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Saturday, October 6, 2012
Cruyff: Madrid in big trouble if they lose

ESPN staff

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has piled the pressure on Real Madrid ahead of Sunday's Clasico showdown, insisting defeat for Jose Mourinho's side would be disastrous.

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Madrid came out on top over two legs when the two sides last met in the Supercopa, but their season has yet to reach such heights in La Liga, with the reigning champions sitting sixth in the table and already eight points behind their rivals after just six games.

And Cruyff, one of the most decorated players in Barca's history, is convinced Madrid could be in huge trouble if they return home from the Camp Nou on Sunday without at least a point.

"Normally you don't know what is going to happen, but this time I think that Madrid are in more danger than ever because they are so far behind," Cruyff told Sky Sports.

"If they lose this one it is like having the whole world falling over you. These are normally the games I fear the most. Madrid will do more than everything to change this situation around. Mourinho will be under a lot of pressure after Sunday if they lose. Then there is a big problem.

"It could be a tipping point. If they play seven or eight games and - if he loses - they will be so far behind Barca. There's no excuse for that."

Another Barcelona legend, Rivaldo, has also spoken out ahead of the game, and the former Brazil international is backing his old club to heap more misery on Madrid.

"It's a difficult match. Complicated. You never know what's going to happen because Madrid have a great side and they've won at Camp Nou in the past," he told Barcelona's official website. "But playing at home, I think Barca can win."

Rivaldo was also full of praise for manager Tito Vilanova and is confident that he can fill the big shoes left by his predecessor Pep Guardiola.

"Vilanova is a brilliant coach. Now, being (Pep) Guardiola's replacement, who did a great job, he has a good opportunity," Rivaldo said.

"I'm sure he'll succeed, because he has a team that plays really well - they make football easy. I think things will go well for him."




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