In recent weeks, and indeed since the Supercopa clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid (at the beginning of the season), the Spanish and international media has had a tendency to sound a bit like a broken tape recorder, with the same thing being repeated again and again. The main points of this tiresome media narrative are:

  1. Ai??Jose Mourinho’s teams are better in the second year.
  2. Ai??Real Madrid have improved (as witnessed by the Spanish Supercopa matches) and will usurp the league this time around.

But let’s examine these statements and their true worth. It is a fact that JosAi?? Mourinho’s teams are better in the second year. You just have to look into the Special One’s performances when he was manager of Porto, Chelsea and Inter to realize thsi. With FC Porto, it was said that Mourinho’s first conversation with the team went along the lines of promises that were stated like events that had already occurred. Something along the lines of ai???We will be in the top two and qualify for the Champions Leagueai???. Although he couldn’t keep his promises, Porto did go onto 3rd in the table (a drastic improvement). His first full season was even better for the Portuguese giants wherein they won the UEFA Cup. His second full season was the peak of his Porto career as he won the Champions League with the Portuguese giants. The same can be stated with his tenures with Chelsea and Inter Milan. It is a fact that the fire-breathing, eye-gouging, Portuguese coach works his magic and his team inevitably perform at a higher level in his second year.

Even a fan of the blaugrana must admit that the whites have been on a roll lately; it would be foolish on anybody’s part to deny the great football that Los Blancos are playing at the moment. The all whites are playing a slightly different version of Barcelona’s one-touch football: more direct and to their strengths (read: speed)

Cristiano Ronaldo with his good looks, money and football skills is like Usain Bolt with a ball at his feet and on steroids. Better yet, the man has learnt the art of passing and has actually been setting up goals for his teammates. The other wing usually has Angel Di Maria with his great crosses and oscar deserving dives. On a serious note, both are on a roll. Di Maria is notching up assists at an incredible rate. Karim Benzema is finally beginning to show his potential and although his shooting is still lacking a bit, nobody can deny the great form he’s in. Finally, Gonzalo Higuain, who might just be the most dangerous of the lot given his spectacular scoring ratio in La Liga this season.

However, Madrid have not faced Barcelona yet, have they? Although at the top of the table (leading by 6 points), this just goes to show that this season’s first Clasico in December will be even more important than last year. Yes, Barcelona have been unlucky (and sometimes undeserving) with a few draws and a loss that should probably have been avoided. Certain facts that the media (conveniently) avoided in their constant blowing of the Madrid horn have to be brought to light.

During the Supercopa matches, Madrid were arguably the more dangerous of the two in the first leg, surely making culAi??s very worried. Barcelona, however, were nowhere close to fully fit and come December, barring any serious injuries, that simply won’t be the case. Although, the match itself ended as a draw, Barcelona were the more efficient (in terms of goals/chances) of the two teams helped by moments of brilliance from David Villa andAi?? Lionel Messi.Ai??The second leg was a little more equal in terms of playing style and fitness levels. Again, Barca did not look their fluid best but the sheer genius of Lionel Messi simply could not be denied.

The point? Despite Madrid being at their best (fitness-wise) and Barcelona lacking, there is something that really stuck out in that 2 legged affair. The huge elephant in the room was Marcelo and Mourinho’s behavior after Madrid were down 3-2 with very few minutes left on the clock. Fans of the Catalan side have surely come to expect such things from those two, but it was more than that this time. It revealed that Real Madrid were lacking in the one aspect of their game that could give Barcelona the win in December: Ai??discipline.

Can Marcelo keep his emotions in check next time?

Defense in football is nothing short of an art form. It requires technique and essentially discipline. Although there have been teams that have shown the level of discipline to keep Barcelona from running wild with the score line (like Madrid for most of the Supercopa and more recently Athletic Bilbao and Getafe), Real Madrid showed that they lacked the mental strength to keep their cool when things aren’t going right for the team. Moreover, when a team chooses to press high and hard (like Madrid did in the Supercopa and have continued to do so), the number of fouls is naturally going to increase and so it is even more important that the team’s defenders are extremely disciplined. Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Carvalho, Sami Khedira and even Xabi Alonso are anything but disciplined. Yes, they all have virtues and are great players but discipline is not a part of their resumAi??.

