THIS IS EL CLASICOOOOOOOOOOO

Liga Preview: Barça – Real Madrid, Monday 3pm EST

They’re a swarm, coming at you. The hills, green moments ago, are turning white. From high up, you’re sure they look like ants devouring the forest floor. You look at your men: they’re hard men, strong men. Men with the look of veterans, with scars—is one guy missing an arm? Jesus—men without fear. They’ve followed you into worse. You’ve led them into worse. Remember that. Remember you trust them, that you wouldn’t trade them for anyone else. It’s never a good day to die, but if you’ve got to go, take a few of them with you.

You cycle quickly through your catalog of inspirational speeches. There’s that laugh-a-minute version of the Braveheart For freedom speech—no, too gimmicky and probably not appropriate anyway since you mention things that’ll disturb one or two of the younger guys, the guys who haven’t been on as many campaigns—the JFK Ask Not remix you worked on all night but which you’re pretty sure will just scare them, and there’s always Marcus Aurelius, but you can’t quite remember the original Latin and it just doesn’t pack as much punch in translation.

Here they come, someone shouts. They’ll be on you in a minute, like a horde of zombies, but uglier and less intelligible. You’ve got to say something, you’ve got to let the men know you’re with them. It’s like the time in college when you did all that research for that midterm on the mating habits of rhesus monkeys until 3 hours before hand and then you panicked, realizing that the professor had said bonobos, not rhesus. Just like that. You know you can do this. You reach back, into your mind. Wrap your hand around that idea, that one right there. Ah yes. You can tell this one is a real clusterbomb of genius.

I’m not freaking out. I swear to you. I don’t have random moments when I’m having a conversation with The Lady and suddenly, midsentence—sometimes even midword—I stop and stare off into space because my heart just went from country path to autobahn and either I’m having a heart attack or thinking about el puto clásico. Thankfully I don’t do that. Thankfully I’m level-headed and capable of rational thought during the 72 hours before a match of this magnitude. I didn’t, for instance, have trouble sleeping on Friday night because I was thinking about tactical formations to counter a 4-2-3-1. That would be absurd and a bit scary.

Official Prediction: 2-0, goals by Messi and Pedro. That is right, suckas, I’m going for a full on clean sheet ass kicking and not just because Valdes is my keeper in fantasy La Liga. This is war, this is death, this is EL CLÁSICOOOOOO.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

104 Comments

  1. jnelson
    November 28, 2010

    Beautiful. That’s how I’d sum that preview up. I’m hoping for a lineup of VV-Alves-Pique-Puyol-Abidal-Busi-Xavi-Iniesta-P!-Messi-Villa. anyone else?

    • Alexinho
      November 29, 2010

      But Pep is the master of unexpected lineups in big games. In the last Clasico, Alves started as the right forward–I was very surprised when I was reminded of that.

  2. Jose
    November 28, 2010

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH

    • Jose
      November 28, 2010

      I WILL NOT PASS OUT FROM EXCITEMENT

  3. K(legit)
    November 29, 2010

    wow… must NOT hyperventilate

  4. Alexinho
    November 29, 2010

    I just saw the Colts get smashed by the Chargers, and honestly, I’m only a bit upset.

    If Barca loses tomorrow, I’m going to just die.

    • K(legit)
      November 29, 2010

      wash your mouth out with soap young man!

  5. Soy Culé
    November 29, 2010

    QUIERO UN OTRO OCHO-CERO.

    Mi religión, el Barça, mi templo, el Camp Nou, y mi D10s, Leo Messi.

    VAAMOOOOOOOOOOOSSSS

  6. Spencer
    November 29, 2010

    Actually considering blowing up my laboratory tomorrow, so I don’t have to miss this match.

    • NeverEver
      November 29, 2010

      me too, but my lab doesn’t have anything that could blow up. they don’t mess with that stuff until next semester. it might look suspicious…

  7. BarcaOwl
    November 29, 2010

    How many hours left to go? I’m at work and I can’t even concentrate. 😛

    Will there be a liveblog for this match? I sure hope so!

  8. November 29, 2010

    We will be true to ourselves and the best lineup will always be the one we know.

    We will keep the ball all day if they are lucky enough, they will get a draw. But of course, I know we will win 2-0 as well.

  9. Benj
    November 29, 2010

    Ah getting up at 3:30am to watch it! (Western Australian Time)

    With work in the morning…

    Why?

