Barcelona – The Latest Entry Into The List Of Elite Teams




Barcelona – Elite Football Team

Barcelona – Elite Football Team

I think around once every decade, a team which is seemingly invincible comes about. The trend, I believe, has been prominent for quite a while. It can be said, without a speck of doubt or hesitation, that Barcelona is that team in the present generation.

Uruguay started this trend with their double World Cup success, and Brazil followed it up with their international dominance in the 50’s, the commander in chief being none other than then teenager, Pele. Then the balance shifted to the club level. Real Madrid, who have 9 Champions League/ European Cup victories, collected six of them in the early 60’s. Dutch magician and “total footballer” Johan Cruyff inspired Ajax took centre stage in the early 70’s.

English football had its taste of invincibility with Liverpool snatching the mantle; their success came in the late 70’s and early 80’s (Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish all played major roles). And a decade later, AC Milan, with the Dutch trio – van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard – at the heart of their game, led by a manager who never once played in his career, rose to immortality.

Though there can be no definitive argument to support which team was the benchmark in the Y2K period. Real Madrid and the “Galacticos” more or less fit the description. Barcelona, with a million titles in the past three years, are carrying the flag forward quite impressively.

Barcelona’s success in the past years can be attributed to two factors mainly:

  • Their incredible youth academy.
  • Cruyff’s revolution with his “dream team” of the 90’s, whose style of play has become traditional with the Catalonians.

Just the fact that 11 of the 18 man squad who played in the recent Champions League final were graduates from the La Masia Academy is a testimony to the abundance of talent at the academy. Catalans like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol and also stars from other countries (Messi, Kierrson, dos Santos brothers) have been manufactured at this academy. Barcelona have revolutionized football, proving that home bred talent can be more effective than shelling out bucks for renowned stars.

Barcelona’s style of play also makes beating them an almost impossible feat, and having some of the best players in the world does not make it easier either. Keeping possession, passing patiently and not rushing into an attack, Barcelona give their opponents a slow and painful death. Though there is at most time slurry of goals, none of them seem to be lucky or fluke. Half of their goals consist of beautiful interplay and breath-taking passes culminating with good finish. The rest are borne from the pure genius of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.

Though Jose Mourinho might just have devised a way to beat the almighty, it is not yet concrete and Barcelona still have to be dethroned. There are no signs to point that this might happen anytime in the near future.

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