SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - APRIL 30: Head coach Josep Guardiola of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Barcelona at Estadio Anoeta on April 30, 2011 in San Sebastian, Spain. Real Sociedad won 2-1. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
While it seems as If I have nothing better to do than constantly write about the El Clasico World Series, is there anything that even remotely interests a football fan as much as the eternal rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid? I guess not.
Furthermore, there’s still one Clasico to be played, Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final return leg at the Camp Nou. Midweek’s Clasico encounter in the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as the pre- and post-match press conferences were emotionally charged, on both sides. There’s Pep Guardiola’s very uncharacteristic outburst and the obligatory post-match rant by Jose Mourinho, who appears to have hit new lows with his antics.
Once again, the Special One makes all kinds of wild accusations ranging from favoritism and conspiracy. And if that’s not enough, Jose Mourinho is seriously suggesting that he has NEVER benefited from foul play or bad refereeing. How about Paul Scholes disallowed goal in the Champions League against FC Porto, or Diego Milito’s offside goal against FC Barcelona? I assume I must suffer from delusions since I honestly believe that these events occurred.
Anyways, I do not suggest that FC Barcelona have never benefited from foul play, bad refereeing or simply human error, far from it. My personal favorite, Sergio Busquets, is among the finest actors in the business. But Real Madrid’s campaign to discredit FC Barcelona’s Dani Alves is simply classless.
Fouls, dives and other errors happen on every match-day, and there are far worse decisions than those on Wednesday evening, but the organization of Real Madrid felt inclined to make it a media spectacle. I can’t remember the last time a major club, or any other institution for that matter, that posted, analyzed and dissected a refereeing decision on its official website.
If you ask me, Real Madrid, in preparation to Wednesday’s Champions League clash, try to condition the referee to ignore fouls. What about Cristiano Ronaldo’s swan-dive against AC Milan in the Champions League too.
I stand by my original remarks and comments regarding Jose Mourinho, with the Special One came negativity. Never before – well, in the post-Luis Figo landscape - have the Clasico’s been so explosive. Before the arrival of Jose Mourinho, the Clasico’s were hard, intense but ultimately fair games. Nowadays, one is hard pressed to watch 10 minutes of uninterrupted game-play. It’s just ugly, on both sides.
I’ll never be a big fan of Real Madrid, but Jose Mourinho seems to stain the image of Los Blancos. I remember when Los Merengues icon, Raul, silenced the Camp Nou but he didn’t provoke the audience, if anything, Real Madrid’s original no. 7 was pure class. Maybe it’s a trade-off Madristas are willing to accept, but in the long-term Mourinho’s antics do more harm than good.
Inter Milan were never the most popular club in Italy but Mourinho even further alienated the Nerazzurri from the rest of the peninsula.
Nevertheless, there are still a minimum of 90 minutes of football to be played on Tuesday and we will learn if Real Madrid can challenge FC Barcelona at their own game.
Judging by last night’s performance, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid need to make amends with their respective supporters. In a rare occurrence both, the Blaugrana and Los Blancos, have lost their La Liga fixtures. Real Madrid set the example and lost their second successive home game against Real Zaragoza, while FC Barcelona lost on the road to Real Sociedad.
Real Sociedad vs FC Barcelona (2-1)
At any rate, I’m looking forward to the next and final Clasico of the season.
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