Stormy times. On the other side of the summit, the precipice awaits, a recurring image that football turns into a nightmare. That is: Madrid, in free fall after climbing for a thousand days. Without Cristiano, the only footballer who works as a hero 24 hours a day and who drags a whole club towards ambition. With no other objective than to avoid absolute failure, which is not the same as fighting for glory. With the media shooting rumors with a machine gun, a resigned fan who does not know who to get angry with, a coach and some players feeling in danger and the directive splashing in an ocean of doubt. Be careful, because if the environment is electrified, decisions are made first and then the analyzes are made. It is when you think about what they will say and the temptation to impact can sweep with reference values.
Style: greatness and refuge. The match will start at the Bernabéu. The players of Madrid wait like impetuous horses, as if someone were pulling the reins waiting for the match to start running without a brake. So they played, without rest, with more pride than order, as if running was more important than playing. As patience is frowned upon, the players let themselves be won over by anxiety, which is corrosive for many reasons. Defenses that in each intervention play it all or nothing; attempts to put balls in depth without prior preparation; individual attempts to resolve collective issues … Habits are a way of acting by repetition and Ajax has greased them for a thousand years and like no one because he made his style a school of greatness. Madrid, by default, showed that, in difficult times, style can also serve as a refuge.
The implacable soccer. The PSG fell back on its favorite precipice, but never having reached the top. A paradoxical case. It has everything that modern football consecrates as successful: money, management, great figures … But it is interposed what football is old and capricious. PSG was condemned by three major errors. The most painful was Buffon, who gave a deadly rebound after an innocent shot and, when he wanted to get up to ask for a second chance, he did so as an honorable 41-year-old gentleman. So we saw, in the same night, how a great club, with a good result in the first leg, with superior talents like the great Mbappé, in local condition and without deserving it, fell victim to this beautiful and twisted game. Also a hero (Buffon) who time fell on in one play. Soccer can become a myth if you respect it for a lifetime. And one night is enough to say goodbye.
The man orchestra. Gerard Piqué He has a head for several things and a sufficiency that places him above the tensions that surround him. In order to be normal, neither his model looks nor his marriage nor his position as a successful businessman nor his crack status help him. True to his multiplying style, he took advantage of the classics to be a political tertulian, to discuss with a crowd, to analyze arbitration and to continue with his permanent pre-election campaign as president of Barça. In his spare time, he played football like the gods. In the same way that in front of a microphone he says aggressive things with a good face, in the field he deactivates dangers relaxedly, but with the authority of a commissar, and builds a game with an infinite class, at times almost provocative. I always have the impression that Piqué is in love with himself. Seen seen in the classics, rightly so.