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    Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

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    Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:54 pm

    FC Barcelona Squad 2008/2009



    GOALKEEPERS:
    Victor Valdes - 1
    José Pinto - 13
    Albert Jorquera - 25

    DEFENDERS:
    Martín Cáceres -2
    Gerard Piqué - 3
    Rafael Márquez - 4
    Carles Puyol - 5
    Sylvinho - 16
    Gabriel Milito - 18
    Daniel Alves - 20
    Éric Abidal - 22
    Victor Sánchez - 29

    MIDFIELDERS:
    Xavier Hernandez - 6
    Eidur Gudjohnsen - 7
    Andrés Iniesta - 8
    Alexander Hleb - 21
    Touré Yaya - 24
    Sergi Busquets - 28
    Seydou Keita -15

    ATTACKERS:
    Samuel Eto'o - 9
    Lionel Messi - 10
    Bojan Krkic - 11
    Thierry Henry - 14
    Pedro Rodríguez - 27
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:55 pm

    Fixtures 2008/2009

    July
    Preseason - Thu 24 20:45 Hibernian FC - FC Barcelona
    Preseason - Sat 26 17:00 Dundee United - FC Barcelona
    Preseason - Wed 30 20:45 ACF Fiorentina - FC Barcelona

    August
    Preseason - Mon 04 01:00 Chivas - FC Barcelona
    Preseason - Thu 07 01:00 New York Red Bulls - FC Barcelona
    CL Qualifiers 1st leg Wed 13 21:45 FC Barcelona - Wisla
    Gamper - Sat 16 22:00 FC Barcelona - Boca Juniors
    CL Qualifiers 2nd Round Tue 26 20:45 Wisla - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 01 Sun 31 19:00 Numancia - FC Barcelona

    September
    Catalonia Cup Semifinal Tue 09 22:00 U.E.Sant Andreu - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 02 Sat 13 20:00 FC Barcelona - Racing
    Jornada 01 Tue 16 20:45 FC Barcelona - Sporting Clube
    Jornada 03 Sun 21 21:00 R. Sporting de Gijón - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 04 Wed 24 20:00 FC Barcelona - Real Betis
    Jornada 05 Sat 27 22:00 RCD Espanyol - FC Barcelona

    October
    Jornada 02 Wed 01 20:45 Shakhtar D. - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 06 Sat 04 22:00 FC Barcelona - At.Madrid
    Jornada 07 Sun 19 --:-- Ath.Bilbao - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 03 Wed 22 20:45 FC Basilea - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 08 Sun 26 --:-- FC Barcelona - UD Almería

    November
    Jornada 09 Sun 02 --:-- Málaga CF - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 04 Tue 04 20:45 FC Barcelona - FC Basilea
    Jornada 10 Sun 09 --:-- FC Barcelona - R. Valladolid
    Jornada 11 Sun 16 --:-- Recreativo - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 12 Sun 23 --:-- FC Barcelona - Getafe CF
    Jornada 05 Wed 26 20:45 Sporting Clube - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 13 Sun 30 Nov --:-- Sevilla CF - FC Barcelona

    December
    Jornada 14 Sun 07 --:-- FC Barcelona - Valencia CF
    Jornada 06 Tue 09 20:45 FC Barcelona - Shakhtar D.
    Jornada 15 Sun 14 --:-- FC Barcelona - Real Madrid
    Jornada 16 Sun 21 --:-- Villarreal CF - FC Barcelona

    January
    Jornada 17 Sun 04 --:-- FC Barcelona - RCD Mallorca
    Jornada 18 Sun 11 --:-- Osasuna - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 19 Sun 18 --:-- FC Barcelona - Deportivo
    Jornada 20 Sun 25 --:-- FC Barcelona - Numancia

    February
    Jornada 21 Sun 01 --:-- Racing - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 22 Sun 08 --:-- FC Barcelona - R. Sporting de Gijón
    Jornada 23 Sun 15 --:-- Real Betis - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 24 Sun 22 --:-- FC Barcelona - RCD Espanyol

    March
    Jornada 25 Sun 01 --:-- At.Madrid - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 26 Sun 08 --:-- FC Barcelona - Ath.Bilbao
    Jornada 27 Sun 15 --:-- UD Almería - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 28 Sun 22 --:-- FC Barcelona - Málaga CF

    April
    Jornada 29 Sun 05 --:-- R. Valladolid - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 30 Sun 12 --:-- FC Barcelona - Recreativo
    Jornada 31 Sun 19 --:-- Getafe CF - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 32 Wed 22 --:-- FC Barcelona - Sevilla CF
    Jornada 33 Sun 26 --:-- Valencia CF - FC Barcelona

    May
    Jornada 34 Sun 03 --:-- Real Madrid - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 35 Sun 10 --:-- FC Barcelona - Villarreal CF
    Jornada 36 Sun 17 --:-- RCD Mallorca - FC Barcelona
    Jornada 37 Sun 24 --:-- FC Barcelona - Osasuna
    Jornada 38 Sun 31 --:-- Deportivo - FC Barcelona

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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:00 pm

    FC Barcelona Players Profile 2008/2009

    GOALKEEPERS:

    Victor Valdes Arribas



    Víctor Valdés joined Barca as a youngster on 1st July 1992, from Peña Cinco Copas.

    In September of the same year he moved with his family to Tenerife and didn't rejoin the club until three years later.

    After
    quickly proving his worth with the youth teams and Barca B, the club
    coaches decided that the 2002-2003 season was to be Valdés time to form
    part of the first team squad. At first, he alternated appearances with
    Roberto Bonano but finished the season as regular first choice under
    Radomir Antic.

    He consolidated his place as in the starting
    line-up in the 2003-04 season. He played most of Barca's matches that
    season and put in some excellent performances, helping the team to
    finish as runners-up.

    In the 2005-06 season Valdés was one of
    the key players in Barça’s double of the League and the Champions
    League. Especially memorable are the crucial saves he made in the final
    in Paris as Barça won its second ever Champions League.

    In the
    2006-07 season Valdés remained a fixture in the Barça goal and played
    in all 38 League games. In the 2007-08 campaign he only stood down in
    the last three games to give José Manuel Pinto a chance to make his
    first team debut. All this time Valdés has been improving and is now
    one of the players who has played most games between the sticks for the
    club.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    One of the things
    that needed to be worked on after the first season, namely coming off
    his line, started to pick up in his second campaign with the first
    team. He is now a keeper of proven quality and has a great deal of
    experience in spite of his relative youth.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Individual Awards
    2004/05 Spanish League Zamora

    José Manuel Pinto Colorado



    José
    Manuel Pinto joined Barça on 18 January 2008 from Celta, the club he
    had played for during the previous ten seasons. He came on loan but FC
    Barcelona signed him permanently at the end of the 2007/08 season.


    Born
    in Puerto de Santa Maria (Cádiz) on November 15, 1975, Pinto start his
    professional career in Andalucia. After spending three seasons with
    Real Betis's B side, he moved up to the first team and made his debut
    for the club during the 1997/98 campaign. A year later he agreed to
    move to Celta Vigo, where would spend the next decade before leaving to
    go to Camp Nou.

    After being replaced by Toni Prats at Betis,
    Pinto opted to join Celta and it was there that he found stability and
    was awarded the captain's armband. He went on to play 126 games in la
    Primera, 56 matches in la Segunda A as well as appearing in the
    Champions League and the UEFA Cup regularly with the club. As well as
    helping the side to qualify for the Champions League in 2003/04, Pinto
    won the Zamora Trophy as the best keeper in the league in 2005/06.

