It's a question I've been pondering. Do we have a rivalry with Barcelona? Of course it's not as big of a rivalry as El Clasico or the Catalan Derby but is there at least bad blood between the Blaugrana and the Blues? I say yes there is bad blood. Here's why:
We're so different. They are artistry, their club is based in their beliefs, it's based off of how they've raised their footballers. We're industrial so to speak. We're the money club, we're the modern club. Their classical. We've for so long been the big, imposing, strong club. Their small, quick, artistic. They've had to win a certain way, we've just won.
It all really kicked off in 2004-05. When Anders Frisk sent off Drogba. Then you add Mourinho and Rijkaard. I think the man who really did kick it all off was Jose. He was and still is the antithesis of Barcelona. He doesn't always do it pretty, he spends money, they've often told him he's not good enough for them. He kicked it off. When we beat them at the Bridge and knocked them out that lit a fire. They didn't like a club so different from them beating them. They got their revenge in 2006 and again refereeing controversy played a part. Then we met again in 2006 in the Group Stages. Once again our style gave them issues, they couldn't break us down. We dug in, played our game, and got results. We were getting under their skin. When we met in 2009 it was the full case of Artistry vs Industry. We gave them so many problems at the Camp Nou. They got upset, called it anti-football. We were under their skin again. Our styles were so radically different. They with all the luck in the world got past us. We dominated them. Had 4-5 penalty shouts ridiculously turned down. It should have been our night. For so long up until we met them again we felt so bitter over Ovrebo and that night. When we met them again, they were the greatest team ever. Nobody thought we could do it. We did. We "parked the bus". That's the antithesis of Barcelona. They got frustrated. Terry was sent off. It's all been a culmination.
Overall, I think b/c we're so different we collide. We've played so many big matches. We've had so much controversy. I think even them feel a bit more burn and a bit more hate when they play us then say Man United. If we play Real we're not going to feel those feelings. We're not going to feel different. With Barcelona we do. We want our way, the "Chelsea Way" to prevail. They want the Barcelona way to prevail.
So while maybe it's not talked about, not mentioned, I do believe both squads feel a bit more burn to win when we play each other than other cross-border clubs. It's because I'd say we do have a rivalry and that it is a big cross-border confrontation in Club Football. Maybe the biggest of them all. So for those reasons I say yes, we do have a rivalry with Barcelona.
Would like to see what you guys respond and think.