Sandro Rosell and Curating Barça’s Museum

Politics is an ugly business. It’s a money-laced endeavor, wherever it appears, from co-op boards to legislative houses. It is also a place where things are easily painted as good vs evil, love it or leave it, no middle ground, no such thing as nuance. It is in this realm that we find Barça firmly entrenched during the Sandro Rosell era. I’ve written about it in the past, suggesting that there is much more to the behind-the-scenes machinations than simply running a football club. I get the sense, however, that this puts me in the “anti-Rosell” camp and by default also in the “pro-Laporta” camp.

I hardly ever think gleefully about Laporta. One of my clearest memories of him is the disdain with which he treated fans while visiting New York City with the team in the summer of 2008. The team never signed autographs and Laporta himself seemed to be happier joking with staff members and completely ignoring the fans who had come out for a charity match session (and waited over 2 hours longer than expected to get in). At the friendly the team played at the Meadowlands stadium in East Rutherford a couple of days later, Laporta, surrounded by a veritable goon squad of bodyguards, refused to acknowledge people in the stadium, blowing by everyone in a huff just after the game ended, too busy to pause for pictures, too purposefully above it all. Or at least so it seemed to this fan, who was at both events.

For what it’s worth, I was on the fence about the vote of no confidence that summer–something that I knew must have been weighing on Laporta’s mind at the time, but which should have galvanized him into better public relations, not worse–and happened to be traveling to Spain in July, right as the vote was to take place. In the end, I was not forced to decide one way or the other because travel plans ended with me leaving Barcelona on July 5, just a day before the vote took place at the Camp Nou. Laporta survived, but not without that squeaky bum sound filling the tabloids for a while.

Nuance, however, as I said, rarely has its day in court, and it seems that this is all the more true of the Rosell administration. Whatever Laporta’s personal foibles, whatever his tendency toward autocracy, whatever his inability to keep his gob shut for more than half a second (I called it macromicroblabbermouthia, among other things, in this ancient post)–and certainly there was plenty to be disgusted with and plenty to be annoyed with–Joan Laporta never, to my knowledge, waged personal war using the club’s museum (he waged personal war in other ways, with company funds, it would appear).

What I mean about the museum comes from this, written by NZM in an email:

We were at the museum on the weekend and I confirmed the almost complete lack of Laporta presence in the museum. He appears in 2 little videos on 8” screens as part of the club’s humanitarian work….The 6 cup season – 2008/09 is lumped into a category called “The Best Years in Our History” from 2008 – 2012.  Rosell’s pic is there, but not Laporta’s.

It is here that the nuance has to play a part. What Rosell is doing–and make no mistake, as the president of Barça, Rosell is responsible–is reprehensible, but saying that, criticizing the sitting president, is not the same as praising the prior president. Rosell is, I think, looking to draw a line in the sand that demarcates Good vs Evil, Rosell vs Laporta. It is a multi-party system thrown into disarray and quickly devolving into a two-party system of polar factions.

The debate is not about Laporta’s era having been good or bad, but rather Rosell’s attempt to erase it from the annals of Barça lore is repugnant. Granted, as Blitzen wrote in a subsequent email on the subject, “There is a write-up on [Laporta’s] presidency on the official website, available to anyone,” but there is a difference between receiving a mandate to run a club and going that extra mile to obliterate the connections between the club’s crowning achievement and the president primarily responsible for it.

In the end, however, it’s not about erasing Laporta so much as erecting a monument to Rosell. With Pep gone, it is now the Rosell era, but the museum, according to NZM’s report above, is being used to suggest that Rosell was the mastermind of every good year since 2008. That is both wrong and reprehensible behavior. Rosell should be ashamed of himself, much as Laporta should be ashamed of himself for the spies and over-the-top expense accounts. There are at least two sides to every story, but often there are even more and in this case, it shouldn’t matter whether Laporta’s years were good or bad: they should be presented as they were. They cannot be whitewashed away with some tricky accounting or media relations campaign.

