What it means to be a fan, a.k.a. “Camp Nou, here I come …. NOT!”

Tot el camp! (Clap! Clap! Clap!) Es un clam! (Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Tot el camp! (Clap! Clap! Clap!) Es un clam! (Clap! Clap! Clap!)

Have you seen the FC Barcelona home pitch from this vantage point? Shame on you, scoff some people. Have you seen the Camp Nou from any vantage point? Double shame on you, say some people. How can you be a fan if you haven’t even been to a match?

But I’m calling nonsense on that one. Pure, unadulterated bovine bollocks.

In a recent news post that mentioned the possibility of Barca signing A Guy Who Used to Be A Canterano But is Now Playing for a Big English Club, supporters of said club visited in droves, lost their minds and accused us of “tapping up” their beloved semi-talisman. Now, that stuff was all worth a giggle and snort, right? But what got me thinking was one comment by someone, that suggested that Barca fans who haven’t attended a match in the Camp Nou, couldn’t be real Barca fans.

This suggests that somehow, you get sprinkled with magic fairy dust as you pass through the portals of any club’s pitch, something that marks you forever as an official, legitimate fan of that club.

Trust me. You don’t. What you get if you’re lucky is a whiff of wacky tobacky, being inhaled by a local, getting himself in the mood for the match. And inside, the dude just happens to have the seat directly in front of you, where he and his friends smoke so much weed that you inquire about the Camp Nou Hostess concession, for the massive attack of the munchies that must have ensued about .002 seconds after full time.

But that’s another story.

Barcelona has north of 155,000 socis, members of the club who support it with their hard-earned dosh. They can specify which charitable contribution a portion of their membership fee goes to, get various discounts to clothing, etc, and early access to match tickets. Not a bad deal for 155 Euros.

And how many of those socis have visited the Camp Nou, do you reckon? I couldn’t find any statistics on such a thing, so I don’t know. But I’d be willing to bet you that the number isn’t as high as one might think. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. If a club gets in your heart, and you follow it every chance you get, living and breathing with that club’s ups and downs, if you support the club with all you heart (not just your credit card) and get what you need from it, you are a fan. A for-real, no-dicking-around fan.

Last season, I got to spend a week in Barcelona, and took in two matches. By the time we finished with airfare, apartment rentals, match tickets, food, entertainment, etc., it was probably a $5k go-round. Which ain’t cheap. More importantly, because I did that doesn’t make me more of a fan than some kid who fires up a Radio Barca stream on every match day to follow his or her beloved club. And anyone who thinks otherwise is drunk on arrogance.

Hell, there are even season ticket holders who don’t attend matches, for various reasons. And what about many of the fat cats sitting in the plush seats just below my preferred vantage point? They barely watch the match, being so busy preening, attending to their impossible bits of pulchritude and making sure that people see that they are at the match. And they leave very early, to beat the traffic, don’t you know.

They’re at the Camp Nou, but they ain’t no fans. Or are they? You can, after all, be a casual fan, who is loosely interested in the club and wants the occasional sample. Or you could be the kind of nutjob and soci who has more than 20 different Barca shirts from various eras, BARCA 4 license plates and cried like a baby the first time he was standing in front of his seat at the Camp Nou, roaring along with the Himno even though he couldn’t even order a meal in the language he was bellowing, who decides to learn Catalan because the usually twice-annual pilgrimages to Barcelona and the Camp Nou dictate that he might as well learn the language.

When the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005, a colleague scoffed at the bandwagon hoppers. Another colleague, a more devoted Sox fan, said she didn’t give a damn who jumped aboard the bandwagon and when, because anybody on board had a chance of staying and becoming one more member of the White Sox army.

Likewise, there are fans of Barca who came to the club when Ronaldinho was at his magical best, producing goals and amazing plays like a shimmying, fleet-footed conjurer. Cool. Welcome. There are fans of Barca who love Messi, fans who became supporters when we signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Good. Welcome. Because all are welcome.

