AC Affairs
Follow
Find
35.7K views | +17 today
 
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
onto AC Affairs
Scoop.it!

Catalonia, state of the European Union?, by Carles Boix

Catalonia, state of the European Union?, by Carles Boix | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

As part of its electoral campaign based on fear and threats, the Spanish government insists that Catalonia would be automatically excluded from the European Union as soon as it became a sovereign state. The Rajoy government grounds its position on two articles of the EU Treaty. In the first place, article 4.2, which states that "the Union shall respect the essential functions of [the member states], including ensuring the territorial integrity of the State." In the second place, article 20, which states that "any person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union."

Article 20 of the Treaty is certainly irrelevant to the issue at hand. It develops an important principle when it states that European citizenship derives from and overlaps with the original state citizenship and that, therefore, the EU remains committed to protect the human rights of all its citizens (even against Member States if necessary)...

more...
No comment yet.

From around the web

AC Affairs
Catalan imputs on the English Media
Curated by @AngloCatalans
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Spanish state broadcaster TVE accused of political bias - Financial Times

Spanish state broadcaster TVE accused of political bias - Financial Times | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

For more than 50 years millions of Spaniards have sat down each night to watch the Telediario, the flagship news programme of state broadcaster TVE. In recent months, however, the channel has not just been reporting the news — but making it as well.

 

TVE and its news programmes stand accused of blatantly favouring the government of Mariano Rajoy and his ruling Popular party, while sidelining opposition voices.

 

The channel’s own journalists have grown so concerned about political interference that they sent a delegation to Brussels this month to make a formal complaint to the European parliament. In a seven-page document, they describe TVE as a “propaganda instrument in the service of the government” — and chronicle a series of alleged journalistic lapses and manipulations.

 

With regional elections only a month away and a general election at the end of the year, Spain’s national broadcaster has turned into a crucial political battlefield.

“I have been with the channel for 30 years, and I have to say that it has never been this bad,” says Alejandro Caballero, president of TVE’s information council, an internal ethics watchdog elected by the channel’s editorial staff. “What we want is a channel that is in the service of the public. What we have is a channel that is an instrument of the government, and that is being put to use by the government.”

 

Some believe the controversy at TVE is symptomatic of a much broader problem in Spain. Analysts such as Victor Lapuente, a governance expert at Gothenburg university, argue that far too many of Spain’s public institutions — from the judiciary and the prosecution service to the civil service and state-backed media — are made to serve the interests of the government of the day.

“The prevailing culture in Spain is that the victor should enjoy the spoils,” he says, pointing out that “thousands of positions” change hands whenever a new government is elected. “But the problem is not just that people are hired or fired — the problem is that civil servants know that being politically neutral will not help their career prospects.”

 

Founded in 1957, TVE — short for Televisión Española — served for many years as a propaganda instrument for the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Even when Spain returned to democracy in the late 1970, the station regularly drew fire for alleged political bias. Now, however, the trickle of complaints has turned into a torrent.

Mr Caballero and others say the channel systematically downplays or suppresses items that could damage Mr Rajoy’s government, most notably stories involving political corruption. Critics have also rounded on TVE’s coverage of the Catalan independence movement and of Podemos, the new anti-establishment party, saying both are habitually presented in an unfavourable light or marginalised...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Luis Enrique: I pity Bayern Munich for drawing Barcelona – video - The Guardian

Luis Enrique: I pity Bayern Munich for drawing Barcelona – video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Speaking following the Champions League draw on Friday, the Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique, says Bayern Munich are 'unfortunate' to have to face his team in the semi-finals
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Catalan nudists vow to take fight to bare all on beach to Strasbourg - The Guardian

Catalan nudists vow to take fight to bare all on beach to Strasbourg - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Naturist club threatens to take protest to the European court after a resort town’s prohibition on nudity is upheld by Spain’s supreme court

 

Naturists are taking their fight to be able to strip off on a Catalan beach to Strasbourg after Spain’s supreme court ruled that nudism is not a fundamental right.

 

The ruling sided with a decision in 2009 by the town of Castell-Platja d’Aro, 50 miles (80km) north of Barcelona, to ban nudism on its beaches and impose fines of up to €300 (£215) on those caught stripping off.

