Real Madrid threatens an immature Barça

The Liga Clásico, after the White Super Cup, sees the Barça project still green, with culé relief at the loss of Tavares


Real Madrid and Barça meet this Sunday (6:30 p.m.) at the WiZink Center in the capital, an Endesa League Classic that comes on the third league matchday, two weeks after the Whites’ victory over the Blaugranas in the Super Cup semi-finals.

The start of the campaign is very different for the two giants of Spanish basketball, destined to meet one more year every time there is a title at stake. Chus Mateo’s team, Euroleague champion, maintains its block from last year with the great incorporation of Facundo Campazzo, an old acquaintance.

Meanwhile, Barça is experiencing an extensive renovation since the change on the bench with the end of the Sarunas Jasikevicius era. Roger Grimau took charge of a culé team that defends the League title, the last service also of Nikola Mirotic, Cory Higgins, Sertac Sanli, Mike Tobey and Kyle Kuric as Barça players.

The renewal was therefore also on the track, with national investment in the arrivals of Willy Hernangómez, Joel Parra and Darío Brizuela, plus the American Jabari Parker. A lot of talent and character without a doubt, but also a lot of work to get the team working, with new faces, others who were already there and a new coach.

Thus, Barça had the first Clásico of the season in the Murcia ‘semi’, where the second half belonged to Madrid with Dzanan Musa and Facundo Campazzo. Later, Grimau’s team retaliated on the first day of the League against Joventut but on Friday they needed extra time to beat Zunder Palencia.

Without a doubt, Barça is in training and learning what Grimau asks of it, with the talent and leadership of Nicolás Laprovittola and Tomas Satoransky, but with the team mechanisms still to be refined. On the other hand, Madrid seems to have resumed the season with much clearer ideas and play, the result of continuity.


Mateo, questioned at different times after succeeding Pablo Laso, maintained his winning momentum despite letting the League slip away at home against the Catalans. The European champion has the competitive gene intact and started the season by winning the Super Cup and with two solid performances in the League. Now, with the addition of his fans, he will undoubtedly want to shake the foundations of a new Barça.

Campazzo is a great addition for the whites, without the need for adaptation, and Musa and Mario Hezonja should confirm his great first year. The flag is still carried by Rudy Fernández, Sergio Llull and Chacho Rodríguez. For the Classic, the white problem is the absence of Edy Tavares due to a respiratory infection, along with that of Gaby Deck, which forces Guerschon Yabusele and Vincent Poirier to work a lot inside.

Without Tavares, Barça breathes. The one from Cape Verde was already a serious problem in the Super Cup and has been in recent years for any rival of Madrid. Thus, a Jan Vesley who was not in Palencia could return with authority in the capital and Willy’s great return to what was his home points to a more friendly one, although in the stands it remains to be seen what the welcome is.



REAL MADRID: Campazzo, Abalde, Musa, Yabusele and Poirier — possible starting quintet — Causeur, Diagne, Gonzalez, Hezonja, Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy, Llull, Ndiaye.

BARÇA: Satoransky, Laprovittola, Kalinic, Da Silva and Willy Hernangómez –possible starting five–, Vesley, Paulí, Brizuela, Abrines, Parker, Nnaji, Jokubaitis, Parra.

–REFEREES: Martín Caballero, Oyón, García González.

–PAVILLION: WiZink Center.

–TIME: 18.30/Movistar Plus.