How FC Barcelona won its first Club World Cup title in 2009

The players celebrate winning the trophy in 2009 / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Five minutes of video memories of two great games against Atlante and Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi as the Blaugrana won the crown for the first time

FC Barcelona will soon be heading to Japan in search of their third Club World Cup title. So now is the perfect time to look back at December 2009, when Josep Guardiola took the team to Abu Dhabi and the coveted title was won for the first time in club history. The Catalans beat Atlante of Mexico in the semi-finals (3-1) and Estudiantes of Argentina in the final (2-1).

This five-minute video is packed with memories from the trip, which crowned a perfect year in which the team won all six major honours – something no club had ever done before.


Neymar Jr groin injury confirmed

Neymar Jr during a training session last week / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Following the draw at Leverkusen, the FC Barcelona first team train on Thursday morning, although Messi is given permission not to attend

Tests conducted by the FC Barcelona Medical Services on Thursday morning have confirmed that Neymar Jr has a minor groin strain, as had already been diagnosed on Tuesday. The Brazilian’s presence in the next few matches will depend on how the injury progresses. The player suffered the injury during the training session at the BayArena prior to the Champions League match with Bayer Leverkusen.

Meanwhile, the first team squad got straight back to work after ending the Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw in Germany. Barça’s goalscorer, Leo Messi, was given permission to miss the session for personal reasons. Luis Enrique called on the services of all of the other available first team players, as well as Samper of Barça B.

The focus has switched rapidly to the next Liga fixture, at home to Deportivo at 4.00pm  CET on Saturday, with just two days to prepare for the clash. Barça are currently top the table with a two-point margin over Atlético Madrid (who entertain Athletic Bilbao on Sunday), and have just one further training session scheduled before the match. That’s at the usual time of 11.00am CET on Friday, to be followed by a press conference with Luis Enrique, which will be streamed live here at with an English translation.

Reserve team players discuss their experience in the BayArena

Kaptoum during his Champions League debut against Bayer Leverkusen / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Kaptoum and Camara react to their European debuts against Bayer Leverkusen, plus comments from Samper and Rakitic

Barça had already achieved their objective ahead of tonight’s game with Bayer Leverkusen, so Luis Enrique opted to rest some of his more regular players and also hand European debuts to two members of the Barça B squad. One of those was Cameroonian Wilfrid Kaptoum, who said afterwards that “I was a bit shocked to learn that the boss had picked me as a starter … I’ll have to work hard if I want to continue getting chances like this. I’ll have to fight for my place in every training session. But this was a huge boost for me and has inspired me to continue working hard for the rest of the season.”

The game at the BayArena also brought Juan Cámara’s first 15 minutes of Champions League football. “I’d been waiting for this moment to come” he said after the final whistle. “I’m very happy with my debut. The boss said I was going to play as at full-back, which isn’t my usual position, but he encouraged me and just told me to go out and enjoy myself. I know that I need to make the most of these chances, although I also have to remember that our team is Barça B.

Here are some other quotes from the players after the 1-1 draw in Germany:

Sergi Samper

“We are aware that that wasn’t our best game but we still managed to get a decent result”

“We knew they’d put a lot of pressure on us. We found it a bit hard out there”

“We know that if we want to win the Champions League we have to be able to beat everybody. So we’re not too worried about the draw”

Ivan Rakitic   

“It’s good to suffer sometimes. It was useful for us to see how difficult the season is going to be and what we have ahead of us”

“Despite the draw, it was an important game for keeping things going”

“When you make passes like the one for our goal, you always try to pick out Leo Messi. Luckily he scored”

Video highlights of the Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen

Leo Messi celebrating against Leverkusen / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The best moments from Barça’s 1-1 draw against the Germans which means they end the group stage unbeaten and head into the last 16

FC Barcelona have ended the group stage of the Champions League unbeaten. They picked up a point in their final game away at Bayer Leverkusen, Leo Messi putting them ahead in the first half before ‘Chicharito’ Hernández equalised for the Germans just four minutes later. Catch all the action from the last game for Barça in Group En in this video.

Luis Enrique happy to give youth a chance

Luis Enrique on the sidelines against Bayer / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça boss talks positives, the performances of the B team players in a game against ‘a team who needed to win’

Unbeaten with four victories and two draws in six matches, 14 points, top of the group and through to the last 16 of the Champions League before their final fixture of the initial stage, Luis Enrique had plenty of reasons to smile following the 1-1 draw in the BayArena against Bayer Leverkusen. “I felt positive about our performance. I wanted to give the players who have played the most minutes a rest and I saw good signs from us against a team that really had to win,” said the Barça coach after giving the four youngsters in the squad, Samper, Gumbau, Cámara and Kaptoum, a chance to shine against the German side.

“This is like a masters course in ESADE Business School. I am happy with the performance of the players from the B team who have featured today. At times we were overrun by our opponents but I leave happy.”

The excellent performance of Barça keeper Ter Stegen on home soil neither escaped the notice of his coach. “Marc was spectacular, really solid and he gave the appearance of dominating the goal area, [the performance] it reinforces him.”

Luis Enrique was relaxed ahead of the draw for the next round which will take place on Monday at 12.00pm CET in Nyon, Switzerland. “In the last 16 we’ll face whoever we’re lucky enough to be drawn with,” said the Asturian.