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26.03.2008 23:52

A positive balance


Barça’s international stars had a good night except for team captain Carles Puyol, who limped away from Spain’s 1-0 win over Italy with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, France inflicted a first defeat for Capello’s England, Gudjohnsen gave Iceland an away victory over Slovakia and rising starlet Gai Assulin made his debut with Israel. Spain overcame the world champions with a stunning volley from David Villa but the win – and a successful night of international commitments for Barça players - was overshadowed by an injury to Carles Puyol.

Puyol limps off after 15 minutes

The Barça captain started in the heart of the Spain defence alongside Marchena but a chance clash with Di Natale forced him to leave the pitch and be substituted by Albiol. He’ll have an examination in Barcelona on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.

Barça team-mate Xavi had a great game in midfield alongside Cesc and Iniesta while, for Italy, Zambrotta played the last twenty minutes in place of Panucci.

Abidal and Thuram overcome England

abidal.jpgMeanwhile, in the Stade de France stadium in Paris, France beat England 1-0 (a first half penalty from Ribery). Eric Abidal (left back) and Thuram (central defence alongside Gallas) – who captained the France team – played the full ninety minutes.


Gudjohnsen scored a late goal in Iceland’s 2-1 win away to Slovakia. Iceland took the lead thanks to a goal from Thorvaldson in the 71st minute but Mintal equalised a minute later. However, Gudjohnsen sealed the win 8 minutes from time.

Historic debut

Another of Barça’s rising stars, Gai Assulin, became Israel’s youngest ever international at the age of 16 (he’ll be 17 on 9th April), overtaking Chelsea’s Ben Sahar. Israel beat Chile 1-0 in Tel Aviv Ramat Gan stadium, the goal coming from Liverpool’s Benayoun in the 79th minute.
Bojan the star
Finally, Spain under-21s thrashed Kazakhstan 5-0 with an outstanding performance from Bojan Krkic, who scored a spectacular third goal.

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