ONLY A GAME? - Barcelona and the drip, drip, dripping

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Like the incessant drip, drip, dripping of the the kitchen tap, no matter what handy work Mourinho tries Barcelona just keep on coming.

Has a tap ever dripped in your house so much that it leaves you wanting to throw yourself off a very tall building? Well that’s just how Jose Mourinho must feel every time Real Madrid play Barcelona.

Like the incessant drip, drip, dripping of the the kitchen tap, no matter what handy work Mourinho tries Barcelona just keep on coming.

Mourinho seems to have the measure of almost every other team on planet earth but every time he comes up arch nemisis Josep Guardiola there’s all the sound of the drip, drip, dripping. Mourinho’s powerless, Barcelona look set to drip forever.

Few would disagree with me when I say that the Barcelona team of the last two or three years has to be one of, if not the greatest, teams of all time.

I snuck out on Wednesday night to the Derry City Social Club to watch Barcelona take on Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Madrid the lead but even as the Portuguese celebrated I sensed that it was only a matter of time before the amazing boys of Barcelona came roaring back. I was right.

Barcelona moved the ball around the park like a feather. Every pass seemed effortless and standard of football they had on display was beautiful.

I know I sound like a bit of a fan boy but when something is breathtaking there can be no substitute. Barcelona play football the same way Bruce Springsteen performs on stage or Seamus Heaney writes poetry; it’s unique, wonderful and inspirational.

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Mourinho but some times he says and does something that makes you want to hit him across the face with a big wet salmon.

Here’s the sitution. Barcelona went 2-1 up on Wednesday evening. They were starting to show Madrid up in their own backyard. Instead of using his talented tactical brain Mourinho stood by and watched as his gang of players, led by the unsavoury Pepe, proceeded to kick and foul every Barcelona player for the rest of the game. It was embarresing to watch.

At one stage Messi was sent crashing to the crowd after a crunching tackle. The challenge was ferocios but it wasn’t that which angered me.

As the pint sized Argentinian lay on the ground, Pepe approched. The Brazilian-born footballer stood on Messi’s hand.

It was deplorable to watch such a highly-paid and extremely talented sports man behave in such a way. The only explanation I could come up with was that the Real Madrid players must have thought that if they can’t beat Barcelona they were going to satisfy themselves by physically assaulting them.

Anyone who follows football will know that Messi is not the type of player to go down after a challenge very easily. Messi likes to get on with what he does best and that’s playing football.

Messi is the best player in the world. He’s got bags full of talent and has the humility of a young player who has only signed for a new club.

I believe that it’s for this very reason that Real Madrid feel that they must kick, stamp and foul every time they play Barcelona. Simply put, they can’t abide the fact their main rivals are supremely gifted and they play football the way it’s supposed to be played.

If Mourinho and his team’s actions on Wednesday night wasn’t enough to make me want to put my fist through the television I was left questioning my definition of right and wrong when I read that the Portuguesse boss saw nothing wrong with Pepe’s hand stamp on Messi.

I mean, what planet is Mourinho from? If you intentionally stand on another player’s hand then it’s wrong, plain and simple. Pepe said afterwards that he didn’t mean to stand on Messi’s hand but it’s obvious for all to see that were was certainly plenty of intent there.

If Real Madrid every want to viewed in the same light as Barcelona they have to stop being such poor sportsmen and start playing football properly.

Mourinho made a bit of a reputation for himself with similar antics when he was manager of FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Wednesday night’s carry on is simply the latest addition to what is a lexicon of aggression and jealousy.

The return leg is next week; perhaps Barcelona should wear riot gear but something tells me that the drip, drip, dripping is a sound that Jose Mourinho will have to put up with for a little longer.