El Clasico 2011: Through the Looking Glass

CL Preview: Real Madrid – Barcelona, 2:45pm EST, FX(HD) and Fox Deportes

Look out the window. I mean it. Or at least I mean it when you’ve finished this paragraph and maybe clicked on some ads. Find the nearest pane of glass between yourself and the outside and look through it. If you’re reading this outside and thus would be looking inside were you to press your face on a window, you should hire me to work with you because screw this inside crap. But okay, now you’re looking out the window, right? What do you see? Trees, maybe or perhaps a street with some cars, people walking, a bird or two. It’s spring here, so if it’s spring where you are, you should also be seeing sunshine and happiness. Well forget that crap. It’s not real. It’s a figment of your imagination. Just like there is no spoon, there is no “real world.” There is no Zuul, only el clásico.

And it is, once again, for better or worse, upon us. And it has obliterated the sun. And common sense. And all the other things we take for granted. Don’t believe me? Just ask yourself, if we lose, will the sun come up the next day? It might not. You never know. Yes, there is another clásico in just a few days time, less than a week, but will any of it matter if the first leg goes horribly awry? But what if it goes wonderfully well? Livers worldwide will collapse in upon themselves, obstinately refuse to do their duty. They’ll be on strike and rightfully so. If you’re not an alcohol consumer, watch the glucose and caffeine intake. If you’re too healthy for any of that, watch the heart rate anyway because no one is safe, least of all those who think they can handle it.

Sergio Ramos claims the fans will have to score the first goal. He has lost it. Pep Guardiola thinks we’re underdogs. He’s lost it. I think we should start Jeffren. I never had it to begin with. The weekly editors meeting at BFB is usually a calm discussion of the posting schedule; this week there were fireworks: Luke lambasting SoccerMom for suggesting we play Busi in midfield, Kari shaking uncontrollably in the corner while muttering something about YouTube videos being the key, Kevin voting to sell VicSoc (just cause), and me dutifully taking minutes that, when viewed later, turned out to be all work and no play make Jack a dull boy written about a hundred thousand times. And then, of course, Linda came with a collage of Riquelme pictures she refused to explain, but that’s kind of normal at this point.

Ah yes, clásico week #3. I miss you dearly, sanity. Mrs. The Lady refuses to talk to me, claiming that when I think I’m whispering about vacation plans I’m actually just shouting “venga Leo!”, “arbitro comprado eh!”, and “pass, move, offer!” Whenever someone bumps me on the subway, I curse their mothers and the height of the grass. When I finish a project at work, I whip off my shirt and leap over the wall to celebrate with my cubicle neighbor. Coffee is not a good replacement for Gatorade baths.

Are you still looking out the window? You can stop now. Unless you live at the Camp Nou, in which case you should definitely keep looking out the window at the greatest view in human history. It beats this and even the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. By a long shot. Because it is the only thing that actually exists. There is nothing else.

First they tell me Iniesta is injured, a serious doubt, has a calf strain. Then they tell me he’s fine, 100%, assured of scoring. Puyol is back, terror is back, there’s a run on diapers in Madrid. Stop messing with my soul, Internet. Like the Incredible Hulk, you have no idea what I’m capable of. You wouldn’t like me when I’m frazzled to the point of cutting out action figures and pasting them on my TV screen and half giggling, half mumbling fake commentary about how so-and-so scored a great goal and Mourinho pees in his pants and poor Ramos drops the trophy again, but it’s still the Copa one because the other one is ours, all ours mwahaha. See what happens, Internet?

Predicted lineup: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Puyol, Busi, Xavi, Keita, Villa, Messi, Pedro.

Official Prediction: 1-1. Goal by Villa.

But seriously, I think I’m cracking. This isn’t good. Why are there 4 of them? Who would do such a thing to us poor fans? Is this fun to them? Are the football gods enjoying watching us curl up into little balls, forget to bathe, and sing songs we only know half the words to? And no, no one on earth knows all the words to el cant. I am positive of this.

Són molts anys plens d’afanys, (Many years full of zeal,)
són molts gols que hem cridat, (many goals we have screamed,)

You don’t know that line. Don’t act like you do. You’re probably all “What song is that from?” cause you, like everyone else, just knows the first verse. And our name, of course. Like I said, cracking.

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Written by:

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. Eklavya
    April 26, 2011

    Haha, this preview is the best! Good job Isaiah!

