Ronaldo or Messi? Having played one and watched the other, Baro has no doubts


Ronaldo or Messi? Having played one and watched the other, Baro has no doubts
  1. Ronaldo or Messi? Having played one and watched the other, Baro has no doubts
    theage.com.au
    Victory centre back Alan Baro says competing against the world's best is both exhilarating and…
    Football

Strikers may well be the most talented individuals on a A-League team, which is why Melbourne Victory's Spanish centre back Alan Baro is diplomatic when asked who is the toughest opponent he has faced in his first season in Australia.

"The strikers are always the best players in the team, and in the A-League all the strikers are good players," he says with a smile. " I always have to concentrate fully."

  • SHARE
  • Share on Facebook SHARE
  • Share on Twitter TWEET
  • Link
Victorys Alan Baro trains at Goschs Paddock earlier this month. Victory's Alan Baro trains at Gosch's Paddock earlier this month.  Photo: Getty Images

But Baro is far too polite to say that any challenge he might meet in Australia pales into insignificance compared to the biggest test he has faced in a career which started 12 years ago with a small team, Peralada, when he was a teenager in his native Catalonia.

Baro eventually worked his way though the grades in Spain, playing in the Spanish second and third division – and that's where he came up against opponents who would give any defender nightmares, the mighty  Real Madrid.

Baro faced the European champions – complete with Cristiano Ronaldo spearheading its galaxy of stars – four times in the Copa Del Rey, the Spanish knockout Cup competition where the ties are played over two legs.

It was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time, says Victory's Iberian import.

Advertisement

"I played twice against Real Madrid, when I was in the third division in the Copa Del Ray [with Alicante], and the second time was against Ronaldo, and Gonzalo Higuain [the Argentinian and currently Juventus striker] with Ponferradina."

So what must it be like stepping out on to the pitch at the Bernabeu knowing you are facing Ronaldo and his mates.

"At first you are thinking a lot about them. You know you are playing against maybe the biggest player in the world. But when you are on the pitch you try to do things well, and you see them like another player.

"We drew the first one at home [1-1] and then lost 2-1 in the Bernabeu [when he played for Alicante] the second time we lost home and away, 2-0 at home and in Madrid 4-1."

So given that Baro is a proud Catalonian and lifelong Barca fan but has also faced Ronaldo on the field, which would he pick first –_ Ronaldo or Lionel Messi – if he was given the choice.

"Messi," he says without hesitation. "The main reason is I am a Barcelona supporter but I think Messi has something special, he is different in respect of other players. For me it's beautiful to see him play."

Baro's has been the story of the journeyman who has battled his way up the grades and made the most of his talent with hard work and application.

He wasn't plucked from obscurity to train at Barca's famous La Masia academy, from which so many talents have emerged. His progress has come in roundabout fashion.

"I started in small teams, and step by step I went to the higher levels, then I have the chance to play in the third division like a professional, then I went to the second division.

"I played one game in the …

  1. Scottish parliament votes in favour of new independence referendum

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 16:34 www.theage.com.au
    Scottish lawmakers have voted in Edinburgh to pursue a second independence referendum, setting up what may be a lengthy and acrimonious showdown within the UK in the midst of Brexit…
  2. Australia beat UAE 2-0 after 4 draws in World Cup qualifiers

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 16:24 indianexpress.com
    Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie scored to help Australia seal their first win. (Source: Reuters) Australia defeated United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Sydney on Tuesday, ending a run of four games without a win to get qualification for the 2018 World Cup back on track. However, UAE’s second loss in five days prompted coach Mahdi Ali to announce his resignation at the news conference. He’d been in…
  3. Donald Trump moves to erase Barack Obama's legacy on fighting climate change

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 16:00 www.theage.com.au
    President Donald Trump is expected take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor's environmental record later on Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing US carbon…
  4. Daily Mail hits out at 'po-faced' critics over 'Legs-it' front page backlash

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 15:36 www.theage.com.au
    London: An unrepentant Daily Mail is standing by its front-page focused on the legs of two of Britain's two most powerful women, Prime Minister Theresa May and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, saying critics, including the "po-faced BBC" need to "get a…
  5. Small victories all round, but still the Indians prevail

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 15:06 www.theage.com.au
    Australia had moral victories, and personal victories, and technical victories, and an actual victory. They had a victory over doomsayers - and let's face it, we were legion - a victory over an old phobia about playing in India, and a victory for their unorthodox, laboratory-style preparation. They won respect, which they have not always enjoyed in India. They won hearts. They probably even won the war of words, if anyone…
  6. Midfielder Oriol Romeu relishing Southampton starting role

