It has been a basic fact during the last couple of years that Real Madrid have struggled to overcome problems when facing Barcelona, be it a La Liga-game or Champions League-game. In fact Real Madrid’s win in the Copa del Rey is one of few shining points during the last couple of years. Indeed Pep Guardiola is a master magician but so to is Mourinho it seems.
So why can´t the team establish a good result against the Catalans? Well, for starters Mourinho has often played with a bit of a naive system when facing them, putting more focus on a counterattacking type of play rather than all out offense. Mourinho has only won once against Guardiola dressed in a Real Madrid trainer suit. But I’m sure there are those who are wondering why it´s so important to win against Barcelona when the team are leading the league with 10 points. Well…
The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is so unique that there is a saying in Spain, if you win the league without having won any El Clásicos during the season, then it’s just not “right”. It´s as if you win the league without having beaten Barcelona then they can always say, ”they won the league but they couldn´t overcome us” and this is something important for all Madridistas, we don´t want for there to be any excuses once we win the league. You always want to remember the big games, the games that matter the most. Sure, it´s important too to beat Rayo Vallecano too because in the end any three points are gathered as three points. There shouldn´t be any difference, but there is for Mourinho, that’s for sure.
After having lived in Madrid for a couple of months I know what the core of fans wish for their team. Every time there is a press conference Mourinho has to withstand questions about Barcelona, their coach and the rivalry. It´s basic fact that when you are coaching Real Madrid or Barcelona for that matter, you have to always look upon your shoulder to see what the eternal rival is doing. It´s because of this reason that I even look forward to a upcoming meeting in the league on Nou Camp and furthermore in two games even more important than Champions League football. Mourinho needs to get this ghost (or chip, or monkey) off his shoulders so that his team can rest assurde that they can cope with the best. It´s important, hugely for Madridismo to regain some confidence in these games.
When Mourinho finally beats Barcelona with Real Madrid he will have overcome an obstacle which may not be seen as important for the neutral viewer but for the passionate fan, it’s essential. The further incentive for a victory lays in the rumours of José Mourinho leaving the team for an english team in the summer. If there’s any truth to this he would want to leave with a sweet memory. Often the problem in the Spanish media is that they focus on certain things to sell the newspapers and Mou has more than once declared that he doesn´t want to focus so intensively on Barcelona. No other two clubs have a rivalry history that is so entwined as these two giants, that´s why ”Mou” has to withstand the pressure.
Ultimately, all Mourinho can do is to place instructions to his players and then it´s up to both to co-operate in for the team’s sake. I don´t mean to sound negative as I am not as I am sure we´ll win against them under Mourinho. It´s just important that we remember that Real Madrid have had a really, really hard time against Barcelona over the last few years and that now the good times are here, the club should attempt to capitalise.
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