More than a club: FC Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid

'More than a club'

On the same night the British media made its final attempt to derail England’s 2018 World Cup bid, the world of football showed its full wonder away from the BBC.  Football and politics do not mix well, and although the revelations in the Panorama Special clearly have a place in the debate of the 2018 World Cup’s destination and Fifa in general, football rose above all that last night.
Forgetting the politics, business and greed in hand on the BBC, rather ironically Sky Sports (all of the three aforementioned descriptives) played host to something more than all this, the philosophical football of Barcelona.
It seems no institution left in football is left untouched by the three devils mentioned, even Barcelona, a club viewed around the world as almost perfect on and off the pitch, find themselves in massive debts (much larger than many fans would ever have imagined), but last night, for 90 minutes they were an example to the whole of football.

Not only an example in as much as the result, nor the fact that for a period 9 of their 11 players had been brought through their own academy system, but most important was the performance. A style of football that can only be described as profound: a style which starts with Johann Cryuff, the epitome of Dutch Total-Football.  The constant positional interchanging that Total-Football (always capitalised) requires, was forgotten in his plan for Barcelona, but the spirit and philosophy remained the same.
“Tiqui-taca” as it is now known focuses on the quick and precise movement of the football and is without doubt the most pure concept in modern football, not least the most beautiful. It truly is the most joyous thing the game has to offer.  It’s the style of football which makes a team say we are "Més que un club".  And it is this, along with the longevity of relationships between players at Barce’ which is why Barcelona and indeed the Spanish national team are so good. And why they did to Real Madrid what they did last night.
Prior to the game, “CR9” as his Mum calls him said “Let’s see if they can put 8 past us” in reference to the Catalonian giants 8-0 win over Almeria in recent weeks. Perhaps, just perhaps it’s this attitude which sets clubs like Real Madrid and players like Cristiano Ronaldo apart, thinking they’re the best. Can you imagine Messi saying such a thing? He has no need, he is Barce’. He is as Cryuff was the summary of an era’s footballing output to history. He has no need to say he or Barce’ are the best, he knows it. But more than this, much more than this, is the impression that all those involved with Barce’, the players, staff and fans, feel this. They breathe it and they are all, at once, part of it.

It is ironic then that the most philosophic of football clubs, would impose such a heavy defeat on the most philosophical of managers, one of their former sons. With his talks of Waitrose’s eggs and Harry Potter, Jose Mourinho will no doubt be hurting more than ever following this defeat. He’s never lost by a 4 goal margin before, let alone 5.  But he’ll never have lost to a better side.


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