FC Barcelona started their 2010-11 season with the threat of the special one, Jose Mourinho as he eliminated Barcelona last year from Champions League Semi Final by his unprecedented tactics. But Barca have proved their superlative class once again by winning the Double–La Liga Crown–three times in a row with two games to spare and the big Champions League Crown–twice in three years by teaching their opponent a real good football lesson. Moreover, Barca made a spectacular record of 28 matches unbeaten and 16 consecutive league wins in 2010-2011 La Liga season. Barca is now all about”Dream Team.”
Barca was dramatically beaten 2-0 at the Camp Nou in their second match against new comer Hercules CF! It was a shock not a fact Barca proved it in their following games. They managed to win the 3rd straight La Liga Crown with two games to spare.
Series of “El Clasicos”
Five “El Clasico” in a season and four of them took place in April-May only in time range of 18 days. In recent history only in 2001-02 both Giants met four times in a season and before that when they clashed more or as equal as this season I really don’t remember.
The 1st“El Clasico” of the season took place on 29th of November. New coach of Madrid, their outstanding performance in the league before this match, tiredness of Spanish players after the world cup etc was major issues before the game. But as soon as the referee whistled to start the battle it was again the beauty of football drawn by none other than Barca players. Barca gave their fans an unforgettable, Five Star performance a 5-0 win against their eternal rival at the Camp Nou on the 111th birthday of the best club in the world. Barca tops the table, 8 points ahead of Madrid with this win and the leading position was as stable as the Everest till the end of the season.
The 2nd“El Clasico” was a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu while both Messi for the first time scored against Mourinho so did Ronaldo against Barcelona after his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu. After the match Barca was also eight points ahead of Madrid.
The 3rd“El Clasico” was in “Copa Del Ray Final” so it was a big match for both of them. Mourinho stuck to his super defensive strategy and finally he got a win and a trophy while Ronaldo scored in 102th minutes at Mestalla. Barca possessed 70% of the first half but no real effort before the goal post took place. Barca improved second half, they created chances but all went in vein and it was 0-0 after the 90 minutes. Then Ronaldo scored in 102th minute and this was the decider as Barca failed to score but they kept pushing.
The 4th “El Clasico” was in the much awaited Champions League Semi Final. First leg one was at Santiago Bernabeu. Mourinho criticized Pep Guardiola harshly when Guardiola commented on disqualifying a goal during the Copa Del Rey Final. Right after Mourinho left the press conference Guardiola replied it fast and furiously like never before as he used the “F word.” This incident added an extra spice before the battle. At the battle field we saw the reflection of Guardiola’s anger while Barca players were rushing all together towards the referee as soon as any foul committed by any Madrid player. Barcelona were playing their natural attacking game and Madrid were stuck to their defensive plan. It was 0-0 after the half time. When two teams headed to the dressing room Pinto extra goal keeper of Barca got a red card and there was a clash between the some players of both team. On the hour mark Pepe committed a foul against Dani Alves and the referee booked him a straight red card–Barca’s plan did work. But from the replay we could easily saw that it was master piece acting from Dani Alves. Mourinho also got a red card when he gave an illegal gesture to the referee. Then Barca took the advantage of 10 men and Messi scored 76th minute and he doubled it by a pure magic in 87th minute and the later was undoubtedly one of the best goals of Champions League history. After full time it was a huge advantage of 2-0 and Barca was almost through to the final.
The 5th “El Clasico” was a cruel formality as it was like more than impossible to keep Barca away from Wembley when they had 2-0 away goal advantage. It was 1-1 draw at Camp Nou. Barca scored first and Madrid equalized. Mourinho was not even in the gallery during the match. Barca was off to Wembly.
It would be an injustice to Barca if I don’t mention the game against Arsenal. Cesc Fabregas once again played for the losing side. Arsenal had 2-1 home advantage but they failed to utilize it at the Camp Nou where they were humiliated last year by 4-1and all goals scored by the little Argentine wizard Messi. This year Messi once again made the difference, his first goal showed the world that his skill is limitless. Arsenal made an incredible record breaking the record of more than one thousand matches in the Champions League. In this match they were unable to take a single shot in the target! The score line was 3-1 and the sole goal was an own goal scored by Sergio Busquets.
Champions League Final–Obviously it is considered to be the biggest match of a season. Barca players labeled the match as their last Champions League Final of their life as Guardiola did so back in 1992 at Wembley where Barca had won their first ever Champions League Final Trophy. Sir Alex Ferguson labeled it as the “Final of the Decade.” Some said it would be “Dj vu” of 2008-09 season others said ManU got better. When the match begun first ten minutes ManU gave Barca a real good challenge but then it was again the beauty of Football at his supreme level, Manu became the bus stander once again. The game ended 3-1 and it could have been worse a lot. The game is now considered the best ever Champions League Final in terms of the class of Football by any team.
Finally, It was another successful mission of FC Barcelona. They got the Double and created few team and individual records in this season. They are now the very close to the “Dream Team” while some people have already expressed that they are the”Dream Team” or better than that! But one thing is for sure that Lionel Messi is getting closer and closer to stop repeating the question “Who is the best player of all time Pele or Maradona?”