Attention, snappish - La Pantera
Lucas Barrios has arrived in Dortmund a long time ago. After he faced some problems overcoming the different style of play from South America to Germany during his first season with Borussia, he finally scored for the first time in Mönchengladbach. What followed was a great rest of the season of the Argentinean who today plays for Paraguay alongside Nelson Valdez. In this year's championship season, he underlined his class and ability. Quotes of the yellow press calling him a "Weltnixjäger" (world's not scorer in comparison to his status as world's best scorer) are forgotten for a long time.
What makes Barrios so special for BVB are not only his goals. Being the only forward in the tactical system of Jürgen Klopp, Lucas sometimes does not have an easy time and is often marked by several defenders. However, Lucas knows how to play the ball like a number 10 and especially when Borussia storms forward with a long ball, he is able to control the ball with his body or to directly pass it forward to the next forward with his chest. Of course, this can not end up perfectly all the time – and of course, there are fans standing on the terraces saying "I can not see him doing this something with his chest anymore". But the work of Lucas in his central forward position is not to be underestimated. Not every forward is able to play the lonely scorer in the front. Several colleagues have proven that they need a second or even third forward along their side. These men seem to be lost alone. However, this is not the case for Barrios. He fits into the system of Jürgen Klopp, he suits the position perfectly and he is able to score on his own. Another great quality of "La Pantera" is his often-quoted ability to be where he can score. This is something a forward can not learn but needs to have.
And even though he showed that he is not the perfect penalty scorer at the last match of the season against Frankfurt, he is able to score in different ways. Header, right foot, left foot, Lucas always finds a way to shoot the ball into the net. Especially during the first half of the season, he combined nicely with Shinji Kagawa who was able to give him the ball and vice-versa. When Lucas appears in front of the goal on his own, you can make yourself ready to celebrate.
After the change of Alexander Frei, many supporters were skeptical if a guy coming from Chile is able to replace the Swiss. Concerning penalties, this could be doubted, but nobody should doubt concerning the rest of the abilities. The name of Alexander Frei is not as present in the Westfalenstadion anymore. Lucas has not erased the memories of the supporters concerning Frei, but the ones concerning him are definitely more present. It is no wonder that this leads to many clubs being interested in him. Clubs from Russia are always a good source for the boulevard press but it remains more or less silent around Barrios. Maybe because he likes it in Dortmund? This is something which could be proven with the statements of him in Interviews where he points out, that he is happy to be at Borussia. And when Lucas will be enjoying the smell of the Champions League next season – and score in the Champions League – the requests of big European clubs will not decrease. This is something one can prepare for, this is no surprise for every enlightened football supporter. However, we can rely on Lucas Barrios.
Facing the facts, everything that was said before gains a big underline. 16 goals in 32 games, this means a goal in every second match. To be more precise, Lucas scores ever 155 minutes, being something with which he does not need to hide from other top-scorers of the Bundesliga. Furthermore, he is also able to score the important ones. He scored the 1-0 against Munich and brought the lead in Wolfsburg as well. The same is true for the match against St. Pauli and the championship maker against Nuremberg. And away in Munich, it was again Lucas who scored the important 1-0. In addition, Lucas was responsible for six assists. The sales venue of Lucas should be three times as big in comparison to his value two years ago. However, there is no need to sell him, Watzke and Zorc pointed out that no player of the first eleven will leave Dortmund this year anymore.
What remains to be said is the same for every player who stood on the pitch in this season. Thanks to Lucas for every goal and every assist. You played a major role in our championship win and we are all looking forward to see you score in the Bundesliga and Champions League next year – even if it's not from the penalty point.