Ã¢ÂÂPrivilegedÃ¢ÂÂ footie fans say goodbye to Clásico craze
Like Pep Guardiola, LLL is taking a lie down, a deep breath and thanking our all-powerful lizard leaders that the fiesta of four ClÃÂ¡sicos is over. ItÃ¢ÂÂs 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 culÃÂ©s picking their way through the debris and damage in the downtown Catalan capital after an evening of rioting from BarÃÂ§a fans to buy their morning newspaper will have seen Mundo Deportivo answering JosÃÂ© MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs question of why Barcelona seem to get all the breaks in football: Ã¢ÂÂbecause BarÃÂ§a are better.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂIf [Madrid] are sincere, then they will admit that the team who won was the one that played more and played better,Ã¢ÂÂ noted Fernando Polo.
Over at Sport, LluÃÂs MascarÃÂ³ was claiming that the semi-final clash was the Ã¢ÂÂfinal battle between good and evilÃ¢ÂÂ (although it's worth noting that MascarÃÂ³ wrote the same about the Copa del Rey final but soon backtracked on his prediction once Barcelona had lost).
Ã¢ÂÂIt was football against manipulation, excellence against lies, Guardiola against Mourinho, Ã¢ÂÂla canteraÃ¢ÂÂ against millions, humility against pride, skill against physicality, control against aggression,Ã¢ÂÂ continued MascarÃÂ³ for much of WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs 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 teamÃ¢ÂÂs 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.
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs latest UEFA-inspired slur against the good Madrid name was the Gonzalo HiguaÃÂn strike ruled out for a supposed foul on Javier Mascherano by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in turn nudged by Gerard PiquÃÂ©. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs OK Mou, itÃ¢ÂÂs nothing personal, just business,Ã¢ÂÂ read the front page of AS with the paper claiming that the decision Ã¢ÂÂlooked like an accidentÃ¢ÂÂ.
Inside the AS editor admits that Ã¢ÂÂof course BarÃÂ§a are good, very good. A good finalist... but I donÃ¢ÂÂt like the way Madrid have been driven off the road. There hasnÃ¢ÂÂt been equal competition.
The theory from AS is that UEFA want Barcelona in the final along with Manchester United because Michel Platini once criticised MadridÃ¢ÂÂs rampant spending as not being a great way of doing business. Ã¢ÂÂUEFA decided some time ago that BarÃÂ§a must win Ã¢ÂÂyes or yesÃ¢ÂÂ and that Madrid must be crushed,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote TomÃÂ¡s Roncero on Real Madrid, the poor, unloved, richest club in the world. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs one rule for BarÃÂ§a and one for the rest of the mortals.Ã¢ÂÂ
Marca bark that Ã¢ÂÂit was mission impossible,Ã¢ÂÂ but in the refereeing conspiracy rather than the tactical sense. Ã¢ÂÂAnother bad decision frustrates MadridÃ¢ÂÂs comeback,Ã¢ÂÂ complained the paper, echoing Iker CasillasÃ¢ÂÂs post match comments that Ã¢ÂÂthey robbed us here and there. They took away our final.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂAnyone who knows football knows Barcelona are protected,Ã¢ÂÂ sulked Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs edition does manage to find some small solace in TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs result at the Camp Nou, with its editorial commenting that Ã¢ÂÂBarcelona are Champions League finalists and itÃ¢ÂÂs excellent news for Spanish football.Ã¢ÂÂ It then finishes off with a bit of a laugh to keep the punters happy for the next few days by boasting that Ã¢ÂÂSpanish football enjoys enviable health and the fans can feel genuinely privileged.Ã¢ÂÂ
After four matches that didnÃ¢ÂÂt exactly set the world alight, itÃ¢ÂÂs an opinion that may not find favour with much of the planet.