|Spain Football Team|
The intense & very competitive Real Madrid - FC Barcelona clashes this season has contributed in intensifying rivalries & putting on edge "friendships" on & off the field. Spanish National Football Coach Vicente del Bosque has already voiced certain concern that the intensity of the Club clashes is breaking the fabric of the National Squad & the "inner harmony". Spanish online paper "elconfidencial" has written an article that has "sounded the alarms". The Spanish National Team has broken up into two blocks, the Real Madrid players & the FC Barcelona players, with elements in both camps more "radical" than others with the latter looking for a more balanced & calming attitude.
The first signs of "friction" occurred in South Africa during the World Cup in a leisure "poker game" that did not go to more thanks to Coach Del Bosque & Squad Director Fernando Hierro, plus the fact that the World Cup title was up for grabs was also the solidifying glue.
This video of Spain celebrating their World Cup victory in Madrid shows Pique making faces of Ramos behind his back, to which press insiders already spoke about friction between theses two heavyweights.
The local Club competition this season has added fire to the already hot coals, as the 5-0 FC Barcelona drubbing of Real Madrid showed last November with very aggressive play, tackles & even violence ( verbal & physically) as shown when Ramos was sent off not before "brushing aside" Spanish squad team-mates Puyol, Pique & Xavi. Barça defender Pique then added fire with his uplifting hand of 5 fingers ( 5 goals) to stick the finger into the Real wounds.
The Pique - Ramos relations worsened in a Spanish Team press conference when Ramos "exploded" to a press person when speaking in Catalan to Pique & he advising that he did not understand. This incident was "cover" with a Twitter photo together & smiling. However, as later episodes would prove this is just make-up.
The return Real Madrid - FC Barcelona Liga match weeks back would open more wounds after finishing 1-1, when Pique in the dressing room tunnel shouted that they had already won their "little" Spanish Liga title ( negative comment from a Catalan angle), that they would win their (disrespectful) Kings Cup as well...causing all sorts of verbal abuse between all players. Pique denies this totally as false, but Real Madrid player & Spanish Team Captain Iker Casillas confirmed it indirectly as true in an interview dismissing it as a "heated moment".
The frictions continued in the Final of the Spanish Cup, this time with other Spanish National Team members showing signs of strains. Arbeloa & David Villa had a serious encounter which naturally brought in all the others.
Iker Casillas, Xavi, Xabi Alonso & to some extent Carles Puyol attempt to maintain the balance as much as possible with diplomacy & professionalism. Some already mentioned are life long friends from junior levels & this situation is complicated.
The Spanish press is now talking about the Pique - Ramos parting, the breaking up of the Spanish team in two blocks, the worries of National Coach Vicente del Bosque & the possible effects mid to long term to the National Team.
Tonight the first of two head to head clashes between Real Madrid - FC Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals takes place. The atmosphere is highly tense as both Coach Mourinho & Coach Guardiola have already had a heated exchange of harsh words that can only be transferred to there respective players & on the field.
The winner will obviously one - either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona - but the big loser could be Spanish Football & its National Team. Lets hope this is all part of competition, healthy rivalry & that common sense prevail in the long run.