Real Sociedad 2-4 Barcelona: Luis Suarez & Lionel Messi Complete Stunning & Historic Barca Comeback

Ernesto Valverde’s return to the Basque Country will be one he remembers with fondness after witnessing his Barcelona side come from 2-0 down to secure a stunning 4-2 win against Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. 

The 53-year-old will have watched many memorable victories during his four-year spell with Athletic Bilbao while residing in northern Spain, however he may never have overseen a more satisfying and talent-brimmed performance in the region. 

As his side trudged off in the rain 2-1 down at half-time, with Willian Jose and Juanmi putting the hosts ahead before Paulinho pulled one back shortly before the break, it looked as though the Anoeta Stadium was to strike again – with Barca having not won in the league at the home of Txuri-urdinak since 2007. 

However, a sensational second-half display, which was littered with world-class finishes from Luis Suarez, who grabbed two, and Lionel Messi gave Blaugrana a famous victory and ensured they retained their status as the only side in Europe’s top five leagues who are still unbeaten. 

As expected, it was a bright start from the visitors, with both Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto finding avenues of opportunity within the opening five minutes. 

However, the greasy turf provided solace for Txuri-urdinak goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who was quick to advance from his goal-line on both occasions to smother any danger.  

But the 25-year-old’s actions proved pivotal shortly after the 10-minute mark, as the hosts took the lead, again using the conditions to their advantage. 


Sociedad spread play out to the right-hand side, with possession landing at the feet of captain Xabi Prieto, before the veteran Spaniard picked his head up and whipped in a dangerous ball towards the direction of Jose, who had taken advantage of Roberto tucking in as part of the narrow Barca back four.

The Brazilian latched onto the cross, despite pressure from the chasing Paulinho, and directed his header towards the floor, which skipped off the rain sodden pitch and over the flailing arm of Marc-Andre ter Stegen to mark only the eight goal Blaugrana had conceded this season, but the bullish frontman’s 13th of the campaign – and 10th with his head. 

Following the opener, the hosts’ offensive barrage continued, with Sergio Canales forcing a duo of smart saves from the Catalonian’s shot-stopper with attempts from range, while Jose had his second of the night ruled out after referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez awarded Valverde’s side a dubious free-kick on their own area as the ball found the back of the net. 

However, three minutes after the half-hour mark Txuri-urdinak’s lead was indeed doubled, as Juanmi’s perfectly timed diagonal run off the shoulder of the static Roberto was found by Canales, before the 24-year-old’s skewed attempt on goal from a tight angle flicked off the 25-year-old Spaniard and past Ter Stegen at his near post. 

But just five minutes later Sociedad’s advantage was reduced to one once again, as Paulinho was found by Suarez through a simple squared ball across the face of goal to net for the eighth time in La Liga this season and to send his side into the break, somehow, still comfortably in the contest. 

The second 45 started with a similar tempo to how the first ended, with the hosts again testing Ter Stegen’s alertness early on through a long-range bending attempt from Canales.

However, the Germany international was able to clutch the whipped shot into his chest, which is a lot more than his opposite number, Rulli, was able to do when faced with Suarez moments later. 

The Uruguayan was fed by Lionel Messi, whose darting run through the centre created space on the left-hand side, before the former Liverpool striker was fed possession just inside the area, opened up his body and deftly curled a simply sensational chip over the flat-footed custodian to claw Blaugrana level. 

After Valverde’s side equalised the heavens opened, and the biblical rain added to the already scintillating contest, which was injected with even more drama as the tie approached its final 20 minutes, with Suarez completing Barcelona’s comeback to put the league leaders ahead. 

A poor clearance from Rulli, who had ample time to pick a target, was headed straight back towards goal by Thomas Vermaelen, with the Uruguayan reacting quickest and latching onto the through ball before slotting his effort past the spread Argentine to grab his second of the evening and seventh in his last five outings. 

However, no matter how special Suarez’s equaliser was, Messi, of course, had to have his say on a historic night for the Catalonians by wrapping up all three points for his side. 

It was the aforementioned striker who was floored around 30 yards from goal, affording the Argentine wizard the opportunity to compose himself before finessing his spectacular free-kick into Rulli’s top right-hand corner. 

The three points reinstates Barcelona’s nine-point gap over second-place Atletico Madrid, while their Spanish capital neighbours, Real Madrid, fall 19 points behind, and can safely class themselves as out of the La Liga title race for this year. 



VIDEO: Barcelona New Boy Yerry Mina Introduced Himself to Fans Barefoot and With a Dance

?New Barcelona signing Yerry Mina demonstrated his showman side at his Nou Camp presentation on Saturday, dancing in front of the club’s already enamoured supporters.

The Colombian defender, ?signed for £10.5m from Palmeiras, has already made a good impression following his charismatic arrival.

The 23-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with Barcelona, and becomes the club’s second signing of the January transfer window after the high-profile acquisition of Philippe Coutinho.

“I will be calm and I will try to control my adrenaline,” Mina said at his presentation – quoted by ?Marca. “As for the dancing, I will adapt to whatever the group says.”

The idiosyncratic defender also attracted attention for his unique choice of footwear: in that he didn’t wear any, choosing to walk the pitch barefooted.

