Everybody cheer up!

[ NOTE:  This post was drafted prior to Barça’s October 5th victory over Real Valladolid, when the boards were rather grumpy ’cause we were all … well, winning, and stuff. So if you’re bucked up rather than (what rhymes with “bucked up”?) lately, bookmark this and come back when we lose, or tie, or win again in a way that you don’t like. Psych! – Ed. ]


Gotta song in my head ...
Gotta song in my head …

If you don’t get what Kxevin’s sayin’,

we aren’t on the same webpage.

My t.v.’s low-def and I’m growing old. Maybe I’m going blind.

But they look like a good team to me.

So maybe you just outta you mind.

¡Oe oe!


Is the Liga even close, all them domestic teams?

But you are cynical, you say it’s cule nature.

We still triangulate ‘em off the pitch, even on the counter.

Besides, even if when we lose, no one match is a make-or-breaker.

We’ll still be a good team.

¡Més que, més que … !


Look too long at these lines and your eyes get blurry ...
Look too long at these lines and your eyes get blurry …

We’re a good team, people. With a good goalie too.

Víctor won’t let nothin’ past him.

Long lobs are part of the job and he don’t blow it.

It’s early; the season’s not wrapped up in bows and plastic …

But 4-1 without Messi?

Talk about getting blasted!

¡Olé olé!


So they grab shirts and kick shins and act all nasty.

Can’t shake ‘em loose? We go down, roll ‘round like it hurt,

Pretend we can’t breathe, get called “fakers.”

Sometimes we get the call, sometimes it doesn’t work.

Simeone says, “Get at ‘em” – and we get up.

So c’mon, everybody, cheer up.

¡Ney, Ney, Ney!

These too.
These too.


What you dreaming during that Live Streaming?

No CB and Messi’s ouch and Ini’s out …

and we still all up in first place.

You should feel lucky; it’s

(Wait. What rhymes with de puta madre?

I mean it — I got nothin’. Ooga aga? Tutomate?)

¡Piqué, Piqué … !


Many womens can't resist their pimpin'
Many womens can’t resist their pimpin’

One thing I ask of you: Let Marca screw, and AS too.

When we spend 90 mil to let Oezil bail,

then go all boo-hoo.

Bayern was a bitch, but no fans got it as good as you

when them tiki-takas bang on through.

We got long balls now what tear their back line in two.

And in tight khakis strut us some Tatas too.


It’s almost unbearable ‘round here, so many Debbie Downers.

Don't be a twerk ... Roots for your team!
Don’t be a twerk … Roots for your team!

In a hundred years would you’ve thought

Barça – Pep – Tito + Tata = History?

It’s phar out!

I mean, Bartra’s defending, and we’re still winning.

This is a kick-ass beginning.

 So go on, get happy!

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Written by:

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. Peter
    October 14, 2013

    De putamadre – cheer up, padre! 😛

    I’ll get back when I have an appropriate answer. 😉

  2. PrinceYuvi
    October 14, 2013

    Why the ‘nonsense’ posts are always the best ones ?

  3. Peter
    October 14, 2013

    Here´s the response, be gentle, it’s written at prima vista. Punctuation is probably a mess. 😀

    I get what you´re saying, and let me be clear:
    At no single moment have I felt fear.
    Neither disgust, nor desire to whine,
    That “hell, we won by four, it could’ve been nine!”

    Xavi is playing like it’s 2009
    Lexus is scoring, Pedro’s doing fine!
    We’ve got Fabregas, and this time it’s true,
    When Neymar’s not scoring, he’s assisting for two!

    Sergi Busquets still rules the midfield,
    Making opponents curse, give up and yield.
    Song is getting finally better
    Like a hungry lion ridden of fetters.

    Alba is out, but Crystal man’s here.
    Goalies get the shakes when he comes near.
    Pique is still headless, but Puyi is back
    Bartra’s hella good, don’t sign a centre-back!
    Maschete, maschete, even better than before
    Cutting and tackling, and asking for more…

    Alves defending and this is no joke,
    he’s actually coming back to defend! Not just bombing, but running back and intercepting the ball and holy footballs, he almost scored!!!

    And then there’s the wall, six feet of granite
    Never giving up and calling it a night.
    Two penalties saved, reflex like a mongoose
    With his swan song showing what we will lose.
    I hate to admit it, I’ve spoken in mock,
    Forgetting Rome, Paris, and Drogba’s shots blocked.
    The man is a legend, name’s Victor Valdés
    Six Zamorras I wish him, and then God bless.

    We’re not de puta madre, not by a bit.
    How can we be when Pique plays like… 😛
    But Barça’s still fabulous, the team is still winning
    I know it’s all early, but I could be singing.
    I’m not, I’m holding my tongue
    I don’t wanna jinx it, when all’s said and done.
    I’m knocking on wood, turning three times
    Hoping, believing, spitting terrible rhymes.
    ‘Cuz this team deserves it, o, culés of the world.
    They’re not found wanting, they ARE that good.

    Visca Barça!

    • Messiah10
      October 16, 2013

      Peter, this is AWESOME!

  4. petog4realz
    October 14, 2013

    Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  5. October 14, 2013

    Not one, but TWO pieces of verse? I’m bowled over. And Peter, I never knew we had another poet among us. Thanks for that, it’s a hoot.

  6. October 14, 2013

    On a completely unrelated note, buy and READ “Fear and Loathing in La Liga,” the new book from Sid Lowe. It’s extraordinary, every bit as good (better in some ways) as the Graham Hunter book on our club.

    They dovetail neatly, and in an ideal world, Lowe would have come out first. The history and things leading up to the club being how it is is thoroughly researched. You understand why culers are the way they are, and no matter how much you think you know about the club, you will learn something. Good times.

    • Peter
      October 17, 2013

      I swallowed it in one long sitting, and it’s mesmerizing. Thank you so much!

