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Messi vs Neymar

Neymar and Messi has great fun with Audi's exercises / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The two FC Barcelona stars showed off their ball skills during one of the exercises organised by Audi at today’s presentation

One ball, 60 seconds and one target: to touch the ball as many times as they can in order to recharge it with energy. Messi and Neymar faced off in this contest where there could only be one winner. So who do you think managed to generate the most energy? Check out this clash of giants at today’s presentation of the first team squad’s new Audi cars.

FC Barcelona players test-drive Audi’s first hybrid plug-in vehicle

Luis Suárez, amb l'Audi de la temporada 2014/15. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
The players and manager Luis Enrique have taken part in the Audi e-tron challenge, which involves generating electricity by passing tests, before receiving the new cars that they’ll be driving this season

The FC Barcelona players have been able to enjoy a brand new driving experience by getting to test-drive Audi’s first hybrid plug-in vehicle, the A3 Sportback e-tron, which reveals the importance of new technologies in the sustainable mobility of the future. This was followed by the annual presentation of the new cars that they’ll be driving in the 2014/15 season.

The members of the team were divided into different groups to take part in the Audi e-tron challenge, which involves passing different tests to generate electrical energy. These exercises include the Audi e-tron Bikes, an electrically powered prototype of bike that uses the three technologies that Audi is planning to use to revolutionise the future: Audi ultra, Audi e-tron and Audi connect.

The players also got to show off their reactions and reflexes with the Audi Batak, a light panel designed to improve coordination and quick reactions. The third group tested their skills with a special ball, which they had to kick to recharge with energy.

They then got to drive the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which can travel 50 km in exclusively electrical mode, and which has autonomy of a further 890 km using a 204 CV TFSI engine. The hybrid system intelligently regulates the interaction between the engines. The vehicle is packed with innovations and features created for the cities of the future.

Hosted by Marc Gené

The Audi event was held on the Auditorium 1899 forecourt, and was hosted by a very special guest in driver Marc Gené, runner-up at the Le Mans 24 Hours, who explained the new technology to the players and revealed the secrets of the R18 e-tron that he drove in the famous resistance race.

Finally, the first team and manager Luis Enrique received their new vehicles for the 2014/15 season, with the Audi A7 Sportback and the Audi Q7 being the most popular choices.

Statements by president Josep Maria Bartomeu:

“It is eight years since FC Barcelona and Audi started a relationship that is much more than a mere sponsorship deal. We feel identified with a company that is a leader in its sector. It is a satisfaction and an honour for us to share the passion of getting better every day, to evolve and grow, using new technologies, innovation and sportsmanship. We very much like Audi’s focus on sustainable mobility in our cities using e-tron, Audis’ hybrid plug-in technology”.

Statements by the director of Audi España, Guillermo Fadda:

“Our most immediate challenge is to continue making progress while offering solutions to achieve sustainable mobility in our cities through technology, and the next step is called e-tron”.

Team back to begin preparing for Valencia

Iniesta worked out along side his teammates this morning. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
Andrés Iniesta, yet to be medically cleared, worked out with the group at the Ciutat Esportiva

FC Barcelona got back to their training routine on Thursday morning after having Wednesday off. It was their first session after Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Apoel in Cyprus. Today saw the team begin preparations for this Sunday’s La Liga clash at Valencia.

Everyone that was available took part, including Andrés Iniesta, who worked out at normal speed despite not yet being medically cleared. Joining them was Munir from the B team. The team will train again on Friday morning.

 

Xavi Hernández now has made 151 appearances in the Champions' League, the same number as Ryan Giggs

Xavi and Giggs both have made 151 appearances in the Champions League  / POTO: Photomontage FCB
The Barça captain reaches the appearance record previously set by the former Manchester United player

On the 16th of September 1998 Xavi Hernández made his FC Barcelona debut in the Champions League against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Curiously enough, the Barça coach at the time, Louis Van Gaal, is now in charge at the English club and his assistant is Ryan Giggs, the man who up until Tuesday held the record for the most ever appearances in Europe’s top club competition. Sixteen years after that debut in Manchester, the FC Barcelona captain reached a total of 151 matches in the European Cup, equalling the legendary United midfielder’s record.

Xavi started the game against Apoel in Nicosia on the bench but in the 62nd minutes he was given his chance, coming on to replace Ivan Rakitic. That was the moment he drew level with Giggs and now he is well placed to become the player with most appearances in the competition including qualifying rounds.

Xavi and Ryan Giggs lead the all time appearance list with 151 appearances – they are followed by Iker Casillas in third place (146), Paulo Maldini (139) and Clarence Seedorf (131). The game against Apoel means that Xavi is now the player who has made most appearances in the Champions League since the new format was introduced back in 1992. Without qualifying rounds, Xavi has played 145 matches, one more than Iker Casillas who could equal him on Wednesday evening against Basel.

Leo Messi, the all-time leading scorer in Champions League history

Leo Messi's Infographic (Champions League)
The Argentinian now has 74 goals in the top competition, surpassing Raúl’s record

With his hat trick in Nicosia, Leo Messi is now the all-time leading scorer in Champions League history. The Argentinian now has 74 goals in the top competition, surpassing Raúl Gonzalez’s previous record of 71. In fact, Messi had already tied the record in the last match at Ajax. Cristiano Ronaldo sits third with 70. Of the three, Messi has a far superior .810 goals per game average.

Against Apoel he scored his first hat trick with his right leg. He has 11 goals with that leg in the Champions League, 59 with the left leg, and 4 headers. Messi has 34 home goals and 38 at Camp Nou, with 2 at neutral sites (Roma and Wembley). Iniesta (9) and Alves (8) are his best assist men. Leo led the Champions League in scoring in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Once again Leo Messi breaks a record, this time coming just three days after becoming the all-time leading scorer in the history of La Liga.

 

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