So, our boys scattered hither and yon to take care of International business, and um, this happened:
And that ain’t all.
The best news of all is, NO INJURIES! Even Adriano, who played a full match for Brazil, is coming back whole. Pedro! had a bit of discomfort, but is fine. That’s more than can be said for our cross-country rival, who have 5 or 6 players banged up in the wake of the break. Hell, even Bartra’s boys are okay now, and he’s back in practice (he missed with a testicular contusion).
The other day, Jonathan Dos Santos was practicing by himself on the pitch, which must have made for one hell of a rondo. For realz.
Everyone is back except for the South American folks, who are private jetting it back and Alex Song, whose passport was stolen. Next match is this weekend, vs Deportivo. It’s worth noting that David Villa has a field day against them, and the trainers say he’s ready for 90 minutes. Seems like the perfect time to start him, given some tired players returning from duty for their countries. Villa didn’t play against France.
—Eric Abidal is doing recovery work in the gym with the other healing folks who are working their way back toward full fitness, Some are speculating that he could start doing some exercises with the group in a short while. We’ll see.
—Andres Iniesta is raising hackles with his comment that he is “Spanish, but also feels Catalan.” What’s remarkable is that he is getting stick from both sides. He is Spanish, but essentially grew up in Catalunya. The bifurcated feelings shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. He’s also the rare player who has spoken out on a movement that is gathering steam. Exhibit 3,922 on Why Players Don’t Speak Their Minds.
—Manchester City issued a statement saying that it has no interest in Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas or any other FCB players. So there. The best part about it was that Sandro RoSELL got to evince some sky-high dudgeon in EMD, saying “Manchester City want to remove our players and want to destabilise us.”
—Lee Roden has an excellent piece for El Centrocampista about FC Girona, who could (assuming Espanyol pulls itself up by the bootstraps and avoids relegation) make it another Catalan side joining the big show. They even (as did Valencia, in a particularly boss example) had their Catalan shirts before Barça, not that anyone has noticed in the hooraw over Independencia and FCB. Nice read.