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Say Goodbye to the Liga? Real Madrid Lose 1-0 to Osasuna

Real Madrid were embarrassed today, 1-0 by Osasuna in the Reyno de Navarra, giving up three precious points which put them 7 behind Barcelona in the Lega BBVA. The way the season has progressed, and the way Guardiola's team is playing, this loss has made Madrid's season-long chase to win the League seemingly come to an abrupt end.

Newly-acquired Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor debuted in the second half, but could do nothing against Osasuna's physical play. Though Portuguese start Cristiano Ronaldo fumed after the game that, "what we received today was inadmissible," coach José Mourinho applauded Osasuna's physicality, saying, "I've nothing to reproach about Osasuna's play. We lost today against a team that played a great game and left everything out on the pitch."

As Madrid look to the next few games, all the players realize that they have a daunting task ahead of them. They have to regain 7 points on a Barcelona team that is gelling and peaking at the right moment, that has tied the legendary Real Madrid team of Alfredo di Stefano by winning 15 games straight.

Perhaps this game will allow the team to take some much-needed time to reflect on their priorities: if they do want to win a title this year, perhaps Mourinho should consider resting players in Liga contests so as to prepare them physically for the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

Or perhaps they'll want to keep plodding along, believing that nothing is impossible--despite the long odds. After all, no matter how badly the team plays, they are still in the running for at least two more competitions, if not all three. They may reject the notion that they cannot win, refuse to stop hoping, fighting. As America's beleaguered President once said, "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

I'm certainly going to take some time to consider this new development, but as I look towards Madrid's future, it's easy to take some solace in Obama's words. This team still has a lot of untapped potential, and really, in the unlikely story that is Real Madrid, there has never been anything false about hope.

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