Saturday, December 22, 2007

Barcelona's Rijkaard May Banish Ronaldinho for Real Madrid Classico

Frank Rijkaard berates Ronaldinho during training. Ronaldinho walks off the pitch. Rijkaard benches Ronaldinho tomorrow against Real Madrid. Real Madrid beats Barcelona. Ronaldinho heads for AC Milan. Frank Rijkaard is fired. Jose Mourinho is the new coach of the Catalans.

Talk about a neat little flowchart.

Yesterday's training dust-up between Ronny and Rijkaard started with the Dutch coach down on the Brazilian's effort in preparation for tomorrow's "classico." After training, Rijkaard say Ronaldinho was injured and that's why he left, but cameras don't usually lie. The fury between the two was caught on film and it wasn't pretty.

What's uglier though are Barca's chances tomorrow. Not only is Ronaldinho on the reserves, but Lionel Messi is injured and out 4-6 weeks, Deco is likely out for tomorrow as well as Edmilson and Oleguer. Good news though, Thierry Henry is available.

This is an interesting power struggle at Barca. Where will president Juan Laporta fall on this one? Will he back the worldwide superstar, or with the coach that won him the Champions League in 2006? Ronaldinho's departure has been a hot topic for some time and lately, Rijkaard's fate has been a topic of discussion.

For the immediate, however, Real Madrid could be playing with a Cheshire Grin tomorrow and extend its La Liga lead.

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