    That
    year, Pinto conceded just 28 goals in 37 league matches (an average of
    0.75 per game) and helped guide the team to sixth place in the top
    flight and into the UEFA Cup. The season before had seen Víctor Valdés
    win the Zamora.

    When playing for Celta in the Second Division,
    FC Barcelona bought him in the January transfer window as cover for
    Albert Jorquera, sidelined with a long-term knee injury. He came on
    loan but FC Barcelona signed him permanently at the end of the 2007/08
    season, during which he made his League debut away at Deportivo and
    then played in two more matches.

    PROFILE

    Pinto
    is a strong goalkeeper, standing at 1.85m tall and weighing 82kg. His
    height and agility make him powerful in the air and he also has very
    quick reflexes to help him make a quick-reaction save when required. It
    is those reflexes that also make him a superb shot-stopper from close
    range, but he is not easy to beat from distance either.

    HONOURS

    Celta de Vigo
    2001/02 Copa del Rey Runner-Up

    Individual Awards
    2005/06 Spanish League Zamora

    Albert Jorquera Fortia



    Jorquera
    joined the youth ranks of Barça on 2nd November 1994 from Vilobí CF. In
    the 96-97 and 97-98 seasons he played in the youth team and then moved
    on to Barca C (98-99) and Barca B (99-00).


    He spent the
    2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons on loan to second division B clubs AD
    Ceuta, and CE Mataró. He then returned to Barca B, also in second
    division B, as first choice keeper for the 2002-03 season.

    He
    made the leap to the first team in the 2003-04 season as third choice
    goalkeeper behind Víctor Valdés and new signing Rüstü Recber, making a
    spectacular first team debut against Athletic Club Bilbao in the Nou
    Camp on 17th January 2004, where he put in a top performance. He then
    played four weeks later, also at home, this time to Atletico Madrid and
    was one of the stars in Barça's 3-1 win.

    In the 2004-05 season,
    Jorquera had the chance to show his qualities in the last two games of
    the season, with Valdés being rested after securing the Zamora title
    for ending the season with the best goalkeeping record. The man from
    Bescanó has always performed well when called upon and has never
    complained about spending so much time on the bench.

    In the 2005-06 season, Jorquera played 3 league, 1 Champions League and 4 Cup matches. In total, he let in 12 goals.

    Jorquera
    didn’t play as much in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons. In the former
    he didn’t play in the League at all, though he did turn out in all the
    King’s Cup games (the team reached the semi-finals). The latter was
    marked by a serious ligament injury to his right knee sustained in the
    game between the Basque Country and Catalonia on 29 December 2007 which
    forced him to sit out the rest of the season. FC Barcelona signed José
    Manuel Pinto to stand in for him.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Jorquera
    has made excellent progress since joining the Barca academy. Thanks to
    his hard work and determination, he has developed great reflexes,
    anticipation and agility.

    He stands out for his positive
    attitude and cheerful character. He's sober and the complete keeper.
    Consistency is one of his main defining characteristics.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League



    DEFENDERS:

    José Martín Cáceres



    José
    Martín Cáceres signed for Barça in the summer of 2008 after a good
    season with Recreativo Huelva. The young Uruguayan defender had had,
    until then, a short, but intense, sporting career.


    Martín
    Cáceres (7 April, 1987) started his career in the junior ranks of
    Defensor Montevideo and made his debut in the Uruguayan first division
    for the club in 2006. He played seventeen games, scored four goals and
    was shown five yellow cards. In the following season he would only play
    nine games with Defensor because his professional career would take a
    big step forward in the summer of 2007.
    First, he took part in the
    South America U-20s championships where he helped Uruguay to third
    place as well as being named the tournament’s best defender. Cáceres
    repeated his fine performances in the U-20s World Cup in Canada and so
    generated interest from some European clubs.

    Villarreal signed
    him in August 2007 but loaned him out to Recreativo. Martín Cáceres
    played a huge role in keeping the Andalusian side in the first
    division. Wearing the number 4 shirt, he played 34 games, scoring two
    goals and receiving ten yellow cards.

    His fine season in
    Huelva brought him some recognition. He was included in UEFA’s team of
    upcoming stars for the 2007/08 season, along with Bojan Krkic. He also
    became a permanent fixture in the Uruguayan national side. His progress
    attracted FC Barcelona, who signed him in the summer of 2008.

    PROFILE

    Martín
    Cáceres, who stands at 1.82m, is noted for his aerial power, speed,
    aggression and bravery. And as well as playing as a central defender he
    can also play at full back or in a holding midfield role. With both
    Defensor Montevideo and Recreativo, as well as the Uruguayan national
    side, he has shown great leadership skills in defence, despite his
    young age.

    Gerard Piqué Bernabeu



    Gerard
    Piqué returned to FC Barcelona, the club where he started as a boy, in
    the summer of 2008, after three seasons with Manchester United and one
    with Real Zaragoza
    .


    Gerard Piqué was born on 2 February
    1987 and since that day he has been a club member of FC Barcelona.
    Since he was very young he has been involved with the club and when he
    was 10 years old he joined the youngest boys’ team at the club (Alevín .

    From
    then on he passed through the various under-age levels, picking up
    titles along the way and winning plaudits in all age categories (Alevín
    A, Infantil B and A, Cadete B and A and Juvenil B and A). When playing
    at Cadete B level Tito Vilanova was his manager, and he will meet up
    with Vilanova once again on his return to the first team. In all this
    time of development and learning, Gerard Piqué showed a great ability
    to adapt to different positions on the field and gained a reputation
    for goal scoring, despite his defensive position.

    At the end
    of the 2003/04 season, Gerard Piqué took a break from his life as an
    azulgrana and left for Manchester United. He made his debut for the
    English side on 26 October, only three weeks after arriving, in a
    Carling Cup match against Crewe Alexandra. He was also with Alex
    Ferguson’s team for the 2005/06 season before being loaned out to Real
    Zaragoza for the 2006/07 season.

    In his only season with the
    Aragon side, Piqué played quite a lot as a defensive midfielder in
    front of the back four. The catalan played 22 league games, eighteen of
    which he started, and scored to goals. During this time he played
    alongside Gabriel Milito, who he will also meet up with again on his
    return to Barça.

    Season 2007/08 saw Piqué return to Manchester
    United and he was able to celebrate the double of Premiership and
    Champions League. He had a memorable season in the Champions League,
    especially in the initial league phase, scoring two goals.

    With
    regard to his international experience, Piqué is a regular for the U-21
    side, as he was with the younger under-age teams. He played in the 2007
    U-20s World Cup in Canada, the 2006 U-19s European Championships in
    Poland (which Spain won) and the 2004 U-17s European Championships in
    France (which Spain finished as runners-up).

    PROFILE

    The
    Catalan is a big defender (1.92m tall and weighing 85 kg). His physical
    size and good technical ability make him strong in the air. He also
    knows how to put these qualities to use in attack, especially from dead
    ball situations. Apart from centre-half, Piqué can also play in front
    of the back four, as he showed during his time with Real Zaragoza.

    HONOURS

    Manchester United
    2007/08 Premier League
    2007/08 Champions League
    2005/06 Carling Cup

    Spain
    2005/06 European Champion U-19
    2003/04 European runner-up U-17
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:01 pm

    Rafael Márquez Álvarez



    Rafael
    Márquez is the first Mexican ever to play for Barça, having arrived in
    the 2003-2004 close season as one of the principal reinforcements in
    defence.


    His youth and the progress he's enjoyed in
    the last few years have combined to make him one of the most promising
    defenders in Europe.

