For those who have yet to find out, Real Madrid lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena this Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League final. The second leg will be played in Madrid where the result of the tie will be decided. The team up against the winner will face either Chelsea or FC Barcelona (Go Blues!).
I've had the utmost pleasure to spend the past week in a conference in Budapest, Hungary. Although little internet access and and even littler amount of time kept me away from all the media craze, I travelled to the conference with a couple friends from school so I was able to enjoy some sort of hype. Granted the majority were Barcelona and Chelsea fans (sigh) I had one die hard South Korean Madridista that I could agree with. I missed the first half of the match, but we managed to stream the second half on a small laptop. Since the only internet access was in the lobby, we looked quite a sight, a bunch of people huddled around a tiny screen and when Real Madrid evened the score we received a few raised eyebrows as we cheered (or in some cases groaned).
But we also received a couple of questions : "Is that Real vs Bayern?" "What's the score?" "Whose winning?" "Who do you think will play in the final?"
As a group, we almost collectively agreed that a Clasico final would be displayed at the Allianz Arena. Myself and a couple others agreed that Real Madrid-Chelsea final would be a nice match. But we met one guy from the German delegation who as actually an Arsenal fan, but was rooting for Bayern. Why? Not because he liked Bayern, but because he said that having a Clasico final would be an ugly game.
After the match and some inter-Madridista pep talks to keep some semblance of spirits high, I had some time to think: Would Real Madrid vs Barcelona really make an ugly Champions League final? Has el Clasico become an ugly match?
So I think I'll summarize this into four points: two for, and two against. If I miss anything, or there's another point to bring up, write something up in the comments and we can get some conversation going.
Okay, so let's take this Gunner's perspective for a minute. One glaring point is that Clasicos provoke some.... Passionate behavior from the players. In recent matches, we've seen some harsh tackles, Oscar-deserving dives, a lot of referee hounding, and multiple brawls thrown in for good measure. These actions take away from the actual game and are a disgusting advert for football, and frankly, it is tiring to watch. And with the addition of the media escalating any conflict, it's stressful for both the fans and the cub.
Another reason is that we already get so many Clasicos a year. The two Spanish titans have the opportunities to clash in the league, in the Copa del Rey, the Supercopa, and the Champions League. That is a potential for a lot of Clasicos. I mean, we get a Clasico this SATURDAY (man does time fly). It would be nice to see a different match between two teams from different leagues that don't have the chance to face off often. And what better stage than the Champions League final to show off your league?
However, some may argue that el Clasico would make a good final. Just because the past has lead to some unpleasant occurrences in that matches, doesn't mean that both teams can't rise to the occasion and perform well. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have (arguably) attractive and different playing styles and a match that sets both against each other is interesting. And that is not even mentioning the legendary rivalry between the two that always keeps the stakes a few notches higher.
Also, some could say that it doesn't matter whether the final is "el Clasico" or not. If both teams reached the final, beating all teams standing in their way on their road to get there, then both teams deserve to play at the Allianz Arena for the trophy. Regardless of whether it will be a good match or not.
With the two Spanish giants facing off in the Camp Nou on Saturday for a match that could potentially decided the winner of La Liga, viewers will get a chance to see how el Clasico has evolved. Will it be more of the same, with behavioral snags and idiotic judgment, or will we finally be able to see the match both teams are both capable of producing? Either way, this match could be a foreshadowing of the Champions League final, so keep that in mind.