The battle off the pitch: Jose Mourinho’s psychological war with Barcelona

The battle off the pitch: Jose Mourinho’s psychological war with Barcelona

Recent football history has been littered with high profile clashes between Jose Mourinho and FC Barcelona. There were the unforgettable Chelsea matches in the middle of the decade, and the more recent Champions League semi-final tie from last season around which debate still smolders. And while Pep Guardiola, like Frank Rijkaard before him, has been reserved about being in the limelight, Mourinho has done exactly the opposite with his provocative statements in the media and infuriating public gestures. Last season, when Mourinho danced defiantly on the Camp Nou pitch after eliminating Barcelona from the Champions League, he sealed in the hearts of every cule a loathing reserved for truly special opponents.

And that was precisely his goal.

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Cartoon of the Day: El Mundo Deportivo

Mou’s advice in the Blanco’s dressing room:

“It will be best if we all drink a pint of beer…”

Unseen player: “Before the game?”

“No. After, to forget the defeat.”

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Figo: “We’ll see how Mou behaves in ‘el Clásico’…but it’s the first time that I see in danger my honorary title of… ‘The-person-most-furious-hateful-lying-and-terrible…’ for the Cules of the World.”

Pig: “Figo, Mou really would have to muddle it up to get the better of you.”

Video of the Day: More than a game

It’s neither a fight between cities nor colors.

It’s a fight between two guards of the goal, between two owners of a thousand areas, two gazelles of the white line, two defenders of the middle earth, two wizards of silence.

A fight between two creators of space, between two sons of lighting, two net killers, two golden colossi.

It’s not a fight between two teams, it’s not a fight between two colors, it’s a fight between two prides, between unique beings.

The Front: Sport (28.11.2010)


The Barça-Madrid match tomorrow beats all of the records in the history of La Liga

10 candidates for the Balon d’Oro

13 world Champions

855 million in budgets

900 accredited journalists

400 million TV viewers

4,000 million in [players'] buy-out clauses

Only 24 more hours

The 1×1 of each team

“It’s not Barça against Mou.” Puyol assures that they will come out to win from the first minute

Cristiano, provocative: “Those who don’t like how I am can turn off the TV.”

The politicians vote for Barça

[Non Barça Related]

Strike of authority by Espanyol in the Calderon

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (28.11.2010)


24 hours until el Clásico

On a day full of elections, Piqué and his teammates have total confidence in the triumph

The central defender represents  the security of the blaugrana against the visit of Madrid

Opinion: Mou is not el Clásico

Puyol: “We’re playing against Madrid, not Mourinho”

Cristiano: “If I have to do an ‘espaldinho’ I will” [An “espaldinho” = the pass he made with his back)

Messi has not scored against any of Mou’s teams

‘Top Secret’: Know what Mourinho said to Pep in the Barça-Inter match

El Clásico: A Culé vs Madridista writers debate

El Clásico: A Culé vs Madridista writers debate

While we’ve already had a Crossfire post for Monday’s match, the magnitude of this Clásico lends itself to more discussion. With that in mind, we invited three Madrista writers and three totalBarca writers to answer some questions to see how biased and/or level-headed we are as fans about our own club and our rivals.  The Madridista writers had to answer one extra question because, in a show of my own bias, I couldn’t think of another question for the Culés that would be uncomfortable to answer.  Probably because our club is absolutely perfect and nothing bad can be said about it.  So apologies to the Madridistas for the extra question.  Think of it as a homefield advantage.  Thanks to all who participated, there’s a lot of great thoughts in here, so here we go:

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Guardiola first in line for a possible job at the Bridge

Guardiola first in line for a possible job at the Bridge

Here we go again! It’s not even half way through the season, and there are already talks of transfers for next season. Even though anything can happen between now and then, each unverified news has to be taken with a pinch of salt. That being said, back-room deals are always taking place that could possibly see them becoming reality.

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El Clasico in numbers

El Clasico in numbers

The fervour surrounding El Clasico  — aka Guardiola vs Mourinho/Messi vs Ronaldo at least according to most publications — means a host of articles throwing innumerable figures to bowl you over. We have assembled some of them below. We’ll keep adding to them because the truth is that they won’t stop coming until Monday night.

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Quote of the Day: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

Quote of the Day: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

“Barcelona caresses and cultivates the intelligence of football, and converts it into something more than a physical contact sport. Sometimes it recalls a game of chess.”

