Sunday, December 20, 2009

Barcelona Defeats Argentina's Estudiante 2-1 - Soccer Match of the Year

Messi ante el Almeria en el Nou Camp en el par...

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Barcelona’s victory over Argentina’s Estudiantes 2-1 was fair and deserving and it left no doubt that Barcelona Futbol Club is the best ensemble of soccer players in the world.

Surprised by Estudiantes’ early goal, Barca played their one-touch soccer till the very end, with an 80% possession of the ball as they continued to look for the equalizer goal. Four minutes before the regulation-time ended, Pedro electrified the multitudes with a header that arched the ball way over the Estudiantes’ goalie. Not only was the goal a show of athletic ability, but grace in motion. Like a graceful ballet dance, Pedro —the youngest player in the field— elevated himself in the air and as he held himself in the air, defying gravity to put the ball in the back of the net.

For the Estudiantes’ fans that was the cold dagger that would kill their hopes of taking the Club World cup to Argentina. In extra time Leonel Messi chested the winning goal. An exhausted Estudiantes team was no match for Barcelona and the likes of Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic—international soccer stars.

Barcelona has won it all. There’s no trophy that they haven’t won in 2009. “Six titles is unequalled, this brings more responsibility ... We have to continue working to remain among the elite," declared Pep Guardiola, Barca’s coach.

Yesterday’s victory was especially bitter-sweet for Guardiola: in 1992, as a player, Guardiola and Barcelona lost the world club final match. As the dramatic match unfolded in the field, the TV cameras panned to Guardiola on the sideline to show a man totally engaged, barking orders, gesticulating, jumping, and kicking and screaming. Guardiola was not to be denied of this much coveted victory. And despite the fact that injuries kept out Iniesta –the cerebral and cool playmaker— and Seydou Keita, the smooth midfielder, their replacements rose to the occasion.

With so much talent and depth in the bench, Guardiola made it look easy. The ceremonies were well coordinated and added much dignity to the sport. Abu Dhabi and FIFA official has much to be proud of as the eyes of the world were upon them.
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