Random thoughts on random things


Everyone, calm down. Here’s some stuff to think about:

The bias of the Barça-centric media is well documented. MD even has a story that suggests Thiago’s limited playing time was part of a nefarious plot to activate his buyout clause and send him to Bayern. The demonization process has begun in full force, and it is absurd.

In this very space, someone has spoken of losing what little respect they had left for Guardiola. I can respect all opinions, but if you look at what that man has done for our club, and frankly, what he did for its future with that broadside aimed at Rosell and the board in almost ensuring they will NOT be re-elected, I find such views unfathomable, in full honesty.

Guardiola, as a coach, led this club to its greatest period of sporting success, ever. Period. Full stop. He instituted a new style of play that also enlivened the Spanish NT, and made tika taka a global star, along with its wee maestros. Did he have issues? You bet. But none of those would serve to diminish my respect for him and his accomplishments even as, now that he is at Bayern, I hope that he and his team roast in hell.

Thiago. I am one of the minority that doesn’t believe he was ready to run our club. I have been called a fool for that belief, and I am okay with that. His talent is immense, as is his quality, when it reaches full maturity. But at present, in a big match, I’m still tapping Xavi on the shoulder. Feel free to get mad at me for that. And while you are getting mad, add Thiago to that list. Why?

The buyout clause was from him. The decision to leave the club is his. Where he eventually lands will be up to him.

There isn’t a Svengali guiding his mind. You can’t get mad at Vilanova for not playing him enough to activate a clause that would have golden handcuffed a want-away player. No. Blame the right individuals. I find it distressing that hero worship is such that when a player decides to leave a club, it is never the player’s fault. It is always the player’s fault and decision.

“Vilanova didn’t play him in big matches, and Guardiola trusts him more.” That is a fair assessment. It is still the player’s decision not to stay and show Vilanova he was a fool. Look at Jonathan Dos Santos. No matter how you slice it, it’s the player’s decision. Today at the farewell presser, newest RM acquisition Illarramendi got all weepy at leaving Real. That was the emotion of a player leaving the club that he grew up in. Don’t mistake it for regret or remorse. It was his decision, and a business decision. Better job, more money. Done.

When you are finished being mad at Thiago for having the temerity to seek a better job as we all have done or will do at some point in our lives, get mad at ZubiZa and his negotiating team. He has a whole TEAM that screwed up that negotiation by allowing that clause to be inserted. Better to have called the player’s bluff and said “If you want that clause in there, and the option is to include it or have to leave, best of luck at your new club.” Because this is the result.

When ZubiZa tendered his resignation and it wasn’t accepted, it was to save a member of his team. The board caved because of how it would look the club’s sporting director had resigned. And that’s that. But it was a terrible negotiation for a valuable player to the club.

This club has a metric shit ton of talent. People are acting as if when Thiago leaves, he will be the last man out and relegation will be beckoning. Did Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Sanchez, Neymar, Pedro, Pique, etc all die in a plane crash? Thiago leaves, and it will be up to the club to find his replacement, when the time is necessary. There will be time available, and Xavi is no longer a full-season player. Buzz was that Song and Sergi Roberto would be called upon. People are already saying that is crazy, that both of them put together, their DNA combined with that of Gigantor and the god Mercury, still wouldn’t hold a candle to Thiago. That, my friends, is misguided.

Consider the terror. The club has irons in the fire for various centerbacks, most notably Thiago Silva. The terror I reference is in the form of Joan Laporta, who has declared that he will stand for the presidency in 2016. That, coupled with sporting and political setbacks, atop which is the Guardiola blast, has the board and our president terrified. They have to do something. That something will be to sign a high-profile CB, a player that Rosell can stand next to, grinning, and say “Looky what I done for y’all!” Right thing for wrong reasons? I’ll still take it.

But you know what? We might not buy a CB. And what if we don’t? Then our coach will have one hell of a job on his hands, relying on talent, luck with injuries and (probably) re-instilling the press to help the back line get its job done. And we will go from there, because that is what we are supposed to do, just like we did last season in the wake of a series of injuries and other maladies that would have had a weaker club in a corner, rolled up in a blanky and sucking its thumb. We won the Liga, and made the CL semis until we took the ass-whipping that in hindsight, shouldn’t have been surprising, even as at the time it was stunning.

Austerity is silly. No such thing exists, other than as a sap to keep whacking the ghost of a bygone president upside the head. This club makes almost a half-billion in revenue each season. Look for that number to rise when the Neymar marketing machine kicks in. Messi is also just hitting his considerable stride as a global marketing colossus. This club has plenty of money. That it hasn’t used for certain things is, for this observer, solely attributable to misguided stupidity, hiding behind the guise of austerity. Is RM in any more or less debt than we are? No. Are they just whistling past the fiscal graveyard as they have collected their latest signing today, paying 38mm to La Real for Illarramendi? Nope. They are strengthening their club in a way that brings to mind Laporta. “How much? Cool. Check okay?”

For me, the thing behind austerity is ego, and the willful attempt to destroy the legacy of a man who led this club to extraordinary levels of success by saddling said legacy with the burden of “austerity.” “See what we have to do because of him? We have to sell the shirt, and we can’t buy the players you all would love for us to buy.” That is all nonsense.

This is business. Understand that. Bayern or any or club would be crazy not to grab Thiago for 18m. If we did such a thing, there would be lots of cule chest bumping about what a great deal we snagged. It isn’t wrong when someone does it to us. It’s business, smart business capitalizing on stupid business. It isn’t wrong for Vilanova to play the players he wanted, for one player to seek a better job, any of it. It is all business. Yes, sport permeates our souls, as does the love for a club. But this stuff is business, and big business at that. Understand that. Business is heartless. As vexing as it is for the club to have treated Abidal the way that it did, and sold Villa for a seeming pittance, those were business decisions supportable by bottom-line performance, by a club that suddenly values such things. The morality of that value is a completely different question. But at issue, it is business.

The president is not the club. Question Rosell all you like. Just be sure that you question the right stuff, and understand that FCB is eternal. Rosell and his board are temporary. We have survived worse, and will survive this. Support your team, and its coach.


Categorized as Thoughts

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. I will have to read this later, in full.
    But agree with you Kxevin. Anybody blaming Pep for Thiago’s transfer to Bayern is really being stupid and naive.
    Whatever happens herein, even if we are all going to see a different Pep or whatever, Pep, you will always be in my heart. You made us what we are now. I dont have words to thank you for that.

    1. I agree with Kxevin too, specially about Thiago (both about his «situation» and his value for Barça as a player). In fact, I’m convinced that both Tito and Rosell didn’t want to activate Thiago’s 90 mill. clause, and avoided making him play the minimum number of minutes. I think that they don’t value him that much —I don’t either— and that they wanted to make some good cash with him.

