Written by Will Parchman

Neymar

Barcelona won another game on Sunday. If that seems boring to you (it kind of is!), consider it was 6-0 over Athletic Bilbao, which will probably not reach Europe this year but which is still pretty good. Barcelona made them look like an NPSL team. So there you go.

The predictable boredom in Barcelona’s results (typically, anyway) is often mitigated by the things that actually happen in those games. They have a few good players, after all. On Sunday, Neymar gave us another bite of manna from the halls of Thor.

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Written by Will Parchman

It’s been a good minute since Dani Alves showed any regard for positioning, game states or just the general tenor of a soccer game. He is almost always out of position, and yet manages to be where he needs because Barcelona is an amorphous dragon that is rarely caught out.

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Written by Will Parchman

a.espncdn.com

Leo Messi has only been back in the Barcelona lineup from a three-month injury layoff for about a week, and he’s already presided over a 4-0 win over Real Madrid in the Clasico that ruined Rafa Benitez. And now this. This is very, very silly.

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Written by Will Parchman

xavi

That kid with the curls and the captain’s band? His name is Xavi Simons. You may want to tuck that name away for later.

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Written by Will Parchman

pedro

You may remember (YOU SHOULD ANYWAY) the petition Seattle-area club Crossfire brought forth to FIFA in an effort to generate compensation for DeAndre Yedlin’s sale to Spurs. It’s a seminal moment in youth soccer development in America. The trickle-down effect these sales have on lower clubs can ultimately help break the shackles of pay-to-play. At the very least, they’ll lower costs while the money begins is slow filter downward.

As it is, MLS doesn’t reward clubs with compensation. But what does that look like practically in places that do? We got a tangible taste of that this week when Pedro was sold from Barcelona to Chelsea for £23m. And it was glorious.

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Written by Travis Clark

hazardLandover, Maryland was the latest stop of the European club summer tour circuit on Tuesday night, as Barcelona battled Chelsea at the home of the Washington, D.C. American football team.

And while the merits of these games can be hotly debated, Eden Hazard jolted the game to life in the first half with a scintillating goal in the tenth minute.

The champions of England and the Spanish treble winners put on a show in front of a packed house of almost 79,000 fans, a sea of Messi, Neymar jerseys dotted between Chelsea’s familiar blue kit. Despite the exhibition nature of the match, both sides created plenty of scoring chances on the way to a 2-2 draw after Hazard tallied early in the game.

Be prepared to pick your jaw off the floor after watching the Belgian sensation’s latest work of art.

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Written by The 91st

Youth development is a topic we tend to focus on pretty regularly here at the 91st Minute. How can the US better develop talented players? How can we fix the college game? What do we need to do to create a new generation of informed coaches? These are all important questions, but we can’t help but feel helpless when we see clips like this come out of Barcelona’s La Masia academy.

Meet Mamadou Saidou, Barcelona’s new 11-year old star who is already better at soccer than you. Look at those touches! Look at that placement!

He’s only 11-years old, but it’s a testament to Barcelona’s effective academy structure that the telltale signs of Barcelona’s style are already being embedded in his approach towards the sport. Of course, a random YouTube clip doesn’t mean anything in the context of a long career, but here’s to Mamadou already making an impression.

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Written by Will Parchman

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There’s such a thing as ladling on hyperbole too thickly. At least as far as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are concerned, those shouts are not valid. There is no hyperbole too viscous for these three. Take a trip over to Thesaurus.com and unleash the beast. Any combination of words you unchain from their moorings will still fall short of the brilliance displayed between Barcelona’s stupid-good trio.

Barca coasted past Bayern Munich on Tuesday for a second time in as many games to book passage to the Champions League finale. The game further proved the MSN trio is unquestionably the world’s best 4-3-3 front line. Whether it’s the best in history is now in question.

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Written by Will Parchman

essssss

There was once a time when Jerome Boateng was a human being like you and me, one with hopes, dreams and presumably a working nervous system.

None of those things are the case any longer. Because Leo Messi turned the Bayern central defender into a tree, which he chopped down and then burned for warmth on Wednesday. This may be the greatest public shaming since The Scarlet Letter.

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Written by Will Parchman

Over the last 10 years, Leo Messi’s amassed silly numbers. Video game numbers. He’s appeared for Barcelona 311 times. He has 281 goals, and they all had their beginning here. Patient Zero.

Messi’s first goal for Barca came on May 1, 2005 in a 2-0 win over Albacete. He only played 76 minutes with the senior team that season, and it was his only goal. But it was a doozy.

This is a fun side note, but this is what Barca’s lineup looked that day 10 years ago. Two holdovers. Andres Iniesta and some kid who came on as a late sub. We’ll see if he pans out.

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