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Discussion Starter #1
Ready for Real revenge
Real Madrid CF's Luis Figo may be missing from the eagerly anticipated UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg match against his old club FC Barcelona, but Barcelona's former Real Madrid star Luis Enrique will be at the Camp Nou stadium after playing the pivotal role as Barça advanced to the semi-finals.

Five in eleven
The Spanish international has scored five goals in eleven competition matches, including two against fellow semi-finalists Bayer 04 Leverkusen, the crucial winner against Galatasaray SK that earned Barça a quarter-final place and a double in the 3-1 quarter-final second-leg win against Panathanaikos FC.

Panathinaikos ordeal
His goals helped Barça fight back from 2-0 down in the tie after Michael Konstantinou's early strike had left the Catalans needing to score three times. It was hard work, with Luis Enrique remarking afterwards: "There have not been many matches where I have suffered so much."

'Courage and pride'
The Catalan public were once more grateful to their Asturian import. The Periódico de Catalunya was effusive on the day after the match, saying: "He represents ferocity and attachment to the team colours. However bad his critics say he is playing, he always contributes what is demanded of him as a Barça player. What they ask for in the team - courage and pride - he delivers and last night besides he infused hope in the form of goals."

Immense versatility
As well as that courage, pride and scoring ability, the 31-year-old Luis Enrique Martínez García is also famed for his versatility. Indeed, the latest Nike football advertising campaign makes a virtue of the fact. He has played at full-back, midfield, on the wing and as centre-forward for Barcelona, although his best position is behind the strikers, timing his runs into the penalty area to perfection.

Disappointment in Madrid
Still, he has largely avoided being pigeonholed as a utility player. Except, that is, for his time with Madrid between 1991 and 1996. He played over 150 matches in five seasons at the Santiago Bernebéu after arriving from Sporting Gijón, but his failure to make one position his own led to him being given a free transfer and Barça eagerly snapped him up.

Hate figure
Considering the two teams involved and the fact that Luis Enrique was by then an established Spanish international, the reaction was low-key. However, while the Barça fans' initial antipathy has long been overcome and the three-times Spanish league winner is now a firm favourite, the player is something of a hate figure for Madrid fans. Indeed, before a Barça-Madrid derby last season, the extreme Madrid supporters' group, the Ultras Sur, featured an animated game on its website inviting Madrid fans to bludgeon a cartoon Luis Enrique with a computerised hammer.

International reputation
Luis Enrique won over the Barcelona fans with 35 goals in his first two seasons at the Camp Nou. He has now played over 150 matches for Barça and has also played 43 matches and scored 23 times in UEFA European club competition. He 57 caps and 12 goals to his name for the national team, and is seeking to appear in a third successive FIFA World Cup after missing out on EURO 2000™ through injury.

Good timing
He has certainly hit form at the right time, recovering from two spells on the sidelines earlier this season with a thigh injury and from being left out of the Spanish squad for the match against the Netherlands last month. But the more immediate focus is again on Madrid. Certainly, Madrid will be wary of their former employee who has scored four goals against them since he left.

Work, effort and fortune
The two Luises - Figo and Enrique - will be the centre of attention, but hero worship rests uneasily with the latter. In the aftermath of the Panathinaikos win, he said: "In football there are no heroes. It is question of much work, much effort and much fortune."
 

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There`s an already existing topic about this. And when you copy a newspaper article, let us know the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
calm down man...

nothing cost in this life....;)
first i thought that the topic for rm vs barca was just for talking before the match...i post this just to make it easy to comment and talk about the game after and during the match...coz i think that the posts will reache 1000 :D
second i copy this article from uefa.com ;)
r u happy now:) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
any way...
sorry:) :)
 
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