• ooga aga
      May 30, 2011

      a golazo of a review, half way through and just wanted to say that. now to read the rest, then rewatch the match. thanks euler

  1. blitzen
    May 30, 2011

    Wow, Euler! This is, and I don’t use the word lightly, an epic review! I’ve only skimmed it for now, but I look forward to reading it in more depth later.

    But there’s Guardiola yelling out instructions pointing furiously to where his players should be positioned while they are up 3-1 in the Champions League final with only a minute or so to play (it’s just one minute Pep!). There he is worried, gesticulating – thinking – to the very end of the competition just as he did when he was on the pitch as a player for those legendary Dream Team sides.

    This right here! I was laughing when I saw that, then I just had to shake my head and acknowledge that this is why he is the best manager in the world. He never ever stops thinking, planning, adjusting his players’ positions, right up to the final whistle. Contrast that with Sir Alex, who barely left his seat, and then only to give Rooney a bollocking. SAF will rightly go down in history as one of the great managers, but Pep Guardiola will be right there with him. Genius.

    • blitzen
      May 30, 2011

      Can you summarize that article? I can’t go to goal.com from work, sometimes there is bad code on that site.

      • Vj
        May 30, 2011

        Just that Mou was so afraid of the ‘shameful’ mauling he got earlier this season, he left 4 attackers on the bench and didn’t want to attack, fearing another hiding..

  2. May 30, 2011

    Euler just won the Champions league of reviewers 🙂

    I scanned it and will make sure to read it all together tonight. The least to do to show appreciation for such a huge dedication and effort.

    We -Barca aliens- are perfectionists in every department. Messi is not an exception on our distinct planet.

  3. soccermomof4
    May 30, 2011

    Holy cow, Euler!
    As I read this, I kept copying certain sentences of brilliance to compliment you on. I soon realized that I would be copying your entire post. I actually saved this review to my computer. Not just favorited, but saved.

    Thanks to the BFB staff: Kxevin, Isaiah, Kari, Euler, SoMa, Linda, Luke, vicsoc and anyone I’m forgetting for a great season, great writng, and lots of laughs.

    Thanks to the team for being awesome and beautiful. In Pep we trust, of the team we are in awe.

    Thanks to the BFBers for being webbernet friends. So, who’s going to DC?
    BTW, what the heck happened to Miguel?

    Happy Memorial Day to all in the USA.

    Finally, one Euler quote that must be put forth:
    Only one player has ever raised the European Championship trophy three times. That player was Beckenbauer. Puyol could have been the second if he chose to. Instead, he chose to be a teammate – and in that moment he showed by action what leadership really means.
    I love this team!!!!!!!!

    • Jnice
      May 30, 2011

      s I read this, I kept copying certain sentences of brilliance to compliment you on. I soon realized that I would be copying your entire post.

      Ha, same here.

      Thanks to the BFB staff: Kxevin, Isaiah, Kari, Euler, SoMa, Linda, Luke, vicsoc and anyone I’m forgetting for a great season, great writng, and lots of laughs.

      Ditto. Thanks a lot, guys.

  4. Euler, THANK YOU!Your dedication to our beautiful club and to this blog is worth a medal…
    I’m so gonna print this and add it to the scrapbook I’m trying to make with the successes of this TEAM. Your efforts are going to be read by my grandchildren one day 🙂

    • Barcaleya
      May 30, 2011

      Oh, that’s right. Forgot about the new words in our Barca dictionary.

      Agree with Kari. This post is Messi!!!!

  5. Nik
    May 30, 2011

    Amazing review Euler! I read it all, and I’m glad I did. Your understanding of the game is phenomenal.

    We’ll take a look at a specific example of the brilliance of Barça’s cerebral dictator’s in the formal tactical review of the Champions League finals (next post).

    Does this mean we’re getting another fantastic post about this match from you soon?! You spoil us Euler. 🙂

  6. flyzowee
    May 30, 2011

    Every time Euler does a tactical preview, things happen just as he says and when i watch the match its almost as if i can hear his voice in my head as the game advances.

    Three games over this season where i thought he was absolutely spot on with his analysis were:

    1. Barca vs Villareal @ the camp nou 3 – 1

    2. Barca vs Madrid 5 – 0.

    3. Barca vs Man U. 3 – 1

    There could be more but in these three at least, all of his suggestions for barca were implemented to the letter.

    Reading those previews again and actually going back to watch those games again one seriously could be tricked into thinking euler was in the dugout!! Lol

    Great review man.
    Only wish wed had more of your tactical previews over the season.

  7. Srini
    May 30, 2011

    I am a relatively new visitor to this site but I have become quickly a fan of Euler’s assessments and writings. I was eagerly waiting for this review to appear. I was eagerly awaiting someone to write as to how the Barcelona squad regained the stratospheric heights of its play after resting 2 weeks and no one mentioned that and I expected Euler to do that (after his preview and his prediction mentioning this aspect). I was eagerly awaiting someone to talk about all the play between the lines; the one touch passing that led to advanced play between and beyond them and about how this passing acquired their “weights” and direction as the game progressed beyond the 10 minute mark.

    I was eagerly awaiting someone to write on how the Barcelona squad’s performance was prefixed on its positional and tactical superiority and how it outclassed a side that tried to plan for that superiority but came up short. Instead I only saw encomiums flowing through which seemed like a lot of fluff about the winner without explaining the process. It was like Watson going on and on about Sherlock Holmes but not explaining how Holmes solved the mystery through the train of his thought.

    I am glad that Euler has answered my anticipation with relish and brilliance in this “blog post” which actually deserves space in a traditional newspaper rather than just a blog entry.

    A truly marvellous read, this was.

    But allow me to ask some newbie questions. What does the “heat map” mean? What does that signify? Please elaborate.

    Thanks again.

    • Vj
      May 30, 2011

      Heat maps are a measure of how much time a certain player has spent on a certain area of the pitch.

      The ‘hotter’ the area -> the more time he’s spent.

  8. Barcaleya
    May 30, 2011

    Wow, Euler! Brilliant, brilliant review.

    How a tactical review makes me cry is beyond me. Reading through it made me realize even more just how wonderfully skilled and intelligent our individual footballers are and how great a team this is. Tears fell when it came to your few sentences re Keita and Ibi. The professionalism, the sacrifices they make to be part of this team. They could be superstars somewhere else but they choose to subordinate themselves for the team. We all know how much we need extra men as we were all but depleted towards the end of the season. And what “extra men” they are.

    Looking forward to the rest of your review and analysis of this game/season.

    Visca Euler! VISCA BARCA!!!!

  9. just listenin
    May 30, 2011

    Great post Euler, like others, thanks for your hard work and insightful review, helps crystallize things.

    I think Ferguson’s comments immediately following the match; “they mesmerize you with their passing” was so blunt and obvious that it didn’t get enough comment. His players weren’t intentionally giving Barca too much time on the ball, Barca earned that time. The passing has an intended effect, paralysis. The ball moves right, you shift, it goes left, you shift and your moving your weight back and forth and next thing you know you’re planted. It’s the incessant ticking of the metronome and the ball swinging before the opponent’s eyes like a hypnotist’s pendulum that earns the time on the ball – we had that going big time in this match.