For those of you who watched the El Clasico world series last season, most people (including fans of the Blaugrana) would agree that things had gone too far. Jose Mourinho went with his usual tactics by implementing a seige mentality in his squad: a ai???world against usai??? line of thought and even more so against Barcelona. The media was used, extreme negative tactics were used and tackles that were plain dangerous were just flying around. Then things changed in Catalunya just before the 1st Champions League match up when Mourinho went on to blame everyone and included comments that stated that Pep Guardiola had not won a European trophy fairly and the referees had helped Barcelona (Ironically, if one were to look into Mourinho’s past with Porto and Inter Milan, it’s easy to see important decisions that went his way at extremely important points of the season). That particular press conference had the opposite effect and it seems Madrid had reached the point of diminishing returns with Mourinho’s media antics. Pep, who is usually the coolest cat in the football world, finally lost it and went on a rant where he told the self-acclaimed ai???Special Oneai??? (through the media) that he would answer on the pitch.

That was clearly a turning point in last season’s ClA?sico World Series. Barcelona players had enough of the dangerous tackles and used the referee to their advantage. The rest as they say, is history. La Pulga destroyed Madrid after Pepe was sent off, something that, if one were to really look at that match, it’s easy to see that it was bound to happen. Pepe, Sergio Ramos (not so much recently), Marcelo and Sami Khedira (to a lesser extent) were liabilities and their lack of discipline while defending was bound to earn them cards. If anything, it’s surprising that they got away with those tactics for so long.

So that there is no misunderstanding, Mourinho and his tactics itself were spot on but the aggressive defending was supposed to stop just before the point of becoming illegal (circa Manchester United using Gary Neville to stop Arsenal’s Invincibles) and anything beyond that point was detrimental to realising the final goal which was to beat Barcelona. During the Supercopa, Madrid improved in every aspect of their game, from the extremely fast movement of the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and an even more impressive aggresive defending (minus the cynical tackles from last season), but Barca weren’t at their best, were they?

The question is, Ai??how will Madrid react when the pressure is on? When Barcelona visit the Santiago Bernabeu in December, Pep Guardiola will have done everything to make sure that his team is at their peak. Madrid will have their chances and the match will still be closer than last year but in the end Barcelona will still have that edge and can go on to win the game.

After three years that were undoubtedly among the very best in football history, the Catalan seem to have lost their edge and have been looking quite vulnerable this season, but they remain a formidable force. If anybody were to ask a Cule before the season started what they thought of Barcelona’s summer signings, most probably would have given a tentative answer along the lines of ai???hmm, Cesc, Ai??sure it’s nice to get him back but where exactly is he going to play? Alexis? Interesting signing, he should make a good substitute for Villa and Pedroai???. The English media squeezed it for everything it was worth and were prone to their usual ai???it’s true if it’s printedai??? policy and questioned everything about Fabregas from his principles to his usefulness.

Quite a few fans of the Catalan side were on the receiving end of abuse from disgruntled Arsenal fans and it almost got to the point that some of them actually hoped their hero (of 8 years, no less) failed in his new endeavour. But any doubts were quickly put to bed. Pep Guardiola showed that not only is he capable of building a team but rebuilding one if necessary. Cesc Fabregas fired on all cylinders and Pep knew before any of us that his ai???chaoticai??? ways on the pitch could be used to great advantage. If that wasn’t enough, his telepathic relation with Lionel Messi has proved to be magical. Now, the Catalan side have a brilliant back up in case the usual suspects, Xavi and Iniesta, get injured and also that he would bring a new tactical angle to a team that needed to take the next step in their evolution.

The best player of this generation has already scored 13 goals past Casillas and will be looking to do more of the same on December 10

As for Alexis Sanchez, although the Chilean hasn’t had too many chances to prove himself in Barcelona due to injuries, he has shown glimpses of what he can add to the team. Sanchez is fast, hard working, brilliant at dribbling (and taking defenders 1 on 1 as shown during the Supercopa match against Marcelo) and is one of those wingers who likes to track back to defend. That makes him the only winger with the exact same abilities in Barcelona. David Villa, although brilliant and extremely hard working, is not much of a dribbler and neither is Pedro (both of them are known for their finishing).

In the ClA?sico, Madrid’s players will be specfically instructed on how to treat Lionel Messi and everybody expects Pepe and co. to put in quite a few cynical challenges to stop the dimunitive Argentine. Alexis Sanchez can be used as an insurance policy of sorts. Pepe might try to take Messi out of the match but how can he handle both Messi and Sanchez? Both are great at dribbling, beating defenders and making space. This is a conclusion we can reach by looking at the Chilean’s characteristics and how Pep used him during the Supercopa games,a nd it is definitely something that Barcelona were lacking last year.