      I’ll never forget the words of a Spanish comedian after the first leg of the Champions League Semi:

      “Yesterday in the clasico two from Real Madrid were sent-off: The Portuguese that plays in the back and has a very nasty attitude, and also Pepe.” 😀

  7. ooga aga
    October 14, 2013

    rhymes with de puta madre? maybe something about a loofa on broadway? I don’t know but being mentioned in soccermom’s post is the best thing that happened to me since I was mentioned in the local paper for winning in the math olympiad

    • endico
      October 16, 2013

      Hi ooga aga nice to know you are a mathematician. Which year did you participate in the math olympiad?

    • ooga aga
      October 16, 2013

      it was when I was like 10 years old, in Washington state. you wouldn’t have heard of it

  8. Dracko
    October 15, 2013

    Hmm! Poetry and Lyricism in the house. Now ‘am feeling spoilt.

  9. SoccerMom
    October 15, 2013


    Peter, that blew my mind!

    “reflex like a mongoose” = awesome.

    We have the BEST readers EVER!

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      Thanks! 🙂 It’s good in my humble opinion as well. Still needs polishing to get the rhythm right, and a few lines about Messi, Iniesta, Tata and The Polo Shirt. 🙂

      The thing is, I’ve heard commentators use phrases like “as fast as a cobra” “like a panther”, and one of my favourite book characters being Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, I always thought “Haven’t you heard of the mongoose?”. Bonus points for rhyming with “lose” 😉

  10. G6O
    October 15, 2013

    Apparently RM will be selling the name of their stadium.

    Under different circumstances, that would be one more thing to make fun of but given who our president is, one can’t help but wonder when the same will happen to us…

    • Huckleberry
      October 15, 2013

      that’s just one part of the commercialization of modern football. There are funny names out there like “Signal Iduna Park” for the BVB Dortmund stadium. The fans got used to it like the Bayern fans with their “Allianz Arena”.

    • G6O
      October 15, 2013

      Alianz Arena was a brand new stadium. No history attached to it. And their previous one was an Olympic stadium, i.e. no name attached to it either.

      Big difference.

      The renaming of the Bernabeu will indeed be tied to its reconstruction. But still, even as a lifelong Barca supporter, it seems blasphemous to me to rename it. There are a few stadiums that should never be renamed – Old Trafford, Camp Nou, Bernabeu, etc. It’s just too much history attached to them for a renaming to make sense. Bilbao built a new stadium but kept the name – that’s how it should be done

    • Messiah10
      October 16, 2013

      Exactly. Similar in the States is the Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field or Boston Red Sox Fenway Park. They are just to historical & holy grails of baseball fields to be named anything but what they are. However, I do understand the temptation. You can get huge money these days for naming rights. It could fund a top class striker’s transfer fee alone. With Perez now talking about Falcao again, their going to need every dime. Espceially, in this Spanish economy.

    • October 15, 2013

      Actually, Flo Flo said that the new digs would cost 300m, and that finding a sponsor/potentially selling naming right is an option on the table.

      You are correct in your skepticism of such a move.

      There are also new Rosell allegations coming out of Brazil. Go see @lucasammr on Twitter, if interested.

    • G6O
      October 15, 2013

      As I saw it, he said something like “We are evaluating the offers we have received, but reconstruction will have to involve a name change”. Which might have been a faulty translation – I did not read this in Spanish, so it’s possible he might have meant something slightly different

    • G6O
      October 15, 2013

      That said, I can’t quite understand why both clubs think it’s so important to reconstruct/build new stadiums – they already have the two biggest stadiums with some of the highest ticket prices in Europe they rarely fill to capacity. Where exactly is the extra revenue going to come from to pay for the reconstruction, let alone generate additional income in the future?

    • Peter
      October 15, 2013

      In the case of FC Barcelona the point is to add executive boxes, a roof, better catering facilities, etc. This will both increase the revenue(executive boxes and deluxe seating generate A LOT), while bringing maintenance costs down. The recent decision of the LFP to consider earlier starting times would also help, because dammit, a match that starts at 22:00 on Sunday(or any day for that matter) is treason. The added revenue from exec boxes could also help bring the price of tickets down.

      The case of a new stadium works in those lines as well, but even further, because a Stadium with 110 000 seats and 83 000 season ticket holders has 27 000 seats available for the general public, which means less demand for tickets, meaning ticket prices can go down, which with the economy getting better(it has to, at some point) will let more people attend.

      But it’s not just a question of making a bigger stadium – it’s a question of making a socio-economic center with a stadium in it. The plans for Estadio McDonald’s include it being a shopping center, office center, social center and a hotel. The idea is to use this highly visible and high structure in the center of a 9 million city in all aspects available. Instead of taking your “relaxing cup of cafe con leche” at Plaza Mayor you could take it at a café that offers a nice vista of the skyline.

    • Huckleberry
      October 15, 2013

      you need a comfortable stadium with good facilities to attract businessmen, families, ladies, older people and so on.
      And you need a business section with VIP boxes, catering and all the fuss to generate money. Fans suffer but don’t pay….

    • October 15, 2013

      Still think we’re going to see new Nou, Estadi Qatarlunya. Faus and the other Minions are beating the drum for the new space, talking about big increases in matchday revenues, etc, etc.

      Almost certainly a more likely option than a renovation. Still waiting for that delayed-again referendum on new vs a rehab.

    • October 16, 2013

      I’m glad somebody else watched the ‘relaxing cup of cafe con leche’ video. Ana Botella is an idiot.

      I find it hard to believe that any construction project will increase revenue in Spain.