    Beginning his career at Atlas Guadalajara
    (1996-99) he made his debut in the Mexican first division when he was
    just 17 years old. Three years later he signed for AS Monaco where he
    soon fit into the demands of the European game. In 2000 he won the
    French League title and was named as the league's top defender.

    In
    2003 his team won the French League Cup. Captain of the Mexican
    national team he played in the 1999 and 2001 Copas de America and the
    2002 World Cup.

    Márquez has gained the complete respect and
    trust of Frank Rijkaard and has become a regular in the Barcelona team.
    In his first season at the club he was one of the key figures as the
    side earned direct qualification for the Champions League.

    In
    2004-05, he demonstrated his versatility. The knee ligament injuries to
    Edmilson and Thiago Motta meant that Márquez was asked to step away
    from his usual role in the centre of the defence and play as a
    defensive midfielder, as he had done for both Monaco and Mexico in the
    past. He proved to be outstanding in front of the defence as he helped
    the side win the league title.

    Márquez played in 34 League games
    and 6 Champions League fixtures, scoring 3 goals. In the 2005-06 season
    Márquez partnered Carles Puyol in the centre of the defence and
    together they become one of the best central defensive pairings in
    Europe. He was out for a month with a muscle strain in his right leg.
    In the year of the double, Márquez played in 25 League games and 8
    Champions League encounters.

    Injuries limited the Mexican’s
    contribution in the 2006/07 and 07/08 seasons. In total he played in 21
    and 22 League games respectively. With the arrival of Touré Yaya,
    Márquez once again moved into the centre of the defence where he formed
    a fine pairing with Gaby Milito.

    Capitan of Mexico, and in
    addition to winning the Copa Confederaciones in 1999 and the Copa de
    Oro in 2003, he has also played under all the national team’s coaches
    in recent years. He played in the Copa América in 1999, 2001, 2004 and
    2007, and in the World Cup in 2002. He was also a key player for Mexico
    in the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Right
    footed and very skilful, he reads the game well and has a great ability
    to launch his team in counter attacks. In addition he's a great free
    kick taker and strong in the air.

    Known as the "Kàiser of
    Michoacán" for his elegance on the ball, dependability and skill coming
    out of defence, Marquez can also do the business as a central
    midfielder and has been compared to Franz Beckenbauer.

    In the
    defensive midfield role, Márquez can impose his strength in the air as
    well as helping to build the play from the back as well as breaking up
    opposition attacks with his tackling.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Monaco
    2002/03 French League's Cup
    1999/00 League

    Mexican National Team
    2003 Golden Cup
    1999 Confederation Cup

    Carles Puyol Saforcada



    Carles
    Puyol began his footballing career in the local team of the small town
    where he was born, La Pobla de Segur. His talent soon attracted wider
    attention and, at the age of 17, he was signed up for the Barca academy
    at La Masía.


    He rapidly became a fixture in Barca B and
    then progressed to make his debut with the first team on 2nd October
    1999 against Valladolid at the orders of Louis Van Gaal. His
    appearances became more and more frequent until he made the right back
    position his own. Thanks to his determination to improve and a
    tremendous work rate, Carles Puyol adapted to the position of central
    defender.

    In the 2003-2004 season, having been chosen as third
    captain, he played a vital role in the team's sensational run of form
    that led to the runners-up place in the league. Puyol made 27
    appearances in the league and seven in the UEFA Cup.

    However,
    Carles Puyol had to wait until the 2004-05 season to win his first
    medal with Barca. He was, by then, captain of the first team and an
    essential part of Frank Rijkaard's league championship winning side. At
    the end of the season, he finally saw his dream come true of lifting
    the league trophy in the Nou Camp.

    During the 2005-06 season, he
    played as well as he had the previous year. The Barça captain had the
    honour of being presented with the league title trophy before the game
    against Espanyol, before lifting the UEFA Champions League in Paris
    after the monumental victory against Arsenal in the Saint-Denis
    Stadium. Puyol only missed five matches all season and none through
    injury. On three occasions he was rested by coach Frank Rijkaard and
    was then suspended for the other two games which he did not play in. He
    also scored one goal as he headed home during the 5-0 victory against
    Real Sociedad on October 30, 2005.

    At the end of the following
    season in 2006/07 (in which he played in 35 of 38 League games), Carles
    Puyol suffered the worst injury of his career when the League was
    already over. He damaged ligaments in his knee in a friendly played in
    Pretoria on 20 June 2007 and this kept him out until 29 September.
    Despite missing the first months of the competition, the club captain
    finally played in 30 League games in the 2007/08 campaign.

    Carles
    Puyol is also a fixture in the Spanish national side, with which he
    played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and in the European
    Championships in 2004 and 2008. In the latter he was key figure as
    Spain won the title in Vienna.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Carles
    Puyol started off in the first team at right back but has since
    developed into a great central defender. He stands out for his
    tremendous fitness levels and his discipline on the pitch. He's a
    perfect example of a team player and he never over-complicates the job
    when he has to cut off an opposing attacking move.

    He can also
    adapt to the left back position when circumstances dictate. Although he
    is not particularly tall (178 cm), his physical strength makes him very
    strong in the air and he is capable of man-marking opposing forwards
    who are taller than him. He also likes to get up in attack, especially
    for corners and free kicks.

    More than anything else, Carles
    Puyol is a reference point for the rest of the squad due to his
    character and qualities of leadership and because of his pride in the
    Barca colours and his total identification with the Club.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Spanish national team
    2008 European Championship
    2000 Silver medal. Sidney Olympic Games

    Silvio Mendes Campos, Sylvinho



    Sylvio
    Mendes Campos 'Sylvinho', has tried his luck in three of the most
    important leagues in the world: the Brazilian, English and Spanish. He
    has always been successful.


    His professional career
    started back in 1994 in Corinthians, one of the clubs of his home town,
    Sao Paulo. After shining at club level, Mario Zagallo called him up to
    the national team for his 1997 debut against Russia.

    His quality
    and consistence opened the doors to European football and in 1999 he
    left Corinthians for the Premier League and Arsenal. Following two
    seasons at Arsenal, where he quickly became a crowd favourite, he moved
    to Celta Vigo for the 2001-02 season. There he became an integral part
    of the team that in the 2003-04 season qualified for the Champions
    League for the first time in their history.

    Sylvinho arrived in
    Barcelona in the summer of 2004 and since then he has always given
    sterling performances. In the 2004-05 season, however, he was sidelined
    for a month with torn knee ligaments. Once he had recovered, Sylvinho
    played in 21 League games and 3 in the Champions League.

    In
    the 2005-06 season Sylvinho was virtually a fixture in the League yet
    rarely appeared in the Champions League where he was on the pitch for
    just 21 minutes in the Chelsea v Barça game when Gio van Bronckhorst
    got injured. Curiously enough Sylvinho won the League and the Champions
    League against two of his former clubs, Celta and Arsenal.

    In
    the 2006-07 campaign the Brazilian continued to share the left back
    slot with Gio Van Bronckhorst. When the Dutchman left and Éric Abidal
    arrived, Sylvinho continued to alternate in the position but this time
    with the Frenchman. He even played on the wing in the 2007-08 season,
    for instance in the Champions League fixture with Schalke 04.

    Sylvinho’s effort and commitment was rewarded with a one-year extension to his contract up to 30 June 2009.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    All
    Brazilian players, almost by genetic default, are touched by magic and
    graced with an attacking flair. Sylvinho, despite playing at left-back,
    is no exception to this rule.

    His attacking instincts have
    allowed him to get down the wing throughout his career and he has a
    culture left-foot when it comes to crossing for the forwards.