It is our duty as socis, as fans, as those who simply love the game, to raise these issues. I am not anti Rosell, I am not pro Laporta. I am pro truth. I am pro inclusion. I am pro transparency. I am anti political gimmicks. I am anti racism and xenophobia. I am pro personal responsibility and anti invasion of privacy. I am against working with companies or nations that have severe human rights issues. I am for supporting charity and fighting for those who have no voices. If these stances hurt my club’s bottom line, I am fine with that. If they hurt or bolster Sandro Rosell’s legacy, I am fine with that. But I will not sit and watch wordlessly as anyone, regardless of their connections, history, or personal merit destroys the integrity of the club I love.

Politics is an ugly business, but if we don’t keep watch, who will?

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

64 Comments

  1. Dani_el
    July 13, 2012

    Good argument. Rosell doesn’t have the right to take away Laporta’s presidency achievements. Thank you for the article Isaiah, and thanks nzm for the mail.

  2. Isuwa nelson
    July 13, 2012

    It will be good not to delete what he has don.

  3. Lev
    July 13, 2012

    Good post!
    Could Pep be the first ever president to represent Barça with dignitiy during my lifetime?

  4. July 13, 2012

    Thanks for this, Isaiah. Well-balanced piece. There has been so much anti-Rosell sentiment (with reason), that I think it is important to remember that Laporta was deeply flawed as well. There are no White Hats here.

    Just adding to my point that you quoted above, the piece on the FCB website is actually quite complimentary towards Laporta, giving him credit for taking a chance on Guardiola & having the most successful period in club history. Rosell may be petty and vindictive, but he is not evil and he is not trying to actually “erase [Laporta] from the annals of Barça lore”. A lot more people visit the official website than will ever visit the museum itself. I’m not excusing Rosell or whoever is responsible for the museum at all, I just don’t see it as the wholesale revision of history that you do.

    As far as I am concerned they are both as bad as each other and I am heartily sick of them and their childish antics. The sooner the club gets some new blood the better.

    • July 13, 2012

      There is anti-RoSELL sentiment because he is bringing it on himself. Nobody said that Party Boy was the apogee of presidential gloriousness. I think that when I call attention to RoSELL’s antics, people automatically assume that it means I think Laporta was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Nope. In addition to using the club as a boost to pursue his dreams of being King of Catalunya, he played fast and loose with money and was rather fond of a big party. Yes, we had stuff to celebrate, but still.

      I just think that RoSELL has brought a new level of (for me) mean-spiritedness to the office that I’m not a fan of. If Party Boy does in fact run for president, the campaign is going to be a mess.

  5. July 13, 2012

    Interesting read. Thanks! A counter-point:

    But if you said that Rosell is the current curator of the museum, isn’t it within his authority to decide what should be shown on display? Is it by definition that a museum should be a representation of the whole truth?

    Disclosure: I’ve never been to Barcelona, so I don’t know what kind of things are shown. I’m just curious, how about for the dream team era, are there any pictures of Nunez at the museum?

    • nzm
      July 13, 2012

      There’s a Presidents’ Board with all their pics up (except one from way back as they apparently don’t have a pic of him!) and some of the other presidents have small photos around the place where history involves them.

      Where Laporta could have been mentioned – i.e. the history-making 6 cup 2008/2009 season – has been lumped into a category called “The Best Years of our History”, as mentioned above in the article. In this section, there is a nice big image of Rosell, but nothing to be seen of Laporta.

      Apart from his pic on the Presidents’ Board, there are 2 small 8″ screens showing Laporta in Africa on Unicef work – something that Rosell has not done.

      I also wouldn’t go as far as to say that Rosell is personally curating what’s in the museum, but it is all there (and isn’t there) with his permission.

      I should do a piece on the Barca museum – it’s just darned hard to get good images inside it because it’s so dark and there’s so much glass around the displays. It was renovated not long after Rosell took over, and while there have been some good additions to the displays, I actually don’t like it as much as before.

      They’ve taken out a lot of the old player memorabilia which used to be so interesting to look at, and put in a lot more interactive screens and crap. I hate them – they’re only interesting for about 1 minute! But the technology is great – it’s all Microsoft Surface stuff. Even the big walls have interactive touch screens on them.