    I initially noticed the impact of a rested Villa, Busquets influence in this match, above the given usual brilliance of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi, but the more I watched the match the more it is hard to single anyone out. They all, and each, did those things that in anyone game distinguishes them, pretty much all at the same time.

  10. poipoi
    May 30, 2011

    Anybody said this was epic? It is legendary

  11. K_legit
    May 30, 2011

    Being a Research student, I’ll say this is ‘Review’ is as good (if not better) than a paper published in ‘Science’ in its depth of explanation, of its interpretive work, of its relevance and articulation..
    That is Euler, my friend, the highest praise I can give
    I will not deny that I have a lump in my throat after reading this..

    • Vj
      May 30, 2011

      You get choked up after reading papers/articles in Science? 😛

      I’m lucky I get to finish one without falling asleep. Twice. 😀

  12. psqd
    May 30, 2011

    Thanks! I will echo what others have said. This is the most insightful review I have run across. What I really appreciate is that you not only hit on all the points that I noted as important, but also verbalized a few points that in hindsight I noticed, but was unable to elucidate. Wonderful!
    Just a few points…
    Busquets was, as noted, superfantastic. His play in this game was the most obvious illustration to me of why he holds his position ahead of the argentinian national teams captain. Busquets facilitated play with a speed that was at least half a beat and usually a beat faster than sMasch and much more fluid.
    Amongst all the other things that pep should get credit for is sMasch at CB. He had to deal with a crisis the second half of the season. He experimented and found/created the best solution. He played a new player out of position in the biggest games of their season. Impressive that he was able to instill the confidence not only in sMasch to do it, but in the entire team to trust him in the back and help get Pique back to the form that allowed that choice to become a viable solution.
    Again, Euler, you were on point with this being the best game from Villa, at least that I have seen. I think you are right that rest played a large part. However, I think that playing him on the right/center was big as well. From there, with dani covering the wider area he could drift into the center where he looked more comfortable. It looked as if Pep found a way to use his tendencies as a tactical advantage in this game. Freed from hugging a touchline to give us width he really shone. It surely helped that Evra was stuck without a traditional marker and the CB’s were unable to organize to help compensate.
    I was very surprised that Ferguson rolled out with the lineup he did. It seems he defaulted to playing the players in whom he had the most confidence and expected them to compensate/adapt to the unorthodox and demanding tactics and rolls. It seems that he came to the conclusion that he did not have the player(s) he needed in the squad to compete in the middle of the park. Arguably Fletcher would have been more suited to the demands, but he must have decided, like Pep with Puyol, that rolling out a player at <100% was a risk too great. To me the greatest illustration of this team's ability to take a very good team out of their game was the anonymity of ManU's most creative/impact players. Hernandez, Giggs, and Valencia were, but for a few flashes, ghosts. Valencia was reduced to doing his best Pepe impression. Giggs' game was i think emblematic of their inability to execute their game plan outside of the first ten minutes. In the first ten minutes they were unsettling and creating chances, but it was unsustainable and unrealistic to expect that work rate and the double-duty of key players and positions to continue for much longer.
    Anyway, fantastic to watch, without even mentioning Abidal, Xavi, and P! WOW…and thanks…that is all…

  13. BA
    May 30, 2011

    brilliant, superb analysis Euler. just read it once and i’m sure i’ll read it many more times this summer. this is why we love BFB.

    • Barcaleya
      May 30, 2011

      Me too. I’m going to read this review over and over this summer 😀

  14. Barcaleya
    May 30, 2011

    Is it possible for our Holy Trinity (Xavi, Iniesta, Messi) to be shortlisted again for the Balon d’Or?

    We know who will win it this time but could those three contest it again (please)?

    • May 31, 2011

      ooh BarcaLeya, im goin to the tropics! yay, so happy!

      and if the 3 get nominated again, i don’t think i could afford it. they’re the reasons for my 3-nation asian trip last winter. haha.

      • Barcaleya
        May 31, 2011

        Yelena – enjoy the trip, my dear!!!

        I am sooo envious! Hoping to go home this year as well. There is nothing like soaking in our warm seas and watching the sun set in the horizon, with a san miguel in hand.

        Then – my plan is to watch the Clasico in Nov (which is normally in or around my birthday). ***hoping to win the lotto soon***

  15. Jnice
    May 30, 2011

    This was wonderful, Euler. Fitting review for the amazing performance of this team. Thank you.

  16. blitzen
    May 30, 2011

    Grab yourselves a beer, strap yourselves in, and lock up the children, because this is your very last season-ending Champions-League-winning edition of the blitzen awards!

    DVOC Award: Chicharito, with 5 big ones. Villa stayed onside all match, btw. Dani was our only offender.

    Most Biased Idiot Award: No, not Kxevin! 😉 It’s Andy Gray, who inspired a season’s worth of jocularity at Stoke’s expense, then proceeded to get himself sacked for sexual harassment. There is only one Andy Gray, people!

    UEFACEF Fair Play Award: Referee Kassai, who had an excellent match and deprived pundits and trolls the world over of the opportunity to shout “Bias!” and “Conspiracy!” Yes, Valencia should have been carded sooner, and yes, Giggs was offside before the Rooney goal, but we really can’t have any complaints. My only niggle with him is the yellow card for Valdes, which was rubbish.

    MOTMOTM Award: I think most of us in here agree it was Busquets. He played an almost perfect game and showed why both Pep and Del Bosque rely on him so much. Of course everyone is still going to hate him, anyway.

    If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them Award: Paul Scholes tries to blend in with the Barcelona players by wearing his Iniesta shirt. He was probably hoping to slip onto the plane and go back with the team.

    It’s a Trap! Award: Classless Pique steals a Wembley net to fashion a Cesc Snare, having already scouted the Arsenal facilities with his equally classless partner-in-crime Puyol.

    Heartless Monster Award: Anyone who didn’t cry like a baby when Abidal lifted the cup.

    It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over Award: Pep Guardiola, who was still wildly gesticulating and shouting on the sidelines in the 88th minute when ManU hadn’t even touched the ball for ages. He just can’t stop himself. No wonder he lost his hair.

    You Can’t Rain On Our Parade Award: The team, but especially Abidal and Adriano for acting like having the sprinklers turned on was the most fun thing ever! Sprinklers FC, that’s us! 😀

    Legend in His Own Mind Award: Nani who?

    It’s a Victory For Football Xavi Memorial Award: Yes, this one again. It goes to all the players of Manchester United for playing their game, especially Rooney who played well and worked very hard, and to Patrice Evra who said “”Sometimes you have to be honest and say the best team won. I think we have to give credit to Barcelona.” Classy.

    Best Goal Celebration Award: Busquets’ flying tackle onto the corner post after Pedro’s goal. You may not have seen it on your feed, but Sky caught it. 😆 Runner-up: Messi dropping to his knees after Villa’s goal. When Messi falls on his knees you know you have done something spectacular!

    Shut Up and Focus Puyol Memorial Award: David Villa, who did, and came up big. Fantastic game from him and a huge goal that effectively put the game to bed. This is why we bought him, people! And next season he will be even better.

