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Barça suffered a domestic shock to the system at the weekend — coming up short against lowly Valladolid. With the La Liga title looking increasingly out of their reach, and their performances levels stalling, we question whether their footballing empire is crumbling.
To make matters worse, Carles Puyol, a rock for the Catalan club for so many years, has announced he’s set to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season. Be it heading plant pots, rocking up to Champions League draws in Bermuda shorts or winning everything under the sun, he’s had some memorable moments down the years and we navigate some of the very best.
Luckily for Barça, their Champions League opponents are not in tip-top shape either — on Sunday Manchester City lost against lowly Wigan in the FA Cup for the second year in succession. We question the dismal lack of urgency displayed by Manuel Pellegrini’s men and ponder whether they will blow hot or cold in the Nou Camp tomorrow.
Away from the glitz and glamour of Europe’s elite, we took an in-depth look at the grit and graft of The Championship in England. With the help of ex-pro and English football league expert Steve Claridge, we praise Leicester who look a certainty to go up, admire Burnley who defeated heir derby rivals Blackburn for the first time since 1979 and examine the truly ludicrous, kamikaze finances of fellow promotion hopefuls QPR.
All that plus a look at the main headlines from the first week of the new MLS season, a perusal of the AFR articles that examined the Greenpeace’s campaign against Champions League sponsor Gazprom and most importantly of all — Ben regales his amateur cup final adventures.
This week's #whereisfootball Instagram shot comes courtesy of UK based graphic designer Luke Barclay, whose work you'll be familiar with from Kick TV. As per usual, it will now become the podcast’s cover art and Twitter avatar for the next week. Make sure you keep uploading photos – next week, it could be you.
Remember, you can get in touch with the team by emailing email@example.com, or on Twitter @AFRvoice. You can also find us on iTunes here.