Thursday, April 28, 2011

Messy - Mourinho....Mesmerising Messi...the game Wins !!!

Pristine sublime one touch football.....almost a lost art these days, kept alive by a handful of ball players like Messi........skills that keeps an avid follower wide awake, gaping at the idiot box, even at 3.00am in the night. Watching the Champions Cup semifinals yesterday night, the El Classico between arguably the best two teams in Club football today, Barcelona vs Real Madrid, at Bernabau was a treat, though the match was marred by foul play & red cards. Barca won the contest 2-0 in the end.
Just three minutes from full time, Messi picked up a pass, about 50 yards away from the the Real goal line,...turned & dribbled past four bemused defenders, as if toying with them, the ball stuck to his feet like glue, swerved past a lunging Casillas, & rolled the ball into the far end of the post, in slow motion, while stumbling to a fall, as the Barca dugout went delirious......the home crowd stung into silence. Iker Casillas, the beaten goalkeeper could only applaud the move, as a mark of respect to the Footballer of the Year. It was truly a Messi night. It was sheer magic, touch play in symphony.....simply brought back memories of the 1986 World Cup, when legendary Argentine Captain Diego Maradona had weaved magic against England & Belgium, as spectators across the globe gaped in awed appreciation.

Under Pep Guardiola's able & inspired coaching, this Barca team has been playing fascinating football over the last three years......short passes, possession football & sudden bursts at the opponent goal, the team looks like a bunch of wizards on the field......"players from a different planet", as football fans & oppositions call them. Valdes in the goal, Pique, Puyol, Busquets, Dani Alves in defence, Xavi, Iniesta(he did not play tonight), Keita, Pedro in midfield, Messi, Villa(has joined the team this season) upfront....each a champion in his own right & a strong reserve bench. It really is a dream team. Its a delight to watch them sprayed all over the ground, running & passing endlessly, controlling the proceedings. It has been rare that they have lost....Guardiola, a player turned coach has been polite & humble, despite dizzying success, & has managed & mentored the team exceptionally. He has created & crafted wonderful football, that his team plays & enjoys. They do lose an odd match in a while, but they learn to accept & move on...playing the game in the best spirits possible....delighting millions of fans world over.
On the other hand is Jose Mourinho, the coach of Real Madrid, the prodigal child of controversy!! One of the most talked about coach in recent times. Almost everyone loves to hate him.....there is always something sinister about him....behind a wry smile, he is always scheming, always trying to get under the skin of the rivals by making pointed comments, taking a dig, always mocking, winning by hook or crook....actually mostly by crook!!! His style of football would always be criticised, as he coaches for destructive football. There is hardly anything beautiful about it. Play hard & physical, commit fouls if needed, but don't let opponents play, float long balls at the rival goal mouth & jostle for space, use set piece movement & win. Barring odd games & set pieces, nothing beautiful at all, but effective alright. To his credit, he has won major tournaments, including Champions Cup last year, when his team Inter Milan defeated Barca in the semis( it was sad to see the beautiful game of football killed). This year too, Real Madrid defeated Barca in the Kings Cup final last week, but the beautiful game killed.
Look at the teams he has coached in the past. Chelsea is now languishing, nowhere to be seen in prominence; Inter Milan(last years champions), defeated comprehensively in the quarters & are struggling in Serie A; Real Madrid, barring the Kings Cup win, are all but out in La Liga & Champions Cup. Each of these teams have very good players, rich in talent, but having been taught to play destructively, they have also destructed their own natural indeed is a sad loss. Coaches like Mourinho are like devil's family....they can never do anything creative or beautiful.

For the sake of the beautiful game that is football, let the Pep Guardiolas of the world shine, let players like Lionel Messi of the world play to mesmerise us......