FC Barcelona VS Real Madrid
FC Barcelona defeated Real Madrid in the first leg of La Copa del Rey at Santiago Bernabeu on January 18. Eric Abidal scored the winning goal, while Pepe disgraced Real Madrid with his behavior.
The decision has been made to rate the players for the upcoming match and award a dishonorable mention. An invitation is made for the B/R readers to sit back, relax and enjoy the slideshow.
Eric Abidal captured everyone's attention by scoring the winning goal of the first leg of La Copa del Rey. Abidal took advantage of a pass from Messi and used the outside of his foot to score.
The result was a surprised Iker Casillas and a win for FC Barcelona. It is hoped that Abidal can repeat the formula at Camp Nou.
The rating for Abidal is a 7.5/10.
While Pepe does not belong to FC Barcelona, he is included in the slideshow as a dishonorable mention. The reason was for stomping on the hands of Messi during the first leg of La Copa del Rey.
Pepe stomped on Messi's hand but did not receive a yellow card. Pepe has not learned his lesson after receiving a 10-match ban for stomping on Javier Casquero during a 2009 match.
Pepe even kicked Messi in the face during a 2011 encounter between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Pepe's conduct was so unbecoming that even Marca (a pro-Real Madrid paper) condemned him.
Isaiah Cambron of ESPN Soccernet suggested another ban for Pepe, and I second the emotion. Pepe deserves a dishonorable mention, along with an evaluation of zero.
Victor Valdes is one of the goalkeepers of FC Barcelona. Valdes is famous for not conceding a goal for 466 minutes during the year 2007.
Valdes is an agile person who is usually consistent. The only problem was that he conceded two goals during the FC Barcelona match against Real Betis.
It remains to be seen whether he will be used for the second leg of La Copa del Rey. The most likely candidate for La Copa would be Jose Manuel Pinto.
The rating for Valdes is 8/10.
Jose Manuel Pinto
Leo Messi is consistent in his play with his electrifying runs within the midfield. He is also able to run at speed with such balance that surprises the supporters of La Blaugrana.
Messi's record with La Liga 2011-2012 is the following (according to ESPN Soccernet): 18 games, 19 goals, seven assists accompanied by 86 shots.
Messi is a three-time Ballon d'Or winner and has accomplished even more within a short time. Messi has helped FC Barcelona win the 2010-2011 UEFA Champions League, along with other events.
Messi scored three spectacular goals in La Blaugranas' match against Malaga.
The rating for Lionel Messi is 9/10.
Cesc Fabregas has been a powerhouse with La Blaugrana since he signed last summer. He is active in La Copa del Rey and other events.
Fabregas is able to keep up with the rhythm of the match and is powerful in his passes. According to ESPN Soccernet, his 2011-2012 La Liga records include nine goals, five assists and 23 shots in 14 matches.
His classification is 9/10.
Sanchez is able to score goals while in the area of the goal net. His record during the 2011-2012 La Liga season is: six goals, two assists and 24 shots in 10 matches.
The rating for Sanchez is 9/10.
Gerard Pique is agile when it comes to the world football field and was instrumental in Barça's victories. The only problem is his defense is not strong, leaving him open to opponents.
During the 2011-2012 La Liga season, Pique has scored one goal and two shots within 10 matches.
His score is 7/10.
Xavi Hernandez is a player who does not waste time during matches. He is consistent when it comes to passing and assisting others during a game.
His record during the 2011-2012 La Liga season consists of: six goals, six assists and 21 shots within 17 matches.
His rating is 9.3/10.
Seydou Keita is strong when it comes to tactics in the field. His problem is a passing range that has its limits as well as attention lapse.
His rating is 6.5/10.
Dani Alves is great when attacking during a match, but he has to work on defense.
His rating is 7/10.
Javier Mascherano appears to have a problem when it comes to passing the ball and scoring goals, but he is able to apply accuracy in his distribution and win the ball.
His rating is 6/10.
Andres Iniesta is the ultimate midfielder with a disposition to help La Blaugrana. Iniesta has the ability to pass the ball and is consistent when it comes to both defense and offense.
His rating is a 9/10.
Carles Puyol was great when he scored the equalizer against Real Madrid during the first leg of La Copa del Rey on January 18, 2012.
Puyol should be able to repel any future Real Madrid advances in the next leg of La Copa with his ability to see various possibilities within the playing field.
The rating for Carles Puyol is 9.4/10.
Sergio Busquets is able to block any attempts by an opposing team to go in attack mode during a match. Busquets is also one of the few players who is calm and cool under pressure.
I had the honor of seeing him in action when FC Barcelona played an exhibition match against Chivas of Guadalajaraat Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida, in the summer of 2011.
His rating is 9.3/10.
Pedro is a product of La Blaugrana who has played in events such as the UEFA Champions League. Pedro has great passing skills that are accompanied by agility, as evidenced in the match between Barça and Malaga.
His rating is 9/10.
Adriano is strong when it comes to attacking but weak in tackling. Rating is 5/10.
Ibrahim Afellay joined FC Barcelona in the beginning of 2011 is able to score goals. He is also a versatile midfielder who can attack. Rating is 7/10 because of his problems with fitness.
The attempt to rate La Blaugrana players before the next Clasico match against Real Madrid is not an easy task. The rates are personal opinions based on the present realities and can change with time.
I would like to thank the readers of B/R for their time in looking at this slideshow. It remains to be seen what will transpire when the two La Liga giants face each other again.