Right now, we are one of the most attractive clubs in the world. You don’t have to be a supporter, or stuffed full of arrogance to believe such a thing. We play beautiful football and win doing it, with a roster stuffed with home-grown products. We have the best player alive right now, a French legend and God’s own midfielder. How can you not be a fan of that? It’s good times, baby! You weren’t there when the Liga championship came down to the last match of the season, and we came out on the losing end? Good. Nobody should feel that awful. You came at the right time.

Because you aren’t more of a fan if you have suffered with a club, you aren’t more of a fan if you haven’t been to a match in the Camp Nou. Does it help set the hook? Hell, yeah. But anyone who suggests that glory hunters or bandwagon hoppers aren’t fans, or people who haven’t made the trek to the Camp Nou aren’t fans, is misguided in the extreme. Being a fan means supporting the club that you love, for however long you support it.

Just wanted to put that out there.

Categorized as Thoughts

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Oh. Sport has been crowing for a couple of days about some super-secret report of theirs that alleges to have the real reasons that Eto’o was sold. I have ignored it, because it doesn’t really matter that much to me, and Eto’o’s name just seems to set people at each other’s throats.

    But if folks want something worked up, just let me know. πŸ˜€

    1. Id say bring on the Eto’s scoop. If you cannot do it in public you have my email with this post.

  2. Nice work Kxevin.

    The argument that “you’re not a real fan unless you go to a match, or cry when we lose” is ignorant and selfish.

    I’m not a Muslim, but there are Muslim’s around the world who will never have the ability to travel to Mecca. Are they no longer Muslims? No.

    I know it’s an extreme, but I LOVE this club, and I know it’ll be a rare, and special thing if I ever have the resources to travel to the beautiful pitch of the Camp Nou.

  3. I remember that argument Kxevin. And one of our guys felt bad about it. But I didnt want to comment further back then, because it sounded more like…hm…not our discussion standard. And later when that gang from that other street left our park, it felt too late to raise the issue again.

    What was mostly interesting was the remark: “Why dont you support your home team?”

    And the first question I thought of:”How many home players do you have in your home team?” πŸ˜€

    If your team contain players from pole to pole, then why the fans has to be from the two-square-inches surrounding the club stadium.

    Besides, will that same guy say the same thing for the fans who support his own team and who are not living at “home”? Will his team survive without their support and money injected through out their market value?

    Still I could accept his argument if he only listen to “Home” music. eat traditional “Home food” and watch only “home movies”. But then I noticed that he is using windows operating system to communicate via net, which is not his home-product, then why he is only a homey when it come to football? If you cant find your interest at home then make your home where you are interested.

    So, King Arthur who is running out of history books: Welcome back, to our Global world!

    1. Besides, every time I go to watch the Chicago Fire, I have a great time, but the footy makes Baby Kxevin cry.

      And congrats on being part of the new Barca Offside. Good luck with the new project.

  4. i bought $200 dollar tickets to the galaxy v barcelona game. that doesn’t make me a great fan that makes me a sap.

    good shit ramzi looking forward to your articles! you’re the offside’s best signing. you’re their cristiano ronaldo ;^)

  5. I know that feeling exactly and i’ve been at the receiving end of that shit on some forums now.
    Don’t facts like keeping inhuman hours to be able to follow Barca’s live score (bcoz they don’t telecast the match in our country), skipping to the Barca hymn to class despite weird stares from classmates, doodling Barca crests on any writable surface, devising formations for the match next up and dreaming about the club 24×7 qualify me as a fan?
    The fact that I chose to love, follow and embrace this club despite being halfway around the world, with a million other clubs to choose from makes me more of a fan rather than a lesser once.

    Ramzi, every word of your comment was worth its weight in gold.

    And bravo Kxevin for bringing this up and clearing the air once and for all.

  6. Thank you, Kevin. I became a fan after the 2006 World Cup. You dont have to be born a Barca fan or Only have become one when they’re not successfull. I feel like you just have to stick with them through the bad times and the good :). Great work.

  7. LMAO!

    I don’t know if anyone else’s seen it, but WorldSoccerShop.com has an ad to the right of the site saying “Wear FC Barcelona Gear” with Eto’o as the poster boy!

