The Final Assault on Mount Clásico: Barça – Madrid

CL Preview: Barcelona – Real Madrid, Tuesday 2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel (HD)

I wrote a fairly calm and rational preview over on Soccernet that you should read if you’re feeling a bit tactical. But that preview was written before I knew about the good news concerning the man, the myth, THE LEGEND, Eric [censored] Abidal. Let me repeat that because I’m not sure you heard me: Eric Abidal is in the squad list. He had surgery to remove a recently-discovered Siamese twin. Like his own personal Jonas Venture except Eric is the crazy awesome one and not a dork like Rusty. And then Eric was forced to find the secret ingredients to cure a severe infection–the bubonic plague–in the depths of the Amazon jungle. When he ran into a Temple Guard, he took one of his pendants. That is how awesome he is.

There’s also someone else returning to the fold: Andres Iniesta.

So. Happy. Right. Now.

The hero of Stamford Bridge and Soccer City returns with in his possession-laden glory. We’ve missed him, sure, but we’ve also survived without him and Keiteee has been magnificent. It’ll be unfortunate if Keiteee gets no time on the field, especially given that I think our Malian smiler does so much better when he gets the start. For whatever reason, he’s not great at getting into the groove of a match and often things go slightly awry when he’s subbed on. Not like “oh god we’re doomed” awry, but more like “wow, they suddenly have 23% possession instead of 22%. That kind of thing.

So then, we have two of our studs back and just in time for them to learn to play defense, right? Right? Oh god we’re doomed. Oh wait, no, we have our secret weapon!

Did you know he can play at any position in defense better than Raul Albiol? I did! And I certainly hope you did. I imagine he’ll play left back again with Masch and Pique in the center and Alves on the right. Busi in the middle with Xavi and Iniesta (if fit, Keiteee if not), and fronted by MVP. It will be all about possession.

And also murderous rage! Yay murderous rage! Wait, wait, no, not that. Controlled murderous rage. There we go. Much better. Because despite the fact that we just freakin’ did this, it’s still a clásico and it’s still something I’m going to be shaking absurdly about throughout the afternoon. That’s how I roll on clásico day, in case you wondered. Once again I’ll be 4 hours late on starting the game because of stupid work; paychecks are great, but why can’t they come even when I’m not in the office? So it’ll be another several extra hours of avoiding the internet and faking like I can concentrate while there’s a spherical object being foot slapped around a field some 3,800 miles away.

And don’t think this match can possibly come off without at least one rancorous incident. There is too much at stake and too much hot air being blasted back and forth. The I’ll Sue You brigade is out in full force on either side, the videos are appearing on official sites, and the word “pathetic” is being used entirely too often when not in reference to things other than the rojiblancos. Zing.

Valdés, Oier, Abidal, Puyol, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Bartra, Fontàs, Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Thiago, Iniesta, Xavi, Keita, Pedro, Messi, Afellay, Villa, Jeffren.

Note the absence of Pinto along with the obvious ones of Milito, Montoya, Bojan, Adriano, and Maxwell. Am I missing anyone else? Probably, but I can’t be forced to think on such short notice. It’s only been like 3 days since my last attempt at using the old noggin and really, I’m out of brain juice.

Official Prediction: 2-1. Nervy moments at first, they grab one, and then we lay siege to them and get some fancy pants goals from el rey, Lionel Messi. And yes, they end with 10.

After this it’s over. After this, my emotional well will have run dry. And I will probably fall into a deep coma for 3 days before I have to write another preview. Oh the boringness of regular life…And I will enjoy every mundane moment after this, though perhaps only if we go through. But remember, we’ve never not gone through when up 2-0 after the first leg, so rest assured that history–and the best team on earth–is on our side.

Quickly, my thoughts on Busi: innocent until proven guilty. If innocent, Real Madrid owes us a hearty apology plastered all kinds of all over their website. If guilty, free transfer to anywhere on earth other than our squad. Or RBNY cause I don’t want none of that anywhere near me. If there’s racism within our ranks, we must squash it like the pathetic bug it is. The end.

