Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho described Messi and Ronaldo as “being from another planet” after Sunday night’s Spanish League El Clasico that ended in a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou.
Barca trailed to a Cristiano Ronaldo goal before a brace from Lionel Messi nudged them ahead only for Ronaldo to net an equaliser which meant the Catalans’ advantage over their arch-rivals remained at eight points.
Super heroes: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate after scoring on Sunday. Pics/AFP, Getty images
Tito Vilanova’s men dominated possession at the Nou Camp but failed to capitalise with Madrid looking dangerous on the break.
“Messi and Ronaldo are from another planet. They are both fantastic,” said Mourinho.
“As a coach, I’ve enjoyed the game. It was a great match and the result wasn’t decided until the final moment. Everyone has enjoyed the game too,” said Mourinho, who reserved some extra praise for his talisman.
“Cristiano Ronaldo was incredible. He played very well for the whole match.
“For me and the Madrid supporters, he is the best player in
the world, he is a very complete footballer.”
Barcelona midfielder Xavi felt his side “deserved much more” than to draw. He told the club’s official website: “We deserved much more but we always want more when we face our arch-rivals.”
Messi praises Real
Messi’s second goal was a wonderfully executed free-kick and moved him within one goal of the Clasico record of 18 set by Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano. The Argentina star said: “It was a great game, we would have preferred to win but we need to remember that Real Madrid are a great team.”
The result sees Barca remain on top of the table with a lead of three points, while maintaining their eight point gap over fifth place Madrid.
Fans pay homage to Catalonia at El Clasico
A gigantic mosaic in the colours of the Catalan flag ‘La Senyera’, spread out over Barcelona’s Camp Nou, left Real Madrid players in no doubt that Sunday’s El Clasico was more than just a football match. Although a vital league game between Spain’s top two clubs, the clash represented a fierce political tradition between the centralism of Madrid and the rights of the region of Catalonia. One banner amongst the 98,000 fans read simply: “Freedom for Catalonia".
Calls for greater rights and independence have been claimed since the death of Spanish dictator Franco in 1975 who suppressed the Catalan language and culture but recently it has come to a head with the financial crisis gripping the country.
Injured Ronaldo joins Portugal squad
Cristiano Ronaldo will join up with the Portugal World Cup squad despite suffering a suspected sprained left shoulder during Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona at the weekend.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will join the Portuguese squad today (Monday),” Real Madrid said on their website.