Barcelona's recent heavy Champions League semi-final defeat has shown the Catalans period of dominance has finally come to an end.
Of late teams have taken on Tito Vilanova's side without fear - Real Madrid finally had an answer to the Catalan giant’s dominance over them.
This is a bitter-sweet moment, because, while other teams find joy in beating Barca, the truth is the Nou Camp outfit played the best football in modern times and we might not witness such a great team in the near future.
So while others hate them, let us appreciate the good football Barca offered us. They showed us how the game is to be played with the most exquisite skills.
The set-up at the Spanish giants greatly helped – the youth system is top-notch and it’s a very well run football institution. But let us be frank, Barca were a bit lucky to produce extra-ordinary players at almost the same time. They had: Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Pedro, and Busquets all from their youth system. At a point in time when Messi won the Ballon d’or Xavi and Iniesta came second and third respectively i.e. the best three players in the world are all in one club. These guys dominated every football match they played when they were at peak. I doubt if La Masia is going to produce such high quality players soon.
And so, just like the great Milan and Ajax dominated Europe in late 80s and 90s,Madrid in early 2000,the curtain of Barca’s dominance has closed.
Make no mistake, this Barca team will go on and win trophies but will not dominate the game like the once did.
The Catalan giants needs some reflections and soul searching and should do so quickly, because Xavi and Iniesta are at the twilight of their careers – they simply cannot marshal the midfield they way they will want to, Cesc Fabregas is still unsure of his role in the team and not forgetting their defensive frailties.
As Barca try to figure out how to re-impose itself as a dominant force in Europe once again, let us give them a standing ovation and appreciate a once in a life time experience.
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