Spain against Germany, the text is resounding, a match with two teams that have won two of the last three World Cups (2010 and 2014). The subtext is barely hidden, even if nothing links it to Qatar and its aftermath. It is a derivative of a local nature that affects two clubs, also headers of football. One is Barça, which provides eight players to the Spanish team. The other can not be other than Bayern, eternal supplier of internationals to the German team. It contributes seven players to the Mannschaft. For the mysterious reasons that preside over football, few approaches are more different from a Barça-Bayern game than Spain-Germany.
A month ago, Bayern nailed the final stake to Barça's route in the European Cup. They won 2-0 in Munich and rounded off the series with 0-3 at the Camp Nou. He was declared a terrifying nemesis for Barça, which assumes these clashes as an inevitable plague. Not only does he lose them, but he suffers them as a biblical punishment.
The results and consequences of the last five games are obvious: 8-2, 3-0, 3-0, 2-0 and 3-0, all in favor of Bayern. 19 goals in favor, two against, a scandalous margin that has been established with the Barça of Messi, Luis Suárez and Griezmann and with that of Dembélé, Lewandowski and Raphinha. It is more than an abysmal statistical difference in the performance of the two teams. Sums up the psychological bankruptcy of Barça against a rival that feels like the master of each game that confronts them.
Tonight, in Doha, the main cast of the two teams will be made up of players from Bayern and Barça. On one side, Neuer, Kimmich, Müller, Musiala, Goretzka, Gnabry and perhaps Leroy Sané, if he recovers from his injury. They constitute the backbone of the fearsome Bayern that shrinks Barça, represented today by Busquets, Gavi, Pedri, Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres, presumed starters, as well as Eric García, Balde and Ansu Fati. All have appeared as actors, in some cases with neon letters on the billboard, of the successive duels that the two teams have maintained.
The weakness of Barça in these cases is reminiscent of the old complexes that the Spanish team suffered against Germany, the most extreme vision of insurmountable fears. Until they stopped. In the Euro 2008 final, Spain defeated Germany 1-0. Two years later, in the semifinals of the World Cup in South Africa, the victory was repeated. You know: corner, Xavi and Puyol in a rush. In the last League of Nations, Spain crushed, a 6-0 marked by fire in the pride of German football.
It's funny how football swings. What Barça observes with terror, the team interprets it with naturalness and confidence. What Bayern interprets as a guarantee of unlimited power, in the German team lives with alarm. And yet, the football core is the same in all cases, in terms of quantity (15 players available for today's game) and quality. Spain is defined by the game of its midfielder line (Gavi-Busquets-Pedri) and the same happens with Germany (Kimmich-Goretzka-Musiala-Müller).
Other factors can be considered, such as the importance of foreign stars in both teams, but a review of the Barça striker indicates that Dembélé is the starter in France, Lewandowski –formerly from Bayern– is the star in Poland and Raphinha is the winger. law in Brazil. As important as today's result is for Spain and Germany in Qatar, the subtext of the match deserves special attention at Barça, which has the opportunity to shake off the complexion that stunned it against Bayern.