The Azulgrana Roundup, Week 7

Lionel Messi
On this week’s Azulgrana Roundup: ‘AMC’s’ Don Draper and Josep Guardiola, why Andrés Iniesta is the best midfielder in the world, why young Cristian Tello doesn’t go unnoticed, and of course, opinions on Lionel Messi’s historic five-goal performance in the Champions League

After Barça’s stellar performance in the Champions League the worldwide press was ablaze with praise for the Catalan side. While the 7-1 scoreline, Messi’s five-goal performance, or Keita’s brilliant strike took the headlines, the Azulgrana Roundup will attempt to bring you a couple of pieces that might have slipped through the cracks. If you have any suggestions for this column, please tweet them to FC Barcelona’s Twitter account, remember to tag your tweet with #FCBroundup.

Twelve Point Sports. Pep Guardiola: A Mad Man

An essay examining the parallels between Don Draper from AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ and FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola

The Guardian. Sid Lowe. Lionel Messi now bears comparison with Diego Maradona

The hand as an icon of a game played with the feet: from 1986 and the symbol of Diego Maradona, Argentina’s greatest talent in a generation, in any generation, to the almost mystical symbol of FC Barcelona’s greatest nights. A manita, a goal for every finger: the 5-0 against Real Madrid with Johan Cruyff the player in 1974; the 5-0 against Madrid with Johan Cruyff the manager of the Dream Team in 1994; the 5-0 with Leo Messi leading the Team That’s Better Than The Dream Team in 2010.”

New York Times. Rob Hughes. A Little Magic in Nicosia, a Lot More in Barcelona

Little Leo scored five goals in Barcelona’s 7-1 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen. “It’s nice,” he said, “to score five.” Nice? It’s downright outrageous. Messi chipped goals with his right foot and left. He drew three defenders and then waltzed away from them, the ball still in his possession until he once more released it into the net. The pair (Xavi and Iniesta) are a Ferrari on the pitch, don’t even think about taking Xavi to another team, even if 80 million is offered [Chinese website]

[A Real Madrid supporter, Fernando Alonso, came to the Camp Nou to watch the Barça v Sporting match, and he enjoyed the football show put on by Xavi and Iniesta. If we say the connection between Fernando Alonso and Ferrari is perfection in Formula 1, than Xavi and Iniesta are a work of art on the pitch.] Phillip Arens. Fußall-Gott Messi [Messi the Football God] [German]

His five goals humiliated Leverkusen, a mere sparring for Barça. Leo is a joy for any football fan.

El Confidencial. José Manuel García. El mejor equipo del mundo posee la mejor cantera del mundo [The best team in the world have the best youth academy in the world] [Spanish]

La nómina de canteranos azulgrana no la dispone nadie. Veintiún jugadores salidos de las parideras de La Masia, casi dos equipos para montar un lienzo de Velázquez, una multinacional del fútbol, que eleva a este equipo, Fútbol Club Barcelona, a lo más alto de la pirámide mundial. Nadie recuerda semejante logro. Andrés Iniesta: The World’s Best Midfielder

Iniesta’s brilliance lies in the apparent ease with which goes about his job. Everything he does on the pitch looks natural, and his virtuosity brings out the very best in his teammates. Barcelona manager Guardiola has handed him greater responsibility since taking charge in 2008. The unparalleled success that has followed is no coincidence.

The Telegraph. Oliver Pickup. The next Lionel Messi: who is Barcelona’s forgotten Champions League hero Cristian Tello?

In the latest swirl of Messi-mania, Tello’s superb European debut on Wednesday night is in danger of being lost; a mere forgotten footnote among the thousands in the career of the greatest player ever to have kicked a football.

EUMD. Barca 2012-13 (II): Montoya y Bartra [Spanish]

La decisión de ascender hasta cinco canteranos de golpe al primer equipo tiene un componente que va más allá de la evaluación individual. Se trata también de una decisión de vestuario, de renovar desde dentro. De inyectar ilusión y entusiasmo al grupo, ante los nuevos retos que se le presentan.