On Friday at 9.00pm CET, the French city of Nice will be able to enjoy a veritable magic show. Two of Barça’s most skilful players on the pitch at the same time: Arda Turan and Andrés Iniesta. Only this time they’ll be on opposing teams.
The Turkish captain is the leader of his national side, although he admitted that he wasn’t at his best in their opening fixture, a 1-0 defeat to Croatia. “I played badly and ineffectively” he confessed to the official UEFA website after the game. “These things happen. I will try to show the best of what I can do in our next match.”
And that next match is against a Spain side featuring his club colleagues Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta. The latter, named man of the match after the 1-0 win over the Czech Republic, was the shining light in Del Bosque’s team. Every attacking move seemed to pass through him, including the assist for Piqué to score the winner.
Arda Turan and Andrés Iniesta are two of the most creative midfielders on show at Euro 2016, and will both be looking to produce their best in what promises to be fascinating battle in Nice. A win for Spain would guarantee passage to the last sixteen, while Turkey really need to get something out of this game to prevent their hopes of qualification from hanging on a very thin lifeline.