  2. Vj
    April 26, 2011

    Guardiola: “…No es cuestión de sacar un papel y no tengo un secretario para ello. En esta sala él es el puto jefe, el puto amo. Mañana hablaremos en el campo…”

    El Goog translates
    “… It’s not about taking a role and I have a secretary to do so. In this room he is the f****** boss, f****** love you. Tomorrow we’ll talk on the field …”

    via SPORT

    • Whatever
      April 26, 2011

      So Guardiola was swearing at the press conference… Nice! 😀

    • Dani_el
      April 26, 2011

      “es el puto amo” its an spanish idiom that means “he’s the bloody master” or he’s the “f****** lord (of the press room)” (as dominus in latin, I picked that up from the hbo serie Rome hah), it really sound much better in spanish, and, I’ve never heard him speak like that! He was Human after all, haha you have to have some coj**** tu speak like that…

  3. April 26, 2011

    For the record:

    It always feels good when you pop a bully upside the head, even as it belittles you, ultimately, for finally succumbing to human nature.

    Guardiola nervous? Doubtful. Dude doesn’t have a nervous bone in his body. But he does have a temper. We’ve seen it during his playing years, and he’s been very careful to subsume it as coach. Was he angry in the presser? Dunno, didn’t see it.

    But the words are very carefully chosen. That much is clear. And he’s sending a very clear message, I think not only to Mourinho and EE, but to his players. “The line in the sand is here. Let’s stop taking stuff from them, and get busy. And I don’t mean tomorrow. Now.”

    Media folk (including me) will interpret it however they like, as suits their needs. But that’s how I see it, and I’m sticking to it.

  4. Alex
    April 26, 2011

    Sorry VJ< that google translation is off,

    Pep said that Mourinho “es el puto jefe y el puto amo en esta sala”

    Wow that’s hard to translate, especially since cursing now seems to be edited….

    He basically said that Mou is the “F****** boss” and the “F****** man” in Madrid and the Bernabooo and that Pep awards Mou the champions league title off the field….

    • Vj
      April 26, 2011

      Machine translation is usually off, thanks for the correct usage..

      • Alex
        April 26, 2011

        Ya, it’s tough to translate slang terms like that.

    • blitzen
      April 26, 2011

      Babel Fish translates amo as “master”.

      • Alex
        April 26, 2011

        ya, it could also be “to love sometheone/thing”……. “yo te amo”

        it has several meanings within the context it is being used….

        the Babel Fish translation seems like more of an old school literature translation…. “mi amo me dejo ir a la fiesta”….”my master let me go to the party”

  5. mardia
    April 26, 2011

    Is Pep actually cursing? Wow.

    I have no thoughts on the game tomorrow except to parrot: In Pep We Trust. Simple, but true. Win, lose, or draw–in Pep we trust.

    Currently watching the Schalke-Man Utd game, and it’s tough trying to figure out who to root for, because I hate Man Utd as a Liverpool fan, but (should Barcelona get to the CL final, knock on wood, ward off evil spirits) Man Utd, I feel, would be the easier, less unpredictable team to face. Although at this point, I can’t make ANY assumptions anymore, good grief!

    • Alex
      April 26, 2011

      Well, Puto Amo literally translated means “jigolo lover” but to put into context would be like saying “the F****** man”

    • beeeef
      April 26, 2011

      Hard to see Schalke beating Man U over two legs, but I guess it could happen. Still don’t know how the German side are going to prevent United from snatching an away goal or two tonight however. They’re missing Howedes, so Rooney/Hernandez will look to take advantage of that.

    • Ryan
      April 26, 2011

      You also got to take into account that swearing in Spain isn’t nearly as big a deal as it is in the US. Chalk it up to both linguistic differences and Spain not having that whole Puritan background, hehe.

  6. Alex
    April 26, 2011

    Also, I recorded the good bit from the press conference. If anyone wants to hear it, I can email it to you.

  7. Miguel
    April 26, 2011

    Livers worldwide will collapse in upon themselves

    -My liver spots are getting liver spots just thinking about this match.

    See? I told you Isaiah was gonna crack by the third Clásico.

    • April 26, 2011

      One way traffic. I hope Schalke & Neuer absorb some more of this in the second half and have something to play for in the next leg.

    • Vj
      April 26, 2011

      Whoa! what wastefulness! They should’ve killed the tie right there..

  8. beeeef
    April 26, 2011

    Neuer has been impeccable so far. Without him, Schalke would have conceded at least once in the 1st half.

