The North American magazine Sports Illustrated takes a look at FC Barcelona and explains the reasons behind why the Club has become one of the most popular teams on the planet
Sports Illustrated jumps into the world of football to answer questions about the team that has become a reference point not only in the global football scene, but in sports in general. The nine-page report, titled ‘The World's Team,’ takes a look at La Masia, the first team’s successes, the Club’s social and humanitarian work, and Leo Messi. Author Grant Wahl does not hesitate to point out that “Barça is the team of our time.”
La Masia, an unrivaled model
The magazine explains that while some teams consider it lucky to have one player brought up through the youth ranks to make it into the starting line-up of the team, FC Barcelona, through La Masia, works to create champions. It’s “unprecedented,” says the author, and something that’s becoming more evident each time Barça take to the pitch. Mr. Wahl makes his point by highlighting FC Barcelona’s Champions League match against Spartak Moscow where eight youth players featured in the Blaugrana starting line-up, including Leo Messi, the best footballer on the planet. Tello, in addition to the Argentine’s performance, is highlighted for his efforts in that game.
“Pass and move.” That’s how FC Barcelona’s style of play is described. “There’s a mixture of movement and geometry that resembles a kaleidoscope that turns into an inexorable attack.” Barça’s third goal against Spartak, scored by Messi and assisted by Alexis, “is a true team goal.” The author goes on to say that “there’s a difference between a bite of a cobra and the slow asphyxiation of python. Both are lethal.”
The best team of all time?
The magazine asks if Barça is the best team of all time. In addition to the recent comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson where he said that Barça “is the best team” he’d ever seen, the North American publication also consulted with the famous beIN Sport Television commentator, Ray Hudson. Hudson’s analysis is clear: “When I try to watch other teams, other Leagues, it’s like I just finished a marvelous novel and I’m back to reading children’s poetry.” Steve Nash, two-time MVP of the NBA and a longtime Barça fan, says that the feat of “winning in Spain, Europe and the world is something that hasn’t been equaled in modern times.”
Messi on path to becoming the world’s best
Sports Illustrated, while noting that the Argentine received more votes in the United States than the champions of the NFL, NBA and NHL for the best sports moment in 2011, asks if Messi is better than Pelé or Maradona. The magazine conceded that Messi hasn’t won a World Cup, but it also makes note that Pelé never played in Europe and that Maradona never won the European Cup. The author is clear that “if he continues to win the most important club trophies, if he continues to break records, he won’t need a World Cup title to be among the greats.”
Johan Cruyff, one of the most important figures in club history, also appears in the report. The magazine points out that the Dutchman’s football legacy - short, quick passes and possession football - is the corner stone of Barça’s style of play.