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Batecs de Hyde Park (1): La caverna

Batecs de Hyde Park (1): La caverna | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Si s’ha d’anar alguna vegada a Hyde Park, que sigui un dia assolellat. El parc es mostra amb tot el seu esplendor i l’ambient és indescriptible. Als jardins italians, a la porta nord-oest del parc, el temps sembla que s’hagi aturat, amb el borboll constant de l’aigua caient de les fonts i una tranquil·litat infinita.

Presideix el jardí l’estàtua d’Edward Jenner, el pare de la vacunació moderna. El jardí està envoltat d’estàtues i d’escultures clàssiques, de bancs i de flors. En un dels bancs, una noia amb trets asiàtics ensenya xinés a un senyor anglès. Hi ha un petit monticle ple d’hamaques verdes i blanques amb gent ajaguda. Al fons, Long Water, l’extrem allargat del llac Serpentine.

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Atlético Madrid 0-1 Barça: Barcelona clinch title with Lionel Messi magic against Atlético Madrid - The Guardian

Atlético Madrid 0-1 Barça: Barcelona clinch title with Lionel Messi magic against Atlético Madrid - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi’s superb goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 win at Atlético Madrid which secured their fifth La Liga title in seven seasons

 

A year after Atlético Madrid went to Barcelona and won the league title Barcelona went to Atlético Madrid and won it back. As the final whistle went Barcelona’s players gathered in a circle, substitutes and squad players sprinting to join them, and danced while Gerard Piqué began spraying the Catalan cava. Luis Enrique, the manager who spent much of the season questioned but is now 180 minutes away from leading them to a treble, was not there; he was in the dressing room instead. “This gives us huge satisfaction,” he said. “But I prefer private celebrations.”

 

Barcelona, winners of the league, Copa del Rey and Champions League in Pep Guardiola’s first season, may become the only European club ever to complete two trebles – and in two debut managerial campaigns. This was Luis Enrique’s first title as manager but it may not be the last. His side have three games left: one more in the league against Deportivo La Coruña, which no longer matters, and then two finals. They face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey and a week later face Juventus in the Champions League. “We have to do everything we can to win those games,” the coach said...

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Bayern Munich 3-2 Barça (agg 3-5): Neymar leads Barcelona to Champions League final despite Bayern victory - The Guardian

Bayern Munich 3-2 Barça (agg 3-5): Neymar leads Barcelona to Champions League final despite Bayern victory - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona lost 3-2 to Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final but a double from Neymar helped Barça to the final with a 5-3 aggregate win.

 

On a muggy, absorbing, oddly processional night Barcelona reached their eighth European Cup final with their first win in Munich, cruising past the champions of Germany without ever really having to thrum up through the gears. A narrow win for Bayern Munich on the night – and a comfortable Barcelona victory overall – was just reward for Luis Enrique’s team, who were again wonderfully supple and incisive in attack when it mattered.

 

As it stands, Barcelona are now a triple-grab from a late-breaking treble, with three victories required from their last four matches to secure the Copa Del Rey, La Liga and Champions League. A first defeat since February will do little to still their momentum. This tie was already dead, buried and ceremonially despatched with half an hour gone...

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The best goals of the week: Memphis Depay, Leo Messi and Jermaine Beckford - The Guardian

The best goals of the week: Memphis Depay, Leo Messi and Jermaine Beckford - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Featuring overhead kicks from Germany and Spain, a passing move from Norway, a familiar goal from Seoul and a free-kick from Manchester United’s new forward
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La Liga’s race looks run: Barcelona can rule again after Real Madrid falter | Sid Lowe - The Guardian

La Liga’s race looks run: Barcelona can rule again after Real Madrid falter | Sid Lowe - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
On paper it looked like two home wins, but while Barcelona did their bit, Real found Valencia a comeback too far and will not stop the Catalans now
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Barcelona’s mighty Lionel Messi ready for encore against Bayern Munich | Paul Wilson - The Guardian

Barcelona’s mighty Lionel Messi ready for encore against Bayern Munich | Paul Wilson - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
At the very top of his game for Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final with Bayern, Messi seems to be improving with age. The best may be yet to come
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Lionel Messi still not better than Diego Maradona, says Mauricio Pochettino - The Guardian

Lionel Messi still not better than Diego Maradona, says Mauricio Pochettino - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi has still to convince the Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, that he is better than Diego Maradona

 

Lionel Messi has still to convince the Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, that he is better than Diego Maradona.

