The belief in some quarters is that holding a 10-point lead over their bitter rivals, Real Madrid will make the forthcoming El Classico very less interesting, but such beliefs couldn’t have been more wrong.
Barcelona may be runaway leaders in La Liga and rightly so, but the intensity of the Classico is never washed away just because one side has such a huge advantage over the other. The Classico is bigger than that.
With eight games left, Real Madrid know their chances of lifting the La Liga this season is all but extinguished, even if they manage to cut Barca’s lead to seven points, but who would bet against the Catalonians , having just lost two games all season?
One thing, however, that will be on the minds of the Real players will be to get the better of the Barca team on the night, especially the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar (The MSN), even if they don’t end up winning the title.
This is by no means saying the aforementioned players have been the only source of success for Barcelona this season, but no one can dispute the level of their contributions to help the club be where they are at the moment.
With a combined total of 107 goals and 63 assists in 119 games within the three of them alone this season, it is no wonder to have been touted as the best ever attacking trio in football history. And while that may be open for debate, what isn’t is the fact that they are the best attacking trio in the world at the moment.
When you put those numbers together and juxtapose it with Real’s combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema (The BBC), you understand better why they are 10 points off and why winning the La Liga this season seems an impossible task.
The trio of Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale has got 80 goals and 47 assists between them this season in 85 games. While the BBC have obviously played far lesser games than the MSN, it is also important to note that two of the lads – Bale and Benzema – have both missed large parts of the season due to injuries and as a result haven’t had a comparable ground to compete.
But with all that being said, the importance of the MSN and the BBC to their teams has been very evident in their contributions whenever they have been available.
While Ronaldo naturally carries the goalscoring burden at Real, neither Bale nor Benzema have completely convince whenever they have been available, which is a direct contrast to the case at the Nou Camp.
Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets have had influential roles this term, especially the former, but the input of the MSN has been so overwhelming it is difficult to lose when all three feature, but that hasn’t been exactly the case for Real.
Luca Modric, Sergio Ramos, Keylor Navas, Casemiro and to an extent, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez have all been pivotal for the Blancos this season and even though the BBC have the ‘primary task’ of scoring the goals, these other players have contributed so immensely to their season it is difficult to attribute their current position largely to their attacking trio.
Going into the 230th El Classico, even the hardest of Real Madrid fans know the gap between their attacking players and Barca’s are a country mile apart and you want to bet against the MSN helping the club record their 90th Classico win?