The Barcelona Alphabet.

A is for Alves

Our occasionally delusive defender.

Riling people up is his part of his M.O,

Other than crosses to who knows.

When it comes to football,

He’s that guy that everyone loves to hate,

But secretly wants as their teammate.

He never gets tired,

Sprints like a man on fire.

Dani is a player cules are grateful for,

Because he’s like a spirit untamed,

Plays as if he were still a babe,

Even if his pants sometimes go up in figurative flames.


B’s for Busi

The defensive midfield genius,

Who has a terrible reputation,

And while it’s not without reason,

He needs more appreciation.

Gets in the way like no one else,

(except maybe Keita)

His opponents just groan and wish,

They could face someone else.

Such a talented player,

With legs like Bambi,

Watching him do rondos all day,

Would be just dandy.


C is for Captain Carles

The vine swinging central defending artisan,

Who I am sure sometimes role-plays as a Catalan Tarzan.

He has heart, he has luscious curly locks,

But most of all, he’s a master at those timely blocks.

At 34, some wonder how long he’s last for,

Which I ruefully shake me head at, senor.

Because he’ll be our Maldini forevermore,

Until he can resist the call to wilderness no more,

(Someone has to save those vulnerable orangutans)

In which case he’ll be inducted into Barca forklore.

The indomitable Puyi,

El Capita of yore.


D’s for Dahveed

Our Asturian maravilla.

Scored twentysomething goals in his maiden season,

While less than his normal haul,

It’s still pretty decent.

Played through pain with a cracked tibia,

Not that that stopped the media.

Now a crack has turned into a break,

In the semis against Al-Sadd,

People are feeling quite bad.

But he’ll recover to be offside another day.

Puxa Guaje! The Euros await.


E is for Eric

The example of elegance.

Survived the toughest of trials,

With the biggest of smiles,

This leftback will be staying for a while.

A consummate professional,

When he tackles he’ll get all ball.

During training he’ll teach the trainers,

How to walk with major swagger, y’all.


F is for Francesc

A common name for many Catalan nens,

Not the least two very important men.

The first is a boy who returned home,

After a couple of million Euros were blown.

His play in the final third is fantastic,

Though he still has room for improvement,

Like the passes completed statistic.

The second is much lesser known,

Most remembered in the media for his eyeball woes,

But his presence is very much valued,

As the corner to goal stats will tell you.


G’s for Gerard

Who also come in a pair.

One will no doubt pique your interest,

As his last name is one of the coolest.

In Catalan God Made Him is (Deu)(lo)(feu),

And if he makes the first team,

That will be his nickname,

What say you?

The other is called Piquenbauer at his best,

On his off days, his passing is a bit of a mess.

His future objective is to be Barca president,

Considering who we have now, few would object.


H is for Hleb

The name whose etymology stems from bleh.

Attacking moves failed for no reason,

When he was here for one season.

Ego was too large at the time,

To see the picture at large.

Now he’s seen the error of his ways,

Has been quite self-deprecating along the way,

Not that it will help him earn his stay.

His contract expires in June of this year,

And I don’t think anyone will shed many tears.


I’s for Iniesta

The pale faced Illusionista.

Brilliant as he is pale,

He’s enough to make a grown man wail.

The silkiness of his touch,

Can make the rowdiest of crowds hush.

When he scores the birth rates soar,

Which explains why he doesn’t do it more.

Of course, it could always be that pesky forcefield,

Only extra time desperation can break through that shield.

Glides through the crowd with the ball glued to his feet,

Take a bow, son, you are beyond belief.


J is for Jose

But not who you’re thinking of.

It’s Manuel Pinto, The Rapping One.

But I guess I could include a picture of the other one.


K’s for Keiteeee

The Malian utility man.

He never makes a scene,

Just puts out the fire,

Before you can even say ‘please.’

An all around nice guy,

When he takes the ball once again

Rival players just sigh.

Won’t be in the front pages,

Not flashy enough for the attention,

But you can bet his manager will be singing his praises


L ‘s for Lionel

Who needs no introduction.

The things he does are just silly,

Dribbles past bamboozled defenders,

All willy nilly.

The talent of the century,

Really, we’re witnessing history.

The boy from Rosario will continue like this,

Because we all know that inside,

He’s just a little kid.

“Aguante, Leo!” they chant,

“You’re a once in a lifetime crack!”


M is for Mascherano

The monster from San Lorenzo.

His last ditch tackling is an art form,

A master at making strikers forlorn.

