Barcelona has ever been one of the most admired clubs across the globe and for that reason it enjoys the biggest fan following as well, but this 2014 year could not add more beauty to its worthy goodwill thanks to some nasty incidents happened with the Spanish giant like Neymar transfer controversy and Messi tax evasion allegations that put them into the headlines for unwanted reasons. President Josep Maria Bartomeu talked about all the setbacks he and his team had to pass through in the year during a Christmas lunch where he was invited and asked to brief the media about his future plans. He undoubtedly accepted that new manager Luis Enrique is very promising and they have lots of expectations from him to boost the glorified status Camp Nou side enjoy in soccer fraternity. Expectedly, media repeatedly asked him to brief them about his plans for upcoming year and if they are looking for a more experienced replacement to the top post and he replied, “2015 is a year that will be very important for the club — it can be transcendent because there are many things to be decided. We have enthusiasm and trust in Luis Enrique to pull forward the club’s sporting project. There are some fantastic months of excitement ahead, and we have confidence in him because he deserves it.”

“It has been a complex year in which many things have happened that we have fought very openly, we have given as much information as we could,” he added about passing year and issues relating to Neymar and former president Joan Laporta. “Many of these issues are still open. We will continue fighting.”

Unlike most of the managers, he as well thanked the media for positively covering the remodeling of Camp Nou back in March. Since this project was based on a referendum, media played an important role in convincing Barca’s 118,578 socios that this is a good idea to enhance sitting capacity of its flagship stadium. He added, “I appreciate what you have said — we will not always agree but your thoughts are always welcome. I want to thank you for an event that occurred and that was the second time it happened at this club: the referendum in April. That campaign and that referendum were well covered, thinking about the good of the club.”

Highly successful Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is known to be the man of his words that is why he often tries to be in the news with hottest revelations about his career, his future plans, and sometimes, what he did playing for other sides during initial stage of his career. Knowingly, he has been associated with several sides in his long running career including leading the Spanish giant Barcelona where he used to be descent successful. In his latest discloser, he says he and his former senior Sir Bobby Robson were close to bring Thierry Henry at Camp Nou when he was young. Recently, Henry retired off his professional career after playing a long eight-year spell for Arsenal where he also achieved the feat of scoring highest number of goals and Portuguese latest discloser could only be his attempt to present himself as the only man who can identify promising players in their teen ages. Recalling old days when he used to be the assistant of Robson he apparently made a significant success in signing Henry but unfortunately Frenchman later decided to go to Serie A side Juventus.

In his recent interview given to talkSPORT, former Everton manager said, “When I was an assistant in Barcelona with Mr Robson in 1996. He was in Monaco and he went to Juventus, we lost him by an inch. After that he was not on my radar because it was never a possibility to come to my teams. Could you imagine in that moment leaving Arsenal to come to Chelsea? I wouldn’t imagine that.

“He’s the kind of player that you need forever, especially in the Premier League where he was more than any other place. He was okay in Barcelona and the national team, but the real Thierry Henry, the player that we are all going to miss forever, is the one that made unbelievable seasons and incredible history in the Premier League.”

Talking about his plans for January transfer window, he added, “When I saw Zouma I was scared. We can’t lose players for a long period of time. Happily for us and for the kid, no. We are a short squad, but a squad of good players. Our project is to start and to finish the season with these players. Nobody to leave, nobody to come.”

It is still not clear why the second term serving Blues manager is revealing these facts now or he is intending for someone in January!

If your team is not performing well in the top leagues, promising youngsters often try to make a shift to other sides who could offer them not only a good salary but as well quality exposure to grow utterly. Liverpool is one such side who seem to be missing the next championship league thanks to their under expected performance in the EPL, and in European front as well where they are struggling to enter into the second stage. Under these circumstances, it is difficult for them to keep a hold on players like Raheem Sterling who has recently been in his top form and reportedly few others sides are also interested to bring him into their den. Last October, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers said they are in talk with player’s agent firm Impact Sports Management and possibly they will knock him until 2017. But after looking at their show in current season, it is highly unlikely 20-year-old would like to be with them without an exposure to European league. According to some reports, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are seriously interested in the Jamaican forward though nothing has officially been revealed by the player or his agent.