      But blaming Pep for Thiago’s transfer to Bayern is another issue altogether. It is not something stupid and naive: it is something said with all the evil intent, another part of the ongoing and long-term PR campaign launched against Pep.

      Rosell & Co. know what they do, and they have the means. They did it against Laporta, relentlessly, from his second year at the presidency till the last one. And they coldn’t have been more successful.

    2. So I misunderstood you, Fotobirajesh! By the way, there’s a new post open on Thiago since yesterday.

  2. Been out of touch for a while, but here is a quick thought….

    Who the hell is Llamarendi and how the hell did Sociedad finagle 39 mil euros for him?!?!?!?!?

    And we might get 18 for Thiago…..???

    Maybe someone can enlighten me…. like I said, I didn’t follow the U20 competition, but apparently that is where he shined.

    1. He shone all throughout this season at Real Sociedad.

      He’s the DM and plays rather well in it.

      Very good control, making intelligent short passes under pressure. Also able to find space and deliver incisive passes cutting through several lines.

      Many compare him to Xabi but the diagonal/long passing is not his forte. Rather the comparison is made perhaps because they occupy the same position at La Real.
      While Xabi needs space to operate and spray his passes, Asier is able to distribute from deep in the pitch in tight, confined areas.

      He operates well as a pivot, akin to Busi but not at his level, of course.

    2. As to his buyout, almost ALL Real Sociedad players have a €30m buyout in their contract.

      Most of these players come from their cantera and the club wanted to make it difficult for others to take them away (as much time and effort was spent nurturing them) and if needs must – to earn as much from the sale. Hence, what seems to be an astronomical price for someone hardly heard of outside the La Liga or even outside Donostia.

      However, if utilized properly, his talent and age [23] guarantees this to be a really good investment for Real Madrid. There are after all very few DMs with good technique and control.

    3. Illa is much better under pressure and he unlike Xabi knows how to dribble out of trouble like Busi.

  3. I love thiago and I would love if he came out and said that he is not going anywhere but at this stage it is obvious that he wants to leave so let him and we should say thanks very much for the €18million.
    Ive never wanted to have a player who doesn’t want to be here and that wont change because he is a fan favorite.
    I think that we’ll either just use Sergi Roberto or maybe purchase someone like Ever Banega which I think would be sound business.

    I do believe that we are under spending to prove a point against laporta . That is sickening but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that football politics is any different to the real politicians that everyone admits to not trusting. Laporta was as dodgy as anyone else and im sure if guardiola goes into the presidential running at some stage he will have his own flaws

  4. Fantastic. Optimism is hard to come by these days. Couldn’t agree more with Thiago situation. We’ve all talked about it until our faces turned blue. But when a player wants to leave, he should leave. And the club should not have to bend over backwards to accomodate his demands.

    Also find it problematic that lack of criticism directed towards Zubizaretta. You can blame Rosell for lying about his buyout fee. You can blame Thiago for wanting to leave. But the actual contract negotiation is on ZubiZa.

    As for Illaramendi. €38 million is a massive amount. Give La Real all the credit in the world. Would not budge for anything less than buyout. And with Ruben Pardo set to see increased minutes, and the possible return of Xabi Alonso next summer, they must be feeling pretty good about themselves.

    1. Yup, the negotiator (it’s called director of football if I’m not mistaken) should carry must of the blame in transfers. Unless it was Rosell who handled the negotiations.

  5. Let me put this out first. It’s something I read from Barca Blaugranes.

    Pep said that he wouldn’t sign Barca players unless they want to leave.

    So it is clear that Thiago wants to leave.

    However, no matter how much Pep hates Rosell & co., he shouldn’t let his hatred hurt “his” club. Pep should advise Thiago that it’s best for his career if he would say with Barca like del Bosque.

    And with Pep trying to get Neymar at the last minute and also rumored to be interested in our target Konscielny, it kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I’m fine with him having issues with the current board cause that’s his beef. But if I were Pep, I would still try to convince Thiago to stay and try to look out for my club cause as Kxevin notes above, club is eternal, the board is temporary.


  6. I fail to see how suggesting that an agent, player, and outside party were able to influence coach decisions regarding who plays and how much does anything but present even more evidence of management incompetence.

    I’m also probably one of the few who is okay with these sliding transfer fees. In general, I want to be able to move a player who the technical staff doesn’t believe is good enough to play for us. Imagine if we’d locked Bojan up to a 60-million euro transfer fee? Not being able to move/sell a player who can’t get enough games hurts us even more in the long run than losing one on the cheap.

    That said, the handling of Thiago last season was garbage. Is he ready to replace Xavi? No way. No one is. But even with the injury stuff, it felt like we were treating him as a squad/bench player for CDR matches rather than a legitimate starting option. Certainly felt like a step back from where he was in Pep’s last year and I can’t blame him for looking around.

  7. We were offered Isco, NO!
    We were offered Illaramendi, NO!

    And guess who bought them in the end who like us has no need for them? Our direct rival.

    I know we have players who are currently better than them but it doesn’t hurt to have these future elites covering them or provide a competition.

    Madrid has been outstanding in this transfer window. They bought local and young talents that will serve them for a good decade. Great foresight.

    I wish Mourinho was still there as he and Mendes would’ve ruined the young talented Spanish youngsters.

    1. Madrid is having their best summer transfer window I can remember in awhile and it’s somehow flying under the radar because they’re not signing any “Galacticos.” Isco, Illarramendi, and Carvajal are the members of the next generation of Spain’s bright future, and they make Madrid a lot better. I’m afraid of Madrid next season, personally. With Ancelotti at the helm and these new signings, I think the league’s going to be a lot closer than 15 points.

      And they are doing their business quickly, without much negotiation or drama. How I wish Barcelona’s board could do that… We’ve got two of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer and we’re letting go of a lot of youth that have started for the senior team. Really bewildering business.

  8. I am in the same boat as you are. I put most of the blame on Tito for not playing him enough. I think Thiago understands that he is not a starter yet over any of Iniesta or Xavi but the final straw would be getting overlooked in the last month or 2 over a fatigued Xavi and Iniesta.

    If I were Thiago, I would go to a place where I’m valued more. Tito couldn’t “assure” him as reported on Barcastuff more playing time so as an ambitious man, he is right to leave.

    Thiago may be a youth product but his ambitions are placed higher than his loyalty and there is nothing wrong with that in my eyes.

  9. Agree with every word written here except one:

    your assertion that Thiago is not ready to run our club is not a minority opinion. Everybody who watched him this season should know that.

    The shame is not because of whether or not he is ready now, but because of the player he will probably become be in say, one or two years. I think we all agree that the club should have avoided this situation.

