Press hail 'super' Barcelona

2011-05-29 13:36

Madrid - The world's press bowed Sunday before Barcelona's sublime 3-1 Champions Cup triumph over Manchester United and asked the question: Is this one of the greatest teams in history, and is Lionel Messi one of the greatest players?

In Spain, there was little doubt of the answer.

"Barcelona touched the heavens," headlined the daily El Pais.

"The best there is," blared the local El Periodico de Catalunya. "The best team in the world," boasted sports daily Mundo Deportivo. "Super Barca. Spanish football still top of the world," said sports paper AS.

Lionel Messi's carving up of the English side left pundits scrambling for comparisons to sum up the performance.

"They floated like butterflies and stung like bees. Led by the unstoppable Leo Messi, Barcelona left Manchester United battered. Bruised. Broken," said British tabloid The Sun.

Manchester gave it their all, the paper said. "But the Red Devils were subjected to a footballing masterclass. Relentlessly torn apart. Relentlessly executed."

The New York Times said the victory fuelled a debate about whether Barcelona was the one of the best teams in football history, quoting Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson's reply: "In my time as manager, yes."

The Daily Mail piled on the praise.

"In the entire history of this beautiful game, few teams have ever approached the state of perfection which FC Barcelona enjoyed in this European final," the Daily Mail said.

"In recent years they had promised to deliver the ultimate performance, the one which would lift them beyond compare. That performance was delivered."

Messi himself came in for the most lavish adoration.

"How can they fail with the enchanting genius Lionel Messi at their heart?" asked the Daily Mail.

The enduring image of the final, it said, would be a smiling Messi stumbling down a flight of steps with the Cup balanced on his head.

"Messi's mischief was done, his place in the pantheon secure. And if Barcelona only had Messi to offer, then they would be lavishly equipped."

London's Daily Telegraph said Messi's "dalliance with the ball was pure, breathless tango with United cast in the role of wallflowers."

"This was the sort of spellbinding performance from Barcelona, and particularly their wonderful Argentine magician, that makes even cynics fall back in love with football," the Daily Telegraph said. "Pass and move, move and score. Bewitching."

Britain's The Guardian said Messi had given the most effective performance by a deep-lying centre-forward since Nando Hidegkuti scored a hat-trick in Hungary's 6-3 defeat of England at Wembley in 1953.

Barcelona had made Manchester's game look rudimentary, the paper said. "A triumph for artistry, patience, imagination. And not a hint of gamesmanship. Magnificent, actually."


  • supafly - 2011-05-29 13:48

    It's gud thing Man Utd didn't win, cuz the English press wud hav milked it to death! Damn! We wudn't hav had any sleep 4 the whole yr "gr8est team eva assembled, the best …..". It's probably a British thing to think & believe they are better than avryone else in the world. What? Are U all suferin from selective amnesia? Weren't these arogant prick$ talkin all the $#it about us (SA) leading to our hosting of the world cup? Guess what? Since karma catches up, the wheel turned, i.e. they submitted an unsuccesful bid to host the w/c & now evryone is corrupt! "Russia! They R a corupt bunch! Who? Fifa? We won't vote or participate in anythin until they clean their house!" Yeah right! They remind of this kid who always had a football, bt was such $#itty player, hence neva got picked to play! What does he do? "Giv me backmy ball! I'll call my mama ……………!" Bwa ka ka .............!

      Patriot - 2011-05-30 08:18

      haha. True. By beating Barcelona the British would automatically think that they would be able to win the Rugby world cup as well as the Superbowl even though they don't play in it. Lol.

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-29 15:09

    IM PRAYING FOR THE SAME FINAL NEXT YEAR so we can hand united 'free football lesson part 3 : a trilogy of humiliation'. did u guys see how lady ferguson was trembling in shock lol? where are all you die-hard united fans now? hiding i guess. if the champions of england were humiliated, then what does that say about the epl and the rest of their teams?

      Andy49 - 2011-05-29 18:15

      Ferguson looked like he has Parkinsons disease the way his hands were trembling!

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-29 15:16

    if this was wrestlemania, barca would be the undertaker and united would be freaking kofi kingston. btw, if la liga is a 2 horse race then so is the epl with the title see-sawing between only 2 teams over the last long period. thank you spain, for handing england yet another football lesson. forca el barca!

  • FerretGee - 2011-05-29 15:23

    Strange how the Man U fans are so silent this morning. Don't worry, there is a helpline for Man U fans just phone 0860 1-3 1-3 1-3.

      mikedek - 2011-05-30 16:14

      We are here and acknowledge when we are beaten. Sir Alex did state that this must be the best team he has seen since his time as a manager. You however have missed the point. The article is not about the performance of Man United but about the fact that Barcelona is rated the best team in the world and on record. Strangly we made it to the final! Stick to the point of the article if you choose to comment.

  • Lennox - 2011-05-29 15:53

    Football, the "boot"iful game played by a team from another galaxy. I have watched Maradona win the World Cup for Argentina in 1986, I have watched Zidane shine in Frances glory back in 1998, I have watched Ronaldo do it for Brazil, I have watched video clips of Georgie Best, Cruyff & Pele but for me the little Argentine magician eclipses all of them. Forget the fact about not doing at International level, he is playing against mostly international players in this competition so it is like a World Cup. Best/Cruyff/Pele did not play so much soccer like they do today, Messi does and his opponents are still bamboozled by his natural God given talent on display. Defenders appear to be mesmerised by his speed of thought, movement and skill, like a deer in the headlights.

  • Andy49 - 2011-05-29 18:17

    That ManUre strip was awful, especially the shirts with those red swatches on the arms. They looked like AWB insignia.

  • - 2011-05-29 21:58

    Barcelona are PURE MAGIC!!!! I was spellbound by Spain in last year's soccer world cup! They are utterly and completely MESMERISING.....their precision passing of the ball, being in the right place at the right time 99% of the time is simply AMAZING! And, now, with Messi in the team....well, THEY ARE SUPERB!!!! [and beyond!]. LOVE BARCELONA!

  • Babs - 2011-05-30 08:23

    What a Splendid Thumping!!!

  • Tumi Bopape - 2011-05-30 10:59

    When u are great u are great......The current Barca team is the best there ever was to date..period. As 4 Messi,He is on a daily basis proving to be the best we've ever seen @ such a tender age(wish him all the best)

  • brok3news - 2011-05-30 11:14

    Man Utd got SCHOOLED!

      mikedek - 2011-05-30 16:15

      Any team that would play this Barcelona team would get the same lesson. We were still at least in the final!

  • khani - 2011-05-31 08:38

    Barca 2011 are the best in Europe (and World) and my Opinion the best team ever. What I don't understand is the United thumping, they are currently the best team in England and No, I am not a united supporter

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