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14.11.2008 09:00

All the players are important

Jesús Carrillo

Every player in the FC Barcelona first team squad has had a chance to prove themselves this season as the club continue to progress in three competitions under the guidance of coach Pep Guardiola.

Squad rotation has been used very effectively by the trainer for every position. Víctor Valdés, for example, has not played in every match as he has been replaced by José Manuel Pinto for the Copa del Rey games against Benidorm.

Alves, Márquez y Puyol

sporting-fcb_x9x.jpgIn the defence, every player has appeared at some point although it is Dani Alves, Rafa Márquez and Carles Puyol that have the most minutes under their belts, while players such as Gerard Piqué, éric Abidal, Martín Cáceres and Sylvinho have all played their part.

Xavi unaffected

QM3D1703.jpgXavi Hernández has not been unduly affected by the rotations, but while the playmaker has been an ever-present in the league and Europe, he only played in the second half of the return leg against Benidorm in the cup.

Alongside Xavi, the rest of the midfielder have divided up their appearances almost equally. Sergio Busquets and Touré Yaya have swapped around depending on the games with the Catalan appearing regularly in the early league games, before the Ivory Coast international has played regularly in the Champions League.

If there was anyone that thought that the two players were incompatible, then the coaching staff has worked hard to overcome that when they were paired up against Málaga. Seydou Keita, Aliaksandr Hleb and Andrés Iniesta have also made regular appearances this season while Víctor Sánchez has been given a chance to impress too.

Goals galore

QM3D3094.jpgUp front, Guardiola has rotated his side regularly. Every forward at the club has been given runs in the team during the 16 competitive games that the team have played. Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o have scored the most goals and they have also begun the most matches.

Injury cover

QM3D7532.jpgThe injury to Iniesta has meant that Hleb and Henry have stepped up. The former has now recovered from a knock and has covered the absence of Keita. Víctor Sánchez has also been able to move up to the first team to cover, while Pedor has also had his chances this season.
All the players are important
The minutes
Below is the list of minutes that every Barça first-team player has made this term in the ten league games, four Champions League matches and two Copa del Rey encounters.

Valdés 1.260
Alves 1.242
Puyol 1185
Xavi 1.080
Messi 1.046
Márquez 995
Iniesta 953
Eto'o 950
Piqué 900
Sergio Busquets 853
Abidal 773
Henrio 745
Touré Yaya 724
Keita 580
Bojan 480
Hleb 463
Gudjohnsen 361
Sylvinho 361
Cáceres 339
Víctor Sánchez 296
Pinto 180
Pedro 109
Abraham 10

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