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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Which side do you think was superior? Del Bosque's Real Madrid, Benitez's Valencia or Rijkaard's classic Barcelona.

All 3 sides won 2 Liga's each but none of these 3 great 21st century sides came head to head at the same period (barring in 2001/2002 where Rafa's Valencia came out on top over Del Bosque's Real and vice versa in 2002/2003), so who was the superior side? Real, Valencia or Barca.
 

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I don't think those Barca and Valencia teams reached the heights of the performance we dispatched Manchester United with at the Bernabeu.

I still remember reading the papers the next day; "Manchester United could never have dreamed that they would look a 3-1 defeat in the face and greet it with civility." :proud:

It is rare for a side to dismantle one of the best teams in Europe with such ease, and even though Barca won the CL in 2006, they didn't outclass Chelsea or Milan to the extent that we outclassed Man Utd.

For me, Rafa's Valencia has no business being talked about in the same breath as VdB's Madrid or the great Barca team of two years ago, those two teams are clearly superior to that Valencia team. If I remember correctly, Rafa's Valencia once won the league averaging 1.35 goals per game. I don't see anything legendary in that, speaking first and foremost as a football fan. They were just a very good, solid, compact team. Nothing more, nothing less, certainly in terms of football they weren't anywhere near the other two sides.

Barca's team of two years ago was pure class, it included possibly the greatest player in Spanish Football since Di Stefano which by default elevates their side to legendary status. I am not sure if I'd say they're as great as VdB's Madrid, because that team was more balanced and could control the tempo of a game with more authority and (at times) quite literally at the switch of an imaginary button.
 

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I disagree with Mo about not putting Valencia on par with Riijkard's team or Del Bosque's and its not its speaking.

But first off the Real Madrid team I saw against Manchester United in the Bernabeu was the single best performance I have ever seen from a team. Its the closest thing you'll see to majestic football ever in the sense it was perfect attacking football. Everything about Madrid especially the first half was pure brilliance, Man United who had a great team at the time as well were flabbergasted they had no clue what hit them and suffered totally. The Del Bosque team was very good in the sense VdB always complimented the side well in terms of getting the top players to work hard and in line with what the Bernabeu demands above and beyond just brilliant football. However the Galactico team I felt always had a sense of being lackadaisical at times (Copa del Rey) and the star players sometimes not prepared to show the football in the lesser games. They were always vulnerable in defence. However thats a small criticism as this was more the case when VdB left and the dis-integration began.

The Barca team was exceptional as well and I think they were a better model of winning with attacking football, they did not have as much talent as the VdB team of 02-03 which had Ronaldo at his revived best, Zidane and Figo at the top of there game and also the old Raul but they still played pure football and had the right attitude. The Barca team was exceptional in terms of keeping the ball, I don't think I've seen a side in recent times who could keep ball so well and use it so effectively. For the two seasons they won La Liga they were sensational, they won at the hardest grounds (Stamford Bridge, San Siro) playing there football and trusting the talent above the tactics and opponent. Ronaldinho was unplayable and he had the right back up with Deco as enforcer, Xavi as distributor, Eto'o as goal scorer and Messi as the prodigy. The best side European football has seen since the Milan side of the late 80's and the best of three mentioned.

Now Rafa's Valencia, I know the Spanish fans prefer the complete attacking team and in that sense Rafa's team was never outstanding however they were the most complete side I have seen in ages. The variable system and tactics meant it was impossible to read them, sometimes they would press the opposition and kill them with football at the Mestalla, other times more frequently away from home they could absorb a team and counter attack at its finest. They were superb at counter attacking, people go on and on about Arsenal but Valencia with Vicente, Aimar and Rufete could kill a team in a blink. They were complete in the sense they could play in different styles and get results, they could play cosmopolitan football but if need be they could play "hard" football. The performance against Liverpool was the best I have seen my team face, they totally eat us alive and grinded us down, there was no solution to when we played them. They knew all our strengths and prevented them whilst exploited the main weaknesses. In terms of being observant and tactically flexible they were an amazing team.

