El Clasico Date Set

The date for the clΓ‘sico, el classic, The Derby of All Derbies, has been set. It’s November 29 at 9pm local time, 3pm EST. Any rumors to the contrary were, obviously, wrong and we’re left to say that RFEF has done it again. Leave everyone hanging until the last minute–Oh you bought $300 tickets but have to work on Monday and live a plane flight away? Eat a bag of dicks. Love, RFEF–and then move the weekend’s showcase to, uh, not the weekend.

If you want a reason, it’s because November 28 is election day in Catalunya and nobody should interfere with the political process. I suppose that’s true enough, but are polls even open at 9pm? Is it because there aren’t enough cops to patrol both the polling stations and the Camp Nou during a major match? Does anyone know what is going on? I’ll guess no. That no one has any idea, which is how I prefer to see the Spanish political scene. And before you get on your “you’re such a jerk/xenophobe/anti-Iberian” horse, it’s how I prefer to see all political scenes.

Anyway, get your DVRs set. Or get a DVR and then set it. Or tell your boss that suddenly you have a pressing family situation immediately after Thanksgiving and you’re terrible sorry but that TPS report will have to wait another day.

[Original image courtesy here]

Categorized as El Clasico

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Who has an election on a Sunday, anyway? Is that usual for Spain? In Canada they are generally scheduled for Mondays.

  2. I don’t know what I will do πŸ™ …. I usually have friends and family over and we have jamon sanwhiches and estrella damn.

    1. I can get them in Orlando, fl(where I live) they sell them at Publix(a supermarket) and some liquor stores too.

  3. Official contact made with PSV for Afellay. We seem to be taking the “Something is better than nothing” tack, with an initial 2-4m offer. (Yes, the hyyperactive @barcastuff is on the case).

    1. I just read that we didn’t contacted PSV but a other club did, this came from his agent.

      I wanted to post a link but I don’t think you guys can read Dutch..

    2. Go ahead and post it! Dutch is easy, I think of it as a cross between German and English. πŸ˜‰

      Anyway, there is always Google Translate to help.

    3. Meh. This seems like standard negotiating tactics–claim that another “unnamed” team is interested in the player to try to drive up the price. There is nothing factual in this article.

    4. But if he wanted to drive up the price he would say something like “Barca isn’t the only one who contacted us”, he said it wasn’t Barca who contacted PSV but another club. We just have to wait and see..

  4. via @barcastuff: Iniesta will give his “Dani Jarque” shirt to Espanyol, for display.


    “It hurts to give away the shirt but I think this is the best place for it. I scored the goal but Dani will also be remembered.” The shirt will be displayed at Gate 21 of Espanyol’s stadium (21 was Jarque’s number).

    Iniesta is class. Full-on, all the time class.


  5. From Barcastuff:

    Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid): “Clasico on Monday? The day doesn’t matter, as long as we win the game against Barcelona, and we WILL.”

    Hmmmmmm, I really can’t wait for El Classico!

  6. Ozil following the same pattern madrid does when talking to the press.
    I remember multiple daily arrogant comments two years ago coming from their players , when they played at home.
    Now they do likewise while they are the visitors.
    This team is amazing.Where do they get the ego?

    1. From Crynaldo and Mou, They have plenty to go around. Thong boy has only been here for two classics and both times he said they were going to beat us and both times he was wrong.

  7. Guys i want to know your opinion about Adriano.Can he perform in our level?The bad thing was not that we did not buy Oezil.But that E.E find the perfect player for their system.Anyway we will win even if will be monday and they will shut up as the last 4 times!!

    1. my personal opinion on Ozil:
      Overrated! I’m happy we did NOT buy him. Thiago etc. are much better than him. And I don’t like him as a person either. He’s rather ineloquent, sometimes has a big mouth and his style is slick^^

    2. I don’t think Oezil is overrated at all, he is in great form right now. And I rather like his understated personality. I would have been happy if we had bought him at that bargain price (we could have sold him for a ton more if he didn’t work out), but I honestly don’t think he would have fit our system as well as he does Real Madrid’s.

