Can anyone stop Barcelona?

Barcelona - Champions League Winners (Again)

Since Pep Guardiola took over the reins at the Camp Nou in 2008, his Barcelona side have been magnificent. A treble winning (La Liga, Copa del Rey, UCL) campaign in the 2008/09 in his first season was followed with an additional four trophies in second. This term, Los Cules won another three to make it ten in three years.

Last Saturday, a Leo Messi inspired Barca won Europe’s biggest prize in club football. The game itself was like a match made in heaven – The Champions of England squaring up against their Spanish counterpart. It was more mouthwatering with anticipation considering how the finals of Rome 2009 panned out. SAF in his pre-match conference claimed his side had learnt from the last episode while Guardiola went down the path of demanding more from his lads to ensure he triumphed for the second time in Wembley – Ironically, the Catalonia born tactician won his only UCL trophy as a player on the same ground 19 years earlier.

The game started in a similar fashion as to the one in Rome and I was tempted with the thought of a deja vu just as I was hoping I’ll be proved wrong. United started brightly swarming all around Barca in the opening exchanges but the Catalans soon settled in with their swift passing game. Pedro broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when he fired past a helpless Van der Saar after a routine Xavi’s pass. The English Champions regrouped and within ten minutes after Barca’s goal, wonderboy Wayne Rooney showed his class with an excellent finish to a debatable Ryan Giggs offside assist. Unlike the way the first half ended in Rome with Barca having their noses in front, it was even in London at the interval. I personally thought SAF would turn things around a little bit by getting bodies in the midfield. Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) was more of a passenger on the field as he barely touched the ball and wasn’t getting the required services with Barca hugging the ball in their usual possession obsessed football, but he didn’t. The second half resumed with Barca showing more intent and desire to win again. It was no surprise to see Ballon d’or winner Lionel Messi cracking in a 25 yard effort past the retiring Dutch man in United goal for his 53rd of this campaign. The mercurial Argentine appeared to be on a personal mission on the night. The goal extinguished all the fire in the Red Devils and it was also obvious on the sidelines with their manager’s body language. Los Cules turned on the style on a cold evening at Wembley with wave after wave of attacking play which resulted in David Villa’s 69th minute goal which was enough to convince any Doubting Thomas of the Catalans superiority on the night. By the time Mr Kassai blew his final whistle to signal the end of the game, FC Barcelona’s name was already inscribed on the coveted Elephant ear trophy.

Are they unstoppable?

The question that comes to everyone’s mind now is how can this exceptional team be stopped? Every era seem to have one – The great Real Madrid side of the ’60s, great AC Milan side of the late ’80s dominated but none have played impeccable football like this present Barcelona side is doing. This Barcelona side has peaked and it is expected that diminishing return sets in but it’s difficult to see that happening anytime soon when you consider the relatively young age of the core players. Messi is 23, Iniesta 27, Busquets 22, Pedro 23, Pique 24, Valdes 29. Even the so-called old legs like Xavi 31, Puyol 33 still have a lot to offer. The challenge of conquering Barcelona must be sending a lot of chills down the spines of several top European managers as they prepare for next season.

Even eternal rivals, Real Madrid’s quest to break Barcelona’s supreme reign led Florentino Perez to secure the services of The Special one. The Portuguese hasn’t succeeded as expected finishing second behind Barcelona in La Liga and was dumped out (maybe controversially) in the UCL semis by the same enemy but he can savor his victory against them in the Copa del Rey final.

If there is a man who can do the Mission Impossible, I feel it is Jose.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by harphyz on May 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Barcelona are unstoppable for now but I’m sure a team would definitely bring them down before the close of next season. You have to play dirty to stop them and the Special one did that but the Ref destroyed his game plan, Up Man U

    Reply

    • Posted by Commentator on May 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      Even if they’re brought down..like Hercules did them… they’ll pick themselves back up.
      Mourinho’s gameplan is key… to winnin them permanently

      Reply

  2. Posted by bloke on May 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Barca is unstoppable for now at least for d next two seasons except other managers can acquire the set of quality players at Guardiola’s disposal, if not its gonna be d same ball game with d merciless Messi n co.

