Thursday, February 21, 2008
Barca Masterclass as Men Beat Boys
It's all too easy to rhapsodize about stylish European teams but the elite of Barcelona strutted their stuff at Celtic Park yesterday in the Champions' League and the little I saw of it was spectacular. Admittedly, they fell behind twice to the Scottish giants but, turning on for the last 2o minutes or so, their class going forward was unmistakeable. Celtic, apart from one pseudo attack towards the end of the game, could barely touch the ball in those last 20 minutes. Eto'o, who had come on for Ronaldhino, Henri and Messi, especially Messi, combined with the likes of veteran Puyol to rip Celtic apart. It was a pleasure to watch as a neutral. Messi truly is a phenomenon. You expect great things every time he touches the ball. The only person I can think of who had such skill and presence in recent years (Kaka, Ronaldo maybe) and on whom such great expectations were set was Zidane. Not bad for a kid who is still a teenager. Barcelona won 3-2, making the Nou Camp trip for Celtic a mighty mountain to climb.