Another El Clasico is behind us, and once again it is Barcelona who have come out as winners. It was a game full of high drama, some terrific goals and unfortunately A LOT of “aggressive” tackling. Nevertheless, we can easily say it was a performance for the football romantics, which is something we have been saying almost every time we have seen Barcelona play in the past 4 years. I can honestly say that I though that this year Real would at least measure up to the Catalan giants to some extent, but as it turns out, there is still a HUGE gap between the best and, according to my rankings, the second best team in the world at the moment. We can say that Real is improving each day and they are deservedly at the top of La Liga, due to the fact that they do not drop points against the so called “easier” opponents.
But Mourinho, along with his his galaxy of stars, must except the fact that they are facing arguably the best football team this world has ever seen. There is no doubt that Real have shown their quality and the talent that they posses throughout the season, and if a person with very little football knowledge would look at the standings in the Spanish league as well as the Champions league, he would probably assess that Real Madrid is the best team in the world at the moment. BUT, whenever they face Barcelona, they seem helpless and, except for the first 10 minutes of the game, they can’t really do much. It is if as another Real side shows up for the El Clasico and all the goal scoring records and the great form are gone. It is a phenomenon really, how one team is simply so much better than all the rest. But to be fair to Real, no team has come very close to presenting a challenge to the Catalans in the last years.
I believe that as the years go by, and as Barcelona’s talent filled generation slowly goes out of its prime, Real will be there waiting to pounce and reclaim what they believe is rightfully theirs. I am very sure that Jose Mourinho will not leave the Spanish capital until he finishes his job, which is to knock Barcelona from the top. Although I must say I don’t see it happening there soon, at least until Messi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Pique are still in their prime (and are going to be for a few more years) and the likes of Thiago and Cuenca coming in from the youth ranks.
Yesterdays game was a clear reminder of who is still the best in the business. It truly amazes me, how Barcelona never really lost control of the game, even when they went a goal behind. As always, they calmly played on and eventually they got their award. The pass and move game has never been so graceful demonstrated as it is by Barcelona, so we can (to some extent) be sympathetic with the Los Blancos, as they ran up and down the field, trying to get a touch of the ball. It is human to get frustrated it these kind of situations, but some of the tackles were truly out of this world. For sure they where not following the FIFA slogan (which is very known to all of us) at all. As he did many times before, Pepe left a negative mark on the game, by stamping on Messi hand. It was a repulsive and despicable tackle, which should be dealt with by the authorities.
No player should ever make a tackle like that, especially one wearing the royal Real Madrid shirt. I hope that many of you will agree with when I say, that Pepe shouldn’t be allowed to play for Real Madrid ever again, as he is a disgrace for a club of Real’s stature. I can tell you right know, if I where in charge of the Spanish FA, I would ban Pepe from the Spanish league, to show that that kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable. For some of you (mostly Madrid fans probably), it might seem very harsh, but if a player allows himself to do such a thing, it shows he has not respect whatsoever towards the opponent. Footballers should look out for each other, because they all know that only one tackle is needed to end a players career.
At the end of the day, the game at the Santiago Bernabeu was only the first half of the tie, and we will see how it all plays out on Wednesday, but there is no doubt Barcelona have a massive advantage.
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