    Because Im so excited at the prospect of a Xavi inspired Golazofest!!!!

    Im thinking 3-0 with goals from the Pedro, Messia and either Xavi or Iniesta (although they may be the same person….)

    Visca el Barca!

    • ML
      November 29, 2010

      Another Aussie!

      Kickoff is at 5:00am for us here on the east coast.

      Tots units fem forca!!!

      • barca96
        November 29, 2010

        Haha. And I will be late for work tomorrow.
        Queenslander here.

  10. Nav
    November 29, 2010

    Oh god I’m so excited.

    I love being a football fan.

  11. jaymin
    November 29, 2010

    I’m no terrible fan of your club for your transfer exploits (ambitions) of late esp. vis a vis my London club, but I will be rooting for you tomorrow against that ramshackle assembly of platinum pram toys and their primadonna entrenador. You’re not terribly humble, but your coach is, and he has the talent to not have to be, so: kick some mardisita culos!

    • barca96
      November 29, 2010

      I remember you as soon as i saw your name.

      • barca96
        November 29, 2010

        I agree with you. Some players at our club are not that humble;
        Xavi is one player whom I always get nervous when he get’s interviewed. Dani Alves is not that bad.
        The rest are all humble.

        • jaymin
          November 29, 2010

          if they’re humble they must be malprojecting nervously! Messi is certainly cognizant of the effect of his words; Pedro is young, Iniesta is a true gentleman of sport and deserving of the applause he receives across Spain, Keita is injured…for the rest…Hala Barca para mañana.

    • Jose
      November 29, 2010

      This whole exchange is like a wet towel. Seriously, thanks for the support, but no need to be bringing this up now.

  12. November 29, 2010

    Beat rivalry in sports. And I’m so blessed to be a part of it!!! VISCA EL BARCAAAAA

    OOO LE LE. OOO. LA LA SER DE BARCA ESS!!!!

  13. barca96
    November 29, 2010

    Why is there a new post so soon up?
    Euler just posted his.
    I’m worried people might overlook his great post(s).

    If I would follow my heart, I’d roll with our best line-up but I don’t think we would win with that. So gotta use brains to outsmart Mourinho.

    It’s better to play sMasch & Busi together in midfield to assist Alves & Abidal.

    • Jose
      November 29, 2010

      “So gotta use brains to outsmart Mourinho.”

      Why? He’s just a fuckin’ translator!

      (Pure unaldurated biased, delusional cule mode is ON)

      • barca96
        November 29, 2010

        Hell yeah. Turn it off after the match please.

    • soccermomof4
      November 29, 2010

      sMasch AND Busi together! PLEASE DO THIS PEP! I know he’s the brilliant coach and I am just a fan (and only 2 years into this obsession) but I might be able to breathe a little bit knowing we have those two together.

  14. Clue(less)
    November 29, 2010

    Cant sleep….11hrs 31 min!!!!!

  15. extreme barca fan
    November 29, 2010

    This is the big one, i hope and think we will win this, however i think we will concede, cause pique is having a bad season so far, if i were PEP (god i wish that was true) i would use abidal as CB and rest pique for this one or at least i will use abidal as a left back and left back only (no full back duties) this way he can come across the area to make a tackle or run a player out of the field
    My prediction for this is that EE will be jeered and booed
    But my official prediction is we will win 3:1, who scores and when? i actually dont care.

  16. ML
    November 29, 2010

    Im going for a 4-2.

    Gonzalo Higuain ’25
    Lionel Messi ’44
    Pedro ’56
    Di Maria ’60
    Lionel Messi ’79
    Lionel Messi ’90

    If im right you will all bow down.

    • Helge
      November 29, 2010

      If this is right, I will first create a golden altar for you and then bow down to it 😀

      Wow, this match, this game of football, is totally irrational and mind-blowing. I can’t concentrate on my bachelor thesis since Friday, my productivity has been reduced to ZERO lately. The match itself surely has the potential to cause a heart attack. I’m still pretty young, but what if such a clash of titanious titans occurs in 40 years time??? Right now, I actually believe there will never be a game like this ever again – judged by anticipation.

      • barca96
        November 29, 2010

        You gotta partly thank the 2 Portuguese guys for creating that extra edge and glamour and excitement.

        • Helge
          November 29, 2010

          Yah, I know, in that regard he is the ‘Special One’, because he turns this match into a truly special one ^^

          • Han
            November 29, 2010

            The expectations are above imagination, lets hope they materialize.

