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Dec 28, 2017

At the Winter Break, FC Barcelona remains the only undefeated team left in Europe; firmly in control of the league.

FC Barcelona players celebrating the victory of one of the best matches they played this season so far against Real Madrid

At the winter break, FC Barcelona is in the most envious situation that no one imagined when everything started this season. The start to the season was dreadful; fear, confusion, doubts, sense of inferiority all prevailed. Neymar transfer saga, that too that sudden and that late into the season was not the ideal way to prepare for the season. The team looked lost; emphasized in mega scale by the abject performance the team put up against their arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Super Cup. For the first time, a two legged tie against Real Madrid felt like torture; it was too much to take for the fans; may be even for the players. Pique put it ever so correctly by saying "may be for the first time in many years, Barca felt inferior to Real Madrid". It wasn't that feeling of inferiority which actually hurt; but a feeling of "No Hope"; that really hurt the fans more. It looked like we were starting to go down the hill.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu

There was supposed to be no way out; despite possessing the enormous talents we had! At least that was what the so-called football pundits told us. They reminded us that "All Good Thing must come to an End" and declared emphatically the end of the 'Golden Era' of Barca. Now standing at the beginning of winter break; it's so fun looking at the predictions made about FC Barcelona's demise by many pundits. How thing change so quickly? Thanks to a bunch of players who despite being written off, never gave up hope. Their belief in each other and their game was enough to overcome the challenges and at the winter break they stand a good nine points clear of their nearest rivals and an enormous fourteen point clear of their arch-rival Real Madrid (who was supposed to humiliate Barca to submission this season!) As per the odds from Popular sport betting sites, Barca is the favourite to win the 2017-18 La Liga title with an odd of 2/9 against Real Madrid's 14 and Atletico’s 40 ( Make sure to head to to compare the latest odds and find out the best place to put your money of Barca's victory).

Going into the winter break, Barca remains the only undefeated team in Europe top leagues. It's not only that we haven't been defeated so far; we have scored more goals and conceded less than many of the major teams in Europe. In Europe as per the odds, Barca is fourth favourite to win the Champions League this season. But that is majorly due to the favourable draws Manchester City and Bayern Munich had in the next round. If we are able to see of Chelsea then that also will tilt in our favour. Here we will look into three of the Best Barca performances so far this season. We had some spectacular results this season winning matches with at least a three goal margin 10 times so far this season. But here I will be writing about three most influential matches considering the impact it created at that point of time. It may not all have resulted in victories but the results impact in the grand scale was never in question.

1. Victory against Juventus was a Firm Step for FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi inspired FC Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Juventus which has been pivotal in turning around the season

In the context of what happened at the start of the season, the 3-0 victory against Juventus at home in the first match of the UEFA Champions League 2017-18 Groups stage had a huge bearing in what we are seeing with this side now. Many say, it was all about the revenge for last season's failure against the Italian Champions. But it wasn't that; it was more than that. We went into this match with a 5-0 victory against Espanyol; but that never mattered. This was the match who would define our calibre in Europe and in Spain. Whether we are able to still compete with the elites of Europe was in question coming into the game. As per almost all the pundits, we were not supposed to compete not even at our home.

Then, they forgot that we had Lionel Messi, the best player in the World maybe the "Greatest of All Time". 'Come the hour, cometh the man'; Lionel Messi stepped up creating one and scoring two goals; in the process scoring for the first time against Buffon. That was a stupid statistics in any case. And he scored twice, in the process getting Barca back among the Elite and reminding the pundits that Barca will remain a serious force till he wears that jersey. Since that victory, the usual question that is hurled at Barca is "Whether Messi can Take Barca to the Top Again?” that's a huge change from writing us off! In that sense this has to be the greatest victory this season so far. Had we failed to win this match, there was a serious chance of confidence eroding from the players.

2. A Super Entertaining Draw against Valencia

It's quite strange to list a draw as one of the best matches of the season. One usually expects the 5-0 victories and the 4-0 demolitions to feature in this list. But as I explained at that time - Barca's Draw against Valencia was a Positive One, this was a very positive result. This came against a high flying Valencia who had serious momentum behind them. But still we went into the Estadio de Mestalla and almost played them out of the park in the first half. That was the best first half display I have ever seen this season. The speed, the quick passing and the pressing was all in full display. The only thing which was missing in that first half was a goal and we did score one but was ruled offside. That performance showed where this Barca team can reach when everything starts to fire. Even though the second half performance was a big let-down compared to the first and we conceded a late goal to drop two points; this match was one where Barca convinced a lot of people that they haven't peaked and when they do it will be in a different class!

3. Destruction of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernebeu

FC Barcelona players celebrating against Real Madrid

This one will be #1 for a lot of people but I will place it at 3 despite the enormous happiness it brought. The reason why I kept it a 3 is because it was never a do-or-die situation for us. But then we can't ever relax against Real Madrid! So we still went for the kill, especially in second half. The impact of this match could be very much on Real Madrid's title hopes; they more or less looks like have gone out of the race. In that sense this victory gives than nice feel of shutting out the door at your fiercest rival! Take a look at the brilliant post match analysis by Barca's own Thiery Henry at the Barca's Demolition of Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu

Despite being in a good position, we are still just half way in a very long journey. The team still needs to hit full speed and there are a lot of tiny tweaks which needs to be made. The Team and the Manager understands that better than anyone. How we start from the break also will be crucial how far we go or how soon we can hit top form. If we show the same spirit like now at the start of 2018, there is nothing which stops us from repeating another treble season! Let's Pray for that.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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