    3. Well, he was compared to the likes of Messi during the WC, by the British press. And he constantly won the guardian MotM online vote in front of Thomas Mueller during the WC.
      He was sent away from Schalke 04 because of personal issues with the club, and at Werder Bremen, he’s had some good matches but also a lot poor matches. Playing one good WC and 6 good games with Real Madrid, mostly against weak opponents, does not even make him worldclass yet. And he will NEVER be as good as Messi, nor win the FIFA WpotY as Crynaldo and Perez claim.

  8. Kxevin you answer me about botia in previous post.Do you mean that we must pay about 2m to take him back??

    1. It means that we have rights of first refusal, at a pre-determined price. It’s the standard deal for a club that isn’t sure a player is going to work out. You loan him, and if he comes good, you buy him back for a piddlin’ sum.

    2. Yeah, it’s a standard thing to see. I want to say players like Ruben de la Red have had it done? I know EE has done it a few times?

      Pique might be one, but I’m not 100% sure. I don’t think Botia will make it for us, personally.

      What happened to vicsoc’s shouts for Jan Vertonghen? So the Afellay thing, I’d say is a near certainty. Thats good. The boy can play, and play well. He has a blazing shot too, I must admit. But its weird to see the signing after denying Ozil..

      We need a CB, obviously. But who has one for sale? Or even for loan..a similar Edgar Davids situation. We just need that insurance policy, because Milito is definitely cashing in on his.

      In the winter we need 1 CB, one wing/mid hybrid (Afellay). A striker maybe, but that depends on players form. I think we sell no one this winter, but the summer we’ll be dropping Milito its almost a certainty.

    3. Afellay makes sense now for two reasons: cheaper and more versatile than Ozil; the Xavi injury complexities.

      And the price will almost certainly be right.

    4. I agree, he is far more versatile. He’s what Pep wants Iniesta to be on the wings. Which hopefully stops Iniesta from playing there anymore. He’s no Iniesta in the mid, but no one is. NO ONE.

      He’ll meld well, and I feel like the way he plays is perfectly suited for us. was he at PSV when Alex and Gomes were loaned there?

    5. @Eklavya: Is that from FIFA? Haha

      Affelay has been known to play anywhere from left or right mifield/wing, centre mid, attacking mid or second striker.

      Im sure with his pace and two-footedness he could probably play striker aswell.

  9. A really nice pic!


  10. From the Twitterverse:

    Que haga Laporta nuevo spot de Mastercard! Catering 600k, entradas Roma 1m, vuelos 360k, relojes 420k. 4 ligas y 2 Champions…no tiene precio

    (Roughly: A new Laporta Mastercard commercial! Catering, 600k, Rome tickets, 1m, flights, 360k, watches, 420k. 4 Ligas and 2 Champions…priceless!”

    1. Kxevin what are your plans for El Clasico? I think we need to get together and watch a midweek match sometime, maybe I can take an extended break from work.

      Are you near the Loop at work?

    2. I’m at Mother Tribune, at Michigan and Grand Avenues. But if I can swing the day off, I’ll probably hit the Globe to watch the match. Stay tuned.

  11. Ibra kicks a pregnant lady in the stomach!


    OK, maybe it’s not a lady, it’s Robinho. And he’s not actually pregnant, just pretending to be, with a ball under his shirt. But Ibra karate kicks him right in the baby bump! That bastard! πŸ˜‰

    In all honesty, the way things are going it’s only a matter of time before Zlatan “accidentally” breaks a teammate’s nose with one of his “hilarious” japes. Anyone got odds?

    1. Maybe this is why he didn’t like the atmosphere at our club (remember how he accused our team of being too down-to-earth). I don’t think our boys would mess around like that in training, even if Pep allowed it.

      It looks to me that Ibra’s trying to fit in and be one of the “cool kids.” I don’t like it, so I’m glad he’s outta here.

    2. Yeah, well I’d rather be where our club is, than Milan. And Robinho shouldn’t be horsing around, he should be practicing harder and playing better.

    3. It wasn’t in practice, it was during a goal celebration after Robinho scored on an Ibra assist. It just seems like an unnecessarily violent way to congratulate someone is all.

    4. The fact that after the assist his solo celebration of “YES! I’M THE BEST DID YOU SEE THAT DECENT PASS!?” wasn’t enough.. I mean look at him once Robinho scores.

  12. I’m neutral on Afellay.

    Some points though:

    – He’s not a “star” or a hyped up young prospect (as far as I know) like Ozil, so I don’t think he’ll demand a starting place. That is good.

    -He’s cheap, under 10m for a backup forward/midfield is always a good deal

    – I like that he’s from Holland/Morocco; adds diversity to the team and it’s been kinda weird without any Dutch players (this has been said a million times)

    -Don’t know much about him, so he’ll be an unknown quality to me. I don’t want to judge on his “Barca-quality”. I’m still enjoying my humble pie after sMasch.

    – This deal, if it happens, will most likely affect Bojan, Jeffren and, to a lesser extent, Pedro!, although I’m thinking we’ll have to wait and see how Pep uses him. I don’t really care all that much about Jeffren; he’s always injured and I’m not too sure he’ll make it in all honesty. I’ll always love him for what he did in the CWC though. With Bojan…Well, we need more forward players. I see Afellay as adding some kind of depth to our FW line, that can only be a good thing.

    – If the deal goes through, we’ll have Afellay, Thiago, and Fontas as January “signings”. A forward/midfielder, midfielder and a defender. That takes us to 22 players, taking out Jeffren and Milito, 20 players. Well, would you look at that? I like, I like. (But that 20 also includes Xavi, who will have to rest every other game or so)

    1. I’m not too sure about Fontas..I wouldn’t be surprised if they made CB move this January.

      Does anyone have a link to download the match? I missed it and want more than just highlights for Thiago.

    2. Go to rojadirecta and search for it in the games thread. There were at least three different choices of downloads in there last night. I’m only halfway done downloading it, myself.

      And was it Jnice that promised us the Thiago highlights reel? Where is he, anyway?

    3. cliveee actually. He’s our very own highlight reel maker. Jnice is the one who posts the links to download matches. fbtz.com (where Jnice gets them from) has really good download links, particularly Packman.

    4. *http://forum.rojadirecta.org/showthread.php?106152-FUTBOL-Copa-del-Rey-2010-11-FC-Barcelona-vs-AD-Ceuta-10-11-10

      A lot of choices. The 3rd one is your best bet, though. Only 1 link per half.

    5. Right now, the jury is out, if he even comes, on who the Afellay signing will potentially affect. But as Guardiola said of Nolito and his plans, nobody hands you a spot (even though we kinda did with Krkic). You play your way in, and you play keeps you there.

      Afellay is a mid, but also a winger, as others have pointed out. At present, we don’t really have a winger. Yes, we have Jeffren, but I don’t think he’s really first-team material. I think he’s “well, gotta have somebody out there.” If he were really first-team material, we wouldn’t be seeing those Iniesta experiments out there.

      As for its effect on Krkic, I don’t care. Play your way into the side, or sit. Simple as that. My patience is at an end with him. If Afellay rolls in and takes his time, then it wasn’t his to begin with.

      Rumor is that Thiago and Fontas are going to be promotions, but who knows? I know that if we don’t promote Thiago, and start getting him some time against real competition, we need our heads examined. Or perhaps Afellay is the gap that allows us to bring Thiago along in way that we didn’t with Krkic, where we could see what he can do against the reals, before we commit to buying the cow, so to speak.

