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FC Barcelona: Time to Step Up and be Counted

Will one of the Ballon D'Or trio step up against Real?
Will one of the Ballon D'Or trio step up against Real?

In roughly a day’s time, FC Barcelona are going to take to the hallowed turf of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, to face-off against their greatest rivals, Real Madrid, for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Recent results, especially the defeat in the Copa del Rey final has left some culés (myself included) feeling dejected, and well, given the nature of the past two Clasico encounters it’s justified, especially when compared to the 5-0 drubbing, and the legendary 2-6 at the aforementioned Bernabeu.

You know what those games had in common?

Big players stepped up to the occasion.

In the 6-2 victory, Xavi finished with three assists. Henry scored twice, as did Lionel Messi.

In the Manita, Messi got two assists, and David Villa scored a brace.

Superstar players, living up to their hype.

It can be argued these two games clinched the league for Barcelona, even if the 5-0 victory came in November, 5 months ago. What Barcelona need is a world-class performance, by one of their world-class players.

Of course, no-one expects the Blaugrana to repeat their majestic performance of November, or the equally superb showing at the Bernabeu.

What one can expect is that one of the plethora of big-names reminds us why they got to this stage.

A quick rewind to the first of this El Clasico World Series, the 1-1 draw at tomorrow’s venue. I defy you to pick out a name who performed to their usual standard.

Xavi? Nope.

Iniesta? Nah.

Lionel Messi? Not really.

Maybe the Copa performance was better? Well, none of the above did any better there if I’m being brutally honest.

Also shocking is the recent form of seemingly rock-solid players, like Sergio Busquets, and Busi, whether he is jaded or rusty considering that he only returned to his usual position in the past few games, is about due a good performance.

Barcelona are not dependant on anyone of these players, but truth is, if they all fail to shine, they don’t stand a chance. The bright side though? In the absence of a recognised left-back, the defense will have to step up to the occasion. The attacking players though?

Well, we will just have to wait and find out.

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