A quartet of El Clasico’s

by Ben McAleer

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

“Sh*t Barcelona, you’re just a sh*t Barcelona” was the, hands down, favourite chant of Spurs fans last night. It bought a smile to my face but, in hindsight, it wasn’t the worst insult in the world. Watching them first hand last night really was something special. They way they moved the ball, the control of the game which such ease and their calmness in possession are traits any team would love to include in their open play. Unless, of course, you are Barcelona.

In every essence of the phrase, Madrid are just a sh*t Barcelona and they confirmed this when the Catalan giants smashed their rivals 5-0 at the Nou Camp. The defending Spanish champions made a star studded Galactico side look like an amateur Sunday league team. Yet with four encounters in a little under three weeks, the footballing world will get the chance to see whether Barcelona are five times the team Madrid or if the latter are catching up on the former.

Guillem Balague wrote an excellent piece on Sky Sports about the forthcoming fixtures and he has every aspect of the four games spot on. Personally, without Eric Abidal and Carles Puyol, Barcelona have looked suspect at the back especially when you consider Gabriel Milito is no replacement for the Barca captain. Even if he were fit, the likes of Adebayor, Ozil, Ronaldo and Marcelo to name but a few would prove a handful for any defence.

It’s much the same case for Barcelona who have household names David Villa, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and none other than Lionel Messi to give the Madrid back four a similar run around to the one they gave them back in November. Personally, the best game will be saved for the Copa Del Rey final. Madrid will go all out for the Champions League knowing that catching Barcelona now could be considered verging on the impossible. With Madrid resting key players for the double header European encounters, Barcelona may find it hard to afford the same luxury.

This is all down to the fact the Catalan outfit are suffering injuries to big players at the worst possible time, Madrid have key players returning. Kaka, Benzema and Higuain were all on the subs bench in their match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane with two of the three, Kaka and Benzema, both making appearances in the 65th and 75th minute respectively.

The set of El Clasico’s will also be won and loss in the dugout. In recent weeks, Pep Guardiola has looked a shade of his usual, confident self and is, in fact, looking tired and weary as their long season drags on. Against Jose Mourinho, it will be the Special One who capitalises on this change in character from his opponent with his world famous mind games coming into play in the days and hours leading up to the first El Clasico.

With Saturday hosting the first showdown between the two in this world class fixture, it could prove the psychological blow from either side and play an important factor in who progresses in the Champions League and wins the Copa Del Rey. Granted, Barcelona will be looking harder to pick up the three points and wrap up the title sooner rather than later but with the match taking place at The Bernabeu, we may be seeing Madrid pick up the confidence boosting victory to take into the European ties. Either way, 360, maybe 420, minutes of world class football will be on show over the next three weeks and it will go a long way to proving who is the world’s best football team.

Follow Ben on Twitter @BenMcAleer1

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  • dexylongshot

    It is a mouth watering prospect, all those games in such a short space of time, i’m even blowing out my Sat night skinfull to stay in and watch the first fixture on my own with a nice cuppa and some crumpets…..heaven. I know BArca should really outplay Real MAdrid like they did in the 5-0 but i have a gut feeling Jose will get something out of the Champion League ties.

  • http://thebeautifulgameweekly.blogspot.com/ Ben McAleer

    I think it is all four fixtures in a mind boggling amazing 18 days of world class football. I gotta work until 9 on Saturday which isnt the greatest but it means I can get back to my local in time for the second 45 (can 1 pint last 45 minutes??) I think the Copa Del Rey will be where both teams go all out for it. Madrid have, in some respects, conceded the league to Barca and vice versa for the CL. Yet, Wednesday’s fixture will see both going at it hammer and tong which I would be glued to the TV for if I weren’t at White Hart Lane seeing Arsenal getting spanked by the mighty Tottenham Hotspur

  • stan

    Real will surely have to win one of them. I reckon they will get to the CL league tbh

    Messi could break the 50 goal barrier in these fixtures, unreal!

  • http://thebeautifulgameweekly.blogspot.com/ Ben McAleer

    I think it will be the CL fixtures as well. They have the greater strength in depth in comparison to Barcelona.

    It is an unbelievable feat for Messi and after last nights game, is only one away

  • billy

    Messi is da superstar striker, he get da goals!

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