Puyol, Piqué, Adriano and Maxwell are injured, while Dani Alves must compleate one-match ban which carries from the last match of the league last season. This makes it the right side where the main Problems will be. For the rest of the defense, Pep has the options to place Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets and central or Fontàs Andreu. Eric Abidal occupy the left-back. Pep Guardiola said yesterday he hopes to have both Puyol soon as Maxwell, possibly after the international break, but first they must face the match against Villarreal.
Here is the full schedule for the 2011-2012 Champions League.(All times are GMT) Will FC Barcelona repeat? Tuesday September 13 13 Sep, 19:45 Chelsea v Bayer Leverkusen Stamford Bridge, London 13 Sep, 19:45 Racing Genk v Valencia CF Cristal Arena, Genk 13 Sep, 19:45 Olympiacos v Olympique Marseille Stadio Karaiskaki, Piraeus 13 Sep, 19:45 Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund 13 Sep, 19:45 FC Porto v Shakhtar Donetsk Estádio do Dragão, Porto 13 Sep, 19:45 APOEL Nicosia v Zenit St. Petersburg GSP-Stadion, Nicosia 13 Sep, 19:45 FC Barcelona v AC Milan Camp Nou, Barcelona (Buy tickets) 13 Sep, 19:45 Viktoria Plzen v BATE Borisov Stadion mesta Plzne, Plzen Wednesday September 14 14 Sep, 19:45 Manchester City v Napoli Etihad Stadium, Manchester 14 Sep, 19:45 Villarreal CF v Bayern Munich El Madrigal, Villarreal 14 Sep, 19:45 Lille OSC v CSKA Moscow Stadium Lille Métropole, Villeneuve-d’Ascq 14 Sep, 19:45 Internazionale v Trabzonspor Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan 14 Sep, 19:45 FC Basel v Otelul Galati Sankt Jakob-Park, Basel 14 Sep, 19:45 Benfica v Manchester United Estádio da Luz, Lisbon 14 Sep, 19:45 Ajax v Olympique Lyon Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam 14 Sep, 19:45 Dinamo Zagreb v Real Madrid Maksimir, Zagreb Tuesday September 27 27 Sep, 17:00 CSKA Moscow v Internazionale Arena-Khimki, Khimki 27 Sep, 19:45 Bayern Munich v Manchester City Allianz-Arena, Munich 27 Sep, 19:45 Napoli v Villarreal CF Stadio San Paolo, Naples 27 Sep, 19:45 Trabzonspor v Lille OSC Hüseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon 27 Sep, 19:45 Manchester United v FC Basel Old Trafford, Manchester 27 Sep, 19:45 Otelul Galati v Benfica Stadionul Otelul, Galati 27 Sep, 19:45 Olympique Lyon v Dinamo Zagreb Stade Gerland, Lyon 27 Sep, 19:45 Real Madrid v Ajax Bernabéu, Madrid (Buy tickets) Wednesday September 28 28 Sep, 17:00 Zenit St. Petersburg v FC Porto Petrovskiy, St. Petersburg 28 Sep, 19:45 Bayer Leverkusen v Racing Genk BayArena, Leverkusen 28 Sep, 19:45 Valencia CF v Chelsea Mestalla, Valencia 28 Sep, 19:45 Olympique Marseille v Borussia Dortmund Stade Vélodrome, Marseille 28 Sep, 19:45 Arsenal v Olympiacos Emirates Stadium, London 28 Sep, 19:45 Shakhtar Donetsk v APOEL Nicosia Donbass Arena, Donetsk 28 Sep, 19:45 AC Milan v Viktoria Plzen Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan 28 Sep, 19:45 BATE Borisov v FC Barcelona Gradski Stadion, Barysaw Tuesday October 18 18 Oct, 17:00 CSKA Moscow v Trabzonspor Arena-Khimki, Khimki 18 Oct, 19:45 Manchester City v Villarreal CF Etihad Stadium, Manchester 18 Oct, 19:45 Napoli v Bayern Munich Stadio San Paolo, Naples 18 Oct, 19:45 Lille OSC v Internazionale Stadium Lille Métropole, Villeneuve-d’Ascq 18 Oct, 19:45 FC Basel v Benfica Sankt Jakob-Park, Basel 18 Oct, 19:45 Otelul Galati v Manchester United Stadionul Otelul, Galati 18 Oct, 19:45 Real Madrid v Olympique Lyon Bernabéu, Madrid (Buy tickets) 18 Oct, 19:45 Dinamo Zagreb v Ajax Maksimir, Zagreb Wednesday October 19 19 Oct, 19:45 Bayer Leverkusen v Valencia CF BayArena, Leverkusen 19 Oct, 19:45 Chelsea v Racing Genk Stamford Bridge, London 19 Oct, 19:45 Olympiacos v Borussia Dortmund Stadio Karaiskaki, Piraeus 19 Oct, 19:45 Olympique Marseille v Arsenal Stade Vélodrome, Marseille 19 Oct, 19:45 Shakhtar Donetsk v Zenit St. Petersburg Donbass Arena, Donetsk 19 Oct, 19:45 FC Porto v APOEL Nicosia Estádio do Dragão, Porto 19 Oct, 19:45 AC Milan v BATE Borisov Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan 19 Oct, 19:45 FC Barcelona v Viktoria Plzen Camp Nou, Barcelona (Buy tickets) Tuesday November 1 1 Nov, 16:00 Zenit St. Petersburg v Shakhtar Donetsk Petrovskiy, St. Petersburg 1 Nov, 19:45 Racing Genk v Chelsea Cristal Arena, Genk 1 Nov, 19:45 Valencia CF v Bayer Leverkusen Mestalla, Valencia 1 Nov, 19:45 Arsenal v Olympique Marseille Emirates Stadium, London 1 Nov, 19:45 Borussia Dortmund v Olympiacos Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund 1 Nov, 19:45 APOEL Nicosia v FC Porto GSP-Stadion, Nicosia 1 Nov, 19:45 BATE Borisov v AC Milan Gradski Stadion, Barysaw 1 Nov, 19:45 Viktoria Plzen v FC Barcelona Stadion mesta Plzne, Plzen Wednesday November 2 2 Nov, 19:45 Villarreal CF v Manchester City El Madrigal, Villarreal 2 Nov, 19:45 Bayern Munich v Napoli Allianz-Arena, Munich 2 Nov, 19:45 Internazionale v Lille OSC Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan 2 Nov, 19:45 Trabzonspor v CSKA Moscow Hüseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon 2 Nov, 19:45 Benfica v FC Basel Estádio da Luz, Lisbon 2 Nov, 19:45 Manchester United v Otelul Galati Old Trafford, Manchester 2 Nov, 19:45 Ajax v Dinamo Zagreb Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam 2 Nov, 19:45 Olympique Lyon v Real Madrid Stade Gerland, Lyon Tuesday November 22 22 Nov, 16:00 CSKA Moscow v Lille OSC Arena-Khimki, Khimki 22 Nov, 19:45 Bayern Munich v Villarreal CF Allianz-Arena, Munich 22 Nov, 19:45 Napoli v Manchester City Stadio San Paolo, Naples 22 Nov, 19:45 Trabzonspor v Internazionale Hüseyin Avni Aker, Trabzon 22 Nov, 19:45 Manchester United v Benfica Old Trafford, Manchester 22 Nov, 19:45 Otelul Galati v FC Basel Stadionul Otelul, Galati 22 Nov, 19:45 Olympique Lyon v Ajax Stade Gerland, Lyon 22 Nov, 19:45 Real Madrid v Dinamo Zagreb Bernabéu, Madrid (Buy tickets) Wednesday November 23 23 Nov, 16:00 Zenit St. Petersburg v APOEL Nicosia Petrovskiy, St. Petersburg 23 Nov, 19:45 Valencia CF v Racing Genk Mestalla, Valencia 23 Nov, 19:45 Bayer Leverkusen v Chelsea BayArena, Leverkusen 23 Nov, 19:45 Olympique Marseille v Olympiacos Stade Vélodrome, Marseille 23 Nov, 19:45 Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund Emirates Stadium, London 23 Nov, 19:45 Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Porto Donbass Arena, Donetsk 23 Nov, 19:45 BATE Borisov v Viktoria Plzen Gradski Stadion, Barysaw 23 Nov, 19:45 AC Milan v FC Barcelona Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan Tuesday December 6 6 Dec, 19:45 Chelsea v Valencia CF Stamford Bridge, London 6 Dec, 19:45 Racing Genk v Bayer Leverkusen Cristal Arena, Genk 6 Dec, 19:45 Olympiacos v Arsenal Stadio Karaiskaki, Piraeus 6 Dec, 19:45 Borussia Dortmund v Olympique Marseille Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund 6 Dec, 19:45 FC Porto v Zenit St. Petersburg Estádio do Dragão, Porto 6 Dec, 19:45 APOEL Nicosia v Shakhtar Donetsk GSP-Stadion, Nicosia 6 Dec, 