By Isaiah

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


  1. It’ll all be over tomorrow. In the midst of uncertainty one thing is certain:

    Spain so can’t handle 4 Clasico in one month.

    My lineup for the match:

    Alves – Pique – sMasch – Puyol
    Xavi – Busi – Iniesta
    Afellay – Villa – Messi

    Yeppers. I want Ibi to start this one; he earned it. Subs: Pedro! for Afellay, Keiteee for Iniesta and…wait for it… ABIDAL for sMasch.

    (Also, can we keep this thread “Busi-mono-Marcelo” free and talk only about the FOOTBALL? Please? Talk Busi in the thread before this.)

  2. Considering they… tell you that they aren’t posting the video because they’re confident about it and they consulted lip readers, but because they have gone THAT low.

    Why would they need to ‘hire lip readers’ if it was true? Wouldn’t they have just asked Marcelo? I call BS…

    1. Oh man. Just saw your comment after the I clicked post and it refreshed, what horrible timing. Sorry Kari.

  3. I want the same starting line-up as Kari, btw. Either that, or Keita in for Iniesta, with Iniesta coming on as an impact sub against tiring and hopefully by then demoralized EE defenders.

    1. But with Messi on the right and Afellay on the left instead of vice versa, since Messi plays better on the right than the left + the EE defense is weaker on the left side.

  4. Wow, I just realized that right now it seems like the football clubs of the city of Madrid are involved in a contest at being the most ridiculous. Between EE, Atletico ‘Crisis’ Madrid, and Burger King Team Dubai, how does the city stay normal?

  5. under Pep Guardiola, EE failed to get even ONE single goal from 3 matches…

    so I HOPE it will stay that way…

    how about 1-0 or 2-0? 😀

    1. uuuuh i thought they scored in the two matches before the last one…

      I am considering becoming religious and pray for a win.

      Reading various websites I find it incredible how much hatred is being spewed our way. It’s a shame, really, and it both upsets and saddens me.

    2. She means that EE haven’t scored at Camp Nou, not even once, in the Pep era yet.

    3. Where do you read this hate stuff?! Cause where I read its mosty the opposite in fact I don’t remember EE and mou being blasted in such way before! *puzzled*

    4. No Ramos, Khedira or Pepe, and 2-0 down. Logic would dictate they’d be forced to go all out and attack, right? Which would leave them open against our rather scary attack?

      Then again logic would have suggested they would have tried to get a goal in the Bernabeu as well… wouldn’t be surprised if Mourinho lines up defensively and hopes to nick two on the counter again.

  6. My line-up:

    Alves Masch Pique Puyol
    Xavi Keita Busquets
    Afellay Messi Villa

    with Afellay on the right, Villa on the left.

    I dont want Busquets to play this match, regardless of his innocence, but we don’t have anyone else (and I don’t want to risk Iniesta too).

    Sub Pedro, Jeffren, Abidal (if he is really ok).

  7. my lineup

    alves masch pique puyol
    Xavi Thiago Iniesta
    Messi Villa Afellay

    The idea is have thiago play more as a DM like busi. Also try having messi play his false nine role but on the right side of the field. that their defense gets all squewed trying to mark him. If the defenese shift to one side, it allows players like 3M! to get behind the defense and scores goals. Also it would allow dani to do overlaps, past messi dragging defenders with him allowing messi to cut in onto his left foot.

    Villa can try to stay onsides and not hit the post.

    Also any word on Bojans recovery? i havent heard a peep.

  8. I want:

    Alves Pique Puyol Mascherano
    Xavi Iniesta Keita
    Afellay Messi Villa

    I think that Keita’s industry and work rate are just the thing, working in tandem with Xaviniesta. Do I think that Busquets deserves to start? No, because of the stupid, stupid diving more than the video, in which it does indeed look as if he says “momo,” which is a very different insult (and one that befits Marcelo’s crazy self) than “mono.” I also think that if they had Busquets dead to rights, Marcelo would have said something.

