El Classico : Preview
Posted by Sports Snob on October 22, 2006
Its that time of the year again, when media outlets and journos forget about the whole of Europe and focus on two teams in Spain. A country which is no stranger to schisms of a political hue in its checkered history, and this discord in beliefs brings about a footballing rivalry which has no equals. Barcelona Real Madrid or Real Barca(to all the madridistas) represents the pinnacle of soccer both in terms of quality and passion.
I will not dwell on the reasons for the rivalry(Franco, catalanismo and all that jazz) but suffice it to say that it stirs the emotions of the players and fans alike.
Real, to their credit, have always had a edge over their rivals but the Rijkaard– Laporta revolution has seen glory days for the Catalans and gloom for their hated rivals.
It has been actuated by the arrivals of star players in Ronaldinho and Eto’o– Two players who have had the greatest effect on Barcelona. Both were crucial to them winning the champions League and more importantly, to some for the shift in power from Madrid to the Barcelona. The last three years have been very hard on the Madrid giants. Not only did they have to endure the cheers from the Nou Camp , but they experienced a humbling loss in front of their home fans in a Ronaldinho inspired 3-0 Barca victory. It prompted a change in the leadership, with Florentino ‘Image rights’ Perez giving way for the windbag Ramon Calderon.
In the offseason, Calderon promised three signings- Cesc, Kaka and RObben, but none of them were interested in the move. Just as the Sword was about to fall, Calderon made a sensational move to get the pragmatic Fabio Capello at the helm. Barcelona weren’t far behind. Taking advantage of Juve’s perils to sign Thuram and Zambrotta. It surely meant that this year’s Barca Madrid clash is something to savor.
Barcelona have seen a terrible dip in form that has even alarmed their manager.To make matters worse, Eto’o is out for six months and Ronaldinho has seen a terrible loss of form. Their preparation to the Big game couldn’t have been worse.
Not only were they outdone by Chelsea,but they didn’t have a single clear cut opportunity throughout the match. Even, at one time, having Messi, Ronaldinho, Giuly, Iniesta, Deco and Xavi on the pitch. As Barca defender Rafael Marquez said in the post match interview It could be just that Teams have started to sort out Barca’s fluid style of play. This couldn’t have been better news for the Madridistas, whose president has promised a thumping victory for his team. Rijkaard will only wish that the inept performance midweek was a blip(and How i hope so). We will know tomorrow who got it right!
Please dont miss the match. It is the biggest derby in the world!