Real Madrid’s transformation under Jose Mourinho gets its biggest test with Monday’s highly-anticipated “clasico” meeting with Barcelona.
Spanish leader Madrid and Barcelona are separated by one point and head into the season’s biggest game in great form: Madrid has won seven straight and is coming off a 4-0 rout of Ajax, Barcelona has won six straight including a record 8-0 thrashing of Almeria.
Cristiano Ronaldo leads the league with 14 goals — one better than counterpart Lionel Messi — and is certain Mourinho is just the man to stop a record four-game losing streak against its biggest rival.
“It’s going to be an emotional meeting and we’re in great form so I think we’re gonna win there,” said Ronaldo, who has never scored in five career meetings against Barcelona, managing a single victory.
If anyone can snap Madrid’s recent record with the two-time defending Spanish champion, it’s certainly Barcelona hate-figure Mourinho. Mourinho’s rise to Champions League successes with FC Porto and Inter Milan began in Barcelona, where he worked as a translator to Bobby Robson before becoming an assistant to Louis van Gaal.