    Dani Alves is My Spirit Animal Award: Dani Alves, for everything he brings to the club on and off the field. Samba dancing, “unique” sense of style, that laughing-and-walking thing he does, hilarious quotes, predator eyes, free kicks into space and all. Legend. Runner-up: Pinto. So glad we have him for another year.

    I could go on, but I won’t. Thank you to everyone who has made this the best football blog in the world, especially the mods who work tirelessly behind the scenes! Words can’t express how much I love this team, and I look forward to sharing this experience with you all in the future! <3

    • Jnice
      May 30, 2011

      Nice one!

      I could go on, but I won’t. Thank you to everyone who has made this the best football blog in the world, especially the mods who work tirelessly behind the scenes! Words can’t express how much I love this team, and I look forward to sharing this experience with you all in the future! <3

      Same here. I love you all.

    • soccermomof4
      May 30, 2011

      No more Blitzen awards until next season. 🙁

      Runner-up: Messi dropping to his knees after Villa’s goal. When Messi falls on his knees you know you have done something spectacular!
      That was only part of Messi’s celebration of that goal. Watch the pile on Villa after his goal. Messi comes flying over the top of the pack with a head-first vault. The boy was positively giddy. 🙂

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 30, 2011

      hahaha.. I <3 Blitzen Award!

      and yes, based on what happened on post match celebration, I can say we are SPRINKLERS FC! credit to whoever made this on RMFB… 😆

      Look how our players enjoyed the water once the sprinklers turned on… 😀

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 30, 2011

      Ouch, Euler review and Blitzen Awards in a single post!! That is too much for me to handle. I have read both, and I think I have enough excellent reading material to go over untill the next season begins again.

  17. Jnice
    May 30, 2011

    Also, if anyone still has any requests for certain links or files, let me know.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 30, 2011

      Blitzen, you gotta give Jnice a King of the Links Award! 😀

      Have you shared Barça celebration/parade on Barcelona?
      From the moment they arrived from the airplane, if you have…

      • blitzen
        May 30, 2011

        The videos might be on http://www.tv3.cat. I can’t check from work, unfortunately, but they had the videos from the Liga celebration there before.

      • Jnice
        May 30, 2011

        I haven’t seen those available for download yet, nanda. I’ll keep checking throughout the day.

    • soccermomof4
      May 30, 2011

      Anyone know where to find the sprinkler celebrations?

      • Jnice
        May 30, 2011

        Haven’t seen those by itself, but they should be included in the post-match files showing the players celebrate on the field.

  18. SoccerMom
    May 30, 2011

    Euler Sublime.

    I used to imagine Euler in an oak-paneled library with all sorts of parchment charts and maps spread across an enormous desk, peering and making annotations with a wax pencil in hand and a monocle in his eye.

    When Euler was “in session” we would step softly to the threshold, rap a knuckle gently on the door and he would start up, squint to remember who we were and then wave us away with a “hmph”.

    Now I know better. Euler does not hunch over a heavy table in some darkened chamber. No, he sits astride the Captain’s chair in the FCB Enterprise, observing heat maps and passing charts, pointing to this one and that, his eyes scanning several screens, as technical data flowing directly into his massive cerebral cortex, where it intermingles with art and eloquence that sloshes around in his abundant grey matter.

    O.k., my wittle brain still watches the match and thinks “purdy”. Maybe even, “Wow, really purdy”.

    But now, after Euler’s review, I can also appreciate:

    1. The brilliance of dropping back as a creative way to press up, especially for rush-‘en-at-’em players like Pedro! and Villa.

    2. The genius of shooting from outside the box — for a short team — used to scatterwalling almost along the goal line — against very tall EPL-types.

    3. The importance of measuring distance in passing: not just short vs. long, but super-short vs. kinda-short vs. shortish, and in which direction.

    Also special appreciation for Euler’s outstanding style, such as converting “pace” into an adjective: “Pacey Chicharito” and recalling the Kia Soul hamsters: “Midgets in the front. Midgets in the back”.

  19. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 30, 2011

    God bless you, Euler…
    We are so blessed to have you here, in this blog…

    Poipoi is right…this is not just epic, this is legendary…
    How I wish every single football fan can read this insanely brilliant review…

    It’s hard to believe that me, with my little understanding about tactical stuff, can enjoy and understand your tactical review very much…
    The best UCL final review, hands down!

    And you say there will be more later about Xavi and Villa? Yeeeaaay!! 😀

    Thank you so much, Euler…
    Here’s my favourite part…

    Yes Pep. Your men – and yourself- are now truly eternal.
    And you achieved that grandeur because you insisted on playing the way you believed – the way you were taught – football needed to be played. And you should be so proud of that. You should. Because I know that we cules are so proud of you and your team.

    This part is so touching, also about Keita, Ibi, Puyi, and Abidal’s part… T’estimo Barça… 🙁

  20. Megster
    May 30, 2011

    Great review Euler! You have completely summarized what I truly feel on this team. Just like what Xavi said, people will remember Barca because they stayed true to their philosophy. And the recently concluded CL final showed this current roster now truly belongs to the above mentioned footballing dynasties.

  21. Diego
    May 30, 2011


    The match with no pre-game or review or half time, Decent commentary with a size of 1GB or less. 😀

    • Jnice
      May 30, 2011

      ITV Broadcast

      First Half: /http://www.filesonic.com/file/1084885331/First_Half_-_UCL_Final_-_Barcelona_v._Man_Utd_-28-05-11.avi

      Second Half: /http://www.wupload.com/file/3525307/Second_Half_-_UCL_Final_-_Barcelona_v._Man_Utd_-28-05-11.avi

      Total size should be around 902 mb, just under a gb.

      Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

  22. Whatever
    May 30, 2011


    The match with English commentary (possibly European, not American) in HD; size is not important.


  23. Gogah
    May 30, 2011

    wow Euler, this was totally sick. i am completely flabbergasted with this review, a fitting one for a legendary match. My favorite line from this article was “Two attackers who have scored nearly fifty goals between them this season are playing defense for a CB and holding midfielder. That summarizes in a moment what Barça has become under Guardiola.” thanks for bringing this to my notice.
    Could you also please tell me what app / program you are using and on which device for those heat map screenshots you have posted. they are pretty cool. if you don’t mind i have a very humble feedback. This is one of the best football articles i have ever read and one worth keeping, but please check some minor spelling and grammatical errors man. like “or” instead of “of”. without these, it will be a perfect piece of writing. Brilliant work and i look forward to reading more.

    my own shitty(compared to the detail here) overview is on http://barcapower.blogspot.com/2011/05/barca-conquers-europe-with-true-grit.html and http://barcapower.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-this-barca-is-best-ever.html reads why this barca is the best ever.

  24. Vj
    May 30, 2011

    Manchester United is the reason why this match was so wonderful to watch.

