¡Anims! as I want you to spare a daily thought for our coach

Anims Tito!

Barça is not the same without. Culés around the world got you on our minds and in our hearts. Don’t think that football is more important than your health. Even if that means we will win fewer games, trophies, whatevers. First things first. God knows what he is doing. Hopefully the doctors do, too. I’ve seen people die of your terrible disease and I’ve seen others survive. Just be strong and you’ll be home soon. Keep positive at all times. Like king Eric, you give us strength. Messi will dribble us through the night. No defense can stop us. Ordinary is not in our dictionary. Pass the ball until they dizzy. Quit fretting, now. Roura’s got your back. Seny dictates to take it one day at a time. There is no such thing as Hlebuary. Until you return we wait for you. Visca Barça! We will win for you. Xaviniesta lead the way. You the man, the head honcho, the mister with the plan. Zonalmarking’s got nuttin on King Tito.

tito-vilanova
Anims!

 

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selfie barça Written by:

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...

72 Comments

  1. February 7, 2013

    There is no such thing as Hlebuary. There is no such thing as Hlebuary. There is no such thing as Hlebuary.

    I’m just going to close my eyes and keep repeating this over and over…

    Nice thought, Lev!

  2. barca96
    February 7, 2013

    Sorry to go off topic so soon but I just read a funny comment from Ibra re: Beckham’s arrival at PSG that reminded me of Roberto Carlos’ comment on Beckham’s arrival at Real Madrid.

    “Now, we’re PSG not only good, but
    we’re handsome too.”

    And R. Carlos a decade ago;

    Paraphrased as I am on my phone so it’s quite tough to search through Google for old quotes.

    “Now there are 2 handsome guys. Before it used to be just me with the ugly guys. ”

    😆

  3. barca96
    February 7, 2013

    And Messi has put pen to paper. Yes!

    Levon, you’re one of the few old school guys here. With Messi playing deeper and deeper ad he becomes more of a playmaker and less of an explosive player, do you think that he will turn into an Iniesta/Ozil type? Or Baggio/Riquelme?

    I think that he will go through both those sets of players’ styles starting with the former and when he is in and around his 30’s he will be like the latter.

    I don’t think he will ever have the patience to be like Xavi/Pirlo mold.

    • selfie barça
      February 7, 2013

      I can’t really envision Messi as any of the guys you mentioned.

      If we absolutely have to compare him I would say that now that he plays deeper he is kind of like a polite version of Maradona. Same genius, same low point of gravity as ever, similar dribbling and passing skills. Both lefties. Both Argentine. Both small.

      Of course his game has always been comparable to Maradona’s. Diego was more inventive, he was more malandro (“gangster”) also. Messi scores more. A lot more.

    • dl
      February 7, 2013

      I’ve had that discussion with a number of Albi’s over the past year or so… I kind of thought given messi’s vision, reading of the game, ball control, etc. he would bend up a Xavi type, but their point was Xavi probably puts on more miles than anyone else on the pitch. It is unlikely that Messi will have the legs for that in 5 years time. Really hard to predict, but I hope he stays injury free long enough to show everyone where he can go.

  4. barca96
    February 7, 2013

    @nzm

    I don’t see Ozil as a Xavi type replacement. I think that Ozil is Iniesta’s direct competitor. Iniesta being the better dribbler but Ozil better vision and pass. He is one of the 2 players I would take from Madrid with the other being Varane.

    Flake from the Guardian has been saying for months that Ozil is the best player at Madrid and that Mourinho should build the team around him instead of Ronaldo. I agree with thats Ozil is their most important and best player but not sure about building the team around him though.

    Btw to whoever whose has a Guardian account, I think fotobiresh does, please invite flake, playmaker, ambrocius, San Andres here.

    • selfie barça
      February 7, 2013

      I’m a fan of neither coach nor player, but I think they did quite well last season with their team built around Ronaldo.

