Close to Away (as a matter of Clasico, pt III)

This is not a preview, it’s a meview. If you want to read something that makes sense, I suggest you click here for Kxevin’s thoughts on the game.







Huh!?! What?!? Huhyaaaaaawn…

Yo man, you up?

Wh-wh-wh-huh? What? Who is this?

It’s me man, me, that’s who!

Maaaan what the… (yawn) It’s three in the fu… (yawn) You know what time it is, you f—–g prick?


(a loud crashing sound ensues, which is either indicative of the end of the world or of a culer falling out of his bed and generally making a mess of what once upon a time looked like a bedroom)

Still there?

What? Where? When? Clásico? Here? Now?

No, not now. Take it easy. Keep that heart attack at arm’s length from your chest. Breathe in, breathe out. The game is tomorrow.

Tomorrow? So why you calling me at three o’clock in the morning?

I can’t sleep.

Why not?

Tomorrow’s the Clasico.

Oh. Right. Why don’t you watch tv or something, get your mind off things? And let me sleep! Jeeez…

I tried that but they talk about the game on every channel.

Oh, right… Uhmmm… Hold on… Why is there a picture of the Camp Nou above this article? The game is at the Burn-the-Eeew.

Man, you’re slow!

Yeah, so? What does that got to do with it?

It’s got everything to do with it.

You’re a jerk. What do you think of the game?

Well, do you want my BFB-contributing, sangria-drinking, happy-go-lucky, rallying-the-troops and stand-behind-my-team opinion or do you want my honest opinion?

What do you really think?

Color me culer but I think we’re gonna lose. M*drid is playing like a monster right now. What do you think?

Man, you’re one pessimistic son of a bee. We’re gonna kick some whitey butt. We’re gonna run rings around Pepe until he bites his own —hole. We’re gonna make D-Lo wish that he’s Iker and Iker wish that he’s Sara sitting at home and breastfeeding the baby. We’re gonna make Ronaldo cry piss from his eyes, only they don’t call it piss they call it CR7. We’re gonna rip Bale’s nuts off and feed them to Tomás Roncero. We’re gonna fill their diapers with blaugrana doo-doo and snap the neck off of any Ancellady that tries to change ‘em.

Dude, forget I even asked. I forgot how weird you are. And Tomás Roncero would probably love to eat Bale’s private parts. Or at least nibble on ’em just a little bit.

Man, he’d gobble ’em up. And who you calling weird? Look at you, man, I mean, man, just look at you!

My point exactly. But I wish I shared your confidence. I’m also worried that Martino might have lost the team.

Lost the team? Martino? Not the Pope of the Pampas, no Sir. Gerardo knows what he’s doing. They don’t call him Tata for nothing.


Ta-Taaaa, Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-Taaaaaaaa! Ta-ta-ta-ta-Taaaaaaaaa!

Oh, I get it. Yeah, blazing trumpets. Cute. Some say he’s not Catalan enough for this team.

Sheeeeit, by the time he’s done they will hand him the keys of the city. He’ll be trainer, mayor ‘n president and all at the same time. Every other sentence heard on the streets of Barcelona will be “Who the f— is Pep?” They will change the country’s name to Tatalunya!

Enough with the madness already. You’re making my head spin. Why can’t you be more normal, like me? I thought you’d be more chilled out half-asleep. You’re still a crazy bastard.

I am chilled out, man. What the f—.

Yeah, I guess you are not as bad as usual. Wish you wouldn’t cuss as much, though.

Awwww be honest, you love me the way I am. Show me some love, man, let’s do it!

Hey, kids might read this, man, that’s nasty.

Here we go again (sigh). Always with the kids, huh. No kidding, man, but you’re boring! Anyway where we gonna watch the game, bro?

See, I don’t know. I don’t wanna go to La Rambla cause there’s just way too many tourists out there.

Shit now who’s crazy? The Rambla. Ha! Very funny! You act as if you’re in motherf—–g Barcelona or something.

Eh, du-uh! Where have you been?

Inside your head.

Yeah, and have you ever bothered to look out of my eyeballs?