 

Town councillor Antoni Botellé said the regulations were drawn up to appease the many families who frequent the beach in the summer, but local nudists saw the ban as an attack on their freedoms.

“What bothers us is that they include us in the civic ordinance, describing our behaviour as antisocial. There’s nothing further from reality,” Catalan Naturist Club president Joaquim Plana told the Cadena Ser radio network. “They say it’s to protect families, but we also have families. Nudists aren’t odd people.”

 

His group took the town to court, arguing that the new regulations violated Spain’s constitution by infringing on members’ right to freely express their beliefs. Nudism, said the group, is akin to a philosophy that includes the practice among other factors...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta delighted with his performance in PSG win - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta delighted with his performance in PSG win - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The midfielder will always be a hero to Barcelona and Spain fans but some had started to question whether the 30-year-old’s best days were behind him

 

Andrés Iniesta will always be a hero to Barcelona and Spain fans but some had started to question whether the 30-year-old’s best days were behind him.

The playmaker’s outrageous skills were on full display again on Tuesday, however, as he cut through the Paris Saint-Germain midfield and released Neymar in front of goal to put Barça 1-0 ahead in the 14th minute of their Champions League quarter-final, second leg.

Already leading 3-1 from last week’s first leg in Paris, Neymar’s goal, the first of a double in a 2-0 win for Barça on the night, effectively killed off PSG’s chances of a comeback.

 

The Catalan giants eased through to the last four for the seventh time in eight seasons and a record 11th time in the Champions League era...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barcelona wobble on their way up the Tourmalet but emerge unscathed at top - The Guardian

Barcelona wobble on their way up the Tourmalet but emerge unscathed at top - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Camp Nou trembled with fear as Valencia dominated but Barça found the grit to secure a vital win that suggests the title may be edging towards Catalonia

 

Luis Enrique said he wanted the Camp Nou to tremble and tremble it did, just not the way he hoped. Saturday started with Luis Suárez scoring at the south end in the 55th second and ended with Leo Messi scoring at the north end in the last second. In the 92 minutes and four seconds between those goals, they suffered. Eventually El Mundo Deportivo cheered “a happy ending” and, surveying the final scene, there was something a bit cinema about it: an explosion, the hero lying on the ground motionless, slowly opening his eyes, looking around, and realising that somehow, with implausible inevitability, he’s still here. He’s survived; they’ve actually done it. Now here come his friends, running towards him, relieved and elated, hauling his exhausted body off the floor and embracing him.

 

Or something like that...

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barça 2-0 Valencia: Lionel Messi’s 400th goal helps Barcelona beat Valencia in La Liga - The Guardian

Barça 2-0 Valencia: Lionel Messi’s 400th goal helps Barcelona beat Valencia in La Liga - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal for Barcelona and set up Luis Suárez for another as the La Liga leaders beat Valencia 2-0

 

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi hit his 400th career goal for the La Liga leaders, deep into stoppage time, to seal a 2-0 win over a Valencia side that will rue their missed chances.

 

Barça’s Uruguay striker Luis Suárez continued his devastating form with a low strike inside the area, after being set up by Messi with less than a minute gone in Saturday’s game.

Messi scored on the counter-attack deep into added time for his landmark goal, knocking the ball into the net after his first shot had been saved by keeper Diego Alves.

 

Barça move five points clear of Real Madrid, who play Malaga at home later on Saturday, when third-placed Atlético Madrid can open a four-point gap over Valencia, who are fourth, if they beat Deportivo de La Coruña.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

PSG 1-3 Barça: Barcelona dazzle PSG as Luis Suárez brilliance lights up Paris - The Guardian

PSG 1-3 Barça: Barcelona dazzle PSG as Luis Suárez brilliance lights up Paris - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez brilliance lights up Paris as Barcelona dazzle PSG

 

Barcelona’s claim on this competition can feel irresistible on nights such as this. They prospered here where Chelsea had so laboured, inflicting a first home defeat in European competition in nine years and 34 games on wounded PSG with Luis Suárez for once eclipsing Lionel Messi as the chief tormentor. The Uruguayan’s two goals were sumptuous, his team’s progress in this quarter-final first leg serene.

Those teams who count themselves in contention should beware.