    As
    well as his solid defensive ability, the Brazilian is capable of
    slotting into the midfield. Sylvinho is renowned for his quality,
    tactical awareness and his concentration levels in every game.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Corinthians
    1998/99 Paulista League
    1997/98 Brazilian League
    1996/97 Paulista League
    1994/95 Paulista League
    1994/95 Brazilian Cup

    Gabriel Alejandro Milito



    Gabriel
    Milito is the twentieth Argentinian to wear the Barça shirt. He is a
    central defender who started out at Independiente in Avellaneda, and
    then spent four years at Zaragoza before coming to the Camp Nou.


    Gabriel
    Milito was born in Bernal (Buenos Aires), on September 7, 1980. He came
    up through the youth ranks at Independiente, making his top flight
    debut aged 17 with the Avellaneda based club. 'El Mariscal', as he is
    known, led the side’s defence despite his young age, but his promising
    future was almost cut short by a serious injury. He tore cruciate
    ligaments in his right knee in 2001 and was out for nine months. And
    shortly after his return, he was injured for another four months, this
    time with a broken meniscus in his right foot.

    Once he was
    back to full fitness, Gaby Milito was one of the main reasons for
    Independiente’s Opening Championship victory in 2002. He was named
    Argentinian Player of the Year and in the summer of 2004 made his move
    to Spain.

    Milito was originally headed for Real Madrid.
    However, before signing his contract the club’s doctors concluded that
    he was not fully recovered from his knee injury and warned against
    signing the player. Milito went instead to Zaragoza, and that season
    won the Copa del Rey at Montjuïc, ironically beating Real Madrid. Later
    that year, Zaragoza also won the Spanish Super Cup and Milito was
    heralded as one of the finest defenders in the league. In four years at
    Zaragoza, he never failed to please.

    In the 2005/06 and
    2006/07 season, Gaby was joined by his older brother, Diego, at La
    Romareda. The Milito brothers were the stars of a side that won back to
    back UEFA Cups.

    Gaby Milito has also found his way into the
    Argentina national team. He made his international debut in 2000 and
    played at the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and in the 2007 Copa
    America, where he was a regular feature in Alfio Basile’s side, which
    reached the final.

    In the 2007/008 season he became a fixture
    at the heart of Barça’s defence. He played in 27 League games, scoring
    a goal and consistently turning in fine performances. In the return leg
    of the Champions League semi-final in Manchester, Milito tore a
    ligament in his right knee which will keep him out of action for
    months.

    PROFILE

    The Argentinian
    international, known as 'el Mariscal', is a respected, authoritarian,
    imposing and well-positioned centre back. He also a skilful playmaker
    and can help in attack. Although he is not particularly tall (1.79 m.),
    Milito is good in the air and can be dangerous from dead ball
    situations. He also has a very strong personality, and is a natural
    leader.

    HONOURS

    Zaragoza
    2004/05 Spanish Super Cup
    2003/04 Spanish Cup
    Independiente Avellaneda
    2002/03 Trofeo Apertura

    Argentinian national team
    1999 South American Under-20 championship

    Daniel Alves da Silva



    Dani
    Alves is one of the strongest, most intense and athletic right sided
    players in the world. He arrived at FC Barcelona in the summer of 2008,
    aged 25 and after six seasons with Sevilla.


    He was born
    on May 6, 1983 (Juazeiro, Brazil). Daniel Alves joined the Andalusian
    club in 2002 (signed from Bahía of Brazil), but it was in 2003/04 that
    he really came into his own. Alves played 29 games as he became the
    club’s first choice right back and helped his side to qualify for
    Europe.

    Over time, Alves became one of the lynchpins of the
    Sevilla defence, but also contributed to the attack, and in 2005/06 won
    the UEFA Cup. He was named by UEFA as the player of the tournament in
    the 2005/06 season, and a few months later featured in the Sevilla side
    that beat FC Barcelona in Monaco to win the European Super Cup.

    In
    the 2006/07 season, the Brazilian was once again a central part of the
    Sevilla team, and as well as the Spanish Super Cup, his side retained
    the UEFA Cup in Glasgow and also collected the Copa del Rey.

    The
    year before signing for Barça the Brazilian won the Spanish Super Cup
    against Real Madrid and made his Champions League debut, with Sevilla
    surviving the group stages before going out to Turkish outfit
    Fenerbahçe. In the 2007/08 season, Alves played 33 league games, with
    only Navas making more appearances.

    Alves has also made his
    mark on the Brazilian national side. In the summer of 2007 he played a
    major role in the Copa America winning team.

    PROFILE

    He
    may be 173 cm tall and weighs 64 kg but Alves is a physical presence on
    the pitch, and is able to bite anywhere on the pitch. He rarely tires,
    and like the typical Brazilian full back, patrols the whole right side
    of the pitch, participating as much in defence as attack. He has scored
    eight league goals for Sevilla during these trademark advances up the
    pitch, which have come as much with his left foot as with his right,
    and he is also lethal from dead ball situations.

    HONOURS

    Sevilla
    2007/08 Spanish Super Cup
    2006/07 Copa del Rey
    2006/07 UEFA Cup
    2006/07 European Super Cup
    2005/06 UEFA Cup

    Brazil National Side
    2007 Copa America

    Individual Titles
    2005/06 Best Player in UEFA Cup
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:01 pm

    Éric Abidal



    Éric
    Abidal’s arrival in France will be the first experience of professional
    football outside of France for this player born in Lyon. He was signed
    as a replacement for Gio.


    Before coming to Barça, Éric
    Abidal (Lyon, 11-7-1979) played for four French sides. His first
    professional club was Lyon-la-Duchère, in the French CFA2 division in
    the 1999-00 season. A year later he moved on to Monaco in the French
    Ligue 1, making his debut on September 16, 2000 against Toulouse. He
    stayed in the principality for two years, consolidating his role as an
    important member of the team.

    In summer 2002 Éric Abidal was
    transferred to Lille, where he played for two seasons and almost
    doubled his number of league appearances, playing in 35 of Lille’s 38
    league games in the 2003-04 season.

    At the end of that season,
    the full back returned to his hometown to play for Olympique Lyon,
    where he would stay until signing for Barcelona. In 2004 Abidal also
    made his international debut for ‘Les Bleus’ on August 18 against
    Bosnia.

    He played at the World Cup in 2006, playing 90 minutes
    of six of his country’s seven game, in which France finished
    runners-up. Abidal played for three very successful seasons in Lyon,
    last season competing in 31 games in yet another title-winning season
    for his club, while also playing in seven Champions league matches and
    10 internationals during his final season in France, 2006-07.

    Éric
    Abidal joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2007. The Frenchman played
    30 League games, 10 in the Champions League and 6 in the Cup, sharing
    left-back duties with Sylvinho although on more than one occasion Frank
    Rijkaard used him as a central defender. At the end of the season he
    played for France in Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

    PROFILE

    Éric
    Abidal is a natural left back, although given his size (186 cm, 75 kg)
    he can easily slot in at centre back too. He likes to make runs up the
    wing as far as the opposition’s area, supplying crosses to the
    forwards. He is a very skilful and tactically aware player, and is
    noted for his ability to position himself well on the pitch.

    HONOURS

    Olympique Lyon
    2006/07 Ligue 1
    2005/06 French cup of champions
    2005/06 Ligue 1
    2004/05 French cup of champions
    2004/05 Ligue 1

    French national team
    2006 World Cup Runners Up

    Victor Sánchez Mata



    Víctor Sánchez was born in Terrassa and joined FC Barcelona in July 2005 from local neighbours Europa.

