Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Beauty & The Beast

Barcelona v Real Madrid. A game of football that is so much more than a game. 

The Spanish and the Catalans, the two most successful teams in Spanish history, two rival cities go head to head. 

To me the game has a romantically mysterious aura surrounding it, making it almost impossible not to be drawn towards. And with an estimated global TV viewing of 400million, I'm obviously not alone. 

In case the thought of Barcelona v Real Madrid, with only one point separating the two at the start of the game wasn't enough, there also happened to be the two best players in world football going head to head. Messi v Ronaldo. 

El Clasico kicked off, and Barcelona sent shock waves though the footballing world. Total domination. 

It was near impossible to believe that the team Barca were simply walking over are most successful club in European history. Their team, littered with talent from across the world, costing countless millions, could barely get a touch of the ball. 

Though that's not to say that Barca haven't spent a pretty penny on players either. Splashing out on David Villa for a cool £34.2m this summer. But the way that the Catalan club play football as well as have a vast number of Spanish players is something to be admired. 

The way they played made Arsenals style of play, by far the most attractive in Britain, seem average. It appears as if the midfield and attack are constantly moving, just receiving and passing the ball to one another. Until there is a gap, and then they punish you. 

There was a spell in the second half when Barca, already 4-0 up, were simply knocking the ball about with one touch flicks, tricks and back heels. Simply outrageous. Making a mockery out of the Madrid players. 

By the end of the game, the frustration was too much and Sergio Ramos kicked out at Lionel Messi, then pushed Puyol over in the aftermath, resulting in a sending off for the Spanish right back. 

Beauty and the beast collided. 

In a way you can understand his obvious frustration, being given the run around for almost 90 minutes. But it is still something you don't want to see a professional doing. 

In saying that, Messi let me down in the game. He got two great assists and was a constant threat all game, almost scoring a curling lob in the first five minutes.

During the second half however, after a good tackle by Ricardo Carvalho, the two had a little bit of back chat and Carvalho bumped into the Argentine, causing him to fall to the floor clutching his face. Stupid by Messi, he is better than that.

When the game came to a close it was hard to believe what you had just witnessed. Where Barca just that good, or where Madrid partly to blame for failing at the big occasion? 

The final question on everybody's lips must be about Jose Mourinho, and does he owe Pep Guardiola a FIFA facebook apology??