Are We Having Fun Yet?

Yea! Another season, another show. Of course, it’s not over yet. I mean, you know, not technically. But it is very hard to concentrate when Silly Season is just dawning over the horizon.  And this one promises to be one of the Silliest yet! So let’s get down to monkey business …

arm dealOne of the issues facing FC Barcelona this Silly Season is it’s perennial small squad. Barça has one of the smallest squads in European football. Quick, who’s shorter: Xavi or Iniesta? I kid. I kid because I love — they’re both totally short. Quick, who’s shorter: Pedro or Messi? Stop! I kid! (Quick: How many arms does it take to hug a really short dude?)

No worries. I, your intrepid Comments interloper, have considered all suggestions and checked out all leads, and I have come up with a Silly Season Dream Roster sure to solve all — well, some, or, one or two — of the problems that have plagued us this season. Which we totally won, by the way!



chuck e cheeseNow, many BFBers have become disillusioned with FCB president, Sandro Rosell. So this Silly Season, the role of Sandro Rosell will be played by kiddie-arcade-pizzeria logo, Chuck E. Cheese.


jordi roura

For several weeks, the role of Tito Vilanova was ably performed by Jordi Roura. Should the need ariseJorge Messi again, Roura will return to his role as Tito Vilanova, while the role of Roura will be performed by Jorge Messi. The role of Jorge Messi will be played by Leo Messi, meanwhile, and the role of Leo Messi will be played by Thiago.


thiago messiFor you FCB bandwagoners out there, that’s Thiago Messi …


tiago alcantara

… who is not to be confused with Thiago Alcántara …


thiago silva


.. or (maybe!) Thiago Silva … but (most likely) not David Silva …

david silva


cuentame alcantara

.. nor by any means any cast member of the Alcántara family in the wildly popular Spanish dram-com “Cuéntame cómo pasó”, in which living under a fascist dictatorship is portrayed as really bad but really not as bad as you might think.


Neymar_54352297060_54115221152_960_downloadOne tantalizing rumor was the proposed probable possible phfft move of Brazilian Boy Wonder Neymar to FCB. In case this does not come to pass, the role of Neymar will be played by the über-compassionate alien Marklar people from South Park, Colorado, who have gladly marklared to marklar for our marklar.


piquedani alves

That takes care of the players. Now, just in case he notices the wild crush that pipsqueak Adam Levine has on Shakira on NBC’s top-rated singing-contest “The Voice”, the role of Gérard Piqué’s erstwhile facial hair will be played by Dani Alves.


pedro stache

In other facial hair news, the role of Pedro Rodríguez will be played by CLARK GABLE

  Clark Gable’s mustache.




Speaking of lovely starlets, the role of WAG will be played by Giselle Lacouture … I mean Malena Costa … er, that is, Vanessa Lorenzo … I think …

giselle lacouturemalena costavanessa lorenzo


(Quick: Which Puyol girlfriend … oh, never mind.)




party bus prom bus

And if we win the Silly Season, the role of the Barcelona homecoming coach will be played by this May’s most awesome prom bus.





Categorized as Barcelona

By SoccerMom

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


  1. A perfect interlude to the commencement of the Silly Season. Thanks Soccermom, I have to say I dig pedrito’s stach! The semblance between Gamble’s and Pedrito’s images is kinda uncanny – only google convinced me otherwise. But you make a great point, this will be the silliest of our Silly seasons far yet – one filled with quibbles as such!

  2. Thanks for the fun post, SoMa! I had no idea Chuck E Cheese was a Catalan mouse! I suppose when he takes up the presidency he would revert to his original name, Carles i Formatge? He would sure be an improvement on the current officeholder, but I’m a little afraid he might spend the Neymar money on mato and manchego.

  3. Thanks for the laugh SoMa. It was more enjoyable than listening to the English gush endlessly about Beckham now that he’s announced his retirement … finally. It was getting so painful that I had to turn TalkSport off after my ears began to bleed. I’d rather gouge my ears with a rusty spoon than have to listen to another hour of Beckham tributes. Last week it was Fergie and now Becks. It’s been a long fortnight.

