The international break is just the worst, isn't it? Our favorite players leave our favorite club and go play for their national teams against weak opponents for most of the time, and sometimes they get injuries and don't return to the club as good as they left.
But for some Barcelona stars, the two weeks without Blaugrana football was actually a good thing for different reasons. Below are four Barça players who benefited from the international break, and why.
The best holding midfielder on Earth was not playing up to his level in the first two months of the season, and he was simply atrocious in Barça's last match before the international break, a La Liga loss to Celta Vigo where he was directly responsible for the first half disaster in that game. Busi was not enjoying his best form, and then he went with the Spanish national team to the Juventus Stadium and put on a clinic against Italy. It was the best Busquets we've seen this season, doing everything that makes him great and doing it very well. He was Man of the Match against the Azzurri, and followed that performance with a solid game against Albania. Barça Busi deserved the bench, but Spain Busi is the Busi we love. If he carries the international form into the next three weeks of club football, look out.
The full-back got a call to play for France against Bulgaria and Netherlands but did not get one single second of action in those matches, with PSG's Layvin Kurzawa starting both games. Because of the injury to Jordi Alba, Digne will have to start against Deportivo La Coruña this Saturday, and he'll be very rested and ready to play his best football. Alba will return against Manchester City but will have his minutes managed going forward, which means more chances for a fit Digne.
The Brazilian played only one of the two Brazil matches, last Thursday against Bolivia. He was sensational in that match, with a goal and two assist as the Seleção destroyed the opposition. Neymar then forced a yellow card to be suspended and not travel to Venezuela on Tuesday, which means three extra days of rest that weren't in the original schedule. Under the orders of Brazil coach Tite and Luis Enrique, Ney returned immediately to Catalonia and did nothing for those three days, returning to Barça training on Tuesday in very good condition. He'll probably start against Deportivo because of the extended rest, and the confidence boost given by his amazing game in Brazil will surely help him in the tough schedule ahead.
The summer signing has struggled badly so far and is yet to find the back of the net this season, which is why the international break was important. Paco wasn't called up to the national team, and being to old to play for the Spain U-21s, he stayed home and trained with Barça B youngster and the other Blaugrana seniors who weren't playing internationally. While it doesn't really seem important, two extra weeks training and getting instructions from Luis Enrique will help him understand the system better, and without the full squad in the first week of training, Lucho almost certainly paid more attention to Paco. Not being called by Spain was actually a good thing for him, and it might pay off this weekend since Alcácer will probably play against Depor.