10 years after the Wembley Final and a perfect display of Guardiola’s Barcelona

10 years after the Wembley Final and a perfect display of Guardiola's Barcelona

BARCELONA – On May 28, Barcelona celebrates 10 years of the Dream Final. The ideal match through which he won his fourth Champions League at Wembley, beating Manchester United who, in a reaction that honored the losers, greeted the champion, acknowledging that that afternoon they fell against “the best team I have ever met. faced ”, in the words of Paul Scholes.

“Nobody had beaten us up like this before,” said Alex Ferguson. An almost perfect summary of what happened in the sanctuary of English football, placed in Barcelona’s imaginary twice, recalling the old stadium in which the Dream Johan Cruyff’s Team reached eternity in 1992 and added to it the modern one in which his most outstanding disciple, Pep Guardiola, led the considered best team in the modern history of the club to achieve that success in 2011.

At the time when the club’s environment lives so attentive to the words of Joan Laporta as to the decisions that are being taken and waiting for that long-awaited sports revolution that many fear cannot be agreed upon due to the economic hardships suffered at the Camp Nou, nostalgia takes a place remembering that successful past in which nothing seemed to be banned for an outstanding team.

At the peak of Lionel Messi was added the perfection personalized by Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the rebellion of Pedro, the lace of David Villa, the magnificence of Víctor Valdés, the electricity of Dani Alves or the sobriety of Gerard Pique. A team worked for three long years that went beyond the glory of trophies but that through them became eternal.

Two years and a day earlier, on May 27, 2009, Barça closed Guardiola’s first course on the bench with the achievement of the treble in Rome. He beat Manchester United, who had pointed at Rijkaard in 2008 and completed the best course in its modern history … Waiting for the end of a perfect year: the sextet that would fall in December 2009 with the Club World Cup.

“It’s not why we win, it’s how we win,” said Busquets later, one of those unexpected discoveries by Guardiola who in 2011 had mutated from apprentice to knight within a seamless scheme, learned all the secrets in the field and all the virtues that should lead to an indisputable Barça in the eyes of the whole world.

2010, the elimination in the semifinals against Internazionale de Mourinho, with the cancellation of a very controversial goal to Bojan Krkic in the final stretch that could change the course of history, remained in the retina of many when after a year Mourinho He crossed the path again to turn the Classic, the Classics, into battles that went far beyond what was allowed, normal or advisable.

Between April 16 and May 3, Barça and Madrid met in up to four games. The pulse began with a league tie (1-1) at the Bernabéu that almost sentenced the title in favor of Barça, followed four days later with the merengue victory in the final of the Copa del Rey and led to a Champions semi-final that already raised the tone to madness, with an unforgettable press conference by Guardiola in Madrid calling Mou “the fucking master of the thinking room” and Barça conquering a place for that final in which Manchester United wanted as much revenge as ignorance of what was coming on him.

With seven homegrown players in the starting eleven, with Abidal recovered after his liver cancer, with Puyol on the bench coming out of an injury, Mascherano settled as a center-back no longer of urgency but of guarantees and a David Villa adapted to be a versatile striker at the service of the best Messi, Barça passed over United as Alex Ferguson could not imagine even in his worst nightmares.

Neither the outpouring of the Red Devils, nor their reaction to Pedro’s initial 1-0 draw with Wayne Rooney’s almost immediate draw made the Catalans tremble or doubt. “We have to continue like this, playing ours, without fear, with determination,” Xavi roared to his teammates at half-time before the solicitous gaze of a Guardiola who saw in the eyes of his players that this final was his.

And it was in a second half of vertigo. “We were chasing shadows”, Rio Ferdinand acknowledged some time later, recalling what happened on the pitch, with Messi’s toe and Villa’s howitzer that sentenced that 3-1 that remained to be remembered as the best display of a European champion and that at the After seven months, in Japan, it reached its climax with the victory in the Club World Cup against the Brazilian Santos.

Wembley, the sacred place of Barcelona since 1992, was once again in the retina of a fan that after ten years of that conquest of Guardiola’s group trusts in recovering the old days faced as the club is facing a renewal, or revolution, of uncertain future.

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