afforded sufficient time to recuperate. The results are already beginning to show as the forward bagg ...
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi insists that being a team player is more important to him than any individual honors that come his way. Side before self for Barca star Lionel Messi
Statistically superior to Pep's start, but Tito's Barcelona are yet to sparkle By Charlie Scott Much was made of Barcelona's appointment of Tito Vilanova as coach following Pep Guardiola's sabbatical from the game at the end of last season, with many within football, particularly in Spain, unsure of the 44-year-old's suitability and capability of taking the reins at the world's biggest club and sustaining the fantastic form they enjoyed under the previous boss. On his very first day in the job whilst being unveiled to the media, Vilanova was bombarded with questions surrounding how he would compare to the man he had replaced, the man who in his four years in charge of the senior team won 13 trophies and had such a huge role in shaping the attacking style that the team so effortlessly exhibits to this day. "I'm just here to do my job. I'm not worried about the comparisons with Pep. I lose them all anyway," said Vilanova to the ravenous press. The Barca players echoed this sentiment, with Andres Iniesta one ...
Barcelona coach Vilanova denies Villa, Messi bust-up Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova denies a bust-up between David Villa and Lionel Messi. The pair were seen in a heated exchange during victory over Granada. "There is nothing to gather [from what happened between Villa and Messi]," Vilanova stated at his post-match press conference. "Whoever plays football knows discussions are a normality, and part of the game. "Such occurrences are common signs that a team is alive. Not exchanging views for betterment would honestly suggest worse." My take It's all about pressure...Granada were just too stubborn.
Tito Vilanova was quick to downplay the on-field bust-up between Lionel Messi and David Villa, saying that it is normal and shows the team is alive.
Jose Mourinho, the manager of Real Madrid, recently insulted FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. Mourinho stated that Messi's goals count for nothing since Barca did not win La Liga BBVA and the UEFA Champions League. The Special One, as Mourinho loves to call himself, added salt to an already festering wound with another comment. He said that Cristiano Ronaldo deserved to win the Ballon D'Or for the year 2012 since he is the top scorer. The declarations were published in an article in Goal magazine. Mourinho added cynically that while Ronaldo is a top scorer on Real Madrid, Portugal is another issue. The Special One declared that he doubts Ronaldo can inspire glory for the Portuguese national football team. Mourinho said that Ronaldo did not have the support in Portugal as in Real Madrid. Whether the comment was true or not, it may count as an insult to Ronaldo. Before looking at others, The Special One should examine himself as Real Madrid manager. Mourinho is the same person who poked Tito Vilanova (Bar ...
Lionel Messi has dismissed rumours of a rift with Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova
Lionel Messi & David Villa bust-up denied by Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova following last night's 2-0 win over Granada ...
Messi rescues Barcelona ! Lionel Messi scored twice to help FC Barcelona open with a win. Barcelona were 2-1 down halfway through the second half at home to Spartak, but Messi turned the game on its head with two goals to give Tito Vilanova victory on his European debut as coach. That assures the four-time winners of the early advantage in Group G after fellow former European Champions Celtic FC and SL Benfica produced the only goalless draw of the evening.
Barcelona maintained its 100 percent start to the season as it defeated Getafe 4-1 at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. The Catalan giants labored during the early stages of the match but took a single-goal lead into the break through Adriano Correia. Second-half substitute Lionel Messi then netted a brace before a Javier Mascherano own goal robbed the visitors of a clean sheet, but David Villa rounded off the win. A number of injuries meant that Barcelona's attack had an almost second-string look to it, with Pedro, Cesc Fabregas and Cristian Tello leading the line while Messi and Villa, who were lacking in fitness, started on the bench. The Blaugrana controlled possession throughout the first half but did not use the wings effectively enough. A number of times Tello wasted the ball as he tried to beat defenders, only to over-hit his touch and run it out of play. Therefore it was not until the 26th minute that Tito Vilanova's side eventually threatened the hosts' goal. Thiago Alcantara dribbled through the cent ...
Tito Vilanova.,BERCA BOSS opts to start Lionel Messi on tha bench.
Lionel Messi does not start against Getafe: Tito Vilanova has decided not to start Lionel Messi against Getafe t...
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's participation in Saturday's La Liga match versus Getafe is still questionable, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova told Marca on Friday
Barcelona’s Tito Vilanova not sure if Lionel Messi will play: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi’s participation in ...
