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For all you “footie” lovers there is a great week ahead. The double “el clásico” between the earth-rivals in football FC Barcelona (aka Barça) and Real Madrid is coming up. This time the matches are played with the goal or reaching the next round of the “Copa del Rey”. The first meeting will be played on Wednesday 18th of January in the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid and the return will be played a week later on the 25th of January, 2012.

Of course there are opinions, but what is a fact is that the gap has substantially narrowed down between the current winner of the Champions League and actual World Champion of Clubs, Futbol Club Barcelona and the holder of the Spanish Cup Real Madrid. There have passed several matches (remember that last season the two entities clashed 5 times in 4 weeks time) that were clearly in the advantage of the Catalans, that led to an incredible frustration at the Madrid end, this all resulting into more than passionate matches that frankly resembled more to rugby than football.

But now… now things are different… Real Madrid is stronger than ever. Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps not in his best shape but he gets filled in by the other two forwards, Argentinian Gonzalo Higuain and French football revelation of the season Karim Benzema. Being backed up by an unbeatable Iker Casillas, 4×4 Sergio Ramos and not to forget former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, this team under the sensational coaching of José Mourinho (aka “special one” or simply “mou”) can turn around all stats.

Barça in turn, is damaged. Guardiola cannot count with the national team’s star David Villa. Going 5 points behind Real Madrid in the league it shows that a lot needs to be reinvented at the FC Barcelona end for them to win Real Madrid. But, pay close attention. FC Barcelona is actually evolving in accordance to their possibilities. No players available? Fine, if the stars are injured at Barça they get some of the many young talents this increible football institution has trained for years and all seem to fit in seamlessly to the “Barça-style”. As head coach Josep Guardiola learnt that the opponents are learning what the abilities and disabilities of this FC Barcelona are, he simply creates different variations of what everyone now expects from Barca. The latest experiment was to give play more spread out, so not only playing midfield “tikitaka” but to combine this with superfast players, like upcoming talent Iván Cuenca or Chili’s striker Alexis  driving their opponent out of their own area towards the chalk lines near the corner flag. So, if you think it’s all played for… well, no. A “el clásico” between FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid is never predictable before it is played, but then again.. Is any match?

Want to see the match in Madrid? Get your Madrid apartments rental plus Real Madrid tickets. In case that you should be going to Barcelona, you might consider to rents some of the fine Barcelona apartments and get match entrances as well.