Catalonian Hatorade

Even a Real Madrid fan can appreciate the waning Barca dynasty
Share |

{Photo by dersportmanager, used under a Creative Commons license}

The world has this pretty messed up view of Americans as drone-loving imperialists who want to win at any costs. In reality, Americans are much more complex. We do love to win (who doesn’t?), yet many of us hate winners. For every Yankees fan, how many folks despise the pinstripes? How many of your favorite companies have gone through the Department of Justice anti-trust ringer? Thus, for the past few years, many Americans, myself included, have looked upon the success of FC Barcelona with suspicion and disdain. Now that the sun sets on the Catalan reign, we must ask ourselves: were we suspicious of monopolies, or just a bunch of haters?

Spanish soccer is the new Cold War. Instead of the Soviet Union versus the United States, we have FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. They are the two superpowers with massive amounts of revenue thanks to slanted TV deals. They've won a combined 54 La Ligas (out of 82). That number is even more skewed if you only look at La Ligas won since 1950. Both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are also heavily in debt. Why? Well, instead of ICBMs, the teams invest tens of millions in South American starlets. Some excel. Some flame out. It's Neymar instead of nukes. Instead of the Bay of Pigs, Barca fans tossed a pig's head at a player, Luis Figo, with the audacity to change sides.

In American baseball, we've invented jinxes and curses to explain a team's failure. In Spain and soccer, it's easier to point to the referee. Every time a referee blows a call in a clasico, one set of fans views him as inevitably part of a vast conspiracy, an Illuminati who wanted their team to lose. Never mind the fact that most referees in Spain and Europe are only part-timers.

Thanks to my chicano roots, I learned to love Real Madrid in the 1980s, during Hugo Sanchez's heyday. Flash forward to the mid-2000's, and things had changed considerably. Real Madrid no longer looked down their noses at FC Barcelona. Rather, starting with Johan Cruyff's dream team of the 1990s, the Catalans had caught up with Madrid financially and sporting-wise. Real Madrid has still won more Champions Leagues than any other club, but in the last decade Barca has closed the gap. Mixing a Spanish midfield nucleus with South American flair, first Ronaldinho and then Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona has looked unstoppable at times. During their 3:1 demolition of Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final, a novice fan and friend asked me: why doesn't the red team try and kick the ball?

When a team mounts a sustained period of greatness, a hater’s line of attack thins considerably. You can't contest results. Normally, you can complain about a few players with a sour attitude. Near the end of FC Barcelona's first run of titles, Ronaldinho started to overindulge in the nightlife. However, he was never crass with fans or the media, just a bit lazy in training. During the Pep Guardiola era, Samuel E'too's ego threatened to explode, but he was promptly sold. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic only lasted a year in the azulgrana colors. Barca’s Spanish stars have always been good soldiers, speaking in the third-person at pressers. Leo Messi has shined on the field but largely avoids the media. I know I would be a colossal prick if I'd scored that many goals, so his absence may be a good thing.

Because Barca kept such a happy locker room and won so consistently, the only true line of criticism was style. Since Cruyff's tenure as coach, Barcelona has emphasized retaining the ball and patiently attacking the opposition's goal. This requires highly skilled defenders and the sacrifice of a forward for a fifth midfielder. Barcelona still scores a lot of goals and wins many games by high margins. Thus, my line of attack was akin to a college basketball fan's disdain for the NBA: a methodical half-court offense appears slow to fans accustomed to a full court press or fast break offense. Yes, Barca wins just as a boa constrictor will inevitably suffocate a mouse by strangulation, but there are prettier sights to be seen.

That argument was and is still mirrored by many segments of the UK press. Some say Barca lacks a "cut and thrust." Arsenal's manager has even labeled tiki taka as overkill. The premise for this argument, though, is flawed upon closer inspection. Statistics show that Barcelona completes a ridiculous amount of passes-per-game. The conclusion is that Barcelona passes too much. The assumption is that they pass instead of shooting. However, Barcelona regularly peppers the opposing goal with shots. Thus, one cannot genuinely say Barca is boring because they pass instead of shooting. In reality, they do both. They just do it much, much better than your team. Even if you're a Real Madrid fan. It just sucks to be on the losing end.

Still, all good things must come to an end. Time and tragedy have taken their toll on FC Barcelona. Their bedrock defender Carles Puyol has lost a step and is now perpetually injured. Their now ex-coach Tito Vilanova and former star left back Erib Abidal both suffered from two bouts of cancer. Their midfield nucleus has stayed off the trainer's table, but time has robbed Xavi and Iniesta of their once-quicksilver first step. The team lacks a star striker ala E'too or Villa to lead the line, and increasingly depends on Messi. Fabregas has proven to be anything but an heir to Xavi, and Thiago Alcantara left for Bayern Munich. They signed Brazilian starlet Neymar, but, if history is any guide, he'll need at least a year to adapt. Barca may be great again before long, but it won’t be the same team. A few bright rays of light may illuminate the horizon for this incarnation, but only briefly.

Part of being a fan is learning how to hate without crossing the fine line of tact. I think I've balanced dislike for a rival with respect. However, in juggling these two balls, I dropped another: appreciation. All sport involves artistry. If you've ever played soccer, you marvel at Barcelona's first-touch extended passing sequences. If you don't hate them, that is. Thanks to YouTube, we can now watch the greatness of the past from the safety of the future. I look forward to re-living Barca's greatest moments. After all, scars heal. We can pour out the hatorade and lift a glass to a ridiculously talented team. We no longer have to worry about a rival beating us to a title—it already happened.