One of Guardiola’s precious sunshines,

He’ll be around to keep the defense in line.

Defensive midfield is his natural position,

So him at centre back prompted a Spanish Inquisition.

Until they realized he is actually pretty decent,

And maybe, just maybe, he’s not a makeshift.

The only problem is that he is yet to score a goal,

Which is completely unacceptable.


N’s for Nou

Though many English commentator tends to say Nou Camp,

I am in the other camp,

the one that calls the stadium Camp Nou.

And they would do well to do that too.

[insert pic]


O is for Oriol

Got sold to English giants Chelsea,

To gain some first team minutes,

And it’s all working out quite nicely.

Oh, he’s a real jewel!

Passes better than seven Gareth Barrys,

And never loses a one on one duel!

Chelsea fans are enamoured,

With the bald teenaged Spaniard.

As he gains a regular place,

Cules all sit and wait,

For the inevitable Romeugate.


P is for Pep

The paragon of perfection.

You can call him a perfectionist,

Or a passionate pessimist,

But he’s really just the personification of excellence.

An astute tactician, a risk taking dreamer,

Whatever you call him, he’ll make you a believer.

Not interested in praise or verbal fights,

Just wants to take the club to even greater heights.

Came in when everything was dire,

Plucked out the problems with a pair of pliers,

Now the trophy conveyor belt never tires.

All we can say is:

Gracies, Pep.


Q is for Queca

Puyol’s deceased sheep.

I probably could have thought of something better,

but hey, Q’s a difficult letter.


R is for Rodriguez

Pedro Rodriguez.

He’s no James Bond, more like your average Joe,

But that’s what makes him so lovable.

Whirlwind arms as he closes players down,

The effort he makes will never make you frown.

The first to score in six different competitions,

He received some much deserved recognition.

Suffered a troublesome injury last Hlebruary,

Which cause a loss of form for the Canary[-ian]

But he’ll be back eventually,

When the defenses are least ready.


S is for Sanchez

Our smiley and speedy striker.

In the mornings romantic music is what he listens to,

No wonder he steals so many hearts,

But I bet he’s quite the heartbreaker too.

He is quite the character,

Indeed he’s always wanted to be an actor,

He’s got the personality, you know?

But his lack of English skills, outside “take it easy”, was the main detractor.

(It wouldn’t fly in Hollywood, you see).

Player of the season for Udinese in Italy,

Trying to keep up with him stride for stride,

Is a classic practice in futility.


T’s for Thiago

Our terrific starlet.

Not afraid to get stuck in,

Knowing it will help the team win,

This is a young man willing to improve,

Conscious that he still has everything to prove.

His defensive game has come leaps and bounds,

Has developed enough to astound.

He is a player who has his own style,

A fleet footed dribbler who can spray passes with guile.

He is not the next Xavi or Ronaldinho,

He is the first Thiago.


U is for Unzue

Who, you say?

Juan Carlos Unzue,

The goalkeeping coach.

Yeah, I don’t have much to say.

Sorry, Unzue.


V is for Victor Valdes

Who conveniently has two Vs in his name.

His job is quite the paradox,

He has to be alert to the danger,

Which is often meager.

But if he’s not focused,

The goals will pour in like locusts.

He has had trouble in his career early on,

Where it seemed like he wouldn’t continue on.

But he persevered and now he’s revered,

As San Victor! …Or not.

Not that the praises will stop.


W is for Wembley

The historic stadium some envy,

The site of some of our greatest victories.


X is for Xavi

The grand maestro of the tippy-tappy.

Faced with dangerous tendon trotting players,

An average human would shiver in terror.

Most neurons send instructions to flight or fight,

But his tell him to dominate and smite,

Because for the sake of football, he will do what’s right.

He can pick a pass like a surgeon doing bypass,

Not even crap similes can block his path.

For him, supporting Barca is not just for show,

It really is unconditional.

Y is for Youth

The players of the future,

It’s always a pleasure to watch them mature.

Z is for Zubi

Our former goalkeeper turned sporting director.

I don’t really have much to say about him,

so I’ll just give you a picture.

Zubi channeling his inner Puyi

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. January 23, 2012

    Should also give you all a heads up:

    Won’t be able to post much for a while. Simply put: don’t have the time. I can run a LB every now and again, but I won’t be a consistent presence.

    Just thought I’d let y’all know before pulling a Hector.

