Barca Proves Football Is Above All
By Juan Yoshika
This past week has been very stressful for all Barça fans. Not only did Real Madrid get three points closer and positioned themselves one point behind Barcelona, but a storm of trouble swooped the City of Counts. A scandal involving the top executives of the club over the transfer of Brazilian star Neymar ended with the resignation of the club president Sandro Rosell.
This is why the game against Malaga was hitherto the most important game of the season. It was about more than gaining three points against a very difficult team, it was more important than seeing if Lionel Messi still had the ability to score a goal against a team other than Getafe.
It was about unity. It was about stepping up to an ocean of critics and giving their fans something to brag about… and what a game it was!
Barcelona not only defeated Malaga, 3-0, they played their best game of the year. Some critics are already talking about Messi’s new position on the field. They say he doesn’t score goals anymore (I guess they missed the Getafe games).
They also claim that this is the beginning of the end, but in reality Messi’s new position has a lot to do with the fact that Barcelona’s midfield is not producing what they used to.
The absence of the injured Andrés Iniesta is very notorious, and this season has yet to see the best Xavi. So without a productive midfield, Messi has had to move down, and it’s been great. Cristian Tello scored his first hat-trick with Barcelona thanks to Messi’s three assists, and the match against Malaga was a little more of the same.
Messi was the brain behind two out of the three goals. Not only did Messi have a great game, but Pedro and Alexis Sanchez showed some great skills. With Neymar coming back from his minor injury, he'll most likely take one of two's spot in the starting lineup.
Tonight, both Pedro and Sanchez scored and became top scorers of their team. Another player that has improved from the beginning of the season is Gerard Pique, not only did he score today, but he has had some very outstanding performances lately.
Victor Valdes was there when he was needed, he is starting to make us see the extraordinary as ordinary, Barça will miss him next season. Even though I criticized him earlier on, Xavi had a good game, but he has to be more consistent. Same with Cesc Fabregas, who will probably go back to the bench once Iniesta comes back.
There isn’t much to say about Sergio Busquets, not so long ago the entire team was Busquets and 10 more, and of course, the man of the match today was Jordi Alba, who is, debatably, the best left-back in the world.
So as the league goes on, Barça goes back on top of La Liga with the same amount of points as Atletico Madrid, and one more point than Real Madrid. This won’t be an easy ride for Barcelona. It’s never been, but today the team seems more united, with a selfless Messi who is willing to have a more sacrificing role so others can take the glory.
Sure Barcelona has been in the news for the wrong reasons lately, but today, they came back to the front page to reminds us that football, football is above all.