Monday, December 19, 2011

Barca Wins Club World Cup

With two brilliant goals from Lionel Messi and two more from Xavi and Cesc Fabregas, FC Barcelona claimed the title of 'Best Club in the World' for the second time in three years this past Saturday, handily defeating Brazilian side Santos FC by the score of 4 - 0. 

As reported by The Australian:

"Lionel Messi grabbed a classy brace as the "artists" of Barcelona outclassed the Brazilians Santos 4-0 to lift the Club World Cup today and confirm its status as the best team on the planet.

The clash between the European and South American champion in Japan had been billed as a showdown between Messi, widely acknowledged as the best player in the world, and 19-year-old Brazilian sensation Neymar.

In the event, it was no contest - either between the two supreme talents or their teams - as Barcelona picked up its second world crown after winning the competition in 2009, when Messi was again the difference.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola called his men "artists" and dedicated the 13th title in his three-and-a-half years in charge to striker David Villa, who flew home after fracturing his shin in the semi-final and faces five months out....

They were like artists," he said, turning to their spectacular performance that secured the official title as the world's best side and saw the Catalan club net a cool $5 million.

'What was envisioned in their minds happened on the pitch.'

Messi, set up by Xavi, got the first after 17 minutes, before Xavi put Barcelona 2-0 up just seven minutes later to put it firmly in control, as prodigious forward Neymar struggled to get a sniff of the ball.

Cesc Fabregas, who pulled the strings in midfield, got the third on the stroke of half-time as the Spanish champion, which was at full-strength, threatened to run riot for the packed house of 68,166.

Messi got his second eight minutes from time as he rounded the keeper to roll the ball in after the influential Dani Alves threaded the ball through to him.

"We are extremely happy and our performance, especially in the first-half, was very satisfactory," said Guardiola, who declined to single out one player for more praise than the rest.

"I've tried to get the players to work together as a team and use the strengths they have. Our players have been playing very well, but it's important to keep that level going."

His opposite number Muricy Ramalho said there was no disgrace in defeat.

"Barcelona have played various teams around the world and nobody can beat them. Eventually some team may, but I don't think it's possible now," he said."