Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League title aspirations were blown away on Wednesday night as Inter Milan triumphed 3-2 on aggregate at the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana’s European exit is the delight of Real Madrid followers, Cristiano Ronaldo admirers, and avid anti-Barcelona fans just like me!
But hasn’t the party—which commenced right after Frank Bleeckere’s final whistle—started too soon? Why not put it on hold to assess whether Barcelona’s Champions League fiasco is really good or in fact bad for La Liga title chasers Real Madrid?
Barcelona Never Give Up, Will They This Time?
The first thing that makes me wonder about the effect Barcelona’s European debacle is going to have on the race at the top of La Liga standings is the fact that the Blaugrana never seem to give up.
Fact. Early this year, the Catalans suffered a reality check as Sevilla ousted them for the Copa del Rey. It looked hard for every single member of Barcelona to swallow the fate of the club.
The team’s failure to remain in the competition meant that they had automatically lost any possibility of repeating the historic clean sweep of trophies they achieved last season. Tribalfootball.com reported that Barca’s players reacted angrily and violently in the dressing rooms after their aggregate loss to Sevilla.
Following this report, many analyzed that Pep Guardiola’s men were psychologically affected and that they'd therefore offer an advantage to rivals Real Madrid.
However, analysts were wrong. Barcelona bounced back in La Liga the same week and thrashed Sevilla with four goals for a sweet revenge. Besides, the body language of Barca’s players in that vital recovery erased any thoughts that something unfortunate had occurred a few days before.
In truth, it seemed like the Catalans’ departure from the Copa del Rey and the death of their clean sweep of titles dream had no negative effect on their league campaign. Instead, it drove them to apply more focus in La Liga. Real Madrid even went five points behind Barcelona at one point this year.
Now only one point separate the record 31-time La Liga champions from present leaders Barca. Following what happened on Wednesday night in Europe, Real Madrid players and fans will hope that the Blaugrana don’t come back to life like they did after their Copa del Rey misfortune.
Actually, Pep Guardiola looks to have built his team’s strength around the unique amount of mental resistance that Barcelona possess. It’s hard to tell whether Jose Mourinho and his Inter Milan side blew their psychological power off by ousting them from Europe.
Now the fear of Real Madrid is that Barcelona may throw all of their last efforts in the hunt for La Liga. They may sacrifice what is left of them like brave soldiers to comfort themselves from the Inter Milan nightmare they endured in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona’s avid desire to erase their European misery could become Real Madrid’s torture.
Real Madrid, Looking At Barcelona Might Be A Mistake
Coach Manuel Pellegrini warned his players not to build their confidence on Barcelona’s failures. The former Villarreal manager is hopeful that the Catalans will drop points in La Liga for his team to clinch the title. However, he is not the kind of man who puts his nose in his rivals’ business.
Manuel Pellegrini believes that everyone at Real Madrid should concentrate on the club only, but statements released by the press reveal how much the coach’s advice counted as nothing to his players.
Guti, Gonzalo Higuain, and Cristiano Ronaldo are three players who publicly avowed how happy they would be to see Barcelona dumped out from the Champions League because such a thing could favor Real Madrid.
Well, Los Blancos certainly have to focus on their own campaign. Even Athletic Bilbao, who stole all three points away from them this season, could pose an enormous threat.
Yes, Barcelona might slip in La Liga, but Real Madrid will also need to take advantage of every opportunity by accomplishing their wish of reaching the record 98-point mark on May 16.
Madridistas can only hope that their last huge celebration wasn't on Wednesday night when Barcelona’s Champions League defeat meant that the Blaugrana won't stop (or more offensively, pollute) the Santiago Bernabeu come May 22.