The writing was on the wall a little over five years ago, when La Roja were upset by the U.S. in the Confederations Cup in South Africa. At the time, few chose to recognize exactly what the U.S. had done.
Barcelona's pedigree has taken a hit. The caliber of the Catalans has suffered. Luis Enrique's hire is meant to stop the bleeding, restore confidence and return the club to its rightful place -- and not just back on top of La Liga.
On Saturday, May 24, Real Madrid will be confronting Atlético de Madrid in Lisbon to decide the 2014 European club champion. On virtually all measures -- cultural, social, symbolic, historical -- the gap between these two clubs could not be greater.