Pep Guardiola summed it up in a very simple phrase: "Take the ball, pass the ball". A brief statement that gathers the idea that is so basic and at the same time so complex that it defines a style of play based on the simplicity of the past and that has led Barça to marvel at their football when it has slipped to the fullest. A good pass, good positioning of the body and move the whole team around the ball. Make the brain work more than strong legs. A slogan that Laureano Ruiz started applying to Barça youth, Johan Cruyff evolved with the Dream Team and reached the top with Guardiola.
A soccer idea that has led Barça not only to win, but also to fall in love with rivals. "At that time [la del Barça de Guardiola] They could relay any game, but if he played Barça at the same time, he played against whom he played, you chose to look at Barça's ", explains the newly-opened documentary Take the ball, pass the ball Michael Carrick, former Manchester United player, lost two Champions League final against Barça. The idea is clear and the model is learned in La Masia, but there are more technicians and teams that opt for football, such as Quique Setién and his Betis.
The great pins of the League
After Barça's Ernesto Valverde, the second team with most possession of the League is Betis: the Catalans head for the ranking with an average score of 68.34%, slightly ahead of 67.46% of the Andalusians. If we look at the most recent players, five of the first six players at the top of the list play Barça or Betis: Rakitic (956 passes), Mandi (905), Bartra (869), Piqué (864 ) and Busquets (840). The only player who does not play Barça or Betis and who appears in the top 5 It's Sergio Ramos, with 850 passes.
"We have a very defined style but the possession must serve to generate occasions and to avoid that they generate to you. If you have much more possession than the opponent but end up generating more danger and doing more goals, the rival will have been the dominator, "Valverde valued a few days ago asking about the NOW . "The possession is a means to reach an objective, that is to score goals and that they do not do to you. The possession itself is intransigent. We have the ball and we move away the opponent, but the goal is to finish the games in the best possible way: when the opponent leaves spaces we do not need to take a pass at the side, but we want to finish the move with speed, "defense Setién.
The bet of the Betis coach is brave, because it is obviously not the same to apply the game of possession to Barça, where this model is used from the base and is a club with much more potential, than to the whole Andalusian, more subject to the style of the technician they have at all times. That's why Setién has fans – in the Europa League he has won Betis to win 1-2 at San Siro against a historic such as Milan, and he has defeated Sevilla by 1-0 in the first Andalusian derby of the season – And, at the same time, it has to fight with the critics who demand more practicality and results, because the Andalusians are installed in the middle-low part of the classification with a balance of three wins, four draws and four defeats.
No Dembélé, the turn of Malcom?
In this match of two sets with the same idea that will be played today at the Camp Nou, it will be necessary to see if Malcom, the fashion player this week for his goal at Inter Milan, will start off at the Barça attack because Coutinho is injured – will be suspended between two and three weeks – and Dembélé is convicted by technical decision. Valverde could opt for a front consisting of Rafinha, Luis Suárez and Malcom, in the event that Messi, who yesterday received the medical discharge, did not leave the start. Another option could happen for Munir.