Wednesday, May 17, 2006

El Barca es Mes Que un Club

Despite having a technical one man advantage over Arsenal, Barcelona rarely displayed their characteristic free-flowing play and Ronaldinho was consistently hampered by the Gunners' aggressive defense. That is, until Samuel Eto'o offically equalized in the 75th minute with a brilliant low shot past Almunia. Finally the game is on. And it was the goal that finally loosened up the Catalans, giving them their confidence back and signalling to the world that this great team hadn't lost their cool, hadn't given in to Arsenal's resolute marking. Then in the 80th, Barca's Henrik Larsson delivers a spot-on pass to Belletti who strikes a dangerously tricky shot through Almunia's legs and back into the net. The turn-around has taken hold and for the first time during the match I actually relax a little, actually start to believe that Barca is going to pull this through and win it on their own terms--with a pretty move and with passion.

And so they did. Arsenal played with courage and heart, but offensively they never commanded the game and simply relied on their effective pressure defense to slow Barcelona down. But you can't halt progress, as they say, and though Ronaldinho sadly never exemplified his hallucinatory skills in the way we hoped he would, Barca were able to consistently attack the net in a manner that Henry and company never really did. Arsenal's one goal was from a set piece and not during the run of play, unlike all of Barca's goals (including the disqualified Eto'o shot).

It may not have been the classic match that I was praying for, but it was excellent and personally memorable nonetheless. And for only the second time in their history, beloved FC Barcelona are the well-deserved champions of Europe. They win 2-1.

A clamor rises
from the pitch
We're the blue and claret people
Makes no difference where we hail from
Whether it's from the south or the north
Now we all agree
we all agree,
One flag unites us in brotherhood
Blue and claret flowing in the wind
One valiant cry
We've got a name
that everyone knows:
Barca! Barca! Baaarca!

United we are strong
So much glory through the years
Oh, the many goals we've cheered
And it had been proven, it has been proven
That no one can break us
Blue and claret flowing in the wind
One valiant cry
We've got a name
that everyone knows:
Barca! Barca! Baaarca!

Cant del Barca--The Barcelona Song

Click here for a short video of the Camp Nou faithful singing and/or click here for the full audio version.

1 comment:

Ghost Dog said...
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