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The Time Has Come La Liga Fans, The Battle at Bernabéu Awaits

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lorkan

El Clasico.  Allow me to translate. 

That is Spanish for “the classic”. 

And this season the title for the match has really outdone itself.  Real Madrid VS Barcelona.  Oh the fascinating back stories to this one.  Like:

1) Money.  It’s a Drag

Real Madrid and Barcelona currently have a +20 point gap between them and the rest of the league asking the question, is this getting a little bit out of hand in La Liga?  I mean they are two of the best teams in the world and many claim that football dominance resides in Spain, but how about sharing the wealth a little bit?  Barca and Madrid both made the top five highest paid franchises in the world regarding the average player’s salary.  Both squads offer over $6 million per player making this match the most expensive in the history of football regarding the value of the players on the pitch.  

2) Will Pellegrini Walk the Plank?

Lets begin with the coaching staffs.  One man is basically a guarantee to be fired at the end of the year (unless he wins this match of course) and the other just had his contract extended for another year.  Can Pellegrini save his job?  Or is Florentino Perez going to continue his bulldog approach to front office management and go for a bigger name like Mourinho or Capello?  

3) Advantage Barca

Although the teams are currently tied, Barcelona is actually in sole possession of first place right now due to defeating Real Madrid at Camp Nou earlier in the year.  In La Liga the rule is that the first tie breaker is matches against your tied opponent and not goal differential.  Although GD is a nice stat to own, Real Madrid can’t allow a tie with Barca unless they even the score.

4) The End of Eras

Raul will likely be playing in his last El Clasico with Real Madrid as the aging domestic league superstar is planning on a trip overseas to the New york Red Bulls in the MLS next season.  The same can be speculated with Thierry Henry who as recently fallen out of favor with Barcelona management.  It could possibly be the last time that two legends battle it out in El Clasico.

5)  Soccer Jesus  

Lionel Messi is so good that he is putting up video game type of performances on the opposition.  His four goal match in the Champions League was just flat out silly.  And the guy has around 20 goals scored in his last 6 or 7 matches.  His legendary national team coach referred to him recently as a Soccer Jesus.  And this weekend looks to be another potential Messi highlight reel.