Even Royal Whites Get the Blues

There are different kinds of sad.

A. One kind of sad is from spending too much time happy. This is the kind of sad everyone feels at the end of the July festivities in Pamplona, when they gather in the town square singing “poor me, poor me, the fiesta de San Fermín is over.” Then they collectively pass out.

B. Another kind of sad is more dignified. Even manly. It honors a loss, and effort expended. This is the kind of sad everyone feels when they lose a European soccer championship to a vastly superior club even after scoring a meraviglia of a penalty in the match before.

C. The last degree of sad is Rick-in-Casablanca sad. This is the kind of sad you feel when the only love of your lonely life, who happens to look exactly like Ingrid Bergman, is leavin’ on a jet plane with a tall, dashing freedom fighter to liberate occupied Europe while you are looking at life on the lam with an oily appeaser named Louis – that is, before World War II breaks out.

I think Cristiano might rate his current state of sad somewhere between B and C, even though it belongs somewhere closer to A, IMO. IHOP.

In a hallway convo with reporters last Sunday, Cristiano sighed deeply. “People know why I didn’t celebrate my goals,” he said. “I don’t do that when I’m sad.”

Sad? the reporters clamored. Is that why? And “people know why”? What “people”?

Sadly, no one seemed to know. “I don’t know,” said Gerard Piqué. “We didn’t know until we saw it on TV,” said Gonzalo Higuaín. “I don’t know what kind of sadness he has,” said Andrés Iniesta. “I’m happy,” said Xabi Alonso. “I could care less,” muttered David Albelda.

No one, that is, except Jorge Mendes. “Cristiano’s statements are based on reasons that I know about. It’s up to Cristiano himself to divulge them,” the agent intoned mysteriously, as if his star’s feelings were a portent from of the Book of Revelation, as opposed to a Facebook status.

Then, a clue. “It’s a professional reason,” Cristiano divulged. “I won’t say anything more.”

He added, “I’m sad.”  And then, “I’m not going to say more.”

And then he added, “It’s not that I’m mad at anyone. The club knows.”

Then the star striker skipped training with the Portuguese selection, so as not to say any more.

Professional reasons! Reasons regarding his profession! Insider club professional reasons! Let us unprofessional outsiders speculate!

You know, maybe it’s just the name. Marca noted that the great but quite sensitive Ronaldo complained about feeling a little “triste” himself because the Bernabeuers never embraced him warmly, regardless of how round and comfy he was. Later the Barcelona-Inter-Madrid star would play his own “Crying Game” in a Turkish hotel. A sad turn of events, indeed.

And, once again, Dad is mad. JoMo has been critical of his team lately, accusing them of lackluster play, waning energy and all around low mo-jo. I mean, the guy threw every last forward out against Getafe in hopes that someone would score – thereby leaving the entire mid-pitch wide-open for a mid-table team to sneak two past St. Iker. It’s not that Mou’s plan was nuts; it’s that his players have psychological problems. No me gusta.

It’s not as if those who don’t show him the love show him the money, either. Cristiano ranks in the bottom 10th of the top-ten wage earners in European football at a paltry 10m euros per year. That’s a lower allowance than the all other guys, Mom,  even Ibra, Rooney, Agüero  … Messi. That leaves Cristiano in, like, the bottom 0.000001% of the top 0.0000000001%. So even though most folks these days Occupy little more than the next stall, perhaps Cristiano feels the pang of economic injustice. And it hoits.

If not moolah, how ‘bout a little silver? Could it be that Cristiano pined for UEFA’s Best Player award, only to witness yet another prize go to another little person in a blue-and-red jersey? I mean, have you seen that trophy? Check your Armani underwear ads. Who most resembles the UEFA Best Player? Cristiano, his torso rippling with abs and pecs, or the skinny guy with the receding hairline and melatonin deficiency? Geesh.

Then again, as Alvaro Arbeloa gently reminds us, “Everyone has the right to feel sad.” Even rich, handsome, and talented everyones. After all, “money doesn’t buy happiness.” Maybe, just maybe, you hard-hearted cold-bloods, “he needs a little more love from everyone. We’ll help him however we can.”

Then Alvaro offered Cristiano his favorite teddy bear. Stuffed with euros.











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SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. September 4, 2012

    I knew you couldn’t quit us, SoMa, I just *knew* it!

    😀 😀 😀

  2. September 4, 2012

    I’m really amazed that there hasn’t been a tumblr filled with gifs dedicated to this Ronaldo sad business.

    • simple_barcafan
      September 4, 2012

      Remember the meme which you posted here with Inesta, Messi and Ronaldo at the UEFA awards. Messi looking at Ronaldo and saying U MAD bro?…well we should change it to u SAD bro? 😛

      • September 5, 2012

        Haha! I think he felt that we might get bored during the intl. break so he did this to amuse us 😛

  3. September 4, 2012





    /stops with the /s

    /except not, making you all sad like pandas and Cristano.