      • February 7, 2013

        The trouble with building around Ronaldo that Madrid is experiencing this season is that he isn’t the type of player who can regularly unlock tight, packed defenses. He is great at exploiting space and overpowering defenses when he is given the slightest bit of space, but lately teams have been packing in deep against Madrid and defending for their lives.

        In that situation you need to have a bit more guile in the team – more Ozil.

    • nzm
      February 7, 2013

      …Ozil better vision and pass.

      Yes – that’s why I would see him as a Xavi replacement who would also be able to break defences and score.

      But it was a joke anyway. It won’t happen unless it becomes untenable for Oezil to stay at RM, and he actually registers interest in joining Barca.

    • February 8, 2013

      @barca96, I dont make many comments in guardian(same here too, all depends on my work), but glad you noticed.
      All these guys you mentioned painstakingly defend us. I appreciate the time they take for it in the British blog.

      I thin, when Ronaldo leaves Madrid – if he does, and Ozil stays, we will face even tough competition from Madrid.

      • barca96
        February 8, 2013

        Hi foto, yeah I saw you recently and another one a long time ago I think.

        I’m not sure if you’re could PM there but if there is an option, please invite them here. We will have more readers and contributors.

        Dreiserkaiserbund, Dublin (or something similar) were also activities but they’ve been missing of late.

        These guys always make good points. Flake is the one that’s been saying that Ozil is the best player which after some thinking I think is true.

    • Doug
      February 9, 2013

      I like Ozil, but I honestly don’t think he’s a better passer, or has better vision than Iniesta.

  5. rocherto
    February 7, 2013

    Tito you are in our thoughts. I can stiil remember that picture of the training session right after your first treatment. The one where Pep was all like “Awe shucks” 😉
    Kinda funny thought, I am sitting here in New York JFK airport waiting to try and catch a flight to Barcelona to see the match againts Getafe this weekend. Maybe I can bring some of your good juju with me. Love ya Tito!!

    On a side note I wanted to thank Blau-Grenade for the helpful tips that were given for my trip. Gonna try and get tickets at the ticket window at the Camp Nou. I will definitely have some pics to share.

    I decided to leave a day earlier to avoid the bad weather making its way to the east coast so I will have an extra day in the city. If any one else has any good tips they would be appreciated. Maybe a good tapas bar or where I can go to get a good plate of paella. Anyway hope to have a grand time.

    • mom4
      February 7, 2013

      For chocolate and churros (although I tend to order a suizo and an ensaimada)
      Petritxol Cafe
      Calle Petritxol 16, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

      Tapas:
      Restaurant: Tapeo
      Address: Carrer de Montcada, 29 (Barcelona). Placeta Montcada.
      Area: Born- La Ribera.
      Tel. Reservations: 933 300 303

      Get a T10 card(there will be machines in every metro stop) and you can go almost anywhere by bus or metro in the city.

      Paella is not one of the dishes for which Barcelona is known, but you’ll find place after place on La Rambla offering it as part of their daily special.

      Hope you love ham.

      Cava, wine and beer is going to be cheeper than soda most of the time- Cheers!

      Souvenirs are cheeper at the FC Botigas outside(they’re all over the place) of Camp Nou than the one inside the grounds.

      If you get off the Les Corts metro stop on your way to a game you’ll find plenty of little hole-in-the-wall places to buy a sandwich to take with you into the CN. BTW, hole-in-the-wall places have the best/cheapest/most authentic food many times. Eat where the locals eat.

      • mom4
        February 7, 2013

        There is also a kiosk on La Rambla where you can buy FCB tickets.

        • February 7, 2013

          Have dinner at La Fonda (Escudellers, 10 08002 Barcelona,
          +34 933 01 75 15). It’s just off La Rambla. When you see the KFC, start looking for the street. Small plates, great prices, killer grub. There might be a line (we have never been there when there wasn’t), but it’s worth it.

