The Secret is Bamboo: Barcelona-Valencia

Copa Preview: Barcelona-Valencia, Wednesday 3pm ET

I know what I’ve said in the past about it. I know that I’ve gone on record saying it isn’t worth our time, it isn’t that important, can’t we just take warm baths instead of sweating it out through too many two-legged affairs? And I still agree with it…for the most part. There’re are only two matches that we might as well win since, hell, we’re here anyway. And that’s this second leg semifinal and the potential final.  And, of course, anything against The Enemy, but that’s something else entirely.

If we win this game, there’s only 1 extra game to play and it’s for silverware, so we might as well win this match we have to play in anyway since we’re in a good position to do so. We’re 1-1 with an away goal and the ball in our stadium. Why not get a little bee in our bonnet and go ahead and take down Athletic Bilbao, who beat poor little Spanish Rudy, Mirandes, 6-2 at San Mames to qualify for the final (9-4 on aggregate). I like Athletic and all–they’re my “second team”…which means they’re my first Toquero–but if it’s Barça vs anyone, I’m going with the boys in blaugrana. Even in a “meaningless” and “frivolous” “ode to flagrant lameness” (all quotes of Isaiah at some point in the last week, though not necessarily about the Copa del Rey…yes, I use the word “frivolous” in conversation sometimes…and I’m often sorry about it).


Yeah, that kind of just happens from time to time in my life. I’m getting used to it. Sometimes they go on planes like normal people, you know. And now, back to your regularly scheduled second half of the preview:

Valencia is in the doldrums, of sorts. They’ve drawn 3 league matches in a row and since drawing is the new losing, they’re big time losers.  Barça, meanwhile, is getting stronger as both Pedro and Iniesta trained. Puyol, however, apparently tried to eat Iniesta. Bad capita!

With Busquets still injured from his clash with what appeared to be a velociraptor talon, Mascherano will probably take over the midfield role we all kind of expected him to be spending the majority of his time in anyway. Or, perhaps, Pep will field another possession midfielder and we’ll just have 18 of them on the field (they add up in height to 5). That’s always possible.

Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Xavi, Thiago, Cesc, Jonathan dos Santos, Alexis, Messi…Tello, Cuenca, Sergi Roberto, Muniain, Bilbo Baggins

Official Prediction: 2-1, we advance with 2 goals by Messi. I hear someone called him out. Playing at a low level? It’s on now, buddy boy. Oh yes. It is on.

Oh,  you wanted live panda cams? You got it, friend.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Jnice
    February 7, 2012

    Random question ( I think I asked jordi this before):

    Can anyone tell me why some players who were born in Catalunya, like Christian Tello and Martin Montoya, don’t speak Catalan? I’ve seen a couple of interviews of them both by Barça TV and they’re always asked questions in Catalan, but respond in Castellano. I guess I was assuming that since they were born and raised in Catalunya, they would feel comfortable speaking Catalan. Seems weird to me.

    On the game, not sure about how many goals we’ll score/concede, but I think we will go through. I don’t think Busi will make the lineup, so I wonder who will play DM (Masch or JDS?)

    • NeverEver
      February 8, 2012

      I think I read somewhere that only like 50-60% of people from catalunya speak catalan. Probably most everyone understands it, but it is common for them to speak castellano. At some point when the government was all crazy they wouldn’t let them learn catalan in school and stuff so the current situation may be a product of that.

    • NeverEver
      February 8, 2012

      According to the most recent linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia as of 2009, a plurality claims Spanish as “their own language” (46.53% Spanish compared to 37.26% Catalan). In everyday use, 11.95% of the population claim to use both languages equally, while 45.92% use mainly Spanish and 35.54% use mainly Catalan. There is a significant difference between the Barcelona metropolitan area (and, to a lesser extent, the Tarragona area), where Spanish is more spoken than Catalan, and the rest of Catalonia, where Catalan clearly prevails over Spanish. [52]

      So says wikipedia…

      • Demosthenes
        February 8, 2012

        I am Catalan, so is my father. Although he speaks Català, he can’t spell it properly because of the dictatorship that forbade Català to be taught in schools and spoken in the streets. Most of people who were born before the 70s with only high school education don’t have the knowledge to spell properly.
        Another thing to take into account is that a lot of people living nowadays in Catalunya are from somewhere else in Spain. My mother is one of these cases. She arrived to Catalunya when she was 7. She speaks now Català but not everybody make the effort to learn it because they can “survive” speaking castellano.
        In school, we are taught in both catalan and castellano. However, in the street everyone speaks the one they feel more comfortable to speak. Some of my friends have been born in Catalunya and I have barely seen them communicate in Català. Normally this happens according to the language they speak at home with their parents.
        I can speak both so I am prone to adapt the language according to my interlocutor, so if someone addresses to me in castellano I don’t have any problem answering in castellano. It’s a matter of respect. However, I think it is a mistake to do that with people who understand Catalan because they can feel more comfortable speaking castellano but I can feel more comfortable speaking Català.

        • blitzen
          February 8, 2012

          Thanks for the insight, Demosthenes!

        • angelobenito
          February 8, 2012

          Bon dia,

          I am also catalan. Just a little opinion here. Quoting: “but not everybody make the effort to learn it because they can “survive” speaking castellano”

          “Everybody makes the effort”. It depends. I am a bilingual teacher. It takes time. At least academic English for newcomers, between 7 and 11 years, to catch up with native speakers. But “playground” English does not take that much. Don’t blame the victim for not making the effort. If the circumstances are against the “victims” don’t blame them for not making the effort.

