Skip to main content

Ruiz, Michels, Tort, Cruyff, Guardiola.. The Best Is Yet To Come


On 23 December 2000 Real Madrid won the Fifa club of the 20th century. Winning 31 La Ligas, and 9 European cups is certainly not an easy task, and a feat that not many teams will ever be able to achieve. Something that makes us Cules a bit frustrated. But rest assured, we have much to be proud of, and more to be looking forward to.

Pep Guardiola's unprecedented success during the past 4 season has been a breath of fresh air, and something to be proud off. His 13 titles (hopefully 14 by 25 may) are nothing short of historic. Pep not only gave us something to cheer about, a team full of legendary players, a football philosophy that has been the club's identity for several years now, he also gave us the bragging rights over Real Madrid fans.

Before Laporta's reign we have always been in Madrid's shadow, coming second best in almost all competitions. But now we are so good that when our team draws a game, alarm bells are rung. We are so good that when we beat Milan in the quarter finals of a champions league, we get harassed for failing to score on their turf. We are so good that, when Chelsea manages to shoot 2 times on target in Stamford
bridge while playing Drogba as a left back for an entire 90 minutes we are pictured as the conquered. this has been the case for the past couple of years. But what was it like before?


Every Culture, every club has an icon, an idol, that represents what it stands for. Well we have many. Aside from the many legends that passed through our club, the Catalan identity, the Seny, we have a clear football philosophy, a gem that was polished and improved throughout the years. It's something that we will always build upon and successfully reap it results.

Laureano Ruiz once said (addressing an ex-barca youth coach): “Let us say that you and I coach two teams with kids that are 10, 11, and 12 years old and all are about equally good. You try to teach them to play good football, a passing game and with tactical basics while I tell mine to only play long balls and try to shoot. I can assure you that [at first] I will always win against you, by using your mistakes. Break a bad pass and goal. If we however continue with the same training methods during a three year period, you will most likely win every game against us. Your players will have learned how to play while mine haven’t.

That’s how easy it is.” His expression defines our football today, we have learned, improved, and enhanced the way football is played. Our much revered La Masia has been a revelation in graduating gifted youngsters. players are encouraged to think, think, and think more before acting, on, and off the field. Generation after generation we started to yield smarter, and more versatile players.

Rinus Michels imported his "Total Football" to Barcelona, the football that depends on generalists instead of position players, where a players could and should be able to play on any part of the pitch. The importance of this system lies in the off-the-ball movement that was able to free space for the man with the ball in order to spring passes and dictate play.


Michel's protagonist was Cruyff who would later become a legendary coach at the club. Cruyff's versatility allowed him to roam all around the pitch freeing space for his fellow teammates, not sticking to one part of the pitch, searching for the place that he would be able to inflict damage to oppositions, and his teammates would adapt themselves to his movements (does that remind you of Messi now? and Pep's system of play?). But the story and evolution of "total football" was to be later developed and perfected.

When a team plays in a successful way- a way that yields titles- for so long, opposing teams will sooner rather than later find the antidote. That's why evolution is always required. Kind of the same way Pep tried this year to shift our style of play from the glorious 4-3-3 to the 3-4-3 only to be criticized by some.

Back to our sequence of successes. La Masia is now named Centro de Formacion Oriol Tort. A man who was poised on searching for young talents, way before La Masia was there. A man who discovered Don Andres, Busi, Albert Ferrer, Sergi, Barjuan, and many more. "Oriol Tort was a wise man. There aren't any more left like him. he would come in to the club and work for hours until he had done what he needed to. Because of people like him, we are where we are today"

Josep Guardiola. An average man, humble and in love with football that he made it his daily mission to work and search for young, unrecognized talents. He passed away before witnessing Guardiola's success, but now he is surely watching from above with a smile.

When Johan Cruyff was appointed by Josep Lluis Nunez, he embarked on a mission of improving Michel's "Total football". He successfully started filling the gaps, in ways that emphasized on players replacing each other, where if a player moves from right to left, another player has to fill in at right, in order for the team not to lose its organizational structure. Every players has to be a defender, a midfielder and an attacker. He went on to lift 11 titles.

