1. Dangerously beautiful
While some like to believe that Tata is moving his team away from our essence, on the planet fútbol that most of us inhabit, there is only one team that pulls stunts such as these. First Jordi Alba dribbles a good ten yards under pressure through our penalty area. He lays it off to Song, who passes back to Pinto. Our resident pimp channels his inner VV and calmly picks out Busquets who, surrounded by Villarealists, lobs the ball to Montoya on the right flank. Voilá!
When we pass the ball out of our defense while the only sane option is to hoof it upfield, it makes me giggle like a schoolgirl and roll my eyes like the headmaster at the same time. Giggle, because, you know, it’s friggin’ awesome. Roll, because don’t think coaches around Europe don’t look at us and tell their attackers to lure for these moments of arrogance and punish us. After all, pride comes before the fall. Still… it’s friggin’ awesome!
2. It’s a squid! It’s an octopus! No, it’s… Superquets!
Some players go unnoticed even as they are everywhere. And although it is no secret to anyone that our sweet sixteen is exactly that kind of player, there are still matches where his omnipresence goes unseen (especially by someone like yours truly who was typing a minute by minute report while trying to watch the match). Renowned Catalan sports journalist Marti Perarnau calls him Barcelona’s best midfielder and integral to our club’s future. Vincente Del Bosque would not mind dying a horrible death if only he could come back in the gangly form of Sergio Busquets.
Not only does Octobusi distinguish himself by being in the right place and making the right pass all the time, he makes it look oh so easy. In the words of club legend (…)*, “Football is a really simple game. But the most difficult thing is to play it simple”.
Huh, what? Whose quote is that? I trust that at least one of our readers will fill in the gap above in the comment section below.
3. The X Factor
Wait a minute… Beanpole is the best midfielder we got? Well, yes, but on some days mister Xavier Hernandez i Creus is still the greatest. He has stopped bringing it e·ve·ry jornada since two and a half seasons ago, but when he does he will turn a match around quicker than you can say tiki taka. Song was not having a bad game per sé and neither was Barça as a team, but things began to click a whole lot louder once Xavi came on at the 61 minute mark. All of a sudden we were creating chances and it was only a matter of time before we put the ball in the net. Busi’s the best, and Iniesta played an amazing game, especially defensively. However we didn’t start winning until the X Factor. A special shoutout to Gerardo Martino for making the early substitution.