    Anyway, I remember the douche too. He went by a million pennames.

    I’m haven’t been to the Camp Nou before, and my first season as a Barca fan was the unfortunate 2006/2007 season when we lost on the last day. At the start of the season, I was still getting a feel to the club (and I became a fan because of Messi (after watching him at the WC 2006)). But fast forward to the end of the season when Tamudo scored that equalizer at the death, and Madrid won in dramatic fashion in those crazy 120 seconds, I think I was as crushed as the 96,000+ fans in the Camp Nou that day!

    I came at the so-called “downfall” of the club, where Ronnie was beginning to be unmotivated, and the team was getting ‘soft’. Does that make me more of a fan because I supported the team during the worst run since pre-Laporta? No. Are the fans that started to support the club during this past season not REAL fans? No. At least, I don’t think so. I say lucky them.

    Living in Canada, we have hockey here and I’m not much of a fan TBH. The Sens are great (or crap, for all I know) and I barely know the rules for hockey and who the players are. I don’t share the same animosity towards the Maple Leafs (Toronto-based team) as the rest of the City of Ottawa. But ask me anyone on Barca, by name or number, and I’ll know who they are. I despise the EE ALMOST as much as a “home-grown” cule. And Thong Boy makes me sick, even though I’m a girl (Seriously. I can’t STAND the guy).

    In conclusion ( πŸ˜€ ) , … Well. Just read the last sentence of the article (Great one as always BTW!)

    1. And Thong Boy makes me sick, even though I’m a girl (Seriously. I can’t STAND the guy).

      LOL πŸ˜€

    2. Im from Canada and I love Barca!!! True Cule!!! You can come look at it if you like!!! Just Kidding!!!

    3. LOL πŸ˜€

      What part of Canada are you from, if you don’t mind me asking?

      I’m from good ol’ Ottawa, not that anyone really cares. Seriously. Ask anyone (outside, or even INSIDE) Canada what the capital of the country is and they’ll say “Toronto? Montreal? Vancouver? Okay, I’m stumped.”

      It’s funny in a sad, sad way.

    4. Hey Kari, I live in Toronto, but I occasionally come to Ottawa, and since I am a Salsero, I visit Club Caliente and/or Salsa Rahim’s when I visit Ottawa.
      I love Ottawa, and I do believe it is the true capital of Canada. Best Wishes. Sumit.

  8. You made some valid points, and I’m quite surprised you said some of them. I disagree with your stance on bandwagon hoppers though. I have always been a bit bothered by glory-hunters/bandwagoners to be honest. Or well, the type who latch on because of a good year then abandon ship as soon as the going gets rough. They wear maroon and blue because they think it makes them look cool, and don’t follow the team. If they stick with the club and pay some attention to the season, they have my respect and I am more than willing for some heated discussion.

    Really, there are two basic types of Barcelona fans Those who discovered the club by whim or through a player or event and fell in love with everything about it: the style of play, the history, the players themselves. Then there are those like me who have been fans quite literally since birth and grew up bleeding maroon and blue. But at the same time, we are all fans who share a love. It’s about the club, the squad, and everyone involved.

    The statistic of how many socis have visited the Camp Nou depends on residence. 75% of Spanish socis have been to the stadium, and about 25% non-Spanish have. And those who vote is a slimmer statstic.

    But don’t downgrade socis. A lot of us love the club with everything they have. Hell, most of the players on the first team and in the Cantera are socis. Pique, Busquets, Puyol, etc have been for years. Many of those who have left have kept membership – Fabregas, Crosas, etc.

  9. I like the statement, “some socios never go to the games”, my grandma has been a member since the 60’s and she’s never been.
    my grandpa hasn’t gone in a long time. I hope to bring him to a game before he dies. It would be a pain in the ass since he lives all the way in San Cugat. He never never misses a game.

