We all love the Barcelona tiki-taka approach to football. It’s stylish, it’s nice to watch and it’s effective. In the end though, you need physical resolve to occasional come to the fore and ensure victory.
In today’s El Clasico between Read Madrid and Barcelona, it was far from the classics of recent years and a nervous, tense affair that saw far more gaffes than highlights. Real’s first goal: blunder by Valdes. Xavi’s goal: cruel deflection that was otherwise covered by Casillas but snuck in off the post on the opposite side of the goal to where he was aiming.
But the photo above of Fabregas notching Barcelona’s third. That, for me, sums up the El Clasico. That is full commitment to the ball. Dani Alves has played a great ball into him but the space available to Fabregas is so limiting that he has no margin for anything other than full speed and power to the ball to get there before Coentrao. That’s a huge character defining moment for a still young player like Fabregas. He can score the beautiful goals after four passes back and forth with Messi but he can also score the goals at critical moments against huge rivals where he has to put himself in harm’s way. Great goal by a complete player.