    1. Always thought that Cescsaga is easily the most annoying one i have ever witnessed but his own one surpass it in everyway xD

    2. I was speaking about the media ruckus rather than fan banter though i just remembered those Goonertrolls here and how they forced BfB to change registration policy.Bunch of nuisances.

  4. Hahah, That Pedro replacement totally cracked me up.
    My dream roster post silly season would look like this –

    GK: Ter Stegen, Pinto (2)
    FB: Alves, Alba, Adriano, Montoya (4)
    CB: Pique, Puyol, Masch, Hummels, Bartra (5)
    MF: Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Thiago, Song, Cesc (6)
    F: Messi, Pedro, Tello, Neymar, Alexis, Jackson (6)
    So, that’s a squad of 23. (2+9+6+6)

    Sold: Villa, Fontas, Muniesa, Cuenca, Afellay, Keirrison, Hleb, Abidal, Valdes, Bojan. We should look to recoup funds of over 45M through sales of above mentioned players.

    Loaned: S.Roberto, Rafinha, Gerard Deulofeu

  5. The key would be having 2 different teams completely capable of playing any opposition. Like how we have a copa Goalie in Pinto, We should have a copa team too, who are played no matter what. Of course one or two exceptions can be allowed, but the principle should be there.

    For example I would be very interested in seeing who would come out on top in a match up between these two Barca teams.

    Montoya – Hummels – Bartra – Adriano
    Thiago – Song – Cesc
    Alexis – Jackson – Neymar


    Ter Stegen
    Alves – Pique – Puyol – Alba
    Xavi – Busquets – Iniesta
    Pedro – Messi – Tello

    I feel these two are almost evenly matched teams, capable of giving fits to any opposition.

  6. The silly season has not even started yet and it’s already silly as hell.

    I thought the idea of a pre-contract with Neymar was so that we don’t have to haggle over a contract when the time comes. It seems that between his dad, Santos, the 3rd and 4th parties and Sandro Rosell we’re going to end up paying over 50M for a player that is so far unproven in Europe.

    I was all for his coming but not at this price because 1) for that much money we should address other needs and 2) the expectations put on the boy if we pay that much will not do him or Barça any good

    1. The front cover of either EMD or Sport recently had the price at €57m. I heard that we’ve already paid €10m as a down payment and part of the pre contract has a penalty clause in it — if another club, like EE, comes in for him they have to pay FCB around €50m. There’s a very good argument that we let the LWBs have him, collect the €50m for doing nothing, and use that money to get another top forward. If that’s so, it’s hard to argue with that strategy.

  7. Another thought. Tottenh*m need a central forward badly and we need a CB badly. I’d happily trade Villa straight up for Verthongen. Other clubs will be interested in Villa and there’s no need to let Levy put us over a barrel, dictate this dance, and get Villa for a bargain.

  8. Sid Lowe in the Guardian today: “Atlético have not beaten Real this millennium. Their last victory was in 1999 – and that year they went down. Since they came back up to the first division, they have not been able to beat Real once. In that time more than 60 clubs have managed it but not Atlético. It is 25 games now and there is a kind of depressing inevitability about it; they have invented countless different ways, each more absurd than the last, to lose.”

    Let’s all cheer on Pathetico today. Miracles sometimes happen.

  9. Since we’re having fun. How’s this for a killer quote from the hilarious Ray Hudson?

    “Real Madrid’s defense stretched open like spandex on a Miami beach, and the goal keeper is left naked.” – El Clasico: Barcelona vs Real Madrid 5-0

  10. For the curious, updates on La Neymarrrr:

    President of Santos quoted directly as saying Bayern isn’t in the picture, and RM has no official interest, yet. He was in Madrid, but to meet with RoSELL and Sanelhi for advanced talks. He has only mentioned us in a series of comments, and said that the wishes of the player are most important, and apparently La Neymarrrr wants to play for us.

    “Neymar has told us that he wants to sign for Barca,” Rodrigues told SER Esports.

    “There are other proposals but he has a preference for Barca. There is no official Madrid proposal for Neymar, but we know that this offer will come.”

    Now we see what the eventual price is.

    1. He also said that he was not happy with Barça’s offer yet.

      Different reports read that the maximum sum we were prepared to offer was 50M but that we are now expected to go as high as 60.