  10. I’ve only beem to the Camp Nou in the offseason, when rhey wete fixing the field, so ive never actually seen the Camp Nou with grass :p

  11. Thanks for the article, Kxevin.

    Mali just qualified for the AfricanCupofNations today. Damn, now it is definite that Keita will joining Yaya. So…what does the report say! It’s nowhere near the same as opening Pandora’s, err Cesc’s Box, so I don’t see much harm in it, especially if we have the time to talk about Robinho.

  12. Well, When I moved to NZ about 8 years ago I stopped watching football, because it wasn’t shown here (it is still really bad), back when I was 14 years old, I used to watch about 4 matches a day, of different leagues…

    I went to visit some family members in Jordan about 4 years ago and while I was there BarΓ§a was about to play Chelsea in SB (Del Horno’s incident), I had no idea that BarΓ§a was La Liga winners, hadn’t watched/heard of Ronaldinho before… I just couldn’t get my eyes of the game and found myself cheering for BarΓ§a’s goals and Messi’s demolition of Chelsea!

    I went back to NZ and joined Uni, I changed my degree to Spanish and European Studies and never missed a match since then, I wake up at 4am many times to stream BarΓ§a’s matches even Copa Catalunya ones…

    My brother and I decided to move to Europe in a couple of months so when be closer to Spain (I am planning to live there one day)…

  13. I believe that Schuster is a socio as well, he was asked about it when he was the EE coach and he said it was personal…

  14. Sport says that although Brazil lost to Bolivia, Dani was the best on the field. (He played midfield) He even hit the post. Even AS echoed those sentiments and said that Dani was “omnipresent” and fought for the ball in all areas of the stadium. Maybe he has impressed Dunga enough to start him permanently in the midfield.

    1. Jnice, The thing about Dani is that you give him a field and he will run 30000 extra laps just because he can. I am still trying to figure out how he got that extra lung in his heart

  15. With all the Argie press on Messi’s case, maybe he should retire and see how Argentina would win a world cup without him. Fools.

  16. *http://wrighty7.blogspot.com/2009/10/will-you-just-fk-off-seriously-isnt-it.html
    LOL at their frustration and fear πŸ˜›

    1. HYPOCRISY. plain and simple. How is Barca “tapping up” Cesc when Arsenal “tapped up” Cesc when he was at Barca and Spanish Law prevented him from signing until 18 (maybe 17). If this was, I don’t know, 4-6 years ago, then it’d be the other way around, but justified, I would say. (Same with Merida). However, those dudes plus the new “dude” must not have been talented enough to break into the first team anyway if they were so desperate to leave for cash. If they truly had confidence in themselves and their own skill, they’d still be here earning much more money than they will at Arsenal, just look at Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes and so on. In a few years, their time would have come along with Pique (presumably next on the new deal line), Bojan, Busquets, etc… Hell, even Pedro has a new deal with an extraordinary release clause. As for wanting our former youth stars back? No thanks, unless they would fill a specific hole. It is simply unrealistic that EVERY one of our youth players who succeed in the beautiful game will star in OUR first team. I have no problem with us letting those without prominent roles go to greener pastures for themselves: that’s the beauty of La Masia; however, I do have a problem with our youth players being stolen by English teams because of the contract law. If Spanish Law was not so stupid, I guess there would be no reason for anyone to complain because it would have been Barca’s fault to resign and the player’s decision that Barca was not his future, instead of “Oh, Arsenal is right! Why the hell should I stay at La Masia when I could be making thousands of pounds with a professional contract in England. I think I’ll just come back once some of my better former teammates retire or some jackass traitor is running for Prez and can pay me more. I’ll cry like a baby once I’m stuck on the bench and demand to be sold to EE, cause FloFlo is my father.”

    2. Oh, and I don’t think anyone would care about Arsenal bidding for Messi or even anyone else on our team. Nobody would leave Barca to play for them. 1)Trophies. Lately, ARS has none…since a while… 2.Pay. Arsenal cannot pay everyone as well as Barca, which sort of ties into the trophies but more so into that whole world exposure and “armchair” fans as anti-futbol haters say. So Arsenal, bid all you want! The only players you could get from us that are LEGAL are Puyol or Milito, of which the latter would be a favor to us (like Hleb) and the former because he will be out of a starting job. Don’t worry, Joan Laporta loves Arsenal and will continue ticking off “armchair” fans by allowing our youth to help build your fruitless runs for trophies.

