Gabriel militoAfter almost a year and a half out of football, Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito came back to play in Barcelona’s 4-1 friendly victory over Bolivian side Bolivar. The Argentine center back injured his knee in Barca’s 2008 Champions League semi-final match against Manchester United, and has since missed the entire last season, including the majority of Argentina’s World Cup qualification campaign.

Initially there were fears for if or when the player could come back, but now he seems to be on the right track and setting his hopes for a first-team return. In his own words, Milito says:

“It was a very special day for me. I recovered those old feelings. I’m making very important steps but I’m still in the midst of the recuperation phase. I’m still not ready to play an official game. How long (before I am)? I’m not sure yet but there’s still some time to go.”

By the accounts of many, he was/is one of the best defenders in La Liga, having first made his name in Spanish football with Real Zaragoza, for whom he played 137 games. He cost Barca €20. 5 million when he made the switch in 2007, and he will be eager to win silverware with them this season. Hopefully, if his return goes well, he will make the Argentine squad in time for the World Cup to add some much needed class and stability in the back—two traits that have been sorely missing in his absence.

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