      • Clue(less)
        November 29, 2010

        You cant concentrate on your bachelor thesis…I cant concentrate on my bachelor RESPONSIBILITIES!!!!! I am ‘withholding’ from mah lady till about 545…once the game is over!!!

  17. K(legit)
    November 29, 2010

    Tot el Camp
    *clap* *clap* *clap*

  18. Jim
    November 29, 2010

    Bugger. Day off due to snow disruption. What do they expect me to do now all day to take my mind off this ?

    Seriously, if the players feel even a fraction of the pressure we’re feeling I’ve no idea how they can even kick a ball. I’ll not relax till I see that first Xavi to Iniesta to Xavi to Iniesta . . . . And when I see Iniesta getting kicked three feet into the air at the end of that tika taka I’ll know we’ve got them 🙂

    • barca96
      November 29, 2010

      I read your comment in the last post or 2 post’s ago. Was really funny(regarding hte snow). My dad worked there in the winter 13 years ago. Kept complaining that there were TOO much snow but you made it sound like it’s something unique.

  19. sechelyseche
    November 29, 2010

    I am more of a blog creeper than blog poster.. but I had to say something cause this will be my first clasico in Spain!! Granted I am actually in Madrid (egad!) studying abroad, so not quite the same as if in Barcelona, but we found a Barça supporting bar last week just for tonight! I´ve had jitters all weekend.

    • just sayin'
      November 29, 2010

      Sechelysech, can you tell me name/location of the bar? Thanks.

    • Clue(less)
      November 29, 2010

      Are you in Alcala de hanares or actually in Madrid, the former will be forgiven.

  20. blitzen
    November 29, 2010

    Leaving for the airport in half an hour. I dreamt we won 4-0, let’s hope it comes true!

    Visca Barca!

    Boti boti boti, madridista qui no boti!

    (Are you jumping? 🙂 )

      • blitzen
        November 29, 2010

        I WISH! No, I am going to see my family in Saskatchewan and will miss the match entirely. My kind and wonderful brother has agreed to let me download it from rojadirecta onto his laptop, but who knows how long it will take for it to be uploaded to the site first?

        I can’t decide whether to spoil myself and check the score as soon as I get there, or suffer in agony while I wait to download it and watch it unspoiled.

        • Helge
          November 29, 2010

          Oh, that’s bad luck 🙁

          I recommend to NOT look up the score before watching the match. It destroys the whole excitement, I have once missed a Sevilla-Barcelona match (I guess it was the re-match from last season, something like 34th playday and it was still a very close race between us and the EE) but couldn’t wait to see the result. Thinking back I have to say suffering for some more hours would have been the better choice. Obviosuly, we had a superb match back then, I dunno if I would have felt differently if we had lost the match.

        • jose89
          November 29, 2010

          i download and watch matches from rojadirecta quite frequently, especially midweek CL games which I tend to have to miss due to class. It’s actually quite amazing how fast they upload matches either in torrent or some rapidshare-esque site. I would say a full match torrent will be available roughly an hour after the final whistle, with plenty of seeders/lechers as well.

  21. Varughese
    November 29, 2010

    My prediction is quite dynamic. Some scenarios:

    1) If we score an early goal(within first ten minutes), I am predicting a 5-1 victory for us as Ronaldo and company will come out chasing to avoid a 5TH CONSECUTIVE DEFEAT.

    2) If the first half an hour goes goal less then we should win 2-0.

    3) If RM scores an early goal, then this match most probably weill end up with we winning 2-1.

    • Helge
      November 29, 2010

      hehe, but the outcome is pretty static 😉

      I’d take any of those!

    • November 29, 2010

      Guys I got it almost right, those idiots doesn’t know how to score goals is not my mistake

  22. y2k156
    November 29, 2010

    Am totally psyched up for this one. Apparantly Real bus got stoned in Barce. Sadly it was not stoed stoned:).

    another 7 hrs and bit to go. Will mostly reply some of the last classico’s though there is no additional need to get into mood.

    I predict a 7-4 for us with hattricks by Villa and Messi.

    • Jim
      November 29, 2010

      That’s not good. No drawing a line with some people, eh?

