Date:Tuesday April 18 2006
In the first of what we hope will become a regular feature, we question a regular to our ‘Forum’ the first to receive such an interrogation is Voice of Reason a Barcelona fan who, via the forum, makes a valued contribution to this site. If you’d like the opportunity to come under the microscope, just contact us and we’ll do the rest.
1. I believe you support Barcelona. How, in all honesty, do you think Chelsea have played against them in the four recent fixtures?
In all honesty, I have great respect for Chelsea players. The likes of Lampard, Terry, Cech and Gallas are absolutely fantastic footballers. So when two champions (to be) of their respective leagues were to meet, there was bound to be good football. I think only the first game at the Camp Nou fell short of expectations since both teams were not playing their best football. However, the ones from then on were entertaining games to watch. Of course, there are some things that were unpleasant to see and could have been avoided.
2. If you had to select a mixed eleven in the ratio of 6:5 what would your team be?
Eto'o (striker) - (30 goals/season, already 30 in all competitions this season)
Ronaldinho (left Wing) - (Simply the best in the world)
Messi (right wing) - (Not very far from being the best in the world)
Lampard (Midfielder) - (Gives the term goal scoring midfielder a whole new meaning)
Deco (midfielder) - (The midfield general)
Xavi (defensive midfielder) - (The best defensive midfielder + playmaker. Always above 90% pass completion)
Puyol (Central Defender) - (Great defender, A Great Captain)
Terry (Central Defender) - (Great defender, Another Great Captain)
Ferreira (Right Back) - (The Right back)
Gallas (Left Back) - (Too bad Mourinho just blocked a bid for him from Barca)
Cech (GoalKeeper) - ( Only Iker, Coupet and Buffon rival him)
3. Do you believe you'll win the Champions League, if so who do you fear the most?
At this point of the competition, in the semi finals, all teams are strong and deserving to be there. It is not something that can be predicted. Certainly, Barca have a chance of winning the Champions League again but the game could really go to AC Milan. They are a wonderful side with the likes of Kaka, Sheva, Nesta etc. Between the two teams, there are 16 European trophies so this game would very much look like a final. Even if Barca manages to go through, they might meet Arsenal. They really have just as good chance of winning the trophy because in addition to wanting to save their season, they are fighting to keep Henry. Liverpool won the Champions League last season and a lot of their determination to do so has come from their desire to keep Gerrard at Merseyside.
4. How do you rate the Premiership compared to La Liga and Serie A?
The Premiership has always been a great league to watch. More enjoyable in the recent weeks than it has been earlier this season but overall, it is one of the best leagues in the world. It’s wonderful as well how racism has been eradicated from the Premiership. I believe lessons should be learnt from that. The three leagues can't really be compared with each other. It is still football played over 90 minutes. The roar of the crowd is still felt the same way and supporters of their teams are equally ecstatic or upset when they win or lose. I can see similarities between Ossassuna and Chelsea in the way they fight to win as I see Barca style of play with Arsenal. Real Madrid and Manchester United are both giants who recently lost their touch but who have a future looking brighter. I personally enjoyed watching Manchester v Arsenal last weekend. If Rooney keeps this up, he might claim another player of the month trophy. Still, the Premiership style of play is closer to the Bundesliga and La liga is closer to Serie A. One is more physical and the other is more technical. None the less, all are as entertaining.
5. Do you fancy Spain's chances in the World Cup? Could they do better than England?
Spain are the eternal underachievers. Always have the dream line-ups but never manage to go far. England, Italy, Argentina and Brazil are the 4 teams with decent chances of winning the World Cup.
6. How is English football perceived in Spain?
It might be just me but it would seem there are a lot more players from Spain playing in the English league. El Liverpool appears to field more Spanish players than Spanish teams do. English football is mostly seen as a rough, take no prisoner style of play. The opinion of the Spanish people I'm sure are no different from that of the rest of the world. It was widely perceived not so long ago that English football was just kicking the ball upfront and then hoping for a goal. However, recent times have proved this opinion to be outdated. Many English teams play attractive and well constructed football. An example being how Arsenal disposed of both Real Madrid and Juventus, who are arguably two of the best teams in the world.
7. If Barcelona could sign any English player who would it be?
There are many English players whom the Barca would wish to add to their collective. However, Frank Lampard, the Chelsea star, would top that list for he is already a favourite among the Culés. I do believe it would be an unrealistic target for Barca to land. If ever he would wish to play at Camp Nou, it would have to be either a choice of his own or the respective sides meeting again in the Champions League.
8. What are you're memories of Albert Ferrer who did so well for us?
I am not sure if I should be sad for him that he missed the quarter finals (2000) against Barca or feel lucky. He was a great defender and always gave a plus to whichever team he was playing for. We all have fond memories of him as a player and as a person for the contribution he made to the team.
9. Will Real Madrid give you a closer run next year?
Real Madrid always gives Barca a close run. At one point earlier this season, they were 1st and we were 6th. Next season, both teams start with 0 points again with 38 matches to play. Real Madrid will surely have a great coach and great players to bolster their squad. As much as I dislike them, they are a legendary team and all legendary teams have a phoenix gene which will allow them to rise again. Barca went half a decade without a major trophy. Those things are part of football after all it wouldn't have been so attractive a game if the very same team would win every season.
10. Do you expect Chelsea to win the Champions League in the next three years?
They certainly have the players capable of doing so. However, even for Barca, I can hope we win the Champions League but knowing of all the great teams in Europe vying for this cup, it will be very hard. We were favourites last season as well to win the Champions League but got knocked out by Chelsea. Thus, Chelsea fans shouldn't feel discouraged by the run of their team lately in the Champions League. Perseverance has always yielded the chances are however that Barca will meet Chelsea again... It somehow feels bound to happen at one point or the other.
Our thanks go to Voice of Reason for taking the time out to answer our ten question challenge. If you think you’re up for it then simply contact us and we’ll do the rest.
Date:Tuesday April 18 2006
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