Thursday, 25 April 2013

Ilkay Gundogan – The Heart of Borrusia Dortmund

When Nuri Sahin left Dortmund for Real Madrid in the summer of 2011, a lot of people were expecting Dortmund to fail in their quest for titles. Sahin was the fulcrum; the heart-beat of Dortmund’s playing style. He was so influential in Dortmund Bundesliga winning 2010-11 season that he was voted the best player in the Bundesliga – in a league which had a world-class midfielder in the mould of Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Replacing the best player of a title-winning team is hard, especially with a not-so-big budget. But Jurgen Klopp had already decided who he would sign to replace Sahin: Ilkay Gundogan.

Ilkay Gundogan
Replacing your best player with a relatively unknown €4.5m signing is a gamble; Klopp took it and it paid off. Klopp’s judgement of the then exciting-but-obscure talent was as accurate at Juninho’s free-kicks.

And now, after a little under 2 years, Sahin, who’s back at Dortmund, finds himself playing second fiddle to the man who was bought to replace him in probably one of the biggest ironies of life.

In his first few months at Dortmund, Gundogan drew more skepticism than praise. However, in the business end of the season, he became the focal point of Dortmund’s play – an epiphany about his talent could be seen amongst fans. His distribution of the ball, flow of movements and drive helped Dortmund to win the Bundesliga for the second time in a row – a feat which many thought wouldn’t be achievable after the sale of Kagawa and Sahin.

"Time to make him my b***h!" | Gundogan in action

In his second season, he just got better. Even though Dortmund haven’t been able to retain the Bundesliga title this year, they have had a lot of positives and one of them is their performances in the Champions League.

Drawn in the group of death against Ajax, Real Madrid and Manchester City, a lot were expecting City and Real to qualify with the latter topping the group. Klopp, however, had other plans. Dortmund not only beat the other 3 teams, but also stayed unbeaten and managed to top the group in an outstanding fashion.

And Gundogan was one of the key reasons for that.

Battling for the ball against Ozil
While Lewandowski, Reus and Gotze get most of the plaudits because of their flashy style of play, it is Gundogan who does his work quietly and avoids the limelight.

Against Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final, Gundogan was absolutely unstoppable. The way he glided past Real Madrid players – who are established players of their respective international teams – with his deft touches, passed the ball around, pressed with altruism…it was mesmerizing. He made Football look so easy; it was like poetry in motion; as pleasing to watch as listening to Tim Charles play violin while sitting under a tree near a lake. With his first touch, he got away from the nearest opponent and with his second he passed the ball forward – a perfect player for a team that like to break quickly.

On one instance, he went past Khedira with his first touch and then took the ball away from Ramos with his second and then hit a venomous shot at goal with his left-foot which almost went in, but Diego Lopez came to Real’s rescue. Just 2 touches in less than 2 seconds undid two of Real’s best players; that was how good he was playing last night in a nutshell.

Just a spectator - Ozil keeps looking as Gundogan wreaks havoc

Regardless of how tight the space is, he seems calm and confident, that no matter how crammed it is, he will still find a way out. Such quality is very rarely found these days. His mobility and speed of thought and movement – he reads the game a split-second faster than his opponent – lets him get out of the tightest of spaces with the ball at his feet. Also, his surging runs to the opponent’s box gives Dortmund an extra dimension in attack.

In the 35 games he has played in all competitions this season, he has completed 1.8 dribbles-per-game – a very good stat for a deep-lying playmaker. He also has made 0.8 key passes-per-game – not outstanding by any means, but certainly a good stat for someone who plays in front of the defense. Also, he attempts 56.1 passes-per-game with a success rate of 86.1%; not so flattering, but considering the way Dortmund play – quick breaks and not possession Football – these are really impressive stats.

Gundogan’s greatest asset is his long-range passing. Against Real in the first leg of the semis, he executed 7 accurate long-balls. He averages 6.1 successful long balls-per-game this season – that is a testament to his exquisite passing range. He’s also elegant defensively – averaging 2.4 tackles and 2.2 interceptions-per-game this season, he shows that he is very adept at breaking down the opposition’s play.

