Sunday, December 5

Classic in works | sports

“It is what it is…”. The decadence haunts the League and the classic is the event that makes the seams more visible. The contrast is brutal because this game was, for years, the most exciting football spectacle in the world. It was impossible to see better players and more international expectation. When the authority that the two teams showed in the Champions was attenuated, the party lost power; the desire to survive was taking charge of displacing artistic satisfaction and, without Cristiano or Messi, the beast lost its hunger and even its fangs. The honor remains, which is a less physical component, more local, concentrated above all in those who have diluted the shield in their bloodstream. The old fans of all life. It’s as if the classic has lost all the shine the marketing department needs along the way. Normal, if there is no promise of a great game, soccer has little to sell to neutrals.

Favorite in mined land. They are not symmetrical decays. Madrid feel better. The defense is under construction, but the midfield has the poise that experience, category and complementarity give. Casemiro has an almost police control at the crossroads in the center of the field, Kroos acts as a clarifier clearing the game of all confusion with every touch, and Modric is the citizen Stakhanov at work and an artist playing. All mature, but still valid. Above Vinicius has, as always, the enthusiastic spirit of one who looks at the goal without noticing the obstacles and sees the goal the size of a rainbow. Benzema, for his part, seems to have found football’s philosopher’s stone, which is big and round like the Ballon d’Or. In the race for the position on the right wing, Rodrygo is leading this week. Enough weapons for the team to start as a favorite at the Nou Camp.

Perhaps perhaps Perhaps… At Barça, the future has its own names: Ansu Fati, Pedri, Gavi, Nico, Araujo, Mingueza and company. Promising talent and some real crack rookies. But those who are currently holding the stick steady so that the tent does not collapse are Piqué and Busquets, heroes invested with the power of those days of glory. Of course there are more top-class players, Ter Stegen is very complete and Frenkie de Jong arrived to strengthen style and competitiveness, but they are players who are seeing their influences devalued because they starred in more defeats than triumphs. Lose opaque. Then there are the very expensive Dembélé and Coutinho, with a melancholic air from which it is impossible to revitalize a sick person. We are waiting to see how Memphis and Kun mix, a scoring complement that can boost the general mood. But today, at Barça, everything remains a maybe.

Up that encourage. But the decline is a feeling that is also overcome with enthusiasm, and in Madrid we see, more or less close, a new stadium and Mbappé as a possibility. Although the vision of the future does not play tomorrow’s game, the aspirations have a positive influence on the institutional mood and the eagerness of the players. It is the power of dreams, which should not be forgotten, and that of Florentino, which is 18-karat power. At Barça, the illusion seems to be concentrated in Laporta’s steel optimism. Steel that melts the economic news that plagues the club every day. The disaffection of the people, who do not fill the stadium or sticks, also seems to discourage the hope of recovery of the club. Good question to finish: will the Nou Camp be filled tomorrow? It will be necessary to see how many there are those who love Barça plus those who hate Madrid.

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