“The game will be weird, because when you play at home in these kinds of games the fans are almost an extra man,” Ronald Koeman instructed the Barcelona web site. “We hope that soon we can find our supporters at the stadium.”
But this newest installment in the El Clasico collection is additionally uncommon in that it might be the final time Lionel Messi faces Real at Camp Nou.
Between 2009 and 2018, the rivalry between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo was the alluring sub-plot of each El Clasico assembly.
Gone, nevertheless, are the days when followers marveled at the sight of Ronaldo and Messi combating at the peak of their careers. In truth, Ronaldo is utterly gone, now plying his commerce at Juventus, and Messi… properly, Messi needs he was gone too.
Barcelona look like counting the value of forcing a participant – the greatest participant in membership historical past, nothing much less – to remain in opposition to his will, with Messi’s efficiency dwindling this season after publicly declaring he wished to go away “all the time. ’12 months”.
The Argentinian, extensively regarded as one in every of the best footballers in historical past, has since stated he stays motivated to carry success to Barcelona this season, but it is actually simpler stated than completed. upon getting it in your coronary heart to go away.
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Messi’s performances have understandably fallen far under his personal supernatural requirements, with simply two targets in 5 video games to date this season and each coming from the penalty spot.
Luckily for Barcelona, he has an thrilling new prospect in the palms of 17-year-old Ansu Fati who provides followers hope that there may still be life after Messi.
Fati, who turned Spain’s youngest goalscorer in the current worldwide break, has already scored 4 targets in 5 appearances this season to solidify his place as Barcelona’s prime scorer.
New boss Koeman had guided Barcelona to a strong begin in La Liga, with two wins and one attract his first three video games as head coach. However, final Saturday’s shock 1-0 loss to Getafe uncovered a lot of the flaws which have plagued Barcelona in current occasions.
It’s no secret that the workforce have been extraordinarily depending on Messi over the previous few seasons and may lastly must discover a solution to succeed with out leaning closely on the Argentinian’s shoulders.
The accidents from that 8-2 Champions League humiliation in opposition to Bayern Munich in final season’s quarter-finals stay recent and, maybe most worrying of all, Barcelona have arguably solely fallen additional. requirements presently set by the Bavarian membership.
READ: Messi breaks Champions League report
Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Hungarian membership Ferencvaros can have given Barcelona a quick respite, but triumphing in an El Clasico will do wonders for Koeman’s place at the Catalan membership.
Clash of the Crise Clubs
Luckily for Barcelona, Saturday’s El Clasico actually will not be a sport Real Madrid take pleasure in both.
Zinedine Zidane’s facet endured much more turbulent days than their rivals, following their shock weekend loss to newly promoted Cadiz – enjoying their first La Liga season in 15 years – with an equally stunning residence loss in opposition to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
With a watch on Saturday’s La Liga conflict in opposition to Barcelona, Real made a number of modifications to their common beginning lineup, but there might be no excuse for such a bland and lifeless efficiency in the first half.
READ: Shakhtar Donestk delivers unbelievable Champions League shock
Incredibly, the Shakhtar have been with out seven beginning gamers – and 10 in whole – attributable to a mixture of optimistic coronavirus instances and accidents.
“I won a lot with these players, they won a lot for me and I will always be with them until the end, they are the ones who fight and run and fight and I can feel their support”, stated Zidane , per Reuters, forward of Saturday’s sport.
“But proper now the most necessary factor is to vary the dynamic, and we have now some good video games arising to have the ability to try this, and that is what makes soccer so nice. When the going will get powerful, it’s a must to present your character and high quality.
“I can’t deny that people say my future is on the line, but it was the same last year and it was like that when I was first here too. I just need to do my job and forget about everything else. ”
Real Madrid have progressively improved since Zidane was rehired as head coach in March 2019, his resurgence culminating in a primary La Liga title since 2017 at the finish of final season – though maybe – being, in hindsight, that victory was extra vicarious contemplating Barcelona. shambolic kind after reboot.
Much like Barcelona, Real have some thrilling prospects that make followers dream that the future may be vibrant. Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior has continued his growth as one in every of Europe’s greatest forwards, whereas left-back Ferland Mendy consolidates his place as the alleged inheritor to Marcelo.
For each golf equipment, it stays to be seen whether or not the current outcomes and efficiency are only a small blow or a sign of the difficulties forward this season.
READ: Goals galore as European soccer experiences one other wild weekend
While Real and Barca may not be at their earlier highs, maybe extra precisely resembling two heavyweight boxers in the twilight of their careers, the precarious place during which groups and managers discover themselves is arguably made the shock of Saturday an much more important event.