Guardiola has always been a quick learner, a wise man who was taught to think before acting, improving mistakes, and studying opponents closely. He always looked up to his predecessors, and tried to better what they already did. Before taking control of this legendary squad, he travelled to Argentina and had a 4 hours barbeque lunch with Marcelo Bielsa, then went to Holland and met with Johan Cruyff. How much do you think these two meetings benefited him in his successful journey?

Pep perfected the 4-4-3 system in his first 3 years, stressing on the importance of expanding play, using the width of the pitch wisely, pressing from the front, off-the-ball movements, and triangles passing. These were the components of Barca's latest success. He always said: "We defend like crap, but if we hold the ball for 70% of the time we would never need to defend". We saw Pedro, Messi, and Iniesta defend more than Pique and Puyol, winning the ball back before it reached our territory. These were the impetus for his trophy-filled 4 years.

And the rest is history..



Real Madrid might have won the team of the century, but a quick look to the past 20-22 years: we won 11 La Ligas they won 7, we won 3 Copa Del Rey (and in contention for a 4th) they won 2, we won 4 UEFA Champions Leagues they won 3, we won 9 Spanish Supercopas they won 6.

Here's a little something to inspire you:



Barcelona's best is yet to come.

Wait for it.
Posted by: Hassan Chakroun, Columnist at  'Blaugrana Insight'

Comments

  1. Thank you for the article Hassan, and welcome to the Barcablog family.

    I really enjoyed reading your article, it was a clear look back in time, a remarkable way to pay tribute to Barcelona heroes, past and present.

    Looking forward to more Barca success in the future!!

    What do you think about Tito Vilanova's appointment as coach?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous7.5.12

    Great article,

    Barca's legacy will be greater than Real Madrid's. A philosophy dedicated to entertain the masses with uncompromising attacking total football is more important than winning trophies. The likes of Mourinho constantly fail to understand this.

    As for Cruijff, thank God he is now heavily involved at Ajax again, trying to re-establish some of the glory of total football Ajax is well-known for. It will be difficult in this age of big money where the Eredivisie is not one of the big leagues.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hassan Chakroun7.5.12

    Thank YOU Mr Tomas,

    I think Tito's appointment is The best solution given the circumstances, although I was opting for Bielsa. But again, next year is supposed to be a transitional period after Pep's departure, and a familiar face in the dressing room is always better than a new Boss with new ideas, approach, and tactics. I personally have a soft spot for homegrown characters, whether in the playing or the coaching staff. They always have a better chance of achieving, since they have all the insight and know the whereabouts of the club. And given that Tito has been Pep's right hand man for 5 successful years, he must have the Barca DNA in him. Whether he will be able to dominate and understand the dressing room the way Guardiola managed to do is still to be seen. But I personally think that he will succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks. For me Barca more than football. The art of football. beautyfull arts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks. For me Barca more than football. The art of football. beautyfull arts.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Should Neymar be sold to PSG for €222M? The Marco Verratti - Ivan Rakitic swap and USA Tour [TBP 16]

Could Paulo Dybala improve Barcelona? Xavi criticises La Masia and departed starters [TBP 17]

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss whether Paulo Dybala has what it takes to succeed at the Camp Nou. Francesc and Dan also analyse the current state of affairs at La Masia, which has been heavily criticised by Xavi in recent times. The pair also focus on former players who decided to leave Barca despite being regular starters. Episode 17 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

As always, you can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/thebarcelonapodcast/could-paulo-dybala-replace-neymar-xavi-questions-la-masia-quality-and-departed-starters-tbp-17

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes or SoundCloud:



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barca…

Neymar shines for Barcelona despite ongoing transfer drama

Neymar scored an impressive double to help Barcelona defeat Juventus in their first game of the International Champions Cup 2017. The Brazilian star managed to put all the drama of his worst week as a Blaugrana aside and deliver a memorable performance. If this game ended up being his last defending Barca's colours, he certainly would have gone out with a bang.