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      deerwithwings, if you haven’t, watch the reactions of Chuck Norris and Hitler of Ana Botella’s “English”. 😀

  11. PrinceYuvi
    October 15, 2013

    Whoa !! Peter, too brilliant that !!!
    I haven’t used that many exclaimation marks since forever

    • efcmentor
      October 15, 2013


    • Messiah10
      October 16, 2013

      Thanks for the link. Bottom line is that we have a superstar. They have a very good player. We paid half the amount they did. I’m a winner see my prize. Your a loser who sits and cries!

  12. nia
    October 15, 2013

    What’s with VDB playing these GK riddles of who’s in who’ out next game? It’s annoying. It’s either you stick with VV or Iker instead of the guessing games or changing GK every match. Iker is playing today yet, he didn’t play on Friday because he’s only played 1 match in five weeks. So I take it that situation has changed. I’ve come to accept that VV will always be 2nd to Iker no matter how good he has been but, the politics are Just as corrupt as Mugabe winning every election.

  13. PrinceYuvi
    October 15, 2013

    Is serie A strongest league all around ?

  14. bhed
    October 15, 2013

    Watching Argentina Uruguay, the penalty against Suarez was a joke. THAT was a dive. Anyone else watching? What do you think.?

    • October 16, 2013

      Yes, that was a joke. May be even Suarez couldnt believe it, he hit it poorly. Lucky it went in.
      With a second line Argentine team and a fully motivated Uruguay, I thought Uruguay was lucky to get it 3-2.

  15. Miguel
    October 15, 2013


  16. October 16, 2013

    I’ve been dreaming about posting a comment on this blog now that I can I’ve got nothing 2 say I’ll be back when I have something good…but yo! peter amazing man just amazing

  17. October 16, 2013

    Peter, that was wicked my friend.
    I had a lot of fun making a quick track where I rapped your verses juxtaposed with some beatboxing.

    is pique playing like ****?

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      Yes, that’s the word. Inspiration was found in Dave Henson’s “It Crossed The Line”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arfUBkPOK3w

      I’d love to hear that track you made, and thank you for the kinds words. Now that I read it, I can see it needs some polishing and at least a line about Messi and Iniesta, at least one more about Tata and the “Polo Pistacho”. 🙂

  18. October 16, 2013

    Meanwhile, no more freebies for the wee ones:


    Sure, the club has been doing it for years, but it’s the law, and a safety consideration, says Rosell. It isn’t about the money. We just want to keep the young’uns safe.

    Never mind that there would be a very simple workaround for any safety concerns, or that there haven’t been issues in the past. Ticket prices on the rise, now no more kids unless their parents pay up.

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      Even if that law was passed only for the money, it’s the law. The Clasico will be sold-out, and even if just 20 000 kids are present(Rosell speaks about 40 000), that means a stadium for 100k trying to accommodate 120k. As to why hasn’t this been an issue so far, my guess is that it’s because this is the first Clasico to be played that early(In Rosell’s time). The previous ones were played at 21:00, 20:00 and 19:50.

      My question is this – isn’t this law followed pretty much everywhere in Europe? Why is it a huge problem when Barcelona follows it?

      P.S. Madrid Arena in Wikipedia.

    • Jim
      October 16, 2013

      Oh come on, Kxevin. Give the guy a break. We stopped lifting kids over turnstiles about 20 years ago because of health and safety. If the Clasico is sold out where do all these 20,00 – 30000 kinds go ?

    • Jim
      October 16, 2013


    • October 16, 2013

      He will not get a break from me. The club has been doing it for years, with no harm or ill effect. That he chooses to implement the law when it suits him (as he did in the case of the Go Barça censure motion) is slippery, and not at all transparent.

      Further, there are so many ways around it. Give parents with children a match time of 45 minutes in advance, is one way to do it. They show up before the main crowd, and voila.

      The only “problem” with that situation is that Rosell sees lost revenue in the ninos. In Rosell’s own words:

      “If I were that child of seven, I would not agree with the Barça president. I have also been seven years old and gone to the Camp Nou with my father. It is a tradition that has been there all the time. But it is difficult, because we have all the stadium sold out.”

      And I know … just because something has always been done doesn’t mean that it should continue to be done. But workarounds are easy. There could be a stampede at ANY match, and whether children are paying customers or not, the risk isn’t any different.

      Huge problem? Nope. Not for me. Just another example, for me. If you want the money, just SAY you want the money.

    • Jim
      October 16, 2013

      Now I don’t know much about Spain and I do see a lot of things on my visits that would fall foul of the safety laws but surely a stadium has to pass fire safety inspections and have a maximum capacity? Where do these masses of kids sit? Really, given the steepness of the Camp Nou seating – it scares me and I’m an adult.

      I think the guy has been quite up front, said it won’t be popular, said its only for sell outs (I think) , said they can’t afford to give away 20,000 free tickets and isn’t gaining anything financially as far as I can see. Or am I missing something?

    • October 16, 2013

      It’s not for only sell-out games, it’s for every home game starting with the Clasico. As for where the kids were sitting, they were sitting on their relative’s laps. Where babies usually sit (7 might be pushing it a bit). And it won’t be so easy to just buy a ticket for an adjoining seat (assuming they can afford to), because that adjoining seat is usually being occupied by another soci who probably doesn’t want to sell it to you for your kid to sit in. So effectively this will bar very young children from attending games due to economic and logistic reasons.

      My problem isn’t so much with the board choosing to enforce this restriction—there are plenty of good reasons in favour of it, even if it’s unpopular—but with the board choosing to enforce this restriction now. They have obviously been discussing this policy for some time, why not begin as you mean to go on and enforce it at the beginning of the season? Why suddenly impose the ban now? The reason, of course, is that they knew it was going to be a very unpopular decision so they conveniently waited until after the annual general assembly and airing of grievances to avoid giving socis a forum in which to complain. That’s sleazy.