 

This was a ruthless way to dissect PSG’s raised expectations in the wake of last month’s elimination of the Premier League’s champions-elect. Patched up and makeshift PSG might have been, untimely injuries and suspensions taking their toll, but there was a gulf in class. Laurent Blanc’s players heaved unsuccessfully to contain slippery opponents and were made to look utterly limited at times.

 

Luis Enrique described Barcelona’s performance as “spectacular, both in defence and attack” though, for all their familiar slick possession, it was Suárez’s incisive interventions after the interval that took the breath away...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi: I’m back to my best after a difficult year - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi: I’m back to my best after a difficult year - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Lionel Messi has acknowledged that he is back to his best for Barcelona after difficult year that saw him accused of tax fraud and suffer from numerous injuries.

 

The four-times winner of the Ballon d’Or award has been in scintillating form since the turn of the year, having racked up 34 goals in La Liga this season and another eight in the Champions League. That means Messi has already surpassed his tally from last season, when Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo beat him to the Ballon d’Or for the second successive year.

 

In an interview with Barça magazine ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain, the 27-year-old Argentina forward believes he has put a tricky period in his career behind him.

“The truth is that I began the season in another way after everything that had happened to me last year,” said Messi.

“I spent a lot of time away from the pitch [injured] and when I returned I wasn’t in great form. I have tried to forget what I experienced, though, and recover my best version and now I feel really good.”

 

In total, Messi has scored 45 goals from just 44 matches this term and became La Liga’s record goalscorer of all time in November. His goal against Sevilla was his 399th in official games for Barcelona...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barcelona’s winning philosophy makes them coaching incubator for top clubs - The Guardian

Barcelona’s winning philosophy makes them coaching incubator for top clubs - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona’s ideas have been spread across the continent by former players who switched to the dugout, including coaches of four Champions League quarter-finalists

 

Where are they now? In the dugout, that’s where, and not just any dugout. Take a look at the picture above. It is nearly 19 years old now: 28 August 1996, the side that won the Spanish Super Cup. You will recognise some of the faces, and among them are four of the eight coaches in the Champions League quarter-finals: this week Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich face Julen Lopetegui’s Porto and Laurent Blanc’s Paris Saint-Germain take on Luis Enrique’s Barcelona. Their Barcelona, where they all played together.

 

If it is extraordinary enough that one team provides half the managers left in the competition, go a little deeper. The starting XI that day ran: Lopetegui, Ferrer, Popescu, Abelardo, Blanc, Luis Enrique, Sergi, Amor, Guardiola, Stoichkov, Pizzi. Only two of them have not become first-team coaches: Guillermo Amor, who ran Barcelona’s academy and is now technical director at Adelaide United, and Gica Popescu, sent to jail for three years for fraud. Now there’s a “Where Are They Now?”.

 

There were 27 players in Barcelona’s squad in the 1996-97 season. Popescu apart, only five others have not worked as coaches or technical directors and among them are Giovanni, who scouts for Olympiakos, and Vítor Baía, an ambassador for Porto, plus the owner of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Ronaldo, and another Ballon d’Or winner, the Fifa presidential candidate Luís Figo...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

The best goals of the week: Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and David Villa - The Guardian

The best goals of the week: Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and David Villa - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Featuring a headers-and-volleys dream goal from Atalanta, a goalkeeper scoring from his own six-yard box, a splendid chip from Sweden, a glorious long-ranger from China and a selection of free-kicks from Germany, Spain and France
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Catalonia to say adéu to long working days - The Guardian

Catalonia to say adéu to long working days - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Region will be first in Spain to bring working day into line with the rest of Europe, ending long days and late-night dinners

 

Catalonia is aiming to become the first region in Spain to bring its working hours into line with the rest of Europe, spelling the end for long working days and late-night dinners.

The Catalan government has promised to put together a proposal to reform working hours by July. “The time to make decisions has come,” said Francesc Homs, a spokesman for the Catalan regional government.

 

Across Spain, most working days start early and are interrupted for a late-morning coffee break and again for a long lunch break around 2pm. Few arrive home before 7pm or 8pm.

This sees Spaniards working nearly 300 hours more a year than Germans, a statistic often highlighted when explaining why Spaniards sleep about an hour less than the rest of Europe, why 10pm dinners are the norm for many and why prime-time television programmes continue until well after midnight.

