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Thursday, May 04, 2006

On the verge of greatness?

As Barcelona wrapped up a second consecutive league title, Potato Pundit reports on Rijkaard's men ahead of the Champions League Final.

Celta Vigo 0-1 Barcelona

Having been the best team in Europe over the last 2 seasons, Barcelona completed their defence of the Spanish La Liga last night and set their sights on their May 17 showdown with Arsenal.

In truth, the destination of this year's La Liga trophy was already known weeks before due to a combination of Barca dominance and the absence of a genuine title challenger in Spain.

Since Rijkaard joined the club, he has brought with him a philosophy of football and the players to execute it. He preaches control of the football with a short passing game and encourages his flair players to express themselves and the result is a controlled, yet entertaining brand of football.

From the Mexican Marquez at the back, to Deco in midfield and Eto'o in attack, Rijkaard's 3 most prominent signings are all accomplised exponents of the beautiful game with flair in abundance.

And of course, there is Ronaldinho. The Brazilian is quite simply the best player in the world right now.

Many, including The Potato Pundit, believe that this Barcelona side can go on dominate European football in the next few years and the final against Arsenal is a test of their credentials that they should and will pass.

One of their key players is Edmilson. The tall Brazilian can operate in midfield and defence and performs the role of anchorman protecting a back four that is slightly suspect to the long ball. His pedigree is not in doubt and he remains
one of my favourite players such is his outstanding reading of the game.

Barcelona felt they were robbed last season by Chelsea but May 17 in Paris is where they aim to claim the prize they feel their football deserve. As we get closer to the game footballcacats will offer more coverage and armchair opinion on the European Cup Final.

Potato Stat: The last Spanish side to do the league and European Cup double were Barcelona themselves in 1992.

Verdict: Barcelona are the favourites but will Arsenal's defence frustrate?

Odds on: Singapore Pools have Barcelona at $1.50, Arsenal at $2.30

True Lies: Barcelona have lined up Diego Forlan as Henrik Larsson's replacement.

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