Over the years, many have tried to give a name to that aura that surrounds certain players and that makes them different, special in their own way. That aura that makes you think that when they get the ball, anything can happen.
Raphinha belongs to that club and there, although many didn’t realise that until this week when he scored the winning goal in the pre-season Clasico.
While you can’t draw too many conclusions from a friendly, Barcelona‘s squad has certainly improved in terms of quality and Real Madrid are still a tough nut to crack.
Raphina has only played a couple of games for Barcelona, but both his performances were great. He stood out against a shaky Inter Miami defence, but also in the game against Los Blancos.
The next time they meet at the Brazilian national team, Raphinha should bring a gift to Eder Militao. He’ll always remember that his first goal in a Clasico came from an error by the Real Madrid player on the edge of the box.
Antonio Rudiger has made a couple of things clear. He can play at left-back and he has come to Real Madrid to be a leader. As happened with David Alaba last year, the Germany international showed in his first game as a Real Madrid player that he is champion material.
Ronald Araujo had a great game, with Xavi using him in the right-back position. Barcelona are struggling to find a right-footed full-back and Xavi is already looking for solution for the first stretch of the season. The Uruguay international was great at both ends and a leader on the pitch.
Eden Hazard featured as a false No.9 to fill in for Karim Benzema. The Belgium international is confident that he will finally live up to expectations this season, but he didn’t impress against Barcelona.
A Clasico can never be a proper friendly match, no matter if it is played in the summer and in an enclosed air-conditioned stadium. With all its faults, the idea of a friendly Clasico is not bad. For many Real Madrid and Barcelona fans, this was their first – and perhaps only – opportunity to see their teams in situ.
Gerard Pique may not have experienced such an unexpectedly hostile atmosphere since his time with the Spanish national team. To be booed at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is logical, but what happened in Las Vegas is surprising.
Robert Lewandowski‘s first action as a Barcelona player was a tackle. This is not exactly his speciality, but it showed that the Pole is ready to roll up his sleeves. Apart from that, he had one clear chance and looked commanding, directing the younger players on the pitch.