By Manuel Traquete
What’s so special about October 3, 2010? It was the last time Barcelona dropped points in La Liga. On that day, an inspired Mallorca side travelled to the Camp Nou and managed to get a draw against a very wasteful Barcelona.
After that match, Barcelona haven’t conceded a single point in La Liga: 15 matches, 15 wins. 57 goals scored, only six conceded. Saying that Barcelona have been great this season is an understatement, they’ve been absolutely sublime. Real Madrid are doing a great season, which would be enough to sit comfortably at the top of any other league, but they are already seven points behind Barcelona, who just can’t stop winning!
Winning 15 straight La Liga matches is someting that had only been done once before, in 1960/1961 by a legendary Real Madrid side that featured such greats as Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas. A win next Sunday will mean yet another record for Pep Guardiola’s Dream Team. Barcelona have been shattering record after record ever since Pep Guardiola took charge and this would undoubtedly be one of the greatest.
The only thing standing between Barcelona and the record is Real Madrid’s city rivals Atlético, who have been in terrible form lately. However, it would be foolish to ignore them; while Atlético might not be playing to their full potential, they are a team with very good players, especially in attack; their attacking duo of Diego Forlán and Kun Aguero is a force to be reckoned with. Even Real Madrid wish they could have such a deadly striking force.
Moreover, Atlético are traditionally a very difficult opponent for Barcelona. In their past eight league titles, Barcelona lost at least once to Atlético. Even Pep Guardiola’s Dream Team fell at the Caldéron, both in 2008/2009 and in 2009/2010 (4-3 and 2-1). This season, Pep finally managed to get the three points from the Calderón, but that doesn’t mean that victory is assured in Saturday’s match at Camp Nou. Atlético won’t make it easy and Barcelona will have to play according to their usual standards.
Barcelona’s season is starting to enter its decisive stages; the league title, the third in a row, seems pretty much on Barcelona’s hands; they just depend on themselves to win. But the Champions League’s knockout rounds are about to start and Barcelona must be at the top of their game to capture the trophy again.
For now, though, Saturday’s match against Atlético Madrid at Camp Nou is the most important thing. Both Pep Guardiola and the players know that they’re on the verge of beating a truly legendary record, set 50 years ago by a side which will always be remembered as one of the best of all-time. Just like Pep Guardiola’s Dream Team…