Inter vs Barcelona
Eto’o vs Ibrahimovic?
“Mouthwatering” is the only word I can use to describe this clash. The biggest names (and egos) face off tonight. The hype that has been surrounding this game has been immense. With the clubs biggest stars moving in opposite directions, it was as though fate brought them together in group F. Its actually really weird how these two clubs have overlaped with one another in recent times. Not only did Eto’o and Ibra swap over, lets not forget Maxwell was brought in from Inter to reinforce Barca’s defense, while Thiago Motta joined the Nerazzuri from Barca. When Bacrca was looking for a new coach at the end of the 07/08 season, Mourinho was a strong contender for the job, but evenutally Barca settled for Pep and Mourinho took up the post at Inter.
This fixture has become somewhat a war of words between the respective parties but especially from the Eto’o camp. He will be looking to prove to his former coach that Barca was wrong to sell him.
I don’t like to think that any one entity (player, coach, director etc) is bigger than the club. As Luis Figo (who plyed for both Barca and Inter) said recently “Inter-Barca is more than Eto’o-Ibrahimovic.” And that folks is the true story. While Ibra and Eto’o are both more than cabable of winning matches, its going to take a team effort for either of these sides to come away with a win.
Inter will have the home crowd advantage, and I’m really curious to see how the Inter fans welcome Ibra back, he was a real crowd favourite. They have assembled a strong side, they have a clever manager, and they’re in great form. The Serie A champions will want to start their quest for their their third champions legue title with a win. Although they’ve enjoyed great sucess domestically, they have’nt won the champions league since 1965.
Mourinho announced his starting XI: Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, samuel, Chivu, Zanetti, Motta, Stankovic, Sneijder, Milito, Eto’o.
Barcelona have gotton off to a winning start this season. They’ve already won two titles (the Superaopa de España and the UEFA Super Cup) in their bid to win 6 titles this season. They played the most attrctive football last season, and it yielded results, winning the Treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions league). New signing Chygrynsky will not feature tonight as he is cup tied to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Possible Starting XI: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Xavi, Toure, Keita, Messi, Ibra, Henry
There’s immense quality in both these sides, but I feel Barca may just have the edge. Messi and Xavi are the two best players in the world at the moment, and Inter will have to contain these two players.