    • Jim
      October 16, 2013

      If all we’re debating is the timing, fine, but there can’t be an argument against safety or the law. Never been to a full house at the Camp Nou so can’t say but I have been to one at Parkhead and that was plenty scary leaving at the end. Don’t think we can play about with these things.

      Have there been any other sell out matches so far this season then ?

    • October 16, 2013

      A Camp Nou sellout is extremely rare. I have been to two: Classics, and the Inter Champions League (group stage) match. In both instances, as well as matches that were close to capacity, safety was never an issue. Everyone comes, and they go. Parents carry or hold the kids’ hands, and voila.

      Under the circumstances of an extraordinary situation such as the one that Cardoner suggests, kids would be in danger whether they had a ticket or not.

      Between this and the rising ticket prices (ask nzm about that one), it’s about revenue. Just call it like it is. I understand the need to maximize revenue, even as I disagree on the actions/routes being taken to that goal.

      To my view, the club is saying “Holy crap, that’s 10,000 spaces we’re just giving away? What the …” The cynic in me would love to believe it was all about safety, etc, but can’t. I confess to having a jaundiced view when it comes to trusting this administration, even as I give it full credit for the successes it has managed.

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      Yeah, Kxevin, but as you pointed out, this measure won’t do anything for the Clasico. It is sold out. As you pointed out, these kids sit on their parents´laps. They don’t take up seats that are already sold, it’s a question of too many people. The Clasico at Camp Nou is almost always sold out, except for the couple of sectors for the visiting team.

      If it’s about the money, it might make sense about the rest of the games, when there are 15 000 seats left open, )what Rosell said is that solutions will be sought, Tickets could be sold for kids for symbolic sums, sectors or places reserved for viewers with small children), but the point is that for the Clasico this will present a problem. The Manita Clasico started at 21:00, the next at 20:00 and the last one at 19:50. Champions League games start at 20:45. It’s not a big problem, because no good parent would bring his 4-to-7-year old to a match that starts one hour before his kid’s bed time. But this Clasico will start at 18:00, and since it’s the Clasico, the estimates are that high. It sure does provide a convenient moment to introduce the measure, but I’m not sure it would’ve been such a problem if the Clasico had started at 21:00 or 22:00. Timing is everything. 🙂

      On the other hand, it does solve a potential problem. The ticket is also insurance. If something happens to a kid that has no insurance, FC Barcelona can be charged with criminal negligence, not following the law, can be dragged through the mud and the courts by ambulance-chasing lawyers greedy for the limelight, all the while AS and MARCA and The Sun and L’Equippe and The Dailies gleefully fill their pages with editorials soaked with crocodile tears and snot and the latest developments of the case of FC Child Murderers.

      There’s a reason why this law exists. And like I said in another post, last November there was a crush at a party in Madrid Arena. Five girls aged 17 to 20 died, dozens injured. Three died on site, two in hospital – one of them four weeks later. One of the reasons, the major one, was overselling of tickets and not checking whether everybody admitted has a ticket. Does it sound familiar?

  19. October 16, 2013

    Valdes to Monaco. 4-year deal, terms probably to be disclosed at some later date. What a mess. Club received no offers for him, which is why he is still with the club, demanding the ol’ “money vs ability” question.

    At any rate, there were some absurd Chelsea rumors flitting about that made no sense. Monaco always looked to be the front runner, even as I don’t understand it.

    Ligue 1 is even more of a duopoly than La Liga, and PSG can afford more horses. Monaco will be eligible for Champions League next season and will certainly make, barring some sort of crazy collapse.

    • 86ed
      October 16, 2013

      Any other club would have cashed in on their want-away goalkeeper, especially to a club as washed in money as Monaco. Not Rosell though. This is the same guy who called ‘good business’ the selling of Spain’s highest goalscorer to a direct league competitor for fewer than $5mil. Real sold Albiol for $15mil for goodness sake.

      Whom do you rate to replace Valdes?

    • October 16, 2013

      I thought then and now that keeping Valdes until his contract expires was the smart move, especially considering that we would have received at most 10M for a widely underappreciated goalkeeper who had already made it very clear that he wanted to leave Barcelona.

    • 86ed
      October 16, 2013

      10m received is better than zero millionss received, I think.

      I understand we aren’t a selling club, but still… we could at least try, you know. It seems we don’t even try.

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      “Rosell selling the crown jewels” “Rosell’s dictatorship clearing house – he sells every player that looks at him crossly” How’s that for a first page headline at MARCA?

      Besides, this way the harmony inside the club is ensured, and the next keeper, if he comes from another land, will have time to learn Spanish/Catalan better.

    • Peter
      October 16, 2013

      Selling Villa was good business. Selling a 31-year old forward who wasn’t scoring to the only club that made an offer. IIRC Villa was getting 11m net, meaning (I’m using the percentages of Messi from wikipedia) a total expense of 25m Euro for FC Barcelona.

      So basically the choices were to sell the player for transfer fee and variables of 5m Euro as well as save up 25m of his salary, or spend 25m on him(given the fact that Neymar was already signed) and watch him go free the year after that. It’s no brainer for me.

    • 86ed
      October 16, 2013

      You can sell a 31-year-old for a large fee and get rid of that massive credit on your salary bill. More ought to have been done on the negotiation table.

    • October 17, 2013

      Not an unproductive, sulky one who hasn’t been the same player since returning from an injury. There, the biggest value is getting the salary off the books and moving on to a player who is more useful.

      The times I have watched Atleti this season, Villa has looked undistinguished. He might pick things up, but I doubt he would have gotten much, if any playing time for us.

    • Messiah10
      October 16, 2013

      I’m conflicted with this bit of business or lack there of. I’m delighted we have VV between the posts for us this season. However, we’ve had ample time to find a replacement and find a suitable offer for VV. Still, I think I’d much rather have VV for the season then $10-15 million.