Overall the Barca team was the best...
 

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Yea, nice post arfy, kinda summed up everything. Though when people mention Real outplaying United at OT, the Del Bosque Real that outplayed them in 2000 i thought was pretty good too not as good as the 2003 humbling but Raul and co. were amazing in 2000 at OT. I'd like to say us but i won't :pp Del Bosque's RM and Rijkaard's Barca won the CL we didn't unfortunately, though we only had 1 crack at it with Benitez in 2003, when we ****ed up Inter and should of been in the semi's and who knows we would of reached the CL final in 2003? We definitely had the quality, just not the luck.

I'm gonna say Del Bosque's Real Madrid

2 La Ligas combined with 2 CL titles says it all and some great victories too, and Mohamed ofcourse we deserve to be mentioned alongside the other two teams, we were class under Rafa.

I think Del Bosque really is under-rated as a manager and the work he did, look how RM fell apart after he was sacked (sacked, unbelievable) and how the whole Galaticos fell. Between 2000-2003 he knew the right balance between the galacticos and how to deal with them, deserves alot of credit.
 

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Which Real-Man Utd game are we talking about here? The one where Redondo did that insane move or the one where Ronaldo had a hatrick?

In any case, i think the Madrid of Del Bosque played the best attacking futbol i have ever seen. Its like we had 10 players capable of attacking out there, freaking Helguera and our legend Hierro were scoring goals for pete's sake.
 

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The Real Madrid game against Man United in the Bernabeu: the 3-1 where Raul scored 2 and Figo the other. I think that match was way better a performance than the other matches against the United, it was the best I have seen against anyone anywhere in my lifetime :D

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The goals don't do the match justice, the performance was out of the world. People remember the 4-3 more because it was competitive and such, but for quality and football the first match was way better and the Madrid performance a lot more authoritative and sublime.
 

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Mohamed ofcourse we deserve to be mentioned alongside the other two teams, we were class under Rafa.
You were class but not a class above, that's the point. You never had a Zidane, a Figo or Ronaldinho...sorry, but you're comparing some of the best players of their generation to an honest, hard-working team. That isn't going to float with me. Rafa's Valencia was great, but has no business being compared to VdB's Madrid or Barca 04-06.
 

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Mo your comparing the wrong thing, the Valencia team was not associated with a defined player or "crack" the strength was the team and its composition, which made it what it was. The formulation and the structure is just as important as the players itself and in that sense what they lacked in big players they made up for in the system and variable tactics of Benitez, who based it on the great Milan side and you could see the stark similarities in the teams. I think all three teams are of a similar level and thats not due to personnel or whatever but based on looking at everything.
 

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Damn you Arfy, im feeling nostalgic now :mad:

Yeah, remember that game pretty well. We pretty much tore Man Utd a new bung hole that day, Figo turning people inside out and Raul finishing everything he sees :proud:
 

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Mo your comparing the wrong thing, the Valencia team was not associated with a defined player or "crack" the strength was the team and its composition, which made it what it was. The formulation and the structure is just as important as the players itself and in that sense what they lacked in big players they made up for in the system and variable tactics of Benitez, who based it on the great Milan side and you could see the stark similarities in the teams. I think all three teams are of a similar level and thats not due to personnel or whatever but based on looking at everything.
I am not comparing the wrong thing, the person who started the thread asked which of the three teams was superior. VdB's Madrid was about a couple of levels above Rafa's Valencia in terms of superiority - think of two CL titles compared to no CL titles with Rafa and you get the picture. Of course trophies are not always an accurate indication of the greatness of a team, but it is usually the defining moment. Rafa's team always knew how to exploit the weaknesses of other Liga teams and were always well-prepared, that's what made them so consistent over 38 games. In Europe however they never ever came close to even touching the heights of VdB's Madrid who frequently embarrassed Europe's top sides.
 

