IN A global game dominated by greed, hunger for power and egos as big as mountains, it’s very easy to become cynical about the ‘beautiful game.’
This view is constantly reinforced by the behaviour of many of the so-called superstars who behave as if the rest of us don’t exist.
Then along comes a belter of a Champions League Final and a display of fantasy football from Barcelona and I suddenly remember why I love this game so much.
Let me say from the outset, I really thought Manchester United were in with a real chance of upsetting the odds. So much so that there is a well known bookmaker somewhere in Derry currently counting some of my hard earned cash and laughing his head off at my stupidity!
I call Barca’s display fantasy football because it was so good, it could only be rivalled by the football we sometimes play in our heads when, after 20 passes, you score the winner in the World Cup Final.
This was an absolute delight to watch and after United equalised I thought it was a case of game on but the Catalan masters had other ideas.
They didn’t revert to a ‘Plan B,’ they just went back to ‘Plan A’ and kept playing with incredible skill and supreme belief.
Xavi, Villa and Iniesta are masters of the game but Lionel Messi is, without doubt, the grand master who makes all the other ‘chess moves’ possible.
This was the type of football Brazil played in the 1970s, recreated for the modern age with bells and whistles.
The game itself should be made compulsory watching for football coaches all over the world.
For too long football has been dominated by athletic prowess and now Barcelona have reminded us just what we were missing.
I believe it was Shakespeare who once said: “If music be the food of love, play on!”
Perhaps if he were still alive today the bard might rephrase that to read; If football (like this) be the food of love, play on!.
Read more from the ‘Doc’ every Tuesday in the ‘Journal’