Zlatan scored an amazing goal to beat Real Madrid in the Spanish "Clasico" of November, 2009. To save this wallpaper, just choose your size and click on the image to expand it. Then, right click on it and select "Save image as".
The two most powerful and millionaire teams in Europe took part of the Spanish derby. Barcelona, with Messi, Henry and Xavi among others, defeated Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid with a single goal scored by Ibrahimovic.
With Pellegrini's side going into the match one point ahead of Barcelona at the top of the Spanihs League, it was a key clash in this seasons title race.
It was first half full of chances for both teams, but Zlatan was not on the field. In the second part, the swedish forward replaced Thierry Henry, and some minutes later he would score the blessing 1-0.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic "Ibra" scored the winner and was more than delighted: "It's a very happy moment now because it was my first derby and I scored the goal that won the game. It was an amazing, so I'm really happy."
Pep Guardiola was elated with the performance of his team too: "we showed great character to play the last half an hour with 10 players. Four points would have been a big difference and so it was crucial that we won the 'clasico' to move a point clear of them again. Of course we are happy becasue we have won this match. But whether we can go on and win the title is another question. Usually, the most difficult encounters against Real Madrid are the ones such as this one when we are the clear favourites. It was a real test for us and we came through it."
Barcelona's striker Thierry Henry used his hand to stop the ball and pass it to Gallas, in the move previous to the French goal against Ireland on Wednesday. With the 1-1 tie, France classified for the 2010 World Cup and crushed all Irish illusions.
Thierry admitted to the press that he touched the ball with the hand almost, but it was not on purpose. What's more, he claims that "he is not the referee" to judge the goal as invalid.
The Irish Federation has sent an official document to UEFA complaining about the incident and the elimination of their national team. Now this has become the most polemic match in the whole European qualifiers.
Argentinian player Gabriel Milito returned to action after recovering from a terible knee injury. Milito took part of the game where Barcelona beated Bolivia's Bolivar 4-1. It was the Argentina defender's first match since he injured his right knee in a Champions League semifinal against Manchester United in April 2008.
The defender stated that he'd recovered those "old feelings" after playing the first half of the game: "This was a very special day for me. I recovered those old feelings," Milito said after his return at Barcelona's Joan Gamper training ground. "I played the first half just as the coach planned."
We must remember that the troubled player had two operations on the knee -- which he had previously injured eight years ago -- in the last 18 months. But now he is confident and almost completely recovered: "I have confidence, security and optimism. I'm making very important steps but I'm still in the midst of the recovery stage. I don't know if i'm ready to play an official match. How long? There's still some time to go."
Total joy for every cule fan. Barcelona played a game for the ages, a near-flawless Final that saw it defeat reigning English, European and world champion Manchester United, 2-0, to win the desired UEFA Champions League.
Showing yet again why it is regarded as the most spectacular football team on the planet, Barcelona put on a display of ball-possession and passing skills that left Manchester mesmerized.
Manchester Boss Alex Ferguson's footballers, who were trying to become the first in 19 years to successfully defend their European title, were left chasing shadows. Twice, the shadows escaped and punished them. The goals came from two continents away.
The first, in the 10th minute, was provided by Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, who danced past defender Nemanja Vidic and fired a shot from close range that went in off the hand of Manchester United's Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
The second, in the 70th minute, was scored by Argentina's Lionel Messi, who soared high into the air and headed Xavi's pinpoint cross into the back of the net, with Van der Sar nowhere near the ball.
It was the third triumph for Barcelona, which also won the trophy in London in 1992 when it still was known as the European Cup, and in Paris in 2006.
This Barcelona team, however, is a class above even its illustrious predecessors. Combining self-belief with skill, talent with tenacity, it has swept all before it in the 2008-09 season, netting a record haul of goals in the process.
With Wednesday's victory, Barcelona achieved what no Spanish team before it had done, completing the triple by winning Spain's Primera Liga, the Copa del Rey, or King's Cup, and Champions League.
It achieved all that under 37-year-old rookie boss, Josep "Pep" Guardiola, a former Barcelona ball boy and a starter on the 1992 European Cup-winning team.
Messi and company held sway throughout. The Argentine star, the tournament's top goal scorer, is now almost certain to take over from United's Cristiano Ronaldo as the FIFA world player of the year.
The celebratory scenes inside the Olympic Stadium were bittersweet for the Manchester United supporters, who had watched their team triumph in Moscow only 12 months earlier.
It was a commanding performance by Barcelona. After the final whistle, “Titi” Henry paraded around the stadium with the trophy on his head.
"I've been waiting so long to get this title," Henry said to a Britain TV Channel. "The last five minutes were the longest of my life. You never know what can happen. We were playing against the best team in the world."
Manchester United had come back from the dead to snatch the European Cup from Bayern Munich's grasp in 1999. This time, however, Ferguson's team, despite the second-half addition of Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Bebatov to an attack that already featured Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, had nothing left in the tank.
The loss ended the Red Devil's record 25-game unbeaten run in the competition. "It was a killer first goal and they used it very well," Ferguson stated. "We have to accept we've been beaten by a better squad."
After a hard game, Barca put themselves on course for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the moment a Thierry Henry header earned them a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyon. Time to breath for catalan fans.
The popular Henry stooped to head home from less than a metre in the 67th minute after defender Rafael Marquez deflected a Lionel Messi corner towards the far post.
Brazilian midfielder Juninho put the home side ahead after seven minutes at the moment his free kick from the left flank sailed over goalkeeper Victor Valdes and inside the top far corner.
