Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley Stadium in London today to win the Champions League final, to the surprise of no one. This was more like a coronation than a sporting event, the way some Super Bowls are or when Michael Jordan's Bulls were in the NBA Finals.
I hadn't seen Barcelona play this year. I was amazed. They controlled the ball 70% of the time. The game was tied at half, but it was a mirage. Man U scored one goal on one shot on goal by Wayne Rooney. That was it.
I was watched at a packed bar in Oakland. Early in the second half with the game still tied, someone asked about the overtime rules in Champions League. I said, "Don't worry about overtime. This is surgery, not football. It won't stay tied." Not more than two minutes later, Lionel Messi drove home a wicked twisting shot from 25 yards out to prove me right.
To be fair, I don't think Messi actually heard me and proving me right was not his main concern.
I could not believe how far outmatched mighty Man U was. If this was World Cup football, this would be like Germany versus Australia in 2010 or Brazil versus Japan in 2006. With all the squads spending all the money they have, it's hard to fathom one team can be this much better than everyone else. Their passes don't miss. There's always someone open. They finish strong and make a goalie's day a nightmare. If you stop Messi, their little Argentinian thunderbolt, then you have to deal with the native Spaniards Pedro and Xavi and Iniesta.
It's just not fair.
Congratulations to FC Barcelona, without question the best football team in the world today and arguably one of the best of all time.