Thursday, June 25, 2009

With Iniesta Injured and Xavi Neutralized Spain Lose To U.S. In Confederations Cup:

Andres Iniesta, currently ranked as the 4th best player in the world at, is out injured and Xavi misses him very much:

"I am missing Iniesta in the team. I spoke to him yesterday and asked him how he is." (Source)

That's what Xavi said before yesterday's loss.

Here is what U.S. coach Bob Bradley said of Xavi before the game:

“He is so precise in the way he can find the little spots to get the ball, play the ball quickly, move, get it back...His ability to control the game, to be on the ball, dictate the tempo, he’s tremendous in all ways. One of the best players in the world.” (Source)

And here is what the U.S. coach had his players do to neutralize Xavi in their victory yesterday:

"We made a special point to close down Xavi, trying to force him to play the ball square or behind him so that he couldn't play any of those penetrating passes he is so good at," Bradley told reporters.

"We did a very good job of sealing down the middle of the field. When you play Spain you have to work hard as a group to defend and when we had the ball we needed to be aggressive." (Source)

Here is where the two players stand in polling as of 8am Eastern Standard Time on Thursday June 25, 2009:

Lionel Messi 46% (974 votes)
Cristiano Ronaldo 22% (471 votes)
Steven Gerrard 7% (151 votes)
Andres Iniesta 4% (81 votes)
Fernando Torres 3% (62 votes)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 2% (49 votes)
Kaka 2% (46 votes)
Frank Lampard 2% (38 votes)
Wayne Rooney 1% (29 votes)
Ronaldinho 1% (29 votes)
Andrei Arshavin 1% (23 votes)
Franck Ribery 1% (16 votes)
Nemanja Vidic 1% (16 votes)
Luka Modric 1% (15 votes)
Didier Drogba 1% (14 votes)
Xavi Hernandez 1% (15 votes)
Robinho 1% (15 votes)
Cesc Fabregas 1% (13 votes)
David Villa 1% (11 votes)
Samuel Eto'o 1% (12 votes)
Iker Casillas 1% (11 votes)
Arjen Robben <1% (9 votes)
Petr Cech <1% (7 votes)
Emmanuel Adebayor <1% (5 votes)
Gianluigi Buffon <1% (6 votes)
Sergio (Kun) Aguero <1% (5 votes)
Ashley Young <1% (8 votes)

Total Votes: 2131

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