    I just think that if he’s going to dive, flop around and give the club a bad name, he shouldn’t be on the pitch. Same for Pedro.

    And I would reserve the Abidal sub for one of two reasons: If we need a boost, or to exult. Either way, the Camp is going to go absolutely crazy when he comes on, and so are the players.

    The good thing is that they will play all-out for the first 20 minutes or so, trying to put us on the back foot. I suspect we will have chances to put the tie away during that period. But I just don’t think they can get two against us without us scoring at least one. Not with a healthy Puyol and Pique.

    1. While I more than agree with your reasoning, would leaving Busquets out look like an admission of guilt and throw more fuel onto the fire?

    2. OK, fair enough!

      We can’t lose anyway because Puyol will be on the field, Abidal will at least be on the bench, and therefore the forces of hell shall not prevail against us.

    3. I sincerely hope this is the lineup we see. Busquets being on the pitch would, honestly, be too much of a distraction, and I think Keita would do really well against RM, as we’ve seen before.

      And having Abidal come in as a morale-boosting sub in the last few minutes of the match sounds fantastic to me.

    4. I normally agree with what Kxevin says but with no true DM, that midfield would probably get overrun.

    5. Agreed. We need to maintain a grip on possession and Busi fits that bill. Pep will also have had a word with the whole team about our reputation I’m sure.

    6. I really dont think that keita can play the way we need our DM to do so and that is why Pep avoids using him there. He will be our bigest liability if indeed Pep has him as our sole DM.
      Although I agree on Busi’s diving I must say i think you are being really harsh on Pedro. He is not a diver, I really don’t remember any other dive from him. MAscherano did a similar or worse perfomance in copa del rey at some point. We can’t judge someonea diver by one dive… 🙂

  9. We should be a bit more like Man Utd fans lol. They seem to enjoy and be amused by the sheer amount of hatred and dislike fans of many other English clubs feel towards them, cos they know they’re the best and have been the best for a long time now. Just haughtily be amused whenever someone talks about their team being boring or getting Fergie time.

    We Barca fans in forums often sound like the nice guy in high school who just can’t understand why everyone is picking on him lol.

  10. Mourinho is not gonna play for the counter… and if he does, he would be crazy. (Or already giving up)

    I think that Pep will tell the LB and the RB to not attack that much. Why risk a counter when you have the advantage and the other team is the one that need the goals?

    And yes, Madrid is gonna have a red card. Probably 2. Because the UEFA, Unicef and the freemasons are behind the ref bias that favor Barça. And they never fail.

  11. VV
    Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Puyi
    Xaxi, Busquets, Keita,
    3m, the flea, Villa
    3-1 (Xavi, Messi(2))

    I agree with Isaiah, Keita always is better when starting. Sub Iniesta in the second half for Villa or Keita, depending upon the situation. Give P some time too. I want to see Abidal out there for a few minutes, I think it would be the ultimate morale booster for the team, and then I realize that I don’t want my just recovered king on the same field as the thugs. Maybe if we are opening a can of it on them like the last time the clasico was in our house, we could bring on a kid just because we can.

    It will be all over in less than 24 hours. And good riddance to it. Spain can’t handle any more of it. I can’t handle any more of it. VdB is gonna need therapy by the time this is over; it would be good if he could call up the under 21 squad for the next NT game but they’ll be busy with their Euros.

    1. It’s not gonna be over in 24 hours. After EE is eliminated, they will keep nagging about the biased refs and conspiracies around Barcelona. They’ll try to demonize our players because, oh lord, our players aren’t pushovers. Can you believe it? How can that be?

      Oh, and of course, they are gonna bitch and complain about why, in god’s name, they always get a player sent off? Of course, while refusing to see the fact that they played dirty. Because, of course, the refs favor us.

      The series are gonna be over, the drama not.

  12. Nav asked in an earlier thread what we’re gonna do with Mascherano when Abidal comes back:

    Simple. We’ll just ask UEFA really nicely to let us play with one more extra player on the pitch. I mean, according to Mourinho, we apparently play with 12 men already 😉

    1. When Abidal comes back, we can afford to put Busquets in a prolonged “time out”(which he needs for the diving and dip in form regardless of the other charge’s validity) and Mascherano can get some quality DM time.

