Match Comments Post – Barca vs. Granada

 

Not long ago, at the FC Barcelona General Assembly:  participating members voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a referendum to decide whether a New Camp Nou should be built, or whether the Old Camp Nou should be renovated.

A recent Dani Alves tweet: “Off to the stadium!! Barça v Granada, come on, courage and joy, God is leading us.”

 

Recent BFB posts:  Go read the blitzen awards and Isaiah’s match preview.

 

The team plays a late game tonight – better for parts of the Americas, but not so good for the lands of Asia and the Middle East, unless they’re just getting home after late Saturday night shenanigans.

Even though they just managed to stay in the Primera Division after last season (finishing 17th), Granada is one of those teams against which Barcelona struggles to play its natural game.

Udinese seems to like Granada (or is it the other way around?) because the Andalucian team currently sports 6 players on loan from the Italian side.

One of those – Daniel González Benítez – won’t be playing tonight which is a good thing. He’s the type of player who very quickly gets under the skin of our Dani Alves and this makes our #2 do silly things – like fouls, and penalties, and red cards.

Why is Benítez not playing? Late last season in Granada’s contentious home game vs. Real Madrid, Dani threw a plastic drink bottle at the referee. Red-carded and hauled before the RFEF disciplinary committee, Benítez was handed a 3 month ban which ends in November. So he won’t be on the pitch tonight.

The moral of the story is: if you want a ban that sticks, chuck a plastic drink bottle at a referee. It’s obviously more of a travesty than poking the opposition’s Assistant Manager in the eye, or deliberately stamping on the best player in the world’s hand while he’s sitting on the pitch.

 

Earlier today:  Zaragoza beat Osasuna 3-1, and Celta de Vigo downed Getafe 2-1.

Celta’s coach, Herrera, was sent from the sidelines in the very last minute of overtime, and Getafe’s Alexis was sent off for striking a player during the following play.

Espanyol, minus Pochettino on the sidelines (due to last week’s sending off while at home vs. Bilbao), lost to Betis 1-0 in Seville just minutes ago.

Shock of shocks: In the Zaragoza – Osasuna match today, I witnessed unintentional handballs not being given yellow cards! (Not in the penalty boxes, however.) Perhaps this year the refs are concentrating on sending coaches from the sidelines instead.

 

Barca line-up:  Valdés – Alves Song Mascherano Adriano – Cesc Busquets Thiago – Alexis Messi Villa

On the bench:  Pinto, Bartra, Alba, Xavi, Sergi Roberto, Pedro! and Tello

Wow – no Montoya in reserve!  And Villa starts!

Get your streams while they’re hot:  here and here and here.

 

And don’t forget to comment below!

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164 Comments

  1. nia
    September 22, 2012

    No Bartra in the starting lineup? 🙁 Is Tito saving him for the clasico? mmmm

    • Nav
      September 22, 2012

      Doubt it. Think Tito is prepping Song for the clasico.

  2. nzm
    September 22, 2012

    What a farce – the General Assembly, being broadcast live on Barca TV and Catalunya Esport 3, nearly has more official people on the stage than people in the selected audience.

    I guess that going to the game is more important!

  3. alpinegroove
    September 22, 2012

    And what about Alba? Adriano’s defense has been sketchy, and Alba is just as strong offensively.

  4. simple_barcafan
    September 22, 2012

    It will be great if people who find good links and post it here..Great service to the Cule community.. 🙂

  5. BarcaOwl
    September 22, 2012

    That is a nice tunnel. Well, except for Dani’s chin curtain.

    • nzm
      September 22, 2012

      Yeah – mom4 and I have a mission in January to whiteout Dani’s beard! 😆

      • BarcaOwl
        September 22, 2012

        Heh. Use paint. Or he’d look like he dyed his beard white.

  6. Blau-Grenade
    September 22, 2012

    Oh yeah! Excited to see a different midfield and a front line!!!

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      I guess the defense is brand new as well.

  7. Blau-Grenade
    September 22, 2012

    Granada pressuring Barca backline. 5 players in Barca half.

  8. dean
    September 22, 2012

    If anyone has a bein stream to share it would be greatly appreciated.

  9. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Cesc right to the keeper. >.<

  10. Do not start Song against RealMadrid in defense.

    Vilanova should try to put Busquets in defense and Song in midfield.