          “Survive”: Observe social class and the rate of bilinguism in Catalunya for a specific social class. Is there any correlation?

          My dad is bilingual, my mother is not. I speak four languages. Will my daughter speak eight?

          • Demosthenes
            February 8, 2012

            I’ve heard people who has lived all their life in Catalunya saying, why should I speak Catalan when we understand each other speaking castellano? Victims? … don’t make me laugh.
            But if you say everyone make an effort… I’ll have to believe a teacher, I guess.

  2. mega_tajh
    February 7, 2012

    OT: Does anyone have any revista links? I searched but couldn’t find any.

    oh yeah I expect us to win heavily tomorrow for some weird reason. 4-1 or something along those lines for us.

  3. NeverEver
    February 8, 2012

    I have a problem… I’m going to have to miss the game tomorrow and I really don’t want to know what happens before I get to watch it, so no twitter and no websites. My problem is trying to download the game later without seeing the score. Is this possible?!?!?!? Any advice/instruction/direction?


  4. Laurentiu88
    February 8, 2012

    With our dept these games are goood! Not to mention reaching the final! The club must take in a few million euros from games like this or RM. I bet is better than saving colorful printing toner.

  5. barca96
    February 8, 2012

    Do you guys see what I’m seeing at the top right of this page where the ads usually are?

    It’s like a youtube with a supposedly thumbnail of a video of a creepy looking woman with a little baby’s head on the right side of her face.

    That is creepy man….
    Why is it even there?

    • blitzen
      February 8, 2012

      I’m not seeing it either. Sounds bizarre. Don’t click on it, whatever you do! @@

    • Laurentiu88
      February 8, 2012

      wow is what Google has for you based on your searches 😛

    • Helge
      February 8, 2012

      Use NoScript for Firefox and you won’t have any commercials.

      • February 8, 2012

        I see Sprint ads, and something for DuraLast auto batteries. Something you want to share with the class, barca96?

        • February 8, 2012

          Hahaha. I’m seeing a Rogers wireless plan ad for only a gazillion dollars. Which is just as bad mind you.

          • Lev
            February 8, 2012

            I see a webcam with some hot girl inviting me to….mmm I am not sure what she is inviting me to do actually since I don’t even know her.

            And this is my work computer :S

          • barca96
            February 8, 2012

            I’m using Google Chrome browser.

            Yeah usually it’s random stuffs like Lev, a hot girl but just now was really freaky.

            Now it’s back to random harmless stuff.
            Shoot the dictator = Gaddafi

            Now that I think of it, I should’ve done a screenshot.
            Then you guys can see what I was talking about.

          • mom4
            February 8, 2012

            I see a Strayer University add and US Dept of Energy add.

            I’m concerned for barca96. jk

    • February 8, 2012

      I only have a Travian ad on the right side of the site. Never seen another ad in my 1 year and a half here.

    • February 8, 2012

      I don’t have any Adblocker or anything yet I don’t get any ads (just blank space). Yay me.

  6. February 8, 2012

    Barcelona is a good team playing at home, I think we’ll advance.

    • barca96
      February 8, 2012

      Yeah saw it earlier today.
      I can’t believe that they had to go through all this in the 1st place.

      And I wont be surprised if V.d. Boer gets the sack.
      The board never has patience.

      • Josep
        February 8, 2012

        You mean FDB? And he won’t get the sack. That’s Cruyff’s boy why would he sack him? The team has more injury problems than Barca at the moment, they’ll recover.

  7. barca96
    February 8, 2012

    After the Chelsea vs. Man Utd match, AvB’s interview was rudely cut short by Geoff Shreeves.

    Did anyone see that clip?
    I can’t find it anywhere on youtube.
    It is really sad.

    The guy was just trying to rant on the 2 soft penalties given to Man U and all of a sudden he was cut off. The reason given was that their time is up.

    My question is, why interview him in the first place if they only had 10 secs?

    But what also could be happening was that Sky knew where the interview was heading, AvB criticizing Howard Webb so they just wanted to cut it short.

    But no matter what, they could’ve just let the camera roll but stop it from being shown LIVE.

    • February 8, 2012

      Better than the article itself are the absolutely random, mindless comments.

  8. Helge
    February 8, 2012

    Oh… no Tello from the beginning 🙁

  9. mom4
    February 8, 2012

    BarcaTheOffside Offside Barcelona
    Barça starting XI: Pinto, Puyol, Piqué, Mascherano, Abidal, Fàbregas, Xavi, Thiago, Alexis, Messi and Cuenca.

  10. angelobenito
    February 8, 2012

    Aduriz replaces Soldado, with flu simptoms.

    Guardiola, 12 loses, ONLY one with Puyol on the field. 🙂

  11. blitzen
    February 8, 2012

    Sadly the Juvenil A team lost their game against Ajax A 0-3 today so they are out of the NextGen tournament. I wasn’t able to watch the game, but I wanted to say how very proud I am of the performance of this young team. In some cases they were playing teams 2-3 years older than themselves, and they made an excellent showing. In the process they gained valuable international experience, and gave the world a chance to see what the Barça youth system is all about. It has been a real pleasure to watch future stars like Dongou, Samper, and Grimaldo show their stuff. I hope this tournament becomes a permanent fixture.

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