With last Thursday’s first leg at Camp Nou having ended in a 3-2 Barca victory, Madrid took the title on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw. All the action came in an exciting first half, where Lionel Messi replied with a brilliant free-kick for Barcelona, who had previously lost Adriano to a straight red card for a last-man foul on Ronaldo. It was a timely success for Madrid, who have already fallen five points behind arch rivals Barca in La Liga after a draw and a loss in their first two league games. “The team went out well from the start and created chances, got the goals and then they (Barcelona) went down to 10 men,” said Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka. “After all that, the result was a lot closer than we expected, but we’re happy to lift the trophy. We got a reaction from our players and that’s the important thing.” Barca coach Tito Vilanova said he was pleased with his players’ response after a difficult start.
Relevant facts • Lionel Messi is the all-time El Clasico top scorer with 14 goals in 16 matches. • Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to score four goals in four visits at the Camp Nou against Barcelona. • Real Madrid have defeated Barcelona only once in their last six meetings. • The last Spanish Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu ended 2-2. A repeat of this result on Wednesday would favour Barcelona in the Supercopa 2012. • Lionel Messi has scored more goals in all competitions this season (5) than the whole Real Madrid team (4). Prediction If Jose Mourinho fails tactically, expect Barcelona to take their chances on goal and punish their rivals without mercy. Scores: Real Madrid 1-4 Barcelona A wise approach from Real Madrid could unsettle Tito Vilanova’s outfit. With the UEFA Best Player award ceremony coming up this week, Cristiano Ronaldo may want to give a good knock to Lionel Messi with a heroic display at the Bernabeu. Scores: Real Madrid 2-1 B ...
Messi: Barcelona never panicked versus Osasuna The Argentine has admitted that it was not an easy game for the Blaugrana, but has made it clear that they always remained calm By Stefan Coerts Aug 27, 2012 7:05:00 AM Lionel Messi has stressed that Barcelona were always confident of getting a good result in Sunday's La Liga match away against Osasuna. The Catalans were trailing 1-0 for the majority of the game, but two goals from the Argentine deep into the second half eventually helped Barca to a 2-1 victory, much to the satisfaction of the goalscorer. "We did not panic and always remained calm. We found a way to respond to their goal. We were able to build play from the back and we did not lose our heads. Luckily, the goals came in the end," Messi was quoted as saying on the club's official website. "It’s always hard for us to win here at Osasuna. Tito Vilanova had already warned us of that before the match. "What’s truly important is that we stay on this course - we have to keep on winning. We knew t ...
A few predictions for this season with Supreet Cj Johal... *Luis Suarez will surpass his record total of dives, screams and rolls from last season. *John Terry will shag Eden Hazard's girlfriend. *Stewart Downing will beat his girlfriend more times than he will a defender. *Celtic will win the Scottish Premier League. *Lionel Messi will retire from football because it's just too easy for him. *Liverpool fans will be convinced that they will certainly win the league next season. *Roberto Di Matteo will be sacked. *Ronaldo will change his haircut 354,600 times during the season. *Tito Vilanova to have eye surgery after getting poked by Mourinho again. *Chelsea will win a treble when RDM is sacked and Abramovich takes charge *Howard Webb will award a last minute penalty for Man United against City at Old Trafford.
Lionel Messi is on it once again..wt a sensetional start off win4 Tito Vilanova. A superb gaol4 d returnin David Vila. Barca una make me proud...
David Villa scored in his first competitive appearance since 2011 and Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona claimed a convincing victory over Real Sociedad in new coach Tito Vilanova's La Liga debut in the Nou Camp hotseat.
Tito Vilanova's debut as Barcelona's new boss; unleashing new sensation tello wit lionel messi,d only in d whole planet who kip improvin&increasin in form 2 produce mesmerisin football which is obviously out of ds world.
Lionel Messi was on the scoresheet against Dinamo Bucharest, and David Villa made his long-awaited comeback, but still people doubt Tito Vilanova's Barcelona.
Tito Vilanova u sick in da head how can u substitute Lionel Messi huh, tchw.
Barcelona star Messi feeling refreshed after free summer Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi feels refreshed after a rare free summer. The World Player of the Year was on international duty with Argentina at the Copa America and World Cup in the past two years, as well as the Olympics in 2008, and he believes the rest will do him good once the 2012-13 campaign gets under way. He told El Mundo Deportivo, "I haven't been able to do a good pre-season for a long time because I always arrived late. It has been very good to have such a long rest." Messi thinks the transition to Tito Vilanova since the departure of Pep Guardiola has been smooth. "The way of training has continued in the same way and we are working with the same people so we haven't noted any changes," he said. "We are in pre-season and so you notice the tiredness. They kept the ball well and made us run a lot but we will get better with every game. "We are training very hard and we have to continue like that to arrive in the best shape possible for ...
