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Guardiola’s four untouchables

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03.09.2011 15:47

Pep Guardiola’s four early season untouchables

Jesús Carrillo

Valdés, Messi, Mascherano and Abidal have all played every minute of every official game played to date by Barça this season.

Pep Guardiola’s four early season untouchables

Opportunity for newcomers
As for the new signings, Alexis Sánchez has played in three games and scored one goal, while the only game Cesc Fàbregas has missed was the first leg against Madrid, which was played before he signed for the club. He has scored twice, against Porto and Villarreal.
A total of 17 players have appeared in FC Barcelona’s two Spanish Supercup, one European Supercup and one Liga match played so far. Four players have played all 360 minutes of these games, goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, defenders Mascherano and Abidal, and striker Leo Messi.

Positive balance

V 2011-08-17_FCB_-_REAL_MADRID_002.jpgaldés has kept two clean sheets in the last two games against Porto and Villarreal, but let in a total of four in the two games against Real Madrid. Valdés has enjoyed the support of Mascherano in the centre of defence, where he has been covering for the injured Puyol and Piqué. To his side, the Argentinian has had the tireless Éric Abidal. In attack, Leo Messi has scored in every official game to date, a total of six, three in the Spanish Supercup, one in the European one and two in the league.

Iniesta, Keita and Alves also get time

Andrés Iniesta was also on the way to the same record, but was taken off by Guardiola after 10 minutes of the second half against Villarreal. Keita has also played a big role in the early outings, although he didn’t start against Madrid at the Camp Nou. But despite not playing every minute, there is perhaps no one player who has been singled for as much praise from Pep Guardiola as the Malian.

Dani Alves missed one whole game through suspension, the league outing versus Villarreal. Otherwise, he has played the entirety of every other official game.

Xavi, Pedro and Villa in every game

Finally, Xavi, Pedro and Villa have all appeared in every game to date. The former played the full second match against Madrid and also the one in Monaco, but only played part of the first clash with Madrid and the Liga opener.

Pedro and Villa have started three games each. The Canary Islander was in the first elevens at the Bernabeu, Camp Nou and Monaco, and the Asturian started in all of the three Supercup games but was on the bench for the first game of the Liga campaign.

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