    • Ryan
      April 26, 2011

      He is freaking ridiculous. I recall him being great vs. Valencia, but dang, he is trying his hardest to pull his team through (literally too, in one case, hehe)

      • beeeef
        April 26, 2011

        Seriously. I’ve been impressed every time I’ve seen him. Still, Schalke will have to step it up in the 2nd half. Otherwise he’ll get beat eventually.

        Unfortunately for the German side, a defensive core of Van Der Sar/Vidic/Ferdinand will be very hard to breach.

        • Ryan
          April 26, 2011

          Raul isn’t seeing enough of the ball. It’s mostly Edu who looks more battering ram than service provider. The ref isn’t calling anything though, so maybe he can just bulldoze through and then slot it to Raul? But it looks like ManU are set to open the floodgates after they get the first goal.

          • beeeef
            April 26, 2011

            If Schalke could conjure up ANYTHING offensively it would be nice. Otherwise this will be one of the most one-sided UCL semis I’ve ever seen.

  9. poipoi
    April 26, 2011

    Somebody give Mr Guardiola a valium! Quick! He lost it!
    What’s gonna happen tomorrow with no Iniesta? Well… Maybe we’re better off without him he has been playing horrible lately…. besides looks like this may be a game of balls and andres has only the sufficient to accomplish reproduction. Thiago Keita afellay? 🙁 who?

  10. vicsoc
    April 26, 2011

    I’m actually glad that Guardiola is showing a little fire on his interviews. Being guarded with his words is a good choice, but sometimes I think he takes it a little too far. Showing a little emotion and passion isnt a bad thing, as long as he doesn’t let the emotion rule him, especially tomorrow.

  11. Barcaleya
    April 26, 2011

    NO Iniesta tomorrow. Arrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!

  12. Eklavya
    April 26, 2011

    Schalke suck.

    Neuer is a freaking beast. He and Lloris are really the best young world class goalies. Both are on par with each other. Both could play in any club.

  13. Extreme barca fan
    April 26, 2011

    OK, we are here at last
    Tomorrow we play without many regulars, but we have Puyol back, so our back line is secure, RM have 4 players one card away from suspension and Carvalho is suspended, so the only advantage RM have over us is the home court and that is not much.
    Prediction, we win 1-2 or 1-3 not exactly sure, but i know we r gonna win this one.

    • Eklavya
      April 26, 2011

      Wow, the official site can embed Yoututbe videos? Nice 🙂

    • blitzen
      April 26, 2011

      I <3 Guardiola:

      The boss also referred to Sergio Ramos’s comments: “I saw them. It’s something his club told him to say. I’ve seen it before with Mourinho, he did it at Chelsea and now he’s doing it here”.

      And yeah, the grass is really long at the Bernabeu now. Check out the pic barcastuff posted:


      • Eklavya
        April 26, 2011

        What Ramos comments is he referring to?

        • blitzen
          April 26, 2011

          He said, effectively, “I want this to be a clean and sportsmanlike match. I want people to avoid exaggerating injuries or fouls, and for the referee to be impartial.”

  14. soccermomof4
    April 26, 2011

    1. Go get ’em, Pep!

    2. VV
    Alves, Pique, Puyi, El Jefecito (nothing gets past this back line)
    Xavi, Busi, Keiteeee
    MVP or MV3M
    We can still do this or hold them to a draw with that back line (not that I’m advocating parking anything we don’t own the keys to).

    3. If one more person gets injured I suggest we sacrifice Miguel to the footy gods (jk, Miguelito)

    4. The more intense this gets, the more I’m loving Isaiah’s posts, Hysterical. The more nervous I get, the more I appreciate Kxevin’s calm.

    5. we can so totally do this let’s go out there and go fully operational deathstar on ’em oh my gosh we’re all going to die

    Love you team, trust your coach, pray like mad!

  15. Eklavya
    April 26, 2011

    ManU goal. Great pass by Rooney, good finishing by Giggs.

  16. Eklavya
    April 26, 2011

    Another goal! Bah, we never get that kind of space.

  17. beeeef
    April 26, 2011

    Switched my stream off after the 2nd goal.

    So it looks like either us or Madrid will be heading to Wembley to face United in the final.

    • Ryan
      April 26, 2011

      Probably for the best – the English commentators can get pretty nauseating…

      • beeeef
        April 26, 2011

        Tell me about it.

        But still, all credit to SAF and his team.

        ManU might have had a pretty mediocre team this season by their standards, but they have been a major force in Europe in recent years.

        This is their third final in how many years?

  18. April 26, 2011

    That presser by Pep has got me super fired up, and I’m 5k miles away. How do you think the players feel?