    • Nav
      January 23, 2012

      That sucks. I like your posts and comments. Lame. 🙁

  2. Srini
    January 23, 2012

    A for Awesome, B for Beautiful, Barcelonaic, C for…

    G for Great.

    T for Thanks for a great read.

    V for Visca Kari.

  3. Nav
    January 23, 2012

    Because I got hectored…

    w00t I got tickets for Barca v Real Sociedad on the 4th of Feb

    Leave a comment here if you’re up for a BFB meet up or whatever local Barcelonistas

    • January 24, 2012

      Wow, thanks for the link Srini..Unbelievable, some people are just stupid and bitter…I’m sure what they did is totally illegal
      From the same stadium security that has left disgusting Ultras sur flags stand and not to metnion el dedo poster…let them live with their ghosts

    • nzm
      January 24, 2012

      The officials were quite right with this decision.

      Rules say that there are to be no protest flags or unofficial flags flown at events.

      If it had been a straight senyera (offical flag of Catalunya), then I don’t think that it would have been removed, as provincial flags are tolerated.

      But this is an Estelada – a “pro-independence for Catalunya” flag which has the addition of the Cuban star.

      As such, it’s not to be flown in football stadiums in Spain. I must admit that I haven’t really checked at Camp Nou to see if it’s been allowed, so next time I’ll check more carefully! I’m pretty sure that the RFEF would come down hard on Camp Nou if it was.

  4. sd
    January 23, 2012

    my goodness! well done! i think this piece of work is on the same level as one of Euler’s reviews…kudos!

  5. Ryan
    January 23, 2012

    Nice job Kari! Bummer that Cuenca couldn’t fit in, but understandable when he’s fighting for positions with Iniesta and Puyol!

  6. Lev
    January 23, 2012

    Awwww we’re gonna miss your posts Kari! Are you still gonna be commenting regularly?

    Btw am I the only one who thinks the rumored new jerseys are AWESOME!?! I’m gonna pull out of my Qatar foundation boycot and try to get both the home and the away jersey!

    • January 23, 2012

      I hope to comment regularly and host a couple of liveblogs. Things could still change in the future of course.

  7. BarcaGirl_Indo
    January 23, 2012

    oh, this one is awesome, Kari!
    Jose “Wahin Makinaciones Swagga” Pinto >>> Jose Mourinho

    we’re gonna miss your article, every writer here is different and unique..

  8. K_legit in Oz
    January 23, 2012

    This emits a fragrance of dedication I simply cannot aspire to..
    Molt bé!

  9. jaymin
    January 23, 2012

    this is a great post! nice work! very funny stuff.

  10. andrecito
    January 23, 2012

    awesome kari! i think the abidal bit with pic is my favorite…about that video of the madrid police confiscating the catalan flag… REALLY??? pretty shocking..i didnt know things are still like that there…on a different note…less than 48 hours until another freakin'(camp nou) CLASICO!!!

  11. SoccerMom
    January 23, 2012

    omg Kari this is so awesome! Thank you!

  12. blitzen
    January 23, 2012

    This is truly a labour of love. Well done, Kari!

    My favourite letters were I for Iniesta, T for Thiago, and Z for Zubi (just ’cause of the picture).

    And also this:

    The name whose etymology stems from bleh.


    • blitzen
      January 23, 2012

      My other favourite letters were B for Busquets and L for Leo.

      So, to summarize, my favourite letters were B, L, I, T and Z.


      • K_legit in Oz
        January 23, 2012

        ….I see what you did there…

      • lyd
        January 24, 2012


        then im lid momentarily 😛

  13. messifan
    January 23, 2012

    Brilliant stuff, Kari! C for Captain Carles, along with that legendary picture, captures everything about this amazing person/player. If they’re going to build a statue of him, that picture should be used as a model. Also, thank goodness for Basque names 🙂

  14. Jafri
    January 23, 2012

    N for Noooooo Kari don’t stop posting! 🙁

  15. blitzen
    January 23, 2012

    Headlines from Marca:

    “En España: Competición no entra de oficio en el pisotón de Pepe a Messi”

    “En Inglaterra: Balotelli podría ser sancionado con cuatro partidos”

    With accompanying pics.

  16. January 23, 2012

    Wonderful post! The descriptions are spot on!

    Love this line about Pep:

    “An astute tactician, a risk taking dreamer,”


  17. hansh
    January 23, 2012

    Kari, this post convinced me, a longtime lurker, to get an account just to thank you for such entertaining (and accurate) writing! And now I hear you won’t be posting for a while. 🙁

    Anyways thanks so much, this is great. My favorites are E for Eric, I for Iniesta, M for Mascherano, and S for Sanchez.