  4. nia
    September 4, 2012

    OT: this is why Messi hasn’t been Messi me thinks:
    Messi is since the start of the season playing with thigh muscle discomfort. The club expects pain to go away with physiotherapy. [marca]
    As for CR being sad, everyone goes through the motions but, why leave us hanging? If he was going to say something to the press, then go all the way. Now there’s going to be some conspiracy theories, mafia this, mafia that, 🙂 lol. That he’s really jealous of Messi, etc. The fact that Alonso said ‘i’m happy’ says a lot.

    • nzm
      September 5, 2012

      Thigh muscle discomfort – is that another way of saying hamstring injury?

  5. mom4
    September 4, 2012

    Just like Pagliacci did
    I try to keep my sadness hid
    Smiling in the public eye
    But in my lonely room
    I cry the tears of a clown
    When there’s no one around

  6. September 5, 2012

    “To tell you the truth, it was never easy playing with Ibrahimovic. You have to know how to handle him. Really, what you needed to do was just pass him the ball, or else he’d scream at you, or just play tricks on you afterwards.”

    Milan teenager El Shaarawy in an interview. Illuminating. That said, anyone one bit surprised?

    • Clouseau
      September 5, 2012

      No far from it. I remember him bawling at Jonathan for “a missplaced pass”, which wasn’t the case as his bad control was at fault..
      It was said anyway that the Club thought his bad temper could inhibit the development of the youthplayer.

      Now Messi shouldn’t follow that route either..

  7. Clouseau
    September 5, 2012

    Spain’s medias are going wild on the issue I’m glad that i don’t live there ^^
    Out of all the questioned Players i like Albelda’s answer the most as it can be translated in two ways(literally and contextually).

    Brilliant stuff Soccermom enjoyed reading it.

  8. lea_terzi
    September 5, 2012

    Messi: “Cristiano saying he’s sad at Madrid? When he talks, you shouldn’t ask me about it, and other way around. Got nothing to do with it.”

    Messi’s got more bite in him lately. Hope all this “best player ever” stuff is not getting to him.

    • mom4
      September 5, 2012

      More bite isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What more could he say? Personally, I like Albelda’s answer, “I don’t care”, but if Messi had said that the press would have been all over him.

  9. mom4
    September 5, 2012

    Barcelona have registered Eric Abidal, recovering from a liver tansplant, for this season’s Champions League #fcblive #animsabidal Barcastuff

  10. lea_terzi
    September 5, 2012

    Yay, Xavi got an award as well! He shared the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports with Casillas. Messi is still missing one. Hope it comes in January 🙂

    • mom4
      September 5, 2012

      Is that the keep the Barca and RM boys singing Kumbaya around the campfire in a spirit of brotherhood, peace, and football harmony long enough to win things award?

      • lea_terzi
        September 5, 2012

        Sure seems so 🙂 Xavi and Iker’s love-hate-but mostly love relationship has done wonders for the national team.

  11. Xavi6
    September 5, 2012

    am I the only one wanting Dos Santos to succeed so bad at Barca ?
    The kid has took big risks to stay in the team including withdrawing from the Olympics to get pre-season time with Barca , then giving away the chance to play in Sevilla .

    Too much at stake , seeing him not succeed will be painful to see .

    • September 5, 2012

      I would love to see him succeed, but not at the expense of other players (Thiago, Sergi Roberto). Yesterday it was reported that his lawyer or agent (not sure) did an interview where he said JDS thinks he can play 25 games this season. Considering the competition for the position he plays in, that is just downright delusional.

      He is going to ride the bench, if he even makes the bench, and waste a whole year of his playing career when he could have been a starter for Sevilla. My hope is that he will come to his senses by mid-season and they can find a club for him in January.

      • September 5, 2012

        I’m with blitzen here, but to take it a step farther, Dos Santos is a fool, because only a fool would play with his career like that. He is going to waste a year, and burn some goodwill with the club, which could come in handy the NEXT time transfer season rolls around.

        If he were good enough to “fight for a place,” the club wouldn’t have been trying to find a home for him. Simple as that. What happened to his brother isn’t any sort of example, because his brother fell in with the wrong crowd, and found out belatedly that in fact, his crap does indeed stink — that eventually, in every career, your crap will stink. So you might as well have some common sense and humility at the outset. It will help.

        As blitzen also notes, he would be starting for Sevilla, who could use the help. Are they going to be jet-setting about Europe, reading daily accolades about how every pass makes the grass that it glides over, swoon in orgasmic delight? Nope. But Dos Santos isn’t either. He’s going to be hanging out in his apartment in Barcelona, watching the matches on TV along with the rest of us, unless they’re at home, then he’ll be watching from the stands, again, like many of us.

        Hey, I get it. FC Barcelona must be a hell of a place if you’re a player. It’s the best club in the world. Who in their right mind would ever want to leave such a place? Oh, maybe a player who should be thinking about his real future, rather than a Walter Mittyesque one in which he is going to play 25 matches this season.

