VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 20: Barcelona players (L) and Real Madrid players pose prior the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 20, 2011 in Valencia, Spain. Real Madrid won 1-0. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
FC Barcelona fans/supporters, me included, are one spoiled bunch of people. I still can’t wrap my head around the Copa del Rey defeat. For some 100-plus minutes it seemed as FC Barcelona had already one hand on the cup, only to be gobsmacked by Cristiano Ronaldo’s thumping header.
I’m perfectly aware that no side can will all the time, but losing a final, any one, against Real Madrid, the eternal rivals, is hard to swallow. For the time being the tables have turned, much to my dismay, I have to endure much ridicule from my Madrista friends. I guess mois past Clasico celebrations must’ve been quite something.
Oh how I hate being on the losing side of things.
As my fellow Blaugranes colleague, Gabriel Roberts, so eloquently put it in his article “I felt sick for the rest of the day”. I can only second that.
Yesterday’s woeful performance by FC Barcelona against CA Osasuna only worsened my fragile health. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration but I assume you get the idea.
Still, FC Barcelona secured a vital victory in their quest for a third consecutive La Liga crown. And it wasn’t all bad; David Villa for instance scored a goal for a change while Lionel Messi broke yet another record. La Pulga became the first player in La Liga history to amass 50 goals (in all competitions) in a single campaign. I’m itching to say “take that Cristiano Ronaldo”, but then again, CR7 scored the Copa-sealing goal in the final.
Nevertheless, it is a remarkable accomplishment for any player, a 23-year old player at that. Lionel Messi has not even reached his supposed peak-years, yet he is already knocking on 200 goals scored (he’s currently at 187).
Sometimes I stumble across articles or comments that read “two out of three competitions isn’t a bad record”. Well, although I tend to agree with this assessment – is there any guarantee FC Barcelona is going to win the Champions League? Does FC Barcelona has any kind of entitlement to superiority?
Because quite frankly, I’m as worried as Gabriel is. The title of his latest article sums it pretty much up “FC Barcelona Limping, Real Madrid Soaring: Why I'm worried about La Blaugrana”.
After being spoiled for the better part of three seasons, perhaps this is the time to lower the expectations and appreciate the title FC Barcelona will most likely win, La Liga. I’m not suggesting not having lofty ambitions or expectations, just learning to not deem a single trophy a failure. That’s more than 90 per cent of all clubs across Europe will win all year.
For the first time in a very long while, I have a rather cautious outlook in regards to the upcoming Clasico semi-final matches against Real Madrid.
I just begin to fully comprehend the psychological aspect of the game and in retrospect I have to admit, Jose Mourinho’s decision to play an ultra-defensive game in the Clasico prior to the final was a stroke of genius. In doing so, Mourinho restored the confidence in the Real Madrid squad that had been on the losing side for far too long, at least in the Spanish capital. Now he is reaping the rewards as the Madrid’s battering of Valencia CF can attest.
Personally speaking, I would consider a draw in Madrid quite an accomplishment, given FC Barcelona’s current injury woes.
At the end of the day it’s all about managing expectations…
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Can the clinching of "just" one title (La Liga) be considered a failure for FC Barcelona?
Yes (38 votes)
No (27 votes)
65 total votes