    • January 23, 2012

      That makes me really happy. Don’t mind me, please keep commenting in the future hansh! Thank you very much for the praise. :mrgreen:

  18. Megster
    January 23, 2012

    Suggestions: U for Unicef/ Q for Qatar Foundation / Z for Zigazaga…

    Love it Kari! Good work!!! 🙂

  19. hammeronmessi
    January 23, 2012

    havent commented for a long time,but after reading this i really want to comment.

    just like the evolution of this barca is still in the process,the writing evolution of yours is also in the have the potential to be a messi(who can play false 9,winger,enganche,cm)writer who can write funny,serious issues even tactical ones,and all with an first your posts IMO didnt match the BFB standard,but now kari your posts are what i look forward most.

    truly a remarkable post.

    K is for KARI

    the girl from canada
    who didnt know football an iota
    but in 06
    she saw the messi trick
    being the nerd she is
    find what the blaugrana is
    now the heart of BFB
    she is our dancing queen.

  20. K_legit in Oz
    January 24, 2012

    Speaking of alphabet, I have my first Catalan language test coming up later this month..The language in parts can be absurdly difficult..Labour of love though!

  21. January 24, 2012

    My friend few months ago said he has seen Barça’s next season jersey away and home design from Nike catalogue, I think he has a friend/connection from Nike factory. But he refused to show it, “sorry, it’s company’s secret”, he said.
    When this picture finally came out in Spain, he said, “yes, this is the one”


    • Gogah
      January 24, 2012

      absolutely disgusting.
      the orange away kit might be alright but nike has consistently gone overboard with our home jersey.
      i’ve always felt adidas makes more wearable kits

  22. Gogah
    January 24, 2012

    aha, nice one, no pedro though eh?

  23. January 24, 2012

    Hey folks – to any of our community that is proficient in Spanish question:

    Can you tell me if this article by Diego Torres in El Pais on Mourinho’s speech to RM before the second leg of the CL semis last season is just crazy or what?

    My Spanish is limited – but from what I can make out and from Google translate what Mourinho told RM about Barca sounds truly unbelievable.

    Diego Torres is a good writer and this is El Pais. Not Marca, etc.

    The section of particular interest is:

    “El discurso está grabado en la memoria colectiva de la plantilla como el más significativo que les ha pronunciado el entrenador. Los jugadores consultados lo recuerdan abochornados. El entrenador intentó persuadirlos de que el objetivo era convencer al mundo de que la UEFA y el Barça -“los niños bonitos del fútbol mundial”, decía- habían conspirado para dejarles en desventaja mediante la expulsión de Pepe. “En Barcelona hay tres opciones”, avisó, “dos imposibles y una posible. La única opción posible es que el partido acabe con un marcador ajustado y perdamos la eliminatoria. La imposible es que nos ganen por goleada. La otra imposible es que ganemos la eliminatoria. Si por casualidad nos clasificamos, ¡perfecto! Pero a mí me vale un 2-1 o un 1-0. Hay que evitar la goleada a toda costa porque, si no, no podremos reclamar por el robo del partido de ida. Porque si nos meten una paliza haremos el ridículo. Todos los medios dirán: ‘¿Dónde están los árbitros, Mourinho?’. Por eso tenemos que salir a hacer un partido tranquilo. A esperar en nuestro campo y a no descuidarnos atrás”.

    Los jugadores admiten que se quedaron “alucinados” al oír al técnico, que, además, les pidió que se quejaran de los arbitrajes tras el encuentro. Ayer en el vestuario sospechaban que Mourinho, en lugar de organizar un ataque a gran escala, intentaría plantear mañana otro partido conservador. De nuevo, quiere evitar un resultado humillante. Pero esta vez no sólo no existen razones para pensar en una conspiración -Pepe no está sancionado y él, entonces suspendido por la UEFA, tampoco- sino que los jugadores no están dispuestos a seguirle. Casillas le advirtió a Mourinho en septiembre que no secundaría nunca más una estrategia como la que propuso en aquella visita al Camp Nou.”

    • January 24, 2012

      if any native/spanish speaker is willing to translate this, I’ll be very grateful..

      I think I know the story of this article, just wanna make sure..

      this article got me speechless about Mou..

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2012

      We must avoid the win at all costs because if not, we can not complain about the theft of the leg.

