Tag Archives: el clasico

Ray Hudson talks el Clasico, Pep Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho

Ray Hudson is widely known for his amazing color commentary on GolTV, but he first made an impression on American soccer as a player for NASL side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in the '70's and '80's. (Courtesy Ray Hudson courtesy nasljerseys.com)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Ray Hudson is a legend in the broadcast booth. His passion for soccer is unmeasured. On a scale, his passion rises above Mt. Everest. And right now, his passion runs at it’s peak when Real Madrid and Barcelona face off. Tomorrow (today, depending on when you read this), those two epic clubs in Spain will face-off in round two of their combative Copa del Rey clash, and Ray Hudson will be doing back-flips in the GolTV studio while Phil Scheon tries to wrangle him in (or really let him loose) and provide the play-by-play. I got to talk with ‘Rockin’ Ray Hudson today on the phone about the game, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guidola, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

[For context, Barcelona leads the two game series, 2-1, and hosts Real Madrid in the second leg tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2012.]

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Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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Real Madrid and Barcelona Battle for the Top Spot

Ronaldo and Kaka haven't seen the field together this season because of Kaka's injury problems. But, Ronaldo has not let the fans of Real Madrid down this year in the club's attempt to dethrone Barcelona as the best team in Spain. The two giants of Spanish soccer will meet this weekend. (Courtesy Tsutomu Takasu)

By Kevin Koczwara

One Point separates Barcelona and Real Madrid in the La Liga table. A solitary point. That’s all. The closest competitor, Villarreal (7-3-2, 24 pts), sits seven points behind second place Barcelona (10-1-1, 31 pts). The two horse race for Spain’s top division title has begun, but the main event won’t begin until this weekend’s ‘el Clasico’ where the Catalans take on their arch enemies in white, Real Madrid (10-0-2, 32 pts).

It’s no surprise the giants of La Liga lead the way. Madrid and Barca’s payrolls outreach just about any other club in the world – except maybe Manchester City – and their opponents in La Liga have little to no chance keeping up with them.

Barcelona’s squad bolsters most or Spain’s World Cup winning starters, a few of their bench players, the best player in the World, Lionel Messi, plus a bench and youth system that top clubs around the world pluck talent from.

Argentina national team captain Javier Mascherano moved to the Camp Nou this summer from Liverpool only to find limited playing time behind some of the world’s top midfielders, any team in the world would take on the fiery midfielder right now, but he’d rather sit out and watch from Barcelona’s bench right now because its just too good to pass up playing for. Who wouldn’t want to play alongside Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, David Villa, Bojan, Carlos Puyol, Dani Alves, Pique and Pedro? I know I wouldn’t pass up that chance.

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A Weekend of Rivalries

By Kevin Koczwara

This weekend was another weekend of big games with top-four implications, fights for first place, and possible relegation for a perennial mid-table team.

There was the Merseyside derby in Liverpool, Everton verse Liverpool, and the ‘El Clasico’ in Spain between La Liga’s giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Both matches are always important to fans of the clubs and the players, and like most years, these derby’s were important for the clubs themselves as they try and wrangle good position in their respected leagues.

Let’s Start in Spain

This isn’t just a game, it is a rivalry steeped in history, politics and features two of the most popular and powerful clubs in the world.

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