The French author Jean-Philippe Toussaint once famously described Zinedine Zidane's headbutt in the 2006 World Cup Final as "impossible."
Toussaint's reasoning wasn't that the event hadn't taken place, that the French captain hadn't been shown a red card, or even that Marco Materazzi hadn't fallen to ground clutching his pained chest. Rather, it was that the actual physical act—the headbutt—could not have happened at all.
Zidane’s head, he points out, cannot really have reached Materazzi’s chest since—in accordance with Zeno's paradox (illustration here and explanation here)—it would have had to travel half the distance there, then half the remaining distance, and so forth. Thus the two objects, head and chest, could never actually collide nor overtake each other.
And so it is with Jose Mourinho's finger and Tito Vilanova's eye. It was less than a year ago when these two persons—one anonymous, one unavoidably not—and objects met...erm, almost met, in the dramatic finish of the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup. Finger and eye, Mourinho and Tito. It's almost as if the two are forever suspended in space awaiting collision.
The same cannot be said for their squads, which not only collided on multiple fronts during the 2011-2012 campaign, but both of which experienced their own refutation of Zeno's Paradox. Real Madrid very much "overtook" FC Barcelona in La Liga, and the historic surrender of the title lingers heavily over these two-legs.
Nevertheless, many other eyes will be on the interaction between the two managers; and they, too, may try to prove the legitimacy of Toussaint's observation, acting as if nothing ever happened.
And so, without further ado, I present to you the 5 Biggest Storylines of the 2012 Spanish Super Cup.