El Clasico 2011: BRING IT ON

This party is officially started. This is going to be one hell of a show! It’s–


Whatchu think, Abidal?


Categorized as El Clasico

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. haha, brilliant 😀

    btw, can someone confirm that yellow cards are rescinded after the quarter-finals? I’m actually pretty sure it is, but a friend of mine insists on me being wrong…

    1. The UEFA regulations state:

      22.03 Single yellow cards and pending suspensions are always carried forward either to the next stage of the competition or to another club competition in the current season.

    2. they do, but if anyone, read Real Madrid, players pick up a second today they’ll be banned for the second leg.

      But after today everyone goes back to 0. 99% sure about this.

    3. Yeah, that’s why I’m confused.
      I also thought so.

      But as Jose said, the official UEFA rules tell a different story. That would mean that players can still miss the final due to yellow cards, I though the FIFA and UEFA would have changed the rules after WC ’02 (when Ballack missed the final)…

    4. ???

      Dani Alves missed the 2009 final against ManU due to yellow card accumulation, remember? 🙂

    5. As far as I remember they actually modify it slightly so that players won’t be suspended for the final, but for the match after instead. They say something about wanting all the star player to be able to play for the final.

      I’m pretty sure this exception is only for the final though.

  2. – Uh-Oh, it’s the time of the year when Isaiah goes nuts! That’s nuts and not Peanuts BTW.

    – I <3 Blitzen Awards!

    – Opera Mini doesn't always mess up your replies. I use it and type replies from it everyday (using it now). Sometimes, you have to click on 'reply' button more than once this the page refreshes and it says "Reply to _______" and the space for typing is slightly towards the left.

    – I still await your Twitter request Kxevin 😀

    – Is this real life?

    1. LOL. The finger isn’t directed at you, silly! The avatar is in honour of Puyol’s birthday and shows what he thinks of people who say he is getting past it. 😛

  3. It’s going to be wild.

    I’m worried about our lineup, having in mind that Mascherano is suspended. If Busquets goes to CB alongside Pique, who will play DM? Keita? Or Guardiola will roll out the expected:

    Alves – Pique – Milito – Adriano
    Xavi – Busquets – Iniesta
    Pedro – Messi – Villa

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Thats the lineup, almost no way around it. I really don’t see any other lineup than that.

    2. Busquets go to the back, and Keita at midfield?

      I can only think of these 2 line-ups. Or maybe Pep can surprise us like what he did with Alves. Expect some interesting tactical battles.

    3. I agree. However, Milito is so fragile and I simply don’t think (can’t believe) that Guardiola will include him in the starting lineup. He has become so unreliable.

      Maybe we’ll see another I-can’t-believe-what-lineup-Pep-just-rolled-out-with lineup? 🙂

    4. Xavi will never play DM… He would get injured instantly. And Guardiola simply cannot allow that.

    5. I see no way around it.

      The only other alternative might be, and I DON’T like this alternative because it moves even more players from their best position:
      Alves, Pique, Busi, Adriano
      Thiago/Keita, Papi Andres

      I trust only Busi, sMasche, or Xavi at DM (Keita late in game is OK at DM)

      Life will be better when our brand new world-class CB signing, Mascherano, comes back from suspension 🙂

  4. I think Euler’s post about Kxevin’s reviews from the Shakhtar Review should be mandatory reading for all newcomers joining this site (heck, maybe even some old ones, as I still see comments about Kxevin being biased about Player X from members who seem to have been here a while).

    It was 100% the truth, and I agree completely with what he said.

  5. Wow, awesome find, what a blast from the past….Romario, Stoichkov…………….. Koeman!!!!

    Gotta love the Super Nintendo and Gameboy ads around the field.

    Romario was awesome, what a sweet first goal.

    1. Yeah and guess who assisted SWEET FIRST GOAL. its no other than PEP GUARDIOLA

  6. I think we had better forget the manita and concentrate on the task at hand. Mourinho isn’t stupid so a landslide victory (by either club, really) is as unlikely as it is unnecessary. A 1-0 loss will be just as damaging to our morale as a 4-0. Let us all remember instead the events of yesteryear against Mourinho’s Inter. Four times we faced him in the CL and thrice we shut him out. Yet it was Inter who went on to win the CL, not us, ahorse defeating us 3-1 at the San Siro.
    The recent declarations by Rosell and Valdes are certainly not helping our cause. Stuff like that puts pressure on us and motivates Real’s players. What we should do is repeat last November’s behavior where everything was quiet, there were no paeans sung, everyone concentrated about the task at hand, and there were no mind games.
    No matter what happens on Saturday I think the more important game will be the final on Wednesday. It is that one that will shape the rest of the season, most likely even the CL clash.

