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Messi and Alves, indispensable

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09.07.2011 12:42

Messi and Alves, indispensable throughout the year

Meritxell Parera

Dani Alves and Lionel Messi are the Barça players who play more games in a row. In addition to playing all the matches for Barça, the two are indispensable to their national teams, who count on them year after year

Messi and Alves, indispensable throughout the year

Today Alves will play in Brazil’s second game in the Copa America, against Paraguay. As in the match against Venezuela, Alves will be in the starting 11. Meanwhile, Messi is already thinking about Costa Rica, Argentina’s opponent on Monday in what will be Messi’s third game in the tournament. Both players are favorites to win their games, after their teams reached the final of the competition in 2007, where Brazil, with Alves in the starting line-up, and in which he scored the third goal of the match, beat Messi’s Argentina to win the trophy.

They never stop

But this summer is not the only one in which the two players, instead of taking a deserved break before re-starting the season, have travelled to their countries to carry on playing football. In fact, Messi took part in the 2010 World Cup, facing Mexico in the last 16 and Germany in the quarters. Only in 2009 did Messi have a summer break, as he didn’t participate in the Confederations Cup. It was, however, a deserved a break, because in the years preceding he was present both in Beijing in 2008 where he won Olympic Gold, and the Copa America in 2007, reaching the final, as well as the World Cup 2006 and the Under-20’s World Cup in 2005, played in the Netherlands. In that tournament Argentina won the title, and Messi was top scorer with 6 goals, two of which he scored in the final against Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Alves has not stopped playing since he signed for FC Barcelona. In the summer of 2009. Alves went to the Confederations Cup where he scored a brilliant goal from a free-kick that is hard to forget. At the World Cup last summer, Brazil went out to the Netherlands in the quarters, having played against Chile in the last 16.

Spectacular performances

Seeing how much he runs down the right, not many people would think that Alves played 52 games for Barça last season: 35 in the League, 12 in the Champions, and 5 in the Spanish Cup. If the Brazilian’s figures are spectacular, then Messi’s are about the same, and he even played one match more, 53; 33 in the Spanish League, 13 in the Champions, and 7 in the Spanish Cup.
With these figures, and thinking about the incredible performances of the two players for Barcelona, and the Brazilian and Argentinian national teams, it’s hard to even imagine playing a match without Messi or Alves. Thus, accumulating success after success with Barcelona, they spend their summers going from stadium to stadium.

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