The defeat that FC Barcelona suffered at the hands of Real Madrid did not hurt the Cules only because of the increasing points deficit they now have in La Liga, but mostly because of the rivalry between the two clubs, that has been going on for more than a century and is a very prominent part of the folklore of both clubs and cities.
While Barcelona share their most fierce rivalry with Real Madrid, the Royal Whites are not the only side that fuels Cules’ emotions.
Barcelona’s rivalry with Espanyol
Another side that Barcelona has a long-standing rivalry with is their cross-city club, RCD Espanyol. While Barcelona is clearly the bigger, more successful, and more widely followed club, Espanyol has still tried to compete with the Blaugranes with their full spirit and devotion.
The first teams of the two clubs cannot compete against each other currently because Espanyol is currently playing in the second division. However, the rivalry between the two clubs never wanes, and this was clear from the comments of a former Espanyol manager, who also had a highly successful career in the Premier League.
Pochettino will never manage Barcelona
This manager in question is Mauricio Pochettino, who is currently managing the English side Chelsea. Pochettino saw the most successful period of his career when he was at Tottenham, where he was not able to win a trophy but still took his side to a Champions League final, which they lost to Liverpool.
The Argentine manager is set to face his old side Tottenham in the Premier League this Monday. As SPORT has reported, Pochettino named the two clubs that he would never agree to coach in the build-up to this match:
“I have always said that the clubs I would never coach are Arsenal and Barcelona because they are the worst enemies of Tottenham and Espanyol… We are professionals, but at the same time, we are human beings and we have feelings.”
FC Barcelona are very happy with Xavi Hernandez in the dugout, and there is nothing to suggest that the Catalans would be looking for Pochettino’s services in the future as well. Still, the Argentine manager has made his preferences clear with these comments, which might be interpreted more as a sign of respect to Espanyol than as a dig at Barcelona.