The Barcelona forward put on another scintillating performance in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat of Bayern Munich, managed by his former mentor Pep Guardiola. However, Pochettino, who, like Messi and Maradona is Argentinian, believes the 1986 World Cup winner remains the greatest.

“For me, it is always Maradona. I am sorry Messi. I love Messi, but for me it is always Maradona,” Pochettino said. “I was lucky that I played with Diego Maradona. Maybe Maradona is one step up, because he is my idol. Messi is this type of player, for me the best in the world today, better than Cristiano Ronaldo and he can decide a game...

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Lionel Messi, Jérôme Boateng and Barcelona 3-0 Bayern: the internet reacts

Lionel Messi, Jérôme Boateng and Barcelona 3-0 Bayern: the internet reacts | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Poor Neymar. His goal all but sealed Barcelona’s passage to the Champions League final but, by the time he made it on to the scoresheet, people were off creating gifs and Vines to honour Lionel Messi. Here is some of their best work
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Pep Guardiola’s early tactical shift meets its match in Lionel Messi | Michael Cox - The Guardian

Pep Guardiola’s early tactical shift meets its match in Lionel Messi | Michael Cox - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Pep Guardiola’s switch to 4-3-1-2 felt pre-planned but Lionel Messi’s genius rendered it barely relevant

 

The mystique of Pep Guardiola is quite amazing: here, his team were battered in the opening 15 minutes, were completely open at the back, forced to depend upon Manuel Neuer’s heroics to stay level and entirely changed their system to cope. Yet it still felt like this was his intention all along, to trick Barcelona into thinking they were playing against one system, then hitting them with another. Guardiola has done something similar in his Barcelona days, switching from a four-man defence to a three-man backline successfully for a 3-1 win at the Bernabéu in 2011, later confirming it was essentially a ruse. Here, however, the plan almost backfired immediately...

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Barcelona and Real Madrid dealt a blow in new Spanish TV rights deal - The Guardian

Barcelona and Real Madrid dealt a blow in new Spanish TV rights deal - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

A new Spanish law governing the sale of television rights to broadcast football matches and the distribution of the income, was approved by the government on Thursday.

 

The law will regulate the rights to transmit first and second division games as well as the Copa del Rey and Super Cup competitions, the sports minister, José Ignacio Wert said.

 

The legislation will come into effect in 2016 and replace the current arrangements. Currently, individual clubs negotiate their own TV contracts in what is known as the “rights of arena” agreement...

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Why I applaud Barcelona for banning tourist groups from its market – My Telegraph

Why I applaud Barcelona for banning tourist groups from its market  – My Telegraph | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Wherever I travel in the world I always make it my business to visit a local market. In fact the very thought of missing out on such a delight would disappoint me greatly. In far off climes such as Sri Lanka I have wandered around markets in Dambana buying betel nuts to bring to the Vedda tribe, purchased aromatic and colourful spices in Marrakesh souks, and sampled exotic fruit and vegetables in Cusco’s colourful San Pedro market.

In Majorca I am spoiled for choice and like nothing better than popping along early morning to Santa Maria’s fruit and vegetable market which also has a livestock section where the majority of my beloved hens and cockerels started life. Inca in the centre of the island has a vast affair with many streets given over to stalls of all kinds, thus proving a mecca for tourists. Closer to home in Soller there is the local Saturday and daily indoor market while in Valldemossa a jolly weekly Sunday event attracts hordes of visitors at the height of the summer.

This all brings me neatly onto Barcelona’s Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, a heavenly and aromatic experience just off La Rambla and a veritable paradise for tourists. It appears that the authorities are now banning large groups of more than 15 holidaymakers from visiting the market between 8am and 3pm on its busiest days - Friday and Saturday - because of the logjams caused. Not only do these marauding groups restrict movement in the confined space but prevent locals from going about their business especially as those involved take endless photos and dawdle by stalls...

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Messi 'from another dimension' - BBC Sport

Messi 'from another dimension' - BBC Sport | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says Lionel Messi is "from another dimension" after his two goals against Bayern Munich.

