Monday, May 9, 2011


I suffer from this and can't find a cure.

Maybe it's because everyone gets all swoony about them and how they play great football and are the best side ever, and wet themselves every time they play another tiki-taka move etc., but I really can't stand them, even more than I can't stand Real Madrid. The constant passing and showing off bores the pants off me i'm telling you, and I ain't joking.

There are 3 basic reasons - firstly the snowball of unfair funding which makes it impossible for any other team (except the other beneficiary) to compete with them. Would half of the players be there if they weren't getting top dollar? Unlikely. Madrid are 17 points ahead of third placed Valencia. Barca are 25 points ahead. "Mejor Liga del Mundo" (best league in the world) they bleated repeatedly on the telly...."my arse" I responded. The only exitement is at the other end of the table.

Secondly there's the media bandwagon that puts referees under pressure, and ignores all other football news (except the other part of the duopoly). I've talked before about how Messi making an advertisment is bigger news that a whole round of Copa Del Rey games, whose results don't even get a mention.

But thirdly and most of all it's the bad behaviour, the theatrics and the plain cheating that they get up to week in week out. Pedro and his extremely low pain threshold, Busquets and his sneaky peeks at the referee whilst in fake agony, Alves's oh so predictable diving, Xavi and his referee persuit, Mascerano the tough guy and his issues with gravity, Piquet's saliva problem, Pujol and his hair....I could go on.....

The game has become very dishonest over the last 20 years, but the games between Real Madrid and Barcelona in League, Cup and Champions league over the past few weeks have marked a new low in my opinion. The constant bickering, the pushing and shoving, the fake pain, the diving, the rolling around, the snide a spectacle I thought all 4 games must have been awful (I saw the first 2, missed half of the third, and ignored the 4th game). Atmosphere yes, a couple of great goals, also.....but over the 4 games they can't have played for more than an hour due to all the theatrics, and Barcelona were the main culprits. And it's nothing new.....

Just to balance it out and not be accused of being a secret Madrid fan (as always happens in Spain if you criticise one or the other and viceversa), it's been very amusing to see Madrid complaining of biased they know how the rest of us feel each time we play them!

This weekend I started to see at my son's game that 8 and 9 year olds are copying their heroes. Dives. Fake pain. Even Dissent. I can only conclude that to some extent Barcelona (allright, allright, calm down, calm down, Madrid too) are to blame.

Photo : Busquets. "Oh this hurts sooo much! Has the ref booked him yet?". This player has the kind of face that just gives you an uncontrollable urge to punch.....


  1. Well there you have it in a nutshell. I couldn't agree more. The sad thing is that people in our age group have seen football descend to this over the last 20-30 years. The photo above will be after a tiny knock on the knee - hold face in agony for maximum effect. Unless they stamp this out other teams will do it too, just to compete. What can be done?!?!?

  2. Pete, there seems to be a reluctance to do anything about it from UEFA / FIFA. So deception and cheating go unpunished, but make an honest comment of your feelings about a referee and you'll be banned (then why continue to oppose the use of technology? Refs are human and make mistakes - fact. What's the problem with admitting it? I think the answer is it takes away their (UEFA) posibility to influence results).

    The playacting....almost makes you nostalgic for the Norman Hunter's and Vinny Jones's.....they would kick, but out in the open, it wasn't deceitful and a direct attempt to mislead the referee.