Friday, April 25, 2008

The Barcelona Way

Just wanted to quickly post this Xavi interview, which was fascinating for its insight. Remember, Xavi is a local boy, having joined the club when he was a kid, so he embodies everything about the club and its essence. (Note: this interview was taken before the first leg).
Chelsea and Liverpool offer a more practical football, more direct, stronger physically. But Manchester United are close to us in the way they understand the game. They also want to keep the ball, to pass to arrive in the rivals’ box, to pressure the opposition in their own half.

Football is becoming a very fast game, very physical, full of hard workers, it is all about the second balls. It has become successful to play like that and that saddens me. I am from a school of technical football, of touching the ball, of passing, which I think fans appreciate more. Let’s see who will win at the end because the final in Moscow will have a representative of those two contrasting styles.


Thinking that you are going to come to put me under pressure, but I know my next move, my next pass. Have a team that moves constantly without the ball. Pass the ball not with the first touch, but with half a touch. We can all be physical, but not everybody can be technically adept, that needs training and faith in that style. This way of playing has got much more merit.

He's not kidding. When they're on song, there's no team in the world that's better to watch. Like he says, football is supposed to be about the ball moving 100 miles per hour, not the player. No team exemplifies that spirit more than Barca.

It's why I support them. I started watching football pretty late (in my late teens) and didn't really have a team for a while. But one day, I caught the Chelsea-Barcelona game in 2005 (the second leg, at Stamford Bridge, the day Ronaldinho did this) and was instantly drawn to them. They went down three goals within 20 minutes and lost, both on the day and on aggregate, but they had a new fan. Watching them string passes together, players cutting and finding space, always looking up, none of that long-ball bullshit, it was beautiful.

Anyway, go read the interview, it's really interesting.

No comments: