Is there an upside to an international break? Hard to think of any good points at all. Players often return to their clubs jaded, maybe even injured; morale can also take a hit, and in some cases, undue media pressure may be added onto key individuals. Then you factor in the lack of FC Barcelona and you have a miserable week or so.
Or at least until you see the Spain line-up.
Spain team v Scotland: Valdes, Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Silva, Santi Cazorla, Villa, Pedro. #Euro2012
Victor Valdes starts for only the second time in his international career, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique ahead of him in a welcome throw-back to the end of 2010. Then there is Xavi and Sergio Busquets in midfield feeding an attack including David Villa and Pedro. Oh, and Thiago is on the bench!
Barcelona are not technically playing, but in essence, it is "Barcelona and friends" against Scotland tonight. Elsewhere Eric Abidal is starting against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lionel Messi will presumably play some part against Venezuela and watch out for Brazil-Mexico and Dani Alves in particular.
So enjoy the games, comment your thoughts on the matches (and links), and with any luck Barca can avoid some of those unwanted side effects of the international break...