  11. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Team not quite in sync with each other. A number of incorrect reads.

  12. alpinegroove
    September 22, 2012

    Yes, Song is struggling even against GRA.

  13. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Alexis did well to get all the way back and bother that shot. Could have been bad.

  14. September 22, 2012

    Holy crap, the defense is all over the shop at the moment. Really not a fan of Song and Masch both as CBs.

    • swamidigital
      September 22, 2012

      Yeah rather have Bartra in there getting a chance to prove himself.

    • alpinegroove
      September 22, 2012

      Because we have Song up front. He is tall…:)

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      Messi has been looking for Villa pretty much every time he had the ball and was too far away from goal to shoot.

      In general though, we have not been patient enough (direct result of the absence of both Xavi and Iniesta) and that’s why we can’t generate really good chances and always get a let in front of the ball instead.

      I think that’s what Messi was yelling about at Thiago when he took that ill-advised shot.

      In the situation with Villa at the end of the half it was not so clear what and why was said

  15. September 22, 2012

    Ok Granada, your last ditch defending is getting in a way of us scoring. Please stop!

  16. replayed
    September 22, 2012

    Looks to me like Messi was being an ass and Villa simply reminded him that he (Villa) isn’t Tello.

    • September 22, 2012

      Or Messi was instructing the offense to be more in tune. The first half was too static. The front line and midfield lacked synchronized movements. Too many overhit passes.

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      I think there was a narrow passing lane open for about a second but Villa hesitated and missed the chance to use it, then he went for the wild lobbed pass over the defender which Messi couldn’t control well. That’s what the argument was about.

      It was a very very narrow passing lane though and most players would hesitate to try threading a ball through it, plus it would have arrived slightly behind Messi anyway.

  17. simple_barcafan
    September 22, 2012

    ooh…Messi shouting at Villa..

  18. Blau-Grenade
    September 22, 2012

    Love this team, so many shots on goal. Goal is inevitable, hopefully there are some.

    Song’s strength’s can be seen when he moves ahead of the defence in the Busquets role. Busquets is letting Song go ahead and covering his position.

    Granada defending in 3 lines of 4 4 2. At the current moment both teams are camped in the Granada half.

    Cesc is not Xavi, but his distribution is excellent from the centre of the pitch.

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      Many shots on goal but very few clear cut chances. We’re not slicing them open as we should be. There are reasons to be worried although if it’s still 0-0 around the 60th minutes, expect Xavi to come on and everything to be in order in short time

  19. Xavi6
    September 22, 2012

    Alexis is so passive … what happened to him ?

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      Alexis had one on one situations at least 3 times but decided to go back with the ball instead of taking on the defender. He works hard, but the current direction from the coach seems that possession is more important than loosing the ball. I am sure with the right instructions from Tito he will start taking players. He can. Just do it buddy.

      • swamidigital
        September 22, 2012

        Yeah he was great taking players on in Serie A.

  20. Artur
    September 22, 2012

    What the heck is wrong with Messi? I don’t like him arguing with his teammates for so long.

    Cesc having a great game, Thiago started the game very bad and tried to take responsibility, more and more chances and just ruined them all, he’s not in the zone at all.

    Thiago off for Xavi and Alexis off for Pedro please.

    I like how Song was given the tactical green light to hold the area well ahead of Mascherano. Much more familiar area for him to play in. Busquets and Alves covering the backloine very very well (and Alexis)

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      It is Tito’s job to sort that shouting match out between Messi and others. Messi seems to be frustrated. Hopefully Tito is up to it.

  21. September 22, 2012

    Gotta say, Leo’s normally sunny disposition and happy-go-lucky attitude has been notably absent this season, thus far. For so long, we wondered how someone so good could show such little ego. Hate to say it, but maybe the calm, humble guy we grew to love is “maturing” into more of a “normal” superstar? Or am I reading too much into a couple of isolated incidents?

  22. simple_barcafan
    September 22, 2012

    well..There is no composure…Thats what Xavi ( and Inesta) bring to this team..Everything is so hurried..so frantic…so fast..no one to calmly dictate the play..

  23. Momo
    September 22, 2012

    Alves playing much better today. Fantastic long balls.

    I love the guy but Messi is being an ass. Doing his best Ronaldo impression.

  24. September 22, 2012

    Song has done well. He covers the DM zone more than in defense. I’m not really liking crosses to no one in their penalty area; that is just a waste of possession.