    We’re going to win tomorrow, I feel it.

    • Barcaleya
      April 26, 2011

      I think so too. Somehow I feel that we’re going to win tomorrow 😀

  19. mardia
    April 26, 2011

    Just read the translation of Pep’s interview–if that, plus Puyol returning, doesn’t get our players fired up, then nothing will, frankly. I’m looking forward to it.

  20. April 26, 2011

    I really hope we take it to them though. None of this sitting back and passing 5 yrd passes at the center circle. I’d rather replace Iniesta with Afellay than Keita (though I know it’s a pipe dream with Pep’s favorite in the running).

  21. Nik
    April 26, 2011

    People should be resigned to seeing misplaced passes tomorrow. That grass is not going to help our passing game at all. We’re going to have to be even more careful with the ball when we dink it around (I’m looking at you Busi).

    • mega_tajh
      April 26, 2011

      I read somewhere( I think its sport) that Madrid have to water the field to comply with Uefa regulations of watering the lawn 1 hour before kick off evenly and not just in certain parts. Although being a small detail this should really help the players and ball movement with this high grass.

      • Nik
        April 26, 2011

        Ah, didn’t know about that regulation. That’s good for us.

  22. mega_tajh
    April 26, 2011


    I expect a cautious game from us at first but glad we trained on the pitch today so the players can get used to the high grass. With Iniesta out and Keita in, Alves will be all up in their side.

  23. y2k156
    April 26, 2011

    Pep is a smart guy. For me, he did the right thing.

    As a football fan, it is not hard to admire people even if they coach your enemies. I could always admire Vicente Del Bosque. Sorry to say but Mourinho might be a winner but he is a piece of sh*t. He is such a good man manager i wonder why he does these silly things. In fact these things will at the end make his record less rather than more. As for his legacy, well Inter in middle 1960’s won lot of things as well with Herrera. Mou is just a follower who, to be fair, has won the lot but has done nothing for the game.

    As for tomorrow, honestly i do not care too much about the result. Results are matter of inches and also luck. I feel confident that our team will play in own manner and try and win the game. That is good enough for me.

    • poipoi
      April 26, 2011

      Today I heard (manolo I believe) sanchis ex EE player and he was so cool tactics and all… he said he wants EE to win with flo-mou but that the model could change to what people are doing “in other places”

  24. Rastogi
    April 26, 2011

    Pep words should be a motivating factor for us cule(s) let the game begin. I cant wait.

  25. soccermomof4
    April 26, 2011

    What was that I read in the last thread about us all taking off to the great white north to have dinner at Blitzen’s? I’ll bring potato salad! 🙂

    I seriously don’t think they’ll get past Alves, Pique, Puyol, and Mascherano tomorrow. Puyol simply won’t allow it! Pep’s got them all fired up, thems were fightin’ words from our Mister! I have a more positive feeling about this game than I have had in a while, and really no reason for it with all the injuries, it’s just a feeling. Here’s to Ghostface getting better for the return leg! Visca Barca!

  26. beeeef
    April 26, 2011

    “As for tomorrow, honestly i do not care too much about the result. Results are matter of inches and also luck. I feel confident that our team will play in own manner and try and win the game. That is good enough for me.”


    But still, I don’t want to see Madrid celebrating a CL final berth at the Camp Nou.

    • Noslehcimretep
      April 26, 2011

      I had tried to avoid that mental picture beeeef, but now that you’ve conjured it up I’m going to be even more tense going into tomorrow.

      In Pep we trust.

      • beeeef
        April 26, 2011

        Don’t worry. If it comes to that, just turn of your TV screen/Internet stream immediately.

        But honestly, I’d put my money on Barcelona. Madrid is formidable, but beatable.

        In Pep we trust indeed.

  27. April 26, 2011

    Losing Iniesta and his ball control skills really hurts.

    Pep has some enormous decisions to make because all of these losses are on Barca’s left side – and that’s the side where RM’s defense is leaving the most space.

    Tomorrow the team can’t count on the LB coming forward and providing width or acting as an outlet.

    Keita, Afellay and Thiago each provide very different skill sets that will have the team working in very different ways.

    Normally using Keita would be straight forward. But it’s more complicated in tomorrow’s match due to the way Madrid is pressing. Keita is usually fine maintaining possession when teams that are sitting deep to defend. He’s not great with the ball at his feet however and RM is going to press him very hard.

    What they’ll do is to mark Xavi very heavily and force Barca to play the ball through Keita. When Keita receives the ball they will then press him very fast.

