Imperium Barcelona

10 Mar

They are the imperial power of world soccer, from a Spanish region of rebels and independents, an elite and the deepest example of soccer dominance in years – here is a possession stat from their most recent Champions League fixture: roughly 70% Barcelona 30% Arsenal – this is more impressive than the Roman Empire’s field control at its peak. The little legionnaires – Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Villa – have subjugated to their will that most elusive of radicals, the soccer ball. It is a servant to their fancies. Barcelona’s opponents seem like sad slaves chasing a dream, demoralized, wondering if the Barca Empire will ever fall. You can’t beat Barca by playing soccer. General Jose Mourhino, when he was in charge of the Inter Milan legion last year, managed to find victory against the Catalans by not playing soccer. He brought a wall of eleven defenders to Barca’s fort at the Nou Camp in the semi-final of the Champions League and withstood the siege. It is the only way. The ancient Italian principle of catenaccio – the bolt on the door – is the last hope of the subjugated.


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