  25. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    I am afraid of Leo possibly becoming a bit like Kobe, ie. a great player who just doesn’t have patience with teammates and this affects the team negatively. But the culture at Barca is very different from that of the Lakers so I don’t think it will be so… but when I see things like that it does bring up that fear.

  26. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Looks like Xavi is going to come on.

  27. September 22, 2012

    Ok, just done lurking on twitter, and I think we’re over reacting to this Messi-Villa gate. Just in the heat of the moment. Let’s move on 😀

  28. Rivaldo
    September 22, 2012

    Just some thoughts… (Don’t kill me)

    I think sometimes Messi needs a kick up His backside. Everyone else running and pressurizing their backside off and he just stands there demanding the ball.

    I don’t know’ but something in me really hopes that he doesn’t become Barca captain; I still hope he plays out his European career with us. I have a feeling I might not like what it does to his ego and ultimately his game.

    How does a team have 70+ possession % and have the same shots on goal as the opposition? We need to stop that and be more incisive(not sometimes all the time) I feel more like Granada scoring from their attacks than I do ours.

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      He most likely won’t or at least not for too long – he is 5th captain right now after Iniesta and VV; they are 3 and 5 years older than him but keepers have much longer careers than outfield players

      • Rivaldo
        September 22, 2012

        And btw, not saying he would be bad. Just maybe how he tranmits his “passion” sometimes could be a problem.

  29. nzm
    September 22, 2012

    Pedro and Xavi for Thiago and Villa.

  30. replayed
    September 22, 2012

    Normal service being resumed.

  31. BarcaOwl
    September 22, 2012

    There’s Pedro and Xavi. Maybe things will settle down now.

  32. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Dani answering his critics.

  33. nia
    September 22, 2012

    Is it too early to say squeaky bum time 🙂

  34. Jared10
    September 22, 2012

    VV keeps giving the ball away long when there is an easy short pass to make :/

    • swamidigital
      September 22, 2012

      You have to give it up for Granada, they are playing amazing defense.

  35. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    We just can’t put it in!!! What’s going on today. ;_;

  36. BarcaRoja
    September 22, 2012

    This is painful to watch, so many missed chances 🙁

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      That one was not clear. But the handball in the first half was 100% penalty and wasn’t given…

      Three for the season so far.

  37. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Why do goalies have wonder games against us?

    • _Lily
      September 22, 2012

      Toño tends to have wonder games period. He’s an excellent keeper.

  38. nia
    September 22, 2012

    This game has a hint of the Sevilla one last yr. Hope we get a goal though.

  39. Jared10
    September 22, 2012

    Painful to watch come on guys!! lets get a goal

  40. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Their keeper is like a freaking wall.

  41. Rivaldo
    September 22, 2012

    Has not been a very good TEAM game today. And we can’t keep saying keepers have wonder games versus us if we have not forced them to save. We need to be more clinical…too many shots right at the keeper or close to him.

    • swamidigital
      September 22, 2012

      Umm he has had some AMAZING saves, we have been testing them.

      • G6O
        September 22, 2012

        We WERE shooting straight at the keeper all game – you are supposed to save those 😉

        • swamidigital
          September 22, 2012

          No he had to really stretch for 3-4 saves, and saved a rebound well also. We did have a number of shots right at him that were comfortable, but that doesn’t discount his other really great saves.

    • Rivaldo
      September 22, 2012

      Thank you Xavi! Save that keeper.

  42. replayed
    September 22, 2012

    Normal service HAS been resumed.

  43. Blau-Grenade
    September 22, 2012

    Xaviiiiii. Love this team, never have I seen so many chances go begging.

  44. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Xavi finally put it where no human being could save it!

  45. dean
    September 22, 2012

    GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!111

  46. alpinegroove
    September 22, 2012

    When was the last time Alexis shot at goal?

  47. BarcaRoja
    September 22, 2012

    What the hell, just had a bathroom break and xavi scores a goal?!

      • BarcaRoja
        September 22, 2012

        If i only knew, i should’ve gone to the bathroom earlier, and more often. This happens to me all the time!

    • September 22, 2012

      Can’t you f’ing arrive sooner? Why do you leave it to the last minute?

  48. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    Xavi, Cesc, Dani had a great game. Messi, Thiago pretty sub-par today.

