El Centrocampista

RECORD BREAKERS – Why this Barça are the best


The Barcelona juggernaut rumbles on, this time cruising to a four-goal victory on a cold Tuesday evening in Plzeň.

Last night’s Champions League triumph not only saw Pep Guardiola’s men stroll into the knock-out phase, but handed them a few records along the way.

Lionel Messi, who is a young man well-versed in hitting the headlines, netted his second hat-trick in the space of four days, thus moving onto 202 all-time goals during his remarkable career at the Catalan club.

The Argentinian’s treble was also his 13th in 286 games since making his first-team debut against Espanyol in October 2004.

It seems we are forever eulogizing about the boy from Rosario but there is no other word to describe him other than ‘phenomenal’.

Messi has scored in 130 games for his club, of which they have only lost two encounters. He has scored 112 goals at the Camp Nou, and a just-as-impressive 84 away from home.

The latter stat gives a great reflection of his genius.

132 goals in 187 La Liga games. 42 in 61 Champions League games, 17 in 26 Copa del Rey…. the list goes on.

La pulga atómica is surely on course to lift the Balon d’Or yet again this season.

At the other end of the pitch, Victor Valdes also broke a record of his own.

The experienced stopper has not conceded a single goal since shipping two at the Mestalla in September.

That’s 877 minutes and nine games.

A fantastic achievement by a goalkeeper who has been Barça’s unsung hero for many people, there is no doubt he is sometimes criminally under-rated by people outside Catalunya.

It has been a unfortunate quirk of fate that VV has plied his trade at the same time as Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina, surely a goalkeeper of his standard would have been a regular fixture in any other national team.

Valdes has got one over the Reina family however, as he beat the previous dexterity record of 824 minutes set in 1973 by a certain Miguel Reina, Pepe’s father.

There are those who argue teams are at a huge disadvantage when they play against Barcelona, due to the fact they can seldom get the ball from them to even test Valdes, but let’s not concern ourselves with mere details.

Victor Valdes feat is an amazing achievement.

The final piece in last-night’s record-breaking bonanza involves Barça’s el mister himself, Josep Guardiola i Sala.

The victory in the Czech Republic came in Pep’s 200th game in charge at the club, and moved him level fourth with Louis van Gaal on the list of coaches with the most games at the helm.

Guardiola’s reign at Barca has been truly remarkable but it is only when you take a closer look at the details of his stewardship that you can truly appreciate his greatness.

The 144 victories Barca have achieved during this time gives them an incredible 72% win percentage, almost 15% higher than his nearest rivals, Frank Rijkaard on 58.6% and Johan Cruyff at 58.1%.

In Cruyff’s defence however, Guardiola still has another 230 games to go until he matches the legendary Dutchman.

There is no surprise on the goalscoring front either, as the current side under Guardiola average 2.5 goals per game. 500 in 200 games.

Compare this to Cruyff’s el dream team, who managed ‘just’ 2.02 per game and the stats sort of speak for themselves.

Pep’s men also come out on top when it comes to defence, with a meagre 0.7 goals conceded per game.

The side of Rinus Michels come in next at 0.87 leaked every game.

Add to these statistics; two UEFA Champions Leagues, Three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three Spanish Supercups, two UEFA Supercups and a FIFA World Club Cup, and it is hard to deny the claim the Pep Guardiola is the greatest manager in the history of Futbol Club Barcelona.

Last night was a fairly pedestrian victory, over an out-classed opponent, little more than what was expected, however the significance of the records that were broken mean the night is more important than many think.

If one night’s achievements could sum up what this Barcelona team are all about, it was last night at Eden Park.

If there were only doubters remaining, surely even they must now concede that Pep Guardiola’s football team are the greatest to have ever graced a football field.



  1. Lee Roden

    2 November, 2011 at 11:48

    The RAC1 commentary when Valdes saved from the one on one (and kept the record in tact) last night was hilarious. If you can find it it’s worth the search!

  2. Jafar

    2 November, 2011 at 12:48

    Still not sure if they are the best ever I mean RM is actually every close to them and at the moment I would say they are better, well maybe not now but they surely were the last weeks.
    They are however the best Barca side in history and that in itself should be good enough.

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