Are Barca Really That Classy?


This week the mighty Barcelona will go head to head with a strong Manchester City team in the Champions League.

The fixture has had fans all over world talking about it for months now as anticipation grows.

In the build up to the game, Barca’s players have decided to take a pot shot at how Man City have reached this level of football.

It is a bit of a boring tactic now, Barca’s arch nemesis Jose Mourinho has been crowing about it all season.

Barcelona right back Dani Alves has went a step further stating…

“City have good players – but they will never be Barcelona. They are a modern football club built on big transfer fees – but at Barcelona there is a history and class that dates back a long way.”

Alves is right, City won’t and will never be Barcelona, but that isn’t really a bad thing. There can only be one Barcelona, each team should and do have their own identity.

Man City wish to be a very successful football team both domestically and in Europe. It is an ambitious ideal but one that is realistic with the Arab owners that they have backing them.

But City were not created in 2008, when Sheikh Mansour ploughed a vast fortune into the club. No they were founded back in 1880 as St Mark’s (changing to Manchester City in 1894). Barcelona weren’t in existence until 1899. So really Man City’s history goes even further back than Barca’s.

Will Alves know this?

Probably not.

Will he be aware of City’s history of winning two top league titles before the 2008 takeover, winning four FA Cups before the Abu Dhabi based owners spent millions and billions or of the two League Cup titles secured in the last century not in the past decade? What about the Cup Winners Cup triumph from 1970?

Now Barca’s trophy cabinet may dwarf City’s but history will always show that Man City won a significant piece of silverware before Barcelona did.

The class issue is also questionable.

Now no one can claim that the Barcelona youth set up at La Masia isn’t world class and has, especially in the past twenty years, produced some of the planets best talents but you look at the Barca squads past and present and you can still see they have a rich backbone of costly talent too.

Maradona, Gary Lineker, Romario, Patrick Kluivert, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Deco, Samuel Eto’o, Gheorghe Hagi, Lillian Thuram, the De Boers, Marc Overmars, Johan Neeskens, Jari Litmanen, Thierry Henry and of course the fantastic Johann Cruyff were all bought in by the Catalan giants.

Dani Alves himself was signed for a fee of £23m plus add ons. Also in the current squad you have Alex Song, Javier Mascherano, Alexis Sanchez, Adriano, Ibrahim Afellay and Neymar who were all signed on in big deals.

Cesc Fabregas, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique might all have started out in La Masia but they left and had to be signed back in multi-million pound transfers.

So that is ten players in a 25 man squad that came to Barca in deals involving big fees. The manager Gerardo Martino was also brought in from Newell’s Old Boys.

The saga surrounding Neymar’s transfer is far from being a deal that involves much class. The ‘official’ transfer fee is thought to be around €57m of which only €17m went to his former side Santos. The rest (€40m) seemingly went to a company owned by Neymar’s parents. Its been alleged that even more money is going to companies that have image rights regarding Neymar and that the transfer fee is closer to €80m not the previously stated €57m. It seems like everyone and their mother (especially Neymar’s) is getting money from this deal, my cheque must still be in the post!

That Neymar debacle has cost the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell his job as courts in Brazil and Spain look into the deal.

Look at the way Barcelona courted Fabregas and Mascherano in the past. They declare an interest, offer a low fee and then bully selling sides into doing business. They get current players/coaches to go out in front of the media and big up potential targets and say ‘come and join us’. They then put pressure on their targets to demand moves. There isn’t anything classy about that.

Man City have rich owners, we get it but Barca throw money around too.

They just get their money in different ways.

Barca chose to forget history when they done a deal with the Qatari’s to sponsor their strips for around£150m in 2011. The tradition of sponsor-less strips fell by the wayside very quickly. That deal is one that involves a ‘modern football club’.

The highest paid player that involves these two clubs must be from classless City right?


Lionel Messi gets an eye-watering €16m a year. That is a cool €2.5m more than Man City’s Sergio Aguero.

Is it classy that Barca and Real Madrid take half of the tv cash in Spain (around £125m each), while other La Liga sides fight between themselves for a share of the other half?

Now don’t get me wrong Barcelona is a club steeped in history and tradition. But they are also very much a modern day football club who spend fortunes just like the rest.

But when you throw away hundreds of millions of Pounds/Euros then you can’t have a go at teams like City or PSG. You don’t have the moral high ground.

Just let the football do the talking. Not overpaid prima donnas who have no understanding in history or class.

4 Responses to “Are Barca Really That Classy?”

  1. Scott,

    It is the players, supporters, stadium, philosophy and trophies that a club has won that sets Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern, AC Milan and Manchester Utd apart from other clubs…Manchester City could have been any club that had Millions invested in it; just like Chelsea and PSG.

    City are artificial, they aren’t meant to be a footballing powerhouse

    Ask yourself this question; If you were a top player and were offered the same salary where would you go…not Manchester City I can guarantee that!! The cream of World talent ply their trade at Barca and Real!

  2. Alves was refering to history of wining trophies, not foundation dates . I am not really impressed by City, i think Company is not as good as the media make him to be. the last two PL games against Chelsea said it all, Chelsea employed a midfield the that City couldn`t push around and we all know the result. Barca will be a very tiring proposition for City, Barca defende in blocks, and the space City enjoyed against Spurs will not be as wide. If City were as good they would have been at least 10 points ahead, but for those that know Pelegrini, are well awere that he like to score goals and forget to wine trophies. If City doesn`t wine PL this year they wont do it next campain.

  3. Steven – City has had great support over the years, just look at the attendances they had when they were relegated twice.

    They aren’t meant to be a powerhouse? In what way? They are what they are and that is successful in this era.

    Haha the last question all depends. If I were Alexis Sanchez I’d have joined City as Messi was there.

  4. Michelsen – History is history, it incorporates so much more than just trophies.

    I don’t disagree that Barca are a stronger outfit than City. Kompany isn’t as good as he was 2 years ago. Barca will be big favourites but over 2 legs it could be tight and anything can happen.

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