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Bravos Barça!

When sport transcends to the point of Art, it is called “The Beautiful Game.”©

To summarize:

Pedro, Rooney, Messi, Villa – the goal scorers; it was 1-1 at half-time, 3-1 at the end of the match.

To elaborate:

Xavi threaded the needle in traffic to deliver a diagonal pass to Pedro, who brilliantly booted the ball past Van der Sar. Then Giggs served up Rooney, who expertly curled his shot past Valdes and into the corner of the net. At half-time it was a dream Final at Wembley because both teams had scored and the contest was level at 1-1.

The dream formed into a mythological moment for the graduates of La Masia and the Blaugrana. Xavi and Iniesta dished out tantalizing lead passes. Abidal, Piqué, Puyol, and Valdes kept any counter-attack on lock-down. Alves and Mascherano performed perfectly as a part of the Catalan Gestalt. Sergio drifted about the midfield pitch like an apparition going about the business of dispossessing Manchester United players and passing the ball with the lightest roll of his feet, making his actions look effortless.

Nine minutes after the start of the second half, Messi came crashing into the scene with the ball at his neon-yellow boots. Dribbling into space about 25 yards from the goal, he set his sights on the canary-yellow shirt of Van der Sar. A loose, picket fence of white-jerseyed defensemen stood between Messi and glory. With his deft left foot, the Little Lion lashed the ball to make it swerve through a hole in the human-fence and skip once past the veteran keeper to “bulge the back of the auld onion bag,” as Tommy Smyth likes to say. Barcelona led by a score of 2-1. Messi ran to the corner of the field gripping the crest on his shirt, kicked over a microphone in his way, pumped his fists wildly, and continued celebrating his goal with his teammates and the Barcelona fans who had traveled to London to see the magic in person.

Minutes later, Messi drew the Red Devils toward him into the 18-yard box. The ball caromed off defenders to the top of the box and into the soft boot of Sergio, who laid off a pristine pass for David Villa. With his shoulders square to the goal, Villa stopped, drew his right foot back, and spun the ball – with some English on it – into the upper-right corner of the pulsating netting, sending reverberations through Wembley and around the football universe. Messi triumphantly dropped to his knees in front of the goal, stretched out his arms, and shook the galvanized air in the arena. Barcelona led 3-1 at that point, and that’s how the match ended.

Congratulations to FC Barcelona for winning their 4th Champions League title! Most of all, thank you to the Catalans for a sublime show of sport transcending into Art!


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/29/spanish-press-barcelona-pantheon-greats


Blast from the Fandecande past:



April 8, 2010
Lionel Messi is 22 years old, which is young compared to many other footballers. Messi scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid when he was 19 years old. I saw him score two goals at Camp Nou when he was still 19. He has achieved such an inimitable stature in his craft at a relatively young age that he deserves the distinction of “wunderkind.” Messi earned the best player of the year award–the Ballon d’ Or–in 2009 when he was 21, and during a season in which Barcelona won the treble (domestic league, domestic cup and Champions League), in addition to three other tournaments. They won every tournament they entered! It is safe to say that this Barcelona squad–anchored by Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal, Valdes and others who have played in the Catalan system for years–is the best football team ever assembled.

It makes me feel grateful to be alive to watch Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona create Art on the field of play.

I love The Beautiful Game! : )

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