NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?


Six Catalan players at UEFA Euro 2012

Spain is once again the favourite team going into Euro 2012. After breaking an international jinx of 44 years in 2008, they have not looked back since and possess a squad oozing with quality. Of the 23-man squad Vicente del Bosque is taking to the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine six are Catalan players. Their first match of the tournament is against Italy on June 10th.

SHARE

08 June 2012 11:35 PM

by

ACN / Laura Pitart

Barcelona (CNA).- Spain is once again the favourites going into Euro 2012. After breaking an international jinx of 44 years in 2008, they have not looked back since and possess a squad oozing with quality. Of the 23-man squad that Vicente del Bosque is taking to the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine six are Catalan players. All of them were graduates of La Masia, FC Barcelona\u2019s school for new talents. Five of them are playing at FC Barcelona. The presence of Víctor Valdés, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fábregas means Catalonia is once again contributing more players to the side than any other part of Spain, followed by Madrid with five.


Víctor Valdés (age 30). It was not until May 2010 that the Barça keeper was included in Spain\u2019s final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup. In South Africa he came on as a second-choice goalkeeper behind Iker Casillas. He has played three matches, but only one as a first-team player.

Jordi Alba (age 23). In a squad of European champions and World Cup winners Valencia left-back Alba is the player who could catch the eye of people outside Spain. Manchester United and FC Barcelona already want the defender, who was released by the Catalans in 2005. The emergence of this defender seems to have convinced Del Bosque that he can play at left-back, a position formerly occupied by Joan Capdevila, also a Catalan player. Alba could well make his international breakthrough this summer.

Gerard Piqué (age 25). The European championship is the only major tournament he has missed. After an irregular season at Barça, Piqué has to show his value as a Spanish defender. Unaccompanied by FC Barcelona captain, Catalan Carles Puyol, out through knee injury, Piqué has to recover his best level and lead from the centre of defence.

Sergio Busquets (age 23). Coach Pep Guardiola knew he\u2019d found a talent after a few games in the Barça reserve team. Since his debut, Busi \u2013as he is known in the dressing room- has never left the first team. From humble origins, the midfielder has risen quickly to become a key figure for FC Barcelona and Spain, one who generates the utmost respect from his team-mates, to the point that the Spanish national coach, Del Bosque, said \u201Cif I were a player, I would like to be like Busquets\u201D.

Xavi Hernández (age 32). Nothing to prove after 14 years in the elite. He has won everything (he is only missing a gold medal from Sidney 2000, when he won the silver). This season, Xavi hadn\u2019t played as he would have liked, because of a slight pain near the calf. \u201CThink quickly and look for spaces\u201D is how he understands the game, so his physical problems didn\u2019t seem a big handicap to this football genius.

Cesc Fàbregas (age 25). Spanish team demands excellent touch and passing as fast as it is precise. There is no better player to do that than Fàbregas. A member of the Arsenal Academy since he was 16, he was back at home last summer. But the dreams are never met at all. He seemed quite tired towards the end of the season and may not be on Spain\u2019s first team. However, he could be sharp in the second half.

SHARE

  • Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol and Cesc Fàbregas in Japan (by FC Barcelona)

  • Sergio Busquets and Xavi Hernández (by FC Barcelona)

  • Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas (by FC Barcelona)

  • Víctor Valdes with Andrés Iniesta last season (by FC Barcelona)

  • Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol and Cesc Fàbregas in Japan (by FC Barcelona)
  • Sergio Busquets and Xavi Hernández (by FC Barcelona)
  • Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas (by FC Barcelona)
  • Víctor Valdes with Andrés Iniesta last season (by FC Barcelona)