Following yesterdays (Tuesday) Champions League second leg semi-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid which ended 1-1, Christiano Ronaldo has come out and said that Javier Mascherano learnt how to dive at Barcelona as he never did that at Liverpool. “Javier Mascherano wasn’t like this at Liverpool. He must have learned all these cheating tricks at Barcelona,” Ronaldo said. This comes after Real Madrid had a goal disallowed when Mascherano apparently dived and was awarded a free-kick before Gonzalo Higuaín thought he had scored for Real Madrid.
I watched this game last night and I must say that Barcelona players were going down a bit too easily but it is to be expected in the game today. All too often we have players diving all over the place with minimal contact and spoiling the game. Whether Mascherano dived last night, I am not too sure, but it did look like he exaggerated his fall.
What caught my attention though in the game last night is that Mascherano was playing as a central defender for Barcelona due to their injury crisis. Mascherano has struggled to make the starting line-up at Barcelona when all the players are fit so I guess he jumped at the chance to play as a central defender when called upon to do so. Credit to Mascherano, he had a decent game in that position. I recall him being asked to play at right-back at times at Liverpool and he did well there but he was never asked to play as a central defender. With the way Mascherano is so short, it amazed me why Real Madrid did not start the game with Adebayor upfront as he would have towered over Mascherano.
Finally these El Classico games are over now as there was too much tension and fighting between the two teams that was spoiling the game of football that we all love. But Real Madrid will continue to feel hard done by as seen below.