The opposition between the rising youth of Barça and the experience of Real executives will be one of the keys to the second Clasico of the season, in the Spanish Supercopa this Wednesday (8 p.m.).
Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo then Lionel Messi, some think that “Clasico has lost its splendor. Magnified by the two extraterrestrials of the last decade, the meeting between Barça and Real remains in any case a unique event on the football calendar. The last confrontation to date, won by Real at Camp Nou (2-1, October 24, 2021), proved that the intensity remained between the two enemies. And Barça, now coached by Xavi, determined to bring up the young people of the Masia, is revenge at the idea of finding Real Madrid this Wednesday (8 p.m.), in the semifinals of the Spanish Supercup.
And the interest is double for Barça, who sees the path to the Supercopa as the simplest (semi-final then final) to avoid the white season. “It’s a challenge and above all an opportunity to reach a final, we are very motivated because it could be a turning point“, Agrees Xavi, who will experience his first Clasico on the Catalan bench. Opposite, Real Madrid, irresistible leader of Liga and still racing in the Champions League, leaves with the favor of the forecasts against the Blaugranas a notch below on paper. “We may be a little better in La Liga, but my experience has taught me that in a clasico there are no favorites. Anything can happen», Warns Toni Kroos from Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), where the Super Cup is relocated for financial reasons.
Big age difference in the middle
And the German midfielder, now 32, has lived through the Clasicos since his arrival in 2014. The one who said on Monday that he wanted to end his career in the Spanish capital is part of the stainless midfield trio of Real Madrid, where he is accompanied by Casemiro (29 years old) and Luka Modric (36 years old). An average age of 32 and a half incomparable to that of the rejuvenated midfielder of Barça, who appeared in Granada on Saturday with the nuggets of Masia Nico (20) and Gavi (17) around captain Sergio Busquets ( 33 Years).
The young people of Barça are promised a great future.
Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach
«I am very happy that the Masia players return regularly to the first team, got excited this last Tuesday. We shouldn’t put pressure on them but rather take advantage of the talent and desire they have. ” Inherent in the event, however, the pressure seems to slide on this intrepid youth of Barça, which also includes the two already established nuggets Ansu Fati and Pedri, who won the two trophies for best youngster of the year (Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy ). “These young people are growing and have a great future», Commented Carlo Ancelotti, the technician of Real.
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Fati and Pedri, flagship of a new generation with great potential for Barça, are also back for this shock, the last city having joined the team on Tuesday. The jewel of Barça has arrived accompanied by the latest signing Ferran Torres, who could make his debut on the occasion. Aged 21, the former Manchester City striker is thus directly part of this rejuvenated landscape of the Blaugranas, now outsiders against the well-established and much more experienced machine of Real Madrid. Proof of this is that Barça has the second youngest average age in Liga (25.1 years), in two years behind that of Real Madrid, according to the elements used in the league (27.1 years).
“A Barça under construction against a Real in very good shape”
Running in these classic games and worn by a Karim Benzema (34 years old) in fusion, the Merengues advance on their side as favorites. “Barça are under construction and Real are in very good shape, Xavi sums it up. But that doesn’t mean anything. ” His Italian counterpart abounds: “Anything can happen in this kind of meeting, it remains a match between two teams riveted on the same objective: to go to the final.»
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And for this decisive meeting for the first trophy of the year, the “Mister” can count on a whole group. If some changes are to be expected, especially in attack, where Rodrygo could start in place of Marco Asensio, the classic framework of Real remains unchanged around a Benzema who has just passed the 300 goal mark with the White House. Accompanied by the Brazilian and his compatriot Vinicius Junior (both 21 years old), “KB9” is the symbol of impeccable form despite the weight of years in a Real which will have 12 in their thirties at the end of the season.
But an army of thirty who remains insatiable, and which aims in particular for a 35th league title at the end of the season. Opposite, the long-toothed youth of Barça dreams of starting a new golden era. “This Clasico can be an inflection point“, Considers Xavi, who dreams of himself as the architect of a new great Barça.