UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, dreaming about Wembley

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 03: Coach assistant of Real Madrid Aior Karanka (R) and Head coach of FC Barcelona Josep Guardiola look on during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on May 3, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)


The last three weeks were really exhausting, on the pitch FC Barcelona and Real Madrid contested no less than four Clasico’s (of which three were hard to stomach). Even last night’s Clasico didn’t live up to its own hype, but it was by far the best match between these European powerhouses of football. It’s either a strange coincidence or another of gigantic conspiracy against Real Madrid, but the series ended in an even 1-2-1 (one victory each and two draws). Even the most imaginative of Hollywood scribes couldn’t come up with such an ending.

At least Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey, while FC Barcelona are on track for a third successive La Liga title as well as progressing into the final of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, the UEFA Champions League. The referee did an impeccable job – it helped that the usual Oscar nominees didn’t feel inclined to get their acting on – but as it has been the case in recent weeks Real Madrid players and its officials blamed the referee for a disallowed Gonzalo Higuain goal.

To be perfectly clear about the issue, the goal should’ve probably stood but the hypothesis goes both ways:

a)      There’s no guarantee that Marcelo would’ve scored his goal in 64’ minute

b)      Even if Real Madrid had won the game by a 2-1 score line, FC Barcelona would’ve still progressed



Once again I could also argue the legitimacy of Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo’s goal against his former team. Funny isn’t it, in that case Real Madrid players conveniently turn a deaf ear.

Would’ve, Should’ve, Could’ve

Anyways, if the referees name isn’t Pierluigi Collina, one couldn’t possibly expect a flawless performance. But F. De Bleeckere did an impeccable job, under normal circumstances Real Madrid should’ve finished the game with 10 men because of Ricardo Carvalho’s persistent fouling.

It’s a suspicion of mine, but if Real Madrid aren’t beaten by a clear margin, something has got to give because it los Blancos don’t lose because of their own incompetence. At least that’s the account CR7, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas and caretaker coach Aitor Karanka gave away.

Unless FIFA finds a way to employ Robocop, there’s nothing much that prevents human error. And the last time I checked, football’s match officials are just that, human beings. How can one expect a human being to make a decision in a split second and demand it to be the right one every single time?

The four Clasico’s had four different referees, is anyone honestly suggesting that each and every one of them is part of football’s greatest conspiracy?

While FC Barcelona has its share of Oscar-worthy actors amidst their ranks, none of them complained about bad refereeing when they were on the receiving end, UEFA Champions League semi-final against Inter Milan anyone? It’s a part of the game, it happened then, it happens now, and it will surely happen in the future.

So unless a Robocop-esque referee is designed and built, or the next best thing, Pierluigi Collina is allowed to supervise a match again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and don’t play the blaming game.

FC Barcelona fans rejoice, we're going to Wembley!



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