5.) 4-0 vs AC Milan, 2013 Champions League
Very similar to the recent PSG game in its buildup, Barcelona were outclassed away from home, and had mission impossible ahead of them at the Nou Camp. While not as significant as the PSG deficit, the 2-0 first leg lead Milan took to Spain had never been overcome in the history of the Champions League.
But Barça’s football was mouth-watering from start. Two stunning goals from Lionel Messi had the Catalans on aggregate terms just over the half hour mark, and the onslaught continued in the second half. A crafty finishes from David Villa and Jordi Alba put the finishing touches on what was a mesmerizing performance.
4.) 6-1 vs Paris Saint-Germain, 2017 Champions
Despite the eye-opening scoreline, this wasn’t a “vintage” Barcelona performance by any means. The goals were scrappy, ugly and even controversial. But it showed a side of Barcelona that we rarely see, because they rarely need it.
With their backs to the wall, the team dug deep in the latter stages of the match, and miraculously found 3 goals in the 7 seven minutes to go through. It showed the tenacity and grit that we’ve hardly seen over the past decade.
The buildups to the goals weren’t the aesthetic tiki-taka that Barcelona have trademarked. But it got the job done all the same.
3.) 5-0 vs Real Madrid, 2010 La Liga
Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka at its hypnotizing best. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid, who were specialists in the art of the counter-attack, hardly got a sniff of the ball through the entire match.
Mourinho, who had enjoyed the most successful start out of any Real Madrid manager, suffered the worst loss of his illustrious career, by way of the “perfect performance” from Guardiola’s Barça, as it was dubbed by Spanish newspapers in the days following.
With Messi and Xavi as the architects, the Madrid defense was sliced open time and time again, and they should be fortunate that it was only 5 (allow the oxymoron).
2.) 6-2 vs Real Madrid, 2009 La Liga
If there’s anything better than putting 5 past Real Madrid, it’s putting 6 past Real Madrid.
The win wrapped up the league title for Guardiola in his first season, a season that ended with Barcelona winning the only ever sextuple in the history of club football.
Xavi was again the maestro of the Catalans’ attack, with Messi and Thierry Henry both netting braces. Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique, Barça’s two center halves, also chipped in with goals. But again, Real should consider themselves fortunate. Barcelona could’ve scored way more than 6.
1.) 3-1 vs Manchester United, 2011 Champions League
The scoreline doesn’t sound all that convincing. But the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story.
Barcelona were at the peak of their powers, as the 2011 side is widely considered the greatest club side ever. And they were going up against the greatest manager ever.
Sir Alex Ferguson had previous experience against Barcelona, but to not much success. That lack of success continued at Wembley in 2011. If you ignore the lone United goal (which should’ve been disallowed), Barcelona saw virtually all of the ball, and virtually all of the chances. We’re unlikely to see such a dominant performance in a Champions League Final ever again.