In conclusion, Real Madrid are a lot better this season but so Barcelona aren’t exactly done, as proven by their 27 match unbeaten run (ended today), and the Clasico will not be as easy for Real Madrid as some pundits claim. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate what is surely the greatest team of this generation. Pep’s Barcelona might be looking vulnerable and every dominating period has its end, but people who believe that Real Madrid will easily beat the Catalans might be in for a surprise. It might a clichAi??, but form is temporary and class is permanent and Barca have grown accostumed to winning whenever they have their backs against the wall over the past few years. No one should be surprised if Barcelona manage a win in Santiago Bernabeu, thus improving their chances of winning their 4th consecutive league title.

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44 Responses to “El ClA?sico: Why FC Barcelona Can Triumph at the Santiago Bernabeu Despite Recent Events”

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  1. Kimi Cilmi says:

    This is a well balanced, objective and unbiased article. One will never accuse you of favouritism or fanboyism after reading it. Pure facts and informed opinions not at all based on or driven by your loving or loathing of one team over another. NOT.

  2. Angelo says:

    Love the way you try to bring back hopes. Nicely done. I also think you are being a little too much against madrid.

  3. Bijay says:

    Well said.

  4. Jaime Burrows says:

    Your article reads like it was well thought of, your prtedictions, that, is, before today’s game. Even if it wasn’t, what you have failed to address, SIGNIFICANTLY, is the psychological advantage Madrid has this time, not just because they are ahead on points (the last three years was the other way around every time they met), but because unlike the results they obtained when playing away in the last three years (brilliant), this year their performance when not at the Camp Nou has been dismal, let alone their capacity to score at those venues, when they really had to. Let me be frank with you. I agree to your saying that they can beat Madrid on December 10. But your reasoning for thinking that they can, turns MIRACULOUSLY, into they will. In fact, I’d say it will take a miracle for Barza to leave Bernabeu with a victory. And Mourinho knows it. Pep doesn’t. And that will be the key to the game, namely Mourinho’s ability to psyche his players into knowing they will win. All of the above will be made even more certain if Madrid routs its opponent, in next week’s Liga games, irrespecvtive of what Barcelona does this coming Tuesday against Rayo, or at their own game next week-end, because Mourinho knows not only that Barcelona will have one game more, but that the two games that must be played from the first week (the cancelled one), will be, in Madrid’s case, against Athletic, but at Bernabeu, while Barcelona will go to Malaga. They want to extend their current lead, of 6 points to maybe 9 or 10 by the time they meet Barza at Camp Nou. It’s all mostly psychological between these two teams and, the way I see it, the tide is this time in Madrid’s favour.

    • Robin van Persie says:

      there is no psychological advantage against Barcelona. Being 6 points above is a psychological advantage? PLEASE. I am sure that Madrid are still bleeding psychologically from their 5-0 defeat last season and all the times Messi tormented them last year and overshadowed them in every possible way (he loves scoring against Madrid). 6 points compared to that is miniscule- if at all a team is psychologically undermined before this fixture- its Madrid. You think its psychological between these 2 sides because IT IS for Madrid- not for Barcelona. Madrid has been following the shadow of Barcelona for the last 5-6 years when Barcelona has amassed 3 UCL trophies and 3 more La Ligas than Madrid. This Barcelona team is the best team the world has ever seen and it will not let something like this numerical advantage psychologically undermine them. They will instead take it as a challenge and come out with flying colors when it matters the most (this is exactly what happened last November). If you think that Barcelona are a team that are ever psychologically affected, please think once again. Remember 2010 when Mourinho beat Barcelona- did that psychologically affect them? Did the fact that they lost out on winning the Champions league in 2010 psychologically affect them? NO. They destroyed everyone in 2011. This is a more than perfect out-of-the world team and its going to take more than a 6 point difference to supercede them both mentally and on the field.

    • Mariano says:

      Barcelona have won 2. Not 3 champions league trophies. Madrid are a much younger team and Barcelona is going downhill because they are too old. They are still an amazing team,but madrid looks more hungry to win.

      • charlie says:

        it is three if you include the one under rijkaard in 2004 (which was six years ago (ish), and certainly part of the period of barcelona’s dominance over Madrid

    • What’s wrong with you??? “they are ahead on points (the last three years was the other way around every time they met)”

      Hmm, check the table from November 28. Real Madrid were ahead by a point, so there goes that argument.

      “Mourinho makes his players know they will win” Didn’t they come out saying that they would win last November? Turned out well…

  5. eddie says:

    Whole lotta rubbish! Let the classico come and see if Inder has still got a job to write rubbish articles.