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Barça 6-0 Getafe: Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi lead Barcelona rout of Getafe - The Guardian

Barça 6-0 Getafe: Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi lead Barcelona rout of Getafe - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez both scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Getafe 6-0 to stay on course to claim the Spanish league title

 

Barcelona’s ninth win in 10 league games provisionally lifted them five points clear of Real Madrid before the second-place side hosts Almería on Wednesday. There will then be four rounds left.

Messi converted a ninth-minute penalty earned by Suárez to get Barcelona rolling at Camp Nou before setting up the Uruguay striker’s first goal.

 

Neymar was next to get onto the score sheet before Xavi and Suárez both struck before halftime.

Messi scored again just after the restart for his 49th goal in 49 games in all competitions this season.

Messi also closed the gap with Real rival Cristiano Ronaldo with his 38th league goal. Ronaldo’s 39 goals leads the domestic competition.

 

Messi’s goals and assists have put Barcelona in contention for three titles this season. Positioned to dethrone Atlético Madrid in the league, Barcelona have reached a Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich and the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao...

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Barcelona await Manchester United and Chelsea in International Champions Cup - The Guardian

Barcelona await Manchester United and Chelsea in International Champions Cup - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Chelsea and Manchester United will both take on Barcelona as part of the pre-season International Champions Cup at venues across the United States during July.

 

The schedule, confirmed on Tuesday at a press conference in New York, will see Chelsea play the Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls in New Jersey on 22 July, Paris Saint-Germain in Charlotte, North Carolina on 25 July Barcelona in Washington DC on 28 July before their final match back at Stamford Bridge in London versus Fiorentina on 5 August.

 

United, meanwhile, open against the Mexico City-based Club América on 17 July at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, before taking on San Jose Earthquakes on 21 July at a venue to be confirmed with a date against Barcelona at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium on 25 July 25 then concluding in Chicago against PSG on 29 July...

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Lionel Messi is the best player of all time, says Bayern's Pep Guardiola - The Guardian

Lionel Messi is the best player of all time, says Bayern's Pep Guardiola - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the best player ever, the Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola, said after Barça eliminated his side 5-3 on aggregate to reach next month’s Champions League final
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Barcelona need motivation for Bayern Munich, says Luis Enrique #video - The Guardian

Barcelona need motivation for Bayern Munich, says Luis Enrique #video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique looks ahead to his team's match against Bayern Munich in their second leg Champion's League semi-final
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Pep Guardiola in no man’s land with Barcelona ready to pull trigger - The Guardian

Pep Guardiola in no man’s land with Barcelona ready to pull trigger - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Bayern Munich are set to face Barcelona in the Champions League, trying to overturn a 3-0 deficit while reports continue to link Pep Guardiola with the Manchester City post
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Will Gaudí be made a saint? - BBC News

Will Gaudí be made a saint? - BBC News | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
For more than 20 years, devotees of the eccentric architect Antoni Gaudi have been campaigning for his beatification - might it actually happen?

 

The extraordinary basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been under construction for more than 130 years - and there are those who hope that by the time of its completion, some 20 years from now, architect Antoni Gaudi will already be on the path to sainthood.

 

Every year, millions of tourists stop to gaze at an enormous tangle of arches and spires in the centre of Barcelona.

The Sagrada Familia basilica is under construction - as it has been since 1883 - so the exterior is slightly marred by scaffolding. When these tourists step inside, though, they encounter the captivating vision of the church's architect, Antoni Gaudi. Lining the nave are pale, tree-like columns that stretch up to the heavens, where they open up to form a complex stone canopy. The many stained-glass windows cast a dappled, shimmering light on the walls...

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If Lionel Messi makes Pep Guardiola feel helpless, what chance do the rest have? - The Guardian

If Lionel Messi makes Pep Guardiola feel helpless, what chance do the rest have? - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Bayern Munich manager developed a reputation as a tactical sage at Barcelona but he also learned a valuable lesson at his former club: when Lionel Messi is on top form, no tactical plan or system can stop him
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Lionel Messi: the genius who operates to a different set of physical rules | Barney Ronay - The Guardian

Lionel Messi: the genius who operates to a different set of physical rules | Barney Ronay - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Messi’s performance for Barcelona against Bayern Munich ranks among the greatest of all time in club colours and confirmed he stands alone again when it comes to assessing the world’s best


Perhaps the most striking thing about Lionel Messi’s second goal against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night was its gentleness. There were 80 minutes gone when Messi approached Jérôme Boateng, feigned to go inside but instead glided to his right, not so much a dribble as a kind of lullaby, leaving Boateng, Manuel Neuer and finally Rafinha lying down very gently on their backs in their own penalty area as the ball floated into the back of the net. In the space of five perfect strides Messi had effectively put the Bayern defence to sleep, lulled into a drowsy supplication at his feet by a moment of controlled gymnastic perfection...