  49. simple_barcafan
    September 22, 2012

    Dark Knight Xavi says the day…

  50. Blau-Grenade
    September 22, 2012

    Motm!! Tonyo – the goal keeper. Next to Valdes for sleeping the whole match, and had to wake up and save a one on one that kept Barca in the game.

    Now Cesc – if anybody has any doubts regarding his abilities, please see this game again.

    Tello – he is the future Henry. Please take good care of him Tito.

    • September 22, 2012

      Yep, really impressed with Tello for the 20 mins or so he was on. Cesc played well minus his finishing.

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      I would also like to make a comment on Song sMash and Busi. They had an absolutely fantastic game controlling the backline.

      Both of them had excellent interventions, and ball distribution. I don’t know of an instance in the whole match where sMash or Song gave the ball away.

      There was only one, one-on-one situation which a Granada player got into. But that is bound to happen. Valdes might have just as well watch the whole match on TV just to stop watching and make the save on the counter which he did.

      • nzm
        September 22, 2012

        Song recovered 17 balls and gave away none. Apart from a couple of positioning errors where we had forwards (Alexis and Pedro) clearing out balls at the back, he had a solid game.

        But then, without having seen the game again, this may not have entirely been his fault if he had been playing ahead of Busquets with Busi covering his position. I’ll have to watch a replay.

    • Rivaldo
      September 22, 2012

      It’s uncanny how similar their movements on the ball are… well at least with the Henry of Barca.

  51. September 22, 2012

    And I come back to life. I’m not sure what to make of this game. So many chances, and Granada and their keeper were fantastic at defending. I think they packed 11 men near their box for most of the game. Song did well!

  52. Carter
    September 22, 2012

    Great work by Tito, as usual the subs were excellent. The look on Valdes’s face after the one-on-one was hilarious. After all the chances we had I kept thinking we put it out wide and the replay would show Tonyo had a amazing game. Sucks for the own goal but Alexis would have put it in regardless.

    • replayed
      September 22, 2012

      Yeah, I was especially impressed (once again) by Tito’s willingness to make substitutions early. That’s something Pep never did.

      And two matches in a row now, Tito’s decision to go 3-4-3 late pays off. (That said, a better team than Granada would have made Barca pay on the break.)

  53. alpinegroove
    September 22, 2012

    Tito’s substitutions have proven to be very fruitful so far this season.
    I like that he isn’t afraid to make significant changes early in the second half.
    The introduction of Tello also proved decisive.

  54. September 22, 2012

    I can already see headlines for this week – “Messi doesn’t get along with his teammates”

    Though, he was really bitchy in this game to both his teammates and Granada players.

    • simple_barcafan
      September 22, 2012

      he sure was..He seemed frustrated…and it became worse as the game progressed…The situation we were in didn’t help matters. Messi loves to score, if he doesn’t well…

    • nia
      September 22, 2012

      Remember Messi did the same thing to Villa last time they played at Valencia. What happens on the field, stays on the field. Messi is soo good that i think he expects too much out of his team-mates sometimes. Alves and Pique had that argument on the field 2 yrs ago when Dani chased Pique all over the field during the match. My point is, this happens all the time. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  55. swamidigital
    September 22, 2012

    I love how Xavi watched him make all those saves, and then calmly put it where it wasn’t humanly possible to save.

  56. Dave
    September 22, 2012

    Probably a storm in a tea cup but can anyone explain what happened with Villa and Messi?

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      I think Tito solved the situation at half time. It is the coach’s job. I think substitutions were also made to rectify the situation at half time. But watch Marca and Sport as they will come up with the juicy details.

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      My interpretation is that Messi was complaining about the pass coming too late (Villa could have threaded a pass through a very tight passing lane but hesitated and then went for the lobbed all which difficult to control)

      Now why this should have resulted in a nearly minute-long dispute is not clear. Part of it is TV bias though – this kind of thing happens all the time on the field, but only gets shown when it’s big-name players who do it and then the speculations begin; it should not be taken too seriously

      • I don’t think this one was any bias. Messi literally went after Villa, Villa tried to make his point, but to no use.

    • September 22, 2012

      To sum it up, people over-reacting as usual..

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 22, 2012

      Marca has the juicy details on the altercation.
      *http://www.marca.com/2012/09/22/futbol/equipos/barcelona/1348348536.html

      Apparently Messi was also upset with Thiago. Both were subbed 52 minutes into the game.

