Barcelona Expresses Interest in Eric Garcia

There’s growing interest in Eric Garcia… 

Futbol Club Barcelona has enquired about the 19-year-old Spanish footballer’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, according to ESPN.

Eric Garcia

Manchester City was quick to knock back Barca‘s initial approach, with high-ranking executives at the English club making it clear that Garcia isn’t for sale. 

Team manager Pep Guardiola is especially fond of Garcia and, while ManCity hope to sign a new centerback this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.

However, there is also an understanding at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.

This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.

Garcia was considered one of the brightest prospects in Barca’s La Masia academy when he decided to leave in 2017 to join Premier League champions Manchester City,

Guardiola handed him his full debut in a League Cup game against Leicester in 2018 and he has made 11 appearances this season, starting twice in the league and once in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped five times by Spain under-21s and Barca have followed his development closely since he left three years ago.

A number of different sources at Barca said the club view Garcia as a “good fit” centerback for the team’s style of football. He was brought up on the club’s philosophy and one of his major strengths is his ability on the ball.

Barca, who missed out on Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus last summer, have been searching for a central defender for a long time as they contemplate a future without Gerard Pique, who turned 33 in February.

Manchester City’s reluctance to sell makes a move for Garcia this summer unlikely, especially as Barca expect to be less active in the transfer market due to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on their budget. They will focus on their main target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and will not have money left over to invest elsewhere.

But sources tell ESPN that Barca will not give up on Barcelona native Garcia in the long-term and will continue to monitor his situation as he moves into the final two years of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos to Join Arsenal on Season-Long Loan

Dani Ceballosis weaponizing…

The 22-year-old Spanish professional footballer has agreed to join Arsenal on a season-long loan with the Gunners expected to finalize the terms of the agreement with Real Madrid soon, according to ESPN FC.

Dani Ceballos

Tottenham HotspurSevilla and AC Milan also tried to sign the midfielder but different sources told ESPN FCthat Unai Emery has been decisive in Ceballos accepting Arsenal’s proposal even though they won’t participate in the Champions League this season.

Another key factor in Ceballos’ decision was Arsenal’s flexibility to accept a personal loans deal without an option to buy as opposed to the Spurs‘ insistence on a permanent deal being an eventual feature of any deal they made.

Ceballos has failed to establish himself at Madrid since joining from Real Betis in 2017, but club sources trust that this loan will help him to earn “regular time” and prove why Real Madrid “made a big gamble” on him in the summer of 2017.

Ceballos caught the attention of Milan, Tottenham, Sevilla and Arsenal after helping Spainwin the European Under-21 Championshipearlier in the summer.

Ceballos wanted to leave on loan to find regular playing time and decided the Premier Leaguewas the best place to continue his development.

Tottenham looked the favorites but sources close to Emery said he has been “key” in the decision as the Arsenal manager is ready to “to give him regular game time to prove his worth” and to “give him freedom to shape the game in the midfield.”

The agreement between clubs is also on track and several media outlets in Spain are even claiming that that the player could undergo his medical exams this week before travelling to USA to join Arsenal in their preseason tour.

Marta Xargay Leads Spain to Women’s EuroBasket Title

Marta Xargayhas helped her country earn a special repeat…

The 28-year-old Spanish professional basketball player, who has played for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Spain’s women’s national basketball team, led her team with 23 points to give Spain an 86-66 win over France in the Women’s EuroBasket championship on Sunday.

Marta Xargay

It was Spain’s fourth title overall in the biennial event, as the Spaniards previously won in 1993, 2013 and 2017. Spain is the first country to win this title back-to-back since the Soviet Union’s run of 17 championships in a row from 1960 to 1991.

Xargay’s teammate Astou Ndourhad four points Sunday but averaged 14.8 for the tournament and was named MVP..

New York Liberty guard Bria Hartley, a former UConn standout, had 17 points and four assists for France. Hartley is among several current WNBA players who’ll be headed back to their teams now that EuroBasket has concluded.

Former WNBA player Sandrine Gruda, who was part of the Los Angeles Sparks‘ 2016 WNBA championship team, led France with 18 points.

With their results at EuroBasket, Spain, France, Serbia, Great Britain, Sweden and Belgium earned the right to represent Europe in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournamentsfor the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Carreno Busta Defeats Nikola Mektic to Send Spain Into Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Pablo Carreno Busta has helped keep Spain alive in Davis Cup play…

The 25-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Nikola Mektic 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-4 as Spain edged depleted Croatia to reach the quarterfinals on Sunday with a 3-2 victory.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Earlier Sunday, Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Croatia’s Franko Skugor 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (6) to put Spain level at 2-2 and send the match into the deciding rubber.
Croatia won the doubles on Saturday for a surprise 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Croatia, last year’s World Group runner-up, played with a reserve lineup as it missed its four top players — Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, Borna Coric and Ivan Dodig.

Spain was without Rafael Nadal.

Spain will play Serbia in the quarterfinals which completed its 4-1 rout of Russia on Sunday.

Gasol & His Teammates Give Spain a Men’s Basketball Bronze at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

They may not be this year’s Golden boys, but Pau Gasol and his Spanish teammates still have reason to celebrate.

