Times, Monday, February 9, 2009 3 PM
Averaging just over three goals per game, Barcelona is scoring "at a rate not seen in a big (or even small) European league in years," writes Gabriele
. If Barcelona continues at this rate, it will finish with 118 league goals, shattering the previous La Liga record held by the 1989-90 Real Madrid side, when Hugo Sanchez
scored 38 times.
It would also be higher than the all-time single-season record goalscorer in England (Aston Villa in 1930-31, who
scored 128 in 42 games), Germany (Bayern Munich in 1971-72, who scored 101 in 34) and equal to that in France (Paris in 1959-60, with 118 in 38). The only team it would fail to outperform would be
the 1947-48 Torino side, led by Valentino Mazzola
, a team that was tragically killed in an air crash a year later but that had scored 125 goals in 40 league
matches at a rate of 3.13 per game.
"What is remarkable about [coach Pep] Guardiola
's Barcelona is how they seem to defy so much of the
conventional wisdom of modern-day football," writes Marcotti. It has a comparatively tiny squad, but that roster has depth and attacking talent in Lionel
, Samuel Eto'o
, Thierry Henry
and Bojan Krkic
. Right back Daniel Alves
is "a winger in disguise at a time when conventional wisdom would suggest that if you employ three strikers, you need full backs who can defend."
Defender Gerard Pique
, a lost cause at Manchester United, will debut for Spain on Wednesday, as will home-grown Sergio
ts, just 20 years old. The team is setting records and "doing it in their own distinct way, ignoring the perceived wisdom."
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