      • nia
        September 22, 2012

        Ofcourse Marca are going to say they were subbed coz Messi wasn’t happy with them, bull. Tito had already mentioned yesterday that, Villa only had 45-50 mins in him and Thiago just came back from injury and really wasn’t playing that well either.
        The way Sport and Mundo exaggerate about RM issues, so does Marca.

      • G6O
        September 22, 2012

        People on this blog in this same thread were calling for Thiago’s substitution at the half. And Villa wasn’t going to play the whole game anyway. It has nothing to do with that.

        Plus yelling at Thiago was completely justified, that shot was a very dumb decision.

  57. nia
    September 22, 2012

    This game was won when VV was awoken from his slumber and made that fantastic one on one save. So has been his form i thought for sure the one chance they got, they would have scored. Good game and chances galore went begging. Combination of good goalkeeping and not being clinical enough.

    And why was Messi bitchy today?

    • Jackieboy
      September 22, 2012

      Pre-paternal stress hitting him? He still was great tonight, bumping and shoving his way past two or three players all the time, plus that control+pass to Cesc when lying flat on his back – that was just brilliant.

      • replayed
        September 22, 2012

        “Pre-paternal stress?”

        Is that what we’re calling no tiki taka at home?

    • _Lily
      September 22, 2012

      Honestly, I think that sometimes we all expect too much of Messi. He’s a great player and definitely comes off as a sweet, humble guy, but he’s not perfect. Occasionally, he’s going to have a bad day in terms of his game, and occasionally, he’s going to have a bad day in terms of his temper. Whatever. It’s nothing to get too tense about, IMO.

  58. simple_barcafan
    September 22, 2012

    It will be great if Messi can come out and clarify what went on between him and Villa..I know it is a small issue, but helps in maintaining the harmony within the team, and prevent the media from over-reacting,,

  59. Xavi6
    September 22, 2012

    Heres’s my POV about the match :
    1- VV passing is horrible , Alves produced two clear cut chances today including a fantastic first half cross , yet I still his supersonic runs and link up play.
    2-Xavi saved the day , he has no replacement , the best midfielder I have ever seen .
    3- The team lacked intensity , and Messi is growing more selfish with time , I hated it when he yelled at Villa , a scene not usual to see at Barca . I don’t think Xavi nor Iniesta would have done the same.
    4- Hats off to Tito , I like how daring he is , and he is making the right subs at the right time .
    5- Cesc has to shoot more and to find his scoring boots , don’t like the way Sanchez is playing , and I don’t feel he is happy playing like this .
    6- Our defence will struggle versus Sevilla , I think it will be a draw or a loss if Negredo and Navas were on song .

    • simple_barcafan
      September 22, 2012

      1. Disagree about VV. Agree about Alves
      2. Agree
      3. Agree
      4. Agree
      5. Agree about Cesc. Disagree about Sanchez.
      6. Agree.

    • September 22, 2012

      3. Messi growing more selfish? He was the most selfish at the start of the 09-10 campaign.

      5. Alexis became more effective as the match wore on, he’ll get more confidence after scoring (soon).

      6. Just you wait 😛

      • Xavi6
        September 22, 2012

        3- Don’t know , but I think – like a previous comment – that Messi is catching more of the “star ego” , and I don’t like that . sometimes I feel he is too consumed by being the one scoring goals even if another player is in a better position (remember the ball that bounced off the post , and many runs when he decided to go on his own instead of the simple through ball)

        5- Alexis barely takes his player , hugs the side line too much , and I think he shot only once for the whole 90 mins . there is a ball where he did a great job at tackling the opponent and then dribbling past the defender to have the goal at his mercy , and instead of shooting he passes it to a poorer positioned Pedro who was too close to the GK , and that resulted in the chance wasted .
        I believe in Sanchez , I hope he can find a balance between keeping possession and taking on players (As we need penetration , and another goal scoring source other than Messi) , and also a balance between assisting and shooting .

        • _Lily
          September 22, 2012

          Honestly, I’m not convinced that the issue for Messi is that he’s taking on a star ego. For me, there’s a simpler explanation than that.

          We all talk about the fact that the team is sometimes too reliant on Messi, and I think it’s a fair point. However, it doesn’t just affect the team – it affects him, too. As the team starts to rely too much on him, I think he starts to trust the team less and feel like he *has* to do it all on his own. It’s a vicious cycle that I hope they can break out of, because I really don’t think Messi’s becoming a diva – I think he’d just feeling a lot of pressure.