    Without a LB moving forward wide of him Keita will have to either play decisive passes forward or play negative balls to retain possession.

    This is not an easy decision for Pep, though I do think he’ll stick with Keita.

    • soccermomof4
      April 26, 2011

      Messi will be forced to come back and help in the midfield, it can’t be helped. I see the midfield playing out more through Messi-Busi-Xavi. I wonder if that happens, will we see Keita playing more defensively or making runs into the box (he’s a better target for crosses than most). But if we come out of this without giving up a goal, perhaps Iniesta will be fit next week.

  28. Josep
    April 26, 2011

    anyone who thinks Afellay will start needs to go to the looney bin!

    also, Miguel apparently has a 50” laptop screen

  29. April 26, 2011

    Keita must be the obvious choice, but I think we will need Thiago tomorrow.

    1) Madrid is not used to playing him, as he is rather new to the first team,
    2) Thiago is courageous enough to provide a good surprise for us.
    3) Playing alongside Xavi makes everyone better, and for a skillful player like Thiago, it’s twice as good.
    4) Madrid will defend all night, we need some creativity on the squad.

    and my preferred lineup would be:
    XV TG
    MS VA PD


    Not sure how I feel about Pep’s press conference but it does sound like he is doing this on purpose – sending message to both Madrid and our players. Either way, we will have to play out of our skins to win.

  30. April 26, 2011

    Hoo boy. Emotions are quite high, aren’t they?

    (If people are getting under your skin, it’s better to just not say anything rather than just dismissing their argument as “crazy” or “dumb”. Back it up, y’all. Or just don’t say anything at all)

    –Terrible news re: Iniesta. Ghostface’s ball control as well as his attacking qualities will be sorely missed. That being said, he’s not out for the season and will hopefully be back for the second leg. We’ve played EE away without Iniesta before and won, the 2-0 when Alves played RW, and we can do it again.

    The reason Iniesta was so important (other than the obvious reasons) is because Villa and Pedro’s lack of form. Hopefully, the goal against Osasuna was a turning point for el Guaje and we see a more dangerous Villa. All we need is one of Villa or Pedro to regain some kind of form and some sharpness. Which brings me to the next point

    —We have to score the first goal IMO. The first goal is also crucial, but even more so now given our profligacy in front of goal. With our tendency to play through the middle (Messi and, to an extent, Xavi I’m looking at you) coupled with the aforementioned profligacy, scoring is crucial.

    –However, I’m not really worried. Pep’s press conference (which I still have to see) seems like it was 17 ways of awesome. Take that and the return of Puyi and motivation shouldn’t be a problem. I just want us to score, preferably twice, and I’ll be a happy camper.

    Nothing really to add. The lineup I’d like to see:

    Alves – Pique – Puyol – sMasch
    Xavi – Busi – Keita
    Pedro! – Messi – Villa

    Actually I lied. One more thing: YouTube videos WILL be key. Just you watch. You’ll see a repeat of the Gladiator video.

  31. Para
    April 26, 2011


    I don’t think I’ve posted this before (despite meaning to) and I don’t think anyone else has either. It is largely unrelated to ANYTHING that has been discussed on this post, other than the fact that it involves Messi.

    In summary: fairly long article about modern desserts. The author travels to Barcelona, where he meets with chefs at two restaurants, one of whom is trying to create a dessert which “would re-create the emotions Lionel Messi feels when he scores a goal.”

    A tenuous link, I admit, but I thought it was fascinating.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 26, 2011

      You feel . . . something of what Messi must feel: first, the overwhelming presence of the grass beneath his feet (he’s a short player); then the tentative elegance of acquired skill, represented by the stepladder of the perfumed meringues; and, finally, the infantile joy, the childlike release, of scoring, represented by the passion-fruit cream and the candy-store pop rocks.

      awesome… 😀

  32. y2k156
    April 26, 2011

    I am not in favor of Keita tomorrow as a starter. I think he might be more useful coming in later.

    I am hoping for

    Pique – Mascherano – Puyol
    Alves – Busi – Xavi – Maxwell
    Afellay – Villa – Messi

    with messi dropping in deep and villa at the shoulder of last defender. We need to just play our normal game tomorrow and overload the centre and defense.

  33. Humphrey Bogart
    April 26, 2011

    I would start with


    Alves Puyi/Pique Smasch

    Messi Busi Xavi

    Pedro Villa Afellay

    They will pressure Xavi like hell so Messi will to have come deep anyway to get anything going. With this line up we have at least 3 potential outlets.