        Afellay is a better player than Dos Santos, and he wasn’t getting time. When Thiago returns, it’s only going to push Dos Santos farther out, particularly as Sergi Roberto has leapfrogged him. I confess to not getting it. At all.

        • nzm
          September 5, 2012

          I don’t believe that the onus all lies with the player. Sure JDS should see the writing on the wall and move on, especially if the club wants him to do so, but why promote him to the First Team at all – especially into a team which is raining midfielders?

          I’ve actually just written a piece on this which I hope to get up in the next day or so.

          • September 5, 2012

            My guess is that they promoted him because a) it was time, b) someone thought he might be ready and c) first team status would make him more sellable.

          • September 5, 2012

            Because promotion was in the terms of his contract. It’s not at all an unusual stipulation for a youth player to have. Barcelona (and other clubs, I imagine) has set guidelines on what youth team players are paid. Promoting him just means that he earns a first-team salary. It in no way guarantees that a place will be found for him in the official squad. People seem to be confusing the two things.

            JDS was promoted for business reasons. He wasn’t going to stay a youth player forever, was he? As a senior player he got a higher salary and a shot at proving himself during the preseason. Sadly, he got injured & wasn’t able to do much. The club then decided that the best way to manage this particular asset was to loan him out to a club where he would get decent playing time & continue to develop his skills playing in the Primera. Because that is what would be best for both the player and our team. Sitting on the bench isn’t going to do JDS any good in terms of morale or skill development, and it could also affect the rest of the team negatively. When a player is unhappy it affects everybody.

          • nzm
            September 5, 2012

            Kevin – it’s most likely a combination of A+C where A was a promise to promote and C is what the club thought, but not what JDS was thinking!

            blitzen – JDS has to be on a team list. If he’s not on the B team, then he’s on the First Team list in 1 of the 25 available positions that the team is legally allowed to have for the First Team.

            So, by default, he takes up the First Team position and is perhaps told, before the Olympics, that he will go out on loan. He turns down the Olympics to stay for the pre-season to prove himself – which unfortunately does not go well for him.

            The club wants him to go on loan to Sevilla. JDS refuses – as is his right, because this is what the club has negotiated with him.

            He stays and now occupies a First Team position. His place on the team stops the First Team from perhaps purchasing another stronger, more experienced player and he prevents any other more talented B teamers from being promoted.

            I believe that this situation will only accelerate as more La Masia players are promised promotions and then don’t fit into the club’s plans.

            Unless the club changes its handling of the upcoming players, then we can expect to see more players, like JDS, exercising their legal contractual rights to stay.

            It would be stupid of the players, but this has been their dream for years – all those years in the corridors and on the pitches of La Masia – to play for Barcelona. They’re not about to let that go, and if the club makes it legally easier for them to stay, then more fool the club.

            If more players decide to dig in their heels and not leave, it will be even more worrisome for the club if suddenly they have more unseasoned players on the First Team/B team books than they have positions for them. It also dilutes the strength and depth of the First Team.

            This is where the club has to get smarter with their player negotiations. No more promises of First Team promotions unless the players fit into the team’s plans. At best, they can expect to be loaned out for more experience, or sold with a buy-back option. Tough, but necessary, IMO.

          • nzm
            September 5, 2012

            Kevin – an after-thought.

            I’ve always thought that C (making a player more valuable by First Team promotion) had to happen, but I’m changing on this.

            It comes down to having effective negotiators within the club – end of story.

            Case in point: Over Summer, RM sold 2 of their excellent Castilla players to clubs in Germany for 5 mill and 6 mill euros.

            One wanted to return to his homeland, and the other was an outright sale with intelligent and reasonable buy-back options to be exercised by RM should the player prove himself worthy of a future First Team Madrid inclusion.

            They both went to Bundesliga teams – Hoffenheim and Leverkusen.

            I would say that’s an excellent piece of business by RM.

    • olbucky
      September 5, 2012

      Soma, I’ve been boycotting the O’s for years now since Angelo’s destroyed a once great institution. I actually used to sell cotton candy at Memorial Stadium mad then Camden Yards. I see so many parallels about Barca and the Orioles of old the way they used to raise great players in their farm system…but alas that system has been gutted. I haven’t been to a game in years much less watched one after growing up a die hard fan. I still have framed newspapers of the Baltimore Sun from Cal’s record breaking games on my wall along with my front row tickets. I went to game 2 of the 83 World Series as a kid. I still can’t listen to We Are Family by Sister Sledge because of the bad memories it brings back with Willy Stargell and the Pirates coming back from 3 games to 1 to beat us in 79′. That’s how much of a fan I was but all of my attention has switched to our boys in Catalonia. I’ve seen the light and 1st place or not, it’s hard to go back, especially with Angelo’s as an owner. Still I’ll have to start watching but it wont be the same. The Oriole way is gone. It would be like Barca doing well without La Masia and Jose Mourhinio involved.