A player who can break oppositions’ play, get away from the nearest opponent within a touch and start an attack with the next touch – what else could you ask from a deep-lying-playmaker?  Add to that his ability to burst forward and create maelstroms in the opposition defense and we have a complete package.

Surprise scoring threat | Gundogan celebrates after scoring

The second leg of the semi-final is just under a week away and Real find themselves in a position where they must score 3 goals without reply. With the amount of attacking talent Real have, it might not be that hard to score 3 at home against Dortmund. However, given Real’s erratic defending of late, and Dortmund’s firepower in attack, they have to make sure they close down Ilkay Gundogan and thus cutting down the supply line to Gotze, Reus and Lewandowski – something which Dortmund players successfully did on Xabi Alonso. Easier said than done, though, as Gundogan’s mobility and quickness in movement make it really hard to close him down.

From obscurity to becoming the focal point of team that beat Real Madrid 4-1 in a Champions League semi-final – Gundogan’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric. A lot of credit should be given to Klopp for trusting and showing faith in him – and Gundogan repaid him thoroughly by playing as he is capable of.

There might be some compunction amongst other managers for missing out on him – especially looking at how much he cost Dortmund. Klopp, however, has the last laugh. Gundogan is still young, only 22, and has a bright future ahead of him. He is still in his development years and can definitely get better and someday, if the current trend of the Bundesliga continues, play for Bayern Munich.

[Note: All stats were taken from]

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Mid-season PL XI (4-3-3)

by Josh

As we reach the midpoint of the premier league season, I have assessed the performance of some players and made a team filled with the best performing players in the league for each position. Here is my mid season eleven.

Begovic – Asmir Begovic has been the stand out goalkeeper in the premier league this season. His performances for Stoke this season have been nothing but first class and he has played a big part in Stoke having the best defensive record in the league so far. It’s no surprise he has been linked with some of the top clubs in the league.

Zabaleta – Pablo Zabaleta has put in some of the most immense performances this season. He has always been a good defensive right back but now he has made a big improvement on the attacking front.  His passion and graft have been evident in every match he has played and he has been very consistent. It shows why that even when fit, Richards struggles to get a look in.

Mertesacker – Per Mertesacker, much maligned for his supposed poor first season in England, has been nothing other than exceptional in his sophomore season. He has Arsenal’s most consistent performer this season, showing, intelligence, and strength and leadership skills and has been dearly missed when he has not started for the gunners. People bemoan him for his lack of pace, but who needs speed of foot, when you have speed of thought.

Vertonghen – Jan Vertonghen has shown why Tottenham were so determined to get him in the summer. He has shown great defensive skills, superb technical ability, versatility and an eye for goal. He has put in some of the most immense and powerful performances by defenders his season. He is truly top class.

Baines – Leighton Baines is having another great season. His attacking nature from left full-back is simply a joy to watch. He has been putting in great shifts for Everton week in week out running up and down the left flank as if doing a bleep test. At the current level he is performing at, he is the best left back in the league for me

Yacob – One player who deserves much more recognition that he has gotten is Claudio Yacob. He has been top class for West Brom in the holding midfielder role and has been proved to be a brilliant signing by Steve Clark. His abilities to win possession, keep the ball and control the tempo of a game have been a key part to why West Brom have had such a great season so far. Had he not been missing in some games, who is to say wouldn’t have been even higher up the table

Fellaini –Marouane Fellaini has most definitely been the stand out player for Everton his season. Playing in a more advanced role than he used to, he has had a great affect on Everton’s play and has been a crucial reason to why they have had a much better first half of the season that they usually do. He is a key cog in here team as they have a reliance on him to win aerial duels. His 8 goals this season have shown what a great decision to move him further up the pitch.

Michu – Michu has taken the premier league by storm in his debut season. Who would have thought that a relatively unknown would have been the top scorer in the premier league after 18 games? But this is what Michu has gone and done. With 13 goals his season, he is the premier leagues joint top scorer along with last season’s player of the year, Robin van Persie. This is an exceptional feat he has achieved, especially with it being his first season, and the goals he’s scored have been for exceptional quality.

