Barcelona: A Life After Ronaldinho and Deco

XXX XXXSenior Writer IJuly 22, 2008

 As we all saw during Euro 2008, Xavi and Iniesta are two of the best ball-playing midfielders in Europe. Now it’s time they showed it for Barcelona.

Don’t get me wrong—the two little midfielders have been good enough for the Catalans over the past few seasons. But now that Ronaldinho has gone, along with Deco and possibly to be followed by Eto’o, this is the moment for the two gifted midfielders to show they can really carry the team.

They certainly have the skill but do they have the charisma?

Will we see them urging on their team mates, demanding the ball and getting forward into goalscoring positions? Will they take on more responsibility under new coach Pep Guardiola, who certainly led by example as a player.

I’m in Spain at the moment, taking a break between Euro 2008 and Beijing, and expectations are obviously growing about how Guardiola’s new-look Barcelona are going to cope without Ronaldinho and Co.

The coach apparently still wants a new centre-forward—Adebayor (I'd be happy), Drogba (no thanks) or Berbatov (no way Jose), by all accounts—but I wonder if the inspiration couldn’t come instead from those newly crowned champions of Europe in the midfield.

After all, we already have Henry, Messi, Bojan and conceivably Eto’o to play up front.


Alby Jnr