Dani Alves, as he opened his mouth

So I ended my review by saying that I was happy that our coach and players don’t complain about the referees too much, right?

Up steps Dani Alves who, when pressed by a journalist, let slip:

“When referees get put under pressure, it influences them incredibly much”

He wouldn’t mean Mou now, would he?

“It all started because of who started it. It rubs off on everybody.”

Attaboy! I hate when players always complain about the referee, but when you do, oh please go all the way:

“It’s not possible that a two-meter offside is not seen, so…maybe that is normal here…but we can’t protest too much because later people will say we are cry-babies and that we complain a lot. We don’t complain but we aren’t retards because then others will do whatever they want (ed. cheat to win) while we put on a happy face…”

 I’m not gonna put on a happy face like the others, not me. The others can put on their happy face, I won’t, when I am upset I am gonna let you know about it just like when I upset others (ed. they let me know)”

“We have to perform two or three times as well to win so that those things don’t effect the result of the game… Whatever one does, when you are on top it causes envy. When the envy is positive, that’s ok. But when it is negative it ends up contaminating everybody”

“We can’t complain, because in the end people will hold it against us. But the ones outside (the dressing room?) are the ones that have to go out and protest.”

dani alves
“I am not putting on a happy face”














So where do you stand? Do we have more dubious decisions going against us or not? If so, should we shut up and get on with it? Or should the board protect us more and lodge official complaints?

Also, do you think Mourinho’s constant pressure has influenced (some of) the referees? Do we indeed have to play twice as well to win because of the amount of games that are unfairly officiated? And what the hell is he wearing?

Discuss, and I will join you in the comment thread!






*additional source: http://www.sport.es/es/noticias/barca/dani-alves-acusa-mourinho-provocar-mal-arbitraje-stark-paris-2355217







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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...


  1. TITO
    April 3, 2013

    When they go out and speak, then why they did it? We are the good guys and we should just go on with it and keep it quiet. When they don’t speak about these issues, then why they don’t do it, either them, or the club should protect the players.
    We really should make up our mind about this.
    Personally i want “smarter” players to attend the press conferences. Players who are calm, know what they are talking about, not getting into any traps from the journalists, and sometimes say it the way it really is, especially toward those who deserve it.
    For example, you hear Ancellotti blaming the referee about the penalty (which was clear one) in a pres conference, and not mentioning the offside goal (obviously)is frustrating, because that’s the way the global football fans and a lot of managers have labeled us – cheaters.
    They envy us, it’s obvious, nobody plays like us (when we want to), and that’s just another way to distract us, but sometimes it goes just over the edge.
    The Special Five isn’t even worth of commenting.

  2. TITO
    April 3, 2013

    He was Special One, but after Manita….i renamed him to Special Five.

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013

      Aaaazh ok! lol

      I do think he influences the referees. There is a reason he acts like that every country he goes to. It is very calculated behavior, and very cynical. I doubt the would be as successful if he didn’t depend on the dark arts.

      Referee decisions are a huge factor into whether or not a team will win.

  3. lyd
    April 3, 2013

    Regarding the last goal:

    Look at Pique’s contribution in the whole move. Iniesta had Jallet pretty much covered and Alba was tracking back (99% at the speed of Alba) to support Iniesta. But what the hell was Pique doing? For some weird reason, he too decided to converge in on Jallet! Had he been just calm enough and tracked back to the middle, Busquetes or Bartra could have closed down Matuidi. And don’t forget Menez was free as well with acres of space in that threatening position just outside the box. Utterly ridiculous decision from Pique! Being the main man, so to speak, didn’t take any responsibility, rather distorted the whole shape.

    So harsh to blame Valdez when there was a noticeable deflection and he slipped as well that made things worse. I feel Valdez deserves a better defensive unit than this.

    • lyd
      April 3, 2013

      Addition: I feel Valdez deserves a better defensive unit than this. More than this Barca defense deserving a better keeper than VV.