    1. I agree with basically all of this.

      I am a big fan of the clubs decision to not allow players (or is it that they strongly discourage it? I don’t know) to conduct interviews until this particular series of matches is over. I kind of wish they had done so before Valdes’s interview.

  7. Here’s the thing: Saturday is fundamentally meaningless. We can tank that match and STILL have a 5-point lead with 6 matches to go, and not a single one against a dangerous team. I even think that the Espanyol derby has lost some of its morbo, thanks to Iniesta’s beautiful, beautiful gesture.

    Better still, none of the teams except for Malaga will have anything to play for, with all of them being securely out of the drop zone. So the rest of the season should be a stroll in the park.

    Of the four Clasics, the one we canNOT lose is the first leg of the semis. It’s their house, and if we can snag an away goal or two, our path to the CL finals becomes a lot easier. For the record, I don’t care a whole lot about the Copa, even if we are playing against them in the final. Even funnier is that either way, the season will kick off with yet another Clasic, as we are destined to meet in the Spanish SuperCopa next year, as it pits the Copa winner against the Liga winner. If the Copa and Liga winner are one and the same, then I believe the second-place Liga team becomes the opponent.

    1. I’d be more than pleased if we came out of this four game marathon with a loss (this Saturday), a draw (first leg of CL), and two wins (second leg of CL + Copa final).

      Normally, I wouldn’t care about losing the Copa, but since it is EE we are facing, I want us to win it.

    2. The CdR final is important precisely because it is against Real Madrid. If it were against any other team it wouldn’t, to me at least, be that much of a big deal if we lost. But if Mourinho did beat us, I couldn’t stand his fans inevitably calling him a genius and the voice of his generation and other such wonderful things. No. The final is on par in importance with the two CL Clasicos.

    3. I believe that the supercopa will be played in august, and it’s suppose to be played by the winner of the copa del rey and the liga, in case both are the same, it’s played against the second place in the copa del rey, in 2009 that team was Atletic de Bilbao, and in 2010 I believe it was Sevilla.

  8. “Better still, none of the teams except for Malaga will have anything to play for, with all of them being securely out of the drop zone. So the rest of the season should be a stroll in the park.”

    you are forgetting las maletas.

    Other than that, I don’t really care about the league game either. Paradoxically though, it can be really dangerous to lose those games, because it might give EE a lot of momentum.

    It’s a shame that Pep has only now started to experiment with Masch at CB. His skillset, as has been pointed out by others, is better for CB than Busi’s. His positioning is not that strong though…Which is why at the beginning of the season I advocated Busquets to be better at CB than Masch. However Busi and Pique together are too vulnerable – they lack either one of Puyol’s fire or Abidal’s athleticism.

    1. I think Masch’s positioning can develop with more reps. I remember being against the Abidal experiment at CB because I felt his positioning was lacking. He definitely made me eat my words (sorry Abi!). Masch is a gifted player, so I expect him to come through for us if given the opportunity just like Abidal did.

  9. Oh no! It’s begun! I say Isaiah completely loses it by the third El Clásico. Any bets?

    Great review, Kxev!

    Awesome awards, blitz! Do the players give acceptance speeches after they’re given those? Where can I find footage of that?

    With his headshot staring out from the back page of this morning’s Barcelona-themed Mundo Deportivo like a particularly camp but extremely furious agony uncle, journalist Lluís Mascaró is a seething hotbed of righteous anger.

  10. RM and Spurs starting in a bit. They have 6 players that can miss the semi-finals if they are booked Including Ramos TB and Carvalho. If any one of them miss out it would very good for us.

  11. Usually I prefer Adriano over Maxwell but for this one, I’d take Maxwell as I don’t want to lose=no need to attack.

    I asked this question before. Did anybody notice Pique and Adriano switching positions against Shaktar?

    If I was Pep, I would let Messi start from the bench. Use him only in the 2nd half to warm him up for the CdR final.