      • mom4
        September 5, 2012

        I know the feeling. Used to stay up late listening to Chuck Thompson call the games. Favorite players were Eddie and Boog because I played first base in softball. I can’t watch the games now because I’ m used to fast -paced non -stop soccer and baseball bores me, and I won’t buy a ticket for all the reasons you mentioned but I’ll always be a fan.

        Btw, I’m not soma. soccermom is.

        • September 5, 2012

          Congrats! I heard the last time the O’s tied first place was in the ’90s! So long ago.

          Red Sox is 14 games behind first, second to last 😥 Wah!

        • olbucky
          September 6, 2012

          Sorry, I always get you two confused.
          I used to love Chuck and Brooks on tv watching games. I have an autographed Brooks Robinson picture in my office but I was too young to see him play. Cal was always my favorite. Incidentally, cal Ripken’s favorite game to play growing up was soccer. I loved the way the Orioles got along, so much like this Barca side. That and they believed in playing “the Oriole way”. The always went to the farm system for talent, it felt like such a communal team. What I lost in the Orioles I’ve found in Barca. There are just so many parallels.

    • nzm
      September 5, 2012

      Oh dear!

      Some of the comments on his Facebook statement are downright hilarious.

      This are some of my favourites, spelling and grammar in context:

      we’ve many chinese dweling in Nigeria. Wonder if dey came in legaly or thru d back door. Can’t make anything out frm thier comment. Morning dear.

      Pataleta, Akela, pataleta…

      As usual!! Drama qween,

      Why do you write in english? You are playing in spain, so you should excuse yourself in spanish. I really do think you are a bad looser…so you didn’t get the gold ball, eh. Well, you know…you always get what you planted, don’t you think. You’re too selfish my boy…how about play in team.

      Lukas Podolski

      money is always the case, money rules, with out money ur nothing even with ur talent

      Quit whine bro

      Then, what is the problem, share it with us incase we can advise.


      Ah well, if his intention was to draw focus away from Iniesta winning Player of the Year, then he has succeeded at that. 😀

  12. September 5, 2012

    http://twitpic.com/arf9kj (via barcastuff)

    Mou and Tito standing next to each other 😯
    Unai and Jurgen Klopp at the back, and Wenger looks so happy!
    That ex referee standing next to Mou looks scary.
    Notice the Barca connection with Frank, Tito & Mou standing next each other.

    We should play “name that coach” with this picture 😀

    • nzm
      September 5, 2012

      No Sir Alex?

      Good to see Kloppy there!

      • ooga aga
        September 5, 2012

        F de Boer running thangs in his gray suit and bronzed god goodness HOT 🙂

    • simple_barcafan
      September 5, 2012

      ok..Barca coach with out a suit AGAIN..common Tito..you dont have to follow Pep so closely!!

  13. replayed
    September 5, 2012

    Uh-oh. Anyone else find this news tidbit somewhat alarming?


    I mean, he’s actually *started* those three games! Why would he want to grumble, especially given the need to keep the squad fresh over their grueling season? And while I don’t know that he was the one to bring up the possibility (rather than the interviewer), why would he want to comment this extensively on the prospect of moving on?

    I hate to to say it, but it sounds like Cesc’s state of mind is a more imminent threat to squad harmony than JDS’s. And I also hate to think that Song’s arrival — and all it might remind Cesc of — might have something to do with Cesc’s forcefully stated discontent.

    Trouble in paradise?

    • September 5, 2012

      I just went over all this on twitter. Here is what I wrote:

      Disregard the headline. He never said he was unhappy at Barcelona or that he had any issue with Tito.

      All he said is that he wants to improve (good!), wants to play more (of course he does), & will work hard to get more minutes (excellent).

      And, oh yeah, he shared the shocking news that he is competitive & doesn’t like being subbed. I’d worry about him if he did!

      I think Cesc is more pissed off at himself for whatever mental block he has going on, than anything external.

      • replayed
        September 5, 2012

        Glad to hear it’s just the Madrid press up to its old tricks.

    • nzm
      September 5, 2012

      Quotes taken out of context can be made to mean anything.

      In the same interview, he also said that he intends to retire at Barca.

      • Dani_el
        September 5, 2012

        Thanks nzm for some perspective!

  14. Messiah10
    September 5, 2012

    Cesc has declared he is unhappy at the inconsistent playing time he’s getting.


    I say quit whining and start playing. He claims he keeps it to himself, yet divulges it to the press? That’s the most ridiculous part about it. Pep changed our system to fit him in and Tito has started him all 3 Liga games this year, but he hasn’t been played consistently by the club. If we have a decent offer in January I say ship him out. $25-30 million and cut our losses.

    • ciaran
      September 5, 2012

      That’s from Radio Marca (Madrid press) so the quotes may be fabricated or misquoted. I wouldn’t believe it just yet.