      If already 50M is way too much for an unproven player who is coming into the last year of his contract, of the 5 players in the world who have previously commanded a 60M transfer fee, Zlatan is the only one who hasn’t won a balon d’or. This is getting ridiculous.

    2. What is ridiculous about it? People are advocating spending 45m for a 28-year-old CB. In that world, what is so ridiculous about 50-60m for the player who is the brightest world football talent since Messi? Yes, we copped his signature for some promises, paying for medical treatments and other stuff. That was then, and this is now. In the now, Messi would be the same price. Now imagine he were coming out of Argentina, and ask yourself what this club would be willing to pay for him.

      I’d predict that people would be saying he’s too small, they’d rather have a big 9 like Cavani or someone else, and that much money for an unproven player is just plain silly. Cules are like law firm partners who got degrees from state schools then, after a few years as partner, only want to talk to people from Harvard Law.

      We don’t know how Neymar is going to turn out. But in this day and age of scouting, agents and player syndicates, that kind of talent is going to be expensive. RM is apparently willing to blow our bid out of the water, whatever it will be, and are waiting to see what it will be. We bid 60, they bid 100? Dunno.

      I think that people are averse to the idea of Neymar, much more than the player. For me, talent costs money. For big clubs, talent costs much more money. Look at Marquinhos. Roma got him for 3m, same money we spent for Afellay. Now talk is of us selling Afellay for what we paid for him, while Roma scoffed at a 25m offer for Marquinhos, whom they have only had for one season.

      Great reward is worth great risk. In this case, risk means money. Simple as that.

    3. For me, it’s easy enough to look for the class of player that Neymar fits in with, and the price of that class of player.

      The closest thing we have to compare is Gotze, who went for 37 million this transfer season. If Barcelona is spending much more than that, the club is overpaying.

    4. Swap Neymar’s name for Messi. Same results, same showings on the club and international scene. What would you pay for him? Gotze is a real talent. But for me, Neymar has the potential to leave him in the shade. I think that’s what we’re paying for, outside of RoSELL’s need to make a big splash.

      And notice that I say “potential.” No transfer is ever a sure thing.

    5. “Same results”? Um, NO. Neymar is very successful for Santos, but they play in a league that just isn’t at the same level as Barça or the Champions’ League. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Brazilian NT is currently in a shambles.

      Neymar may have the potential to be a fantastic player for us, but 50M (or more if you believe the current rumours, which work out to something around 60M over 5 years) is way too much to pay for a “potential” that may never pan out. Even huge fans of Neymar have to admit that.

    6. “Swap Neymar’s name for Messi. Same results, same showings on the club and international scene.”

      Neymar is not really even that close to as good as Messi was at his age.

      We must be watching different sports because, well… damn.

    7. If you’re talking about swapping talent, I’d pay 90+ million for Messi at 21.

      If we’re pretending there is a player with Neymar’s talent who is named Messi, I would pay 40 million. Right around what Gotze cost.

    8. Neymar is not really even that close to as good as Messi was at his age.

      We must be watching different sports because, well… damn.

      Neymar was born in 1992, Messi in 1987.

      Messi was the same age Neymar is in 2008.

      Now think back to May 2008, BEFORE the Guardiola era, and make the comparison.

    9. Messi turned 21 in June 2008. His 21st season he was a huge factor for the treble, scoring 38 with 9 in Europe. Those performances won him the Ballon D’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year.

      The season BEFORE (20) that he was considering one of the best 3 players in the world, according to Ballon D’Or AND Fifa WPOTY voting (and anyone who actually watched him).

      The season BEFORE THAT (19) he had replicated two of Maradona’s most famous goals, and scored a hat trick in the Clasico. He was also quite obviously something special.

      I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone who saw Messi play before Guardiola came can even think about comparing them.

    10. I did not say he is as good as Messi was – just that the difference is not as large as it might seem through a warped by the last 5 seasons perspective

    11. 45M for a player whom many argue to be the best CB who has just signed a contract one year ago.

      Neymar will be free next year.

    12. No, he’ll be playing for RM unless we get him now. I agree completely with Kxevin.

      He is one of a tiny group of players in the world I’ve seen who can do things that make me sit up and say “What did he just do?” Maybe not quite yet but for me in two years he’ll be in the Messi, Ronaldinho, Iniesta category. No question. We can penny pinch but we’ll be sorry if we do.