    • Jim
      April 3, 2013

      Not really. Iniesta wouldn’t have had Jallet covered if it had been anything like a decent ball for him to run on to. If you freeze frame just after the ball is it you’ll see the two of them struggling as they are well behind Jallet. Piqué has no choice but to cover the direct run in on goal of Jallet if the ball had been played in front of him.

      Furthermore, if you then freeze frame as Jallet collects the ball you will see that we have three defenders to their two forwards, more than enough cover. The problem was that Dani correctly covered Ibra but couldn’t prevent the header back (no fault) but both Bartra and Busi had gone back with the same man instead of one of them staying out a bit for the knock down. Bartra was just on so not laying any lame but its just as wrong to blame Piqué on this occasion. It still took a deflection to beat VV – no way it was going in without it- so maybe we have a little luck coming our way in the return.

      To Bill who has been critical in the last post of VV in this incident, he is in perfect position for the original shot – 2/3 yards off his line to narrow the angle and just close enough to his right hand post to prevent it sneaking in there.

      With regard to VV’s decision to hoof it as starting that goal, if you have a look at it you will see as I said that there is nobody in position to receive the ball short. They are straight ahead of VV about 20 yards away and with a forward between them . It may be that you have some footage that shows him telling them to get up the park but it wasn’t on Sky which is pretty decent coverage. To be honest he would have been a fool to try to play it short 4 minutes into injury time. The ball also then travels back to their keeper – still Valdes’ fault? He clears it very poorly allowing Alexis to header it wide. Cesc then gets skinned – by Maxwell ( older readers will be aware of the history here 🙂 ) and ends up holding Maxwell’s jersey. Still VV’s fault? Come on!

      • lyd
        April 4, 2013

        Disagree on many levels, Jim.

        Iniesta (not the easiest opponent to take on 1v1) HAD Jallet covered with Alba tracking back. We don’t need 3 defenders to close down a full back who is just looking to cross. That’s where Pique (who had a proper view of things and was passively involved to improvise) is at fault, for me. That is fault no 1.

        There are optimum risks a CB takes during a counter attack. Had he looked towards his right, he’d have seen the hole in midfield and could have taken some initiative. Not a tough ask from a world champion! Late reaction time (Fault no 2) didn’t help his cause either. He decided to get inside the box without a purpose and hoped for a favorable outcome in the end. Leaders at defense don’t do that (Fault no 3) Alba could have dealt with the problem too instead of tracking back vertically but that’s too much to expect from Jordi perhaps.

        3 marking 2 in the box is alright, like you said. Especially when one of them is Ibra. I agree. But that solution usually fails miserably when you create a hole in midfield with 2 players free to shoot at either side of the post.

        You said, “It still took a deflection to beat VV – no way it was going in without it” – Yes but think about the likely events that could have happened! Matuidi had so many options. He could have faked his way to take a shot at a different angle. He could have also passed it quick to Menez who would have had more angles to aim at. A goal was likely to happen with the distorted shape that we took.

        Poor defending of a counter attack overall, for me.
        You might justify the defending bits and blame bad luck for the goal, but I would not. There are issues Tito needs to address. Have you noticed how we often leave the far post open (not every time we are punished though, thank goodness!) and when we don’t, we end with a hole at the edge of the box? Really concerning, this! This is where we have really missed Abidal.

        • Jim
          April 4, 2013

          Not sure you understood my point, Lyd.

          “Fault 1”. I said if it had been a decent ball – it wasn’t. Jallet had to turn back because of the poor ball. If it had been played in front of him to run on to without breaking stride no way were either Alba or Inesta catching him. You can see how worried they were just by the sprinting they did from the start. (By the way, in my book Iniesta is one of the easier players to get past in a defensive sense. He doesn’t know how to tackle.). No way could Pique assume it was going to be that bad. He had to move across to cover or here was a clean run on goal. If anything, Busi should see that Pique has been pulled across, that there are three on Jallet and forget about that problem entirely, concentrating on ther attackers but he doesn’t really.

