Wednesday, April 07, 2010

FC Barcelona

After Ajax Amsterdam, my second favorite team in Europe is Barcelona. This is mainly because there is such a strong link between Ajax and Barcelona (think Johan Cruijff). Also because Barcelona plays football the way Ajax intends to. Where Ajax fails, Barcelona excels.

Last week during the Arsenal-Barcelona match in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, Barcelona played a blinding 20 minutes. In the first half their performance was among the best I've ever seen and many agreed. That they didn't score was just a sidenote, it was the passing, position play, speed and the way they left the opposition all confused (and Arsenal isn't just a football club either). The game ended 2-2 so all still to play for in the next leg.

Last night was the return leg in Barcelona. Arsenal pinned their hope on Theo Walcott but Barcelona have Lionel Messi. And Xavi. After Barcelona conceded, Messi just ran riot. Nothing and nobody could stop him. Behind him Xavi was pulling all the strings. Pass the ball there, run here, receive ball and pass straight away, look and run, pass, always in constant motion. Everytime Messi has the ball he becomes a threat. Scoring 4 goals is just proof what he is capable of.

I love watching Barcelona play. There is a certain arrogance and class to their game. They are adhering to the first basic principle of football: the opposition cannot score if they don't have the ball (see Johan Cruijff). The fluidity of the passing, the constant movements and the early pressure when they lose the ball.

I really hope Barcelona wins next weekend against Real Madrid - they will then clinch the Spanish League. Then the Champions League. If they can hold on to their title, it will show how great a team they are.

In any case, they already showed the most amazing football last week. Messi showed he is God last night. And he is only22...