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09.10.2007 18:29

Deco at his best

Marc Guillén

Deco was finally rewarded for his excellent current form when he scored his first goal of the season on Sunday to set FC Barcelona on the way to victory against Atlético de Madrid.

In the 15th minute of the encounter the Portuguese midfielder capitalised on a mistake from Christian Abbiati to put the Blaugrana ahead and, despite the fortune involved, it was a deserved goal. Deco began the move as he sprayed the ball out to Lionel Messi on the wing. That may have been enough in his role as an attacking midfielder, but Deco instead opted to attack the space at the near post and as Abbiati spilled the ball, he was able to tuck in the rebound from close range.

Going forward

The 30-year-old has been in great form in recent weeks and on Sunday showed again why he is so vital to the team. He caused Atlético problems throughout and was able to register four shots on goal.

QM3D5891.jpgIt was a surprise that the goal against los Colchoneros was only his first of the season, but Deco has come close on previous occasions as he has already hit the woodwork twice this term. The first time came in the victory against Real Zaragoza and the second was in the Champions League encounter with VfB Stuttgart last week. In the seven league games so far this term, he has registered 14 shots at goal with 11 of them being on target. His mobility and attacking instincts make him one of the best players in the Spanish league.

Tackling back

Deco is also one of those special players that can ally his ability to make surging runs and creative passes with a defensive posture that sees him tackle back and prevent opponents from mounting breakaways.

A statistic that shows his skill when looking to win the ball back is that in the first seven league games he has only committed 14 fouls. On the flip side, opponents' fear is highlighted by the fact that in the same number of games he has been fouled on 17 occasions.
Deco at his best
Helping out
As well as tracking back and driving the team forward, Deco is proving to be effective at set pieces with his free-kicks and corners constantly posing a danger. This term he has provided two assists in the league and had a hand in creating his first goal of the season on Sunday.

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