  6. Laddy says:

    Great article. Factual, accurate and fair in all direction. Barca for life

  7. footballdiarrhea says:

    Barcelona is ahead of Real Madrid in the alphabetical order.

  8. Inder says:

    Lol take it easy guys..this was meant as an argument over the line of thought that barca’s era is finished..however i do agree its an uphill task,that Madrid have the psychological advantage and that they are now the favourites for the clasico and league…still think that if pepe and marcelo start with the cynical foul…it is definitely possible that there could be a red card…either way..we will have to wait till the 10th:)

  9. Daredevil says:

    What an extremely biased and uninformed article

    So you mentioned that Barcelona were ‘not at their best’ in the supercopa and how conveniently forgot how we were without 5 first teamers for the UCL semifinal 2nd leg and still drew 1-1 with one goal wrongly disallowed.And even we,for the supercopa were without likes of Higuain,Kaka and Sahin

    You call Xabi and Khedira ‘ill-disciplined’ while those 2 are probably the most disciplined CDMs around,And to top it all off you call them ‘liabilities’

    We apparently resorted to negative tactics(which i agree) but Barcelona with their diving and bitching and play acting were all positive right??They went into the match looking to get as much players suspended for the 2nd leg as possible and thats pretty positive right??

    And he claims an Alexis Sanchez who has no clue whatsoever what his role in the side is will cause us trouble and will ‘tough to deal with’ while conveniently forgetting how inform Kaka and Dimaria can rip apart the Barcelona defence if everything clicks

    He calls our defence ‘indisciplined’ while the Catalan sides play midfielders in their defence every game LOL and they are the one’s who are accused of being racist and abusive by every tom,dick and harry.Disciplined indeed LOL

    He says Barcelona did not deserved the draws and the loss while infact they were pretty lucky to rescue one point at San mames,and it isnt our problem when the supposedly best player of all times cant put away a last minute penalty to win the game

    • Inder says:

      Lol..safe to assume that you think Madrid will win the clasico?;) unfortunately,arguments for both sides will go on for a while..still think pepe,ramos,marcelo and khedira aren’t known for their discipline…giving examples of diving doesnt count as an argument..two different things..i do,however condemn diving..doesnt matter who does it..busquets and Di Maria is equally bad..however Di Maria is definitely making a reputation for himself..anyhow..the clasico itself should be interesting.. I think it’ll come down to who scores first..if bata takes the lead early then i expect the cynical tackles to start and everything that comes along with it..if Madrid lead(which i will admit is more likely considering their form) then barca will be in some trouble..rather a lot of trouble..hope this time there are no fights or blinding of coaches

      • Inder says:

        Oops typo…that was barca not bata hehe damn predictive texting:)

        • Daredevil says:

          And you saying we had a -ve approach in the copa final is factually incorrect

          We had a goal,a effort cleared of the line,another header hitting the post,missed 2-3 one on ones,Ronaldo miscontrolling the ball twice with only the GK at his mercy.
          So much for -ve approach

      • Daredevil says:

        Im a RM and i hope to come out with a draw if not a win.On current form it looks quite possible but Barcelona always set up their game tremendously for the clasicos which is what im afraid of

        And Dimaria is a diver,never denied it

        And you have to admit,dispossessing likes of messi,xavi and iniesta with clean tackles is a phenomenal task which is why you need to go into rough challenges(Im not saying that it is the right thing to do)

  10. sonny says:

    Your Barcelona bias is clear. Your feeble attempts to explain that come Dec 10, RM will not necessarily win shows it. While I agree that there is no guaranteed winner, it comes from the fact that despite the the table position, Barcelona is still a great team. The big difference in this classico is that Pep now has his work cut out for him. Barcelona’s away form this season is why the gap is 6 pts. He has 2 weeks to find the solution or the likelihood is that Barcelona will lose their title there.

