This article is written in remembrance of a match which occurred on 29th November 2010 between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Hereby known as ‘The Thrashing at the Camp Nou’
Being arguably the biggest fixture in world football – ‘El Clasico‘ has provided us with an abundance of drama, intense rivalry, and unbelievable scenes. Who can forget an actual pig’s head being thrown at Luis Figo when he returned to the Camp Nou in 2002? Crazy.
Whilst nowhere near as controversial, this chapter of Los Blancos vs El Blaugrana was an incredibly important milestone in Barca’s history. At this moment, they were in their most successful period and at the peak of their powers. With an added slice of conflict, through the Pep vs Mourinho and Messi vs Ronaldo rivalries we have grown used to over the years.
‘’If you tell me that you love football, and you don’t love Barcelona, you have a problem.’Thierry Henry on the beauty of FC Barcelona
Take the ball, pass the ball. It was no less than footballing perfection. Superiority in its most blatant form. A trident of chemistry, ability, and system, working effortlessly in tandem. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the game, or need the ultimate footballing fix, I implore you to watch this classic El Clasico edition.
It was dictated in midfield. A young, wily Busquets, prime Iniesta, and Xavi Hernandez at the ‘last-dance’ stage of his career. Telepathy. For much of the game, it seemed that an injunction had been taken out between the football and Madrid. A side containing Ronaldo, Ramos, Casillas, Alonso, Di Maria et al. They were no chumps.
Xavi opened the scoring with an exquisite dink, after Messi had come close to the goal of the decade- a chip so cheeky, it verged on disrespectful. Due to the pure ease Barca were strolling the pitch with, you wondered if there was a touch of insolence. I don’t think so. Although I accept that Barca and Real have indisputable rivalry – this side played for themselves.
Pep had created a culture in which these players were focused on their own team and their own battles, in the constant strive for total footballing perfection. And it glistened. 17 minutes gone 2-0. Madrid made it to the break without conceding again. But the punishment only grew once the whistle sounded for the second half.
David Villa earned the Asturian nickname ‘El Guaje’ (the kid), because as a child he always played with those much older than him. Roles reversed. Two goals in two minutes. Spurred on by Barca’s fantastic, diminutive Argentinian, El Guaje made Real’s backline seem juvenile. I hesitate to criticise further. Both of Messi’s assists were surgical and unstoppable. The win sewn up on 56 minutes.
What followed could be likened to a Sunday stroll. Consummate ease. Another goal added in stoppage time to seal the rout. It was far from dull though. A passage of play at 68 minutes still brings me out of my seat today. Xavi and Iniesta, passing skilfully to each other as if it was 5 a side on concrete courts.
As if they weren’t being watched by 300 million. You must watch this El Clasico. I was emotional; knowing how lucky I was to watch these two greats at the top of their game. I doubt my emotions matched those of the Madrid coach mind. It was the heaviest defeat of his managerial career and described as ‘’the worst game in the history of Real Madrid’’ by Madrid president, Florentino Pérez.