There's no two ways about it: The ball is firmly in Neymar's court when it comes to his future. PSG insist on chasing the Brazilian forward's signature despite knowing full well that a hypothetical transfer would mean having to pay his astronomical €222 million release clause. With that in mind, the No.11 has to decide whether to accept the Parisien's cash or remain at Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez -- a no-brainer in my eyes, but each to their own, I guess.

We discussed Neymar's transfer in plenty of detail in Episode 16 of 'The Barcelona Podcast'. You should definitely check …

Could Paulo Dybala replace Neymar? Xavi criticises La Masia and departed starters [TBP 17]

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss whether Paulo Dybala has what it takes to succeed at the Camp Nou. Francesc and Dan also analyse the current state of affairs at La Masia, which has been heavily criticised by Xavi in recent times. The pair also focus on former players who decided to leave Barca despite being regular starters. Episode 17 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

As always, you can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/thebarcelonapodcast/could-paulo-dybala-replace-neymar-xavi-questions-la-masia-quality-and-departed-starters-tbp-17

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes or SoundCloud:



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barca…

Could Neymar leave Barcelona? Cesar Azpilicueta rumours and expiring contracts [TBP 15]

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss the possibility of losing Neymar this summer. Francesc and Dan also weigh up what Cesar Azpilicueta would add to Barca's back-line. The pair also analyse when the contracts of current squad members are scheduled to expire. Episode 15 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

As always, you can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud..

Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/thebarcelonapodcast/could-neymar-leave-barcelona-cesar-azpilicueta-rumours-and-expiring-contracts-tbp-15

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to the previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' here:



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou…

Marco Reus, preferred transfer target for Barca fans | Barcelona News

Is Gerard Deulofeu right for Barcelona? Paulinho, Arda Turan transfer rumours [TBP 11]

The Barcelona Podcast duo debate if Barcelona made a mistake resigning Gerard Deulofeu. Francesc and Dan also discuss the Paulinho transfer rumours and whether Arda Turan has done enough to remain at Barca next season. Episode 11 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another update! You can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes here:

'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

Why Barcelona should sign Yerry Mina in 2018

Yerry Mina has been heavily linked with Barcelona in recent times. The 22-year-old centre-back, who has excelled for both Palmeiras and Colombia in recent times, is rumoured to be joining Barca in the summer -- the summer of 2018, that is.

Given the huge role Mina is bound to play for Colombia in the biggest international tournament in football, the Barca board believe it is best for the young defender to stay in his current club until then. As per sport.netbet.co.uk, Los Cafeteros are currently 28/1 favourites to win the World Cup in 2018 and their limited chances of success would only increase if Mina's form and confidence is exceptional when it truly matters.

Barcelona reportedly agreed an option to bring Mina from Palmeiras to the Camp Nou for a €9 million back in October 2016. However, the Barca board believe that the 195cm Colombian should remain in his current club until the end of the 2018 World Cup, to be played in Russian next summer.

The almost certain departure of Jer…

Would Paulinho improve Barcelona? Ernesto Valverde plans and transfer window uncertainty [TBP 14]

The Barcelona Podcast duo debate where Paulinho would fit if his transfer to Barca was completed. Francesc and Dan also discuss what Ernesto Valverde's formation could look like and the club's apparent lack of a clear transfer strategy. Episode 14 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' here:



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!


The Messi Awards | Barca End of Season Awards 2016/17 | The Barcelona Podcast

Barcelona Podcast Alert! Who deserved the Player of the Season award? Who was Barca’s Worst Player? Most improved? Who must improve next season before being offloaded? Episode #4 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' has all the answers!

This episode is brought to you by FuboTV. We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch hundreds of sporting events, including ALL FC Barcelona matches in HD, at bit.ly/BarcaStreaming

---------- DISCLAIMER -----------

This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, we will receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos like this for you. Thank you for the support!

---------- RUNNING ORDER ----------- 
0:00 -- Goal of the Season Award 
3:00 -- Most Improved Player Award 
6:30 -- Least Improved Player Award 
8:45 -- Rising Star Award 
Last Chance for Glory Award 
Most Underrated Player Award 
Best Days Behind Award 
Miss You Always Award