Gabriel Milito returns to Barcelona first-team

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The Independent Football

Barcelona defender Gabriel Alejandro Milito has made a welcome return to the first-team fold after featuring in a friendly game in Kuwait.

Manager Josep Guardiola will be delighted that the former Real Zaragoza man came through the game unscathed and he could feature for the Catalans when the La Liga outfit return to action in the new year.

Milito has been out for over 18 months with a serious anterior cruciate ligament that required surgery and the Argentine is understandably delighted that there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Kazma Sporting, he said: "It is great to return and play my first match with an audience.

"It will serve me well to play and train little by little so I am able to find my best form as soon as possible."

Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno has hailed Florentino Perez's current crop of players and compared them to the legendary Quinta del Buitre, of which he was a part of.

Butragueno played a huge part in the European giants' success during the 1989-90 season when the side scored a mammoth 107 goals.

He believes that with the talent at coach Manuel Pellegrini's disposal, Los Merengues have a realistic chance to match what Butragueno and his team-mates achieved.

Speaking to Marca, he said: "There is a difference between our Real Madrid and today's Real Madrid. I hope they are able to beat the record. They are devastating.

"Gonzalo Higuain is on an incredible scoring streak, (Karim) Benzema is going to bring a lot of happiness, Cristiano Ronaldo has