Lionel Messi and David Villa wrote: Tito Vilanova: “Once again, Messi was the difference”
After watching his star forward score a hat-trick, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has hailed Lionel Messi
Tito Vilanova: “Once again, Lionel Messi was the difference” [fcb]
Barcaboyz Barcelona wrote: Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has praised Lionel Messi after the 8-0 thrashing of Morocco's Raja for detail join me @
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has been given a boost ahead of the Catalan Supercup match against Espanyol on July 31 as star player Lionel Messi resumed individual training after a brief layoff on the sidelines. The Argentina international picked up a calf injury earlier this week, and consequently ...
Tito Vilanova apologises for Lionel Messi missing the Hamburg friendly
Decent start for Tito Vilanova as Barca beat the Bundesliga club - without Lionel Messi.Dani Alves got Barca off...
Tito Vilanova says Barcelona will not be selling Ibrahim Afellay & admits it's a shame Lionel Messi can't play tonight
Barcelona fans are living the dream today - we have another story snippet for you! Tito Vilanova says Ibrahim Afellay will not be sold this summer while admitting it's a shame Lionel Messi couldn't make the journey to Germany for tonight's friendly match against Hamburg. Who thinks this is the right decision by Pep Guardiola's successor?
Lionel Messi: "What Tito Vilanova has done in these two days is exactly what Pep did in his four years"
sms Tito Vilanova ah: hey Tito, you have to buy Lucas Moura the Brazilian to support Lionel Messi. he is so awesome!
Messi: "I'd like it if Spain won": Lionel Messi shared his views yesterday about the arrival of Tito Vilanova at...
Tito Vilanova... the new coach of FC Barcelona :) Good luck Tito!!!
Lionel Messi insists he's staying with Barcelona, despite the departure of coach Pep Guardiola. Tito Vilanova...
Messi: I hope Vilanova stays at Barcelona for a long time The Argentina international wants the Blaugrana's new coach to enjoy a successful spell, and confessed that the week of Guardiola's departure announcement was a blow to the club,Lionel Messi hopes that new Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will remain as the Catalans' trainer for an extended period of time. Vilanova will replaces Pep Guardiola as the man in charge at the Camp Nou side on July 1, and the Argentine is eager for everything to remain the same under the new coach
Lionel Messi has revealed he expects Barcelona's new coach Tito Vilanova to enjoy a successful spell at the club.
Jose Mourinho steals the Clasico headlines with crazy eye gouge of Barcelona assistant August 18th, 2011 A thrilling SuperCoppa second leg may have seen Barcelona win 3-2, yet another masterclass from Lionel Messi who scored twice and assisted the opener for Andres Iniesta, as well as three late sen...
Vilanova will continue Guardiola's legacy, says Rosell The Blaugrana supremo was keen to heap praise on the man who led the club to 14 titles in four seasons, while at the same time expressing his faith in his successor By Mark Doyle Barcelona President Sandro Rosell felt that Friday's Copa del Rey triumph represented the perfect send-off for Pep Guardiola and claimed that new boss Tito Vilanova will continue the winning legacy at the club. Pedro struck twice either side of a goal from Lionel Messi as the Blaugrana claimed their 14th trophy since the arrival of Guardiola as coach in the summer of 2008. As far as Rosell was concerned, it was a fitting finale for the former Barca midfielder. "It was an end to honour the best coach in the history of the club," the Blaugrana supremo enthused. "Tito will continue the legacy." Rosell also had some kind words for a distraught Athletic, who ended what was a wonderful campaign empty handed after losing their Europa League decider against Atletico Madrid by the sam ...
Real Madrid agree a deal with Barcelona for Lionel Messi. He signs because of differences with Tito Vilanova.
Pep Guardiola paid an emotional farewell to the Camp Nou as Barcelona claimed a 4-0 derby victory over Espanyol. - La Liga round-up Lionel Messi was the hero on the field, netting all four goals to take his league tally to 50 for the season, but the focus post- match was on Guardiola as he took charge of his final home game before handing the reins to assistant Tito Vilanova. A banner had been unfurled ahead of the kick-off reading " T'estimem Pep" ("We love you Pep"), and a video montage was shown depicting his 13-trophy reign. After the match, Guardiola paid tribute to the fans. "Life has given me this present," he said. "For five years I have been able to have you close to me and enjoy the great show that these boys have given us. "I've been no different than you - I've been equally privileged. A little closer to the pitch maybe, but I'll take this privilege with me. You can't imagine the happiness and pleasure I'll take with me. "Thank you to absolutely everybody, especially those who have been closes ...
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