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***Official EL Classico Match Thread Spanish Cup***


Columbo
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I think too much has happened for everyone to forgive and forget but they're all trying to unite for now to win what they can. I reckon he'll be away in the summer.

I think it's Madrid's loss if so especially considering they have him on a long contract, no doubt he has fucked up La Liga this year, they may not get past Man Utd and some of the publicity he's brought isn't so good. But tonight showed what can be done under his management and Barcelona aren't exactly going from strength to strength, I don't see who better they can bring in.
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Brilliant result for Madrid who set themselves up fantastically.

Defending was brilliant, Varane looks a great player in the making. In attack for Madrid Ozil and Ronaldo were supreme. I expected more from Di Maria but Alba who was Barca's best player on the night dealt with him well.

Credit to Ronaldo totally outshone Messi tonight who has been posted missing in Barca's last two big games (AC and tonight).

Big victory for Mourinho and Madrid now the next big test is Old Trafford as to win only the Copa Del Rey would be a bit underwhelming considering the record breaking title victory they achieved last year (tu)

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I think it's Madrid's loss if so especially considering they have him on a long contract, no doubt he has fucked up La Liga this year, they may not get past Man Utd and some of the publicity he's brought isn't so good. But tonight showed what can be done under his management and Barcelona aren't exactly going from strength to strength, I don't see who better they can bring in.

He wants to leave though and there has been a number of rifts that aren't going to go away. Mourinho usually only stays at a club for 3 seasons or so anyway.

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He wants to leave though and there has been a number of rifts that aren't going to go away. Mourinho usually only stays at a club for 3 seasons or so anyway.

Generally when he feels the job is done in fairness, unless he wins Madrid's 10th European Cup I doubt he'll feel the job is fully done.

He'd have stayed longer at Chelsea to try and win the CL if he and Abramovich hadn't fallen out.

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You really think so? Any other league game yes but I don't think he could afford to just treat a Clasico as a resting exercise, however many points behind they are.

That's the thing about Real though - they have the best strength in depth on the planet. They could make 8 changes and still be in with a shout of winning tbh, especially at home.

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Messi has scored in 2 Champions League finals.

Messi can score in big games, ofcourse he can, but the point is more to do with, scoring in games that are tight and when Barca are stifled.

Ronaldo's scoring record in the Clasicos is phenominal, even though Madrids average possession in those games surely can;t be greater than about 39%. He sees much less of the ball than Messi but is simply a greater threat.

Again, consider some of Messi's performances in recent times when the 'going gets tough'. At fault for the Chelsea goal at Stamford Bridge. Useless over both ties, even missed a penalty. Played 4 games against AC Milan last season, only goal came from the penalty spot. I could go on.

But that is not to say Ronaldo always shows up - but we often praise Barca as 'the best team ever' and Messi is at the forefront of those plaudits, sometimes even laughbly brandished the best player ever. But our criticisms of Barca relate to that they only play 1 way, and lack diversity when faced with a high level, robust team capable of handling them tactically, like a Madrid, Chelsea, Inter or AC. Messi should also recieve such criticisms, it;s only fair. He get the plaudits for scoring 5 against a shockingly poor Leverkusen or 4 against an Arsenal with Silvestre in defence, then he should get the criticism for not being able to get a sniff when the going gets tough. Ronaldo on the other hand is the poster boy for diversity. He's the most complete player i ever seen play the game, he can score with either foot from 30 yards, he wil out jump even the world best defenders at corners or set pieces, he's possibly 1 of the fastest players of all time.

I've seen alot of games now where i felt the threat of Messi was completely and utterly nullified, like last night, at no stage did i think he was ever going to do anything - at best he looked like he may drop deep and find an awesome pass that could potentially create something (ironically iniesta did that and looked Barca's best player by a mile last night). Ive never seen a game where i felt Ronaldo was't a threat - he always is.

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To suggest Messi is not a big game player is, quite frankly, nonsense.

He has been top scorer in CL the past four seasons (not likely to repeat this year but!), scoring in two finals.

He is 2nd top scorer in Classico history, only 1 behind Di Stefano.

Up until last night I think both Ronaldo & Messi had identical classico games played and scored over past 2 years...they covered it in the match preview, I think they said two years, but could have been one...was in Spanish! So I don't even see the argument about Ronaldo bringing it to the big games compared with Messi!