      • K(legit)
        November 29, 2010

        what really pisses me off is when rival supporters say ‘This is the classlessness of the Cules’
        BS
        As far as I am concerned the idiots who perpetrated this are not nor should never be Cules

        • Han
          November 29, 2010

          Completely agree with Jim. (There’s always a bunch of extremists trying to hijack a certain platform)

          Madrid might be a very, very much hated football-team we must give them the necessary respect and throwing stones at their bus doesn’t quite define the meaning of the word ‘RESPECT’.

          • adwivedi
            November 29, 2010

            Its nice to see u all condemning the stone throwing action… i am pleasantly surprised… cheers!

  23. Vj
    November 29, 2010

    I’m too tired to make a prediction.. Hope we play well..

  24. soccermomof4
    November 29, 2010

    I think I will be non-functional most of the day and an absolute wreck during the game. Bought a wine from Catalunya for the game and a bottle of Estrella Damm for the hubby (maybe they will help).

    • K(legit)
      November 29, 2010

      I had white wine from Catalunya in Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago..perhaps the best wine I’ve tasted in a long long time…

  25. Jim
    November 29, 2010

    From Barcastuff –

    Rosell (Barcelona president): “My friend Florentino, welcome to our city, our club, our country.”

    Nice one 🙂

  26. Roz
    November 29, 2010

    MADRID CABRON SALUDA EL CAMPEON!! LETS GO HURRY UP ALREADY.
    2-1 for us.

  27. Josep
    November 29, 2010

    Less than 6 hours to go. I can’t even eat breakfast.

  28. MoSSi
    November 29, 2010

    We have never lost a leaguegame at home were Messi scored! So if Messi scores, we win!

  29. Josep
    November 29, 2010

    Also, rumors of Higuain being hurt or limping around the hotel..
    Reminds me of when Goran Pandev was “hurt” and Mou inserted Chivu late. He basically looked at Pep’s lineup, and adjusted his by saying a player was injured if I’m not mistaken. then dropped everyone back, etc. Lets see how this played out.

  30. Josep
    November 29, 2010

    One of the top tweets today is from @FCBarcelona. Mou has never won in the Camp Nou. Its on twitter’s main page, pretty neat.

  31. November 29, 2010

    Will be Having the build up of BARCATV on all day until the match begins.
    *http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/catala/locucio/btv_en_directe.html

  32. sab
    November 29, 2010

    willbe avery boring game.

    expecting a 1-1 or 0-1.

    if we score within first 20 mins,then it will be a different story.

    cant wait

  33. Eklavya
    November 29, 2010

    VAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOS!!!!!!

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    BRING IT MOFOS!!! WE GOT YA!!

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Kxevin
    November 29, 2010

    Is there a LiveBlog prognosis? Did someone volunteer that I don’t know about? Just checking. I’m at work, trying to keep food down. The anxiety is killing me. Absolutely killing me.

    Higuain is out for them, which will force MouMou to change tactics a bit.

  35. SoccerMom
    November 29, 2010

    (jumping up and down)
    (updownupdownupdownupdown)

  36. November 29, 2010

    Tomorrow, I prefer to read posts praising Barcelona players than Mou. This is how it is in football journalism: If Barca win, its the players quality. if RM win, its MouMou.

  37. MT
    November 29, 2010

    If someone has a link to a live stream, I’d be forever grateful 🙂

  38. Roz
    November 29, 2010

    Just visited the EE offside and well it coverage of El Classico is …limited . Their “key to winning” is hoping Casillas has a good day, and stopping Xavi and Messi. Not even close of the quality we have here. 😀

    • monday monday
      November 29, 2010

      Even I as a Barcelona supporter find that kind of a lame thing for you to say. A couple of posts with Barcelona and Madrid supporters points of view are always interesting to read. But if FEE FI FO FUM
      I smell the blood of a Portuguese bum floats you’re boat, then rock on I guess.

  39. andrew
    November 29, 2010

    higuain being out is a shrewd way of mou taking him out and replacing him with a defender like lass to make a 3 man midfield. he uses the “injury” excuse so it doesnt look like he is playing for the draw and being a coward, but most of us thought he would take out an attacker anyway probably oezil though.

    he is playing for the draw, i expect a 0-0 sadly, although if we score, then real have to chase the game, then we could see a high score line. if real score first, expect them to sit back for the entire game and foul us.

    • K(legit)
      November 29, 2010

      he did the same thing with Pandev last season right?
      Pandev was ‘injured’ and replaced with Chive

      Lets see if he has the stones to replace Higuain with Benzema who is a natural replacement.