    The key factor will not be our defence or midfield, but it will be the forward line and I hope and pray that at least one of them has regained some kind of form

    • OSBAG
      April 26, 2011

      I prefer this lineup especiallY As AFFELLAY CAN ALWAYS DROP INTO THE MIDfield if it doesnt work out. One problem here is just that we would have no extra attacker on the bench.

  34. beeeef
    April 26, 2011


    Love the soccernet headline for Guardiola’s press conference.

    Won’t even bother reading the comments section on that one!

  35. Judas Pissed
    April 26, 2011

    Perfect build up to this game. We are now the underdogs – written off. Our squad decimated & cracks papered over. Pep’s hulking up & shouting at the press. Madrid are insisting they AREN’T the favourites but confidence/arrogance riding high with a fit & buoyant squad.

    Got them right where we want them…

    • Nav
      April 26, 2011

      I think in gambling sites the odds are still in our favour.

  36. Diego
    April 26, 2011


    Messi will drop to the middle often but he’ll probably attack more through the right flan facing Marcelo and getting away from crowded midfield area.

    • April 26, 2011

      Don’t care what Pep says, he is the freakin’ boss!

      Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Afellay starts. We need a goal and the most direct way to get that is with Afellay. Still, Pedro! gets the nod for me…

    • Ryan
      April 26, 2011

      I’m still watching it, but if the part where Pep gets a bit of nausea from saying Florentino Perez wasn’t staged, that’s pretty awesome. 🙂

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 26, 2011

      what did he say?

      can’t open youtube from my office, blocked… 🙁

    • Ryan
      April 26, 2011

      And there you have it:

      Q. Will you change the way you’ll play, since you’re facing several injuries?

      A. If you go to the Bernabeu to defend and hope to return to the Camp Nou with a good result, you’ll get destroyed. We may change the form of how we do it, but we have to go to Madrid and attack.

      – Ok, the video was long so I paraphrased that part, but for those asking for Pep to try and change strategies you can see that Pep will live or die with the attacking philosophy. This was the first full press conference I’ve watched of his… he sure can get sarcastic at times! “I can tell you we’ll have 11 players, ok? We might end up with 10, but I’ll find us 11 to start the match.”

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        April 26, 2011


        like Masch said… if we’re going to die, we’ll die our way…

        hell yeah… 😉

  37. OSBAG
    April 26, 2011

    Six out of twenty players out. Three out for the season. Someone tell me what else can baffle me this season. Initially thought iniesta’s injury was a ploy. But alas.

  38. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 26, 2011

    this blog was hysterical, especially the last part of the previous thread… 😆
    Isaiah preview is hilarious…. Love it…

    I just read Pep’s press conference (with less swearing) from the official site…
    nervous? Like Kxevin said, doubtful…

    “since he has chosen to to talk about me, I’ll do the same – tomorrow we’ll face each other on the pitch at 20.45. He’s won his games off the pitch and I’ll give him his personal Champions for that – just take it home and enjoy it. We can come up with plenty of examples too, but there’s no end to it, so tomorrow we are simply going to go out onto the pitch and play. I don’t want to compete with him in a press room –he’s the boss at that – a magician and I don’t want to play at making insinuations about him all the time”.

    fired up? I think so… even me as a fan felt nothing but fired up and excited for this match…
    can you imagine the fire from our players, with Captain-I’m gonna swallow all of you-Puyol by their side?

    Pep, you’re ******* awesome… and you’re the ******* boss, I ******* love you… 😀

    • soccermomof4
      April 26, 2011

      Heck, yeah!

      Pep is awesome! I expect game-face-Messi now! Make the little magician angry and it will backfire on you. If Pep has us this fired up, imagine how the players feel. No pressure because we are underdogs, but now we’re underdogs with an attitude. I feel that the pressure if off us as fans as well if we can be this giddy as we face our possible demise. Bodly they rode and well, Into the jaws of death, Into the mouth of hell…

      First 300 quote coming up:
      This is where we fight! This is where they die!

      • Barcaleya
        April 26, 2011

        Soccermomof4 – I love the Charge of the Light Brigade!

        Theirs not to make reply,
        Theirs not to reason why,
        Theirs but to do and die:
        Into the valley of Death
        Rode the…(however many is left of the team)

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        April 26, 2011

        This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!

        awesome! 😀

        I really hope Messi will have this Godfather face and stare before the game…
        what I’m really worry about is their tiredness, not their spirit…
        oh, well…

        we’re gonna need lots of 300 quotes :

        “There’s no room for softness… not in Barça. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Cules. Only the hard, only the strong.”