Suarez – Luis Suarez has had his critics. He has been castigated for his supposed diving antics. But this season, he has been nothing short of excellent this season. He has proven the doubts of his finishing and scoring abilities by racking in 11 premier league goals. His brilliant dribbling skills a craft have cause problems for many a defence this season. Let’s hope he continues this form into 2013.

Van Persie – Robin van Persie is doing it again. He is having another injury free season. And when Robin van Persie has an injury free season there is something you are guaranteed. Goals, goals and more goals. He is currently the joint top scorer with 13 goals, and while his tally is a few less than he had this time last year, it is still an exceptional amount. It’s not only goals that he brings to the team however, his silky skills and excellent link up play is exceeds most. He is a joy to watch, and play with.

Mata – If you thought Juan Mata was good last season, then he has been absolutely outstanding for Chelsea this season. With 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions (7 goals/assists in PL) so far this season, it could be said that his season is looking reminiscent of former Spanish playmaker of the premier league that goes by the name of Francesc Fabregas, who in the 2009/10 season, amassed a total of 19 goals and 17 assists. Mata is simply an excellent player. His trickery and direct play are first class and he has a wand of a left foot. He is the type of player everyone loves watch.

""This is my XI, what's yours? Use the comment section to share your mid-season PL XI.""

Thank you for reading and have a happy new year.

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Why Arsene Wenger Is An Arsenal Hero Who Should Never Be Sacked By Arsenal…

By Umid.

Arsene Wenger - the father of modern day Arsenal

7 years and counting. A lot has changed in the last 7 years. Computers now have second generation i7 processors instead of Pentium processors, mobile phones are now ‘smart’, – from colourless Nokia 3310 to extremely high-tech iPhones – 3 parts of the greatest superhero movie of all time, Batman, have been released and so on...

A lot has changed in Football as well. Real Madrid have broken their round of 16 curse in the Champions League, Manchester City are now a super power and also the Champions of England, Chelsea have had 7 managers, Juventus have resurged from their Calciopoli doom and a lot more things…

Some things, however, haven’t changed. And one of them  is the number of trophies in Arsenal’s trophy cabinet.

Since winning the FA Cup in 2005, Arsenal have gone on a barren spell which has frustrated many fans – some being so frustrated that they want Arsene Wenger out. Yes, Arsene Wenger – the father of modern day Arsenal.

Wenger's finest - The invincibles
“Arsenal are a top European Club,” argue Wenger’s critics, “they should be competing for titles every season rather than being happy with a 4th place finish.” The critics further say, “or do Arsenal not consider themselves a top Club anymore?”

In 1996, Arsenal hadn’t won the Premier League since 1991, their annual turnover was a mere £21m (which, today, would be £31.7m with inflation rate calculated), and their future wasn’t so bright.

In came Arsene Wenger, their saviour.

In his first full season, they won a domestic double. Arsenal’s style of play changed, from being ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ they became the main source if beautiful, free-flowing Football. New training methods, nutritious diet for players, extensive use of scouting and statistics – it was something new, it was the beginning of a revolution, not only for Arsenal, but for English Football as well.

He won a lot of trophies in his early years, but that is not all what he did – far from it – he built a new training ground with the money from the sale of Anelka, developed a lot of players – Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas, to name a few – helped build a new stadium, improved their financial condition (Arsenal’s financial turnover in 2012 stands at £243m – almost 10 times more than the inflation-considered turnover of £31m in 1996), and made them one of Europe’s elite Clubs.

The Emirates - One of the best stadiums in the World
Key-words here: made them one of Europe’s elite Clubs.

The people who are asking for Wenger’s head seem to have forgotten that he was the one who once again made them one of Europe’s strongest after years of isolation from Europe’s biggest competition, the Champions League.

If he wasn’t there, Arsenal might not have been one of the biggest Clubs in Europe. The ‘sack Wenger because Arsenal are a big Club and haven’t won anything in years’ argument wouldn’t have been there now.

