And so its El Clásico day. One of the most watched football match partly due to their historic rivalries and mostly due to the legendary players that have played for both teams. On Saturday the FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. lock horns in the Spanish La Liga that will again see the fabled trios of MSN and BBC square off against each other.
The match is to be aired at 12’o’clock IST(Indian Standard Time) and will be aired on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. With the match being played in Barça’s home ground, the advantage will be with the Catalan giants and Real Madrid will be needing to put extra effort if they wish to avoid another mauling like the one they suffered in the two team’s last meeting.
Barça comes into the match with a 39 game unbeaten run that stretches back six months. That is an incredible feat in itself and the team would be looking forward to extending the run. With all of Messi, Suarez and Neymar in devastating form throughout the season, Pepe and Sergio Ramos can expect to have their hands full for the entirety of the match.
Madrid on the other hand are displaying contrasting versions of themselves. If in one match they play superb football to absolutely maul their opponents, the very next match they are ridiculously poor and as a result now are 10 points off Barça’s pace in the league standings. But manager Zidane has issued a challenge to his team and with the influence of someone of the Frenchman’s class, nothing is impossible for the Meringues.
However another special significance of the match is that if Messi does score a goal in this match that would be the 500th strike of his career — an extraordinary achievement for any player. In a recent interview Messi said he would definitely like to get to the milestone in style in front of the home fans. With the backing of Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta, fans can hope to see their beloved player score in an Clásico match after a gap of almost two years.
With the death of former Barça and Dutch great Johan Cruyff during the international break, a special mosaic will be on display tonight celebrating the genius of the European Player of the Century. A tribute to Cruyff will also be on display on the jersey of the team in place of the Club World Cup badge. Manager Enrique remarked their objective was to play beautiful football and continue in the path shown by the erstwhile manager.
Whatever the result, the much anticipated “billion dollar” match will be viewed by hundreds of millions of people throughout the globe. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two poles who divide the footballing world and tonight will be no different. Expect a no-holds barred match on the pipeline. Whoever comes out on the top doesn’t matter much to neutrals, the prospect of seeing so many stars are more than enough.
Predictions: 3-1 in favour of Barcelona.
What are your predictions of the match? Do let us know.