Ronald Koeman’s comments on El Clasico, compared to the Merseyside derby make about as much sense as my Nan’s dialect on Christmas day post-turkey and two bottles of wine.
The Dutchman is normally one for a pragmatic approach, but the Toffees gaffer has mirrored more Forest Gump here than Captain Philips…
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“As a Barcelona player, I have been involved in a big number of confrontations between Barcelona and Real Madrid. When it comes to atmosphere and attraction, that match is rated as the most beautiful in Spain and in the world, because apart from the rivalry there is a political edge to this game. Barca versus Real used to bring out the best of me. Always.
“But the Everton versus Liverpool derby in the city where I work now is bigger with emotions because of the incredible football culture in this country. On Monday night it is my Blues against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in my first big Merseyside derby.”
Has Koeman turned into Ronald McDonald, this week? What’s the bloke talking about?! There’s not a chance that Everton versus Liverpool is bigger with emotion compared to El Clasico – they are not even in the same league in terms of, well, everything.
The passion is there, but you can’t for a minute suggest that a match-up which has contested two sides off top four pace for sometime as ‘bigger’. El Clasico is a war, a political minefield, it’s more than a football match or gaining bragging rights in a city.
It’s central Government versus independency; it’s Luis Figo‘s head on a pitchfork. We don’t think you’d see the Everton faithful chucking a pig at Romelu Lukaku if the Belgian upped sticks across Merseyside. There’s far too much PC bollocks getting in the way at Goodison Park, it’s more of like a nice day out at Center Parcs.
Who actually cares about Everton versus Liverpool? Other than the fans themselves, we’re not exactly going to put our Monday night plans on hold. But, El Clasico, everything would be dropped from fans supporting any colours across the world. It’s the biggest game in football, the match everyone wants to watch – Cr7 v LM10 is slightly more box office than Gerard Deulofeu v Roberto Firmino.
Keep your thoughts to yourself, Ronald, no one is buying them.
10 players you forgot ever played for Barcelona
Mendieta was considered one of the best midfielders in Europe when he helped Valencia reach back-to-back Champions League finals, and went on to enjoy a stint at Barcelona. He clearly decided he was sick of playing midweek fixtures, went to Middlesbrough for an early retirement and somehow won them the League Cup. If they haven't built a statue out of gravy for him at the Riverside, he should feel personally offended. Image Source: Goal
Probably best known to you and your mates through FIFA, when you take him off the bench and into the reserves, so you can fit yet another Juventus attacker into your squad. Had a spell at Barcelona back in '08, but wasn't technically gifted enough for Guardiola so he Joe Harted him and loaned him out. Image Source: Zimbio
Davids actually took some time out of playing for Italy's biggest clubs for a half a season to join some minnows called Barcelona, where he's credited with revitalising Rijkaard's underachieving team. Image Source: partidoapartidocom
Juan Roman Riquelme
Before Messi was the next Maradona, Riquelme was. Despite that, his time at Barcelona was short and forgettable, as Louis van Gaal had no idea how to get the best out of him and he fell victim to not being as good as Rivaldo. Image Source: Futbol Sapiens
The player on this list most likely to make you think, what the hell?! A big money signing for Barcelona back in 2001, but his career went rapidly downhill and he ended up at Hull in 2008. To be fair, when you remember that goal against Arsenal, you can see what Barca hoped they were paying for. Image Source: Flipboard
More famous for having a teardrop tattoo than being a good player, Quaresema has disappointed fans and teammates across the continent for years now. Just like you forgot he played for Inter Milan and Chelsea, you also forgot he played for Barcelona back in 2003, where he did nothing of note before being sold to Porto in a swap with Deco. Image Source: Goal
LvG signed the attack-minded Frenchman in '97 and tried to turn him into a defensive-midfielder, which for some reason didn't work out for either party. If Dugarry still has any nightmares over his time at Barcelona, I'm sure cuddling his World Cup and Euro gold medals will help him get back to sleep. Image Source: 101 Great Goals
One of Benfica's best ever players, it's a wonder that none of Europe's elite came calling for the little Portuguese man. Perhaps they remembered his disastrous couple of years at Barcelona, but nobody else does. Image Source: turnstyle
Before Zlatan, Litmanen was Scandinavia's most famous export. Another van Gaal signing, Jari never managed to hit the same heights for Barcelona as he did for Ajax, despite Louis' genius idea of signing half of his teammates to help him out. Is there a reason so many of these forgotten spells are linked to Louis?! Image Source: These Football Times
Ah, Winston Bogarde. A tall and strong central defender in his prime, as his career progressed he masterfully transitioned into a money-grabbing benchwarmer. He started the positional change at Barcelona, but he was at his peak playing in this position when at Chelsea, which understandably overshadows his time at the Camp Nou. Image Source: Squawka