Barça are champions of the world! The Club World Cup ended with a 0-4 victory over Santos FC. Goals by Messi (2), Xavi, and Cesc had things under control extremely early.

My quick awards:

Man of the Match: The Whole Team. Don’t even try to argue with me on this one. All-around brilliance that made Santos look like second division strugglers is nothing to scoff at. Santos are good.

Goal of the Match: Obviously it’s Messi’s 2nd and the team’s 4th. What absurd control.

Defensive Moment of the match: Dani Alves stealing the ball off of Neymar after making a tremendous run back; that tackle led to the first goal.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Just so happy for the team. Look at how elated they were after the match. The celebration with the trophy. The dancing.

    This is a team that simply does not get tired of winning. It is their obsession. And its that hunger – it’s that joy in capturing a trophy that can easily be dismissed as a minor one – that captures the competitive drive that has made this team so great.

    They just look so happy winning – not only in the accomplishment – but in the process. They are just filled with job – during the match.

    Pep again pulled off another technical masterclass – and did so in the face of serious injuries.

    Villa out for the year. Sanchez hamstring bothering him. Pedro still out of form.

    No problem. Just turn Dani and Thiago into wingers in the 3-4-3.

    They maintained tactical width brilliantly and at the same time created danger over and over.

    Alves was just phenomenal. Absolutely destroyed the entire right flank. Owned it. In attack and defense.

    Messi was fantastic. So dynamic in midfield.

    Xavi and Iniesta actually didn’t even have their best games today.

    Look out. You can see it. This team is actively getting better. They are growing game to game. The players are now starting to fully understand Pep’s vision for the new system he is trying to play with 3 at the back.

    1. I think it came from Ramzi on twitter? In reference to Neymar as the Atomic bomb of hype TABOH

    1. Sorry – it just finished and you didn’t miss much. Both sides were wasteful in front of the goal, especially Arsenal as a team, and Aguero as an individual. The only goal came from a Balotelli cross to a missed Aguero header and Silva was there to clean up with a slot shot home.

  2. Goals (English):

    Messis second goal was fantastic, but I like Cesc’s goal best because so many people were involved in it. Messi showing fantastic strength by staying on his feet, Dani dashing to keep the ball from going out, Thiago’s saved header, and Cesc finally putting it away. Wonderful.

  3. El Barça de les sis copes in 2009 and el Barça de les çinc copes in 2011. What a team! We were so close to equalling our sextuple record if it weren’t for some Iker wonder saves in the CDR final.

    Goal of the match was the first one. The way Xavi controlled the ball was outrageous and that Messi finish was messias-like.

  4. This team absolutely amazes me– they just keep getting better and better! All the talk about Neymar this and Neymar that; well, Pele can now eat his words. The CWC win is a wonderful Christmas present to the fans. Looking forward to a great new year and a healthier squad in 2012.

  5. Santos looked like a 2nd Div. side, didn’t they?
    Absolutely had no clue how to react to the pressing of Barca. Football in Brazil must be played with much less pressing 🙂

    Neymar actually was humble in his pre- and post-match interviews. But even if his character might have improved, I still don’t want him at Barca – never! His quality is overrated, and you could see that today. He has only made one succesful dribble… he’s a light version of CR, isn’t he? If Brazil wants to build a team around him, I can see them fail early in the WC 2014.

    1. Sure Neymar wasn’t great today, but then he was playing with an injury (limping before and after the match), and his team-mates didn’t support his cause.

      From what I’ve seen of Santos over the past season, they don’t have much cohesion as a team. Their goals and plays come from individual performances. They certainly have strong players, and their defence is built on strength and the ability to out-muscle for the ball, but they don’t have much fitness and stamina.

      They did enough to win the Copa Libertadores, but in the Brasil league they finished 10th.

      You could see today that 2 major things counted against them:
      1. their season was already over so their sharpness was dulled.
      2. they weren’t fit enough to go the distance. 30 mins into the 1st half and there were already tired Santos players on the pitch.