      I have an extremely difficult time believing Mourinho would say such a thing. Out loud. To a team like Real Madrid. It’s not possible.

      • January 24, 2012

        It does strongly strain believability.

        But that means Diego Torres either has a source in the RM dressing room that is lying or Torres himself that is lying.

        And while Torres clearly may not like Mou (he’s written a series of articles on him/RM) it’s also very difficult to believe a major reporter for El Pais is simply, straight out lying.

        So why would someone then leak this to Torres?

      • January 24, 2012

        it’s still weird though, like Euler said, this is El Pais, not Marca or Mundo Deportivo.

        very difficult to imagine someone from El Pais published a story based on his imagination.

        I’m sure Torres got this story from someone, but is it a reliable source? that’s the question.

        • January 24, 2012

          As if football wasn’t soap opera enough, this is slowly becoming ‘The Departed’. Mou is of course Jack Nicholson and he smells a rat.

    • Blau-Grenade
      January 24, 2012

      From my broken Spanish it appears that Mou is trying to say that it would be almost impossible to win, so better to get a carded and deflect the attention to bad refereeing.

      • tutomate
        January 24, 2012

        I’m willing to translate it if enough people want me to.

  24. January 24, 2012

    This is how I’m going to teach the alphabet to my kids if/when I have some. If not, I’ll become a babysitter to accomplish the feat. Good stuff Kari!

    • January 24, 2012

      ugh. that referee was just amazing, he kept a thug (well, all the thugs) on the field for 90 minutes.

  25. January 24, 2012

    For the El Pais article, this is my translation. Apologies for any minor mistakes and feel free to correct me.

    [Note: This speech was after the first leg of the CL semis the 0-2 loss at home.]

    “The speech was recorded in the collective memory of the squad as the most significant the coach has ever declared officially. The players remember the speech in embarrassment.

    The coach tried to persuade them that the objective was to convince the world that UEFA and Barca — “the good boys of the football world”– had conspired to leave them at a disadvantage through the expulsion of Pepe.

    “In Barcelona, we have three options,” he said, “two impossible ones and one possible one. The only possible option is that the game ends with a close score line and we lose the tie. The impossible is that we win with a goleada (a big scoreline /high scoring match. ie. Madrid destroy us 4-0 or something). The other impossible option is that we win the tie. If by chance we qualify, perfect! But I see a 2-1 or a 1-0 (loss). We have to avoid a goleada at all costs, because if not, we can’t complain about the robbery of the game today. Because if we’re given a beating we’ll be ridiculed. All the media will say, “Where are the referees, Mourinho?” Because of that, we have to go out a play a calm game. To stay back in our half and not be careless at the back.”

    [Basically, Mourinho is appealing for Madrid to play a defensive game, so the scoreline will be close and Madrid can say that because of Pepe’s sending off, they lost the tie. They want to avoid a goleada — a high scoreline i.e. Barca crush them — so it’ll help their case]

    The players admitted they were “amazed” to hear their coach, who, in the end, asked them to complain about the referee at the end of the game [in the mixed zone]. Yesterday the lockerroom suspected that Mourinho, instead of going for an all out attack, will try to go for another conservative approach [for Wednesday’s game]. Again, wanting to avoid a humiliating result. But this time, not only is there no reason to believe in a conspiracy — Pepe was not sanctioned [by the RFEF for the stamp] and Mourinho was suspended by UEFA for a short time (i.e., the repercussions weren’t heavy) — but the players are not willing to follow. Casillas warned Mourinho in September not to propose a strategy like the one he proposed [for the 2nd leg of the CL tie] for a second time.”

    [This of course, puts into focus how emotionally damaging the Manita was for Mourinho.]

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2012

      [Basically, Mourinho is appealing for Madrid to play a defensive game, so the scoreline will be close and Madrid can say that because of Pepe’s sending off, they lost the tie. They want to avoid a goleada — a high scoreline i.e. Barca crush them — so it’ll help their case]

      Your translation makes a lot more sense and is in line with Mourinho’s general strategy. Not quite as bad as I thought. Still. The point is that he basically told his team they couldn’t win, and they should just try not to be beaten too embarrassingly. Because then they wouldn’t be able to complain about the UEFACEF conspiracy. And then the part where he actually asked the players to complain about the ref. Astonishing.

      IF this is true. IF. I can’t see Mourinho staying past the end of this season. Even if he wins the league and makes the sociis happy, there is clearly a lot of discontent with him at the very highest levels of the club. Perez has gambled everything on this man, but if the players revolt what will he do? This is incredibly damaging to a proud club like Real Madrid.

