Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Messi Champions League Masterclass!

If anyone wanted to know how the game of football should be played, the Champions League quarterfinal between Barcelona and Arsenal would be it. The two best footballing teams at the moment did battle and Barcelona came up trumps over two legs. It was always a tall order for Arsenal given that their main inspiration, Cesc Fabregas was sidelined.

I don't know how Arsenal players must feel knowing that they have just played a truly magical team in Pep Guardiola's Barcelona. Perhaps they would be wondering if they could ever play at that high standard. This Barcelona team was put together from their youth squads, with Ibrahimovich as the only significant addition this season. Barcelona (and also Arsenal) are shining examples of how investing in youth talent are the best way of achieving sustainable success. These clubs are a credit to the football industry as they are the ones who are enriching and producing the players to ensure the football industry does not suffer talent drains.

We have seen how Abramovich's money can buy success but it is almost always unsustainable. Memories of Blackburn and Portsmouth come to mind. A much more viable model is the Barcelona model where youth and talent are nurtured and nursed into first team action, giving rise to long term success and champagne football. With such incisive, imaginative football and solid all-round work rate, who's to say that Barcelona will not be the first team to successfully defend their Champions League crown.

The star of Barcelona is Lionel Messi.

His performance demanded notice. It was a masterclass performance and he continuously terrorized the Arsenal defence. All four goals scored were crafted with the precision of a surgeon gifted in his trade. Enjoy the highlights in the video below.

Simply out of this world! Even though Messi is playing with genuine world class footballers and he still stands out as the best player in that Barcelona team. Best player in the world by a mile!

And to think Andres Iniesta did not even start this game....

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