I am not a Barcelona or Real Madrid fan. In fact in terms of fandom I pretty much dislike both teams, although in terms of football quality I am full of respect and admiration for what they have achieved. Therefore, pretty much the only thing I look forward to in the Spanish league is to see these teams play against each other, so watching the first leg of the Supercopa final tonight was obligatory.
But it angered me.
The quality of both sides is unquestionable, which Ronaldo and Asensio's amazing goals for Real Madrid are witness to. And Real Madrid are truly amazing at the moment, picking up where they left last season: Zidane has created a team that combines experience with immensely talented youth (and he shows he believes in them), freedom of action with tactical discipline, and with a strength in depth that Barcelona cannot match.
But both teams lower their own quality by not letting the ball alone talk, but constant acting, diving and bitching. It is at times painful to watch.
The vulnerability of Barcelona became so obvious today against a top Real Madrid side, that only favourable refereeing gave them a chance in the match: an incorrectly cancelled goal for Real Madrid, a non-existent penalty and a questionable red card for Ronaldo (despite the fact that one cannot help but be smugly happy for Ronaldo's off-the-shirt yellow card that he seems to get on purpose) just helped Barcelona not become totally humiliated.
Two of the best teams in the world, and refereeing is totally amateurish... This happens more in the Spanish league than in any other league (both Real Madrid and Barcelona have favourable referees in any match against other sides), and there is no question that a league with such low quality of refereeing (where players again and again take advantage of them) can in no way be called among the best in the world.
And finally, about Neymar: I understand why left Barcelona. It was not the money: as an
ambitious young man he went to a side that is looking forward and
investing, while he left a Catalonian side that before was relying on
Messi-Suarez-Neymar, now seems to rely solely on Messi and Suarez, with
quality in some positions, but barely any in others.
In the meantime
Neymar scored in his debut for PSG, starting what looks like a great
partnership with Edison Cavani...
Look to PSG for the coming season, not to Barcelona!