Charlie Webster - Can Mourinho and Real Madrid upset Barcelona?

15 April 2011 01:14
In the early hours of this morning I went to Stamford Bridge to film a chat with Terry Venables about all things football. Although we were in the Millennium suite it wasn't quite Roman Abramovich's but we did get tea and coffee with some nice biscuits (I'm running the London marathon this Sunday and I'm scoffing like anything!)

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First we talked about the FA Cup, with Terry predicting that it's going to be a Manchester United v Bolton final. Before long we'd moved on to the topic that seems to be on everyone's lips, Real Madrid v Barcelona. It's hard not to discuss the two Spanish sides when they are playing each other four times in 16 days.

It will be interesting to see who prevails overall but I suppose it doesn't matter as long as the right game is won. Barcelona seem to have taken charge on the domestic front and I think that'll stay the same. However in the Champions League, is this Real Madrid's chance to outdo their rivals?

Last week I wrote about how incredible a side I think Barcelona are but there are a few journalists and presenters that I've spoken to this week that think that if Jose Mourinho gets it right then his Madrid club could knock Barca out of Europe, leaving them empty-handed. Personally I think it's a big ask but this is 'The Special One' we are talking about and he was the man with Inter Milan who beat the Spanish giants last year.

Will Mourinho even be thinking about last season? No, probably not. However he will have the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the La Liga leaders at the Nou Camp at the forefront of his mind. A Mourinho side taken to the cleaners is not a phrase his ego will like.

This weekend's 'El Clasico' will be where the whites boss will want to show who's boss. Will his ego get in the way though? Talking to Terry Venables about it earlier, he said he's got to try and treat it like any other game, although that is near impossible. We came to the conclusion that if Mourinho let's his ego get in the way, especially with all the journalists bringing up the hammering his side got by their opposition away from home, then they will get stuffed.

Real Madrid and their colourful manager can't try and prove they can play as well as Barcelona. However if they are stuffy in defence and stop their rivals coming down the middle and play with their heads and not their egos then they could successfully get revenge which would set them up nicely for the Champions League semi-final. There's also the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday, which I suppose would be seen as the opportunity for both teams to rest certain players, so that one's pretty much wide open depending on the sides fielded.

As myself and Terry were chatting about a team he's previously managed, naturally the star of the show came into conversation. Lionel Messi.

Is Messi better than Maradona was the question? Obviously it's hard to tell and something we will see with the continuing progression of the young Argentine talent. Terry did say though that at this age Messi is better than Maradona and pointed out that the football legend didn't do what he did for his country at his club like Messi.

Barcelona fit their whole system around him which suits their style. Would any good player in Messi's position be able to come into the side and do a job? Possibly. If Fernando Torres was surrounded by the likes of Xavi and Iniesta then we pretty much can guarantee he'd be banging them in the back of the net. Not that I'm taking any credit from Messi but remember the Spanish national team won the European Championships and World Cup with seven, sometimes eight outfield Barca players and not their best man, Messi.

So who do you think will be victorious in the four 'El Clasicos' coming up? Terry reckons Barcelona to win this weekend in the domestic fixture. Just to be difficult I'm going with Real Madrid, however I still think Barcelona will dominate the Champions League.

Source: DSG

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