Well that was fun, wasn't it?
Only if you are a Bayern Munich fan.
FC Barcelona ran into a buzzsaw at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday as Bayern Munich shredded La Blaugrana 4-0 in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
A thorough beating, to say the least.
And yes, Barcelona will still have to play the second leg at the Camp Nou next week.
I'm not going to say this semifinal is over, but it's going to take the biggest choke job in FC Bayern Munich history to do so—even a bigger choke job than the one they pulled off against Manchester United in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final at the Camp Nou.
Could it happen again? Anything can happen in football, but let's be realistic, Bayern has a foot in the Champions League Final, and deservedly so. Much respect to Bayern Munich on a tremendous win.
Let's get to FC Barcelona.
I'll tell you what happened: all of Barcelona's weaknesses were exposed by Bayern. It was incredible to see.
The lack of height cost Barça on corner kicks.
The shaky defense of Barcelona's finally gave way.
The wingers did not help Lionel Messi create goalscoring opportunities.
And speaking of Messi...well...maybe he's still injured. Either that, or maybe it's true that FC Barcelona has "Messidependencia."
And perhaps Tito Vilanova made a crucial mistake by not switching things up at halftime.
Tuesday night may have been the worst night for FC Barcelona in the past five years.
But hey, what can you do? Bayern were nearly flawless.
Laugh all you want. We've been laughing at you since 2008-09. Milan is nobody to be laughing at Barcelona.
And Madridistas, don't forget that if you get past Borussia Dortmund, you may be seeing this monster of a Bayern team in the final. And they are far better than the one you lost to last year.
So go ahead and laugh, make fun of us. I’ve seen this movie before and thankfully for FC Barcelona and we Cules, this story is going to have a good ending for us in the long run.
What about the second leg?
So what happens now for the second leg of the semifinal?
The same thing they had to do against AC Milan in the round of 16: go for the blowout.
The problem: FC Bayern Munich is by no means AC Milan.
Expect to see Eric Abidal play CB in place of Marc Bartra, who had a good and bad game in Munich. Also, David Villa should start, perhaps even the speedy Cristian Tello to open the pitch up for Barça.
Anything can happen in football, but it's going to be nearly impossible.
We'll see what happens. But one thing I do know is that I will be proud of my team whether they are eliminated or the "impossible" happens.
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
What are the ramifications from Barca's loss when it comes to transfers?
For me, after this 4-0 loss, there is no question Sandro Rosell will look to buy a new forward for next season. To be beaten is one thing, but to not even get a single goal in the first leg of the CL semis for the second consecutive season is the last straw.
We all know who Rosell will be going after: Neymar.
If it wasn't a formality that Neymar was heading to Barça, the loss to Bayern Munich without scoring a single goal pretty much seals Neymar's fate to Barcelona. Goals are needed, and Sandro Rosell will bring in Neymar to do just that.
There are other options like Sergio Aguero or perhaps the recently hungry-for-arm Luis Suarez, but let's not kid ourselves, Sandro has wanted to bring in Neymar for two years now. And after this shutout loss to Bayern, Rosell will not face much opposition when it comes to buying a new superstar forward—especially one as talented as Neymar.
I've reached the point where I completely agree with those that say another scoring option other than Messi is needed. I love Pedro, and I still think David Villa has plenty left in the gas tank. But both players have been inconsistent since 2011, and it may be time to A.) let Villa go, and B.) bring in Neymar to give Barcelona a second legitimate scoring threat.
Pedro is still a terrific winger, and he isn't going anywhere.
I'll admit: I'd take Neymar over any winger Barcelona has right now minus Pedro.
I know bringing in Neymar is a big risk to take as far as team chemistry and style of play is concerned, but the reward could be historic, mark my words.
If I was Sandro Rosell, I would not go for Neymar first, as talented as the kid is. I'd first purchase a center-back. It has been and continues to be a much more needed at Barcelona than a forward.
Enter Mats Hummels.
As good as Vincent Kompany is, and it would be nice to obtain his services, I'd rather see Mats Hummels in Blaugrana next season.
I am hopeful Sandro Rosell has finally woken up and realized that this team can no long be in denial: a true CB is needed, period!
In a recent interview, Rosell admitted there is a German player he really likes. I'm pretty sure he's talking about Hummels. I don't care if Borussia Dortmund asks for €30 million, pay it! Hummels himself has essentially said, "Barca, come get me!"
Go get him, Sandro.
As far as goalkeeper, let's discuss that more in the summer. A replacement for Victor Valdes will be needed, however, there is no clear-cut option as VV's replacement.
Fin de ciclo? Is this the End of Barca's Reign?
The big thing some football pundits are pondering is if this is the beginning of the end for FC Barcelona's reign over European football.
To those pundits, I say: You are very much mistaken.
To think that this team will not pick itself up is idiotic. In fact, don't you think that this loss to Bayern Munich will not make Sandro Rosell, Tito Vilanova or the team even stronger?
Of course it will.
Rosell will now look to spend perhaps even more euros this summer on players. Tito Vilanova was given a managerial lesson in Barca's 4-0 loss, and it is a lesson that will make him a better manager for the future.
As far as the players, some have learned heartbreak, while others just learned what it's like to be humbled by an opponent.
FC Barcelona will be back and better than ever.
Football always teaches us lessons.
Time to use Bayern's 4-0 lesson and improve for next time, boys.
No! This is not the end of FC Barcelona as we know it.
Bayern will certainly get stronger next season, with Pep Guardiola taking over this summer, as well as the shocking signing of Judas, I mean, Mario Gotze.
But FC Barcelona will rise again. It will be a battle between Barça and Bayern for European supremacy for the next few years.
Pep vs. Tito.
FCB vs. FCB.
It's going to be great.
For me, it's tough to watch my favorite sports shows because they continue to show replays of the loss. I can't even go to my favorite football websites or any of the Spain websites that I read everyday because I will be reminded of this loss.
Once again, congratulations to Bayern Munich and their fans. A tremendous win for your club. Much respect to the Bavarian giants.
This was the worst loss for FC Barcelona and all their fans in recent history, but it’s the tough times that make us stronger because we appreciate the triumphs even more.
So stand up Culés, brush yourselves off and refocus. There is still a second leg to cheer on our team. There is also the opportunity to win La Liga in record style as far as points. La Liga is ours, let's see this Barcelona team end the season in historic style.
Michael Jordan once said, “Nothing of value comes without being earned.”
It can be said that FC Barcelona didn’t have enough to earn the European title this season. But trust me when I say this team will lift itself up, learn from this recent disappointment, bring in the players needed to win, regroup and fight to earn the European crown once again.
Stay strong, Culés. FC Barcelona will bounce back.
We always do.
Proud to be a Culé, Xoel.
ser del Barça es
el millor que hi ha!
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona.
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