Of course Messi can be stifled, as can Barcelona as a whole and they do have questions to answer about how they overcome such opposition.

Ricky, I see your point about what Ronaldo has done while getting less ball than Messi given Barcelona's possession dominance but don't you think that is a little disingenuous? For a start, some of that plays in to Madrid's & Ronaldo's hands. He is, very often, picking up the ball in areas where he has more space (quick breaks, one on ones etc.) within which to operate. Messi picks up the ball and is lucky if only 1 player is closing him down! You suggest Ronaldo is always a threat whereas Messi can be nullified, I would be interested to see how Ronaldo performed if faced with 2-3 players constantly closing him down...as tends to be the way with Messi.

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To suggest Messi is not a big game player is, quite frankly, nonsense.

He has been top scorer in CL the past four seasons (not likely to repeat this year but!), scoring in two finals.

He is 2nd top scorer in Classico history, only 1 behind Di Stefano.

Up until last night I think both Ronaldo & Messi had identical classico games played and scored over past 2 years...they covered it in the match preview, I think they said two years, but could have been one...was in Spanish! So I don't even see the argument about Ronaldo bringing it to the big games compared with Messi!

Of course Messi can be stifled, as can Barcelona as a whole and they do have questions to answer about how they overcome such opposition.

Ricky, I see your point about what Ronaldo has done while getting less ball than Messi given Barcelona's possession dominance but don't you think that is a little disingenuous? For a start, some of that plays in to Madrid's & Ronaldo's hands. He is, very often, picking up the ball in areas where he has more space (quick breaks, one on ones etc.) within which to operate. Messi picks up the ball and is lucky if only 1 player is closing him down! You suggest Ronaldo is always a threat whereas Messi can be nullified, I would be interested to see how Ronaldo performed if faced with 2-3 players constantly closing him down...as tends to be the way with Messi.

If you want to see how Ronaldo performs when always being marked, watch a replay of RM vs Man U the other week. Fergy is terrified of him, and to be fair to man united & Phil Jones, they actually did a very good job keeping him relatively quiet over the 90 and congesting his space.

But right there is the difference, he nearly jumped over Evra, like a freakin Basketball player to score a world class header, just like he did n the champions league final for Man U against Chelsea. Like i said, it's becoming more and more common to see a team stifle Messi, to man mark him, to crowd him out, to congest his space - you do that, you pretty much nullify him. But with Ronaldo, he can hurt you in so many different ways.

And as for your goal scoring stats, over the last 12 clasicos, Ronaldo has scored 9, Messi 6. Messi's Champions League goal stats are somewhat misleading against the point im tryign to make - their not to be scoffed at but you need to consider that 9 of those goals right off the bat came against Leverkusen's worst offside trap ive seen & an a depleted Arsenal side with Mikel Silvestre in defence :lol:. Those teasm were fed to the wovles at the Nou Camp, and Messi is king Wolf - but the point i'm making relates to those tight contests, the real nitty gritty against the likes of Chelsea, Inter, AC, Madrid.

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Personally thought Leverkusen's determination to continue to play offside was admirable...admittedly it did look like they didn't actually understand the offside rule but they kept at it!

That said, my comment re his CL goals were actually more in relation to being top scorer 4 years running rather than his total goals scored, I believe that shows the level of consistency. While those two games obviously boost his total goals it could only help him win top scorer in those particular years not every year...I'm sure other clubs have faced cannon fodder at some point over the same period as well?

Re Classico stats, I thought they quoted 10 goals each over a certain period/number of games...as I say it was in Spanish so didn't pick it up 100%.

Never actually saw RM-MU the other week, well tried to watch online but was a shite stream and could barely follow the action. Ronaldo's aerial ability, not only provides a huge contrast between himself and Messi, but he quite possibly attacks the ball as well as any target man in the game (Kevin Kyle aside?) and is an absolute bonus to have that in your team from what you would consider your main creative force as it is quite rare from those types of players.

I have already said that teams are capable of nullifying Messi, generally it is not a 1 man man-marking job though. Tends to be 2 or even 3 players used to stifle his space. What I would say though, if teams set up to play against Barca as they would AN Other big club, or tried to mark Messi as they would AN Other star man (including what Ronaldo tends to face), how do you think they would fare?

I'm not suggesting they should, you are hardly going to play in to their hands...but there is a big reason why teams can't/won't.

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