FC Barcelona: 10 Things We Learned About the Club in 2011
You can learn a lot about a club by looking at their trophy cabinet at the end of the season.
One trophy is an average turnout for a club with high aspirations.
Two trophies are a result of a very successful campaign.
Three trophies are symbolic of a club with tremendous depth and quality.
Four trophies resemble a historic season.
In 2011, FC Barcelona won not one, not two, not three, not four, but five pieces of silverware.
Subsequently, this 2011 Catalan side will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest of all time.
Whether it's their mesmerizing passing, clinical finishing, or outstanding technique, Barca teach us something every time they step on the pitch.
Let's take a look at the 10 thing we learned about the club in 2011.
Leo Messi Is the Best Player on the Planet
This certainly isn't breaking news, but Lionel Messi's 2011 has simply reaffirmed that he is without doubt the best footballer on the planet.
No Sign of Slowing Down
Despite health concerns surrounding captain Carles Puyol and vice-captain Xavi, Barca showed no sign of slowing down in 2011.
Guardiola Is Key
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has done a fantastic job dividing up the playing time between his superstar midfielders since acquiring Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal, while simultaneously developing the club's younger players.
The Future Is Bright
With players such as Thiago and Isaac Cuenca making notable contributions this season, the future looks as bright as the present for the Catalans.
Barca Own Their Rivals
Despite losing to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, Barcelona continued their recent dominance of bitter rivals in 2011, defeating Los Blancos in La Liga, the Supercopa and the UEFA Champions League.
Huge Arsenal of Attacking Players
Pep Guardiola has a number of attacking players at his disposal, all of which are amongst the best at their respective positions.
Barca Can Survive Without a Striker
Since losing David Villa to a broken leg, Barcelona have had no problem scoring goals, which can be attributed to the fact that Barcelona do not feature a "striker" in their attack.
In fact, the Catalans bagged a modest nine goals in their last match against Hospitalet in front of 56,480 at the Camp Nou on December 22nd.
No Need for a World-Class Keeper
Who says you can't overcome a goal-keeping howler versus a five-star opponent?
That's exactly what Barca did versus Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the 2011-12 La Liga campaign.
The Catalans don't need a world-class keeper, they are doing just fine with Victor Valdes. No disrespect intended.
Xavi Is an All-Time Great
Earlier this season, Xavi Hernández eclipsed the 600-game mark for Barcelona and has not slowed down despite a lingering Achilles injury.
As of now, the Catalan legend has 600 appearances for the club, tallying 66 goals, including eight in 25 games this season.
Barca Reaping the Benefits of United's Miscue
Another year, another marvelous season for former Manchester United centre-back Gerard Pique, much to the chagrin of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson.