With ‘el clasico’ approaching, the war of words has begun…
Johann Cruyff dealt the first blow by claiming that “Barcelona play a thousand times better than Madrid.”
This prompted Real Madrid GM Jorge Valdano to say “It took Barcelona 20 years to start playing well. We took 4 months to get to the top of the table.”
The players too have added their thoughts. Almost every player involved has had something to say about the match:
Pepe of Real Madrid insisted that the Galacticos were not afraid of the tri-champions. He also marked out Xavi and Iniesta as the “heartbeat” of Barca and that they will try to stifle them.
Dani Alves said “If I was a Madrid player I would be looking for revenge.” An obvious reference to the 2-6 thrashing the Blaugrana gave Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Gerard Pique boldly told Mundo Deportivo “we will win.”
The ever diplomatic Captain Puyol has said that the two teams are evenly balanced. “A match against Real Madrid always has its attraction, filled with great desire. I always want to win it and it comes at a good moment for us because the win against Inter gave us a lot confidence and morale. Both teams feel the pressure and I see a 50-50 chance for both teams,” said the captain.
The fans too have been rallying. Cules are planning to hold up signs and posters saying: “Ai solo un Ronaldo, Ai solo un Ronaldo, Ai solo un Ronaldo y no es Portuguese” which roughly translates into: there is only one Ronaldo and he’s not Portugese. Obviously they will be refering to the fact that the Brazilian Ronaldo (who played for Barca and Real Madrid) is the “original” Ronaldo. Ouch!
Meanwhile, behind the curtains Manuel Pellegrini is rumoured to bench Raul and Higuain in favour of a Benzema led attack. And reports have suggested that the two biggest stars Lio Messi & C.Ronaldo are both not 100% fit and may not start.
So here are some facts:
•these two teams have met 158 times.
Barca wins: 60
Real wins: 68
•Last 20 years:
Barca: 17 wins (5 away)
Real: 12 wins (2 away)
•Last 10 years:
Barca: 6wins (3 away)
Real:7 (2 away)
• Barcelona has spent €76 million vs Real Madrid’s €270 million in transfers
•Barcelona have 7 players from their “cantera” vs Real Madrid’s one home-grown player (Casillas).
Well, whatever happens, it’s going to be a great match. Let’s hope the best team wins 😛