Barcelona welcomed Real Madrid to the Camp Nou on Wednesday for the first el classico of the season. The match was earlier scheduled for November but had to be moved to December for security reasons.
The El Clasico is the most watched and most popular league fixture in the world. Millions of people all over the world look forward to this fixture. the battle between the two best clubs in the world was witnessed by many.
In recent years the catalan club have performed better at the Bernabeu than they have at the Camp Nou and this is quite a strange Stats or any club. Infact football fans have jokingly described the Bernabeu as Barcelona’s training ground due to the humiliating defeats the Madrid based club have suffered in the hands of the Catalans even when Ernesto Valverde’s side play without Messi.
In an interview, Messi revealed why his club usually find it easier at the Bernabeu
“When we play at the Bernabeu, many more spaces are created, they attack us more because they have the obligation as the host team and people push them more for that. At the Camp Nou, they play a further aback, they are closer together and hit on the counter attack because they have very fast players upfront. At the Bernabeu, we play 90 minutes equally. Here, the game becomes more locked and it’s more complicated”
This revelation has since been dubbed by some fans as “mere mind games”; a ploy to distract the visitors from focusing on their game plan and dancing to the tune of the Camp Nou outfit. On the other hand, some fans deem it a sincere confession of a player who was merely replying a question he was asked. Whichever is the case, one cannot deny that there is truth in that statement. An ardent follower of the Clasico will share these sentiments.
Tight defense and fast counters have always been the tactical remedy to barcelona’s tiki-taka style of play. Inter Milan (2010) and Chelsea (2012) mastered this tactics and applied it to perfection when both teams knocked Barcelona out of the Champions league. Nearly every team that has ever won Barcelona used this system to overcome the catalan giants.
Messi may just have unknowingly fed seeking coaches with the one information they have long sought. Although it is not as if coaches do not know this but coming out of Messi’s Lips is the perfect validation they have been seeking. All that is left for them is to act on this revelation by dedicating more time to perfecting this tactics during training sessions, so that when a Barcelona clash looms on their calendar, they will be prepared.