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What They're Saying
April 25th, 2013 10:50PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  barcelona

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"I think it is unfair to talk of a cyclical change. Over the last five years this team has won two Champions League titles … and we are on the point of winning a fourth La Liga title. It makes no sense to analyze five years in the one match in Munich. For me the end of an era is when years go by and you don't win any titles."

-- Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta dismisses the idea that Barcelona is at the end of an era following its 4-0 Champions League lost at Bayern Munich. (Reuters)



3 comments
  1. Paul C
    commented on: April 26, 2013 at 7:58 a.m.
    I love Iniesta and believe he is the best 'overall' player on Barca. He has a point. If we look back to the two times they won the Champions League, they lost the first leg of the semi finals only to play a man or two up in the last game to win. They have not advanced to a finals without the benefit of a red card. Bayern is clearly playing better at this point, but so was Arsenal when VanPersie got his second yellow. Barca fans have a glimmer of hope. Winning by five goals is easy for this team. Oh wait, thats only when they are playing the bottom half of La Liga and not a power house like Bayern.

  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: April 26, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
    The problem here is one of money. Not "not enough money", oh no; Barca and Real are swimming in it. It's the distribution. Currently La Liga is experiencing a severe widening of the gap between the "haves" (Barca and Real Madrid), and everyone else. What this means for them is that they lack the stiff competition within the league that would hone them to European sharpness. The worsening situation in La Liga allows a lot of sins to go unnoticed in the Big 2. For instance, few teams in "La Liga de Mierda" (crap league, the rest of La Liga) have European caliber offenses capable of exploiting Barca's defensive weakness. Valencia and Atletico, maybe Malaga, that's about it. And this is a self-inflicted wound, it should be noted. Both of these teams have been adamantly opposed to any restructuring of the grossly unfair TV deal the league has (essentially allowing the clubs to individually negotiate deals--naturally Barca and RM will get huge deals, everyone else, crap). Before the Bundesliga cheerleaders get too far ahead of themselves, it should be noted that while the Bundesliga doesn't seem to have this gross disparity (yet), it will come if nothing is done to prevent it (revenue sharing, etc.). Already the excellent Dortmund team is losing Mario Götze (to Bayern) and Robert Lewandowski.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: April 26, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
    Iniesta makes a good point. Even miissing out out on the UEFA finals would not suddenly mean that Barca is history. This game has however highlighted two weaknesses that Barca has had continuously during its 5 year run -- over reliance on Messi and a vulnerability to set pieces. Regarding Messi, it's rather hard not to depend excessively on arguably the best player to ever play the game. However, in past years, Villa, Sanchez, and Pedro seemed to have had a stronger influence, lately it's all been Messi!! Somehow that needs to be changed. Regarding the defensive vulnerability, a substitute for Pujol must be found. Although Mascherano is competent as a sub, he is not Pujol. Picquet and Buzquets are both solid and YOUNG. Alves is awesome and Alba is good and will get better. One good big defender would close the gap. Also, one thing that has been totally ignored is the condition of the coach, Tito Valenzuela. While I am not usually one to emphasize the importance of the coach or of coaching generally, I can't deny that he is an important element in a team. In this case Tito's absence and his condition had to have had "some" influence on Barca. Finally, Bayern--they are a great team from top to bottom and deserved the win (blown calls are a part of the game) and have finally been hitting on all cyclinders. I am looking forward to an all-German final.


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