      But my favourite is the huge, long AV wall showing a continuous loop of a video of the 6 cup season. Brings tears to my eyes whenever I watch it – so emotional. No Laporta though. 🙂

      • July 13, 2012

        You should write a piece about the museum, nzm. I would love to read. I saw some pics that my friends took on their visit, but they were there for sightseeing, not for fan reason.

        For me, it’s kinda interesting that FCB museum/Camp Nou is sort of a must-see for tourists visiting Barcelona; the attention is comparable to Gaudi’s works I would say.

        • Judas Pissed
          July 13, 2012

          I’ve always loved the fan wall with videos of dozens of people singing the Barca hymn. Awesome.

          • nzm
            July 13, 2012

            Yeah – that’s cool too and the little iPod-dy thingies on sticks in front of that screen are quite unique.

        • Messiah10
          July 13, 2012

          My parents aren’t club supporters and I told them they had to go when they were in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It was right after the treble. They told me it was their favorite “sight-seeing” event. They were in awe. They had a picture taken with Messi! A cut out cardboard one that actually looks very realistic. They fooled my son and I by having it framed! They also grabbed us 3 sweet posters, beanies, a flag, and home kit! Needless to say, I was grateful. They were as well because they wouldn’t have gone had I not mentioned it.

          • nzm
            July 13, 2012

            Almost every set of visitors we have coming to Barcelona wants to go to the stadium, and even the ones who don’t like football are pretty impressed by the end of the visits.

            The stadium itself is pretty impressive in size, and the fact that you can walk down the players tunnel onto the pitch, and El Cant del Barca is playing through the speakers as you walk onto the pitch – it’s quite well done.

    • July 13, 2012

      Whether or not it is within RoSELL’s authority to decide what should be shown, doesn’t mean he should attempt to whitewash an enemy from a very successful period in the club’s history. If he didn’t like Messi, would he try to somehow not present fully the achievements of our magnificent Falsie? I think the point that nzm is making is that it’s mean-spirited and, frankly, reprehensible. But also not surprising. When friends become enemies, it’s just a mess for everyone involved.

  6. Richzorz
    July 13, 2012

    Counting down the days until Pep is president…!

    • mom4
      July 13, 2012

      June 2013? Won’t the Confederations Cup be around then?

  7. Dani_el
    July 13, 2012

    Deulofeu took to much flac with his celebrations, here some of his quotes, so you se the kid is not all evil…

    Deulofeu talking about Spain’s U-19 euro squad: “we are a family”-
    “I was lucky enough to be the one who scored two goals and the final penalty, but we are all happy of reaching the final. I’m just one more playey in the team. We are so united that all of us are leaders outside the field”.
    About Greece, their opponent on the final: “Greece has a great team, in the first game against them, we had an advantage of two goals, but coming to the second half, they played much better. This is a final, and each game is different, I just hope we can score like the first game”.

    • July 13, 2012

      I don’t know. I get that selfishness vibe whenever I watch him play. I saw highlights of yesterday’s game, and he went slightly over the top with his celebrations. What he did after he scored was instinctive, and these quotes were made after emotions of the game tempered.

      • nzm
        July 13, 2012

        He most likely got some flak for his celebrations and came out with those statements after being “schooled”. 🙂

  8. Dani_el
    July 13, 2012

    Spain’s squad for the London Olimpics. By my count, 5 players from La Masia (Alba, Montoya, Botía, Romeu, Tello), and just the one from “La fábrica” of EE (Mata). It would be cool to see Romeu, this maybe his chance to prove himself worthy of coming back to play for the first team.

    – Keepers: David De Gea (Manchester Utd/ING) y Diego Marino (Villarreal).
    – Defenders: César Azpilicueta (O. Marsella/FRA), Álvaro Domínguez (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Martín Montoya (Barcelona), Alberto Botía (Sporting).
    – Midfielders: Javi Martínez, Iker Muniain, Ander Herrera (Athletic), Íñigo Martínez (Real Sociedad), Jorge Resurrección ‘Koke’ (At. Madrid), Oriol Romeu (Chelsea/ING), Isco Alarcón (Málaga)
    – Strikers: Adrián López (At. Madrid), Rodrigo Moreno (Benfica/POR), Juan Mata (Chelsea/ING) y Cristian Tello (Barcelona).

