Barça 3, River Plate 0, aka “Like it was the first time”

One of the most remarkable moments in the Club World Cup came during the trophy presentation. Messi and Neymar, as they strolled up to receive their medals, stopped to spend time with the trophy. They talked, Neymar caressed it, both gawked at it. These are two players who have won almost everything that there is… Continue reading Barça 3, River Plate 0, aka “Like it was the first time”

Santos 0, Barca 4, aka “Purity in the service of beauty,” aka “Why buy Neymar? We already own him!”

This was the face. Messi has, of late, undergone a degree of scrutiny that might make many believe he just stands around, waiting for the ball before he springs into action. But if you want to see how much this club wanted this title, just look at this image. Better yet, watch this glorious, glorious… Continue reading Santos 0, Barca 4, aka “Purity in the service of beauty,” aka “Why buy Neymar? We already own him!”

Champions!

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… Continue reading Champions!

Tactical Preview – The Club World Cup: How Should Barcelona Attack the Santos System?

“Gentlemen, if you lose today you will continue to be the best in the world – but if you win today you will be eternal.” – Pep Guardiola, prior to the Club World Cup finals in 2009 Think back to Pedro equalizing in the 89th minute.  Messi scoring off the club crest in the extra… Continue reading Tactical Preview – The Club World Cup: How Should Barcelona Attack the Santos System?

Neymars in the Neymar: Neymar – Barça

CWC Preview: Santos – Barcelona, 5:30am ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes (ESPN in UK) I know you want to read about tactical innovations from Pep, wrinkles in the seemingly perfected system, and the selection headache created by David Villa’s unfortunate injury in the semifinal. You might want to hear about Pele’s adventures with Santos… Continue reading Neymars in the Neymar: Neymar – Barça

When In Japan, Do As We Did in 2009: Barça vs Al-Sadd

CWC Preview: Barcelona – Al-Sadd, Thursday 5:30amET, Fox Soccer/Fox Deportes The FIFA Club World Cup is upon us. Barça are already in the semis thanks to its seeding as the European Champion (the South American champion, Santos, was also seeded directly into the semifinals). This year’s edition is Barça’s third time in the competition, having… Continue reading When In Japan, Do As We Did in 2009: Barça vs Al-Sadd

Barca 2, Estudiantes 1, a.k.a. “Hexacampions,” a.k.a. “Greatest of all TIIIEEEME!”

Great galloping Jesus, what a match. Pedro! sums up how I think we all feel here, in the wake of a gritty victory that found us not even approaching our dazzling, sparkling best, a victory that defines this club in a way that few others have, and that left me weeping right along with Pep… Continue reading Barca 2, Estudiantes 1, a.k.a. “Hexacampions,” a.k.a. “Greatest of all TIIIEEEME!”

Of Gold and Silver: Barça – Estudiantes

CWC Final Preview: Barça – Estudiantes, Saturday 11amEST, Fox Soccer en Español Travel southeast from Buenos Aires, along the coast, past Quilmes–feel free to stop and have a couple, of course–and Berazategui and you’ll soon reach the city of La Plata, perhaps before you’re capable of deciphering the pronunciation of Berazategui. Beyond that, you’re on… Continue reading Of Gold and Silver: Barça – Estudiantes