Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gio van Bronckhorst leaves Barcelona

So we have our second summer departure, and it's a surprising one.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst - known as Gio in his La Liga years - has left Barcelona on a free transfer using the get-out clause on his contract and is headed to his former Dutch club Feyenoord. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm a bit shocked. If one of the left-backs were to leave, I always thought it would be Sylvinho. After all, Gio's the one Rijkaard really wanted to sign, and the one he's always preferred in the big games. I damn well hope this means we are bringing in another left-back, because otherwise that position looks dangerously low on cover. But that's speculation best left to another post.

Update: the Barca official website has a nice look at Gio's career at Barca. And you know, it's nice to see a footballer keep his word: he said he'd only leave Barca for Feyenoord, and that's what he's done. I'm glad the parting seems amiable.

Gio came to Barca from Arsenal in a time when the club was in a state of transition and leaves us now amidst another period of major change. His time at the club has been marked by huge success, and I for one am thankful to him for his part in the glories and triumphs of the last 4 seasons, during which he appeared 141 times for the club, scoring 5 goals. My two most enduring memories of his time here remain his goal against Real Madrid in the Camp Nou in 04-05 and his tearful reaction to winning the Champions League in 05-06.

(three fondly remembered former blaugranas)

So it's a warm farewell from me to our last Dutch squad member. Good luck to him on his next big adventure.


los uno said...

We're looking to sign Eric Abidal for the LB spot. Any idea how solid he is? Gio has not been one of the players I've been fond of, I always thought of him as one of the weak links in the team. He did play reasonable well last season though. Anyway, Abidal-Chivu-Puyol-Zambrotta does sound good. Maybe even Andrade can add to the mix!!!

linda said...

I've always liked Gio for his attitude more than anything else. He did alright in the attack but got caught upfield a lot, but I don't hold that against him because, as I said, his attitude has always been great.

Abidal didn't have the best season, apparently, but his quality is undoubted. And he's been wanting to sign for ages. Hopefully we can wrap up our business by getting both Chivu and Abidal (if we're lucky) and then try not to sell everybody else. By which I mean that I really disapprove of selling Deco.

Derek said...

I'm going to miss Gio. Damn, what a shock. Abidal would definitely be a step in the right direction shoring up that backline, though.

Selling Deco? That's too much to take right now....

linda said...

Derek: I'm going to miss him too. That came out of nowhere. We need Abidal now, which is not a good negotiating position at all, especially since Lyon are not keen on selling at anything below every single cent that he's worth. Can't blame them as his behaviour in regards to wanting a transfer has been appalling. Hopefully we'll finish all our business soon, or at least before Real have a chance to enter the market. No bidding war with our friends in the capital over anybody equals lower prices.