You have probably already read it, but I will update you again. The recent El Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona was not quite as aggressive as usual, on the field that is. Sure, we had the touch on the chin by Xabi Alonso against Lionel Messi, and we saw some harsh play as well, but overall it seemed the game and it’s nature had calmed down.
It could be down to something as easy as Pepe not playing in the game but the aftermath to the game suggest otherwise. Messi has apparently insulted Arbeloa in front of his pregnant wife at the garage parking lot. Real Madrid’s coaching staff are also rumoured to have called Messi a “filthy pig” during the game, whereby Messi has reacted and said to Karanka that, “you are puppet of Mourinho”.
And it’s Mourinho who is at the heart of the action in my view. Ever since Mourinho took over Real Madrid as coach, the El Clásicos have become a lot more fierce, although they have always been fierce, with legendary players like Fernando Hierro not holding back the aggressive play back in the days. But it seems that the el Clásicos are more about hate than football nowadays.
Real Madrid used to not have flamboyant coaches like Mourinho in the past (one bears in mind names like Vanderlei Luxemburgo as one) and during the past, the games were more about football than hate. Real Madrid have struggled a lot against Barcelona in recent years. But now that Real Madrid have come back to hold a little edge in comparison to Barcelona, the game is more even now.
Of course, Barcelona are still dominating a big part of the matches, with possession of the ball always being in Barcelona’s favour, a lot. But then again, Mourinho is only looking to the counter attack in these games it seems and he seems happy with that. Perhaps this is because his team cannot chase after the ball all the time, with Barcelona repeatedly playing the ball between their defenders and midfielders.