    • October 16, 2013

      You say this like it is a confirmed deal. It’s not. It may be true or it may not be, but this is October and I doubt very much if anything has been irrevocably decided. And if the club has received no offers, well…it’s October. I’m sure Victor will have plenty of options.

      “Ligue 1 attracts me a lot – Monaco or elsewhere in France,” said Valdes.

      “This is one of my options. [My future] is in the hands of my representatives. But Monaco is a good option.

      “I know that Abidal is very happy at Monaco and I am good friends with him. I consider him a brother. He is an example as a human being. To go back and play at his side again could be very special.”

      Doesn’t sound like a signed contract to me.

    • October 16, 2013

      Valdes will be playing in Monaco next season. All over but the shouting. Only question is details that will be released, and when.

      The move still mystifies me, unless by “different culture” Valdes means hanging with players and the other rich folks in the principality. Because as Monaco goes, there isn’t a whole lot going on as regards “just folks” kind of culture.

    • October 16, 2013

      And Thiago is signing for Manchester United… 😛

      Nothing is ever settled in October. It’s quite possible this is being “leaked” now to invite other offers. We’ll see.

    • October 17, 2013

      I can’t even pretend to understand what he mean’s either – as if southern France isn’t a stones throw from Catalunya. O sea, he’ll still be in the Occitan language belt. Moreover, though I don’t follow League 1, I can’t help but think it is lowest on the major European league totem pole (i.e., La Liga, EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A).

      I can’t help but think its some sort of internal thing that we don’t know about as I find it super difficult to work out any logic. Valdes is more or less (depending on the moment/season) a wholeheartedly beloved keeper for Barcelona fans (though my wife has never liked him). He is from Hospitalet for christ sakes, why the hell would he want to go to Monaco.

      Anyway, all I am saying is that something doesn’t smell right.

    • Huckleberry
      October 17, 2013

      After spending 20 years at FCB, it is perfectly understandable that he wants to experience something new. That is what he and all the people and players around him say. His best friend Iniesta wants to retire in Barcelona, he wants to add a new experience. Nothing unlogical here.
      Meanwhile we see the best Valdez ever. The decision set him free.

    • October 17, 2013

      Agree. I also wonder, if the growing Falcao buzz about leaving comes to fruition, if that will affect the Valdes decision. Can’t see Abidal staying more than another season, at most. Lots of changes potentially, and Monaco has money, but not PSG money.

      Will be interesting. Monaco is a top keeper away from being a force in Europe. Valdes is certainly a top keeper.

    • October 17, 2013

      I guess my point was that I can’t see how going to Monaco would be that new, outside of the football club. Why not go play in Japan?

    • October 17, 2013

      Well, I will eschew getting snarked at again for bringing it up, but will simply agree with you that something doesn’t smell right.

      Re: A Japan option, I think that Valdes wants to prove that he can be a top-flight keeper in Europe, withOUT playing for Barça. Monaco would be the perfect project.

  20. tutomate
    October 16, 2013

    Thank you SoccerMom you made my day.

    -Tutomate out

    • Peter
      October 17, 2013

      Kxevin, that’s typical washing of the hands from the Catalan interior Department. “We ain’t never published no such laws. We loves the little children.” The Spanish law from 2007, confirmed by a Royal Decree is abundantly clear on the matter:

      Articlo 17.
      1. Toda persona que pretenda acceder a un recinto deportivo deberá ser portadora de un billete de entrada expedido a título individual, de billete múltiple, de abono o de cualquier otro título que autorice a los interesados a acceder a un espectáculo o a más de uno.

      Every person that wants to enter the sport complex needs to be in possession of a ticket issued individually, part of a multiple ticket, season ticket or any other type that authorizes access to the interested parties to a single or multiple events.

    • October 17, 2013

      You’re hired as official BFB researcher.

  21. October 17, 2013

    Oh, crap. Undiamo Mallenco is the Classic ref. Double shin pads front and rear, and body armor for the Sprites.

    • October 17, 2013

      Yup. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

    • Serena Andre
      October 18, 2013

      I am so not looking forward to this Clasico. MD posted a video of the great job he did in the 2011 CdR final. It made me so mad. I really thought I was over that final. Turns out I’m not.

    • October 18, 2013

      After that cdr final, I was hoping the club would do something to prevent Mr. Mallenco from reffing Barca games in the future. In the following season, Real managed to do this against one ref.
      But like always our club didnt do anything, I dont remember if they even protested.
      Very disappointed.

    • Serena Andre
      October 18, 2013

      Also on that note, this is what Casillas said (if Marca is to be believed) when asked what he thought about Mallenco being chosen to oversee the coming El Clasico:
      “Tengo un gran recuerdo de la final de Copa que nos pitó. Cada vez que lo veo, le doy un abrazo.”

      “I have great memories of the of the Copa final that he refereed. Every time I see him, I give him a hug.”

      Makes my blood boil. Gah, I hope we kick their asses next week.

  22. barca96
    October 17, 2013

    Ran out of reply options.

    Re: A Japan option, I think that Valdes wants
    to prove that he can be a top-flight keeper in
    Europe, withOUT playing for Barça. Monaco
    would be the perfect project.

    That is so true because when we point out that he has a lot Zamora’s (even more than Iker), people would say that Barca has a good defense (conveniently forgetting that they always say that defense is our weak link) or Barca always has a lion share of possession thus less work for goalies.

    However VV said he wants to experience something new, new culture, etc. not to prove his doubters wrong.

    Btw why did you mention up Japan deer with wings? I like Japanese and I rate it higher than the Arab leagues but Asia is more for the players who are nearing the end of their careers.

    VV is in his early 30’s which is the prime for goalies.

    • October 17, 2013

      I meant it as a respond to ‘being in a different culture.’ I mentioned japan because that’s one country that I’d love to live in!