  11. Ramakrishnan says:

    As a Madrid fan, I am very much aware that Barcelona can indeed beat Madrid @ the Bernabeu, but please try and be factually accurate and balanced in your articles. A couple of points:

    1. Mourinho accused Barcelona of getting favors from the referee AFTER the first leg of the UCL when Dani Alves got Pepe sent off by world class play acting. FYI, the sequence of events for you…

    Pedro had a goal (rightfully) disallowed for offside in the Copa finals…this was even explicitly stated by the Barcelona site in their match report (and this is the same site that admonished Motta when Busquets play acted in the semi finals of UCL 2010)…Guardiola came out after the match and PROVOKED Mourinho stating stating the Madrid won because the Pedro goal was disallowed…Mourinho REPLIED (not initiated) that Pep is cribbing even when right decisions are made calling him “Pep” instead of the “Manager of Barcelona”…Pep got pissed off for such a small thing (or didn’t mind it, but made an issue out of it) and came out to press conference BEFORE the UCL 1st leg, hurling choicest abuses at “Florentino’s Camera”…and we all know what happened in the match

    2. It’s not that Madrid alone were fouling Barcelona…please take a look at matches between Madrid and Barcelona where something at stake for Barcelona, and you’ll find the number of fouls from each team is more or less even…so let’s not keep saying Madrid keep fouling, whereas Barcelona do not even let their breaths touch Madrid players!

  12. Rakshit says:

    One request to the author : take those tinted glasses off your eyes my friend. I seriously hope that you would be seeing the world in a much more realistic way.

    1. You portrayed Alexis Sanchez as the lethal weapon which pep has and when used it would be lethal. A one big lol for that statement. Barcelona paid a total close to 40 million for him who excelled in the serie A for a total of 7 months to be absolutely straight. I dunno what they saw him in order to pay that much seriously. Yes he is an exciting talent but paying that much for a player who dint prove his consistency is far from my understanding. Neither that guy nor pep knows what he brings to this team seriously. 😛 you say that he would be very hard to contain because of his tricks and turns but please do keep in mind that madrid has the best wingers in the game right now. Ronaldo and Di Maria will occupy barca’s full backs and the wingers too on any day and given their current form nobody will even dare bet against them. Leave alone Madrid barca’s wide players are not on par with even bayern munich (Robben and Ribery are any day better than alexis, villa and certainly pedro) May be marcelo will find it difficult against him but for the other full backs he will NOT be a problem. (arbeloa, coentrao and lass) simply because they are not so adventurous as marcelo.

    2. Next, Xabi alonso, ill disciplined??? Dude are you serious?? you are questioning the abilities of one of the best central midfielders of this generation. When spain were out of sorts in the recently conculded friendlies, it was xabi boy who pulled them through. He is madrid’s BOSS on the field and if you call him indisciplined then you would be in for a rough ride.

    3. Negative tactics by Madrid?? Dude all the people who follow barca or play for barca have one common sickness : If you defend, you play negative football. I mean how much more explanation do you need that it is not that way. Italians have owned barca for manier times now so I guess this is the sickess which has orginated out of that helplessness when you guys played against the GODS OF DEFENCE.
    if you call maintaining your shape and defending toughly as negative then what do you call the oscar winning performances of EVERYONE in that squad from catalonia??? other teams atleast play like men with ethics.huh!

    4. Coming to the supercopa, the blancos totally pocketted the whole barca team in the first leg and the blaugrana had luck beyond imagination on their side so that they could come out with a draw. Madrid were not fit either for the CL games with 5 first team regulars sitting out and madrid only lost because again, the best ting barca do, ACTING. there are umpty number of videos on you tube so pls go check out.

    5. And you call messi the best player of this generation, which again clearly shows ur bias, cos first, under what parameters are you judging him?? just because he won two ballon d’ ors? when last year sneijder dint get it, there itself the trophy had lost its credibility and everone knows that barcelona is a.k.a uefalona so no surprises there.

    6. One fact to show this: in the last three years, teams playing against barca were shown the red cards 36 times, where as barca had only ONE. is that enough or you want me to show more facts??

    7. Take this straight Barca have won many trophies in the last three years but they won it with NO ethics and TOTALLY BIASED management in the game.

    8. You say barca have come back hard whenever they had their backs against the wall, may be, but do u know why the whole football management helps them to do so.:P

    Bottom line : All signs are showing towards the END of barca’s so called domination. :)
    So please my friend, WAKE UP!!!!

    • siddhant jain says:

      dude im agreed with u inder is saying that real players are mentally sick than he should watch horrible acting of villa in copa del rey. he should see acting of messi when marcelo even didnt touch him.barca tackles negatively ronaldo and believe me this man can blew barca away on his own.in ucl everyone knows that pepe was even not worthy of card that was a clean tackle and barca scored after he was sent off.dani alves acted well.madrid should have been given two penalties in 1st leg of supercopa after handball by ebidal and after valdes brought ronaldo down.who can forget ucl semi of barca vs chelsea. barca broke all barriers of sportsmanship and if people say referee was paid they are right.and we will again see horrible actings of barca players on 10 dec.