          “Fault2”. Given his starting point Piqué stops as soon as he sees the turn back, looks across and sees three onto two and resumes his position. Unfortunately Jalley hits the ball as soon as he turns back . Good play considering Ibra will win everything in the air and you are right- because of the speed the ball is played he isn’t now in a position to do much about it. He does what he can by getting into position to mark the forward in the middle who is sadly already marked by two men. He doesn’t try to get goal side of that man as he will be offside if he ball comes to him. Remember at that point we have six defenders to three attackers !

          Not sure what”Fault 3 is referring to but there is no way Alba could be involved in the play at all once Jallet plays the ball. Matuidi took it first time on his left and produced a decent but far from lethal shot. If he had squared it Busi old have been in position o lock the next shot. He is right in front if the other attacker and only five yards away. Tbh, the only way a goal was happening from that move should have been a ferocious first time shot from Matuidi and I’d settle for that low probability. I do think the goal was unfortunate, I don’t think it was Pique’s fault but we are leaking too many goals. I agree on that point. If you mean by the far post, Dani’s area then I do agree that it is a spot other teams have recognised as a weak link and one we need to deal with. I’d have been happier on this occasion if Bartra had gone with Ibra but he was just on so can’t be blamed.

          Not sure in what way Abidal would have helped in this goal at all. He’d have been exactly where alba was.

          • Jim
            April 4, 2013

            Busi could have been in position to block *

          • Jim
            April 4, 2013

            Can we not have an edit post facility ? This quick typing on my ipad is killing me 🙂

          • lyd
            April 4, 2013

            Fault 3 – decision after the late reaction (Fault 2)

            About your point- I understand from where you are coming from but I don’t agree with it.

            “Iniesta is one of the easier players to get past in a defensive sense” – are you serious!

            Iniesta don’t have to be “tackler” to defend here. All he has to do is to hold off Jallet till Alba arrives at the proximity. This buys time for others to shape up.

            “Busi could have been in position to block” – Of course. But only had Pique drifted into the middle earlier. That’s the point I’ve tried to make.

          • lyd
            April 4, 2013

            Didn’t mentioned Abidal for this particular case, you must understand this. Its his game reading and intelligence that has been missing at the back. Such a beautiful player to watch and learn.

  4. TITO
    April 3, 2013

    Valdez is actually Valdes. And yes, i too think that it was a defensive error rather then the GK’s one.

    • Ryan
      April 3, 2013

      Right! When I see it spelled like that, I think of Nelson Valdez, the striker who scored 2 on us when Hercules came to town.

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013

      I think it was a both a defensive error and a GK error (although as for the latter I am a lone voice, lol).

      As a TEAM we should have never given up that lead and even less in such a ridiculous fashion.

      • lyd
        April 3, 2013

        Could you be a little specific here as to why it was a GK error? The initial positioning? The failure to handle the ball away (while slipping)?

        • selfie barça
          April 3, 2013

          We discussed it a lot in the previous thread to be honest…You are welcome to go there and check my (and others’) line of reasoning, but in a nutshell I just think he should have done better on it.

    • lyd
      April 3, 2013

      lol right! Must write Valdes 500 times on a piece of paper now.

  5. Jafri
    April 3, 2013

    Beautiful. Good on you, Dani, for saying what such few people have the guts to say. And so eloquently as well (at least in the translation).

    Freedom of speech is such an important concept in the World today, with the ability to express what you think considered a basic human right. Yet there are few institutions more restrictive and intolerant of expressed opinions than governing sports bodies. And fewer still with such absolute authority and zero accountability.

    Players are sanctioned for expressing opinions (that more often than not are goaded out of them by journalists). God forbid you badmouth the referees. Or Fifa. That’ll land you fines and bans. And what of the linesman that gave a two yard offside a goal? He’ll go home and collect his match fee and presumably just check his schedule to see what match he’s assigned to next. Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t heard of a linesman being dropped from duty after a poor performance review, and I’m 100% certain that it hasn’t happened without a public outcry on a particularly egregious error.