      I hear what y’all are saying though, i.e., trying top flight in another country. That makes sense, although I still think it smelly fishy.

    • Ryan
      October 17, 2013

      I’d agree for the most part, although you do get some random players who shine in Japan (like Hulk) who then get a big move to Europe.

  23. October 17, 2013

    Just came across this Neymar debate. Interesting.


    Didn’t realize he has been fouled as much as Diego Costa (who I would kick even if we were on the metro), in 215 fewer minutes.

    Michael Jordan extended his career because he learned to jump shoot, etc, instead of driving to the basket. I wonder what the alternatives are for an attacking footballer who, as these commentators note, has a very direct style that always challenges defenders?

    I recall how freaked we all were when Ujfalusi sent Messi off with that ankle stomp, or farther back in time when Maradona’s leg was broken. I just don’t want to see that happen, admittedly because I’m a selfish culer.

    So that’s my question. I don’t want to get into whether he is or isn’t a diver. I’m more interested in how his game can change to keep him from being broken before he reaches his prime as a Barça player, never mind a player in general.

    • October 17, 2013

      The guy does get fouled a lot, doesn’t he?
      I am sure he’s aware of the potential threats of his style on his career. He’ll be ok as long as he..

      1. Remains light weight. You don’t want to end up like the real Ronaldo who increasingly put pressure on his legs through his weight and got injured a lot.

      2. Keeps going down. Dont listen to anyone. If someone kicks you and its safer to go down, rather than stay up and be a man, then go down. You can twist and break things sometimes if you dont.

      3. Become better at anticipating challenges. When tackles come, learn to evade them. Jump them. This may seem like a contradiction to point #2, but it’s not.

      4. Move the ball faster. He has a tendency to linger on the ball a little longer and while that’s fine for players of quality, use your discretion and learn to avoid attracting frustrated kicks of opponents without compromising on the effectiveness of play.

    • October 17, 2013

      “3. Become better at anticipating challenges. When tackles come, learn to evade them. Jump them.”


      I always understood that Jordan getting older had as much to with him switching to jump shots as avoiding injuries. I think at this point of his career Neymar should not change this aspect of his game to avoid injury – taking on defenders is exactly what we need from him.

    • October 17, 2013

      Faster ball movement helps, to be sure. But he is often kicked even when he doesn’t have the ball, just to say “Hello.” I suspect that once he stops being the new guy, things will calm down.

      But it’s interesting that there is no “develop a jump shot” option for a footballer whose game is direct.

    • October 17, 2013

      I don’t remember a player getting kicked all over the pitch so many “friendlies”. That, to me, is outrageous and I would not mind referees handing out straight reds for yellow card offenses in those games.

    • Dani_el
      October 17, 2013

      What about that stat that shows that Messi has only been awarded 8 fouls (almost 1/4 of the ones awarded to Neymar) with only 25 minutes less played time on LaLiga than Neymar? Is the difference that noticeable? Does Messi really deserve so few fouls on La Liga? Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that he falls down way less often than Neymar and Costa?
      Maybe Messi should start complaining more too. I’m serious about this. He takes way too many hits, and with him running more and having a different physical program to prevent injuries (from the one that Marti Perarnau showed us on his articles, explaining how it was a Pep and Tito’s set strategy, for him to run less to prevent muscular injuries) he should protect himself in a better way somehow.

    • October 17, 2013

      You know, I can’t say for a fact that my speculation has any basis in anything except my muscle-headed bones, but I wonder if Messi’s more stationary approach has something to do with injuries. Like Adriano, I would wager that he is mostly fast-twitch muscle fiber, which likes to be warm before it springs into action.

      By being more stationary, I just wonder if that means that Messi’s muscle fibers are under more stress than if he were trotting around to keep the motor idling, so to speak.

    • Dani_el
      October 17, 2013

      So if I understand correctly, the hipothesys is that when Messi was more stationary on the field, Messi got more injuries?
      I wouldn’t know about that, I would have to look at the stats, but I think he hasn’t had so many injuries, like in this year, since 2007 probably. This happened before he started running more (april-may right?) because of Tata, but I wonder if this approach will help him stay fit for the whole season. I like Messi pressuring, and making defenders uncomfortable, as long it doesn’t provoke injuries on him.
      If I would be Blatter, or whoever is in charge of referees an the interpretation of the laws of the game, I would tell him that they should protect players like Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, who are smaller, more technical and who are subjected to more aggressive plays.

    • ooga aga
      October 17, 2013

      do you mean to imply that messi is so stationary that his body is “cold”?

      i dont think any player is so stationary. what football player is literally ever standing still? not that i can think of. even is messi is walking between runs, his body is warmed up. i agree maybe his muscles are different and that could lead to injuries, but to go and say it is because he has a “stationary approach” — i dont buy it.

    • October 18, 2013

      I have been saying this for long too. More than 50 -60% fouls on Messi are not called at all. This is true even if he plays for Barca or Argentina, and we are talking about the player who is much above anyother player in the no. of dribbles per game.
      If one day Messi also starts going down for every sneeze around him, then the only people to blame for would be the Ref’s.

      And from a below comment, comparing Messi to Adriano, one who stayed almost injury free for 4 1/2 long seasons, and the other, who only managed now,to remain injury free for 6 games together, in 3 seasons is quite strange. Not even a goalie is stationary in a football field. To say Messi (or any player on a footy field) is stationary, what to say…cant agree at all.

    • Peter
      October 18, 2013

      For me it’s not that he’s stationary, but that he doesn’t have a normal acceleration period. He doesn’t have that much of a space to accelerate or decelerate any more, and his muscles have to propel him in much shorter periods, meaning more explosive strength.

      IIRC Adriano injured himself when he won the match for Barcelona. Alba injured himself when he had to stop suddenly after a sprint. Messi was injured when he made that vain sprint at the Almeria goalie and also tried to stop in a short space. The injury before that, the one he got against Atletico, was a result of physical trauma, i.e. getting kicked by those Atletico lady parts.