I see a computer screen. An orange wall. A fan. And three mirrors. What you got three mirrors for? Wanna be three times as ugly?

Look to the left.


Out the window.


(waaaait for iiit…)

WHOAH!!! Oooh shit! We’re in (breathe), we’re in (breathe), we’re in (breathe), we’re in…WE’RE IN BARCELONA!!!

You mean I. In the eyes of our beholders there is no we, ’cause we are I. One person, not two. You should know that by now. This ain’t the first Clàssic preview signed by yours trulies. I, that’s who!


Calm down, calm down. Calm down. I know how you feel, boss. Please, just trust me and calm down. Maintain focus. Stay sharp. Concentrate. Waaait for it. And inform our readers in a cool and collected manner that we will now write our articles for the best football blog in the world from the best football city in the world. The Camp Nou better be ready for us, and by the way, I really hope you’re not gonna get me banned. Enjoy el Clàssic, y’all! Visca el Barça i visca Catalunya. Over and out.

By Levon

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. “Person known as Levon is not huddled in bullet proof room in Venezuela but has (permanently) ascended to the Culer-Home?!!!!?WTF??!?!?!!!!”

  2. love-on,



    think we will see sergio ramos as DM again tomorrow? somehow i doubt it. loved it the first time ancelloti tried it, though.

    1. of course, i forgot that was the reason for Ramos in DM…

      dont be scared! we got em.

  3. Writing reminiscient of Paco Ignacio Taibo II,(pt III). Subject matter: uncertain. Sentiment: clearly culer. Orale.

    1. Orale, guey! I don’t know that writer, but I wikipedia’d him and now I gotta get me one of his books. Any one in particular you would like to recommend?

  4. so it wasnt a dream? levon is in barcelona! woot! and the wife and chitlin is with you too?

    also, do they say “orale” and “guey” in venezuela? i thought that was a mexican thing…

  5. We must play with 3 forwards. We need to win this match thus we need to attack them from the get go. This match is about attacking not defending by tiki taka. So I really hope the rumored 4 midfielders in the line up is not true.

    1. Sorry, Barca, can’t agree with you. First we need to establish our control, then we can rely on Messi getting enough chances to sink one or two. Attacking full out will just mean us getting caught time and time again. Could happen anyway …

    2. Not only that, the last couple of times Iniesta played on the left wing he played like a firestarter causing the defense all kinds of problems.

  6. You know how in the movies the actors wake up from a nightmare. Well I had one last night and you know what nightmare is about. In case you don’t, I had a horrible nightmare about us getting beat. Losing is not a big deal but I meant really beaten. I guess it’s because of the Arsenal Chelsea match giving me bad vibes lol.

    1. We are NOT Arsenal! Thank God!

      I’ll be watching at our penya, hiding my eyes every time THEY get OUR ball until hubby tells me it’s safe to look. UGH!!!!!!

      Breathe….must remember to breathe…

  7. Actually, Lev, every game against EE scares the daylight outta me.
    From the guardiola era till now, the one I considered the scariest was their super-copa second leg win by 2-1.
    In the first 15 minutes, the sheer intensity and utter feriocity at which we were attacked was petrifyingly inundating.
    They created like 10 chances to which we could have conceded 6.
    I don’t ever want to witness such again! Ever!

    1. 😀 i was nervous about the game and i watch some of that game … i thought that no matter how worse it can’t get that bad.

    2. True, Laurentiu.
      And to think we could have won the cup playing with 10 men for 80 minutes with that last gasp Messi effort would have been remarkable.

    3. yes, i was so surprised we had some huge chances. messi, alba.

      watching some cr celebrations convinced me why i wouldnt like alves and co to do anymore dances. i am convinced ronaldo is a nice guy, but that whole bravada is so empty. i already think footballers earn way too much, but to treat scoring a goal like you just performed a brain surgery strikes me as something a little inappropriate.

      less then 2 hours before the game..what to do? what to do?

    4. The surgery brain part really cracked me up, Laurentiu.

      Levon, the same was said in the first leg. And we were supposed to get thrashed 100-0. Our performances against big teams this season leaves me a spacious room for hope.

