Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spain: Nothing Clasico About It

Real Madrid celebrated their recently-captured La Liga title in front of the home fans with a 4-1 thrashing of Barcelona today. The win gives Real a season sweep of "El Clasico." Madrid led 2-0 before halftime on goals by Raul and Arjen Robbin and added tallies from Gonzalo Higuain and Ruud van Nistelrooy in the second half.

The loss ensures that Barcelona will finish outside the league's top two for the first time in five seasons, meaning they'll have to go through the Champions League Qualifying rounds next year. An offseason of change is already taking shape for the Catalans. Reports Tuesday from Spain indicated that former captain Pep Guardiola will succeed the outgoing Frank Rijkaard as Barcelona coach at season's end. Rumors have also abounded regarding the Barca roster.

Lionel Messi has been implicated in a megatransfer with Chelsea, but later reports indicated the Blues will look elsewhere. Ronaldinho has been linked with a transfer to AC Milan, but the Rossoneri's interest waned when they deemed the asking price to be too high. Now there are questions if the Brazilian is healthy enough to play at a top level. Thierry Henry was busy denying rumors this week that he would be leaving, stressing that he plans to remain with the club through the duration of his three-year contract.

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