    • October 18, 2013

      Like Messi, fast-twitch fibers predominate in my legs. The only times I have injured myself/felt like crap have been without a proper warmup.

      Explosive strength is the most significant kind of stress on a muscle. It requires fast firing, elasticity AND strength of contraction. It’s why hamstring injuries from just running are rare, vs starting or stopping.

    • lea_terzi
      October 18, 2013

      I remember raising this question (changes to Neymar’s game to avoid injury) before, and wishing he would take a leaf from Messi’s book in terms of anticipating and “riding”/jumping challenges, and from Iniesta about “walking through people”, or being several steps ahead of the field and getting rid of the ball before the defender comes close. Hopefully, as Ney learns from the masters, gets tactical help from Tata, becomes more of a fixture and familiar face in the Liga, things will get better. I also hope his corporate sponsors, especially Nike, who have a fortune invested in his image, might help market him to the world as a legit superstar and not a diving, whining primadonna.

  24. Serena Andre
    October 18, 2013

    Guess what people, Puyol is finally back! He’s in the squad for tomorrow. So are Masche and Messi.

    Pique still isn’t training with the rest of the team, and he’s not included in the squad. Del Bosque, thank you, you’re a peach.

    • lea_terzi
      October 18, 2013

      What was that rumor about Pique having a beginning sports hernia? Sounds painful and dangerous.

    • October 18, 2013

      It’s the same thing that Busquets was dealing with last year (and a major reason Busi looked so “off” in the games against Bayern). This kind of thing must be handled very carefully if surgery is to be avoided. I’m very glad that Pique is being rested…and I doubt if that one extra game he played with the NT really made much difference. If you’re going to start blaming VDB, you’ll have to portion some blame out to Martino as well, as he has played Pique in every single game so far this season.

    • Serena Andre
      October 18, 2013

      Fair point, but I think the two situations were different.
      We had a real CB problem after Masche got injured and Tata had little choice. As far as I know, Pique never missed any group training sessions before the international break either.
      When he joined the NT, he missed a couple of training sessions. And still VdB chose to play him in a match they only had to draw, with a perfectly good replacement, Iñigo Martinez, on the bench.

      Anyhow, judging by Tata’s comments in his presser today, Pique should be ok, which is a relief. Crisis averted.

  25. October 18, 2013

    All emotions and sentiments aside, it’ll be very interesting to see how better or worse Puyol will be, from a pure sporting perspective, compared to what Abidal would have been in our colours this year.

  26. psalmuel
    October 18, 2013

    Now wondering how EE will set up against us in the classico…

    • October 18, 2013

      Let’s worry about Osasuna first. Then Milan. Then EE.

  27. ooga aga
    October 18, 2013

    welcome back CAPITA!!! 220 days we have missed you!

    and welcome back as well CUENCA, MASCHE, AND MESSI, all of whom have the medical OK as of today!


    • October 18, 2013

      It’s very good to see Cuenca back. Not in the squad, but with the medical green light, I expect him to get some time in the home match after the Classic.

      Lineup I’d love to see:

      Montoya Bartra Puyol Adriano
      Song Iniesta Fabregas
      Pedro Messi Tello

      In second half, Neymar subs for Messi. Sanchez, Alves and Pique are being rested, not even part of the squad.

      Osasuna is in 18th in the table, but they are always tough at home.

    • ooga aga
      October 18, 2013

      Id love to see Puyi start as well, but Tata implied in his presser that he wouldnt, that he would only come on as a sub. (If I understood correctly.)

    • ooga aga
      October 18, 2013

      he also revealed that Busquets would be starting.

    • ooga aga
      October 18, 2013

      so Im almost wondering if Busi will pair Bartra in defense with Song as DM… since masche and puyi maybe arent ready to start.

    • October 18, 2013

      Hard to see a future for Cuenca at Barcelona though, don’t you think?

    • October 18, 2013

      Not really. Then again, Dos Santos has a job and Cuenca is more useful than he is, so what do I know?

      Cuenca would be in a pot with Pedro, Tello, Sanchez and Neymar. That ain’t a good place to be.

    • October 18, 2013

      Agreed. Especially with Deulofeu. He’s a good player though. Hopefully that will help the finances this summer for a new keeper.

      Pepe or Ter? Both? Hard to say. I would love Iker, but that’s never going to happen. Or we could just convert Song?

    • October 18, 2013

      Still not sold on Deulofeu. We have plenty of money for a keeper, just as Cardoner said that we have plenty of money for a defender this past summer window. And he’s correct.

      I don’t want Casillas anywhere near our club or our locker room. He’s tainted, and he’s the wrong kind of keeper. If he isn’t good enough for RM, why would he be good enough for us?

      The club needs to solve its keeper dilemma in any way that brings in a young, immensely talented keeper with the skills to work in the Barça system (eloquent argument for Ter Stegen), coupled with a solid veteran who will be content with not being the starter, as the club will have to commit to this young keeper.

      For me, this sounds like Ter Stegen/Reina or Ter Stegen/Pinto. Ter Stegen makes too much sense for the club not to strive to make the deal.

    • October 18, 2013

      I like Cuenca too as a player, but his injuries, the presumably few minutes he will play this summer and the fact that Barcelona couldn’t sell water in the desert means that any hopes for cashing in will be in vain.

    • October 18, 2013

      I really like Iker, and nobody can tell me differently, but it’s a moot point. He’s not coming here. I agree that there is plenty of money for a keeper though!

    • BA
      October 19, 2013

      the word going around is that David de Gea is unsettled at Manchester United, isn’t training as strenuously as the club wants him to; and that his GF is from Barcelona and he recently just bought a house there.

      i think that’s a very interesting development, as he’ll almost certainly be Spain’s #1 in coming years.

