The other month we wrote a comprehensive guide on how any team could shape their bunch of prima donna no-hopers into a force to be reckoned with by replicating Barcelona’s sexy style of attacking football. After reading this guide and taking everything we’ve said on board, your team no matter what level should be ready to take on the world destroying every team in their wake with fluidity and over-whelming finesse. However, should your transformation fail despite your best efforts, what’s the best thing to do when you find yourself on the next plane to Barcelona knowing you face an agonizing 90 minutes of football against the Catalonian giants themselves at the Nou Camp?
Sifting through my favourite online Spanish football website Marca, I came across an interview with Real Zaragoza midfielder Pablo Barrera who prior to his away-day at Barcelona this weekend, unashamedly proclaimed ‘no es imposible ganar en el Camp Nou’ or in Johnny English terms, ‘it’s not impossible to win at the Nou Camp.’ I’m sure mathematically it isn’t impossible to take all three points at the Nou Camp Pablo but considering they haven’t lost their since September 2010 strangely against a newly-promoted Hercules CF side, I wouldn’t be hedging your bets on a Zaragoza win Saturday night.
However, the La Liga minnows from Alicante proved it can be done, so for any La Liga team or European hopefuls looking for a smash and grab win at the new Nou Camp this season, here are four things you’re going to need to bring with you on the pitch when crunch-time comes.
1) Luck…and lots of it – As expected in Hercules’ famous win over Barcelona last year, they looked second best throughout the contest withstanding a Barcelona onslaught for large periods of the match but thanks to some key events going in their favour including some calamitous goalkeeping from Victor Valdez which led to Hercules’ first goal, the Herculanos were able to ride their luck and claim a momentous victory.
2) A clinical striker – Chances will be few and far between in your enthralling encounter with Barca this year so it’s important your side has a classy striker who can pop up and grab that all important goal when that golden chance comes.
3) A ‘Park the bus’ mentality – Sporting Gijon we’re one of eight domestic sides to prevent Barcelona taking maximum points in La Liga matches last season when they drew 1-1 at home to Pep Guardiola’s side. They did this by nothing more than sticking ten men behind the ball and absorbing everything Barca threw at them for ninety exhausting minutes. A late David Villa equaliser meant the match eventually finished 1-1 after Gijon took the lead but their defensive master-class was a lesson to clubs all over Europe of how to set your team up against Barcelona if you’re looking for more than an 8-0 pasting at the hands of Messi and co.
4) A Barcelona ‘off-day’ – A bad day at the office for Lionel Messi doesn’t happen very often but when it does teams need to grab the opportunity with both hands because despite not playing very well Barcelona are most definitely a side who are capable of winning even when they’re playing badly which is probably why they are such the dominant footballing force they are today.