A lot of people are creatures of habit by nature. They shun away from anything counter to their beliefs and prefer to live lives in forever status quo. And when change happens, as it almost always does, these people cling to whatever last shred of belief they have left, hoping and holding on for dear lives that normalcy returns.
For fans of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, they’re holding on tight, alright. Tight and firm to the belief that the German invasions known as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund can be quelled with a bombardment of goals that offset the embarrassment both clubs suffered in Germany last week.
It’s a herculean task, to say the least; but for those fans who are still holding out hope that the heavily-hyped radical shift in football power was nothing more than premature adulations thrown the Germans way, faith remains.
Hope remains in FC Barcelona, despite taking a 4-0 pummeling at the hands of Bayern Munich. No team has ever lost the first leg of a Champions League match with that score this late in the tournament and advanced to the finals. It’s never been done before and chances are, you won’t see it this week.
But don’t tell that to the Catalans. Don’t tell that to the Barca supporters because they’ll tell you there’s still a chance. And his name is Lionel Messi. Never mind the fact that his hobbled by a hamstring injury. Or that his team has barely resembled the destructive force that it has been in the past few years. Barcelona fans will cling to that branch of hope that is Lessi’s golden boot and pray that his hamstring doesn’t betray him and he peppers Manuel Neuer with the kind of cannon-like strikes that he’s come to be known for. He’s the most prolific scorer the sport has ever seen and if he and his teammates show up and play with the fury that has earned them title after title in recent history, there’s still a chance.
Likewise, hope remains in Real Madrid, despite allowing Polish striker Robert Lewandowski to score four goals in the first leg of their match against Dortmund last week. It’s not as steep a mountain to climb, but its equally treacherous nevertheless. And Dortmund is no joke. They’re on the cusp of supplanting Madrid as one of the best teams in the world and to do it at their expense is certainly worth its weight in those golden jerseys they wear.
But don’t tell that to the Madridistas. Don’t tell that to the fans of Los Blancos because they’ll tell you there’s still a chance. And his name is Cristiano Ronaldo, the same man who scored what could prove to be a pivotal away goal last week. They got shellacked Dortmund, 4-1, but that doesn’t mean they can’t return the favor in Madrid this week. Besides, they’re facing a team that was trailing Malaga in the quarterfinals, the same Malaga that sits in 5th place the domestic league it shares with Madrid, 2-1 before two miraculous goals sent the German side to the semi-finals.
The German football invasion is coming to Spain looking to change the landscape of football. Yet for fans of Barcelona and Real Madrid, hope remains that a return to home soil means a return to their tried, tested, and ultimately, dominant routine.