    • Mariano says:

      Barcelona dives too much. I agreethat the article is bias. Barca will lose no matter what!!!

  13. Mourinho supporter says:

    Barca can triumph as it is still the best team in the world. But Real Madrid under Mourinho can also triumph just as equally if not more as shown by the tremendous progress. No longer can Barca rule the waves as before. Last year was the beginning of the end for Barca after the Copa del rey loss. They won a closely fought CL only because Pepe was sent off and the brilliance of Messi the best player in the world. The la liga was won because its only Mourinho’s first year. This year is very different. My bet is on Real Madrid to be the new kings. Sorry Barca your days are numbered. Without Messi your days would never have been.

  14. Niranjan says:

    Biggest load of horse shit I’ve ever seen in my life. Barca are good, but are you actually standing up for them because they had ‘poor fitness’ ? Let the day come. And let the result speak for itself.

  15. JM says:

    RM players never dives, they don’t get any favorable decision , they have a coach who never cooks up any conspiracy theories and never puts pressure on referees.

  16. seb amid says:

    I am true barca fan but right now am not to sure about our invincability. our performances are not convincing as i watch mourinhos men go from strength to strength. we are lacking the hunger we cant rest on the past victories we need new desire. Im sorry but am not convinced that pep really knows how to deal with mou. abrihimovich i think know something when he stated that pep,xavi and co were shitting at the thought of him. so come on guys bring the pride back lets play el clasico with ppride. stay on your feet lads dont play to get one of their sent off(like we usually do he he) lets do them once and for all.

  17. sgaf says:

    From personal analysis i can tell that the author of this article favors a barcelona win.Some people just can’t get it in their heads that madrid are coming back and that order is being restored.The game will be difficult for both parties.However,barcelona should ease their pride.Look at what happened to valencia who raised a campaign only to lose and atletico madrid promising a win yet only won another loss.From current statistics i can argue that the game will certainly finish with a tie or a Madrid win.

  18. The Sky says:

    Sometimes I just can’t understand football fans and their uncontrollable bias. I am a RM supporter, but luckily I was blessed with a clear mind. Over the last 3 seasons Barca had raised the bar so high I couldn’t fathom how my team could answer to that. Painful as it was to watch Xavi and co gliding almost effortlessly around all footballing Meccas of the world, demolishing superpowers with consummate ease and grace rarely seen in the past, with such consistency, I simply hoped they couldn’t sustain that level forever because I simply did not believe any team (including RM) could surpass that level. This was made even clearer last season when RM had gone a notch or two up but were still NOT able to cope with Barca’s cohesion.
    Our play was on individualistic brilliance, and most of our goals were as a result of some audacious skill by one or other player at some point, whilst Barca managed to score ‘easy’ goals through moving the ball around taking advantage of their supernatural telepathy. In most matches they managed to starve RM of the ball thereby frustrating our ball wizards. They never gave an inch to CR, overcrowding him whenever he had the ball.

    I’ve come to realise that ALL teams in the world only play as gracefully (or as ethically) as the game allows. Whilst RM usually play graceful, free-flowing attacking soccer, when they fail to do this against Barca their ugly (unethical) side shows up. But I think it’s rubbish that Alonso and Khedira are indisciplined, though such a situation calls for strong-arm tactics you are always wont to go over the legal limit. Unfortunately on the easiest of games and at his coolest, we have to admit our defender Pepe is always teetering on the legal threshold. He, in my opinion, is the best at containing Messi, but that brings the chances of him NOT finishing the game.

    At times Barca are left with only two options: to fight back or use the rule book. They always go for the rule book, and we blame for trying to get our players sent off. But don’t we do the same in matches where it suits us!!! At ManU CR was almost as well known for his goals and dribbling skills as he was for his acting abilities (remember against Rooney in a Portugal/England game?)

  19. redNblack_blood says:

    footballdiarrhea- an thats the only place they are ahead of madrid :)

  20. naim hasan says:

    this author is a clear barca fan & tried his best to hide all the fucking barca faults…how the referee helped them,the way they win free kicks & force the referee to bring a red card just because of slightest touch…the way mascherano helped the team in 2nd clásico in la liga where higuaín scored a clear gol…leave pepe´s red card behind…we all know it…then in super copa at bérnabue abidal´s handball was clear but no penalty or card was given for that crap…madrid could´ve easily won the game…lot more things like racism,villa´s provoke against ozil lot more fucking craps he didnt wrote…so its clear he is a barca fan sure & plz keep ur fucking logic to u & lets watch el clásico first…then make arguements…

