Viva Real Madrid! Viva Barcelona!
I was about to have a change of heart. From being a Madridista (Real Madrid Fan) I plan to become a Barcadista, having FC Barcelona as my team of choice. The performance of Real Madrid during their past matches in both the UEFA Champions League and the Primera Liga was a dismal failure. Barcelona on their hand had maintained their lead in the Spanish Primera Liga. Both teams however failed to make it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Last night I decided to postpone my impending transfer of affection. I was awake from 1:00 AM till 3:00 AM watching a Spanish Primera Liga match between Real Madrid and league leader FC Barcelona shown live at ESPN. It was such a great match apty coined by the commentators as El Grande Clasico. Of course there’s no other superlative than can describe a match between the two giant arch-rivals of the Spanish league than that of being a Great Classic.
The match was held in Santiago Bernabeau, Real Madrid’s home stadium filled by a massive crowd of 78,500 spectators. Both teams treated the spectators with awe by showing spectacular football from kick-off till fulltime. The Los Galacticos, as what Real Madrid team is called by its adoring fans, crushed the visiting Catalans with a 4-2 victory. This made the Los Galacticos closer to claiming the lead in the overall Spanish league standing.
At the start of the match I was a bit confused as to where I’m going to put my bet on. At first I intended to cheer for Barcelona. But less than 20 minutes of the first half time play, I saw a Real Madrid team playing football the way that made me fell in love with them. A performance of pure and classic football. A cohesive teamwork, fluidity of movements, perfect set pieces, deadly attacking tactics and the ability to shoot at will. The team of stars, thats why they’re called Los Galacticos, shone brightly during that match. Individual attacking skills of Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul and Owen complimented with intelligent set plays provided by the genius of David Beckham sealed their victory for the night. This made me cheer for my almost to be abandoned team, Real Madrid. But strangely enough, when given a chance i found myself also cheering for the other side.
Barca played with equal class and flamboyance under the compass of their maestro, FIFA player of the Year, Ronaldinho. But luck was not on their side. The Catalans failed to break a Maginot-Line-like defense that Real Madrid had readied for them. With much grit, Barca through the brilliance of their gifted striker Eto’o was able to hammer a shot on goal, while the magic of Ronaldinho’s free kick gave them their second goal. There were chances for Barca that can level the score but Iker Casillas, Real’s ever dependable goalkeeper, was always there to frustrate them. Though defeated, Barca proved itself to be a most worthy opponent.
What a superb match indeed! It made me revise my decision. Why should I abandon one and chose the other when I can get the best of two worlds by patronizing both teams. For me, a match between this two great teams is not a competition. It doesnt matter who wins or who lost. In the end, the premium I get from watching a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona is a delightful affirmation of why Pele called football the Beautiful Game.