Sports Burst - Barca Give Thanks To America!

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by Tim Stannard


Sergino Dest scores first goal for Barcelona as Konrad makes first official debut for the Camp Nou club 


Turkeys! Piecaken! Cranberries! Tense political discussions between family members, probably over video chat! Freedom! 

These are all solid American traditions that are going to dominate the next few days on this side of the Atlantic, while two American figures are raising the metaphorical Stars and Stripes over in the Old Country.


Those troopers of truth are Sergino Dest and Konrad de la Fuente who had a blast in the kid's table version of Barcelona on Tuesday in the Champions League with a 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine to seal passage to the next round of the competition with two games to spare. 

Dest is now a lock-in at rightback due to the injury of Sergi Roberto and began his new reign with the opening goal in the victory while Konrad de la Fuente made his official debut as a substitute in a team that also saw Oscar Mingueza make his first appearance at centerback in the absence of Gerard Pique. 

The match was a much-needed tension dropper for Ronald Koeman who declared that his Messi-less Barcelona was what he was looking for - "the image today is the one we want to give." 


The Dutch coach will be hoping for a repeat performance as Barca return to action in LaLiga against Osasuna on Sunday at 8AM ET. 




Isco becomes new Bale for world-wearing Zidane


While Barcelona are sitting comfortably in the Champions League standings - as opposed to LaLiga - Real Madrid's group stage campaign is set to run down to the wire no matter the outcome of Wednesday's 'final' as Coach Zizou called it

Zidane will also be hoping that the Real Madrid understudies pull through in Italy against Inter with Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos both missing the trip. 


The week also sees Isco's official coronation as the new Gareth Bale - underperforming and his immediate future as the all-consuming obsession of the local media to irritate the Real Madrid manager.

With Isco's agent-father publicly pondering over a move away from Real Madrid for the out-of-sorts midfielder in January, Coach Zizou declared that he was still welcome with the Whites. 

Sort of. 


"Isco is our player," declared Zidane at Tuesday's press conference, "I don't know for how long, but he is ours."

The Sports Burst live show will be looking back and gazing forward at the Champions League week at 12PM ET on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and XTRA channel



Bielsa christened by FIFA as one of The Best


Marcelo Bielsa woke up on Wednesday morning - probably at Leeds United's training ground - with some surprising news. The Argentinean eccentric has been nominated by FIFA as one of the coaches of the year in the 2020 The Best awards

Thomas Tuchel may not be so tickled pink considering the PSG man was left out despite winning three domestic trophies and reaching a Champions League final, as opposed to winning promotion from the English Championship. 

The usual suspects are in the men's best player award - goalkeepers have their own special prize. In the 'what are they thinking!' internet outrage group - Neymar makes the cut while Bayern Munich have just two in the shortlist of 11, compared to Liverpool's four. Sports Burst is furious at yet another snub for the magnificent Jamie Vardy.

The other standout news is that there were no US contingent in the women's bracket - a sign of a curtailed NWSL season and no international matches for the USWNT since the beginning of March. However, there was representation in the goalkeeper shortlist with Alyssa Naeher making the cut. 



Boca face Internacional in mega Argentina-Brazil battle


The Copa Libertadores returns to action on Wednesday on beIN SPORTS just minutes after the end of the Champions League games. 

The competition is at the Last 16 stage and Tuesday's games saw some tense affairs with reigning champions of Flamengo grabbing a useful 1-1 draw against Racing to take back to Brazil next week. 

River Plate will also be content with a 1-1 on the road in Brazil against Athletico Paranaense while Santos took a 2-1 win in Ecuador against LDU Quito. 


Tonight - some big beasts go head-to-head with a third Brazil v Argentina encounter as Boca Juniors take on Internacional from 7:30PM ET on beIN SPORTS. 

Check our TV guide where all four games are live across the network along with two matches from the Copa Sudamericana free, free, free on our beIN XTRA channel