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Divided Spain Reflected In Newspapers This Morning

As expected the Spanish media have two very different perspectives on last night’s Champions League semi-final. The Madrid papers have one take on the two legs and the Catalan papers a very different viewpoint.

Madrid-based sports dailies Marca headline today read:

“It was mission impossible”, echoing a comment from Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo following the match.

The newspaper continued:

“Another dreadful refereeing decision thwarts Madrid’s fightback. De Bleeckere invented a foul against CR7 (Ronaldo) that prevented Higuain making it 1-0. Indignation from Madrid with the referee and with UEFA. The Whites say goodbye to the 10th (European Cup title) with dignity and courage.”

Marca also used quotes from Madrid captain Iker Casillas and Ronaldo to emphasise Madrid’s anger, with Casillas saying “they have robbed us of the final.”

AS followed a similar line, saying on their front page, which featured picture of Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso protesting to De Bleeckere:

“Easy Mou, it’s nothing personal, only business. ..In Madrid it was Pepe; in Barcelona, a goal stolen away…De Bleeckere confirmed the expectations raised at his appointment.”

Like Marca, AS also used post-match comments from Madrid about the officiating, with assistant coach Aitor Karanka and director general Jorge Valdano the men quoted.

The reaction in the Catalan-based sports newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport was very different.

El Mundo Deportivo’s headline was:

“To Wembley! Barca deserved finalists against a Madrid who returned to claim victimisation.”

At the top of their front page the paper also had a picture of Abidal being tossed in the air by his team-mates after the match, with the caption:

“The reappearance of the full-back was the other happy news of a great night.”

Sport used a similar image of Abidal being hoisted into the air by jubilant Barca players as their main front page picture, along with the headline:

“Goodbye Madrid, we’re going to Wembley…Barca qualified for the Champions League final on an emotional night that even saw Abidal return to play.”