For two teams who hate to lose and especially to each other, anything less than a win this Tuesday would be a devestating blow.
In the second leg of their Champions League encounter, both Barcelona and Real Madrid will be looking for that crucial win to send them to the final of Europe’s most prestigious domestic competition.
Barcelona already has a leg up thanks to that one away goal they managed to grab at the Bernabeu in the first leg and if they manage to hold out for a 0-0 draw then they should be through.
But this Barcelona v. Real Madrid. Even a 0-0 draw would not be nearly as satisfying as a comfortable win over an archrival that has been trying desperately to escape from that rather enormous shadow Messi and Co. have been casting these past few years.
So for Real Madrid, reaching the Champions League final would at least be some consolation that those millions spent on players was not really for nothing. Reaching the final after edging out an opponent that has always managed to be one step ahead would be an even greater satisfaction.
With Jose “The Special One” Mourinho at the helm, it seems impossible to think that Madrid will walk away with anything less than the title given his rather impressive record.
That was until that rather dismal 3-2 loss to Real Zaragoza this past weekend.
Honestly, when you have a team lined with some of the world’s finest playmakers and finishers along with a worldclass keeper, losing to a team sitting just three spots above the relegation zone is not something to be proud of.
Meanwhile Barcelona are sitting pretty at the top of the table with a La Liga title very much in the bag, unless they somehow manage to throw it away with only a few games left in the season.
So a La Liga and Champions League double seems very much a realistic possibility and gives Barcelona that extra incentive to beat Madrid to the punch.
If Messi continues his mesmerizing form and Xavi and Co. keep the passing smart, then Madrid should find themselves headed back to the Bernabeu and not Wembly after Wednesday.
But who knows?
Maybe Madrid will find a way to grab that crucial win and give their fans hope that Barcelona’s dominating reign may be slowly coming to an end.