First of all, a big thank you for all the positive feedback, comments and responses I, or better yet, we (Muffakham, Manuel and I), received for Part I. To be quite honest, I was a little unsure of how the community would react to the idea of a joint-article about FC Barcelona & Real Madrid. To make things worse, a Culé, out of all people, was the moderator!
But my doubts were unfounded as I have read a lot of great comments regarding the upcoming Clasico and the two writers who contributed to realize this idea of mine.
Not much has changed since the last entry. FC Barcelona are still trailing Real Madrid in La Liga, albeit only by one point. With each week that passes by, these two teams are beginning to hit top form, with a slight advantage for Real Madrid.
In the last couple of games the Merengues haven’t exactly set the world on fire, but they have been ruthlessly prolific in front of the goal. The Blaugrana, on the other hand, have continued to be rather more unpredictable than consistent; at times they play their irresistible brand of total football, as the convincing win against Sevilla can attest, but was then followed by an uninspired draw against Copenhagen.
Even off the pitch the upcoming Clasico is beginning the make headlines, and it is still not settled whether the game will be played on a Sunday or Monday. Arguably the biggest game of the remaining year, and the involved parties can’t agree on a date—talk about meeting deadlines!
Nevertheless, here is part II of Countdown to El Clasico: When Real Madrid & FC Barcelona Fans Collide!
To start off Part II, what better question to begin with than transfers? For better or worse, Real Madrid are always associated with buying the best and most expensive players available. Florentino Perez ushered the club into the Galactico era, with mixed success. Somehow the transfer-bug also caught Joan Laporta and his administration, which made some ill-advised purchases themselves.
Muffakham: The worst transfer of all time would be selling Claude Makelele to Chelsea FC. And I would rate selling Huntelaar to AC Milan as another example of Perez's poor judgment. Because I felt the Hunter had made a good impression here and would have been a good replacement for the old guard.
In the last 18 months, the transfers of both Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben could be considered ill-advised, though Sneijder’s exit hurt more because Robben is injured more often than not anyway.
Manuel: This one is a no-brainer: the whole Zlatan Ibrahimovic operation. We got rid of a legend (Eto'o) and bought the useless lazy Swede, thus funding Inter Milan’s eventual Champions League title. The 49.500.000€ Barca wired into the coffers of Inter Milan came in quite handy in acquiring key players like Wesley Sneijder and Diego Milito. It has to be the worst transfer of all time.
Muffakham: Well there’s nothing much to be said, is there? Lionel Messi is a good player, but he never scores against a Mourinho managed team.
Manuel: La Masia all day. La Masia has produced the golden generation of Spanish football plus the most talented player on the planet, Lionel Messi. The Barca academy basically produced sextuple-winners and World Cup champions. Real Madrid, for all their galactic signings, have been unable to accomplish the continental double (domestic league & Champions League) even once.
...but when it comes to TV-revenue they are on the same page. What is your take on this matter?
Manuel: The other clubs should just shut up. Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two biggest, most popular clubs in the world. It's just normal that they get a bigger share of the TV revenue. Barcelona and Real Madrid generate a lot of profit for the TV stations, a lot more than any other club. Therefore, it's only fair that they get the biggest share of the TV revenue. If other clubs can become as marketable as Barcelona and Real Madrid, then they can demand a bigger portion. Until then, they should just be quiet.
Muffakham: Well Ii haven't actually followed this matter in detail, but I guess I would rather like to see a more equal distribution because it's better when everyone is equally equipped.
Muffakham: I don't get this question...for me every Clasico is important I guess. The 2-6 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu, because it heralded a new era at Madrid, or let’s say the re-emergence of the Galactico-policy.
Manuel: May 2 2009. Real Madrid 2 – FC Barcelona 6; the Xavi show. Need I say more?
Fun fact: That’s my birthday!
No Love For Hleb!
Manuel: It has to be Hleb. How can such a pathetic player be associated with our sextuple-winning team? He should just have stayed at Arsenal. He doesn't deserve to be associated with the most successful club team in history.
Muffakham: I love all Madrid players; I don’t dislike any of the guys.
Muffakham: The worst President? It has to be Ramon Calderon. No doubt about that. Well, he did some good work, but all the negativity he brought to the Club was really stinking. It made me sick. The public hounding of clubs for players was unacceptable. It destroyed the image of the club; the less said about the subject the better.
Manuel: Joan Gaspart: His reign was absolutely disastrous. He spent the money from the Figo sale on useless players like Gerard, Petit and Overmars. The results were disastrous. He then released club legend Rivaldo, which led the team to finish sixth in the league. Gaspart was a truly terrible president.
Personally, I'd go with Sandro Rosell!
I know you guys are still waiting on the more controversial subjects such as Di Stefano; I promise we will get there, but there are still three weeks to go before the Clasico, so watch out!
In the meantime, if you have missed it, check out Part I.