    Quite frankly, I find it miserable that this sort of incompetence affects matches so drastically, and doubly pathetic that you as a player/coach are just expected to suck it up and get on with life. And get taken to task if you dare suggest a Fifa sanctioned ref isn’t up to snuff.

    The other thing Dani said that I completely agree with is that any complaint against shocking decisions is seen as being a cry baby. It’s considered bad form to have legitimate grievances and to air them. Don’t whine. Chin up, old boy. Rub of the green and all that.

    Well screw that. Dani is right; you can’t just sit and smile and say que sera sera while other people walk all over you. If you have been unjustly treated, you need to point it out, so that the people who messed up can have their competence evaluated, so that people don’t go around taking advantage of you because they think you’re pushovers.

    That brings me to his last point. For whatever reason – because of the archaic, restrictive rules of the pedantic football governing body; because of the quite frankly retarded concept of not complaining because you’re just supposed to accept idiotic decisions – Dani and the others can’t address this issue as strongly as they would like. The players and management have their hands tied in this regard. Complaining too strongly leads to fines and even lodging an official complaint is seen as a sign of being weak and whiny little sissies. So it’s up to the general public, to us, to protest, to tell those fat fools sitting up in their fancy chairs and doing nothing that there has to be some culpability. That mistakes this horrendous really need to be bloody well sorted out.

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013


      I think Dani Alves is absolutely right also. As long as he does not complain after every game. I also think there is a huuuge difference between DA saying that he was fouled in the lead up to a goal that was 2 meters offside and Ancelotti saying that Alexis dove, or Mourinho saying that Pepe received a red card for doing nothing wrong (CL semi-final).

      As to your last point, yes it is up to the public. The problem with FIFA and UEFA is that most of us have been clamoring for video technology for years now.

      Referees are human, after all, and their mistakes are often (but not always) honest ones.


      What do you mean with smarter? Does smarter mean that they don’t touch this subject or that they talk about it differently. And what do you mean with calmer? Dani Alves was calm.

      • TITO
        April 3, 2013

        When i say smarter (it doesn’t refer or not to Dani here) i want people who are eloquent, fluent, direct on the subject, without being outsmarted by the press or influenced by the situation and then say something which is inappropriate and later can hurt us.
        Maybe smarter isn’t the word, but my limited english couldn’t found a word at that moment. I’m talking in general.
        For example, i noticed that Masch is a person like that in few press conferences.

  6. mom4
    April 3, 2013

    Somebody had to say it(usually it’s Xavi)!

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013

      Hahaha, I know, but Xavi does always come off like a cry-baby imo.

      • mom4
        April 3, 2013

        Nah, I think he comes off as arrogant. But ya know, at a certain point in your career, you kinda earn the right to some arrogance. 🙂

  7. Jim
    April 3, 2013

    Tbh, we can’t wiin that sort of argument. Because of our dominant position we’ll get sympathy from no one – and no I don’t think there is any conspiracy. Bad decisions have always happened and always will. We just need to hammer them in our house. As a one off letting off steam though I have no problem with it.

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013

      I most definitely agree that there is no conspiracy.

      To be clear, Dani Alves never said there was one either.

  8. April 3, 2013

    I thought his most telling comment is: “the ones outside (the dressing room?) are the ones that have to go out and protest.”

    I read that as him saying the board has not done enough to protect the team, and I think that is one of the calculated reasons Alves take a stand here. I can’t imagine that Tito sanctioned these types of comments.

    Alves strikes me as the type of player who loved Laporta’s talk first, think later approach.

    • selfie barça
      April 3, 2013

      Exactly, I thought so too! (the dressing room? was my edit btw, i forgot to put the ed. in there).

      I don’t know if Tito sanctioned these types of comments nor how strict the guidelines are for what players say to the media.

