In many people's opinion, the Barcelona of the past 5 years have been the greatest club team to ever play the game. They have dominated almost every competition they have competed in and their style of play has revolutionised football completely.
But all good things must come to an end- and yesterday, it seemed we witnessed just that.
The fantasy-like cloud that the Catalonian club have been floating upon in recent history, finally came crashing down to earth- with the 4 - 0 mauling they received by Bayern Munich. Dominated and intimidated by their German oppenents, Barcelona looked a shadow of their former self.
Although Barcelona had 63% of possession, it was the formidable Bayern that controlled the pace of the game. The Spaniards were beaten into submission by the Bundesliga Champion's effeciency and steely determination.
There was something about the game last night that saddened me. It was like watching an aging. once-brilliant King being teased, tested and tossed aside by a young Prince, thirsty for blood and the crown.
The world's greatest footballer, Lionel Messi, looked anything but that- for long spells of the game, the little Argentian went missing. His performance was completely overshadowed by the brilliance of Bayern's Thomas Mueller (who netted two goals on the night). Both men's affect on the game summed up their team's performance.
Bayern Munich, for the past two seasons, have looked very similar to Barcelona in 2008. Everything the German's are doing at the club is to be marvelled at- and Europe's elite should take note and copy as soon as possible.
The group of players that beat Barcelona last night are already being called "the greatest Bayern Munich team ever" by some. It will be scary to think how good they will be next season- Mario Gotze will be moving from Borussia Dortmund and a rumoured £120m will be spent on players in the Summer.
However, the most alarming thing for Munich's rivals is Pep Guardiola's arrival in July. The most successful manager in Barcelona's history will inherit a squad from Jupp Heynckes that may have already acheived greatness- and his aim will be to take them to the next level and eclipse what Barcelona have done.
Saying this though, it seemed like only one team needed Guardiola last night- and it was not Bayern Munich.
Whether Munich can be crowned the new Kings of Europe remains to be seen. But you wouldn't bet against them...