          Don’t plan on cabbing it after a match unless you are prepared to outbid some folks. You’ll have better luck if you need one, plying side streets or walking up to Diagonal.

          Also not sure what time the match is, but if it ends after 11, there won’t really be anywhere for you to eat except the abundance of joints on La Rambla, and the only one I can recommend is the little gelato joint outside the Patagonia Bar.

          • rocherto
            February 7, 2013

            Thanks guys!!!
            I do like ham.
            don’t really drink soda so…cheers 🙂

          • mom4
            February 7, 2013

            Oops, forgot to mention our favorite dive, La Chapagneria. Near the Barceloneta metro stop if memory serves. Only serves cava and requires you to order some food but it’s OK as the food is good, filling, and cheap. Fun, genuine, no pretense.

            Maybe nzm can chime in with better details.

    • yana
      February 8, 2013

      For paella, the friends we stay with in BCN sent us to Escribà Xiringuito, it was excellent, go for lunch for a peaceful beach view and vibe:

      https://plus.google.com/104320990377323631045/about?gl=US&hl=en-US

      Get off at the Ciutadella/Vila Olimpica metro stop, and walk along the beach to the restaurant. You’ll see a number of restaurants along the beach on the way, but our friends recommended Escribà, so to Escribà we went, and it was great!

      Do you like seafood? This tapas place was around the corner from our apartment: https://plus.google.com/117410058833784765809/about?gl=us&hl=en

      Also, La Paradeta for seafood! There’s several locations, we went to the one near our apartment:

      https://plus.google.com/113257910499263247761/about?gl=us&hl=en

      It’s really fun — when you walk in, there’s a whole counter of raw seafood. Point out an item you want — they scoop it up into a butcher paper cone and weigh it — and tell them if you want the item fried or grilled. Then pick a few (or many) more. Then find a table, and they call out your number — expect to go up to the window a few times if you’ve ordered multiple items.

      Oh, now I really want some navajas (canyut in Catalá): http://tinyurl.com/a3mmpdc

      • rocherto
        February 8, 2013

        Thanks again guys, finally got checked into my hotel and had a shower after 2 days of travel. I am off to enjoy the city. looking forward to it!!

        • February 8, 2013

          What hotel you at? I always like the Spa Senator, or staying with the Pricess. The up side of the Princess is that you don’t have to run the travestis gauntlet on match nights.

          • rocherto
            February 9, 2013

            Had to stay at the holiday inn Molins de rei last night since I had to leave a day earlier to escape the blizzard on the east coast. I was able to use my points for a free room nice little area but had to leave downtown early to get back on the train. Next 2 nights are at the expo hotel Barcelona right near the Sants train station. Beautiful view from my balcony and if I have to walk from the match won’t be too bad. Middle of the day match so cold be a nice stroll. La Rambla is a blast. Was able to get tickets at the kiosk that Mom4 mentioned very few were left. Ran not a couple from England and they told me that it sold out… Wow for Getafe something about it being a day time match I guess. Well I am of to tour the Camp Nou.
            Wooo Hooo!!!

  6. nia
    February 7, 2013

    Horrible disease, no one deserves it. Anims Tito, hope to see you soon.

    OT: Marca just announced that the ref for the super Copa 2nd leg is the one and only, Undiano Mallenco. Headline said – “Barca’s friend”. The article says that, the last two results he reffed el clasico would suit EE just fine. ;(

    • February 8, 2013

      Ever since Mourinho started referee intimidation, I am scared to see this guy reffing our game. Can never forget that copa final, in which he allowed Pepe and Xabi to do anything they wish.
      I really have a bad feeling about this second leg now.