      He did say this:
      “As always it is me, the bad guy of the movie, talking about these types of things. In the end I will be disliked. But I don’t really care. I am free to give my opinion, just like most people”

      • Dani Alves is an incredible player and I dont want people to remember him or talk about him for wrong reasons.

        It would have been better for a Club representative to talk these matters – in even stronger words, than the players. Since Rossell came in, we lack any such comments. I am sure players want it.

  9. April 3, 2013

    I love Dani Alves. He is rarely shy about saying what is on his mind. While I’m not normally in favour of talking about refereeing decisions, I have no problem with him pointing out the obvious–Ibra was at least 1.5 metres offside and it is ridiculous that his goal was allowed.

    I’m less happy about his rumblings about Barça having to work harder to get a decent result (due to bias). That’s not cool.

    • I think what he means is, the general (mis)conception that “Barca are good enough to beat anybody just by shutting up and playing football and nothing else”. The sentiment there is taking for granted the hard work and monumental effort that these players put in, to win every game that they do.

      I think what Dani’s saying is, their dominance over the last few years has probably resulted in referees being slightly reluctant to give Barca any perceived advantage, even if it deserved as per the rule book. As an example see how difficult it is for Messi to get a penalty these days, despite him being probably the one player who will never go down cheaply. Another stat I would like to see is how many Red cards have been handed to opponents after Mourinho’s comment saying he practices playing with 10 men before a Barca game.

      Referees make mistakes and they go both ways for sure. There’s also definitely no conspiracy for or against team. But there are probably times when a referee gives a 50-50 decision (in his mind) the way of the opponent. It’s like Barca’s quality and talent is seen as an undue advantage which doesn’t need to be augmented with soft decisions.

  10. stefan2k
    April 4, 2013

    If it was up to me he’d better keep his mouth shut :/

    In the moment we complain about referees we are no better than EE.

    I loved the ‘we dont talk about refs’ decision by Guardiola which seems to be revoked since hes gone.

  11. ElJefe
    April 4, 2013

    Enough about the refs. We shouldn’t give up a lead in the 87th minute under any circumstances. This is on us. Man up & Move on.

    Seems like a simple game plan for the return leg… with our weak backline we need to play the best possession players and present some offensive capability, missing Messi. Xavi, Iniesta, Busi will be the key this match along with Pique being a beast. We simply can’t allow them to have the ball with our backline.

    Anyone else relieved Mascherano is out for the next leg? We cannot count on Abidal, Alves will have to play in a more defensive roll and track back, Busi as well. Adriano could have really helped us given his speed and how open they left us on the wings, too bad.

    Christian Tello has to start this match. Please Tito have the courage. Alcantara is intriguing as well. I personally would not start Villa but bring him off the bench. Will Pedro be back?

    This is the match we need Cesc to step up for.

    In Tito we Trust.

  12. I wish all this was told by some club official, rather than player.

    And we would not be talking about this, if we had managed to just keep the goal, the infamous sterile possession, after the second goal. We boat about our possessions, but we are unable to do it, when the opposition is trying hard for something in the last minute.

  13. KEVINO17
    April 4, 2013

    Is there anything crazier than 100 million people seeing that a goal was clearly offside, and nothing is done about it?

    • Jafri
      April 4, 2013

      ^ Exactly. Just because the referee didn’t see it, the mistake stays. It happens pretty much only in this sport. You know just about the only other people who use this nonsense rule? The WWE.

      The greatest game in the world, run by people taking their cue from fake gimmicky pseudo soap-opera trash. Miserable.

  14. April 4, 2013

    Frankly, I hate Refs. But I also understand the pressure they are in.
    All they just have to do is just call the game. But they don’t, they turn it into a balancing act. And who are they to be doing that.
    I’d also wager that the Lexus Penalty was given to make amends for the Ibra mistake. In other circumstances that very same play would have earned a yellow for diving.

  15. Laurentiu88
    April 4, 2013

    Would such statements have been made during Pep? Did Tito give his ok (if such things are actually discussed?) for such statements?