      Like Jim said, the speed at which they attack- break-neck to be precise- is so much spooky.

      Goodluck to us!!!

    5. Yeah those were some horrible 15 minutes. And you’re totally right, every game against EE is scary because the potential loss leaves you with such a god-awful feeling inside your chest!

  8. Congrats Lev! (for some reason couldn’t reply to first post)

    I hope everything works out well. I had to cancel my April trip this year (Bilbao game got moved). Have some 1 Euro pintxos at La Tasqueta del Blai for me!

  9. Anyone else hit the drinks yet? I won’t feel any pain this way…

    As long as we don’t play to their strengths ( high back-line vs their kick-and-run wingers) we have a good chance. Hope ‘tata’ is realistic about this one 😉 GO BARCA

    1. kinda recovering from last night, but feels its too stressful to live the game all sober!!

      i see top 3 predictions are 255-0, 10-0, and 3-1.!! 😀

  10. Ok. Tata has chosen the right team. Now, has he given them the warning about starting slow and what’s gonna come at them? Has he sorted out a way of Pique not getting drawn wide by the long diagonal ball and then it’s an easy cross towards our midgets ?

    Dani and Alba need to stay at home for the first twenty. If we’re still all square then the glass of wine will gingerly be poured…

  11. It’s official, Neymar and four mids. Now the question is will fab play as false nine or Iniesta as left winger?

  12. Absolutely the wrong lineup. Should have gone with Pedro and Alexis. If Neymar doesn’t deliver and breaks up the pace like he has in games prior Tata will have a lot to answer for.

  13. Not too much surprise for M*drid in terms of team selection I guess, but given the results against ManCity (another very dangerous team on the offense) that’s not exactly required. Can’t wait!

  14. Strangely both teams lined up exactly like expected so it will be interesting to see if there are any tactical surprises. Our line up at least gives us the option of Iniesta on the wing or Cesc at false 9

  15. Neymar better pick his game up in this half. If not I call for Alexis at half. To many give away’s already.

  16. That’s what having a 5’8 Central Defender gets you. Benzema skied over him. Alexis would be covering that side Di Maria put the ball in on as well.

  17. Mascherano, once again, a liability. he’s not a defender, and we’re kidding ourselves that he can consistently, competently play that position.

  18. we’re getting absolutely annihilated down the right. Dani Alves can’t handle both di Maria and Ronaldo, and Neymar is providing him with zero help.

  19. That’s the last straw for Neymar. Time to put Alexis in. I put it on Tata for playing an out of form Neymar instead of an in form Alexis. MESSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIII

  20. I wish Neymar would try to play simple. It doesn’t always have to be tricks.

    Messi always reliable.

  21. Jesus. Dani & Masch are killing us. Alexis in for Ney to help Dani and Bartra in for Masch

    1. Dani is actually doing alright, he’s just been isolated (getting no help from MF/Neymar); and he’s never going to overpower Benzema in the air. we should have a center-back with the size and aerial ability right there to match him, but Pique and Mascherano stupidly haven’t switched sides even after it was obvious Madrid were looking for Benzema in the air at every opportunity.

    2. They’re only looking for Benzema because Pique has been covering Ronaldo. He can’t be front and back post !

  22. Every cross is half a goal. You severely reduce your chances of winning if this is the case.

    1. This is not new but it may help us decide finally that you need some height in your CBs. Pique is stuck with Ronaldo who has barely had a touch but as he sees the deficiencies elsewhere, especially height wise, he’s getting drawn away from that job and out of position.

    2. We can talk about lack of height in the team overall and how this kills us on corner kicks. But it used to be that we had three physically robust defenders plus Alves and when that was the case, the corners were still a problem but at least open play crosses were dealt with better. Now we have only Pique and every time the balls gets in the air, it’s basically half a penalty for the other team. It’s just inexcusable. The Guardian liveblog summed it up well: “What’s clear is that the players in this era had several more trophies in them, but for the total lack of interest in the defence.”

