There seems to be no stopping Pep Guardiola's Dream Team. Yesterday, Lionel Messi's second goal (Barcelona's third) in the 5-0 rout of Almeria was Barcelona 100th goal of the season... in only 35 matches. Never in Spanish football history had a team reached the 100-goal mark so fast!
Scoring 2,91 goals per match so far, Barcelona are on pace to beat their 2008/2009 scoring exploits. In the glorious sextuple season, Barcelona scored 158 goals. Only 57 left this year to surpass that mark. At the current rate, it seems almost a done deal. So far this season, Barcelona have scored five or more goals in the same match on eight occasions! No wonder pundits all over the world already consider this Barcelona side one of the finest, most extraordinary sides ever to grace the football pitch.
While Xavi and Iniesta form hands down the best and most creative midfield duo in the world, Barcelona's relentless scoring spree has MVP written all over it. Messi, Villa and Pedro: MVP!
Barcelona's attacking trio has been nothing short of unstoppable this season: MVP have scored a combined 70 goals, a truly disbelieivng number. Messi has scored 35 (in 31 games), Villa 17 (in 27) and Pedrito 18 (in 32). But these numbers, as impressive as they are, don't even tell the whole story. The trio do much more than just scoring goals; their dynamics and chemistry are simply unmatched. They are constantly interchanging positions during the match and opposition defences are just powerless to stop them. Even when one of them doesn't score, his contribution is still fantastic (see Villa vs Santander; he didn't score but was arguably the Man of the Match).
Messi has been playing as a false 9 and it has been working to perfection. His positioning instantly draws defenders to him and opens spaces for Pedro and Villa. Messi's fabulous passing ability makes it easy to find the open man; no wonder the Argentine has already collected 18 assists this season. Yeah, you heard it right: 35 goals and 18 assists in 31 matches. Is Leo Messi even from this planet? Xavi and Iniesta are both fantastic, but even they wouldn't argue that Leo Messi is by (very, very) far the best player in the world!
While Villa and Pedro might not be as talented as Messi (but then again, who is?), they're still world-class forwards and they're the ideal complement to Messi's talents up front. Pedro has come of age this season and he is proving to every doubter out there that he is a world-beater, both as a winger and as a striker. He's the future of Barcelona and Spanish football, a legend in the making.
As for David Villa, he's already a legend, the best Spanish striker of all-time. He's now proving that he deserves to play at a top team. He was the missing piece in Pep Guardiola's Dream Team puzzle and he helped take the team to yet another level. Not only is he scoring (as he's always done in his career), but he was quick to gel with Pedro and Messi. It seems as if he has been playing at Barcelona his whole life! Even though he's a born striker, he has adapted to a more wing-oriented role and is still scoring and creating as many goals as ever. Less drama, ten times the output; this is what Barcelona got by offloading that lazy Swede whose name shall not be mentioned and bringing in David Villa.
MVP's on-pitch chemistry is so perfect that opponents never know what they can expect from them. Even one of the best teams in the world, Real Madrid, was powerless to stop MVP: Messi assisted two, Villa scored two and assisted one and Pedro scored one. Real Madrid's defense could do nothing but watch.
With about 25 matches left until the end of the season, MVP only need 30 more goals to equal Messi, Eto'o and Henry's combined 100 goals in the 2008/2009 season. Given their current form and the unrivaled services of Xavi and Iniesta, one can only assume that it won't be much of a problem.
The next victim of MVP's insatiable hunger for goals (and revenge in this case) is Hercules on Saturday. But pretty soon it will be Arsenal, as Pep Guardiola's Dream Team looks for another Champions League trophy!