    2. um…I know its a novel idea but it’s actually a good thing to have two viable options in one position. Masch and Busi bring different things to the table, and they can be alternated depending on the needs of the match. Not to mention the fact that Masch has proven to be so versatile–he could be used as sub/starter in a few different positions. Furthermore, Puyol ain’t getting any younger, and despite the fact that Masch had a rough day on Saturday, he’s my favorite of all the makeshift CBs–he has the power of intimidation that the other fill-ins lacked, as well as a proven leadership ability as the captain of the Argentine NT.

      I think it’s a good thing, for what its worth…

  13. Reading this post, and everyone’s lineups for the game, is getting me excited for tonights game! Allowing all the ‘stuff’ that surrounds the match, I can’t wait to see Barca play again.

    Thanks BFB. 🙂

  14. He had surgery to remove a recently-discovered Siamese twin

    -Ha. I always imagined it as like a teratoma with teeth and hair! 😛

    My lineup:
    Busi(guilty or not)

    I’m so excited for this game! I think it’ll be the most open encounter since la manita.

  15. While logic dictates that Pep should use our best XI, I also think that we should be prepared. I have the feeling that their players will start trying to hurt our players (specially Messi and Iniesta) when getting desperate. With the mentality of “if we aren’t going to win the Champions at least we’ll make sure that you don’t either”. They won’t give a fuck about getting sent off… as long as they accomplish their dirty objective.

    Maybe I’m a bit crazy (ok, I am), but Madrid with Mourinho has lost all respect. And they are nothing but sore losers. And sore losers do that type of shit.

    1. I think half of Moudrid’s ridiculous behavior over the last 5 days is basically geared towards either crippling us for the final or discrediting our Champions League trophy should we win it . That is to say, they follow the Mourinho line and think:

      We’re down 2 goals and having to head down to Camp Nou. Sure we’ll try our best there, but if we can’t win we have to try to

      a) Prevent them from winning the actual final by pleading to UEFA to get some of them suspended, being violent in the second leg to try to get one of them red carded, or attempting to injure them (see Sergio Ramos in the November Clasico), and

      b) Discredit the CL Trophy they might then win by citing how UEFA “is shamefully allowing their theatrics” by not suspending their players, putting up videos on our website claiming how the first leg red card was a refereeing error, and claiming that the second leg referee is garbage (even before the match is played).

      The sad part? Going to EE sites, you already see a lot of Madridista eating up Mourinho’s stercus, calling any possible victory of ours “tainted”, and suddenly becoming the crying hearts against diving in football. Hypocrisy all ’round.

    2. We have to be squeaky clean tomorrow. I hope trying to be squeaky clean doesn’t cause us to overthink things because then they’ve got us. Maybe that’s part of what all the BS was about too.

    3. Screw those Madridistas. Who cares what they think? If people want to discredit our wins then good for them — the facts show otherwise.

  16. I am so mentally exhausted right now. I have a terrible case of HyperClasicosis. I can’t even think straight enough to post my preferred lineup. I just want the game to be done and dusted (and won, duh!) so we can move on to the next.

    At least I remembered to vote today.

    1. Tell me about it. I’ve got a team to lead at work and provide time estimates and all that other work related junk. I can hardly function. 🙁

  17. Does anyone think Pep might go with Iniesta on the wing and Keita in the middle?

    1. Yeah, I just saw it, although technically you include Iniesta in the midfield and not on the wing (that’s probably where he’ll end up anyway).

    2. Yup, when I saw this, I wanted it over my original. That means 5 out and out midfielders + Messi who you may as well consider a midfielder. Plays to our strength. + when vicsoc, Jnice, Blitzen, Miguel and I agree on something, good things follow (or utter chaos—take your pick)

  18. My lineup:

    Alves Pique Mascherano Puyol
    Xavi Busquets Keita
    Villa Messi Iniesta

    1. agree 100% with this line-up. Both Messi and Ghostface can drop back to midfield to tiki-taka.

