It's official. The biggest fixture in Spain, and possibly the whole of Europe, will be played on a Monday. Not a Saturday, nor a Sunday. A Monday. Barcelona and Real Madrid will get the ball rolling at the Camp Nou in the seasons first installment of 'El Clasico' at 21.00 hours (CET) on 29th November as a result of the Catalan parliamentary elections taking place that weekend, which has forced the authorities to move it from Sunday 28th on security grounds. Strangely enough, fans across the country have taken the news quite badly, complaining that a fixture of such importance just HAS to be played at the weekend. Why? Because.
Of course there are some lucky lads and lasses who are rejoicing, namely those working the elections (ahem, politicians that receive nice free tickets, not that they had anything to do with this of course) and those unfortunate souls who work nights at the weekend. For once, they'll be able to savour one of the most eagerly anticipated Clasicos for years. There are other sets of fans who smuggly chirp on about if all the other clubs have to play on a Monday (Sevilla - Valencia on the last matchday being a perfect example), why not the almighty Barcelona and Real Madrid?
I understand their logic, but there's something about it being on a Monday that I fear will detract from the occasion. You just get the feeling it won't quite be the same. Take last nights Manchester derby as a indicator of what I'm trying to get at. Even Jorge Valdanos getting in on the act; 'Playing a Clasico on a Monday is the easiest way of discrediting Spanish football infront of the watching world'. Harsh words. And then we could go on about reduced audience numbers and so on.
Perhaps it's simply the fact that you have to go to work first? Deep down I'm not too bothered about it being on a weekday, and in truth it should hardly matter to the players. Neither is there much of a difference for the fans. Play the match at 10pm on a Sunday and you still have to go into to work early the next day, and we all enjoy the Champions League don't we?
So instead of whining, let's think positive. You can partake in a whole load of pre-clasico banter with your workmates. You can say you witnessed only the third ever Clasico to have been played on a Monday. The players will have had an extra days rest, ready to give it hell on the field. And when all the fun is over, there are only four more days till the weekend. Happy days.