Monday, June 6, 2011

Are Barcelona the greatest ever?

In the wake of Barcelona's 3-1 UEFA Champions League championship victory over Manchester United, the debate has begun about where Barca sits among the greatest club sides of all-time.

Do Barca’s players, with their poetic ball skills and precise attacking, surpass the best football teams of all time?

Jimmy Burns of Newsweek writes about where Barcelona sits among soccer's elite.

Some think this would suggest that Barca is certainly better than United’s own best team of the 1998–99 season, which became the first English side to win a treble of trophies (Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League) with a roster that included an evolving young star named David Beckham.

For lovers of the “beautiful game,” Barca’s onslaught against Manchester United was soccer played at its best, with huge skill and minimum thuggery. The focus of Barcelona’s play was on possession of the ball (or on winning it back during the rare moments it was lost), then attacking with an intricate choreography of precise, short passes where players moved on and off the ball in constant, fluid movement. In the words of Simon Barnes, chief sports writer at the London Times, “all soccer people turned instantly into ballet critics to applaud a style of play that had an aesthetic dimension as well as being admirably, if not lethally, suited for the purpose of attaining victory.”

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