So far this season, it has already been pretty difficult to fall into the week by week rhythm of la Liga. From the strike to heightened media attention about the quality of the league itself, the beginning of the 2011-2012 Primera Division has been rocky to say the least. And after we finally get to enjoy our team as the season started on Match Day 2, there was an international break.
As many of our first team squad suit up in their national kits tonight and the next few days, we as Real Madrid fans are destined to have some mixed emotions. But, do the positives of international football outweigh the negatives?
One of the most positive aspects of breaking for international matches is that not only do the footballers have a chance to score goals and show some national spirit, but the players can also meet with their kinsmen and enjoy some of the team spirit we saw last summer at the World Cup.
This is especially important for Spain. In the AFG Arena in St. Gallen, Switzerland, la furia roja take on Chile in a qualifier with our very own captain Iker Casillas taking part, along with Raúl Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso. Although the players insist that the squabble between Real and Barca is not causing problems within the international squad, the atmosphere is probably pretty chilly.
In this instance, the international break was probably best for the footballers. Hopefully, both Real Madrid and Barcelona members will rekindle some friendships dampened (or crushed) by the ugly scenes that marred the Super Cup. After all, when the next Clásico comes knocking it would be nice for players of both squads to remember that they are teammates at some level. Any sort of truce between the footballers of both teams will hopefully take off some pressure.
Unfortunately, that also can be a negative. The international breaks cannot only relieve stress--they can do quite the opposite. Carvalho’s recent fall out with the Portugal national team is testament to that. And Portugal coach Pablo Bento’s recent words probably didn’t help the situation:
"He deserted us and moved on, we repudiate turning one's back on the national team and the country," Bento said. "As long as I am in charge, Ricardo Carvalho will never play again, it does not make any sense. The door is closed for him."
Fingers crossed, this situation isn't affecting poor Ricardo too much.
So I guess, as Real Madrid fans, we can argue endlessly about how annoying or how important international friendlies are. They come with their problems and their positives. Personally, I truly believe that international breaks are essential to the success of the overall sport. After all, one of the most appealing aspects of football is its power to unite two different cultures on a single pitch. So why not have tiny little tastes of that throughout the season?
For a full list of the Real Madrid’s squad members on international duty this week and when you can watch them in action, follow this link to realmadrid.com.
What do you think?
I don't mind. Northing wrong with some national spirit (14 votes)
There's no need to halt La Liga for friendlies (10 votes)
As long as our players aren't harmed I don't really care (20 votes)
44 total votes