      • January 24, 2012

        Which is why Casillas warned him to stop, effectively saying that it wasn’t befitting of a club ad grandiose as Madrid and as club captain he wouldn’t accept such cowardly tactics.

        Let ’em know Iker.

        If it’s true of course.

        • blitzen
          January 24, 2012

          So the question is, if this all happened last season, why is it coming out NOW? What has happened to make the mole(s) decide that this is the time to release this information? Are things so bad in the RM dressing room that the players (or at least the Spanish ones) need to use the media to force Mourinho to change (or leave, because we know he will never change)? Was the last defeat by Barcelona and Mou’s support for Pepe just the straw that broke the camel’s back? I don’t claim to know, but I sure am enjoying the show.

  26. G6O
    January 24, 2012


    I can imagine how players would feel if his coach tells them that they are not good enough to win the game so they should lose it such a way that the blame be shifted onto the officials. No wonder rumors are circulating about a revolt in their squad.

    Seems like Mourinho may not make it past this season. He wasn’t going to be there for a long time anyway, and there was always the question of what they’re going to do after he’s gone. There are two possibilities. First, he does what he did with Inter and wins everything. Real is happy for a year, but then we know what happened to very team Mourinho left – there is a big drop in their performance after that and it takes quite some time for the team to recover. Second, he doesn’t win much (and this will be the case if they only win La Liga) or doesn’t win anything (hopefully). Then what happens next? He was the “Special One”, who is going to do better and beat Barca? What option are there left? Who of the top coaches would even want to take the job given how insane and unhealthy the whole environment surrounding the club is?

    • Megster
      January 24, 2012

      If Pepe would play tomorrow, I think we’re gonna expect a ‘Figo’ treatment for him. Now, I’m wondering what the fans might throw at him.

      • blitzen
        January 24, 2012

        Of course he’s not going to play. Mourinho is just saying that so no one thinks Pepe is being punished for what he did to Messi. He will be “slightly uncomfortable” tomorrow and left out of the lineup as a “precaution.”

        • blitzen
          January 24, 2012

          Then again, with all the stuff coming out in the media today, Mourinho might just be prepared to throw Pepe to the wolves to deflect attention away from himself!

          • Megster
            January 24, 2012

            Yes. It’s just all about him and nothing else.

  27. irie_jamaican
    January 24, 2012

    Thanks Kari! Things like these are what set true Barca fans apart. Special fans for a special team.

  28. January 24, 2012


    Thanks so much for the translation. Really helps clarify a number of points I was uncertain about.

    Really amazing revelations if true. One thing – there’s no way Diego Torres is just making this up.

    There’s someone in the Madrid dressing room who is leaking this story – and his prior stories – to Torres.

    It’s probably not even a player directly. I’d guess the player used his agent or entourage to do the actual leaking.

    So either the source is lying and/or embellishing or this story is true.

    Either way – it’s clearly a major problem for RM. If the story is true – it’s about a damning indictment on the manager. If it’s not true, then there’s something very wrong there that would motivate a player to try to make mourinho look that bad.

    I was speaking with some terrific Madristas about this on twitter. They feel that Torres is heavily biased against Mourinho. That well may be the case.

    But as long as Torres isn’t simply making this up – then it’s not simply an issue the reporter being biased.

    And in a certain way, this whole mess isn’t unexpected at all. This is exactly what you get with Mourinho. It happens everywhere with him. No reason to expect it wouldn’t happen in Madrid.

    Though there’s one exception to the pattern – at Madrid Mourinho doesn’t seem to be able to command the intense, without exception loyalty from his players that he always demands and receives like he has in the past.

    The kind of speech that Torres is recounting – that’s something you would only say to a group that you essentially think will follow you like some cult of personality. Damning if the source is accurate.

    • January 24, 2012

      Two key points as to why things are different for Mourinho in Madrid. One being that he’s got a collection of Galacticos, each player an individual first. He had stars at Inter and Chelsea but no one player appeared bigger than the team. Hell the man made Eto’o practically play LB in games.

      The second point, and perhaps the cause of it all, he has never quite had a domestic foe the likes of Barcelona.

      Mou is cutting an isolated figure, and becoming increasingly desperate.

      Torres may be out to get him, or he may not, the fact remains that all is not well in the Capital. As you mentioned though, this is something we expect from Mourinho as his history suggests.

      • nzm
        January 24, 2012

        These are key points indeed, mani.