      • Messiah10
        September 5, 2012

        Of course they are. Imagine that, a Madrid based media outlet trying to defuse the Thong Boy story and create heat for Cesc and Barca. They wouldn’t do that, would they? 😉

    • Lev
      September 5, 2012

      1. Just a bunch of media noise about nothing.
      2. Cesc does not want to go
      3. We don’t want to sell Cesc
      4. We would get a whole lot more for him than 25-30 mil
      5. Of course Cesc wants to play but he knew what he was getting into when he came (Xavi/Iniesta/Busi/Thiago)

      • September 5, 2012

        It’s also important to note that Fabregas wasn’t complaining about playing time, but rather commenting. Big difference.

  15. September 5, 2012

    More news on the Comcast/BeIN business, via an excellent blog post at @thegoalkeeper:


    Mass. viewers are reporting that BeIN has gone live on Comcast channel 726 in those parts. I just checked my Chicago-area channel lineup, and no reference is made to BeIN, though I can’t imagine that Chicago won’t be part of the initial rollout. Not-very-good standard def, a viewer reports.

    From the Twitters via @GabrielAlexD :

    Comcast internal memo states beIN sports will launch tomorrow September 6 on channel 651 #beINsports

    • Bill
      September 5, 2012

      Can’t wait for it to get here. I spent two hours with Comcast on phone 2 years ago because they had goltv in English on my lineup but the channel was blank. Finally got them to turn it on for the whole Nw suburbs, only for goltv to lose la Liga…damn

      • September 6, 2012

        Looks like tomorrow, Bill, unless that was you with the comment for me on Twitter, in which case disregard.

        From a Comcast critter:

        @kevvwill @comcastcares should be rolling out today/tomorrow, not all systems had launch on same day.

  16. September 5, 2012

    Here is another article/interview with Cesc. It’s in Catalan:


    All he says is he knows he has a lot of expectations to live up to, he is not worried by the criticism. He is his own harshest critic & knows when he has played well or poorly. Knew he was coming to a team with a lot of competition in midfield. And is happy to work hard to carve out his place, like Xavi & Iniesta did before him. Wants to retire at Barça.

    • Messiah10
      September 6, 2012

      So Bill Murray was lost in translation? Amazing what the English language news media will do to create a story. Thanks for the post

  17. lea_terzi
    September 6, 2012

    Adding to the Cesc debate above, barcastuff quotes him as saying something quite different (references to marca and radio catalunya):

    Cesc: “I’m the first to know when I didn’t play well. And the first to be angry. I don’t need the papers to tell me that.”
    “The situation that has been created is exaggerated. Certain media invent things. Physically and mentally, I’m in great shape.”
    “Tito knows a lot about football. The team respects him. We try to help and we’re confident because he has very clear ideas.”
    “Everyone wants to play. I don’t like to sit on the bench either. But I’m not a bad teammate, and I always try to support the team.”
    “I know I’m competing with the best in the world. But I didn’t join Barça for one, two, or three years. I want to retire here.”
    “I came here to have a long career. People ask a lot from me because I costed a lot. I won’t give up, I want to retire at Barça.”
    “I never before trained this hard. I arrive first, and leave last. Physically, I feel great, lost 4 kilograms compared to last season”
    “I knew I came here to compete with the best in the world. I work hard to make things difficult for the coach.”
    “Wenger told me once: be worried when you don’t get chances, not when you miss them. When you score one, the rest will follow.”

    And a bonus:
    Xavi: “Cesc looks satisfied and happy. He’s very important for the team, creates a lot of chances, only thing that’s missing are the goals.”
    Zubizarreta: “Press claims Cesc not finding his spot? He has to compete with the best players in the world, but we’re very happy with Cesc.”
    Alba: “Reports on Cesc are unjust. He’s an important player for Barcelona and Spain. He doesn’t look worried about it all though.”

    • lea_terzi
      September 6, 2012

      The talent, mentality and the support network seem to be there. The results should follow. Quality always shines through, as Torres is showing us.

      • Momo
        September 6, 2012

        “…as Torres is showing us…”

        Err… right…

        • lea_terzi
          September 6, 2012

          Eternally optimistic Spanish NT supporter, I am 🙂

          • Momo
            September 6, 2012


            You don’t really need a whole lot of optimism to be a spanish NT supporter these days do you?

            I admire the optimism nonetheless

        • Messiah10
          September 6, 2012

          I think Torres is playing superbly. Even when he wasn’t scoring goals for Chelsea last season he was creating tons of them. I believe he had 15-16 assists last season. This season he seems relaxed, confident, and hungry. I think Hazard has helped him tremendously because the offense is going through him and not focused solely on Torres. Give the lad a break.

          • Momo
            September 6, 2012

            I don’t understand his appeal honestly. I’ve always found him to be painfully mediocre other than that good season he had at liverpool.

            Not even in the top 100 players in the world… Massively overrated and over-discussed in the media IMO

    • September 6, 2012

      I think all those Cesc quotes are from the article I linked above. ^

  18. barca96
    September 6, 2012

    Now I finally get it!! Eusobio looks like Zacherroni, the old AC Milan coach. Always looking dull.

    • barca96
      September 6, 2012

      I’ve always thought that Eusobio looked like a coach of an Italian team. haha. It’s Zacherroni, the one who is always looking bored to death.