19:45 FC Barcelona v BATE Borisov Camp Nou, Barcelona (Buy tickets) 6 Dec, 19:45 Viktoria Plzen v AC Milan Stadion mesta Plzne, Plzen Wednesday December 7 7 Dec, 19:45 Villarreal CF v Napoli El Madrigal, Villarreal 7 Dec, 19:45 Manchester City v Bayern Munich Etihad Stadium, Manchester 7 Dec, 19:45 Internazionale v CSKA Moscow Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan 7 Dec, 19:45 Lille OSC v Trabzonspor Stadium Lille Métropole, Villeneuve-d’Ascq 7 Dec, 19:45 Benfica v Otelul Galati Estádio da Luz, Lisbon 7 Dec, 19:45 FC Basel v Manchester United Sankt Jakob-Park, Basel 7 Dec, 19:45 Ajax v Real Madrid Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam 7 Dec, 19:45 Dinamo Zagreb v Olympique Lyon Maksimir, Zagreb
The strike action that delayed the start of the Spanish season has now been brought to an end and the weekend’s games will go ahead as planned. The Spanish league (LFP) and the players’ union (AFE) have struck an agreement which means the season can start on Saturday. A date has not yet been set for last week’s cancelled games to be played on. The union was demanding greater protection for players’ wages that have not been paid at clubs that have gone into financial administration. The AFE says around 50 million euros ($72m) is owed to 200 footballers from the end of last season. More to follow… Eurosport / Reuters Barcelona FC vs Villareal CF tickets available HERE Date: August 29th 2011 Venue: Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona, Spain
Coach Allegri insists the seven-times’ European Cup winners AC Milan will be ready for whoever they come out of the hat alongside in Thursday’s draw for the group stages of the Champions League in Monaco. “I am convinced that, with a full squad, we are on a par with Real Madrid,” he stated. “The only exception is Barcelona“. “Last season we went out of the competition against Tottenham because of some bad luck and a number of injuries.” “I do not have to build a team, but I have to improve it. Milan are not perfect. “Let me give you an example – when Barcelona lose the ball, they try to regain possession at a frenetic pace. That is one aspect we have to do better in.”
He told Barca TV: “The easiest thing would have been to stay at Arsenal. I’m the captain, playing every game. We are always in the Champions League, always fighting for titles. For all that, and the tough competition here, perhaps now might be the worst time to return to Barca. It’s going to be really tough to make the starting XI, but I needed a new challenge in my life.” He added: “I thought I’d stagnated a bit, and needed a change of scenery. I needed a special motivation to bring the best out of myself.” “I think that Xavi still has some years left in him! He does things you wouldn’t believe!” “I haven’t come to retire Xavi. I came here to play with Xavi, to compete with Xavi, and to win with Xavi. What I’m saying about Xavi also goes for Andres and Thiago. I think altogether we make a very good group. I know what we’ll do. With the great group we are, we’ll do great things together.” “The last months I’ve been under a lot of pressure,” he admitted. “Mentally it’s really tiring, but it finally happened and I’m very happy to be back at Barca.” “It is partly my fault that it has been so complicated, for having left. Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that one day I would play for the Barca first team. Not as a child, nor playing with Arsenal had I thought I’d live a day like Monday.”
