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Visca Barca!

By Sagnik Choudhary

Sport is fun because, simply put, it’s unpredictable. Sure every game, every tournament picks its favourites, but all in all there’s always a sense of intrigue as to who goes all the way without faltering. However, over time, various teams or people have been dominating various sports, this being as much a part of a sport as winning or losing. To cite a few contemporary examples, the Aussie domination of cricket for about 15 years beginning from the mid-nineties, the Federer-Nadal duo, who’ve together achieved all there is to possibly achieve in tennis, the Schumacher era, then Spain’s rampant run of victories which culminated in them winning the World Cup last year, and more recently an epitomic Barcelona side who play like their only aim is to mesmerize you  with their simple but effective passing game, complex strategies be damned.

                                        FC Barcelona Champions League Winner

Does this somewhat spoil the fun that sport involves? If you play like Barça, surely not. At least not for the neutral spectator. Seldom in football has a team’s dominance been so consummate, so absolute, that every match involving Barça is almost always a foregone conclusion. What is even more delightful is that the onus of raising their game every single time, to imbue their game with the uncanny ability to leave the onlooker awestruck, is not just on Messi. It’s a burden shared by every player on the pitch (and how?). True, this is a golden phase for Barça. Question is will it end anytime soon?

Rumours of dressing room spats, and hurt egos, have been emanating from the Barça camp over the past few months to suggest that all’s not well in paradise. News of how Messi sulked after their La Liga victory or how Puyol’s gesture to hand Abidal the cup might not have been just a warm gesture after all have leaked to the press. The fact however remains that footballers today are professionals through and through, and such trivial hindrances are hardly enough to down the greatest team there is. Any harm done, if at all, would probably involve a little dampening of the team spirit and keeping the mood in the dressing room a little less convivial than expected.

What doesn’t help the other teams, the teams that face the brunt of Barça’s prowess on the pitch especially teams like Real Madrid, is that this is a young team. The most influential players are in their early to mid-twenties. Xavi is 31, but rumors of Javier Pastore or a certain Cesc Fabregas switching to Barca are abundant all over the internet. Should one of these deals go through, Barça’s years of making merry don’t look like ending any time soon.

So what is that we (as neutrals) get to do? Well, we get to gape at the incredible stunts(hardly seems a fair word to use any more) Messi and Co. pull off game after game for one, and more interestingly, we get to experience first-hand how Barça’s reign as kings of pretty much everywhere ends, as it one day surely will. The causes of this eventual decline and  what triggers the bringing-down-to-earth of one of the greatest teams that played in the history of the game will surely be something momentous, something all teams that nurture the desire to ape Guardiola’s Barça will do good to keep in mind. 


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