|Football Bettor's Survey|
Champions League: Barca v Man U?
In his weekly column for 'El Periódico de Catalunya', Cruyff lamented Barcelona's latest failure yet again but is totally confident that Barca will secure their passage to the semi-finals of the Champions League when they take their 1-0 first leg lead over Schalke to the Camp Nou on Wednesday, but believes that the team cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of Sunday's 0-0 draw with Getafe at the semi-final stage.
"Barça must get rid of the errors, football errors like we saw yesterday, or you can wave good bye to it. And by it I do not mean La Liga; nor do I mean the tie with Schalke. I say it for Manchester United," he explained.
"Unless there is an extraordinary surprise, one of the semifinals of the Champions League will be Barça-Manchester and if you repeat against Manchester such failures that take you to disappear from the match, you are dead."
The Dutchman described Manchester United as the "most complete team in Europe" and although he would like to see their defence tested by the return of Lionel Messi, he believes that the Argentine forward should not be picked unless he is fully recovered from injury.
"Haste and the desires of the player cannot influence the decision. If they must restrain him, then they must restrain him," he asserted.
Finally, Cruyff believes that the team needs to improve so that there isn't as much of an onus on Messi to produce moments of magic to keep their title hopes alive.
"All we know that Messi can change a result for you, but the play of team of a whole is more important. The better they play, the easier it is for Messi to contribute his quality.
"In the months before his injury it was the other way round: the team was bad and he fixed it. And doing that week in, week out is impossible unless you are a machine. That had a great influence on his last injury."
I've been a member since July 2003, maybe one of the first to join the Silver Circle. 2004 was a good year but I really enjoyed the long run we had in, I think, July 2005. It was exhilarating! 2006-2007 was not as exciting although still quite profitable and so far 2007-2008 looks quite good. I'm wondering if we're going to hit a long one again soon. Anyway, it's been a pleasure as always with your service, Greg. Armstrong and you are one of the few people I trust on the internet. You have made my retirement so much more fun and financially happy!
Best Wishes, Trent Wrayford, Sidney