    • nzm
      July 13, 2012

      That list is proof of the depth of players in Spain right now.

      Only 3 who were in the Euros, (albeit Javi Martinez didn’t play and Mata got about 5 mins) and yet most of those names are still well-known players to most La Liga/football followers.

      How many countries could field what is, technically, a second-flow team and still come up with relatively big names playing in premier leagues?

      Amazing.

      • July 13, 2012

        They are losing 0-2 to Senegal right now. It’s only a friendly, though.

        • nzm
          July 13, 2012

          Spain didn’t win all their friendlies on their way to the Euros either. 🙂

          And that pitch….

          Muniain is such a hot-head – he really needs to get a grip on his temperament.

        • jordi™
          July 13, 2012

          I cant see past Uruguay or Brazil for the gold. Luis Suarez and Neymar are my bets for top scorer and then these teams still have players like Cavani, Hulk, Oscar, Leandro Damião Thiago Silva Marcelo.I cant imagine a defensive partnership of Botia and Dominguez keeping them from scoring .

          • Messiah10
            July 13, 2012

            I wouldn’t count Spain out. Brazil & Uruguay will have the advantage of experience and physicality with maturity, but Spain have the advantage of being a team. They also have serious speed. I’m picking Spain to win it for WORLD domination.

          • Kimcelona
            July 14, 2012

            I’m with you Jordi! Brazil and Uruguay are my picks for the Olympics..Though my preference is Brazil (since I’ve supported them since I was a kid).

            I don’t know where the myth comes from that ONLY Spain is a TEAM. The Brazilian groups are normally close-knit..have been since I have been watching them. Brazil has just as much talent as well.

            Spain may have the winning edge in the senior ranks now but everything goes in cycles.

          • nzm
            July 14, 2012

            Without a doubt, there will be stronger first teams at the Olympics, and I’m not expecting that Spain will do that well against them. As per the Senegal game last night, most of these guys need some conditioning work to muscle up, or some speed and agility training to become faster, so that they can compete against the bigger players. They seem to be in limbo-land right now – in between and not in control of their physicality.

            My comment was more about the depth of quality players in Spain right now, in that they can leave out all but 3 of their Euro Cup winners and still come up with some good players who are all playing in top league teams.

          • Messiah10
            July 14, 2012

            Kimcelona, Brazil’s coach Mendes has been mixing and matching the squad since he arrived. I’d say there’s less team cohesion in Brazil then the other squads. Some of it is due to injury and some of it is due to youth. Don’t get me wrong, Brazil will be a force to reckon with, but I don’t rate their defense all that well. Marcelo will be the key. If he can push forward and create chances for Neymar & Hulk, they’ll be hard to stop. It’s the defense that will be their achilles because the lack of games together.

      • Messiah10
        July 13, 2012

        NBC Olympic’s web site is pretty good. You can sign up for live steaming and check out schedule per sport via provider. May only be for U.S. based fans. Spain may find it tough vs Japan. Is Kagawa playing? I thought he was but saw he was unveiled at ManU this week. A young Brazil team may find it tough against Egypt, but who knows what Egypt’s team looks like after the Revolution. It will also be former U.S. coach Bob Bradley’s 1st game back in lime light. Funny how he’s at the Olympics and the U.S. team isn’t. Senegal vs Uruguay will be a great game. Senegal is tough. Hopefully, G.B. vs Uruguay will be a good game. I hope Stuart Pearce implements some positive tactics to make G.B.’s games more exciting to watch. Should be some good footie being played for junkies withdrawing! It’s been a nice summer to get a fix while waiting for Barca!

    • Ryan
      July 13, 2012

      Crazy to see any Spain team without at least one Barcelona midfielder in there! Even if Thiago would be going if he were healthy…

      Should be fun watching Isco play, if he’s anything like he was for Malaga last season.

