Barcelona was defeated (derrotado) at the hands of Atletico Madrid on Sunday. It was their first loss of the season in league play. Going undefeated would be an awesome achievement and quite the exclamation point on Barcelona's dominance over the past two seasons. Although it's quite a bummer for Barcelona fans they didn't complete the undefeated season, there are actually some positives to losing.
1. No more pressure
Going undefeated is an extremely difficult feat. While it clearly would be historic, it can almost have a negative affect on a team. As the season wares on, the pressure to go undefeated can become unbearable. It can overshadow everything else and become a hindrance. In the end, it would be better to win a championship, than go undefeated. Sure, both would be ideal, but sometimes the continued pressure of remaining undefeated can be the team's toughest opponent and actually cause the team to lose. The added pressure and discussion of the undefeated season is now removed. Now the focus can shift back to discussing how it is that all of your star forwards and midfielders are under 5'7" yet completely dominate the world's game.
2. Perfect time to lose
The loss couldn't have come at a better time. The second half of the Champions League starts up this week. The last thing Barcelona wants is to lose prematurely in the Champions League because they are thinking and focusing on upcoming La Liga games and remaining undefeated. While winning La Liga and being undefeated would be great, it's not worth the opportunity to be repeat Champions League winners. They of course want to win La Liga as well. But they are in the driver's seat for the La Liga title. It's theirs to lose at this point. Now they can focus just on winning and repeating as both La Liga and Champions League. Not that it's an easy task, but being repeat champions in both instead of just one because you were too focused on the one, is worth the loss.
3. Better Atletico than Real
If you have to have your first loss come at the hands of a Madrid team, better to have it be Atletico. This is obvious not only because Real Madrid and Barcelona are bitter rivals, but also because its been a tough year for Atletico. It's been fraught with disappointments and underachievement. They aren't the rich white boys (los blancos) from the north part of Madrid, they are the poor stepbrother team that rarely gets any attention or recognition. When they finally do, like this season when they qualified for the Champions League, they self destruct and embarrass themselves and the rich, white boys laugh and mock at the embarrassing younger stepbrother. This win will help Atletico much more than it will hurt Barcelona. Barcelona is fine. They will continue to steamroll and crush future opponents. Atletico on the other hand needs a lot more help to save their season and finish near the top of the standings. They needed this. Consider it a charitable act of service to the poor stepbrother who constantly gets abused by your enemy, as opposed to a loss for your team.
4. El Clasico will be better
Of course there is always some Real Madrid aspect to the loss. But admit it, even as a Barcelona fan, you are more excited for El Clasico now. Even with the loss Barcelona is still in first place. So if Barcelona hadn't lost and both teams continued to win, then when the two teams play each other (El Clasico) later in the season, the game would have been meaningless. The game would have been highly contested of course as both teams hate each other and want the bragging rights. But ultimately, win or lose, Barcelona would have remained in first place. If they would have won, all the fans would have bragged about the dominance. If they would have lost, all fans would have argued that the players didn't care because win or lose, they were still going to be in first place. But now, assuming neither team has any unexpected losses, the league title will essentially be on the line on April 11.
A little added bonus of the loss for the Barcelona fan. If Real Madrid didn't have a chance to overtake first place with a win on April 11 (which they wouldn't have if Barcelona had remained undefeated) then the victory wouldn't nearly be as sweet. But now, you can go into Madrid on the 11th and rip the league title away from Los Blancos right in front of all of their fans. THEN, you can follow that up by going back to Madrid for the Champions League final (at Real Madrid's stadium) and really put a dagger in the heart of all Real Madrid fans by winning that title and having your fans celebrate on their streets of Madrid. There could be no better way to win the two championships.
So you may be derrotado right now. But enjoy the highlights below, they may be the moment you look back upon at the end of the season as the moment that led Barcelona to a fantastic finish.