Share |


Our goal at is to provide the best quality Car Cover for your Car on the market at the lowest price possible. Being the direct manufacturer of those not only allows us to offer our Car Cover for your Car at a wholesale price without compromising on the quality of the Car Cover, but it also allows us to be updated on the latest technology on Car Cover in order to continuously improve on our Car Cover fabric. car covers

Precisely, you're exceptionally sort of us about remark!. custom research papers writing service Great site! I really cherish how it is simple on my eyes it is. I am considering how I may be informed at whatever point another post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trap? Have an incredible

What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much. MyHealth

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.

Inflatable Red Dinosaur Costume – Fan Operated Adult Halloween Cosplay Animal Dino Rider T-Rex. inflatable dinosaur costume

It’s my first time to visit this site & I’m really surprised to see such impressive stuff out there. chat rooms for websites

I did expertise checking out content as well as testimonials distributed below. These are just extraordinary you'll find a substantial amount helpful know-how. write my book report

desi nude pics Best nude Indian girls pictures. Desi nude horny teen girls pics. Indian hot college girls nude pics. Indian boobs pictures. Bhabhi nude pictures. latest young 18+ Gaand and Chut pictures. Latest 2016 nude desi pictures. Top rated free naked desi pictures.

asian porn - Free jav torrents. Get free daily updated japanese porn torrents here.

adult rating network Best free rating site and adult social network. Show yourself and meet other exhibitionists.

AMMA connects its Member Firms and their clients with early stage investment opportunities in the technology sector. The partnership between AMMA and its Accounting Member Firms provides a unique point of difference to the firm.

We help you write and edit your assignments so that you can get a better grade. Can someone do my essay for me request is finally properly addressed! Assignment writing can at time be a very challenging task and without an expert help - hard to achieve.assignment writing

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.
Printing Canvas

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work. AZ Best Reviews

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. car covers

I think this is a really good article. You make this information interesting and engaging. You give readers a lot to think about and I appreciate that kind of writing.
Plastic surgery group

Awesome post I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this fascinating and learned article. car covers

The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information. SB Game Hacker Download

I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work!
see my profile

Existing without the answers to the difficulties you’ve sorted out through this guide is a critical case, as well as the kind which could have badly affected my entire career if I had not discovered your web site
Website Design Birmingham

This is cool post and i enjoy to read this post. your blog is fantastic and you have good staff in your blog. nice sharing keep it up.
used rough terrain forklift

Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. adam richmond, adam richmond comedy

I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. Polish news

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Click to visit

wells fargo hours You can find the branch of Wells Fargo near you and know the banking hours if you click to this link then You have to provide your zip code or the name of your city or state or the address of the branch.

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!
Halstedhus Efterskole

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! Click here

Your online journal furnished us with profitable data to work with. Each and every tips of your post are great. Much obliged for sharing. Continue blogging, how to hack coc

I did enjoy reading articles posted on this site. They are impressive and has a lot of useful information.
Window Washer Lone Tree Colorado

chat senza registrazione webcam Chat senza registrazione: chat porno, chat erotica per adulti senza registrazione.

porno Pornografia od zawsze była tematem tabu. Mało kto ma na tyle odwagi, by przyznać głośno, że zaspokaja się “własnoręcznie” przy wizerunkach roznegliżowanych panienek, lub przy filmach odzwierciedlających jego najdziksze fantazje. To by oznaczało, że jego życie uczuciowe, a co za tym idzie erotyczne – nie istnieje, prawda? Wiele badań i ankiet na ten temat pozwala jednak podważać tę teorię – dziś bowiem po pornografię sięgają nie tylko sfrustrowani i nieśmiali panowie, którzy od dawna nie zaznali seksu w ramionach czułej partnerki, ale także mężczyźni pozostający w stałych, szczęśliwych związkach i systematycznie uprawiających satysfakcjonujący seks! Co więcej – po filmy erotyczne sięgają także kobiety!

Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success. natural oral thrush treatments

This post is fantastic. This is one of the best posts that I've read on your blog in a long time. You have all the skills to become the top writer of this era. I hope you'll put those skills to a good use.hunting tips here

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

toastmaster bread machine

Acknowledges for paper such a beneficial composition, I stumbled beside your blog besides decipher a limited announce. I want your technique of inscription... Kofferwaagen

Much obliged to you for some other enlightening online journal. Where else might I be able to understand that kind of data written in such a perfect means? I have a mission that I'm a few seconds ago taking a shot at, and I have been at the post for such data. XML Sitemap Generator

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. Check this site

Greatly composed article, if just all bloggers offered the same substance as you, the web would be a much better place.. create your meditation space

Buy backlinks I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post Dofollow Blog Comments

It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. Click here

Birmingham escort Book a hot Birmingham escort from the top Birmingham escort agency. We offer Blonde escorts, Brunette escorts for the best in incall & outcall services.

BUY INSTAGRAM COMMENTS To be frank, many business owners are yet to realize the importance of buying instagram followers. Putting your business on Instagram will resonate your business with the latest trend in the world. Most of the people nowadays use social media on a daily basis. This gives your business a huge leap forward as people can have access to your business through a social media platform.

I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. mustang car covers

Comprar favoritos en twitter a buen precio desde 99 cents. Aumentar vos alance en Twitter con nuestros favoritos de alta calidad.comprar favoritos en twitter

It is very good, but look at the information at this address. Cure for Panic Attacks

BUY INSTAGRAM LIKES To be frank, many business owners are yet to realize the importance of buying instagram followers. Putting your business on Instagram will resonate your business with the latest trend in the world. Most of the people nowadays use social media on a daily basis. This gives your business a huge leap forward as people can have access to your business through a social media platform.

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! Jad Shaddad

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. info about dr paul lubitz

This is very appealing, however , it is very important that will mouse click on the connection: Promosi Sunway Lagoon