The Barça players in action today all started for their national teams and won all three of their qualification matches for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta, with the Lopetegui’s Spanish national team, Rakitic with Croatia and Arda Turan with Turkey were all in action. All six of them started and a lot of them played the full 90 minutes.
Spain were in a free-scoring mood as they swept Israle aside in Gijón (4-1). The four blaugranas who were called up started the match and Lopetegui’s side secured the three points thanks to goals from Silva, Vitolo, Diego Costa and Isco. The blaugrana Alba provided the assist for the opening goal and other than Iniesta, who was substituted in the second half, the rest played the full match. This win means Spain stay top of Group G on 13 points even though Italy have the same number of points following five group games.
Shortly before ‘La Roja’ played Rakitic started for Croatia who were hosting Ukraine. The Croats are still undefeated in the group and they had to fight hard to secure a 1-0 victory thanks to a Kalinic goal from a Rakitic assist in the 38th minute. Barça’s number ‘4’ was substituted in the 79th minute. The Croatian national team are top of their group on 13 points from a possible 15.
Last but not least, Arda Turan’s Turkey also managed to beat Finland 2-0 thanks to two first half goals from centre-forward Cenk Tosun. The Barça player captained his side and Turkey have eight points from a possible 15 leaving them in fourth place in Group I, which Croatia lead.