      They were really counting on Neymar to save the game for them, and he certainly chased for the ball today. I’ve never seen him going so deep into the opposition half before, in attempts to recover the ball.

      Given a decent team around him, Neymar could shine, but today he certainly received a reality check as to where he currently ranks in comparison to some of the world’s best.

      What must hurt the most about today for Neymar was that he couldn’t out-play Barca’s 33 year old #5!

    2. Who is, by the way, one of Neymar’s favourite players, our #5 🙂

      To be honest, I have not seen any league match from Santos, just some Copa Libertadores…
      But Neymar would certainly be over-priced and I doubt that he fits us perfect. I deem him a better player for the EE.

    3. In Spain, the South American leagues are shown live, because they start straight after all the Spain games and analysis shows are over for the night. So we’ve been able to watch a fair bit of Santos and the other Brasilian teams, as well as leagues from the other S. American countries.

      So we’ve seen a fair bit of Santos, both in Copa Libertadores matches and in league matches. In the latter, they can look quite ordinary – hence their 10th place. In the Copa, they played better. But, as we all know from the Copa del Rey series, some of the weaker clubs can grab surprise, against-all-odds wins by playing the games of their lives in a limited series where a high standard of play is not required on a week-by-week basis.

      Neymar would be a perfect fit for Madrid, and I’m sure that’s 90% why Barca is interested in him.

      A few months ago, when it was first suggested that Barca was in the hunt for Neymar, I made a comment along the lines of Barca securing Neymar specifically to keep him from joining Madrid.

      Once they have control of Neymar, they can then either opt to keep him and see if they can mould him into a Barca-type player who is willing to adapt and learn the system, or they sell him to another club of their choice – any club other than Madrid! If they secure him on a 4-5 year deal – that’s pretty much his formative years as a football player that will be spent under the control of FCB.

    1. WHAAAAT is going on here? Messi looks SO uncomfortable. Though I would be too- who are those three men giggling away? Is this just another Japanese game show of some sort?

    2. That’s absurdly funny. It’s like a circus in there. His face is so comical.
      That whole scene is begging for one of those “Bad lip reading” type overdubs because whatever they are saying can’t possibly be as funny as those images.

    3. LOL. 😀

      It seems immediately after the game, Messi came to a Japanese reporter and comedian after the game. The comedian asked Messi, “What do you plan to do in your old age”. after the translator did his job, Messi replied by saying,” No idea” and left.

      I feel the awkwardness for Messi but that was way too funny.

  6. Wow, this game was a masterclass in possession and attacking football. Unbelievable. I have no words for this team.

    Every single player played their part beyond perfection. No words for Alves what a monster of a match.

    Funny thing about this game was there was no striker in the Barca team.

    Like Euler pointed out earlier, the Barca game was like an amoeba adapting to the spaces on the pitch. I have never seen anything like this in soccer before. No words really.

  7. I’m coming up blank at the moment with the answer to a question.

    The FC Barca site is stating that Pep has won 13 of the 16 titles the team has played under him, thus far.

    I can only remember 2 that they’ve missed out on – the 09/10 Champions League and the 10/11 Copa del Rey.

    What’s the 3rd? The 2009 Gamper Trophy?

  8. WOW. This team is awesome. Couldnt wake up for the game had other events I needed to attend today and had to get my beauty rest lol

    But I just saw some extended higlights and we seemes pretty comfotable. The goals were amazing and it seemed like we could have scored a lot more. I guess Neymar and Co. didnt touch the ball based on our possesion stats. I still like Neymar as a player and would not mind him coming here couple years down the line but maybe this game was a reality check for some media and Neymar himself tat he’s just not at that top level yet to be compared to Pedro much less Messi.

    13 Titulos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. A manita of titulos this year!!!!!!!!!! The year of the manita has ended well and this is a great christmas present for me. I love this team so much and am happy to be witnessing the BEST team in the world (and possibly in history) play beautiful football and win many titles doing so!


  9. Oh yeah and I’m glad we were able to dedicate this title to GUAJE (bless his heart), Ibi and Tito!!

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