Sack the manager, who re-established the Club’s position as one of Europe’s finest, because the Club is one of Europe’s mightiest but haven’t won a trophy in seven years? Ironic, to say the least.

Majority of young fans – especially the ones in their teens and were sucking on a lollypop when Wenger joined Arsenal – wouldn’t have been Arsenal fans if it weren’t for Wenger. Be it directly or indirectly, The Professor is the reason why there are so many young Gooners around the World.

A lot of Clubs have risen and fallen since Wenger took charge at Arsenal. Deportivo, for instance, won the Spanish League in 2000, but are now fighting to stay in the first division of Spain.

Deportivo showed promise, but then manager Javier Irureta failed to secure the financial future of the Clubs despite having one of the best teams in the World. Same could be said for Rafa Benitez’s Valencia, who won the Spanish League twice in an era where Real and Barca are almost unbeatable, but are now content with 3rd spot in the League and are still in debt. Benitez won them trophies, but couldn’t secure their financial future.

Even though Wenger hasn’t won anything in 7 years, and having arguably his worst team last season, he still manages to get Arsenal in the Champions League every year.

A lot of people criticise Wenger for not spending money for buying World-class players, despite Arsenal making huge profits, but very few people know what is going on behind the scenes – the board might be the one who aren’t giving Arsene the money to spend, this is a point which people can’t rule out.

Regardless of that, Wenger shouldn’t be sacked and be given the privilege to leave the Club when he wants.

Arsenal is like Wenger’s adopted kid: he adopted her, nurtured her, and raised her to become a very successful woman. But then she fell from grace and is going through a tough patch – she is still earning money, though, but isn’t winning accolades. So should the adoption agency take her away from Wenger because of this? No. They shouldn’t. 

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Monday, 12 November 2012

Things that will happen if Pele/Maradona become FIFA's president

Think for a while … what do you think could have happened if one of these 2 crazy headed people in Pele and Maradona became the president of FIFA? Here I satirically look at the possible things that could happen if Pele or Maradona become the president of FIFA….

Things that may happen if Pele becomes the president of FIFA …

1) Every single Brazilian youngster will be officially nicknamed as the 'New Pele'.

2) Shortage of DVD, and possibly FIFA will record financial loss due to high expense of making DVDs. We all know how Pele thinks about himself as the best. And few days back he promised Messi of sending a 'free' DVD of Pele’s goals so that Messi can see and learn from PELE. And when PELE will become the president of FIFA, he will make sure that every single player in this world gets his DVD for free to watch and learn. (...a very big number..right? ).

3) Maradona will get legal notice because of the 'Hand of God' goal, hence will be excluded from FIFA honorary list

4) Calling someone as 'Legend' without 3 world cups and 1000+ goals will be considered as a crime by FIFA.

5) The name 'Pele' will be patented as Pele's parent's product.

6) Pele will return from retirement, and as a part of morning exercise he will score 100 goals in a mini goalpost, and they will be counted. So he will forever be the top scorer of all time.

Things that may happen if Maradona becomes the president of FIFA …
1) Pele will be labeled as a psycho, hence he can't attend/comment on anything about football
2) Aguero, as he is Maradona’s son-in-law, will be allowed to play for any club Aguero wants, and he will be allowed to change club whenever he wants, clubs can't say no to him. Furthermore, wages should be as what Aguero asks for, not what the club decide.
3) All Argentine players will have to consult with Maradona before transfer, and clubs will have to take whoever he recommends.
4) Officially no tactics can be involved in game. Coaches can smoke HAVANA cigars in VIP box.
5) Messi will be declared as 2nd best player of all time just behind Maradona himself, Pele won’t even be there on the top 100 players of all time list.