  21. Inder says:

    I agree that football has a physical aspect to it that is a necessity and getting the ball from xavi and co can’t be easy(and vice versa) but those tackles have to be within a legal limit..cynical tackles and elbows are not legal..i guess a fair way to say it is that with the tackles getting worse(u have to admit pepe was bound to get a card and marcelo’s foul in the supercopa was unnecessary) the theatrics from the likes of busquets increases..its all a reaction..madrid want the ball..so they cross the line with tackles and busquets crosses the line with the falling..basically its all wrong..with Madrid in the great form they are in(and obviously a lot better than last year)..id expect a fair game..no more breaking legs,dives and most of all..fights(mourinho eye gouging only makes things worse for the NT and was plain wrong)..but ill admit that Madrid look more likely to score and win..but i can hope right?;) thanks for keeping the debate clean btw..its pointless with certain ppl who prefer profanity:p:)

    • siddhant jain says:

      u r 1000% barca supporter but i wold like to say u should watch on youtube pepe incident carefully than u will see it was not even a foul but horrible dive by alves and u should also watch video how messi acted when marcelo didnt even touch him which reulted in yellow card.barca are best acters and cheaters i have ever seen in football history.u can see handball by ebidal in supercup and u should also watch how valde brought down ronaldo than u should talk about mentality

  22. Varun Bhatt says:

    Dude! You’re so against Madrid! The only reason you pointed out Barca’s faults are because you don’t wanna look bad! Your obviously criticizing Madrid more than praising them for this season. Everytime you say Madrid are in great form, in the next line you say “that’s because Barca are not looking good”. How biased is that! I, being a Madrid supporter, do believe Di Maria does dive a lot but how can you forget the way Dani Alves and Pedro gave their oscar winning performances? Yes Pepe is really hot headed but that doesn’t mean he’s gonna pick up a red card everytime. I’m sorry, but your article is completely biased towards Barcelona. I am in full praise for Barcelona for the way they played last season, and just last season, overall. They are great and capable of hammering Madrid again, but every team at their peak has the ability to do so to their opponents. I don’t mean to be all for Madrid, but the way you speak in this article is just against Madrid.

  23. Shikhir says:

    Its an I hate Madrid article? Why would a good website write a negative article??? Hmm publicity stunt? I hope not, bad choice guys.
    I am a Barcelona supporter and lemme tell you this article is kiddish.

  24. mo, says:

    The title of your piece and the body dont go along,you are just a bitter cule fan who cant accept being second to real madrid.the getafe loss and fear of loosing to madrid in the classico has made you to go into a wild tirade about past el-classico atrocities committed against barcelona,even going as far as claiming how mourinho gets help from referees in his past clubs.why dont you just accept that the barca era is coming to an end?,then you wont end up being this bitter..hahaha

  25. Footbal_fan says:

    Hello All,

    I see that this article offended a lot of Real Madrid supporters. I am a Barca fan too and when I was reading the article I agreed with the author on a lot of points except two statements: I do not think that Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira are undisciplined players, yes Khedira does sometime dangerous tackles against the opponents, which defensive midfield players do, I guess, by nature of their job, but of course his moves are not as vicious as Pepe’, Carval’os, Marcelo’s or Ramos’s. I cannot predict matches, otherwise I will be earning lots of dough on bet.com or similar sites, but what I can guarantee is that Barcelona will be prepared and have its best form for El Classico in Barnabeu despite not showing their best football consistently in the past couple months. Overall I think what author tried to tell, that Barcelona have much more mentally tough players then Real Madrid does. And when you have the battle of that caliber as El Classico mental toughness will play a major role in deciding which way fortune will go. In Real squad I only can pick Saint Iker, Xabi Alonso Gonzalo Higuain and may be Benzema as resilient warriors with strong character, while in Barcelona’s case almost entire team made up of solid die-hard fighters except may be only two players, who are Danny Alves and Sergio Busquets. I do feel very lucky to see this Barcelona team play live and wait impatiently in anticipation of their next game and I am confident they prevail once again on December 10, but even if they lose the El Classico in Barnabeu and even if they lose La Liga this year 2011/2012 (which has may be 0.001% probability) they far, far from finished, which a lot of madridistas are predicting in this and other sites. To me if they lose – it will be a good wake up call to mobilize all the sources to continue their domination in world football by their brilliant passing and attacking game. What I want to tell Madrid fans, look beyond 2-3 or more years to come, who do you see coming from Madrid’s youth system who might replace CR, Kaka, Ozil and Alonso – anyone? While for Barsa – their B-team player, who is not a regular in the main squad already was called up by Del Bosque into senior national Spain team and a lot of pupils from their football academy filling up Spanish under -16, under -19, under -21 teams etc. and Tiago Alcantara leading under -21 Spanish national team to European crown this year. What I want to tell to ALL Real Madrid fans – Is that Barcelona’s domination not only in Spain, but also in Europe and in the entire world will continue for another 5-10 years. I understand that this is very hard to swallow not only to madridistas, but also to loyal fans of M.United, Milan, Bayern and Santos. Barcelona showed to whole world how you can build very successful football club by just being better humans (Andreas Iniesta) engraving from young age passing and attacking philosophy (Xavi and Fabregas) investing into your future (Messi, Alcantara brothers). What is happening right now is that current Barcelona team rejuvenated “total football” philosophy led by Ajax and Dutch national team in 70’s, but Pep Guardiola’s team just raised the bar even higher and proved that you can be dominant and win title after title while playing spectacular passing and attacking football, which is such a joy to watch.

