Spain vs. Chile scuffle shows unity

Spain vs. Chile scuffle shows unity

Published Sep. 3, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Midfielder Andres Iniesta said the brawl between Spain and Chile on Friday night proved there is no rift between Barcelona and Real Madrid players on the Spanish national team.

In the final moments of Spain's 3-2 friendly win, Iniesta faced off with Arturo Vidal before Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa rushed in to push the Chile defender away from the Barcelona star. This started a shoving match between the two sides.

''The brawl didn't bring us together, but it did show that we all get along,'' Iniesta said. ''We have to stop feeding this debate that we don't.''

''We defend one another playing football and stick up for each other when there's trouble,'' said Iniesta, who scored one goal and set up another to spark Spain's second-half comeback.

Barcelona and Madrid played a series of ill-tempered games last season, and the Catalans' recent Spanish Supercup win over Madrid also ended in an ugly scuffle.

There has been concern in Spain that the growing friction would undermine the national team as it attempts to defend its European title, and much has been made of the efforts by the international players to patch up their relationship.

Barcelona and Madrid provide 14 of the 24 players on Spain's squad.


Spain hosts Liechtenstein in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday. The world champions are in first place in Group I, having won all five previous games.