  7. nia
    February 8, 2013

    Forgot how exciting this match was. Especially in the 2nd half, Barca tore a new one in the butchers of Bilbao.
    a few pointers from back then:
    -Barca were amazing
    -Bojan actually played well in this match. Whatever happened???
    -Dani Alves used to hit wicked free kicks, o-O??? Shocker.
    -Never knew how much I miss Keita, till I re-watched this match.
    -Hleb was horrid. Why did they buy him again? Come on like a boss though, he he.
    http://youtu.be/CoM52njBiCI

    • Blau-Grenade
      February 8, 2013

      The lineup of this match:

      Pinto
      Pique, Puyol, Alves
      The Yaya, Busi, Keita, Xavi
      Eto’o, Messi, Bojan

      This lineup is the works. Amen!!!

      I am a fan of Bojan from the time he was at Barca. He had fantastic ball control with both feet, low centre of gravity, great header of the ball, and fast. He was playing on the right wing when he started with the first team. He was able to take the ball wide and do wonders with it. He was the works. He had fantastic games, and games where he was not motivated. I think he was frozen out by Pep. I think he got disillusioned and left because of that. I remember when he started with Barca in the season that Messi got injured. He set Camp Nou on fire.

      I can see Tito using Bojan if he were still in the team. He does not have the offside problems that Villa comes with.

      • barca96
        February 8, 2013

        Our midfield was BOSS! Had everything in it. Tackle, athleticism, pass, 2 engines.

      • Jim
        February 8, 2013

        Sorry , are we talking about the same player?

        • February 8, 2013

          WUT??!! I can see Vilanova using Krkic if the players want snacks, or Dos Santos gets lonely sitting in the stands by himself.

          • Blau-Grenade
            February 8, 2013

            There is only one striker in the team right now – Villa, and he is 31. He is not getting any better. He may be getting worse with the time he is spending on the bench.
            Secondly, he was injured and recovering for most of the season.
            Thirdly, he is one of the strikers who is the most offside in La Liga for the minutes he plays.
            Bojan could play wing and central striker. He would have been an ideal player for Barca to provide width, and also drift into the middle, depending on the game plan and Messi’s movement. He is also from Masia, and quite good at interchange of passes with the teammates.
            May be you should watch the match with the above link.

          • February 8, 2013

            No need to watch old Krkic when there is plenty of new Krkic. He has regressed even from the form that got him sent out of town. There would be absolutely no place in this squad for him, particularly now that teams are playing Barça even more physically and given the complexities that he has being defended by normal-sized humans.

            He is a striker in his head, but not in his body. This means he is, as the two Serie A teams that have had him have sussed out, a winger. We already have wingers who are significantly better at those jobs than Krkic.

          • Blau-Grenade
            February 9, 2013

            Bojan is by no means somebody like Eto’o, Henry or Falcao. How I would like to have one of those in the team right now.

    • mic
      February 8, 2013

      Wow what a speed and control at the same time. I want this now too. 🙂

        • nzm
          February 9, 2013

          Dortmund is playing beautiful football.

          It’s elegant, unhurried and the right combination of speed and tiki taka. Lots of maturity being shown by the young ones.

          Just a pity that they will keep losing players to bigger clubs. Lewandowski is going to Bayern next season and, if the rumour is correct, Barca will be making a bid for Hummels.

  8. Laurentiu88
    February 8, 2013

    Is that news with Undiano refereeing second leg supposed to be some kind of sick joke??? what the f…

    • replayed
      February 8, 2013

      Yeah. If he refs that leg, then Barca are as good as out of the Copa.

      • nia
        February 8, 2013

        TV Catalunya recognise the danger of Undiano and how he lets EE get away with hard fouls that, they’ve made a video comparing EE to a pack of wild Hyena’s, kkkk. RM are so upset by this, they decided to sue.
        http://youtu.be/TtSr4SeTD8I

        • February 8, 2013

          Look, if our club plays the way that it knows how to play, it will advance in the Copa. If it doesn’t, it won’t. Simple.

          Someone cited the Guardiola saying that it’s your own fault if you get fouled. Move and move the ball faster. That sums it up for me. When the ball flits around as only our sprites can make it go, you can’t foul what you can’t catch.

