El Clásico – Clash of the titans!

Posted: December 9, 2011 by angadsawesome in Sportz Blitz, Uncategorized
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El Clásico – Clash of the titans!

The words El Clásico probably conjure up vivid images of intense sporting rivalry in your head.

The El Clásico is definitely the Holy Grail for football fans and needs no introduction. However, for all the uninitiated, the El Clásico is a football match between the clubs F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid. These two clubs are presently and have always been among the best footballing clubs in the world.
They share a long history of rivalry which has been mired in politics and controversy. During the Spanish Civil War, F.C. Barcelona epitomized Catalan pride and identity whereas Real Madrid C.F. was supported indirectly by General Franco (soon to be dictator of Spain). In fact Franco had Josep Sunyol (The then president of F.C. Barcelona) executed for treason. Hence the legacy of the El Clásico matches began.
The rivalry intensified during the 1950s when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo di Stéfano. Di Stéfano had impressed both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Both Madrid and Barcelona attempted to sign him and in the confusion that ensued, both clubs claimed to own his registration. After intervention from FIFA it was decided that both Barcelona and Real Madrid had to share the player in alternate seasons. Di Stéfano became integral in the subsequent success achieved by Madrid, scoring twice in his first game against Barcelona. With him, Madrid won the initial five European Champions Cup competitions.

The Infamous Pigs head

Another incident in recent history was the infamous throwing of a “pig’s head” on Luis Figo. Luis Figo’s £37m move from Barcelona to arch rivals Real Madrid in the summer of 2000 didn’t go down well at the Camp Nou (Barcelona’s Stadium). So, when the Portuguese winger returned there in November 2002, Barca fans were waiting to bombard their former hero with an assortment of interesting missiles. These included whiskey bottles, cigarette lighters, golf balls and  the most controversial of them all, a pig’s head.

What to look out for in the El Clásico this Saturday night?

As is said, there are many aspects to the El Clásico and in the recent years, tactics have taken on a greater prevalence. The famous or infamous Jose’ Mourinho tactics are something one must watch out for in the coming El Clásico.

For anyone familiar to the footballing world, it is clear that Barcelona have a mental edge regarding the El Clásico due to their victory in previous encounters, most notably the 5-0 at Camp Nou, last season. Yet today Mourinho’s men find themselves 3 points clear of F.C. Barcelona in the La Liga, with a game in hand. This gives the men in white a tremendous mental boost.

Mourinho’s Men will have a few tricks up their sleeve. Their major strength being fast paced counter attacking football and the ability to use the width of the pitch will come to full use in this game.

The Catalans on the other hand will have a more central pitched approach. They will look to play their typical “pass to death” game. Playing “triangles” is an overused term in the footballing world, yet Pep Gaurdiola’s men execute this to perfection.

Another great aspect of the game will be the battle between, arguably two of the greatest footballers of today, Messi and Ronaldo. They both are nominated alongside Xavi for the prestigious Ballon D’Or.

The Personal Rivalry

We will get to witness them fight it out for supremacy. Messi, with his exotic dribbling skills and Ronaldo with his brilliant flair will be a joy to watch. They both are the joint leaders of the scoring sheets of the La Liga and hopefully we will get to see why.

Another brilliant aspect of the game will be the attacking mastery of both the teams and their playmakers. F.C. Barcelona have the combo of Xavi and Iniesta, who have great chemistry in midfield. They are known for their beautiful though balls and one touch passing. Real on the other hand represent counter attacking football at its best. They have the likes of Ozil and Di Maria, who with one quick break can destroy oppositions. All this said and done, we always have Messi and Ronaldo to watch out for.

Santiago Bernabau

All in all it is the match to watch out for. We may not know who will win it, or for that matter whom to support, but we do know that it is a game every sports fan will definitely enjoy. Miss it at your own risk !

Probable Line-Ups and Other Information:-  

Real Madrid– Casillas, Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Arbeloa, Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema, Di Maria.

Barcelona– Valdes, Abidal, Puyol, Mascherano, Iniesta, Busquests, Xavi, Alves, Villa, Fabregas, Messi.

Stadium– Santiago Bernabeu

Referee– David Borbalan

Date– 10th December, 2011. 09 PM, GMT (2.30 AM IST).

By :-

Akhil Subhedar, Sujaan Choksi

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