Atletico 1 – Barça 2, as we should be ha…ppier

I don’t know about you but perhaps for the first time in my thirty-four years on earth, this culé did not want M*drid to drop points on Saturday. It’s not that I hate our cross-town rivals more than the ones from the capital. To be honest, my feelings towards Espanyol are nowhere even close to hatred – to paraphrase my earlier-deceased-than-officially-admitted president, “An eagle is not bothered by a fly”.

No, I was simply looking forward to going to the Vicente Calderon with all to play for. Games against Atletico are supposed to crackle, not sizzle, and I wanted to win the league with a bang. Instead we sealed it with a sizzle.

All hail the champs
All hail the champs

Since today’s battle could prove decisive, all blaugrana soldiers had travelled to the front. Soon enough LTC Vilanova found a pasillo and sent out his tunnelrats: Privates Pinto, Alba, Adriano, Piqué, Dani Alves, Song, Fàbregas, Tello, Messi and Sanchez, dressed in Agent Orange and led forward by Capt. Iniesta. Away from home and on enemy turf, facing opponents who seemingly gave up ground, as they preferred to lay wait in ambush while we strolled across the field. A cunning strategy when up against superior forces.

Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies and action addicts stood united in disappointment – the victory that was declared the night before had left both parties with nothing to fight for. The ensuing battle seemed destined for a stalemate, after forty-five minutes in which both sides let off only one shot. The first was a warning and caught by Pinto, who on some days is bullet proof. Sentinel Tello tried to hit them back seconds before the whistle but narrowly aimed wide.

Shortly after the break we got hit by that most dangerous adversary, one that strikes awe in the hearts of friend and foe, who call him “The Tiger”. Like a Rambo on steroids, he is capable of taking on a whole army by himself. Or make that a Rambo on more steroids. Whatever. The mere sight of Falcao going commando caused defenders to give way. Atlético 1 – Barcelona 0.

If up until then I had not been enjoying the game, the prospect of winning the league title by losing in Madrid seriously F-ed with my sunny disposition. “Football is War”, once claimed the Barcelona coach who had first brought Total Football to Catalonia and was aptly nicknamed The General.¹ This seemed more like a practice exercise acted out by a squadron of unwilling training cadets.

How ironic that our worst performers drew us level when Sanchez stabbed home Cesc’s set-up, revealing a bayonet on the muzzle of the waterpistol he had been firing with all day. Alexis celebrated by taking off his shirt and displaying a peacenik message, my personal highlight of the game. By then we had already been outmanned, with both Dani Alves and Lionel Messi having bowed out of battle, the latter after Tito had already relieved three starters.

Somewhat sadly for Atletico, Thibaut Courtois was a late casualty of friendly fire after no small dose of confusion and chaos caused by Cristian Tello. Game over for the matress makers, who are now licking their wounds before their true test of strength, the Copa del Rey final against Real M*drid. Of course in the last fourteen years of that particular civil war they have not won even a single battle. We will wish them luck.

I love you too, Mom!
I love you too, Mom!

The Liga is now official ours and I do not know how to feel. It has been a weird season, that’s for sure. In a way I feel just like I did after the first leg of the Supercopa almost nine months ago, the one in which we were up by two goals – before late in the game Valdes screwed the pooch and gifted M*drid a lifeline. We won that game, but the win was not accompanied with the elation I usually feel after beating our rivals.

We won this league, but I do not feel the elation I usually feel after winning the league. Apart from the above-mentioned Copa game, which was a glorified practice run to begin with, we did not beat Real M*drid in any of the other five encounters. Actually we lost three, and looked toothless in the last two. In the Champion’s League we struggled to reach the semi-finals after struggling to reach the quarter finals. We ended up getting humiliated both in Munich and in the Camp Nou. No, we have not felt like “winners” the last couple of months.

Then again, maybe we are victims of our own success. Maybe we are not “happy” with the league because we had already won it by the time it reached its halfway point. This is arguably our best league title ever. By the time Tito Vilonova went away with cancer, the most expensive squad ever assembled in world football had already given up on any chance of winning the league. That is unheard of, and worthy of an adjective so superlative a new word must be invented. We opened with 18 wins and 1 draw, two points removed from perfection, and we all know perfection doesn’t exist, right? It is difficult to celebrate something we have been happy about for quite some time, now.

