So, that gol. Mexico '86 and all that. Coming as it did in a Copa Del Rey game against a Getafe team who are no world beaters it's really nothing to get carried away about... Like, yeah, as if. Let's get carried away, let's go off the deep end. I've watched the gol about fifty times now (and that is sadly, no exaggeration) and it doesn't get any less amazing. I didn't catch the game as it was screened at 11:00 on Wednesday night and as I'm suffering with the flu at the mo' I was tucked up in my bed at that stage but by the morning youtube was brimming with clips of the gol, the Spanish press were dubbing young Leo 'Diego Messi' and were running out of superlatives to describe it. Watch the El Diego side-by-side with Messi! Messi! Messi! here.
A few years ago when 'dinho won World Player of the Year he commented to FourFourTwo "People say I am the best in the world, but I am not even the best at Barcelona." in reference to Messi. At the time it seemed incredibly high praise indeed. Now it seems about right.
Taxi for a Javier Saviola
As Messi goes into the stratosphere, Javier Saviola is on his way out. Having received no offer from the blaugrana, he will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. This is probably best for all concerned. Despite his talent and work rate, Javier has been unwanted at the Camp Nou for three successive seasons now, with loan moves to Monaco and Sevilla not yielding permanent deals, he was back in Barcelona to see out the final year. Whoever signs Javier will be getting a top quality forward. I hope he goes to a big club. Word is that Didier Deschamps, coach at Monaco during Saviola's time there, wants to bring him to Juve. He'd do well there and I wish him all the best. I'll be gushing more about number twenty two in coming weeks.
We all live in a Yellow Submarine
Barcelona play Villarreal this weekend so it's lazy headline time. One time bright young things of La Liga and the Champions League, a last minute missed penalty away from the final you'll recall, have fallen from grace this season. Blighted by injuries (Nihat and Pires), internal strife (Riquelme going back to Boca) and a distinct lack of gols (top scored Forlan has just ten) in addition to a leaky defense marshaled by Arsenal reject and all round useless sort Pascal Cygan, the sun hasn't shone quite so brightly El Madrigal. Currently twelfth, they look a shadow of their former selves and have been scrapping draws with La Liga's worst sides (Sociedad and Betis) and losing to Levante in recent games. They certainly won't get relegated but this season has been a complete write off.
All of which is good news for Barcelona, who, despite their high scoring Copa win on Wednesday, have been coughing and spluttering their way through games of late. Rijkaard has named a full squad, baring Motta, Edmilson and Belletti (all injured) and Marquez (a man who can lose games all by himself these days). 'dinho is back and will start alongside Eto'o and El Diego.