          As many of us have noted before, an aggressive, physical style of match being called will never favor Barça, because the team doesn’t play that way.

          Irrespective of any official, this club has its destiny in its own hands. It’s a better team than RM. Does the better team always win? No. But in a two-legged tie, more often than not it does.

          • Jim
            February 8, 2013

            Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. If we play to our potential they can’t live with us, especially at home.

          • ooga aga
            February 8, 2013

            i think guardiola said that out of sheer diplomacy. it’s also a good message, to play your best without fear or worrying about things you cant control.

            that said, it is a miracle they havent injured messi in the last 2-3 years. if a team wants to become hitmen, there’s not a lot you can do, especially when the ref looks the other way. we have to hope they dont resort to the types of things we have seen recently.

            in the youtube comments associated with taht “hyena” piece, a longtime RM fan commented that ever since mourinho came, his team have been doing lots of nasty things that left a bad taste in his mouth. he referred to 4 players in particular “led by Pepe”

          • selfie barça
            February 8, 2013

            Guardiola said that to motivate our players to play better, and he’s right.

            But passing the ball faster does not stop M*drid (or any Mourinho-coached team) from off the ball fouls (like shoving Pedro to the ground while Xavi has the ball) or from kicking our heels, ankles and achilles after we have already passed the ball.

            That is the referee’s job, one that Undiano is completely inept at. Even more shocking is that they gave us this referee after the foulfest we endured at the Bernabeu.

        • February 8, 2013

          Sue them on what grounds, though? It’s not libel–no one actually believes that RM is fielding a literal pack of hyenas. And they would have to prove that the video caused actual harm to their reputation.

          If they are going to start suing TV stations over videos, Punto Pelota and Marca TV should be lawyering up as we speak.

          • ooga aga
            February 8, 2013

            “no one actually believes that RM is fielding a literal pack of hyenas.”

            hmm. well, ok its probably just me. because i did see a four-legged dude in there that looked a lot like Pepe.

  9. xavi_purrnandez
    February 8, 2013

    i just wanted to send out some good wishes and positive vibes to Tito. i hope he’s on the road to a full recovery and that he’ll be back with the boys soon.

    btw are there no more liveblogs? i’ve been away for a while, so i’m not really up on what’s going on BFB these days.

    • nzm
      February 8, 2013

      xavi_purr – good to see you! Have you separated into 2 yet? 🙂

      Comments get made from time to time, wondering how you are doing.

  10. xavi_purrnandez
    February 8, 2013

    hi nzm, and thanks. i have indeed, but sadly, we lost our little culé to meningitis when he was just a day old. watching Barça play is one of the things that helps my wife and me to get through. we had some adorable FCB booties that we picked up in Barcelona for him, but he never got the chance to wear them. *sigh*

    so glad they’re having a good season (and we’re enjoying watching EE struggle…i know it’s not nice to say, but it’s true :D)

    • February 8, 2013

      My heart goes out to you. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through, and you’d be forgiven for taking whatever solace you needed, however you wanted. Thanks for sharing.

    • K_legit in Oz
      February 8, 2013

      Wow, just wow..Sorry for your loss man.

    • selfie barça
      February 8, 2013

      I’m so saddened by your loss.

      A bit over a year ago my girlfriend and I lost our son, Xavi Andrés, before he was born. We will always miss him, but it does get “easier” over time.

      Loss is a part of life, undeniably so. I wish you lots of strength and love, from one stranger to another.

    • yana
      February 8, 2013

      Oh, xavi_purr, I am so sorry for your loss of your son. Your mid-liveblog updates on your pregnancy always made me smile.

      And you, too, Lev, for the loss of your son.

    • mom4
      February 8, 2013

      So sorry. Just so sorry, Xavi_purr. My heart goes out to your family and Lev’s. too.