    His
    ability to play in various positions made him a vital player for Barça
    B last season as he played almost everywhere except in goal.

    Hard
    working and disciplined, he was instrumental in helping the B side gain
    promotion back to la Segunda B at the first time of asking as he made
    29 appearances. He was unable to play in the Play-Offs because of
    injury. Made his debut for the first team in the Copa del Rey game
    against Alcoyano last season.



    MIDFIELDERS:

    Xavier Hernandez Creus



    Xavi
    has spent all his footballing life at the Nou Camp, having joined
    Barcelona when he was only 11 years old. The progress he made was
    always very quick and in season 97-98 he moved up from youth team to
    Barca B.


    In Barça B, he became the brains of Jordi Gonzalvo's team which won promotion to the second division.

    Xavi's
    dream of making his official debut with the first team squad became
    true when he played in the Spanish Super Cup against Majorca in the
    summer of 1998. He was in the starting line up and scored: a better
    debut he could not have asked for. Xavi also played an important role
    in the league-winning season of 1998-99 with Van Gaal as manager, most
    notably with an important goal in the Nuevo Zorrilla, which turned
    round the team's fortunes.

    Season 1999-2000 was a good one for
    Xavi as due to the injury to Guardiola he was the first choice number 4
    for a large part of the season. After the legendry captain left for
    Italian football he became the playmaker of the team and has continued
    to demonstrate the full range of his talents in this position.

    With
    Van Gaal, Reixach, Antic and Rijkaard in charge of the team, Xavi has
    always been a key member of the team - a fact made clear by the 300
    official games he completed whilst still only 25 years old.

    With
    Rijkaard, Xavi has shown that he can not only play at the heart of
    midfield, but is also more than able to cover any position in the
    center of the team, an ability reflected in the fact that he was the
    most used player in the League winning 2004-05 season, playing 36 games
    in all.

    Xavi will never forget 2 December 2005. While training
    at La Masía, the midfielder tore the ligaments in his left knee. His
    recovery was swifter than expected and within five months he was
    playing again. On 29 April 2006 against Cadiz, Xavi once again “felt
    like a footballer ". He was back in time to celebrate the League and
    Champions League titles with his team-mates.

    In the last two
    seasons with Frank Rijkaard in the dugout, Xavi was one of the players
    most used by the Dutch manager. Plus in the 2007-08 season he set a
    personal best of 7 League goals, almost doubling his previous highest
    of four in the 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons.

    In addition Xavi
    Hernández has also been a fixture in Spain’s national side. He played
    in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and in the 2004 and 2006 European
    Championships, and in the latter was chosen as best player as Spain
    picked up the title.

    CHARACTERISTICS


    Xavi
    is the playmaker of the team in every game and shows no nerves
    whatsoever as he guides the team with an extraordinarily cool head.
    Since taking on the mantle of playmaker at Barca he has shown
    incredible vision on the pitch. He is another example of the good work
    being carried out in the youth teams of Barcelona, especially in the
    position referred to as number 4 and as he has matured he has shown an
    increasing ability to adapt himself to different positions in the
    midfield when his manager has called on him.

    His passing to the
    forwards and his ability to take the pressure off and protect the ball
    better than almost any other player around, have turned him into one of
    the focal points on the pitch. He also stands out for his defensive
    capabilities and his capacity as a ball winner.

    In addition he
    has shown himself more than able at dead ball situations, where his
    potent shot has brought a number of important goals.

    Xavi will
    always remember December 2, 2005. During training in front of La
    Masia,the Terrassa-born midfielder suffered a bad injury to his left
    knee as he ruptured his ligaments. Within five months he was back in
    action. On April 29, 2006 he returned to play against Cádiz and stated
    "I feel like a football player again". He was able to celebrate winning
    the title and the Champions League with the rest of the squad.

    The
    Barça playmaker was a regular in Luis Aragonés' Spain team during the
    2006 World Cup in Germany, where the team progressed to the second
    round before being beaten by France.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League
    1998/99 League

    Spanish National Team
    2008 European Championship
    2000 Silver medal. Sydney Olympic Games
    1999 Under 20 World Champion

    Individual Awards
    2008 Player of the Tournament: Euro 2008

    Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen



    Eidur
    Smari Gudjohnsen is the first player to play for Barca from Iceland, a
    country perhaps better known in sporting circles for handball or cross
    country skiing than football.


    Gudjohnsen began to make
    his mark as a footballer from a young age, perhaps inspired by his
    father, who was also an Icelandic full international. When he was just
    16, Eidur made his debut in the Icelandic league and ended up with 7
    goals in 17 games - a return that caught the eye of PSV Eindhoven for
    whom he played for the following two seasons.

    Gudjohnsen
    returned to his native Iceland to play for KR Reykjavik in the 97-98
    season before signing for the Premier League club Bolton Wanderers,
    where he played for two seasons before joining Chelsea. He left the
    London club to replace Larson at Barca with a record of 62 goals in 219
    games in his 6 years at Stamford Bridge, am experienced player with an
    impressive cv at the highest level.

    Gudjohnsen played as an
    out-and-out striker in his first season with Barça, scoring 5 goals in
    25 League appearances. The Icelander played deeper in the 2007/08
    season, in which he turned out in 23 games and found the net twice.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Gudjohnsen
    has developed his style in the English game and a a Northern European
    he not surprisingly is a bustling centre forward particularly strong in
    the air and with both feet. But Gudjohnson also brings an excellent
    technique and clever ball skills and a versatility which allowed him to
    show his abilities both up front and in midfield for Chelsea. His
    skills in midfield helped to convert him into one of the leading assist
    providers in the English game.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup

    Chelsea FC
    2005/06 League
    2004/05 League
    2004/05 Carling Cup
    2000/01 Charity Shield

    PSV Eindhoven
    1996/97 League
    1996/97 Supercup
    1995/96 Cup

    Andrés Iniesta Lujan



    Andrés
    Iniesta joined Barca as a twelve-year-old in 1996 after scouts had
    spotted him at the Brunette Tournament playing for Albacete.


    From
    the start he progressed rapidly through the club's various youth teams
    and was promoted to the Barca B team for the 2000-01 season, where he
    almost immediately became the team's main playmaker under coach Josep
    Maria Gonzalvo.

    Andrés' dream of making the first team finally
    came true in October 2002 when he was picked to play in the Champions
    League game against Bruges in Belgium. Van Gaal's Barca won that
    evening and Andrés made an excellent impression.

    Now an
    recognised squad member, Iniesta has established a place for himself
    through hard work allied to his undoubted natural skills. In the shadow
    of some of the team's bigger names, Andres became a key piece of the
    League winning 2004-5 team, winding up as Rijkaard's most used player,
    figuring in 35 of the 38 league games. Iniesta also played 8 Champions
    League matches, scoring twice.

    But he really established himself
    as a first team player in the 2005-06 season. Playing in central
    midfield in place of Xavi, who was sidelined for a long time with
    injury, Iniesta became one of the key players in the Barça side that
    won the League and the Champions League. He played in 33 League
    fixtures and 11 in the Champions League.

    Iniesta continued to
    develop in the 2006-07 season and was one of the players most used by
    Frank Rijkaard in that campaign. He played in 37 out of 38 League games
    scoring 6 goals, his best return to date. In the 2007-08 season, and by
    now in the number 8 shirt, the midfielder continued to be an ever
    present in the side until the last few games when he picked up a knee
    injury.