  12. Silvio Berlusconi can’t take the pressure from the sex scandal anymore and wants to use Ibra to get Ronaldo ( to divert attention away from him since ROnaldo would hog the newspaper pages) 😆

  13. On the surface, the Clasico on Saturday is the least important, but the Revista team makes a good point about how important it is because of the potential for the winning team to have a bit of momentum and the psychological edge heading into the next Clasico.

  14. How’d you miss that, Pav? Lennon didn’t play the first leg, did he? He’s making this a contest.

    Ha! Another non-call for Tottenham.

  15. From the LLL liveblog:

    Tim Stannard: Spurs v Real Madrid:
    Best moment of the night for me perhaps is the pitchside reporter delicately explaining the meaning of the Spurs song aimed at Real Madrid – “you’re just a s*** Barcelona.”

    LOLLLLL!!!!!! 😆

    1. I was just gonna post that! Ha.

      The commentators are saying Khedira might have lost a tooth in that tumble he took.

  16. Nice defending by Real on that offside trap.

    Carvalho gets a yellow! He misses the first leg of the Champions League Clásicos!

    1. Yay! No Carvalho. Can Spurs be so kind to us as to elicit cards from everyone else who at risk of suspension in the next round.

    2. They do owe Barca over Gio dos Santos. Ramos is flirting with getting a card. Mourinho better get him out of that game, quick.

  17. This match has already come at a dear price for RM.

    Carvalho has arguably been RM’s second best player this season.

    And in many ways he may be their most indispensable player. They really do not have anyone who can adequately provide the solidity and composure at the back that he can.

    It’s an enormous loss. RM’s team defense was overwhelmed by Barca in the first Classico. Losing the bedrock of their backline is a major problem for them. I believe the first CL match would be at the Bernabeau so this also gives Barca a better chance to do damage through away goals.

    1. Given that Mascherano is acclaimed as Barcelona’s best transfer this season, and given his great performance against Shakhtar yesterday – damn, he can hold a ball – I think that Barcelona has paid a tremenedous price for beating Shakhtar as well.

    2. I’m confused by what you mean- in beating Shakhtar, Barcelona didn’t lose Mascherano for the first-leg of the semi final, did they? I thought he was suspended for the first match against RM (liga) because of the accumulated five yellow cards in the league.

  18. If Lennon wasn’t our sick for the first leg and Crouch wasn’t so stupid then this would be a very different looking tie.

  19. Ugh. No more miracle for Spurs now. Just keep drawing fouls and yellow cards, come on!

  20. It’d be a shame if more Real Madrid player were booked, which is why I think Mourinho will sub out Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos at halftime or shortly thereafter.

    1. If we lose to EE then I’d rather say they had a the best team available and so they were simply better than we. If somehow we manage to win or draw I don’t want their complaints due to suspensions.

  21. I’m watching the Inter vs Schalke game, but that’s great news (for us) concerning Carvalho.

    It’s no coincidence that the guy has played under Mourinho at three different clubs (Port, Chelsea, Madrid). A master of the dark arts, but undeniably also a great defender and back-line leader.

  22. LOL

    F*** you, Gomes, for gifting CR a goal although he played really bad the whole match.

    1. I don’t really care about Inter scoring, I don’t care about Madrid scoring, but I do care about CR being gifted goals by keepers such as Gomes or this dude of FC Zurich last year^^

    2. Morgen habe ich eine mundlich prüfung uber ein Buch. Ich bin nervös weil ich nicht so gut in Deutsch ist.

  23. Tim Stannard: Spurs v Real Madrid: “Dear Mr Harry. Aaron is feeling poorly. Please let him off games. Aaron’s Mum”

  24. I find it funny that the “Caverna Mediatica” that is the EE press would be having a field day if those three penalty plees that Tottenham had in the first half had been against EE. I already see AS and Marca with freeze frames of all the so called penalties not called in there favor. Thank god elmundodeportivo and sport don’t sink that low….yet.

  25. Them’s fighting words, Tim!

    Tim Stannard: Spurs v Real Madrid:
    Joe – Using the Mourinho rapidly learning lessons theory, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Madrid sneak past Barcelona over two legs. Put everything you own on it, in fact.

    1. Well, if the ratio between achievement and performance against us stays the same as it is today in London, we would have to play extraterrestrial football to prevail^^

  26. Okay BarcaBloggers SoMa needs some compu savvy.

    Everybody assume lotus pose and allow awareness of Jeffren’s goal in the last Clásico. Ahhhhh.

