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Iniesta in the Paris match / PHOTO: CARMELO RUBIO

There were eighteen FCB players involved in international action this week, and here we look back at how they and their teams performed:

Goalkeeper

Valdés. 180 minutes. Sublime. He made three crucial saves to ensure Spain took three vital points at de Saint-Denis, the same venue where he starred in the 2006 Champions League Final.

Defenders

Montoya. 180 minutes. Julen Lopetegui played him for the whole of both matches with Norway and Russia, Spain U21’s last two friendlies before the European Championship in Israel in June. He seems to have secured a regular starting place

Bartra. 140 minutes. Started both games and also substituted in both, both times in the second half. The games have helped him regain his playing rhythm.

Alves. 180 minutes. The undisputed first choice left back for Brazil played throughout both friendly draws this week against Italy (2-2) and Russia (1-1).

Piqué. 180 minutes. Teamed up at centre back with Ramos against both Finland and France. At Saint-Denis, like the whole team, he was excellent.

Alba. 90 minutes. Started against Finland but picked up a hamstring injury and missed the France game. His presence against PSG is therefore in doubt.

Mascherano. 180 minutes. Playing as a defensive midfielder for his team, Mascherano was one of the stars of the win over Venezuela (3-0) and the draw at altitude in Bolivia (1-1). Argentina are now even further ahead in the Conmebol tournament after Colombia lost 1-0 in Caracas.

Midfielders

Thiago. 180 minutes. Leader of the U21 playmaking, he showed plenty of magic in the comfortable wins against Norway (5-2) and Russia (3-1).

Busquets. 180 minutes. One of Del Bosque’s favourite choices. At Saint-Denis we saw him set an example for all to follow with a fantastic performance even with his head bandaged.

Xavi. 90 minutes. Absent against Finland (1-1), he showed how much he had been missed as Spain beat France. He was tireless for the whole game, showing no signs of repercussions of his hamstring injury as he led the Spanish midfield.

Iniesta. 179 minutes. As decisive as ever at the Saint-Denis, where his pass set up the Spanish goal. Del Bosque took him off late in the game, but apparently only to waste some time.

Cesc. 90 minutes. Started against Finland and came on as sub against France. A regular feature in Del Bosque’s side, he came close to scoring several times against the Finns.

Song. 5 minutes. The African only played five minutes of Cameroon’s match against Togo, meaning he should be fresh for Barça’s next fixtures.

Strikers

Tello. 111 minutes. Decisive against Norway, where he scored two goals, and very active against the Russians, where he only played in the second half. Lopetegui clearly values his forward very highly.

Alexis. 90 minutes. Suffered a painful loss with Chile against Peru (1-0), where a yellow card meant he was suspended for his country’s crucial win against Uruguay on Tuesday night, which gets their World Cup hopes back on track.

Pedro. 120 minutes. In a move he himself started, Pedro scored the vital winner for Spain in the French capital. Having scored 10 international goals in the last year, he came off injured at the end of the game.

Villa. 125 minutes. Del Bosque picked him against both Finland and France as the main striker, although he didn’t enjoy many clear-cut chances. He was substituted in both matches.

Messi. 180 minutes. Lethal against Venezuela, where he assisted two Higuaín goals and scored himself from the penalty spot, he suffered at 3,650 metres in La Paz, reportedly vomiting at half time of a match in which Argentina could do no more than draw (1-1).


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