Football

El Clasico: The theme of two

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When you hear that El Clasico is less than a week away it makes the hair on any football fan's skin stand up - especially this year's.

Not only are there two brand new managers for both teams, but also two new number 11s - Gareth Bale and Neymar. The pair cost an estimated €148m between them, let's hope they both show that on the pitch.

For the past few seasons this fixture has arguably been played between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but now we have the newcomers looking to make their own impact on the game - a mouth-watering spectacle to add to a Hollywood blockbuster of a fixture. It throws in another ingredient into this recipe and we are unsure on how it is going to effect the outcome. 

It seems like the game will have a recurring theme of twos in which it will be assessed: Barcelona v Real Madrid is the obvious one, then Gerardo Martino v Carlo Ancelotti, Messi v Ronaldo and now finally - Neymar v Bale (hopefully). 

It just adds this fantasy element to this beautiful fixture which has the world stop for the 90 minutes of football and makes it even more exciting. Both managers are brand new to this fixture, so do expect a much different Clasico to the ones we saw last season - and also expect a lot of lessons being learnt during the course of the game.

It is strange to think that a manager would need to drastically alter his side's preparations just for one titanic match, but this is what we have here - there is too much to lose early on in the season.

Both would be delighted with a draw (much like Moyes & Mourinho were at Old Trafford this season) as both will not receive too much criticism and we carry on from where we left off.

But being at home you feel the initiative lies with Martino to get his side attacking Real, who would be more than happy to do so. Barcelona do have the home advantage which can bring either inspiration or pressure to Martino's side.

As for Ancelotti, he goes there knowing his side are perhaps underdogs and are both expected and not expected to beat their rivals - so it is up to him what game-plan he decides to use.

We have perhaps recently seen a change over in dominance in this fixture; last season in the league Real Madrid did not lose to the Catalan club, drawing and then beating them at the Bernabeu, so expectations are increasing for Real in this fixture.

But there is a reason Barcelona have received such positive reviews over recent times, being regarded as the greatest club ever is perhaps the best compliment any team could get. Their dominance in Spain has been majestic, especially achieving 100 points last year and their success spans out even into Europe, winning the Champions League three times since 2006. 

Now for the new (what I like to call) 'Mini-Clasico' now which happens inside the Clasico: Neymar v Bale.

Neymar has featured more for Barcelona than Bale has for Madrid so perhaps match fitness will ruin this tie until the next El Clasico, but let's see how it goes.

They will draw comparisons to one another regardless of their age, styles and achievements much like Messi and Ronaldo - because they are regarded as superstars now. It won't be easy for either player to stand out in this fixture as the occasion can often intimidate even the greatest at times - Ronaldo found this out when he first joined Madrid.

It will be the case of trying to better one another on the pitch, something to get extremely hyped up about. Whoever has the better game will definitely get the upper hand on the other (if Neymar scores and Bale doesn't, 1-0 Neymar), it sounds childish but that is how it is going to be. The attention for the first time will probably be off Messi and Ronaldo for periods of the game, should Neymar and Bale be on the pitch together too.

Whatever occurs in the Clasico, it is going to be a thrilling game as always. It may be the start of a new generation between the pair or it may just be as fiery as ever.


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Topics:
Football
Barcelona
Real Madrid
La Liga

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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