Saturday, April 16, 2011

The climax approaches in La Liga

Nobody in the United States is paying much attention, but the two greatest soccer teams on the planet (Madrid and Barcelona) are about to face each other 4 times in the next 3 week, a rather startling little bit of scheduling.

You can make a decent argument that Barcelona, in particular, are having one of the greatest seasons in modern sports history, not just defeating other teams but positively annihilating the top teams at the highest level of competition. They have not only the best player in the world (Leo Messi) but probably also the second-best (Xavi Hernandez), and support them with a deep roster of superb talent.

Madrid, meanwhile, have their own contender for best player (Cristiano Ronaldo), as well as the most successful head coach in soccer (Jose Mourinho), and are playing at a very high level themselves, destroying London's Tottenham Hotspur recently.

Zonal Marking has a nice preview of the tactical and strategic questions each team faces, so you can read up and be prepared!

My friend Cal has just spent a week's holiday in Barcelona (well, in Sitges to be precise), and I'm looking forward to getting a report about the local perspective when he returns.

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