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Michelle Ackermann

Michelle Ackermann

Born in South Africa, soccer has always been a part of my life, and was pretty much ingrained in my genes. Journalism is my second love in life, and what better way to combine my two favorite things in life than to write about the one thing I am most passionate about. I follow the New York Red Bulls religiously, but have a deep passion for La Liga. This passion is part of the reason why I have moved to Barcelona to pursue my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.


TANGENTS

Barcelona Confident as “El Clasico” Draws Near

Written by on December 6, 2011 | 6 Comments »
Posted in Barcelona, General, La Liga, Real Madrid

Guardiola  may have chosen to rest his starting eleven for the match against Bate Borisov, but the youngsters from the B-squad clarified that the future of FCB was in no near danger. Guardiola chose to rest the more familiar with “El Clasico” merely five days away, and with FCB having solidified their spot in the CL Round of 16.

The youngsters consisted of nine players who have made their way through the Barcelona Academy, and two, dare I say, veterans namely Maxwell and Pedro Rodriguez, who has been struggling with injuries all season. Watching the game, it once again became clear that the style of play that Barcelona is so well known for is one that is ingrained from a very young age.

It may have taken thirty five minutes for the first goal to be scored, but Barcelona remained in complete control of the match, barely granting Bate Borisov any chances. The first goal came from Roberto in the 35th, and that would be the only goal scored during the first half.

However, it was the second half that saw FCB hand out a beating starting with the second goal in the 60th from Montoya, and merely three minutes later, a third by Pedro would seemingly solidify the win for Barcelona.

The beating was not over – and in the 88th, a penalty that was taken by Pedro would make the final score 4-0. Certainly not a bad day for the B-squad as the starting eleven beat Bate Borisov 5-0.

More importantly was the anticipation and buildup to the first “El Clasico” of this season; the last time FCB met Real Madrid was on April 16th at the Bernabeau and the match ended in a draw. The five meetings before , FCB was victorious (these statistics do not include Copa del Rey).

A grand total of 163 matches with Real Madrid still leading in victories with 69 to Barcelona’s 63, but perhaps more importantly will be the “Messi v. Ronaldo”-matchup; two players both up for Ballon d’Or, both players at the top of their game, both players the keynote strikers for their respective teams.

It is no secret that these two teams are considered the best in the world by many, and with the flawless seasons both squads have had, the match on Saturday is a highly anticipated one.

Surely, most would prefer a win over a tie, but with both teams having solid lineups – this could go either way.

If Real Madrid can avoid being scored on first or early in the match and maintain their composure, it will be their key to success, while FCB , regardless of their stellar season thus far, has had some slight issues with their defense and if they are not fully aware of intensifying their defense, especially against Real Madrid, it could lead to their demise.

Both teams have more than one skilled striker, but then again both also posses two of the best goalkeepers in the world; Casillas with seven clean sheets this season, while Valdes stands at ten.

Fabregas spoke with Barca TV in a candid interview stating; “We are going to the Bernabeu to win, and will do it with bravery and courage”. This game is more than a rivalry – it is also a chance for Barcelona to equalize the playing ground in the La Liga Standings.

The game is set for December 10th at 2:30 EST on ESPN.


6 responses to “Barcelona Confident as “El Clasico” Draws Near”

  1. Roberto Manita says:

    Hey Michelle,

    Thanks for the preview. Kick-off goes at 16:00 EST. This game is on ESPN and not GOLTV in the States? GOLTV is showing it in Canada. Thank God for that as we get to hear Ray Hudson’s commentary. Get your popcorn and wobbly pops ready. This is going to be a firecracker.

    With a three point lead and a game in hand expect Mourinho to go for a draw. FCB need a win but they almost never play for anything less anyhow. Worst case, if FCB lose this one La Liga could be over already. Expect FCB’s best performance of the season, full concentration and full intensity.

    Let’s get ready to rumble …

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    The only negative aspect about El Clasico is having to listen to the deluded Ray Hudson, who thinks his moronic comments are somehow entertaining and the center of attention as opposed to the actual game and talent on display which viewers are there to watch.

    I think Barca will allow Real to win the league just for “Change for change’s sake”. But Barca will make sure to dominate Madrid and remind them of who is king… especially in the Champions League which is Barca’s main priority as they will set or tie a record for consecutive CL trophy wins.

  3. Roberto Manita says:

    If Michelle’s twitter account has indeed changed can we reflect it above? This web page still has it as “poliscigirly.”

    FL – “The only negative aspect about El Clasico is having to listen to the deluded Ray Hudson, who thinks his moronic comments are somehow entertaining …”

    I guess old Ray Ray is either a love/hate type of commentator (much like Don Cherry in the Great White North when it comes to Hockey Night in Canada). I find Ray’s analysis to be insightful, passionate, entertaining, eloquent, impeccable, magisterial, and imperious.

    “I think Barca will allow Real to win the league just for “Change for change’s sake”.”

    No chance of Barça giving them the league just ‘to freshen the place up’. If Madrid wins the league they will have to earn it. And if CR7 gets injured for a significant period of time then no points lead on FCB will be insurmountable.

    I agree with the rest of your last paragraph though FL. And if FCB do win the UCL this year then FCB will earn the right to wear the special UCL badge on their other sleeve that RM, ACM, LFC, Ajax, and BM are allowed to wear after having won either three straight and/or five continental championships in total.

  4. Roberto Manita says:

    “Real Madrid’s defence stretched out like spandex on Miami Beach and Casillas is left naked!!!” – Ray Hudson-

    I’ll remember that line forever 😆

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    Weird, I thought only particular US soccer fans who lacked insight into the game were the only type to follow the failed British Import which is Ray Hudson… guess I was wrong.

    PS Soccerlogical is a pun on the word Psychological in case it went right over your head, which now makes sense… you being a great admirer of Ray Hudson and all. LOL

  6. Roberto Manita says:

    Ray Ray forgot more about football insight than you’ll ever be able to put forward, past or present, Mr. Footballlogical 😉

    Ray Ray is a legend. Enough said.

    Enjoy your el Clasico FL. I know I will. Bottle of red and tequila at least one hour before kickoff. It’s bigger in my household than two Superbowls ever could be.

    Never underestimate Pep. He will educate Mou yet again …

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