Madrid-Barca dispute over Spanish Cup final venue a divisive saga

“Even when it’s not about them it’s about them. The big issue in Spain over the last week or so has been the final of the Copa del Rey: wherever you look, they’re indulged in the same, familiar argument. Seeped in the same hatred and the same suspicion, it follows familiar lines — the constant search to feel offended, to demonstrate the other side’s moral inferiority. A playground argument: You started it, no you did. You’re the bad guys, no you are. Everyone everywhere seems to be talking about the rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona and how that will play out at the Spanish Cup final.” SI, W – Copa del Rey

Barcelona 5-1 Valencia: Valencia do their Nou Camp usual – start well, then tire in second half February 19, 2012
“Lionel Messi hit four goals as 2nd-placed Barcelona thrashed 3rd-placed Valencia. Pep Guardiola was without the suspended Daniel Alves, so Martin Montoya played at right-back. Xavi Hernandez was only fit enough for the bench. At the back, Gerard Pique returned after being left out in the 3-1 Champions League win over Leverkusen in the week. Unai Emery was without Jordi Alba from the start, so played Jeremy Mathieu at left-back, rather than in the left wing position he’s thrived in against Barcelona in the past. Ever Banega’s strange injury ruled him out.” Zonal Marking

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