The Barcelona, League champion 2012-13
Barcelona has been proclaimed champion of the League 2012-13 after taking advantage of Real Madrid's 1-1 draw at Espanyol's pitch. It is the fourth league in five years for a team that has ended up sweeping in points and that adds its 22nd league title despite combining a brilliant season with a not so much.
Messi once again led a great team that already felt champion in December. But it was after Madrid's slip in Cornellá, three days in advance, when the azulgrana success was certified.
in regularity, more than perfection, Barça based his success, escaped start like Madrid the previous season. Any stumble would have been interpreted as a sign of weakness. Even worse, would have served as gasoline for the inevitable comparisons with the past. To avoid both extremes, Tito Vilanova was slaughtered.
Plenty of six victories before the first Clásico, in too much trouble against Valencia or Granada or going back to the edge in Reyno de Navarra and Pizjuán. The fact is that receiving Mourinho's machine with an eight-point lead was more than just a relief. And the 2-2, fought almost from the bottom, tasted like glory.
defense of three, penultimate revolution of Guardiola, was buried in a drawer. With Xavi very close to Busquets and more free spaces for Messi, the Barça strolled until the equator of the championship. Nothing less than the best first round in history: 64 goals for 57 points, 18 more than whites.
The exhibitions from the beginning of 2013, the 4-0 in the city derby or the 1-3 in the rose garden. All commanded by a wonderful Iniesta. What almost nobody valued then is that Valdés had only kept zero in five days. And it was not a triviality, but the first sign of trouble.
Tito was then in New York. And from there he saw the mediocre 2-2 cupbearer against Malaga, linked to the defeat in Anoeta, the first of the championship. Any careful observer would not have confused the following triumphs with the performance of the collective, increasingly dependent on Messi's genius.
The League had been won for a long time, but the barca, whipped mercilessly by Madrid in the Cup and Milan in the San Siro, lost gas hopelessly. Possession was not enough to control situations. Granada almost took advantage of it, Sevilla or even Deportivo. From Alba's attacking power, Iniesta and Fábregas in the left sector, novelty on the Vilanova slate, went to the more conventional contribution of Alves.
The team hit rock bottom at the Bernabéu. For football and attitude, something unusual in some footballers installed at the top because, Xavi Hernández's stage at Barcelona comes to an end, they ran faster than anyone. The physical and mental exhaustion forced Tello to give way urgently, Fábregas and Thiago. Against rivals from the lower zone, the margin of 13 u 11 points. And the stumble of Madrid in Cornellá turned the imminent into the inevitable.