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Best sports teams of 2009

Christina Pomoni,


A
lthough it is not easy to single out the best teams out of a vast number of competitors, still Barcelona in European football, Philadelphia Phillies in baseball and Los Angeles Lakers in basketball demonstrated professional and offered a great spectacle.

In 2009, sports fans around the globe experienced thrilling moments of excitement watching really great teams competing in different sports. Although it is not easy to single out the best teams out of a vast number of competitors, still there are some sports teams that went a step further demonstrating the true meaning of being a sports professional and bringing results, while offering a great spectacle.

BARCELONA (European Football)
In 2008/2009 season, FC Barcelona was the absolute winner in soccer. Hiring Josep Guardiola as a new manager and selling off high-profiled players such as Ronaldinho and Deco, Barcelona played fantastic football and won La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first team to win the Treble in the history of Spanish football.

Barcelona plays solid football. Players play together for several seasons and they know each other, their style of playing and their way of thinking in the field. One of the most valuable players, both for Barça and the Spanish national football team is Carles Puyol, a veteran that plays in Barcelona since the age of 17. Puyol is a great defender who demonstrates incredible fitness levels and his discipline on the pitch. Along with Puyol, Xavier, Iniesta, Ibrahimovic, Henry and Messi, among others, create a great team that, according to many, plays the best football in Europe. Sports analysts believe that Barça is likely to win the UEFA Champions League again in 2010, in spite Real’s, admittedly, great roaster.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (Baseball)
A review of the best sporting teams of 2009 wouldn’t be full without mentioning Philadelphia Phillies. Managed by Charlie Manuel, a baseball veteran with minor-league experience, the Phillies began their sixth season at Citizens Bank Park to defend their 2008 World Series championship. After beating Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs, the Phillies became the first team to have won a consecutive National League flag in franchise history.

Currently, the Phillies are playing in the World Series 2009 against another great team, the New York Yankees, to win their second consecutive league championship. However, they are definitely not ready to give up title yet. Howard (first base), Utley (second base), Hamels (starting pitcher), Lidge (relief pitcher) and Rollins (shortstop) are the core players that keep the Phillies competitive, aggressive and determined to get the title. It still remains to be seen who the final winner will be, but the Phillies, stand, admittedly, great chances.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (NBA)
Having won the 2009 NBA Championship over the Orlando Magic in 5 games, the Los Angeles Lakers are, admittedly, the best NBA team of 2009. With Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol as their big stars, the Lakers won title No. 15, Kobe Bryant was named Finals MVP, while Phil Jackson hits his way into record books having won his 10th NBA title.

With this win, Los Angeles Lakers are two behind the Boston Celtics. Apart from Kobe and Pau, the team has excellent, skillful players like Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown and Trevor Ariza. Under the guidance of Phil Jackson and the leadership of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers seem hungry to come back for more in 2010. The Lakers have a great roaster, but if Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs are healthier in 2010, the battle will be more intense and the Lakers will need more than Kobe Bryant to win the Championship.


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