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Barcelona Rebirth (FIFA 20)

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Old 09-19-2020, 04:01 PM   #1
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Barcelona Rebirth (FIFA 20)



Founded in 1899, FC Barcelona have been a fixture of Spanish football for over a century. They are still among the top tier of European clubs, having lifted the La Liga trophy 10 times since 2005. In the same period, the Copa de España has been claimed six times (including the last four), and the Champions League four times. That said, the Catalans have not topped Europe’s premier competition since 2015. But recently things start to slide, domestic and continental, as Barcelona captured another La Liga title but lost in the Copa de España final against Valencia and were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League thanks to a 4-0 comeback from Liverpool in the Semi-Finals.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ageing, time is ticking on whether Barcelona can lift the Champions League again. In two seasons time, the squad will be completely rid of the old guard that endured so much success under managers such as Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

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Old 09-19-2020, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: Barcelona Rebirth (FIFA 20)

Barcelona Sacks Valverde

Just three weeks after FC Barcelona's stunning defeat at the hands of Valencia in the Copa de España, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu announced that effective immediately manager Ernesto Valverde will no longer serve as Barcelona's manager. Valverde joined as manager of FC Barcelona in May of 2017 and led the club's back to back La Liga titles. The Barcelona board of directors released a statement thanking Valverde for his time as manager, announcing that the search for a replacement would begin immediately. The board stated that their ideal candidate will have great experience developing youth, and and have a reputation of building relationships with players. No timeline has been released officially, but the feeling in the Catalan capital is that a new manager could be appointed as early as next week.

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Old 09-19-2020, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: Barcelona Rebirth (FIFA 20)

Barcelona Have Their Man...Make That Woman



FC Barcelona has found their man. Make that Woman.

It took just 8 days for FC Barcelona to replace Ernesto Valverde. The Club today unveiled the new manager, Joanne Mercier, to the press. Speculation surrounded various candidates for the job but it seems that Ms. Mercier was the best choice in the eyes of the club's board if directors.

A statement from the FC Barcelona board about the hiring of Ms. Mercier says the following; "We are here to help support and build the club. From all the candidates that were on our shortlist Ms. Mercier was the one we really wanted. She is simply the right person for the job."

Ms. Mercier arrives from France where she was an assistant manager of the women's national team. Ms. Mercier has spent the last 3 years with the women's national team as assistant manager and scout. Prior to that, she worked as a national scout for the Paris Saint-Germain youth academy. She was highly regarded as a youth scout, and rumor has it that Ajax were attempting to land Ms. Mercier as director of their famous youth academy just 2 years ago. Ms. Mercier comes with minimal management experience, but the club's board of directors were impressed with his interview. Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu didn't reveal the transfer budget that would be availiable to the new manager, however he suggested that he would make available funds for the club to be competitive in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

Ms. Mercier shares the ownership's vision of developing a core group of youth players to carry the club forward while at the same time building relationships with the veteran players on the squad. In her introductory press conference, Ms. Mercier stated her intent to help the club to not only win the league title, but also the Copa de España and set her ambitions on the winning the UEFA Champions League in the long term.

"She shares our vision for the future and wants to help us succeed in any way," the board's statement continued.

As a player, Ms. Mercier spent 7 years playing as a central fielder/striker for Paris Saint-Germain Féminine from 1999 to 2006. Over her 7 year career she earned 208 caps, scoring 30 goals, and added 41 assists. Ms. Mercier earned 58 caps for the French women'e national team, scoring 11 goals and adding 17 assists through her career.

A student of Total Football, the football philosophy which former FC Barcelona manager and legendary Dutch player Johan Cruyff was a proponent of, Ms. Mercier earned praise from pundits and fans alike. With her arrival at FC Barcelona some football pundits consider her to be one of the most promising managers in football. She was confident that despite being a newcomer, the club would not regret giving the job to someone with so little experience. But her appointment will no doubt bring confidence, ambition and fearlessness to the Barcelona locker room.

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Old 09-20-2020, 12:25 AM   #4
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Getting To Know Joanne Mercier



Most people in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, have no idea who Joanne Mercier is or what she does for a living. Well, the former French women's national player turned scout turned manager of FC Barcelona is known as a hard worker, on and off the pitch.

Born on September 25, 1982 to mother Marie, a former dancer, and father Albert, a wine merchant, Joanne crafted her style of play by learning at Camp des Loges during her youth. Her style is reminiscent of legendary Ajax and Barcelona player Johan Cruyff, whose style of play and football philosophy has influenced managers and players alike, including Joanne.

Joanne made her debut with Paris Saint-Germain Féminine, the women's section of PSG, in 1999 and played there until 2006. Primarily a centre-forward, Joanne's 7-year career with PSG she earned 208 caps, putting up 30 goals, and setting up 41 assists.



Joanne also had a solid national career as well, earning 58 caps for the French women's national team, scoring 11 goals and adding 17 assists through her career. She even got to participate in the 2003 Women's World Cup. Her teammates and coaches can tell you, on the pitch she is a hard worker and disciplined enough to be a coach one day.

