Saturday, April 10, 2010

Xavi and Barcelona shine

One of the many things that makes Barcelona the best team in the world at the moment, is that when everyone is talking about Lionel Messi, another player steps in and shines: Xavi today played a world class match against Real Madrid, and was truly the architect behind Barcelona’s 2-0 victory on the Santiago Barnabeu in Madrid.
Barcelona is now heading towards the title.
One can only feel a bit sorry about Real Madrid: they played a good match, putting pressure all over the pitch, many players in attack and an excellent fight (I have never seen Real Madrid fight in such a spirited way). But Barcelona is truly extraordinary: they can tackle and fight back, until they have possession, and when the possession is achieved, they drain the opposing said of energy by letting them run after the ball.
And the architect in this possession is Xavi: he was truly of a class of his own. He made the passes for both goals by Messi (scoring again…) and Pedro.
At the same time, Barcelona’s defence was also very strong and disciplined: Piqué and Puyol are surely two of the best in the world in this position, while Milito should be pushing for a place in the staring line-up after his match against Arsenal and today’s match.

What will surely be talked about more than the extraordinary Barcelona side, is Real Madrid: the starting line-up was surely controversial, but I cannot see how anything could have been done. Barcelona is simply too good, but that is not something that I think will be taken lightly in Madrid. They are out of the CL and the domestic league seems to be far away. I don’t think another coach-firing would not be good for the club, but ot seems increasingly to be the only way Real Madrid’s leadership has of solving problems…


The Claus said...

Your Yankie friend from Florida here.
Seems like you are starting to lean towards Messi as your new "World's greatest player ever! aka Football God!" Messi better than Maradona?

The Claus said...

Michelle and I went to the home opener of Miami FC Blues vs. Rochester Rhinos last night at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
Miami FC Blues ( plays in the USSF - U.S. Soccer Federtion Division 2 ( Which consists of two conferences : USL- United Soccer Leagues ( and NASL North American Soccer League (

Powered by a second half surge, Miami FC earned its first point of the season in comeback fashion in front of an energized crowd gathered at Lockhart Stadium. The season opener with the Rochester Rhinos concluded in a 1-1 draw to kick off the 2010 season on April 10.The Blues continue their home stand on April 17 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

"We came out much stronger in the second half," Miami FC head coach Victor Pastora said. "Next time around we must come out more aggressive in the first half. Now we have to prepare for next week."

Miami FC created two scoring opportunities early on, narrowly missing chances to get on the board.

But Rochester got on the board in the 21st minute after Ryan Heins beat Miami FC goalkeeper Caleb Patterson on a counterattack, putting the ball in the side of the net after a pass from Tyler Rosenlund to open the scoring.

The Blues came close to tying it late in the first half on a free kick by Mike Randolph and a good feed from Jarryd Goldberg to Abe Thompson in the 41st minute, but were unable to capitalize as Miami FC went into the half trailing 1-0.

Paulo Araujo Jr. came in as sub in the second half and immediately made an impact. The Brazilian forward banged in a careening ball into the back of the net after a corner kick in the 47th minute to tie the game at 1-1, the first goal for the Blues in the 2010 campaign.

"Paulo came up big for us," Pastora said. "He was the spark that we needed, finding an opportunity and taking advantage of it."

Paulo Jr. almost struck again several minutes later, wringing a shot off the top post and almost giving the Blues the lead.

Miami FC continued to apply pressure to the Rochester backline, almost taking the lead in the 81st minute after an Abe Thompson's header narrowly missed the side of the net.

Personally, I wasn't too impressed with the match. I thought Miami's defense was not organized enough. However, there were some good individual performances. Lancaster who just signed a few days ago,Santeliz had a pretty good first half. While Paulo Jr. definately made a good impact in the second half, scoring the equalizer.
It was the first match of the season, so there is a long way to go. It should get better.


El Erik said...

Hey Claus, I would love for you to do an entry as a guest on your observations from Miami FC.

As to Messi: no, he is not better than Maradona. He could potentially become, but he still has a lot to go - he has a super team behind him!!
But as a player, he is amazing to watch. He is undoubtfully the kind of player that takes football to another level.