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07.10.2009 10:57

Four centre backs

Jesús Carrillo

Barça has the best defensive record in Europe, thanks in part to the four central defenders used so far in eleven competitive matches: Puyol, Piqué, Márquez and Chigrinskiy.

The most repeated pairing so far (seven) is that of Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué. The two Catalan defenders played the three Super Cup and both Champions League group stage matches. They’ve also played two league matches.


2009-09-19_FCB_-_ATLETICO_DE_MADRID_014.JPGThe Ukrainian international has played three league matches but joined Barça after the Super Cups and is ineligible for the Champions League. He also picked up an injury against Malaga and subsequently missed the Almeria game. In his three league matches, Chigrinskiy has paired up twice with Piqué and once with Puyol.

Rafa Márquez

2009-08-22_MARQUEZ_01.jpgRafael Márquez was the last central defender to become available to Pep Guardiola. He made his comeback after injury last Saturday when he joined Puyol in the back four. Márquez was replaced by Piqué during the second half.

Other options

Although these four players have occupied the central defence in this early part of the season, Guardiola has other options, such as Touré Yayá (as happened last season in the Cup and Champions League finals). Eric Abidal can also play at centre back while Gabi Milito is nearing the final stage of his recovery from serious injury and should be available for the second half of the season.
Four centre backs
Minutes and matches
Puyol: 830 minutes, in 7 matches
Piqué: 566 minutes, in 8 matches
Chigrinskiy: 242 minutes, in 3 matches
Márquez: 115 minutes, in 3 matches

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