  10. By the way, here’s a trivia question for y’all…

    Why do some club emblems on the excellent image above say F.C.B. while others say C.F.B.?

    1. Please, njwv, don’t tell me he is not totally dead and will rise again from his (phanaoric) tomb!

      Now, seriously, the situation for us Catalans is more or less the same than when «he» was around… Franco’s fascist heirs threaten us now and then to send their tanks, and they do send their fighters to scare little villages in the Pyrenees by flying low above the houses and breaking the sound barrier —sonic booms— above their belfries, something unseen before.

      As a former president of the spanish democratic parliament and member of the socialist(!) party said a year and a half ago —before joining Franco himself, the poor soul—, echoing the words of some spanish general in the beginning of the XX century: «It’s always good for Spain to bomb/bombard Barcelona every 40 years or so».

    2. LOL. Don’t know how to put a laughing face —perhaps :)) but thanks a lot for the info. I follow SNL here at Canal+, although I don’t grasp half of it (for now).

    3. FCB is the original name: «Football Club Barcelona», later renamed to Futbol Club Barcelona. But when Franco won the Spanish Civil War in 1939, our name was too Catalan-English for him, and he ordered that the name be changed to «Club de Fútbol Barcelona», which is spanish because the «royal academy of the spanish language» had accepted «fútbol» as legit.

      So, a little before Franco’s death in 1975, there was some «aperture» in the fascist regime and we were allowed to restore our original name.

  11. I never understood why Real Madrid can keep buying players at sky high prices and not have to worry about debt like we do.

    It’s not just us and our austerity measures; most other clubs have to watch the pennies and think before signing. RM don’t really do that. And their debt doesn’t seem to be significantly higher than ours, or increasing at a faster rate. Why is it like that?

    1. I could be wrong but I believe they have diversified their income with hotels and such…. I also think they don’t give up as much commercial rights to the players as we do.

    2. Is that, perchance, another trivia question? In case it is, I’ll answer to score some more points.

      Ciaran said above that football politics is not different to real politics. I dont’t now where Ciaran lives, but clearly he’s not Catalan! Seeing his words I wondered, for example, if any USA follower of any USA team would say that the club he follows IS real politics, if he could say that it is politicized to the core; and I’m sure the answer is no, because that would be incomprehensible, almost insane.

      But Barça, and RM too, are inextricably enmeshed in politics; they are political instruments. There’s no separation, and surely someone from another country can’t see this as it is. I’ve been looking for another case like this one, and I’ve found none, at least at such a scale.

      So, as much as Barça is a major force in Catalan identity and, nowadays, independentism, RM is a symbol of the «Great Castilla» (like the ol’ «Great Serbia») which has been the mother of so much pain in this lovely mediterranean country.

      To the point: RM can spend as much as it needs and wants because the spanish central government has always provided and will always provide. And something similar happens with Barça, although more modestly and not as blatantly: Catalan government, institutions and people will never let Barça down.

      Platini will have some problems with RM if he wants to institute those «fair financing» rules.

    3. To be honest I was speaking specifically about Barca and Madrid because I’ve followed Barca for more than 20 years so I know the history fairly well.
      The two clubs are more politics than football for some. For me it is all about the football so whenever anyone shows their true (political) motives I dislike them.
      I mean I loved how much Laporta loved football but he too was using it to further his career. If you believe Rosell then Laporta uses the funds of the club incredibly badly and left the club in tatters but nothing is black and white.
      Rosell is now saying that he can’t spend any money because we are broke but that isn’t true either.
      And the whole anti-Cryuff thing is also sickening

    4. Ciaran, for you it is all about the football… lucky you! I envy you, really. But for us here, it can’t be. Here, you cannot escape from this shit unless you live in a cave, in utter isolation, and never stick your neck out of it.

      Gasp! To think only about the football… Perhaps there will be some kind of Valhalla, with nothing but pure football to watch, for those of us condemned to face the ugly truth in our mortal life here.

    5. They can afford to keep spending more than us because:

      1) They make more money that we do. About 30-40 million a season. That’s one whole such transfer

      2) Their wage bill is lower than ours. I don’t have the exact figures in front of me, but it’s another at least 10 million a season if I am not mistaken.

      That’s actually a significant economic advantage, and if it wasn’t for La Masia and their general inability to manage the footballing side of their operation as well as they could, we would not have been able to compete at all, because that’s 30-40 million every year, which adds up over time to real differences in team strength.

      BTW, that is something we should never stop worrying about. There is no guarantee La Masia will keep producing a Messi every 10 years, in fact, it is extremely unlikely it will be able to do so. And then purchasing power will matter a lot more.

      The trend in the development of the game over the last 20 years has been for the rich to get richer and to make it increasingly impossible for the poorer teams to compete. That initially resulted in a group of about a dozen clubs in Europe that pulled ahead of the rest in the 90s. But it did not stop there because within that group there were also differences in revenue, which with time resulted in further differentiation within it. If you have noticed, the Italian clubs are not a factor in Europe anymore which is a direct result of their inability to generate as much revenue as others (because of low match day income and the Calciopoli scandal). Arsenal also fell out of contention, and right now it is really three to five, maybe six clubs that really have consistently a chance of winning the CL outside of a really remarkable one-off season from a smaller club like Dortmund (us, Madrid, Bayern, Man United, Chelsea; perhaps City will join that group with time).

      However, even within that small group of clubs, there are also differences in revenue, which can amplify over time. And we are not front runners in that race as of now. Not that I would want to win that race because there will be no winners in it long-term – because there will be on big loser in it and it is the game itself. But it’s something to be worried about.

  12. If this means Song gets more playing time, particularly in CM, fantastic. We’re gonna need a solid defender in midfield with Neymar et al up front. Much better than Thiago

    1. Not sure who Song is going to get the call ahead of (still clearly behind Xavi, iniesta,Busi and probably Cesc) but you’re right in terms of injuries . I think if we purchase a new CB ( and we must ) we might see Masch reverting to his DM role. I think he could bring some of his learning from the CB position to it now although I’m still not sure his feet are quick enough.

    2. With Bartra’s seemingly imminent loan, I doubt we’ll be seeing Masch at DM any time soon. That would leave us extremely thin at the back.

    3. If we buy a new CB ( as we must) Masch will be behind Pique, Puyol and the new man. We will be looking to forge a CB pairing capable of playing a lot of games together ( which imo was our main issue last year) so where will Masch get his minutes if not at DM to give Busi a rest? I think of the two Song is better suited to going forward and so being used as a sub for the twins ( who will play as much as they are able im guessing) although if Fabregas is to stay he’s going to be looking for serious time on the pitch as well. Makes you wonder if Thiago wasn’t right to leg it.

