L’Expression: Sports – The classic of the bottle-feeding class


A game apart in the hearts of football fans, FC Barcelona receives Real Madrid at Camp Nou today at 3.15pm for the 1st clasico of the 2021-2022 season. The 1st also without Messi, gone this summer to PSG. First, Ronaldo left and then it was the turn, this summer, of Lionel Messi. The clasico, Barcelona-Real Madrid, marks the end of an era for football across the Pyrenees and will illustrate its renewal with a passing of the torch between the thirties, Gérard Piqué and Karim Benzema to the young shoots, Ansu Fati and Eduardo Camavinga. On the one hand, the almost teenagers Eduardo Camavinga, Ansu Fati, Pedri, Gavi, Miguel Gutierrez, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Eric Garcia, Sergino Dest, all under the age of 21. On the other, the experienced Karim Benzema, Gérard Piqué, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marcelo, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Agüero, who have all passed their thirties. 10 years separate these 2 generations of stars of the Spanish championship. One rubbed shoulders with the golden age, embodied by the rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The other has a page of history to write. Today, for this 1st clasico since “Leo” and “CR7” left Spain, it will be up to the young contenders, Ansu Fati (who has just extended to Barça until 2027) and Vinicius (who has just scored a double in the Champions League, Tuesday) to raise the glove. « We no longer have Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, they will be missed on Sunday, more than ever, but the level of our football is always a safe bet », warned in an editorial Alfredo Relano, honorary president of the sports daily Madrid As. However, this handover between the generation of Spaniards, World Champions in 2010, with Pique and Busquets and that of the « Dream Teen », the communication slogan launched by Barça to qualify its new wave of young talents , did not happen without a drop in speed which somewhat damaged the prestige of the clasico. « We are in the midst of a transition, » Relano qualified for AFP. “Not long ago there were still 2 fantastic players here. Between Barça and Real, there were Casillas, Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso … Players who were World Champions with Spain. So yes, of course, we have regressed, ”admits this respected voice of Spanish football. “I remember one year (2012), in FIFA’s best eleven, there were 5 Real players, 5 Barça players, and Falcao, who played at Atletico Madrid. It was a sensational time for Spain. Now, the prestige of that time, having Messi, Cristiano, and so many World Champions on one pitch … It’s not going to happen again anytime soon. This time was to know his biological death at some point, it was obligatory, ”argues the editorialist. Bogged down in big financial and sporting difficulties, Barça made the strategic choice to turn to its very famous training center, La Masia, to try to return to the front of the Spanish and European stage. Barcelona have become one of Spain’s youngest teams, averaging 25.4 years old, almost 2 years younger than Real. Five players of the eleven-type of Ronald Koeman are aged 20 years or less: the muse Ansu Fati, but also Gavi, Sergino Dest, Eric Garcia and Pedri, affected in the left thigh and which may be too fair on Sunday. A decade separates them from Piqué, Sergio Busquets or Marc-André ter Stegen, the managers of the Blaugrana locker room.


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