The Hard Tackle brings to you a round-up of all the news regarding La Liga champions Barcelona.
There is no hiding the fact that Barcelona fans love to get the better of their fierce rivals Real Madrid at every opportunity. And, it looks like the club has got one over Los Blancos yet again, this time away from the pitch on social media.
According to a study conducted by SocialScene, Barcelona have been ranked as the single most popular Spanish brand on social media, ahead of, of course, Real Madrid. The report analysed social media to determine the world’s most influential brands.
The La Liga champions have 172,992,696 followers on social media, more than 6 million followers ahead of their fierce rivals, who have 166,806,340 followers. When expanded to a worldwide level too, Barcelona remain around the top, beaten only by Facebook, who have 191,291,686 followers.
So, this will be sweet victory for Barcelona fans, who will claim that their club’s brand is better than that of Real Madrid’s. And having got the better of their rivals off the field, they would now want their side to surpass Los Blancos on it and win their third consecutive La Liga title.
Meanwhile, controversy has surrounded Barcelona yet again, as it has been revealed that the club paid their star forward Neymar €10 million to sign a pre-contract with them, two years before he left Santos to move to Camp Nou.
Globoesporte have made startling revelations, with tapes and transcripts revealing that former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and current head Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted to a Spanish judge about their agreement with Neymar during an investigation conducted by Spanish tax authorities, as the club agreed to pay a fine of nearly €6 million.
According to the transcripts, Rosell told the court in July 2014, “We had other clubs and other figures.
“When we went back and offered 40 million euros [to be paid when the player joined Barcelona], Neymar’s dad said: “Is this the advance?”
“So I said to him: “Very well, how much do you want in advance?”
“[Neymar’s dad said] “I want 10 [million euros].”
“”So we will give you 10 in advance.”
They also informed the judge that they had secured the permission of Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira to talk with Neymar and his representatives. FIFA rules, however, forbid clubs from negotiating with players until they are in the last six months of their contract, which means this could probably land Barcelona in a soup.
Moving on to some transfer related news, and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has said that they are open to the possibility of making signing in the January transfer window, adding that the club would take every opportunity to strengthen and improve the team.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 4, 2017
As reported by ESPN, Enrique had this to say when quizzed upon the possibility of entering the transfer window in January: “January is a difficult window, but we are always open to any opportunity that would strengthen and improve the team. I am really happy with my squad, but every team always has to think about ways to improve, that’s always true.”
Barcelona have been linked with veteran Croatian right-back Darijo Srna, with several reports stating that the Blaugrana are on the brink of signing the Shakhtar Donetsk captain on loan in the January transfer window, with Aleix Vidal out of favour and Sergi Roberto the only option for Enrique to consider.
Continuing with transfer news, Barcelona reportedly look set to go head to head with their rivals Real Madrid to sign the highly rated Uruguayan defender Santiago Bueno, with the club set to submit their first bid for the 18-year-old to Penarol.
Also, it looks like Barcelona could head to Portugal in search of their ideal fullback, with reports stating that the club has turned their attention towards Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo, who has also been scouted by Manchester United and Manchester City in recent weeks.
Finally, Barcelona could lose their target Paulo Dybala to Real Madrid, as Los Blancos look set to submit an outrageous £77 million plus Alvaro Morata offer to Juventus to land the exciting Argentinian attacker.