    By the end of the match, the dead souls group started rambling here and there and everywhere pointing out how this match proved Mourinho right. By not playing as thugs, Manchester United handed the victory to Barcelona. They missed that Barcelona reached the final after defeating Mourinho himself, and his “winning by all means” approach. Even the claim that Barcelona reached the final because they dived, bribed the referee or hired UNICEF children as serial killers, that won’t serve their case of “winning by all means” as they sound like someone with dissociative identity disorder. Is it by all means or not? If it is then fair enough, if not then bow to Manchester United who dictated the right way to play this final, and ask yourself a question: Will you prefer to watch this final ten more times again or that semi final once more? Based on the answer you figure whats football and whats not.


    • blitzen
      May 30, 2011

      Agree 1000%! I for one will be watching this match many times over, and not just because we won. This is the game that proves football can be joyful and a thing of beauty. All credit to Manchester United for coming out to play.

    • May 30, 2011

      Props to Ramzi for such a Messi article 😀

      And I liked Euler’s review, but Im sure Ill *love it* once
      i get a chance to watch the match again, sans the nerves and drunken stupor!

  25. Eklavya
    May 30, 2011


    Could you order a double decker salami pizza for me? Thanks in advance.

  26. Para
    May 30, 2011

    I haven’t read the review yet, as I want to give it the proper time, and I haven’t found it yet…but I did find this article about Guardiola from 2004, and thought it was interesting.


    “Some romantics in Barcelona still yearn for the brand of football played by Cruyff and epitomised by Guardiola, who won six La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, a Cup Winners’ Cup and a European Cup in ten seasons. The chances are, however, that we will not see it again, at least not for a while.”

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 30, 2011

      That article was written in March 2004. Wow! What a find.

    • Vj
      May 30, 2011

      Whoa. Nice find!

      Looking back on it all, I’m grateful for everything. Even those two odd years. Even the pasillo, even when we threw away a Liga. Who’s to say what would’ve happened if we did win back then? Would’ve we have encountered such greatness?

  27. vicsoc
    May 30, 2011

    Well, with the Champions League won I say let’s go ahead and start making our summer signings!

    Seems like Cote and Kiko are likely, but it will be interesting to see what big names we pick up.

    On another note it seems like Caceres is going to Sevilla for the grand fee of 3-5 million… not the best return we’ve ever had on a player.

  28. Blow-Grenade
    May 30, 2011

    Hey Euler, this review is your best work yet. But I would say that your review of Pep’s tactical change after Copa for the first leg of champions league against the Evil Empire was a stroke of brilliance as well.

  29. May 30, 2011

    Also, I’d like to apologize personally for the first 10 minutes of our play in the final. For the quarterfinals and semifinals, I’ve made a Champions League tradition/superstition of posting “We got this.” *right* at the moment of kick off. In my own deluded World, I am convinced that these messages are responsible for our shellacking Shaktar in that first match and later getting past Moudrid. Always at 12:45 pm on the dot! Being at a bar this time, though, made me forget to do this for the final, but I was able to get it in just in time…. I only remembered because we looked so so out of sorts at the start…. My bad 🙁

  30. blitzen
    May 30, 2011

    From the BBC:

    Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was replicating a tradition from championship-winning basketball teams when he cut the net from the goalposts at Wembley to take home as a souvenir following the Champions League win over Manchester United. (the Independent)

    Ah. Not a Cesc Trap, then. I’ll have to take his award back. 😛

  31. Liva
    May 30, 2011

    Wow, this review is absolutely phenomenal. An amazing review for an amazing game.

    I think that by now I already have seen everything there is to be said about the final. It was an incredible finish for a season that had so many ups and downs (thankfully, at the end there were more ups than downs). I hope no one will mind a summary of the season’s my most memorable moments and forgive the possible lack of coherence and accuracy in the sequence of events. 🙂

    We all got a nice preview what awaits everyone following La Liga during the semifinals against Inter last year. Mourinho’s arrival to Spain on a certain level was actually kind of exciting at first. The season for Barca meanwhile started with the Ibrahimovic and his agent’s drama, with some of the most bizarre insults coming out of both of their mouths (it came out later around November, but still has to be my personal favourite one – the one where Raiola suggested that Guardiola and Cruyff should go to a mental hospital and play cards together). In the midst of it all the Supercopa was won, but somehow forgotten soon after (as Pep himself pointed out during yesterday’s celebrations). The loss to Hercules was unexpected. But everything was forgotten on the 29th November. Although it has been used so often when talking about Barca, I can’t think of a better word to describe the 5-0 against EE – mesmerizing. It was that kind of game which if someone had let it continue forever you would never get bored by watching it (not if you’re an EE fan, of course).

    The next week though was one of the most hilarious events of the year (although – it probably seems hilarious now because it ended well). The game with Osasuna itself is not even that memorable, but the road trip to get there… I remember spending the entire day following the travel saga (instead of doing my homeworks, of course; oh, the priorities in life) with the updates that changed the situation by 180 degrees after every half an hour, total confusion and adorable pictures with Pedro running through the train station, nearly missing the train. Marca, naturally, managed to prove the most entertainment with their headlines on their website that day, I still have a screenshot somewhere of one of them. A little side note: I don’t know why, but I get some sort of perverse delight at reading Marca and AS’s “news” on their websites; it’s pretty weird since it is the finest propaganda you will ever find (not that Sport or MD are any better, but at least they’re pro-Barca,). Anyway, Pep’s presser afterwards was priceless as well.

    Then came the FIFA awards with Messi, Xavi and Iniesta as the three nominees. As much as I love Messi, I still think that Xavi should have received the award. Not that Messi didn’t deserve it, but Xavi… Anyway, seeing all three of them there on that stage was incredible. Having Pep present the award was a little cruel though – the idea as such was lovely, but it looked a little like as if he was a parent who was being forced to pick his favourite child (with the decision having been made for him by others).

    Champions League against Arsenal was interesting as well. The loss in England was not pleasant, things got even worse later with Pep ending up in hospital with back problems before the return game. But all is well that ends well. We should never forget Mascherano’s tackle at the 88th minute of the game – without that the team most probably would not even have played at Wembley. When I think of the game, it is exactly that moment that first comes to mind (followed by the Van Persie’s 360 degree gesture and the rather unique piece of statistics which said that Arsenal managed to score a goal without having a single shot on target, Barca even had to score for them).

    I am not going to get much into the 4 Clasicos – there was way too much negativity at the end of it, with some truly pathetic things being said and done. What I do want to note is Pep’s presser before the 1st leg of the Champions League. It was, in my opinion, a truly brilliant move. (And it was most definitely not him “losing his marbles” as so many people believed; it was a perfectly calculated response) It showed to Mourinho and everyone else that if that’s the way EE want to play it, then so be it. After the presser, it was pretty clear how Barca would approach these two games. Sometimes you have to be willing to play dirty if your opponents are so desperately trying to grab you by your ankles and pull you down in the dirt with them.

    La Liga was won in the middle of it all, and the celebrations were a pure delight to watch. And then Wembley. As I mentioned, there really is nothing more to be said about the final. But one thing is for sure – Barca’s players keep their promises. During the league winning celebrations, Messi said he would do his talking on the 29th May after the Champions League. Not that he said very much yesterday, since he clearly is not one of the talkative people, but still. 🙂

    During the season there were many other things that spring to mind, both cheerful and sad: the 8-0 against Almeria, the shock about Abidal and the tumour, the incredible joy seeing Abidal unbelievably come on as a substitute against EE just a couple of months later, the first away win in Champions League play-offs, Xavi’s and Puyol’s injury problems, the shirt sponsorship, the funny altercation between Pep and the coach of Copenhagen about Pinto’s excellent whistling skills and so on… But seeing Abidal lift the Champions League trophy at the end was so emotional that it’s impossible to describe.

