Are Barça really that impressive?

Yes, what Barça is doing is beyond incredible

Are Barça really that impressive?
Are Barça really that impressive?

Yes, what Barça is doing is beyond incredible

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Sometimes, the obvious is too powerful. So much that he can deform our reality and prevent us from believing it is actually true. A little like Barça's form. The Blaugranas have been impressive for over a year and a half, and Luis Enrique is on his way to bring down Pep Guardiola as the number one coach in Barça's history. Surely, Lucho didn't invent the Tiki-taka, nor the total football, and he's probably taking advantage of the foundations his predecessors built at the club, but he's been strong enough to bring three of the best players on the planet to the top of their game, all at the same time. That represents an authentic achievement. He could even be the first one in history to win back-to-back Champion's League trophies, because right now in Europe, no one seems to have what it takes to stop the Blaugrana machine. Some might call it boring, others predictible, but truely, it is out of this world. To all the skepticals, the desillusioned, here are the answers to their doubts.

If Barça wins it all, it is because La Liga is weak...

That is not a question, first of all. And no, La Liga is certainly not weak. Yes, Real Madrid have gone through several zones of turbulence. Yes, Atlético don't have the power necessary to hold the distance and challenge Barça until the end - although they haven't given up. But if La Liga was a weak league, there probably wouldn't be four representants (Athletic, Villarreal, Sevilla, Valencia) in the Europa League last 16 round, with two of them facing each other (Athletic & Villarreal), not would there be three in the Champion's League last 16 round, about to go through to the quarter-finals (Barça and Real Madrid have won 0-2 away and Atlético drew at Eindhoven 0-0). If we go through the last 5 years, we can find Two Spanish Europa League winners (Sevilla twice in 2014 and 2015 and Atlético in 2012), two Spanish Champion's League winners (Barça twice in 2011 and 2015, Real Madrid in 2014), and 9 semi-finals in the same period. Which makes Spain the number one country in the UEFA coefficient ranking (97.713 points, 19 over the 2nd Germany). How can an league like this be weak?

Luis Enrique has no credit. It's easy to be invincible with the three up front...

Back in the mythology, David, overconfident and disdainful, was beaten by Goliath, who took his chance and found David's weak spot. Year in and year out, example much less dramatic happen in sports. Not only in football, but especially in football. Is there any better example than Barça's rival, Real Madrid, with their 'Galacticos' who certainly won a few titles, but couldn't quite do it all together. From the arrival of Ronaldo, they only won La Liga once in 2003, with a lot of difficulty to overcome Real Sociedad. It's the proof that adding up talent doesn't make a team stronger, it just makes it more expensive. The era of Robben, Sneijder, van Nistelrooy wasn't much more conclusive. Same is happening with Manchester City or PSG at the moment, dominating on the domestic ground but struggling to make it past the quarter-finals in the Champion's League. It is true that having Messi, the best player on the planet and possibly in history, helps a little. Having Neymar, announced by many as the Ballon d'Or to be, isn't bad either. And completing this infernal duo with Luis Suárez, Golden Boot in 2014 with Liverpool and capable of scoring in virtually any position, is a big plus. But it could have gone way worse. And thanks to the chemistry already in place at Barça, legacy of the formating years in La Masia and Guardiola's influence, as well as Luis Enrique's intelligence as a manager, the team is doing so well. In La Liga and in Europe, so no one can complain.

Just like Filipe Luis said, Messi is over-protected by the referees. So is the whole of Barça...

Filipe Luis was surely a bit saddened by his sending off during the big game against Barça, at the end of January. And he's probably frustrated to see his team doing their best to fill the gap with an owerpowered Barça. But this Barça isn't even found in video games. It is a team above them all, that seems to be its only threat. If Barça lost, it would probably be because they didn't perform as well as they have so far this season. Week in and week out Blaugranas torture coaches' minds and players' morale, as they always find a solution to overcome their opponent and add one more win to the unbeaten streak. Then it has to be because of the referee. According to the blog "Liga sin errores ni mangoneos" (La Liga without errors nor interferences), Barça should even have three more points than they actually have, Atlético Madrid two less points and Real the same amount. It is only a subjective ranking about referees' mistakes, but it shows that whether there is a debate or not around free-kicks and penalty kicks awarded to Barça, they still would be leaders by quite a large margin. And Messi, who is only 40th in the ranking of players most fouled in the league (37 times), is clearly not over-protected by the referees. Plus, Barça don't need any help to score 2.8 goals a game). Of the 100 the MSN scored, ony 9 (10 if you count the two-man penalty against Celta) were scored on penalty kicks. The other 90%, well, were just magic.

They weren't even the last club to lose in the 5 main leagues. PSG was...

True. PSG were the last ones to lose a game in their domestic league (Ligue 1) after 27 games unbeaten, 36 if we add the last 9 games of the previous season. An impressive figure that has to be put into the context of a Ligue 1 in which competition is hardly found for Laurent Blanc's players, the 2nd in le League, Monaco, being 23 points behind. But what Barça are doing might be way more impressive. With 36 games unbeaten at the moment, in all competitions, the Blaugranas equaled PSG's number, keeping their streak going in the Champion's League and in Copa del Rey, in which they qualified for the final. Luis Enrique beat Pep Guardiola's record and is on his way to beat others. Surely, they will be put to the test as they still have to face Real Madrid, Villarreal and Valencia, as well as Arsenal and possibly other opponents in the Champion's League. Not only they are not losing against their fellow countrymen, but they're not losing against European top teams either. Barça rules at Camp Nou and away from home, whether it is the Bernabéu, Vicente Calderón or the Emirates Stadium. For now...