The day of El Clásico has finally arrived. This afternoon, two giants of Spanish football will clash for the first time in 2020/21. However, while some may be extremely excited for the game, others don’t feel it’s as big as it used to be, for numerous reasons.
For example, Mundo Deportivo say this is the ‘not as classic‘ Clásico or the ‘less classic‘ Clásico, suggesting the absence of supports will decrease its value.
In fact, this is the first clash between the two on an empty Camp Nou in the history of both clubs. In terms of personnel, the absences of Jordi Alba for Barcelona and Sergio Ramos for Real Madrid are still in question.
Not to mention that Zinedine Zidane might be fighting for his job later on today. Should he lose, there is talk of him potentially getting the boot…
On the other hand, SPORT are really excited about the clash, calling it the ‘Clásico of excitement‘.
Regardless of whether there are fans in the stands or not, Ronald Koeman is looking for his first Clásico victory today. He will indeed field the gala XI led by Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati.
Zidane, however, is struggling with results and this could be a huge test for Los Blancos.
Barça midfielder Aleña speaks following his first start in nearly a year
Carles Aleña started his first game for Barça in nearly a year. His last start for his boyhood club came in December 2019 against Inter Milan, and Ronald Koeman selected him against Dynamo Kyiv after injuries decimated his squad. After his impressive display, Aleña spoke to the media.
“I’m very happy to return to the field. We played a great game and we took advantage of our chances.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
Aleña ended his ordeal with a near-Man of the Match performance away to the Ukrainians. The Spanish youngster was his team’s metronome and misplaced one solitary pass. His pass map is a joy to behold and the midfielder deserves a lot of recognition for that display.
📸 — Aleñá’s pass map against Kyiv tonight.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 24, 2020
Not a back-passer at all. pic.twitter.com/Ah5QrsgW3N
At the beginning of the year, Ronald Koeman did not fancy Aleña at all. He and Riqui Puig were ostracised, but the two of them showed a lot of resilience against Kyiv. Hopefully, their coach opens his eyes.
“Playing with the first team requires a lot of hard work.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
We will have to wait and see whether Koeman is on the same page with the fans regarding Aleña’s performance. One thing is clear: the 22-year-old can play a crucial role in the team if used correctly.