Dream TeamOn this week’s show we take a look back at the fantastic Barcelona side of the early 1990s under Johan Cruyff’s management, the Dream Team. There is a worksheet for this report: Worksheet Podcast 13. We also:

Transcript

Barcelona currently sit on top of the Spanish league after yet another fantastic performance – this time away at Málaga – to record their 8th win in a row. The style of football being played is superb with players such as Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Bojan all starring week in week out. They are being compared to the great Barcelona Dream Team of the early nineties which is apt as current coach Pep Guardiola was a key member of that side.

Johan Cruyff, the Dutch superstar and the inspiration for the Catalan’s side’s title win of 1974 was appointed manager in 1988 in an attempt to turn the club’s fortunes around. At that time there was only one side in Spain and that was Real Madrid who thanks to Butragueño, MĂ­chel, Martin Vázquez and Hugo Sanchez dominated La Liga with five titles in a row from 1986 – 1990.

But Cruyff did not just want to regain the title from Madrid he wanted to do it in style and so he decided to build his team around a young local playmaker, Pep Guardiola. He became the heart of the Catalan side and alongside other wonderfully gifted passers of the ball, Amor, Bakero, Beguiristain, and Eusebio, they started to threaten Madrid’s dominance. There was still some work to do however to finalise the team and at a time when European clubs were only allowed two, and then three, overseas players, each team had to choose carefully. And Cruyff struck gold. First with Dutch sweeper Ronald Koeman and then Danish superstar Michael Laudrup. Later Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov and Brazilian forward Romario also had very successful spells at the club.

They won four titles in a row, scored loads of goals in doing so and won the hearts of neutral fans everywhere with their slick passing game and attacking mentality. They also won the club’s first ever European Cup in 1992 thanks to Ronald Koeman’s free kick against Sampdoria at Wembley, while the only down side was that they did not win another. Indeed, they were thrashed 4-0 by AC Milan in the 1994 final which signalled the end of Cruyff’s reign.

Is this side the new Dream Team? Guardiola says no but if they keep playing the way they are then who knows, maybe Dream Team 2 will dominate Spanish and European football for the next few years. Let’s hope so.

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6 comments
  • Hey Charles, yes Amor was a great player but i think Guardiola was better. Of course Laudrup was even better again. How about this year? Are the Barcelona team as good?

  • damian sure is right! They had some element of luck, but they were still
    a great side. that side of stoijkov,romario,koeman,bakaro,Amor was perhaps beta than ronaldhino,messi and co? please comment!!

  • Damianf is right. Real Madrid gave away two titles on the last day on the season in Tnerife, and Deportivo did the same one year later. Therefore, there weren’t so dream team. Furthermore, Real Madrid had a quite normal team at that time and to cap it all, they were robbed in those games.

  • Thanks for the link – great memories. Three of those four title wins came on the last day of the season with Madrid twice (against Tenerife!!) and Depor at home to Valencia all blowing their chances. There is a certain amount of luck involved to be a great team but Barca had lots of it at the time. Joe Maria Bakero was class for that team too.

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