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Published on December 22nd, 2017 | by Vieri Capretta

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Why El Clasico could kick off a golden 2018 for Barcelona

🕓 Reading time: 2 minutes

2017 was owned by Real Madrid after a five-trophy haul, but el Clasico could kick off the return of Barcelona dominance in the world

The best ever year in the history of Real Madrid.

Five titles won including consecutive Champions League titles, the return to winning La Liga, the Club World Cup as icing on the cake. Under Zinedine Zidane the club returned to the heights of the past, finding a consistency that only Barcelona has had over the past decade. And the duel between the two Spanish giants is as entertaining as ever.

If 2017 has been the year of Madrid, 2018 could easily return to be the one for Barcelona. Because if El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu is won by the visitors like the last time round, Ernesto Valverde’s men would kill the title race off already in December.

Los Blancos currently trail by 11 points, and even a victory might not be enough, albeit having a game in hand. It’s the last chance for Real Madrid to get back on track and have a chance of winning La Liga. If not, the Spanish title could return in the hands of the Catalans, and the whole upcoming year could be favorable to Barcelona.

Barcelona are still unbeaten in La Liga, after piling together 13 wins and three draws, for a total of 42 points that puts them at the top of La Liga with six points advantage over Atletico Madrid.

The change began after the summer, and the negative start to the league has shown perhaps how Real Madrid’s overall motivation is lacking slightly after winning so much. On the other hand, Lionel Messi and co have clearly been missing lifting trophies, and having their rivals doing so in front of them has made them hungrier than ever.

Bringing in Valverde and his new system has reinvigorated Luis Suarez and Messi, and even though losing Neymar has undoubtedly been an issue, other players have stepped up without the Brazilian to contribute to a great first half to the season.

Now El Clasico, then 2018. A year that could be the one of the return of Barcelona to the summit of Europe and Messi with the Ballon d’Or. The World Cup will have an effect on the performances of the Argentinian and of his counterpart, Cristiano Ronaldo. Both will want to be at the competition to have the chance to become world champions, something they both crave.

But the build up could see Barcelona replacing Real Madrid in Spain and Europe again, with the hunger there to show that the dominance of Los Blancos can come to an end. The best way to show it is to win El Clasico: it could be the first sign of a new era to come.

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About the Author

mm

A freelance journalist and broadcaster focusing on European soccer and currently featuring on Uefa.com, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marca in English and more.



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