It's been a few days since Barcelona thoroughly dismantled Manchester United to capture its second UEFA Champions League crown in three years, but the debate continues: Is the 2010-2011 edition of Barcelona the best club team ever?
There's plenty of evidence to support that notion.
The club's performance in the Champions League final was awe-inspiring. Between Lionel Messi's finishing and creating, the quality of Pedro and David Villa's goals, the incessant game of keep-away and the marking that made Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney — aside for one impressive finish — essentially invisible, the La Liga side dominated the title game on English soil. Barcelona possessed the ball for more than two-thirds of the game and outshot the Red Devils, 22-4, including a 12-1 edge in shots on goal.
The fact that hobbled centerback and captain Carles Puyol, who is having offseason knee surgery, only appeared to make a late cameo, makes the result even more overwhelming.
As for the rest of the club's achievements this season:
- Barcelona went 30-2-6 in league play to win the La Liga crown.
- Barcelona had a goal differential of +74 — 95 goals scored, 21 conceded — in its 38 league games (only Real Madrid scored more goals, 102, but it conceded 33).
- Barcelona went 9-1-3 in Champions League play, with its only loss being at Arsenal in the opening leg of their Round of 16 tie. It had a goal differential of +24 (33 scored, 9 conceded) in UCL games and only yielded more than one goal in a game once — in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal.
And then there's the roster.
Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pique. The list goes on.
Not all star-studded rosters complete the task at hand, but Barcelona did.
The lone blemish on the club's triumphant season from a results standpoint was the Copa del Rey loss to Real Madrid, which prevented Barcelona from completing its treble. Detractors will also point to the diving antics of Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets and the gang-whining to referees about calls, which was extremely prevalent in the team's four games in 19 days with rival Madrid.
Others may point to the 2008-2009 Barcelona team that won six trophies (La Liga, Champions League, Copa del Rey, Club World Cup, Spanish Cup Winners Cup, European Cup Winners Cup) as a team that may have been more successful.
Regardless, the most recent edition of Barcelona was perhaps even more dominant than that team and must be at the forefront of the conversation when mentioning the greatest club teams of all time.
What do you think? Is the 2010-2011 FC Barcelona the best club team ever? If not, which club from the past is?
Share your thoughts below.