Buenos Aires gets the Barça look
The international friendly between Argentina and Spain in Buenos Aires on Tuesday will feature no fewer than ten Barça players. No wonder FC Barcelona has been the centre of attention there in recent days.
Following on from last week’s opening round of the European championships, this Tuesday Spain
and Argentina will take part in a friendly in Buenos Aires. The match will showcase the talents of
ten Barça stars – three for Argentina and seven for Spain – making FC Barcelona very
much the star of the show.
Messi the focus
For Argentina, all eyes will be on the world’s best player, Leo Messi. The
entire country will be hoping he can turn in the same quality of performance that he does week in
week out for Barça. Argentine coach Sergio Batista knows him well from the Olympic Games in Beijing
and is likely to play him pushed forward on the right of the South American attack.
A lover of good football
Batista, who took over after the World Cup from Diego Maradona, is a coach who places the
emphasis on ball control rather than physical prowess and has gone on record as a fan of the Barça
style: “I watch all of Barça’s matches because I love the way they play. They play the
way we are trying to play. I love teams that can string together six, seven, eight passes”.
He is also a declared admirer of the World Champions - “They’ve given value to skill
over passion” – and in particular of the “intelligence” of Xavi and
Mascherano and Milito
Barça central defender Gaby Milito will make his international comeback after a two-year
injury enforced absence while team captain Javier Mascherano will play his first match for
Argentina since moving from Liverpool to Barça.
Lined up against Messi, Milito and Mascherano will be seven of their Barça
team-mates - Valdes, Piqué, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro and Villa. The World Champions arrived
on Saturday and on Sunday trained in the La Bombonera. On Monday afternoon they will train in the
Monumental Stadium. The match is expected to be a sell-out.