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The journey to 2014 World Cup in Brazil has just become a bit more complicated for the Ghana Black stars .FIFA have ruled that Zambia are awarded a 3-0 victory for the June 2 game they lost 0-2 in Sudan because the Sudanese fielded Saif Ali, who was ineligible because he should have been serving suspension for a red card received in their previous competitive game against none other than Zambia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

FIFA ruled “lost by forfeit by Sudan” whilst also hitting the Sudanese with a US$6,430 fine. It means that Zambia, who already beat the Black Stars, now have maximum 6 points to Ghana’s 3 and also have the easier set of matches ahead, at least on paper. In fact, the Black Stars need to win all matches to ensure Zambia do not win the group before the match day 6 qualifier in Accra.
Ghana Blackstars have qualified for the Fifa World Cup on two consecutive occasions, and can’t stand the chance of missing out this time round. The only team that would be a threat in Ghana’s group is Zambia, who also leads the group after Fifa’s decision to award them, three points and three goals in the Sudan game. They are now three points clear of the Blackstars. Zambia has never qualified for Fifa World Cup before, and would want to qualify this time after winning the 2012 African Cup of nations.
Ghana has a chance to outwit the Zambians, by scoring them when they meet in the leg return of their 2014 World Cup qualifier in Accra. After they lost one goal to nil in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. The last time that Ghana lost a home game, was against Cameroun in the 2008 African Cup of nations. This shows that the Ghana Blackstars are a force to reckon with when it comes to home games .The other team in Ghana’s group is Lesotho, who hasn’t been impressive so far.
Football is a game of win, lose or draw. Are we going to witness something dramatic at the end of the World cup qualifiers? Will Ghana qualify for the World Cup for the third consecutive time? Will Zambia qualify for the World Cup for the first time ever? All these questions will be answered by the end of the qualifiers because anything can happen on the way. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid | Clasico Review

By Mohammed Ifran.

Two Of The Best
El Clasico has never been short of mouth watering every time the giants of Spain clash between each other. This time this was no different. Both the teams have shared 175 victories among themselves with Real Madrid edging Barcelona by 1 match as the victories stand at 88-87 in the favour of Real Madrid. 

The match was held at Camp Nou. As always, the stadium was filled with supporters. 

Barcelona starting line-up consisted of no real ‘natural defender’ as the heart of the defense was empty with notable absentees. Barca’s skipper and long serving defender Carles Puyol was missing due to a nasty elbow injury which happened few days ago. Gerard Pique picked up a knee injury few matches ago to which he was recovering well but couldn’t make it to the playing squad. A couple of other La Masia graduates, Isaac Cuenca and Thiago Alcantara, were missing too. The former has been injured since the end of the last season and the latter has picked up knock which has ruled him out for well over a month. 

This was relatively a slow start for the Blancos. But they came with a lot of confidence brimming in them as they have already got the better of Barcelona on their last meeting in the league last season which ended 1-2. They had a healthy squad travelling to Barcelona with some players hoping to carry their scintillating forms along. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored half a dozen goals in his last 2 outings. And the 2007 Ballon D’Or winner Kaka, who is considered surplus to Jose Mourinho’s immensely squad, has shown that he was not finished just yet again with a hat-trick and a couple of assists in the Bernabeu Trophy. Angel Di Maria already has 4 assists in the league which makes him sit at the top of the assist charts.

Real Madrid were looking for an easy win to cut of the deficit of 8 points to 5 points and Barcelona wanting to keep their unbeaten run going. With the absence of Pique and Puyol, Tito Vilanova chose Adriano to partner Mascherano. Iniesta came back from an injury to his favoured position as Cesc was asked to start on the left of the final third. Despite Kaka’s and Higuain’s form, they were benched as Mesut and Karim filled in for them.

It was the typical Barca playing and moving around the in the whole field. But there was a gradual turn around as Mourinho’s men started pressing the already weakened Barca. Benzema was the guy who could have opened the deadlock within 13 minutes but shot the volley way wide after finding himself in the D-box unmarked. 

But it didn’t take them long to take the lead through Ronaldo. There was a lovely play among the few white shirts which left the Barca players clueless. Mesut Ozil started the play from the right wing and after a couple of passes before Angel found Benzema, who saw space for their talisman in the left flank as he shot the ball with his weaker foot in the bottom corner with such precision past the helpless Victor Valdes which made him the only player in the history of El Clasico to score 6 El Clasico goals consecutively. Sheer class.