      I spent yesterday burning a DVD filled with Barça highlights past and present to play at work the whole day leading up to the game.

      Much thanks to Allas and Clivee for his Abidal video – speaking of whom, Allas should be on the form with us since he is an internet culé legend (!) and has anybody seen Clivee? Hope he hasn’t suffered a clasico induced heart attack. Wish the dude would make more videos cause his Abidal one is awesome.

    2. Allas hangs out mainly in TotalBarca. He makes his “motm” videos based on the TotalBarca poll results.

    3. YES! 😀

      with this line up :
      Alves Pique Mascherano Puyol
      Xavi Busquets Keita

      this line up means : you (EE) shall not pass!!

  19. I think Villa is going to be the pivotal player tomorrow. Madrid won’t be able to sit as deep as they did last match or in the Copa, and so there will inevitably be space behind their line.

    Pep is likely to put a premium on not giving up a goal, which means more possession deeper on the pitch and looking for through balls into space. Villa is going to need to be clinical in front of the goal, I think he will have 2-3 good goal scoring opportunities.

  20. ugh… if we just had a healthy Abidal, I want King Abi as LB and Masch as DM….

    Busi hasn’t performed well lately anyway, he’s been sloppy…
    his diving was embarassing, very much…
    and so did Pedro… 🙄

  21. For you Comcast subscribers out there: Is it possible for me to sign up for the FSC/GolTV sports package, but than cancel the subscription after one month without incurring huge fees?

    I’d love to watch tomorrow’s game on a TV instead of my dirty laptop screen.

    1. Go to your local pub, I’m sure they’ll be airing it. That’s what I plan on doing, even if it’s 6:45 in the morning 😀

    2. Indeed I am sir. Going to either a theatre my friend booked or to 4kings. Where abouts are you?

  22. lineup:
    alves, pique, masch, puyol
    xavi, busquets, keita
    afellay, messi, villa

    we need to keep our width like we did in November. We lose that with Iniesta on the wing. I also think that Afellay’s speed, strength and discipline should be preferred over Pedro in this situation. This leaves us with three great subs on the bench: Abidal, Iniesta, Pedro.
    Abidal would bring strength and speed to the left half and Although he’s not fit to start or play more than 20 minutes, I won’t worry about him being hurt.
    Iniesta would be a nice possession keeping sub who would be able to work with Messi and Xavi to keep the ball moving quickly. If the game is heated, dangerous and physical I might not put him out there though.
    Pedro could also be a threatening sub who could use his pace and energy to take advantage of defender fatigue. If he starts, Ibi could be used in the same way.
    I think this game could be the most exciting of the ties yet. Madrid will have to attack. They will pressure us and if we can beat the pressure, prevent an early goal and threaten the space they leave at the back we could see a game similar to the Manita.

    Stay calm fellow bloggers. Enjoy the game and remember that in the end, it’s just that, a game for us to enjoy. Visca Barca

  23. My dream result: 4-0 (Villa, Villa, Messi, Villa)

    My prediction: 3-1 (Messi, Villa, Messi) because they don’t have Ramos, Pepe or Khedira but we have most of our ideal starters (Mascherano at CB and Puyol at LB being starter-level quality) and we’ll be at the Camp Nou.

    1. And in my dream result, one goal is beautiful steal from an EE player starting off a 35-pass move involving all eleven players then a beautiful through-pass by Xavi through the entire EE defense to Messi who lines up to shoot but sees his way blocked by five recovering defenders so he dribbles past all of them and three more EE players who had rushed back to defend for good measure, chips it over the last defender, and does an overhead kick as a defender rushes towards him.

    2. With fireworks, inspirational background music, and waving flags. And Steven Seagal

    3. I was right there with you until you mentioned Steven Seagal. Why’d you have to ruin it? 🙁

    4. And one of those sweeping music type of songs that military people play on their drums in the inspirational scenes of films.