  9. garry
    July 13, 2012

    there are rumours of Ibi Afellay being put on transfer market……isn’t anybody else concerned about it ? Won’t it reduce the depth of our forward line?

    • nzm
      July 13, 2012

      yeah – barcastuff reporting that he can leave this summer, and his agent offering him to Arsenal.

      Bummer if it’s true. I would love to see the guy get at least half a season before the decision was made.

    • mom4
      July 13, 2012

      Didn’t we learn anything about squad depth from last year?

      • July 13, 2012

        There’s depth, and quality depth. At our club level, any player who would give you pause if inserted into the starting XI of a Champions League final probably shouldn’t be on the roster. So expect folks such as Muniesa, Fontas, etc to not be around when the real season starts.

        For me, selling Afellay would be a mistake. But you can certainly see how, with a healthy Villa, Thiago, JDS (most likely in the Keita role), Tello and/or Cuenca (though I would keep 3M over either of those latter two) not to mention Sanchez and Alba bombing up the left flank, an argument could be made for selling 3M for a big profit and reinvesting the funds for something we need.

        • nzm
          July 14, 2012

          Yes – agreed. I made a similar comment in reply to Calvin on the post before this.

          Maximum number of squad players does not equal quality depth.

          My analogy was that pretty much the whole Madrid squad would play well in a game vs. Barcelona, but I don’t have that same feeling about all the players in the Barca squad being able to play at that level vs. Madrid.

          As long as the club is bound to promote La Masia players in an effort to keep them around in case they show First Team potential, this is always going to be a problem. Effectively the club’s dealing with one hand tied behind its back.

          La Masia is both a blessing and a curse. I really don’t think that the end-product (i.e. the boys who make it through all the grades) is being handled as effectively as it should be.

          La Masia is part of the club’s tradition now, and produces some quality players, but the cost of the whole operation must be stupendous. Would that money be better spent buying players and reducing the running costs of the club? Can of worms. 😀

          • Messiah10
            July 14, 2012

            I can’t look at La Masia as anything but good for the Club. It’s a model that clubs all over the world are trying to emulate. I believe it is also the future of global football as wages increase, transfer market prices inflate, and debt ridden clubs can no longer borrow from banks with impunity. I.e. Rangers. The tax man always collects. La Masia is a tax haven and produces quality players. I agree it needs to be sorted from a selling standpoint. We need a higher return on our investment if a player decides to leave. However, it’s WHERE our 1st team players are indoctrinated into THE Barca way. It’s where players like Xavi look up to Pep and want to be him someday. It’s where Iniesta saw Pep and Xavi and dreamed of fulfilling his promise to bring glory to the club. If we constantly buy players the club will be ridden with more debt and the 1st team will suffer b/c it will take much longer to incorporate foreign/non-barca grads into our system.

        • nzm
          July 14, 2012

          Do you think that Afellay will go for that big profit? Sure 10 mill is 7 more than his buying price, but it’s a coin in the Trevi Fountain on the scale of things.

          I would love to see him stick around for at least half a season. I’m sure that he feels that he owes the club and wants to show his worth, and I also think that the club needs to give him that time.

          1. He would get the chance to thank the club for getting him through his injuries.
          2. He would get the chance for some decent playing time, and I’m sure that Tito would utilise him in the correct positions on the pitch.
          3. He could increase his selling price by putting in some decent performances.
          4. If he doesn’t do #3, his value isn’t going to go down that much anyway – at 3 million, he’s not a risk to the club for losing big money.

        • garry
          July 14, 2012

          @kxevin : considering ur champions league final criteria, we have only 4 forwards ( Messi, P!, Villa, Sanchez ) and a part time forward in form of Cesc.

          Is that good enough for a full season? Or will we suffer another season of a fatigued, burnt out team, talented enough to beat anybody, but unable to do so?

          • July 14, 2012

            Garry, I think that as with the Treble season, we will need luck with injuries, as any successful club does. 4 forwards is plenty, as long as injuries don’t come calling, and intelligence is used with early-round Copa matches, etc.