    This season was so long and so hard, but at the end so extremely rewarding (and I am not only talking about trophies). There is just something incredible and somewhat indescribable about it.

    I know this was a long comment and probably containing things that had been talked over so many times that no one wants to even remember some of them. I don’t know why, but I rarely remember goals from games, no matter how impressive they have been, I usually remember some random moments (with Iniesta’s goal at Stamford Bridge probably being one of the rare exceptions, I still get chills seeing that, and it was repeated several times during the week before this year’s final). I would love to read about everyone else’s most memorable moments from this season.

    P.S. I found this hilarious picture (on nolanfans.com of all the places in the world), although it might have been posted already since it’s after Barca won La Liga: http://www.nolanfans.com/forums/download/file.php?id=837&mode=view

    P.P.S. Oh, and on a completely unrelated note (but to me it just added a lot of awesomeness to the weekend which was perfect already) – the first trailer for David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” came out and it looked incredible! I hated the Swedish version. In general – after all the stress that Barca provided this season, I am now looking forward to a fun film summer with so many films that I desperately want to see.

    • Vj
      May 30, 2011

      Great summary of the season! Something that was even more enjoyable with the fine company we have around here..

  32. tutomate
    May 30, 2011

    Great Post. The heat maps are unbelievable 719 passes? WOW.
    Good job on the awards blitzen.
    Ramzi’s review was awesome too for anyone that has not yet read it.
    Being a Cule amongst so many awesome Cules is wonderful.

    • Barcaleya
      May 31, 2011

      Wow. We’re soooo good! And I don’t even see us doing that in training. Their footwork is really amazing and so ingrained.

  33. May 30, 2011

    For the people who want to see our players making an appearance at the Shakira concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYK2Ac0OI1I&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    If you missed the celebrations from the tour bus, you can watch the highlights here*: http://www.esport3.cat/htb/multimedia/

    *Note: it is a 28minute video that is part of a program called Hat-trick Barca. There is commentary/talking over of the video from the presenters, so if you don’t want to hear that, you can put it on mute. Even if you don’t understand Catalan, there are nice scenes and unique videos that haven’t been seen before. 🙂

  34. smhizon2
    May 30, 2011

    Great review

    Doest anyone know the song played when the players were introduced and they walked out towards the center of the field?

  35. May 30, 2011

    So listen, folks …. I write reviews where I sit, watch the match, take copious notes, watch again and take even more copious notes. Then I bang out the literary version of an interpretative dance, and assign subjective points to player performances.

    Euler just created art. I’m floored. If it wasn’t 90 degrees in Chicago so I’m not wearing a hat, I’d take mine off to Euler. Awe.Some.

    –Hey, Daily Mail says we’re going to offer 34m for Fabregas this week. And Wenger is going to sniff haughtily, and giggle.

    Sport says that the agent of Willian was in Barcelona this week to discuss a transfer, and he is expected back this week. Hmmm.

    And so it begins.

    • vicsoc
      May 30, 2011

      Weren’t both you and I calling for Willian earlier this season?

      Is it bad that I can’t remember what players I wanted to sign earlier this season?

      • May 30, 2011

        I think that Willian answers some questions that need answering, namely (and I know this is a statement) “Boy, it sure would be nice to have a Brazilian-type winger with pace, work rate and ball skills on the other side of the pitch. Mmmm, yeah!”

        Mind you, I wouldn’t pay a penny more than 20m for him, which is unlikely, given Shakhtar.

        • Vj
          May 30, 2011

          20m is a lot for a guy in the last year of his contract. IIRC EE snagged Vdv for 12m, Ozil for 14m and we did the same with 3m.

          • May 30, 2011

            One year to go is the ideal selling time for the selling club. I know that Afellay was out of contract at the end of the season, so the option was leave on a free, or get something for him. Not sure about VdV or Ozil.

            With a year to go, if a player doesn’t want to renew, it puts pressure on the selling club to do a deal, while keeping the price reasonable for the buying club.

            Is Willian worth 20m? Dunno, but recall that the last bit of business that we did with Shakhtar landed us a 25m centre back.

  36. deckardcain
    May 30, 2011

    I would very much like to see the clip where Busquets kicks the cornerflag! 🙂 Haven’t found it yet!

    Great, great review Euler, I’m completely dazzled by your understanding of the game. Thank you for the read!

    • blitzen
      May 30, 2011

      I can’t find it either, but I swear I saw it! Someone back me up!

  37. soccermomof4
    May 30, 2011

    Guys- I was re-lurking at some of our old threads, threads that are a few days old when I didn’t have much time to participate. I found this posted(in Isaiah’s Final, Final post) a few hours after a new thread was posted by Euler. It can’t really be him. Right?

    “Ray Hudson says:
    May 28, 2011 at 8:28 am



  38. IamXavi6
    May 30, 2011


    Is it possible to create a post to list all the picture links and downloads of games? Or perhaps someone can create a folder in an online hosting site where all the pics are dumped for one big central resource to grab all pics and vids?

    Just sayin

  39. IamXavi6
    May 30, 2011

    Also not sure how much you guys know bu looks like Luis Enrique may get the coaching job at Roma. Being one of my all time favourite Barca players just thought Id share 🙂

  40. Jnice
    May 30, 2011

    Willian is cool, but I want someone who will really make a different and challenge for a starting position. If we can get him for cheap, then fine, but Shakhtar never need money, so they don’t sell for cheap. Last year of his contract, he isn’t worth more than 15m.

      • May 30, 2011

        But who in the world, who can be bought for the reasonable price our transfer strategy this summer seems to be demanding, can challenge for a spot in our starting XI? Depth is the answer, quality depth.

        This club doesn’t have a winger, and needs one. Jeffren isn’t it, so who is? Afellay is part of the answer, and that might be the key to his staying with the club. But Willian is a different type of player, and might I add one who has given us fits every time we’ve played Shakhtar.

        So: Valdes? Nope. Alves? Nope. Pique? Nope. Puyol/Abidal? Nope. Abidal/Adriano? In the case of the latter, yes, but who, for a reasonable price. Busquets? Nope. Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, Villa? Maybe Pedro is vulnerable to someone like a Rossi or Sanchez, but those players aren’t going to be cheap. Not by a long shot.

        • Jnice
          May 30, 2011

          Well, we’re going to just have to shell out the money then, no?

          We should have enough money for one relatively big purchase and a couple of minor ones when you take into account the money we’ll get from player sales.

          If we go by Rosell’s words, we have 50m to start with PLUS whatever we earn from sales. So technically, we should start off with 58m because Milan have to pay us 8m for Ibra each summer for the next 3 years.

          If we are to assume Sevilla will opt to buy Caceres for 3m then that makes it 61m. Then there’s Keirrison, Henrique, Hleb (though he’s injured), Victor Sanchez (?), maybe a couple of B players. We should have more than enough for someone who will make a real difference and challenge for a spot.