  13. Strange. Given that Thiago won’t want to turn up on Monday for training I expected an announcement today.

  14. The positive side of Thiago’s departure is that it will at least bring some money in, the only significant amount of money the club has generated from selling a player in years…

  15. Hey guys, long time no see.

    Totally off topic, but there’s a competition for when Barca come to Malaysia for their
    preseason tour to win meet and greet passes.

    If it’s not too much trouble, could you help a cule out: https://apps.facebook.com/benumberonefan/

    Just look for my name (Sheena Sidhu) and click vote. Thanks so much.

  16. A thought’s come to my mind several times these last days, but I wouldn’t recognize it, pushed it away not wishing even to look at it, much less ponder it.

    But it wouldn’t go away and, although I didn’t want to look at it, I knew very well what it meant. «Tell it to the BFB people, see what they think», another thought said. «No, no», I retorted, «there’s nothing that substatiates it and, in the best case, I’ll make them worry; in the worst one, they’ll scoff at me».

    But yesterday, reading some commenters, mainly on Sport and EMD news and pieces of opinion about Pep’s words, I saw many comments reflecting that same thought, that same fear, and today I’ve read a post by Pulina saying the same.

    So, I’ve decided to tell you, and let you make of it what you wish. Although, now that I’ve decided to do so, I’m beginning to think that the same thought, the same fear, probably has crossed the mind of more than one of you here.

    What I and other people fear is that Rosell ends up selling Messi much, much sooner than we imagine.

    Don’t ask for a «source». There’s none. It’s just a very unpleasant intuition that I kept to myself, and that now, seeing that I’m not the only one feeling it, I’ve decided to share with you.

    Because intuitions don’t spring from a vacuum. Most of the times they arise from all the knowledge we’ve accumulated through experience. And many times they are right.


    In a more mundane order of things, the date and time of both legs of the Spanish Supercup are these:

    -First leg: Atleti-Barça, August 21, 23:00 CET.
    -Second leg: Barça-Atleti, August 28, 23:00 CET.

    1. Sorry, Culetoon but you’d need to at least give a reason why he would want to do so, probably lose the league, kill any chance of re-election and become possibly the most hated man in Barcelona for this bit of intuition to be worth running with.

      I can’t think of any single more unlikely action from the board than that – and I can think of a few 🙂

    2. Jim, Rosell said that he would have sold Ronaldinho two years before he went to Milan because Barça should have made a load of money. And IIRC, he said so when he presented his book «Welcome to the Real World», before Ronnie’s downfall, when Barça had just won our second EC in Paris. Was he prescient? I don’t think so, even if he knew as much as anyone «in the loop» that his private life was not exemplary. So, he just wanted to sell him to make a load of money, irrespective of Ronnie’s meaning for us and for the Club. He’s got that mentality, that outlook.

      So, this is a potential scenario: Rosell’s got Neymar; if things don’t go well for any reason, probably Tito will be out and Rosell will fulfill his old dream —or promise— of bringing in Scolari, and more so if Scolari wins the WC with Brazil; how would he treat Messi vs Neymar? Then there’s the issue of Nike and Adidas which Cruyff mentioned, although I don’t know if it’s that important or not. What I do know, is that Rosell would never tell Messi to go, never in public. What he would do, because he’s done it several times with much success, is to entrust his media minions to undermine Messi’s image and Messi as a person until Messi is fed up and asks to leave «a la Pep» or «a la Valdés».

      While perusing today’s (web)press, I see that AS says: «The Messis are fed up with Rosell» (http://futbol.as.com/futbol/2013/07/13/primera/1373678905_871726.html). Aparently, Messi and his father don’t feel they’ve received enough support from the board when facing his tax situation. Of course, one has to take it with a ladle of salt; it’s AS, after all, and no one says anything like that on the other papers (as of today). But it doesn’t help to dispel the fear of losing Messi. Or can any of us characterize Rosell & Co. as backing any of our players, our people (Pep, the team, Abi, you name it) or our interests as Barça socis and fans?

      On a more humorous note, SPORT tells us that Barça has opened a «Leo Messi» space in Barça’s museum, and in the mood that I am now it would be easy for me to see it as some kind of «bad omen» (but I’m mostly rational and I won’t).

    3. mmmm.. I thought about this some days back too. I have always had this feeling that Rossell cares more about business than football, and on his legacies. Now that Neymar is here, this could happen, may be, in a worst case for our football, but he will just boast about the record transfer fees.
      You are spot on here – What he would do, because he’s done it several times with much success, is to entrust his media minions to undermine Messi’s image and Messi as a person until Messi is fed up and asks to leave «a la Pep» or «a la Valdés».

    4. Its crazy you thought this.
      I had the same thought which occurred for the first time about 2 days ago. Decided to entertain the thought for just a little longer and found that it is not entirely impossible. Rosell’s ties with Brazil is no secret and I have often wondered and even posted here once, that it might be his secret wish to convert FCB into FC Brasilona. Neymar, thiago silva, david luiz u name it, we seem to be interested. I am sure the thought of selling Messi and making a fortune would have entered the head of any businessman, not to mention Ro$ell. If he plays the game right and convinces people, selling LM10 for 200M would be viewed as an excellent bit of business.

    5. But it would have to be in his interest in some way and if he’s not in charge any more how does that work? It would undoubtedly mean Laporta’s election would it not? And he would do anything to prevent that.

    6. @ultra

      Isn’t it Tito the one who’s hell bent on getting Thiago Silva when Rosell offered Hummels?

      And getting Brazilian players like Neymar and or Silva isn’t such a bad thing.

      It would be different if Rosell signed players like Henrique and Keirrison *cough Laporta cough* =p

    7. thank you for your insightful replies from Barcelona. i enjoy reading BFB even more since you starting to post replies.

      as a so called bandwagoner and a messi fanboy i am on lurking mode, but i decide to log in to reply to you on this.

      i’ve been too thinking Messi might leave us sooner than
      we like to since Cruyff’s remark on co-existence of Messi-Neymar. then Messi mentioning Dinho recently gives me more
      uneasy feeling.

      Rosell doesn’t have to sell him against cule’s wish. make Messi unhappy and grumpy then idea of selling him will be easy to accept.

      there’s nothing to it other than just crazy feeling.

      i blamed this feeling on my lack of cule-ness so i am glad to see a long time socio shares the feeling. i guess i’m not that crazy.