        If Madrid was getting successful results, I think that the players would be backing him all the way.

        But they’re not, because the winning comes at the expense of 3 very important values for the Spanish members of the RM:
        1. it’s causing friction between them and other Spanish players on other teams (mostly Barca), and
        2. it’s smacking in the face of the values upon which RM prides itself. Royal no more – even their website now reads like a cheap tabloid.
        3. the Spanish leadership roles within the club (especially in the dressing room) are being phased out. Longtime leaders, such as Casillas and Ramos, are nowhere near the figureheads that they used to be. Getting rid of Raul and Guti was also a part of that.

        Mourinho is splitting the dressing room by waging Portuguese against Spaniard. A lot of his players have Mourinho’s agent (Jorge Mendes also manages Cristiano, Carvalho, Coentrao, Pepe and Di Maria) which is undoubtedly causing more pressure for these guys to gang up on the others. (However, I’m of the opinion that even Cristiano is sick of the whole affair and would just like to play football. The guy may be a diver and an actor, but he’s not a thug.)

        At the end of Mourinho’s tenure, regardless of how many trophies are won, Madrid will be left in disarray – just as Chelsea and Inter were – as well as out-of-pocket. His management team will move with him, leaving no legacy leadership – a good thing maybe, in this instance, but certainly not good for the players.

        Mourinho is the modern day Napoleon – pillaging his way through European football clubs and leaving behind, except perhaps a sense of relief that he’s gone.

    • irie_jamaican
      January 24, 2012

      Telling thing is that they are trying to find the mole. This suggests that the ‘leaks’ are accurate or very very close to it. Otherwise they would cry conspiracy.

    • Ryan
      January 24, 2012

      I think there’s also a feeling with the Spanish players that they don’t want to poison the great thing they got going with the national team, something that the non-Spanish members of EE don’t care about. Thus you see Casillas chided for calling Xavi after one clasico to make amends.

    • Ryan
      January 24, 2012

      It’s crazy how Messi makes the sublime become ordinary. A shame there’s not a converted PK vs. Sevilla on there tho…

    • Helge
      January 24, 2012

      I’m pretty sure it’s still 9 vs 2 penalties…

  29. Megster
    January 24, 2012

    I can’t wait for the Clasico tomorrow! Not only because it’ll be on our home turf, but it’s our little Xavi’s 31st birthday! I hope he gets the same present that Pep got on his birthday.

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2012

      32nd birthday! And a manita would be a lovely present, don’t you think? 😀

      • Megster
        January 24, 2012

        Thanks blitzen for correcting me. 🙂

        But I’m now thinking that since RM’s Spanish contingent lead by their St. Iker are reportedly peeved at Mou’s tactics and preference to his Portugese counterparts…

        Why not Iker gifts Xavi a goal tomorrow, just to piss at the Special One? I think that would be lovely too. 😀

  30. January 24, 2012

    Forgetting EE, we have a job to finish. This game is must win — for morale if anything. A remuntada from Madrid, one bad goalkeeping error from Pinto, would mean we’re suddenly in a super crisis!!1! and EE is back to being rosy.

    Pep knows this of course. Which is why I’m not too nervous about it, but it’s there. We got to finish the job.

    I ask for no silly goals ti be conceded *cough Pinto cough*, no giving the ball away cheaply (looking at you Cesc), Iniesta to turn on beast mode (Try to score too, please. I don’t care if the birth rates go up), Alexis to continue his incredible form, a Xavi goal, a screw you sub and for as many goals as possible.

    I’d say that’s pretty reasonable.

  31. blitzen
    January 24, 2012

    Apparently Bumpy G is talking about the Madrid/Mou rift rumours on Revista de la Liga tonight.

    This is a must download!

      • January 24, 2012

        *cule glasses on* Look at how solemn Guillem looks…


    • January 24, 2012

      As much as I’m admittedly enjoying this, I do feel sorry for some EEdistas. Suddenly, it seems like everyone has exclusive insight into their team’s dressing room relations (which has been coming for a while it should be said). What has my interest about this whole snafu is the intrigue; it’s like some exaggerated detective/spy drama, lol.

      A lot of it is probably BS — just part of a clasico hype — but any hints that Mourinho will be forced out (at the end of the season) is good for us fans, our Club and our players, especially Messi’s, careers. This Clasicos are a serious risk every time he takes the pitch. Freaks me out, man.