In an interview with Catalan radio RAC 1, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a die-hard Cule himself, sang praises of FC Barcelona’s playing style. Zapatero won’t be able to watch Monday’s match because he will be attending the EU-Africa summit in Libya. His prediction for the game: 4-2.

Preparation for the Clasico continues in the cold

Preparation for the Clasico continues in the cold

Continuing their preparations for the Clásico on Monday, Barcelona’s first team was back in training on Saturday morning in cold temperatures at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Guardiola worked with 19 players, 18 from the first team and reserve Thiago Alcántara in temperatures hovering around 5° C (40° F).

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Case closed: Gorka Iraizoz renews until 2015

Case closed: Gorka Iraizoz renews until 2015

The number one goalkeeper of Athletic Bilbao, Gorka Iraizoz, will not be wearing the Barca jersey next season. According to the Basque club’s official site, the player and the club have reached an agreement for the goalkeeper’s contract extension.  The new deal will keep him in Bilbao until 2015.

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Cartoon of the Day: Sport

A very culé ZP (Spain’s President) thinks that the score will be 4 – 2.

Montilla (Catalunya’s current president): Your bet is very risky, President.

Zapatero: Thanks to my statement you will win much more votes than expected.

*There will be elections for Catalunya’s president on November 28th.

Offside: Have Madrid changed their tune?

Before you panic at the sight of a group of Real Madrid fans singing in earnest, focus on the words. That’s right, it’s the lyrics of our beloved Cant del Barça! While our own club anthem was sung to the tune of ‘Hala Madrid’ by a group of Madrid fans, it seems only fair that the reverse would happen as well. Below are the brave members of one of Barcelona’s penyes, singing Madrid’s words to Barcelona’s music. How did they manage to stage the two videos? Find out with the ‘making of’ video, also found after the jump!

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The Front: Sport (27.11.2010)


He decided yesterday the tactics he will use against Madrid.

He will be faithful to his system and come out with the best team, ready to attack.


He is thinking about benching Higuaín to let Lass play.

Featured article: two different styles both inside and outside the field.

Piqué: “We are favourites”

Zapatero (Spain’s President) thinks that the score will be 4 – 2.

Afellay will watch it from the stands.

3000 € are paid for a single ticket.

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (27.11.2010)


Comparision between Barça and Madrid

Cheaper: 95 million euros

More regular: 2 coaches

More titles: 137

More canteranos: 8

Penalties (last 50 years): +138 (average). Barça: +45

plus, Barça is the number 1 team in IFFHS.

Zapatero, clear: “Barça will win 4 – 2 and I prefer Guardiola and Messi than Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo“.

Have Your Say: El Clásico 2010

Have Your Say: El Clásico 2010

For the most anticipated match of the 2010-11 season so far, we here at totalBarça would love to know: how will you be experiencing Monday’s El Clásico? Where will you watch the match? Will you be at home, at a pub, on your computer, at Camp Nou? Will you be watching with other Barcelona fans or surrounded by Madridistas? Do you have any Clásico-specific superstitions? Have to wear that certain jersey, eat a certain food, follow a certain routine?

Feel free to share in the comments section what you’ll be doing come Monday (or before!). . . .

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Barça B weighs in on ‘El Clásico’

Barça B weighs in on ‘El Clásico’

As the players and coaches of Barça B prepare for their own match this weekend (against Segunda leaders Real Betis – Saturday at 16:00), a number of the squad members and coach Luis Enrique shared their thoughts about the first team’s encounter with Real Madrid that will take place on Monday. All were optimistic about FC Barcelona’s chances heading into the game.

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Valdes bares all (not quite)

Valdes bares all (not quite)

Victor Valdes, Barca’s No.1 goalkeeper recently posed for a luxury lifestyle magazine, ‘DT Lux’, and granted them a lengthy interview about himself. Continue reading »

Video of the Day: Barca Toons ready for El Clásico


November 26, 2010

Cartoon of the Day: Sport

Cartoon of the Day: El Mundo Deportivo

Quote of the day: Marcos Senna

The Front: El Mundo Deportivo (26.11.2010)

The Front: Sport (26.11.2010)

Preparation for El Clasico begins

In the line of fire

November 25, 2010

Jose Mourinho praises Guardiola

The Crossfire: El Clásico – Part 2

ESM Team of the Month: Only one Blaugrana

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