  17. Sorry Kxevin, But your views about guardiola is just a one-way street, It’s always about what he for us us, And it’s never about what we did for him.
    Is there anyone in here can deny that if it weren’t for barca, Pep wouldn’t be the manager he is today, Would he have found another club that entrusted a young manager with hardly any experience to coach a first team that has one of the best players in the world, Which with there help, He made a name for himself, And clubs like bayern are now drooling over him.
    Where is his respect for the 80 thousands cules that came to say goodbye to him in camp and gave him a standing ovation, Some of them who threw tears for him, Is he oblivious to the fact that many of them liked thiago and thought of him as a future, He didn’t take thiago away from barca, He took him away from cules.
    From the perspective of even the simplest decency, He should’ve stayed away from our players, I know thiago has the last word and biggest part of the decision, But no matter how much any one tries to cover his eyes, Pep is a culprit in this, And he deserves what ever lash he’s currently getting.

    1. I have a fair amount of sympathy for this point of view, Rami, as long as its just balancing Kxevin’s article. Pep did a lot for a team which I suppose was coming into its time anyway. It was a perfect storm of great players getting a manager who got them playing for him in his style which proved very efficient and attractive.

      I have a feeling Pep’s sabbatical was more because he knew this sort of situation would arise if he moved straight to another club than any supposed burn out. But that’s what you get when you profess undying love for a club then go to work for a rival and try to pinch its players, in however roundabout a way.

    2. He didn’t take thiago away from barca, He took him away from cules.

      No. Pep took Thiago away from Manchester United, not Barça. Thiago was “taken away from cules”, as you put it, by himself, Tito, and the board.

  18. For those interested, a post about pundit’s reactions to Pep speech in RAC-1 and Catalunya Radio late-night sports programs.

    Last night, the «unofficial» message to spread was, argument by argument, what Santi Nolla dictated in his leading article yesterday morning (that I summed up in a post here yesterday). And it was specially hurtful to see —hear— the case of a young journalist and pundit at RAC-1 named Sandra Sarmiento.

    Sandra works at BarçaTV. She looks like a very nice young girl, and, in my opinion, she’s very knowledgeable about football and, of course, Barça: after all, she spends the day physically at the Barça premises and, clearly, she’s «in the loop». She analizes Barça matches on BarçaTV and is almost always spot on.

    So, at RAC-1, the night before yesterday, the first night after Pep’s speech, Sandra was understandably cautious (remember she works at BarçaTV), but didnt say anything bad about Pep; she clearly was not comfortable having to talk about that because she «knows». But then, yesterday night, she followed to the word Santi Nolla’s blueprint with a tone of voice —those things are more obvius when you listen to radio— that said «I say this because I have to, else I lose my work at BarçaTV». Or that’s what I prefer to think to justify her in some measure. A real pity, and something very telling about how sports press works here.

    1. Are there journalists and papers on Pep’s side?
      And what does the Madrid press say? Open champagne?

    2. No, there are no major voices on Pep’s side or, better said, against Rosell & Co. For now.

      And, strangely enough, the Madrid press is not talking that much about it, and not viciously at all. In fact, yesterday’s leading article of AS editor in chief, Alfredo Relaño, and a column in yesterday’s Marca paper edition by Santi Segurola (subdirector of Marca, a long-time admirer of Pep as a player and coach, and one of the few Madrid press voices respected among Barça followers), were, in my opinion, very realistic and even respectful.

      The reasons of that reaction by Madrid press? Some speculations: a) they are more interested in RM’s future with all their new signings; b) they just wait for the right time and they don’t think this is it; c) it’s been said, many, many times, and for many years (I mean, in the media, even in Rosell’s media) that Rosell and Floren are very good friends, so Floren, who has even more power in Madrid media than Rosell in Catalan media, has «adviced» Madrid media to not do blood about this; d) a combination of the other three.

      However, some minutes ago I’ve just read on SPORT an article («The keys of Pep-Rosell breakup») listing almost all of Pep’s grievances against Rosell which, being things as they are, I’ve found unexpectedly neutral and informative (provided one knows what it’s talking about, and gives flesh to some very brief references). If I have time, and you are interested, I’ll try to translate it with comments (I need a lot of time because that’s not an easy task for me). The original is here:


  19. Culetoon, Rosell selling Messi would be a suicidal act. Even he himself should know that.

    A La Masia player, yet to enter his prime age, 4 time Ballon d’Or winner and counting and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. I just don’t see it happening sorry.

    And if I’m not mistaken, the mega offers of 100 million for Ronnie was not the year that we won CL. It was the season after.

    I at the time thought that it was an offer that we couldn’t refuse because it was clear that he had mental issues and we could’ve used the money to re inject new blood in the squad to challenge Madrid.

    But as usual the club sells a player for an under market value once again.

    1. My mistake. I should have talked about «Rosell applying to Messi his insidious, dirty, and amply-demonstrated-successful tactics, in order to make Messi want to leave to know new cultures or something like that (and then selling him for a good load of money)», not about just «selling him». Anyway, I really want that feeling to be wrong. Really, I do.

  20. Toon, I’m curious to know which Barca forum or blog benefited from your insight prior to you joining BFB?

    1. None! I’ve never posted insights or silly remarks anywhere else. Some years ago, an old friend from the university, who is also and old Barça soci, pointed out BFB to our group, saying that BFB were a bunch of knowledgeable Barça lovers from all over the world that gave to a Catalan soci an original and refreshing view on our Club. And he was right! (I remember very clearly that he also told us that he got a little fed up with BFB people at that time, because they somehow degraded Busi when he competed with Toure Yaya. He felt in love with Busi at first sight, and I know that he has a Busi shirt!).

      Then I spent a long time coming here now and then, just lurking, until recently, one day, in a natural way, I posted a comment. And nothing bad happened! So, here I am. I must admit, though, that it’s becoming a little too addictive. I must try to find a proper balance. And that’s it!

    2. Maybe I was too busy loving Busi to remember any overly harsh treatment from the commenters but I can imagine your friend may have been right – Yaya pretty much reached cult status round these here parts, lol.

      Anyway, we are very happy to have you, Culetoon, thank you for commenting!

  21. Greetings, everyone. Great discussion, and yes, CuleToon has fast become a very valuable asset. Glad you decided to stop lurking.

    — That Messi/Rosell story is AS is crazy, but often crazy stuff has a ring of truth to it. We’ll see. Personally, a club’s president should be its first line of defense, except when its star player is accused of violating the law. If the Messis are in fact mad about that, they should, as my Grams used to say, scratch their ass and get glad.

    They have worked out a repayment deal, which makes it clear that they did it. And Messi should hire some professional handlers so that crap like the tax business, and that VIP debacle for the Chicago Messi & Friends match doesn’t happen ever again.

    — Guardiola and his comments certainly threw things into a tizzy. He said them because he had had enough of the smear campaign, so he took care of that. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind the collateral damage to Rosell one little bit, as well.

    The “twins” are already on anti-Guardiola spin control, just as they were on anti-Thiago spin control until very recently. It’s part of the deal with being a cule, this crap. It was sunshine and rainbows because everybody was winning and happy, and our president was happy to keep writing checks for players.