The 36-year-old professional basketball player, who will be heading to the San Antonio Spurs this upcoming NBA season, scored 31 points in what could be his Olympic farewell, as Spain collected the bronze medal in Men’s Basketball at the 2016 Rio Games on Sunday with an 89-88 win over Australia.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

Sergio Rodriguez made two free throws with 5.4 seconds left and the Spaniards, who captured silver at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games, got the defensive stop they needed as Australia fumbled the ball away on its last possession.

Gasol, who hasn’t committed to playing at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and his teammates celebrated by piling on top of each other near center court.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

It wasn’t the medal they wanted, but after losing their first two games in Brazil, it beats nothing.

“Unbelievable,” forward Rudy Fernandez said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

It’s a feeling Gasol wishes could last. He isn’t ready to shed his España jersey.

“I’m getting older and at some point I’m not going to be able to play,” said Gasol. “So when that day comes, I’ll accept it. It’ll be hard, but I had an incredible run. I can’t ask for anything else. Everything I gave, everything I lived as a basketball player, it’s a plus. It’s a gift.

“I’m just enjoying the ride.”

Iniesta Named Euro Cup 2012 MVP…

Andres Iniesta is simply the best… And, he’s got the medal to prove it.

The 28-year-old Spanish futbolista has been honored as best player of the European Championship—the Euro Cup 2012—after helping Spain become the first nation to successfully defend the continental crown.

Andres Iniesta

Iniesta started all six of Spain’s matches, including Sunday’s 4-0 victory over Italy in the championship game at the Olympic Stadium in which he recorded an assist.

“Iniesta deserved it. He symbolized the tournament — the creative, incisive runner, with and without the ball,” says Union of European Football Association (UEFA) technical director Andy Roxbuirgh. “We felt that he epitomized a lot of what we saw.”

Roxbuirgh says UEFA’s panel also considered Spain midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo for the award.

Ferrer Leads Spain into the Davis Cup Semifinals

He’s one of the most improved players on the ATP Tour… And, now tennis star David Ferrer has secured defending champion Spain a place in the Davis Cup semifinals.

The 30-year-old Spanish tenista beat Austria‘s Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 in Sunday’s reverse singles to give his team an insuperable 3-1 lead.

David Ferrer

Despite his unsteady serve and gusting winds, Ferrer—the fifth-ranked player in the world—had little trouble remaining perfect in 14 matches on home clay en route to recording Spain’s first win over Austria in 33 years.

Ferrer broke Melzer in the last game of an even first set and didn’t let up to claim Spain’s 23rd straight home win, moving it into second place all-time for consecutive wins behind Italy’s record of 28.

Meantime, Spain’s Nicolas Almagro beat Alexander Peya to complete a 4-1 victory for the Spanish.

The five-time Davis Cup champions will face the United States in the semifinals.

del Potro Leads Argentina into Davis Cup Semifinals

He’s one of Argentina’s all-time greatest tennis stars… And, now Juan Martin del Potro is leading his country back to the Davis Cup semifinals…

The 23-year-old tenista, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the world, put Argentina into its third straight Davis Cup semifinal with his three-set victory over Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Juan Martin del Potro

Del Potro won 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, to give Argentina an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, del Potro’s countryman Juan Monaco defeated Antonio Veic 6-1, 6-1 to wrap up the 4-1 victory.

Argentina will now face the Czech Republic in Buenos Aires in the semifinal on September 14-16.

Argentina, which lost last year’s final against Spain, and has been in the Davis Cup finals four times without winning.

Nadal’s Comeback Propels Spain to Davis Cup Title…

In an all-Latino Davis Cup final, Spain’s Rafael Nadal outlasted Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro to give his country its fifth title…

The 25-year-old former World No. 1 recovered from a dreadful start to beat del Potro 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (0) on Sunday on a day Nadal called “one of the most emotional” of his career.

Rafael Nadal Davis Cup Final

With del Potro firing a rash of forehand winners, Nadal suffered his most lopsided set defeat in the competition, with the Spaniard failing to hold his first four serves.

But Nadal starting finding his rhythm in the second set, just as Del Potro started misfiring.

Nadal managed to record one of his 35 winners to win the second set. He then cruised through the third set on course for the win.

Del Potro did stage a late comeback attempt by breaking Nadal four times in the fourth set to send it to a tiebreaker, where Nadal raced ahead without losing a single point before securing the victory with a beautiful forehand winner.

Spain's Rafael Nadal and team claim Davis Cup Championship

Spain’s players swarmed their teammate after he had dropped to the ground in celebration, while Del Potro exited the clay surface in tears for the second time in three days after losing Friday’s singles match to David Ferrer.

“After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season,” said an emotional Nadal, a 10-time Grand Slam tournament champion who won the Davis Cup title for the third time in his career. “To win a final this way is very special.”

It’s Spain’s third title in four years. This year’s team consisted of Nadal, Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.

Meanwhile, Nadal, who took gold in Beijing in 2008, says he won’t play in next year’s Davis Cup and will instead focus on defending his gold medal at the London Olympics.