There have been some very one sided clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid down the years, but the match the Spanish call El Clasico is more often than not a hard fought and close contest. Because of this, the fierce rivalry between the two clubs and the fact that the result is usually crucial to the outcome of a season or the winner of a trophy, the referee has to be strong and good at his job.
Archive for the ‘Copa Del Rey news’
Barcelona have just over a week left to sign any more players before the transfer window closes. The big surprise for many fans and football experts, is that the Spanish champions have not bought another top class central defender, because that seemed to be the weakest area of the team last season and led to the perceived disappointment in the Champions League and Copa Del Rey.
There may have been disappointments for FC Barcelona in the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey last season, going out of both at the semi-final stage to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively, but they both came at the weakest point of the season. Barca were suffering from a loss of form and numerous players had injuries and fatigue.
The true study of a team’s quality comes in the league, and Barcelona won La Liga handsomely, equalling the highest ever points total and finishing a massive 15 points ahead of the great rivals Real Madrid. However, we should not expect Madrid to be so poor this season.
The Brazilian star Neymar put pen to paper today on a five year deal with FC Barcelona. It is great news for the club and the Barca fans, but is only the first transfer deal in what is likely to be a busy summer at the Nou Camp.
Barca have certainly got a few issues to address during this transfer window. This might sound strange for a team that is on the verge of equalling the highest ever points total in La Liga, but the players and coaching staff at the club will be well aware that the season should have been better.
It was reported in the Spanish media last week that the Brazilian striker Neymar’s move to FC Barcelona could be in jeopardy. It is thought that an agreement has been in place between the Spanish champions, Neymar and his current club Santos for some time, but representatives of Real Madrid went to Brazil offering ridiculous sums of money to try to hijack the transfer.
This appears to have sparked officials at Barca into action, according to Mundo Deportivo. They have apparently decided to push the transfer forward rather than wait until next summer and are already in Brazil to negotiate this, the paper reports.
It would not have been the best way to win the Spanish title if Barcelona had got it by default last night. That did not happen, though, because Real Madrid beat Malaga 6-2 at the Bernabeu. They still need to beat Espanyol on Saturday to have any hope of retaining the Spanish title, but that will disappear if Barca can win at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Sunday.
By beating Real Betis on Sunday, Barcelona went some way to getting over the Champions League disappointment against Bayern Munich. The win also put them on the brink of clinching the Spanish Primera Liga title for the 22nd time and the fourth time in five years. In fact, Barca could win it this week without playing, if Real Madrid fail to beat Malaga at the Bernabeu tomorrow.
Barcelona have not lost many games since Jordi Roura took over as the stand-in coach while Tito Vilanova went to New York for extensive treatment after his cancer surgery. There was a steady lessening of intensiti, however, and when the crucial run of games against Real Madrid and AC Milan came around, Barca produced their worst performances of the season.
That meant a semi-final exit from the Spanish cup, and very nearly an exit from the Champions League, denying us the chance to be the first team ever to win two continental trebles. The Primera Liga title is still firmly on course, though, and a fifth European cup to go with the 22nd league title would surely erase the disappointment.