June 27, 2011
I’ve previously written about Barça’s homegrown striker, defending him from unfair attacks, but with his impending move to Roma, there is little left to say except thank you and goodbye. Goodbye for now, anyway.* The number 9 shirt is open again, but what has the club lost?
Bojan Krkic was born in Linyola, Spain, in what must have been 2008 from the way fans talk about him, but which was actually 1990. His father, also named Bojan Krkic, was a Red Star Belgrade player who immigrated to Spain while his mother is Catalan. He joined the club in 1999 at the age of 8 and rose rapidly through the club’s youth ranks, scoring more goals than anyone in the history of the academy. Some say a thousand, but that smacks of Romario-esque number inflation. He made his debut for the senior squad under Frank Rijkaard in 2007 as the youngest player to make a league appearance for Barça. He scored 10 league goals in his first year and 12 overall.
June 5, 2011
One team was assured of promotion and the other assured of remaining just where they were. Conventional wisdom would say that the first team would win, especially since they were at home, but conventional wisdom would have been wrong: Barça B defeated Rayo Vallecano 2-3 to end the 2010-11 Segunda Division season in 3rd place. That would typically mean a playoff place and a chance to be promoted, but as the reserve side of a first division team, the B team has to stay in the lower league and surrender its position to another team. Still, it is the highest the team has ever finished in its entire history and that is worth praising.
It also means that Jonathan Soriano, a 25-year old from El Pont de Vilomara, a Catalan town of just over 3,500 inhabitants near Manresa, will end the season as the Segunda's leading scorer with 31 goals. The symmetry with Lionel Messi is interesting, but ultimately meaningless, just like the scoring award. Jonathan Wilson has already made the point, however, so I won't labour the point.