The darkest hour is just before the dawn

Alexander Hassenstein

The power grid has been turned off. The Nothing is spreading across the land. Who will be out Bastian Bux? Our Atreyu? Who are we going to call to protect us from another the greatest threat to soccer since Sepp Blatter?

We in the soccer community face a serious crisis. Something that could rip us apart at the seams, sending the soccer world spiraling into a chaos and confusion. What is this evil preparing to spread across the land like The Nothing across Fantasia?

The impending arrival of goal-line technology? No.

Sepp Blatter opening his mouth again? No.

Ladies and gentlemen, loyal readers, the threat we face is the possibility of a Clasico in the Champions League Final.

There are few more polarizing issues that we regularly face in soccer than the angst caused when Real Madrid and Barcelona play a game against one another. Social media goes crazy as one group expounds the greatness of the Clasico while the rest cover their ears and shout in an attempt to drown out the discussion.

At the very least we're typically graced with two of these games per season, but in recent years that number has been increased thanks to extra meetings in the Champions League, the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de España. The last time these two rivals only played two games in a season was in 2009/10. Since then, they've played at least five times against one another every season (six times in the last two seasons). Should the Blaugrana and Los Merengues meet again this year in the final, it would bring the total up to seven games in the last eight months.

We're entering territory once reserved for the Old Firm Derby.

As a lover of the Clasico spectacle, the repeated meetings don't bother me, but I can sympathize with the average fan who is sick and tired of seeing the same two teams play so often. It doesn't help that the media loses their collective mind and people start blowing up social media, but that's part of the deal.

I fear though that we might have reached some kind of breaking point, that the market has reached a point of saturation when it comes to being able to deal with El Clasico.

If neither Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund can't win their respective semifinal ties, I fear that we'll experience scenes similar to when Walter Peck turned off the power grid connected to the Ghostbuster's containment system. I don't know if the soccer world can take it and I fear we could see a civil war of sorts break out between pro-Clasico and anti-Clasico factions.

We could very well be headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

This is a very serious issue, readers. I fear for the soccer world but as it happens, when times are darkest, there will always be a light of hope. Warriors of good capable of repelling the darkness and returning the world to a place of light and safety.

Will it be the charismatic manager Jürgen Klopp and his merry band of young attacking talent swathed in yellow and black?

Are our heroes destined to be the legendary Jupp Heynckes and his dominating force of red clad warriors?

Let us hope one or both of these forces are up to the task.

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