Always giving 100%!
Throughout the summer only two types of news were available to the average football consumer: the FIFA World Cup and transfers.
For better or worse FC Barcelona dominated both of these headline-making stories.
The Blaugrana provided the backbone for Spain's inaugural World Cup triumph with no less than eight (seven if you exclude David Villa) players. The World Cup victory brought the deeply divided nation closer together at least during the tournament. Spain jerseys with the newly acquired star above the crest were sold-out everywhere, even in Catalunya.
The aquisition of David Villa happened quick and without any kind of controversy which can be considered quite an achievement, especially since his transfer was the most expensive deal anywhere in Europe.
Even the transfer of Sevilla FC's Adriano to FC Barcelona was conducted in an almost invisible manner; within days Adriano became a Blaugrana. Again no controversy or off-field drama and this time FC Barcelona had to deal with Jose Maria Del Nido one of the toughest negotiators in La Liga and all of Europe.
Now the ugly side of things. The relentless and continuous pursuit of Cesc Fabregas definitely left the image of FC Barcelona tainted. Every other week another Barca player voiced his opinion on that matter and Cesc didn't help the situation either as he chose to be muted throughout the affair.
The most expensive signing in the history of the club and FC Barcelona decided to go separate ways and have a divorce. As is always the case, divorces are messy. Ibrahimovic being the outspoken and volatile character that he is took matters into his own hands, when he gave an ill-advised interview after the annual game for the Joan Gamper Trophy (ironic given that Ibracadabra first debuted for FC Barcelona in this fixture) where he took shots at his then manager Pep Guardiola.
The situation worsened and Ibrahimovic was quickly shipped of to AC Milan who was more than happy to aquire his services after a low-key transfer summer.
One of the unsung heros of FC Barcelona's fantastic recent accomplishments. No he isn't a particular outstanding player but he is a very solid and reliable player for the Blaugrana.
When your opposite number is football's hyperactive wildchild Dani Alves, your contribution will almost certainly go unnoticed. But it looks like Abidal has truly fallen in love with the club and the city of Barcelona.
In a summer where Real Madrid legend/icon/symbol Raul and to a lesser degree Guti had to leave their club, it's nice to see an adopted son willing to end his career in a club where he feels he belongs.
It's a bold move by Eric Abidal but one that has to be applauded and respected.