Welcome to TalkBarca. As you know that the International break has started. Therefore, we are going to take a break from La Liga action and focus on Barcelona players with their respective National Teams. As usual, a lot of players from our squad have been called up for National Duty and we can watch them in action regularly until 20 November 2019. Furthermore, there are a lot of expectations and I, as a fan, am eager to watch my club players especially Messi, Ter Stegen and De Jong and see how they perform for their National sides. We are going to discuss every player individually and the way he needs to play for his Nation. However, before we begin, let us discuss a few injuries which have prevented some of our players from going on National Duty. So, let’s have a look at injury updates.
FC Barcelona Injury Updates:
Before we discuss the players who are actually going for National Duty in the International break, let’s have a look at our injury updates in the squad as well as their expected return dates. We currently have 3 players on our injury list including Semedo, Rakitic, and Alba. So, without any delay, let’s have a look at their injury updates and expected return dates.
Semedo got injured just before the international break. Therefore, he didn’t leave Barcelona facilities for National Duty. Semedo’s absence from the Portugal squad is a big deficit for them, especially with his current form. Semedo has been performing pretty well for FC Barcelona and he has been gaining a lot of confidence. Furthermore, his performances are also getting better with each game. Therefore, he was a really pivotal player in Portugal’s defense. However, talking about Portugal, Portugal has already played one game from their international break and they ended up winning the game with a 6-0 scoreline, thanks to Ricardo Pereira filling the boots of Semedo. Coming on the injury updates, Semedo is expected to return from his muscle injury on 10th December 2019.
On the other side, Ivan Rakitic has just returned from Croatia. Yes, Rakitic did travel to Croatia and was called up before time for National Duty. However, he picked up an injury during the last training in Barcelona and is now back in Spain. We have already talked about Rakitic on how much he needs game time. Rakitic needs to be more active in games and he needs more minutes on the pitch if we want to increase his value. It’s also crucial for him to gain his lost confidence. We all know how good of a midfielder he is. Rakitic’s creativity and Rakitic’s mind in the midfield is world-class and once in form, he can be a threat to any opposition.
Rakitic is also a very pivotal player for Croatia and Croatia’s midfield heavily depends on Ivan Rakitic along with Modric. There are also many gurus and professional generalists who actually consider Ivan Rakitic a better midfielder than Luka Modric and according to them Rakitic’s influence in the midfield is more than Luka Modric. Therefore, Rakitic indeed is a big setback for Croatia. So, that’s all for the injury updates on Rakitic. The club has not revealed an expected return date of Rakitic from his Achilles Tendon Injury. To be honest, I think, this injury is really bad for Rakitic in terms of football game time and also his future.
Jordi Alba is the third and the final player on our injury list. Alba got injured against Slavia Prague and he is still out of action due to that injury. Considering the quality of Jordi Alba, he should have been called for National Duty if it wasn’t for his injury. Coming on to the injury updates, the club has not specified return date for Alba.
National Duty For Barcelona Players During International Break:
Our star player Lionel Messi is going to represent Argentina in the international fixtures against Brazil and Uruguay. You know Messi will be called for National Duty during every International Break if he is fit. Messi is returning back to his national team after a big break. The fans expect a lot from him in these fixtures as well as in the future. We know Messi has done a lot good at FC Barcelona.
At club level, he has a brilliant and unmatchable record. However, when it comes to international football, there is not much we can talk about. If you are a true football analyst, then you do know that Messi has also played some brilliant matches for Argentina. However, when it comes to trophies, winning titles, and performing on a regular basis, Argentina is not yet at that level. Therefore, Messi must prove us wrong, rather prove haters wrong and perform brilliantly.
Brazil has called Arthur for National Duty in International Friendlies. Just like Argentina, Brazil is also going to play two matches. The first one is against Argentina and the second fixture is against South Korea in Abu Dhabi. It’s great to see the competition between our club players on the International level. If you talk about Brazil then obviously Arthur comes into the mind. Arthur is going to play against Leo Messi who is his teammate at FC Barcelona. This kind of rivalry is very positive and as a fan, it’s really exciting to see.
Philip Coutinho is also part of the Brazilian squad. Now coming back to the rivalry thing, watching Coutinho go against Messi is also going to be a lot of fun. We know how good of a player Phillipe Coutinho is and he has been a part of Barcelona as well. He is having a great season in Bayern Munich and I am very excited to see how well he performs in this match against Argentina. As we discussed earlier, Uruguay is going to play against Argentina as well. This means we will also witness Suarez going against Messi which is the best possible thing for the fans.
Sergio Busquests has been called up for the Spain squad. Busquets is a pivotal player in the midfield. His quality of playing as a central or defensive midfielder has been evident over the last few years. He is not only the key in Barcelona Squad but also the main tactician in the Spanish squad. Furthermore, Sergio’s passing quality is world-class. To be honest, there are hardly any players left in the world who can play with such composure in the midfield. Busquets’s passes are inch-perfect and we have seen over the years how he is able to control the Midfield single-handedly.
Talking about Spain, they already qualified for the Euro 2020. They can use their friendly fixtures as a source of developing chemistry within the squad or to experiment with some new tactics. We all know that Spain can be really lethal if it gets going for them just because they have world-class players and their style of play is also very difficult to break down. It is true that their football at the International level has been declining over the past few years. However, I expect a comeback from them. If this comeback really happens, Spain can once again dominate in the International football tournaments.
