There are factors beyond the individuality of players that shouldn’t go unrecognized. And this Champion’s League final offers a good backdrop for illustrating the point.
Barca has the support of an entire philosophy behind them. A very clear and precise way of playing that has been engrained and rehearsed over years into oblivion. It is their way of life.
Every player knows exactly their role, has zero doubts, and does not deviate from it. And while it’s obvious there are individual phenoms on the pitch, the identity is the glue that ties them together into a single organism with a single brain. It is the best and strongest adhesive.
The strength that comes from this is similar to playing at home and having the crowd be the 12th man – only far more important.
It’s why having a true team identity and a real, tangible, style of play is critical.
From Brazil’s unrivaled technical flare to Spain’s tiki-taka, the greatest and most consistent soccer powers all have a clear and unwavering style one can point to.
Can this Manchester United say the same? Does your team of choice have an obvious identity?