    Reply

  3. Posted by james on May 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Of truth its a notion worthy of consideration,who will stop the unstoppable barca. If Jose can do it remains a probability&speculative but for me barca can go on&on.

    Reply

  4. Posted by fm on May 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Can they be stopped?honestly in my personal opinion that question remain a mystery in the minds of millions around the world,but in the other hand you most love and marvel at the way they orchestrated the round leather game called soccer,only time will tell who can stop the team  their way to immortality.

    Reply

  5. Posted by fm on May 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Can they be stopped?honestly in my personal opinion that question remain a mystery in the minds of millions around the world,but on the other hand you most love and marvel at the way they orchestrated the round leather game called soccer,only time will tell who can stop the team  their way to immortality.

    Reply

  6. Posted by ayaj on May 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Yes its possible to stop them.the best team in d world by miles but they sure can be beaten,Rubin Kazan, arsenal,chelsea and Madrid hv shown this.U hv 2b combative,impecable defensively and deadly counter-attacking.its difficult to do all at once.it just shows how good Barcelona are.difficult but possible to beat them.let’s wait for next season.my greatest joy is dat barca won it fair and square.kudos 2 d ref.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Bassey on May 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Well,well,well, barca are worthy heros & champions,but if they can be stopped the answer is yes,but this can only be achieved by a few teams,remember rubin kazan,arsenal,inter & chelsea have all done this in the recent past. This season they’ve been incredible & undoubtedly the best soccer playing side on the surface of the planet. Let’s not spoil their flavor by discussing this,let us relax enjoy the off season,watch the transfers,see the pre season & look forward to a more exciting new season.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Bankie on June 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I couldn’t ascertain if u were right Xavi made Pedro’s goal assist, thot twas Andres.
    Barca ‘s absolutely visible! United played a terrible game on d night, shameful! wit al d time we ad to prepare twas lackluster! To think dat Sir Alex had d opportunity to make consultations nd review their game, he should have performed better. i’m sure we all saw visible error, errors that were d only key to ‘dealing’ wit d Catalans! Personally as a United fan, i was absolutely disappointed on d night; dn’t get me wrong if they had lost wit a good fight, would have been perceived but wit such a performance,twas shameful! twas more like a Man U v Schalke not d Classic they had for Semis
    as much as i know, the only way to offset that team is get them frustrated a ‘nice’ way! Just lik even a Stoke team ‘might’ have done absolutely better than United did on d night! whoeva observes how Jose plays dem from his days in Chelsea; Inter; even wit the new Pepe innovated Madrid, he muzzles their game up, gets his boiz in their face even before they can comprehend, unsettled; finish! dat i think would do d trick anyday only that opposition would maybe add malicious to wat should b just mere pressure nd then d cards come!
    Valencia got d trick, though it now looked like he was making fouls only bcos he was d only man playing so, if all other united guys played as tough, the ref would av gotten accustomed to dat tempo nd watch for real fouls (twas a Champ league final for sakes) but since Valencia was alone, he got ‘unnecessary’ interest from Mr. Kassai nd then d card! but when Inter played them twas lik so, al thru Cambiasso was active, Stankovic dey vex; Muntari nko when he came on, so you c u allow them play; they play if not they get frustrated nd start pointing to d ref for caution nd card appeals, then they’ll look to get someone sent off so they could ‘play’ but if they c u wanna play relaxed, u just wanna take the game to them, the game they play best; then they dn’t need an extra man, they dn’t make ref appeals, they play u man to man, team to team nd they punish u!
    Easy does it!

    Reply

  9. Posted by Ehis on June 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I want to move a motion that all the football managers should have a football conference where they will discuss
    this team call BARCELONA. and may be MOURINHO should deliver the lecture.

    Reply

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