The ‘Messi-cre’ was a privilege to behold

2010-12-01 00:00

IN time, Monday night’s “Messi-cre” of Real Madrid will be handed out in Football 101 coaching courses, so simple and scintillating was the manner of ­Barce­lona’s triumph in the most one-sided “El Clasico” I have ever seen.

I don’t even think they should look to make money out of it, because that was something that the entire world deserves to witness, and salivate over.

Some of the world’s best art galleries offer free entrance because the works on display are too important to be missed. That display by Barcelona belongs in such galleries, for it was art of the highest order.

A Rembrandt, a Mozart piece — whatever peels your banana — that was on the same, giddy level.

I must admit right from the start that I was backing the Madridistas and Jose Mourinho, but by the end of the first half I was simply feasting on the exhibition that was laid on for me and 400 million others by Barcelona.

I watched the game in the company of about a dozen like-minded chaps, mostly students — when the mood takes them, that is.

What they really do well is sit on the armchair and vent their spleens on the action in front of them.

Come to think of it, it was a bit of an Armchair Expert convention, with about seven languages used to make a point.

Of course, when describing class of that magnitude, the language of football ensures we are all on the same page.

One half were Madrid supporters, while the Barca backers occupied the louder half of the room..

There was a point in the second half when Barca zipped the ball around for two minutes. The back heels, cheeky flicks and one-touch brilliance were so mesmerising that the entire room gave a standing ovation.

I tell you, the only thing that improves a game like that is watching it in the right company.

The Armchair Dozen outdid themselves, “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” in unison, like the leftovers from the Drakensberg Boys Choir.

Diski, Joga Bonito, Total Football: call it what you will. This is what the Arsenals, the Golden Arrows and any other pure footballing club strive towards.

To put it into perspective, consider the tweet forwarded by Arsenal’s highly rated starlet, Jack Wilshere: “Barca — Real. Wow, What a game!”

When a peer becomes a fan, you know that you are witnessing something special — and for once, I do not mean Mourinho.

He was humbled, served a public humiliation of the most savage beauty. Perhaps in time — a long time — an ageing Jose will look back on the events of November 29, 2010, and say, “Yep, Barca played okay that day.”

Expect no more because, for the likes of Mourinho, compliments are as grudging as some of the rugby tackles the likes of Sergio Ramos resorted to late in the game.

This was supposed to be the night Messi met Cristiano Ronaldo. Sadly, Ronaldo’s night will be marked by the classless shove on Barca mastermind Pep Guardiola. Messi, again, towered with his tiny head and shoulders above anyone else on that field.

And unlike Ronaldo, he doesn’t need to score to be efficient, as he proved with two passes that were so deadly he ought to be appearing in court for multiple homicide.

Far from the South African store that bears the same first name as him, Guardiola has riches in his cupboard that have even Sir Alex Ferguson purring at the prospect of heading the Nou Camp project.

Xavi Hernandez, who scored the first goal, likened scoring and beating Madrid as being better than having an orgasm.

Now us mere armchair experts are not privileged enough to have netted against Madrid, but we will just have to take the mini-master’s word for it.

After all, Barcelona have definitely brought sexy back into football. And how!



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