    — Apparently, PSG is in for Marquinhos, as is “another club,” according to Laurent Blanc. Rumor is that we are offering 22, while PSG is offering 30. Hmmm ….

    And I got to thinking, we are excellent recently at buying players who only want to play for Barça: Fabregas, Sanchez, Villa, Neymar. When was the last time we successfully negotiated for an in-demand player who was just on the market? In the cases of Javi Martinez, Thiago Silva and Jan Vertongen, we were interested, tried bargaining and another club came in and said “Here’s a bunch of money. Send him.”

    The same might happen with Marquinhos.

    — CuleToon, was it just foreign socis who could see what Rosell was going to bring to the table from a mile away, or did local socis also smell something rotten in Denmark?

    — Ah, the unspeakable. Neymar is Rosell’s Messi. If the relationship doesn’t go perfectly, you can expect Rosell to look askance at Messi, who certainly has a track record now of not being able to play very well with others, when the “other” is a star player/transfer. Vilanova’s head is also on the block this season, which of course means the kind of short-sighted thinking that a secure coach doesn’t have to engage in.

    Rosell is president until 2016, barring a successful recall effort, which he has just taken steps to scuttle any real attempts at. A lot of damage can be done in those years.

    1. I’m thinking I would very well prefer Marquinhos over Silva… Oh well…

      As for Rosell selling Messi, let’s just say that again, it would be another decision that went against his own interest. It would make no sense (which unfortunately won’t necessarily prevent it from happening)

  22. And who remembers THIS?


    Rosell wanted Guardiola to be like Sir Alex Ferguson, he said during his election campaign. Pretty funny, in hindsight.

    — Oh, yeah …. Thiago. Look for his eventual transfer fee to be more than 18, but less than what the full, complete bill would have been when taxes and VAT are added. Club is asking 22+incentives, which wouldn’t be too far off, if you’re going to sell a player like Thiago, who actually wants to leave, thus stealing any negotiating leverage from the selling club. We’ll see.

  23. i still don’t understand how so many are so sanguine about this summer’s transfer dealings. our great rival has now vacuumed up 2 of the 3 brightest young players in Spain, and we’re about to sell the 3rd due to the incompetence of the management. we have no young players at the club who are as established as Thiago; Sergio Roberto, Rafinha, J. Dos are all green without 30 caps between them. Delulofeu is gone to England, so we won’t be seeing him either.

    meanwhile, we’ve sold our best natural goalscorer apart from Messi to a direct rival, but haven’t in any way addressed the structural imbalances in the squad (read: defense). nor have we shed the dead weight of Affelay, Cuenca, or Bojan.

    what we have done, and still possibly illegally…. is Neymar. is that enough? we scored 115 goals last season in the league, 12 more than Madrid. our problem was not in our offense. so why is the only addition to the squad an offensive player?

    1. For one, our offense looked quite stagnant when up against Bayern, EE and even PSG (and Milan away) and two, Neymar is possibly the most talented young player the world has seen since Messi arrived on the scene (not saying that their talent is comparable per sé, but still).

      The purchase of Neymar is not just or only based on our needs next season, but the years after that as well…

      I think the whole Thiago business is a disgrace and there is no way they can spin it to make it look anything less than a colossal blunder. As for the defender, let’s wait and see.

      T.Silva is probably the best right now, but with an eye to the future Marquinhos might very well be the best choice.

    2. Everything about Barca recently stinks of incompetency, from the president downward to the coaching staff. It’s idiotic letting go as fine a prospect as Thiago for fewer than $20m due to a combination of bureaucratic reasons and Villanova’s reluctance to play him (even when the league was done and dusted). Meanwhile the defense has changed in nothing but age.
      I have an uneasy feeling that by the end of July, Tito will be saying that, no, we don’t need defenders at all actually. We’re fine and dandy the way we are right now. That wouldn’t sit well with me, but maybe another 7-0 manhandling by Bayern would convince the board of the madness.

    3. “Incompetence” is a strong word. I think there is a very different focus than there was during the Laporta years. Both presidents were egocentric, but Laporta liked being at the center of the parties with the cool kids. That means winning trophies.

      Rosell wants to have people be able to say that he left the club fiscally healthy and prepared for the future. He doesn’t care about the cool kids, and never has. So two very different styles of running a club.

      So while it might seem “incompetent” to let the Thiago Alcantara case get to that point, it was a calculated risk by the club. Apparently they traded less salary for that clause, thinking the player would never utilize it. He did, so that’s that. The person(s) who consented to such an onerous, limiting clause should be accountable, as well. Shameful.

      A coach should be able to play the players that he wants, without having to get out a calculator to say “Hmmm, he’s at 58.4 percent of matches, so ….” If Thiago had been earning a starting spot and more time, he would have been playing more. That didn’t happen.

      There is a lot of stuff that I am a lot madder about than Thiago, who will go for a fee in the 22-25m range, which is almost right for him.

      This board is petty, mean-spirited, power-grabbing and willing to use local media to wage war. It is gutting the soul of the club, and will most likely end up getting its way in building a new Camp Nou, which will no doubt be a soulless entity with luxury boxes, etc, etc, and some fancy sponsor’s name.

      And no matter how bad it all gets, socis face the significant hurdle of needing 15% instead of 5% to force a recall election.

      Thiago is convenient, because it is distracting people from looking at some very real concerns behind how the club is being run.

      As for a signing, Laporta’s declaring means that a splashy signing will be made. Will it be the right one? Who knows. But the pressure on Vilanova has to be soul-crushing, and he’s in Rosell’s debt for the job, etc, so how much is he going to be willing to buck the system?

      As for BA’s question about the only addition being an offensive player, I think that Vilanova also likes the contributions that Neymar will be able to make to the press. Last season we had Villa over there, who didn’t make much of a significant contribution to that cause.

      The club will buy a CB. For me, I hope that it is Marquinhos instead of Thiago Silva, even as the club will want Silva because that will show that it is doing more, than buying a 19-year-old defender with sky-high potential.

  24. I’m one of the few who still thinks Pep dis a a great disservice. for Inducing Thiago to Bayern. I’m dissapointed in Him. He knew Barca wanted to keep Thiago, He should have saved face by staying away from the Player. He has also Left cules Bad Taste

    For Rosell what he does he wudnt be reelected again

  25. From the rumor mill:

    — Montoya about to renew until 2015, Dos Santos on the block to La Real for 3m.

    Dos Santos, of course, will refuse to leave.

    1. …And that personal terms have been agreed for Thiago to Bayern for five seasons.

  26. Looking like we might have screwed the pooch on Marquinhos. PSG came in early with 30, we at 22. We have apparently moved closer to PSG, who still lead. RM is also in for him, now, but Leonardo is talking to the player and his entourage, which is usually a sign that the deal is very, very close.