    3. The thing is, if we were exploiting loopholes and stealing their Cesc, or previously Henry for free, i could understand their gripe.(The irony!) The difference is first, they actually get money for the transfers; second,they dont have to take our money and no one is forcing them to sell, it takes 2 parties to agree a transfer fee.Their management is just as much to blame for selling their best players.

  17. Nice article Kevin. I pay my soci dues yearly, follow religiously, watch all the match, and have even tattooed “Mes que un club” on my forearm and I still haven’t been to a match.

    I will be for my honeymoon in the spring though πŸ˜€

  18. Kxevin,

    Great Article. I pretty much agree with you on what was said. I have been to about 2 home matches at the Camp for the past 4 seasons, and that has honestly been a privilege. But to be honest most of the people at the game are tourists, like me. Although i do feel i am more of a die hard fan than most of these people at the match, and i feel that people who have never even been to a match are more barca through and through than alot of people who have been to a match. Yes the experience is amazing, yes there is an energy felt with 90,000+ people packed, cheering and singing the entire length of the game(smoking weed in the stands that is tolerated in barcelona), But honestly just because you have the ability to go, doesn’t make you anymore of a fan. I have felt privileged to have had the chance to go as often as i have to support the club i love, but i would never hold that above another cules head, never, ever. I have equal respect for anyone that is a barca fan. Why? Because the more people that “jump on the bandwagon” i.e. actually enjoy supporting a team that plays the sport the way it is meant to be played, just encourages more of the big clubs and teams around the world to play that way. And that only furthers our game as a whole. I believe that the more supporters we have, the better the club we have, Because at barca, it is the fans that make the team, just as the catalan people have made Barca their national team. Barca is a symbol of so many things, and the more people we have supporting those causes, the better off the football world will be.

  19. nice topic..
    another thing is, i hear a lot of people say,
    “oh, you are not a fan if you dont have a jersey of your team.”

    dam it, i sleep 5days a week(if barca plays twice a week) coz im in Asia and they show the matches at 3-4am..that is if they show barca and not RM..if they prefer to air RM live, i have to skip school the next day to catch the delayed telecast..
    i think thats enough said..
    i may not have the money to buy the jersey, let alone visit the camp nou but i am surely a barca fan!
    how to become a soci btw?
    whats the purpose of it?
    we help the club in what way?

  20. True that Kxevin!

    I haven’t been there either but I’m as much a fan as everyone else here if not more.

    Saving up to watch them at the World Club Championships in the Middle East. πŸ™‚

  21. the football experience can be lived in many different ways and it is childish to pretend that one is better than others (my toys are better. why? because they’re mine). my sister sells tickets at camp nou and it’s a dream for her since she can usually enter for the second half and hope for some messi goal. me, on the other hand, i’ve never really enjoyed that much attending matches live. i have had my share and found out that i suffer enough on my own without the need of ‘socis’ shouting and smoking their guts off next to me. tv and internet broadcasts are my thing. if i am a worse supporter because of that, please go talk to my state of excitement before each game and the ways i get after losing / not playing well.

  22. Thanx Kevin. I may have some other news this week as well. As the Offside came as a surprise for me while preparing my own thing. But thats not Barca-related. more to come πŸ˜‰

    Its good that Keita will play at the world cup. The more players we have there, the better it is for the club profile. Beside, he can do some crest ads there.

    1. Kieta is not playing at the World Cup… Mali was eliminated a few matchdays ago. They qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

  23. I’d love to read about an experience at the nou camp during a big game Real Madrid/Valencia etc or even a big Champions League game. I read an article some time ago on soccernet.com about a journalist’s visit the Bernabeu when a Ronaldinho led Barca walloped EE 3-0.