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I am not comparing the wrong thing, the person who started the thread asked which of the three teams was superior. VdB's Madrid was about a couple of levels above Rafa's Valencia in terms of superiority - think of two CL titles compared to no CL titles with Rafa and you get the picture. Of course trophies are not always an accurate indication of the greatness of a team, but it is usually the defining moment.
There's a difference though, Rafa never really got a chance for the UCL. They lost to Inter once which was unlucky but bar that his team was growing when the board decided to fvck it up.

I think it was only a matter of time for the Valencia team to win the UCL (look at what Rafa has done for us, yes we have pedigree but we are still not to the level of that Valencia team) sure trophies define teams but by that token we dismiss La Quinta del Buitre who never won a UCL and they in my estimation were better than VdB's team and a lot more consistent. I don't mean to offend your opinion, I just think that apart from titles you can assess a team on its merits and composition and I think the Valencia side was on the level as the Riijkard team and the Madrid team, they have different approaches and ideas to football but in terms of merit and application they were on par with minute differences not chasms apart or anything.
 

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I don't mean to offend your opinion, I just think that apart from titles you can assess a team on its merits and composition and I think the Valencia side was on the level as the Riijkard team and the Madrid team, they have different approaches and ideas to football but in terms of merit and application they were on par with minute differences not chasms apart or anything.
You are not offending my opinion in the least, this is a forum after all and it would be boring if we all agreed on everything.

I understand the case you are trying to make for Valencia and it is true that different approaches and ideas of football can be just as successful. I just feel VdB's style would overcome Rafa's style any day of the week without even moving into fourth gear. I remember us destroying Valencia in 2003 with Zidane just toying :D with what was considered at the time to be the strongest defensive structure in Europe. That is the difference for me, they might have been tighter as a unit and more consistent but if they ever caught Zidane, Figo, Raul and Ronaldo on their day there can only be one winner, hence the "superiority".
 

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I am not comparing the wrong thing, the person who started the thread asked which of the three teams was superior. VdB's Madrid was about a couple of levels above Rafa's Valencia in terms of superiority - think of two CL titles compared to no CL titles with Rafa and you get the picture. Of course trophies are not always an accurate indication of the greatness of a team, but it is usually the defining moment. Rafa's team always knew how to exploit the weaknesses of other Liga teams and were always well-prepared, that's what made them so consistent over 38 games. In Europe however they never ever came close to even touching the heights of VdB's Madrid who frequently embarrassed Europe's top sides.
We didn't reach the heights of VdB's Real for sure, 2 CL titles to 0, but in Rafa's 1 CL season we did well, we tore our group apart in the 1st stage and then were too strong for Arsenal a good Arsenal side, untouchables the following season. If our board didn't **** up Rafa surely would of gone far in the CL, and i still think that season 2003 would of been something, if we had the luck we Inter, if Inter could take Milan to away goals in the Semi's, i'm sure we could of done something we them, who knows CL winners 2003?

I do believe all 3 teams should be muttered in the same breath, in the end of the day all 3 had similar domination in Spain.

Also, just to add we may not have had superstars ala Zidane or Ronaldinho but we still had one of the finer players in each position in europe throughout our team.

One of the best keepers in europe during that period
One of the best centre-backs in europe during that period
One of the best centre-midfield combos (Albelda and Baraja, can't be under-estimated how good Baraja was, he was top 4 CM's in europe) in europe
One of the best left wingers in europe during that time
And easily one of the best play-makers in the business during 2001-2004, Aimar was top 2/3 in europe.

We were tactically brilliantly set-up, but it doesn't just make us a "hard-working" team, we had great players, we just didn't have a great striker or right winger to add to the team, like Barca and Madrid did.

EDIT: I also think you are taking this guys "superior" wording abit to literally, maybe he just meant who was a better team but in a different term? i dunno.
 

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1. real of del bosque
2. barca of 04
3. valencia of 02
 
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