Earlier this summer when Leo Messi was attempting to get released by his club in order to compete in the Olympics, the Barça bosses said that they could not afford to lose him because of important Champions League matches during the Olympics.
Well, if yesterday was any indication, Messi can spend a good amount of time away from the club and they will be just fine. Samuel Eto’o netted a brace and Xavi and Thierry Henry also scored in Barça’s 4-0 win against Wisla Krakow.
Was this the game they needed Messi for?
Sure, it’s always good to have your best players. But this was a chance for new coach Pep Guardiola to get a feel for his other players and give some of the newcomers a chance to prove themselves.
This was just another step forward for the Spanish giants in their quest to put last season’s disappointing run behind them. They are doing well thus far—smoking every opponent they have faced.
It will be interesting to see with which lineup Barcelona starts the season. They have so much new talent and many players that can be successful at every position on the field.
One worry that plagued Barcelona last season and could come up again is their defense. They have four strong players at the back, but because of their preferred 4-3-3 format they do not have the midfield help and the back line is often left alone.
Barça is at their best when their midfield and forward players are controlling so much of the ball that it does not matter because the opposing team never has the ball enough to be dangerous.
The real tests for this team will come once La Liga and the Champions League seasons begin in earnest and we see how this team responds to adversity—exactly what caused so many problems last season.
If the preseason means anything, though, Barcelona is going to be a team to be reckoned with in every competition this season.
I cannot wait for Dec. 14 at the Camp Nou for the first installment of El Clásico between Barca and Real Madrid.
Another note that I just come across in reference to Barcelona: Why are they going after Berbatov? Where would he play? Maybe on the six-man front line of Messi, Henry, Eto’o, Hleb/Gudjohnsen, Krkic, and Berbatov?