    Plus Andrés Iniesta is one of the key players in the
    Spanish national side, playing in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008,
    when he was one of the players most used by Luis Aragonés as Spain
    lifted the trophy.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Iniesta
    is fast, direct and reads the game superbly. He started playing in
    Barca B in a holding role in midfield but has gradually adopted a more
    attacking position in his first team appearances. Van Gaal began to use
    him in the hole behind the striker and Frank Rijkaard has, on
    occasions, given him a wider role on the right.

    This
    demonstrates what is perhaps Iniesta's greatest strength his
    versatility and professional attitude towards whatever job the coach
    hands him. Andres is not a showy player, an attribute that matches his
    off the field persona, but gives a guarantee of practicality and
    elegance.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Spanish national team
    2008 European Championship
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:02 pm

    Alexander Paulavic Hleb



    Alexander
    Hleb, the first Belarusian in club history has arrived at FC Barcelona
    as the fifth new signing of the summer of 2008, after demonstrating his
    qualities with both Stuttgart and Arsenal.


    Born in Minsk
    (Belarus) on May 1, 1981, Alexander Hleb joined Barcelona on July 16,
    2008. Signed from Premiership outfit Arsenal, where he played for three
    seasons, he was named the best player in his country in 2003, 2004,
    2005, 2006 and 2007 consecutively.

    Alexander Hleb started out
    at FC Bate Borisov but at the tender age of 19, in the 2000/01 season
    he was off to the Bundesliga. It was there he started making himself
    known on the European stage with five seasons at Stuttgart from 2000/01
    to 2004/05.

    The Belarusian made an even bigger step forward in
    2005 when he was picked up by London side Arsenal. He soon became a
    regular part of manager Arsène Wenger’s plans, as the Gunners qualified
    for a Champions League final losing to FC Barcelona in Paris), and it
    was there he spent two seasons alongside Thierry Henry, who he rejoins
    at FC Barcelona.

    PROFILE

    Renowned for
    being ambidextrous, Hleb is a player who creates plenty of tactical
    options due to his versatility and polyvalence. He is a midfielder but
    likes to help out in attack and makes dangerous penetrating runs
    through the middle.

    He is used to pressure, is both athletic
    and quick, and able to play on either of the two wings, playing wide or
    more centrally, and is a frequent presence in the creation zone. He
    reads the game well and is an artful passer of the ball.

    HONOURS

    Bate Borisov
    1998/99 Belarusian League

    Individual titles
    2002 Belarusian player of the year
    2003 Belarusian player of the year
    2005 Belarusian player of the year
    2006 Belarusian player of the year
    2007 Belarusian player of the year

    Touré Yaya



    Gnégnéri
    Touré Yaya is the first player from the Ivory Coast to play for FC
    Barcelona and has brought with him immense international experience,
    having played in four different leagues across Europe during his career.


    Touré
    Yaya (Sokoura Baouke, 13-05-1983) has had a remarkable route to Camp
    Nou. At 18 he began his time in European football in Belgium with
    Beveren, where he spent two-and-a-half years.

    A transfer to
    Metalurg Donetsk in Ukraine followed in 2003, where he spent 18 months
    before opting to move on to Greece and join Olympiakos. During his year
    in the Piraeus-based club he played alongside former Blaugrana stars,
    Rivaldo, Haruna Babangida and Dani García as the team progressed in the
    Champions League.

    Last summer, Touré was on the move once
    again as he signed for AS Monaco and went onto play 27 of the team's 34
    league games during the 2006-07 campaign.

    At international
    level, the 24-year-old is a regular in the Ivory Coast side and
    represented his country in their first ever appearance in the World Cup
    Finals last summer in Germany. He also appeared in the African Cup of
    Nations in the same year.

    PROFILE

    Touré
    Yaya is the first player from the Ivory Coast to play for Barça and is
    renowned for combining his strength and physical power in front of the
    back four with great technique. He is usually employed as a defensive
    midfielder and is capable of pushing forward to support the attack if
    required, as well as being adept at passing the ball at speed to keep
    moves flowing.

    Despite standing at 1.87m-tall (6ft 2in), most
    of his goals have not come from his head. During his year with Monaco
    he netted five times in the league and nearly all of them came as he
    attacked the ball from the second line or from long range efforts.

    Sergi Busquets Burgos



    Born
    in Sabadell, he joined the Barça youth system in the summer of 2005
    from Jabac. That season, playing for the Juvenil A side, he won three
    major trophies in a team that also included the likes of Bojan,
    Giovani, Jeffren and Marc Crosas.


    In the 2006-07 season,
    Sergi Busquets continued with Juvenil A and was one of the core players
    in the side coached by Àlex Garcia. In his third year at the level, and
    despite still being a midfielder, Sergi scored 7 goals in 26 games.

    The
    next season, Busquets was promoted to Barça B under Pep Guardiola. He
    didn’t play until the 12th game, but from then on he managed to hold
    down a regular place in the starting line-up, playing 23 games and
    scoring two goals.

    After playing with the first team in the
    Copa Catalunya in the 2007-08 season and again in 2008-09, Sergi made
    his league debut on September 13, 2008 against Racing (1-1). The player
    started the match and played the full 90 minutes.

    Sergi Busquets is the son of Carles Busquets, who played in goal for FC Barcelona in the 1990s.

    PROFILE

    Sergi
    Busquets is a very complete midfielder renowned for his intelligence on
    the field. Born in Sabadell, he positions himself well and is a good
    reader of the game. Busquets adds security to the team because he
    rarely gives the ball away and is also solid in his defensive duties.

    He
    is a versatile player and gets into goalscoring positions. His tactical
    awareness and height (almost 190 cm) mean that despite his natural
    position being in midfield, he can also play at centre back or centre
    forward.

    Seydou Keita



    Seydou
    Keita became FC Barcelona’s first signing of the 2007/2008 season. The
    Mali player arrived from Seville to strengthen the azulgrana centre of
    midfield.


    Born in Bamako (Mali) in 1980, Seydou Keita
    began to make a name for himself in European football in the French
    league. He signed for Olympic Marseilles in 1999/2000 but only stayed
    for one year without having had much luck. He moved to Lorient where he
    spent two seasons and the French Cup. Then it was on to Lens where he
    played for five seasons between 2003/04 and 2006/07. His final season
    was spectacular and he scored eleven goals in 37 league games and was
    named Ligue 1’s second best player behind Florent Malouda.

    After
    eight years in France, Keita signed for Seville in the summer of 2007
    and was almost an ever-present during the 2007/08 season. He played in
    31 of a possible 38 games, starting 29 of them. He scored four goals
    and these showed that, amongst other qualities, he packs a powerful
    shot from distance.

    Seydou Keita has been a full international
    for Mali since 2004. With ‘the Eagles’ he played in the 2008 African
    Cup of Nations but Mali was eliminated in the first round.

    However,
    his career with his national side began at a young age and with good
    results. In fact, Keita won the balon d’or as best player in the U-20
    World Cup in Nigeria in 1999. Mali finished third in the competition,
    which was won by a Spain side that included Xavi Hernández.

    PROFILE

    The
    Mali midfielder is a player who perfectly combines physical strength
    with technical ability and tactical awareness. Despite not being a
    forward, Keita also possesses a great shot with his left foot,
    especially from distance, which makes him a real threat to goalkeepers;
    the fifteen goals he scored in the two years before joining Barça are
    testament to that. The Malian has a lot to offer in midfield: he can
    play in a holding role as well as behind the attackers and can also
    play on the left.

    HONOURS

    Lorient
    2001/02 French Cup

    Individual Awards
    1999 Player of the Tournament U-20 World Cup.
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:03 pm

    ATTACKERS:

    Samuel Eto'o Fils



    Samuel
    Eto'o Fils made an impact on the world of football while still a
    teenager. He has exceptional physical qualities and made the leap to
    European football at the tender age of just 16 when Real Madrid signed
    him up and loaned him out to Leganés.


