this post is for our 30-year-old defender, baby-faced brazilian maxwell scherrer cabelino andrade, who is transfering to psg 😦
maxwell started his senior career in ajax, then moved on to internazionale. in july 2009, barcelona bid him benvingut as one of our summer transfers —
a month later, he made his debut in the team’s first title fixture of the season, the vuelta of the spanish supercup, where he played the full 90 minutes. their opponents were athletic bilbao managed by joaquin caparros, who had been the copa del rey runners-up the previous season. the tie’s ida had been held at the san mames, and our boys were going into this game with a 2-1 lead.
the first half was a bit scrappy, and it was obvious that the blaugrana were still adjusting to their new system, especially the fact that they suddenly had a really tall striker up front and center.
maxwell, for his part, knew his role in the masterplan. he and countryman dani alves carried the flanks anteriorly, but also covered the ground necessary to close down athletic’s advances.
we had some good chances. early on, ibra almost scored a header; then messi also had an opportunity but shot wide. there was also a nice long ball to ibra that he could have struck but he was offside. midway through the first half, keita took a nasty fall and had to be stretchered off.
he was attended to at the sidelines, and pep had busi warm up, but for a while there we were playing with 10 men. and during that while, puyi got booked for hitting someone’s knee. the free kick was diverted successfully by valdes, and the corner that followed was blocked by ibra. on the other end, we also got our own free kick, taken by xavi, but henry’s attempt to score missed by the narrowest of margins.
after that, more close calls from messi, xavi, pique, puyi and keita (twice! with one from maxwell’s cross). play was stopped for a while because henry collided with an athletic player, and messi spent that time trolling the sidelines 🙂
0-0 at halftime, but not for long. xavi passed to ibra, who tapped it beautifully in messi’s direction, who made sure it made its way to the back of the net.
more organized tiki taka in the second half, and maxwell got applauded by the crowd several times for keeping the ball well. xavi and puyi attempted their trademark corner-header-combo, but iraizoz made a quality save.
athletic’s ustaritz earned a yellow, and messi converted the penalty. a few moments after, bojan got subbed in for ibra (a sign of things to come?) and went on to score the slowest goal ever 🙂
game over. we won. 1st piece of silver for the season, and 4th in the boxed set of 6 for 2009 🙂
as pep said, all we can do is say thank you — moltes gracies, crack! good luck in france!