Lionel Messi scored to seal a 5-4 aggregate victory over Real in a encounter that saw red cards after a rough tackel caused everyone to boil over at the end, resulting in a fight in which Mourinho appeared to poke Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye. “Mourinho is wrecking Spanish football,” Pique said. “People are looking for culprits but they are in Madrid. Someone needs to get the video, analyse it and say who is to blame.” “We hope that on Thursday everyone will be talking about a great game of football and not the melee,” added Pique. “It isn’t the first time this has happened … it is always the same people. Someone needs to sort this out.” In the post-match news conference, Mourinho accused Barca players of going to ground easily. “Marcelo got a red card because we all know what happens after tackles in certain areas of the pitch,” the Portuguese said. “It was a spectacular game from the first to last minute. But from the first minute of the second half, and I don’t criticise it because I know people do it, the ballboys hid the balls”. (Barca were winning 2-1 at this point). “It happens with small teams when they find themselves in difficulties.” When asked about the incident, Mourinho replied: “I have been polite and played like a man and not fallen to the ground at the first touch. I don’t know who Vilanova is.” Barca coach Pep Guardiola said: “The images will speak for themselves. This is going to end up badly if it isn’t stopped soon.”
FC BARCELONA FINANCIAL BALANCE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2008/09 SEASON Trading income: 415.4 million euros Operating costs: 486.9 million euros Ebitda (Earnings before tax and depreciations): -82.6 million euros Operating profit or loss: +22.4 million euros Income / financial expenses: -71.5 million euros Net profit or loss: -11.1 million euros Cash flow: -79.6 million euros BUDGET 2009/10 SEASON Trading income: 420.2 million euros Operating costs: 428.1 million euros Operating profit or loss: -7.9 million euros Financial and extraordinary profit or loss: -13.5 million euros Before tax net profit or loss: -21.4 million euros Javier Faus revealed the audit numbers: “Barcelona’s debt as of today is the biggest in the club’s history. That doesn’t mean anything but that we are not comfortable working with this debt. The current debt is the biggest in the club’s history, even greater than in 2003. The losses back in 2002-2003 in Gaspart’s era were the biggest in the club’s history at the time and on top of that the income that Barca has today is much bigger than back in 2002-2003. After explaining all this, I still prefer the club’s current picture.” Here are the differences (in million euros): Category Laporta Rosell Benefits 445 408 Expenses 428 477 Balance 11 -77 Debt 200 442 As you can see there is a difference of 88 million Euros. 2011 season Barcelona made a smaller loss than expected last season and are confident of returning to profit in the 2011-12 campaign after two years of deficits, vice-president for economic affairs Javier Faus has said. La Liga – Barca report smaller loss The Spanish and European champions posted a pre-tax loss of 9.3 million euros (£8.2m) in the year to the end of June, less than half the 21.4 million euros expected and down from 83 million euros in the year-earlier period, Faus said. Winning the Champions League, the club’s new sponsorship deal with Qatar Foundation, a strong turnout at the Camp Nou stadium and a surge in visitors to the club’s museum had helped trim the deficit, he added. “Our obligation is to make a profit from next season and we will do that,” he said. “For the first time in two years we will present a budget that foresees profit.” Operating income rose to 473.4 million euros, an increase of 14 per cent compared with the 2009-10 season, while costs were up 10.4 per cent to 472.6 million euros, made higher by win bonuses to players following the club’s domestic and European successes. Net debt fell to 363.7 million euros from 430.6 million.
Puyol told the Barcelona FCs official website: “I’m feeling better every day, but the recovery is slow. Everything is going little by little. “As Doctor Cugat(who operated on him) put it, I’m not in charge here, it’s the knee that is. “I’ve got no problems with my knee any more, I don’t know how long I’ll be before I’m back, but I want it to be as soon as possible, when I am fully 100%. “Everybody who knows me will understand that I am really keen to get back. I’ve been a long time with this injury –six and a half months. I am really keen to get back”.
Barcelona forward Jeffren has been given permission to quit their tour of the United States to transfer to Sporting Lisbon. “He came up from the youth ranks and he has helped us a lot,” “At his age, three years without playing isn’t ideal. I wish him all the best.” Barca coach Pep Guardiola told a news conference in Miami.
Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay has torn a muscle in his left thigh and will be out of action for up to five weeks, the European champions said on Sunday. The Dutch international picked up the injury in Barca’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Manchester United in Washington DC on Saturday, but will stay with the team as they continue their pre-season tour of the United States. Afellay will miss the La Liga curtain-raiser against Real Madrid when the league champions take on King’s Cup winners in the Spanish Super Cup on Aug 14 and 17. The 2011-12 La Liga season kicks off on the weekend Aug 20-21, get your tickets here