Jordi Alba Reveals How Departing Barça Legend & Spain Teammate Predicted Euro 2012 Final Win

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has revealed that his international teammate Andrés Iniesta predicted Spain’s incredible 4-0 win over Italy in the final of Euro 2012 just hours before kick off.

Iniesta will leave Catalonia at the end of the season after 22 years with the club, where the 34-year-old has cemented his place as one of the biggest legends ever to grace the pitch at the Camp Nou.

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And Iniesta is not just held in high regard at Barcelona. The veteran playmaker scored the only goal of the game as Spain went on to lift the World Cup over Holland back in 2010, but Barça left back Alba opted to reveal a brilliant story of Iniesta’s foresight two years later at the European Championships.

Before the final of the Euro 2012 against Italy, I was stressed and I asked Andrés Iniesta how it felt,” Alba said at a recent event, shared on a video on Barcelona’s official Twitter account. “He told me that we were going to win 4-0 and that’s what happened “


The aforementioned Alba scored Spain’s second goal of the game at the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, finding the back of the net either side of David Silva and Fernando Torres. 

Juan Mata then rounded off the scoring late on to secure an impressive 4-0 win over Italy, confirming that Spain’s most recent golden generation held both the European Championship and the World Cup.

Although it has been known for some time that Iniesta will leave Barcelona this summer, it is currently unknown what the 34-year-old has planned next season – much like the current situation surrounding Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon.

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Picking the Best Potential Barcelona Lineup to Face Real Sociedad on Sunday

After Barcelona’s historic unbeaten run was brought to an end just two games before recording the first invincible La Liga season in modern-day history last time out against Levante, Ernesto Valverde’s men will be keen to end on a high in what is Andres Iniesta’s final match for the Catalonians. 

So, ahead of Real Sociedad visiting Camp Nou, let’s take a look at Barca’s possible XI. 

Torhüter

  • Ter Stegen

    Ter Stegen1

After conceding five last weekend, ?Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be hoping for a quieter evening this time around in between the sticks. 

With 18 clean sheets already to his name from 33 league outings, the German will be hopeful he can celebrate his World Cup inclusion in style and record another shutout. 

Verteidigung

  • Semedo

    Semedo2

  • Piqué

    Piqué3

  • Mina

    Mina24

  • Jordi Alba

    Jordi Alba18

Although it is easy to place blame on the reasonably inexperienced, Nelson Semedo and Yerry Mina both had evenings to forget against Levante. 

A combination of simply abysmal positional play and physical weakness allowed Paco Jemez’s men to run riot during the opening hour, and in order to show there is promise ahead of next season, both need a strong performance in the season-ender.  

Mittelfeld

  • Rakitic

    Rakitic4

  • Busquets

    Busquets5

  • Iniesta

    Iniesta8

  • Coutinho

    Coutinho14

However, undoubtedly the focus on Sunday will be placed on Iniesta, who will feature for the final time for Barcelona. 

A successful 22-year career will bow out without an invincible title yet on the back of another domestic double, and a packed out Camp Nou will be keen to show their appreciation for the World Cup-winner before he departs. 

Sturm

  • Messi

    Messi10

  • Suárez

    Suárez9

Lionel Messi has the chance to sew up his European Golden Shoe crowning is style against Real Sociedad, a side which he has many memorable moments against – none more so than his spectacular free-kick earlier in the season. 

Luis Suarez finds himself currently tied with Cristiano Ronaldo in second-place in La Liga’s top scorers – something he can claim all for himself with a goal on Sunday. 

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Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Preview: Recent Form, Last Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Andres Iniesta will bid farewell to ?Barcelona this Sunday as the curtain drops on the Spaniard’s final La Liga season when Real Sociedad visit Camp Nou. 

In what was tipped to be the perfect send-off, the crowning of the invincibles and on the back of the domestic double, the 34-year-old will now bow out on a slightly sombre note after Levante brought a crashing end to Barca’s unbeaten run last weekend. 

However, with mid-table Real Sociedad travelling to Catalonia this weekend, Ernesto Valverde’s side will be hoping to see things out on a high, and here is all you need to know ahead of the clash. 


Recent Form

A shock 5-4 defeat to Levante saw Barcelona fall at the penultimate hurdle in their bid to become the first season-long unbeaten Spanish side since Real Madrid in 1932 – although Los Blancos’ achievement came in an 18-match campaign

Before that, Blaugrana had comfortably seen off the likes of Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna in their last five outings, as well as avoided defeat to Real Madrid and Celta Vigo despite being down to 10 men in both meetings. 

Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga

Real Sociedad, meanwhile, have endured an indifferent spell over recent weeks – as has been the case for the majority of the campaign – with a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid certainly an eyebrow raiser but a 2-0 defeat to relegated Malaga one to forget. 


