Even though a Clásico always attracts attention – it’s estimated that 400 million people will watch the match, and there are 680 accredited members of the pressrepresenting 28 countries to cover the game at the Camp Nou – the team led by TitoVilanova was able to put the distraction aside and focus on the second game of the Champions League group stage – against Benfica – which ended with a victory for the Blaugrana (0-2). After a recovering from the match on Wednesday, the team enjoyed a day off on Thursday. On Friday, the team started to focus on its match against Real Madrid.
The week started with the team’s visit to Lisbon, where they played in the Champions League group stage against Benfica. The end result was perfect for Barça’s interests (0-2), but the bad news was Carles Puyol’s injury. The Barça captain has been ruled out of action for the next eight weeks.
Games between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid almost always leave the fans with unforgettable goals. Neeskens, Quini, Linker, Koeman, Stoichkov, Romário, Luis Enrique and Rivaldo are but a few of the men highlighted in this video overview of 20 goals scored in Clásicos between the 1921/22 season and the 1999/2000 season. It’s also worth noting that FC Barcelona come into this Sunday’s match as the only European team that has won all of its league and Champions League matches.
This Friday, Barça TV interviewed five ex-FC Barcelona managers – Laureano Ruiz, César LuisMenotti, Louis vanGaal, LlorençSerraFerrer and RadomirAntic – about their Clásico experiences for the ‘Recorda Míster, els Clàssics’ programme.
On that same day, Barça’s first team took to the pitch for a training session. All available 19 first team players and Barça B’s Tello and SergiRoberto prepared for the showdown with Real Madrid. Xavi Hernández talked to the press after the session, and he warned that Barça will stay true to its philosophy and style of play against Los Blancos.
The team will train once again this Saturday for what will be the penultimate session before the match at the Camp Nou. After the session, Tito Vilanova will hold a press conference. On Sunday, the team will take to the pitch one last time before the game for a closed-door training session at 11.30.