    13. I still come back to the what if it was Messi question. For me, the potential of Neymar is almost at that level. We didn’t know Messi was going to Messi, until he was. There have been a few “next Messi.” Anyone remember Gai Assulin? Krkic was supposed to be amazeballs, now we’re hoping someone will take him off our hands. Neither of them had half the talent of Neymar.

      So I dunno. Which is why the only way that I can have it make sense is by asking what I would be advocating if we were looking at some young player out of Argentina named Messi.

      People are dancing around the question, but that is the question. It isn’t about Santos or the Brazilian NT. Just swap the names, and tell me what you would pay.

      And no way in hell is Neymar going to be free next year. It won’t get to that. If we don’t buy him, he goes to the highest bidder. If that bidder is RM, and he turns out to be the player many think he will be, he will be kicking the crap out of us, and people will be saying we should have bought him when he had the chance. As for 45m for Silva, he is 28. How long do top-level CBs play for. He could be another Maldini, sure. Or even another Puyol. Potentially. There’s that word again.

      No transfer is ever a sure thing. They are all potential, no matter who the player is.

    14. And to be clear, I am not even arguing for Neymar as much as for the reality that in this day and age, talent costs money. Talent plus immense potential will cost even more money. That is where we are with Neymar.

      I would rather spend 60m for Neymar than 40 for Fabregas, to name a recent transfer. He might not work out. But what if he does?

    15. “Cules are like law firm partners who got degrees from state schools then, after a few years as partner, only want to talk to people from Harvard Law.” Hahaha. That’s so funny but so true!

  11. Paying a lot of money for an unproven young striker with nothing behind him but hype. Hmm. Where have I heard that before? Cough, Sanchez, cough.
    In all seriousness, spending anything above $25m for a young and overhyped Brazilian is silly in my book. Real tried that with Robinho and we know how that turned out for both sides. Ibidem for Pato. The best strikers rarely ever are signed for a tonne of cash at a young age. It rarer still that they come from Brazil. Look at Lewandowski as an example. I think we’d be better served by investing that money in young and strong defenders and mining for cheap strikers from the unknown corners of Europe. Because I have a funny feeling Naymar will be as disastrous a signing as this club as ever made.

    1. That’s fine, but if Barca limits their spending to $25M, then we will definitely lose him to RM. If that’s okay with you, then I understand.

      If we want him, IMO, it will cost in excess of $50-60M.

    2. The last time I can think of that we were in a bidding war with Madrid and we decided to pull out of it was 60 years ago. Do you remember how that turned out?

    3. Laporta promised Beckham as part of his original election campaign and even went so far as announcing he had signed for the club before Madrid signed him as he was walking into the Camp Nou.

      If that doesn’t count, I don’t know what does.

    4. I know the story.

      My point was that we did not get Beckham not because we weren’t ready to pay the money but because he signed with Madrid, i.e. there wasn’t really that much of a fight over him. We had the cash and we got Ronaldinho for similar money.

    5. Sanchez isn’t a striker. That’s part of the problem with how cules perceive him. Sanchez, during the Messi injury period, has given some indication of what he can do for the club. Finishing very strong with goals and assists. Also seems to be fitting better into a very difficult system.

    6. Not a striker? You don’t say. 30mil down the drain for not-a-striker.
      It is disingenuous to mention Sanchez’s performances during Messi’s absences through injury etc, for the league was all but won by then. It is in the crucial part of the season that Sanchez couldn’t hit the proverbial barnyard door.

  12. About Neymar it’s not just about his inflated price and our club’s current economy. Imagine the pressure, the people and the press (the “entorno”) if they pay more than 50 million for him and he doesn’s score at least 20 goals in his first season. It will be unbereable for him and he’s just a kid. When they whisled at him on Brasil he would throw a tantrum. I don’t think he’s that mentally strong to face that kind of pressure. It’s a lot of money for a sign question. If he does come, fine, but let’s hope he doesn’t cost us that much. For his sake, and for our club’s sake.
    Another thing, Messi is one of a kind. I believe that kind of a player comes once in a generation. We’re comparing this talented kid from Brasil with probably the best player on the history of football. That seems to me like a stretch to say the least.
    In other news. Atleti is winning! 😀

    1. It’s not just his goal scoring though. He goes past people as if they aren’t there. How many of our current strikers can do that. He’s also a great quick passer. He couldn’t have been built better to suit us. The only possible twitch would be if for some reason he wasn’t prepared to work hard.