    So this season of UCL we had Busquets red card, Milan goal, PSG goal, no reason to point to statistics or conspiracies – but maybe simple pressure on ref and official stand as some sort of explanation ? Has anyone seen the game at the Bernabeu last night? I guess Alonso get a card only when he asks for it.

    I agree with Alves stance – we must make our case. It must be made civilized, there were errors -again and again, and some we just plain gross. If pressure is part of the game then we must make our case here too.

  16. TITO
    April 4, 2013

    Well, Special Five did offered his help to Ancellotti for this game, and as it looks, the later formidably accepted it and conducted it. Complain about the referees, that’s all.
    As for his tactics when criticizing referees and “intimidating” them, look at last night’s game. For the same tackle, Nani got a red card while Benzema – well, hardly a foul was called. Then, Galata had a call for a clear penalty, but instead of that, they got a yellow card for diving.
    Conspiracy or not, call it the way you like to call it, it helps them, a lot.

    • selfie barça
      April 4, 2013

      A conspiracy it ain’t. It is a deliberate strategy on the part of one coach to influence the way referees call the games of his biggest rival in Europe (and in Spain for the last couple of seasons) that has been on-going since the Rijkaard days.

      Also as a reply to your earlier comment, Masche is a BOSS in the press conferences, I think we all agree on that. When his career is over he can be the official spokesperson for the club. Heck, I wouldn’t mind him as president.

      really? we don’t have to play harder to win? What about Messi? As footytwoshoes noted he hardly ever gets a penalty, and sometimes it takes three people hanging on his shirt before the foul gets called. All this despite the common knowledge (and don’t think referees aren’t aware of things like that) that he never dives.

      @stefan2k and eljefe
      Truly respect your point of view. But I created this post just so that we could all complain about the refs, mwahahahahha! We will man up in the next thread 😉

    • Laurentiu88
      April 4, 2013

      let’s see what happens with Ramos and Alonso…

  17. April 4, 2013

    No one else has mentioned it so far:

    Pedro became a father today! He is the proud papa of a bouncing baby ball boy, and he has named him Bryan.


    • mom4
      April 4, 2013

      Future team looking good.

      Front line duplication? Done!

      Goal keepers? Done!

      Defenders? Dani, Pique, Adriano done. Abi has girls, perhaps he’d like to try for a boy? I hear it’s fun. Alba needs to get his drivers license and then get a girl. Do you think we can skip all intermediate steps and just clone Puyol?

      Midfielders are falling a bit behind. Valeria needs a brother, Xavi and Nuria need to get busy, and somebody needs to set up Busi with some nice girl with brilliant soccer genes. Get with the program, boys!

      Just kidding, yall…maybe… 😈

      • selfie barça
        April 4, 2013

        Victor’s boy wants to explore other opportunities away from Catalunya.

        Dani’s son can’t keep its mouth shut, Milan is only interested in modeling and Adriano’s kid is on crutches.

        Cesc and Andres need to have a son and Nuria has been complaining that Xavi spends so much time in the mushroom fields. A bit boring, that one! Busquets needs to get busy.

        Once again, we depend way too much on Messi!

        • April 4, 2013

          Victor has two sons, surely at least one will stay???

          If not, we have Pinto’s boy as our GK/DJ.

  18. TITO
    April 4, 2013

    According to Sport and EMD, there is a chance that Abi could feature against Mallorca!!!!

  19. April 4, 2013

    –The club physios said that Messi can play against PSG if absolutely necessary, but that he really should rest for three weeks.

    –At a press conference today, Toni Freixa confirmed that the club officially complained to UEFA about the referee’s performance.

    –The club filed a lawsuit against Joan Oliver and Ferran Soriano, both of the Joan Laporta board, claiming mismanagement and revealing club secrets.

    –Abidal is hoping to be able to play against Mallorca on the weekend.

  20. selfie barça
    April 4, 2013

    It would indeed be awesome if he played.

    In other news, well not news exactly, but still, Barça B has currently both scored the most goals and conceded the most goals in their division!

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