Shamik Das

Sunday, May 29, 2011

All United fans should hail Messi, hail Barça, and hail the beautiful game; there’s no shame in this defeat

Wembley, Champions League Final: Barcelona 3-1 Man Utd

BARCELONA, beautiful Barça, stand atop the football world this morning following their emphatic, orgasmic win over Manchester United last night, the champions of England played off the park by one of the greatest teams in history.

From the first whistle to the final, there was never any contest; save for Rooney’s equaliser against the run of play, United did not muster a single shot on target, outplayed, outpassed and out of the running, undone by superb strikes from Pedro, Messi and Villa, who between them have scored almost as many goals as the entire Utd squad this season.

Messi alone has scored more than 50 goals in 2010/11 at a strike rate of more than one a game. Simply brilliant.


The way he plays, the way they all play, those little, magic men, should be an inspiration to us all, the game played the right way, skill not strength, mettle not muscle, finesse, flair, flamboyance, showing the game need not be about high balls, big men and fouls - i.e. you don’t have to play the Mourinho way to win.

The whole of London felt abuzz for the contest, lit up by Barcelona fans, from the Champions festival in Hyde Park...


...through Oxford Street, Nike Town, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, basically everywhere, all the way up to and along down Wembley Way...


It was, simply, a magical event, an amazing day to crown off a week in which London showed it could put on a show, serving up one of the best footballing, if one-sided, finals we’ve ever had. Forget FIFA, forget corruption, forget Blatter and Bin Hammam, just sit back and bask, smile, and feel privileged to be able to tell your grandchildren you saw this Barcelona in their prime.

For the final eulogy, I can do no better than leave you with the words of Tim Vickery, Five Live’s South America expert; enjoy!

FC Barça: Més que un club


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