        “Cules! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!”

        “You have many slaves, Mourinho, but few warriors. It won’t be long before they fear my spears more than your whips.”

        “This is blasphemy! This is madness!
        This is BARÇAAAAA! HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!”

        maybe I should stop now… 😛

  39. Jnice
    April 26, 2011

    Revista De La Liga – 04-26-11


    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/wmYhJYR/Revista De La Liga – 26-04-11.avi



    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

  40. Urska
    April 26, 2011

    Yes, I was worried about the game but after Pep’s presser all my worries are gone. If the players are mo(u)tivated just half as much as I am then the game will go the following way: Valdes will be in stonewall mood, Dani will run even more than he usually does and his shots will go on goal this time, Pique will act like Pique from last seson, Puyol will be back, sMasch will destroy anything that comes near him, Busi will be good-Busi, Xavi will be Xavi, constantly repeating his mantra “pass-move-offer” and controling midfield, Keite will win us balls and do the dirty work, Villa will be tracking back and stop missing ridiculous chances , Messi will use his magic and Pedro will play with both !!. Or maybe Pep will shock us with his own crazy line-up but whatever he does I believe will work. In Pep we trust.

    Win or not, Barca boys will make us proud. Visca!!

  41. jaymin
    April 26, 2011

    madrid 0 barcelona 2 methinks. see what that arrogant well dressed portguese peasant has to say then : )

  42. April 26, 2011

    WOW I am so surprised! Not by the press conference Pep gave, but the fact that official fcbarcelona youtube channel and website made it available to everyone to see it and enable the comment feature to allow discussion! wow, simply wow!

    We can safely say everything is planned then, regarding the comments made to the press and the action afterward. But since I am not a fan of media war, I can’t say I enjoy it, but WOW what a move!

    • April 26, 2011

      I don’t know if that was premeditated or not but I’d like to know if there’ll be a Liveblog tomorrow, or am I to watch this at the pub? 😀

  43. mardia
    April 26, 2011

    Just read Sid Lowe’s report of Guardiola’s press conference. DANG. As Kxevin and others have said, I don’t think this is “nerves” at all, I don’t think this is about Mourinho getting inside of Pep’s head or whatever nonsense the EE media will come up with. I think that Pep has simply had ENOUGH of Mourinho’s crap and that he’s refusing to take it anymore.

    This paragraph is particularly interesting:

    Guardiola worked with Mourinho at Barcelona but considers their relationship to be shattered by this. “We worked together for four years. He knows me, I know him and that’s all. If he wants to go by things written after the Copa del Rey by friends from the written press or Florentino Pérez, with his milkmaid’s tales, then fine. If that matters more than our relationship, then that’s up to him. I am not going to justify my words. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth when someone you had a relationship with does [what he has done]. I always thought that when people didn’t understand me, it was because I had explained myself badly, but now I don’t. I said the referee [in the cup final] had been smart and very attentive. I said it was right. I pointed out simply that the result can be down to small things, that’s all. It was not a complaint. After victory I congratulated Real Madrid and that is what Barcelona does. We congratulated RM for the cup that they won on the field against a team that I represent proudly.”

    My favorite bit is about him asking which camera was “Mourinho’s”.

    The entire article’s here, and I think it’s worth a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/27/josep-guardiola-jose-mourinho

    • PhepheSa
      April 26, 2011

      Oops sorry, ignore my comment your comment wasn’t there when i posted mine.

    • Nik
      April 26, 2011

      My favorite portion : “Asked if this was just a tactic, Guardiola replied: “What? You think my players will run around more because I looked for Mourinho’s camera? It’s a semi-final!”

      If it wasn’t clear before, Pep es el puto amo.

  44. can_we_go_Xalvies
    April 26, 2011

    Ok so from my perspective,

    What Guardiola did in his press conference felt like a way to keep the media attention away from our players, and rather keep the media all eyes on Pep. He also sets the tone for what our players should feel leading up to this game: “Take no CRAP from anyone, go out and win the REAL trophy”

    Pep looks the same as he has the past three years, he doesn’t look nervous, maybe pressured, “but when hasn’t he felt pressure?”

    If Mourinho can take a dump on the podium and shout out insanely and be called a “GENIUS” for doing that.

    Then why not trust Pep in what he does? even if it is emotional and coloured.

