Over the last few seasons Barcelona have dominated Spanish and European football, the club has always competed for honours on both fronts, but what has been the catalyst for their most recent dominance?

One must say Barcelona's youth system has been a contributing factor in their success, with players like Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Puyol all products of their youth squad. Their football development has been turned into a thing of genius.

With the system the first team players being taught at youth level, it makes it easier for the manager to get the players to implement this into the first team, and they certainly look good in doing it.

This system has also benefited the National team, with majority of the team coming from Barcelona, almost emulating the playing style of them as well.

But, how can they be stopped? Is it even possible?

Every once in a while Barcelona are held to a draw, or sometimes beaten, but how do teams prepare to play them and get points off them?

Well firstly, for all their constant possession and attacking intent, they hold a slight frailty at the back, especially when their full backs join the attack, another thing is that in terms of formation, there isn't much that changes with shape, just personal. Messi is the obvious outlet and he brings everyone else into play.

A key to stopping them might be to keep Messi quiet, harder said than done, and if that does work how do you stop the rest of the attacking talent they have, I believe by being patient, soaking up the pressure possibly counter attacking and taking the few chances you may have, it is possible to get a result.

But don't forget the home crowd at the great Nou Camp that also play their part as the twelfth man.

One thing for sure is that far too few teams have found the key to beating them, and no one can say they have been able to do it constantly. It is my belief that if this trend does not stop, we could see them continuing to dominate for years to come.


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