The 3rd clasico for the season. Well – technically not, because that term only really exists for the Liga games, but has now become synonymous with every meeting between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The last CdR Final between the 2 teams, at the Mestalla in 2011, didn’t end well for Barça with an extra time Cristiano header sinking our boys.

The CdR trophy, aghast at being in Real Madrid’s possession, leapt out of Sergio Ramos’ hands to fall in front of the bus; preferring dented argent pride to the ignominy of a merengue parade.

Since that match, Barca regained the trophy in 2012 beating Athletic Club de Bilbao 3-0 and, in 2013, Atlético Madrid beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the Santiago Bernabéu.

Tonight will be a huge test for La Blaugrana. After all the difficulties over the past season, we get to see if the team can lift themselves to play out of their skins for 90 minutes.


As this was meant to merely be a Match Comments Post, I’ll leave you with some quotes from yesterday’s press conference with Iniesta:

“The bar has been put very high as we have achieved things that no other team has done for a long time.”

“We might have had bad moments, but we must put them aside, not think about anything except this 90 minutes, this game, this trophy.”

“We all defend together, in our system we need everyone to be good so that it works perfectly. If not, it gets difficult.”

“These are 90 minutes, a trophy, some joy in a season which has had everything, in every way. We all need this joy, players & fans.”

“But true Barça fans love this club whether it wins or loses. We can’t always win. Things don’t always work out right and you curse when things go wrong, but you have to get back up again. You can never stop trying until the end … And you need to go to sleep with a clear conscience, knowing that you did all you could to win.”


Finally – just because.


Better Mario Lanza than Placido Domingo. Because we all know who the latter supports, each time that Real Madrid comes out for a game in their home stadium.


Visca Barça! Sempre.





    1. It’s not bashing.

      But some of us do remember the Ronaldinho days and the pattern is so far very similar, which makes it perfectly justified to fear the worst. Which first, does not in any way diminish the appreciation we have for what Messi has done, and second, is actually concern for his own good as a player, not looking for a scrapegoat.

    2. I suspect that Messi is just burnt out. He doesn’t feel burnt out. But whenever he tries to make a big effort it just isn’t there – nothing left in the well.

  1. Hmmm, off to bed now as it’s late and it has been a disappointing night. Last thought though. While we’re wishing away our Messis, Neymars, Iniestas and Xavis, we should maybe remember that every other club in the CL would love to have them all on their roster.

    There is also a lot of dead wood on the fringes of the squad that we need to get rid of imo, so realistically the only ones from the first team squad who will be going are ones who want away or for whom we can get silly money.

    1. Good comment Jim, agree.

      I see this as an important time of change and a new cycle for Barca. It may mean a *gasp* few seasons without trophies; but the team and the core has to be rebuilt. think Mourinho at Chelsea and or any other team that has to ‘rebuid’ in anysport.

      Paitence is needed. Not kneejerk reactions; especially against Messi; who the club still needs to be a team around as his (best) years are STILL ahead of him.

      You need to build the next 3-4 years around, Cesc, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets, Bartra, Alexis.

      Bring back Defeolu as well.

      Get rid of:
      Xavi, Puyol, Valdes, Pinto, Pedro, Tello…

    2. If you were Alexis, why would you stay? You’re setting the world on fire on the first half of the season and then (for political reasons: can’t upset Messi or Neymar, and have to squeeze Xavi into the midfield with a bodyguard) you’re on the bench for the second half. On the other hand, he’ll be well rested for the world cup, but he must see his career leeching away – and he doesn’t even know who will be coach next year. He really should move and become the main man for another big european team.
      If he’s still coaching, they should think about bringing in Hiddink because he will, at least, pick players on merit.

  2. I still dont get the “out-xavi” crowd. He runs more than any other player, and anyone who has watched us this season know that we are much worse off without him. The answer is to coddle him as long as possible, not toss him out.

    1. I agree. Xavi played well.

      I also don’t understand the hate for Iniesta from a couple posters. They must not watch the same matches I do.

    2. Actually, I don’t think that Xavi is the biggest problem in this team (though he is very slow). The biggest problem is, I’m afraid, Messi. This team has been Messi-dependent for a couple of years now and it has been a disaster. G60 above is right. You can’t have luxury players anymore, not at the highest level, which is now an ensemble game.
      I strongly suspect that in three years time, after Barca has had no success, we will be having this same conversation. Messi has become bigger than the team, and that will detrimentally affect: who Barca can get as a coach, who it can bring in on transfer, what formation it plays and who gets game time. Everything is related. In fact, I was a bit surprised that Neymar came to Barca. He would have, actually, done much better at Real. I’m sure he’s starting to realise that now.
      However, I don’t see any solution – zero.

    3. The lack of obvious solutions is indeed frightening.

      I really really hope there are factors behind this that we do not know about and have nothing to do with developing the primadona syndrome or with physical decline. But if that’s not the case, we have a very big problem.

      The only people associated with this club with the authority to straighten up things are Cruyff and Guardiola – Messi has grown into too big of a legend to be commanded by anyone else. Neither is coming back to save us any time soon…

  3. I don’t know if the problem can be identified with any single player, and certainly not Tata (though I think he should have switched to a different formation for this match). In every loss, different players have made mistakes. Today it was Alves, and perhaps Alves is good person to get rid of this summer, but against Man City, he was immense.

    I am not sure what happened this week. I think Valdes’ injury put the nail in the coffin as far as moral is concerned, and like in war, in sport moral is crucial. I have supported Tata all year quite vocally, but he has not proved to be a rallying point, perhaps due to his own personal issues. It is certainly obvious that we need some new blood and that we have to rethink our style. We need to evolve.

  4. Playmaker10
    16 April 2014 11:29pm

    Alexis Sanchez really must stop pissing in Martino’s cornflakes


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