          • Jnice
            May 30, 2011

            Not to mention the probable sale of Maxwell if we sign Jose Angel and the probable sale of Jeffren.

  41. barca96
    May 30, 2011

    On that beautiful night, it wasn’t just Abidal lifting the trophy that impressed me but also Pep bringing Affelay in instead of a Canterano like Thiago. I would’ve think that Pep would bring Thiago in to show the world that we have another youth player in our ranks who is going to make it big soon like the snub he gave to Hleb in 09 when he brought Pedro on.

    Pep gave 3M a good reward. In fact, he had a major role in our semi final win.

    Oh btw, pardon me for forgetting to mention Busi in my top5 player. I knew something wasn’t right. I felt sooo bad afterwards. Busi after all has been my role model for over a year now. When I play football that is. Not the peek a boo kinda thing :p

  42. astrosa
    May 30, 2011

    incredible. i first found out about this blog through a link to a Euler tactical analysis feature posted by a commenter on zonal marking, and have silently kept following the blog. this entry blew me out the water and compelled me to register an account. without question, Euler is the prime Barca tactical hivemind on the web. massive plaudits.

  43. IamXavi6
    May 30, 2011

    Here’s a stat that some of you may not know. In this CL campaign, Barcelona has had just over 8000 more passes than the next highest team. On average we do about close to 1000 passes a game..

    8 more games worth of passes than the next rival team..

    720mins more passing than the next closest team

    Oh and Xavi had more passes than the entire united midfield..

  44. Nav
    May 31, 2011

    Sorry if this has been asked before but will there be a Revista de La Liga this week?

    • Jnice
      May 31, 2011

      Nope. Revista only covers La Liga, so last week was it’s final episode.

  45. vicsoc
    May 31, 2011

    Ohhhh moc moc! Guess who twittered “felicitaciones campeon!” to our very own Gerard Pique?

    You guessed it, Giusseppe Rossi. He even got a reply from Pique.

    Let the summer season begin eh?

  46. May 31, 2011

    wow, just wow! a feast of a review…enjoyed every word it.
    Euler, i’m making a drink in honor of your name.

  47. bastardowski
    May 31, 2011

    Absolute monster of a review. Just a wonderful read

  48. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 31, 2011

    Speaking of Summer transfers,

    Given that our budget will be based on 50mil plus money from players on the out.

    Should we consider players being sold from the b-team in that budget?

    Because judging by the performance of the b team this season and how much the attention they have been attracting from the media. It looks like there are a lot of clubs waiting to sign them.

    We all know Nolito is leaving for sure, the amount is not known, But Im guessing at best its 10 mil.

    other desirables are:

    -Jonathan Soriano who might get the segunda pichichi, judging by rumours a few months back, certain liga sides have asked for him.

    -Jonathan Dos Santos has been rumored to be wanted by Racing, a transfer to me sounds likely given that racing has some money to splash thanks to their new owner.

    -Vazquez has already been transfered, but I’m guessing it was a free transfer, correct me if I’m wrong.

    So will the transfer money to sign Kiko, Angel and that 20 year old GK be paid for by those b team players on the out?

    Potentially we could buy 2-3 players (b-team/squad depth players) and still have 60mil left on summer first team signings.

    • Nolito left on a free transfer, so no money from there 🙁
      I think its for him that he left, I don’t think he had a place in this Barca game wise and character wise

  49. 145culegirl
    May 31, 2011

    What a review.Absoluely superb.The win is slowly settling in and now I’m spending hours in front of my computer,reading posts which praise Barca.I’m reading how authors are lamenting about the loss of words to describe the beauty of Barca’s win.I’m reading how the critics are eating their words when they said Barca are cheaters,divers etc.And Enjoying.

    How are we goning to live without our heros till July?.I’m already feeling bored now.:(

    • 145culegirl
      May 31, 2011

      And I think I’m the only one who hates the silly season.

  50. Minha
    May 31, 2011

    After next season, Guardiola will take a sabbatical year. In 2013, he could become NT coach of Qatar, who offer him 36M net a year. :(((

    he indeed needs a beak but he will be dearly missed! :'(

    • May 31, 2011

      Careful. That “sabbatica” rumor comes from MARCA. Wishful thinking?

  51. stowe
    May 31, 2011

    anyone got links for torrents of the game. Internet here is so off on that the direct downloads don’t really work

  52. VictorNZ
    May 31, 2011

    Sad to hear Paul Scholes is retiring 🙁

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      Me too. The Ginger One will be missed. Apparently his testimonial game will be in August.

      Brilliant player. The fact that 5 of our players (including Xavi and Iniesta) asked him for his shirt says a lot more about him than any newspaper article ever could.

  53. Although we might not like I think Cesc will be transfered to Barca this season. Unfortunately I even strted to believe that we might actually need him
    1.Pep was clear from last season that he wants him.
    2.Cesc is gonna come with a huge thirst for titles and this can only be good in keeping the fire of this team going strong.
    3. As a sub he can come in and have an impact and I don’t really know many players that can do that in our team.
    4. He can provide rest for either Xavi or Iniesta or even Messi (I think his direct passing will help the way Villa plays)
    5. He will adapt fast
    6.He will be able to carry some burden on his shoulders something that is too soon to ask from thiago

  54. barca96
    May 31, 2011

    We’re buying Botia back to include him in the deal with Rossi??
    That’s not good..After all that’s been said about him, Im sure the guy was really hoping to play for us. Instead he will only be here for a transit.

    • vicsoc
      May 31, 2011

      This is an example of why I generally oppose sending our brightest youth out on loan. While in theory it is a good idea, it very rarely actually results in the loaned player ending up back on the team.

  55. May 31, 2011

    Very open talk about us and Rossi. Villarreal president talking about likelihood of a deal, now his agent as well, including actual fee.

    General consensus is we want to buy a midfielder, a defender and a versatile forward/winger type.

    • Para
      May 31, 2011

      Does that mean that it’s done, or that they want people to know about it so that any potential competition drives the prices up/reduces any negotiating that Barcelona want to do?

      I would assume the former, but transfer-season always makes me awfully suspicious.

      • vicsoc
        May 31, 2011

        All the talk is giving me the impression that it is essentially a done deal. It’s not like our interest was a secret in the first place, and so there really isn’t much utility to Villareal to be so public about it. There’s also the fact that Rossi would probably stay at Villareal unless we sign him, so again it’s unlikely they are simply trying to attract more suitors.

        I’m just hoping that when we form over the cash for Rossi the Cesc talk will stop. We don’t have the money to buy both players and also suitably strengthen in other positions, so I’m hoping this signing heralds intelligent decisions throughout the summer.

        • May 31, 2011

          The talk is very direct. Villarreal’s president said, essentially, “I’m sure that a deal can be reached.” Now the agent is saying “You betcha, for a number in the 25-30m range.”

          Personally, I think that number is high, and I wouldn’t throw in Botia.

          • Cam
            May 31, 2011

            For the rumored $5M valuation, I’d just as soon keep Botia. A net $3m exchange seems like a waste for a young player of his caliber.