    At the age of 17
    years and 3 months he became the youngest player at the 1998 World Cup
    in France and was the only player who had been born in the '80's.

    After
    Leganés, he went on loan to RCD Espanyol (1998-1999) but played very
    little and subsequently retuned to Real Madrid (1999-2000). In the
    1999-00 season, he played a few times for RCD Mallorca, eventually
    spending four seasons there (2000-04), with the Balearic Island club
    sharing his rights with Real Madrid.

    During his time with
    Mallorca, he became the highest ever league goal scorer in the history
    of the club, with 54 goals. He signed for Barca in the summer of 2004
    for a transfer fee of 24 million euros after a long series of three-way
    negotiations with RCD Mallorca and Real Madrid, thus becoming the first
    Cameroonian player to defend the Barca colours. He made his debut for
    FC Barcelona in the first game of the season at Ràcing Santander, on
    August 29, 2004.

    Since then, he has become a veritable goal
    machine, scoring 25 times in his first season and making a huge
    contribution to winning the championship. His goal against Levante
    clinched the league title. He has needed just 67 matches to reach the
    landmark figure of 50 goals, outstripping some of the great Barca
    legends of the past.

    Since he joined the Club he has been chosen
    as African Player of the Year 2004, 2005 and 2006, and picked up third
    place in the FIFA World Player 2005. He is a full international and one
    of the outstanding players in the Cameroon team and has a huge popular
    following in his country.

    In the 2005-06 season, he was the top
    scorer in the Spanish League with 26 goals. In the Champions League
    Final on May 17 in Paris, it was Eto'o who scored Barcelona's equaliser
    after the Blaugrana had gone a goal down to Arsenal.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Fast,
    strong and direct, Samuel Eto'o, who is 1.80 tall and weighs 75 kilos,
    boasts considerable experience, despite still only being 23. He's a
    committed player, whose hunger for goals never gets in the way of his
    desire to do the best for his team.

    Eto'o is fast footed and
    capable of leaving his markers flailing behind him, with a strong shot
    and is also an experienced penalty taker.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006-07 Spanish Supercup
    2005-06 Champions League
    2005-06 League
    2005-06 Spanish Supercup
    2004-05 League

    Real Madrid
    1997-98 Intercontinental Cup
    1999-00 Champions League

    Real Mallorca
    2002-03 Spanish Cup

    Cameroon
    2008 African Cup runners up
    2003 Confederation Cup runners up
    2002 African Cup
    2000 African Cup
    2000 Gold medal Sidney Olympics

    Individual Awards
    2005-06 Spanish League top goalscorer
    2004-05 Third place FIFA WORLD PLAYER
    2004-05 African Player of the Year
    2003-04 African Player of the Year
    2002-03 African Player of the Year

    Lionel Andrés Messi



    This
    Argentinian striker's footballing career started in 1995 at Newell's
    Old Boys, where he played until the year 2000. At the age of 13, Lionel
    Messi crossed the Atlantic to try his luck in Barcelona, and joined the
    Under 14s.


    Messi made spectacular progress at each of
    the different age levels, climbing through the ranks of the different
    youth teams and then Barça C, followed by Barça B and the first team in
    record time.

    In the 2003-2004 season, when he was still only 16,
    Messi made his first team debut in a friendly with Porto that marked
    the opening of the new Dragao stadium. The following
    championship-winning season, Messi made his first appearance in an
    official match on October 16, 2004, in Barcelona's derby win against
    Espanyol at the Olympic Stadium (0-1).

    With several first team
    players seriously injured, the services of several reserve team players
    were called upon, and Messi became a regular feature of Barça squads.
    On May 1, 2005, he became the youngest player ever to score a league
    goal for FC Barcelona - against Albacete when Messi was only 17 years,
    10 months and 7 days old. That record would eventually be beaten by
    Bojan.

    At the Under 20 World Cup in Holland, Messi not only won
    the title with Argentina, but was also the leading goalscorer and was
    voted best player in the tournament. Aged 18 years, he had become one
    of the hottest properties in the world game. Shortly after, he made his
    first full international appearance in a friendly against Hungary.

    His
    breakthrough as a player came in the 2005-06 season, starting with an
    amazing performance in the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Juventus.
    He was also outstanding at the Santiago Bernabéu, in Barcelona's
    unforgettable 3-0 win, and also at Stamford Bridge, in the Champions
    League match against Chelsea. Injury kept him sidelined for much of the
    latter stage of the season. Messi played a total of 17 league games, 6
    in the Champions League and 2 in the Copa del Rey. Messi scored eight
    goals.

    The following season Messi moved up a gear and
    astounded the world with goals such as the one he scored against Getafe
    in the King’s Cup. In the 2006/07 season, and even though the team
    didn’t win any titles, the Argentine was second in the FIFA World
    Player awards and third in the Golden Ball. He continued to develop in
    the 2007/08 campaign, when he scored 16 goals and gave 10 assists in
    the 40 games he played in.

    Messi also regularly plays for
    Argentina, appearing at the World Cup in 2006 and the Copa Amèrica in
    2007. In the latter competition Argentina reached the final only to
    lose to Brazil.

    CHARACTERISTICS

    Messi is
    an unusual player. He is highly creative, and has the skills to take on
    defenders with ease. He is a versatile left-footed player who can play
    either in the middle or on either wing, or even as a centre forward.

    Although
    he is quite short, he is so fast and physically strong that he can cope
    with larger opponents. He is incredibly powerful, and a specialist in
    such dead ball situations as corners, free kicks and penalties.

    Leo
    Messi is cool-headed and able to assume several responsibilities in
    times of need. He is a player who is destined to have a very successful
    career in football.

    HONOURS

    FC Barcelona
    2006/07 Spanish Supercup
    2005/06 Champions League
    2005/06 League
    2005/06 Spanish Supercup
    2004/05 League

    Argentinian National Team
    2004/05 World Cup Under-20
    2008 Gold Medal Beijing'08

    Bojan Krkic Pérez



    Bojan
    Krkic joins the senior squad for the 2006-07 season at the tender age
    of 16. In just one year he has progressed from the youth side to Barça
    B and now the first team.


    Bojan Krkic was born in
    Linyola (Catalonia) on 28th August 1990. In just one season, from
    2006-07 to 2007-08, this promising young forward has made the leap from
    Juvenil A to the first team. Along the way he played the second part of
    the season with Barça B in Second Division B.

    Bojan joined
    Barça in 1999 becoming part of the Benjamí A boys squad. His rise
    through the ranks of the Barça academy teams was meteoric: Aleví B
    (2000-01), Aleví A (2001-02), Infantil B (2002-03), Infantil A
    (2003-04) and Cadet B (2004-05). He started the 2005-06 season with the
    Cadet A team but was soon promoted up to Juvenil A. The pattern was
    repeated in the 2006-07 season, which he began with Juvenil A and
    finished with Barça B.

    During his half season with Barça B, he scored 10 goals and became the team’s top scorer.

    He
    really arrived on the scene in 2007. He played in the European Under-17
    Championship with Spain, both winning the tournament and scoring the
    winner against England in the final (1-0); he made his debut with
    Barça’s first team in a friendly played in Egypt, scoring once; and
    finally he made his debut with Spain’s Under-21 side at the age of just
    16. A year to remember to be sure.

    Bojan began the 2007/08
    preseason with the first team. However, he couldn’t go on the club’s
    Asia tour as he was called up for the World Under-17 Cup in South
    Korea, where he notched 5 goals and Spain finished as runners-up.

