Although it’s still early days, the La Liga title race is currently as tight as it’s been in decades. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Celta Vigo all jointly sit top of the table on 18 points each. The last time the La Liga race was this close was in the 1993-94 season when Real, Barça and Real Sociedad jointly occupied the top spot.
Trailing just slightly behind, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal are currently tied on 16 points each, bringing it to a total of five teams currently in contention to top the standings in Spain.
Despite both being hit by a spate of injuries, Real and Barça maintained their winning ways this weekend: Real Madrid dispatched Levante 3-0 on Saturday with Marcelo opening the scoring 27 minutes in. Moments later, Cristiano... Read More
Barcelona fans the world over awoke to the happy news Monday morning that Lionel Messi’s knee injury isn’t as bad as feared. While the player is still set to be sidelined for a period of seven to eight weeks, no surgery is required and Messi could return to action sooner than expected, according to Argentina’s team doctor.
Messi suffered an injury to the ligaments in his left knee in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas at the Camp Nou Saturday. After receiving treatment on the pitch, Messi was subbed off in the 10th minute and taken to a nearby clinic for tests.
Despite the hopeful prognosis from Argentina team doctor, Donato Villani, Messi is set to miss a number of important matches, beginning with... Read More
Already reeling from the sale of Xavi and Pedro, Barcelona’s depth in midfield took another hit this week when tests revealed Rafinha Alcantara -– generally know as Rafinha -– suffered an injury to his cruciate ligament against Roma Wednesday.
The Brazilian midfielder had barely been on the pitch at the Estadio Olimpico in Rome for two minutes when he was the victim of a crunching tackle from Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan.
After the match Barça boss Luis Enrique remarked that the injury “doesn’t look very good.”
The club released a statement early Thursday confirming that Rafinha had indeed injured his ACL and would require surgery and several months of rehabilitation. This means the 22-year-old is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Rafinha’s injury leaves Barcelona’s already thin squad... Read More
More than one year after signing for Barcelona, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is finally set to make his La Liga debut against Atletico Madrid Saturday. While Ter Stegen featured in Barça’s successful Champions League and Copa del Rey campaigns last season, coach Luis Enrique favored Claudio Bravo when it came to league outings.
But after straining his right calf in training on Monday, the Chilean keeper is in doubt for Saturday’s clash at the Vicente Calderon. While last season Enrique chose to start Jordi Masip for the one La Liga match Bravo was unavailable for, reports in Spain have tipped Ter Stegen as the man who will step in this time.
Based on Ter Stegen’s most recent appearances in a Blaugrana jersey -– a 5-4 win over Sevilla, and... Read More
Although it’s just completed one of the most successful seasons in its 116-year history, there is a cloud of uncertainty forming over Barcelona as this weekend’s La Liga kickoff looms. Earlier this week, the team that claimed the treble for the second time in its history last season lost the UEFA Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao. Over the two legs of the match, Bilbao simply seemed to want it more, which might be easier to accept had Gerard Pique, Barça’s best defender last season, not earned himself a four-match ban for cursing at the ref.
And all this is without even mentioning the loss of two players who’ve been at the center of everything Barcelona, and Spain, have achieved over the past six or seven years.
It was a slightly awkward position for Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu to find himself in. Speaking to the press the Monday after Barcelona won its fifth European title and wrapped up a historic second treble, Bartomeu had to offer reassurances that Luis Enrique, the manager who’d won those three trophies – La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League - would still be at the club next season.
“You don’t have to suffer, Luis Enrique will continue,” said Bartomeu to Catalunya Radio. “His season has been a 10/10 and there is no need to break contract.”
Enrique, who like Pep Guardiola captured the treble in his first season in charge at Barça, had bypassed an opportunity to make similar assurances over the weekend, saying only, “These decisions will... Read More