    Kxevin/Isaiah/Hector, perhaps you could relive an experience at the Nou Camp here…

    1. That’s a good idea, Reagan, except it would pretty much consist of “Everybody’s screaming. Holy shit! I cried during the Himno again. Hey! A goal! Everybody’s screaming. Holy shit! etc, etc.”

      Just kidding. It’s funny how different the atmosphere is from match to match. The Gamper for example, is very laid-back. Liga matches against minnows are also pretty sleepy. The Valencia match (that I attended last year) was absolutely electric.

      The plan is for me to Tweet live from both the Clasico and Champions League match, so if you aren’t following me, you should be. I’m kevvwill@twitter.

  24. Reagan, I think your wish will be fulfilled twice this month. Kevin will be there to cover Inter and El classico.

    Someone else was supposed to be there as well. But greedy kevin BOUGHT ALL THE TICKETS AVAILABLE!!!

    Oh and because I will be traveling outside Europe for two weeks as well…May be another time.

    Oh yea…And bring back the good games. Why dont they make the WC once every 8 years instead.

    1. Why don’t they just focus on one full month or two to play all the WC classification games? People would follow it more and it wouldn’t interfere that much with the club’s games.

    2. Usually because that would interfere with some tournament, be it the Euro, Copa Libertadores, Gold Cup, etc. The system works fine now, I think, as it also allows managers to slowly build a team the years before the World Cup.

      I tend to be more sympathetic to national teams than most people on this site. As much as I love Barca as my club (along with my local club), I respect the national game above and beyond club games. If Keita needs to travel to Namibia for a friendly, you don’t mess with that. If Portugal needs to risk a CR injury to ensure qualification, that’s needed to. If Xavi needs to be called up to the Spanish national team after they’ve qualified, in order to keep up the team dynamic, then I’m on board.

      The only thing I disagree with is how Del Bosque treated Iniesta. It was downright irresponsible to risk Iniesta aggravating his injury to play once Spain had qualified. Even if you forget how disrespectful it is to the player (and his club), it’s simply not wise to risk having your player miss weeks of playing time the season before a World Cup (or any time, really). That got me angry.

    3. HAHA! Preferential behavior to Iniesta between him & Xavi!!! Xavi also had a knock… Fabregas can keep up the team dynamic as is wildly believed πŸ˜›

  25. There is absolutely no need to buy jerseys, or to go the “estadi” to prove you’re a fan but on:

    “Being a fan means supporting the club that you love, for however long you support it.”

    To me being a cule (or colchonero, merengue etc…) is from childhood to death, you can change your girlfriend, your job, even your gendre… but never the club that you love.

    1. I have to agree, once you have chosen to be a Barca fan you should be a fan for life. That is the only thing that makes me question a “fan”, when they start switching from club to club. You dont have to buy the shirts, or go to the games or even become a socio, but once you decide to support the club, that should be it. In it for life…

    2. Which is why I personally never understood how some fans are literally fans of like 5 European clubs. Sometimes it makes sense, but most of the time it seems pretty fickle.

      I’m talking about those who are fans of Chelsea and Real Madrid and AC Milan and Lyon and Bayern Munich. It’s like, okay, one of those teams is bound to be successful in one competition every year, so there’s always something to be happy about and no need to dwell on failures. AC Milan got knocked out of the Champion’s League? No biggie, Chelsea’s still in it. Real Madrid out of title contention? Well, at least Lyon is leading Ligue 1. Oh, Chelsea got knocked out of the FA Cup? Hmmmm, let’s see how Bayern is doing.

      It’s weird listening to conversations that basically boil down to that. You need to feel those failures, otherwise the successes aren’t as fulfilling, no?

    3. Yeah I dont get that either. How can anybody support more than one club. I can understand maybe following a few teams regularly, but to actually actively and passionately support more than one team….i dont really get how. I support Barca, but I live in London so I watch a lot of EPL football. I wouldnt say I support any teams though, I like a few teams, cos of the way they play football and I also hate a few teams for the same reason.

