FC Barcelona – The buzz word over last couple of days, in Europe and around globe, and rightly so. In what considered to be one of the most awaited match of this season, against their arch rivals Real Madrid, Barca won 5-0 despite the fact that “La Pulga” Messi failed to score in this match.
This match was built up as a high-octane match of this season mainly for 2 reasons. One it’s a Real Madrid Barcelona match and the other reason is Jose Mourinho. The special one was appointed the coach of the Real Madrid Side, which has neither won a league title in last 2 years and nor any European cups. The 9 time European champions were so desperate to straighten their records and it was Jose Mourinho, whom they turned to. The Special One had made his mark in leading Inter to cup finals and winning both last seasons. And also a league title to his credit. He defeated Barca in the semis of the UEFA champion’s league by his well accustomed defensive strategy.
He rightly justified his selection as The Coach of Real Madrid in his signature style, remaining undefeated in any matches. Adding to this, the last 2 season’s El Classico were more a walk in the park for the Cataluña giants. But the Special one’s arrival made this one more exciting.
This match drew attention more than any of the previous El Classicos, which this writer could remember. The postponement of the match to Monday drew comments from the players, managers and millions of fans around the city of Cataluña. But that did no harm to the huge turnout of the fans, to see their club pitting against their fierce rivals. The stadium was buzzing with the support of over 100,000 fans cheering for their teams. And the thought of Messi Vs Ronaldo, both in their prime form and matching their goal count match after match made this Derby most expected than any other games.
Also, the fact that barca was trailing their rivals by a solitary point in the league table, added to the excitement. Both teams were in their peak performance in the week before, with barca marauding the Almeria side 8-0, with Madrid equally impressive in their win over Bilbao 5-1. They away victory was registered by both the teams in the UEFA league as well. So it was quite obvious that this match, though will not decide the league title, and will be a treat to every football fan around the world.
But the match turned out to be an one sided affair, with Barca trashing their rivals 5-0. The score line indicates clearly that Barca dominated the match in its own style and their rivals, including the special one, could just be a spectator to the “beautiful Game being played more beautifully”. The one touch football philosophy from the Barca’s ancient school of thought had been imbibed into each and every individual and they displayed it to perfection when it really mattered.
Though, Messi was off colored in the first half, he more than made up for that with his two exquisite passes to Villa in the 2nd half. This match had its share of sparks off the field as one can expect from these clashes. But the on field display by the Cataluña giants overshadowed every other happening inside Camp Nou and also other leagues around the world. The stats should not be the lone differentiator, when it comes to decide the best team, but a stunning 600 passes, in 90 minutes, by Barca says it all. They clearly were miles ahead of their rivals and undoubtedly the better team on the field.
This defeat to Real, would linger in their mind for the years to come and one could expect a retaliation from the madristas, when Barca play against them in the later half of the season. This certainly is not an end to the league title hopes for the Real. But this match clearly showed who still reigns supreme at the Spanish league.
There is one man, who is responsible of this remarkable turnaround for Barca from a hampered side in 2008 to an overwhelming all-conquering side in 2009, more a matured side in 2010 and still continuing. Barca’s Coach, a former Barca player in himself, Pep Guardiola has formed this winning combination. He is purely responsible for the transformation of barca from a league side to a European power horse, when barca won the UEFA in 2009 defeating Manu. Barca had only 2 European cup titles to the 9 by their arch rivals, before guardiola’s arrival. He added one more to the count by winning the champions league in his very first year, then went on to win 5 different cups in the same year, thereby becoming the only Coach to have won 6 trophies in a single season.
From what one sees, this coach has tremendous respect among the players. This was proven when all the Barca players rushed towards Ronaldo, who pushed Pep along the sideline, while collecting a ball from him for a throw. Even Valdes rushed from his post to Ronaldo. This shows how he is revered at Camp Nou.
The transformation of Messi into a more potent striker, Villa’s signing in the beginning of this season were some of the result of Guardiola’s arrival at Camp Nou. One feels, that he connects so well with the players and even the youngsters like Pedro, Bojan rise to the occasion when needed. This Barca side is a champion side as seen by all the other clubs around the world. But this victory against Real is not final.
They still have lots of game left to be played in the league, as well as the European championship and each match needs to be played to its merit. But Barca has the Right Man at helm to take it to more victories in the years to come.