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The Weekly Review: Week 3 The Ballon d'Or Edition

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It has been a very rewarding week for FC Barcelona and Culés in general. At the start of the week, the Blaugrana repeated the feat of Sacchi’s Milan and provided the three finalists for football’s most prestigious individual prize. But unlike the three Milan players, all of the Blaugrana players were trained, developed and educated at Barca’s own youth system, La Masia.

Not to belittle the feat or the accomplishment of Sacchi’s Milan trio but up until 1995 the Ballon d’Or was only awarded to EU-players. In practice this meant that players like Diego Maradona, who is arguably the greatest player of all-time, were never in contention for the coveted award due to nationality. Nowadays the pool of eligible players has increased indefinitely, thus making the award even more coveted.

In the end there could only be one winner, and even though I rooted for Xavi I must concede that Lionel Messi is by far the best player.

Lionel Messi wins Fifa Ballon d'Or 2010

Although he didn’t win the FIFA World Cup, unlike his La Masia cohorts Xavi & Iniesta, he managed to better his otherworldly accomplishments of the 2008/2009 campaign. It’s hard to argue against a player who single-handily destroyed one of Europe’s finest clubs, Arsenal London.

When speaking of London it’s unavoidable of mentioning one name, Cesc Fabregas. Though this has become, more or less, a running gag he is still linked to his boyhood club FC Barcelona. While he has ditched Catalunya in search of…it can’t be trophies, so let’s just say first-team football. His former teammates Pique and Messi have racked up trophies, en masse. But as fate would have it, Cesc has been granted the privilege to enter the Camp Nou pitch as a player, albeit in the shirt of Arsenal London.

It’ll be very interesting to see if Cesc Fabregas can lead Arsenal London to glory, whether it is the Champions or Premier League. Arsenal’s erratic form in cup competitions can hardly be the measure stick for excellence. Meanwhile the Blaugrana continue to steamroll each and every opponent that stands in their way. In the Copa del Rey, Lionel Messi & Co. produced another Manita against Betis Sevilla to secure a spot in the semi-finals.

Off the pitch, our resident writers Arron and Bostjan created interesting new series about the world’s best club, or better yet, the players who continue to amaze us. Arrons’ series compares the two Barca sides of recent memory, Rijkaards’ squad to that of Pep Guardiola. Speaking of Pep, Barca’s golden boy has still not signed a contract renewal.

Bostjans’ feature allows a glimpse of every current Blaugrana player. This time he took his time to portray none other than Barca prankster, Gerard "Piquenbauer" Pique.

Since you, I, we fear standstill, we have decided to finally open a game thread. Tonight marks the very first time we used this feature and we intend to open a GT on any occasion Barca contest a game. Therefore, we invite you to participate during the upcoming fixtures.

Luckily for us, our inaugural game thread coincided with another comfortable Barca victory. The Blaugrana smashed a hapless Malaga side 4-1 and broke some records along the way.

Barcelona vs Malaga 4-1 16/01/2011

As it stands, FC Barcelona have now opened a four point lead over Real Madrid who were held to hard-fought draw against Almeria. As it has been customary, Jose "The Humiliated One" Mourinho, is bemoaning the capacity of La Liga referee’s. Barca won, Madrid didn’t – get over it.

How about grace in defeat, or draw?

I’ll be daring and make the bold proclamation that without a billionaire backing him, Jose Mourinho wouldn’t have accumulated as many trophies as he did during in the last decade. This time the billionaire can’t dig into his personal account to fulfill Mourinho’s every desire. It’ll be interesting to see how far Mourinho can take this Madrid side without an out-and-out striker.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Barca Blaugranes, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

That’s it for me,

Sebastian

¡Visca el Barça!