Ever since FC Barcelona smashes Real Madrid to bits and pieces last month, people are talking left and right about Barça being the greatest and best team in Europe, in the world and even of all time. Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport selected this team as one of the six best teams in the history of European football alongside 1955 Madrid, 1965 Inter, 1991 Milan, 1996 Juventus , and 2008 Man United. Even the Revista guys Graham Hunter and Guillem Balague are calling this Barça side as the greatest side of all time. Is it just me or is all this talk too soon?
When Barcelona demolished Real Madrid last month, many worried whether the team would suffer from a hangover effect. Fortunately, the team continued to play well but it seems that the hangover effect lingered on with fans, members of the media along with current and former players and coaches. Many players such as Arsenal’s Denilson, Osasuna’s Monreal, Sevilla’s Zokora and former Espanyol villain and current Real Sociedad player Tamudo all consider Barça as the best team in the world. After Barcelona defeated derby rival Espanyol 5-1, Espanyol’s manager said that Barcelona is without a doubt one of the best teams ever and former managers George Graham and World Cup winner Parreira proclaimed Barcelona are at this moment the best club in the world.
Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport selected this team as one of the six best teams in the history of European football alongside the 1955 Madrid side, 1965 Inter side, 1991 Milan side, 1996 Juventus side, and 2008 Man United side. The manager of the famed AC Milan side of the 80’s, Arrigo Sacchi, proclaimed that this side was just as good as that historic Milan side in an interview with Don Balon. Even reporters are getting into it with the Revista guys Graham Hunter and Guillem Balague calling this Barça side as the greatest side of all time along with other reporters such as Slate.com’s Brian Phillips and Matthew Norman from The Telegraph.
Of course, it would not be complete without the fans and their input and it varies of course. I did find it rather amusing that a poll on Soccernet, linked to Graham’s column, about ranking the world’s greatest teams ever saw this Barça side finish second. The top five were
1 Man. United (’99) (12,731)
2 Barcelona (2007-10) (5,931)
3 Ajax (1969-74) (491)
4 Brazil (’70) (1,536)
5 Bayern (’74-76) (135)
The number 1 choice reflects the obviousness that this was from an English site that saw Manchester United get the most first place votes from a very pretty impressive list and Barça coming in second indicates that this was voted by a young generation of fans who do not recall the other nominated teams such as the aforementioned Milan team that finished 10th or the 77-84 Liverpool team that finished last. I was also surprised I didn’t see the “Dream Team” get nominated on that list. However, I never was a fan of these types of polls and discussions. The season is not even over yet and we are already proclaiming this side as one of the best in the world and in history? Seriously, let’s pump the brakes a bit.
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