Barcelona and the international break: A damning tale of injuries


BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28: A detailed view of the corner flag prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on October 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

After the recent round of international fixtures, FC Barcelona are left stranded in a way. The Catalan club continues to lose key players to injury, and it is hardly the ideal situation for them. As the international break gradually comes to a close, Barcelona would have wanted all their players back in one piece.

Unfortunately, Barcelona are losing their most important players one after one. The first to bow out was 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Pedri, whose injury is reportedly going to keep him out for almost a month and a half. However, he is now joined by another key Barcelona player on the sideline.

Ronald Araujo, aged 25, suffered a muscular injury in the Copa America clash between Brazil and Uruguay. Unlike Pedri’s injury, however, Araujo’s did not come due to a collision with an opposing player. He felt clear discomfort in his hamstring after attempting to block a cross from a Brazilian player, and had to be replaced shortly afterwards.

Unfortunately, neither of these two players was the only consequence of the international break that Barcelona had to face this season. As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, there have been numerous cases of Barcelona and the various National teams clashing with one another over the health of the players.

It has ended up going both ways, with the club and countries limiting one another. For Barcelona, they have seen many key players return from the international break with compromised fitness and more. Similarly, for the national teams as well, Barcelona have often sent players who are not fully fit and have had to be returned to the club.

Barça’s frustrations with Spain:

There have been numerous issues between Spain and Barcelona when it comes to player fitness. The most extreme case was that of Gavi, who was played in a meaningless match by Luis de la Fuente while the Barcelona star was on the international break and it ended up in an ACL injury for him despite the player having overplayed a lot already. That injury has still kept him out of action even now, although reports suggest he could be back in around two months.

Pedri, as mentioned previously, was also another consequence. Despite finally having found some rhythm, the Barcelona midfielder is now sidelined once again and his participation in the preseason is completely ruled out.

However, Barcelona also had Spain return one of their players as a precaution this season. Around October of 2023, Lamine Yamal returned from the Spanish camp due to an injury in his left leg that had been there since prior to him joining the Spain camp. That ended up working out quite well for FC Barcelona, all things considered.

Uruguayan urgency:

Just like Pedri, Ronald Araujo’s injury is also quite recent and quite worrying. He is expected to be out for almost two months and it is a massive blow for both FC Barcelona and Uruguay as they participate in the Copa America.

However, this is not the first time that Barça and Uruguay have had to share frustrations, and have even directly come against one another over the usage and safety of their star defender.

German gasp:

Ilkay Gundogan, a representative for both Barcelona and Germany, ended up giving both sides a scare in September of last year. Not long after Barcelona had signed him, the midfielder ended up being replaced in a game against France early on in the first half and left the field in tears.

Fortunately for Barcelona and Gundogan, that was nothing more than a bruise and the player went on to play many games this season.

Dutch distress:

In the case of Frenkie De Jong, Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman seemed to directly blame Barcelona for his injury problems. Despite having initially traveled for the European Championship in Germany, De Jong had to return to Barcelona after it had been deemed that he was not physically fit to compete.

French fright:

Back in March of this year, Barcelona star Jules Kounde also gave the club and France a minor scare. While playing in a friendly against Germany, the player was replaced in the 60th
minute due to an ankle problem but it fortunately ended up being nothing more than a bruise. The Frenchman has since gone on to excel at club level and play as one of the best fullbacks in the ongoing Euros.

Danish dread:

Back in March, Danish defender Andreas Christensen was injured during a warm-up ahead of the clash against Atletico Madrid. Due to that injury, the player could not travel during the international break to represent his country and Denmark had to find another replacement to fill that void. In that case, it was Barcelona who ended up costing the player’s nation a key player.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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