Real Madrid and Barcelona faced off in Dallas on Saturday night, in the first El Clásico of the season. The game was billed as friendly, but it had all the fire and drama of a high-stakes affair. The two Spanish giants both fielded strong teams, and the game ended 3-0 in Barcelona’s favour.
Vinícius Júnior played as a striker, alongside Rodrygo, not for the first time this pre-season. Carlo Ancelotti is attempting to adjust to the needs of his squad. There is an abundance of midfielders and a lack of strikers, so the Italian has so far opted to play with Vinícius centrally. It’s fair to say that the Brazilian is struggling to adapt to the new role, and it will be interesting to see if Ancelotti pursues it, going into the new season.
The Brazilian hit the crossbar twice in the match but has shown haphazard finishing in general, and struggles to remain in the centre of the pitch. He also took a penalty in the game, and missed it, which led to many Madrid fans expressing on social media that they do not want him to be the designated taker heading into the new campaign.
Another point that El Clásico reinforced is that La Masia continues to deliver quality. Fermín López is the latest product to come out of the La Masia factory. López scored a superb goal in the 85th minute and enjoyed the adulation of the fans in the stadium, as well as from all of his team-mates.
Real Madrid and Barcelona will be competing for the La Liga title as always in the new season, and they will have both learned a bit more about what they need to address before things kick off in a couple of weeks. As it stands, Los Blancos have more question marks over their squad, but they usually pull the cat out of the bag and manage to find themselves in a position of strength.
Japtej Ghura | GSFN