Xavi and Andres Iniesta kept Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso out of the Spanish starting eleven during their triumph in Euro 2008. Do we expect to see anything different in the World Cup or after that?
The simple answer is no, because there is no point in changing a winning formula, especially in the case of Spain, who rarely if ever get their formula right. Going by that logic, Alonso and Fabregas will continue to warm the benches, at the 2010 World Cup and beyond, unless the Barcelona pair suffers a major loss in form.
The loss in form doesn’t look like happening anytime soon. Xavi was the player of the tournament at Euro 2008 and has since enhanced his reputation to become arguably the best central midfielder in Europe.
And while Iniesta might be inferior to Fabregas, he has something special which the Arsenal captain doesn’t have: a chemistry with Xavi; borne out of all the match-practice they get playing together in the same position for Barcelona. Why would you break a pairing which has worked on their understanding throughout the year and is a proven alliance, for another one which has very little time to find its bearings?
Therefore, Fabregas and Alonso can either wait for Xavi or Iniesta to suffer a major loss in form or start to get some match-practice as a pair themselves. They can either join hands with one another – that will happen if Cesc decides to move to Real. If that happens then the pair of Alonso and Fabregas would get a chance to prove to the whole of Spain that they are better than the Barcelona pair, when they lock horns in the the El Clasico. If they take that chance then great, else they will atleast not have reason to complain.
But its unlikely that Cesc will move to Real. The team is a mess and more importantly, he is a Catalan and proud one at that.
He could go to Barcelona instead. The club is his natural home and they are his long time suitors. Even Xavi has publicly appealed to him to move to Barca. He will get to join on his own terms and command a starting place immediately.
That will give him a chance to pair up with Xavi. He will then get all the time to develop a chemistry with Xavi and show to the entire world, what a fine midfield pair they can be. Once that happens, its only a matter of time before they start for Spain together.
He might not be able to do that before the South Africa World Cup but he has a long time left in the game and lots of international matches to play. The current Spanish squad is young and they will be good for years to come. For all the glory Cesc Fabregas wins at club level, his career will be unfulfilled if he doesn’t achieve the same at international level. And for him to even start doing that, he needs to make a move to Spain sometime really soon.