  19. Gogah
    September 6, 2012

    Who else here has a strong hunch Guardiola will take up the united job soon?

    • ooga aga
      September 6, 2012

      what, do you have insider info that Ferguson is about to quit?

    • nzm
      September 6, 2012

      Or possibly Arsenal, if the board finally has the cojones to kick out Wenger at the end of his contract. I can see the challenge of Arsenal very much appealing to Pep.

      • Messiah10
        September 6, 2012

        I hope Pep doesn’t go to the Gunners. Arsene Wenger gets no financial support. Just look at what they did in the transfer market. Podolski, Carzola, and Giroud were all bought fairly early. They made $29 million from RVP and $15 from Song yet didn’t go out and get a replacement for Song? Every year besides this one Wenger has constantly had to buy late when all the quality players had already signed. The board is more interested in making a profit(don’t blame them, just glad I’m not a supporter)then winning trophies. They’ve needed to address their defense for 4 years and haven’t done so. Pep would get so frustrated.

  20. September 6, 2012

    Messi got a white Maserati. On the up side, it isn’t a Ferrari. It’s really a Ferrari for grownups. On the down side, do exuberant footballers and high-powered, rear-drive supercars ever mix?

    • nzm
      September 6, 2012

      He likes his Maseratis, does Messi. He used to have a dark grey one.

      • September 6, 2012

        The two cars, though from the same maker, have very different profiles. Up my way, Ferrari drivers are generally less-confident in that whole manhood thing than Maserati drivers, who seem to know what they like, with much less “Hey, looka me!”

        Thank the deities it isn’t a Bentley.

        • Messiah10
          September 6, 2012

          What would you buy if you made millions a year? I’d buy a ferrari in a heart beat. I’ve always loved them since Magnum P.I. had the testarosa. My favorite ferrari of all time! I also have a fondness for Porsche 911 Carerra’s. Never seen one I didn’t like. More power to Messi. If you can afford one and don’t go broke buying one, then congrats to him. 🙂

          • September 6, 2012

            Not a big sportscar fan, so impractical. 😛

            I would buy a vintage 1920’s roadster, even more impractical, but so beautiful–only for special occasions, though! For day-to-day driving I would probably get a high-end BMW or Audi. Can’t beat German engineering.

          • Robert
            September 7, 2012

            Magnum’s car was Ferrari 308. just fyi.

          • nzm
            September 8, 2012

            Here you go, blitzen – she’s 102 years old and still driving the Packard that she bought in 1930: Margaret Dunning 🙂

  21. September 6, 2012

    BeINSport has landed. SD, en Espanol, no programming parsing to speak of yet, just one big, giant block of …. surprise! Comcast and BeIN should get that sussed, once they download programming information.

    My days of streaming have ended! Woot!

    • zashaw
      September 7, 2012

      BTW, I get English commentary by setting my default language to English. A Comcast representative says (http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Channels-and-Programming/PLEASE-ADD-BEIN-SPORT-USA/td-p/1366415/page/15)
      “To change the language settings, select the channel you want to change the language then press the Menu button on the silver Comcast remote control . Go to Setup and then Audio Setup and then change the Default Audio track to English. Most but not all programs on this channel are available with an English language audio feed.”

      Can’t help with the TV listings, though. The Comcast guy says they’ve told BeINSport. Also, BeIN’s site is still showing listings only up to today.

      However, if the internet streaming thing works out, I think we’ll be able to watch Barca B without hunting for dodgy streams. This, plus the channel in HD (I never got GolTV or FSC in HD) would make me forget the hassle of the first few jornadas.

  22. September 6, 2012

    Some more JDS quotes, via @barcastuff:

    Montes (lawyer Dos Santos): “Barça thought it would be good for him to have playing time. But Dos Santos didn’t see it that way.” [cope]

    Montes (lawyer Dos Santos): “His dream is to triumph at Barça. He wants to try, it’s his team, he has great teammates, he never had doubts.”

    Montes (lawyer Dos Santos): “Possible exit in January? Only he will decide. Whatever happens, there will be enough candidates.” [cope]

    Sounds like his rep doesn’t even have that much faith in him. *sigh*

    • JDS situation will depend on how Gio does at Mallorca. I expect him to do well at Mallorca, as there won’t be too much pressure to produce result from the start. If Gio makes it at Mallorca then we may see JDS moving permanently to Mallorca.

      I think the reason why he stayed was to see what options really are there at Barca. I definitely want to see him playing in Xavi’s role, but honestly that’s not going to happen.

      One positive factor from wasting a year at bench in first team could be that not much big clubs will come running after him. So he finally should find a place in a team where first team playing time is guaranteed. Hope he does not have to suffer like his brother.

  23. simple_barcafan
    September 7, 2012

    OT: Anyone thinks Cruyff is not a big fan of Tito?
    Some of his quotes ( don’t know how reliable the source is..found it in a barcelona blog)

    “It is not the same being beside someone [in reference to Guardiola] and being at the head of things,” said Cruyff. “Things are different. Hopefully he does well but you never know.”

