Well, November in the football calendar usually throws up one of the best fixtures in the Spanish Primera Liga - FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid. 2010 is no exception with an end-of-the-month lock of horns between the two best teams in Spanish football history. Pigs heads are not an uncommon appearance, and there really is a searing rivalry between the two teams. As if you didn't already know.
Much can be made of this year's paper talk - No Ibrahimovic (scorer of last year's winning and only goal), Messi vs Ronaldo, the return of "El Traductor" (again), etc. etc. However, one of the stories occupying the column inches this morning is the actual date of the tie. Yes, 29th November is the exact same date as last year's fixture, which is of no co-incidence, apart from that fact that we're in the Gregorian calendar, so that means it's a Monday.
No, TV deals made no impact on this decision, it's all down to the Government elections scheduled for the same day as the planned game, Sunday 28th. Apparently, all of those people working at the ballot boxes might not get to the ground in time (read: we don't have enough Police for the two events) and obviously Mourinho has already started his mind games. Now any other European readers might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Monday night football has become a bit of a tradition in many parts, and is an excuse for a cheeky pint on a Monday in England ("it's the Football, love"), but not in Spain. Oh, no, as you can see from the poll above, 42% of fans say Monday night is sacred for something other than football. Even Enrique Cerezo, president of Atletico Madrid says the same (not sure why he was asked his opinion on a Barça - Madrid match, but there you go). Personally, I couldn't give two hoots as to when they want to play the match as long as it's a good game, but I bet there's more than one rushing to change plane tickets and accommodation having banked on it being the Sunday night, and then having to work out excuses for a sicky on Monday and probably Tuesday now...I can feel a cold coming on, can you shut that window?
Any thoughts on the change? Does it really matter? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear. Also, if you're thinking of coming for the match weekend, check out BCN Rentals for some central apartments and their Barcelona Guide for a quick look at the city sights.