Top 5 Barca: Lionel Messi, Supercup Preview, Ter Stegen, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic

Top 5 Barca Lionel Messi, Supercup Preview, Ter Stegen, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic

Best Player, reporters’ view: Lionel Messi
All-time leading scorer in the Liga, most hat-tricks for any Spanish club, most assists in the history of Spain’s top flight … as, all the while, he and Cristiano Ronaldo played ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ in breaking and rebreaking the all-time scoring tally in the UEFA Champions League. Just a sample. Consider, too, that he and his team-mates made history in becoming the first club – and first group of six players comprising Argentinian maestro Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Daniel Alves – to have won the fabled trophy treble twice.

Four Zero
I know Marc-André Ter Stegen has duffel bags of potential, but forgive me for mentioning that they are anything but waterproof. His first error, a pass which would have put its target, Adriano Correa, in trouble even if it hadn’t been intercepted, prompted me to remark that I wished our goalkeeper didn’t live under the permanent illusion that he was a midfielder. Minutes later, as if to prove my point, he headed the ball out to where three Basques were waiting, one of whom took grateful advantage of the open goal behind the keeper.

Somebody call the wambulance
The Spanish Supercopa is a meaningless trophy. It always has and always will be, if you’re FC Barcelona (or Real Madrid). In any given season, say Barça win the Supercopa and then go on to capture none of the league, Champions League, or Copa del Rey. That would be labeled a trophy-less one. Nobody – nobody sane at least – would even acknowledge the Supercopa.

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Questions over Barcelona’s depth
ESPN FC (blog)
Erring on the side of caution tends to be a sound strategy when drawing conclusions from early-season games, but with losing 4-0 an incredibly rare occurrence for Barcelona, the events of the last week merit special attention. Prior to Athletic Bilbao …

Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info
Bleacher Report
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid might be able to do the job, but the one team you’d really plump for in this situation is Barcelona. Athletic stormed to a shocking victory at a sodden San Mames on Friday, winning the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Supercopa de España: FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club: Match Preview
Barca Blaugranes (blog)
FC Barcelona will be looking to pull off the impossible tomorrow at the Camp Nou, when they attempt to overturn a four-goal deficit against Athletic Bilbao and keep their sextuple dreams alive by winning the Supercopa de España. On Friday evening, the …

Top 5 Barca Lionel Messi, Supercup Preview, Ter Stegen, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic

Barcelona’s Luis Enrique positive of cup comeback
BBC Sport
Everyone knows Barcelona is capable of anything.” Enrique plans to field his strongest possible side including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez even though they start the defence of their league title next weekend. Barcelona’s first La Liga match of the …

Mascherano: Barcelona have no room for mistakes
Javier Mascherano has warned Barcelona they cannot make any mistakes in Monday’s Supercopa de Espana second leg against Athletic Bilbao if they want to overturn the 4-0 deficit. An Aritz Aduriz hat-trick and a San Jose goal saw the European champions …

The left-footed miracle worker
There has been a gradual change in how Luis Enrique’s players are approaching the Spanish Super Cup second leg. The ‘Azulgranas’ boss got his troops together on Saturday afternoon to discuss the previous day’s events at San Mamés. The message was crystal clear: the final scoreline was not a fair reflection of the game and a comeback was very much still possible. It didn’t take a long lecture from Enrique, far from it, and every member of the squad went away feeling convinced that a comeback was feasible. The loud cheers and …

The tallest of orders
The number of games that Luis Enrique can look back on for inspiration when the ‘Azulgranas’ have faced the task of pulling back from having lost the first leg of an official tournament by something close to 4 goals to nil is just one. On the night of 16th April 1986, Barça faced a very similar challenge to the one they have today with Athletic. Back then, it was the return leg of the European Cup and Barcelona had two weeks before lost to Göteborg by three goals to nil. Terry Venables turned to …

Top 5 Barca Lionel Messi, Supercup Preview, Ter Stegen, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic

Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic: ‘The hunger never fades. If we relax they’ll come …
The Guardian
The second begins against Sevilla. “I think, and hope, that they’ll have a great year … after this game,” Rakitic says, smiling. And Barcelona? “It will be difficult in the sense that everyone is going to come after us but our idea doesn’t change and…

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