    “Tito has this to overcome but it can be turned into a positive. He has been alongside Pep for four years. Pep could never be anybody’s assistant. Time will tell.”

    “Barca will miss Guardiola when we don’t win but mostly we’ll miss his presence, his way of thinking, his culture. He was a unique person who always sought the support of myself and Txiki [Begiristain] in searching for the truth, then afterwards he did what he wanted.” ..

    • simple_barcafan
      September 7, 2012

      I know it doesn’t seem he is AGAINST Tito, but I have never heard of him speak favorably towards Tito. is it because RoSELL appointed him, or he likes Pep too much..dunno..

    • September 7, 2012

      Like Pele and Maradona, he should rest on his laurels, and shut up. He jasn’t said anything we don’t already know, and the part about Guardiola seeking his counsel just sounds like Cruijff is whining because Vilanova isn’t coming to worship at the altar.

      Whatever ….

      • What is there in the aforementioned quote to take offense? I thought it was a plain assessment of the person and the task lying ahead of him.

        From the comments it is clear Cryuff was asked about Vilanova’s task on hand. I thought it is a very straight forward and honest to the core. As far as Guardiola seeking his advice, he is even clear on that. He said” Afterwards he did what he want”.

        Just because you are close to a club doesn’t mean that you have to sweeten every assessment of the club.

        • September 7, 2012

          I don’t think there’s offense. I just think he and the other retirees should recognize that times are different. Should they have opinions? Sure, why not. But they should also recognize that as people who folks might actually pay attention to, they should temper those opinions.

          “The season is young, and Vilanova is a different person than Guardiola. Let’s wait to see what happens.” How hard would that have been to say?

        • simple_barcafan
          September 7, 2012

          I agree with Kxevin here…Johan whether you agree or not is an important identity in Barcelona. A bit of encouragement to Tito would help a great deal, instead of constantly reminding everyone, how great Pep and his achievements are, how tough it is to emulate him, how Pep used to seek his advice, blah blah… Hopefully he does well but you never know.” That doesn’t sound very encouraging does it?

      • Blau-Grenade
        September 7, 2012

        Why would Cryuff shut up when every news paper will carry what he says. In media, he has to keep talking to stay alive, or he is dead.

        Ancelloti has similar assessment of the post-Guardiola era:

        “Barcelona are strong even without Guardiola in charge, but they seem less aggressive and slightly less focused in defence now. They look more vulnerable than in previous seasons.”

        For me time will tell, and even though I love this Barca team, and I will watch every game for its TikiTaka, without an in form No 9, like Eto’o or Henry, Barca will perform just like it did last year.

  24. Jim
    September 7, 2012

    Seems like Cruyff’s usual no holds barred plain talking to me. I think I agree with everything he says. However, it may be that he won’t quite have the ear of Tito that he did previously with Pep. Not sure that I’d regard the comment about Pep unable to be an assistant as necessarily a positive thing although he probably meant it as such.

  25. September 7, 2012

    Anyone know what time and what channel in the US (if any) is showing the Argentina game?

    • September 7, 2012

      According to Soccernet, the game starts at 7:10 pm ET and you can probably watch it on espn3.

      • mom4
        September 7, 2012

        Not on any of the ESPNs. I can only find it on the BeIn site: live at 7:00 EST on the Spanish version, or replayed at 10:00 EST on the English version (they’re showing the US game live on the English version). So this girl is going to watch it at the Irish pub down the street at 10:00 with the hubby when she gets off work. They have Direct TV.

  26. September 7, 2012

    The MLS commissioner says the league offered Drogba 10 MILLION a year to come to the league.

      • swamidigital
        September 7, 2012

        LA pays I think a total of around $12m a year to Beckham, Donovan, and Robbie Keane. NY pays $10m for Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. On the other hand, my hometown San Jose Earthquakes pay something like $3m to their whole team… so not many teams have that budget. And I think expensive players are actually subsidized by the entire league.

  27. ciaran
    September 7, 2012

    Very proud to be Irish, we came from behind to beat Kazakhstan 2-1. Oooh Yeah.

  28. September 7, 2012

    Sadly, my Faroe Islands lost 3-0 to Germany. But you must remember that this is a nation of 48,000 people, whose national team is made up of carpenters, teachers and accountants. That they can consistently play at a world-class level (albeit a middling-to-fair one), is pretty awesome. 😀

  29. September 7, 2012

    BeIN (or “Bayne,” as they pronounce it) is showing Argentina/Paraguay live. Messi still looking not so hot. 2-1 at half, goals from Jughead and Too Nice For Them.

  30. simple_barcafan
    September 7, 2012

    Is it just me or German players play much better with the national team than their respective clubs…

  31. Blau-Grenade
    September 7, 2012

    Messssssssssiiiiiiiiii……..This free kick by Messi was better than the one against white house, mostly because of the distance from goal. This one was at least 35 yards out.

