Speaking shortly after Real Madrid's 3-2 defeat at Málaga, one which left his side 16 points adrift of Barcelona, coach José Mourinho argued: "In football, people have short memories." And his opinion has been confirmed in an AS.com survey asking readers to rate the performances of Madrid and Barcelona in 2012.
55 per cent of those who participated handed Real a 'fail' mark for the year, despite the fact that the men from the Bernabéu saw off the best Barça in history to win La Liga, posting a record points haul (100) on the way. What's more, Madrid beat 'los azulgrana' to take the Supercopa in August, and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, only falling short against Bayern Munich in the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. Only 5% of almost 30,000 voters gave Madrid 10 out of 10 for the year. It's clear that the club's poor league form in recent months and, in particular, their latest defeat (with Iker Casillas on the bench) have had a dramatic effect on the fans' opinion.
Conversely, arch rivals Barcelona were given full marks by 60% of those who took part. This judgement comes despite the Catalan outfit ending 2012 with only the Copa del Rey in their trophy cabinet; losing out to Madrid in the league and the Supercopa; and going out of the Champions League to Chelsea at the semi-final stage. Nevertheless, their fabulous league form this season, with 16 victories and one draw (against Madrid at the Camp Nou) mean the side have received almost universal approval. Tito Vilanova's men were given a 'fail' mark by just 6% of participants.