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Dream Team II better than Cruyff’s version

Discussion in 'Sports' started by ByaseL, Jun 1, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jun 1, 2009
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    FROM THE DUGOUT | Allan Ssekamatte
    I finally believe the hype. Barcelona is te best team in the world. Their 2-0 stroll over Manchester United in the Champions League final is the most clinical football execution I have seen in this tournament since Fabio Capello’s AC Milan obliterated Johan Cruyff’s flamboyant side 4-0 in the 1994 final.

    As a Chelsea fan who felt robbed by Tom Henning Ovebro’s flagrant flouting of football rules, I doubted whether the Catalans could live with charged Red Devils. I should have known better. When Barcelona humiliated eternal rivals Real Madrid 6-2, I publicly declared them the best Barcelona I have ever seen, better than Cruyff’s 1992 Dream Team and miles ahead of Frank Rijkaard’s 2006 winners.
    An sms from an astute fan quickly pointed out that the back four in 1992 was better. I agree that Andoni Zubizarreta (keeper), Albert Ferrer, Sergi Barjuan (full backs), Miguel Nadal and Ronald Koeman were better individually, but not as a team. Valdes, Daniel Alves, Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal and Gerard Pique may not match their predecessors for individual skill, but they work better as a team because they pass better. Ferrer and Sergi were marauding wingbacks who often burst forward without much thought.


    On Wednesday, the Catalans made light work of the absence of Marquez, Alves and Abidal, with Puyol emerging as the man of the match despite playing out of position.

    The key to their success is ball retention. With Yaya Youre pairing Pique in central defense, Barcelona emerged as a better passing unit. 22-year-old Pique was particularly impressive with his laser guided passes.
    In the build up to the match, some excited British columnist had enthused about Michael Carrick’s ability to use laser to control midfield play. I have never heard of a better case of a child teaching a grannie to eat eggs.

    Overall, the quality of players in Dream Team II is better than those in Dream Team I. In the 1994 final, Pep Guardiola, Jose Maria Bakero, Berguiristain and Amor formed the midfield quartet, with Hristo Stoichkov and Romario de Souza leading the attack. Capello was able to outwit them because they lacked fluidity.

    Whereas Romario was a fox in the box who waited for opportunities to strike, Samuel Eto’o was for example, able to cut in from the right wing, dribble past a Nemanja Vidic ‘combine harvester’ tackle and prod the ball past Van der Sar while evading a double lunge from Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick. Stoichkov was similarly thwarted where Lionel Messi thrived by refusing to be stationed on the right side of midfield.

    Also, with all due respect to Guardiola’s passing genius, Xavi Hernandez has elevated it into an art-form and he is blessed to have someone behind him (Basquets or Toure), and Andreas Iniesta alongside him. The rest of Europe must be frightened by the prospects of what portends as Barcelona was able to dominate United without four first team players.

    assekamate@monitor.co.ug
     
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