The famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent determined that “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
I don’t know how much Saint Laurent was into football, but the same could be said on the beautiful game: “Tactics fade, style is eternal”.
One of the most important things Johan Cruyff did for Barcelona was to import from Holland the unique footballing philosophy which dictated Barca’s style of nonstop movement and passing.
Cruyff gave the club style that was to be played in all the age groups. For Barca, tactics are just a mere tool that assists their players’ eternal style to be realised. That means that even in the toughest of times, Barcelona’s players can always go back to their style, which was drilled into them since they were kids and they are comfortable with. Real Madrid’s players can’t.
Yesterday, Pep Guardiola played with, basically, 3 center backs (Puyol, Pique and Abidal). Sergio Busquets was the defensive midfielder that added extra cover to the defenders and freed Dani Alves to open up the game from the right. The rest of Barca’s players were in a free role, guided by their intelligence and style, they know how to use like a deadly weapon. It killed Real Madrid, that relied on the tactical genius of Jose Mourinho.
If Real Madrid really want to catch up with Barcelona, they need to find their style and implement it in all age groups.