Friday, May 29, 2009

European Football 2008-2009

This season has seen a lot of twists and turns in most of the European Leagues especially the English Premier League and we have finally got new champions in Germany and France.

In Germany, Wolfsburg have won their first ever Bundesliga by just pipping Bayern Munich to the Title. The 5-1 drubbbing of Bayern Munich will forever be etched in people's memory and Graphite's goal will become a part of Football Folklore.

Inter Milan have picked up their Fourth League Title in a row without breaking into a sweat. AC Milan and the others who played catch up throughout have really old sides which need some Fresh Infusion of Youth.

Lyon's streak of 7 consecutive Ligue-1 victories has finally been broken. Bordeaux are the new French Champions and Yoann Gourcuff, Bordeaux's Attacking Midfielder is an exciting prospect and will be closely watched by Europe's Top Football Clubs.

Manchester United take yet another Premier League Title and have finally equalled Liverpool's record of 18 League Titles. It was more a case of Liverpool throwing away the Title than ManU winning it. Liverpool just lost 2 games in the whole campaign but what hurt them the most was their 11 Draws especially at Home against Teams like Stoke City. The Turning Point in the League has to be the Brilliant Strike by Federico Macheda and then following it with another against Sunderland. Aston Villa definitely deserved to win that Match but Destiny had its own course. There was no looking back then for ManU as they neatly wrapped up the Title and drubbed Tottenham 5-2 along the way after trailing 0-2. Liverpool coming back again to Premier League contention and Arshavin's success at Arsenal can only mean a more exciting BPL 2009-10. Steven Gerrard has to be the BPL Player of the Year for me. Whenever he played, Liverpool won convincingly and decisively and that is why Liverpool for me is still a One Man Army. Even Torres when playing alone is only half as effective as Gerrard.

The Spanish League this year was just Brilliant. There was just no stopping Barcelona as they completed their first ever Treble. Real Madrid's consecutive 17 victories threatened to change the course but Barcelona's 2-6 drubbing of Real destroyed all hopes of a comeback. The Trio of Messi, Henry and Etoo was unstoppable scoring some 90+ goals this Season in all Competitions.
Xavi and Iniesta are the two most underrated Footballers in the World. There is no greater delight in the World than watching the two play. Their Passing and Movement can completely destroy an opposition as ManU found out. The vision of Xavi in picking out passes which ordinary people can't even visualize is just Amazing. Iniesta rightly called as 'El Ilusionista' is an Absolute Master of the Art of Ball Control. His runs and cut backs from the left are exemplary which drags Defenders out of Position and allows people like Xavi and Messi to move into the space created . I don't see how anyone can defend against Barcelona and the popular strategy of crowding out Messi is just rubbish as this actually gives more freedom to players like Xavi and Iniesta to work their Magic.

The World Player of the Year 2009 should definitely go to Xavi. I don't see how Ronaldo deserved it last year. It is supposed to be a recognition of your activities at an International Level where Xavi clearly out performed him by winning the Euro 2008 with Spain. The European Player of the Year would be Iniesta for me. Messi is just not good enough when it come to matches against the English Teams and good Defensive oppositions in general whereas Iniesta works his magic at all places. Iniesta has definitely come up with the goods when Barcelona has wanted it the most. I am sure that these two won't get the price in the end as the Players who catch the eye are the ones who are more skillful and flamboyant rather than the ones who turn in day in day out and deliver the goods.

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