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4 Matches, 3 Weeks, 2 Teams and 1 divided Country

April 15, 2011

For the next 17 days, the FIFA world cup champions will forget their unity and divide themselves into Los Blancos and Las Blaugranas. The media will delve into the history books printing stories and narrating the classics of the El Classicos. The experts will be divided and the punters will take their risks but amidst all this excitement there will be a Catalan favorite trying to overcome The Exiled of the Nou Camp in the battle of the wars for immortality.

Los Blancos are like the individual ingredients of Paella assembled by the householder Fiorentina Perez still awaiting the chef who can make them the best in the world. On the contrary, Las Blaugranas are cured into the Red Wine that compliments the paella at dinner table with a flavor of it’s own. Little wonder that the taste of wine lingers on the football hungry fans from November, 2010.

The Catalan giants assembled at a combined cost of 85 millions euro have trained together at the La Masia (Barcelona Academy) together for the number of years. Hence, their sublime movement of the ball, crisp passing and high pressing are well cured together to mesmerize the football fans for the entire duration of the 90 mins of the 4 games.

On the contrary The Special One has at it’s disposal the ingredients from the different countries to make the most exotic and expensive Paella led by an original Madrilean. However, the uniqueness of paella lies in every individual ingredient being allowed to express it’s flavor in it’s very unique manner and the Machiavelli of Football does not permit them to do this.  But with 4 games, he should be able to mix them again and again to find the best combination and amounts.

Last year, after conquering Barcelona Mourinho stood as a satisfied man in the centre of the Nou Camp but little must he have felt at the moment, he would get to redo it again almost an year later. This time the revenge could be even better as he would be the manager of their arch rivals.

Pepe Guardiola on the other hand has already demonstrated in November, 2010 his ability to inflate a punctured tire or fix a Ferrari’s petrol tank. Little significance exists to the mauling of Real Madrid in November today as the battles to win the war start today.

The first game has no more than a formal requirement from both the teams  to play as Barcelona are sure to win the league when they enter the game with a 8 point lead. Little excitement holds for the game as Mourinho might play the ultimate tactician and rest his first 11 and same applies for Guardiola.

For the second game little more intensity could be present with the seasons first trophy for both teams at stake. However, by the final whistle at The Mestalla the two tacticians will have fixed their strategies to run the last lap of the marathon.  Surprise from Mourinho in tactics will be expected with a defense of his tactics in the post match conference no matter what the outcome of the games. However, will Guardiola persist with the same wine he has so patiently nurtured remains the question?

A mesmerizing team will take on a team whose manager creates more laughter on our faces than the smiles or joy his team can bring to us fans of football. The truth and greatness of team play against individual theatrics will be tested during the course of these battles.

Expect the negative football of Mourinho to counter the positive passing and movements of the Catalan giants. Whoever wins the last game will progress into history as immortality – Mourinho as the manager to win 3 UCL with 3 different teams and Barcelona to win the treble again.

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