    6. The thing with Afellay for me is that we need someone because we don’t have enough players, but we’re still pining for Fabregas, so I dunno. What do we do when Fabregas comes? We’ll have Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Afellay. Like the depth, but how long will the latter two be happy with that arrangement? Yes, Xavi is getting on, but his style of football means he still has at least 2 more years at the top.

      It’s all up in the air for me. I’ve never really liked speculation, so many dang variables to consider.

      I just threw Thiago and Fontas in there, because I see Pep using Thiago much, much more come January (it gets serious after the WB after all). The same with Fontas, because it seems Bartra needs more grooming, which is to be expected. Milito is older and, now, long term injury prone. Love Gaby, but we’re essentially down to Pique, Puyol,*sigh* Abidal and possibly sMasch and Busi. Only two of those are “real” CBs.

      Ugh. What a headache. This is why I leave the speculation to you, Ramzi, Euler, clivee, etc.

    7. It makes all the sense to me that Thiago and Fontas will be promoted, because we have needs in those areas and these two players meet some of our needs. Pep is being very cautious about promotion, particularly because of the case of Bojan. But I am sure he will first look at the canterano before the transfer market because that is our treasure.

      Fontas shows enough promise, just as much as Thiago. I love the size and pace of Fontas very much. To think Bartra got schooled yesterday with that move, Fontas would easily bump the attacker away with his body. But I am recalling my impression of him only, so it could be wrong. But nonetheless he is just as promising as Thiago imo.

      Thiago’s game is not flawless. He needs to work harder on his distribution. His possession is somewhat risky because of the tendency to dribble. But as long as he doesn’t lose the ball too much, I am fine with it. We can’t afford to lose balls in midfield as we play some high defense line in our game. So, let’s hope he will work hard and as self critical as he suggested himself.

    8. I like that Thiago and Nolito are saying all of the right things. I think that both of them, particularly Nolito, realize that their futures are bright as day if they stay with the club, thanks to current or future potential voids.

  13. Did anyone watch Atletico vs EE?

    I think we will beat them. It’s true that they have improved, by a lot. Particularly on the way the organize their possession in the midfield, counter-attack or maybe some defense, but watching that game makes me wonder how they manage to keep a clean sheet with such bad defending.

    Marcelo has improved the most in attack under Mourinho, but I am not sold on his defense, he was never tested, not even Atletico tested him in any way. Besides, most of their defenders are aggressive defenders, they almost always foul to stop opposition’s attack. Pepe, Carvalho and Arbeloa in particular. On more than several occasions you see them did some reckless tackles. If they were to foul us, we need to be really careful, but my point is that they can’t defend at all. So, I am not too worried about not being able to pass around in front of their defense if they defend the same way as they defended Atletico. Therefore, they most likely will park the bus, given it’s Mou Mou we are facing after all.

    To think EE will need to park the bus against us already sounds ridiculous enough, because they are our best rival in La Liga, and if they park the bus against us, it’s a step back of football.

    No problem for me to watch El Clasic on a Monday afternoon. I will have a day-off to watch it no matter what.

    1. I could also say that if you play us ( E E ) the way you played against copenhagen that you will lose by 6 but I am knowledgable enough to know that every game has its own story, Atleti have some of the best forwards in the game so of course they are going to give our defenders a hard time and no your forwards aren’t better than Atleti’s save for Messi , so don’t give me the ” if their forwards could do this imagine what ours could do ” line besides if you watch the game without your blaugrana tainted glasses you would realize that Madrid were in control of that game , sure Atleti played better in the second half than they did in the first half but the outcome of the game was never in doubt

      And the arrogance , do you really think that with all that talent we have in our team we would park the bus against you ? Why should we ? you might think that you have better players than we do but you don’t , you might think that you are playing better football than we are but you aren’t , I can’t wait for the Clasico .

    2. Yes our coach is Jose Mourinho but that isn’t stopping us from playing better football than any other team bar Villareal in Europe right now is it ? People like you said before he arrived that Madrid would be a boring team under him you were wrong about that and you are going to be wrong about his tactics in EL Clasico as well .

