In an analysis he made for France TV Canal Plus, former Real Madrid’s galactico and current Florentino Perez’s adviser, Zinedine Zidane confessed to his admiration for the footballing style practiced by Barcelona and acknowledged that in light of the Catalan side’s last Champions League win over Inter Milan (2-0), it will be very difficult to stop the Blaugranas, at least for now. And Real Madrid, in his opinion, is comparably inferior, and believes that only the ‘non-presence’ of Barcelona’s maestro midfielder Andres Iniesta can level the playing field.
The football exhibition displayed by a well-oiled Barcelona machine against Inter Milan has made an impact in Europe, according to Zidane: “I pray that players like Iniesta could not play against Real Madrid (this Sunday),” he declared, adding, “Playing the way they play, neither Real Madrid nor any else can stop them. It is almost impossible.”
The former French crack was so convinced of Barcelona superiority that not even the injuries of Messi and Ibrahimovic can sway his belief. He admitted that Barcelona, ever faithful to their philosophy, under the direction of Pep Guardiola, can afford to miss the services of both players: “The team (against Inter) was still like it ever was; like when Messi or Ibrahimovic played. Barca is the best team in Europe.”
It does not matter that Pellegrini is flaunting the 1-point lead ahead of the match tonight, because if Zidane’s declarations are to be taken at face value, Real Madrid is going to have to face the stark reality that awaits them at the Camp Nou.