There have been plenty of incredible teams and incredible seasons in world football. FC Barcelona dominated 2009 and have perhaps achieved the greatest footballing year in the history of football. The most convincing argument to place Barcelona on top is their record. They have participated in six competitions and have won them all. This fact, in itself, is an incredible achievement. Only Sergio Busquets was still continuing to play for Barcelona. The other squad members either have retired or playing for different clubs. Now he too is leaving the club so it is time to see why this team was so brilliant and one of the perfect teams ever existed in World Football.
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The most undervalued aspect of 2009 was the development of La Masia, the Barcelona youth system. It gave them Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Puyol, Valdes, and even the coach, Pep Guardiola. Other teams have good youth systems but there are none that keep players with the team like La Masia does.
FCB are known for playing beautiful football with many short passes, amazing skills, and deadly finishing. In 2009 they did not always display beauty but won with heart in ugly games. A perfect example was the UCL tie with Chelsea. They went to Stamford Bridge tied 0-0 with a history of struggles with English competition. They went down early to an incredible strike from Essien but fought back with their heart and soul and were rewarded by a late equalizer from Iniesta, perhaps the greatest goal of his career.
The final against Manchester United was no easy win. Ronaldo had some good early chances that the Barca defense dealt with to keep the scoreline even. The quality of Eto’o seeped through the thinnest of cracks and put Barca up. Leo Messi put the finishing touches on a masterful Champions League campaign.
FCB also won the Spanish league title after beating Real Madrid. The 6-2 thumping in the Bernabeu was one of the most humiliating results Real Madrid would want to forget. Barca proved their worth and showed on the world stage that they meant business and cruised to the top of the league and never looked back down at Madrid.
The European Super Cup was no easy game and Barcelona once again played with heart even though their beautiful game looked more like an ugly duckling throughout the first 90 minutes. They stayed true to their form and eventually, it paid dividends with a beautiful game from Pedro to secure yet another trophy.
The Spanish Super Cup and the Spanish Cup were two more trophies that Barcelona earned. They played their beautiful game and rose to the top on several occasions. They showed that their dominance was just not in the league. Finally, the Club World Cup was the last mountain Barca had yet to climb. Not only was it the final possible trophy for Barca, but it was also one that previous great teams had never won.
Barca went down early in both games but never shied away from the style. That mentality got them to the top in previous tournaments. The final match proved Barca’s worth when in the final five minutes of a choppy game that broke up Barca’s flow, Pedro netted the equaliser. In extra time, the best player in the world solidified his spot with a brilliantly controlled goal of his chest. FCB made an incredible comeback to earn the final trophy that completed the sextuple for Barcelona in 2009. It was a magical year not just for Barcelona, but for world football. Fans in all corners of the world had a chance to watch football in its purest form.
The 2009 Barcelona team showed courage, heart, skill, and a resilient attitude to win so many trophies in so short a time. It was clearly the year of FC Barcelona and probably the greatest year for a team in the history of world football.
Sadly, Sergio Busquets was the only man to still continue for Barcelona in the recent season. Messi left the club in 2020 while Iniesta left the club for the Japanese League a long ago. Thierry Henry, Eto’o, Valdes, and some others have taken their retirement. Xavi is their current manager but not a player anymore. Now, Busquets bids his farewell to the club and it is the end of a complete era of Barcelona. Sergio was the last man and the time has sadly come.