  26. sahil says:

    A little too much against real madrid!!!!

  27. ADI says:

    I agree with what u have written, I know that it won’t be easy but the blaugranes can certainly prevail at the capital club. I feel that Sanchez should start ahead of pedro given his current scoring hauls and the way he can glide past defenders.
    Also Cesc should start instead of Busquets or Keita as he brings much more option to the team..
    Somewhere I heard that Pep might use a 3-5-2 at the el clasico but time will tell…
    Also I remember how the Los blancos could not tolerate being dominated n how they could not contain their emotions hence turned to scissor crossing Marcelo n the special one had become truly special at fingering ( pun intended) .
    As you said it all comes to how u r trained n how disciplined you are
    :)

  28. madridista says:

    mr football_fan….this rising of homegrown players has not happened for the first tym in d history….go n check it out…whr did barca learn dis from…madrid has produced much much more players who represented d senior squad n won much much more titles….get some knowledge plz…

  29. Football_fan says:

    Dear madridista;

    Any professional European football team have their own academies and schools where they teach the clubs principals and philosophy and their view of football. The only problem is that not every professional club is successful in doing so (and please prove me wrong and give me some other examples except Ajax and Barcelona)…And yes, you are right Barcelona learned it from Ajax through great player and coach Johan Croyff. My point is not there, what I am saying is that Barcelona’s Domination will continue for years to come. Right now they are just having that unlucky stretch, where they lost 6 points by drawing 3 games which they would win if not mistakes in defense and missed chances in the attack. Let’s analyze it: David Villa’s back pass mistake led to the goal by Real Sociedad and eventual unexpected draw; two mistakes by Abidal in the game with Valencia cost another two points; Mascherano slippage and Pique’s own goal in Rainy day in Bilbao resulted in another even game. I am not criticizing any player here and it is just a beauty of the football that it has all the life’s drama with its ups and downs and believe me Barcelona will have its ups this coming Saturday and Madrid hopefully will play their counter attacking football with their fast runs and powerful shots so we all enjoy this clash of different styles, this principal battle of two diametrically opposite approaches of how you run the club and yes that mind-blowing chess game between two grandmasters – Pep Guardiola and the special one.

    P.S. Kind of as a post-scrip-tum I am enticing to write that “the special one” lost the battle already to Pep in their super-series on that second Super Copa game and here is why, and my explanation is rather symbolic then rational and based on the emotions I saw on the pitch. Remember Mourinho tried to either pull the ear or poke the eyes of Tito Villanova?… Didn’t you ask yourself a question why he went after Assistant coach instead of main manager – Pep? Well, to my opinion, by this kind of behavior Mourinho was saying: “I hate you, Tito!!! You are way better assistant coach then mysell, when I was helping to Luis Van Gaal at Barca!!!!” With all things being said every Barca player this Saturday will be playing with their hearts welcoming back Tito in the sidelines next to Pep! It will be same display of intelligent and attacking football they showed to whole world when they welcomed back Eric Abidal in the final of the Champions League after french defenseman had an operation on his liver. All the circumstances kind of playing out very similarly this time as well. Tito was not around Pep to give some timely advise and Barca lost to Getafe and what a good chance will be for all Barca players to welcome back Tito by beating their arch rivals Real Madrid in their kingdom in Santiago Bernabeu!!!!!!

    Please, madridista, don’t get me wrong. It is not about beating Real; it will be all about having Tito back!!!