      Jose Mourinho is a coach that sets his tactics according to his team’s strengh ( he is no benitez ) why should 10 men inter who already had a two goal lead attack Barcelona ? Besides when he beat 3 – 1 ( could have been 6 – 1 ) at the meazza he didn’t park the bus did he ? I do not remember his chelsea teams parking the bus against Barca do you ? As I said I can’t wait fot the clasico

    3. Come back here after the Clasico. I can be sure of one thing. You wont beat us 6-2 like we did in your stadium πŸ˜‰

    4. The thing is that I’m not arrogant enough to think that we will beat you by that scoreline I am not even sure that we will beat you at all but what I am sure of is that this will be the hardest game you will play all year you will tested like you never have before THAT I am sure of πŸ™‚

      PS- there were more humiliating scorelines in the clasicos than the 2 – 6 , scorelines like the 11- 1 or 8 – 0 just saying

    5. Actually I don’t hate Barcelona I would even go as far as saying that I admire their football and philosophy but when fans get arrogant it needs to be pointed out

    6. Awww… I’m melting.
      Unfortunately, I on the other hand dislike (hate is a strong word) pretty much everything about Real Madrid. From their transfer policies, to their staff and player treatment to their philosophy of how a club should be run, its all a big mess of bleh.
      Not to mention their best football is meh compared to ours.
      Still, I appreciate that you’ve admitted your admiration for our beloved club, it’s a shame I cant say the same…

    7. I don’t think what FP said can be classified as “hate”. He’s defending his team quite strongly. If he said points to attack us (I’m think of a certain Sailor troller), then I’d classify it as hate.

      However, I do disagree on some points.

      FP, I don’t watch you guys often, so I can’t seriously comment on your football, but from what I’ve seen, you look like a counterattacking team. That makes sense to me, because you have a lot of pace in your team (Thong Boy, Di Maria) but can’t really control the tempo of a match IMO.

      On whether you’re playing the best football in Europe, I’m horribly biased so I won’t comment on that. πŸ˜€

      Although most of the teams you played came from the bottom half of the table, while we’ve faced the majority of the teams in the top half. Just sayin’ πŸ™‚

      You asked why you would park the bus against us in the Camp Nou. I ask a question right back: do you honestly believe you can get the ball off of us and dominate possession? You’d be trying to get the ball off Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, etc. and keep it, setting aside the fact you’re playing away aside.

      Don’t get me started on the Inter match. This post is long enough without me talking about that game. It’s a dead horse, but I disagree about a million percent on that entire paragraph, especially when you say it could have 6-1.

      Oh, and I know the Madrid press have taken it upon themselves to kiss MouMou’s ass, but just because he’s coach doesn’t mean he’ll beat us. People seem to forget that while he was coach of The Italian Club, we beat them twice, drew once and lost once. That goes for Thong Boy as well. For all his huffing and puffing, he’s done f-all against us. The closest he’s ever come to scoring against us was a penalty. And he missed that.

    8. Hey clivee, I hear what you’re saying, but it doesn’t really play out like that. Don’t doubt for one second that this Clasico will be the most hotly contested in years. How they looked versus Atletico or how we looked against Hercules has little to do with how the pieces will fall in a few weeks.

      Now, I wouldn’t be a prig like FM, obviously. But I understand that this is a highly emotional match for everyone. They are as attached to their players and coaches as much as we are. Although, yeah, we’ve spent years following and supporting most of our players and our coach, whereas they’ll defend and idolize just about any asshole that the Real Madrid corporation bought last week to trot out on November 29, but I swear Madridistas do feel like it’s the same thing.

    9. Kari point taken but trust me when I tell you that we are not a counter attacking team , most of the teams we face hardly have more than 30 percent of possession so we can control the tempo of the game and if Valencia can have more possession of the ball against you then why can’t we ? Having said that I don’t think we will beat you in the possession battle but that does not mean we are going to park the bus

      Jose its funny you say that you have been supporting your players for years while we haven’t until this year we had players on the team who played for us since 1994 , how long do you think the likes of Iker have been with this team ?

