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Pinto and Keita: cup regulars

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01.02.2011 13:48

Pinto and Keita: cup regulars

Sandra Sarmiento

Pinto has started every cup game this season, and Keita has started four. No other member of the squad has appeared in every game.

Pep Guardiola has always insisted that for a squad to work, all of the players should get their chance to play and feel they are making a contribution to the collective effort. He knows that Barça would get nowhere without them and that they are just as important as the more regular starters when it comes to achieving objectives.

Another final is within touching distance, and two of the people that deserve the most thanks for that are Pinto and Keita, who have featured in every game.

Pinto, first choice keeper

2011-01-12_PARTIDO_52.JPGThe Andalusian stopper knows that if Barça make it to the final on April 20, he will be playing in goal. Guardiola has already told him that, and Pinto has responded with some fantastic performances. He has been there whenever the team has needed him and has shown that it was not by chance that he won the Zamora trophy when playing for Celta. Against Bilbao, Betis and Almeria, Pinto has been outstanding.

Keita, two goals

2011-01-12_PARTIDO_47.JPGThe Malian is another of Guardiola’s firm favourites, to the extent that the coach recently stated that Keita exemplifies everything about Barça. He has started 4 of the 7 cup games to date, and although he is more of workhorse who lacks the flair of some of his fellow midfielders, which has sometimes meant he has been sidelined, when he has been given chances, he has always passed the test with flying colours. Keita has even scored two goals in this year’s cup, which added to the misery unleashed upon Betis and Almeria.
Pinto and Keita: cup regulars
Maxwell and Pedro next
Maxwell has played six of the seven cup games this season, totalling 507 minutes. Pedro has made the same number of appearances, totalling 499 minutes, followed by Adriano with 432 minutes and Messi with 422.

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