Tuesday, March 24, 2009
So all the leagues around Europe go on hold for the International Break. The tournament at the end makes it worthwhile, I suppose. But it messes up my weekend routine of wall to wall football from England and Spain, drinking and posting codswallop on various forums while the matches are on. Ah, well. Can't be helped, can't be helped.
The Spain game should be good, though. Alongside Barcelona they've been my favourite side to watch over the last 18 months or so. They'll have to do without Iniesta, who's out for two weeks with a thigh strain. His absence isn't a massive blow to Spain as there are capable deputies available to come in and do a job, but Spain like Barcelona just aren't the same without him. I don't think it's a coincidence that Barcelona's recent slump coincided with Iniesta's absence. At times this season his level of performance has been as good, if not better, than Messi's. Barcelona fans will tell you that, but he has never received the universal adulation of the Argentine. Maybe he likes it that way. He reminds me of Paul Scholes in that sense: idolised by his own fans and deeply respected by his peers but light years away from the bullshit. Barca say he should be back for the game against Bayern Munich. I hope so.