May 19, 2011
August of 2010 was the start of the Jose Mourinho era at Real Madrid with the arrival of ‘The Special One” bringing as much fanfare and controversy as was to be expected. It also brought a trophy, albeit the least desirable of the three competitions in which Madrid competed. One of the biggest questions moving towards the summer will be if Mourinho will continue for another season or will the Portuguese manager, either on his own accord or via sacking, seek employment elsewhere? Looking back at the 2010-2011 campaign it certainly has been one of intrigue with many positive notes but in the end Madrid have been left to look up to the current kings of Spain, FC Barcelona.
May 4, 2011
Barcelona will compete for the title of the kings of Europe on May 28th, a phrase that no Madridista wanted to hear 18 days ago when the first of four clásicos kicked into action. Over the four matches, each club won once while the two Spanish giants drew on two occasions; however, as any football fan knows, it was timing and importance of those fixtures that will define this campaign.
Madrid brought home the Copa del Rey, their first trophies in four years; however, were felled to their bitter rivals in the semi-finals of Europe’s most prestigious tournament. In between the four fixtures, in what is arguably the greatest rivalry in football, Barcelona also increased their lead in the league. The Catalans will soon clinch their third consecutive league title, maintaining their domestic dominance. Certainly a season of headlines, drama, and, oh, the occasional football match, but then again, what else would one except from Jose Mourinho’s debut at the helm of the world’s most successful club?
May 1, 2011
Another ugly league defeat at the Bernabeu remains an afterthought as the focus in the Spanish capital remains on overcoming their two-goal deficit in the Champions League. Los Blancos defeat against Zaragoza set the stage for the Catalans to move 11 points clear of their rivals, all but sealing their third straight title. Barcelona were unable to capitalize, failing at the hands of Real Sociedad later in the evening; however, there is still little doubt as to who will take home the La Liga spoils with Barcelona only needing four points in the final four fixtures to do so. Madrid have dropped some vital points in the past few weeks, but with Barcelona’s stranglehold on the title race, it has been clear for some time now that the motivation behind Mourinho’s side has been Europe. Down two away goals to the 2009 champions, who are poised for a rematch against United were both teams to hold on to their first tie advantages, it will certainly take some miraculous play from ‘the Special One” and his galacticos.