El Clasico is more than a game of football. The two Spanish giants advocate polar political ideologies, making their rivalry unique. Real Madrid are viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona, Catalan nationalism.
Needless to say, there is a massive political component involved when the two teams face off. It evokes a spirit of patriotism and passion that makes the rivalry special.
A few years ago, it was impossible to imagine El Clasico outside Spain. Yet, the lucrative economic proposals have made it possible. Most recently, the two teams met in the quarterfinals of the Supercopa de Espana in Saudi Arabia.
According to reports from MARCA, Barcelona and Real Madrid are closing in on an agreement for a pre-season El Clasico in the Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas.
La Liga has tried several times to take field matches in the United States. However, their attempts failed twice, with the RFEF and FIFA raising their voice against it. Not to mention the fans who were
Javier Tebas denied any possibility of taking El Clasico overseas last year when he spoke with ESPN. He said,
“El Clasico is a more difficult game to export because it’s the most important club game in the world, it’s different. But we might take other official games, we’re certainly looking at that.”
Holding a preseason game between the two arch-rivals is the best chance for the US to host a Clasico. Both teams will have key players missing in the pre-season but, one can expect the crowds to turn up regardless.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.