 

The reforms being eyed by the Catalan parliament would aim to streamline working hours into something akin to a nine to five day.

The announcement comes after a decade of lobbying by campaigners, who argue that a shorter working day would set off a chain of positive outcomes, from higher productivity and less workplace accidents to a more equal division of chores in Spanish households...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

From Catalonia's Pyrenees down to the Mediterranean - The Independent

From Catalonia's Pyrenees down to the Mediterranean - The Independent | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Well, it looks downhill on the map, and it sounds downhill: "From the Pyrenees to the Sea". I was vaguely expecting a stately, five-day descent from the cool mountains that nudge the French border, to the agreeable Catalan village where Salvador Dalí kept a house in Spain's north-eastern corner.

 

But what went down also went up. The going up was every bit as good as the going down, and it was pretty much all totally exhilarating. Having got a train to Dalí's birthplace, Figueres, we did indeed start off up in the mountains, a stone's throw from France. And we had taken our Orwells and Laurie Lees, so were filled with romance about sun-dappled uplands and how, nearly 80 years earlier, foppish Brits equipped only with tweed jackets and idealistic zeal had arrived in the dead of night to do their bit against fascism.

 

The first night was cool. Positively chilly, actually, and wet, even in late May, but it gave us something to look back on in smug accomplishment. The first day's walking, through thickly wooded and wonderfully unfarmed, precipitous hills, was a very roundabout route up to the village of Maçanets de Cabrenys (only 3km as the crow flies), a well-appointed bolthole for hot Catalans in the summer, but seemingly deserted otherwise...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Spanish resort withdraws support for event popular with British students - The Guardian

Spanish resort withdraws support for event popular with British students - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Salou council says Saloufest, a sports festival with a reputation for drunken bad behaviour, is damaging to town’s image

 

The city authorities in Salou, a resort town on Spain’s Costa Dorada, are withdrawing their support for the annual Saloufest, when around 10,000 British university students descend on the town every Easter for a fortnight of drunken partying.

 

After backing the event for the past five years, the town has decided the financial returns do not justify the harm the revelry does to the image of the resort, which is close to the popular Port Aventura amusement park. In a communique the town council complained that hotels involved were damaging Salou’s image and insisted they stop using the resort’s name in their promotions...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Espanyol 0-2 Barça: Barcelona see off Espanyol through Neymar and Messi despite Alba’s red - The Guardian

Espanyol 0-2 Barça: Barcelona see off Espanyol through Neymar and Messi despite Alba’s red - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Neymar scored the opener to continue his rich vein of form as Barcelona won a one-sided La Liga derby against Espanyol 2-0 despite the dismissal of Jordi Alba early in the second half.

 

Neymar followed up his two goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday by slotting home after Luis Suárez dummied an Alba cross inside the area to open the scoring after 17 minutes.

 

With Barça picking holes in the Espanyol defence, Lionel Messi doubled the lead from a tight angle after 25 minutes...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

CL semi-finals: Barcelona v Bayern Munich and Juventus v Real Madrid - The Guardian

CL semi-finals: Barcelona v Bayern Munich and Juventus v Real Madrid - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola will return to face his former club Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. Real Madrid face Juventus

 

Pep Guardiola faces an emotional return to Barcelona after his current club, Bayern Munich, were drawn to face them in the semi-final of the Champions League. In a classic last four the defending champions, Real Madrid, play Juventus in the other tie. The four clubs have between them won the competition 21 times in its 60-year history but there was little doubt about which plot-line deserved top billing.

 

Guardiola was both a playing and managerial hero at Barcelona, winning a host of honours, after emerging through the club’s youth system. As a player he won six league titles and the European Cup in 1992 while he added three more league titles and two Champions Leagues during his all-conquering four-year spell in managerial charge, which ended in 2012...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

José Mourinho, the anti-Barcelona, stands alone in modern football - The Guardian

José Mourinho, the anti-Barcelona, stands alone in modern football - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Chelsea manager is close to seeing his team win the Premier League but of everyone involved in the Barça team in the 1990s, from Pep Guardiola to Julen Lopetegui, he is the outcast who now revels in his role as the dark lord

 

Modern football was invented in Barcelona in the mid-90s. Of this season’s Champions League quarter-finalists, four sides are managed by players who turned out for Barça in 1996: Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Julen Lopetegui and Laurent Blanc. Within a couple of years, they had been joined by Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu as well as the coach, Louis van Gaal, and his assistant, Ronald Koeman. In slightly differing ways, the eight are apostles for the Barcelona way – or, more accurately, given the influence of Ajax on that style, the Barçajax way. However, there was another presence there, initially as a translator and then as a coach. In the Barçocracy of modern football, there is a fallen angel.