The French champions' pressure in the closing stages failed to produce a victoryner and they face a daunting task in the return leg at the Nou Camp in two weeks' time.
Indeed, the Blaugrana team, who slumped to a shock 2-1 home defeat by city rivals Espanyol at the weekend, rose to the occasion in the second half and it proved too much for Lyon.
"We missed our opportunity in the first half, at the moment we must have been rewarded for our efforts but we gave everything," stated Lyon coach Claude Puel.
"(In the return leg) we will have opportunities. We will must be very solid."
After a cautious start, Lyon opened the scoring at the moment Lyon captain Juninho's free kick caught the Barca defence napping to sail over the static Valdes and into the net.
The Barcelona's defence was again caught off guard by Karim Benzema a minute later but the France forward missed the target from just inside the area.
Although Barca enjoyed most of the possession, Lyon were sharp on the break and showed more aggressiveness.
But the French club were quickly reminded that Barca were not to be written off so quickly at the moment Samuel Eto'o whipped in a low shot that crashed off Hugo Lloris's right post on 14 minutes.
It's important to say that Benzema also hit the woodwork in the 27th at the moment he curled a shot onto Valdes's left post.
Messi had the Lyon crowd booing him throughout an ill-tempered first half after he theatrically fell holding his head following a Fabio Grosso challenge.
Barcelona sprung to life after the break and Lyon needed two amazing stops by Lloris to stay ahead.
A Daniel Alves free kick was deflected towards the goal in the 57th minute and Gerard Pique thought he had an equaliser from close range eight minutes later but both times, the French keeper denied Barca.
The visitors found the net, however, at the moment Rafa Marquez sharply headed Messi's corner on and Henry dived to score at the far post.
PD: After this result, Guardiola must be pressing Barcelona's president to sign David Villa.
Valencia super talented striker David Villa is the player Barcelona have lined up to replace Samuel Eto'o.
In fact, with no new contract talks planned until the summer with Eto'o, a newspaper says that the Catalan Club are drawing up plans in the event they're forced to sell the African talented player.
Villa is Barca's top choice ahead of Lyon forward Karim Benzema.
Indeed, Barcelona’s boss Pep Guardiola has agreed with sports chief Txiki Begiristain that Villa is the ideal striker to succeed Eto'o. For his part, Begiristain doesn't see Eto'o as critical to next season's plans and believes the market offers better alternatives - including Villa - should agreement over a new contract fail to be reached.
Fabio Capello praised Lionel Messi in an interview given to a newspaper, and the Italian even dared to say that he is Diego Maradona’s rightful successor. Besides, at the time comparing Dutch Arjen Robben and Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, Capello said "The two of them are great players, but nobody in the world has the talent that Messi has.”
Another great player for the Italian is Spaniard striker David Villa, at Valencia. “Villa is really interesting, he has tactics, scores, and moves the ball greatly. He is really great and a great international soccer player, I think he has everything.”
For the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Capello is cautious and prefers not to affirm anything at the time asked about England’s chances to victory the competition. “First we have to qualify,” Capello said, and considers Spain is one of the toughest national sides, better than Argentina, Brazil or Italy thanks to its “team, age and level of confidence”.
Barcelona will take on Real Mallorca in the second semi-final of the Copa del Rey tonight at the Camp Nou in a clash that will pit Samuel Eto’o against one of his old clubs.
In the lead-up to the clash, the 27-year-old has reiterated his promise to his former fans.
“I would like to spend a year or two at Mallorca before I finish my playing career, regardless of which division the side will be in. Hopefully, it will be in the top flight,” he said during a radio interview with the program, ‘Versio Reial FM’.
“I hope that they can overcome their current poor run of results and improve their league position,” he added.
The Balearic Islanders are rock bottom in the Primera Division standings at present and the in-form Catalans would appear to be red-hot favourites to saunter into the final of the Copa del Rey.
But the Cameroonian has urged his side to be wary of their dangerous opponents.
“It is necessary to have respect for Mallorca. In our previous meeting [earlier this year], they made life very difficult for us.
“Anything can happen in the Copa. If you overlook your opponents, they can easily beat you.
“We must try to secure an advantage at home and go to Mallorca to confirm our qualification to the final,” he stressed.
Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez scored to lead Barcelona past Mallorca 2-0 at in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals Thursday.
Henry headed in a cross by Bojan Krkic in the 35th minute and Marquez notched his first goal for Barcelona from a free kick in the 74th, curling the ball over a wall of defenders and finding the upper left hand corner of the goal.
The clash began in front of around 50,000 spectators with a minute's silence for Barcelona field hockey team boss Josep Llorente, who died earlier in the day.
Lionel Messi was on the substitute's bench but right back Daniel Alves was in Barcelona's lineup after he successfully appealed a suspension to the Spanish Football Federation on Thursday. Barcelona team boss Pep Guardiola chose not to risk captain Carles Puyol, who was recovering from an injured left leg muscle sustained during a quarter-final victory against Espanyol a week ago.
Barcelona striker Krkic had two early shots saved by outstretched Mallorca goalkeeper German Lux
Messi and Sergio Busquets went on to huge applause in the 55th for Henry and Eidur Gudjohnsen, who played his 100th clash for Barcelona.
Lux was forced to save a powerful shot from Messi nine minutes later and another shot, this time left-footed, 10 minutes after that.
Samuel Eto'o substituted Krkic in the 86th also to a loud ovation.
Sevilla beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the other first-leg semifinal Wednesday.