We should honor our team. For the beautiful games played. For the beautiful goals scored. For number 22, both the league and the player. For how our football club fought to hang on to its lead as its leader faced a life-threatening decease. For the title added to our most important victories: Tito Vilanova’s and Eric Abidal’s health. For the fact that we won the league against one of the most talented rival teams to ever play the game, an adversary that obtained a record-breaking hundred points the previous year. A hundred points we can still equalize, by the way. Our club deserve all the respect in the world for this remarkable achievement.

We should be happier. Visca Barça!

"CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!" Francesc Fàbregas Soler
Francesc Fàbregas Soler


¹Rinus Michels, Barça coach 71-74



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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. yassir
    May 13, 2013

    Levon , thanks for the review.

    For me I’m very very very happy with the league title, I always want my team to win everything every year, but thats just not possible, so a league title is just great.

    Nexy year we have to compete for spanish super cup, la liga, copa del rey and the UCL, thats a lot of silverware and a lot of work, hopefully we win some.

  2. May 13, 2013

    My wife and I celebrated the liga with a good meal on Sunday.
    Of course we were humbled by Bayern and every fan is sad. But the way the whole world is making it, as if every cule is unhappy, I would say is just pointing out how much big Barca has been that everybody want to belittle everything about Barca. Sid Lowe’s new post, I can only see as a similar attempt. Was it a mistake to earn 55/57 points in the first half, settling the league so early. For me it isnt.
    If SAF had won EPL, being away for some treatment for flu, I am sure they would have made it a huge thing.

  3. May 13, 2013

    The mere sight of Falcao going commando

    I don’t think this means what you think it means! *fans self* 😉

    • nzm
      May 13, 2013

      Heh – yeah I smiled at that one, too!

    • May 13, 2013

      Yes, it did. Count yourself lucky (or not) I didn’t have an accompanying picture!

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 14, 2013

      That statement didn’t make me bat an eyelid. Personally, when I play, I always play commando. More freedom, greater mobility, free range, and all that jazz 😉

  4. nzm
    May 13, 2013

    I’m damn happy that they won it – and that they also won on Saturday night in what was one of the strangest games that I have seen.

    If that own-goal hadn’t gone in, Villa would have been in for some serious ribbing for shooting so far off the goal from that close!

    Parade is starting now and streaming here:

  5. mom4
    May 13, 2013

    Sometimes joy is a choice.

    Don’t understand the negativity.

    The league is important. Celebrate it.

    BTW, I’m only casually watching the parade owing to a splitting (as in I’m convinced that my head will indeed split wide open) sinus headache. Have they shown the girls’ team? Haven’t seen Ini or Xavi either.

    • nzm
      May 14, 2013

      It was pretty disgusting actually – it was if the Women’s Team wasn’t even in the parade for all that they showed of them live.

      Later on TV3, they had extra coverage of them and they were having a ball – much more engaged with the crowd.

      Ini and Xavi were there. Xavi was rocking his sunglasses and Ini had the customary scarf around his head and flag on his shoulders.

    • May 14, 2013

      You want to know how incredibly successful this team has been?
      Ask yourself, how many players on other teams have a “customary” look about them during open-top bus parades..

      Yeah, that’s right.

    • mom4
      May 14, 2013

      I did eventually see some of the girls’ team. And eventually Xavi. Granted, I may have missed so much due to the naps I was taking on and off ’cause of my headache. I prefer the stadium celebrations when we get to see the future starting XI the babies.

      The parade seemed more subdued. Well except for Puyol. He was completely ****faced…and shirtless…which made me wish that Xavi had been drinking more… 😉

  6. chillipod
    May 13, 2013

    In other news…”Barcelona have agreed terms with young forward Gerard Deulofeu over a new contract. The 19-year-old is to sign a new deal which ties him to the Primera Division champions until June 30, 2017 and his new buy-out clause is 35 million euros.”

    • georgjorge
      May 13, 2013

      I’m by no means an expert, but that seems like a lot for a player who isn’t in the first team (and didn’t really impress in the very few minutes he got there on occasion).