 

In the modern world, at least at elite level, José Mourinho stands alone. He was at the greatest coaching seminar the world has seen, when the game as we know it was shaped, but he did not draw the same lessons everybody else did. The other eight espoused the proactive, possession-based football seeded at the club by Vic Buckingham, developed by Rinus Michels and taken to new levels by Johan Cruyff...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barça 2-0 PSG (agg 5-1): Neymar leads Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain - The Guardian

Barça 2-0 PSG (agg 5-1): Neymar leads Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona’s Brazilian forward repeatedly harassed the PSG defence and his first-half double earned a 2-0 win on the night, taking his side through 5-1 on aggregate

 

Barcelona are in the semi-final of the Champions League for the seventh time in eight years. For Paris Saint-Germain, there was no comeback and no chance of a comeback, nor much of an attempt at one. It took only 14 minutes for Barcelona to score the first goal and although that left PSG much the same task as they had faced at the start – needing three to overturn the defeat suffered at the Parc des Princes six days before – they never embarked on that task and were never allowed to either...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Scotland knows the power of a common enemy. We English don’t - The Spectator

Scotland knows the power of a common enemy. We English don’t - The Spectator | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

-When last Sunday Pope Francis took the brave step of acknowledging the Armenian tragedy as the ‘first genocide of the 20th century’, he knew he was entering a minefield. On… Read more

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Luis Suárez leaves Edinson Cavani in shade in Champions League show - The Guardian

Luis Suárez leaves Edinson Cavani in shade in Champions League show - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The two Uruguayan strikers embraced before Barcelona’s 3-1 first-leg win at PSG but enjoyed or endured contrasting fortunes after that
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Coals to Newcastle? The London tapas chain opening up in Spain - The Telegraph

Coals to Newcastle? The London tapas chain opening up in Spain - The Telegraph | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Following the success of their tapas restaurants in London, Brindisa are venturing to Barcelona to take their Catalan cooking back to its roots

 

It is 8am, and La Boqueria, just off La Rambla in the centre of Barcelona, is already a hive of activity. Porters scurry up and down narrow avenues, ferrying glistening fish in iced boxes on trolleys as traders shout instructions. First mentioned in the 1200s (some traders here are ninth generation) and encompassing 236 stalls over a site the size of two football pitches, La Boqueria is one of the world’s best food markets.

 

Close to the centre of the market is Menuts Rosa, a favourite stall with many locals. The Gabaldà family have been selling offal here since 1900; today Francisca Gabaldà and her daughter Rosa supply all the city’s top chefs, including Ferran Adrià. Their stall is not a sight for the faint-hearted – piled high behind the counter is everything from tripe and tongue to feet, testicles and sheep’s heads...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Sevilla feel the noise against Barcelona to extend unbeaten home record - The Guardian

Sevilla feel the noise against Barcelona to extend unbeaten home record - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
No one has won at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in 13 months and in front of a raucous sellout crowd, Barcelona became the latest to crumble in Seville

 

The music stopped but the singing went on. They belted out El Arrebato acapella, Sevilla’s anthem ringing round the ground, the “oooooooooo” rising and falling. “And that’s why I’ve come here to see you today,” the chorus opens. Almost 45,000 of them had come to watch their team play Barcelona on Saturday, the stadium packed. It was just before 8pm, the teams were out, and they stretched their scarves and sang loudly. Two hours later they were singing it again, even louder now. In front of them stood a dozen footballers in white, soon joined by one in orange. On both sides of the barrier they applauded, as exhausted as they were elated...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Sevilla 2-2 Barça: Sevilla battle back against Barça and give Real Madrid renewed title hope - The Guardian

Sevilla 2-2 Barça:  Sevilla battle back against Barça and give Real Madrid renewed title hope - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Kevin Gameiro capped a stunning counterattack in the 84th minute to earn a point for Sevilla against Barcelona, who are now only two points clear of Real Madrid

 

Barcelona squandered a two-goal lead to stumble to a draw at Sevilla on Saturday, letting Real Madrid pull within two points of the Spanish league leaders.

