Saw Barcelona in action in San Francisco. It was my first world class soccer action, my previous experience being limited mostly to East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match-ups at Calcutta.So saying this was an upgrade is an understatement.
Barcelona was playing against a top-flight Mexican league team, Chivas from Guadalajara. The stadium, belonging to the NFL team San Francisco 49ers, was filled with more than 60,000 fans. Most of them were boisterous Mexican fans. One could hear Spanish all-around, even the official announcements were ONLY in Spanish; English being dispensed altogether, which was kind of strange. But luckily we had a Mexican friend with us and she translated, and there were a few interesting incidents like the Chivas coach being ejected from the sidelines by the referee.
It was really a dream come true to see the best team in the world. Though it was only a friendly , but the quality of soccer dished out was top-notch. Messi was in sublime form with his precision passes and assured runs. Henry was menacing, but still hasn't ever reached the heights he set at Arsenal. Also a couple of young players in the Barca team were outstanding; especially Daniel Alves. The entire match was mostly played in the Chivas half of the field with Barcelona camping there, but Chivas defence was a tough nut to crack. Inspite of getting numerous chances and hitting the post twice Barca couldn't score. And against the run of play Chivas scored. But Barcelona came back strongly to equalize. And that's the way the match ended at 1-1.
A great result undoubtedly for Chivas, but Barcelona got what they wanted, they were able to test out their team before the season, and the superior quality was there for all to see.