Write-up by Steve Yates
The New Dream Crew. That’s what the Barcelona aficionados were calling their crew at the stop of very last year. That, and The Invincibles, certainly.
And it is not effortless to argue with them, really. To say that FC Barcelona ended up the finest football team in Europe would be a tiny like saying Usain Bolt is rather speedy.- ridiculous understatement. If they hadn’t rested important players in the very last number of weeks of the league time in purchase to preserve them clean for the Champions’ League Last, Barcelona would have destroyed every probable La Liga report. They scored ambitions for entertaining, teased teams mercilessly and had so many video games wrapped up in the 1st 20 minutes that you’d be forgiven for considering they’d been advised only ambitions scored in the first half counted towards their win bonus.
The coach that each and every fan adored (but virtually all of them have been anxious about) – the former iconic player Pep Guardiola – turned out to be an inspired selection by club President Joan Laporta. Barcelona, of course, had always been a team of fantastic footballers able, when the mood was appropriate, to flip on the type in imperious style. What transpired below the ex-Barcelona player’s fledgling management, nonetheless, was that this collection of disparate men and women became, in every sense of the phrase, a crew a accurate collective. Thierry Henri, an isolated, remote figure in his 1st year at the club, grew to become the player that Arsenal supporters loved so significantly. Samuel Eto’o, the guy the president was desperate to be rid of in the close-time along with the other ‘malign’ influences, Ronaldinho and Deco, grew to become the focal point of the world’s most potent assault. And, of program, Lionel Messi started to show why so numerous exceptional judges thought he would one particular day grow to be the finest player in the globe.
Season 2008/09 was a season in which everything went correct for Barca. Considering that its foundation in 1899 – when the Swiss ex-patriot Hans Gamper founded a group for whom he would go on to score 103 targets, turn out to be president, and then construct their 1st stadium – Barcelona have been a success. This achievement has not just been on the football pitch, both. In a single memorable 12 months, 1999, the club’s football, basketball, hockey and handball teams all won their respective leagues. The club has turn into a symbol of Catalan nationalism whilst now also supplying, in Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi and Piqué, the backbone of the Spanish national group.
But, to return to subject. Definitely they can not do it once again, can they? Actual Madrid, with their return to the notorious Galacticos and their attempts to sign each and every player on the planet, must inevitably be stronger. And absolutely everyone will tell you it’s harder to retain trophies than win them everybody wishes to dethrone the champions.
Don’t bet versus it occurring, even though. This crew is not at its peak nevertheless. Guardiola and Laporta haven’t gone ridiculous in the summer season transfer market they the two know that team spirit is a cherished factor and that any signings will have to match into the dressing place that the coach has completed so a lot to unite. You can be confident that everyone who does arrive in between now and the start of the period will have been carefully selected – and not just signed since they ended up on a checklist drawn up by a director of football with stars in his eyes. When Xavi lately said that Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t suit in at Barcelona, it wasn’t just sour grapes – he remembered the affect that Ronaldinho ended up having.
The typical age of the Barcelona crew that played against Manchester United in Might was considerably more youthful than their opponents – and even though some players this kind of as Puyol, Gudjohnsen and Silvinho, for illustration – may possibly not be about considerably longer at the very top stage, some of the younger gamers have the prospective to be truly wonderful.
Can they do it once again? Well, I really don’t know any more than you do. I do know, however, that anyone who takes 1 of the 3 trophies off them is going to have to be one heck of a crew. I can not wait around.
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