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Barcelona at Euro 2012: How the Catalans fared on the European stage

Barcelona at Euro 2012: How the Catalans fared on the European stage

Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez y Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona

Goal.com takes a look at the performances of the Catalans at Euro 2012...

Barcelona


GOALKEEPERS



Victor Valdes | SPAIN

Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: NA
Appearances: 0
 Goals Conceded: NA
 Saves: NA
 Errors leading to goal: NA

The Barcelona custodian comes third in the pecking order after Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina. Valdes isn’t likely to feature at Euro 2012 with Casillas in top form.


Barcelona


DEFENDERS



Gerard Pique | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: (3)
Appearances: 3
 Tackles: 5
 Clearances: 18
 Blocks: 2

Pique was coming into this tournament with doubts over his form and fingers being pointed at his performances. He didn’t do much to answer his critics in the first game as he allowed Balotelli too much space and let Di Natale peel off him to score. He quickly made amends with a dominating display against Ireland as he nodded away a large portion of aerial passes and also contributed in attack. He put in another assured display against Croatia as he easily neutralized the threat of Mandzukic and won a lot of aerial duels.


Barcelona


MIDFIELDERS



Xavi Hernandez | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: (3.33)
Appearances: 3
Passes: 348
 Passing Accuracy: 91%
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: 86%

The midfield maestro was his usual self in the game against Italy as he made himself always available. Xavi’s crisp passing however, wasn’t enough to unlock the Italian defense but contributed tremendously to the general play. He set a new record by completing 136 passes against the Irish as he dragged their defense from place to place and orchestrated the attack. Another exemplary display against Croatia put his total passes at 348 but he was lacking the final delivery at times in the group stage.



Andres Iniesta | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: (3.67)
Appearances: 3
Passes: 231
 Passing Accuracy: 90%
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: 89%

Arguably Spain’s top performer at Euro 2012, Iniesta was at his best against Italy as his piercing runs troubled the Azzurri defense. He was the chief troublemaker for Ireland as he was a part of everything positive that Spain created and had a hand in the opening goal. However, he was closely marked by the Croats as that limited his influence but popped up with an assist for Jesus Navas’ goal late in the game.

 

Sergio Busquets | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: (3)
Appearances: 3
Passes: 251
 Passing Accuracy: 93%
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: 91%

The La Masia graduate was upto his usual game againt Italy as he just sat in front of the back four but was a little sloppy in his play and failed to track runners a few times. He had an easy night against the Irish as their long ball tactics made his job easier but he was quick to press the opposition and forced them into errors. Busquets’ best game so far was the one against Croatia as he mopped up everything in midfield and was extremely composed on the ball. He did everything he was asked to do. A crucial piece of the Spanish midfield.



Pedro Rodriguez | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: NA
Appearances: 0
Passes: NA
 Passing Accuracy: NA
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: NA

The pacey winger was a surprise inclusion in Del Bosque’s squad as the manager preferred to take a slightly experienced player to Euro 2012 then bring in a total new comer in Iker Muniain. He hasn’t featured in any match yet and may not be used as Jesus Navas remains the preferred option on the wings.



Cesc Fabregas | SPAIN


Spain

Goal.com Average Rating: (3.33)
Appearances: 1 (2)
Passes: 98
 Passing Accuracy: 89%
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: 89%

Started the game against Italy as a ‘false nine’ and couldn’t get into the action in the first half as Italy neutralized Spain’s movement but came up with the equalizing goal in an improved second half performance. A late substitution to replace two goal hero Torres, Fabregas scored off a quickly taken corner to further his tally of goals to 2. He put in an excellent performance against Croatia as he nearly scored within five minutes of his introduction and set up Iniesta with a lovely chip for him to assist Jesus Navas for the winning goal.



Ibrahim Afellay | NETHERLANDS


Netherlands

Goal.com Average Rating: (2.50)
Appearances: 2 (1)
Passes: 76
 Passing Accuracy: 96%
 Passing Accuracy opp. Half: 85%

Afellay started for the Oranje on the left wing and was lively down that side. He looked dangerous but didn’t actually contribute much against the Danish. He found it hard to play against the Germans as he got very little of the ball before being subbed out during the break time. He came in as a substitute for Willems in their game against Portugal but he couldn’t prove decisive and was ineffective for the large part of his time on the pitch. He would be sad to go home early especially with a mediocre display in all the games.


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