Rodgers is still confident they would be successful in hiring Raheem on a long term deal and as far other sides luring for him are concerned, he said, “I’ll never be surprised that teams are linked with Raheem. He’s such a big talent, who’s just turned 20 years of age. He’s a wonderful young player and a very mature young man. I’m quite relaxed about it.

“We’re a club who are trying to build something here. We were on a path for a couple of years, and we’ve had to come off that path since the summer. We lost some players and we’ve had to regroup again. He’s a real talisman for this team. He’s been a great example of the progress that a lot of the players have made here. He’s gone from being the youngest team player to one of the top players in European football.

“The club, I’m sure, will work very hard, and Raheem’s happy here. He loves being a Liverpool player. So I’m sure, between the club and the representatives, we can get a deal done that sees him go on and develop what is an exciting career. I think Raheem’s been brilliant,” he added. “I think he’s been absolutely outstanding. The kid played in a front row for me at the weekend, as a striker, moving across the line.”

If we point out some brilliant performances in this English season, Manchester United’s last win against Liverpool was one of them with a superb show in every department of the game. Generally, when we talk about who did better in the field, we emphasis over form of strikers as well defenders but last United triumph was characterized by the finest performance by David de Gea as well who saved several powerful strokes fired by the Reds. Even if we forget the last match, Gea has been impressive throughout the season with notable performances in matches against Everton, Arsenal, and Stoke. While everyone is praising role of manager and strikers for United’s coming back in the English topflight, some also held Gea responsible for not conceiving rally of goals. Manager Gaal, obviously, is the man on cloud nine these days with his team comfortably sitting on number three in the leaderboard and many count them to be leading the tally very soon.

Actually, David de Gea’s appraisal by United skipper Wayne Rooney is surprising for many coz it was German goalie Manuel Neuer who stole the heart of everyone by his memorable saves in the Brazil world cup, but Rooney considers his own goalkeeper as good as German could ever be. Unquestionably calling him the best in the world, national English team captain said, “In my eyes, he is the best keeper in the world. The performances he has shown for us have been fantastic. He is not as tall as some other keepers but his spring and reach is really long. Sometimes in training you hit a shot and turn away thinking it has gone in and he just manages to get there. I am delighted for him.”

Taking his age as the biggest asset Gea used to has when he joined the Old Trafford side back in 2011, Rooney added, “To play in goal at Manchester United at 20 is difficult, especially trying to replace Edwin van der Sar, who was a fantastic keeper. We knew it might take time with David and it did. The first six months, probably year, it was hard but he worked hard on his game and it shows.

“Edwin van der Sar had his best years of his career when he was with us in his late 30s so David has got a great future ahead of him. If he keeps working hard the way he is then he will have many, many years at the top. He has shown great form and some of his saves are incredible. I hope he does win some of the top personal awards but he has had a really good season.”

How severe every league club manager passes through can never be imagined by anyone except those who have passed through a similar situation in English soccer where expectations are quite high, hence whenever anyone fails to deliver, pressure builds up over him to either quit or satisfy not only the bosses but fans as well. We have seen how instant actions were taken against the top mentors of some big sides when they could not deliver what bosses and fans had expected from them. Liverpool is one such side who is not up to the mark in this season in both domestic as well European front and its boss Brendan Rodgers seems like passing through the same situation Manchester United’s David Moyes or many others have gone through in the past. Though, he has until been denied of any stress over him to perform well, but fans know it is now a do-or-die situation for the Irish if he wants to keep his Anfield job. Former Liverpool great Jamie Carragher is the man who seriously believes that it is most difficult time for the forty-one-year old since he has not been successful off late both in and out of the field and according to many insiders he could lose his job should Reds do not show a significant improvement.

Look at the Sunday game with Manchester United that they lost by 3-0 margin dropping to tenth place in the leaderboard and if they want to qualify for the next Championship league they still need seven good points to finish among top four. Since it is almost the middle of English season, we can expect their comeback, but factually, it is their worst show in last fifty years. Talking about pressure Rodgers should have been passing through, Carragher said, “Brendan Rodgers is under pressure. The owners were ruthless with Kenny and Roy. You go out against Bournemouth and then you have Arsenal. He was Manager of the Year but he has to get results.

“You expect them to do well after spending that kind of money. They are looking to be in the top four but they have failed in the Champions League. It will be hard to catch United because they are not in Europe. Arsenal will be going for fourth as well. If they don’t get top four then he will be under pressure.”