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Luis Enrique: Barcelona 'breathtaking' against Bayern Munich #video - The Guardian

Luis Enrique: Barcelona 'breathtaking' against Bayern Munich #video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola react following their teams' Champions League semi-final clash at Camp Nou
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Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola goes home to Barcelona a changed man - The Guardian

Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola goes home to Barcelona a changed man - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
In the 677 days he has spent at Munich, Guardiola has become less naive and more mature and, along the way, he has discovered different tactical challenges
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Barça 2-0 Real Sociedad: Barcelona edge past Real Sociedad thanks to Neymar and Pedro - The Guardian

Barça 2-0 Real Sociedad: Barcelona edge past Real Sociedad thanks to Neymar and Pedro - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona moved within touching distance of a fifth La Liga title in seven years with a nervous 2-0 home win against Real Sociedad

 

Barcelona moved within touching distance of a fifth La Liga title in seven years when Pedro scored a late stunner to seal a nervous 2-0 win at home to Real Sociedad, before Real Madrid then dropped two points with a surprise 2-2 draw at home to Valencia.

The results stretched treble-chasing Barça’s lead over second-placed Real to four points. Barça have 90 points with two games left, including a trip to the champions, Atlético Madrid, next weekend, with Real on 86, 10 ahead of third-placed Atlético, who play at Levante on Sunday.

 

Sociedad’s Argentinian goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli was on sparkling form and conjured up a series of superb saves to deny Barça’s attacking trident of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez before the first of these finally found the net after 51 minutes...

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Barça 3-0 Bayern Munich: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi steals the show to sink Bayern Munich - The Guardian

Barça 3-0 Bayern Munich: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi steals the show to sink Bayern Munich - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona defeated Bayern Munich 3-0 at the Camp Nou, thanks to a second-half double from Lionel Messi and a late Neymar goal
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Córdoba 0-8 Barça: Luis Suárez scores hat-trick as leaders Barcelona run riot to relegate Córdoba - The Guardian

Córdoba 0-8 Barça: Luis Suárez scores hat-trick as leaders Barcelona run riot to relegate Córdoba - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez scored a hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Córdoba 8-0 to open a five-point lead at the top of La Liga and relegate their opponents

 

Luis Suárez netted a hat-trick while Lionel Messi scored twice – his 50th and 51st goals of the season in all competitions – as Barcelona routed bottom club Córdoba 8-0 on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of La Liga.

 

Barcelona opened up a five-point gap over Real Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti’s second-placed team visiting Sevilla later on Saturday, while the defeat, Córdoba’s 17th game without a win, confirmed the team’s relegation.

 

It took until the 42nd minute for Barcelona to take the lead, as Messi played Ivan Rakitic clear to start the rout, before Suárez grabbed his first goal in first-half injury time...

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Espanyol face fine over racist abuse of Barcelona’s Neymar and Dani Alves - The Guardian

Espanyol face fine over racist abuse of Barcelona’s Neymar and Dani Alves - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

Spain’s football league has denounced Espanyol after their fans directed monkey chants at the Brazil pair Neymar and Dani Alves and insulted the Spain defender Gerard Piqué during Saturday’s La Liga derby at home to Barcelona.

 

Lionel Messi was also verbally abused and Espanyol will be reported to a Spanish government commission that seeks to combat violence, racism and xenophobia in sport, the Liga de Fútbol Profesional said on Tuesday.

 

A section of supporters at Espanyol’s stadium insulted Piqué, his pop star partner Shakira and their young son as part of sustained abuse of Barça, who won 2-0 despite having Jordi Alba sent off shortly after half-time. Alba was also verbally abused as he left the pitch, the LFP said...

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