FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Top Five Winners and Losers from Los Clasicos
The series ended in an even two draws and one victory each, a rather odd conclusion to an overhyped event.
At this point Real Madrid has earned the more valuable victory, defeating FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final and winning their first silverware since 2008.
But then again, Florentino Perez didn’t make these massive investments to win the domestic trophy. I’m implying that la decimal, the 10th Champions League trophy, was/is on all Madridistas minds. Hence, the exit at the hands of FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals must overshadow their recent Copa success.
The Clasico series was anything but classic or watchable. If anything, the reputation of both sides has been stained.
However, there are some players who emerged from this intense series with their reputation intact while some others have hurt theirs.
I can’t exactly say I feel sorry for Pepe but his persona, or better yet, the perception people have of him, precedes him.
Arguably, and by a mile Real Madrid’s best player in the Clasico series, he may or may not have been on the wrong end of a bad call by a match official.
However, when one tends to be rather reckless and at times violent, that’s how people will perceive you. Kicking an opposing player, not fighter, will do long-term damage to one’s reputation.
Loser: The Copa Del Rey Trophy
Easy come, easy go.
In Sergio Ramos case, the Copa del Rey trophy just slipped his fingers and was run over by Real Madrid’s team bus.
I guess they don’t rate that competition at all in Madrid.
On a Clasico match-day for 90 minutes, two hours if you include the half-time break and post-game review, or so I cannot be bother by anyone or anything, even if it’s my girlfriend.
I’ve had to endure so many soap operas in my day; the Clasico is where I draw the line.
Somehow my significant other has found out a way to exploit that. She figured out that when FC Barcelona wins, I’m in charitable mood; whereas when the Blaugrana lose, I’m emotionally detached.
Losers: Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves & Angel Di Maria
Those who didn’t like them before will almost certainly hate them now.
While Sergio Busquets always had something of an actor in him, he is almost guaranteed to be mentioned in the next Academy Awards nomination ballot.
Dani Alves on the other hand is more often than not guilty of exaggerating a bit too much but had not reached the levels of Sergio Busquets prior to the Clasicos.
In the case of Angel Di Maria, no other player has caused more dubious penalties in the current La Liga season than the Argentine. His brilliance as a wide-player is only rivaled by his penchant for going down rather easily.
Losers: Jose Mourinho & Real Madrid
You win some and you lose some, that’s the nature of things. Unfortunately, Jose Mourinho never loses quietly.
Prior to the hiring of the Special One, Real Madrid have been on the receiving end of a couple of battering’s from FC Barcelona, most notably the 2-6 in the 2009 season.
But never has the institution Real Madrid gone to such extremes, from posting a video of Pepe’s foul on Dani Alves to issuing a complaint about FC Barcelona’s players.
Something like that didn’t happen before.
It wasn’t the style or the methods of Jose Mourinho’s predecessors. The Clasicos are always and have always been intense.
While the media does its part, the club, Real Madrid never openly participated in witch-hunts. I stand by what I have claimed earlier, with Jose Mourinho came negativity.
Jose Mourinho is without a doubt one of the top tacticians in the business but one of the most divisive characters in football period. Granted, the wildly successful always have their fair share of “haters” but when legends like Franz Beckenbauer, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti & Co. are criticizing one’s conduct, something must be off.
Winners: The Mass Media
AS, Sport, Marca and pretty much every other media outlet one can think of.
Heck, even my blog has almost tripled its viewership thanks to the increased media attention. Regardless of the final result, the media always wins.
Winners: Beer Manufacturers
It’s a warm April evening and your favored team is playing its biggest rival.
The game is rather frustrating so you pick a cold beer to complement your match-day meal, especially when you watch the game at a BBQ with your buddies.
Winners: Whoever Is Commissioned to Produce Another Copa Del Rey Trophy
Yeah, Sergio Ramos made someone very happy.
If reports are to be believed, the estimated value of the broken trophy is around € 20.000, excluding working-hours.
Winners: Non-Jose Mourinho Fans
Since the Special One has been slapped with a five-game ban from UEFA’s governing body, Jose Mourinho is on a self-imposed media strike. Meaning, Jose Mourinho will not talk to the press unless the UEFA explains its decision to him.
Honestly, I like Jose Mourinho on mute.
Winner: Lionel Messi
In game one of the UEFA Champions semi-final, Lionel Messi has scored one of the most outrageous and spectacular goals in the history of the competition.
La Pulga single-handily tore apart Real Madrid’s world-class defense, all by himself. And with one Champions League game still to be played, Lionel Messi can equalize or break Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 goals in a single tournament.
And if he does, Lionel Messi must be considered the front-runner for a third consecutive Ballon d’Or.