"With just under quarter of an hour to go, Iniesta had it again. Albiol and Khedira were passed, Ramos slid. None could stop him. Iniesta slid the ball into the path of Xavi. Faced by his old friend Iker Casillas, he calmly slotted the ball home. There was still time for Iniesta to deliver another wonderful assist. This time, though, Casillas did save. And at the other end, Valdés did not."
"For David Villa, the relief at coming back on Sunday was beyond words. He entered the field late in the game between Barcelona and Real Sociedad and was given a standing ovation by 75,000 at the Camp Nou. When he then scored a trademark David Villa goal 10 minutes after joining play, his celebration was preplanned and personal."
"To borrow an image from the country's other favorite pastime, over the next quarter century, Spanish soccer transformed from a bull into a matador. In addition, a massive investment to upgrade facilities and coaching in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona planted the seeds for the country to train a new generation of undersized soccer stars with unmatched technical skills."
"On Sunday evening, six months later, I couldn't resist the temptation to return - this time with my son, now back from his year in deepest Ohio. The temperature this time around failed to drop below 26 degrees, despite the late evening kick-off, and the result - 5-1 to the hosts - hardly cooled our brows. If this is Barcelona when they're tired (there were international games in midweek) or Barcelona when they're preoccupied with the coming Supercopa match with Real Madrid, then poor Real Sociedad would prefer not to play them when they're energetic and fully focused."