Everyone knows that the football world stops in order for Real Mourinho (Madrid) to go to batlle when they face their fiercest rival in the ever fearsome Barcelona, twice a year in has been hailed as the El Clasico.
The hype surrounding this one has been at a fever pitch. For Jose and his boys have been jawing off to anyone that would listen. Pep has been able to keep shut in the war of words against “The Special One”. Was he keeping a secret? Who knows. There was a lot of hype because it was Mourinho, some say he is the best manager in the planet, returning to the Nou Camp a few months after embarrassing the Catalonia heroes with Inter.
As for Barca, it was just business as usual. Before the game they behind in points to Los Blancos and could not afford to let this game take a turn for the worst.
I won’t talk about the game because it was horrific to watch because I was rooting for Real Madrid (Never forgive and never forget that CL tie with Barca those many moons against. Chelsea was robbed and cheated I tell you). It was game over before it even started. 5-0 Barca was the final result. I am not here to talk about the actual gameplay because it was another fine display of pure Barca football outclassing Jose and his superstars.
One point that I do want to mention is the mindset going into the game for both teams.
Real Madrid are riding high, they embody the definition of swagger. You have pride and confidence in your playing ability and of your mates. You have the coach that is the envy of everyone. You play for the biggest sporting club in the planet. Everything is working out for the best, all the games are looking to be cupcake wins. Everyone wants to be you, everyone wants to wear the shirt that you wear, everyone wants to kiss the crest after punching the old onion bag. You can go speak in the papers, go ahead and give the reporters the line of the night. Jose will probably look at you with favor for doing that. Talk up how easy this game will be. Talk about how you have figured out the enigma that is Barcelona. The game is yours to lose and you don’t intend on flying back to Madrid with anything less than three points and bragging rights for a few months as you stay atop the table.
Barca is coming at this from a totally different point of view. They are a team that is not full of loud personalities. They let their playing do all of the talking. They are a team that mentally beats you before you even go onto the pitch. Even if you somehow find a way to hold all of your marbles before the kickoff, have fun chasing shadows all 90 minutes long. Their style of play is not all too complex, I find it to be very basic. When you move up the field, with or without the ball, you always have support. You always know that you are no more that a few feet from another teammate. You always know that you can pass your way out of any situation. You always know that you have the moves to evade a few opponents before setting up a fat chance in front of goal. The passes are always dizzying and lull the opposition before you slice up the defense with a quick 1-2-1-2 and boom, a goal just happened. You never play a long ball and if you do, you are only switching the point of attack across the pitch.
The confidence is always high when it comes to both of these clubs but running out of the tunnel, it is the style of play that matches up with Barca that will always win. It is hard to beat a club that gets over 60 percent of possession. They rarely get exposed on the counter because they have the best center back pairing in the game and a fabulous shot stopper in Valdes. Real try to beat you on the counter and instill fear by having all of these playmakers. They can hit you from any place on the pitch, Real, but they lack the heart and grit when it comes to games like this one. They are missing that grind it out and tough it out mentality that makes Barca champions. Real look to me, at least, all flash and very little substance. How many games have Real jumped out in front in the opening 15 minutes? How many games did CR7 score on their first possession? Real makes you play from behind before your feet are even set. Barca beats you over the course of the game or they beat you before you are even out of the locker room. They can toy with you all game long. They can give you the ball and say “beat us I dare you”. They can take the ball away for long stretches of the game like today, they had the ball for 20 minutes straight in this one.
Jose thought he had them right where he wanted them. He felt that he had cracked the code but in classic Barca fashion they passed and passed and passed their way to another win. Excuses are not in order but Jose will never accept this as a loss or defeat. Pep looked at the tape and made the necessary changes. Pep showed not only who was the bigger man but also a more rightful heir to the most respected hot seat in all of football, Manchester United. He made the self - anointed “Special One” look like the foolish one.
It has been a few years since this anthem came out and it still makes those toes tap and fingers snap like I heard it for the very first time. Arguably my favorite song of the fabulous album. I need Zonoscope right now because I have been blasting Cut Copy like its my job
A swell friend of mine reminded of something I once said and it is a relationship calender. This is for the fall. This may only work in very particular cases, I am only calling it like I see it.
Late August - Get back to school. Just go out of a summer romance, hook ups or you are ready to start the year anew after getting zero in that department all summer.
September/October - Go out and see the field has to offer. Sometimes something blossoms into something, others are just random hookups, it can happen that it just does not work out between you two. By Columbus Day you should have a pretty good idea about how the rest of the semester will be going; either you will remain single, get into a relationship or just hook up with whoever whenever.
November - If you are in a relationship then this is great, you are in a step in the right direction. It is still the honeymoon phase at this point and everything is very fresh. Make it to Thanksgiving and a lot will fall into place for you, just wait and see. You may be able to introduce your significant other to everyone at home if they are able to make it over to your house. The reverse can happen also, you can meet everyone that he/she is close with.
December - This is the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of reasons. A chance of that first frost to be savored in the arms of no one better but the arms of your significant other. Winter is only bearable, all the ice, snow and cold weather because the mere thought of your better half makes it all better. There is no better xmas gift than the one that the one who loves you gives. Even though you got all you wanted from Santa, kissing under the mistletoe is very romantic; dare i say the icing on the cake?
January - More snow, more afternoons spent cuddling and snuggling under those very warm bedsheets. Have you ever spent New Years Eve wishing that someone would come along and sweep you off your feet? Have you ever made that resolution that you would go out and find the right person for you this year, no more bad people breaking you heart? Well all of that is now gone because it is now midnight and you happen to have all you could ever ask for right next to you just waiting to plant that wet one at the stroke of midnight.
February - I hated Valentine’s Day because I only got a card from my mother, on a personal note. Now that you are in a relationship, you may get flowers, a sentimental card that you will keep, a romantic dinner, “i love you” said for the first time and a night that will be the envy of all your single friends.
March - Spring is just around the corner and those first flower buds are coming around. It may rain and it may be sunny, but the season is changing to become a symbol of your relationship; everything is green with life and blossoming. Having a drinking buddy who you are all goo goo ga ga for makes St. Patrick’s Day all the more memorable, if you do end up remembering it.
Now you are at the point where you are a mature and experienced couple, you are now out of the honeymoon phase and everything is all good. The fights are not terrible and the understanding that you two have is very solid and sturdy. Congratulations for making it this far, the future is always very bright and sunny, have a ball kids!
“I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man.”—swingers