      • Josep
        November 29, 2010

        Read my comments a little bit up in the post ^^

  40. stowe
    November 29, 2010

    this reminds me that i need to do my work now instead of waiting til i wake up. when i wake up i will be checking scores. then i would have nothing prepared for class

  41. Kari
    November 29, 2010

    I CAN DO LIVEBLOG BECAUSE THIS GAME IS ON MY FREAKIN’ TV!!!!!!!!!!!

    ^ I didn’t have the channel before.

      • Kari
        November 29, 2010

        On the blog here (i.e. on the Contact page)? Or via hotmail/gmail?

        • Eklavya
          November 29, 2010

          Anything!
          BTW, I recommend that start the LB about 10-15 mins because they’re probably gonna be BUCKETLOADS of people andapproving them isn’t easy especially if this is your 1st LB hosting!

          Good luck!

          • Kxevin
            November 29, 2010

            Just click the link, Kari, and it will open the mail browser of your choosing, or just cut/paste into whatever you choose. And Isaiah, like a hungover, eyeglassed genie, will be at your service.

          • Kari
            November 29, 2010

            No worries, I got it! I’ll post some ground rules below and then again when the LiveBlog post comes up.

  42. Ben-80
    November 29, 2010

    Greetings from Providence, RI! Can’t a remember a time I was more excited for a match, great to see that excitement is being shared across the world. Barca 3-1, goals by Messi, Villa, Pedro.

    • Kari
      November 29, 2010

      WELCOME! NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE, Ben-80

      AS YOU CAN SEE, I’M SO EXCITED I’M WRITING IN ALL CAPS ON, which can get incredibly annoying, so I’ll stop now.

      I say we win and Messi, Bojan, Villa, Pedro!, Xavi, Iniesta, Busi, Abidal, Pique, Puyol, Yaya , Alves will all score. And Pep from the touchline but it will be disallowed (VILLARATO!)

      All in all, a, err, 11-0 win. Yesh.

  43. Kari
    November 29, 2010

    LET’S DO THIS!

    LEEEEEEEEEEEROY JEEEEEEEEENKINS

    IT. IS. ON

    • K(legit)
      November 29, 2010

      breathe Kari breathe

      *huff* *huff* *huff*

      God now I am hyperventilating !!

      Damn you adrenaline

  44. Q7
    November 29, 2010

    Great great Article, but sadly for Barca Los Madrilenos will be far too strong. Barca will not be able to cope with the attacking power of Los Madrilenos.

    Cristiano ‘the Bull el Torrerino’ Ronaldo will Charge and boss the Midfiled to put Messi in his place.

    Mezut ‘the Eagle Owl’ Oezil will swoop down to tear pieces out of Pique and Puyol.

    Gonzalo ‘the Serpent’ Higuain will sink his fangs into Victor Valdez if playing.

    Karim ‘the Puma’ Benzema will claw away Xavi and Iniesta.

    Sami ‘the Mountain Lion’ Khedira will swat away Alves

    Iker ‘the Rock’ Casillas will stand like a Rock.

    Madrid 4 – Barca 1.

    • jhargrid
      November 29, 2010

      Well somebody’s not jumping.

    • Eklavya
      November 29, 2010

      LOL!
      Youre probably the most creative EE fan we’ve had so far! Congratz and good luck!

    • NeverEver
      November 29, 2010

      aww he really does look like an owl!

      (and I do mean that in the nicest way possible… :-P)

      and did you know that bulls repeatedly eat their own vomit? interesting, no?

    • Madrid fan
      November 29, 2010

      That is quite hilarious crap…Hope Casillas doesnt stand like a rock and is more flexible than that..:P…And the Puma and the mountain lion are one and the same, right?..I would be happy with a 1-1..:)

  45. Kxevin
    November 29, 2010

    I can’t function. I get (alternately) goosebumps, queasiness, want to scream/cry/run around the room. Not sure why this Clasic is a bit more intense than the others, but it is for me. Don’t know about anyone else.

  46. K(legit)
    November 29, 2010

    From barcastuff
    Referee Iturralde is a heavy metal fan and will probably arrive at the Camp Nou listening to Metallica

    😀

  47. Jim
    November 29, 2010

    Ok guys. We need someone with a cool head to stop us going over the top here

    ……….. but this is no freakin’ time for sense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Visca Barca 🙂

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