Messi in the game against Getafe / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

• UEFA. Interview with Andrés Iniesta and Leo Messi

The two Blaugranas sit down with UEFA and talk about the upcoming year and their hopes for this season’s Champions League

• El Mundo Deportivo. C. Roura. “On this day 12 years ago, Messi came to Barcelona” [Spanish]

"En el cuestionario de la publicación citada Messi sorprende contestando, por ejemplo, 'la Biblia' cuando se le pide que diga 'un libro'. Además, se decanta por el balonmano como 'otro deporte' y por la de profesor de educación física como profesión de futuro. Sin embargo, lo más significativo es que ya con 13 años tenía claro que 'la humildad es lo que nunca debe perder el ser humano.'"

• ESPN. Chad Nielsen. “What I do is play soccer” [Blast from the past: posted in June, 2009]

Barcelona is scoring 2.9 goals a game this season, the fourth-highest output in the history of Europe's pro leagues. Messi is the catalyst. He attacks defenses, draws men out of position and sets up the setup passes, creating chances no statistic can track. "The way he runs past people, it's just effortless," Henry says. "Messi never dives," Piqué says. "Not even in the area, where he could draw a penalty. In this sense, he is simple: 'I may be small, but you're not going to knock me down.'"

• Bleacher Report. Michael Cerna. Getafe vs. Barcelona: 6 Talking Points from Blaugrana's Big Win

“Andrés Iniesta injured – no big deal. Alexis Sánchez and Jordi Alba join him on the injury table – that’s ok. Dani Alves and Lionel Messi start the game on the bench – that’s fine too.
After beating Getafe 4-1 despite so many signs pointing toward an upset, Barcelona have become the best team in La Liga.”

• ESPN. Francesc Tomas. Barcelona shouldn’t obsess over the 8 point lead

“Football never ceases to amaze me. When Real Madrid won the Spanish Supercopa a mere 20 days ago, many predicted a season in which Barcelona would fail to regain their former glory and were inevitably condemned to chase after Los Blancos, forever ruing the departure of Pep Guardiola.  Judging by the eight point difference in favor of the Blaugranas in La Liga after just four matches, doubters couldn't have been more wrong.”

• Total Barça. Anoop Jethwa. Tito’s tactical trials and tribulations

“Whilst the eyes of the soccer world would have been on the World Cup qualifying games in this international break, Tito Vilanova was undoubtedly thinking of his side’s opening five games in this club season. With the resumption of La Liga looming, here at totalBarça we shall read into El Mister’s mind, gauge how his Barcelona team is shaping up and anticipate what we might see tactically from now through to the last game before the next international break – El Gran Clásico at the Camp Nou.”

• Barcelona Football Blog. Kxevin. Barça 1, Valencia 0; Getafe 1, Barça 4, aka “Nebulous qualities of want”

“So. Here we are, basking in the afterglow of what would be a perfect Saturday, were it not for the fact that we face 4-6 weeks without our beating heart, Carles Puyol. We defeated Getafe in their house, a place in which we slid to a 0-1 loss last season, and Sevilla pulled off a miracle against Real Madrid, leaving us with an 8-point lead in the standings after only 4 matches.”

• El Mundo Deportivo. Rijkaard: “Large part of the success of this Barça is due to the fact that most its stars come from the youth system” [Spanish]

“El ex técnico del FC Barcelona, Frank Rijkaard, considera que la gran diferencia entre el equipo que entrenaba él y el actual es la importancia que tienen ahora los jugadores formados en casa, como Messi, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta o Valdés”

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