Barca showed Real Madrid who’s boss in El Classico 1.0 and now we see some of what Leo Messi has and Cristiano Ronaldo has not. It’s plainly clear that we have leadership issues to discuss in regards to play in the Spanish Premier Division and those leadership start at the top of the most elite clubs.
Leo Messi may not be 100% but his team plays like it’s 100%, in my opinion, because of his leadership in the clubhouse. This is a guy who takes very seriously his role as the superior player on a superior team and has no problem stepping up and getting it together.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, is a phenomenal player but I don’t think he was built for the leadership role. It’s cute when you’re 10 and you’re named the captain because you’re the best (that makes sense when you’re 10), but these guys aren’t 10 and I’m sure there are other seasoned veterans on this team who can carry it emotionally and at the same time remind everyone to “GET RONALDO THE BALL!”
Have you ever wondered why you haven’t heard of some of the captains of Hockey and (American) Football teams? Because those guys are 3rd-liners, playing garbage minutes, playing special teams, but leading the team in the emotional stages of the game. Even the elite Quarterbacks in the NFL and the best scorers in the NHL, and the best pure scorers in the NBA turn to older and wiser players on their team who can help the team get through tough times.
There needs to be a paradigm shift in Madrid or they are doomed to sit behind a better led Barca team…even if that Barca may not be quite as talented…
This is most evident in the fact that Barca was down a man with 30 minutes left to play. How does a team with 10 men beat a team with 11 men? Leadership. Not from the coach…he already did that in practice. Nope, it comes from within. Leo Messi puts that team in position for Ibrahimovic to smash that volley into the back of the net. Without him they never score. Too bad there’s not a stat for “goals attributed to leadership skills.” How many goals do you think Messi would have then?