Arsenal and Barcelona – two teams which ooze the beautiful game. If you cut them they would bleed … er … red, but they’d also probably be playing some lovely football as you cut them. Don’t cut anyone though. It’s messy. And not very nice.
The two acolytes of aesthetic excellence have been drawn together in the last 16 of the Champions League and because we’re so excited about the prospect of all this sexy football, we had to do something about it. Something sexy.
And what could be sexier than getting Arsenal legend Ray Parlour and brilliant La Liga journalist Graham Hunter into a room and making them pick their combined best Arsenal and Barcelona team of the last 20 years?
‘Nothing whatsoever’ we’ll assume you’ve just responded. So that’s what we did. Here’s the video of what happened when we got these two beautiful minds together to make an Arsenal and Barcelona XI – Arsalona if you like jamming two teams names together to make one amusing word to say.
Wow – all that talent, but only 11 spaces to fill. That’s definitely a recipe for a big bowl of steamy debate. And here is that bowl in video form. Tuck in.
Wow – over a billion pounds worth of footballing brilliance there. And with the exception of David Seaman’s ponytail phase, one filled with refreshingly non-flashy haircuts. And for all the possible world class candidates that could go into it, there was surprisingly little bloodshed or violence. Dammit. NOTE TO SELVES: Next time shoot the video in that place they filmed Saw.
We can only assume Samuel Eto’o, Deco, Carles Puyol, Ronaldinho, Ashley Cole, Ian Wright, Marc Overmars, Robert Pires, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas are reading this with tears in their eyes. And then wiping away those tears with cold, hard, lovely cash.
And because they rattled through their work and we had already paid them for a day’s worth of walking around Barcelona and debating football, we asked Bumper Graham and Ray to put together their best Barcelona and Arsenal XIs of the last 20 years as well.
Ray Parlour’s best Arsenal XI…
The back five and midfield look pretty much as you’d expect, but one notable omission is a certain the club’s second highest ever goalscorer, Ian Wright. Spicy. Oh well, we’re sure Wrighty will take the snub well and definitely won’t mention it in a public forum.
And yeah, we’re aware David Rocastle wasn’t strictly in the timeframe we’ve discussed, but when Arsenal legend Ray Parlour asks you to bend the rules of your debate to include David Rocastle, you bend the rules of your debate to include David Rocastle.
Over on the Barca side of things, adopted Catalan Graham picked his best XI of the last 20 or so years and once again, they look like a handy outfit, especially as they’ve got Pep Guardiola both on the pitch and in the dugout wearing a snazzy suit.
Graham Hunter’s best Barca XI…
Well, that was a lot of fun. You know what else would be a lot of fun – watching Arsenal take on Barcelona in the Champions League.
Can you pick a winner from all our betting?