    Now give the curious mind freedom to wander through the memories of fans in the stands.

    There were two young fellows featured on TV who were so overcome they stood up with jazz hands reaching for the heavens. They weren’t even smiling. Just testifying.

    I am going bananas trying to find that image because I must haves cool gravatar for upcoming clasicorama.

    I can find it on a clip but Mr YouTube won’t let me take a pix.

    How to, say you?

    1. I have no idear. I’d troll that ONTD FOOTBALL site. They always have the best gifs.

    2. control-alt-printscreen, then open up Paint program and paste it, then crop it etc.

    3. shoulda said, pause the video, then do the above. if you cant figure it out i can do it. but id rather not.

    4. what ooga aga said. Hit that “Print Scr” button, open up Microsoft Paint, right click and paste it. Crop appropriately and save the file.


    Inter’s defense literarly streched like Spandex on a miami beach and Julio C. left naked.

    1. I do. I definitely think they can do the deed. I overlooked Schalke when before the quarterfinals, but they have shown that they belong. And this ManU side is not nearly as good as the ManU of the last five years.

  28. Most lopsided quarterfinals in UCL history?

    All the winning sides won both home and away, and the aggregate scores have the winning side winning by an average of FOUR goals.

  29. have to post here since I still can’t post a comment on the RM Offside:

    Congrats on the win, Bassam! (Even though I don’t really mean it 😀 ) I’d be a terrible liar if I said I was disappointed Carvalho(?) will miss the first leg. Still, 6-0 on agg. and pretty comfortable as well. But I guess that makes the Carvalho loss even more irritating, huh?

    4 Clasicos in 18 days. *combusts* Damn my finals! Evidently the people who schedule them are sad, sad indiviuals who don’t realize the importance of this month. For shame.

    1. Well, I have just learned that cards will not be rescindet, so Albiol, Ramos and Carvalho are only one yellow away from a suspension.
      You could almost bet that Ramos will see yellow (unless the ref is stupid, such as today’s referree who should have given Ramos a yellow after 16 min and should at least have awarded one penalty to Spurs, if not two!).

    2. Thanks Kari! It was a very expensive loss today. Very expensive. Carvalho is the second player i would not want to miss from the team after Alonso. It seems that we will be playing both legs without our main defense. Carvalho will miss the 1st leg while Ramos or Albiol is bound to get a yellow during the 1st game.

      I have to agree with you on the finals situation. I have a thesis and research papers to write with 2 finals in these two weeks. But to be honest, my objectives for this season are long long finished. We got past the round of 16 in both Copa and CL. Not only that, but we reached the final in the Copa and the semi’s in the CL. The only objective that wasn’t completed was being “more” competitive in the league and of course, the 5-0.

      For the next 4, my aim is to win one of them. If we do that, even if it is the one on saturday, then i can’t say I’m not a happy person. Our team is so new you can’t help but feel that they can only go up.

    3. Ahh, don’t think I don’t know this tactic! Set expectations low, so when something “unexpected” happens, you’ll be ecstatic. I did it all the time a lot during Pep’s first season; how could I not after finishing 18 pts behind you guys with a pasti[rest of this comment has been removed due to danger of reintroducing traumatic memories]

  30. Does anybody know what our card situatin is? I know that the Don and Pique should be clear, Milito got a yellow in the last game, anybody else?

  31. Planning on watching the classico with a bottle of chilled Manita wine and some Merengue pie.lol

  32. Yea Kxevin, this match is meaningless!

    Let’s roll out
    Adriano Fontas Milito Maxwell
    Thiago Dos Santos
    Pedro Messi Afellay

    and beat them not 6, but 5-0!
    I can’t wait till Barcelona B beat that other Spanish team.

  33. So it’s four Clasicos for us.

    *deep breaths*

    Honestly, Sid and co. predicting Madrid to win in the CL doesn’t bother me, as Sid also picked Real Madrid to win 2-0 in the last Clasico, and we all know how THAT turned out.

    As for all this talk about journos being biased one way or the other–I know it’s a joke, obvs–I mostly just think they’re into the narrative that sounds best/is new. Barca being brilliant is not new or particularly different. Real Madrid being in the semis IS new. Four Clasicos is new. So of course they’re going to talk about it from a Madrid perspective, particularly with our backline in the state it is.

    I’m not saying they ARE biased, I’m just saying they’ve got their own perspective. Besides, I have faith in our team.

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