  32. September 7, 2012

    Just watched a bit of Spain’s match today, and P! made a pretty danged good 9.

  33. Ryan
    September 7, 2012

    By the looks of Xavi and Messi’s golazos, we’ve been practicing our free kicks!

  34. nzm
    September 8, 2012

    Just when we’re despairing of Alexis and his diving, along comes Di Maria to put it all into perspective.

    The guy’s a disgrace. Stretchered off dying after a benign tackle, and then returns a minute later like a rabid terrier, only to go down again when he didn’t get his way.

    Messi’s freekick was beautiful. Overall though, I felt that he was trying too hard and not passing enough, but man, was he badly fouled throughout the game.

    • swamidigital
      September 8, 2012

      LOL, I think I’m going to call him that from now on instead of TB.

    • September 8, 2012

      Barney Ronay never ever lets facts get in the way in any of his pieces though..

      • Jim
        September 8, 2012

        Yeah, but like all humorous writing, if there wasn’t an element of truth in it it wouldn’t be funny. I thought it was a great piece of writing.

  35. Messiah10
    September 8, 2012

    What ever happened to last weeks game review? I’ve been patiently waiting, but now I’ve realized I’ve been sitting in a dark room curled up in fetal position in the corner for no reason. C’mon BFB team! Kxevin, where are the player ratings?

    • September 9, 2012

      In the land of streaming, reviews are more complex. Just got BeIN, and have been waiting for a rebroadcast to keep me from downloading/converting to NTSC/burning a DVD.

      • September 10, 2012

        Okay, downloaded, burned DVD, watching tonight. Probably get a match review in time to have it serve as a Getafe preview. Bwahahahaha!

  36. September 9, 2012

    It’s Song’s birthday today? His gift? Losing 2-0 to Cape Verde in the first leg of the playoff for qualification to the ACN. If they don’t overturn that deficit at home, Song won’t miss 6 Liga ties and the QFs and Semis of the CdR (provided we get there).

    I’m backing Cape Verde to get the job done. Yes..

  37. ooga aga
    September 9, 2012

    even royal whites get the Blues…in the champions league draw (i.e. “Blues” = mancity) haha

    great work SoMa xoxo

  38. Watching Messi’s free kicks lately, it looks like he is becoming a kind of expert from those kind of ranges. That’s a great improvement. Now we should stop seeing Alves thumping the ball to Row Z from those distances. If he can get good at free kicks from edge of box, then no one can stop him or Barca. Especially Opponents foul our players more at the edge of box. That was what made Ronnie so dangerous!

    • swamidigital
      September 10, 2012

      When it comes to Messi though, it’s probably always better to foul him outside the box than to let him beat you, regardless of how good he gets on his free kicks! But yeah it’s great to see him and Xavi with two amazing, absolutely perfectly placed free kicks.

  39. September 10, 2012

    Zdenek Zeman also took the opportunity to explain the sale of Bojan: “Bojan is a good player, but the problem we had was that before we went away on pre-season training, his entourage asked for a guarantee that he’d get a substantial amount of playing time this season, and I couldn’t guarantee that. And, apart from the fact that he was also injured, he’s a player who wanted regular 1st team football and just wasn’t patient enough.”


    Looks like Bobo’s people are making trouble again. I can understand the boy wanting to get regular playing time, of course, but it has to be earned through hard work in training and results on the pitch. Not demanded by your entourage.

      • September 10, 2012

        It begs the question, though—what sort of guarantees did he get from Milan regarding playing time? One assumes his people wouldn’t accept just swapping one bench for another.

        • September 10, 2012

          Can’t see Uncle Fester giving any guarantees in that regard.

  40. Lev
    September 10, 2012

    “That there’s a lad who is not in touch with reality.”

    Yeah…So much has been obvious ever since his comments about Guardiola not giving him enough opportunities, lol.

    Milan is the worst move of his career. He should have moved to a smaller club than Roma. Or maybe a smaller league.

    I’m sure he could be a star in Liechtenstien :p

    Seriously though, Holland (Ajax) would have been perfect for him 3, 4 years ago, and it would still be.

    I also understand that Roma still hasn’t paid the 12 million yet, but it is due next summer. And then we will pay Roma 13 million. Maybe we can sell Bojangles for 1 million and break even?

    • simple_barcafan
      September 10, 2012

      What if he succeeds in Milan (Hey! why not? 🙂 )..Do we keep him?

  41. simple_barcafan
    September 10, 2012

    Rumors that our away kit will be the Senyera next season..Hoax? its-int’l-break-so-let-us-invent-some-crazy-news journalism? RoSELL politics?..ahh..well..something to keep the mind occupied..

    • G6O
      September 10, 2012

      Would be nice – I have wanted to see that for years. However, this year’s kit is already in similar colors so I would expect to see the return of the blue or green next year (which I absolutely hate). Still, this year’s kit may be a prelude to us wearing a Senyera as it combines those colors on our shirt for the first, just not in the form of stripes, it’s a question of whether it’s going to be next year or some year after that

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