'Calm down, I got this.'
After a couple of minutes, Khedira cut the ball in for Angel, who found an unmarked Benzema on the penalty spot and passed it to him. But the France international’s woeful form of the night continued as he missed a sitter - he couldn’t meet the ball properly and the ball hit the post only to be shot wide by Di Maria to whom the rebound fell. 

Tito’s men were playing in their own style; keeping possession for a very long time but couldn’t find the end product. They missed few chances too. For the first time, the Real Madrid defenders were put to test as Pedro was found by Xavi on the right flank as he went past one white shirt to pass it in the box just to be cleared off by Sami Khedira. Then came the equalizer, after a mistake from Real Madrid’s most trusted stopper, Pepe. It all started from the middle third. There was a neat pass past Marcelo by Iniesta to Pedro, who directed a low cross to which Ramos couldn’t clear off properly before it hit Alonso and rose up to which Pepe couldn’t head clear and Iker was completely beaten by Messi who shot home past the Real Madrid goalkeeper in the 6 yard box. 

Messi Equalising
Second half. Ronaldo once again was the predator. He angled himself to shoot a great overhead but completely missed the shot just to land on his arm and injure him. As the injury took toll on him, he couldn’t move his left arm throughout the match but his confidence and his threat was intact as ever. Ramos missed a pretty good opportunity as he got an accurate cross to which he headed just wide.
Just after an hour passed at the Camp Nou, the roar once again rose as the Nou Camp faithful were at the top of their voice when their #10 jersey clinch the 2nd goal. As Barcelona got a foul around 30 yards from goal, it reminded everybody of the goal Messi scored from a similar position in their previous meeting. The World Cup winning captain was once again in between the poles. As Leo shot the ball, the ball went in between the Real Madrid wall to end in the back of the net and Barcelona were leading for the first time in the match. Once again, Casillas was clueless and no one was to be blamed.

Messi Curling It In
However, it seemed like Messi took the ball 2 steps backwards, when the referee was busy checking Real Madrid's wall, which gave Messi the space to get the ball over the wall. A very immoral thing done by the Argentine captain. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant executed free-kick.

People might have thought that it was going to be win for Barca, but Real Madrid proved them wrong yet again as they clinched a superb goal within a few minutes. The previous goal could not be enjoyed for long enough as Ronaldo was the man again who broke the Catalans’ heart. 

There was a mistake from Andres Iniesta and they took the full advantage of it. Pedro Rodriguez chased for the ball to regain possession as Mesut Ozil was yet again the man to deliver a great pass between 2 Barca shirts to which Ronaldo cruised past Montoya to shot past Victor Valdes. This guy just can’t stop scoring, can he? 

CRISis-Averter Ronaldo
After a very good second half performance, Mesut was substituted for Kaka. Higuain came in for Benzema just after an hour as Michael Essien was exchanged for Angel Di Maria. Barcelona made a few subs too as Dani Alves was forced to be subbed because of a knock and Martin Montoya was incharge of the RB position - which turned out to be blessing in disguise a Barca's defense looked more organised since the young defender came on. Cesc was subbed for the Chilean Alexis Sanchez at 64 the minute.

Comparatively, this was a much neat match from both the sides as the referee didn't have to pick out the cards more than a few times. Pedro was penalized for a clash with Sergio Ramos as Pepe was shown a yellow - his 7th yellow in the last 7 Clasicos - for a foul on Messi. The other players to be shown yellow were Busquets, Xabi, Alvaro and Mesut. Gladly, there were no injuries which kept the players fit for their upcoming international matches. 

Barcelona had a sigh of relief as the referee, Carlos Delgado Ferreiro, called the match off. The match ended as there was no more goals conceded by any of the sides as this mouth-watering clash ended as a draw. The points were shared among them as the gap among the giants still remain the same; 8 points. This left the home side maintaining the top position with 19 points, the same as Athletico Madrid, the city rivals of Real Madrid. Real Madrid have now climbed to the 5th position after the point earned. After yet another marvelous performance from the goal scorers, Ronaldo and Messi sat on the top, along with Radamel Falcao, with 8 goals to their name each.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Media Hypocrisy Or Are Real A Bigger Club Than Barcelona?

