The Clasico defeat has not had a hugely emotional impact on the Barcelona dressing room. At least not like on other occasions. That does not mean losing to Real Madrid has not affected the players. but the reality is that we've moved beyond those 'life and death' encounters between the two teams. Some players even admitted that playing without fans reduced the usual tingling feeling of a Barça-Madrid clash at Camp Nou.
The dressing room heavyweights were the most irritated. Their experience in Clasicos means they have seen many big decisions go in Madrid's favour. Their patience is running out. "It's a scandal, they don't even hide it anymore," they say. At the same time, that anger has transformed into resignation. It's not the first time something like this has happened and, unfortunately, it will not be the last. You just have to see Messi's reaction when Martinez Munuera gives the penalty. The Argentine's gesture is one of being fed up but not wasting any more time questioning the decision. Neither does Pique, as if he's accepted that what's happened already formed part of the script. Jordi Alba verbalised his anger. "It's a penalty for that?" the left-back said.
After the game, in the Blaugrana dressing room, there was more silence than tension. They commented on the shocking refereeing performance of Martinez Munuera but there was no surprise. "They would never have given us a penalty if the roles were reversed," they said. All amid an atmosphere of complete resignation. There are even people that believe if the club had raised its voice after the recent scandals -- not now, but since football resumed after lockdown -- such an amount of disrespect would not have been shown.
The Barça players aren't removed from the club's institutional crisis and because of that know that the fans need cheering up now more than ever. With all that in mind, they acknowledge that a new project doesn't peak in two months. It needs time. Coach Ronald Koeman had a few words to encourage his players despite the defeat. He said this was just getting started and they have to continue to grow together.
Refereeing questions to the side, there was a warmth to the meetings between the Barça and Madrid players in the tunnel after the match. Those Clasicos packed with hate are a thing of the past, maybe because both teams are experiencing some tough times.