Saturday, December 19, 2009

Club World Cup 2009 - Barca 2 Estudiantes 1

It's said to be the biggest prize that a futbol club can win, fought over by teams who have won their region's international trophys, though the format has changed over the years. This year the Club World Cup featured Barcelona from Spain(2008/2009 UEFA Champions League,) Estudiantes de La Plata from Argentina (2009 Copa Libertadores,) Atlante of Mexico (2008/2009 CONCACAF Champions League,) Pohang Steelers from South Korea (2009 AFC Champions League,) TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2009 CAF Champions League,) Al-Ahli from the hosting United Arab Emirates (2008–09 UAE Premier League,) and Auckland City of New Zealand (2008–09 OFC Champions League.) When looking at this set of teams, was there ever really any doubt that the final would come down to Barcelona and Estudiantes?

Now some of you may be asking, why would I be writing about the CWC final? Well, several reasons, really, but I watched the match as a battle between two former Lepra, world famous Leo Messi of Barcelona, and Estudiantes defender Germán Re.There were several moments in this game where Re found himself up against Leo, one of the world's best attacking players, if not the best, and Germán did quite well keeping the brilliant Messi in check. In fact, during the first half the entire Estudiantes team looked the equal of their European counterparts, and finished the half with a well earned 1-0 lead from Mauro Boselli's 37th minute goal.

During the second half, however, the team from Argentina seemed set on trying to defend their lead, and did so for far longer than I'd thought they could. For a while, I even thought they might just pull the upset, but finally in the 88th minute Pablo evened the score for Barcelona with a brilliantly taken header.

With the match tied at 1-1, it was on to over time, two 15 minute halves to play out, and if the match was still level, it would be on to penalties. Fortunately we were saved from that dreadful way of deciding a champion when Leo Messi scored in the 110th minute, chesting the ball past Estudiantes keeper Damián Albil.

And so, Barcelona have been crowned the best club team in all the world in 2009. Well done, and congratulations to Messi and all of his team mates... and here's to the hope that next year it will be Newell's who will be representing all of South America in this glorious tournament.

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