While many are only unsure about which Premier League side will scoop the Champions League this year, the men from Catalonia put down a marker at the weekend thrashing in-form Malaga 6-nil at the Camp Nou, and repositioning themselves as the big dog in European club football.
It is hard to look past Barca when you break down their squad player for player. In Leo Messi they have arguably the best player in world football, the impish winger experiencing a tremendous season on Barca’s right hand side which has seen the pocket-size dynamo bag 19 goals already this season.
And the diminutive Argentine was on top form against Malaga, a stunning goal capping another destructive display that saw Messi constantly looking to manoeuvre his way through the Malaga rearguard, whether on his own or with the assistance of his more than capable teammates.
Highlights of Messi’s individual performance against Malaga can be seen here.
But while Messi may be the visible jewel in the Barca crown, the puppeteers and workhorses in the centre of the park are the wonderful pairing of Xavi and Andreas Iniesta.
On Sunday night Iniesta was again at the top of his game once more. Always playing with his head-up, Iniesta effortlessly glided across midfield playing pass after pass, maintaining the pace of the Barca attacks and chipping in with sublime pass for the sixth goal scored by Samuel Eto’o. Unfortunately though Iniesta’s day was cut short by injury, the midfielder limped off midway through the second half with a tight strain that has forced his exclusion from the Spain squad this weekend.
Highlights of Andreas Iniesta’s individual performance against Malaga can be seen here.