            Injuries are the big bugbear. Last year we lost Villa, Pedro’s form, Sanchez intermittently. If those three can stay fit and on form (obviously they will have drops here and there), we win another Treble.

    • July 13, 2012

      Yeah, there are also rumors that we might sell Adriano (our one of two leftbacks at the moment). Not sure what to make of this transfer window, but it seems that we’re not going to sign a center back. Pray the footy lords that Pique stops dreaming in space when he’s playing (Sorry, Jim!).

      Also, the price that has been quoted for Afellay seems a bit low. I will question Rosell’s negotiation skills if we sell Afellay for anything below 10 mil.

  10. providence
    July 13, 2012

    Rosell vs Laporya, at the end who’s the loser?
    BARCELONA.

    @ least I learnt one thing in this. world that ” a house that is divided among itself cannot stand” why all these?

    …..and for.Rosell I think its time he watches his speeches in public

    1.barca will beat Madrid 16-0 (not sure of the number though)
    2.Thong boy is the 11th best in the world
    3. The la liga is strange
    4.I’m not a politician(to Laporta….etc

    Personally I don’t like how he goes about things in Public. He should change for the best

    A President who’s on Twitter….lol

    • Peterj
      July 14, 2012

      sorry,but what is wrong if he is on twitter?

      • July 14, 2012

        Nothing wrong with RoSELL being on Twitter. Joan Laporta is also on Twitter. It’s an excellent forum for disseminating views and news.

        The “liga was strange” comment is a coomplex one. He’s obviously making allegations that something funky went on, which is why RM won the title. No surprise there, as they made the same allegations when we won. Nobody ever wins on merit where one or the other of the Big Two is concerned, right? But it does sound whiny.

        But get used to he and Laporta having at each other. It’s only going to get worse, particularly if Laporta decides that he does in fact want to run for president. Then you will need hip waders and a shovel to get through all the bullshit.

  11. Peterj
    July 14, 2012

    Who is better ALBA or ADRIANO?i think people are starting to underrate adriano cos of alba..if its anything,it is ALBA who’s got to prove himself in the barca team. I hope they both share equal minutes in the coming season..PEACE

    • July 14, 2012

      It’s an interesting comparison, as both have pace, and neither started life as an LB. On paper ….

      Adriano has a cannon of a shot. Accuracy is another question, however. But he’s unafraid to use it, which can be of value. He’s taller than Alba, as well. But Adriano has never developed the natural integration into the offense, that telepathy that Alba demonstrated at Euros. Alba is also better at making himself available to be part of the offense, something that we shouldn’t underestimate.

      I think that Alba is “better.” But Adriano is no slouch, and was fast improving as the season progressed. He’s a keeper. More importantly, he wants to renew, and I think that we should renew him, as I don’t see a better choice as the sub/situational starter out there.

  12. garry
    July 14, 2012

    @nzm : La Masia itself costs about £5 million to run each year. (wikipedia).

    Considering what it has given us in past few years ( Messi, Ghostface, Xavi, P! etc. ) its not a bad investment at all!

    But, then again, this is just the Guardiola years. Before that, the scenario was entirely different, and la masia may not have been such a good preposition financially.

    • nzm
      July 14, 2012

      Thanks garry.

      I would be very surprised if they could run La Masia for 5 mill per annum when all the expenses are taken into account. They must be factoring in a lot of depreciation and a low ROI. I’m sure that it helps the book-keeping, somehow. 🙂

      That said, it further supports my belief that the end-products (players) of La Masia are being badly handled when they come to maturity. There are too many players being allowed to leave for free or loaned out for stupid buy-back deals.

      If La Masia was run properly as a business, they would hold open days for the world team’s talent scouts to attend, where the La Masia guys would be trialled and put on display with bids open to interested parties. Much like auction rings for cattle and horses. Sounds cruel and heartless, I know, but it could be handled with more finesse, and be more lucrative for the club!

