Bitter-sweet quarterfinals for Barça
Barça players have had mixed fortunes in the World Cup quarterfinals. While Spain have reached the semis for the first time thanks to the fast reactions of David Villa, Messi and his Argentine team-mates have crashed out of the tournament.
No fewer than nine members of the Barça squad made it through to the quarterfinals but now
it’s down to eight after Argentina were crushed by a rampant Germany.
However, it’s all smiles in the Spain camp thanks to a Barça-led victory over Paraguay
in the quarterfinals.
Villa v Klose
David Villa is turning out to be one of the stars of the 2010 World Cup. His decisive goal
against Paraguay has catapulted him to the top of the goal ranking with five but on Wednesday
he’ll be in direct competition with another of the top strikers in South Africa, Miroslav
Klose, who has four goals to his name.
Of the eight Barça players in the Spain squad only goalkeeper Victor
Valdés missed out on Saturday’s historic win. Del Bosque’s starting line-up included
Piqué and Puyol in defence, Xavi and Sergio Busquets in midfield and Villa and Iniesta in attack,
while Pedro came on in the second half. In addition, Iniesta was named man-of-the-match.
Pedro turns the tide
Pedro came on with 15 minutes to go and immediately added pace and width to a Spain
attack that had seemed excessively static. Within minutes, he produced a shot that cannoned off the
post straight back to Villa. Such was the pace of the rebound that it seemed impossible to control
the ball but somehow Barça’s star summer signing slotted the ball into the net via the two
Disappointment for Messi
While it was all smiles for the Barça contingent in Johannesburg, Leo Messi suffered
a huge disappoint in Cape Town. Argentina were crushed by Germany 4-0 and Leo has had to pack his
bags without scoring a single goal, despite figuring among the leaders in the shot ranking.