    Back
    in Barcelona, he began to get time on the pitch with Rijkaard in both
    the League and the Champions League. He set new records as Barça’s
    youngest player in the Champions League (on 19 September 2007 against
    Olympique de Lyon, when aged 17 years and 22 days); Barça’s youngest
    goalscorer (against Villarreal on 20 October in the same year, aged 17
    years, 1 month and 22 days); and the second youngest goalscorer in the
    Champions League (aged 17 years and 217 days when he scored against
    Schalke 04, just 22 days later than Oforiquaye, the youngest goalscorer
    in the Champions League).

    Thus the 2007/08 season consolidated
    Bojan as one of the finest strikers in the League, in which he scored
    10 goals and was in the starting line-up 14 times.

    PROFILE

    Bojan
    is fast and has the ability to go past his marker. Despite his youth,
    he is used to dealing with defenders that are stronger and more
    experienced than him. His bursts of speed and his skill with the ball
    at his feet are two of his virtues. However, his main strength is his
    killer instinct in front of goal.

    HONOURS

    Spain
    2007 European under-17 Champion
    2007 World Cup under-17 Runner-up

    Thierry Henry



    Thierry
    Henry is considered to be one of the best forwards in world football
    over the past decade. Elegance, ability and effectiveness are his main
    assets.


    Born in Les Ulis (France) on August 17, 1977, he
    made his debut in top flight football with Monaco during the 1994-95
    campaign, aged just 17. He began to show some of his ability on the
    right wing for the Principality-based outfit. After a brief spell at
    Juventus in 1998-99, Henry joined Arsenal, where he went on to show his
    true colours and become one of the best players in the history of the
    north London club.

    Having moved into the centre of attack,
    Henry proved how lethal he was in front of goal at Arsenal even though
    he became known for drifting out to both flanks to pull his markers
    across the field. With him in the side, the label of 'Boring Arsenal'
    was forgotten as the Gunners became an attractive, attacking force in
    the Premiership and in Europe.

    During his time in England he
    broke virtually every Arsenal club record. He became the Gunners' top
    goalscorer of all time with 214 goals and became the record scorer in
    the Premiership (since it was formed in 1992) with 164 goals as well as
    finishing as the scorer in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006).

    His
    immense trophy haul includes a World Cup winners' medal as he was a
    member of the successful French squad in 1998. Two years after that he
    helped his country to win the European Championships in Belgium and
    Holland and then added the Confederations Cup to his collection in
    2003. With over a hundred international caps, on 18 October 2007 he
    beat Michel Platini’s record of 41 goals for France.

    At club
    level, Henry helped Arsenal win the Premiership twice (2002 and 2004)
    and the FA Cup on three occasions (2002, 2003 and 2005). On a personal
    note, he finished as Europe's top goalscorer and picked up the Golden
    Boot in 2004 and 2005.

    He was Barça’s top scorer in the
    2007/08 season, with 19 goals in the Champions League, League and
    King’s Cup. He is also one of the top suppliers of assists. Frank
    Rijkaard, who played him in 30 League games, regularly lined him up on
    the left wing.

    PROFILE

    Speed and
    technique are two of Henry's main characteristics, which he allies with
    efficiency and elegance. He is considered to be one of the most skilful
    players in the game with the ball at his feet as well as being an
    extremely intelligent footballer.

    Despite having been moulded
    into a central striker under Arsène Wenger, Henry can play across the
    front line, which could well prove to be very useful as he vies for a
    place in the Barça team with Samuel Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi
    during the 2007-08 season.

    HONOURS

    Arsenal
    2004/05 FA Cup
    2004/05 Community Shield
    2003/04 League
    2002/03 FA Cup
    2002/03 Community Shield
    2001/02 FA Cup
    2001/02 League

    Monaco
    1996/97 League

    France
    2006 World Cup runner-up
    2003 Confederations Cup
    2000 European Championship
    1998 World Cup

    Individual awards
    2005/06 Premiership top goalscorer
    2004/05 Premiership top goalscorer
    2004/05 Golden Boot
    2003/04 Premiership top goalscorer
    2003/04 Golden Boot
    2001/02 Premiership top goalscorer

    Pedro Rodríguez Ledesma



    The
    winger was born in Santa Cruz, Tenerife and did not move to FC
    Barcelona until August 2004 after starting his career with CD San
    Isidro.


    Last season, Pedro enjoyed first team experience
    when he participated in the league games against Real Murcia in the
    19th round of games and against Real Valladolid in the 29th round.

    He
    was also a key player for the Barça B team that won promotion as he
    made 36 appearances and scored six goals. Pep Guardiola knows all about
    his ability and had no doubts when calling him up to join in pre-season
    with the first team. Despite mainly being left-footed, Pedro can strike
    the ball equally well with his right.
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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

    Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:03 pm

    Coaching Staff 2008/2009

    MANAGER:

    Josep Guardiola



    Josep
    Guardiola i Sala was born at Santpedor (Barcelona) on 18 January 1971.
    After a long and successful playing career and a brilliant season in
    charge of Barça B, in the summer of 2008 he took over as first team
    coach at the club.


    After having been one of the most
    important players in Barça’s history, Josep Guardiola is the new coach
    for the 2008/09 season, replacing Frank Rijkaard after two seasons with
    no major titles.

    Previously he was coach of FC Barcelona’s
    reserves, tasked with taking the side back into the Third Division
    after relegation the previous season. That he did with impressive
    authority: 28 victories, 9 draws and 5 defeats. In the final play-offs
    his side saw off Castillo and Barbastre with an overall balance of 9
    goals in favour and none against.

    Under Guardiola, Barça ‘B’
    didn’t lose a single game at home and developed a playing style
    characterised by defensive pressure, playing wide and using set pieces.
    Guardiola’s young players became more flexible and intense with a
    spirit of playing for the team. This ability to play a more all-round
    game was also seen in the system used, which could be switched from
    3-4-3 to 4-3-3 quite easily as a flexible response to the challenges
    posed by any rival.

    Guardiola is the fifteenth Catalan to be FC Barcelona’s first team coach.

    Before
    going into management, Guardiola was a class footballer who played
    almost all his career at FC Barcelona before going on to spells in
    Italy, Qatar and Mexico. He was at the Catalan club from when he joined
    its youth academy in 1984 until he left for Italy.

    Among the
    trophies he won at Barça are six leagues (1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94,
    97-98 and 98-99), a European Cup (91-92), a Cup Winners’ Cup (96-97)
    and two King’s Cups (96-97 and 97-98). During all this time Guardiola
    was the team’s organiser in his traditional number 4 shirt.

    In
    Italy’s Serie A he made his debut with Brescia in the 2001-02 season,
    followed by a year with Roma before going back to Lombardy. Later on he
    went further afield to Al-Ahly in Qatar for two seasons (2003-04 and
    2004-05) and Dorados de Sinaloa (Mexico), where he hung up his boots
    for the final time in 2006.

    ASSISTANT MANGER: Tito Vilanova
    GOALKEEPING COACH: Juan Carlos Unzué
    FITNESS COACH: Lorenzo Buenaventura / Paco Seirul•lo / Aureli Altamira / Francesc Cos
    DOCTORS: Ricard Pruna / Daniel Medina
    REPRESENTATIVE: Carles Naval
    PHYSIOLOGIST: Esteban Gorostiaga
    PODIATRIST: Martín Rueda
    PHYSIOTHERAPISTS: David Álvarez / Jaume Munill / Emili Ricart / Juanjo Brau

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    Re: Barcelona 2008-2009 Squad

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