    • chillipod
      May 13, 2013

      The general feedback on here matches that view, that he has a LOT to learn, both in terms of attitude and performance. However, let’s assume the technical staff have made this recommendation based on what they have seen that we haven’t. For certain retaining is less expensive than recruiting.

    • May 14, 2013

      I definitely prefer this over the 10M release clause Tello has in his contract (although that sum will go up according to matches played).

      This way if Deulofeu blows up he can’t be snatched.

    • barca96
      May 14, 2013

      I would loan him out as he simply won’t have playing time. I just can’t see it happening. And to my surprise, according to Barcastuff, Dortmund was interested. What a great club to loan him to.

      See, Cuenca should’ve been sent to Bundesliga instead of Eredivisie. Even there, he can’t command 1st team action. You need to be more ambitious than playing in a Mickey Mouse league.

    • May 14, 2013

      @barca96 lolwut?

  7. nia
    May 13, 2013

    LOL,, Puyi and Pique were beating the crap out of each other on the bus. Pique got a few knocks in the head(no wonder the boys aint right) 🙂 Just when Puyi getting the upper hand, the camera zoomed out, kkkk. Also nice to see Song enjoying himself and dancing.

    • Roberto Senyera
      May 14, 2013

      Also nice to see Song and Cesc finally win a major trophy. That would never happen in their careers had they stayed at their old club. Just sayin’.

      Visca Barça!

  8. Nick
    May 14, 2013

    Felicitats a tots!!

  9. May 14, 2013

    I can’t help but giggle at what I call the Wenger Austerity Program, Part XXM: Arsenal will get 3.5m from us due to performance bonuses due, as related to the deals for Fabregas and Song.

    • barca96
      May 14, 2013

      Trying to make money everywhere else since they won’t make money off winning trophies 😆

    • May 14, 2013

      Hmmm, right… I think Lexus also has a lot of variables worked into his contract, right? Wonder if they are being met…

    • May 14, 2013

      If the Song and Fabregas variables are being met, can’t imagine the Sanchez ones aren’t as well. They are usually based on trophies won by the receiving club.

    • May 14, 2013

      I always thought the trophies won variables are in the players contracts and the transfer fees take into account games played, goals scored and that kind of stuff…

    • May 14, 2013

      It depends. Varies by contract. The specificity of the title being won triggering payments to Arsenal for Song and Fabregas, though, makes it clear that sometimes trophy variables are in the agreements between teams as well.

  10. May 14, 2013

    According to SPORT Victor Valdes wants does not want serve out the last year of the contract and Deulofeu wants to go on loan for a year to get more playing time.

    • CuleToon
      May 14, 2013

      I’ve seen Deulofeu a lot since he dazzled everyone when he was around 7 or 8, in the same kids tournament that made Barça recruit Iniesta. And I can tell you that a minimally mature Deulofeu will run rings around the best Tello. Time will tell.

    • May 14, 2013

      Which would mean that he was not minimally mature yet this season.

      Time will tell, indeed, as it has been quite hard to judge him on the games he played with the first team. The technical staff seems to really believe in this kid and by all accounts he has been amazing for Barça B.

    • May 14, 2013

      At present, Deulofeu is too good for B, but not good enough for the first team. At present, he has been singularly unimpressive with the first team when he has shown, unlike Tello who started out with strong promise, and has steadily improved. Deulofeu is also young.

      There are qualities present in his game, such as a need for fancy stuff and selfishness, that must be fixed. I have no doubt that our technical staff will do that, then we will see what he can do.

    • May 14, 2013

      Tello was 21 at the time of his debut, right?

  11. nia
    May 14, 2013

    Different view of yesterdays parade of the players celebrating. I must say, Pique looks a handful when drunk, as does Puyol. I saw him in a different light, after him and Pique were fighting almost the whole duration. Glad to see that they really celebrated. Gues they were not kidding when they said they would.

    Also, revista had a special episode today with Laporta. Had some interesting things to say. Very clever man and you can tell he’s a politician as well by how he answered the questions.

  12. K_legit in Oz
    May 15, 2013

    Late to the party but ‘Campeones! Campeones! Oe! Oe! Oe!’

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