    5. 😀

      My dream result would be a 3-0 with a dribbling goal from Messi (to start), a header from Puyol (complete with captain’s armband kissing), and an Afellay goal from long distance to seal the tie.

      The aggregate score would then be 5-0 😉

    6. That sounds pretty awesome too. Add a Villa beaut and make that 4-0 and I’d take that too.

    7. And of course, the overhead kick swerves towards the corner post and swerves back towards goal where it drops and nutmegs Casillas to roll into the net.

  24. can someone bump up soccermom’s piece? i find it tragic that so often her posts are followed up in quick succession by other threads that push her opuses down and out of sight! tragic i say!

  25. I don’t really want the team to go all out tomorrow. I’d rather them save up for Man U. Iniesta and Abidal should only get some minutes here and there in the league. Actually, rest Iniesta all the way til the final just like we did in 2009 against who else but Man U as well.

    Keita can handle Iniesta’s job just like he did last week. If we need more creativity, Thiago is there and Affelay too.

    Re: Busi
    It looks suspect to me since he covered his mouth when saying it to Marcelo. On the other hand since there is no outrage from Marcelo, I guess it’s the norm for players to taunt each other on the field. I mean if it’s an isolated case, there would be action taken already.
    I tend to lean that Busi did say those nasty things but I also believe that he isn’t the only one.

    Asking Busi to be removed from the team is just too much. He didn’t commit a crime didn’t he?

    1. Seriously? I get believing that Busquets is “innocent until proven guilty” and not wanting to condemn him until we have enough evidence (although personally I tend towards thinking he did say it) but to dismiss that as something that doesn’t matter is ridiculous and insulting.

      If he said it, he needs to be punished by both the club and UEFA, flat out. I don’t care if he’s not the only player doing it, he should have more respect for his own teammates and for his opponents than to stoop that low. Unbelievable.

    2. again, Pep already said the team would be very upset and take measures if he did that…
      but Pep believe his player is honest…

      so let’s just leave it at that…

  26. I’m with Jose Mourinho… because he is The Special One…

    my dream result is 3-0 or 5-0…

    3-0 —> aggregate 5-0
    5-0 —> if we can have another “little hand”, why not, right? 😛

    and where’s Jose’s Doppelgänger, Josep Guardiola ?

  27. I sae Bassam made a very classy comment on his blog…

    Just to add one thing, Congrats to Abidal for returning from injury. He is included in the team squad for Barcelona tomorrow. Glad to see that Cancer did not win this round. Best of luck to Abidal!

    Bassam, if you read this… thank you, I appreciate it very much!
    unfortunately, there’s someone there who are turn this wonderful news into another reason to bash our team…

    I knew Abidal would be able to play in one of these Clasico , I remember when Puyol magically made his return I said that well see Abidal make a comeback too, then Jnice claimed i was being ridiculous blah blah blah.. I just knew it Barca are very sneaky with their injury claims yet when Arsenal did the same to them re Van persie they werent happy , hypocrites.

    oh dear Lord…

    1. of course… unfortunately, I think there are more “Andres” than “Bassam” in this world… :/

    2. Well, every team has trash fans. It’s a distribution, and it’s all fairly similar, I guess, for large clubs like ours. We have as many fans as RM that use Barca fandom as more of a means of fueling their hate and pulsing their feigned superiority over the “other”. That’s what you’re seeing when you read some of the comments online (not that I like calling them out, but this is particularly easy to see at the Real and Inter Offsides, though I’m sure there are others, including Barca blogs, that are as bad). A lot of what you’ll read is merely self-serving garbage.

      Note that you should probably outright ignore anything on matchdays… emotions are running high, as they do here and there. What should disappoint you (as a person) is the sober-minded bile still being spewed by fans days, weeks and even months after matches.

