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27.08.2007 19:09

Debut time for three newcomers

Marc Guillén

Touré Yaya, Thierry Henry and Éric Abidal all made their Spanish League debuts against Racing and all three of them put in good performances in what proved to be a tough opening game.

The three new players made a good impression, especially given the difficulties associated with starting with a new team and in a new league, despite their extensive international experience.

Thierry Henry

santander_13.jpgThe French striker starts his 14th season in the top flight of European football, having played in France and Italy before featuring for the last eight seasons with Arsenal in the Premier League. He made his top class debut on 31st August 1994 with Monaco in a game the home team lost -2 to Nice.

Four seasons later, Henry made his debut in the calcio following his signing for Juventus. However he was only 21 when he joined to Turin team and he found it difficult to adapt and joined Arsenal at the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Henry’s performance on Sunday, during the half an hour or so he was on the pitch, showed clear signs of the class he’s famous for. Although he didn’t see too much of the ball, he was active up front and showed some good movement. Five minutes from the end he nearly made a dream start when he hit the post after beating his man and shooting from the edge of the box.

Éric Abidal

heartsfcb_1_x2x.jpgBarca are Eric Abidal’s first team outside of France after playing at Monaco, then Lille and Olympic Lyon. The defender was the only new signing who played the whole 90 minutes and he showed his strength and ability in annulling the threat from Racing midfielder Jorge López. Although he didn’t get forward too often, when he managed to overlap with Ronaldinho he showed he can put in a good cross. His defending stats were also good, winning six tackles and just giving one ball away. Curiously enough, he was only fouled the once, but it was bad enough for the referee to send off his aggressor Smolarek.

Touré Yaya

WEB_08.jpgTouré Yaya is Barac’s youngest signing this year, though he’s actually figured for plenty of teams - ASEC Abidjan in the Ivory Coast during the 2001-2002 season, the Belgian outfit Beveren, Ukrainian team Metalurg, Olympiacos in Greece and finally Monaco before joining Barca.

Touré Yaya’s stats for the game reveal the hard work he put in, recovering 9 balls and only losing once. During his 69 minutes on the pitch, the African showed great strength and concentration, maintaining his position on the pitch and showing speed and accuracy with his passing.
Debut time for three newcomers
All three ex-Monaco
Curiously enough, all three of Barca’s summer signing who played on Sunday have featured for Monaco – Henry started their and played for five seasons, Abidal also made his debut with Monaco and was there for two seasons, whilst Touré Yaya was at Monaco last season.

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