Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the race for the Pichichi and the Superclasico

The build up to the Superclasico has been at a fever pitch lately.  The front pages of Spain's sport dailies Marca and SPORT have been running stories about it for weeks now.  Adding to the hysteria is the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo.  The last few weeks in La Liga has been something of an "anything you can do, I can do better" contest between the two.  I can't recall ever seeing two players scoring at will like this.  Whatever one does, the other has to match or exceed.  Messi, so far this season, has 3 braces and a hattrick -- not a bad haul for week 11.  Ronaldo?  3 braces, a hattrick, and a 4 goal game. 

Last year, the anticipation for the match was at a ridiculous level since it was the first time Ronaldo would be facing Barcelona as a Madrid player.  However, the form that he and Messi were in was nothing compared to the form they are in currently.

In 2009, Messi and Ronald both got off to better starts to the season than in 2010.  However, Ronaldo picked up an injury and Messi cooled off, so they both came into the Superclasico looking somewhat human. 

This season, they both got off to modest starts, but then really kicked it into high gear for the last 5-6 weeks.  What's particularly amazing is that a lot of players are blaming their slow starts to the season on World Cup hangovers.  Doesn't seem to be a problem for these two.   

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