        • July 14, 2012

          nzm’s point about La Masia is an excellent one, which is how to treat it as the talent farm that it is. Right now, we kinda hunch over it, saying “Minemineminemine!” And scouts sneak looks at players, and sometimes snag them, etc. But why not make things more open? The keepers are going to stay anyhow, because they know they have a future with the first team. It’s an interesting quandary.

          The other question is, “would it make us a selling club?” I don’t think so, but it would put talent out there, on view, which could only enhance the institution’s bottom line.

          Of course, it’s kinda skeezy when you think about it. “Come see our young’uns! See one you like? Make an offer!”

          • nzm
            July 14, 2012

            Yeah – it would have to be handled with a bit more class, for sure! 😀

    • nzm
      July 14, 2012

      Actually – Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol etc were all pre-Guardiola – even Bojan.

      Pep recognised Busquets and Pedro, and brought back Pique and Cesc – but the latter 2 wouldn’t have been considered if they had not already proven themselves. Jeffren was released.

      Fontas and Cuenca were also promoted in his time, and he also debuted a lot of La Masia grads in the First Team during his tenure – something which is being recorded in my 6 part Last Season review.

      La Masia (the training school) is not that old in the history of the club. It was formed, with the advice of Cruyff, in the late 70s.

      It’s an interesting situation with all the homegrown players that haven’t been bought by the club, as they have no real value on the books. In essence, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol and the others who have only played for Barca, only have a value greater than 0 – because they have never been bought or sold! One can place a value on them, but as far as being on any asset register, it’s a guesstimate or a perceived value that isn’t tangible until someone is willing to pay that amount.

      • July 14, 2012

        Don’t forget Thiago. Pep and Lucho worked very closely on his development, making sure he wasn’t pressured to move up to the first team too early. Thiago is a great example of a La Masia product done right.

        • nzm
          July 14, 2012

          Thanks – I knew that I was forgetting someone! :roll:

          However, I do feel that he was moved up one season too early, but with Lucho gone it was probably the right move to keep him under Pep.

  13. garry
    July 14, 2012

    i was refering to the fact that it is only during Guardiola years that La Masia has dominated the Barca first team and captured the world’s attention.

    Before that, we too were dependent on buying talent from outside, atleast to a much greater degree than nowadays.

    Hence, a lesser ROI (return-on-investment) than nowadays for la masia.

    • nzm
      July 14, 2012

      I think that the biggest reason for La Masia emergence with Pep is that he knows the system, and knew how it should work, and he looked inwards to La Masia for the talent, as well as outwards. And there was Tito too, plus all their coaching team – these guys bled La Masia.

      The 2 longest serving Managers Van Gaal and Rijkaard (between the Cruyff and Pep years) were in the era where players were bought and big names were courted to play. The others (especially the local managers) weren’t around long enough to develop anything.

  14. July 14, 2012

    Excellent Bumper Graham profile of Tito Vilanova. I confess to having forgotten that RoSELL kicked Vilanova to the curb back in the day.

    http://m.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/titos-eyeing-off-revenge-20120713-221a4.html

    And so there is no equivocation here, I think that if Vilanova doesn’t own the world his first season, he won’t get a second. Guardiola’s “failure” last season couldn’t have been better for RoSELL, because now Vilanova isn’t that touched by greatness, nor is he divine. He’s the assistant of a guy who couldn’t get it done on the biggest competitions last season. Unfortunate, but that’s big-time football. I don’t think any president would give Vilanova a ton of leeway with his sporting project in considering it a long-term thing if success doesn’t come right away.

    –Very cool Mascherano quote: “At Barcelona, I want to continue to play as centre back, it’s where I feel most comfortable.” [radio9 via md] That man’s no fool. It’s also where he’s most likely to get the biggest amount of playing time, given the quality and durability of Busquets. He can always move forward, but he wants Vilanova thinking of him as a CB, rather than a slumming DM.

    • Messiah10
      July 15, 2012

      Just read and great background of Tito. Nice to see he was the 1st to stick it to Mo with a goal! I didn’t realize he’d encouraged Pep to promote Busi.

  15. nzm
    July 14, 2012

    Cuenca reported to be out until at least September. 🙁

    We need Afellay to stick around.

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