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While Real Madrid’s early La Liga lead has some thinking that Barcelona’s three-year grip on the Spanish crown will finally come undone, the world’s best footballer and Barca forward Lionel Messi, isn’t convinced.
"We know what we are capable of and how far we can go," said a defiant Messi ahead of Saturday’s El Clasico (Real Madrid v. Barcelona – 3:55 p.m. ET on GOL TV Canada).
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"We really don’t care what people are saying. We’re staying cool, calm and collected. Nobody knows what this team is capable of better than we do."
Barcelona hasn’t lost to Real Madrid since 2008, which makes it hard to call them an underdog even though they enter the enemy grounds looking up from second place.
Normally, Bernabeu boss Jose Mourinho is good for a few words ahead of important matches, but the Madrid manager has kept an unusually low profile ahead of El Clasico.
"It is not in our heads yet," Mourinho said after Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win over Ajax on Wednesday. "I can only say that some players starting against Ajax will also play against Barcelona, but I can't say how many."
Madrid has won 15 consecutive games in all competitions and could go six points clear of their title rival with a win, while maintaining a game in hand.
Asif Hossain is a digital online producer, occasional TV presenter and regular contributor to GOLTV.ca and TorontoFC.ca.