    Anyone thinking that Marquinhos means they sell Silva, shouldn’t. Marquinhos on the right, Silva on the left, and as long as they don’t screw up too bad on the attack, they are very solid Champions League contenders.

    — The Dos Santos rumor is getting firmer. Anyone surprised that we would sell Jonathan Dos Santos for more than David Villa can feel free to raise your hand.

    — Oh, and apparently the Thiago to Bayern deal is done, some early reports are saying, probably announced on Monday. No word on fee as of yet.

    — Didn’t see it posted here, but Puyol will be at least two weeks late in starting pre-season.

    1. so according to the latest information: we’ve lost out on both of our promising defensive targets at a time when we desperately need more central defenders, because we can’t bid more, because in part we’re selling outstanding/world-class players (Villa, Thiago) for far less than they’re worth.

      Neymar’s performances in the Confed. Cup have boosted my optimism somewhat, but Brazil is not Barça and in Brazil he’s THE star. i’m hopeful, but it doesn’t matter if we got 3 Neymars for the price of 1, if we still have no bloody defenders. meanwhile i look around Europe and see a handful of young players with potential and a couple of older players who are priced out of the picture, but nobody ready to come to Barça to shore up that sagging defense. we got lucky winning the title last season when we had a great (largely injury-free) run early while Madrid stumbled badly, but we can’t count on that again. they have strengthened both their squad and their manager. i’d argue we haven’t significantly strengthened either, and though i’m as steadfast an optimist about this team’s potential as you’ll find, i can’t believe that as things stand we will win the title next season.

    2. If it were up to PSG they would probably keep both, but my impression is that Silva is willing to push towards coming to us, so at least now PSG would have younger version of him ready to step in.

      And Marquinhos also seems to prefer us if the offers are somewhat close.

      I think we’re going to get one of them, but we’ll have to overpay.

  27. I don’t care who we sign, as long as we sign a CB, I’m not too fused about the price or their age, all that matters right now is what they can add to our defence. We shouldn’t rush into it but we must sign someone even if it is in the dying hours of the transfer window.

    Thiago leaving is actually less significant then we all make it out to be. He is an outstanding player, but there will always be talent out there to replace him, and him leaving has opened the door for players such as Sergi Roberto. Thiago has shown that it is possible to make the transition from youth to first team squad, especially in our midfield. It’ll be interesting what may come out of his departure, you never know.

    In addition, we also have that other midfielder we paid 45mil for. Thiago is young and in a few years time he will be a key player for any side. But right now if any midfielder can make an impact for us it is Cesc Fabregas and we should be focusing on trying to get the best out of him.

    Song’s signing is starting to make sense now. In my opinion he had a pretty good first season at Barca. I’m definitely interested in what Tito has in store for him, something none of us can predict.

    Our forward line is pretty much satisfactory, we have enough depth up front to keep us going for the whole season. We sold David Villa for nothing, but so what, he didnt want to stay and we needed to sell him, we bought him for too much but investing in him got us a CL victory and a pretty entertaining 10/11 season, and the only regret I have is not buying him a season earlier.

    What is happening to us so far in the transfer window is not as bad as we think it is. I hear all this emphasis on Madrid’s campaign being smart and successful, signing a number of talented players. But for us we already have talented players, our objective is to fix the problems we have faced in our previous seasons and new transfers are not the only solution (except our defence lol). So personally I am more worried about the club losing its values over how much money we make from whoever is leaving out team.

    1. I’m not so concerned about the prices too. I am more concerned about the age, actual need, etc.

      Sergi Roberto to me is a few levels below. We could see for many years already that Thiago is a future elite player. I have not seen anything in him that makes me predict that he would be in the same bracket as Messi, Iniesta, Ronaldo R9, Henry, Isco, etc. I could be wrong though. Sergi Roberto could be a late bloomer like Zidane was.

      Perhaps you’re right. Now that Cesc doesn’t have Thiago breathing down his neck and there is less competition for CM spot, he would finally be comfortable and be able to focus solely on CM.

      I thought that we should’ve bought Villa many seasons before that actually but yeah, I hate it when there is too much delay in a transfer like Henry.

      Madrid’s transfers has been outstanding!! They have 3 future world stars in Isco, Illa & Carvajal (buy back though). We on the other hand acquired one in Neymar but lost 1 in Thiago.

  28. As to Pep: I think he has all the right to complain heavily about the smear campaign concerning his relationship with Tito. btw Did Tito say anything about that somewhere?

    But his interest in Neymar and Thiago was not exactly that, what I understood, when he said, that he won’t lure Barcelona players to Munich. An interest free curiosity in Neymars future (as Pep pretended) does not need a meeting with his father/manager and more than one phone calls.
    And that a player wants or at least considers to leave Barça as the case of Thiago is a precondition of any transfer and therefore no excuse. The proper understood promise was, that he won’t lure players against the intention of Barça.
    I’m fine with the fact, because that’s business. But I thought that Pep was different….

    1. An interest free curiosity in Neymars future (as Pep pretended) does not need a meeting with his father/manager and more than one phone calls.

      Very true indeed unless he’s obsessed with Neymar 🙂

      But it’s pretty funny considering that he himself tried to lure Neymar to Barca for years and now that he’s at Bayern, he’s trying to turn Neymar’s head.

  29. Some of the cules i know, Only watch the matches, They don’t read news, They don’t read forums, It’s only about the 90 minutes a week they get, And they enjoy themselves very much, Not any less than me, And in the past couple of months, I envied them.
    The news, The discussions recently in the barcelona environment, Are just plain depressing, I wish i hadn’t read all the back lash after the bayern games, I wish i hadn’t read or followed thiago’s fiasco, I wish i hadn’t know what pep said or did, I wish i hadn’t read all the rosell vs laporta fishts, I wish i hadn’t read what johan cruyff said, I just want to enjoy those precious 90 minutes.
    Does any one in here feels the same.

    1. Well, it certainly depends. It is easy to remove yourself from the club, and just watch/follow the team. The team will have its own internal politics, which are rarely played out in the public eye.

      But the club, in its position as political entity and shining beacon, will have all of this stuff go on. Politics in electing a president, politics when the president is elected, politics in what sort of a player the president buys, politics in the reaction to that player …. politics, politics, politics.

      That is part and parcel of being a cule. Some choose it, others don’t, and just watch the matches. No shame in being a supporter rather than a cule. We must each choose what makes things tick for us.

      As a soci, I don’t have a choice, to my view. I HAVE to know, HAVE to get involved. But yes, I do indeed understand how you feel.

    2. Rami, it’s about the choices you make.
      For me too, the initial Barcelona experience was only about the matches. And I remember that time of being in a state of constant fascination and joy just from the football. After a while the joy turns into love and the love makes you want to know the characters and history.