  14. Thanks for the rojadirecta link!

    Also, Kxevin, it appears my work and your work are a 15 minutes walk apart. πŸ˜€ I’m on LaSalle and Lake.

    1. You mean you get on the train at the Thompson center? Nice, I actually take the Metra back to the South Side so I walk all the way to Milennium Station. I wonder if I’ve ever run into you..

  15. Here is a question for you Thiago-philes:

    What was the last game Pep did NOT call him up for? I know he didn’t make the bench in Copenhagen, but was still called up and travelled with the team. It seems to me that he has almost become a de fact member of the first team already. What was the last B-team game he played in? I could look it up myself, but I can’t be bothered when I know cliveee or Jnice will know the answer off the top of their heads. πŸ™‚

  16. The priority for me is to find an additional 9. At the moment thats where the thinnest corner of the squad is, and that’s where injuries can cost the team most.

    Beside that, we can strengthen everywhere else at will.

  17. is Affelay an attacking midfielder or a winger? i assumed he was going to be played up front on the wing, but several of you are making it sound as though he’s going to be paired with Iniesta through the midfield, which i don’t think suits his style.

    1. He’s neither and both at the same time.
      Such is his versatility.
      Probably going to be played on the wings though, and like all our players will be given vital defensive burdens. Not sure about how he is defensively or his work rate though…

  18. I already know the story of affelay if he joins.
    No matter what lengths his talent *may* reach , he will be lost translating our system and failing for at least a year, with consistency.
    So no thanks , I wouldnt get him.

    1. I still find it weird that Pep passed on Ozil but is okay with Affelay. Affelay was shining shoes at the WC while Ozil was the star of the German team.
      Say what you want, but you guys know Ozil was a better option. Don’t say otherwise just because he is in EE now.

    2. Ozil, IMO, was passed because he was a standout at the WC. He’d want a starting berth and with us after Fabregas who we will get eventually, no matter how much I dislike it, it would be a waste. We’d have another unhappy player–and young–player.

      Also, by getting Ozil, at 22 now, would be belittling Thiago who is only 2-3 years his junior and the rest of our youth players. It’s sending a message: it doesn’t matter if you’re a amazing talent that played at a WC, if you’re from a youth team, you’ll get a shot before others from foreign leagues. I like that.

      Afellay is 24 and not a direct threat to youth. Also, he’s much cheaper and knows what he won’t get a starting berth in big games. Club did good on passing on Ozil.

    3. But Affelay is not in an age where he would like to sit on the bench either. Anyways, I would welcome his arrival. But just hoping that Pep won’t take time out of Thiago. Now it seems that JDS chances are getting slimmer, we get another quite young player coming in.

    4. You have amazing powers of prognostication.

      Mind telling me the next winning lottery numbers? I’m a poor grad student and could use the cash.

  19. -Does anyone have any link for the B-team and Juvenil A official presentation at the Camp Nou?

    -I actually think that RM is going to pull off our 08/09 season(touch wood). They lost the league twice in a row but have a new coach now and are very hungry. Just like when Pep joined us. I think that they will at least win 2 trophies.
    I still think that we are better in any way though but they will have more luck and hunger and a deeper squad.

    -If we sign Affelay for winger position, I don’t mind but not to take minutes away from Thiago.

    -If that man-mountain didn’t move to the City, we wouldn’t be having any conversation about the need for a CB or Affelay. He would solve the problem at CB and the middle. F7yk!! It would’ve been so easy. But that’s life.

  20. Ceuta is in the 3rd tier of the Spanish Football League right?
    Does anyone know the results of the two Ceuta vs. Barca B matches last year? I tried looking them up but gave up.

  21. anybody know a nice place to watch the classic (real madrid vs barcelona) in orlando florida, if you know where, text me to 407-860-2561

Comments are closed.