Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has apologised to fans after Champions League exit Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has apologised to fans after being knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Barcelona went out of the competition on away goals after Roma won 3-0 on the night to level the aggregate score at 4-4.
Bartomeu spoke after the defeat at the Stadio Olimpico and said Barcelona let down the fans who travelled.
At least 13 people were confirmed dead yesterday after a van mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona city centre and 80 people were injured, Catalan police and the regional interior ministry said.
As at press time, two suspects have been arrested according to CNN. The van plowed into crowds in the heart of the city and Spanish police said they were treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The death toll was reported by news agencies, citing police sources. At press time, police said they said were searching for the driver of the van. Media reports said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot.
Spanish newspaper El Periodico said two armed men were holed up in a bar in Barcelona’s city center, and reported gunfire in the area, although it did not cite the source of the information.
It was not immediately clear whether the incidents were connected.
A source familiar with the initial United States government assessment said the incident appeared to be terrorism, and a White House spokeswoman said President Donald Trump was being kept abreast of the situation.
Media reports said the van had zigzagged at speed down the famous Las Ramblas avenue, a magnet for tourists. “I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that,” eyewitness Tom Gueller told the BBC. (The Sun)
By Barney Henderson and James Rothwell and Hannah Strange and Chris Graham
Terror returned to the streets of Europe on Thursday when a van ploughed into a crowd of people in Barcelona, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 100 others.Footage of the scene showed dozens of bodies sprawled across the pavement in Las Ramblas, a street popular with tourists. Two men, one Spanish and one Moroccan, were arrested but police said the driver of the van was still at large.
In the early hours of Friday morning, in the town of Cambrils, 70 miles away, at least six people were hurt when “alleged terrorists” drove into pedestrians before being shot dead by security forces.
The five attackers in the Audi A3, who were wearing bomb belts, were shot dead, police said. The bomb belts were detonated by the force’s bomb squad.
Two of the injured in Cambrils was in critical condition, emergency services said.
“The alleged terrorists were in an Audi A3 and apparently knocked down several people before coming across a police patrol and a shoot-out ensued,” said a spokesman for the regional government of Catalonia, where Cambrils is located in Spain’s northeast. One of the suspects was said to be brandishing a knife.
Police say the attacks were linked.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack as Joaquim Forn, Catalonia’s police chief, warned: “Unfortunately the number of fatalities will likely rise.”
On Thursday night it was confirmed that a three-year-old child was among the victims and 15 people were in a critical condition.
Liam Searle, 22, from Chichester, West Sussex, said he was skateboarding along the road at around 5.15pm with his headphones on when he heard “massive bangs and thuds” which he thought were gunshots.
“I realised it was the van next to me hitting people,” he said. “The van had stopped right next to me. That’s when two men got out and I ran for my life.”
Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old of Moroccan origin, was suspected of having rented the van used in the assault. Spanish reports later said he had handed himself into police, who were investigating whether his brother had stolen his documentation.
Two explosions at a house in the town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, on Wednesday night, were last night linked by police to the attack. Officers said the residents had been preparing explosives. At least one person died and more than 16 were injured in what was initially thought to be a gas explosion.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, condemned the “terrible” Las Ramblas assault and said Britain stood firmly with Spain against terrorism.
Donald Trump, the US president, tweeted that the US “will do whatever is necessary to help”, adding: “Be tough & strong, we love you!.” The Spanish royal family described the attackers as “assassins, criminals who won’t terrorise us”, while Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, said the attack was “jihadist terrorism” requiring a global response.
In the aftermath of the attack, metro and train stations were closed amid reports that the attackers had entrenched themselves in a nearby Turkish restaurant. This was dismissed as false by Spanish police, who advised tourists to stay in hotels. British tourist Steve Garrett was at a nearby market.
“A large number of people ran into the market, lots of screaming, lots of shouting,” he said. “We ran into a bakery with four or five others and ran straight upstairs. An enormous wave of people went through the market.”
A man was shot dead after running over two police officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city later in the evening. Police said last night it did not appear that the incident was linked to the van attack.
This was the eighth terror attack using a vehicle in Europe in the past three years, following the Nice assault in July 2016 that killed 86 and attacks on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge earlier this year that left four and eight people dead. Spain has not been hit by a serious terrorist incident since 2004, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800. But the country’s reputation as a tourist hotspot has raised the terror risk.
Earlier this year, jihadists warned that they would be seeking to take their campaign of death and destruction to popular areas in the Mediterranean.
The CIA warned Spanish police two months ago that Las Ramblas was a potential target, reports said.
“The CIA had already warned the Mossos d’Esquadra [police] that Barcelona might be a terrorist target … They even put the focus on the Ramblas,” El Periodico stated. (The Telegraph)
Neymar has posted pictures of himself in Dubai as he appears to be closing in on a world record transfer to Paris-Saint Germain.
The Barcelona forward has been heavily linked with a €222million (£199m) move to the French side who are set to trigger his Nou Camp release clause.
This comes following reports that the Brazilian is due to fly to Qatar on Tuesday in order to discuss the move and undergo a medical.
The 25-year-old posted an Instagram story which showed him initially in Shanghai for a Replay modelling shoot, followed by snaps of him having lunch in Dubai.
Should he complete a move to the Ligue 1 side, Neymar will become the most expensive footballer of all-time, with PSG willing to pay more than double the fee Manchester United shelled out for Paul Pogba to Juventus last summer.
On Monday Qatari newspaper El Watan and various European publications claimed Neymar will visit Doha to meet PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi ahead of what would be a historic move.
But fresh reports have since claimed that the medical may take place in Paris, amid a report from Spanish outlet Sport that Neymar has looked to delay the move in order for his father to pick up a €26million loyalty bonus.
A five-year deal has been mooted for the Brazilian, with the Guardian reporting that the club going as far as preparing for his unveiling, as they look to come up with something even more spectacular than the Eiffel Tower presentation that Zlatan Ibrahimovic received when he signed.
Last week Neymar added fuel to the speculation about his long-term future at Barca by storming out of training following an angry confrontation with team-mate Nelson Semedo. Hours later PSG defender Silva said details of a possible transfer might emerge “soon”.
Neymar, who was the catalyst for Barca’s famous Champions League comeback against PSG in March, has scored over 100 goals in all competitions for the Spanish giants. (The Mirror)