          Xavi saving the day will probably help some. Anybody who thinks that he feels like he needs to score should look at his reaction to Xavi’s goal – there’s no resentment in there, just happiness.

          • G6O
            September 22, 2012

            That reaction was most telling – if it was another unnamed superstar player playing for another unnamed team, it would have been a very different one, you can count on that

          • Jackieboy
            September 22, 2012

            I just think it’s natural – he’s aging, becoming man and a leader. In few years, there might be no Puyol and no Xavi, and Iniesta just doesn’t have that edge in him. I’m glad Messi’s stopped being a shy little kid.

  60. September 22, 2012

    Case closed: “Discussion with Villa? I don’t have problems with him, on the contrary. It’s normal, the pressure of the moment.” – Messi (barcastuff)

    Also, 11 points 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    And clean sheet!

    • simple_barcafan
      September 22, 2012

      lol..this exactly answers what I asked above..Thanks.. 🙂

    • simple_barcafan
      September 22, 2012

      And Tito’s response
      “Vilanova: “Messi-Villa? Who played football, knows it’s normal. Won’t say I like it but shows they are motivated, better than keeping quiet”” (@barcastuff)

  61. TITO
    September 22, 2012

    I say sell Messi next season for 300 million euros.

  62. TITO
    September 22, 2012

    How much is that new stadium is going to cost?

    • September 22, 2012

      600 million. Expect naming rights to also be sold. 300m for a full Camp Nou rehab.

      • G6O
        September 22, 2012

        And totally unnecessary in either case…

        • nzm
          September 23, 2012

          I’d agree to revamping Camp Nou. It’s old and too open. Needs a half roof over the top to retain the atmosphere.

          It’s a solid building and a roof could easily be added as an exoskeleton around the outside – like the Norman Foster design which has now been abandoned because it was done during the Laporta days.

  63. September 22, 2012

    Sigh…

    Adriano, who was subbed off, has a thigh muscle overburdening #fcblvie [catalunya radio]

    At this rate, we’ll have no defender left 🙁

    • Xavi6
      September 22, 2012

      I was surprised that Adriano lasted 3 matches without being injured , he is a glass man.

  64. TITO
    September 22, 2012

    I’m just watching the game, i couldn’t on live streaming. Messi was nervous since he put his feet on the pitch, he had several situations with Granada players, then with Thiago, then with another player, i forgot which one was it, and in the end with Villa. So it was not something aimed at Villa, but rather Messi being disturbed on something. I noticed the same thing in the last couple of games.
    Maybe, just maybe, he is not ALSO happy that Iniesta took the accolades from the Uefa trophies, and showing that on the pitch.

    • G6O
      September 22, 2012

      That sounds like something coming straight out of Marca…

    • _Lily
      September 23, 2012

      Somehow I doubt that’s annoyance about Iniesta is the reason. Messi has won about a million trophies. I’d be surprised if he begrudges Iniesta this one, especially since his immediate reaction when Iniesta’s name was announced was what seemed to me to be a genuine smile. You can tell a lot about people by their immediate reaction to things, and that wasn’t an immediate reaction that struck me as resentful or annoyed.

      (Though honestly, I don’t even buy that it’s the reason for Ronaldo’s expressed discontent.)

  65. September 22, 2012

    I think we’d have to be blind to not notice a slight (at least) change in the way Messi conducts himself on the field this season. Maybe it’s temporary, maybe it’s not, but there’s no doubt he’s bitchier, less smily, more chatty this year (so far). What the roots of that are (Pep leaving, impending fatherhood, pressure of performing week after week, whatever) I don’t know, but I do know what I see and I don’t like it.

  66. Kimcelona
    September 22, 2012

    Hey, do we have undercover Marca writers here?

    Really, things like that (the situation with Messi and Villa/Thiago/Granda player) happen all the time. Sometimes the camera picks it up (See Dani and Pique in 2010/2011) and sometimes it doesnt. Its apart of playing professional sports. Not saying I support it but they’re all humans, they get agitated, annoyed, frustrated too. My God.

    Messi was laughing his ass off in the Getafe match (even when he didnt get a PEN AND was not started) so these theories and “Messi has changed!” nonsense is overreaction.

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