UEFA Champions League SemifInal: FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid El Clasico Part 4

Adi-Oula SebastianCorrespondent IIMay 3, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 02:  Head coach of Barcelona Josep Guardiola answers a question during a press conference at the Camp Nou Stadium, ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match against Real Madrid, on May 2, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Tonight will mark the fourth and final game of the historical El Clasico World Series.

Depending on who you are rooting for, this will also be the most important match in this sequence. While Real Madrid have won the Copa del Rey final, it is a safe assumption that Madristas all over the world will consider the trophy with the big ears the more prestigious award.

Perhaps even more since it is la decimal the Los Blancos faithful crave the most.

For those not familiar with the term, la decima would be Real Madrid’s 10th UEFA Champions League triumph. Nevertheless, the recent Clasico record is fairly even, with both teams scoring a solitary win and a dull draw.

But as it has mentioned earlier, Real Madrid won a final—even if it is just the Copa del Rey. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t know what to pick if I had to choose, a victory in the Copa del Rey or a chance at Europe’s most prestigious club competition?

However, even if Real Madrid are trailing FC Barcelona by a two-goal deficit, the tie is far from over. And even if two away goals provide a sufficient cushion, one would be ill-advised to discount the Merengues. The Champions League has produced some of the most memorable matches, and more importantly comebacks in football—Liverpool FC vs. AC Milan, anyone?

It’ll be also interesting to see how Real Madrid will compensate the loss of Sergio Ramos and Pepe. What’s more, it’s even more intriguing to find out how los Blancos will cope with the enforced absence of Jose Mourinho from the dugout.

Thus far, the man nicknamed the Special One has been unusually media-shy and quiet—no inflammatory comments regarding match officials and rival managers and not even the slightest hint of conspiracy talk. One has to wonder whether Jose Mourinho has gone AWOL.

For those who have watched the last Clasico contested at the Camp Nou, Jose Mourinho is anything but liked in Catalunya. Now, imagine Mourinho sitting in the audience instead of the dugout, because it’ll occur tonight. Personally, I think he must shoulder a good deal of the responsibility for the hostile reception he is about to receive.

In a way, Jose Mourinho still managed to be the center of attention.

Talk about receptions—one man who is guaranteed to receive the full embrace of the Camp Nou will probably make his comeback tonight, Eric Abidal.

Just seven weeks ago the FC Barcelona left-back had other worries on his mind, namely his battle with cancer. Now, he is fit and ready to play a couple of minutes. I'd rather focus on uplifting news like this than outrageous conspiracy talks and media slandering.

Either way, I think there will be a lot to talk about before, during and after the game. Join me in my live blog coverage of the last Clasico of the season.


Until kick-off at 8.45 CET you can check out some of my previous articles:

Real Madrid & Jose Mourinho: How Mourinho ruins La Furia Roja

Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona: How Jose Mourinho has likely cost Real Madrid the trophy


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