      Then, like you pointed out, it just starts to get depressing.
      Politics is unavoidable. Period.
      More so in a club which means SO MUCH to SO MANY people.
      You can choose to detach yourself from the many layers and only derive joy from the 90 minutes. Like a movie watcher.

      Or, you can get involved.
      And experience those 90 minutes in a much deeper way.

    3. Haha you’re right. My little teenage brother doesn’t know all the politics that’s going on with the club. He just wakes up early morning to watch the matches with me and enjoy it.

      It was just like me more than a decade ago. Only got interested in the deeper fields after the debacle that followed Nunez’ time.

  30. No longer restricting themselves to subtle little snippets, SPORT and EMD are now openly attacking Guardiola.

    In other words, it’s on like donkey kong.

  31. for me I don’t care aba the Pep-Rosell thing.

    what I’m interested in is Pep trying to Lure and Induce Thiago away from Barca. what hurts it people are blaming Tito, Rosell n Zubi for Thiago departure without seeing nothing wrong w/ Peps words aba Thiago. Pep is no more a Barca coach, So he taking Thiago doesn’t make us Better off, as RAMI said, he’s aware thiago is dear to us, and for that matter he should have stayed away

    1. He doesn’t take Thiago away.

      Thiago wants to leave, Barca don’t seem to care if he leaves as long as they get some money and Pep is willing to take him.

      Otherwise he goes to United.

    2. As I mentioned above, he should’ve tried to talk Thiago out of it like V.d. Bosque did. That’s the least he could do for Barca, if he want to look out for his beloved club.

  32. A bit offtopic but it was quite an outstanding display of cricket on the final day of the 1st ashes test.

  33. Looks like the deal for Thiago is to be announced soon, final fee around 24m, clubs working out how the fee will be paid.

    Not an exceptional bit of business, but not as bad as many feared. Yes, Isco and Illarramendi fetched more, but those were different circumstances.

    So. Onward.

    1. At least it’s not for the measly 18m I though we’d get the other day, eh? How Thiago will find any place in that already-formidable Bayern team is beyond me. Surely Man Utd would have been preferable?

  34. Bye Thiago.
    I wonder what this means for a player like Gustavo?
    I like him a lot and surely now hes down the pecking order at Bayern.

    Anyway we need Two additions to the backline
    C’mon Rosell make it happen!

  35. Bayern has Goetze, Badstuber, Mueller, Thiago, Shaqiri, Martinez, Kroos, Alaba, and Boateng in their team. All are younger than 25 and the slightly older players like Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Mandzukic, Roben, and Ribery aren’t bad either. Bayern has all their books in order and the best coach available at the helm of the club. We may well be witnessing the birth of one of the greatest teams ever for many years to come.

    Will S. Roberto be given an opportunity now, or will Villanova do to him what he did to Barta et al.?

  36. Deal is done. Thiago will play for Bayern this season.
    Thiago’s 25M transfer fee: 20M paid by Bayern, 4M “paid by” Thiago accepting salary cut, 1M for friendly game. [md ara catradio]

    From Barca Stuff.

  37. Few questions remain after Thiago’s departure.

    -why is that the club let his buyout clause be triggered? Did they have little hope or didn’t trust him to succeed in any position?

    -it seems deliberate to me that they didn’t try their hardest to try and secure one of their ‘best’ assets. Or maybe they just got tired of Mazinho always yapping everytime to the media.

    -or could it be lack of trust from Tito that caused him to move on to Pep? Cause I cant really see Thiago just walk into the Bayern’s 1st team the way they are stacked at the moment. Maybe he’d rather work under Pep than Tito even if he gets the same play time.

    -also, why is Tito reluctant to play the younger players? Tello gets good mins but, Bartra, Montoya even JDS haven’t been bad at all when called on. To me, it seems like he’s under too much pressure for results that he’s forgotten that he has good youngsters to use that he just plays or buys experienced players. Could this be a problem for future promising youth development.

    Well I hope that changes this season. At least to see the younger player get time in the lesser games and one or two harder games. That’s they only way they’d develop.

  38. Kxevin asked me yesterday if «was it just foreign socis who could see what Rosell was going to bring to the table from a mile away, or did local socis also smell something rotten in Denmark?». I hope you don’t mind if I give the answer here, because I’ve devoted a lot of time to it, and don’t wish that it gets lost amidst the comments above. So, I apologize in advance for this.

    I’ll give a short answer to Kxevin’s question for those that just wish to know and move on, and a rather long one for anyone interested.

    First, the short one: Yes, a lot of us —mainly cruyffistes— smelled it, and surely much sooner than most of you here.

    Editor’s note. With apologies to CuleToon, I think that the rest of this most excellent response deserves to live for long than people’s attention to this comments space, so I added to the new thread, which begins with the transfer of Thiago. It is very thoughtful, insightful comment that deserves space to breathe, be discussed and all that jazz.

  39. I am cracking up here to be honest. This is the saddest day of my life and i will never in my life forgive Zubi and Sandro Rosel. Thiago have even the gut to take a pay cut to join B.Munich. This leaves a sour tast in cule’s mouth.

  40. Good riddens, the benches at the Allianz must have really left an impression on him from our visit there last season.

    Anyone who’s saying they wouldn’t love to see him flop is lying.

    Now that this is over we need a friggin CB.

    1. He may well succeed.

      Remember that one can play on the exact same level and be a huge success in the midfield of any other team but be consdiered a failure in our midfield. Such is the difference in the requirements.

    2. He probably will, which is why I’m so pissed he’s leaving. Best prospect out of La Masia in a long time.

  41. I see this as £20mil more to spend on Thiago Silva. Barca must make this happen this week now and we will all forget about Thiago…

    1. They’re going to do everything to get Silva now to make people forget about this.

  42. Pfffeeewww… at last! Thiago leaves… Such a relief!

    Two years ago you said you wanted to succeed in football (not in Barça): well there you are, now you can do it! You, a half-cooked young player, demanded —demanded— a minimum of playing time, or else you wanted your clause to be 18 mill? Fine, sure you’ll get that playing time you demand now. You know, we’ve got some good players waiting to fill your position here, and good people too; look no further than Tello: his clause has been 10 mill and here he is, demanding nothing and working hard to earn his playing time.

    Many of us will not miss you, nor your fancy passing tricks, nor your dangerous lost balls, nor your lack of hard work in defense (nor your daddy, by the way). Many of us haven’t seen nothing in you that makes us regret your departure.

    So, «Bon vent i barca nova, Thiago!», good riddance to you!

  43. Very sad news to see such a talented homegrown player go away .
    What makes it worse is that he would not have gone except for the carelessness of the football management in FC Barcelona .

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