  56. sebi_BarcAzkal
    May 31, 2011

    wow Euler!

    i have been following this wonderful blog for quite a while but this is my first time posting a comment.

    Thanks Euler for such a sublime review (truly one for the ages — that’s so cliche but who’s stopping me, eh?). And Thank You to all the people behind this amazing blog. BFB is one of the things that makes our Beloved Team and the people who support it really wonderful.

    Thank you! Being a Cule and having this blog to enjoy has been and always will be an honor and a privilege…


  57. May 31, 2011

    Not so excited about Rossi, but as already announced: After the CL victory I will have a “Vacation Attitude” for next season and enjoy it the way it comes. I wish we get someone else. but whoever we get I will welcome with joy anyways.

    Beside, you never know… Quality is not always mathematics, so we can only hope things exceed expectations.

    • vicsoc
      May 31, 2011

      Hate to admit, I’m with you in the not-so-excited category.

      • May 31, 2011

        I join the two of you in the “not so excited” category. Not for 25-30m. I think that we need quality depth that could start if necessary, but doesn’t absolutely demand it. Discord is not what this club needs, with a player who used to be an automatic starter, whining to the press. Mascherano is an exemplar in this. He just does his job, plays brilliantly when in the side and doesn’t make waves, because he understands.

        If we were going to spend 30m on a player of Rossi’s type, we should have been in for Suarez.

  58. PhepheSa
    May 31, 2011

    WOW Euler! That’s all i can say. Brilliant brilliant review.

    I love this blog so much and always learn a lot from the writers here. Thank you all for such a wonderful season it’s been really fun following this blog. To all the writers and everyone behind the scene it’s humbling to know that the are people who sacrifice so much for people they’ve never met. Thank you everyone including all the posters. I had great fun this season with all of you.

    Visca BFB! Visca Barca!

    • May 31, 2011

      I already set the plan Kxevin, we will support you in buying your favorite player so that every time you give him over 5 in your review rating we all point out your bias.

  59. Huckleberry
    May 31, 2011

    I think Cesc is more important than Rossi. Cesc can immediatly replace Xavi, Iniesta or Messi and even Busquets if needed and without to much loss in quality. Nobody else can do that.
    And if Villa needs some rest, Iniesta can take his place and Cesc takes his. And Cesc is already a leader and gives some fresh air and competition into the team. And that is, what Pep is looking for.
    Only if Bojan leaves, we need another backup striker.

    • May 31, 2011

      You make lots of sense, and if the Fabregas price was under 30, I’d be more in favor of it. But Arsenal over-values him. So do we, I fear.

      • Lev
        May 31, 2011

        Another advantage of Cesc coming this summer (although I am and have been advocating next summer) is that he can learn more from the master he will eventually replace.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 31, 2011

      Cesc is the most important signing for Barca. Without midfield dominance, the Barca model does not exist. Absolutely, we need an able substitution for Xavi Iniesta Messi!!!

  60. May 31, 2011

    I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words regarding the post. I appreciate the thoughts a great deal.

    And I want to thank the community for taking the time out to read the post. It’s no small effort to read the whole piece and I appreciate people making the effort to go through it.

  61. May 31, 2011

    Regarding the Rossi situation which does look like it’s moving forward –

    My preference would be for the club to buy Llorente. Now that may or may not be possible given the likelihood that he may be going to RM (there is almost no doubt that Mourinho is going to have a target man next season even if they guy Aguero).

    So my preference would be a player like Llorente.

    Now that said, I really like Rossi as a player. And I very much understand and can see why Pep wants to buy him.

    Rossi is an extremely intelligent player. His most outstanding quality is the intelligence of his runs and use of space. That’s his game. It’s not even scoring goals per se – or rather the goals are sort of the secondary consequence of his positional acumen.

    Sanchez is a fantastic player as well. But he’s just a very different player than Rossi. Sanchez would probably fit in well also and add different dimensions. It’s really depends on what the team feels it needs.

    But Rossi is tremendous. He really is. Will he fit into the Barca system? Who knows. At this point for any forward I’m going to say no, especially right away.

    But this is also why it’s a good time to buy a forward this season while Villa is still going to be able to contribute.

    Villa was a dominant footballer in the CL finals. Having two weeks off just breathed new life into him. Next season they cannot have him (and the entire front line) playing so many minutes.

    Getting a player like Rossi now will allow him to integrate for a season.

    I’m very happy to hear they are moving forward with addressing their lack of depth at forward.

    Personally, Rossi is not my first choice – but I am excited about the possibilities of him coming.

    He’s not a target man type – but he has qualities that no other Barcelona forward has and that’s important.

    There’s more than one way to create a plan B.

    • Lev
      May 31, 2011

      Damn Euler, if you’re gonna write reviews like that you should include a complementary cup of coffee!!!!!

    • Cam
      May 31, 2011

      Euler nailed the most important thing: whoever it ends up being, Barca is doing the smart thing by bringing in another class forward now so that (1) Villa isn’t worn down so much next season and (2) when Villa is ready to head out to pasture we will have a replacement integrated and ready to step in.

  62. Huckleberry
    May 31, 2011

    An suddenly attacking Piquet seems for me to be some kind of a plan B these days.

    • May 31, 2011


      The reference is: El Comercio Digital (Newspaper based in Gijón), as @laliga_news told me.

      • May 31, 2011

        Somehow I bet exercising the Botia option has something to do with it.

  63. blitzen
    May 31, 2011

    From barcastuff:

    229.046 people from 180 different countries watched the live stream of the street parade and the Camp Nou celebrations on Sunday [fcb.cat]

    Wow! And that doesn’t include people who may have watched the tv3 stream instead (I had both open).

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      And yet it was only Kari and me talking to ourselves in here! 😆

  64. messi_fan
    May 31, 2011

    How much is Botia valued at? I don’t like the talk of using him to help fund the transfer of Rossi (or any other player).

    We need defenders and where else can we get a quality defender for his price?

    • flyzowee
      May 31, 2011

      Well it depends on what u mean by quality.

  65. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 31, 2011

    I really want to see how Rossi does in this team, he would be an immense signing, despite his size he is a very effective forward.

    However I wouldn’t jump to conclusions from the rumours just yet, you never know, tomorrow they could be saying Rossi would be worth 40 then 50 mil.

    I think Rossi is our first choice on the shortlist really, I think we are just sussing out his price, we look more flexible now when it comes to transfer targets, if lets say his price tag hits 40 mil, I bet we will move onto our next choice.

    30mil for Rossi isn’t bad given that he has prooven he is a worthy starter in La liga and is high up in the scorers chart, plus he is 24! years old. Aparently a lot of Italian supporters were confused as to why he wasn’t in the WC squad. He was more then worthy to be in the Italian first 11. Villarreal do not want to sell Rossi but for 30mil? we should take it and run.

  66. Helge
    May 31, 2011

    I still didn’t have the time to read your thesis of a tactical review, Euler, but I’ll do asap.