 

Neymar set up Lionel Messi for Barca’s first goal and the Brazilian then converted an inch-perfect free-kick after 31 minutes to give Barcelona a 2-0 lead at Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

 

But Ever Banega pulled one back for the home side in the 38th minute with a long-range drive and the substitute Kevin Gameiro capped a crisp counterattack started by José Antonio Reyes with six minutes to play to keep Sevilla undefeated at home in 32 games and level on points with fourth-placed Valencia, who occupy the final Champions League spot...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Eric Cantona says Catalonia won 2010 World Cup, not Spain - The Guardian

Eric Cantona says Catalonia won 2010 World Cup, not Spain - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

The former Manchester United and France striker Eric Cantona has revealed a surprising choice for the player he rates as the best in the world – Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore.

 

Cantona, who won four titles during his spell at Old Trafford and came third in the Ballon d’Or in 1993 behind Roberto Baggio and Dennis Bergkamp, was speaking ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards, which take place in Shanghai on Wednesday.

 

And rather than opting for the current Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo or four-times winner Lionel Messi, the 48-year-old instead plumped for the Argentina forward Pastore, who he described as “the most creative player” in the world.

“For me, the best player in the world is Javier Pastore,” said Cantona. “I watched two PSG games just to see him play. For me, he is the most creative player at the moment. Pastore is full of surprises. I love this kind of player.”

Pastore, who joined PSG from Palermo in 2011 for a reported €39.8m, is likely to come up against Messi’s Barcelona in Wednesday night’s Champions League quarter-final firtst leg. The 25-year-old has three goals and five assists this season.

 

Meanwhile, Cantona also courted controversy by suggesting that Spain’s World Cup triumph in 2010 was only down to the influence of Barcelona on the national team.

 

“Catalonia won the World Cup,” he said. “Spain won it with 10 Barcelona players in the team. Spain did not win the World Cup, Catalonia did. Barcelona won it....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Barça 4-0 Almería: Barcelona thump Almería with Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi firing - The Guardian

Barça 4-0 Almería: Barcelona thump Almería with Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi firing - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez struck twice to help Barcelona to a 4-0 home victory over struggling Almería, with Lionel Messi and Marc Bartra the other scorers

 

Luis Suárez struck twice to help Barcelona to a 4-0 home victory over struggling Almería that kept them four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who won at Rayo Vallecano later on Wednesday.

 

Barça seized control at the Camp Nou before Lionel Messi, who had not scored in three matches since his double against Eibar three weeks ago, skipped in from the right wing in the 33rd minute and whipped a left-foot effort inside the far post.

Almería, who were third bottom at kick-off, defended doggedly but conceded again when Suárez netted an almost identical goal 10 minutes into the second half.

 

The Barça centre-back Marc Bartra, one of several second-choice players Luis Enrique deployed, added a third when he nodded in a Xavi corner with 15 minutes left and Pedro set up Suárez to make it 4-0 in stoppage time...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by @AngloCatalans
Scoop.it!

Celta Vigo 0-1 Barça: Barcelona get better of Celta Vigo with priceless header from Jérémy Mathieu - The Guardian

Celta Vigo 0-1 Barça: Barcelona get better of Celta Vigo with priceless header from Jérémy Mathieu - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Jérémy Mathieu’s 73rd-minute header secured Barcelona a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo to maintain their four-point lead in La Liga

 

Lionel Messi and the rest of Barcelona’s attack was kept in check by Celta Vigo’s pressure until the hosts tired and Barcelona ultimately won their match on Sunday night 1-0 thanks to a header from Jérémy Mathieu.

 

Xavi, who had come on as a second-half substitute, delivered the free-kick from which Mathieu struck at the far post, fending off Andreu Fontàs’ marking to head the ball in off the crossbar. Mathieu scored a similar header for the opening goal in last month’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid....

more...
No comment yet.