“Privileged” footie fans say goodbye to Clásico craze

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Like Pep Guardiola, LLL is taking a lie down, a deep breath and thanking our all-powerful lizard leaders that the fiesta of four Clásicos is over. It’s been nearly three weeks of squabbles and suspensions, fouls and fakes, conspiracies and codswallop, with 11 minutes of semi-decent football over the four games thrown in as an extra Brucie bonus.

After the 1-1 draw that sends Barcelona through to the Champions League final, the scores on the doors are one win for Barcelona, one for Real Madrid, a couple of one-all draws and a group of international team-mates who for the foreseeable future may only be speaking to each other by passing notes or through third parties.

HOW IT HAPPENED How Tim and FFT covered it live

Those culés picking their way through the debris and damage in the downtown Catalan capital after an evening of rioting from Barça fans to buy their morning newspaper will have seen Mundo Deportivo answering José Mourinho’s question of why Barcelona seem to get all the breaks in football: “because Barça are better.” 

“If [Madrid] are sincere, then they will admit that the team who won was the one that played more and played better,” noted Fernando Polo.

Over at Sport, Lluís Mascaró was claiming that the semi-final clash was the “final battle between good and evil” (although it's worth noting that Mascaró wrote the same about the Copa del Rey final but soon backtracked on his prediction once Barcelona had lost).

“It was football against manipulation, excellence against lies, Guardiola against Mourinho, ‘la cantera’ against millions, humility against pride, skill against physicality, control against aggression,” continued Mascaró for much of Wednesday’s edition before having to put down his thesaurus with a big self-satisfied, Barcelona-fan sigh of smugness.

The Madridista media are largely blaming the referee for their team’s inability to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the second leg that was the fault of the referee in the first game. In doing so they are collectively crying wolf more times than A-ha ever managed.

Tuesday’s latest UEFA-inspired slur against the good Madrid name was the Gonzalo Higuaín strike ruled out for a supposed foul on Javier Mascherano by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in turn nudged by Gerard Piqué. “It’s OK Mou, it’s nothing personal, just business,” read the front page of AS with the paper claiming that the decision “looked like an accident”.

Inside the AS editor admits that “of course Barça are good, very good. A good finalist... but I don’t like the way Madrid have been driven off the road. There hasn’t been equal competition.

The theory from AS is that UEFA want Barcelona in the final along with Manchester United because Michel Platini once criticised Madrid’s rampant spending as not being a great way of doing business. “UEFA decided some time ago that Barça must win ‘yes or yes’ and that Madrid must be crushed,” wrote Tomás Roncero on Real Madrid, the poor, unloved, richest club in the world. “It’s one rule for Barça and one for the rest of the mortals.”

Marca bark that “it was mission impossible,” but in the refereeing conspiracy rather than the tactical sense. “Another bad decision frustrates Madrid’s comeback,” complained the paper, echoing Iker Casillas’s post match comments that “they robbed us here and there. They took away our final.” “Anyone who knows football knows Barcelona are protected,” sulked Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Wednesday’s edition does manage to find some small solace in Tuesday’s result at the Camp Nou, with its editorial commenting that “Barcelona are Champions League finalists and it’s excellent news for Spanish football.” It then finishes off with a bit of a laugh to keep the punters happy for the next few days by boasting that “Spanish football enjoys enviable health and the fans can feel genuinely privileged.”

After four matches that didn’t exactly set the world alight, it’s an opinion that may not find favour with much of the planet.