    2. That too. If he doesn’t run like hell in trainings and on the field. Messi is protected from doing that the whole time because of his muscular injuries back then. But he run a lot at first pressuring defensively. Neymar won’t be allowed to do that. And he’s not from La Masia. They get more room for mistakes, because they’re our boys.

    3. I have absolutely no doubt he will score 20 goals, that’s not really the target. I would expect him to score around 30 if he plays at his current level.

      But the bigger impact he should have is by freeing up space for Messi. Yes, the Brazilian league isn’t that great and most definitely not known for its tight defenses, and yes, he has not been quite working the same kind of miracles with the NT (which, however, has a lot of problems on its own that do not allow him to shine to his full potential). But still, do you think that when he gets the ball in his feet, defenses will just ignore him the way they are ignoring Pedro and Villa right now? No, they will shift towards him because he is a proven danger when he has the ball. And that will free up space in the middle and on the other side of the pitch, a luxury we have been sorely lacking for some time. Conversely, there will be space for him when Messi has the ball (which is what he has not had in the Brazilian NT because of the problems with the way that team is set up) and Neymar in space is extremely dangerous.

      Also, all of this talk about opening space is even more relevant given that he actually has extremely good vision and is a great passer who can thread through balls and exploit space almost at the level of our own players

    4. More regarding pressure.

      Try to put yourself in the positions of the player and the club. I am quite sure he realizes that the best thing for him would be to go to a smaller club in Europe that will allow him to settle into the European game without that much pressure, like many of the other Brazilians who had really great careers in Europe over the last 2-3 decades did (Romario and Ronaldo in PSV, Rivaldo in Deportivo, Ronaldinho in PSG, etc.; other like Kaka joined big clubs directly, but they were not stars when they did so, while basically everyone who made the big money move with a lot of hype behind him failed – Robinho, Denilson, many others). But at this point he is too big of a star and he costs too much for such a move to be possible, it is only the very top clubs that can afford him. In the same time Santos have to make as much money as possible from the deal, as an investment in their own future, because they are not really a giant club in Brazil; as glorious as their history, their fan base isn’t that big. And that’s not even going to be that much money because they actually only own something like half of him, i.e. if we pay 50 million, they only get 25 or something. The rest is owned by investors who have even more of an interest to sell him for as much as possible because they own his rights specifically as an investment with the expectation to cash in on it, and care even less about this future than Santos.

      So if Madrid comes knocking on the door with 100 million, I can imagine that all parties that own his rights would listen. But this presents a truly nightmare scenario for the player, which is that he goes to Madrid for 100 million, the rumors turn out to be true and Madrid sell Cristiano to PSG, and then he basically has to replace Cristiano. Which is a completely different proposition than partnering with Messi, who can always be counted to carry the burden and save the day. If you think he will be under pressure by cules, imagine the situation at the Bernabeu, especially after a season in which they won nothing. So if I were him, I would be pushing as hard as I can for a move to Barca; but other forces may push in a different direction. It’s a quite a tricky situation.

  13. Wow, watching the end of the Copa final. EE coaching staff is out of control. Mou ejected, Karanka verbally and almost physically harassing the line judge. Ridiculous

  14. oh, what satisfaction… EE beaten at home by Atletico, Mou expelled, Thong Boy expelled…

    and Mou didn’t show up to get his second place medal. i bet the King ain’t too happy about that.

    there is a Santa Claus!

    1. Blegh. That doesn’t seem right to me. I’d rather him play at a lower salary his first season or two and play his way to a higher contract.

    2. Don’t think it’s right considering he hasn’t been proven in Europe. I think that would put him in the 2nd or 3rd pay scale with the captains. I don’t think that’s fair coz Xavi and co have earned their pay.