    Right now I’m still in awe because I watched the complete match some minutes ago, this time sober and without the pressure of an oral examination on the horizon.
    There’s a legendary Bruce Lee interview, of which the essential message is “to be like water”. I think we kind a played like water, too. Always in motion, the whole team like a fluid; and like a river, there are parts of whirls and swirls, areas moving with different velocities, but in the end you can never separate the continuity of a flow, the cohesion of the unit. Messi was indeed sometimes like water flowing through the obstacles, that were only supposed to be the best defenders in the CL, the best player of the EPL – how incredible was that!?!
    This team performance was almost as legendary as Bruce Lee himself is, to me!

    Anyway, I’m still searching for a video about Barcelona’s current season, it was about 13 min. long and also had a part featuring on Messi only. The link has been posted here and/or @barcastuff, but I cannot find it right now. Help is very appreciated!

      • Helge
        May 31, 2011

        Wow, I didn’t actually think of that, but it’s also a wonderful video. The next, about Messi, is even better imo.

        I immediately saved them both to my HDD, thx 😉

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      I think “playing like water” is a very good metaphor for what we saw on Saturday.

      Ideally I want to watch this game once for every Barca player on the field, concentrating on just one player each time (well, I won’t bother for Valdes, I guess) to fully appreciate his movements and interplay with the others. It is so easy to concentrate on Messi or Alves and forget about what Busquets or Pique is doing in the back there. I’m no analyst like Euler, mind you, I just want to fully understand how this team moves as one on the field.

      • Helge
        May 31, 2011

        Yes, that’s it. You’re my saviour, Kari 🙂

      • May 31, 2011

        I could have said amigos too, I guess. By my understanding, the word “mano” = buddy in Spanish, so “manos” would be buddies, although it could also mean hands.

        …And I just realized I could make a horrible pun with manos and goalkeepers. 😆

  67. blitzen
    May 31, 2011

    Nice article on Paul Scholes from the Beeb:

    … he was unbelievable because he never gave the ball away, was always in space, always had time on the ball and always picked the right pass. That is a mark of a top player; someone who makes it look easy, never looks rushed and always passes to feet and Scholes had that in abundance. He was always a dirty little git. He was always kicking people and sliding in 10 minutes late but he always had a cheeky side to him so I do not think anyone speaks badly about him.


  68. BA
    May 31, 2011

    the official site says Sevilla have activated their first option clause for Martin Caceres, in the region of €4m. so there’s a defender we can’t bring back, even if we wanted to. we should enact our buy-back clause for Botia, and with the promotion of Fontas we’d be starting to look noticably deeper (if inexperienced) at the back. that’d give us effectively 7 players who can play at center-back [even if Mascherano and Busquets are nominally midfielders].

    i hope the news about a Rossi transfer in the pipeline is true. he’s a brilliant player; as Euler noted his off-the-ball movement is fantastic, he’s smart in possession and has an extremely useful eye for goal. he’s also young and ambitious enough that i doubt the added work ethic would be too much of an irritation, and how cool would it be to have a guy from New Jersey playing for Barça? the question remains in the price, but i’d rather pay €25m for Rossi than €35m for Cesc without a doubt. i think we’re being very canny in our transfer targets so far; nobody really off the map beyond the aforementioned Exiled One. Sanchez, Jose Angel, Rossi, and Willian are all fine prospects, though colour me not fully convinced by the Brazilian.

  69. K_legit
    May 31, 2011

    I saw a lot of guys talking ’bout Busi’s post tackling celebration following the Pedro goal..and as I am unable to find a vid of that on youtube etc..could someone help me find one ?

    • blitzen
      May 31, 2011

      That was me that started that, and I seem to have misremembered it. I know I did see him tackle the post somewhere, but maybe it was later. I will look for it tonight and let you know, because it is bothering me now.

  70. Cesc Pistol
    May 31, 2011

    Legendary post Euler! A post worthy of superlatives that will embarrass even Ray Ray. All I will say is this: In the past three years of reading the Sublime Hector, the Superlative Ramzi, The man who started it all Jonathan Wilson and the best works of ZM (even though his best works seems behind him) This article is the best I’ve ever read.
    In a mail to a friend (Chelsea fan) I wrote similar ideas (though distinctly pedestrian compared to yours, obviously) before reading your review
    Rooney was to cover Busquets and pressure him without possession and exploit the hole behind him with it, to drag the CB shape to create spaces for Chicharito. Park (and Valencia to an extent) were to push inwards to overload the midfield and gain a numerical advantage and support Carrick and Giggs. But Park had to track Dani’s runs as well. And so was the case was Evra and CB paring as well. When Pedro was between him and Vidic it was Vidic’s responsibility and Evra was to Cover Dani’s outer run or track Messi if he drifted wide. All in all a little too much to expect out of his players but the logic was sound. Against a 4/5 in mid of Barca -Busquets, Xavi Iniesta, Messi and Dani he could out-man them with Giggs, Carrick, Rooney, Park, Valencia and Evra. And still maintain his offensive threat to keep Barca on the backfoot (I admit using Giggs was not the best idea but who was there? An injured Fletcher, a risky tackling Scholes who would, despite his tremendous heart, tire out or an Anderson who was shown up to be the true “rabbit in headlights” that you used last time round? And can you really drop someone like Giggs after the season he had and the legend that he is?)

    And guess what for a period it worked! But this is Barca that moves better than any other team. And in ways I’m sure you never noticed, busquets went deeper and deeper upfront while Xavi took his place for a deep playmaker. But Rooney tracked Busquets all the way, the reason why SAF was scolding him, and then could not pressure properly and could not provide the threat in the hole either. Messi, Perdo and Dani overloaded United’s left and that what caused the first goal- you can see Evra lose pedro to get inwards for Messi but Vidic didn’t track him. That goal was as much Vidic’s fault as much as Evra’s. More importantly it was what Barca regularly do, overlaod an area of the pitch, switch positions frequently to cause chaos and to break the shape of the defense to make the very space which was afforded to Pedro and pin point perfectly picked up by Xavi. The CB’s had to come more forward because this time Xavi and Iniesta were taking hard well placed shots infront of the box and they had to be closed down. Distorting the shape to afford space. And Villa’s goal, as spectacular and unsavable it was -just like Rooney’s- It was because Messi dragged defenders around him to afford Villa the time and space to make that shot.

    And so it was throughout the match. Barca were on a different level yesterday, point me anyone who sees Barca regularly who had ever seen Messi so serious and intense when celebrating. He had his game on a different high yesterday and so did Masch and Busquets had the game of his life (MOTM for me) and Xavi and Iniesta and Pique and Villa has NEVER worked so hard yet effectively and efficiently. Not to mention Abidal who completely removed Valencia’s threat. The one which everyone was talking about before the match. Barca played one of their best matches yesterday and in those times even chicken shit Mourinho teams who hide under their mommy’s skirt lose 5-0.

    PS Barca used offside traps, their main defensive weapon with unbelievable precision to neutralise Hernandez. And ultimately SAF’s zona mista combined with pressing with narrowing wide and forward players -as good an idea as it was- fell apart due to Pep out-thinking his tactics.

    I felt a sense of affirmation and pride that I atleast somewhat got it.

  71. BarcaOwl
    June 1, 2011

    Thanks a lot for the excellent review, Euler. I could read this over and over and not get bored. You’re one of the best. 😀

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