First of all, before I come to the direct point, I would like to wish Chelsea a hearty congratulations for winning the Champions League first time in their history. I would also congratulate Real Madrid, as they have won the La Liga title first time since the 2007-08 season, and this is, of course, their 32nd La Liga title.
But................I would like to also add that in both of the competitions, FC Barcelona had strong-rather very strong chances of winning. Since the arrival of Josep Guardiola in 2008-09 season, he has led the club to many victories and triumphs, which, I suppose, I don't need to explain to you.
Below you will just see a style of Barca play before and after the arrival of Guardiola. And an important thing that you should know is that I have myself written the below scripts and they are not part of any match.
*play before Guardiola came to Barca*
We start off. Ronaldinho passes the ball at the back to Xavi. Xavi to Deco. Deco to Puyol. Puyol with a long pass here to Iniesta. Iniesta to Xavi. Xavi passes it to Messi. Messi running with the ball at his first touch passes it to Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho back to Messi. Messi with a lovely cross to Ronaldinho!! And Ronaldinho scores!!! A lovely header by the Brazilian star! It's 1-0 to Barcelona.
*play after the arrival of Guardiola*
We start off with a Messi pass to Villa. David Villa passes to Xavi. Xavi gives it to Iniesta who lends the ball to Busquets. Busquets gives it to Puyol. Puyol gives it to Abidal. Abidal back to Puyol. Puyol now gives it to Victor Valdes. The Barca keeper gets an early touch and gives it to Abidal again. Abidal to Busquets. Its Iniesta now who gives it to Messi. Messi makes a run. Its still Messi, Messi takes on defenders. Its Messi pass to Xavi. Xavi back to Messi. A lovely combination. Messi to Villa. Villa looking for space. Villa passes beautifully to Pedro! Its Pedro 1v1 with the keeper! Pedro gives it at the back to Messi! Its a Messi shot and bang!!!! Early lead to Barcelona.
Now, in both the above cases, there is a clear difference of style. Yes, though in both of the cases Barca's play was of possession. But the main difference here is that the game before the arrival of Guardiola was tilted more towards attacking. As you can see in the example, Puyol made a long pass to Iniesta standing in the centre of the pitch. This indicates that Barca at that time, cared a bit less about possession and were playing a more attacking style football.
When Guardiola came to Barcelona, he brought with him a much more possession based football. In the example after his arrival, you can see that Barca have started playing more of those short-passes. First Barca gives the ball to defense so that the attacking players of the opponent team come forward and there is more gap in the midfield. So what the other teams usually did was attacking the ball, thus giving Barca more gap. It only benefited Barca as they pass at the gaps rather than to the players.
Slowly this came to the view of many managers, so they told their players to fill in the gap rather than attacking the ball. Suppose, Xavi has to pass the ball to Pedro, he would not give it directly to Pedro's legs, but would rather push the ball forward through a gap between the opponent team's players and Pedro will himself run to receive the ball before Xavi would hit it. The understanding of Barca's players with each other is this much big. Now, what if the players marking Pedro would leave him and fill the gap between them? Xavi will have to pass it directly to Pedro.
This would not only give the opposition the time to react, but would also pressurize Barca to play more long passes, which would also give the opposition opportunities to attack.
So this tells us that Barcelona exploits more space in a game. The more space you give them, the more dangerous they will be.
Many people think that Barcelona 1-2 years back were much more dangerous than the Barcelona they are today. But they are dead wrong. Barcelona have improved their playing style to the extent that they might be the greatest football team ever formed. It has the best goalkeeper-Valdes (arguable with Casillas), best forward-Messi , the best midfield-Xavi/Iniesta (arguable with (Xabi) and the best defense-Puyol (arguable with Ramos). The only reason they lost to many teams this season is that they kept their style for a bit too long. For 4 years they kept fooling the other teams which thought that Barca were a better team than the other powerhouses. I would rather say a different team than a better team. Because their differences from other teams made them better. Now, suppose, imagine you are not a Barca fan and then answer the question below.
Suppose Pep Guardiola had gone to a different club, say, Bayern Munich, do you think the club would have been able to get as much a huge success as Barcelona did?
The absolute answer is no. The team would have gotten huge, success, no doubt, maybe it would have won their domestic league 3 times like Barca did, but it would not have dominated football to the extent that Barcelona did. As listed above only Barcelona has the squad which can carry this supreme style of football(still arguable).
So my final conclusion is that Barcelona (2008-2012) was a really fantastic team with top class players and a good manager and if Tito Vilanova wants this description of Barcelona to continue for his upcoming seasons with it, he will have to change Barca's football style. The tiki-taka has done its task and now lets give chance to a new system.