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 14:30 indianexpress.com
    Oriol Romeu joined Southampton in 2015 after loan spells at VfB Stuttgart and Valencia. (Source: Reuters) Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu is enjoying being one of the first names on manager Claude Puel’s team sheet after struggling to nail down a place at his former clubs Chelsea and Barcelona. Spaniard Romeu, who joined Southampton in 2015 after loan spells at VfB Stuttgart and Valencia, has…
  7. Ahmed Kathrada, South African anti-apartheid icon, dies at 87

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 14:15 www.theage.com.au
    Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, who was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela and went on to be an open critic of President Jacob Zuma, died on Tuesday aged…
  8. ‘He’s innocent’: Call to pardon Kevin Henry after 25 years behind bars

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 13:42 www.theage.com.au
    A year of investigation by a human rights advocate and a Brisbane journalist may lead to the freedom of a man who has spent over a quarter of a century behind…
  9. The Productivity Commission doesn't have it in for industry funds, it has it in for the lot

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 13:38 www.theage.com.au
    The non-profit industry funds want you to think there's nothing wrong. They are most often the funds new employees are defaulted into and they perform the best, on average far better than their for-profit…
  10. One default fund for life. The Productivity Commission takes on unions over super

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 13:38 www.theage.com.au
    Union-dominated super funds would lose their special status under a draft Productivity Commission recommendation that would delink superannuation from awards and allocate new workers to default funds only…
  11. UAE coach Mahdi Ali quits after Australia defeat

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 13:06 indianexpress.com
    UAE lost to Australia in World Cup qualifiers. (Source: AP) United Arab Emirates coach Mahdi Ali resigned on Tuesday after a loss to Australia dealt an all but fatal blow to the country’s chances of reaching next year’s World Cup in Russia. Ali, who led the UAE to a third-place finish at the Asian Cup in 2015, called time on a highly successful stint in charge of his country in the wake of…
  12. Bacchus Marsh man charged over the death of a New Gisborne man Hayden Kloppers

    Theage.com.au - Football
    03.28 / 13:06 www.theage.com.au
    A 25-year-old man has been charged with culpable driving and other offences following the death of New Gisborne man Hayden…
  13. Dele Alli plans calmer approach to staying aggressive

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 12:14 indianexpress.com
    Dele Alli’s combustible nature was back in the spotlight recently when he was handed a three-match European ban. AP Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has no intention of abandoning his fiery competitiveness but is working on tempering his reactions during heated moments during matches. Alli’s combustible nature was back in the spotlight recently when he was handed a three-match European…
  14. Philippe Coutinho unconcerned by ‘improved’ Everton ahead of derby

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 12:14 indianexpress.com
    Philippe Coutinho said he is concentrating only on Liverpool’s progress. (Source: Reuters) Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho cannot see his side slipping below local rivals Everton by the end of the season as the teams gear up for a Premier League Merseyside derby on Saturday. Everton, currently three places behind their fourth-placed city rivals in the league table, can cut the gap to just…
  15. Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson deserves greater recognition, says Paul Clement

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 12:14 indianexpress.com
    Gylfi Sigurdsson has played a key role in helping Swansea climb out of the relegation zone. (Source: Reuters) Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson does not get the credit he deserves and would be recognised as one of the Premier League’s best players if the club were higher up the table, manager Paul Clement has said. With his tally of eight goals and 11 assists, Sigurdsson has played a key…
  16. Live football score, India vs Myanmar, Asian Cup Qualifying: India 0-0 Myanmar; Jackichand squanders great chance

    Indianexpress.com - Football
    03.28 / 12:14 indianexpress.com
    Live football score, India vs Myanmar, AFC Asian Cup Qualifying: India take on Myanmar in the first Group A game. India begin their Group A campaign to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup against Myanmar in Yangon. The tricky away trip promises a big challenge for Stephen Constantine’s men and a win could mean a big boost in the things to come – but it is early to say that. India are…
  17. Napoli consider Perin

    Football-italia.net - News
    03.28 / 12:09 football-italia.net
    Napoli are reportedly considering Mattia Perin of Genoa, but everything will depend on his…
  18. Dzeko: ‘Second at the very least’

    Football-italia.net - News
    03.28 / 12:09 football-italia.net
    Roma striker Edin Dzeko is having “one of my best seasons” and aims for “second place at the very least…
  19. Zeman: ‘Juve deserve to be top’

    Football-italia.net - News
    03.28 / 12:09 football-italia.net
    Pescara Coach Zdenek Zeman insists “Juventus are in first place because they’re the strongest tea…
  20. Bank to verify Milan funds

    Football-italia.net - News
    03.28 / 12:09 football-italia.net
    Documents have reportedly been passed to the Bank of Italy to verify the origin of the funds being used in the takeover of…