      It’s shameful, but such is fandom. I’ve often been tempted to step in there and correct the many factual and logical stupidities that fester in that site. But trust me, it’s not worth it. We can be reasoned with by opposing fans because we have an established community that is mature enough to notice when we’re over the top (see Bassam, or many of the great Arsenal fans that visited us during our tie, who have rightly called us on our craziness). Baby Kxevin, Isaiah et al. also hold us to standards of decency, I like to think. The no swearing policy might seem silly, but it’s really more than avoiding foul language: it dissuades foul conversations (like whether a club has been dishonest about a player’s recovery from tumor-removal surgery).

      I’d like to think that the wisdom and level-headedness of our coach and some of our players also helps keep us grounded. Yet noting those differences, I almost always decide against being the cule behind enemy lines (so to speak) trying to have a conversation. The sheer immaturity in some sites is impenetrable.

    3. Don’t go there again, You’ll only come back frustrated and angry.

      They call us The Sprinklers and The Olympic Diving Team. Sigh

    4. heh heh… I just wanted to see preview from Bassam…

      The Olympic Diving Team? us?

      with Maria and Cristina (the winner of Oscar’s Best Actresses) in their team? hypocrisy of the highest order… 😛

    5. Come on! You turn on the sprinklers on someone, you have to expect to be called that, no?

      Anyways, when i refer people from my blog to this one, they have similar complaints. It’s easy to make fun of your rival by calling them EE and all sorts of names, but then when you hear them do the same, its a sigh moment.

      And before someone lists for me a huge list of wrong things Madrid did, remember that this is what rivalry is all about. We think we are right and you think you are right. If we agreed, then it wouldn’t be the biggest rivalry in the world.

    6. To be fair Bassam, I find the sprinkler nickname mildly amusing. It was a fairly ridiculous thing to do, so the name is (in my opinion) deserved. Besides, if you take it to the level where you can’t even have that kind of relatively good natured ribbing in a relationship that is so volatile in many many ways, then you lose all the fun of having a rivalry in the first place.

    7. I am not a fan of picking out a paragraph from someone and going by it. He did go on to say that he never said that he wasn’t happy for abidal. He was pointing out that when he said abidal would be back for el clasico, Jnice told him it would never happen. So this was sort of his: see, i told you so.

      If you actually go back to the post about abidal, he was the first to wish him well. He also called out those fans that were saying this (my site) was a real madrid offside page and hence should not have anything about Barcelona.

      A lot of people say things that they don’t mean, or get caught out of context when emotions are high. Doesn’t make them right, but also shouldn’t be taken as standards.

    8. I think it was more that he called it some sort of ‘plot’ to surprise Madrid tomorrow. His backtracking didn’t really help, to be honest. 😛

      But whatevs, water under the bridge.

  28. 1. As regards the supposed death of Osama Bin Laden I’d like to quote the VP of Venezuela “I believe that in the first place it is an ethical question from the human point of view to celebrate death as an instrument of resolution of a problem.” – Elias Jaua

    2. From Ramzi’s preview of epic awesomeness:
    Moutinho needs to work
    On his quoting a further step
    If quoting Einstein didn’t work
    He should consider quoting Pep

  29. I’m reminded of Pep’s words when he first gave his word as a Barca coach-“Fasten your seatbelts”(I don’t remember the rest).It was like these four Clasico’s emotions and the stakes are equal to the whole league season.It is very emotionally draining.I hope Barca cleans these ill-tempered series with a superb attacking performance ala The Manita.My preferred line-up-
    On Busi-Yes,regarding him as “innocent until proven guilty” is correct as it is not proven yet and it would be bad to jump to conclusions which may or may not be correct.So,stay by him and see what happens.

  30. Quick notes on the recent events :

    -Great News that Abidal’s back, I’m very happy, I don’t want to risk him but he should get sufficient minutes in the upcoming weeks to be ready for the final.

    -I never really understood Racism, I don’t know how someone would think that he’s better than someone else because of his colour, Anyway, IF proven guilty, Our staff should investigate, Did he say that just to get Marcelo angry in a stupid moment, or Is he actually a racist ? Depending on the result, measures should be taken.

    -Iniesta should sit this one out and allow Keita to play especially that they’ll be attacking heavily.

    -I want to see football being played.