    • nzm
      February 9, 2013

      I’m so sorry to hear that, xavi_purr – especially knowing what you went through before your pregnancy and during it.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife at this time.

      The NZ Maori have a saying, “Kia Kaha”. It means “Be/Stay Strong”.

      Kia Kaha to you both. xoxo

    • Blau-Grenade
      February 9, 2013

      So sorry for your loss. Like NZM mentioned, “Kia Kaha”.

  11. xavi_purrnandez
    February 8, 2013

    Kxevin and K_legit thank you so much for your kind words (and i’ll just ad my own wo to that “man” 😉 )

    yana, thank you. i really enjoyed those liveblogs, too, and it was a special time for me always, as my little guy kicked along enthusiastically to each game. he didn’t live long, but he got to be at the PSG game here back in August, so he was already steeped in Barça.

    Levon, my heart breaks for you and your girlfriend. i wish know one else on earth knew this sadness. Xavi Andrés is such a beautiful name. i regretted that we’d already used the name Xavi for our cat when i found out we were having a boy. my dad was convinced we were naming him after a Barça player, and he even went so far as to learn all their names so he’d be prepared. we joked that we might as well move to Barcelona so that our little Elio Sol could be close to La Masia when he started playing. i imagine you had similar dreams for your Xavi. he already had the perfect culé name. please give your girlfriend a big hug from this other babylost mama and a hug for you as well, my friend. i’ll remember your little boy when i watch number 6 play.

    (sorry for hijacking the thread)

    • nzm
      February 9, 2013

      We may not all know each other face-to-face, but this doesn’t stop us from caring any less (than we can do so through the internet) for everyone in here.

      As yana wrote, whenever you joined us on the LiveBlogs, we were excited to hear of your progress – especially as you shared with us how difficult it was for you, to even start with. Equally, we were extremely sad when you lost the first little one, and now it’s just hit all of us again, knowing that Elio has also passed away.

      You haven’t hijacked the thread at all. This is what the BFB Community is for.

      Not only do we celebrate and commiserate with the team, but we especially do so with the people who make up this BFB online family – of which you are very much a part. xoxo

      • xavi_purrnandez
        February 9, 2013

        i’m amazed that you remember everything we went through, including Elio’s little twin who didn’t make it past the early months of my pregnancy. thank you for everything you wrote….the warmth of your words is a balm. i love this little culé community and all of the wonderful souls i’ve encountered here, and i feel lucky to be counted a part of it. i am going to be saying “Kia Kaha” to myself over and over while

        Tēnā rāwā atu koe, my friend.

    • K_legit in Oz
      February 9, 2013

      Oh, when I said man I just said it in a ‘woah man’ perspective and not gender..In any case, my deepest condolences!

      • xavi_purrnandez
        February 9, 2013

        thank you, K_legit. i was just teasing you (since some people here probably don’t realize that my wife and i are both female), and i took the man the way it was intended. thank you so much for your condolences.

    • Miguel
      February 9, 2013

      Oh fuck. Fuck. Oh fuck. I’m sorry. You seem to be taking this so well, purr. I miss liveblogs with you and everyone else so much. <3

      • xavi_purrnandez
        February 9, 2013

        i miss those liveblogs, too. “fuck” is exactly the right word for the whole situation, and it’s easy to seem okay when all people see are my words. it’s the hardest thing i’ve ever dealt with, and a lot of the time we’re both just surviving at a very basic level. thank goodness for things like beautiful football and kind “virtualstrangers” like you. <3 right back at you :).

    • Jafri
      February 9, 2013

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish there was something more than mere words that I could offer you. My deepest condolences to you and your wife.

      • xavi_purrnandez
        February 9, 2013

        your words are very appreciated, and they help more than you know, Jafri. in a way, you are directly responsible for Elio’s existence, so i’m thankful to you in way you can’t even imagine. he was so very beautiful and even though his life was much too brief, he brought so much love and light into our lives. so thank you with all my heart.

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