FRANKIE DE JONG:
De Jong is one of the main players in the Netherlands squad. The Netherlands Team depends highly on Frenkie in terms of playing in the midfield and controlling the game. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he got a call for National Duty from the Dutch National Team. His role in the midfield is very pivotal, and he is one of their main players in the squad. Furthermore, their group (Group C) is in a very tight condition as Germany is on the top and Northern Ireland is below them. So, Netherlands need to play smart football and put in quality performances in order to qualify for the Euros.
It is in such times when you need your main players such as Frenkie. Frankie’s presence in the midfield can ensure dominating football and possession. Furthermore, Frankie’s passing sense can make life easier for attackers. As you will know that he is very smart when it comes to playing crucial passes in tight spaces and playing unexpected through balls. Therefore he is highly needed in the Ned squad. Netherland is going to play Northern Ireland on 16th November and Estonia on 19th of November.
Ter Stegen has been called up for the National Duty from Germany. His place in the squad is obvious, and he is one of the main players in the Germany lineup. His recent performances for FC Barcelona have been phenomenal. Ter Stegen is the first choice keeper at Barcelona, and no doubt he stands up to that reputation week in and week out. His footballing quality has improved a lot, and this season is one of his best seasons ever. However, his starting role for Germany is in doubt as the coach prefers Vetren Neuer.
As a Ter Stegen and Barcelona fan, I think this is unfair. Ter Stegen needs to be preferred for more games ahead of Manuel Neuer, and undoubtedly can perform better. This is not new to see Germany making stupid decisions in terms of who they want to play for their team. Germany has had this problem with players for a long time and now Bayern Munich is pressurizing Germany to start Neuer ahead of Ter Stegen. MATS has definitely had a better season then Neuer and that too in a more competitive league. He has also performed in Champions League this season, and has saved his team countless times in La Liga this year.
Therefore, he definitely definitely deserves a starting role. Even if he does not represent Germany this time, it will not change the fact that he is world-class and somewhere he is crossing Neuer in terms of goalkeeping abilities. We have also heard that both keepers will get a chance to start in the for Germany in alternative games.
Vidal is on the National Duty to represent Chile in a fixture against Peru. This is going to be his 116th cap for the country. Vidal is frequently used in international matches, and the reason is obvious. He brings life into the Midfield and plays his heart out for any team he is representing. His physical abilities are well known to us, and we know how capable he is physical. He’s also technically gifted and cannot only play in the midfield but, also has a good finishing ability in front of goal. He also drops down to help his defense quite often, and he plays the entire game without stopping. Just like a mad horse, he does not stop and puts in more than one hundred percent of his effort in every game.
Such kind of ability in a player on your side can benefit the team a lot because one player puts in effort equivalent to 2 players and this kind of attribute troubles the opposition making the player marked by multiple players and overall, leave some players on the team unmarked. This makes it easier to create goalscoring opportunities and to maintain possession.
Griezmann is out on National duty for France. I think this international break is really beneficial for Griezmann because he can gain his long lost confidence due to playing out of position at FC Barcelona. Valverde has used Griezmann on the Left Wing in almost every fixture which has troubled his gameplay a lot. Griezmann is a player who likes to play centrally and is a number nine striker by position. He does not have the right capabilities, the correct mindset, and the skills needed to play on the wing. However, the scenario is completely different when it comes to playing on the strike position. His abilities as a striker are well known to us, and if given the right chance and enough time frame he can perform better than any other striker in the league. This is where France can benefit him.
If France uses him, then they are going to use him as the striker. The more he plays in the international matches, the more confidence he regains. As a fan, I am really upset about the way he got treated at FC Barcelona. We bought him for 120 million which is a huge amount of money, and therefore, expectations from him were sky high. However, this is not his fault that he has not yet shined for us. I hope he gets enough playing time in France and returns with good confidence and a couple of goals for his national team.
Clement has also been called up for France in the International Break. Lenglet has proved his worth at Barcelona and also raised to the occasion whenever he played for France. Lenglet needs to play with composure more often and he also needs a lot of confidence. He starts for Barcelona every week alongside Gerard pique at the center back position. That should be enough to give him a lot of confidence, and by now he must be able to lead the defense.
However, he lacks leadership qualities, and there is a lack of authority in his footballing performances. This is a negative sign not only for him on the individual level, but, also for Barcelona. Not showing any sort of improvement is a major setback for any player, and once the club or country find the right substitute, the player then struggles for a long time to be a part of the squad again. Lenglet must consider this and must grab this opportunity by both hands. I do see potential in him, but, I also see lack of will or desire to be the best in the team. France is going to play against Moldova on 14th November and Albania on 17th November.
Suarez is back to represent Uruguay during the International Break. He missed the last round of fixtures due to an injury and is now back to lead his National side. I don’t exactly know if he is hundred percent fit to represent his team for 90 minutes. However his presence in the squad is evident, and we have to see how well he plays without Leo Messi supplying the ball to him time after time. Suarez had a great career with club and country, but, now times are different. Football these days is really fast, and in an era in which young and pacy players struggle, Suarez’s sluggish game is likely to suffer.
I still wish we see some good performances from him. He was a flair when he came into FC Barcelona, but, not anymore. Anyway, we are going to take a closer look at his performances during these games and might analyze them in detail if needed. Uruguay also has 2 fixtures. They are playing Hungary on 15th November and Argentina on 18th November.
Guys this is it from our International Break and the Injury Updates. We are going to try our best to keep an eye on all of our players from FC Barcelona and see how they perform for their country. What are your thoughts on our players on injury list and their expected return? Let us know your valuable feedback in the comments section below. Tell us which team do you support on the International stage? Is it Argentina because of Messi? Or is it any other team? Let us know. Until the next time guys, Visca El Barca!