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
Lionel Messi has scored his 3?6?6?th Liga goal for Barcelona, surpassing Gerd Müller’s record for goals in one of Europe’s top-five leagues. ???#UCLpic.twitter.com/GsVkjC99sf
— Team of the Year 2017 (@ChampionsLeague) January 14, 2018
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
Where have this Real Sociedad side been for the majority of this season? Sensational first-half display and Barcelona are truly lucky to be just one goal behind. Will the Anoeta curse strike again, I wonder? #RealSociedadBarca
— Joe Owens (@joejournosun) January 14, 2018
Six goals in his last five games and another very special one tonight – I think we can now say that Luis Suárez is officially back. Good to see.
— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) January 14, 2018
After Valverde’s side equalised the heavens opened, and the biblical rain added to the already
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.
?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.”
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.”
Fabio Rochemback (2001-03)
The early 2000s were a lean period for #Barcelona – #ChampionsLeague qualification was not always guaranteed – and Rochemback was at the centre of an uninspiring midfield. Later went to #Middlesbrough, where he is regarded more fondly.
— Cummissioner For Sex (@cixqo) January 9, 2018
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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,
?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.
DONE DEAL: Arda Turan has joined @ibfk2014 from Barcelona on loan for the next two-and-a-half seasons.
But Barcelona can still sell him during this period if anybody makes an offer. pic.twitter.com/E9Htpmb9Bl
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 13, 2018
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.
Lionel Messi will earn around
Messi is the ultimate football player. He is one of the best goalscorers, dribblers and passers in history of the game, maybe even the best in all those aspects. Nobody can compare to that.
— Josip (@jperkovic93) January 12, 2018
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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