Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oligarchs vs Dreamers

About 15 years ago, a man strutted the fields at Camp Nou commanding the likes of Guardiola, Stoichkov, Romario, Laudrup and Koeman to glory. They went into folklore as the dream team. Today, his pupil will take on the billion dollar might of Chelsea as he oversees a group of players equally gifted and certainly capable of similar glory. The club inspired him as a boy and player, it is time for him to inspire them. Like a good student, he has learnt his trade from his teacher (Cruijff) and put his own stamp on "total football". And the 94 goals in La Liga a testament to his work. Between tonight and 27 May, Pep Guardiola will hope lies the start of the next dream.
At the age of 21, Messi's name is taken in the same breath as Maradona and Di Stefano. Messi is sublime on the ball, he finds space probably by bending the space-time continuum. On Saturday against Valencia, I saw him recieve the ball at the half line fron Iniesta. Surrounded by 4 players, he managed to take the ball to the penalty area and then have the vision to pass it to Xavi. If he fulfils the promise of a season in which his talent has sometimes acquired the depth and the range of an epic poem, we will be witness to one of the great sporting stories. Last year, Ronaldo was crowned on the banks of the Moscow River as the best player in the world. The Tiber awaits the new Messiah.
Messi formidable though he may be is the least of Chelsea's worries. They await an old foe in TH14, a serial killer in Eto', Xavi the metronome and Iniesta. The only weakness that Barca show is at the back which the new and revived Drogba is more than capable of exploiting. Lampart, Ballack, Terry, Essien and the rest are no joke. They are in their own right among the world's foremost players. The galaxy of stars that Guus has at his disposal are in form and possibly capable of thwarting the "trident". Tonight will not only be a clash of two formidable teams but also of two schools of thoughts. Barca in contrast to Chelsea are built around homegrown players like Puyol, Xavi, Messi and Iniesta. To use the cliche once more, there is one sure winner in all of this; football.

1 comment:

  1. even though they played a bit negative yesterday, what mattered was that they didnt loose. Now with the home game in hand, I would expect Chelsea to go to the finals.