There has been reports in the spanish media today which claim that both Cesc Fábregas and Alexis Sanchez are “done deals”, for the catalans. As Xavi Hernández put it today:“Competition is always good and Cesc is a footballer that will add something extraordinary if he comes. Competitiveness is always good within a group”. Competitiveness was the keyword here, yet it’s fair to say that Barcelona already have this in abundance. There seems to be a new era beginning at Barcelona, something that looks like the era Real Madrid ran back in the beginning of the millenium.
With all the sucess that Barcelona have had these last couple of years, you would think that their squad might get fed up with the sucess and stagnate, something that happens to succesful teams now and then. On the other hand, they could just gear up for more silverware, which seems to be the way things are going at the moment.
It’s true that the Barcelona-model isn’t the same as the Real Madrid one, but there are similarities. Having the worlds best players is a platform but what happens when you have too many of them? You could end up with a squad that is fed up, and with that much competitiveness within a group, who’s going to get to play on a regular basis? When the world is yours, everyone wants a piece.
So Cesc wants to fulfill his dream and according to the press, that will be a done deal soon. And with Sanchez stating”I dont want to move [anywhere] else than Barcelona”, it looks likely that´s a done deal too. When you look at the squad, add Cesc and Sanchez to it, add a new defender which Guardiola might want, then you are definetely building something great. But that raises a question – what happens to all the exciting young players in Barca’s squad? When do they get their shot?
“People of 19-20 years are just in the beginning, but they already have enough pressure to play for the club and prove they’re good”. There will be immense pressure next season for a place within the club, a more commercially approached Barcelona and still a coach in Pep who doesn’t want to extend for a further year (it is being said he´ll end up in Internazionale after this). And whilst Villas-Boas is playing cat and mouse with Mourinho over potential transfer targets, Pep Guardiola is getting everything he wants.
It can be said that Pep already has all he wants and these new players are more lustful signings, designed to make the side “more attractive”. It wouldn’t be too far from the truth to admit that. The similar emphasis on the attacking game of the side, is something that is coincidal to the Real Madrid of about 11 years ago, when the Galactico era began. The difference is that Barcelona have had more sucess (up ’til now) than Real Madrid had with all its stars, including Raúl, Figo, Zidane, Casillas, Ronaldo and Beckham.
Perhaps though Pep’s curse has been that he has never found his perfect “Nr.9 type of striker”. His search continued with Bojan (who is now the second victim, soon to be shipped off to AS Roma), started with Ibrahimovic, and was followed by Villa. Villa had a enormous goal-drought last season for a while, which may have put Pep at edge. Perhaps Guardiola is seeking the perfect nr.9 in Sanchez: who knows? The point is that for a team which has the worlds best offensive players already within their squad, why seek out more and more?
Considering Real Madrid and Barcelona are both fierce rivals, it’s a little surprising that they follow the same models on such a regular basis.
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