  32. Xingxian
    January 24, 2012

    I am beginning to suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury with some fingers in my right hand which makes typing laborious. Very busy these days but I wanted to temporarily break my silence to say thank you for writing this Kari it was so very very lovely. So much else I want to say on this and so many posts but I don’t have the time to right now even if my right hand was healthy aaaargh.

    KARI WHEN I SAID I’D CRY IF YOU LEFT US YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO TAKE A PSEUDO-LEAVE-OF-ABSENCE. I look forward to seeing you around here and there but *frumple* at your relative absence regardless.

    • January 24, 2012

      Aww Xingxian, I’ll still be around though! And things might change!

  33. January 24, 2012

    Don’t know why I have a bad feeling about this. Thank God for Pep’s soothing words..

      • January 24, 2012

        Erm, Google Translate tells me you’re asking me if I’m German.

        Nein, ich bin nicht. But I do enjoy my schadenfreude!


        • nzm
          January 24, 2012


          Just wondered if you were when that hotfile link that you posted was set in German instead of English!

      • blitzen
        January 24, 2012

        Downloading! But I don’t have a premium account on hotfile so it’s gonna take a while. 🙁

    • K_legit in Oz
      January 24, 2012

      Entschuldigung! Aber Ich kann einbischen deutsch sprechen! 😀

  34. nzm
    January 24, 2012


    Mirandes knocked Espanyol out of the Copa tonight!

    If you followed last week’s game at Cornella, you’ll know that Mirandes was leading 0-2 up until the 85′, when they went to sleep and let Espanyol score 3 times to win the match.

    Tonight in the Mirandes Anduva stadium, Espanyol scored first before Mirandes captain Pablo scored from a beautiful curling shot – just like Villa’s against RM in the Supacopa 1st leg at Bernabeu.

    In the 2nd minute of 4′ of 2nd half overtime, Mirandes won a freekick which was set in low and flat by Pablo for Cesar to bend down and head into the net! 2-1 to Mirandes and they advance on away goals!

    They become the first 3rd division team to win a place in the semi-finals since Figueres in 2002.

    These guys aren’t fulltime pros – I think that Pablo Infante (captain) works in a bank!

    • January 24, 2012

      Amazing, so happy for Mirandes! Unreal.

      I was losing hope when the scoreline stayed 1-1!

      They have knocked out 3 teams from primera division, Villareal, Racing, and Espanyol. Great story.

    • Ryan
      January 24, 2012

      That’s so awesome, no wonder my Perico family members haven’t mentioned anything on Facebook. 🙂

      So their part-time player/captain/banker is leading the scoring charts with 6 goals? Amazing!

    • G6O
      January 24, 2012

      Very good news. Too bad we’re in the other part of the draw and we have to play Valencia. Hopefully we’ll meet them in the final 🙂

  35. January 24, 2012

    Michel Salgado is a great pundit, analyst whatever they’re called.
    Provides interesting insight and I like hearing his opinions.

    His lineup:

    Arbeloa – Pepe – Ramos – Coentrao
    Lass – Ozil – Alonso
    Benzema – Thong Boy – Marcelo

    He wants to pressure the right flank with Coentrao-Marcelo link ups. Try to keep more possession.

    As a Madridista he says that the most important thing is to have a positive approach and try to be brave, and if they can get even a bit more possession that’d be good.

    Also notes that in England – key for managers is being able to go from box to box (physically superior), in Italy it’s a soild defensive like of 8 then attacking with 4 to 5 player and in Spain it’s all about possession. He says that Mourinho fails in the last one because he doesn’t want to adapt.

    Shame they didn’t talk about Barcelona more (other than Guillem trying to assert that Messi gets mad when people mention Thong Boy and Pele (pfft)) but it’s of course understandable.

    • blitzen
      January 24, 2012

      I love that first clip so much! Just today I was thinking someone should put together a compilation video of Pep’s best presser moments. Some to include:

      –“el puto amo”
      –Pep & Leo so tired in Korea they were giggling their way through the presser (someone find me a clip of this!)
      –“Mascherano and Keita are my little sunshines”
      –“Do you want Messi not to play?”
      “a lot a lot”:

      Think of some more?

  36. lyd
    January 24, 2012

    Had so much fun reading this, Kari! 😀
    Now time to channel my inner Puyi.

  37. ooga aga
    January 24, 2012

    im feeling pretty good about the match tomorrow.

    it’s a good feeling.

    it’s a little bit like this:

  38. BarcaOwl
    January 25, 2012

    Kari, you are awesome. That’s all I can say.

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