      I know ppl here though that actively support both english and spanish clubs, for example I have a friend who supports RM and Liverpool and he supports both passionately….I could never do that. My heart can only belong to one team! Also what happens when they play each other? When Liverpool beat RM last year the poor guy was so torn, not sure he knew how he felt. Cant imagine that…

    4. Well, you can love your dad, your mother, and your wife all at the same time.

      And you can love your friends, and other family members, all at the same time.

      I don’t think a “love-canister” with only a certain amount of love per person has been found.

      The same extends to football teams.

      Shouldn’t matter how many teams you love, so long as you love them all. It doesn’t even have to be equally. since there are different loves for your mom and your significant other.

    1. No pro…and yeah i notice that mostly all young players with potential across Europe wear high numbers..mostly in the thirty’s

    2. Apparently, the number 30 was a combination of his two closest friends’ numbers (at the time) Ronaldinho {10} and Deco {20}

  26. Since Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Torres & Villa are all unavailable for next match does any body see the line-up to be some thing like this?
    I hope so man, want to see how Busi would fare in Xavi’s role ahead of our clash with Valencia and Xavi might not be 100% fit by then!!


  27. exactly jose
    without feeling the pain of past failures, you wont feel as satisfied when we’re winning..
    early 2000 was a really bad period but for me, 2006/07 was the most painful…
    we kept on conceding goals in the last 10 minutes or even injury time and in the end draw the match. and in the end RM won the league due to those many 2 lost points sigh..

    1. I feel ya. I started following Barca on that season. I chose them because they were the club my cousins followed, they had awesome jerseys (sponsored by effin’ UNICEF!), Ronaldinho was incredible, and for some reason my parents gave me a Catalan first name. Maybe those were silly reasons in hindsight, but Barca just seemed to fit.

      Anyway, I experienced those epic letdowns for those two seasons, including that one that came to the final day in which we actually ended up even with EE… and that match where we had to do el pasillo at the Bernabeu. I went into last season, like most of us, thinking it was a transition year that would yield no trophies, and I still followed them like every other season. The fact that I experienced all those bad times (I came in after the double of 2006, which I didn’t really even find out about months after I started following Barca) has made me feel and love our successes more, but I would never say it makes me a “better fan” than someone who started following Barca last week.

      Btw, I would just like to say that a big factor in my continuing love and appreciation for the club came from following its Offside blog, which was then run by a couple of highly capable young men, which some of you may have heard of. P.S. good to see it’s back in business too!

  28. For me, being a fan is:
    – to support your club in good and in bad times
    – to have a very emotional relationship with the club

    I’m sad and devastated when Barca loses a match, no matter how important the match is. During a match, I live my emotions more excessive than in any other situation, it goes from relentlessly punching the pillow when the ball simply does not want to go in to plenary relief and joy once a goal has been scored (which sometimes leads to such intense leaps for joy that my parents fear for the steadfastness of my floor resp. their ceiling πŸ˜€ ).

    1. To be honest, I don’t think Huntelaar would be great in our system. he just seems to static and is really just a poacher (a la Inzhagi but with even less movement) and his technical skill leave a bit to be desired (though, I’ve only seen him play a few times admittedly)

      Besides, if he’s being dropped by MILAN of all clubs, then he must not be all that great. Any player seems great BEFORE they come to Spain (cough * HLEB * cough)

      Suarez on the other hand… πŸ˜€

  29. Oh I will also say that it takes a very self-righteous person to go ahead and tell others how to express their love.

    For example, mother’s day. Ever asked someone what they got for their mom? And they said nothing? Well, yeah, that may sound horrible, but has it ever occurred to you that they express their love for their mom on mother’s day in non-materialistic ways?

    The same is here, for clubs. Because a person isn’t completely devastated and doesn’t slip into a deep depression when their beloved team loses does not mean they lack passion for their team.

    And when you are supporting a cub, you are supporting a club. End of story. It doesn’t matter if you only support them for a year, or a month, or a lifetime. Those who support their clubs for a lifetime have commitment for football, those who only do it for a month have a limited amount of commitment. That does not mean, however, that their support for the club was worth any less than yours.

  30. Agree 100%. I hate arrogant, self-righteous people who, just because they’ve supported a club longer than others, feel that they’re the “superior” fan.

