FC Barcelona Style and Domination PDF
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FC Barcelona Style and Domination PDF

FC Barcelona Style and Domination

Watching FC Barcelona play is both very exciting and also a bit of an acquired taste.

I have to confess that before beginning this project I was a luke-warm Barca fan (I now have jerseys, posters, and a dog named Barca and rarely miss an opportunity to watch them run over opponents), as their style is both very impressive and somewhat dull to the casual observer.

To wit, one can watch long stretches of a Barcelona game and witness a possession clinic that is mind-bendingly simple and appears to have no purpose other than to either wear down an opponent or put them to sleep.

While both of the bi products of the possession game are likely part of the design, there is, on careful examination, so much more to appreciate in watching Blaugrana play.

FC Barcelona, in all of its various projects (the club fields basketball, hockey and many other teams and, famously, also runs a stunningly successful internal academic and housing arm (La Masia)), is a highly successful, classy organization.

The ongoing string of La Liga, European and FIFA championships, as well as Barca’s domination of the World Cup Champion Spanish National Team are evidence enough of the team’s on-field success.

Watching Barcelona, one is also impressed with the refusal of the likes of Lionel Messi to dive, the consistent emphasis on avoiding unnecessary fouls and bookings and also the self-effacing approach of manager Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola, who consistently places credit for the club’s success with the players and exudes an intelligent, confidence-inspiring presence on the touch-line and a humble, steady and determined voice in the press.

Though the club remains a narrow second in domestic popularity to fellow Spanish club Real Madrid, it is commonly referred to as the second favorite team (to their first choice in their respective domestic leagues) for soccer fans throughout Europe and beyond, a fact that is a reflection of both the success and respect for the brand.

So what is it that sets Barcelona apart? It is interesting that to casual fans of the game and even the team, the symbol of FC Barcelona’s play is a brilliant run to goal by Lionel Messi.

To be sure, the racy, nimble striker’s slicing runs are an important part of what makes Barca such a force in La Liga and Europe, but the real center of the team, its style, philosophy and success requires a much more broad canvas.

Other individual players, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, Danni Alves, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes and 2011 arrival Cesc Fabregas, contribute in critical fashion to the team’s overall performance.

The relentless rhythm of the team’s possession is perhaps the true center of Barcelona’s philosophy and identity, and the fact that it is built around circulating the ball through the entire team is emblematic of the unselfish, team-oriented outlook.

Similarly, the team’s spirited defending, though often chaotic, is clearly also understood as a collective responsibility.

This book attempts to capture the essence of Barcelona. To do so, all of the following elements must be treated: History; accomplishments; leadership; philosophy; personnel; system; tactics. The tactical elements will be treated in some detail to help emphasize the on-field designs of the team, but the tactics alone would not explain why the team has been so successful.

The book also includes more than fifty training exercises inspired by the ‘Barcelona Way’ for those wanting to train their teams to emulate the side’s tactical approach.


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