> Different Styles of Play
> World Figures
> The Most Crucial Cup
dimarts, 21 de febrer de 2006
This week, the Champions League, the top European clubs competition continues, with a knockout stage that has paired up some of the most prestigious teams in Europe. One of the most anticipated qualifying rounds will put FC Barcelona against Chelsea FC, seen as an anticipated final to the double leg match. The first leg will be played in London this Wednesday and the return leg on the 7th March in Barcelona.
The Chelsea-Barça match holds a lot of interest, for three main reasons. Firstly, the two teams have already come head to head last season, also in the last 16 of the Champions League in a qualifier – a controversial match both on and off the pitch, only just won by the London side.
Secondly, both clubs, Chelsea and Barça have been around for over a hundred years, but prove to be very different types of club. The former is owned by a Russian millionaire, Roman Abramovich, who has transformed the fashionable West End club into one of the most powerful clubs in the world; the latter is owned by its members; over one hundred thousand of them, and it is a symbol of Catalan national sentiment that goes well beyond the sporting dimension.
And finally, the FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC are considered two of the best teams in European football, with two very different styles of play.
Different Styles of Play
Actually, both teams have two different ways of looking at the game. The 'blaugrana' (Blue-red in Catalan) play a spectacular game of football that is admired throughout Europe, based on attack and ball possession. The ball play of Chelsea's blues is not as colourful, but is very consistent and efficient, making the team very difficult to beat. Their results prove the success of the two footballing philosophies: Chelsea and Barça are both the current champions of their national leagues.
Obviously, both the game of FC Barcelona and that of Chelsea FC is based on highly talented players, coached by two very prestigious managers: the cautious Frank Rijkaard and the controversial José Mourinho. Barça relies on team of world class footballers such as Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Deco, Puyol, Messi, Xavi (the side's major absentee, due to injury)..., and the same can be said of Chelsea, which has players like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, John Terry, Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Hernán Crespo...
The Most Crucial Cup
+ The most wanted cup for Chelsea and Barça.
For both Barça and for Chelsea, and of course, their fans, the Champions League is the most wanted and crucial cup. Barça, who has played in four finals, has won only one in 1992 in the old Wembley stadium; and Chelsea, which reached the semi-finals last year, has never won the cup, while other English clubs have: Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.
> Els clubs dels vuitens de final de la Lliga de Campions.
> Chelsea-Barça: el fat de dos equips d'estils oposats.
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