Uefa claims interest has suddenly soared in the Champions League final since it was confirmed that it won’t be an El Clasico match.
Insiders at the organisation had previously reported that, except fans of the La Liga giants, supporters “just weren’t bothered anymore” about the fixture.
The source said: “We were set for the football equivalent of Titanic 3D. Sure, we welled up the first few times we saw it but by this stage we’re struggling to even rouse any excitement about the prospect of seeing Kate Winslet’s baps for the umpteenth time.
“And by now we all know it ends with a massive scramble to see who can get first aid treatment first.”
Officials were concerned that many neutrals simply wouldn’t bother to watch the Champions League final if the two Spanish sides had progressed from their semi-finals.
The Uefa source continued: “A lot of people were afraid we’d have another El Clasico on our hands. Even I’d considered telling my wife I was able to make it to her sister’s baby shower that night after all.
“It’s just, how many of these fixtures have we had already this season? And wasn’t there like four in April last year?”
Over the last two years, the La Liga heavyweights have met eight times in domestic league, cup and European competitions. The eventual Champions League finalists, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, last played in 2005.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have spent roughly 750 minutes on the pitch together in the past two years, although the Uefa source was quick to point out that football was only being played for a small fraction of that time.
Once time has been allocated for brief but severe injuries, passionate discussions with the referee and Dani Alves confusing the stretcher with his personal sedan chair, it’s the thought the figure is nearer to 200 minutes of playing time.
The Uefa suit added: “It’s safe to safe that a communal sigh of relief has been felt. No baby shower for me.”