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20.05.2008 14:28

One year on

Jesús Carrillo

Six new players joined the Barça first team last summer (Henry, Abidal, Touré Yaya, Milito, Bojan and Giovani) and in the 58 official games played, they featured in an average of 74% of the encounters.

Despite injuries and other physical woes (in Touré’s case) and the African Nations Cup, the new players have played a prominent role in the team this season. Eric Abidal played the most minutes, Henry scored the most goals and Bojan made the most appearances.

Established defence

Both Milito and Abidal won regular places in the Barcelona defence. The Argentinian, who scored one league goal, appeared in 73% of the official games the side played, while the Frenchman appeared in 78%. Milito, of course, missed the run-in to the end of the season after injuring a knee at Old Trafford.

Leading the midfield

fcb-bilbao-tourx.jpgTouré Yaya, played in 67% of the games, a figure that was limited by the time he was away in Africa and also because of his back problems. Touré scored twice, once in the league and once in Europe.

Top scorer

Thierry Henry topped the club’s goalscoring with 19 goals in three competitions. He was top in the Cup, with four goals, and second in the league, with 12 goals, four fewer than Samuel Eto'o.

The ex Arsenal star played 47 games, 79% of the total, and like Touré, his total appearances were limited by physical troubles, which in Henry’s case affected the middle of the season.

Promoted to the first team

Apart from the new signings, the year also saw two players that came up from the reserves playing a prominent role. It was not since the 95/96 season that there has been such a high presence of products of the Barça youth system playing first team football.

Good stats for Bojan and Giovani

QM3D0074.jpgBojan appeared in 31 league games, and Giovani in 27. Taking all three major competitions into account, the Catalan played 48 games, 81%, and Giovani’s 37 appearances corresponded to a participation rate of 66%. Both newcomers were advantaged in terms of first team opportunities by the physical problems suffered by some of the more established forwards (Eto'o, Messi, Ronaldinho and Henry) as they lived up to and even exceeded expectations at the start of the campaign.

Bojan scored 12 goals, like Henri in all three competitions, and also became the youngest player ever to score for Barça in the league and the second youngest goalscorer in Champions League history.
One year on
Replacing Jorquera
The serious injury suffered by Albert Jorquera in San Mamés obliged the club to sign Andalusian José Manuel Pinto from Celta Vigo during the transfer window. Pinto played three games during the run-in to the end of the season (at Riazor, the Camp Nou and Nueva Condomina) conceding 8 goals.

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