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The wounds of arrogance

Six weeks ago Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid were 10 points clear at the top of La Liga in Spain. Considering that the only team that has the key to effortlessly beat Real Madrid is Barcelona, the sporting world prematurely proclaimed them 2011/2012 champions.

This is understandable when one takes into account that, at that point, most thought Barcelona was faltering and knew Mourinho’s strength as a world class coach.

Today, the prestigious Champions League semifinals are at hand and their 10-point lead is cut to four. How is this possible?

I would rather term this: the wounds of arrogance and the intelligence of modest planning

Josep Guardiola of Barcelona intelligently set this in motion some weeks ago. He publicly declared that the title race was over, that it was impossible to surmount the 10 point deficit and that no team has ever done it before.

This was intended to be a two-edged sword. Knowing full well that Real Madrid is littered with “positively arrogant “personalities, he tried to get them to become complacent. The last minute points dropped versus Betis Seville and Villarreal by Madrid proved him right. Ever since, Real Madrid have played their games with so much tension that for their fans it must be a nightmare.

Guardiola also knows that he has a team of players who are capable and obsessed with creating history. The fact that no team has ever overturned a 10-point deficit at this point in the season will only further motivate his ream to improve. It worked. Ever since they are yet to drop a point; winning all games thrown at them.

I use the term “arrogance” because if you watched Real Madrid before the 10 point lead period they were quite impressive, even when there were rumours that top players and Mourinho were feuding. They came up some days later to produce their best “Classico” performance of late in the Copa del Rey second leg.

it is gradually beginning to seem like we might see Barcelona walk away with an unprecedented Treble. Unprecedented because no team has won the Champions League back-to-back to date.

I honestly feel Real Madrid have what it takes to claim the double but it would require a quick change of heart and mentality, reducing some arrogance and replacing it with some more humility.

One thing is for sure; they just made the last weeks of this season a bit more fascinating for us all and now I cannot wait to see who comes out victorious in the next ‘El Classico’ and the tension that will be on display.

The Wounds of Arrogance could be really painful at times.

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