Barcelona vs Atletico - An Encounter Worth Watching
The Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry has achieved the status of being one of the most keenly anticipated show downs in the history of the game. And why not? These skirmishes have given us a chance to see two of the world’s best footballers tussle and scuffle their way into the hearts of admirers all over the world. Winners walk away not only with three well earned points, but bragging rights until the next time they meet on the pitch. But off late, a contender for the title of “Most Eagerly Awaited Match” has emerged.
On Sunday, the Nou Camp opens its doors to “the other Madrid”. Atletico storms into this game after having crushed last place Deportivo 6-0 in their last outing. The team exhibited a mystifying display of speed, coupled with an ability to find the back of the net with an ease that will undoubtedly unnerve its opponents. The performance took the Los Colchoneros five points clear of next best, Real Madrid.
Their opponents, Barcelona have been on a great run as well. They currently occupy top spot on the table. It’s hard to see how any team is going to be be in serious contention for the title after the kind of performances we’ve seen from them.
So here’s why Sunday’s clash is going to be well worth a watch:
There is history to this battle too
Barcelona have won the last four times they played Atletico, and without even having to break into a sweat. The last time the Catalans did face defeat at the hands of this side was back in the 2005-06 season. A 1-3 defeat, spearheaded by a certain somebody called Fernando Torres. This wasn’t a one-off performance. Torres frequently spun circles around the Barcelona defence during his stint at Atletico. So potent was El Nino against Barcelona, that his side was defeated only once in the five seasons he played at the Vicente Calderón.
Why bring ancient history, you might ask.
Simply because it is the first time since Torres’ departure that the side seems to have regained enough striking firepower to be able to threaten the almost impregnable Barcelona defence.
It’s a top of the table clash
Barcelona are presently well on top of the La Liga standings. However, snapping at their heels with a string of spirited performances are the exuberant Atletico side.They did fail the first test of their championship credentials with a 2-0 loss to Real Madrid a couple of weeks back. Not a team to be easily overcome, this will only serve to strengthen Atletico’s resolve to show the world that they are serious contenders for the title. Thibaut Courtois, the club’s goalkeeper has already relayed the confident disposition by saying that he is unperturbed by Lionel Messi‘s presence on the pitch.
Messi vs Falcao
This will be the battle within the battle that will be incredible to watch. About an hour before Messi walked out onto the pitch in the game where he made himself the most decorated player in league football history, Radamel Falcao was making headlines as well. The Colombian scored 5 times- the most by any player in a single La Liga game in more than a decade. The two strikers are atop the goal-scoring table this season (Messi is ahead by a considerable margin though) and watching them go head to head will surely be a delight to watch.