    3. Too much for me liking but the days of the bargain brazilians are long gone. Hope it worksout well for him.

  15. Well done Athleti. EE just found out winning trophies evry year is not as easy as Barca make it out to be, lol 🙂 I hope everyone sees how violent EE are when they are losing. They used to say Barca are drama queens yet, it seems as though every time RM lose, there’s a bench clearing brawl. Good Costa gave Pepe a shove and it would have been fantastic had Medel had been invited just for that fight. Ha ha M*drid!!

  16. About how the rumored salary of Neymar of 7M a year would compare to the rest of the squad, I think that he would be on third level.
    This according to
    First level is Messi.
    Second level are Alves and Xavi and Valdes (and soon Iniesta).
    Third level are Song, Villa, Puyol, Iniesta (he’s gonna get a renewal soon).

    I pulled off these numbers with my basic excel skills 🙂

    €PerWeek €PerAnnum
    Lionel Messi 312,000 16224000
    Daniel Alves 240,000 12480000
    Xavi 204,000 10608000
    Víctor Valdés 168,000 8736000
    Alex Song 144,000 7488000
    David Villa 144,000 7488000
    Carles Puyol 144,000 7488000
    Andrés Iniesta 137,000 7124000
    Javier Mascherano 132,000 6864000
    Gerard Piqué 120,000 6240000
    Cesc Fàbregas 113,000 5876000
    Jordi Alba 103,000 5356000
    Alexis Sánchez 103,000 5356000
    Pedro 103,000 5356000
    Eric Abidal 101,000 5252000
    Adriano 60,000 3120000
    Thiago 56,000 2912000
    Ibrahim Afellay 45,500 2366000
    José Pinto 39,500 2054000
    Sergio Busquets 39,500 2054000
    Keirrison 25,000 1300000
    Cristian Tello 21,000 1092000
    Martín Montoya 18,000 936000

    1. Please tell me this is wrong. There is no way Song makes that much more than Buquets. If that’s true, WTF.

    2. A quick search turns up that Song is making 5m. Busquets is very close to 7m per annum.

      That Abidal number isn’t accurate either, as his new contract was essentially a play for pay deal, where he is compensated according to appearances.

  17. Neymar is welcomed as long as he doesm’t wear that cursed no 9 jersey,every person that’ve worn that jersey since eto’o have been a flop for us,bojan,ibra,alexis gosh!!!! Vooodoooo,is that what its called?hope am right?

    1. just has to be no 20′,or 7 if villa leavs but not number 9 for christ’s sake

  18. Wow…something I did not think about yesterday, while celebrating the victory of our enemy’s enemy…

    The best thing about yesterday’s result is that next year we don’t have to play a Supercopa against M*drid!!!

  19. Speaking of my enemy’s enemy, does anyone know how people in Madrid typically choose to support Atl. or Real? Is it based on Franco-era politics? Income? Neighborhood? I’m sure a lot of people go with whoever their Dad supported, but how did Dad (or Grandad) pick a side?

    1. It is quite complicated. In the early years of Franco Atletico was seen as the preferred team of the regime because of links with the military, I believe. However Franco’s preference moved toward Real M*drid in the 50s as he tried to associate the central government with their success.

      Today Atletico M*drid is known for having a mainly working class fanbase. There might very well be a local geographic divide between the fan bases in the capital also – after all, people who grow up next to a stadium often support the team that plays there – but another commenter might be better placed to inform you of that.

  20. Can someone who watched the parade on stream clarify whether Pique and Song really did have a scuffle. Before I saw the photos, I thought it was just a playful fight but the photos suggest otherwise. Kinda strange.

  21. I’m a frequent reader of this blog, and have commented only a couple of times. I’ve been following the discussions regarding the quality of comments, etc, and I just wanted to say that this particular thread perfectly exemplifies what I love most about this blog: Witty post, thoughtful, educated comments and hardly any negativity and certainly no personal attacks. I have no idea what, if anything, can be done about the way the comments sometimes just degenerate into a sea of rants and personal attacks (“yes, you always defend Sanchez and hate Messi”, blah, blah, blah), but it’s always nice to keep scrolling down and realize maybe not all is lost!
    P.S. I miss Euler. Talk about an education (for me, of course)!

Comments are closed.