    • PhepheSa
      April 26, 2011

      I don’t think that’s his style, he’s never done it before. I think he was just mad at Mou for attacking him. I really hope he’s said all he wanted to say about Mou, wouldn’t want us to be brought down to his pathetic level. I’m happy he responded this time just to show that scumbag he isn’t scared of him.

  45. yelèna
    April 26, 2011

    to watch or not to watch? haha, im kinna scared to watch this third one. I’ve been to the hospital twice after the first clasico.
    had an EKG and an X-ray, but doctors can’t seemed to find what’s causing it. Had difficulty breathing too but my lungs are fine, my heart’s fine, but does have arrhythmia. doc asked if i’ve been doin anythin stressful lately…told her, “nothin side from breathing blaugrana doc”.

    btw, was surprised that’s all pep said. he’s always got class. can’t imagine if it were me. those words(what Pep said and how he said it) are too kind for Mou.

    • Barcaleya
      April 26, 2011

      Hi Yelena! Hope you’re okay and that you’re only afflicted with the El Clasico fever 😀

      I support Pep for saying everything he said. Mou has been spouting all forms of distorted facts and innuendos with impunity. It’s about time he gets called out. And after hearing what Pep had to say – I feel so much more for our team (if that’s possible) who’s worked so hard to be at the skill level they are, to play in the manner they play and to play with so much spirit, giving us immeasurable joy week after week.

      Pep’s words were a call to arms. [ I am ready to fight. And to defend our style of play.] Our team will play in the manner they know how and not give in or stoop low to Mou’s disingenuous and base tactics. For this we should be proud no matter the outcome.

      We shall prevail. We are Barcelona. Visca Barca!!!!!

    • jaymin
      April 27, 2011

      well get some air between the halves, and remember, this will happen again (el clasico), make sure you’re healthy enough to see it : )

      • yelèna
        April 27, 2011

        i will jaymin, thanks.
        and ill have the medicines ready.
        usually the clasicos give us plenty of time to recover, but these ones are just madness.

  46. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 26, 2011

    “I can give you an immense list of things [that we could complain about]: 300,000 things. We could remember Stamford Bridge and another thousand things but I do not have that many people working for me. Secretaries and referees and people writing stuff. So tomorrow, 8.45pm, we will take to the field and we will try to play football as best as possible.

    “In this room [Real Madrid’s press room], he is the chief, the f*****g man. In here he is the f*****g man and I can’t compete with him. If Barcelona want someone who competes with that, then they should look for another manager. But we, as a person and an institution, don’t do that. I could talk about [Olegario] Bequerença [the referee from last season’s Barcelona-Inter semi-final first leg], about the offside goal from Diego Milito or the penalty of [Dani] Alves, but I don’t. Well, until tonight!!


    Asked if this was just a tactic, Guardiola replied: “What? You think my players will run around more because I looked for Mourinho’s camera? It’s a semi-final!”

    he’s mad… just really mad… or… I don’t know…
    but this is the first time I see Pep talk like that as a coach…

  47. simple_barcafan
    April 26, 2011

    I am sensing with all the “300-kinda” shouts , a bit of calmness and cool thinking is required???

  48. yelèna
    April 26, 2011

    love smasche’s interview at the official site. he’s been amazing so far. has wise words to say too. more than happy we signed him!

  49. Jose
    April 26, 2011

    The maturity of Pep showed in the press conference is sobering. Awe-inspiring even. I can listen to that 25 minute presser 10 times and not get tired of it… In all of Mourinho’s seven years in the limelight, no opposing coach has handled his behavior as appropriately as Pep Guardiola–his youth hiding what is personal wisdom clearer than for most of the men in football.

    It wasn’t snide. It wasn’t petulant. It wasn’t even mean. It was one adult to another, calmly correcting them and showing them how their behavior is completely inappropriate.

    • jaymin
      April 27, 2011

      Absolutely spot on. The presence, dignity, and bearing of that man is remarkable. Truly a great figure in sport.

  50. gogah
    April 27, 2011

    So glad Pep got that off his chest. It was long overdue. the message is clear to the players “Now you take it to Madrid”.
    I would love to see Pep play this formation tonight
    Victor Valdes (GK)
    Dani Alves (RB)
    Gerard Pique (CB)
    Carles Puyol (CB)
    Javier Mascherano (LB)
    Sergio Busquets (DM)
    Xavi Hernandez (CM)
    Thiago Alcantara (AM)
    Lionel Messi (RF)
    David Villa (CF)
    Ibrahim Afellay (LF)
    Keita and Pedrito as power subs

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