  23. We need to get Fabregas off the pitch right now. He is simply gone missing. Bring Pedro or Sanchez in his place and move Neymar to left. That will give a better balance, especially defending.

    1. However, he also provided that great throughball that put Messi clear on goal which he converts ninety percent of the time. If he can do that once more…

    2. people talk about how much Neymar (and Thiago?) gives the ball away, but Cesc Fabregas has given the ball away twice as much as the Brazilian this game, and in a much less attacking position. this absurd 4-4-2 formation is supposed to be about “control”, well… do we LOOK in control?

      Alexis and Pedro are both in great form. i feel for that that they have to sit on the bench so Tata can play a hackneyed formation with a slow, defensively pointless player at the center of midfield; meanwhile the genius Iniesta is banished to the wing. Alexis has form on the left, Iniesta has form through the middle; they’ve both been dislodged to make room for Cesc Fabregas, who’s offering us precious little. it’s madness.

    3. Actually I think we’re playing pretty well especially our passing game but we can’t keep giving goals away. I also agree that Ini needs to be beside Xavi.

    4. Not that Cesc looked god knows how good, but i think we had bigger problems than Cesc giving the ball away.

  24. Yeah I’m tispy but what is this? Mudrid had two half-chances and scored two goals +we should have had a penalty? Joke opponents and 3-0 wtf.

  25. I enjoyed that first half. Mascherano not doing his best today, and pity about that wasted Messi and Neymar one-on-ones at 1-0 up…but I could watch Xavi-Busquets nonchalantly passing the ball out of danger all day long.

    I STILL have no idea who is favored in this match after the first half. Chances on both sides, possession versus fast breaks…everything is possible.

  26. For me, Cesc off now for Pedro and Ini back into mid. Give Neymar another 15 then Alexis if no improvement. To be honest, if it didn’t send the wrong signal to RM I’d have Masche off as well for Bartra but it’s prob not fair to bring him on at the moment .

  27. Neymar needs to be taught a few things. He gives the ball up so cheaply. I undertsand a intercepted pass.

    Notheless one on one he has done pretty well. As for defensive help to Dani its nt coming. Neymar is ther to pin Marcelo back and also drag Di Maria back. Unfortunately we havent really pressurised them for this to happen.

  28. Few thoughts:

    Alexis for NEY who became ney this half, and a note to our fullbacks or whoever is defending out there to stand to the opponent player and not let him make a cross. I mean, how difficult is to understand that?
    Every single cross is a half chance for them, they are out jumping us (nothing new) but at least we can prevent the crossing.

  29. all the gripes and tactical quibbles said: for the neutral, this is a *fantastic* game of association football.

    1. I don’t think anyone on here is a neutral. And we all see the game from a great advantage point. That said, I’ll 2nd guess all day! 🙂

  30. Exactly. Piqué looks like he’s been assigned to zonal mark but I think he should be the one man marking.

    1. He’s not zonal marking. He’s marking Ronaldo but is having to try to guess when a cross ball is coming in to see if he can get there as we’ve no height. . It’s bound to lead to Ronaldo getting a chance eventually.

  31. So I guess now as long as you jump into the penalty box after getting fouled that’s enough to earn a penalty…

    1. To be fair we weren’t complaining weren’t complaining when DeMichaelis was carded and Messi received a penalty. I actually like the continuation foul rule. It was a penalty.

    2. Not a penalty at all. Foul was committed outside.
      Imagine if it happens all the time, player getting fouled outside but falls inside the box. If you were the ref, would you give a penalty every single time?

  32. Karma is a bitch on that penalty call.

    A few weeks back we had the same call in our favour and I was one of the few who thought it was the wrong call but many Barça fans here and elsewhere tried to justify the call. So we can’t really complain now.

  33. Honestly how delusional am I should this be 5-0 already? 2 pens vs 0, they get free kicks for NOTHING plus their goals were jokes.

  34. Thank God for Messi! The assist to Ghostface. The never die attitude for the equalizer. The brilliant pass to Neymar for the penalty and red card and the lethal finish for the penalty.

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