7 Dec 2011

BARNES: Barcelona would've been 'kicked off the park' in the 80s...

How would Kenny Dalglish's superb team of 1987-1991 stack up against the current Barcelona team? Liverpool legend John Barnes was recently asked that question, and despite being a huge fan of Pep Guardiola's team, he questioned whether the likes of Messi and Iniesta would be able to cut it in an era where players hardly got any protection at all from referees.

The current Barca team is widely regarded to be one of the greatest club teams of all time, but Barnes is not convinced they would be as good in a different era.

When asked the question on LFC TV, Barnes joked that Liverpool 'would've just kicked them off the pitch', but added:

"The current Barcelona team is one the best I've seen ever in the world.

"However, if you played in a different time when the laws were different, you'd be able to kick them off the park without any yellow and red cards given.

"Could they have coped physically when the laws were different?"

Barnes is obviously being very diplomatic; I think the implication here is that the Liverpool team of the late 80s played amazing football despite the greater physicality in the game at that time.

People say that the quality of football has improved over the last 20 years, and that may be true in some ways, but the players of the past didn't get the protection modern players get from referees, so it was arguably harder to play beautiful football.

Admittedly, I'm biased, but I would still rather watch Barnes, Beardsley, Aldridge et al over the current Barca team, and as far as I am concerned, John Barnes is a superior player to Lionel Messi.

If the late 80s team played the current Barca team, who do you think would win?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. best lfcteam ever: clemence,byrne,lawrenson,hansen,lawler; barnes,mcdermott,souness,gerrard; liddle,keegan

    karsten kaki

  2. The Barca team today would have adapted. The movement of the players they have is incredible and any team back then would struggle to get close enough to kick them off the park. The Barca first 11 is the best i've seen so far..

  3. 87-91
    BRC in Div1.Play LVP 2xin 5 yearsLVP win 4 home  draw 1BRC win 3 home draw 2Meet in FA cup draw rounds or final2 xNeutral ground.BRC LVR win 1 each.

  4. Where is Dalglish??? LOL 

  5. Barca are a great attacking side but defensively weak.
    The Liverpool side of the 80s was strong in all areas
    That Liverpool side would of been plenty able to do as good a job if not better job than Inter did on them in the CL final.

  6. Outside of England, few people talk about Liverpool to be honest, it's more a local thing. Teams most mentioned are Cruyff's Ajax and Sacchi's Milan.

  7. Bcoz liverpool were not in europe during that time. All english teams were banned from playing in europe.

  8. If it wasnt for the Heysal disaster and the subsequent ban. Liverpool would have won more European cups than Real Madrid. Enough said.

  9. Well said, Barnes. Certainly we would have dominated Europe.

  10. Hard to say which team would win but I would certainly say Liverpool 88-90 were more entertaining. Whereas Barca's game is based on calculated passing and patient control, Liverpool's were based on pass and move at speed. Liverpool's game worked well at Anfield and other stadia where the pitch is more narrow. However, on a wide pitch like the old Wembley, Liverpool struggled. In both the 1988 & 1989 FA Cup finals, the performance were disappointing. And John Barnes, for all his obvious talents, never quite performed in the most important of matches. He didn't perform in both FA Cup finals, in 'that' game at home against Arsenal, and certainly never did so for England at any international tournament. So, though I would agree that Liverpool would have done well had they been in europe at that time, I don't think the team would be as dominant as many would imagine. Against Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan, Liverpool would've certainly struggled.

  11. Barnes is better than Messi? Hahahahahahahahahaha Merry Christmas!