FC Barcelona: Why La Blaugrana Can Catch Real Madrid
Barca fans everywhere are faced with a situation with which they're not familiar. Not since the era of Joan LaPorta. Not since the resurgence of Barca through two key managers: Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.
Yes, they trail the "madridistas" by seven points and with 17 matches to go, fans and players are beginning to get a bit antsy. However, there's no reason to push the 'panic button' yet, as we're only halfway through the season as of the beginning of February.
Of course, poor results from their away matches (5 draws to Real's 1 draw) so far seems to be the differentiating factor and which has given Real Madrid a good enough lead that they have capitalized on, thanks to a much-better away record.
Poor weather and injuries haven't helped Barca's cause either...
Which brings up the question: Will Real Madrid be able to hold onto this comfortable lead until the end of the season? Much will depend on their performances for the remainder of the season (as if you needed me to tell you that).
Is it possible for La Blaugrana to catch up? Definitely, but it's going to require the very best from their players.
So, here are five reasons why this might be possible...
Reason 1: King Leo
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Two words should be enough: King Leo. TIME magazine recognizes it, FIFA does too and most of us know it by now. For the folks who beg to differ, will three Ballon D'Or awards be enough?
Time and time again, he has the ability of coming up with something special when the "chips are down"...
Reason 2: Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola: Manager, Player Extraordinaire
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Despite the fact that Pep thinks that Mourinho is better...we all think very differently, don't we? Oh well, the number of awards ever since he took on the responsibility of the Barca Senior team have swelled considerably, haven't they?
You can be sure that he has a couple of tricks up his sleeve...and will surpass Rijkaard's record of winning 160 matches as Barca's manager quite easily in the coming days...
Reason 3: Recovery of Key Players from Injury
David Villa's nasty injury among the lot...
Iniesta, Pedro, Villa, Afellay and Busquets have all suffered key injuries...that's the bad news. The good news? They'll be back long before the season ends. You can be sure that they will take this fight right down to the wire...
Reason 4: A Symbol of Catalanism
Catalonia - Intent Clear enough?
For anyone who loves Barca, they understand what 'Catalanism' is...hell, that's why they prefer 'Visca Barca' as opposed to 'Viva Barca.' Losing to Madrid is just not an option!
Where do you think all the hostility from Madrid's quarters comes from?
*Note: Just better that away record, and that should be enough, boys!
Reason 5: As History Will Recall...
David Ramos/Getty Images
Barca has pretty much won everything there is to win in the world of club football. While it's realistic to assume that it can't last forever, it's difficult to throw a team with an impressive winning streak such as theirs off balance...