FC Barcelona win its 4th Champions League
Barça gave a footballing lesson against Machester United at the home of football, the Wembley Stadium. Guardiola’s team claimed the title back with an exhibition of football never seen before in the final.
London (FCB).- Wembley once again. Guardiola promised that his players would deliver and they certainly did at Wembley on Saturday night as they turned on the Barça style to see off one of the best teams in the world, Manchester United, who were helpless against the tide of footballing brilliance that Barça showed.
It was Wembley that was the scene for another great success as this Barça, who combine tradition and modernity made the passage from Cruyff\u2019s team\u2019s win at the grand old Wembley to Guardiola\u2019s victory at the new stadium. From romanticism to the avant-garde in football \u2013it\u2019s taken just 19 years for Barça to make that journey!
Into the European pantheon
Barça\u2019s win takes them up into the pantheon of European greats, with four European Cups to their name. Four titles that truly do justice to a club who have raced to their titles under Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard and Josep Guardiola \u2013 three coaches who have given continuity to the Barça\u2019s success with their way of understanding the game.
But it\u2019s been Guardiola who has made most of the formula invented by Cruyff. Proof of Guardiola\u2019s commitment to FC Barcelona\u2019s philosophy is the fact that seven of his starting players in the last two Champions League finals have been products of La Masia. He has also built a solid defence for his attacking players\u2019 brilliance to sit on and brought out the very best form his stars with his empathy and understanding. He\u2019s also spent hours and hours studying the game, the opposition and his own players\u2019 abilities and that helps explains his phenomenal success \u2013 10 titles as a manager in just three years. It\u2019s this tenth title that has proved the qualitative leap for Guardiola - as he has become the only Barça manager to win two Champions League titles and at just 40, he has become the youngest ever manager to lift the trophy twice - beating José Mourinho\u2019s previous record.
Guardiola\u2019s success has also put him alongside Sir Alex Ferguson as the leading coach in Europe- just like the Scot, Guardiola embodies the values of a club and his teams always have the stamp of their manager\u2019s commitment to the attacking, attractive style of play that has become synonymous with Barça.
Players are the cornerstone
For all Guardiola\u2019s success though, it\u2019s the players who have also, as the boss would be the first to admit, been the cornerstone of the team\u2019s success. Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa, Pedro, Piqué... all the names that every youngster aspires to emulate right now. Above all though, it\u2019s Messi who has delivered week in and week out, with an astonishing 53 goals this season, with tonight\u2019s his 12th in the Champions League, a total never before achieved in the competition.
Ferguson predicted \u201Cthe game of the decade\u201D and tonight\u2019s final has confirmed Barça\u2019s position at the top of contemporary football - a win against a team who have rivalled Barça over recent years and that give it an importance that the fans\u2019 mosaic before the game: \u201CWe love football\u201D perfectly sums up.