Looking at the major leagues across Europe, two teams stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to consistency and sheer brilliance: Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona.
This is a comparison of the two best teams in Europe as it is not likely that we would see two teams dominating and playing such great football for many years. In a hypothetical scenario that Dortmund play Barcelona, who would come out on top?
Here are some key points presented in the nest few slides:
A quick check on the points tally and goals statistics of both the teams shows a similar level of dominance and equally impressive numbers for either team.
Played: 18 | Won: 15 | Drawn: 1 | Lost: 2 | Goals For: 42 | Goals Against: 11 |GD: 31
Dortmund win an astounding 83 percent of their matches.
The next best goal differential in the Bundesliga is Bayern Munich with 11, which is 20 behind.
Their nearest challengers are Hannover, who are 12 points adrift.
Played: 19 | Won: 17 | Drawn: 1 | Lost: 1 | Goals For: 61 | Goals Against: 11 |GD: 50 |
Barcelona has an unreal 89 percent winning record this season; that is nearly nine in every 10 games.
Coincidentally, their goal difference is also 20 superior than their nearest rivals, Real Madrid.
They are four points clear of the second-place team and 13 clear of the team behind that.
When a team is this dominant, one way of measuring their superiority over the competition is analyzing their performances against their nearest rivals and title challengers.
The season began in a less-than-auspicious manner for Dortmund as they were beaten at home 2-0 by Bayer Leverkusen. Their first game of the new year was against the same opponent, and the entire Bundesliga was watching to see if there were any cracks appearing in the leaders.
The answer that everyone got was emphatic as any: A 3-1 away win even without their top scorer Shinji Kagawa. This was their most important result of the season. It pretty much kills any hope that other teams had of catching them.
For Barcelona, this is any easy one. That fateful day in November when the Catalan club pummeled Madrid 5-0 has to be the performance of the season not just in La Liga, but pretty much thus far in Europe.
Lucas Barrios and Shinji Kagawa are the names that stand out immediately for Dortmund. Both have eight goals to their names thus far. Kevin Großkreutz, at the age of 22, has matured well this season, and his two goals against Leverkusen over the weekend were extremely vital. Nuri Sahin with four goals and a brilliant six assists is another player who must get a mention.
When a player scores 18 goals in just about as many games, he has to be key and very special indeed. That is exactly what Messi is. We all know how great he is, so I won’t go into more details here. David Villa has settled in well after a slightly slow start, notching up 12 goals.
Pedro has also popped up with crucial goals, nine of them to be precise, and half a dozen assists. The usual suspects of Iniesta and Xavi have been instrumental in the majority of Barca’s success; no surprises here.
Dortmund’s achievements seem even greater than they appear when you consider that they finished fifth last season, a whopping 13 points behind winners Bayern Munich. With relatively little or no investment, they have built a very young team that has taken the Bundesliga by storm. The challenge for them will be to keep the young team together, especially when Bayern Munich and other big-spending clubs come calling for some of their stars.
Shinji Kagawa was signed for €350,000 (£294,000) from the J-League new boys Cereza Osaka. Talk about a smart piece of business and a keen eye for talent!
It is fair to say that they have their sights firmly set on winning the league, and the Europa League and DFB Pokal competitions have been given second priority.
Barcelona had an incredible 2009/10 season, scoring an unbelievable amount of points. With the arrival of Mourinho at Real Madrid and a bunch of new players to boot, would Barca manage to hold off the challenge from their fiercest rivals? If the numbers are anything to go by, they are well on the course to achieve that and potentially better than their tally of 99 points from last season. When you think about that, it is truly remarkable, regardless of the strength of the other teams in La Liga. That is a debate for another day.
A special mention for Jurgen Klopp. He has to be the manager of the season in Europe.
Watching a game between Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund would be simply amazing, and one that I hope would happen next season, provided both the teams maintain their current level and squads.
Just a hypothetical question: If a game were to happen between the two sides right now, who do you think would come out on top and why? It's fantasy football I know, but a game I would love to see.