Alex Song is not the first member of the current squad to have made his Barça debut in a clásico. Alexis and Cesc did likewise in last summer’s Spanish Supercup (the Chilean in the first leg and the Catalan in the second). And not forgetting Sergi Roberto, who made his first team debut at the Bernabéu in the Champions League semi final of April 2011.
But what’s been happening recently is a peculiar break from the norm. To find another case of a Barça player playing his first game against the all-whites, we have to go all the way back to 1989 when the Paraguayan Romerito, just two days after arriving at the club, appeared at the Camp Nou against Real Madrid.
He made 18 passes, and every single one was good. That was as impeccable a start from Alex Song as any FCB fan could have wished for. It was also him who supplied the ball to Leo Messi for the chance that would have won the Spanish Supercup in the final seconds of injury time.
It was not just a matter of statistics. In his 19 minutes on the Bernabéu turf, Alex Song looked remarkably self-assured. His first touch was excellent and he had no trouble connecting with his team-mates when Barça were battling against the clock to find a cup-winning goal.
Song confident about adaptation
“It was not the result we wanted, but it was a good match for me” he said after the match. “We had chances to win, but Casillas made a lot of fine saves … I have felt really good in my first few days here. The players and manager have given me a nice welcome. They’ve given me helpful advice and I think I’ll adapt quickly”.
Tito Vilanova impressed
Tito Vilanova said that Barça’s latest signing “played some good minutes and helped us out”. The Cameroonian came on for Sergio Busquets “because he looked very tired to me. He has played a lot of games with his desire to cover the whole of the pitch”. The Catalan midfielder was thoroughly impressed with the man who took his place. “He’ll bring a lot of joy to Barça because he’s a good player and he had a great game today”.
The FC Barcelona coach hinted that in games where Barça are ahead, Song might also be used in combination with Busquets, meaning Xavi can be rested.