This surprised the 8,000 Barcelona fans in attendance, although Mina later explained that it is a religious ritual he performs at every new club.

“It’s a proverb from the Bible,” he said. “It says that with the planting of your [bare] feet you will touch the terrain you want to conquer. And I want to succeed here.”

New Barcelona Signing Yerry Mina Unveiled

Mina’s introduction was certainly more eventful than Coutinho’s, and he is likely to make his debut before the Brazilian.

Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Espanyol could see him make a first appearance.

“I am very happy to be here in Barcelona and I thank all those who made it possible for me to come to the best club in the world,” Mina said – quoted by AS.

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“I want to learn a lot from my teammates and to do my part. It’s now time to learn a lot, to win big things and to make this group even better.

“I will keep my feet on the ground and my eyes on heaven. I will go objective by objective. No more words can explain how happy I am.”


Former Brazilian International Arrested in Connection With Cock Fighting Ring Bust

?Fábio Rochemback has been arrested in connection with an illegal cock fighting ring that was busted during an early morning raid in Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.

Over £18k in cash was seized at the event, as well as 89 roosters, a shotgun and an assortment of drugs.

The former Barcelona and Middlesbrough midfielder, who made eight appearances for the Brazilian national team, was one of 147 people that attended the event, with 57 people being arrested – including Rochemback – on environmental crime charges.

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“It was a big interstate event with people from Santa Catarina and Parana,” a police officer said, as quoted by GloboesporteAll were caught in the act, some betting, some just watching.”

Rochemback first moved to Europe in 2001, joining Barcelona from Internacional in a £8m transfer. The midfielder would go on to make 67 appearances for the Blaugrana, scoring three goals and claiming two assists.

Following an unsuccessful loan spell in Portugal with Sporting CP, Rochemback moved to England and joined Middlesbrough for just £1.35m.

Three years and 89 appearances later, the Brazilian midfielder was back in Lisbon and decided to rejoin Sporting CP on a free transfer. 

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Rochemback eventually moved back to Brazil in 2008, moving to Porto Alegre to join Grêmio. The now 36-year-old then spent the last two years of his career in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Yifang, eventually deciding to retire in 2014.


Barca Confirm Turan Departure as Forward Joins Basaksehir on Two-and-a-Half Year Loan

?Barcelona have confirmed that Arda Turan is set to leave the club and join Istanbul Basaksehir on a two-and-a-half year loan deal.

The Catalan giants took to their ?official website on Saturday to reveal that the out-of-favour winger would be heading back to his Turkish homeland after they reached an agreement with Basaksehir over his temporary transfer.

A statement on Barca’s website read: “(We have reached an) agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir FK for the loan of Arda Turan.

“Barcelona and Basaksehir agree on a loan deal for the Turkish player for the remainder of the season and two more.

“The Turkish International leaves the Club after two and a half seasons in which he has won everything there is to win domestically with the Blaugranes.”

It is somewhat surprising to see Barca let Turan leave on loan for such a lengthy period of time, given that he is surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and a transfer fee and a permanent departure would be more fitting for the 30-year-old.

Turan had not made a single appearance for the current La Liga leaders this term after he was seemingly frozen out of the senior set up by first-team head coach Ernesto Valverde.

The forward had featured 55 times across two seasons before that, although the first six months of his career with Barca were beset by the club’s transfer embargo which prevented them from registering him.

Turan lifted one top flight title, two Spanish Cups and a UEFA Super Cup during his stay with Barcelona but now moves on to pastures new with Super Lig side Basaksehir.

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Basaksehir will likely be paying a decent chunk of cash to take him on loan and potentially be paying part of Turan’s wages if they are to keep La Blaugrana cushy over the move, however, with claims stating that Barca can still sell him during his loan spell if a suitable offer is made for his services.


Report Claims Lionel Messi Will Earn €100m-a-Year After Signing New Barcelona Contract

Lionel Messi will earn around €2m-a-week after putting pen to paper on a new deal at the Camp Nou, with his earnings reportedly split between wages and image rights, according to Football Leaks (via Media Part).

The Argentine international recently signed a new deal with Barcelona amidst constant transfer rumours around his future. Messi’s new deal will see him stay at the club until 2021, extending his 18-year spell in Catalonia by another three seasons.

It was initially reported that Messi would pocket €500k-a-week in his new deal. However, this latest leak around his wages shows just how far off that initial estimate could have been.

With Messi’s income split between set wages and image rights, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will earn around €71m-a-year through his wages alone – making up a total of 85% of his income.

The last 15% comes from image rights, with a €70m bonus waiting for the 30-year-old if he sees out his latest contract.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

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Messi has been in mesmerising form this season, scoring 22 goals and claiming 10 assists in 27 appearances across all competitions.

The Argentine winger has been instrumental yet again in La Liga, helping the Blaugrana claim a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

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??Barcelona smashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their recent Copa del Rey match to progress into the quarter finals, with Messi making his first appearance in the competition this season. 

The Argentine star scored two quickfire goals to put Barca into a comfortable position early on, with Jordi Alba, Luis Suárez and Ivan Rakiti? putting the icing on the cake for the Blaugrana.


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