Previous Encounter

The two sides met three times in the space of 12 days this season; with two coming in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, and Barcelona proved victorious in all. 

However, the most eye-catching was the Catalonian’s 4-2 La Liga win five days before their cup first leg when Erreala took a two-goal lead either side of the half-hour mark – highlighting yet again Valverde’s side’s defensive frailties – before Paulinho, a Luis Suarez brace and a stunning late Lionel Messi free-kick secure all three points for this year’s champions. 


Key Battle

Andres Iniesta vs Asier Illarramendi

Of course, in his final showdown in the blue and red of Barcelona, Iniesta will be the one to watch as he attempts to leave Camp Nou with one more lasting memory. 


Asier Illarramendi is expected to be the one who is tasked with keeping the 34-year-old magician quiet in what will undoubtedly be an evening to remember for the 28-year-old. 


Team News

Centre back pairing Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti are both doubts for Iniesta’s farewell, with the Belgian pulling up with a hamstring injury during last weekend’s defeat to Levante and the Frenchman not featuring since El Clasico. 

Sergi Roberto, meanwhile, will serve the final match of his suspension following his sending off against Real Madrid.

For the visitors, Jon Guridi (muscular), Imanol Agirretxe (achilles), Aritz Elustondo (strain) and Igor Zubeldia (muscular) are all doubts, while there is a possibility Adnan Januzaj, who has been suffering from tonsillitis, could make a return. 


Prediction

Barcelona will be desperate to bounce back from their shock defeat, despite running out 3-1 winners over Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa in midweek. 

The ‘Valverde out’ campaign has grown stronger as the season has transpired, despite leading Barca to the double, and the 54-year-old has one more chance to win over the Catalonians. 

Score Prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Real Sociedad

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Barcelona Star Warns Club Against ‘Huge Error’ in Upcoming Summer Transfer Business

??Barcelona club captain ?Andres Iniesta has warned his club that allowing ?Sergio Busquets to move away from the club would prove to be a big mistake.

Iniesta, who will himself ?depart the Camp Nou this summer following the expiry of his contract with the Catalan club, insists that Barca should ensure that his long-time midfield partner remains at the club.

According to ?Sport, there is a growing concern that Busquets has had trouble in getting the Barcelona board to be true to their word and offer the Spaniard a ?new contract on improved terms.

It is said that the holding midfielder would like ?greater recognition for his role at the club, and Iniesta insists that the Barca chiefs should ensure that this does not prompt Busquets to leave the La Liga champions any time soon.

“It would be a huge error if Busquets did not continue at Barca, for what he means as a player, but I don’t think that will happen because he’s got a lot more years in him and I understand he’s a fundamental player”, Iniesta said.

“I don’t know the personal situation, but the club should not allow doubts that this would happen. I don’t think the club will allow it.”

Busquets has once again been an integral part of the Barcelona team which has won the domestic double this season, with Ernesto Valverde’s side running away with the La Liga crown, currently 12 points clear of Atletico Madrid who are second in the table and hammering Sevilla 5-0 in the final to clinch a fourth successive Copa del Rey victory.

Barcelona host Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Sunday for their final La Liga match of the season and Andres Iniesta’s farewell to his adoring home crowd.

Both Iniesta and the Barca faithful will be hoping that Busquets is not set to follow the legendary playmaker out of the exit door.

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Arsenal Fans React With Skepticism Over Reports Linking Them With Move for Barcelona Starlet

?Arsenal fans can’t really be blamed for not buying any rumours regarding their club and Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

The Frenchman only joined the Catalan side last summer, leaving Borussia Dortmund under hostile circumstances for a fee in excess of £100m – but the Spanish champions are reportedly looking to offload him ahead of next season.

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According to Spanish radio station ?RAC1, Barca are already contacting clubs around Europe to inform them of Dembele’s availability. They did stop short of mentioning clubs by name, but Arsenal fans discussed the possibility of the Gunners launching a bid, via reddit.

Honestly, Messi & Suarez are 31. There is no way they will sell Dembele who is just 21,” one user wrote. “And even Griezmann is just 27 years old & he is more replacement for Suarez who has been under-performed during 2 years. And Griezmann is not dribbler like Dembele is.” 

Another asked: “Wasn’t Messi just saying he wants Dembele to succeed him at Barcelona?”

Reddit


??”We just spent 60 on Aubameyang. A guy with zero resale Value. 100 isn’t far-fetched at the rate transfer fees are heading,” another user chimed in.

“Still, this won’t happen because we are loaded with attacking players. Only chance I could see is if Barca wanted Ramsey, some type of swap + cash.”

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While Dembele has made a slow start to his Barcelona career, it’s worth noting that he suffered a terrible injury at the beginning and missed a huge chunk of the campaign. He did score three goals, also assisting six, in 11 league starts this season, which isn’t exactly poor given the circumstances.?

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