Competition
  • Champions League
  • Copa Libertadores

Puyol, the double, the Champions League... priorities

With what had been seen could happen this year, and how it played out in the end, a debate has been ongoing on both sides of the Puente Aéreo (the shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona) about what is better: winning the Champions League or winning the Liga and Copa double. Of course, as with everything, people look to tip the balance of the argument in their favour. But the celebrations have been a significant thermometer. The European triumph caused much more of a stir in the capital than the double did in the Ciudad Condal. The euphoria in Madrid on Sunday stretched far and ran deep, and was able to overlook Cristiano Ronaldo's untimely claim, which immediately after the match ignited an unexpected focus of discord.

Cibeles hosts just a sample of the Real Madrid party.

Puyol and Barça's Copa fatigue

On top of all this came Puyol, the flesh and blood of Barça, who with his well-intentioned tweet summed it up: "Congratulations Madridistas, 4 Champions Leagues with one of the best Barças in history... we have to reflect on our priorities." The message caused a stir and yesterday he had to explain himself, which had him pointing to the Copa del Rey. That domestic competition, adding further midweek games through January, and extra fatigue for the players. Barcelona go after the Copa more than Madrid (often insisting on winning it) and it is reasonable to think that this effort takes away some of the energy that can be decisive in the Champions League.

Valverde, Messi and squad use

Another thing is LaLiga. This is a club's first obligation and what Madrid has done this campaign in this regard has been disappointing. But still, you get to a certain point where there is a conflict of priorities, and perhaps Valverde did not make the most intelligent use of his squad. Three days before the disaster in Rome, Lionel Messi scored three goals against Leganés, a game in which the record of 38 unbeaten was reached. I repeat immediately after this came the Roma catastrophe. Looked at with some perspective, there are seven Barça players who this season have played more minutes than the Madrid player with the most minutes. This explains Puyol's reflection.