  31. De Bleckeere is retiring and this match is UEFA’s gift to him, I hope none of teams ruin this day for him.

  32. Great news about Abidal, if we reach the final Adriano and bojan might also be back, so we will have our full squad, that would be wonderfull.
    Score prediction we win 3-0, EE will get one player sent off as usual.

    1. that’s my dream result, 3-0…aggregate 5-0…whooaaa…

      it really doesn’t matter the scoreline is, I just want to see our foot on Wembley! *trust your team, pray like mad*

      of course they will down to 10 men, maybe even 9…

      isn’t that what UNICEF pay the referees for…? 😈

  33. The I’ll Sue You brigade is out in full force on either side, the videos are appearing on official sites, and the word “pathetic” is being used entirely too often when not in reference to things other than the rojiblancos. Zing.

    LOL 😀

    But you really do the actual Pathetico de Madrid unjustice if you compare their “patheticness” to the one currently exposed by EE!

    I have to say, I’m also nervous. I think EE will come out to attack this time. And if we’ve had real problems against teams, it was against those who put us under lots of pressure. We have to keep cool, and I’ll take a 2-2 draw without any hesitation today.

    Visca el Barça

  34. Finally!! it ends tomorrow! 4 clasico’s was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much.

    For those saying Madrid will come out attacking with all they have, well, i think they have a surprise on their hands. The trick will be to hit on the counter in the first half and go in with a one goal lead. Then the second half is a whole different story.

    Lets hope we see more football tomorrow (especially from my team), less diving (from both teams) and a good game from the ref. Although if i did have money to put, i would put it on someone getting sent off. I put 10 fake BFB dollars on a barca player getting sent off and Mou complaining about it on accident.

    So here is to hoping we see a game better than the last one (although thats easy to achieve, no?) and one that lives up to the hype of the two best teams in the world fighting it out.

    Hala Madrid 😀 (yea, i went there. MADRID!)

    PS: I fully expect Kari to edit the Madrid part, but you can’t blame me for trying 😉

    PS2: I tried my best to not give Jnice a reason to get upset and write a looong reply telling me I’m wrong and that my birth was an unplanned mistake. I will leave that till after the game tomorrow 😉

    1. That Jnice man, he hits you where it hurts 😉 Evil i say, EVIL!

      And yes, I’m implying he should join us, the “EE”. As i told Ramzi on the offside, the grass is greener on our side, mostly because its longer 😀

    2. Lol that was funny. By the way Jnice is great and I’m not just saying that now cause I’m at knife point. No seriously Jnice is the best.

    3. Anyway since you are the nicest Madridista around take a few things back to your blog with you please:

      1: Peps reply about players making a mistake on field was in response to a question asked about PEDRO.

      2: Learn to accept defeat.

      3: Have the club ask Marcelo if Busi called him a Mono. By the way “momo” is different than”mono”.

    4. i don’t think anyone payed much attention to the press by Pep, at least not much on my blog. They all just want to know if Busi said anything racist.

      As for the ask Marcelo: It goes both ways. Busi could have came out in public and said I didn’t do it. Which is more logical since he is the one accused. I kinda thought that if it is true, he is waiting till after the game tomorrow so there is no tensions in the team. But I go under the whole innocent until proven guilty. Time will tell.

    5. 4. Oh, and ask them to notice how Marcelo indisputably should have been sent off, so they should have been down to 10 anyway before either goal. And the Pepe call was still correct, though I could see where it could be disputed. So all the whines about how our two goal advantage is undeserved is poppycock.

      5. And that the ref already gave the sending off wave before Alves even reacted or the Barca players surrounded him. Not to mention that any referee worth his salt makes his decision before such actions anyway. So no, the diving, while shameful, didn’t cost them the match. Their suckitude did.

      But say it nicer-like!

    6. I hope you have those soothing words ready for them if we go through! 😛

    7. Yeah but he had a statue built in his honor!

      lol, seriously, there’s a Rocky statue in Philly (where I used to live) honoring a movie character. It’s awesome/depressing :{

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