By Isra Qassim.

In a Liga night of Saturday,  Barcelona met Granada in Camp Nou, where it is hard for teams like Real Madrid to get to result in, everyone thought Barca would win the game with ease as they are the stronger team on paper – and Granada's recent performances have been so poor that they were booed on their own turf by their own fans.

However it was far from reality, it was a difficult home game for Barcelona where they struggled for 86 minutes with a heroic performance from Granada's defense and hero of the night, Tono – their goal keeper. The game ended up with a win for Barcelona, anyway, as a wonder strike from Xavi and an own goal sealed the deal for them.

Barca's Saviour against Granada
 Now some might argue that the reason for Barcelona poor performance was missing Iniesta, leave this argument for another day. Now you might look at my title thinking what does this have to do with what is written so far. Well now I get to my point; Messi, who is the 3 time ballon d’or winner, had arguably one of his worse games ever. Perhaps anyway one of the worst recently. 

He couldn’t make assists or continue his dribbling to cut inside and score, lost possession – and that, on one occasion, almost gifted Granada a counter attacking goal had El Arabi taken his chance instead of shooting it straight to Victor Valdes.

Messi is a Human being and any Human being can have a day on the pitch. He was angry and frustrated – with himself and also with his team-mates.
This frustration resulted into Messi have a got at Villa, just before half-time, for passing the ball too late. He shouted at him 4 times, "Why didn’t you pass earlier, Villa?", Villa responded causing an altercation infront of cameras for millions of people around the World to see.

Villa Replies To A Frustrated Messi
Now isn’t this enough news for media or press around the world to go around speaking of a feud happening in Barca's dressing-room? But no, everyone jumped into the defense of Messi, how it is positive and how it motivates his teammates or it happens in games all the time.

I am not in any shape or form saying these things don’t happen in a game. I am a Real Madrid follower, I have seen Iker, for example, many times just screaming at his defenses to move or position themselves or even be angry at them after conceding a goal, these stuff happen.

However, let’s imagine for a second that Cristiano was screaming at Higuain for not passing ball in a game. Which kind of new inside civilized war will be in RM dressing room? Argentina vs Portugal or Higuain actually thinks that Messi deserved more of Ballon d’or and told Cristiano he isn't as good as Messi and that's why Cristiano screamed at him? Or Cristiano is just purely arrogant and a narcissist?

You think I am exaggerating? Well, Iker didn’t celebrate Cristano's winner vs City – Iker actually doesn’t usually celebrate in a crazy way unless it means something big and winning a home group stage game in UCL doesn’t come under the criteria maybe (but the real reason was that one of his faithful young fan died of a long term disease as mentioned by newspaper sources after all sorts of rumours were flying around) – however did this stop media from speaking about a feud and hate relation that is between Cristano and Iker? No it didn’t.

A Motionless Iker
 Ramos was dropped in ONE game for a technical decision, media went on stories how he is punished for going on against his coach and that Ramos is now in bad terms with Mourinho, even though Ramos has been average after the Euros. But no, let’s believe that Ramos hates Mourinho after all he invited his “support group” for lunch to complain about him.

People say that Real are a big Club and thus media always like to talk about them, so aren't Barca a big Club? Or is it because news regarding Real – like people more interested in Cristano accusing Iker on stealing his hair-gel trying to cover his bald spots on his head – sells more? Or is it just pure media hypocrisy that they just like to talk about Real?

(Talks of rift in Barca's dressing room were reported, but by very few media outlets - not as much as how the aforementioned Real-regarding rumours were talked about worldwide.)

Yes, Real have 2 outspoken personalities in Mourinho and Cristiano, but that doesn't mean that it should make them subject of unfairness – especially when both of them have changed to become more conservative than before.

So what is the reason for this double standard? Is it because Real are a bigger Club or is it because some hypocrite media outlets? I'll leave this for you to decide.

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