When she suffered a knee injury in 2006 that ended her career, Joanne remained with PSG as a national scout for the Paris Saint-Germain youth academy beginning in 2007. Along the way, she learned valuable experiences from coaches and players by being resourceful in the heat of the moment. Highly regarded as a youth scout and developer of top talent, rumor has it that Ajax were attempting to hire Joanne as director of their famous youth academy back in 2017, but that fell through. In 2016, she rejoined the French Women's National team as a scout for two seasons before becoming assistant manager in 2018.

Once she got her coaching card, Joanne began researching on different tactics, different systems to make a team better. And once she was hired by FC Barcelona, she kept on working hard by building a better culture for both players and staff. A youth scout at heart, she began plans to utilize La Maisia, FC Barcelona's academy, better than any coach before her. A Cruyffista at heart for to her being an alumna of the Johan Cruyff Institute, Joanne began utilizing the lessons she learned from graduating from the Institute as well as her playing days with the French women's national squad and PSG.



But there's also a little occupation most fans don't know about Joanne Mercier; She is also an accomplised belly dancer, learning from her mother. No matter what she does, Joanne is always dancing up a storm at home or at the local clubs. Joanne Mercier is more than a manager, she is an amazing woman looking to give FC Barcelona supporters more success in the years to come.

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Old 09-20-2020, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: Barcelona Rebirth (FIFA 20)

Barcelona Season Preview

FC Barcelona, the defending La Liga Santander champions, are looking to avenge last season's loss in the Copa de España final against Valencia and looking to move past the semi-finals in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2015. With the arrival of Joanne Mercier at FC Barcelona, she will a new level of confidence, ambition and fearlessness to the club. She may only have one or two seasons to win one or two more Champions League medals with club legend Lionel Messi, but that could be the something fantastic in Catalonia.



With young players like Clement Lenglet, the newly acquired Frenkie de Jong, Arthur and Ousmane Demble at the club, there is enough there to continue and keep fighting for European titles. With Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to contend with in Spain, can she keep them at bay and stay on top? only time will tell.

Barcelona have lined up in a 4-4-3 for the last decade or more, and Mercier wouldn't make any unneccessary changes to the formation. She will however switch up with the tactics with each player.



Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the second best goalkeeper on the game, and in front of him will be Nelson Semedo, veteran Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and the pacey Jordi Alba. Midfielder destroyer Sergio Busquets sits behind Arthur and Frenkie de Jong in the middle of the park. The goal packed front three consists of captain Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and new signing Antoine Griezmann. On the bench is Neto, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembèlè.

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Old 09-21-2020, 12:37 AM   #6
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Pre-Season Starts as Teams Battle for the American Challenge Cup

FC Barcelona are the latest club to confirm their participation in this year's American Challenge Cup. In what has become the norm in world football in recent years, managers from different clubs from all over the world are re-grouping to compete in front of capacity crowds before their domestic leagues even begin play.

The United States will host the friendly competition this year, which will consist of two groups of four teams, with the top two in each group making it to the semi-final stage. Everton, Colon, and Toronto FC are the other confirmed clubs that will be joining FC Barcelona in their group. The other group will consist of Ajax, Leicester City, Atlanta United and Chelsea.

When asked about the increasing importance of pre-season tournaments, FC Barcelona manager Joanne Mercier said, “It's true that these tournaments mean we have to regroup earlier and the players have less time to rest, but it's a great opportunity to try different line-ups and tactics, and ultimately get the boys ready for the season ahead.”

She also added, “It's also important for our football club to treat fans that don't get the opportunity to see these top players from the stands. These tournaments really are special these days.”
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:38 PM   #7
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Mercier Seeks to Impress on Pre-Season Debut



The pre-season never usually comes with much pressure or expectation. But this isn't the case for Joanne Mercier, who will be under scrutiny in her first appearance as FC Barcelona's manager. The former PSG and French national women's team player has experience in friendlies before and this is no exception. Fans will be keeping a close eye on the result and her team selection.

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Old 09-21-2020, 06:33 PM   #8
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Mercier Gets First Victory; Barcelona Squeaks By Colón



It's doesn't get any better than this for a managerial debut.

FC Barcelona's new woman in charge Joanne Mercier has hit the road running after her club secured a small but favorable 1-0 win against Argentinian side Colón in her first match in charge on the opening day of the American Challenge Cup hosted by the United States.

“I got to give the boys a lot of credit," Mercier commented afterward. "We took a little time to get going, but once we did, it was a beautiful display of technical football.”



Mercier started her younger players to start the tournament, and it paid off in spades. The first half saw Ansu Fati score in the 14th minute, and that was all she wrote. Defense won in the end as Barcelona kept the possession game going.

People shouldn't get too carried away however as clubs tend to experiment a lot in friendly games usually rendering the results irrelevant. Nevertheless if Mercier keeps the wins coming there's no doubt she'll be loved and adored by the fans of Barcelona.

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