    “Hey man, I’ve been with this club longer than you have; I’ve supported it when we haven’t won so GTFO, you glory hunter.”

    This is utter BS. If you’re a REAL FAN, you have nothing to prove and you’ll be happier that others are supporting your club as well.

    If you think about it, how can you distinguish the line between glory hunters and the birth of a loyal fan? You just simply can’t and it may even be possible that everyone who likes Barcelona can be considered as bandwagon follower to begin with. I was a bandwagon follower when Rivaldo was at his prime but Look where I am now.

    Kevin this entry has got to be in the commandments of being a true football fan.

  31. Brilliant, Kevin. And worthy of being noted as Justin just said. I’ll have my own response in a couple of days.

    For now, suffice to say that being a fan is what you make of it. I don’t get my mom anything for Mother’s Day; I don’t get my dad anything for Father’s Day; I’m pretty sure I still love them, though. I’m a member of Barcelona because I support the team and wish to do so monetarily. Perhaps that’s something others consider important, but I do it because I consider it important, not because others will think I’m a better fan or something.

    And, for the record, I have never been to a live Barcelona match in the Camp Nou nor have I been to a competitive match of theirs either. I’ve been to friendlies here in the US (Barcelona-Red Bulls twice), but so what? I happen to live in New York where they were playing. Yay me. Guess that means I’m a better fan than all you suckas who happen to live 1) not in Barcelona and 2) nowhere near where FCB goes on tour. Losers!

    To each his or her own. Trying to out-fan others means you’re not a fan. Fans care about the club, not the other fans.

  32. Sport reports the board might be interested to sign Julio Baptista in January to solve our mid-field depth issues during ACN… I know it’s International break and they would come up with all kinds of speculation just for the sake of it, but wanted to know what you guys think of it!?!

    1. Well…he’s got good foot skills for a big guy, but I still see him as more of the bull-in-a-china-shop kind of player, so not really cut out for our system. Plus, I’ll never forgive him for this.

    1. Nothing new, they all have a herd mentality. 1 sheep says Messi doesnt play well for his country, all of them repeat the same thing. Just like when they called him a big game choke. Its amazing how repition makes people accept things as truth and facts.No wonder Skysports is so succesful in their “Superior EPL” Campaign.

    2. So true.

      But really, what is there to expect from soccernet.com? Does ANYONE really believe they’d have quality writers there (with the exception of a few (Phil Ball)). With the EPL bias poisioning the fans and journalists alike, you’re just asking for it.

    3. This is just an article written by someone who watched a highlight reel. There is no hint of an honest attempt to analyze the game.

  33. Hey look, it’s….whatshisname talking again


    You’d think after the millionth time he’d get that no-one cares…

    1. What? What about Henry?!?!
      He deserved it x40 times more!Even though he’s not doing anything this season yet…

  34. I agree you don’t have to have been to Camp Nou to be a fan, or to any team’s stadium. When I was growing up sports were still followed by kids with their ear to a radio as eagerly as adults who could afford tickets to a game, and had the means to get there. In fact I don’t believe that there are any requirements to being a fan. As others have said, how you come to love something/one and how you express that is no one else’s business.

    HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean we have to convince ourselves that to most people attending a match is not a special, or coveted experience. It is just one that not everyone can manage, and that a minority don’t enjoy.

    As I’m sure each of us have said at one time or another, so much goes on, off camera, on the pitch that has a huge impact on the match. And a player’s greatest contribution during any given match may be off the ball, and therefore often off screen. Also, even after being amazed by watching the speed and agility of (particularly Barca of course) players on TV, it is still almost a shock to see just it in person. I think speed is one of the things that doesn’t translate completely on TV.

    I get as annoyed with the Spanish papers and their histrionics as anyone, but some of the emotional match reports do give a sense of some of the things we can’t get through the tube. I think it would be great to read some of those observations here from anyone who gets to a game and gets their socks knocked off by something they see.

    p.s. Its the cloud of tobacco smoke that might deter me before the weed! πŸ˜‰

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