This Barça is already enough in the Champions League

Xavi's Barça is no longer knocking on the door of the Champions League like a lazy encyclopedia seller would do in a Silicon Valley neighborhood community.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 September 2023 Tuesday 04:21
4 Reads
This Barça is already enough in the Champions League

Xavi's Barça is no longer knocking on the door of the Champions League like a lazy encyclopedia seller would do in a Silicon Valley neighborhood community. He seems more confident and cheerful, knowing that he once again has a good, modern and quality genre. He was already playing. The maximum European competition always suited the Blaugrana club, they could not win it, but they faced it to do so. The ordeal of recent seasons, then, seems to have come to an end. Beating Antwerp (five fell) as happened in the premiere in Montjuïc, can be considered a minimum service that is not conducive to exaggeration, of course, but those who have seen the Blaugrana team in recent years will know what we are talking about. A Belgian football team or wherever was a bit organized arrived at the Camp Nou and the game was going uphill due to the lack of resources. Now Xavi has them. Soccer can be complex, but having good players instead of bad ones usually makes it quite simple.

Xavi landed with the anguished and sincere “this is what it is” from Koeman and saved the team from shipwreck upon his arrival, he won the League in his first full year and in the third he has brought together a group of finally competent footballers, now either through his starting eleven or counting on all the resources he has left on the bench. They are mostly top-level professionals, we may not find a world top-3 among them, but they are winners and if the Champions League music plays over the public address system, Norman Bates does not appear on the other side of the curtain with instruments of string sounding like a slit seagull but notes that ignite his competitive soul. They ignite and do not hide, matching what the Barça shield represents.

Barça came out with the intention of reminding itself of what a great club it was. If Antwerp arrives, they will be shaken and that's it. It was about representing a script that in recent times was never fulfilled. No more stage fright and tremors.

The match lasted 10 minutes. The spirited crowd of Antwerp fans had time to follow a few passes of their own with olés until João Félix said enough. The Portuguese striker, Joan Laporta's obsession, seems happy, and a happy player with a lot of quality must be left to his own devices. Right now he is a starter for Xavi, who made a lineup without holding anything back. In defense of Cancelo from the side (to call him something, because he moves everywhere) no one is going to take him away, De Jong sat Romeu to act as a pivot, Gavi and Gündogan acted as interior players, and Lewandowski agreed at the top, Raphinha and the Portuguese.

The first goal was a delight, showing that positional play must be a starting point on which to dance. Lewandowski and Gündogan did it, who sent a last pass that João Félix knew how to take advantage of. He received, cut and released his right to beat Butez low, who had a bad night.

Mark Van Bommel's Antwerp and the Olés from Alcoy merged. The goals were falling as if nothing had happened, apparently without great effort, which is how great teams perform or that intend to be great again, as is the case. João Félix wanted to thank Lewandowski for his action on the first goal and threw a velvety cross from the left to the Pole who put it into the net. If teams that play by heart are built from small associations, João Félix and Lewandowski are on their way to forming a very interesting one.

In the midst of a creative fever, the third arrived accidentally. Raphinha crossed and the ball, bounced off Bataylle, entered the Belgian goal. In Antwerp, not even the very young Vermeeren stood out, of whom people speak highly, although swallowed up by the situation.

The second half could have been a formality but Barça wanted to enjoy themselves and make the people enjoy themselves, something that is appreciated. The marvelous Gavi, who is difficult not to love, took advantage of a dead ball in the area to score with an unappealable left foot and score the fourth. The fifth was scored by João Félix, who was substituted with two goals and an assist in his Champions League debut. Maybe at Atlético he was a little wasted.

Oriol Romeu, Fermín, Ferran Torres and Lamine Yamal entered the final stretch. In fact, the incentive from then on consisted of knowing if the very young winger shattered another record of precocity. He didn't do it but it didn't matter. Ter Stegen excelled in an intervention that goes without saying and the players left amidst applause, the parish aware that it is enough for this Barça. To win the Champions League, maybe not, but to not make more fools of myself, I'm sure.