This past weekend, a number of Barça players from the first team and youth ranks took part in international fixtures. Below are some brief reports on the recent games of France, Brazil, Netherlands, Spain, Spain U-19, and Spain U-21, along with notes on which Barcelona players featured and how they performed for their national teams.
France 1-1 Belarus, Euro 2012 Qualifying
Friday, June 3, 2011
Goals: Abidal (own goal, 20′), Malouda (22′)
Blaugrana report: Eric Abidal played the entire match at left back, with the own goal seemingly a result of bad luck after the ball was deflected from a Kalachev free kick. France remains on top of Group D with 13 points from 6 matches.
Abidal also played the last 15 minutes in France’s 1-4 win against the Ukraine in a friendly match on June 6. Three of France’s goals came late in the match (87, 89, and 90th minutes), after a number of late substitutions.
Brazil 0-0 Netherlands, Friendly
June 4, 2011
Blaugrana report: Ibrahim Afellay was one of the outstanding players for the Netherlands, according to Barça’s official site. The Dutchman played on the inside left and was one of the most incisive players on his team, starring in a dramatic duel with fellow Barça teammate Dani Alves. Both played 90 minutes, while Adriano also featured in the last five minutes of the game. Dani Alves received a yellow card in the 41st minute.
United States 0-4 Spain, Friendly
June 4, 2011
Goals: Cazorla (28′), Negredo (32′), Cazorla (41′), Torres (73′)
Blaugrana report: Four Barça players took part in the match. Gerard Pique played the full 90 minutes. Busquets played the first half and was replaced by Villarreal’s Bruno Soriano. David Villa also started but was taken off at half-time to make room for Andres Iniesta. Both Pedro and Valdes were unused substitutes. A little disconcerting seeing our players in all white kits, no?
England 1-1 Spain, Under-19 Championship Qualifier
June 5, 2011
Goals: Isco (26′), Kane (45+2′)
Blaugrana report: Spain U-19 secure their spot in the U-19 Championship finals in Romania with the help of some Barça youngsters. Marc Muniesa, Sergi Gomez, and Sergi Roberto all started the match, with both Sergis playing the full 90 minutes. Muniesa was replaced in the 75th minute with a hamstring pull. He’s expected to be out of action for about three weeks. Rising youth star Gerard Deulofeu was on the bench. The U-19 Finals run from July 20-August 1.
Spain 1-1 Russia, Under-21 Friendly
June 5, 2011
Goals: Herrera (22′), Yakovlev (77′)
Blaugrana report: All five Barça players in the squad made an appearance during the match. Martin Montoya (in his first appearance since breaking his collarbone in the match with Real Sociedad on April 30), Thiago Alcantara and Bojan Krkic all started the match. Jeffren replaced Bojan at the half, which is also when Ruben Miño entered the game. Montoya was replaced by Azpilicueta in the 63rd minute, and Thiago in the 69th by Ruben Perez. Miño made an impressive save in the 73rd minute from a powerful shot by Denis Cheryshev, but couldn’t prevent the equalizing goal only moments later. Thiago appears to have picked up a slight knock during the game, but should recover in time for Spain’s first match of the U-21 European Championships this Sunday against England.
Sources: fcbarcelona.cat, UEFA, Sport, rfef.es; Photo: Getty Images