  28. TITO
    October 19, 2013

    In favor of using the goal line technology or any other technology in football, just take a look at last night second goal “scored” by Bayer Leverkusen against Hoffeinheim.
    It went in from behind of the net because the same was torn and the ball vent through. It never crossed the goal line. I have never seen something like that.

    • barca96
      October 19, 2013

      If there was an assistant with the luxury video replays at the side, all this wouldn’t have happened.

  29. October 19, 2013

    Puyol and Neymar starting… Messi on the bench.

  30. psalmuel
    October 19, 2013

    hmm…I smell a draw at bernabeu…

    • PrinceYuvi
      October 19, 2013

      Willy let one slip. Darn it

  31. Jafri
    October 19, 2013

    Umm, we don’t have a backup fullback in the squad?

    Xavi, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Iniesta, Cesc, Pedro, Messi, Neymar, Tello, Valdes, Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Song

  32. psalmuel
    October 19, 2013

    never mind, we’ll convert JDS to a fullback if need be…

  33. Jafri
    October 19, 2013

    Puyol’s starting!

    Pretty nervous about that…..

  34. 86ed
    October 19, 2013

    We feel rather toothless in attack to be honest. Only clear chance was Bartra’s who missed it.

  35. Jafri
    October 19, 2013

    I don’t think their keeper made a save in that first half… And we need to be waay more assertive in the final third. Neymar especially. He does 90% of the work and then passes back at the edge of the penalty area.

    And I think Iniesta needs to be hooked at half time.

  36. Jim
    October 19, 2013

    Woah, panic setting in already?

    Decent first half, finding our way a bit. Cesc a bit slow to create anything in that position and certainly won’t unless we get more bodies in the box but complete control of the game and unlucky with a couple of through balls.

    Not sure why we would want to take Iniesta off…

    • Jafri
      October 19, 2013

      Perhaps I overstated that a bit, but his passing is pretty ordinary at the moment, nevermind his shooting…

      No panic yet, but too many extra touches in the penalty area (Pedro and Cesc), and passing when in good positions (Neymar). Somebody take charge!

  37. Jim
    October 19, 2013

    On the plus side I’m loving Puyol letting Bartra shout the odds in defence. Bartra starting to convince me even though the opposition aren’t great.

    • 86ed
      October 19, 2013

      These are the games he should start and finish. If Villanova had had a bit more sense Barta would have by now had a year’s experience more and we wouldn’t need to be in such dire straights in that dep’t.

  38. G6O
    October 19, 2013

    This looks like a particularly bad case of post-internationals disease – misplaced passes, miscontrolled balls, players not being able to reach otherwise good balls. Not a good time to go to Pamplona where the pitch sucks and Osasuna always puts up a good fight. I would sub Messi in at the half for either Iniesta or Cesc (yes, I tend to panic easily), but let’s see what Martino does.

    • Jim
      October 19, 2013

      I think you’re right that we’ve suffered slightly from our. International hangover in the first half. However I’d expect us to start moving better second half- I think the passing itself has been pretty good but we need Iniesta or Xavi to get into the box a little more.

    • G6O
      October 19, 2013

      Nah, nobody seems to be able to properly control the ball and everybody is half a step slower than usual. Classic symptoms.

      Osasuna seem to be tiring though and openings are appearing so I am feeling better about the outcome as of now

  39. Jim
    October 19, 2013

    Montoya not doing much to increase his chances of a lengthy stay at FB.

    • G6O
      October 19, 2013

      He’s been good defensively. But absolutely horrendous at the other end

  40. PrinceYuvi
    October 19, 2013

    Need scary version of messi right now.

  41. 86ed
    October 19, 2013

    I think that this is precisely what might have happened against Celtic, had Brown not lost his mind.

    You have to take your chances in games like this. Bartra, Montoya, and Fabregas didn’t.

  42. psalmuel
    October 19, 2013

    mr. Fabregas i hope you are happy now?

  43. mohit
    October 19, 2013

    That was FIFA virus written all over our performance.

  44. PrinceYuvi
    October 19, 2013

    Ha, Tata can finally change his Tshirt now.
    At least our defense looks decent )

  45. psalmuel
    October 19, 2013

    and Tata got it wrong this time with the sub, messi was suppose to be in for fab not xavi, we needed someone who could retain possession and thread in through passes around their box. Now my night is ruined… Let me play me some fifa13…

    • Jim
      October 19, 2013

      Yeah although I can see why he was trying to give Xavi some rest before the next two games which are more important.

  46. Peter
    October 19, 2013

    I feel particularly bad about my unfinished poem. Did I jinx it?

    A Crappy day which involved 3 hours of sleep, a blown laptop, a vital e-mail failed to deliver, onsets of flu and gets a corresponding finish.

    Crappy field, crappy performance, lousy finishing. Someone needs to check the ball, ´cuz there are probably aliens preparing for a football match against some Cartoon heroes. I don’t have another explanation 🙂

  47. Jim
    October 19, 2013

    Always going to be a tough game after the international break on a tight newly laid pitch but they defended well and we didn’t take our chances.

    On the plus side Puyol and Bartra looked good while Messi came through safely and Xavi got some rest as did Pique. I’ll settle for that.

    • Peter
      October 19, 2013

      Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, eh? 🙂 I guess you’re right. Puyol came back, Messi as well. Alves, Pique, Alexis weren’t in the squad, and as always Osasuna is a difficult opponent at home when they close up.

      That pitch may be new but it looked like crap.

  48. TITO
    October 19, 2013

    I couldn’t watch it, the first game i missed in a long time, my son’s birthday was more important. 🙂
    But i guess it wasn’t our best performance, to which i blame the international break. Anyway, looking forward to beat the ones that have to be beaten in the week ahead of us.

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