Home > Barcelona, Football, Jose Mourinho, La Liga, messi, Real Madrid, ronaldo, spain > Barcelona: The modern greats.

Barcelona: The modern greats.


Jose Mourinho is considered by many to be the best football manager in the world right now. His phenomenal success since guiding FC Porto to Champions League glory in 2004 has sparked almost a decade of non-stop winning. League titles with Chelsea and Inter Milan along with a second Champions League success last year with the Serie A winners, led to the hottest job in football, Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts at the end of his Spanish first division soccer match against Barcelona at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, November 29, 2010.  REUTERS/Albert Gea

When we say hot, we mean park your arse in that cauldron Jose, hot. Galacticos and sackingos galore in the past decade have left the job as a mouth-wateringly attractive proposition to a consistent winner like Jose, but also a little bonkers. 1-0 wins earlier in the season had the Bernabeu shouting their displeasure.

Then Madrid started hammering their opposition, Cristiano started averaging two goals a game and everything seemed fine. La Liga was looking easier by the day as Madrid’s stars assembled at the top and Jose ‘I’ll take your big club and raise you’ Mourinho was looking like the saviour.

A decade of occasionally interrupted under-achievement set to be banished to history. Until that pesky little thing called Barcelona invited Madrid onto the Nou Camp and then played them off the park.

Monday’s 5-0 drubbing of Madrid was imperious. Magestic. Lots of words that you don’t use in everyday sentences come to mind. The execution of the goals was spectacular, for instance Iniesta’s ball for Xavi to open the scoring. Or Messi’s through ball for Villa’s second. However as this highlights package shows, the overall play was simply irresistible, even when Barcelona failed to turn the magic into a goal.

It’s hard to remember a time when a team of Mourinho’s has seemed so hopelessly out of its depth. A 2-0 defeat to Liverpool that was more routine than Chelsea supporters would have liked led to the end of his Stamford Bridge project. But this was simply something else.

Who would have thought that Madrid with Ronaldo, Casillas, Alonso and all could have been blown away in the manner that they were. The match will surely end the ludicrous notion that Ronaldo is a better player than Messi. While the Portugese complains about his treatment, in some cases fairly, at the feet of defenders, Real resorted to kicking Messi while Barcelona didn’t really need to afford Ronaldo the same treatment. He simply wasn’t in the same league.

Funnily enough Madrid may end up winning the league. Results have been stranger this year than in the past with Barcelona dominating the field. What is amazing though is that defenders still haven’t been able to get to grips with Messi. While many players sparkle and then fade somewhat as their tricks are learned by opposing players, Messi is still able to do the same moves at the same cost for opposition goalkeepers.

His trademark move infield from the right-wing to poke the ball with the outside of his right foot through the defence exposed Madrid again on Monday. How many times is that he’s performed the same trick? The pass infield and mad dash past the defence to retrieve the one-two seems like an old trick. But he’s still getting away with it. And above all he takes pride in his work. Every game is like his last and his desire to win still burns. Plus when he;s booked for diving, as he was on Monday, he invariably isn’t guilty. Wish we could say the same for Mr Ronaldo.

This Barcelona team has established itself as one of the greatest in modern football history. THE team of this decade. Comparable with the AC Milans of the late 80s-early 90s, Liverpool of the 80s and beyond. And long may it continue.

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  1. DaveG
    December 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about Messi and Barca at the moment. They are untouchable. Real on the other hand are a conundrum. There is no doubt that Mourinho is a superb man manager but the working with flair players such as Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil etc doen’t seem to be his forte. It is possible that the idea of managing Real and returning them to the glory days of Di Stefano or more recenlty the Zidane team was just too much of a carrot for his ego to refuse. I think he has gone in to a club which is riddled with corruption and back stabbing which will lead to his inevitable failure at at the Bernabeu (in my opinion anyway)
    Finally I would like to ask where any of Alex Ferguson’s United teams of the 90s and mid-naughties are when you mention AC and Liverpool as the “greatest in modern football”? Surely an oversight?

    • fitz124
      December 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      I think Mourinho has been a bit lucky. Bear with me. Porto winning the Champions League was phenomenal. However winning the title was a foregone conclusion. Abramovich’s millions meant Chelsea success was almost a foregone conclusion. Inter were in the weakest Serie A for a generation when he stepped up to the plate. Again, however, winning the Champions League and treble was a great achievement. Again with Real. He was moving into a league where you could see Barcelona taking their foot off the pedal after years of success. Also with the basis for a phenomenal team that just needed his organisation skills as a coach, it looked like a shoo-in for further success. However Barca aren’t playing ball. As regards Manchester United, on a European stage I don’t see any team of theirs as being near to Barcelona. Inter managed to out-smart Barca last year when they should have added to 06 and 09 wins. This year teams will struggle to beat them again. The point I’m making is that Barca could dominate in the way AC racked up Euo titles in 89, 90, 94. Likewise Liverpool dominated at home (10 titles in 15 years) but also won in Europe in 77, 78, 81, 84. United were certainly the dominant domestic team in the mid 90s-late90s but didn’t match dominate in Europe, with only the 99 win and no other finals in that period.

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